Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Plant maitter preservit in permafrost brocht tae life

Silene stenophylla.Mammoths next!

Monday, 13 February 2012

Neanderthal art

Excitin news that cave paintins haes been fund in Spain that micht, juist micht, be the haundiwark o Neanderthals. They shaw seals - they're raither elegant an stylised.

Gin the date fae the surroundins (43,500-42,300 year syne) is confirmed whan the pigments is analysed, it wad be verra likely that this wis the wark of Neanderthals raither nor modrens. No a muckle surprise - 200,000 year auld pigments haes been fund, and there haes aareadies been pigment finds at Neanderthal sites - John Hawks gies an overview here
There a bone objeck fae Slovenia that micht be a Neanderthal flute - guid summary (bit anonymous) o aa the argiements for an agin here.
Twa-three year syne, a stane objeck wis fund at a Neanderthal site in France that leuked a bit lik a face, bit verra crude an haurd tae tell fae a naitral objeck - it's a stane wi a bane ludgit through it, giein an effeck lik een. Bit there's been some haunlin o't tae shape it, sae maybe it wis some kinna idle playock. Descreeption o the find be J-C Marquet and M. Lorblanchet 'A Neanderthal face? The proto-figurine from La Roche-Cotard, Langeais (Indre-et-Loire, France)', an discussion be Paul B Pettitt, 'Is this the infancy of art? Or the art of an infant? A possible Neanderthal face from La Roche-Cotard, France'.

A mair convincin stane face wis fun be an amateur archaeologist in Hampshire in 2004 (though he's described here as a "retired fisherman"). Ah havenae been able for tae turn up ony further information aboot that ane.

Sae lang syne, we'll ne'er hae but a keethin sicht.

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

The fences gings up

Greece is pittin up a fence on its Turkish border - short notandum here. The EU isnae pleased (nae surprise there than) - the apparachniks will ay be howpin tae mak Turkey pairt of the EU, ower the deid body o democracy if necessar. 

As that airticle mentions, there a razor wire fence alang the US Border wi Mexico (the drug lords tunnels unner it). 

India recently completit its border fence forenent Bangladesh. It passes athort heavily populatit areas, an there  accusations o brutality an a trigger-happy staun be the Indian forces. There a Marxist interpretation here (it's aa a capitalist conspiracy agin the peasant population ... aless o course it's a defensive meisure the likes o whit fowk hae biggit sin time immemorial). India has fences forbye agin Pakistan on the disputit N-W Frontier an agin Burma.

The Wikipedia airticle 'Separation Barrier' lists mony mair defensible barriers, includin thir anes, aa alang international borders:

Botswana agin Zimbabwe (juist tae keep kye fae wanderin in wi foot-an-mouth disease, ay ay);

Brunei agin Malaysia - there a Malaysian enclave that stauns atween twa bitties o territory that maks up Brunei - it's mair lik a Berlin or Belfast wa in scale, bit it is an international border. Seemilarly wi twae Spanish enclaves in Morocco;

Turkey in defence o territory held in Cyprus;

Iran wi Pakistan - this is a jynt meisure agin the Sunni Baluchi tribe that straddles the Border an harbours the Iranian Resistance Movement (or Jondullah resistance) - detailt discussion (sympathetic tae the Baluchis) here fae Nizamuddin Nizmani;

Israel wi the mair hostile o its neebors - we'll likely see the Border wi Egypt strenthent in the near future;

Uzbekistan agin Kyrgyzstan, athort the disputit ferm lan o the Ferghana Valley, an causin hardship tae the tribes at straddles the Border. Verra messy wi nummers o the twa ethnic groups aboot balanced in the Ferghana Valley. The Uzbeks an Kyrgyz are baith Sunni Muslims, bit the Uzbeks kythed in the Ferghana Valley as conquerors i the saxteenth century, pushin the Kyrgyz (thairsels fairly recent, likewise Turkic, stoory-feet) up intae the hills. The Uzbeks o Osh is strandit on the Kyrgyzstan side o the Border; there wis ethnic violence there in 2010; aabody blames ither, tak yer pick. Accoont here fae Christya Riedel o the findins o an international commission o enquiry;

South Korea agin the North;

Morocco in defence o territory held in the Western Sahara;

South Africa agin Mozambique an Zimbabwe.

Mair are planned.

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Man the hunter

Auld yin but a guid yin - theory that modrens had the edge as endurance rinners. Dennis M. Bramble & Daniel E. Lieberman. Endurance running and the evolution of Homo Nature 432, 345-352 (18 November 2004).

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Modren admixture in Neanderthals

Dienekes passes on abstracts o papers fae a recent collogue o the American Association of Physical Anthropologists on Modren-Neanderthal admixter. He comments parteecularly on a paper be Fred H. Smith an Arika M. Ward, 'Vindija Neandertals as evidence for gene flow from early modern humans', leukin at the morphology o Neanderthal harnpans an chafts fae a late site in Croatia an giein  evidence o modren gene flow INTAE Neanderthals. Dienekes links back tae his ain speculations aboot this fae circumstantial evidence - bit this is the first hard evidence.