tagged w/ Archaeology
His Majesty doth dehydrate muchly http://latestbloomer.uskoa.com/?p=4394
Fascinating new archaeological data and DNA research indicates that Europeans discovered the Americas 17,000 years prior to the birth of Columbus. A high definition production, the film takes you on the journey of a determined family from southwestern France as they cross 3,000 miles of ocean.
Filmed in glorious high definition is a two-hour epic story, which follows an intrepid family of stone age hunters as they trek from their homeland in southwestern France, cross 3,000 miles of ocean and eventually make their first permanent settlement in what is today the northeastern U.S.
HD full-screen enabledFascinating new archaeological data and DNA research indicates that Europeans... more
"We have discovered a Neolithic temple complex that is without parallel in western Europe.”
"This wasn't a settlement or a place for the living... This was a ceremonial centre, and a vast one at that.”
In size and sophistication... comparable with Stonehenge or the wonders of ancient Egypt. Yet the temple complex predates them all.
"Ideas spread from this place....This was the font for new thinking at the time."
"We have never seen anything like this before... The density of the archaeology, the scale of the buildings and the skill that was used to construct them are simply phenomenal.”
But it is not just the dimensions that have surprised and delighted archaeologists. Two years ago, their excavations revealed that haematite-based pigments had been used to paint external walls – another transformation in our thinking about the Stone Age.
Around 2,300BC, roughly a thousand years after construction began there, the place was abruptly abandoned. Radiocarbon dating of animal bones suggests that a huge feast ceremony was held, with more than 600 cattle slaughtered, after which the site appears to have been decommissioned.
[All above excerpts are from an article by Robin McKie published in TheGuardian on 6th October 2012]
http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2012/oct/06/orkney-temple-centre-ancient-britain?INTCMP=SRCH"We have discovered a Neolithic temple complex that is without parallel in... more
GUATEMALA CITY (AP) — The discovery of a tomb that experts believe might be that of a great Maya queen could redefine the understanding of women's political roles during the Classic Maya period, experts said Thursday.
A team of U.S. and Guatemalan experts led by anthropologist David Freidel found a stone jar at a burial chamber in northern Guatemala that led them to believe it is the burial site of Lady K'abel, considered the military governor of an ancient Maya city during the 7th century.
"Lady K'abel was buried 11 meters down from the surface in a temple near a stairway," Freidel said. "K'abel was not a regular person. To put her in that location means that it was important; it means that people continued to worship her after the fall of the dynasty."
The team working in the royal Maya city of El Peru-Waka also found other evidence, such as ceramic vessels, jade jewelry, thousands of obsidian blades and a large stone with carvings referring to Lady K'abel.
The alabaster jar showed the head and arm of an aged woman emerging from the opening and glyphs pointing to the name of the queen, Guatemala's cultural ministry said in a statement Thursday.
"The royal tomb shows that women have been leaders in the past and we must now assume and exercise political participation to strengthen the role of women in the new era," Rosa Maria Chan, deputy minister for cultural and natural heritage, said in the statement.K'abel, considered the greatest ruler of the Late Classic period, ruled with her husband, K'inich Bahlam, for at least 20 years in the 7th century, Freidel said. She was the military governor of the Waka kingdom for her family, the imperial house of the Snake King, and she carried the title "Kaloomte" — translated as "Supreme Warrior," higher in authority than her husband, the king.
Freidel, who is from Washington University in St. Louis, said the findings at the ruins of El Peru-Waka were "serendipitous."
"In retrospect, it makes a lot of sense that the people of Waka buried her in this particularly prominent place in their city," Freidel said.
For Marcello A. Canuto, director of the Research Center of Central Tulane University in Louisiana, the alabaster identifies the tomb as that of the "Lady of Kaan" and noted there is a stela erected in her honor at the archaeological site.
"She has been given all the honors a male king would have been given," Canuto said.
"It's not the first such tomb discovered, but it gives an idea of the important role women played in forging dynastic alliances, and the status they enjoyed."
