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  • Archaeology link

    New and Old World archaeology news

    http://www.eurekalert.org/bysubject/index.php?kw=287

  • #2
    Pigs can't swim to Hawaii. And they can't fly either.

    A long list of various articles. I found this one interesting:

    Public Release: 12-Mar-2007
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
    Pig study forces rethink of Pacific colonisation
    A survey of wild and domestic pigs, published in PNAS, has caused archaeologists to reconsider both the origins of the first Pacific colonists and the migration routes humans travelled to reach the remote Pacific.
    Wellcome Trust, Leverhulme Trust, Smithsonian Institution, Fyssen Foundation

    Contact: Durham University Media Relations
    [email protected]
    44-019-133-46075
    Durham University

    He said: "Pigs are good swimmers, but not good enough to reach Hawaii. Given the distances between islands, pigs must have been transported and are thus excellent proxies of human movement. In this case, they have helped us open a new window into the history of human colonization of the Pacific.
    Funny and true


    Contact: Durham University Media Relations
    [email protected]
    44-019-133-46075
    Durham University
    Pig study forces rethink of Pacific colonisation

    A survey of wild and domestic pigs has caused archaeologists to reconsider both the origins of the first Pacific colonists and the migration routes humans travelled to reach the remote Pacific.

    Scientists from Durham University and the University of Oxford, studying DNA and tooth shape in modern and ancient pigs, have revealed that, in direct contradiction to longstanding ideas, ancient human colonists may have originated in Vietnam and travelled between numerous islands before first reaching New Guinea, and later landing on Hawaii and French Polynesia.

    Using mitochondrial DNA obtained from modern and ancient pigs across East Asia and the Pacific, the researchers demonstrated that a single genetic heritage is shared by modern Vietnamese wild boar, modern feral pigs on the islands of Sumatra, Java, and New Guinea, ancient Lapita pigs in Near Oceania, and modern and ancient domestic pigs on several Pacific Islands.

    The study results, published today in the prestigious academic journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, contradict established models of human migration which assert that the ancestors of Pacific islanders originated in Taiwan or Island Southeast Asia, and travelled along routes that pass through the Philippines as they dispersed into the remote Pacific.

    The research was funded by funded by the Wellcome Trust, the Leverhulme Trust, the Smithsonian Institution, and the Fyssen Foundation.

    Research project director, Dr Keith Dobney, a Wellcome Trust senior research fellow with the Department of Archaeology at Durham University, said: "Many archaeologists have assumed that the combined package of domestic animals and cultural artefacts associated with the first Pacific colonizers originated in the same place and was then transported with people as a single unit.

    "Our study shows that this assumption may be too simplistic, and that different elements of the package, including pigs, probably took different routes through Island South East Asia, before being transported into the Pacific.’

    Archaeological evidence suggests that early farmers moved from mainland East Asia through Island Southeast Asia and on into Oceania, bringing their domestic plants, animals and specific pottery styles with them. Other sources of evidence, including human genetic and linguistic data, appear to support the traditional model that Pacific colonists first began their journey in Taiwan.

    Greger Larson, lead author of the paper, performed the genetic work while at the University of Oxford. He is now due to join Durham University in August as a Research Councils UK Research Fellow.

    He said: "Pigs are good swimmers, but not good enough to reach Hawaii. Given the distances between islands, pigs must have been transported and are thus excellent proxies of human movement. In this case, they have helped us open a new window into the history of human colonization of the Pacific.

    "We are confident that this research will inspire geneticists and archaeologists to consider both alternative colonization routes, and more complex, and perhaps more accurate, theories about the nature of human colonization and the animals they carried with them."

    The specimens used in these analyses came from the jaw bones or teeth of museum and archaeological specimens and the hair from more recent specimens.
    ###

    MEDIA INTERVIEWS

    Thomas Cucchi (research team member based at Durham University): Tel: +44(0)191 334 1162 (Cucchi) e-mail: [email protected].

    Keith Dobney (Durham University, working in Hawaii Monday to Thursday). Tel +1 808 956 7546. Email: [email protected]

    Greger Larson (currently based at Uppsala University, Sweden): +46(0)18-471-4551 email: [email protected]

    Further information: Durham University Media and Public Affairs Office +44 (0) 191 334 6075 or [email protected]

    SOURCE INFORMATION: Phylogeny and Ancient DNA of Sus Provides New Insights into Neolithic Expansion in Island Southeast Asia and Oceania by Greger Larson et al. appears in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, 12-16 March 2007: www.pnas.org

    Notes to editor:

    1. This research is part of an ongoing research project based at the University of Durham. The project aims to re-evaluate the archaeological evidence for pig domestication and husbandry, and explore the role of animals in reconstructing ancient human migration, trade and exchange networks. See: http://www.dur.ac.uk/archaeology/res...project&id=259 and http://www.dur.ac.uk/archaeology/res...project&id=260

    2. Phylogeny and Ancient DNA of Sus Provides New Insights into Neolithic Expansion in Island Southeast Asia and Oceania by Greger Larson et al., appears in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, 12-16 March 2007.


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    Last edited by rainbow; 23 August 2007, 12:55 AM.

    Comment


    • #3
      He he.

      I thought the two articles on Clovis more interesting, especially the one that posits a cometary impact on the retreating glacier as cause of the disappearance of Clovis and the American megafauna.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by tomcat
        He he.

        I thought the two articles on Clovis more interesting, especially the one that posits a cometary impact on the retreating glacier as cause of the disappearance of Clovis and the American megafauna.
        Oooh...I skipped over Clovis ones. Sorry I missed it. When I see 'Clovis' I think of France. I don't know why.

        Cometary impact? It's possible.

        I believe that modern humans may have gotten their 'jump start' to separate from other primates or Neanderthals because of radiation from something, space debris? comet debris?, that caused the mutation. Sort of like the story of The Incredible Hulk, but in reverse. I know it sounds 'out there'. I hope a scientist suggests that theory some day.
        Last edited by rainbow; 23 August 2007, 10:41 PM.

        Comment


        • #5
          tidbit

          Several issues ago of "Science News", a weekly newsletter, had a brief article suggesting that a comet crash in or near Quebec may have caused the extinction of the Clovis Culture. It may have wiped out Pleistocene megafauna, which eliminated the need for large Clovis-type spear points. At least that's what I came away with.

          As for pigs not flying, once the technology of seaworthy boa-tbuilding spread around Southeast Asia, I'd guess that several different peoples would've struck out for "greener pastures."

          Comment


          • #6
            The other study on Clovis reanalyzed Clovis materials with more sophisticated dating technology than was originally available. That study concluded that Clovis only spanned 250-400 years. So, Clovis may have been wiped-out with the megafauna.

            Too bad.

            And that study also drove another nail into the coffin of the idea that Clovis represented the first Americans. For, if Clovis only spanned 250-400 years they obviously could not have been the 'people' who settled to the far reaches of the South American continent.

            As to the points. I expect any hunter might appreciate a well-made point. But if you are only grubbing rodents, instead of high-risk large game, there would be no economic margin to allow, or practical advantage to support, the crafting of well-made points.

            Comment


            • #7
              For those with an interest in French genealogy

              Contact: Suzanne Wu
              [email protected]
              773-834-0386
              University of Chicago Press Journals


              Are civil unions a 600-year-old tradition?

              Sharing '1 bread, 1 wine, and 1 purse': The history of brotherment

              A compelling new study from the September issue of the Journal of Modern History reviews historical evidence, including documents and gravesites, suggesting that homosexual civil unions may have existed six centuries ago in France. The article is the latest from the ongoing “Contemporary Issues in Historical Perspective” series, which explores the intersection between historical knowledge and current affairs.

              Commonly used rationales in support of gay marriage and gay civil unions avoid historical arguments. However, as Allan A. Tulchin (Shippensburg University) reveals in his forthcoming article, a strong historical precedent exists for homosexual civil unions.

              Opponents of gay marriage in the United States today have tended to assume that nuclear families have always been the standard household form. However, as Tulchin writes, “Western family structures have been much more varied than many people today seem to realize, and Western legal systems have in the past made provisions for a variety of household structures.”

              For example, in late medieval France, the term affrèrement – roughly translated as brotherment – was used to refer to a certain type of legal contract, which also existed elsewhere in Mediterranean Europe. These documents provided the foundation for non-nuclear households of many types and shared many characteristics with marriage contracts, as legal writers at the time were well aware, according to Tulchin.

              The new “brothers” pledged to live together sharing ‘un pain, un vin, et une bourse’ – one bread, one wine, and one purse. As Tulchin notes, “The model for these household arrangements is that of two or more brothers who have inherited the family home on an equal basis from their parents and who will continue to live together, just as they did when they were children.” But at the same time, “the affrèrement was not only for brothers,” since many other people, including relatives and non-relatives, used it.

              The effects of entering into an affrèrement were profound. As Tulchin explains: “All of their goods usually became the joint property of both parties, and each commonly became the other’s legal heir. They also frequently testified that they entered into the contract because of their affection for one another. As with all contracts, affrèrements had to be sworn before a notary and required witnesses, commonly the friends of the affrèrés.”

              Tulchin argues that in cases where the affrèrés were single unrelated men, these contracts provide “considerable evidence that the affrèrés were using affrèrements to formalize same-sex loving relationships. . . . I suspect that some of these relationships were sexual, while others may not have been. It is impossible to prove either way and probably also somewhat irrelevant to understanding their way of thinking. They loved each other, and the community accepted that. What followed did not produce any documents.”

              He concludes: “The very existence of affrèrements shows that there was a radical shift in attitudes between the sixteenth century and the rise of modern antihomosexual legislation in the twentieth.”

              ###
              Other articles in the “Contemporary Issues in Historical Perspective” series include explorations of fascism, genocide, and reparations.

              The Journal of Modern History is recognized as the leading American journal for the study of European intellectual, social, political, and cultural history. The Journal’s geographical and temporal scope—the history of Europe since the Renaissance—makes it unique. JMH explores events and movements in specific countries, as well as broader questions that span particular times and places.

              Allan Tulchin, “Same-Sex Couples Creating Households in Old Regime France: The Uses of the Affrèrement.” Journal of Modern History: September 2007.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by tomcat
                Are civil unions a 600-year-old tradition?
                This highly controversial issue, and in particular the extremely biased article you cite, are utterly inappropriate for this forum, IMHO, not least because such unions do not produce any genetic offspring.

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