Table of contents:
- 1. Ancient Chinese beer
- 2. Man and dog
- 3. Unearthly dagger of Tutankhamun
- 4. Greek bureaucracy
- 5. Sexually transmitted diseases of Neanderthals
- 6. Dead languages
- 7. The elusive Higgs bison
- 8. First right-hander
- 9. Mysterious human ancestor
- 10. Hemp path
Each year brings new discoveries to mankind, including archaeological ones. This year was no exception. Scientific research in 2016 made it possible not only to lift the veil of secrecy over the events of antiquity, but also to rewrite some pages of history.
1. Ancient Chinese beer
Rewriting history: ancient Chinese beer.
It has long been known that the ancient Chinese enjoyed the fermented rice drink for at least 9000 years. However, in 2016, scientists learned that the Chinese were also beer drinkers. Archaeologists excavating in Shaanxi Province have unearthed beer-making equipment dating from 3400-2900 BC.
Also found in the vessels were the remains of ancient beer ingredients, including broom millet, lily seeds, a grain called "Job's tears" and barley. The presence of barley was especially surprising since it was previously believed that this culture began to be cultivated in China 1000 years later.
2. Man and dog
Rewriting history: man and dog.
Dogs were man's best friend 7000 years ago. Near Blik Mead (near Stonehenge), archaeologist David Jacques found a dog tooth, which was found only in York, next to the skeleton of a Mesolithic hunter-gatherer. This man and his dog traveled 400 kilometers from York to Wiltshire in what is now considered the oldest known trip in British history. Jacques argued that the dog was domesticated and most likely used for hunting.
3. Unearthly dagger of Tutankhamun
Rewriting history: Tutankhamun's unearthly dagger.
In mid-2016, scientists were able to unravel a mystery that has puzzled archaeologists since Howard Carter found Tut's tomb in 1922. Among the many items buried with the young pharaoh was an iron dagger. He was very unusual for two reasons. First, in Egypt, ironwork was incredibly rare 3,300 years ago. Secondly, the dagger did not rust at all.
A study with a fluorescence spectrometer revealed that the metal used for this dagger was of extraterrestrial origin. It contained a high content of cobalt and nickel, which was very similar to the composition of meteorites extracted from the Red Sea. In 2013, another iron artifact from ancient Egypt was tested and meteorite iron was also found in it.
4. Greek bureaucracy
Rewriting history: the Greek bureaucracy.
During the excavations of the ancient city of Teos on the territory of modern Turkey, hundreds of tablets were found. One of these has 58 lines of text, surprisingly intact, representing a 2,200-year lease. This proves that bureaucracy was as much an integral part of ancient Greek society as it is of modern society.
The document describes a group of high school students who inherited a piece of land (complete with buildings, an altar, and slaves) and then rented it at auction. The official document also mentions the guarantor (in this case, the tenant's father) and witnesses from the city administration. The owners retained the privilege of using the land for three days a year, and also reserved the right to annual inspections to ensure that tenants did not damage the property.
5. Sexually transmitted diseases of Neanderthals
Rewriting history: Neanderthal sexually transmitted diseases.
A few years ago, when scientists examined the human genome, they were surprised to find that modern humans have about 4 percent of Neanderthal DNA due to interspecies selection.Also, our ancestors received something else from their Neanderthal cousins - a primitive version of the human papillomavirus (HPV). Using statistical modeling, scientists were able to recreate the evolutionary stages of the HPV16 virus.
When modern humans and Neanderthals split into different species, the virus also split into two separate strains. Initially, only Neanderthals and Denisovans had the HPV16A virus. When humans migrated from Africa, they only carried strains B, C, and D. However, when they reached Europe and Asia and began to have sex with Neanderthals, they also passed on the HPV16A strain.
6. Dead languages
Rewriting history: dead languages.
Despite the fact that no one has used it for almost 2000 years, Etruscan remains one of the most intriguing dead languages. It was he who most of all influenced Latin, which, in turn, influenced many European languages, which are still spoken. Nevertheless, very few examples of Etruscan texts of more or less significant duration have survived today. However, in 2016, archaeologists excavating a temple in Tuscany discovered a 1.2-meter, 2,500-year-old stone stele covered with Etruscan inscriptions.
It has been well preserved as it was reused as the foundation for the temple. The inscriptions on it have not yet been deciphered, but scholars suspect that the text is religious and may shed new facts about the Etruscan religion.
7. The elusive Higgs bison
Rewriting history: the elusive Higgs bison.
In 2016, a new species of animal was discovered using a unique method (the study of ancient cave art). The researchers examined the rock paintings from the caves at Lascaux and Perguset and noticed several changes between the bison painted 20,000 years ago and 5,000 years later. They had slightly different torso and completely different horns. Since the earlier paintings resembled a steppe bison, scientists believed that the new drawings depicted completely different species.
To confirm their hypothesis, they examined the DNA of the bones and teeth of bison 22,000 and 12,000 years old. Scientists concluded that the bison drawn later was a new species that evolved from the steppe bison and bison. It was called the Higgs bison (by analogy with the Higgs boson).
8. First right-hander
Rewriting history: first right-hander.
New research, published in the journal Human Evolution, provides evidence for the first documented example of right-handedness in hominids (and it was not homo sapiens). Paleoanthropologist David Freyer found evidence of this phenomenon in Homo habilis, which lived 1.8 million years ago. Researchers examined the fossil teeth of a skilled man and found specific abrasions that were indicative of the use of tools held in the right hand.
9. Mysterious human ancestor
Rewriting history: the mysterious ancestor of man.
New discoveries on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi suggest it may have once been home to an as-yet-unknown species of hominid. Archaeologists have unearthed hundreds of stone tools that are at least 118,000 years old. However, all the evidence suggests that modern humans first arrived on the island 50,000 to 60,000 years ago. The existence of a new species of hominid is very plausible. WITH
ulavesi is located near the island of Flores. In 2003, archaeologists discovered another species of hominid, which they called Homo floresiensis (Floresian man), and the people called him "hobbits". This species developed independently on Flores before finally disappearing 50,000 years ago.
10. Hemp path
Rewriting history: the hemp path.
Modern scientists suggest that cannabis was first used and possibly cultivated in ancient China about 10,000 years ago.However, the Free University of Berlin recently compiled a database of all available archaeological evidence of cannabis and found that cannabis use developed in Eastern Europe and Japan around the same time as in China. In addition, cannabis use in Western Eurasia remained unchanged over the years and then intensified in the Bronze Age. Scientists suggest that cannabis had become a marketable commodity by this time and spread throughout Eurasia.