Traci Ardren, associate professor of anthropology at the University of Miami and a Mayan archaeologist specializing in gender relations, said the traditional belief that Maya men occupied a more important place than women has to do with the amount of images in Mayan art that show men in positions of authority.
"People like Lady K'abel show there were examples of extraordinary women that were able to position themselves in powerful roles, were incredibly successful and were accepted by society," Ardren said.GUATEMALA CITY (AP) — The discovery of a tomb that experts believe might be that... more
We used to think agriculture gave rise to cities... writing, art, and religion. Now the world’s oldest temple suggests the urge to worship sparked civilization.
Known as Göbekli Tepe (pronounced Guh-behk-LEE TEH-peh), the site is vaguely reminiscent of Stonehenge, except that Göbekli Tepe was built much earlier and is made not from roughly hewn blocks but from cleanly carved limestone pillars splashed with bas-reliefs of animals—a cavalcade of gazelles, snakes, foxes, scorpions, and ferocious wild boars. The assemblage was built some 11,600 years ago, seven millennia before the Great Pyramid of Giza. It contains the oldest known temple. Indeed, Göbekli Tepe is the oldest known example of monumental architecture—the first structure human beings put together that was bigger and more complicated than a hut. When these pillars were erected, so far as we know, nothing of comparable scale existed in the world.
At the time of Göbekli Tepe's construction much of the human race lived in small nomadic bands that survived by foraging for plants and hunting wild animals. Construction of the site would have required more people coming together in one place than had likely occurred before. Amazingly, the temple's builders were able to cut, shape, and transport 16-ton stones hundreds of feet despite having no wheels or beasts of burden. The pilgrims who came to Göbekli Tepe lived in a world without writing, metal, or pottery; to those approaching the temple from below, its pillars must have loomed overhead like rigid giants, the animals on the stones shivering in the firelight—emissaries from a spiritual world that the human mind may have only begun to envision.
Archaeologists are still excavating Göbekli Tepe and debating its meaning. What they do know is that the site is the most significant in a volley of unexpected findings that have overturned earlier ideas about our species' deep past. Just 20 years ago most researchers believed they knew the time, place, and rough sequence of the Neolithic Revolution—the critical transition that resulted in the birth of agriculture, taking Homo sapiens from scattered groups of hunter-gatherers to farming villages and from there to technologically sophisticated societies with great temples and towers and kings and priests who directed the labor of their subjects and recorded their feats in written form. But in recent years multiple new discoveries, Göbekli Tepe preeminent among them, have begun forcing archaeologists to reconsider.
At first the Neolithic Revolution was viewed as a single event—a sudden flash of genius—that occurred in a single location, Mesopotamia, between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers in what is now southern Iraq, then spread to India, Europe, and beyond. Most archaeologists believed this sudden blossoming of civilization was driven largely by environmental changes: a gradual warming as the Ice Age ended that allowed some people to begin cultivating plants and herding animals in abundance. The new research suggests that the "revolution" was actually carried out by many hands across a huge area and over thousands of years. And it may have been driven not by the environment but by something else entirely.
Klaus Schmidt knew almost instantly that he was going to be spending a lot of time at Göbekli Tepe. Now a researcher at the German Archaeological Institute (DAI), Schmidt had spent the autumn of 1994 trundling across southeastern Turkey. He had been working at a site there for a few years and was looking for another place to excavate. The biggest city in the area is Şanlıurfa (pronounced shan-LYOOR-fa). By the standards of a brash newcomer like London, Şanlıurfa is incredibly old—the place where the Prophet Abraham supposedly was born. Schmidt was in the city to find a place that would help him understand the Neolithic, a place that would make Şanlıurfa look young. North of Şanlıurfa the ground ripples into the first foothills of the mountains that run across southern Turkey, source of the famous Tigris and Euphrates Rivers. Nine miles outside of town is a long ridge with a rounded crest that locals call Potbelly Hill—Göbekli Tepe.
