The jawbone, dated to between 177,000 and 194,000 years ago, suggests Homo sapiens was already leaving Africa through the Middle East and populating the rest of the globe at a time when, according to previous research, modern humans were thought to be barely taking their first evolutionary steps in their ancestral home in East Africa.
“It’s really something different,” says archaeologist Prof. Mina Evron from Israel’s University of Haifa, which conducted the dig jointly with Tel Aviv University.
Evron says the upper left jawbone, complete with eight well-preserved teeth, was first discovered in 2002 in Misliya Cave – one of several prehistoric sites that dot the cliffs of the Carmel mountain range near the northern city of Haifa.
The international team of more than 30 experts – including top paleontologists from Spain, China and other countries – took so many years to study the find partly to make sure the dating was right, since it went against everything they knew about human evolution, she explains.
Until recently, most scholars would have agreed that modern Homo sapiens first appeared some 200,000 years ago in East Africa, based on remains found at Omo, Ethiopia, during the 1960s and ’70s.
According to genetic research, these ancestral humans emerged from Africa around 70,000 to 60,000 years ago, occasionally interbreeding with Neanderthals and other hominids as they dispersed throughout the world.
Researchers are still convinced all people alive today are the descendants of those final “out of Africa” migrants. But what seems clear now is that Homo sapiens evolved much earlier than previously thought, leaving Africa in multiple waves and frequently having sex with other hominid populations along the way.
“The moment you say there is modern Homo sapiens in Israel between 170,000 to 200,000 years ago, suddenly all the pieces of the puzzle fall into place,” says Prof. Israel Hershkovitz, a physical anthropologist at Tel Aviv University and lead researcher on the Science paper.
The find at Misliya Cave makes sense in light of several discoveries that have been made over the last couple of years and that have already suggested that the traditional “out of Africa” paradigm needed to be reviewed, Hershkovitz says.
Those discoveries include last year’s announcement that remains found at Jebel Irhoud, Morocco, had been identified as early Homo sapiens and dated to 300,000 years ago – some 100,000 years before our supposedly earliest ancestors from Ethiopia.
Researchers had also previously uncovered 47 human teeth in a cave in Daoxian, China, that were around 100,000 years old, meaning that Homo sapiens reached the Far East tens of thousands of years before that supposedly unique exodus from Africa.
Over the last year, geneticists have also been showing how our prehistory is much more complex than we believed. One study suggested that some human populations still carry traces in their DNA of those early migrations. And research conducted on Neanderthal DNA found that at some point between 220,000 and 460,000 years ago, an archaic Homo sapiens population interbred with at least part of the Neanderthal lineage.
Since at that time Neanderthals and Homo sapiens were supposed to have been confined to their respective stomping grounds in Europe and Africa, there was clearly a piece missing from the history of our evolution.
Enter the Misliya jawbone. Scientists used three different methods – Uranium-thorium, electron-spin resonance and thermoluminescence – to date the concretions found on the bone, the teeth and the archaeological layers in which the jawbone was found. All methods gave similar ranges, Hershkovitz says.
‘Oldest bed ever found’
Tools and artifacts, sealed in with the bone when the roof of the cave collapsed some 160,000 years ago, also confirm that we are dealing with modern humans, says Evron.
“The flint tools are much more complex and developed than what was made in previous periods,” she notes. “And we also uncovered microscopic fragments of grass bedding – which may be the oldest bed ever found.”
Although archaeologists sometimes nickname the find “Miss Liya,” after the name of the cave where the jawbone was discovered, we know very little about the individual to whom it belonged, except that she, or he, was a young adult, Hershkovitz says. However, by any parameter the researchers could check – the morphology of the bone, the floor of the nose and the teeth – it is clear that these are not the remains of a Neanderthal or any other type of hominid except Homo sapiens. In fact, Hershkovitz says, Miss Liya’s jawbone is much more similar to that of modern man than older or nearly contemporaneous African remains like those found at Jebel Irhoud and Omo.
“You could say that it’s not just the oldest Homo sapiens outside of Africa, it’s the oldest Homo sapiens there is, period,” Hershkovitz adds. “The fossils found in Africa still had many archaic traits, but here we are talking about fully modern people, not Jebel Irhoud, not Omo.”
Whether the evolution from archaic to modern sapiens happened while the ancestors of Miss Liya were still in Africa or once they had already settled in the Middle East is hard to say right now, because we don’t yet have enough human remains from both areas to be sure, Hershkovitz notes.
Another key question is how the newly arrived humans from Africa interacted with preexisting hominids that inhabited the Middle East.
“We need to remember that when humans arrived here 200,000 years ago, it was not a vacuum – there were already people around,” Hershkovitz says.
The answer to what happened next may come from remains found nearly a century ago in the Qafzeh and Skhul caves, also in northern Israel and dated to around 100,000 years ago. These too could have served as an early indicator for researchers that humans had been leaving Africa much earlier than thought, but for a long time the finds were dismissed as a small foray by a group of archaic sapiens who quickly went extinct. Now, though, it looks more likely that the remains at Qafzeh and Skhul were the distant descendants of those early inhabitants of Misliya.
What is particularly interesting is that though Miss Liya’s jawbone is nearly 100,000 years older, it is much closer to contemporary human morphology than the skulls found at Qafzeh and Skhul, which display several archaic traits even though they belong to the Homo sapiens family, Hershkovitz notes.
This can only mean that, over time, the people of Misliya mated and integrated with the Neanderthals or other hominids inhabiting the area, Hershkovitz adds.
After Qafzeh and Skhul, we lose track of this lineage of early out-of-Africa humans living in the Middle East. It is possible they went extinct due to environmental or climatic pressures. But also, some of them may have returned to Africa, mixing in with the populations that would make the next and last big push out of the continent, some 70,000 years ago, Hershkovitz explains.
“We always talk about an exit from Africa, never about a return,” he concludes. “In a way, the expression ‘Out of Africa’ is incorrect, because of course it was a two-way street. There is no reason to think there wasn’t constant movement in both directions.”
The Book of the Giants: Text with 2,000 years of Antiquity describes the Nephilim
More than 60 years ago, excavations at the Qumran Caves (Dead Sea) revealed almost a thousand ancient scrolls that offered important glimpses of humanity’s past.
Archaeologists were surprised to find so many unusual texts and among them, a roll of paper that offers clues about the Nephilim.
It’s called The Book of the Giants. Let’s review the ancient stories about these beings.
The Bible makes several references to the Nephilim and most can be found in the book of Genesis. Most of the information concerning these giants of antiquity come from the apocryphal book of Enoch. This ancient Jewish religious work is attributed to Noah’s great-grandfather, although some scholars date parts of it to around 300 BC.
Enoch is a disconcerting character. The book of Genesis tells us that he lived on Earth for 365 years, before being taken by God; “He walked with God, and he was gone; because God took him. “During his time here, our planet was also inhabited by” angels “who interacted freely with humans, and eventually crossed paths with the” daughters of men “and gave birth to a race of abnormally strong hybrids and giant called Nephilim.
The origin of the word Nephilim is not fully understood, but scholars have proposed several etymologies: “The fallen”, “apostate”, or “these that cause others to fall.” Regardless of their name, the Nephilim have always been a synonym for giants.
The Book of Giants found in the Qumran caves offer a different perspective from that of the Enoch book. Although incomplete, the fragments of the scrolls paint a grim picture: the Nephilim became aware that, as a result of their violent and deviant forms, they faced imminent destruction, and that it scared them enough to ask Enoch to speak in his name before God.
The text begins by detailing how the Nephilim plagued the Earth and everything that lived in it. But once everyone begins to receive the prophetic dreams of fate, fear seeps into their hearts. The first to have these dreams was Mahway, the titan son of the angel Baraquel. In his dream, he saw a tablet being submerged in the water. When the tablet emerged, all but three names had been removed. This symbolizes the flood and subsequent destruction of all, except the children of Noah.
At that time, this fact had not become evident to the Nephilim so they debated the meaning of Mahway’s dream, but they were not successful in interpreting the signs. Soon after, two more giants, Ohya and Hahya, the children of the fallen angel Shemihaza began to have similar dreams; They dreamed of a tree being uprooted except for three of its roots.
