Showing posts with label aboriginal. Show all posts
Showing posts with label aboriginal. Show all posts

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Dreamtime Sees Origin of Life in Meteors

Ancient Aboriginal cave drawing.

Aboriginal dreamtime stories were linking meteorites to the origins of life thousands of years before modern science reached the same conclusion.

Duane Hamacher of Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia, says the Arrernte and Luritja people of central Australia have an unusually strong focus on meteors, meteorites and impact craters and knew about the nightly and yearly movements of stars. Many of their folk tales and legends feature meteorites as origins of life.

According to Hamacher, one story spoke of life coming from two rocks that fell out of the sky. "These rocks were people described as stars falling to the ground; they were like Adam and Eve," he says. "Another described how the egg of life was accidently dropped from the sky, falling to the ground and breaking into pieces, bringing life to the Earth."

Hamacher says science has recently confirmed that amino acids ~ the basic building blocks of life ~ are transported to earth by comets and meteors.

Click here for the ABC Science article.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Aborigines May Have Been First to Settle Americas

Australian Aborigines on Botany Bay by Arthur Phillip, 1790.

Scientists now say there is compelling evidence that two different populations first colonized the Americas, the earliest being Australian Aborigines over 11,000 years ago.

Cranial features distinctive to Australian Aborigines are present in hundreds of skulls uncovered in Central and South America, according to evolutionary biologist Walter Neves of the University of São Paulo.

The second population to arrive ~ up to now regarded as the first migration to the Americas ~ was humans of East and North Asian origin who entered the Americas from Siberia across the Bering Strait and founded modern Native American populations, he argues. It has been believed that these Asian people spread steadily southward to eventually populate Central and South America as well.

“The results suggest a clear biological affinity between the early South Americans and the South Pacific population,” Neves says. “This association allowed for the conclusion that the Americas were occupied before the spreading of the classical Mongoloid morphology in Asia.”

According to Cosmos magazine:
Until about a decade ago, the dominant theory in American archaeology circles was that the 'Clovis people' ~ whose culture is defined by the stone tools they used to kill megafauna such as mammoths ~ was the first population to arrive in the Americas. 
They were thought to have crossed the Bering Strait from Siberia into Alaska at the end of the last Ice Age, some 10,000 or so years ago, following herds of megafauna across a land bridge created as water was locked up in glaciers and ice sheets.
But in the late 1990s, Neves and his colleagues re-examined a female skeleton that had been excavated in the 1970s in an extensive cave system in Central Brazil known as Lapa Vermelha. Dubbed Luzia, the skeleton is between 11,000 and 11,400 years old. “We believe she is the oldest skeleton in the Americas,” Neves said.

Click here for the complete article.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Bird Painting May Be Australia's Oldest

This Aboriginal rock painting found in Australia's Arnhem Land could be Australia's oldest painting. The red ochre painting shows two emu-like birds with their necks outstretched, believed to be the megafauna species Genyornis.

Archaeologist Ben Gunn told ABC Radio the giant birds became extinct more than 40,000 years ago. “The details on this painting indicate that it was done by someone who knew that animal very well,” he said. “If it is a Genyornis ~ and it certainly does have all the features of one ~ it would be the oldest dated visual painting that we've got in Australia.”

“Either the painting is 40,000 years old ~ which is when science thinks Genyornis disappeared ~ or alternatively the Genyornis lived a lot longer than science has been able to establish,” Gunn added.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Tasmanian Tribal Site is 40,000 Years Old

Tasmanian petroglyphs.

Australian archaeologists have uncovered what they believe to be the world's southernmost site of early human life, a 40,000-year-old tribal meeting ground.

The site appears to have been the last place of refuge for Aboriginal tribes from the cannon fire of Australia's first white settlers, said Michael Mansell of the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre. The find came during an archaeological survey ahead of roadwork near Tasmania's Derwent River and soil dating had established the age of the artifacts found there.

"When the archaeological report came out it showed that (life there) had gone back longer than any other recorded place anywhere else in Tasmania, dating back to 40,000 years," Mansell told AFP.

Up to three million artifacts, including stone tools, shellfish fragments and food scraps, were believed to be buried in the area, which appeared to have been a meeting ground for three local tribes.

Click here for complete article.