Mitochondrial DNA is the DNA located in mitochondria, cellular organelles within eukaryotic cells that convert chemical energy from food into a form that cells can use, adenosine triphosphate. Mitochondrial DNA is only a portion of the DNA in a eukaryotic cell, most of the DNA can be found in the cell nucleus and, in plants and algae. In humans, the 16,569 base pairs of mitochondrial DNA encode for only 37 genes, human mitochondrial DNA was the first significant part of the human genome to be sequenced. In most species, including humans, mtDNA is inherited solely from the mother, since animal mtDNA evolves faster than nuclear genetic markers, it represents a mainstay of phylogenetics and evolutionary biology. It permits an examination of the relatedness of populations, and so has become important in anthropology and this theory is called the endosymbiotic theory. Each mitochondrion is estimated to contain 2–10 mtDNA copies, the reasons why mitochondria have retained some genes are debated. Recent analysis of a range of mtDNA genomes suggests that both these features may dictate mitochondrial gene retention.
In most multicellular organisms, mtDNA is inherited from the mother, mechanisms for this include simple dilution, degradation of sperm mtDNA in the male genital tract, in the fertilized egg, and, at least in a few organisms, failure of sperm mtDNA to enter the egg. Whatever the mechanism, this single parent pattern of inheritance is found in most animals, most plants. In sexual reproduction, mitochondria are inherited exclusively from the mother. Also, most mitochondria are present at the base of the sperms tail, in 1999 it was reported that paternal sperm mitochondria are marked with ubiquitin to select them for destruction inside the embryo. Some in vitro techniques, particularly injecting a sperm into an oocyte. The fact that mitochondrial DNA is maternally inherited enables researchers to trace maternal lineage far back in time. This is usually accomplished on human mitochondrial DNA by sequencing the hypervariable control regions, hVR1, for example, consists of about 440 base pairs. These 440 base pairs are compared to the regions of other individuals to determine maternal lineage.
Most often, the comparison is made to the revised Cambridge Reference Sequence, vilà et al. have published studies tracing the matrilineal descent of domestic dogs to wolves. The concept of the Mitochondrial Eve is based on the type of analysis. MtDNA is highly conserved, and its relatively slow mutation rates make it useful for studying the evolutionary relationships—phylogeny—of organisms, biologists can determine and compare mtDNA sequences among different species and use the comparisons to build an evolutionary tree for the species examined
The Neandertal is a small valley of the river Düssel in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia, located about 12 km east of Düsseldorf, the capital city of North Rhine-Westphalia. The valley lies within the limits of the towns of Erkrath, in August,1856, the area became famous for the discovery of Neanderthal 1, the first specimen of Homo neanderthalensis to be found. The Neandertal was originally a limestone canyon widely known for its scenery, waterfalls. However, industrial quarrying during the 19th and 20th centuries removed most of the limestone and it was during such a quarrying operation that the bones of the original Neanderthal man were found in a cave. Neither the cave nor the cliff in which the bones were located still exists, during the 19th century the valley was called Neandershöhle, after 1850, Neanderthal. It was named after Joachim Neander, a 17th-century German pastor, Neander is the Greek translation of his family name Neumann, both names mean new man. Neumann lived in nearby Düsseldorf and loved the valley for giving him the inspiration for his compositions, former names of the gorge were Das Gesteins and Das Hundsklipp.
In 1901 an orthographic reform in Germany changed the spelling of Thal to Tal, scientific names, such as Homo neanderthalensis and Homo sapiens neanderthalensis for Neanderthal remained unchanged, because the laws of taxonomy retain the original spelling at the time of naming. Neanderthal station nearby still carries the name Neanderthal, because the nearby Neanderthal Museum retains the original spelling, since the initial discovery of the specimen of the valley there have been additional excavations. Multiple artifacts and human skeletal fragments have been found in the valley, excavations have found two cranial fragments that seem to fit onto the original Neandertal 1 calotte. Excavations performed in 1997 and 2000 found new human skeletal pieces, there are questions as to whether these remains are those of Neandertals. Two cranial pieces were unearthed, one, a left zygomatic and partial body and second and these pieces appeared to fit the Neandertal 1 calotte perfectly, although these pieces are not specifically from Neandertals.
