The Oldest City in America

In desert valley just a few mile from the Peruvian coastline north of Lima, there once stood a stone city with pyramids. The stepped bases of the pyramids and the city ruins of remain visible today, though the tops the of the massive structures are long gone.

The people who lived in this city are contemporaries with the ancient Egyptians, though we know little about them. The 5,000-year-old ruins are know as the sacred city of Caral and was declared a world heritage site in 2009.

Caral is believed to be the oldest city in the Americas. This thriving metropolis sprawled across hundreds of hectares in the Supe River Valley, with over 3,000 inhabitants as early as 3000 B.C., until its abandonment around 1800 B.C. Including the nearby Supe Valley settlements, the area may have been home to 20,000 people.

There are many fascinating things about the city, such as ancient wind instruments, anti-earthquake building methods, and a seeming lack of weapons that continue to excite archeologist and historians to this day.

If you would like to know more about it, I will add a great article below that has tons of fantastic pictures. There is also an interesting article about it you can read as well.

5,000 Year Old Rock Art

Geologists have long known that over 5,000 years ago, the Sahara Desert was a lush grassland. Recent evidence from Sudan supports this, with rock art from 2018 showing cattle herders and boats.

In the eastern Sahara’s Atbai region, where rain hasn’t supported cattle for millennia, rock carvings depict six boats on a cave wall, 90 miles from the nearest Nile branch. The boats are arranged like a fleet, emerging from a tunnel entrance.

The carvings are unusual due to their simplicity, suggesting they were made by common people rather than officials. Julien Cooper, an archaeologist at Macquarie University, noted the cattle drawings indicate a strong connection to cattle, which can’t survive in today’s hyper-arid desert.

Pottery found near the petroglyphs dates the carvings to the fourth millennium BCE. As the Atbai became more arid around 5,000 years ago, the authors propose that the carvers were Neolithic Nubians, possibly early gold prospectors, due to golden items found in burials from that era.

The authors suggest that pastoralists may have found periodic grasslands and water in the desert, similar to regions in the Western Desert that received African monsoons. The detailed depiction of a cow’s udder in the rock art indicates that milking was vital, requiring ample forage. This implies the carvers were part of a pastoral tradition from wetter climates or periods.

The study concludes that these carvers represent the last remnants of an ancient nomadic pastoralism that existed before the region dried to its current state.

George Washington’s Cherries Found

Archaeologists have unearthed 35 glass bottles from the 18th century in the cellar of George Washington’s home. The five storage pits under Mount Vernon contained 29 intact bottles of preserved cherries, a fruit linked to Washington.

Workers discovered the stash during a renovation of Washington’s manor. “Never in our wildest dreams did we imagine this spectacular archaeological discovery,” said Mount Vernon President & CEO Doug Bradburn. “We were ecstatic.” “To our knowledge, this is an unprecedented find and nothing of this scale and significance has ever been excavated in North America.” he added.

The contents of the bottles, some containing berries like currants, have been extracted and refrigerated for scientific analysis. The bottles are drying in the Mount Vernon archaeology lab and will be sent off-site for conservation. “These artifacts likely haven’t seen the light of day since before the American Revolution” said Mount Vernon Principal Archaeologist Jason Boroughs.

Mount Vernon is partnering with the US Department of Agriculture’s Research Service to analyze the contents. They have identified 54 cherry pits and 23 stems, likely from a tart variety. The cherries may be candidates for DNA extraction to determine the species.

The team at Mount Vernon hopes some pits will be viable for growing future fruit trees, especially as the county prepares to celebrate the 250th anniversary of the United States in 2026.

Am I the only one who is curious how those old, fermented cherries would taste like?

Heiress Picks 50 Citizens to Distribute €25 Million

Marlene Engelhorn, a Millennial heiress from one of Austria’s wealthiest families, is giving away her inheritance. Her ancestors founded BSAF Pharmaceuticals and later acquired Boehringer Mannheim, another pharmaceutical company.

Engelhorn’s €25 million share of her family’s $4.2 billion fortune was distributed to 77 charitable and non-profit organizations by a group of 50 randomly selected citizens from Salzburg. This group, known as the Good Council for Redistribution, met over six weeks to decide on the allocation. The council members, chosen from a pool of 10,000, received lectures from philosophers and economics professors to guide their decisions, according to Euro News.

Engelhorn stepped back entirely once the committee was formed. The largest recipients included the Austrian Nature Conservation Association and Nuenerhaus, a homeless assistance organization, each receiving over $1.5 million. Other notable donations were €1 million each to the Momentum Institute and Attac Austria, €300,000 to the Autonomous Austrian Women’s Shelters, and €100,400 to the Común Foundation for nature restoration.

US Crime Rate Has Historic Drop

The FBI released its latest Uniform Crime Reporting survey recently, revealing a significant positive trend across the US, with both violent and property crimes dropping by double digits.

Data from the first quarter of 2024 shows that reported violent crime decreased by 15.2 percent compared to the same period in 2023.

Specifically, murder rates fell by over 26 percent, rape incidents decreased by 25.7 percent, robbery cases dropped by 17.8 percent, and aggravated assault reports went down by 12.5 percent.

Property crime also saw a decline, with a reduction of just over 15 percent.

The report includes data from more than 18,000 law enforcement agencies at the city, county, state, tribal, university and college, and federal levels.

This is a pretty incredible drop in crime. It is a good thing to see after the crime spikes of the last couple years. It is too easy to be sucked into the negative, main-stream news cycle. I think it is always important that we take note when things get better. That is what we are trying to do here at Daily Upsider.