mesolithic period

Isle of Skye, Scotland

Skye, or the Isle of Skye (/skaɪ/; Scottish Gaelic: An t-Eilean Sgitheanach or Eilean a’ Cheò), is the largest and most northerly major island in the Inner Hebrides of Scotland. The island’s peninsulas radiate from a mountainous centre dominated by the Cuillins, the rocky slopes of which provide some of the most dramatic mountain scenery in the country.Although it has been suggested that the Gaelic Sgitheanach describes a winged shape there is no definitive agreement as to the name’s origins.
The island has been occupied since the Mesolithic period and its history includes a time of Norse rule and a long period of domination by Clan MacLeod and Clan Donald. The 18th-century Jacobite risings led to the breaking up of the clan system and subsequent Clearances that replaced entire communities with sheep farms, some of which also involved forced emigrations to distant lands. Resident numbers declined from over 20,000 in the early 19th century to just under 9,000 by the closing decade of the 20th century. Skye’s population increased by 4 per cent between 1991 and 2001.About a third of the residents were Gaelic speakers in 2001, and although their numbers are in decline, this aspect of island culture remains important.
The main industries are tourism, agriculture, fishing and forestry. Skye is part of the Highland Council local government area. The island’s largest settlement is Portree, known for its picturesque harbour. There are links to various nearby islands by ferry and, since 1995, to the mainland by a road bridge. The climate is mild, wet and windy. The abundant wildlife includes the golden eagle, red deer and Atlantic salmon. The local flora is dominated by heather moor, and there are nationally important invertebrate populations on the surrounding sea bed. Skye has provided the locations for various novels and feature films and is celebrated in poetry and song.


independent.co.uk
12,000-year-old grave of female shaman excavated in northern Israel
The 12,000-year-old grave of a female shaman has been unearthed by archaeologists in northern Israel, providing a new insight into religious practices in the prehistoric world. The woman's remains were buried in the tomb at Hilazon Cave in Galilee along with a human foot, an eagle’s wing, a leopard’s pelvic bone and 86 tortoise shells.

The grave of a female shaman has been discovered in northern Israel.  The graves of female shamans are quite common throughout Asia but never in Israel till now.  Shamanism is often believed to be the earliest stage of religion according to historians and anthropologists of religion and can be found in various parts of the world.  The ancient Near East is one part of the world where evidence of shamanism was not found until recently.  

The shaman herself was believed to be from the Natufian culture, a little known Near Eastern culture that appeared during the Mesolithic period (between Paleolithic and Neolithic) during the Stone Age.  From what we know about Natufians is that they were sedentary before becoming agricultural, which is both rare and difficult among ancient Near Eastern cultures, or it is at least for those furthest away from the eastern Mediterranean.  Also the first signs of the domestication of the dog is found among the Natufians.

Other than that, not much is known about the Natufians.  They did have settlements close to major important cities and sites that exist today or are mentioned in history.  But other than that they remain a mystery.     

~Hasmonean

the worlds oldest statue

The statue is twice as old as the Egyptian pyramids, and contains arguably the most ancient coded message on the planet

The Shigir Idol, is estimated to be 9,500 years old and is regarded as the worlds most mysterious object.

It was made during the Mesolithic period, around 7,500 BCE but was only discovered in 1890 in Kirovgrad, Sverdlovsk region, in the Ural Mountains.

The statue is currently displayed in the “Historic Exhibition” Museum in Yekaterinburg, Russia and is guarded 24 hours a day by Russian special forces.

Discovery

The idol was discovered on January 24, 1894 at a depth of 4m in the peat bog of Shigir, on the eastern slope of the Middle Urals, approximately 100 km from Yekaterinburg. Investigations in this area had begun 40 years earlier after the discovery of a variety of prehistoric objects in an open-air gold mine.

It was extracted in several parts; professor D. I. Lobanov combined the main fragments to reconstitute a sculpture 2.80m high.

In 1914 the archaeologist Vladimir Tolmachev proposed a variant of this reconstruction by integrating the unused fragments.

Some of these fragments were reported lost, so only Tolmachev’s drawings of them remain.

Since 2003 the sculpture has also been displayed in a glass box filled with inert gas.

The body is flat and rectangular and strange Geometrical motifs decorate its surface. Horizontal lines at the level of the thorax seem to represent ribs, and lines broken in chevrons cover the rest of the body. The rest of the markings remain unexplained

No consensus exists about the meaning of the motifs, or what the sculpture represented. Claims have been made that the motifs refer to aliens or gods.

Expert view

Now Russian experts say the remarkable relic contains encoded information on the ‘creation of the world’ – a message to modern man from the Mesolithic era of the Stone Age.

THE SHIGIR IDOL: Strange facts

The Shigir Idol is thought to be the most ancient wooden sculpture in the world.

It stands 9.2ft (2.8 metres) in height but originally was 17.4ft (5.3 metres) tall, as high as a two storey house.
Almost 6.5ft (2 metres) of the artefact went missing during Russian’s 20th century political turmoil, though Siberian archaeologist Vladimir Tolmachev drew images of all the pieces.

The messages carved into the ornament ‘remain ‘an utter mystery to modern man’, according to experts.

Some say the straight lines could denote land, or horizon – the boundary between earth and sky, water and sky, or the borderline between the worlds.

A wavy line or zigzag symbolised the watery element, snake, lizard, or determined a certain border.

But the marks could have multiple meanings for the ancient statue-makers who gave the idol seven faces, only one of which is three-dimensional.

The faces may be images of spirits that inhabited the human world in ancient times.

New research suggests continuous human presence in Stonehenge landscape for ten millennia

New research has revealed that the landscape around Stonehenge has been continuously occupied for  around 10,000 years.The findings – a series of radiocarbon dates from a site 1.5 miles east of the famous prehistoric  monument – strengthens  the likelihood that the area was of considerable political significance  for literally thousands of years before Stonehenge and its neighbouring monuments were built.

The earliest definitive evidence of human activity in the area – dating from around 8000 BC – is from a site 100 metres north of Stonehenge. But now a new series of 11 radiocarbon dates reveal that an area 1.5 miles east of the site of Stonehenge was inhabited between 7600 and 4700 BC, during the pre-agricultural ‘Mesolithic’ period. Read more.