These discoveries may or may not be attributable to the Neandertals, Neanderthal Museum Neanderthal Man type site rediscovered
Neolithic flint mines of Spiennes
The mines were active during the mid and late Neolithic between 4,300 and 2,200 BC. Declared to be remarkable for the diversity of technological solutions used for extraction the site, discovered in 1843, the first excavations were undertaken during railway construction in 1867 and intermittent excavations have been carried out up to the present day. The Mines of Spiennes cover some 100 ha of downland four miles south-east of the city of Mons, the site is dotted with millions of scraps of worked flint and numerous mining pits, that Neolithic settlers have gradually turned into vertical mine shafts to depths of over 10 m. Research has illustrated Neolithic techniques for the cutting of the flint and the extraction of large slabs of flint, the nodules were extracted using flint picks. The stones were knapped into rough-out shapes of axes, the SILEXS Interpretive Centre has opened in spring 2015. The rough-outs were exchanged over an area, about 150 km. Polishing strengthens the product, making the axe- or adze-head last longer.
The smooth surface aids the cutting action by lowering friction with the wood, the axes were used initially for forest clearance during the Neolithic period, and for shaping wood for structural applications, such as timber for huts and canoes. The site has been compared with Grimes Graves and Cissbury in the United Kingdom, and Krzemionki in Poland, different hard rocks were used for the polished stone axes. Examples include the Langdale axe industry and Tievebulliagh, guillaume, Ph. Lipinski & A. Masson, Les mines de silex néolithiques de la Meuse dans le contexte européen. Musées de la Meuse, Sampigny 1987, F. Gosselin, Un site dexploitation du silex à Spiennes, au lieu-dit Petit-Spiennes. F. Hubert, Une minière néolithique à silex au Camp-à-Cayaux de Spiennes, F. Hubert, Lexploitation préhistorique du silex à Spiennes. Ministère de la Région wallonne, Direction générale de lAménagement du Territoire, du Logement et du Patrimoine, R. Shepherd, Prehistoric Mining and Allied Industries. Société de recherches préhistoriques en Hainaut, Minières néolithiques à Spiennes,1997 ICOMOS evaluation Collet, H.
Les mines néolithiques de Spiennes, état des connaissances et perspectives de recherche. Section 10, The Neolithic in the Near East and Europe, actes du XIVème congrès UISPP, Université de Liège, Belgique,2 –8 septembre 2001 H. Collet, A. Hauzeur & J. Lech,2008. The prehistoric flint mining complex at Spiennes on the occasion of its discovery 140 years ago In P. Allard, F. Bostyn, flint mining in Prehistoric Europe, Interpreting the archaeological records. European Association of Archaeologists, 12th Annual Meeting, Poland, 19–24 September 2006, H. Collet,2014. Les minières néolithiques de silex de Spiennes
Karst topography is a landscape formed from the dissolution of soluble rocks such as limestone and gypsum. It is characterized by underground drainage systems with sinkholes and caves and it has been documented for more weathering-resistant rocks, such as quartzite, given the right conditions. Subterranean drainage may limit surface water, with few to no rivers or lakes, the English word karst was borrowed from German Karst in the late 19th century. The German word came into use before the 19th century, according to the prevalent interpretation, the term is derived from the German name for the Karst region, a limestone plateau above the city of Trieste in the northern Adriatic. Scholars disagree, however, on whether the German word was borrowed from Slovene, the Slovene common noun kras was first attested in the 18th century, and the adjective form kraški in the 16th century. The Slovene words arose through metathesis from the reconstructed form *korsъ, the word is of Mediterranean origin, believed to derive from some Romanized Illyrian base.
It has been suggested that the word may derive from the Proto-Indo-European root karra- rock, the name may be connected to the oronym Karsádios oros cited by Ptolemy, and perhaps to Latin Carusardius. The development of karst occurs whenever acidic water starts to break down the surface of bedrock near its cracks, as the bedrock continues to degrade, its cracks tend to get bigger. As time goes on, these fractures will become wider, if this underground drainage system does form, it will speed up the development of karst formations there because more water will be able to flow through the region, giving it more erosive power. The carbonic acid that causes karstic features is formed as rain passes through the atmosphere picking up carbon dioxide, once the rain reaches the ground, it may pass through soil that can provide much more CO2 to form a weak carbonic acid solution, which dissolves calcium carbonate. The oxidation of sulfides leading to the formation of acid can be one of the corrosion factors in karst formation.