In the 1960s archaeologists from the University of Chicago had surveyed the region and concluded that Göbekli Tepe was of little interest. Disturbance was evident at the top of the hill, but they attributed it to the activities of a Byzantine-era military outpost. Here and there were broken pieces of limestone they thought were gravestones. Schmidt had come across the Chicago researchers' brief description of the hilltop and decided to check it out. On the ground he saw flint chips—huge numbers of them. "Within minutes of getting there," Schmidt says, he realized that he was looking at a place where scores or even hundreds of people had worked in millennia past. The limestone slabs were not Byzantine graves but something much older. In collaboration with the DAI and the Şanlıurfa Museum, he set to work the next year.
Inches below the surface the team struck an elaborately fashioned stone. Then another, and another—a ring of standing pillars. As the months and years went by, Schmidt's team, a shifting crew of German and Turkish graduate students and 50 or more local villagers, found a second circle of stones, then a third, and then more. Geomagnetic surveys in 2003 revealed at least 20 rings piled together, higgledy-piggledy, under the earth.
The pillars were big—the tallest are 18 feet in height and weigh 16 tons. Swarming over their surfaces was a menagerie of animal bas-reliefs, each in a different style, some roughly rendered, a few as refined and symbolic as Byzantine art. Other parts of the hill were littered with the greatest store of ancient flint tools Schmidt had ever seen—a Neolithic warehouse of knives, choppers, and projectile points. Even though the stone had to be lugged from neighboring valleys, Schmidt says, "there were more flints in one little area here, a square meter or two, than many archaeologists find in entire sites."
The circles follow a common design. All are made from limestone pillars shaped like giant spikes or capital T's. Bladelike, the pillars are easily five times as wide as they are deep. They stand an arm span or more apart, interconnected by low stone walls. In the middle of each ring are two taller pillars, their thin ends mounted in shallow grooves cut into the floor. I asked German architect and civil engineer Eduard Knoll, who works with Schmidt to preserve the site, how well designed the mounting system was for the central pillars. "Not," he said, shaking his head. "They hadn't yet mastered engineering." Knoll speculated that the pillars may have been propped up, perhaps by wooden posts.
Puzzle piled upon puzzle as the excavation continued. For reasons yet unknown, the rings at Göbekli Tepe seem to have regularly lost their power, or at least their charm.
Every few decades people buried the pillars and put up new stones—a second, smaller ring, inside the first. Sometimes, later, they installed a third. Then the whole assemblage would be filled in with debris, and an entirely new circle created nearby. The site may have been built, filled in, and built again for centuries.
Bewilderingly, the people at Göbekli Tepe got steadily worse at temple building. The earliest rings are the biggest and most sophisticated, technically and artistically. As time went by, the pillars became smaller, simpler, and were mounted with less and less care. Finally the effort seems to have petered out altogether by 8200 B.C. Göbekli Tepe was all fall and no rise.
Continued at linkWe used to think agriculture gave rise to cities... writing, art, and religion. Now... more
Using satellites to explore the earth’s surface is nothing new, but using infrared satellites to explore the past sounds like science fiction. Dr. Sarah Parcak, an archaeologist from the University of Alabama, is using infrared imaging technology to see changes in ground density to uncover ancient cities and dwellings from hundreds of miles above the earth.
What are some other ways that infrared satellites could be helpful in scientific discovery? Using satellites to explore the earth’s surface is nothing new, but using... more
Do the Five B’aktuns of the Long Count Tell the Story of Man in America?
[This is my own interpretation from 30 years of interest and participation.]
The Mayan Calendar “Grand Cycle” began 23,618 B.C. and ends 2012 A.D. It is comprised of five "Great Cycles" of 5,126 years called “B’aktuns” (cyclic ages).
Interestingly these five B’aktuns correspond to the five archaeological ages attributed to the history of humans in America going back over 20,000 years according to recent findings at sites such as Meadowcroft Rockshelter in SW Pennsylvania -- “the earliest indisputably dated archaeological site in North America.”*
The First B’aktun began 25,630 years ago and is known as the age of the “Word People” according to Popol Vuh, sacred text of the K‘iche‘ Maya. This period corresponds to the appearance of man in America. This period is called the “Pioneer Age” by archeologists and is associated with the development of language.
