Friday, April 28, 2006

History and the Olive Tree

Sirius sent me a link to a fascinating article over at MSNBC. Here's an excerpt:
Scientists have discovered the remains of a single olive tree, buried alive during a massive volcanic eruption during the Late Bronze Age. A study that dates this tree, plus another study that dates a series of objects from before, during and after the eruption, now offer a new timeline for one of the earliest chapters of European civilization.

The new results suggest that the sophisticated and powerful Minoan civilization (featured in the legend of Theseus and the Minotaur) and several other pre-Homeric civilizations arose about a century earlier and lasted for longer than previously thought.

The new timeframe also downplays Egypt’s role in the region, suggesting that the cultures of the Levant, the stretch of land that includes Syria, Israel and Palestine, may have been a more important outside influence.

It's a pretty remarkable story of scientists as detectives and how complex it can be to decipher history. Here's the full link:
Olive Branch Solves a Stone Age Mystery.

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