As oxygen -rich surface waters seep into deep anoxic karst systems, they bring oxygen, sulfuric acid reacts with calcium carbonate, causing increased erosion within the limestone formation. This chain of reactions is, This reaction chain forms gypsum, the karstification of a landscape may result in a variety of large- or small-scale features both on the surface and beneath. On exposed surfaces, small features may include solution flutes, limestone pavement, medium-sized surface features may include sinkholes or cenotes, vertical shafts, disappearing streams, and reappearing springs. Large-scale features may include limestone pavements and karst valleys, mature karst landscapes, where more bedrock has been removed than remains, may result in karst towers, or haystack/eggbox landscapes. Beneath the surface, complex underground systems and extensive caves. Some of the most dramatic of these formations can be seen in Thailands Phangnga Bay, calcium carbonate dissolved into water may precipitate out where the water discharges some of its dissolved carbon dioxide.
Rivers which emerge from springs may produce tufa terraces, consisting of layers of calcite deposited over extended periods of time, in caves, a variety of features collectively called speleothems are formed by deposition of calcium carbonate and other dissolved minerals
Hominoids are a primate superfamily, the hominid family is currently considered to comprise both the great ape lineages and human lineages within the hominoid superfamily. The Homininae comprise both the human lineages and the African ape lineages, the term African apes refers only to chimpanzees and gorillas. The terminology of the biological family is currently in flux. The term hominin refers to any genus in the human tribe, the great apes were considered the closest relatives of human beings, based on morphological similarity. The science arguably began in the late 19th century when important discoveries occurred that led to the study of human evolution. The discovery of the Neanderthal in Germany, Thomas Huxleys Evidence as to Mans Place in Nature, the modern field of paleoanthropology began in the 19th century with the discovery of Neanderthal man, and with evidence of so-called cave men. Debates between Thomas Huxley and Richard Owen focused on the idea of human evolution, Huxley convincingly illustrated many of the similarities and differences between humans and apes in his 1863 book Evidence as to Mans Place in Nature.
By the time Darwin published his own book on the subject, Descent of Man, even many of Darwins original supporters balked at the idea that human beings could have evolved their apparently boundless mental capacities and moral sensibilities through natural selection. Prior to todays general acceptance of Africa as the root of genus Homo, although Schlosser was very cautious, identifying the tooth only as “. Anthropoide g. et sp. indet. ”He was hopeful that future work would discover a new anthropoid in China. Eleven years later, the Swedish geologist Johan Gunnar Andersson was sent to China as a mining advisor and it was he who, in 1918, discovered the sites around Zhoukoudian, a village about 50 kilometers southwest of Beijing. However, because of the nature of the initial finds. Work did not resume until 1921, when the Austrian paleontologist, Otto Zdansky, fresh with his degree from Vienna. Zdansky conducted short-term excavations at Locality 1 in 1921 and 1923, with that done, Zdansky returned to Austria and suspended all fieldwork.
News of the fossil hominin teeth delighted the scientific community in Beijing, at the epicenter of excitement was Davidson Black, a Canadian-born anatomist working at Peking Union Medical College. Black shared Andersson’s interest, as well as his view that central Asia was a home for early humankind. The Zhoukoudian Project came into existence in the spring of 1927, being the first institution of its kind, the Cenozoic Laboratory opened up new avenues for the study of paleogeology and paleontology in China. The Laboratory was the precursor of the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology of the Chinese Academy of Science, the first of the major project finds are attributed to the young Swedish paleontologist, Anders Birger Bohlin, serving as the field advisor at Zhoukoudian. He recovered a left lower molar that Black identified as unmistakably human, the news was at first met with skepticism, and many scholars had reservations that a single tooth was sufficient to justify the naming of a new type of early hominin
Devetàshka cave is a huge karst cave around 7 km east of Letnitsa and 15 km northeast of Lovech, near the village of Devetaki on the east bank of the river Osam, in Bulgaria. The site has continuously occupied by Paleo humans for tens of thousands of years. Devetashka cave is located approximately 2 km from the village of Devetaki, a narrow path by the river lead from the village to the cave. It can be accessed directly via Road 301 along a 400 m long dirt road, the site is 35 m wide and 30 m high at the entrance. The cave widens after around 40 m, forming a hall with an area of 2,400 m2. Earliest traces of human presence back to the Middle Paleolithic around 70,000 years ago. The site contained one of the richest sources of Neolithic cultural artifacts, besides significant archaeological findings, Devetashka cave is provides a habitat for a wide diversity of faunal residents. During the breeding season of mammalian species in the cave from early June to the end of July, thirty-four species of mammals, four of which are included in the Red List and fifteen species of bats are to be found at the Devetashka cave.
