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 11 
 on: February 01, 2014, 10:30:10 pm 
Started by Lisa Wolfe - Last post by Lisa Wolfe

 
Examination of Olmec offering from La Venta

Article created on Tuesday, January 28, 2014
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The present-day Mexican State of Tabasco houses the great Olmec city of La Venta which existed from around 1000 to 400 B.C. Archaeologists have found many fabulous offerings buried within the site – such La Venta 4 – which is composed of 16 different figurines carved out of various stones, representing male individuals accompanied by six celts.

The offering was located on the north platform of La Venta in 1955 by Eduardo Contreras (INAH), and for half a century the group was housed at the Museum of Natural History of the Smithsonian Institution and returned to Mexico in 2011. Since then it has been exhibited at the National Museum of Anthropology (MNA).
The offering was located on the North platform of La Venta in 1955. Image: INAH

The offering was located on the North platform of La Venta in 1955. Image: INAH
Layers of clay

The offering was carefully buried under layers of  various coloured clay. The first layer was a coffee colour, followed by orange, pink, yellow and white, and possibly may refer to different levels of the cosmos. The figurines themselves all exhibit elongated skulls and slanted eyes without pupils. This is in contrast to the famous colossal Olmec heads which show no cranial deformation and have eyes with pupils.

Recent mineral analysis, as part of a more detailed study of La Venta 4, confirmed that the ancient Olmec civilization had a wide territorial and commercial reach, maintaining contact with Guatemala, Guerrero and Oaxaca.




Examining the physical evidence

The analysis was carried out ​​in conjunction with the Institute of Physics of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM ), with support from Dr. Jose Luis Ruvalcaba. As a result it was possible to identify the type and varous sources of the green stones that the figurines were carved from.
The Offering 4 at La Venta was found in 1955. Image: INAH

The Offering 4 at La Venta was found in 1955. Image: INAH
Mineral deposit map

The 22 elements were analyzed with stereoscopic microscopy, Raman spectrometry and Infrared, with X-ray diffraction, so that the  various types could be established: jadeitita, pyroxenite, plagiogranito, serpentinite and rock zoisite, chlorite, cordierite and chromite. These studies were matched to a mineral deposit map of Mesoamerica to identify probable locatons. It is the first time that the physical evidence of the Olmec territorial expanse has been examined and it was found that the green stones came from the Motagua River in Guatemala, and streams in Guerrero and Oaxaca and may be evidence of trading alliances with these locations.

Source: INAH
More Information
   

    La Venta – Smithsonian

Cite this article

INAH. Examination of Olmec offering from La Venta. Past Horizons. January 28, 2014, from http://www.pasthorizonspr.com/index.php/archives/01/2014/examination-olmec-offering-la-venta

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http://www.pasthorizonspr.com/index.php/archives/01/2014/examination-olmec-offering-la-venta

 12 
 on: February 01, 2014, 10:25:56 pm 
Started by Lisa Wolfe - Last post by Lisa Wolfe

Blue-Eyed Hunter-Gatherers Roamed Prehistoric Europe, Gene Map Reveals
Some ancient peoples in Spain 7,000 years ago had blue eyes and dark skin.
A drawing of a male-hunter gatherer.



An artistic impression of the blue-eyed male hunter-gatherer.

RENDERING BY CSIC

Dan Vergano

National Geographic

Published January 26, 2014

Apologies to Frank Sinatra, but the real Ol' Blue Eyes has been found—a 7,000-year-old Spaniard whose fossil genes reveal that early Europeans sported blue eyes and dark skin.

Mapping the blue-eyed boy's genes is part of ongoing effort to uncover the DNA of ancient humans. The new study in the journal Nature, led by Inigo Olalde of Spain's Institut de Biología Evolutiva in Barcelona, reports the genetic map of a skeleton found in a Spanish cave. (See also: "Modern Europe's Genetic History Starts in Stone Age.")

Why It Matters

Scholars had suspected that blue eyes arrived as an import into Europe, brought by late-arriving farmers who invaded the continent more than 5,000 years ago. Contrary to the conventional picture of a blue-eyed, fair-haired northern European, the study suggests that blue eyes were already common among the continent's early hunter-gatherers, along with darker skin.

But those aren't the only results that matter from the study. The researchers also discovered that a number of disease-resistance genes seen in modern Europeans were active in the ancient Spaniard's gene map. And the study adds genetic support to archaeological findings that hint that a widespread hunter-gatherer culture cut continuously across Europe in prehistory.

What They Did

The researchers extracted DNA from a tooth found with the skeleton of man, dubbed La Brana 1, uncovered in a cave near León, Spain, in 2006.

In the lab, they compared the DNA from the man with DNA from other Stone Age Europeans, such as Ötzi, the 5,300-year-old "Iceman" of the Alps (whose people were farmers), and older, partial samples of genes recovered from hunter-gatherer burials in Sweden, Finland, and Siberia.

They also compared the results against the DNA of 35 modern-day Europeans.

What They Found

Around 7,000 years ago, a Stone Age culture spread across Europe, made famous by discoveries of small, rotund "Venus" figurines found in their burials. The study results suggest those people were genetically connected—one thin population of dark-haired hunter-gatherers whose domain reached from Spain to Siberia. They were also partly the ancestors of many of today's northern Europeans.

Moreover, the ancient Spaniard had multiple genes linked to disease immunity, resistance to bacteria, and risks for musculoskeletal ailments, ones seen in people today. Understanding the origin of these genes can help better explain their function, which could aid medical studies, for example.

For fans of the "Paleo Diet" and other get-back-to-nature notions, the study brings some good news, suggesting that people carry around plenty of genes left over from their primeval forebears. The survival of some disease-resistance genes that mattered greatly in antiquity, as shown by their continuity in modern humans, also can help show how evolution worked its magic on us, and is still working today.

Follow Dan Vergano on Twitter


http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/01/140126-blue-eye-spain-fossil-human-discovery-gene/

 13 
 on: April 13, 2013, 12:48:21 pm 
Started by Volitzer - Last post by Volitzer
On April 13th between 12:30 pm till now EST Atlantis Online has been down for a while.

Just thought I'd let one of the mods here know.

 14 
 on: December 08, 2012, 02:11:25 pm 
Started by Victoria Liss - Last post by Victoria Liss
http://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2012/12/an-ancient-statue-re-created/

 15 
 on: December 08, 2012, 02:10:14 pm 
Started by Victoria Liss - Last post by Victoria Liss
The result, Sanders said, is a 3-D image that can be called up on a computer screen, rotated, zoomed in and out, and examined in detail by scholars off-site, providing accurate access to a museum artifact that they might otherwise have had to visit Cambridge to see. For display purposes, the digital models can be “printed out” on sophisticated, 3-D machines that sculpt from high-density foam.

The software will attempt to use the 3-D model of the intact lion to re-create the missing parts for the broken one. The intact original will be returned to its owner, the University of Pennsylvania, next year when the Semitic Museum’s second-floor exhibition hall is closed for renovation.

The temple where the lions originated likely contained at least four such statues, two standing and two crouching, flanking an image of the goddess Ishtar, according to assistant curator Adam Aja.

The two standing statues, owned by the Harvard University Art Museums, and the crouching lions have been on display at the Semitic Museum since 1998, the first time they’ve been together since the late Bronze Age destruction of the temple, Aja said.

Nuzi was inhabited by people called Hurrians near modern-day Kirkuk in Iraq. The city was destroyed by the Assyrians sometime between 1350 and 1300 B.C. Lions, which once roamed the area, were considered symbols of power, and reliefs depict rulers going on lion hunts.

The statues and their re-created models will be taken off display next year when the gallery is renovated, but will be public again when the work is completed, probably in 2014.

 16 
 on: December 08, 2012, 02:09:38 pm 
Started by Victoria Liss - Last post by Victoria Liss


A detail from the face of one of the statues. The temple where the lions originated likely contained at least four such statues, two standing and two crouching, flanking an image of the goddess Ishtar, according to Adam Aja.

 17 
 on: December 08, 2012, 02:09:05 pm 
Started by Victoria Liss - Last post by Victoria Liss
Museum assistant director Joseph Greene said the project is partly driven by the desire to re-create the damaged lion and partly by a commitment to use the latest technology to probe the thousands of artifacts in the museum’s collection in search of new data from them.

“It’s important to devote our time and attention to objects we have in our collection and to apply the latest techniques, techniques not dreamed of when [the artifacts] were dug up,” Greene said. “There’s a continual curiosity: What more can we learn? What hasn’t been tried so far? Can we wring new data from objects that have been in our basement for 80 years?”

The museum holds just two pieces of the fragmentary lion, its front paws and a larger chunk of rump and back legs. Technicians from an outside contractor, Learning Sites Inc., visited the museum Friday to take digital photographs of the fragments to augment more than 120 images taken of the intact statue.

According to Donald Sanders, Learning Sites president, the 3-D models are made using the digital photos and sophisticated computer software that knits the images together. The images can be taken with ordinary cameras and even cellphone cameras, but they have to overlap, so that the software can sort and match the images to create the model. The more overlap there is, he said, the more data points the software has, and the more detailed the model can be. By taking more than 120 images of a relatively small statue like the lion, the resolution can be less than a millimeter.

 18 
 on: December 08, 2012, 02:08:19 pm 
Started by Victoria Liss - Last post by Victoria Liss


Adam Aja, assistant curator of collections, carefully examines a piece of the model.

 19 
 on: December 08, 2012, 02:05:29 pm 
Started by Victoria Liss - Last post by Victoria Liss

 20 
 on: December 08, 2012, 01:59:16 pm 
Started by Victoria Liss - Last post by Victoria Liss

An ancient statue, re-created
Through technology, museum augments shards of ceramic lion

By Alvin Powell

Harvard Staff Writer

Tuesday, December 4, 2012
Green, Aja_605.jpg

Photos by Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff Photographer

Joseph Greene (right), assistant director of Harvard's Semitic Museum, and Adam Aja, assistant curator of collections, re-create a ceramic lion that likely flanked an image of the goddess Ishtar in a temple in Nuzi. The project will blend fragments of the original statue held by the museum with pieces created through 3-D scans of its intact mirror image.

As part of a repair job 3,300 years in the making, Harvard’s Semitic Museum is seeking to undo some of the destruction wrought when Assyrians smashed the ancient city of Nuzi in modern-day Iraq, looting the temple and destroying artifacts.

In a high-tech project that would have been impossible even four years ago, technicians are attempting to re-create a 2-foot-long ceramic lion that likely flanked an image of the goddess Ishtar in a temple in long-ago Nuzi, which is the modern archaeological site of Yorghan Tepe. The project will blend fragments of the original statue held by the museum with pieces created through 3-D scans of its intact mirror image, which likely sat on Ishtar’s other side.

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