Category Archives: WORLD

American Indian Sailed to Europe With Vikings?

Did Native American travel with the Vikings and arrive in Iceland centuries before Columbus set sail?

Analyzing a type of DNA passed only from mother to child, scientists found more than 80 living Icelanders with a genetic variation similar to one found mostly in Native Americans.

This signature probably entered Icelandic bloodlines around A.D. 1000, when the first Viking-American Indian child was born, the study authors theorize.

Historical accounts and archaeological evidence show that Icelandic Vikings reached Greenland just before 1000 and quickly pushed on to what is now Canada. Icelanders even established a village in Newfoundland, though it lasted only a decade or so

But what is not known for certain is how a family of Icelanders came to have a genetic makeup which includes a surprising marker dating to 1000 A.D. — one which is found mostly in Native Americans.

In 2010, it was reported that the first Native Americans arrived on the continent of Europe sometime around the 11th century. The study, led by deCODE Genetics, a world-leading genome research lab in Iceland, discovered a unique gene that was present in only four distinct family lines.

The DNA lineage, which was named C1e, is mitochondrial, meaning that the genes were introduced by and passed down through a female.

Based on the evidence of the DNA, it has been suggested that a Native American, (voluntarily or involuntarily) accompanied the Vikings when they returned back to Iceland.

The woman survived the voyage across the sea, and subsequently had children in her new home. As of today, there are 80 Icelanders who have a distinct gene passed down by this woman.

Nevertheless, there is another explanation for the presence of the C1e in these 80 Icelanders. It is possible that the Native American genes appeared in Iceland after the discovery of the New World by Columbus.

It has been suggested that a Native American woman might have been brought back to mainland Europe by European explorers, who then found her way to Iceland.

Researchers believe that this scenario is unlikely, however, given the fact that Iceland was pretty isolated at that point of time.

Nevertheless, the only way to effectively eliminate this possibility is for scientists to find the remains of a pre-Columbian Icelander whose genes can be analyzed and shown to contain the C1e lineage.

Another problem facing the researchers is that the C1e genes might not have come from Native Americans but from some other part of the world.

For instance, no living Native American group has the exact DNA lineage as the one found in the 80 Icelanders. However, it may be that the Native American people who carried that lineage eventually went extinct.

One suggestion, which was proposed early in the research, was that the genes came from Asia. This was eventually ruled out, as the researchers managed to work out that the C1e lineage had been present in Iceland as early as the 18th century. This was long before the appearance of Asian genes in Icelanders.

If the discovery does prove ultimately that the Vikings took a Native American woman back to Iceland, then history would indeed have to be rewritten.

Although encounters with the Native Americans, known as Skraelings (or foreigners), were recorded by the Viking sagas, there is no mention whatsoever about the Vikings bringing a Native American woman home to Iceland with them.

Furthermore, the available archaeological record does not show any presence of a Native American woman in Iceland.

The more digging is done into the history of the Vikings, the more our perceptions are changing as to how they lived, traveled, and traded.

Hopefully, more light will be shed on this mystery over time, and the goings-on of the historic world can be unequivocally established, giving us a clearer understanding of our ancient past

World’s Oldest Christian Letter Found On 3rd Century Egyptian Papyrus

Oldest Known Christian Autograph Originates From Roman Egypt

Credit: University of Basel

Egypt played a very significant role in the history of early Christianity.

A researcher has announced that she has found the earliest known Christian letter, that was written in Roman Egypt in the 3rd century AD.

The contents of this letter are challenging assumptions about the early followers of Jesus Christ and their world.

Dated from circa 230s AD, the document P.Bas. 2.43 sheds light into the lives of the first Christians of the Roman Empire during a time when they were actively persecuted by the state authorities, especially in the urban areas. 

Intriguingly enough, the letter P.Bas. 2.43 paints a picture of how the Christians had it relatively better in Roman Egypt.

To that end, many of these Christians preferred to reside in the Egyptian hinterlands – where they tended to have political leadership and were able to follow a syncretic mode of religion combining both Christianity and native paganism.  

