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  • Anthropology

    In another thread it has been a discussion on Anthropology and the origin of humans in the Pacific, Australia and the Andaman Islands, among others.
    To avoid too much OT, here is a thread dedicated to the subject of Anthropology in it's widest sense. Starting with the age old question of whether the various species of **** is actually of one origin and originating in Africa? Or can different species have developed in different places to become today's **** Sapiens??
    Here is an article in Norwegian about the subject: http://www.vg.no/nyheter/utenriks/ti...rt/a/10152468/
    It is based on an article in Science Magazine from 2013: http://www.sciencemag.org/content/342/6156/326

  • #2
    "Street Art" on a shell that is 450,000 years old??: http://www.vg.no/nyheter/innenriks/h...st/a/23348395/

    Comment


    • #3
      Good idea for a thread - but what a vast, and perhaps controversial subject.
      I have not yet looked at the links in your first post, Ombugge, but having a quick shufti at that in the second one, courtesy of Google translation, I'd be interested in knowing what are the advanced dating analysis methods used. I sometimes find these almost as fascinating as the actual discovery itself.
      Ivy

      "To thine own self be true.......
      Thou canst not then be false to any man."

      Comment


      • ombugge
        ombugge commented
        Editing a comment
        I would imagine carbon dating, but the accuracy of that is outside my line of expertise.
        I'm sure Seagull will have some input on that.

        PS> I always find it interesting when they talk about "a short time span, maybe only a couple of Hundred/Thousand years".
        Or in Astronomy, when a "short span" is in the millions of years.

    • #4
      It's when they start talking about 1-2 billion light years away from Earth that the brain ceases to try and imagine what that actually IS...we know what it means.....

      Comment


      • ombugge
        ombugge commented
        Editing a comment
        It is hard enough to fathom "$$$ Billion", let alone "Trillion". Yes, we MAY remember how many places behind the comma that requirs, but to understand the actual meaning of such sums is not for everyone.
        Unless you are Vietnamese, Indonesian, or Korean that is, they deal with such numbers on a daily basis.
        (And Obama, when checking the latest deficit figure)

    • #5
      I've found some interesting reading about this shell in an article in English from the Smithsonian. It clarifies what I don't think may have been clear at all from the Norwegian report - that the shell was originally found along with human bones.

      As for the dating issues, it's probably not 'carbon-dating' one usually associates with archaeological work. The Smithsonian article mentions that two techniques were used on preserved sediment from in the shells.

      Edit:- Added link for the article. (the "reason for editing" didn't appear automatically)
      Last edited by Seagull; March 12th, 2015, 11:54.

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      • #6
        It's 40Ar/39Ar and luminescence dating. I found this (and the all important plus and minuses for the dates obtained from the sediment) in the abstract from the publication of the work in Nature.

        (PS - Nari - you may like to click on the author affiliations - two of them are from Canberra! )

        Comment


        • nari
          nari commented
          Editing a comment
          Thanks, Cecilia. The name rings a bell - we are a relatively small community......

      • #7
        I'll follow up on those links later, many thanks, Cecilia. You see, at the back of my mind was that, yes, they may use carbon or luminescence (oh, what a lot I have to learn in that latter) or other dating methods on the shell itself but what about the dating of the actual markings? For example, I could crack open a flint, find a fossil inside and incise markings on it. Give that fossil a few hundred years to accumulate a little dirt and smooth rough edges to the cuts and then if someone discovers it does that mean that Wherrygirl is contemporaneous with the fossil?
        I may feel like it sometimes, but no....
        Ivy

        "To thine own self be true.......
        Thou canst not then be false to any man."

        Comment


        • #8
          Originally posted by wherrygirl View Post
          .... I'd be interested in knowing what are the advanced dating analysis methods used. I sometimes find these almost as fascinating as the actual discovery itself.
          Ivy - Having found which techniques were used in this case, I tried to find a not-overly-technical summary of the two techniques for you, but the Wikipedia ones are as good as any. The first couple of paragraphs of Radiometric dating outlines the general principles. Then at the end of the summaries of various isotope methods you'll find a relevant paragraph on Luminescence dating methods with links if you want more detail.

