воскресенье, 29 июля 2018 г.

Candid Photos These colonies of Candida tropicalis cells may…

Candid Photos

These colonies of Candida tropicalis cells may look innocent, but they turn out to have an unusually exciting sex life (for a yeast, at least). C. tropicalis causes infections of the skin and other parts of the body and was thought to only reproduce asexually, with each cell dividing in two to produce identical ‘daughters’. Researchers have now discovered that it can switch to one of two different ‘sexes’ for reproduction, highlighted in pink or yellow in this image. Intriguingly, the cells prefer same-sex mating, unlike many other yeasts. Even more strangely, they will only mate with the opposite sex as part of a mixed threesome, producing a lot of genetically diverse offspring. There’s a growing problem of drug-resistant C. tropicalis infections, particularly in people with AIDS or certain types of cancer, so finding out more about how they mix up their genes could help improve treatment in the future.

Written Kat Arney

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Deforestation of Guiana Shield will have impact across South America, scientists warn

Deforestation of the ‘overlooked’ Guiana rainforests, at the northern boundary of the Amazon rainforest, will have ‘drastic impact’ on the rainfall patterns that support ecosystems and livelihoods right across South America, scientists have warned in a new report.

Deforestation of Guiana Shield will have impact across South America, scientists warn
Credit: Heriot-Watt University

The Guiana Shield rainforests covers parts of northern Brazil, southern Venezuela, eastern Colombia, and all of Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana.

Despite comprising 1.3 million sq km of near continuous tropical forest, until now it has mostly been overlooked by climate researchers in favour of the Amazon Basin, and little climate data exists for the region.

Now, scientists from across the UK have quantified the likely impact that deforesting less than a third of the Guiana Shield, in areas under threat from mining, logging and agriculture, would have on the climate of South America.

The researchers describe the scenario as realistic, given the extensive deforestation that has already occurred along the Amazon’s southern margin.

Dr. Isabella Bovolo, a climate modelling expert at Durham University said: “The Guiana Shield, at the northern boundary of the Amazon, is located at the start of two atmospheric rivers that carry moisture across South America.

“The Guiana Shield is therefore a sensitive ‘hotspot’ which, when disturbed even on a small-scale, can affect hydro-climatics 1000 km to the west and 4000 km to its south.

“Our climate simulations suggest that if less than a third of the Guiana Shield is deforested, rain and runoff would more than double in lowland forests, increasing the likelihood of flooding.”

Dr. Geoff Parkin from Newcastle University said: “Forests in Venezuela and Brazil would also experience an increase in rainfall by up to 25%, severely impacting remote, indigenous communities, food supply and ecosystem stability.

“Mean annual temperatures could increase by up to 2.2 degrees Celsius in the northern savannahs, and that nearly two-thirds of the Amazon would experience longer and more severe droughts. “

Dr. Ryan Pereira from the Lyell Centre at Heriot-Watt University said that “The intensification of climate variability across the continent will also affect the more populous areas in the south and east of South America, directly impacting food production in one of the largest food and crop producing areas of the world.”

The findings were reported in Environmental Research Letters, and included a warning about the current threats facing the Guiana and the need for vigilance around its deforestation.

Professor Tom Wagner, also from the Lyell Centre at Heriot-Watt University said: “This study demonstrates how small-scale land-use change in sensitive hotspots can alter the flow of critical atmospheric rivers, with large consequences.

“We therefore need an urgent, international effort to better understand and sustainably manage the Amazonian biome across national boundaries to safeguard this unique global ecosystem, maintaining its role in global climate for future generations.”

Source: Heriot-Watt University [July 26, 2018]




World’s marine wilderness is dwindling

Researchers reporting in the journal Current Biology have completed the first systematic analysis of marine wilderness around the world. And what they found is not encouraging; only a small fraction–about 13 percent–of the world’s ocean can still be classified as wilderness.

World's marine wilderness is dwindling
Our ocean’s wild places are dwindling like never before, meaning immense
habitat loss for our wild creatures [Credit: Belle Co.]

The remaining marine wilderness is unequally distributed and found primarily in the Arctic, in the Antarctic, or around remote Pacific Island nations. In coastal regions, there is almost no marine wilderness left at all.

