Saturday, August 23, 2014

Oldest Metal Object To Date In Middle East Found in Woman's Tomb

The Oldest Metal Object Found to Date in the Middle East

According to Dr. Danny Rosenberg of the University of Haifa’s Zinman Institute of Archeology, the copper awl is a unique and very rare artifact, whose discovery, along with other items during the excavations at Tel Tsaf in the Jordan Valley, indicates that the site was an ancient international commercial center

Released:21-Aug-2014 4:00 AM EDT
Source Newsroom:University of Haifa
Newswise — A copper awl, the oldest metal object found to date in the Middle East, was discovered during the excavations at Tel Tsaf, according to a recent study published by researchers from the Zinman Institute of Archaeology and the Department of archaeology at the University of Haifa , in conjunction with researchers from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the German Archaeological Institute of Berlin. According to the study, which appeared in the prestigious journal PLOS One, the awl dates back to the late 6th millennium or the early 5th millennium BCE, moving back by several hundred years the date it was previously thought that the peoples of the region began to use metals.

Only 4 centimeters long, and originally set in a wooden handle.

Hello...Has No Chinese Archaeologist Ever Heard of the Tocharians???

From Xinhua 2014-08-17 15:06:04

YINCHUAN, Aug. 17 (Xinhua) -- The remains of a human skull found in a 1,400-year-old tomb in China possibly belonged to a man of European origin, an initial investigation by scientists revealed on Sunday.

The skull was found in the M1401 tomb in Guyuan City in northwest China's Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region.

"The man had a protruding nasal bone and a sunk nasion, which are typical features of Europeans," said Zhang Quanchao, professor with the Research Center for Chinese Frontier Archaeology of Jilin University.

Zhang believes the skull belonged to a 40-year-old man of European origin.  Further excavation is needed for a firm conclusion, he said.

"If we can find his teeth and more bones, we will have a more precise judgement about his age," he said.

The tomb was first discovered in the 1980s. Illegal excavation was reported this year, and archaeologists began to unearth the tomb in June for protection.  More than 40 clay figures, copper coins and a number of murals were found in the tomb, according to Zhu Cunshi, head of the archaeological team.

Zhu said the tomb was built in the early Tang Dynasty (618-907).  Ningxia is along the ancient Silk Road that connected China with Europe through commerce.

Editor: Xiang Bo

Wall painting of "Tocharian Princes" from Cave of the Sixteen Sword-Bearers (no. 8), Qizil, Tarim Basin, Xinjiang, China. Carbon 14 date: 432–538 AD. Original in Museum für Indische Kunst, Berlin.
You can't really see the faces in this image, but you can see the color of three of the four men's hair -- two redheads and one blonde. 
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