Tiny Tools Are Evidence Of Human's Early Asian Expansion

Trying to create a small, delicate drawing is more difficult than creating a simple, large drawing. In a similar way, our stone-wielding ancestors found it harder to make small, delicate stone tools than simple, large tools like axes. This is why researchers were surprised to find that by around 45,000 years ago a community in Sri Lanka had mastered such technology.

A collection of microliths (small stone tools) were found in the Fa-Hien Lena Cave in Sri Lanka. These advanced tools helped humanity's ancestors thrive despite the difficult rainforest environment by allowing them to hunt small tree-dwelling animals. And at 45,000 years old, the microliths are evidence that humanity settled the edges of South Asia earlier than was previously thought.

The First Aurora

Assyrian astronomers almost 2,700 years ago were the first people (we know of) to document auroras. The colorful lights, known in the Northern hemisphere as the northern lights, occur because waves of charged particles from the sun hit our planet's magnetic field. Normally these are not visible in Assyria, which is too close to the equator. But in the early 600s BCE, a massive solar wave hit the earth. The effects were visible as far south as Mesopotamia. And the awed locals wrote about their experiences: three cuneiform tablets from Nineveh document this unusual event, and the strange "red glow," "red cloud," and "red sky" that they saw.

A Virtual Tour of China's Yungang Grottos

This UNESCO world heritage site is not one but a series of over fifty Buddhist temple! They were carved in the 400s and 500s CE, first under the Northern Wei dynasty's patronage which made a nearby city its capital, then under private patronage after the capital was moved away.

Because the Huns did not have a written language, there are many things unknown about the group that pushed out of the Eurasian Steppe in the 400s CE and functionally ended the Western Roman Empire.  What we know was written by outsiders about the Huns. And often the sources are decades or even centuries later.

A Bronze Age Metropolis

Two years of excavations of an early Bronze Age city uncovered in northern Israel have led to some interesting conclusions. En Esur, as it has been named, was a highly organized community. There were grain silos, burial caves, public buildings, and densely packed housing around a network of streets. Just to give an idea of how well-managed En Esur was: all the streets were maintained with a cover of plaster and stones, to help prevent flooding. In total, the city of En Esur covered about 160 acres. And it appears to have been home to about 6,000 people. While its population and size were comparable to other Levantine cities at the time, likely making it a regional power city, it was smaller than those in Mesopotamia and Egypt.

A Scary Fact

Humans have produced more plastic over the last decade (2010s) than was created in the entire 20th century.

In countries with presidents, about 94% of them have some mechanism for removing them from office. And while such mechanisms are set in motion often, they usually fail. Since 1990, at least 132 different heads of state have faced some 272 impeachment proposals in 63 countries. Almost all presidents remained in office, though.

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    By Lillian Audette

    This blog is a collection of the interesting, the weird, and sometimes the need-to-know about history, culled from around the internet. It has pictures, it has quotes, it occasionally has my own opinions on things. If you want to know more about anything posted, follow the link at the "source" on the bottom of each post. And if you really like my work, buy me a coffee or become a patron!

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