Home

Nevada’s Mysterious Cave of the Red-haired Giants

2 Comments

Many Native American tribes from the Northeast and Southwest still relate the legends of the red-haired giants and how their ancestors fought terrible, protracted wars against the giants when they first encountered them in North America almost 15,000 years ago. Others, like the Aztecs and Mayans, recorded their encounters with a race of giants to the north when they ventured out on exploratory expeditions.

Who were these red-haired giants that history books have ignored? Their burial sites and remains have been discovered on almost every continent. In the United States they have been unearthed in Virginia and New York state, Michigan, Illinois and Tennessee, Arizona and Nevada. And it’s the state of Nevada that the story of the native Paiute’s wars against the giant red-haired men transformed from a local myth to a scientific reality during 1924 when the Lovelock Caves were excavated.

At one time the Lovelock Cave was known as Horseshoe cave because of its U-shaped interior. The cavern – located about 20 miles south of modern day Lovelock, Nevada, is approximately 40-feet deep and 60-feet wide. It’s a very old cave that pre-dates humans on this continent. In prehistoric times it lay underneath a giant inland lake called Lahontan that covered much of western Nevada. Geologists have determined the cavern was formed by the lake’s currents and wave action.

The legend: The Paiutes, a Native-American tribe indigenous to parts of Nevada, Utah and Arizona, told early white settlers about their ancestors’ battles with a ferocious race of white, red-haired giants. According to the Paiutes, the giants were already living in the area. The Paiutes named the giants “Si-Te-Cah” that literally means “tule-eaters.” The tule is a fibrous water plant the giants wove into rafts to escape the Paiutes continuous attacks. They used the rafts to navigate across what remained of Lake Lahontan. According to the Paiutes, the red-haired giants stood as tall as 12-feet and were a vicious, unapproachable people that killed and ate captured Paiutes as food.

The Paiutes told the early settlers that after many years of warfare, all the tribes in the area finally joined together to rid themselves of the giants. One day as they chased down the few remaining red-haired enemy, the fleeing giants took refuge in a cave. The tribal warriors demanded their enemy come out and fight, but the giants steadfastly refused to leave their sanctuary. Frustrated at not defeating their enemy with honor, the tribal chiefs had warriors fill the entrance to the cavern with brush and then set it on fire in a bid to force the giants out of the cave. The few that did emerge were instantly slain with volleys of arrows. The giants that remained inside the cavern were asphyxiated. Later, an earthquake rocked the region and the cave entrance collapsed leaving only enough room for bats to enter it and make it their home.

The excavation: Thousands of years later the cave was rediscovered and found to be loaded with bat guano almost 6-feet deep. Decaying bat guano becomes saltpeter, the chief ingredient of gunpowder, and was very valuable. Therefore, in 1911 a company was created specifically to mine the guano. As the mining operation progressed, skeletons and fossils were found. The guano was mined for almost 13 years before archaeologists were notified about the findings. Unfortunately, by then many of the artifacts had been accidentally destroyed or simply discarded.

Nevertheless, what the scientific researchers did recover was staggering: over 10,000 artifacts were unearthed including the mummified remains of two red-haired giants – one, a female 6.5-feet tall, the other male, over 8-feet tall. Many of the artifacts (but not the giants) can be viewed at the small natural history museum located in Winnemucca, Nevada.

Confirmation of the myth: As the excavation of the cave progressed, the archaeologists came to the inescapable conclusion that the Paiutes myth was no myth; it was true. What led them to this realization was the discovery of many broken arrows that had been shot into the cave and a dark layer of burned material under sections of the overlaying guano. Among the thousands of artifacts recovered from this site of an unknown people is what some scientists are convinced is a calendar: a donut-shaped stone with exactly 365 notches carved along its outside rim and 52 corresponding notches along the inside. But that was not to be the final chapter of red-haired giants in Nevada.

In February and June of 1931, two very large skeletons were found in the Humboldt dry lake bed near Lovelock, Nevada. One of the skeletons measured 8.5-feet tall and was later described as having been wrapped in a gum-covered fabric similar to Egyptian mummies. The other was nearly 10-feet long. [Nevada Review-Miner newspaper, June 19, 1931.]

