Rare tiger fossil in cave at Gopeng, Perak, must be preserved

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via The Star, 01 October 2018:

Tiger fossil in Perak, Malaysia. Source: The Star, 20181001

Tiger fossil in Perak, Malaysia. Source: The Star, 20181001

THE PERAK state government is keen to preserve Gua Naga Mas in Gopeng because of a unique complete fossil of a mammal embedded in the limestone cave wall.

State Tourism, Arts and Culture Committee chairman Tan Kar Hing said researchers believe the fossil is unique.

“When a group of researchers made the discovery, they compiled a report with officials, confirming it was a carnivore fossil.

“The thing is, during my recent visit to the site and also meetings with several agencies, we did not have much scientific report on it.

For now, Tan noted that the cave, located in a Siamese temple, was still open to the public.

Source: Rare tiger fossil in cave at Gopeng, Perak, must be preserved – Metro News | The Star Online

Ancient skeletons discovered in Vietnam cave

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Source: VNE, 20180919

via VNE and other sources, 19 September 2018: Vietnamese arhaeologists announce the discovery of Neolithic human remains in a volcanic cave in Dak Nong Province.

Source: VNE, 20180919

Source: VNE, 20180919

The remains of 10 Neolithic humans have been found along with thousands of artifacts in the most bountiful archeological site in the region.

Scientists announced on Tuesday the results of their excavation in the Krong No volcanic cave in Dak Nong Province, in the southwest of the Central Highlands at the tail end of the Truong Son mountain chain.

Krong No is a volcanic cave system that has made headlines for its impressive scale and length. The 25-kilometer cave, the longest in Southeast Asia, starts at the Choar volcanic crater and stretches along the Serepok River, ending at Dray Sap waterfall.

Source: Ancient skeletons discovered in Vietnam cave – VnExpress International

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Southeast Asian population boomed 4,000 years ago

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Clare McFadden, lead author. Source: ANU

via Science Daily/ANU, 20 September 2018: A new paper in the Journal of Archaeological Science shows evidence for a rapid population growth in Southeast Asia around 4,000 years ago using an analysis that takes into account the proportion of children and infants in population measurements.

Clare McFadden, lead author. Source: ANU

Clare McFadden, lead author. Source: ANU

Researchers at The Australian National University (ANU) have uncovered a previously unconfirmed population boom across South East Asia that occurred 4,000 years ago, thanks to a new method for measuring prehistoric population growth.

Using the new population measurement method, which utilises human skeletal remains, they have been able to prove a significant rapid increase in growth across populations in Thailand, China and Vietnam during the Neolithic Period, and a second subsequent rise in the Iron Age.

Source: Southeast Asian population boomed 4,000 years ago — ScienceDaily

[Paper] New dates on dingo bones from Madura Cave provide oldest firm evidence for arrival of the species in Australia

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First direct dates of dingo bones from a site in Western Australia. Dingoes are one of the few mammals that crossed water (most likely accompanying humans) before European arrival. The dates and location of the site suggest that dingoes spread throughout the continent relatively quickly after their introduction.

New dates on dingo bones from Madura Cave provide oldest firm evidence for arrival of the species in Australia
Balme et al.
Scientific Reports
https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-018-28324-x

The dingo is the only placental land mammal aside from murids and bats to have made the water crossings to reach Australia prior to European arrival. It is thought that they arrived as a commensal animal with people, some time in the mid Holocene. However, the timing of their arrival is still a subject of major debate with published age estimates varying widely. This is largely because the age estimates for dingo arrival are based on archaeological deposit dates and genetic divergence estimates, rather than on the dingo bones themselves. Currently, estimates vary from between 5000–4000 years ago, for finds from archaeological contexts, and as much as 18,000 based on DNA age estimates. The timing of dingo arrival is important as post arrival they transformed Indigenous societies across mainland Australia and have been implicated in the extinction of a number of animals including the Tasmanian tiger. Here we present the results of direct dating of dingo bones from their oldest known archaeological context, Madura Cave on the Nullarbor Plain. These dates demonstrate that dingoes were in southern Australia by between 3348 and 3081 years ago. We suggest that following their introduction the dingo may have spread extremely rapidly throughout mainland Australia.

Source: New dates on dingo bones from Madura Cave provide oldest firm evidence for arrival of the species in Australia | Nature Scientific Reports

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Misteri Mata Panah dan Kerangka Manusia di Maros

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via Mongo Bay, 09 June 2018: The archaeology of Makassar and the prehistoric Toalian culture. Article is in Bahasa.

  Maros point, begitu nama mata panah ini. Usia diperkirakan antara 7.000 hingga 3.500 tahun. Benda ini ditemukan di banyak tempat di kawasan karts Maros, termasuk di Leang Jarie. Bulan…

Source: Misteri Mata Panah dan Kerangka Manusia di Maros

[Paper] Rare Late Pleistocene-early Holocene human mandibles from the Niah Caves (Sarawak, Borneo)

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New paper in PLOS One describing mandibles from the Niah Caves – these were excavated by the Harrissons in 1957.

