Sunday, May 24, 2015

Floral Offerings in Ancient Graves

Hola everyone!  I'm back from sunny and warm Las Vegas.  It was a great trip.

My hotel was smack dab outside Rock in Rio that was held last Friday and Saturday - OMG!  Navigating around the street concert area (for vehicles) was a nightmare!  I tried to avoid the mad crush of people as much as possible.  The hotel (I stayed at Circus Circus this visit) was pleasantly busy beforehand but not like the mob scenes that can occur when there's a chess tournament in town or one or more conventions, but last week Thursday the place was inundated with arrivals for the weekend concert and, perhaps, the music awards that were hosted in LV live last Sunday night.  Of course when I'd planned my trip I had no idea these things were going to be going on during my LV stay.  Oh well, LOL!

I ate too much, drank too much, talked too much.  I did not go shopping except to one thrift store on a trip with Isis who combs through thrift stores like a pro to find vintage items for her online shop.  It was a real education watching Isis do her thing at the thrift store, wow!  I picked up a small decorative plate, one other item that for the life of me now I cannot remember, and my prize score was a black and white porcelain of a beautifully detailed horse.

Now, you may be wondering "how is it she doesn't remember what she bought?  Can't she just go look and write it down?"  Well, no, I can't do that because I don't have the things with me!  We decided rather than cramming the items into my luggage, my purchases, together with several really cool items (including a new egg for my ever-growing egg collection) that Isis surprise gifted to me, would be shipped to my home.  Since Isis has re-entered the world of vintage items and clothing via her e-bay shop (years ago she had a bricks-and-mortar location) she quickly became expert at packing items for safe arrival via US Mail, FedEx and UPS.  I should have the box in a few days, woo woo!

So - back to my much more sedate and slow-paced life of retirement in good ol' Milwaukee :)

The Red Lady of El Miron (cave site in Spain) made the news again this past week.  She lived and died approximately 18,000 years ago and was evidently reburied at some point, perhaps after her original grave site had been disturbed by predators.  Before she was re-interred, her bones were painted in a glittery (crystallized minerals laden) form of red ocher.  The "big" news about her discovery, though, wasn't the fact that she had been painted in red ocher, but that there was evidence a floral offering may have been included in her second grave, based on pollen found in the grave site.

Here is the latest article on the Red Lady of El Miron from Live Science:

Ancient Mourners May Have Left Flowers On Red Lady Grave, Tia Ghose, Staff Writer, Life Science, May 20, 2015

I knew about the somewhat controversial findings surrounding possible evidence of flowers left in or on a grave of a Neanderthal woman buried some 60,000 years ago in Shanidar Cave in the Kurdistan area of Iraq.  See, for instance:

The Skeletons of Shanidar Cave, Owen Edwards, Smithsonian Magazine, March 2010.

For further information on Neanderthal burial practices, see Burial, Ritual, Religion, and Cannibalism at

A more recent gravesite, a 14,000 year old burial in Raqefet Cave, Mount Carmel, Israel, written about in this article (a man and woman buried together in a pit grave):

Oldest Grave Flowers Unearthed in Israel, Tia Ghose, Staff Writer, Life Science, July 1, 2013.  Note:  This article dates the Neanderthal burial with evidence of flowers to some 35,000 years ago, in stark contrast to Owen Edwards' article which dates the burial to some 60,000 years ago.  Perhaps two different burials are indicated.

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