As for the actual contents of the document P.Bas. 2.43, dating from circa 230s AD, the letter is addressed from a man named Arrianus to his brother Paulus.

Eschewing the typical Greco-Roman greeting formula, it reports the family matters, puts forth a query for the best fish sauce as a souvenir, and then ends with the expressed wish that his brother will prosper “in the Lord.”

In essence, the ancient author uses the abbreviated form of the Christian phrase, also known as the nomen sacrum, “I pray that you farewell ‘in the Lord’”, thereby representing the Christian beliefs of the writer.

Credit: University of Basel

Such a form of greeting matches with the New Testament manuscripts rather than the Greco-Roman greeting template expected from the Roman-Egyptian author.

Furthermore, the very name Paulus (of the letter’s intended recipient) was very rare during the era. And interestingly, it suggests how parents were already beginning to name their children after the famed apostle Paul by as early as 200 AD. 

As for the historicity of the letter P.Bas. 2.43, prosopographical research carried out by experts at the University of Basel revealed that the document is around four to five decades older than the other known Christian letters from around the world.

Moreover, the letter, having its origins in the village of Theadelphia in central Egypt, also alludes to the social background of the author and the recipient and how they were members of an educated, provincial elite, possibly being landowners and even public officials. 

And lastly, as for the Basel papyrus collection, the compilation boasts around 65 documents of various origins, ranging from Ptolemaic, Roman, to Eastern Roman (Byzantine).

Most of them are composed of documentary papyri that provide context to the social, cultural, and religious scope of the era via the records of the daily lives of the people who lived around two millennia ago.

Enormous Roman arcade found in Essex was once part of a magnificent temple: the 400ft-long arched structure is the largest of its kind found in the UK

Roman arcade found in England, the oldest building in the country

Although arcades are not around much anymore, they were once a major part of a child’s weekend. Arcades allowed friends to hang out and play endless games for hours on end.

Arcades have been around since the ancient Romans. Just recently, British archaeologists discovered a Roman arcade under an apartment block in Colchester, Essex.

Experts believe that the ancient walkway included more than 28 archways that were topped by a grand gateway. They also believe that it was once at the heart of the busy Roman town.

The ruins of the grand 393-foot structure have been used to create a computer model of what the arcade could have looked like over 1,800 years ago.

It is believed that it is on the same scale as the grand arcades of Rome. Some of the sections measure 26 feet tall.

Builders at the site stumbled across the Roman ruins 62 years ago, but now the Colchester Archaeological Trust has finally excavated parts of the arcade. The One Castle House apartment block was recently built on top of the arcade.

One of the archaeologists at the site said that the elaborately arched building would have provided a wonderful frontage to the Temple of Claudius that was built in 54 AD. Today, that temple actually forms the base of the town’s Norman Castle.

The Temple of Claudius was actually the only Roman temple dedicated to an imperial cult in Britain. Claudius had come to Camulodunum, which was the Iron Age precursor of Colchester during the Roman invasion of Britain in 43 AD.

Dr. Phillip Crummy, the Colchester Archaeological trust director, said that the discovery of the monumental arcade was originally made in 1954, but for some reason, it was left untouched. He added that it is the biggest Roman structure of its kind to be discovered in Britain.

The closest rival in terms of size is in Northern France. The two buildings also share some of the same architecture. A similar-looking arcade is actually being investigated in a small town known as Point-Sainte Maxence, which is about 25 miles north of Paris.

Crummy added that the original arcade and its grand columns are similar to the ones that visitors can see in Bath at the Roman Baths. He also said that it is quite an extraordinary find, which shows the history of Colchester.

Entrance to the Temple of Claudius, Rome.

The remains of the ancient building will go on display for the public in the summer. They will be put under three glass panels which will allow visitors to see and learn about Britain’s oldest building on record in the town.

Experts believe the ancient covered walkway is the largest of its kind in the UK and included 28 archways topped by a grand gateway. A rendering of what it may have looked like is shown above. The history-steeped settlement of Colchester dates back almost 2,000 years

Crummy and his team will also have an exhibition that will go on display. They will have computer graphics showing visitors what the arcade would have looked like centuries ago. A large photo will be projected on a wall behind the original ruins.

Crummy explained that he and his team have managed to work out the final dimensions of the columns found at One Castle House in Roman feet. He said that the calculations have allowed them to design a digital reconstruction that they will put on a projector. With this, they can show visitors what it was like to live in a Roman arcade over 1,000 years ago.

Emperor Claudius.

Historians are taking a particular interest in the arcade and Temple of Claudius. They think a large religious procession, also known as a Pompa, took place there. The pompa would have included chariots and horses and would have traveled from the temple to the town’s Roman circus before the start of the chariot races.

They also said that the temple precinct would have resembled the Forum in Rome, a busy place with people going to and from the temple. It would have been an area for people to socialize and shop at the market stalls. The people would have entered through the archways of the arcade.

The precinct of the area is thought to have been standing at the time of the Norman invasion of England and was only demolished when the castle was built. The settlement of Colchester dates back to almost 2,000 years.

The Roman military chiefs established a fortress there, shortly after conquering Britain in 43 AD.

Over 100kg of ancient coins discovered in Yen Bai

YEN BAI, VIETNAM—The Vietnam News Agency reports that more than 200 pounds of bronze coins were confiscated by police during a traffic stop in north-central Vietnam.

The oldest of the coins dates to 118 B.C., and is thought to have been minted during the reign of Emperor Wudi of China’s Han Dynasty.

Other coins in the collection date to between the seventh and thirteenth centuries A.D.

The police determined the motorcyclist in possession of the coins had purchased them from people who allegedly unearthed them in northern Vietnam.

For full Article Check out below link

https://en.vietnamplus.vn/over-100kg-of-ancient-coins-discovered-in-yen-bai/156763.vnp

Why an Unearthed, Ancient Clambake May Change Indigenous Fortunes in BC

One day between five and ten centuries ago, people living on what is now known as Keith Island finished eating a geoduck clam and placed its shell neatly alongside others.

The implications of that moment — brought to light this month by archeologists — loom large for Indigenous nations pursuing the right to harvest and sell geoduck clams on their territories in British Columbia. rest of the Article read at “thetyee.ca

‘Extinct’ Gaint Galapagos tortoise found after 100 years

‘Extinct’ Gaint Galapagos tortoise found after 100 years

After more than a millennium, a giant tortoise species from one of the Galapagos Islands, earlier thought extinct, has reappeared.

The missing animal, scientifically cataloged as Chelonoidis Phantasticus, or Fernandina Giant Tortoise, is an adult female and deemed to be over 100 years of age, according to Ecuador’s officials under whose jurisdiction the Galapagos Islands fall.

Large turtle at the shorelone
Large turtle at the shoreline.

The last sighting of a Fernandina Giant Tortoise was reported in 1906. The female now appeared on the island of Fernandina where the species is native — the third largest, youngest, and most volcanically active island within the Galapagos archipelago.

According to experts, one of the reasons why this tortoise has gone missing is the active volcano looming over the creature’s habitat. Another factor has been uncontrolled hunting by humans — both for tortoise meat and oil. In fact, over the past few centuries, hunting has decimated Galapagos Islands tortoises, reducing the population by roughly 85 percent.

Galápagos archipelago annotated with ranges of currently recognised species of Galápagos tortoise, islands with surviving species are shaded.
Galápagos archipelago annotated with ranges of currently recognized species of Galápagos tortoise, islands with surviving species is shaded.

Upon its discovery, the Fernandina Giant Tortoise was relocated to Santa Cruz Island, another of the Galapagos islands, where it underwent health checks at a local breeding center. It has been determined that the rare specimen is in good condition, though slightly undernourished.

While the discovery has been billed as the biggest in a century for the Galapagos, it still remains for the tortoise to undergo additional genetic examinations to confirm this is really the lost tortoise species. Hopes are raised that more members of the lost species will be soon retrieved.