After this, the rest of the group of giants began to have apocalyptic dreams:
Then two of them had dreams and the dream of their eyes had fled before them, and getting up, he came to [… and told him] his dreams, and told him in the assembly of [his companions] the monsters [… En] my dream I was seeing this night [and there was a garden …] the gardeners and those who were watering [… two hundred trees and] great buds came out from its root […] all the water, and the fire burned all [the garden … ] They found the giants to tell them the dream … ”
The giants have realized the prophetic nature of their dreams and sought the help of Enoch. Unfortunately, Enoch had already disappeared from the face of the Earth so the chosen Nephilim, one of its members, made a cosmic journey in order to find it.
[Mahway] poured into the air like strong winds, and flew with his hands like eagles [… left behind] the inhabited world and passed over desolation, the great desert […] and Enoch saw it and greeted it, and Mahway said to him […] here and there for the second time for Mahway […] the giants await his words, and all the monsters of the Earth. If it has been taken […] from the days of […] its and that would be added […] we would like to hear from you its meaning […] two hundred trees that came down from heaven … ”
Unfortunately, parts of the rolls were damaged without possibility of repair, but the description of the text is obvious. One of the Nephilim traveled off the Earth in search of Enoch and his powers of vision-interpretation. The text becomes very interesting if we substitute some terms and consider it not as an allegorical story, but as the description of an actual event whose meaning became confused in time.
If we consider flying “hands like eagles” a metaphor, can we hypothesize that Mahway took off from Earth in a spaceship? In this case, does “desolation, the great desert” refer to interstellar space? It depends on how far we are willing to interpret a fragment of a 2,000-year-old scroll.
Enoch sends Mahway back from where he came from, promising that he will speak to God on his behalf. Unfortunately for the Nephilim, the Enoch tablets sent to them did not bring them good news:
The Enoch scribe […] a copy of the second tablet that [Enoch] sent in the same part of Enoch the scribe observed [… In the name of God the great] and a saint, for Shemihaza and all his companions […]
Let it be known that you have not […] and the things you have done, and that your wives […] them with your children and the wives of [your children] for your debauchery on Earth, and there has been over you […] and the earth is crying out] and they complain that you and your children’s acts […] the harm you have done to him.
[…] Until Raphael appears, behold, the destruction [is approaching, a great flood, and will destroy all living beings] and what is in the deserts and the seas. And the meaning of matter […] about you as evil. But now, untie the bonds [that tie you to evil …] and pray. ”
1000 Pillar Temple – Impossible Ancient Technology Found
Today we are going to look at one of the strangest ancient sites in India – this is the Thousand Pillar Temple which is at least 750 years old. On first sight, it looks like a regular temple, but there is something fundamentally different about this temple, because there are no visible joints at all between the stone blocks in the walls of this temple.
This is a large temple, but look carefully as I go from the ground to the top, do you see any joints? This makes people wonder if this entire temple is made of one solid rock, like the Kailasa Temple, but archeologists confirm that it is in fact made of many many blocks of stone.
In 1300 A.D , an army of the Muslim King Allauddin Khalji tried to demolish this temple, and they took out many of the stone blocks from the ground and the ceiling, because it was easier to dismantle them, but they could not dismantle the blocks on the walls. If you look at the floor, these are newer stone slabs placed by the Archeology department, and you can see how these blocks are loosely connected.
If you compare the modern day stone masonry with the ancient technique, modern technology appears quite primitive, because you can clearly see the joints. The archeology department has been trying to restore the temple from the destruction and graffiti by Allauddin Khalji’s army.
Now, why is this temple called ‘The thousand pillar temple’? Most visitors wonder why this is known as the thousand pillar temple because it doesn’t have a thousand pillars. It is called so because it is made of one thousand blocks of stone, this is the actual reason why this name is used. But even in most sophisticated temples like the Lepakshi temple, we can see clear evidence of joints between the blocks, but in this temple, the joints are not visible.
What is fascinating is that there was no cement, mortar, or glue used to join these blocks. How did ancient builders achieve such an extraordinary level of jointing, many centuries ago? What kind of technology existed and how was such a temple built?
The underlying technology is this:
Ancient builders created a complex interlocking system with at least a dozen different cuts in each stone block. These complex cuts maximize the amount of surface area shared by the connecting blocks, and will create an extremely tight fit.
