Archive for the 'Ancient Wonders' Category

Gasp! The royal blood line is broken…

Issues of royal paternity. It was once the stuff of beheadings and intrigue. Now it lives in the realm of DNA testing in a lab…




Richard III DNA shows British Royal family may not have royal bloodline


The University of Leicester has studied the DNA of Richard III and found that there could be a break in the royal bloodline


By Sarah Knapton, Science Editor The Telegraph UK



“When the body of Richard III was discovered in a car park in Leicester in 2012 archaeologists knew it was a momentous find.


But little did they realise that it might expose the skeletons in the cupboard of the British aristocracy, and even call into question the bloodline of the Royal family.


In order to prove that the skeleton really was Richard III, scientists needed to take a DNA sample and match it to his descendants.


Genetic testing through his maternal DNA proved conclusively that the body was the King. However, when they checked the male line they discovered something odd. The DNA did not match showing that at some point in history an adulterous affair had broken the paternal chain.


Although it is impossible to say when the affair happened, if it occurred around the time of Edward III (1312- 1377) it could call into question whether kings like Henry VI, Henry VII and Henry VIII had royal blood, and therefore the right to rule…”


For the rest, and a very interesting video segment, click here.


New Evidence: Neanderthals were a distinct species from modern humans

It’s so fascinating to imagine the lost world of our ancestors. A world where human beings were not the only intelligent hominid species roaming the earth. A world where we had contemporaries such as the Neanderthals…


These days, it’s a little lonely to be us. Perhaps that’s why we’ve conjured up so many myths of other “people” to share our world — fairies, elves, Bigfoot…the list goes on. We have even spent billions of science dollars seeking life on other planets to keep us company.


So, it’s no surprise that the mystery of what became of our most recent lost contemporary, the Neanderthal, continues to burn. Did we cause our own vast loneliness by driving our brothers into extinction? Did we breed them out? In the meantime, new science has concluded that the neanderthals were a distinct species and not simply a subspecies of modern humans. No doubt, there is much much more to learn about our old departed friends…


Depiction of Neanderthal (stock image).
Credit: © procy_ab / Fotolia


Were Neanderthals a sub-species of modern humans? New research says no

(Science Daily)


“Researchers have identified new evidence supporting the growing belief that Neanderthals were a distinct species separate from modern humans (Homo sapiens), and not a subspecies of modern humans.


In an extensive, multi-institution study led by SUNY Downstate Medical Center, researchers have identified new evidence supporting the growing belief that Neanderthals were a distinct species separate from modern humans (Homo sapiens), and not a subspecies of modern humans…”


For the rest, click here.


In other news, the science world is actually wondering, should we clone a Neanderthal? Here.


The bearded lady: The most famous human curiosity of the 19th century.

How we treat our fellow humans reveals much about our own humanity…


Julia Pastrana: A “Monster to the Whole World”

(The Public Domain Review)




“Julia Pastrana, a woman from Mexico born with hypertrichosis, became one of the most famous human curiosities of the 19th century, exhibited the world over as a “bearded lady” while both alive and dead. Bess Lovejoy explores her story and how it was only in 2013, 153 years after her passing, that she was finally laid to rest.


When Julia Pastrana was born, in the mountains of Western Mexico in 1834, her mother worried that her looks were the result of supernatural interference. The local native tribes often blamed the naualli, a breed of shape-shifting werewolves, for stillbirths and deformities, and after seeing her daughter for the first time, Julia’s mother is said to have whispered their name. She fled her tribe — or was cast out — not long after.


Two years later, Mexican herders searching for a missing cow found Julia and her mother hiding in a mountain cave. They took them to the nearest city, where Julia was placed in an orphanage. Sweet, intelligent, and almost totally covered in black hair, she became a local celebrity. After hearing of her unusual looks and charming disposition, the state governor adopted Julia to serve as a live-in amusement and maid. She stayed with the governor until she was twenty, when she decided to return to her own tribe. But she never completed the trip home: an American showman known as M. Rates met her somewhere on her journey back to the mountains, and persuaded her to take up a life onstage.


Julia would go on to become one of the most famous human curiosities of the nineteenth century, variously known as “the Ape Woman,” “the Bear Woman,” or “the Baboon Lady.” She made her debut in December 1854, at the Gothic Hall on Broadway in New York City. She wore a red dress, sang Spanish folk tunes, and danced the Highland Fling. Huge, appreciative crowds flocked to see her, although it wasn’t really the singing and dancing they were after…”


See the rest here.



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