The oldest portrait
I came across a fascinating article the other day regarding reputedly one of the oldest portraits of a woman known to exist being placed on display in the British Museum called Ice Age Art: Arrival of the Modern Mind. According to the United Kingdom website, The Guardian (http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2013/jan/24/ice-age-art-british-museum) the portrait sculpture is 26,000 years old and depicts the face of a woman in an ivory tusk. It was discovered in Europe in a valley in what today is Moravia and is an artifact from the last Ice Age. The face is not exactly proportional and is elongated due to the use of the tusk. Archaeologists believe the sculptor used stone tools and carved the ivory with great skill and just as much persistence. If you log on to www.tnonline.com and follow the above link, you can observe the photograph for yourself. The exhibit including this unusual artifact goes on display on February 7th and if you happen to be in London in the next month, you can visit it yourself.
In other news, NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has taken photographs of a huge crater that may have once contained a lake. In a story last week on SPACE.COM's website, NASA reported that the crater appears to have been eroded by water and was so large that there is a good chance water may exist below the planet's surface even now. If there is water present underground on Mars, then scientists think it is possible life in some form may still exist on the Red Planet as well. It would be amazing if scientists can find life or a connection to life on the planet. I often wondered to my amusement how funny it would be to have these rovers roaming the planet searching for proof of life only to discover that just beyond that hill is a bustling city hidden from Earth's telescopic view. While at one time that was a remote possibility, I think now it is just an imaginative diversion.
One other intriguing "ancient astronaut" type theory is that one or more of the four species of human that we know existed millions of years ago on Earth and survived only by the homo sapiens of today could have emigrated here from another planet, possibly Mars. If a civilization was advanced on that planet and it possessed technology equal to ours, it is entirely possible they found themselves in trouble and fled the planet for a suitable sister planet, Earth. Could that species have traveled here and interacted or even moved here to live among us?
Mythology tends to have some basis in truth. The stories of those previous civilizations exist to describe how ancient man believed the world worked. Each civilization has similar stories of creation, the origins of man, language and natural law. The Bible describes a race of giants that came from Heaven to Earth found the earth's women desirable and mated with them producing horrible offspring, so horrible that God destroyed the world with a massive flood. There is proof of the flood in the earth's strata.
Obviously no one has found a rocket, UFO or any other smoking gun to show that a race of beings came here from another planet. At least not yet. Then again, is there anyone that ever looked?
The Bible describes in several places imagery that could easily describe a flying ship. Sanskrit legend also discusses machines that could fly as well. If we conduct a thought experiment, it is entirely possible that a species of human like people could have traveled here in a ship that returned to Mars thus leaving no proof of the ship on Earth. In the same respect, it is not entirely impossible that a natural cataclysm destroyed the Martian world in the same period of time and destroyed its cities and civilizations. Perhaps excavating deep enough below the surface could confirm or deny this fantasy. If we are willing to entertain this fanciful thought further, perhaps the cataclysm that destroyed the Martian civilization may also be responsible for the flood.
While I have put forth this amalgam of various theories, I am by no means an advocate for them. I just find it to be a fascinating thought experiment. Before you discount this as a joke or a flight of fancy, consider this.
The truth of the matter is humanity and its related species have been on this planet for millions of years at least how we currently measure time. While it seems unlikely to us right now that some race of human like beings could have emigrated here from our neighboring planet, one has to admit the last two hundred years of scientific advances almost proves the theory that it could be possible. If Mars was habitable today, we are either close to having or already in possession of what we would need to send colonies there to live. Unfortunately, it is not, but in the past in the reverse situation both Mars and Earth would have been habitable making this idea plausible and not one to dismiss out of hand.
In the end, we are here and we outlasted four other known species of homo genus creatures. We have yet to find a link that indicates we evolved from them or they from us which means we may have developed exclusive of each other or one or more of these species came from the stars perhaps. Maybe one day we will finally find out.
Til next time…