“We were astonished by just how little marine wilderness remains,” says Kendall Jones of the University of Queensland, Australia, and the Wildlife Conservation Society. “The ocean is immense, covering over 70 percent of our planet, but we’ve managed to significantly impact almost all of this vast ecosystem.”

On land, rapid declines in wilderness have been well documented. But much less was known about the status of marine wilderness. Wilderness areas are crucial for marine biodiversity.

World's marine wilderness is dwindling
Only 13 percent of the world’s ocean is still considered wilderness with very few
disturbances from human interaction [Credit: Belle Co.]

“Pristine wilderness areas hold massive levels of biodiversity and endemic species and are some of the last places of Earth where big populations of apex predators are still found,” Jones says.

In the new study, Jones and his colleagues used the most comprehensive global data available for 19 human stressors, including commercial shipping, fertilizer and sediment runoff, and several types of fishing in the ocean and their cumulative impact. They systematically mapped marine wilderness globally by identifying areas with very little impact (lowest 10% percent) from 15 anthropogenic stressors and also a very low combined cumulative impact from these stressors.

In order to capture differences in human influence by ocean regions, the researchers repeated their analysis within each of 16 ocean realms. They found wide variation in the degree of human impacts. For instance, more than 16 million square kilometers of wilderness remains in the Warm Indo-Pacific, accounting for 8.6 percent of the ocean. But it’s even worse in Temperate Southern Africa, where less than 2,000 square kilometers of marine wilderness remains–less than 1 percent of the ocean.

This video shows how Earth’s marine wilderness has been eroded by humanity, with 13.2 percent. now remaining across

 all of the oceans. Despite holding high genetic diversity and endemic species, wilderness areas are ignored 

in global environmental agreements, highlighting the need for urgent policy attention 

[Credit: Kendall Jones, Carissa Klein, and James Watson]

The study also shows that less than 5 percent of global marine wilderness is currently protected. Most of this is in offshore ecosystems, with very little protected wilderness found in high-biodiversity areas such as coral reefs.

“This means the vast majority of marine wilderness could be lost at any time, as improvements in technology allow us to fish deeper and ship farther than ever before,” Jones says. “Thanks to a warming climate, even some places that were once safe due to year-round ice cover can now be fished.”

The findings highlight an urgent need for action to protect what remains of marine wilderness, the researchers say. Such an effort requires international environmental agreements to recognize the unique value of marine wilderness and sets targets for its retention.

Source: Cell Press [July 26, 2018]




Extinct vegetarian cave bear diet mystery unravelled

During the Late Pleistocene period (between 125,000 to 12,000 years ago) two bear species roamed Europe: omnivorous brown bears (Ursus arctos) and the extinct mostly vegetarian cave bear (Ursus spelaeus).

Extinct vegetarian cave bear diet mystery unravelled
A complete skull and mandible of a Deninger’s bear from Sima de los Huesos in Spain
[Credit: Javier Trueba (Madrid Scientific Films)]

Until now, very little is known about the dietary evolution of the cave bear and how it became a vegetarian, as the fossils of the direct ancestor, the Deninger’s bear (Ursus deningeri), are extremely scarce.

However, a paper published in the journal Historical Biology, sheds new light on this. A research team from Germany and Spain found that Deninger’s bear likely had a similar diet to its descendant – the classic cave bear – as new analysis shows a distinct morphology in the cranium, mandible and teeth, which has been related to its dietary specialization of a larger consumption of vegetal matter.

To understand the evolution of the cave bear lineage, the researchers micro-CT scanned the rare fossils and digitally removed the sediments so as not to risk damaging the fossils. Using sophisticated statistical methods, called geometric morphometrics, the researchers compared the three-dimensional shape of the mandibles and skull of Deninger’s bear with that of classic cave bears and modern bears.

“The analyses showed that Deninger’s bear had very similarly shaped mandibles and skull to the classic cave bear”, explains Anneke van Heteren, lead-author of the study and Head of the Mammalogy section at the Bavarian State Collection of Zoology. This implies that they were adapted to the same food types and were primarily vegetarian.

