New carbon dating that determined the age of the oldest known camel bones has challenged Biblical accuracy. Camels are described in the Old Testament stories of Abraham, Joseph and Jacob as pack animals. The latest findings, published in the journal Tel Aviv, reveal that camels were most likely domesticated around 900 BC – centuries after the biblical stories are believed to have taken place.
Until recently, archaeologists believed that there were only two species of humans in existence over 400,000 years ago. But, new findings, as well as the recent discovery of the “hobbit” bones in Indonesia, make it clear that it’s far more likely the world of ancient Earth was nowhere near as simple as scientists thought.
“Everything we’ve been taught about the origins of civilization may be wrong,” says Danny Natawidjaja, PhD, senior geologist with the Research Centre for Geotechnology at the Indonesian Institute of Sciences. “Old stories about Atlantis and other great lost civilizations of prehistory, long dismissed as myths by archaeologists, look set to be proved true.”
The existence of a mysterious ancient human lineage and the possibility that the earliest humans were actually all one species were among the human-evolution-related discoveries of 2013. Other breakthroughs include the sequencing of the oldest human DNA yet. Here’s a look at what scientists learned about humanity and human origins this year:
Hank Green lays out three of the most awesome discoveries in science in 2013, from the fields of physics, space science, and anthropology: (1) Higgs Boson confirmed at CERN; (2) Life-sustaining water on Mars; (3) 400,000-year-old human ancestor.
DNA analysis of early human remains from a Siberian cave has revealed the existence of a mystery human species. A team of researchers speculates that this could have been Homo erectus, which lived in Europe and Asia a million years ago or more.
Researchers have uncovered a new clue about human origins after discovering the oldest known human DNA in a legendary Spanish archeological site called Sima de los Huesos, or the “Pit of Bones.” Researchers were able to extract DNA from a leg bone that was estimated to be 400,000 years old. That’s about 100,000 years older than the previous oldest human DNA, and 200,000 years older than modern humans. In addition, scientists were surprised to find that the specimen was related to a little-known group of ancient human relatives known as Denisovans that were previously only found in Siberia.
The oldest known stone-tipped projectiles have been discovered in Ethiopia. The javelins are roughly 280,000 years old and predate the earliest known fossils of our species, Homo sapiens, by about 80,000 years.
Archaeologists working in Nepal have uncovered evidence of a structure at the birthplace of the Buddha dating to the sixth century B.C. This is the first archaeological material linking the life of the Buddha — and thus the first flowering of Buddhism — to a specific century.
Deep in a remote, hot, dry patch of northwestern Australia lies one of the earliest detectable signs of life on the planet, tracing back nearly 3.5 billion years, scientists say.
Houston anthropologist, Dr. Semir Osmanagich, founder of the Bosnian Archaeology Park, the most active archaeology site in the world, declares that irrefutable scientific evidence exists of ancient civilizations with advanced technology that leaves us no choice but to change our recorded history. An examination of the age of structures across the earth reveals conclusively that they were built by advanced civilizations from over 29,000 years ago.
The age-old secret of why Stonehenge was built where it was can now be revealed, according to historians. The reason for the stone monument’s location has remained one of the great unsolved mysteries of British prehistory, with no one theory accepted as correct. But now a team of scientists working in Amesbury, a short distance from where the landmark sits on a hillside, believe the discovery of a warm water spring could be the key to solving the riddle.
Research by a British scientist has concluded that the legendary Himalayan yeti may in fact be a sub-species of brown bear. DNA tests on hair samples carried out by Oxford University genetics professor Bryan Sykes found that they matched those from an ancient polar bear. He subjected the hairs to the most advanced tests available. He says the most likely explanation for the myth is that the animal is a hybrid of polar bears and brown bears.
In 2005, researchers discovered a remarkably complete ancient hominin skull estimated to be about 1.8 million years old at Dmamisi, Georgia. As reported in Science, this ancient man had some strikingly primitive features, including a small brain and protruding jaw. But other details mark him as a member of the species Homo erectus, and as one of our ancestors. Combined with four other skulls previously found at Dmanisi, the skull suggests that ancient individuals from one time and place could be very different from each other, and that the ancient hominin fossils really all came from the same species.