          The 40Ar/39Ar technique is listed as argon-argon (Ar-Ar) under Other methods. This links to a further Wikipedia article, though one possibly in need of updating in this rapidly developing field.

          Comment


          • #9
            Another link to a possible different interpretation of how the human race spread around the world: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j4wdoG3FkSg

            Are they related to the still surviving tribes on the Andamans and the "Hobbits" on Flores??

            Comment


            • #10
              Cecilia, some time ago you provided a link to my query on dating analysis methods. I read your post at the time but have only now followed up on the link. The result is mental indigestion! But no, I ploughed through the whole Wiki piece and have some faint glimmering of the facts on half life and these led to a deep admiration for those who conjecture, experiment and prove the whole system. Despite the fact that they are talking in terms of - perhaps - billions of years, the relative reliability of what they are doing is astounding. And for the man in the street it provides answers to his old question "How old do you reckon this fossil is that I found?"
              Thank you for digging out the article for me.
              Ivy

              "To thine own self be true.......
              Thou canst not then be false to any man."

              Comment


              • #11
                Well Ivy, if you find yourself speaking to someone who has been largely involved in specialised aspects of palaeontology, their immediate response to the question "How old do you reckon this fossil is that I found?" may well be a moment - or many - of rather disconcerting silence before you get the kind of answer you were expecting - i.e. a number of years!!

                Most likely they just answer something like "early Jurassic" - using the name of a geological period, and only after some thought coming up with a number such as "190 million years".

                This is because they are used to dealing in relative ages, based on the stratigraphy of the sedimentary rocks in which the fossils were preserved. They can also correlate strata of the same age in different places (in the above example between say Dorset on the south coast and Whitby in the north east of England).

                But it is only in localities where rocks (usually igneous crystalline rocks of volcanic origin) also occur that absolute numerical ages can be determined using the various radiometric techniques you've been reading about. These are then used worldwide to calibrate the often long established relative timescale – an ongoing process as the techniques become increasingly more refined.

                Comment


                • #12
                  The question my man in the street asked would certainly take some answering and I'm sure he would be satisfied with something to the nearest 100 million years. It was, in any case, a simplistic example. I agree, it should have been more on the lines of what period and so Jurassic would slot it in quite nicely for me, although I would then probably have to scurry away to check up on the period scale so as to give me a fuller picture. My general scheme of things has become somewhat fainter without some revision since my early reading of Teach Yourself Geology, pub. in the '40's and a later excellent book on fossils - one of the Little Books - with a very clear exposition of all the then known forms of life. Both books I still have and value them.
                  It is fascinating to realise the painstaking work going into this kind of research, not only "just" because it results in more knowledge of the development of life but because, as you point out, the techniques enabling this to be done are themselves becoming more and more refined.
                  Ivy

                  "To thine own self be true.......
                  Thou canst not then be false to any man."

                  Comment


                  • #13
                    The planned development of the Andaman Islands may spell the end of a way of life: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/...s/2008376.html

                    The Jarawa tribe who live nearest to Port Blair will either be moved even further into the jungle and a much smaller "reservation", or absorbed into the modern age, which they have resisted for centuries.

                    With insufficient land area to maintain their present hunter/gatherer tradition they may just starve to death, or be forced to accept outside help.

                    If they are to be absorbed into the general population, how do you move a people from stone age to mobile phone age in a short period of time?
                    Most likely they will be dying out from deceases they have no immunity against, or from alcoholism, within a generation.

                    Comment


                    • ombugge
                      ombugge commented
                      Editing a comment
                      This documentary about the Andaman people and their origin is very interesting. Trying to explains and prove the theory of their African origins, but also finding signs that they have Asian origin as well: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BG9d05fthZU

                      Why the title is "Coral Sea, Louisiade & Trobriand Islands Documentary" is not easy to explain.

                    • wherrygirl
                      wherrygirl commented
                      Editing a comment
                      I started watching that youtube but will have to come back to it. All I want is another 12 hours in the day!

                  • #14
                    The origin of ethnic Norwegians are now known: http://www.na-weekly.com/news/ancien...rwegian-roots/
                    Last edited by ombugge; October 6th, 2015, 08:56.

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                    • #15
                      I think this video fits best here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MLdWbwQJWI0
                      Some ritual performed by geeks??

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