Bulgarian town survived Noah’s flood

“Archaeologists in eastern Bulgaria say they have unearthed the oldest prehistoric town ever found in Europe,” Agence France-Presse reports:

Excavations at the site near the modern-day town of Provadia have so far uncovered the remains of a settlement of two-storey houses, a series of pits used for rituals as well as parts of a gate, bastion structures and three later fortification walls — all carbon dated between the middle and late Chalcolithic age from 4,700 to 4,200 BC.

… “The huge walls around the settlement, which were built very tall and with stone blocks … are also something unseen in excavations of prehistoric sites in southeast Europe so far,” Bachvarov added.

Well fortified, a religious centre and most importantly, a major production centre for a specialized commodity that was traded far and wide, the settlement of about 350 people met all the conditions to be considered the oldest known “prehistoric town” in Europe, the team says.

“At a time when people did not know the wheel and cart these people hauled huge rocks and built massive walls. Why? What did they hide behind them?” Nikolov asked.

The answer: “Salt.”

The area is home to huge rock-salt deposits, some of the largest in southeast Europe and the only ones to be exploited as early as the sixth millennium BC, Nikolov said.

What’s even more remarkable than the town’s unique fortifications or its “peculiar burial positions and objects found in the graves,” of course, is that this settlement was built and occupied by humans centuries before the creation of the universe.

And not only did these Neolithic Bulgarians construct huge walls without “the wheel and cart,” their community also seems to have survived Noah’s flood.

Oh, and that site in Bulgaria, it turns out, was built about 65,000 years after we humans first started making small stone blades:

Paleontologists said Wednesday they have found small blades in a South African cave proving that Man was an advanced thinker making stone tools 71,000 years ago — millennia earlier than thought.

The find suggests early humans from Africa had a capacity for complex thought and weapons production that gave them a distinct evolutionary advantage over Neanderthals, say the authors of a study published in Nature.

See also: “Early humans used stone-tipped spears 500,000 years ago.”

* * * * * * * * *

Charles Darwin got nearly 4,000 write-in votes against anti-science incumbent Republican congressman Paul Broun in Georgia. Broun, who was running unopposed, had called evolution a “lie straight from the pit of hell.”

• Wonkette has a long, and hilarious, collection of other write-in “candidates” who earned votes against “Witchfinder General” Broun.

• Continuing the alphabet: “C is for Cetiosaurus” … “D is for Dyoplosaurus” … “E is for Eotriceratops

Phil Plait’s Bad Astronomy blog is now at Slate. Adjust your bookmarks and feeds accordingly.

  • Magic_Cracker

    I loved his HYP-MO-TISM scenes.

  • reynard61

    “Gotta be a US citizen to be elected to pretty much any US political office, I believe, and I believe US citizens can’t hold titles from other nations, of which ‘princess’ is certainly one. Sorry.”

    Charles Darwin is a) dead, and b) British. That didn’t seem to stop anyone from writing *him* in…

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

     Statistically speaking, an American girl is twice as likely to become a princess as to become a supreme court justice.

  • EllieMurasaki

    Which says something exceedingly sad about the present and historical demographics of the Court.

  • caryjamesbond

    Are they so afraid of a nihilistic universe?  One that does not care, and has no intrinsic moral quality to it?  
    Actually, I think it’s laziness.  A world without inherent meaning means that you have to create your own meaning.  Look at the RTC reaction to the catholic doctrine of works, for example. A world where all you have to do to get eternal reward is say a few words is a very easy world. A word where the vast majority will fade into meaningless obscurity, where there is no inherent justice, where nothing will be made right unless we make it so, is a challenging world that demands a great deal of effort and consideration. A world that is inherently morally void not only means that we have to create our own morality, it will often be fuzzy and difficult.

    Intellectual and moral turpitude. Odd, because a lot of RTCs are very hard working in the physical sense.   

  • P J Evans

    I believe US citizens can’t hold titles from other nations, of which ‘princess’ is certainly one

    You mean ‘Princess’ isn’t her first name? I’m shocked, shocked! *g*

  • Erp

    And then there is Çatalhöyük in Turkey which  dates from 5700-7500 BCE.

