||[Mar. 22nd, 2013|09:55 am]
Apparently the universe is 50 million years older than we thought it was.|
Also- according to the latest research- the Neanderthals died out 15,000 years earlier than we'd been thinking. A cache of bones found in Spain that we'd been radio-carbon dating to 34,000 BC- and interpreting as the remains of a late-surviving colony- were contaminated with modern carbon- and new tests (which can filter out the contamination) have given us the new- more distant- dates.* Bother! If this finding holds it means the Neanderthals were long gone by the time our ancestors reached Europe- and a lot of once plausible fictions about the two groups meeting have been demoted into unhistorical fantasies- Boneland and Clan of the Cave Bear among them. On a positive note it means we no longer have to feel bad about wiping them out. Whatever killed them it wasn't us.
*This information comes from World Archaeology #58 which is reporting on an article recently published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences