Category: native people

Your guess is as good as any, because we do not know! The claws, fangs, and spots are cat-like, while the hindquarters resemble two seahorse tails.

Moche, 525-550 CE.

Symptoms of atherosclerosis, or hardening and narrowing of the arteries, have been detected in the mummified remains of four Inuit adults who lived in Greenland about 500 years ago. The recent study used computerized tomography to examine the bodies of the two men, who are thought to have been between 18 and 22 and 25 and 30 at the time of death, and two women, who died sometime between the ages of 16 and 18 and 25 and 30, and one infant. Three of the four adults showed evidence of arterial calcification. Increased gunk in arteries can lead to life-threatening conditions such as strokes and heart attacks.

These Inuit’s atherosclerosis is a surprising find because current health theories suggest that a diet rich in marine foods and omega-3 fatty acids, such as that eaten by preindustrial-era Inuit peoples, would offer protection from arterial calcification. The individuals’ entire circulatory systems were not preserved, however, so the researchers were not able to determine the full extent of the damage to their arteries. The scientists also noted that heavy exposure to smoke from indoor fires may have outweighed the heart-health benefits of an active lifestyle and fatty-fish-based diet.

Indigenous languages of the Arctic Circle

While people talk about modern beauty standards being artificial and western, it can be easy to not understand the true diversity of beauty standards across time and across history.

For instance, the ancient Maya thought being cross-eyed was highly desirable. Parents would hang an object between their infant’s eyes hoping to induce permanent cross-eyes.

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In Iran until modern times, women were more desirable if they had unibrows and mustaches and many used darkening products to achieve them.

No matter what you look like, there was probably a time and a place when you were the height of attractiveness. Think about that the next time you look in a mirror!

Oyster eaters have been avoiding the shellfish during the summer
months — and so lowering their risk of food poisoning — for at least 4,000
years. That’s the major finding of a new study
examining remains of the Boonea impressa, a parasitic snail that latches onto
oyster shells, in a 230-foot shell ring built by the inhabitants of St.
Catherine’s Island off the coast of Georgia.

The snail has a predictable
12-month life cycle, and so by measuring the length of its shell, the
scientists were able to estimate when its oyster host had been harvested
by humans. Based on the size of the snail shells on the oyster shells in the ring, oyster harvest was limited to the late fall, winter,
and spring. This avoids not only the summer months, but the time when southeastern oysters spawned as well. In other words humans knew how to ensure they would have food for next year.

The Maya at Chichen Itza were known to practice human sacrifice a thousand years ago. Who they were sacrificing, though, has long been a mystery. A recent isotope analysis of tooth enamel from sacrificial victims
thrown into the city’s Sacred Cenote shows that there was some variety in who was sacrificed. Some  grew up locally, while others hailed from the Gulf Coast, the
Central Highlands, and as far away as Central America.

How the mix of individuals were chosen, and how those from further away ended up in Chichen Itza, remains unknown – there is always something more to investigate.

Forced to build their own pyres: dozens more Aboriginal massacres revealed by research collaboration:

Terrible stories of atrocities included in an updated map and archive of Australia’s massacres, which new research reveals continued into the 1920s.

Drone-mounted lasers appear to have detected details of the architecture of an ancient island settlement off Florida’s Gulf coast, using 3D mapping technology. Archaeological remains were first noted on Raleigh Island in 1990. In-person exploration of the area in 2010 revealed the presence of a settlement dating from 900 to 1200 CE.

Unfortunately, the island’s dense foliage impeded traditional land-based surveys of what remained. That’s why this drone-based laser survey, almost ten years later, is so important.

Among other details we now can see 37 residential areas “enclosed by ridges of oyster shell” that are up to 12ft (4m) tall. Archaeological digs at 10 identified residential areas found evidence that beads made from large marine mollusks were produced in these settlements. Stone tools, used to make the beads, were also found. The beads were likely for import among inland chiefdoms. In areas that were far from the coast, such as the lower midwest of the US, mollusk beads and even sizable sea mollusks were imported, where they were used as social capital in economic and social interactions between groups.

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One of the earliest sites showing Aboriginal occupation of northwestern Australia — dating to some 50,000 years ago — has been discovered at the Drysdale River catchment in the Kimberley region of Australia. They also found evidence of an early ax production industry at the Minjiwarra site, which had previously been interpreted as a dune feature indicating a break in Aboriginal occupation.

The “dune feature” is actually a sedimentary flood feature which built up over 50,000 years. It preserves early, intermediate and more recent occupation by Aboriginal people. Minjiwarra was settled even through the peak of the Ice Age 19,000 years ago, when environmental conditions were especially cold and dry.