Great Wall of Abkhazia – Shrouded in mystery

Life in Russia


The Great Wall of Abkhazia

While I was in Abkhazia I learned about the Great Wall or Kelasuri Wall. I was very intrigued, we’ve all heard of the Great Wall of China and Hadrian’s Wall but a wall in Abkhazia, “never”! What is truly incredible is the fact that this wall was 160 kilometers long (99 miles). The construction of this wall must have taken years to erect – and why was it built? From what I found even the date it was built is in question. I found several ranging from antiquity to the seventeenth century were possible, although more recent investigations have have revealed that the construction more than likely took place during the 6th century AD. Along the 99 mile route 300 towers stood, now most of them are entirely gone or largely ruined. I didn’t get to see the wall but I did find one of the…

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The Ivanov Experiments – Part I

Life in Russia

Ivannov experiments Ilia Ivanov

In February 1926, Russian biologist Ilia Ivanov set out for Guinea in French West Africa, where he planned to perform one of the world’s most sensational experiments. Ivanov was an expert in artificial insemination and had used his ground-breaking methods to create an assortment of hybrid animals. Now he was going to try something even more radical – crossing an ape and a human. His trip to Africa was expensive and its purpose highly questionable, yet the Bolshevik government not only sanctioned it but also financed it at a time when few Russians were allowed to leave the country. Why would so eminent a scientist risk his reputation? And why did the Bolsheviks back him?

half man, half ape ape-human hybrid

IT WAS the story with everything: secret papers, an evil Soviet dictator and a zealous zoologist hell-bent on breeding a creature that was half man, half ape. When details of Ilia…

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Denisovan jawbone from the Tibetan Plateau | NATURE

Scientists have uncovered the most complete remains yet from the mysterious ancient-hominin group known as the Denisovans. The jawbone, discovered high on the Tibetan Plateau and dated to more than 160,000 years ago, is also the first Denisovan specimen found outside the Siberian cave in which the hominin was found a decade ago — confirming suspicions that Denisovans were more widespread than the fossil record currently suggests.

Three types of Denisovans revealed by human DNA

Denisovans were capable of crossing major geographical barriers, including the persistent sea lanes that separated Asia from Wallacea and New Guinea. They therefore spanned an incredible diversity of environments, from temperate continental steppes to tropical equatorial islands. The emerging picture suggests that far from moving into sparsely inhabited country, modern humans experienced repeated and persistent interactions as they expanded out of Africa into this highly structured archaic landscape across Eurasia.

Homo Luzonensis discovered in the Phillipines

These specimens display a combination of primitive and derived morphological features that is different from the combination of features found in other species in the genus Homo (including Homo floresiensis and Homo sapiens) and warrants their attribution to a new species, which we name Homo luzonensis. The presence of another and previously unknown hominin species east of the Wallace Line during the Late Pleistocene epoch underscores the importance of island Southeast Asia in the evolution of the genus Homo.

Mysterious hominin teeth from Tongzi, southern China

Overall, our results point to the existence of more than one paleodeme in East Asia during this period: one that can be taxonomically classified as H. erectus sensu stricto (represented by fossils such as Zhoukoudian, Hexian, and Yiyuan) and a second that is characterized by the expression of derived traits more commonly found in later Homo

Denisovans—may have mated with modern humans as recently as 15,000 years ago

In another startling suggestion, the study implies one of those groups may have survived and encountered modern humans as recently as 15,000 to 30,000 years ago, tens of thousands of years later than researchers had thought. “A late surviving lineage [of Denisovans] could have interbred with Homo sapiens” in Southeast Asia, paleoanthropologist Chris Stringer of the Natural History Museum in London, not a member of the team, said in a Skype interview during a session at the annual meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists here. The new study was presented Thursday at the meeting.

Deciphering The Denisovans

Celebrating the 10th anniversary of the excavation of this specimen, this symposium will bring together archaeologists, geneticists, and paleoanthropologists in order to expand and explore the most exciting findings made in the past 10 years related to this archaic hominin group.

Site Of “Blackened Stones” Could Push Back Human Occupation Of Australia By 55,000 Years

On Australia's southern coast scientists have found a puzzle. Every explanation is so improbable it would be dismissed, were it not that the alternatives were just as strange. Among these unlikely options is the astonishing possibility humans reached Australia 55,000 years earlier than the oldest previously proposed dates. If true, it would not only overturn our thinking about the occupation of one continent, but the whole of human migration beyond Africa.

Neanderthal Cannibalism

The researchers found that the Neandertals from Spy were "locals" who hunted most of their prey near the Belgian sites. But the Goyet Neandertals obtained most of their prey outside of the local ecosystem and were therefore classified as non-local. What's more, the bones of these Neanderthals display evidence of intensive cannibalism. The majority of the Goyet Neandertal bones bear traces of defleshing, disarticulation, and fracturing.

Megaliths of Sulawesi in Indonesia

The stone figures found in the valley have thin bodies, big heads, round eyes and lines to depict eyebrows, cheeks and chins. Some are standing with half their bodies buried in the vast meadow. Until today, more than 400 stone carvings have been found in Bada Valley, however only 30 depict human forms. The biggest statue reaches 4 meters in diameter and is around 4 m tall.