  • Baby_Raptor

    Forget the white one! Celestia has made some very dumb decisions over the course of her rule. She’s careless and irresponsible. Plus, Luna is prettier. 

    For the New Lunar Republic!

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    That is a cool story. Thanks for sharing it, Fred.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    Scientific fact:
    Bulgaria floats.

    Huh? More, please.

  • reynard61

    “Forget the white one! Celestia has made some very dumb decisions over the course of her rule. She’s careless and irresponsible. Plus, Luna is prettier. “For the New Lunar Republic!”
    Well, I will admit that Luna is my favorite as well; but Celestia, for all her faults, has a thousand years more experience in leading a government than her sister. I think that, given time, Luna will eventually come into her own as a great leader and take her place as Equestria’s ruler Congresspony of Georgia’s 10th District.

  • Carstonio

    Nihilistic? I had thought that meant a bleak, hopeless indulgence of momentary pleasures.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jrandyowens Randy Owens

    I’m pretty sure it’s a joke that explains how this town survived the Flood.  By floating on the rising floodwaters, obviously!

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    D’oh. Reading an interesting article about archaeology put my brain into “the world is fascinating” gear so that flew right by me!

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    Nihilistic? I had thought that meant a bleak, hopeless indulgence of momentary pleasures.

    Not necessarily.  Nihilism simply means that there is no fixed meaning to life and the universe itself does not have a moral factor.  There is neither heavenly reward nor eternal punishment, and no cosmic judge to hold us accountable for our actions in life.  

    While the “bleak, hopeless indulgence of momentary pleasures” is a popular image to spin a nihilist as having (and some certainly do) as a contrast with, say, a belief in a higher power with moral authority, that is not necessarily true.  While a nihilistic perspective means that the universe does not have its own moral factor, it does not challenge the concept of morals.  Rather, it attributes those morals to social constructs between people, rather than people conforming to an innate standard.  

    An existential nihilist would say, “There is no meaning to life, so we must make our own meaning out of life.”  A complimentary take on that is, “The universe is vast, we are tiny, and nothing we do will make any difference in the cosmic scale of things.  Thus, we ought to focus on making the part of the universe we do see and can influence the best we can make it.”  

    Or to phrase it from a Ḥashshāshīn perspective, “Nothing is true, everything is permitted.”  

  • http://profiles.google.com/marc.k.mielke Marc Mielke

    IT DOES…NOT MEAN….A THING! (/Londo)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vr8tOa_En7A 

  • http://profiles.google.com/marc.k.mielke Marc Mielke

    It probably wasn’t Bill Mumy either, but Wilbur had a twin brother. One that took after his father. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Riastlin-Lovecraft/100000678992705 Riastlin Lovecraft

    There must be more than one person named Charles Darwin ;)…Wait, how do you handle elections where there’s more than one person with the same name running? especially if they’re not running on opposing tickets (In a primary or both being independents) 

  • Carstonio

    An existential nihilist would say, “There is no meaning to life, so we must make our own meaning out of life.”  A complimentary take on that is, “The universe is vast, we are tiny, and nothing we do will make any difference in the cosmic scale of things.  Thus, we ought to focus on making the part of the universe we do see and can influence the best we can make it.”  

    That’s pretty much my philosophy, with one exception – while there is no evidence that life has inherent meaning, I don’t know for a fact that such inherent meaning doesn’t exist.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ann-Unemori/100001112760232 Ann Unemori

    No, it doesn’t mean a thing, not if you ain’t got that swing!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lMFIejZgJSM

  • http://www.facebook.com/jrandyowens Randy Owens

    And don’t get him started on the comedy team of Rebo & Zooty!

  • Tricksterson

    Uh oh, holy war in the offing.

  • Tricksterson

    Works for me.

  • http://jamoche.dreamwidth.org/ Jamoche

    Hmm… has anyone ever seen them together?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_AAWT7KGJATPEGZFFBCF6ER6XBM The Mighty Wombat

    Does it actually count if it is not in the US, Western Europe, or any of the “usual” Holy lands?

    I mean, seriously, Bulgaria… that was communist country, who knows what happened there :P .


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