This is hard enough to do between 2 stone blocks, but imagine using several stone blocks on all sides and how many cuts would have been needed to connect 4 or 5 blocks together. I mean, this is just an extraordinary technology. This can be done on wood, but how did they manage to make these cuts on large stone blocks many centuries ago? Making these cuts is one thing, but the level of precision, to make these joints invisible can be achieved only with advanced machines.
We can clearly see that building a massive temple with no visible joints is impossible with primitive tools. Did ancient builders use cutting, drilling and polishing tools, just like today? If so, do we have any evidence of these tools in the temple itself?
How about these carvings which resemble modern drilling and polishing tools? In most temples, we usually see carvings of Gods, but in this temple, we can see these tool like carvings, with a conical, striated top with a long shaft, which is remarkably similar to modern day tool bits.
Just compare these carvings with today’s tool bits side by side. You have to admit there is an uncanny similarity. Is this a coincidence, or did ancient builders use tool bits just like us, to make these precise interlocking system?
The pillars in the temple confirm that drilling machines were in fact used. There are very tiny holes drilled on these pillars. My friend is struggling to send a thread through the small holes, but these holes are too small even for a thread. The priest is happy to help us, he picks up something thinner than a thread and inserts it successfully through these holes.
If you think these carvings are not drill bits, how do you explain such tiny holes carved on the pillars? How do you explain the construction of an entire temple with no visible joints? Were they created with advanced machines, or with simple tools like chisels and hammers?
1,000-Year-Old Mammoth Bone Pendant With A Mysterious Message In Turkic Runes Discovered In Yakutia
An 11-year-old boy in the village of Yakutia has discovered a 1,000-year-old message on a pendant that was carved into a mammoth bone with Turkic runic inscriptions.
The four mysterious words are believed to be in the Orkhon-Yenisei type script. Such writings are normally found in rock art in Yakutia, also known as Sakha Republic, the world’s coldest region.
Academic Ninel Malysheva said: ‘Runes rarely occur on such things as talismans and amulets. ‘If it is confirmed that this bone found in Namsky district is genuine, it will be a great scientific discovery for the republic. ‘A comprehensive study is now required involving paleontologists, archaeologists and Turkologist. Studies on exact dating and decoding the inscription are underway at the Museum of Writing, part of the North-Eastern Federal University (NEFU).
Photo © Michil Yakovlev (Image Source)
Photo ©Michil Yakovlev (Image Source)
One of the earliest recorded Turkic language is in the form of a script called “Turkic Runes”, found in Russia’s southern Siberia and the Xinjiang uygur Autonomous Region of China (a region not surprisingly also known as Chinese Turkestan) beginning at around the 8th century CE.
Example of Turkic runes. “Irk Bitig Fal Kitabı” page 7. 9th century. ©The International Dunhuang Project (Image Source)
What are the four mysterious words?
One theory is that the words express ‘good wishes’, but scientists hope to find the exact meaning.
Village where the ancient pendant was discovered is some 100 kilometres north of Yakutsk, the regional capital, and the world’s coldest city. Another example of Turkic runes in Yaktutia is the so-called Petrov inscription. It is a writing made using ocher some 200 km from Yakutsk. It is known as the most northerly rune inscription in the world.
Researchers in the middle of the last century believed that the inscription indicated the location of medieval treasure.
A literal translation is said to read: ‘Pearls of the tribe Az.’ Scientists claim such Turkic scripts date back 1,000 years or more.
The Old Turkic script – also known as variously Göktürk script, Orkhon script, Orkhon-Yenisei script – is the alphabet used by the Göktürks and other early Turkic khanates during the 8th to 10th centuries.
The script is named after the Orkhon Valley in Mongolia where early 8th century inscriptions were discovered in an 1889 expedition by Nikolai Yadrintsev. These Orkhon inscriptions were published by Vasily Radlov and deciphered by the Danish philologist Vilhelm Thomsen in 1893. This writing system was later used within the Uyghur Khaganate.
Additionally, a Siberian variant is known from 9th century Yenisei Kirghiz inscriptions, and it has likely cousins in the Talas Valley of Turkestan and the Old Hungarian alphabet of the 10th century. Words were usually written from right to left.
Yakut runic letters are the least studied in Siberia. They provoke heated discussions among the linguists and Turkologists. But most new finds of inscriptions are made in Yakutia. Now the total number all Yakutian finds is close to 90. Most runic inscriptions of Yakutia have not yet been deciphered.
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