I enjoy reading, but not has much as my wife does. As a teenager I used to love staying over with my grandmother on the weekends to help her around a motel my parents owned near Parkland. I loved staying with her because she let me sleep in late. I would stay up until sunrise reading. After the work was done, we would play cards for hours. She taught me Pitch and Canasta.
I scan the news numerous times everyday. I’m very curious. Interbreeding recently caught my eye. Humans have been interbreeding for 700,00 – 800,000 years ago. Science is still tracking down where our DNA came from. Many of us with ancestors from Europe or northern Africa have 3-5% of our genes from Neanderthals, the cavemen that disappeared about 30,000 years ago.
Years ago my wife gave me a large paper bag filled with used books about the Greeks and the Romans. For my Anniversary present this year Peg signed me up for the magazine, Archaeology. I used to subscribe to magazines: Archaeology, Discover, and Biblical Archaeology Review. I like reading about the ancient world and learning more about where we all came from and how we got to where we are. I also think about where we’re going.
My first magazine arrived in early December, but it took me about a week to finish client projects and find the time to scan all of the magazine and read what really grabbed my attention:
- Literacy in Israel in the seventh century B.C. – By reading pottery shards found in ancient forts, it was ascertained that common soldiers were able to keep track of stores and supplies by reading and writing. Using a special algorithm scientists figure that of roughly 100,000 citizens “at minimum several hundred people knew how to write.”
- Largest Viking DNA Study – Prior to the Viking Age (A.D. 800 – 1050) new genes flowed in from southern and eastern Europe as well as western Asia. Interesting point was that during the Viking age Vikings had darker hair and eyes than in today’s world. Many of the Vikings were not true Vikings at all. Viking raids had very specific targets: Sweden raided east to the Baltic states, Poland and Ukraine. Norway tended to sail to Ireland, Iceland, and Greenland. Denmark raided England. Raiding parties sometimes contained close-knit or related individual.
- Digging the First English Playhouse – Plays and entertainment productions could be put on anywhere, but in the 1560s The Red Lion, the first actual theatre, was built in London. The stage was forty feet by thirty feet. It served more as a prototype for a theatre in Shoreditch about sixteen years later, where a number of Shakespeare’s early works were produced.
My big disappointment in the magazine was that they didn’t mention the new rock paintings found in the rain forests of South America. Supposedly there are more than eight miles of paintings. The paintings were made about 12,500 years ago at the end of the last ice age. Some images depict hunts of animals that no longer exist. The paintings are multi-tiered and contain images of ladders and vines, which must have been used to climb the rock walls and paint the stories and images. The find was discovered in November, so I’m sure there wasn’t time to get the information out to us in December for the January/February issue. – goodnewsnetwork.org/colombian-cave-painting-discovery-hailed-as-sistine/
Although people have often wondered about ancient times and battles with different kings and queens, archaeology only really began a little over two hundred years ago. Studies and methods have changed and developed. In many countries even minor construction often results in miraculous finds. Archaeology, working with many branches of science, tells us more and more about who we are and where we began . . . and that’s always interesting. Here is a great article about just thirteen discoveries that changed our understanding of human history. – yahoo.com/news/13-discoveries-last-fundamentally-altered-154138173.html