Rare Late Pleistocene-early Holocene human mandibles from the Niah Caves (Sarawak, Borneo)
Darren Curnoe, Ipoi Datan, Jian-xin Zhao, Charles Leh Moi Ung, Maxime Aubert, Mohammed S. Sauffi, Goh Hsiao Mei, Raynold Mendoza, Paul S. C. Taçon
https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0196633

The skeletal remains of Late Pleistocene-early Holocene humans are exceptionally rare in island Southeast Asia. As a result, the identity and physical adaptations of the early inhabitants of the region are poorly known. One archaeological locality that has historically been important for understanding the peopling of island Southeast Asia is the Niah Caves in the northeast of Borneo. Here we present the results of direct Uranium-series dating and the first published descriptions of three partial human mandibles from the West Mouth of the Niah Caves recovered during excavations by the Harrissons in 1957. One of them (mandible E/B1 100″) is somewhat younger than the ‘Deep Skull’ with a best dating estimate of c30-28 ka (at 2σ), while the other two mandibles (D/N5 42–48″ and E/W 33 24–36″) are dated to a minimum of c11.0–10.5 ka (at 2σ) and c10.0–9.0 ka (at 2σ). Jaw E/B1 100″ is unusually small and robust compared with other Late Pleistocene mandibles suggesting that it may have been ontogenetically altered through masticatory strain under a model of phenotypic plasticity. Possible dietary causes could include the consumption of tough or dried meats or palm plants, behaviours which have been documented previously in the archaeological record of the Niah Caves. Our work suggests a long history back to before the LGM of economic strategies involving the exploitation of raw plant foods or perhaps dried and stored meat resources. This offers new insights into the economic strategies of Late Pleistocene-early Holocene hunter-gatherers living in, or adjacent to, tropical rainforests.

Source: Rare Late Pleistocene-early Holocene human mandibles from the Niah Caves (Sarawak, Borneo)

Earliest known hominin activity in the Philippines by 709 thousand years ago

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Very exciting news out of the Philippines today, a paper published in Nature describes the discovery of stone tools and a butchered rhino fossil in the Cagayan Valley that dates to between 777,000 – 631,000 years ago. This early date forces us to rethink hominin capabilities in crossing water during the Pleistocene.

Earliest known hominin activity in the Philippines by 709 thousand years ago
Ingicco et al.
Nature, doi:10.1038/s41586-018-0072-8

Over 60 years ago, stone tools and remains of megafauna were discovered on the Southeast Asian islands of Flores, Sulawesi and Luzon, and a Middle Pleistocene colonization by Homo erectus was initially proposed to have occurred on these islands1,2,3,4. However, until the discovery of Homo floresiensis in 2003, claims of the presence of archaic hominins on Wallacean islands were hypothetical owing to the absence of in situ fossils and/or stone artefacts that were excavated from well-documented stratigraphic contexts, or because secure numerical dating methods of these sites were lacking. As a consequence, these claims were generally treated with scepticism5. Here we describe the results of recent excavations at Kalinga in the Cagayan Valley of northern Luzon in the Philippines that have yielded 57 stone tools associated with an almost-complete disarticulated skeleton of Rhinoceros philippinensis, which shows clear signs of butchery, together with other fossil fauna remains attributed to stegodon, Philippine brown deer, freshwater turtle and monitor lizard. All finds originate from a clay-rich bone bed that was dated to between 777 and 631 thousand years ago using electron-spin resonance methods that were applied to tooth enamel and fluvial quartz. This evidence pushes back the proven period of colonization6 of the Philippines by hundreds of thousands of years, and furthermore suggests that early overseas dispersal in Island South East Asia by premodern hominins took place several times during the Early and Middle Pleistocene stages1,2,3,4. The Philippines therefore may have had a central role in southward movements into Wallacea, not only of Pleistocene megafauna7, but also of archaic hominins.

Source: Earliest known hominin activity in the Philippines by 709 thousand years ago | Nature

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Muzium Negara Pieces Together Origins Of Mankind With Peking Man Exhibit

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via The Star, 08 April 2018:

Muzium Negara hosts China’s The Peking Man Exhibition: Zhoukoudian Heritage Site, a touring exhibit shedding light on a species that provides the biological link between ape and man.

Source: Muzium Negara Pieces Together Origins Of Mankind With Peking Man Exhibit | Star2.com

‘They didn’t even have coffins’: The man who dug up the remains of World War II victims in Singapore

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via Chanel NewsAsia, 07 April 2018:

SINGAPORE: In 1962, Goh Thiam Hoon had only been digging in the heavy, damp soil for a short while when he found what he was looking for. But achieving his goal on his first day on the job didn’t make him happy. Far from it. “I could not believe it,” he said, describing feelings of uneasiness.  Mr Goh, who was aged 25 at the time, had just uncovered a mass grave filled with piles of bones belonging to victims of the Second World War. This was near Jalan Puay Poon in Bedok, close to where Temasek Junior College now sits.

Source: ‘They didn’t even have coffins’: The man who dug up the remains of World War II victims in Singapore

Archaeologists Find Deformed Dog Buried Near Ancient Child In The Philippines

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Categories: Bones Philippines

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