The Second B’aktun began 20,504 years ago, known as the age of the “Mud People.” Archaeologists classify this period as the “Sandia Age” -- the peak of the last Ice Age.
The Third B’aktun began 15,378 years ago, the age of the “Wood People.” This corresponds to the archaeological “Clovis Age” with the appearance of the “atlatl” -- long wooden spears with elaborately flaked flint tips characteristic of Clovis Man in the American Southwest.
The Fourth B’aktun began 10,252 years ago, the age of the “Corn People.” Archaeologists classify this period as the “Archaic Age” corresponding to the end of the last Ice Age and the beginning of agriculture.**
The Fifth B’aktun began 5,126 years ago on August 11, 3114 B.C. and ends December 21, 2012. This fifth B’aktun is the age of the “Movement People” of the Popol Vuh and coresponds with the Modern Age.***
The Winter Solstice of 2012 CE (18.104.22.168.0.0 B’altun in the Mayan Grand Cycle) is the culmination of 25,630 years of human history in America. And also, not accidentally, one full Precession of the Equinox.
* ** *** Some Sources
The First Americans: In Pursuit of Archaeology’s Greatest Mystery, J.M. Adovasio, Random House 2002
The American Indian: Prehistory to the Present, Arrell Morgan Gibson, Heath 1980
Guns, Germs, & Steel: The Fate of Human Societies, Jared Diamond, Norton 1997
Lord Of The Dawn: Great Prophecies of Ancient Mexico, Anthony Shearer, Naturegraph 1971
13 B’aktun: Mayan Visions of 2012 and Beyond, Gaspar Pedro Gonzalez, North Atlantic 2010
The 2012 Story: The Myths, Fallacies, and Truth Behind the Most Intriguing Date in History, John Major Jenkins, Tarcher Penguin 2009
1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus, Charles C. Mann, Vintage 2006
The Great SpiritDo the Five B’aktuns of the Long Count Tell the Story of Man in America? by... more
Bear’s Den Rock has captured the attention of travelers in the northern Shenandoah Valley since colonial times and for thousands of years before by the indigenous people who hunted and fished in the region. Now, a local archaeologist believes that the prominent outcrop just south of Virginia’s Route 7 in Clarke County is a part of a larger 12,000 year old celestial calendar used by Native Americans to mark the changing of the seasons.Bear’s Den Rock has captured the attention of travelers in the northern... more
Yes, THAT Captain Morgan. He was real, and he was a real, ruthless pirate. Archaeologists now believe that they've discovered his 440-year-old ship sunk off the coast of Panama. The liquor company even went along for the ride.
Hailing from Texas State University, the scientists say the ship was one of five that ran aground near the Lajas Reef in 1671. And you could smell the treasure. Near the wreck was a series of cargo boxes and chests, all unopened and ready for plundering research. If there's anything that looks like this, there's plenty of cause for excitement. Because first, it's definitely a pirate-y kind of summer. Second, pirates are awesome.
For Captain Morgan USA's part, they hope the chests hold a whole lot of booze.
http://gizmodo.com/5828429/archaeologists-believe-theyve-found-captain-morgans-shipwreckYes, THAT Captain Morgan. He was real, and he was a real, ruthless pirate.... more
'History' unearthed in Central Park
Added on July 29, 2011
Archeologists find remnants of 19th Century African-American village located in today's Central Park.
.CNN VIDEO... 'History' unearthed in Central Park Added on July 29,... more
Los Angeles Times...
Are wild horses native to the U.S.? A federal court seeks the answer
June 5, 2011 | 4:24 pm
Horse liz margerum AP
Animal rights groups are pressing a case in federal court maintaining that wild horses roamed the West about 1.5 million years ago and didn't disappear until as recently as 7,600 years ago. More important, they say, a growing stockpile of DNA evidence shows conclusively that today's horses are genetically linked to those ancient ancestors.
The new way of thinking, if accepted, could affect hundreds millions of acres in the West where the U.S. Bureau of Land Management divides livestock grazing allotments based partly on the belief that the horses are no more native to those lands than are the cattle brought to North America centuries ago.
