🧐 ROTA #5: Ancient female migrations, advanced water management systems, and a network of huacas
Hey folks, this is issue #5 of Rhythm of the Ancients. Huge welcome to my three new subscribers who (I assume) came from r/archaeology — I really appreciate you joining me! Let’s get right into the latest ancient news.
🗞 Ancient Beat
Bronze Age community saw female dominated migration — DNA at the 4,000-year-old Links of Notland site on Orkney suggests that there was an “influx of female-dominated migration”. It seems as though men inherited and women moved away. The men then coupled with this “influx” of women of continental descent. This led to a productive and socially stable time when new ideas were blended with old.
Large Sandstone Jars Discovered in India — 65 large stone jars have been found in India. Some of the jars are ten feet tall and 6 feet wide. Local stories say that they were filled with material artifacts and cremated remains. The jars are similar to those found in Laos and Indonesia, which have been tied to funerary rituals.
Is Making a More Complicated Tool Worth the Effort? — A recent study showed that participants using hafted tools had greater range of motion and could apply more force than those using tools without handles. While creating hafted tools is more difficult and time-consuming, the researchers say that the 500,000-year-old invention was worthwhile to hominins, hence its spread.
Why Did the Vikings Leave Greenland? — The decreasing temperature of the Little Ice Age is usually seen as the reason for the vikings leaving Greenland. But a new study suggests that the temperature stayed fairly even, and that the culprit may have actually been an extended drought.
Ancient rock etchings along Quepem-Canacona border tell a story of bygone tradition & culture — Aniconic petroglyphs have been found in Gokuldem (though locals have known about them for ages). The deeply-carved linear and curved geometric symbols showcase artistic expression and technological advancement.
2,500-year-old burial mound found in Siberia's 'Valley of the Kings' — This has been all over the web. A large Scythian burial mound was found in Siberia, containing 5 people and grave goods. The linked article goes into the grave goods of specific individuals.
❤️ Recommended Content
Until watching this video, I thought that concrete was first invented a few thousand years ago. But as it turns out, a cement-like substance called terrazzo was used 11,000 years ago at locations like Göbekli Tepe.
This article is all about huacas — a topic which I find endlessly fascinating. Huacas “refer to sacred ritual, the state of being after death, or any sacred object” of the ancient Inca and modern Quechua and Aymara people. According to the article, huacas were organized along lines called “ceques”, creating a vast ceremonial route. The huacas united different ethnic groups and helped elites maintain control. Side note: The most enigmatic examples of stonework in South America are almost always considered to be (or include) huacas.
This article details China’s top archaeological discoveries of 2021. It includes the gold mask of Sanxingdui, paleolithic hand-axes that shed light on the movement of ancient peoples, and a jade workshop at the Huangshan site.
This article describes a two Egyptian cities which were lost to time — one dating back to at least 4000 BCE. It also shares two lost cities which have recently been found. This type of article always get me excited about what is still under the sand, waiting to be uncovered.
The water management systems of ancient peoples were mind-blowingly advanced. This article discusses the step wells of ancient India and ancient Peruvian irrigation canals, and how they are being harnessed to improve water availability and make ecosystems more resilient.
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