The oldest signs of heavy metal pollution caused by human activity, dating from the early Stone Age, have been found in caves in Spain and Gibraltar, officials said Monday.
The findings, published in the journal Scientific Reports, indicate prehistoric humans inhabited caves with high heavy metal levels caused from fires, fumes and ashes which could have played a role in their tolerance of environmental pollution.
The highest levels of heavy metals — copper, lead, nickel and zinc — were found in Gorham’s Cave in Gibraltar, a tiny British territory on Spain’s southern tip, where well preserved Neanderthal hearths have been found.
“It is the earliest known evidence of heavy metal pollution resulting from human activity,” the government of Gibraltar said in a statement.
Traces of heavy metal pollution were also found in Vanguard Cave in Gibraltar from fires as well as in El Pirulejo in southern Spain linked to the use of galena, a lead sulphide used as a source of pigment or as raw material to manufacture beads, according to the study.
The scientists also found heavy metal pollution at Gran Dolina, a cave site in the Sierra de Atapuerca region of central Spain near Burgos. But they concluded that this came from bat and bird droppings and not from human activity.
They said the sites mentioned comprised “earliest evidence of pollution by heavy metals in archaeological sites” anywhere in the world.
“Despite these high pollution levels, the contaminated soils might not have posed a major threat to Homo sapiens populations,” the study said.
“Altogether, the data presented here indicate a long-term exposure of Homo sapiens to these elements, via fires, fumes and their ashes, which could have played certain role in environmental-pollution tolerance, a hitherto neglected influence.”
CNN host left in tears after heartbreaking report on COVID-19 victims
During a segment on CNN this Monday, anchor Brianna Keilar was moved to tears while honoring people who've lost their lives to the coronavirus, especially while telling the story of a couple who died holding hands.
Keilar recounted how a couple married for over 50 years died from the virus only minutes apart after being admitted to the hospital on August 11. When it became clear they wouldn't survive, they were place in the same ward, where they died holding hands.
Watch the video below:
So-called moderate Georgia senator brags she’s as conservative as a pagan barbarian who killed his own brother to rule
Sen. Kelly Loeffler's (R-GA) new campaign ad brags that she's "more conservative than Attila the Hun," with an actor grunting off a "list" of things he would do.
It appears neither Loeffler nor her staff thought to google who Attila the Hun was and why associating yourself with him could be a public relations disaster.
Among the things the History Channel remembers about Attila, was that he killed his own brother to ensure absolute power. He invaded Gaul in an attempt to score a wife. He also had a "legendary lust for gold."
These Florida Cuban-American voters are flipping their support from Trump to Biden: ‘I know what a dictator looks like’
In recent weeks, there has been a great deal of reporting on President Donald Trump’s efforts to make inroads with Latino voters. But it’s important to note where most of those inroads have been made: Trump has generally fared much better among Cuban-Americans in Florida than among Mexican-Americans in western states or Puerto Ricans in New York City, Boston and Philadelphia. And journalist David Smiley, in an article published in the Miami Herald on September 21, stresses that Trump’s support among Cuban-Americans is by no means universal.