American history textbooks teach that the wild horses roaming Western plains were first brought by European explorers and settlers. But that theory is being challenged at archaeological digs and university labs as horse protection advocates battle the U.S. government over roundups of thousands of mustangs they say have not only a legal right but a native claim to the rangeland.
Rachel Fazio, a lawyer for Defense of Animals and other plaintiffs, told a 9th Circuit appellate panel in San Francisco earlier this year that the horses are “an integral part of the environment," adding, "as much as the BLM would like to see them as not, they are actually a native species. They are tied to this land. There would not be a horse but for North America. Every single evolutionary iteration of the horse is found here and only here.”
The lawsuit cites researchers who say that the concept is widely accepted by most of the scientific community, although not by the BLM. “It's significant because BLM treats the wild horses like they are an invasive species that is not supposed to be out there,” Fazio said in a recent interview.
A reversal of that long-held belief could have the effect of moving the native horses to the front of the line when divvying up precious water and forage in the arid West.
BLM maintains that the horse advocates are perpetuating a myth. And many ranchers claim it's part of a ploy to push livestock off public lands. “There are plenty of horses out in the Nevada desert,” said Tom Collins, a Clark County commissioner who has a ranch outside Las Vegas. “Most of these folks, maybe their father slapped them or their mother didn't love them, so now they are in love with these wild horses that aren't really wild,” he said.
BLM devotes “Myth No. 11” on its website to the “false claim” that wild horses are native to the United States. “American wild horses are descended from domestic horses, some of some of which were brought over by European explorers in the late 15th and 16th centuries, plus others that were imported from Europe and were released or escaped captivity in modern times,” it says.
“The disappearance of the horse from the Western Hemisphere for 10,000 years supports the position that today's wild horses cannot be considered 'native' in any meaningful historical sense,” BLM explains. It acknowledges that the horses have adapted successfully to the Western range, but says that biologically they did not evolve on the North American continent.
The U.S. Bureau of Land Management manages more than 245 million acres of federal land in 12 western states with about 30 million acres currently designated as horse management areas in 10 of those states. Of the roughly 33,000 horses that currently roam BLM land, roughly half are in Nevada, with the remainder in Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah and Wyoming.
The BLM maintains that's about 12,000 more than the rangeland can sustain and plans to roundup most of those. The agency removed 9,715 horse and 540 burros from the range in the 2010 fiscal year. In addition to animals on the range, the BLM currently has 41,700 wild horses and burros in short-term corrals in the West (about 13,100) and long-term pastures in the Midwest (about 28,600).Los Angeles Times... Are wild horses native to the U.S.? A federal court seeks... more
Crowdfunding Project: Eye Of The Sphinx Expeditions/ Archaeologist Guided Adventures In Egypt And The World1. RocketHub is not an investment or charity. It is an exchange: funds from fans for rewards from me. 2. It's an All & More funding mechanism: if I don't reach my financial goal I get to keep what I raise. But if I do reach my goal, I get access to exciting opportunities.1. RocketHub is not an investment or charity. It is an exchange: funds from fans for... more
"1. RocketHub is not an investment or charity. It is an exchange: funds from fans for rewards from me.
2. It's an All & More funding mechanism: if I don't reach my financial goal I get to keep what I raise. But if I do reach my goal, I get access to exciting opportunities.""1. RocketHub is not an investment or charity. It is an exchange: funds from fans... more
The oldest man-made structure ever discovered on Earth, has been found by South Aftican explorers!
http://www.makomati.orgThe oldest man-made structure ever discovered on Earth, has been found by South... more
NORTHAMPTON, Mass. — A U.S.-led research team may have finally located the lost city of Atlantis, the legendary metropolis believed swamped by a tsunami thousands of years ago, in mud flats in southern Spain.
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/42072469NORTHAMPTON, Mass. — A U.S.-led research team may have finally located the lost... more
John Dominic Crossan's 'blasphemous' portrait of Jesus
By John Blake, CNN
February 27, 2011 1:48 a.m. EST
(CNN) -- One of his first fan letters came from someone who declared:
"If Hell were not already created, it should be invented just for you."