My source: Running ‘Cause I Can’t Fly see links here

Who invented music?

Leave a comment

Did early humans, or even animals invent music?

Music may have originated with animals, allowing our distant ancestors to communicate and build societies

Chimpanzee lead guitarists are thin on the ground. The stage at London’s Royal Albert Hall sees few lemur violin virtuosos. Conventional wisdom has it that music is a relatively modern human invention, and one that, while fun and rewarding, is a luxury rather than a basic necessity of life.

This appears to be borne out by the archaeological evidence. While the first hand axes and spears date back about 1.7 million years and 500,000 years respectively, the earliest known musical instruments are just 40,000 years old.

But dig a little deeper and the story becomes more interesting. While musical instruments appear to be a relatively recent innovation, music itself is almost certainly significantly older. Research suggests it may have allowed our distant ancestors to communicate before the invention of language, been linked to the establishment of monogamy and helped provide the social glue needed for the emergence of the first large early and pre-human societies. There is also emerging evidence that music might have even deeper origins: some monkeys can distinguish between sound patterns in ways similar to how humans can recognise slight differences between melodies.

A literal reading of the prehistory of music begins about 40,000 years ago, with Europe on the brink of a momentous change. The region was then home to the Neanderthals, who had inherited it from earlier human species stretching back a million years. But now a new species of human – our own – was racing across Europe. Homo sapiens were clever in a way that Neanderthals were not. Perhaps most importantly, they were armed with much more effective weapons. Within about 5,000 years our species had spread and multiplied so effectively that it may have outnumbered the Neanderthals 10 to one. Not long afterwards the Neanderthals vanished entirely.

The dramatic pace of this change suggests there were some fundamental differences between our species and the Neanderthals. The evidence on (and in) the ground strengthens the case. For instance, the Neanderthals sometimes lived in caves but for the most part didn’t bother to decorate them, although evidence published in September 2014 suggests they may have created some rudimentary, abstract art, etched into a wall of a cave in Gibraltar (see video on original article).

However when our species arrived cave walls became canvases for impressively ambitious paintings. Modern humans also began carving human figurines and animals out of bone and ivory shortly after they arrived in Europe. And, to go with their new fascination with the visual arts, they began making bone and ivory musical instruments.

“There is a clear musical tradition,” says Nicholas Conard at the University of Tübingen in Germany, who helped discover many of the best examples of these early instruments. “In southwest Germany we have eight flutes from three different sites.”

These artistic endeavours might at first glance seem irrelevant to our species’ remarkable success at the Neanderthals’ expense.

Sourc: BBCNews Read and see more.

We may be descended from apes… but

4 Comments

Who were the apes ancestors?

Ancestor of humans and other mammals was small furry insect eater

Scientists reconstruct the animal that gave rise to every placental mammal following the extinction of the dinosaurs

An artist’s impression of the hypothetical common ancestor of all placental mammals. Photograph: Carl Buell/Science

An identikit picture of a small furry ancestor of humans and most other mammals has been pieced together by scientists.

The shrew-like creature weighed less than half a pound, had a long tail and ate insects. It evolved some 200,000 years after a massive asteroid impact led to the extinction of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago.

From this small beginning sprang every “placental” mammal – which give birth to mature live young – including dogs, cats, rodents, whales and humans.

Placental mammals are the largest branch of the mammalian family tree, with more than 5,100 living species. Non-placental mammals comprise kangaroos and other marsupials, and egg-laying monotremes such as the duck-billed platypus.

Experts recorded 4,500 physical traits for 86 mammalian species, including 40 that are now extinct. The features, which include the presence or absence of wings, teeth, and bone types, produced a data set 10 times larger than any used before to study mammalian ancestry.

Combined with molecular information from DNA samples, it allowed the scientists to pinpoint the likely start of the story of placental mammals.

Read more

Read more

%d bloggers like this: