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RandiFan1290

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Harvard study reveals ancient Mesoamericans knowledge about Earth's magnetism

https://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2019/07/harvard-study-reveals-ancient-mesoamericans-knowledge-about-earths-magnetism/


The purpose of Mesoamerican potbelly statues have been the subject of debate among anthropologists for decades: Are they depictions of the ruling elite? A way to honor dead ancestors? Or perhaps portrayals of women giving birth?

As the various theories wound their way through academic circles, the surprising discovery four decades ago that many of the statues, found in Guatemala, are magnetized in certain spots added a new dimension to those discussions.

And a Harvard study suggests that where those areas show up is no accident.

Led by Assistant Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences Roger Fu, a team of researchers has shown that artisans carved the figures so that the magnetic areas fell at the navel or right temple suggesting not only that Mesoamerican people were familiar with the concept of magnetism but also that they had some way of detecting the magnetized spots. The study is described in an April 12 paper published in the Journal of Archaeological Science.




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'A big jump': People might have lived in Australia twice as long as we thought

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/postcolonial-blog/2019/mar/11/a-big-jump-people-might-have-lived-in-australia-twice-as-long-as-we-thought


Extensive archaeological research in southern Victoria has again raised the prospect that people have lived in Australia for 120,000 years twice as long as the broadly accepted period of human continental habitation.

The research, with its contentious potential implications for Indigenous habitation of the continent that came to be Australia, has been presented to the Royal Society of Victoria by a group of academics including Jim Bowler, the eminent 88-year-old geologist who in 1969 and 1974 discovered the bones of Mungo Lady and Mungo Man, the oldest human remains found in Australia.

Mungo Man, his remains discovered in a dry water bed in the Willandra Lakes district of New South Wales, lived some 42,000 years ago. He was a modern human or homo sapien, Indigenous to Australia, who was buried with sophisticated funerary rites including the use of fire and ochre.


Earlier contentious scientific research that pointed to human habitation in Australia up to 120,000 years ago including in the Kimberley has been largely dismissed.
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