2008 Unexplainable Recap on Exciting Headlines: January

In January, archeology finds for this month uncovered a nearly complete human skull that has quite an age attached to it. In this article, you will also encounter information concerning the discovery of an ancient civilization in Russia.

100,000-year-old Human Skull Unearthed

Headlines in January alerted us to the nearly complete human skull that Chinese archaeologists were honored to find. The skull fossil is quite a discovery because it is believed to date back 100,000 years. According to the director of the State Administration of Cultural Heritage, this find will go down in history as the “greatest discovery in China after the Peking Man and Upper Cave Man skull fossils were found in Beijing early last century.” Researchers will now have a chance to explore a critical puzzle piece concerning human evolution.

The skull is attached to the Henan excavation, which took place after two years of digging and exploring at the site in Xuchang. The excavation site measured about 260 sq m , just one-hundredth of the entire Paleolithic site. Archeologists are excited about what the future may bring, as they expect many other finds to emerge, further unlocking details surrounding the Henan culture.

As for the fossil, the skull was comprised of 16 pieces, complete with protruding eyebrows and a small forehead. Researchers are also in awe of the completeness of the skull that still possesses a fossilized membrane on the inner side. This will allow scientists to track the nerves of the Paleolithic ancestors. The Henan site has been pretty fruitful over the past couple of years. A range of more than 30,000 animal fossils, as well as stone and bone artifacts were uncovered in such a small area.  

If you are interested in knowing more about ancient discoveries in China, spend a bit of time researching the Peking Man (in Beijing , dating back 200,000 to 700,000 years); the Upper Cave Man (in Beijing – about 18,000 years old); and the Jinniushan Man (in Liaoning – 150,000 years old).

Ancient Civilization Found

While reports of this find slowly trickled in, it wasn’t until January that the rest of the world learned that Russian archaeologists positioned in Kyrgyzstan discovered the remains of what they believe to have been a rather prosperous metropolis. With an estimated age of 2,500 years, the find was located at the bottom of Lake Issyk Kul , right in the Kyrgyz Mountains. The excavation team was led by the vice president of the Kyrgyz Academy of Sciences (Vladimir Ploskikh), which made it his 8th expedition to the lake. It was pretty exciting for the team to find the landmark after visiting the site for many years.

Archeologists were able to identify the once-thriving city as prosperous by the kinds of artifacts that were uncovered during the expedition. Scythian burial mounds (representing a nation of horse-riding nomadic pastoralists that dominated during Classical Antiquity) were uncovered. A handful of bronze artifacts also shed light on the advancements that this particular civilization enjoyed, including a ritual bronze cauldron that was uncovered in a watery grave at the bottom of the lake. The craftsmanship of the artifacts will allow scientists to explain just how they created such pieces.

The lake where the ancient civilization was found is situated in the northern Tian Shan Mountains in eastern Kyrgyzstan. It is also considered the ninth largest lake in the world by volume in the world and the second largest saline lake after the Caspian Sea.