Archive for the 'Ancient Wonders' Category

The Mysterious Woman of Tlailotlacan

Well this is strange…


Where did this important visitor to the people of Teotihuacan come from? And how did she get to Mexico 1,600 years ago?




From Ancient Origins,


1,600-Year-Old Elongated Skull with Stone-Encrusted Teeth Found in Mexico Ruins


“Archaeologists in Mexico have unearthed a remarkable burial in the ancient ruins of Teotihuacan containing a 1,600-year-old skeleton of an upper-class woman with an elongated skull, stone encrusted teeth and a prosthetic tooth made of a green stone known as serpentine. She was buried with 19 jars of offerings.


Agence France-Press reported that the skeleton has been named “The Woman of Tlailotlacan” after the neighbourhood where it was found, just near Mexico’s famous ruins of Teotihuacan, which is located about 30 miles (50 km) northeast of Mexico City. Dating back around 2,500 years, Teotihuacan is one of the largest and most important sacred cities of ancient Mesoamerica, whose name means “the city of the gods” in the Nahuatl language of the Aztecs. It once supported an estimated population of 100,000 – 200,000 people, who raised giant monuments such as the Temple of Quetzalcoatl and the Pyramids of the Sun and the Moon.  However, much about Teotihuacan remains unknown, including the origin and language of the people who lived there, as they did not leave behind any written records.


The National Anthropology and History Institute (INAH) said the woman, who was between 35 and 40 years old when she died, was a foreigner to the area, as the way in which her skull had been deformed and her teeth encrusted with mineral stones was not usual for that region…”


For the rest, click here.




De-Lousing is De-Lovely?

Apparently, in the old days, even lice combs were made to be beautiful…




From Atlas Obscura,


Some of History’s Most Beautiful Combs Were Made for Lice Removal
Delousing can be delightful.
by Ella Morton


Thirty years ago, parasitologist Kostas Mumcuoglu and anthropologist Joseph Zias were examining a first-century hair comb excavated from the West Bank when they found a surprise lurking in its fine teeth: 10 head lice and 27 louse eggs.


With their “interest in lice having been aroused,” they later wrote, they began to look more closely at some other ancient combs that had recently been excavated. To their delight, eight of the 11 combs unearthed in the Judean Desert contained lice, eggs, or both.


The presence of these parasites was a major shake-up. “We had assumed that combs were used almost exclusively for cosmetic purposes,” they wrote in their report. “Now it appears that they were also used as de-lousing implements. Indeed, the combs we examined appear to have been designed specifically for de-lousing.”…


For the rest, click here.



A different view of “mass extinction”…

In the wake of so much bad news lately, here’s a bit of bright optimism–dare we say hope–for the future on planet earth…




From Aeon,


Rethinking extinction
by Stewart Brand


The idea that we are edging up to a mass extinction is not just wrong – it’s a recipe for panic and paralysis


The way the public hears about conservation issues is nearly always in the mode of ‘[Beloved Animal] Threatened With Extinction’. That makes for electrifying headlines, but it misdirects concern. The loss of whole species is not the leading problem in conservation. The leading problem is the decline in wild animal populations, sometimes to a radical degree, often diminishing the health of whole ecosystems.


Viewing every conservation issue through the lens of extinction threat is simplistic and usually irrelevant. Worse, it introduces an emotional charge that makes the problem seem cosmic and overwhelming rather than local and solvable. It’s as if the entire field of human medicine were treated solely as a matter of death prevention. Every session with a doctor would begin: ‘Well, you’re dying. Let’s see if we can do anything to slow that down a little.’


Medicine is about health. So is conservation. And as with medicine, the trends for conservation in this century are looking bright. We are re-enriching some ecosystems we once depleted and slowing the depletion of others. Before I explain how we are doing that, let me spell out how exaggerated the focus on extinction has become and how it distorts the public perception of conservation.


Many now assume that we are in the midst of a human-caused ‘Sixth Mass Extinction’ to rival the one that killed off the dinosaurs 66 million years ago. But we’re not. The five historic mass extinctions eliminated 70 per cent or more of all species in a relatively short time. That is not going on now. ‘If all currently threatened species were to go extinct in a few centuries and that rate continued,’ began a recent Nature magazine introduction to a survey of wildlife losses, ‘the sixth mass extinction could come in a couple of centuries or a few millennia.’…


For the rest, click here.






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