Hot Links

Here’s an interesting story about two paleolithic flutes found in Germany.

A DNA study of Lane Batot’s neighbors the Melungeons makes the story of their origins a little less romantic than many thought and I guess the Melungeons aren’t very happy about it.

It’s turning out to be an ugly climbing season on Mt. Everest. There is tons of media attention to this here in Colorado, I’m assuming because so many climbers live here.

Some researchers believe that dog domestication gave our ancestors a competitive advantage over Neanderthals. Of course I’m being a little selective when I say “our ancestors” – all of us with European origins are part Neanderthal.

Researchers have rediscovered two Classical Roman curse tablets sitting on museum shelves in Italy. There’s a reason we save this stuff in museums! One of the curses targets a Roman senator named Fistus: “Crush, kill Fistus the senator, May Fistus dilute, languish, sink and may all his limbs dissolve …” Maybe we could recycle it for the election year. I posted about Classical period curse tablets a few months ago.

9 thoughts on “Hot Links”

  1. The Melungeons ought to be happy with the results showing African-American ancestry. On account of the One Drop Rule they are now legally black and can qualify for affirmative action.

  2. Yeah, this is a prime example why I take a "wait-and-see" attitude with these "definitive" DNA tests. Only white women and black men in the ancestry?(talk about creating a controversy with the less–Ahem!–open-minded cultural strata out there!!!) How likely is that in a mixed up group like the Melungeons? Especially since it is historically known various other racial groups have intermarried in more modern times? They even admitted their study was limited in some aspects. The study I read(which felt they were just as definitive) was trying to hook up the Melungeons with the early Pardo expeditions and SETTLEMENT in that area, verified later by actual dated archaeological remains. They readily admitted African origins along with a hodge-podge of others, but a significant amount of Spanish and Portuguese DNA(some of the "Northern European" admitted but not specified in the other study) in an area(East Tennessee) not known for significant Spanish or Portuguese ancestry in the majority of descendants. All very interesting(including peoples' continued sensitivity to the issue!), but I'll wait on some more definitive definitive studies myself. A prime example of how results get manipulated/interpreted according to various human politics. There is something almost slapstick about all this nowadays(serious an issue as it may have indeed been in the not-so-recent past)–I'd think you could make a great satirical sitcom or reality show about the Melungeons, and have them SUPER aggressively hostile to others' postulating on their ancestry! In a Monty-Pythonish sorta way. Maybe have Anastasia end up "Among The Melungeons", which would be a good working title…..

  3. ….and I like the Cro-Magnon-with-dogs vs. the Neanderthal theory–makes sense to me, whether or not they ever have much proof of it. No doubt IF there was hostility and competition between the two groups(and really people, OF COURSE there had to have been! They were human–or almost–after all! When have diffrent groups of hominids EVER gotten along in our species' history?) having dogs to alert you, help you hunt down and possibly even help you fight your enemies; it would have been an ENORMOUS advantage to the Cros. As it has throughout history, and even is today. And thank goodness REAL hunting groups with their hunting dogs are being mentioned, showing how much more efficient hunting with canines is than without. I have always felt it was this human/canine combo that was responsible(at least in part) for so ruthlessly and efficiently helping to wipe out the last of the Pleistocene megafauna in North America, rather than just more efficient stone spear and later arrowheads.

  4. Thanks Steve, I'll try and look that up–sounds very interesting! And an aside(hopefully humorous)–I have always been kinda flippant with job applications, and one aggravating thing about them, if a place of employment REALLY IS an "equal opportunity employer", why do they always INSIST on listing what race one is??? It shouldn't really matter, right? So I often just made up crazy things, and a favorite I often used was "Narcoleptic Melungeon"–I just like the sound of that….Also, something I learned from my Cherokee language professor(and a fullblood Cherokee) who did this on his job applications and I liked so well I imitated–in the section for listing "foreign languages fluent in", he always put "English"! I imitated that–not suprising, I guess, I rarely got a job through a written application…..

  5. So, Steve, are you agreeing I'm a Narcoleptic Melungeon?, Or that English is a foreign language? Or all of the above? Ha!… I tried to google that "Mammoths worst enemy" article–dangit, can't seem to get anything except the intro–I think you gotta PAY to read it all(or, likely, my computer stupidity isn't allowing me to figure it out….) I'd definetely like to read that one…..On the subject of canine assistance during conflict–just finished rereading some favorite Kenneth Anderson books–those of you unfamiliar–think Jim Corbett, just in the south of India two decades later–I LOVE his stuff! Highly recommended!!! Anyway, in one, he was sitting up trying to shoot a man-eating leopard–literally sitting on the ground in a village, his back to a wall his only slight protection, in the pitch black. He was assisted by a village pariah dog that came up and sat beside him–growling and watching the approaching leopard he would otherwise never have known was there–and this assistance allowed him to successfully shoot the leopard and save his own life! And to make the ending even happier(except for the leopard, of course), he adopted the dog and kept it ever after! Just this one useful ability–to see(in the dark) and smell and hear better than us is a HUGE reason canines have been such valuable allies contributing to our success as a species, and were undoubtedley incredibly descisive in aiding against those sneaky Neanderthals!


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