A saddleback Galapagos tortoise blocks the trail on Pinzon in the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador. Isn’t he handsome!
A saddleback Galapagos tortoise blocks the trail on Pinzon in the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador. Isn’t he handsome!

The tortoise was stumbled upon during an expedition carried out on the island by the Galapagos National Directorate, a U.S. non-profit Galapagos Conservancy, and Animal Planet’s ‘Extinct or Alive.’ The discovery took place on Sunday, February 16th.

Danny Rueda, who leads the Galapagos National Park, said that the discovery “encourages us to strengthen our search plans to find other turtles, which will allow us to start a breeding program in captivity to recover this species,” according to USA Today.

Only one sighting of the Fernandina species has occurred in the past — the one from 1906. This is when a single male specimen was retrieved from the island by a large expedition carried by the California Academy of Sciences.

Walter Rothschild, cataloger of two Galápagos tortoise species
Walter Rothschild, a cataloger of two Galápagos tortoise species.

Since then spotting other Fernandina tortoises has been an elusive job. Experts have only been able to find clues of their presence. The first time was in 1964 when a survey of remote areas of the island revealed large tortoise feces and bite-marks left on cacti. Similar traces were reported as recently as 2013.

Which is why the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), classifies the Fernandina Island Tortoise as “Critically Endangered (Possibly Extinct).” Perhaps until now.

If no male Fernandina Island Tortoise is found for breeding, or if no surviving male semen is extracted from the female adult found just now, the species technically remains extinct.

However, as CNN reports, “Experts believe she is not alone. The tracks and scent of other tortoises, believed to be of the same species, were also observed by the team.”

The Galapagos archipelago, which consists of 19 islands located about 620 miles from the mainland of Ecuador, is world-famous for its giant tortoise inhabitants. Only one other site in the world — the Indian Ocean’s Aldabra Atoll — is known to host giant tortoise species.

The Fernandina Giant Tortoise is one of 14 giant tortoise species native to the Galapagos, of which ten species survive today. While killing tortoises has been a habitual practice in the past, today all efforts on the islands are focused on preserving and restoring the remaining tortoise populations.

The Galapagos was pronounced a national park in 1959, and as of 1978, the islands are also a recognized UNESCO World Heritage Site. The islands hold further significance for having helped Charles Darwin formulate his theory of evolution, due to their authentic flora and fauna. According to the Galapagos Conservancy website, the historical tortoise populations on the islands “was between 200,000-300,000 tortoises, and the current population is 10-15 percent of that.”

Unique photo of a huge fully grown Galapagos Giant Tortoise in wildlife. Highlands, Santa Cruz, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador.
Unique photo of a huge fully grown Galapagos Giant Tortoise in wildlife. Highlands, Santa Cruz, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador.

The long and slow processes of restoring those populations are reliant on methodologies such as “collecting eggs and/or hatchlings from natural nests and rearing the young in captivity, by-passing the years of highest mortality before releasing them back into the wild” writes the Galapagos Conservancy.

“As of the end of 2017, more than 7,000 juvenile tortoises returned to their island of origin — including Espanola, Isabela, Pinzon, San Cristobal, Santa Cruz, and Santiago.”

We are yet to see how the story unfolds on Fernandina Island and whether our “possibly extinct” Fernandina tortoise friend will be repopulated there. On the other corner of the world, the Aldabra Atoll remains the world’s largest shelter of giant tortoises, with population counts there showing a figure of 152,000, according to UNESCO.

An archaeological dig in Scotland reveals the medieval building

An archaeological dig in Scotland reveals the medieval building

Archaeologists working in the Scottish town of Dunfermline have uncovered the remains of a medieval building.  Dig Dunfermline was a community project that included an archaeological team and 83 volunteers who spent several weeks examining an area where a museum and art gallery will be built next spring.

Thomas Rees of Rathmell Archaeology who started the six-week dig in late August described the top discoveries as follows

A Building

The test dig discovered a building in the southeast corner of the car park just to the north of the Abbey graveyard.