Devetashka cave was shown in the action movie The Expendables 2, the Supreme Administrative Court of Bulgaria declared that several activities during filming violated Bulgarias environmental regulations. A contractor hired by The Expendables crew was subsequently fined for trimming the shrubbery in front of the site, after a fatal accident during the filming of a stunt, the production team again clashed with the authorities over damages to the cave. Loud noises, bright lights, crowds of people and fires in close proximity to the cave might have caused the displacement of large numbers of bats from the cave, however, by late 2012, the majority of the bats had returned to the cave. Media related to Devetashka cave at Wikimedia Commons Devetashka Cave
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina, sometimes called Bosnia-Herzegovina, and, in short, often known informally as Bosnia, is a country in Southeastern Europe located on the Balkan Peninsula. Sarajevo is the capital and largest city, in the central and eastern interior of the country the geography is mountainous, in the northwest it is moderately hilly, and the northeast is predominantly flatland. The inland is a larger region and has a moderate continental climate, with hot summers and cold. The southern tip of the country has a Mediterranean climate and plain topography and Herzegovina is a region that traces permanent human settlement back to the Neolithic age and after which it was populated by several Illyrian and Celtic civilizations. Culturally and socially, the country has a rich history, the Ottomans brought Islam to the region, and altered much of the cultural and social outlook of the country. This was followed by annexation into the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, which lasted up until World War I.
In the interwar period, Bosnia was part of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia and after World War II, following the dissolution of Yugoslavia, the country proclaimed independence in 1992, which was followed by the Bosnian War, lasting until late 1995. The country is home to three ethnic groups or, constituent peoples, as specified in the constitution. Bosniaks are the largest group of the three, with Serbs second and Croats third, a native of Bosnia and Herzegovina, regardless of ethnicity, is identified in English as a Bosnian. The terms Herzegovinian and Bosnian are maintained as a rather than ethnic distinction. Moreover, the country was simply called Bosnia until the Austro-Hungarian occupation at the end of the 19th century and Herzegovina has a bicameral legislature and a three-member Presidency composed of a member of each major ethnic group. The Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina is itself complex and consists of 10 cantons, the country has been a member of the Council of Europe since April 2002 and a founding member of the Mediterranean Union upon its establishment in July 2008.
The name is believed to have derived from the hydronym of the river Bosna coursing through the Bosnian heartland. According to philologist Anton Mayer the name Bosna could be derived from Illyrian Bass-an-as which would be a diversion of the Proto-Indo-European root bos or bogh, meaning the running water. According to English medievalist William Miller the Slavic settlers in Bosnia adapted the Latin designation Basante, to their own idiom by calling the stream Bosna, the name Herzegovina originates from Bosnian magnate Stephen Vukčić Kosačas title, Herceg of Hum and the Coast. Hum, formerly Zahumlje, was a medieval principality that was conquered by the Bosnian Banate in the first half of the 14th century. Bosnia is located in the western Balkans, bordering Croatia to the north and west, Serbia to the east and it has a coastline about 20 kilometres long surrounding the city of Neum. It lies between latitudes 42° and 46° N, and longitudes 15° and 20° E, the countrys name comes from the two regions Bosnia and Herzegovina, which have a very vaguely defined border between them
Cave paintings are painted drawings on cave walls or ceilings, mainly of prehistoric origin, to some 40,000 years ago in Eurasia. The exact purpose of the Paleolithic cave paintings is not known, evidence suggests that they were not merely decorations of living areas since the caves in which they have been found do not have signs of ongoing habitation. They are located in areas of caves that are not easily accessible. Some theories hold that cave paintings may have been a way of communicating with others, the paintings are remarkably similar around the world, with animals being common subjects that give the most impressive images. Humans mainly appear as images of hands, mostly hand stencils made by blowing pigment on a hand held to the wall. The earliest known cave paintings/drawings of animals are at least 35,000 years old and are found in Pettakere cave on the island of Sulawesi in Indonesia, previously it was believed that the earliest paintings were in Europe. The earliest non-figurative rock art dates back to approximately 40,000 years ago, nearly 340 caves have now been discovered in France and Spain that contain art from prehistoric times.
But subsequent technology has made it possible to date the paintings by sampling the pigment itself, the choice of subject matter can indicate chronology. For instance, the reindeer depicted in the Spanish cave of Cueva de las Monedas places the drawings in the last Ice Age. The oldest date given to a cave painting is now a pig that has a minimum age of 35,400 years old at Pettakere cave in Sulawesi. Indonesian and Australian scientists have dated other non-figurative paintings on the walls to be approximately 40,000 years old, the method they used to confirm this was dating the age of the stalactites that formed over the top of the paintings. The art is similar in style and method to that of the Indonesian caves as there were hand stencils and this date coincides with the earliest known evidence for Homo sapiens in Europe. Because of the cave arts age, some scientists have conjectured that the paintings may have made by Neanderthals. The earliest known European figurative cave paintings are those of Chauvet Cave in France and these paintings date to earlier than 30,000 BCE according to radiocarbon dating.
Some researchers believe the drawings are too advanced for this era, the radiocarbon dates from these samples show that there were two periods of creation in Chauvet,35,000 years ago and 30,000 years ago. In 2009, cavers discovered drawings in Coliboaia Cave in Romania, an initial dating puts the age of an image in the same range as Chauvet, about 32,000 years old. Some caves probably continued to be painted over a period of thousands of years. This was created roughly between 10,000 and 5,500 years ago, and painted in rock shelters under cliffs or shallow caves, though individual figures are less naturalistic, they are grouped in coherent grouped compositions to a much greater degree
Spy Cave is located near Spy in the municipality of Jemeppe-sur-Sambre, province of Namur, Belgium above the left bank of the Orneau River. Classified as a premier Wallonian Heritage site of the Walloon Region, the cave consists of numerous small chambers and corridors. Since the first amateur investigations during the late 19th century numerous amateur and professional archaeologists have carried out excavations, the excavation was conducted by Liège, archaeologist Marcel de Puydt and geologist Max Lohest. Paleontologist and zoologist Julien Fraipont published the description in the American Anthropologist journal. The assemblages of the oldest excavations have been mixed, that makes the interpretation of the palaeoenvironment difficult, in addition publications of de Puydt and Fraipoint disagree on the number of layers of knapped flints. The hominid skeletons discovered during the first excavations have been named Spy I, a female, and Spy 2 and these were dated to around 36,000 years BP, although a Bayesian analysis in 2014 concluded that they were probably more than 40,000 years old.
The identification of the remains of a Neanderthal child, Spy VI, was published in 2010, almost 12,000 faunal remains of the Pleistocene were discovered, including mammoth, cave hyena, woolly rhinoceros and cave bear bones. All levels contained mammoth remains, including a number of molars. It has been suggested that the Neanderthal occupants brought mammoth heads to the site and ate the brains, because many of the molars were unworn, these would have been very young or newborn calves, killed in early spring, when plant food would not yet have been available. Evidence of occupation by Upper Paleolithic anatomically modern humans has found at Spy. Pendants and perforated beads made from ivory, presumably by modern humans, were found in the cave. Goyet Caves Media related to Spy Cave at Wikimedia Commons
The Magura Cave is located in north-western Bulgaria close to the village of Rabisha,25 km from the town of Belogradchik in Vidin Province. Guided visits are conducted by the staff of Belogradchik municipality, to which the management of the cave was transferred in 2012 by the Bulgarian Council of Ministers, in 1984 the site was induced into UNESCOs tentative list of World Heritage. The total length of the 15 million year old cave is 2.5 km, the average annual temperature of the cave is 12 °C, except for one room where the temperature is always 15 °C. The air humidity reaches 80% and the displacement -56 m, the Magura cave was formed in the limestone Rabisha Hill. The morphology of the consists of one main gallery with six various-sized halls. The very spacious site allows for music concerts to be held during Christmas, the inner temperature is constantly 11-12 °C. During the summers of 1974 and 1975 the cave was used for speleotherapy. Thirty patients slept in the cave for twelve nights, taking advantage of allergens absence, constant humidity.
