It is Christmas Eve and I would like to share the historic and archaeologic finds of this past year…..gifts to extend our knowledge of our ancestors.
We’ve learned quite a bit about the past in the past 12 months. Heritage Daily rounds up the top archaeological discoveries of 2016, from an ancient Greek city to a shrine dedicated to a Viking king:
- A well-preserved Bronze Age settlement of wooden homes on stilts in England
- The ancient Greek city of Vlochós, which hit its peak around 2,400 years ago
- A 1,600-year-old shipwreck in Caesarea, Israel
- A lost city first established 5,000 years ago in Iraq
- An Iron Age monument built 2,500 years ago in Britain
- A shrine to a Viking saint-king in Norway
- Structures in a French cave likely made by Neanderthals 176,500 years ago
Some great finds but it does not include some far more reaching discoveries….after years of speculation it is now confirmed….some dinosaurs had feathers.
Researchers were perusing an amber market in Myanmar when they stumbled across a truly extraordinary specimen, National Geographic reports. Trapped inside a golden piece of amber—already partially shaped to be sold as jewelry—was a fully feathered section of a dinosaur’s tail. According to the Los Angeles Times, the person selling the amber thought it was some kind of plant. While scientists have found evidence of feathered dinosaurs, not to mention feathered prehistoric birds, this piece of amber is the first time feathers have been found perfectly preserved and attached to what is unmistakably a dinosaur. The find was published Thursday in Current Biology.
The tail section is believed to belong to a young, sparrow-sized coelurosaur that lived 99 million years ago. Researchers know the tail belongs to a dinosaur because of its articulated vertebrae; birds have vertebrae that are fused together. And because of the way the features are structured, researchers believe they were useless for flight. It remains unclear exactly what purpose the feathers served, though researchers theorize dinosaurs may have used them for camouflage, regulating their body heat, or signaling to other animals. Now that researchers can see how feathers actually appeared on a dinosaur’s body, they hope to learn how they evolved for flight in modern-day birds. They also believe that, given access to Myanmar’s amber mines, they may one day find a whole preserved dinosaur.
Finally another find of our first ancestors…..Lucy and the bunch…..
Famous footprints of nearly 3.7-million-year-old hominids, found in 1976 at Tanzania’s Laetoli site, now have sizable new neighbors.
While excavating small pits in 2015 to evaluate the impact of a proposed field museum at Laetoli, researchers uncovered comparably ancient hominid footprints about 150 meters from the original discoveries. The new finds reveal a vast range of body sizes for ancient members of the human evolutionary family, reports an international team led by archaeologists Fidelis Masao and Elgidius Ichumbaki, both of the University of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania.
Some great finds to extend our knowledge of our ancestors……
Go now and start enjoying your Christmas break from school or work or just life…..
I thank everyone for their loyalty and their comments it has been a good year…..so….Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays (whichever you prefer)…..