This year’s full dig revealed only three courses of the foundations of the structure and there was very little in the way of dating evidence.

However, archaeologists are confident that it is the remains of a medieval building – we’re just unsure what it was used for.

There will be more investigation in the block-paved car park area before the construction work on the new museum starts.

A Stove Tile

Perhaps one of the smallest finds from the site was a small fragment of pottery that has been identified as a stove tile that would have formed part of a smokeless stove.

North German in style this tile is probably from the 16th century and is a rare example of a prestigious, high quality and desirable household device.

Not only does this show the wealth of some of the homes in Dunfermline, but also the trading links across the North Sea into Germany and the Baltic States.

Leather Fragments

The remarkable discovery of fragments of preserved leather will provide great information as to how the early monastic community lived.

Discovered at the very base of the excavation within waterlogged sediment this material will allow for accurate dating of this earliest midden deposit and has changed the understanding of this area.

Such a boggy midden suggests a damper and more unpleasant environment to the east of the Abbey than was previously thought, showing the Abbey to have been sited on a rise when approached from the east.

Councillor Helen Law, Chair of the City of Dunfermline Area Committee said, “I think these are excellent and exciting discoveries that show what can be revealed when we excavate within an important burgh.

The dig was a real community effort that created a lot of interest in what was going on and I’m thrilled that so many local people have already been involved in helping make the new museum and art gallery a reality.”

Douglas Speirs, Archaeologist for Fife Council added, “It was so encouraging to see the project team commit sufficient resources to undertake such a thorough archaeological excavation.

Combining planning requirements with the public’s enormous appetite for local heritage has surpassed expectations and resulted in real, immediate and tangible benefits for the whole community.

“Due almost entirely to the hard work of the scores of volunteers we have shed more light on Dunfermline’s medieval past than any previous excavation.

The project is contributing a great deal to the history, identity and future economic potential of Dunfermline as a premier cultural destination and this dig is already being hailed as an exemplary approach in community archaeology!”

Along with the people who participated, another 500 people visited during the dig to find out about the project and nearly 100 children took part in specially organized events for young people.

Romano-Saxon Site Found in England

Romano-Saxon Site Found in England

Roman finds include this jug and human remains, including six skeletons

Roundhouses of the Iron Age, Roman burials and Saxon pottery were found in a “hugely important and hitherto unknown settlement”.

In Warboys, Cambridgeshire, the seven-month dig also revealed “a rare example ” of “early Saxon occupation mixed with the recent Roman remains.”

Archaeologist Stephen Macaulay said: “We almost never find actual physical evidence of this.” The settlement reverted to agricultural use after the 7th Century.

The earliest find a date to the middle to late Iron Age – including several roundhouses
And three crouched human burials

“What makes this site really significant is we have evidence of early Saxon occupation mingled with the latest Roman remains,” said Mr. Macaulay, deputy regional manager for Oxford Archaeology East.

Saxon pottery, beads, worked antler and metalworking residues were uncovered.

He added: “This a rare example of the Roman to Saxon transition in the east of England.”

A later Roman or early Saxon child was found buried with a bead necklace and bone-carved hairpin in the shape of an ax

The earliest finds include eight roundhouses, some of which date back to about 100BC, three crouched human burials and 2,500-year-old pottery remains.

The 10-acre (four-hectare) site provided evidence of Roman rural industry, including a 15ft (4.6m) corn dryer and kilns.

Archaeologists uncovered human cremations and six burials.

They also “seem to have stumbled upon a shrine” and discovered cattle skulls and a largely intact horse skeleton, which they believe could be votive offerings.

Archaeologists believe the Romans deliberately buried this horse as an offering to the god.

The site was excavated ahead of a housing development by Bellway Homes.

An initial evaluation in May last year revealed extensive Roman remains, but the Iron Age settlement was not revealed until the main excavation began later that year.

Mr. Macauley said the dig has uncovered “a hugely important and a hitherto unknown settlement”.