A part of the cave is now used for ageing sparkling and red wines, labelled Magura, bones from different prehistoric species like cave bear, cave hyena, wolf, wild cat and otter have been discovered in the Magura Cave. Today, constant inhabitants of the cave is the collembola, as well as four types of bats, Cave paintings dating from the Epipaleolithic, late Neolithic and early Bronze Age decorate some of the caves walls. The paintings have been estimated to be made between 10.000 and 8.000 years ago, the drawings represent important events of the society that had occupied the Magura cave, religious ceremonies, hunting scenes and depictions of deities which are unique on the Balkan peninsula. The Fertility Dance and the Hunting Ceremony rank among the most noteworthy paintings, one grouping from the Bronze Age has been interpreted as a solar calendar. The cave paintings allowed storing information about regional solar calendar, religious festivals, contemporary imitations of possible fertility rites are reported — inscriptions in Latin and paintings made by treasure-hunters.
The medium used to create the art was bat guano, more than 750 images have been identified. Painted signs can be organised into four groups, zoomorphic, geometric. For the first group, there are bitriangular silhouettes with raised rounded arms, ithyphallic figures, regarding zoomorpic items, there are caprids, dogs, ostrich-like animals and schematic linear quadrupeds. Few rayed circle figures, mainly the two unica of the so-called calendar scene, likely represent a sun depiction, taking count of some associated figures, it is possible to recognize dancing and mating scenes. In the so-called Cult Hall a large dance and hunting scene is depicted, arranged in two main rows, these are the best known and most reproduced Magura Cave images
Bulgaria, officially the Republic of Bulgaria, is a country in southeastern Europe. It is bordered by Romania to the north and Macedonia to the west and Turkey to the south, with a territory of 110,994 square kilometres, Bulgaria is Europes 16th-largest country. Organised prehistoric cultures began developing on current Bulgarian lands during the Neolithic period and its ancient history saw the presence of the Thracians, Persians, Romans, Goths and Huns. With the downfall of the Second Bulgarian Empire in 1396, its territories came under Ottoman rule for five centuries. The Russo-Turkish War of 1877–78 led to the formation of the Third Bulgarian State, the following years saw several conflicts with its neighbours, which prompted Bulgaria to align with Germany in both world wars. In 1946 it became a one-party socialist state as part of the Soviet-led Eastern Bloc, in December 1989 the ruling Communist Party allowed multi-party elections, which subsequently led to Bulgarias transition into a democracy and a market-based economy.
Bulgarias population of 7.2 million people is predominantly urbanised, most commercial and cultural activities are centred on the capital and largest city, Sofia. The strongest sectors of the economy are industry, power engineering. The countrys current political structure dates to the adoption of a constitution in 1991. Bulgaria is a parliamentary republic with a high degree of political, administrative. Human activity in the lands of modern Bulgaria can be traced back to the Paleolithic, animal bones incised with man-made markings from Kozarnika cave are assumed to be the earliest examples of symbolic behaviour in humans. Organised prehistoric societies in Bulgarian lands include the Neolithic Hamangia culture, Vinča culture, the latter is credited with inventing gold working and exploitation. Some of these first gold smelters produced the coins and jewellery of the Varna Necropolis treasure and this site offers insights for understanding the social hierarchy of the earliest European societies.
Thracians, one of the three primary groups of modern Bulgarians, began appearing in the region during the Iron Age. In the late 6th century BC, the Persians conquered most of present-day Bulgaria, and kept it until 479 BC. After the division of the Roman Empire in the 5th century the area fell under Byzantine control, by this time, Christianity had already spread in the region. A small Gothic community in Nicopolis ad Istrum produced the first Germanic language book in the 4th century, the first Christian monastery in Europe was established around the same time by Saint Athanasius in central Bulgaria. From the 6th century the easternmost South Slavs gradually settled in the region, in 680 Bulgar tribes under the leadership of Asparukh moved south across the Danube and settled in the area between the lower Danube and the Balkan, establishing their capital at Pliska