Other critics have called him "demonic," "blasphemous" and a "schmuck."
When John Dominic Crossan was a teenager in Ireland, he dreamed of becoming a missionary priest. But the message he's spreading about Jesus today isn't the kind that would endear him to many church leaders.
Crossan says Jesus was an exploited "peasant with an attitude" who didn't perform many miracles, physically rise from the dead or die as punishment for humanity's sins.
Jesus was extraordinary because of how he lived, not died, says Crossan, one of the world's top scholars on the "historical Jesus," a field in which academics use historical evidence to reconstruct Jesus in his first-century setting.
"I cannot imagine a more miraculous life than nonviolent resistance to violence," Crossan says. "I cannot imagine a bigger miracle than a man standing in front of a tank in Tiananmen Square."
In another time, Crossan's views would have been confined to scholarly journals. But he and his best-selling books, including the recent "Jesus: A Revolutionary Biography," have changed how biblical scholars operate.
Crossan believes the public should be exposed to even the most divisive debates that scholars have had about Jesus and the Bible. He co-founded the Jesus Seminar, a controversial group of scholars who hold public forums that cast doubt on the authenticity of many sayings and deeds attributed to Jesus.
John Dominic Crossan says even the writers of the Bible disagreed about Jesus' message.
The 77-year-old Crossan has built on the seminar's mission by writing a series of best-selling books on Jesus and the Apostle Paul. With his silver Prince Valiant haircut and his pronounced Irish accent, he's also appeared on documentaries such as PBS's "From Jesus to Christ: The First Christians" and A&E's "Mysteries of the Bible."
Crossan's overarching message is that you don't have to accept the Jesus of dogma. There's another Jesus hidden in Scripture and history who has been ignored.
"He's changed the way we look and think about Jesus," says Byron McCane, an archaeologist and professor of religion at Wofford College in South Carolina. "He's important in a way that few scholars are."
CONTINUED…John Dominic Crossan's 'blasphemous' portrait of Jesus By John Blake,... more
Archaeology always looks so exciting in the movies: with only a brush and a map, intrepid scientists are just a step away from discovering dinosaur blood or the Ark of the Covenant
Link : http://www.onlinedegree.net/10-perplexing-archaeological-discoveries/Archaeology always looks so exciting in the movies: with only a brush and a map,... more
Pictures of 2000-year-old footprints have emerged and archaeologists have hailed the rare find.
The photographs show a right footprint visible in the soft ground of a former Roman settlement on the A1 in North Yorkshire. There's two more prints, suggesting the boy or girl who made them was skipping or jumping to avoid puddles.
The perfectly-preserved footprints were discovered in 2009 but pictures for the public to see have only just been released.
http://news.sky.com/skynews/Home/UK-News/2000-Year-Old-Roman-Childs-Footprints-Discovered-By-Archaeologists-In-North-Yorkshire/Article/201102315931164?lpos=UK_News_First_Home_Page_Feature_Teaser_Region_0&lid=ARTICLE_15931164_2,000_Year-Old_Roman_Childs_Footprints_Discovered_By_Archaeologists_In_North_YorkshirePictures of 2000-year-old footprints have emerged and archaeologists have hailed the... more
It was a small step for an apeman, but a giant leap for mankind.
Scientists have pinpointed the moment when our ancestors finally abandoned the trees to walk upright like modern people.
In a breakthrough that helps rewrite human evolution, researchers have found a fossilised foot bone from an early human relative who strolled confidently on two legs more than 3.2million years ago.
The finding ends decades of debate about when our ancestors first began to walk like modern man, rather than clambering around the trees like gorillas and chimps.
The bone belonged to Australopithecus afarensis - a creature best known from the discovery of 'Lucy', whose partial skeleton was dug up in Ethiopia in 1974.
The fossil shows that Lucy’s feet had fixed arches, a trait only found in humans and which evolve to cope with the strains of running and walking long distances.
'Now that we know Lucy and her relatives had arches in their feet, this affects much of we know about them, from where they lived to what they ate and how they avoided predators,' said Dr Carol Ward, professor of integrative anatomy at the University of Missouri, who led the study.
'The development of arched feet was a fundamental shift toward the human condition, because it meant giving up the ability to use the big toe for grasping branches, signalling that our ancestors had finally abandoned life in the trees in favour of life on the ground.'
Lucy had a smaller brain and stronger jaw than a modern person. Her species lived between 3.7million and 2.9million years ago and were known to be able to walk on two feet.
However, researchers did not known whether she spent most of their time on all fours, climbing and swinging through trees like monkeys - or whether she walked upright like people.
The newly discovered bone is a complete fourth metatarsal - one of the long bones that connects the toe to the base of the foot.
The bone shows that Lucy’s family had stiff, arched feet strong enough to push off against the ground, and flexible enough to absorb shock.
With human-like arches in its feet, Australopithecus afarensis was able to roam the countryside and leave the forest to forage for food when necessary.
With its strong jaws, Australopithecus could also eat several types of food, including fruit, seeds, nuts and roots. Combining their strong jaws and their new skill of walking, Lucy and her relatives were able to live in open areas as well as wooded ones.
Australopithecus was a new kind of creature - very different from earlier species like Ardipithecus ramidus, which came before Lucy and which moved on all fours, or upright, depending on the situation.
'Arches in the feet are a key component of human-like walking because they absorb shock and also provide a stiff platform so that we can push off from our feet and move forward,' Dr Ward said.
'People today with "flat feet" who lack arches have a host of joint problems throughout their skeletons.
'Understanding that the arch appeared very early in our evolution shows that the unique structure of our feet is fundamental to human locomotion.
'If we can understand what we were designed to do and the natural selection that shaped the human skeleton, we can gain insight into how our skeletons work today.
'Arches in our feet were just as important for our ancestors as they are for us.'
The discovery of the bone, at Hadar Ethiopia, is reported in the journal Science.
Before the discovery of Lucy in the 1970s, fossil experts argued that Homo erectus - an ancestor living from 1.8 million to 70,000 years ago - was the first member of the family tree to walk properly upright.
The new study confirms that the date for confident upright walking is between one and two million years earlier.
Dr Ward said: 'We have know that Australopithecus were thus first committed upright biped, but have long debated whether they also spent significant time climbing trees, and whether their anatomy and movement reflected this compromise.
'This new fossil provides strong evidence that their stiff, arched feet were fully humanlike and that they had relinquished proficient climbing abilities in favor of a commitment to life on the ground.'
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1355634/The-3-2-million-year-old-fossilised-foot-bone-proves-man-started-walk.html#ixzz1DcvX3vocIt was a small step for an apeman, but a giant leap for mankind. Scientists have... more
Ancient Human Remains Found at Construction Site
Remains of What are Believed to be Native Americans who Lived Over 300 Years Ago Have Been Found at a Construction Site in Downtown Los Angeles. Current Tribe Members Don't Want the Remains Moved, but Their Future Resting Place is Yet to be Determined
By JULIE BRAYTON
Updated 7:45 PM PST, Wed, Jan 5, 2011
At the corner of Arcadia and Spring streets in Downtown Los Angeles construction on a new Mexican cultural center ground to a halt when human remains were found at the site.
It is believed that the remains are of Native Americans who lived in the region over 300 years ago.
The Gabrielino band of Mission Indians of San Gabriel, lays claim to the site, stating it is the location of an ancient indian village, established there long before Los Angeles even existed.
A spokesperson for the group said they are frustrated, because they only received word of the find on Tuesday, and they say the current property owners are keeping them away from the remains.
"We are mad that our ancestors on this day are being desecrated. Taken out of their ancient burials, and placed in a trailer," states Andrew Salas, Tribal Chair Person for the Gabrielino Band of Mission Indians of San Gabriel.
The tribe want's the remains to stay exactly where they are, and they say it's sad to build a center to celebrate one culture, by destroying another.Ancient Human Remains Found at Construction Site Remains of What are Believed to... more