Archaeology in the News! (well, not *new* news :P )

Greetings, gentle readers! Just a quick link I wanted to post to a fun story about two great things: archaeology and beer! As you’ve been reading this blog, you’ll know that this isn’t exactly *new* news, but it’s fun nonetheless! 

Spoiler alert: The beer had penicillin in it from the fermentation process!

http://www.care2.com/causes/real-food/blog/ancient-beer-recipe-supplied-antibiotics/

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Your Ancestors Were Awesome

Greetings, gentle readers! It’s been a bit too long but that’s only because I’ve been ~working~ It’s shaping up to be a truly entertaining second season here at ‘Ancient Aliens’ and when things actually are ready to be beamed to your TV contraptions, I’ll let you know! Until then, we keep it real on the internet and every day is filled with new and exciting factoids. 

I’ve noticed a theme in my work during the last weeks, and it is with that that I provide a slightly ranty post about ancient folks and how they are often denied some much-needed and hard-earned credit.

Ancient folks! They did all kinds of crazy things like figure out that a round thing under a box thing made it move faster! They discovered that if you left a bunch of things in a jar for a while it would do all kinds of crazy things and you could strain it all and suddenly a super tasty beverage exists! They realized that if you take a bunch of certain things, smash them to tiny bits and add oil or water you can turn that woven cloth thing you just made into new a bunch of awesome colors! It’s amazing! And yet more often than not, our ancestors aren’t given credit for these crazy things they figured out. Why, you may ask? Because we fancy ‘modern’ people have gotten it into our brains that people who came before us couldn’t possibly have had the intelligence or skill required to do these things. Ridiculous, right? Humans as a whole tend to be a pretty clever bunch. I mean, we got the whole ‘using tools’ thing down pretty solidly and we really like to build big things and we seem to have this crazy habit of getting really inspired and motivated and creating pretty spectacular things. It’s just what we do! We’ve been doing it since day one and will probably continue to do so until the sun goes all red giant and engulfs the first half of our solar system (or perhaps before then if we choose to leave and terraform a new area and everyone goes about speaking English and Mandarin and it’s awesome). But I digress. Here’s what I’m talking about:

Pyramids: People are constantly asking me about these silly things. How were they built?! Why were they built?! How could puny humans build such a massive structure?!? Why are they all over the world??!?! It’s quite simple, actually. In fact, you can experience the magic and wonder of pyramid building in your own yard! Take a shovel, get a bit of dirt on it and deposit the dirt in a nice place. Repeat this process a few times. Notice how your dirt pile is beginning to make a little mound, that kind of looks like a less-angular pyramid? You have now experienced the process that led to massive ancient earthworks (mounds, defensive structures, snakes…) and in turn to pyramids! Cool, huh?

Beer: Since I’m becoming a bit of a connoisseur of ancient ales (I ❤ you, Dogfish Head) I’m beginning to see a trend in ancient beverages. Folks realized pretty early on (think 9000 BC early on) that if you add honey to something in a jar, close the lid and let it sit for a while *science* happens. They then realized this science could be controlled and if you combined some different ingredients, the result could actually be real tasty! For example, see this, this and this

 

Big Buildings: Huge buildings created by puny humans? Surely not! I disagree pretty vehemently. You know all those big cathedrals that people built because they were so inspired to create the biggest and baddest monument for their particular preferred deity? It’s a lot like that, only older and with bigger rocks. But they had no physics or math rules! Sure they did. They just didn’t have the same names that we use. I’m pretty sure that people were making Pythagorean-shaped angles before Pythagoras put his name on the idea and wrote it down and that Fibonacci sequences were happening before he too wrote it down and put his name on it. Yes, those blocks and stones are huge. Basic winching done on a HUGE scale combined with actual physical manpower also on a HUGE scale can have amazing results. People got creative and made it work.

OMG it’s underwater: Water tables rise. In fact, they’ve risen quite a bit over the last few thousand years. It also doesn’t help things when people go and build dams all over the place and break natural river flows (*ahem* Nile… ¬_¬). Coastlines come and go and more often than not things either end up underwater or much farther away from water sources or coastlines than they originally were. Many ancient cities that appear to randomly be on hills used to be coastal! Alternately, many ancient cities that were coastal are now underwater because they were a bit too close to the coast. It all depends where things are built and what the water situation is. 

If I leave you with any thoughts from this post, gentle readers, it’s that you should never underestimate the capabilities of people in large groups. You can do pretty much anything. 

Oh! And here’s a link that was sent to me and that I now pass on to you! It kind of fits the theme of this post.Happy reading! 10 Ancient Civilizations That Were Incredibly Advanced