Extinct vegetarian cave bear diet mystery unravelled
Micro-CT reconstructions of A) a subadult male skull of Deninger’s bear from the Iberian Peninsula in different views
compared to B) an adult male skull of a classic cave bear. The skulls are similar in many respects, but the cave
bear skull is larger and more robust [Credit: Elena Santos (Centro Mixto UCM-ISCIII)/Taylor and Francis]

“There is an ongoing discussion on the extent to which the classic cave bear was a vegetarian. And, this is especially why the new information on the diet of its direct ancestor is so important, because it teaches us that a differentiation between the diet of cave bears and brown bears was already established by 500 thousand years ago and likely earlier”, says Mikel Arlegi, doctoral candidate at the Universities of the Basque Country and Bordeaux and co-author of the study.

Interestingly, researchers also found there are shape differences between the Deninger’s bears from the Iberian Peninsula and those from the rest of Europe, which are unlikely to be related to diet.

They have come up with three possibilities to explain these differences: 1) the Iberian bears are chronologically younger than the rest, 2) the Pyrenees, acting as natural barrier, resulted in some genetic differentiation between the Iberian bears and those from the rest of Europe, 3) there were multiple lineages, with either just one leading to the classic cave bear, or each lineage leading to a different group of cave bears.

“However, more fossils are necessary to test these three hypotheses,” Asier Gómez-Olivencia, Ikerbasque Researcher at the University of the Basque Country said.

Source: Taylor & Francis [July 26, 2018]




Saxon warrior’s grave discovered on Salisbury Plain

On the last day of an excavation by soldiers within the military training lands on Salisbury Plain, they found a comrade in arms: the grave of a 6th century Saxon warrior, buried with his spear by his side and his sword in his arms.

Saxon warrior's grave discovered on Salisbury Plain
This 6th century Saxon warrior with spear and sword, was found underneath a military trackway, frequently
crossed by tanks and huge military vehicles [Credit: Operation Nightingale/Wessex Archaeology]

His bones and possessions, which included a handsome belt buckle, a knife and tweezers, were remarkably well preserved despite his grave lying under a military trackway on which tanks and massive military vehicles have been trundling across the plain. Pattern welded swords, high status objects, are rarely found intact: his was lifted in one piece, complete with traces of its wood and leather scabbard.

The soldiers were very moved by the discovery of a man they felt would have shared some of their experiences. They joined the excavation at Barrow Clump as part of Operation Nightingale, an initiative to help the recovery of veterans of recent conflicts, particularly Afghanistan, by involving them in archaeology. The scheme, working with Wessex Archaeology, has been so successful that several of the veterans have retrained as professional archaeologists.

“It was a classic last day of the dig find – there was such a buzz across the site, the soldiers definitely had a sense of kinship,” Richard Osgood, senior archaeologist with the Defence Infrastructure Organisation said. “I have to admit I also thought ‘there goes my budget’ – there was quite a tricky conversation afterwards with the MoD because of the sudden increase in conservation costs.”

The finds have been taken for further study and conservation work at Wessex Archaeology, and will eventually be given to the Wiltshire Museum in Devizes.

Barrow Clump has a remarkably long history of human activity. The Bronze Age burial mound built on an even older Neolithic settlement, was reused as an Anglo-Saxon cemetery. It had already been damaged by ploughing, but permission to excavate a listed site was granted because of damage by more recent trouble makers – badgers which were burrowing out the entire site, and kicking out human bones as they dug.

This year’s excavation was just beside the burial mound – “the badgers are happily back in residence in the barrow now” Osgood said – carried out in scorching heat and clay as hard as concrete, to investigate the extent of the cemetery, and the condition of any archaeology under the trackway.

The three week excavation uncovered scores of Saxon burials, men around the edge of the site, women and children in the centre, with grave goods including weapons and jewellery. They included a man with a less well preserved sword, and a little girl buried with a large amber bead. One of the graves held a young boy buried curled as if in sleep, one of the few without any grave goods.

The splendidly armed warrior was found when a metal detector being used for a last sweep of the site on the final afternoon gave an unusually strong signal.

The archaeology, Osgood said, was generally better preserved than in the ploughed fields outside the army lands. “We found one grave directly below the track, and the skull, only five centimetres down, hadn’t even been cracked – so from a curatorial point of view that was very reassuring.

He believes the dead came from a settlement in the valley below: “It’s that Saxon thing of looking up the hill and knowing your ancestors are up there on a site that was already ancient and special.”

Author: Maev Kennedy | Source: The Guardian [July 26, 2018]




Making thread in Bronze Age Britain

A new study published this week in the journal Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences has identified that the earliest plant fibre technology for making thread in Early Bronze Age Britain and across Europe and the Near East was splicing not spinning.

Making thread in Bronze Age Britain
A micrograph of the spliced textile from Over barrow, Cambridgeshire [Credit: M. Gleba, S. Harris,
with permission of Cambridge Archaeological Unit]

In splicing, strips of plant fibres (flax, nettle, lime tree and other species) are joined in individually, often after being stripped from the plant stalk directly and without or with only minimal retting – the process of introducing moisture to soften the fibres.

According to lead author Dr Margarita Gleba, researcher at the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, University of Cambridge, “Splicing technology is fundamentally different from draft spinning. The identification of splicing in these Early Bronze Age and later textiles marks a major turning point in scholarship. The switch from splicing – the original plant bast fibre technology – to draft spinning took place much later than previously assumed.”

Splicing has previously been identified in pre-Dynastic Egyptian and Neolithic Swiss textiles, but the new study shows that this particular type of thread making technology may have been ubiquitous across the Old World during prehistory.

“The technological innovation of draft spinning plant bast fibres – a process in which retted and well processed fibres are drawn out from a mass of fluffed up fibres usually arranged on a distaff, and twisted continuously using a rotating spindle – appears to coincide with urbanisation and population growth, as well as increased human mobility across the Mediterranean during the first half of the 1st millennium BC.”

“Such movements required many more and larger and faster ships, all of which largely relied on wind power and therefore sails. Retting and draft spinning technology would have allowed faster processing of larger quantities of plant materials and the production of sail cloth.”

Among the finds analysed for this study are charred textile fragments from Over Barrow in Cambridgeshire, dated to the Early Bronze Age (c. 1887-1696 BC). The site was excavated by the Cambridge Archaeological Unit.

Dr. Susanna Harris of the University of Glasgow, co-author of the paper and expert in British Bronze Age textiles notes: “We can now demonstrate that this technology was also present in Britain. It’s exciting because we think the past is familiar, but this shows life was quite different in the Bronze Age.”

“Sites like Over Barrow in Cambridgeshire contained a burial with remains of stacked textiles, which were prepared using strips of plant fibre, spliced into yarns, then woven into textiles”.

“It had always been assumed that textiles were made following well-known historical practices of fibre processing and draft spinning but we can now show people were dealing with plants rather differently, possibly using nettles or flax plants, to make these beautiful woven textiles.”

Source: University of Cambridge [July 26, 2018]




The best spies in the skies analyze the ancient Roman city of Mellaria

They were designed to carry out military espionage and ended up becoming one of the greatest allies of cultural heritage. They were created by the Italian government and ended up working for a Spanish university. Although, in their new mission, in an almost poetic way, they maintain a certain link to their Italian origin. In the end, the network of satellites dubbed COSMO-SkyMed (COnstellation of Small Satellites for Mediterranean basin Observation) has analyzed 49 km2 within the territory containing an ancient Roman city: Mellaria, located within the township of Fuente Obejuna, in the province of Cordoba, whose habitants are still called melarienses [Mellarians] today.

The best spies in the skies analyze the ancient Roman city of Mellaria
View of the Roman citadel of Mellaria [Credit: Antonio Monterroso Checa]

The Upper Guadiato Archaeological Ager Mellariensis project headed by University of Cordoba professor Antonio Monterroso Checa has been working on the Mellaria analysis for the past two years, using the constellation of four radar satellites founded by the Italian Space Agency and Ministry of Defense. Its commecial use in Spain is managed by E-Geos-Telespazio Iberica, a Leonardo/Thales aerospace partnership company.

The best spies in the skies analyze the ancient Roman city of Mellaria
View of the Roman citadel of Mellaria [Credit: Antonio Monterroso Checa]

Monterroso explains that, in Spain, the Mellaria project is pioneering the application of this technology to the analysis of its territory. The results of its use were recently published in Archaeological Prospection, and have allowed for detecting invisible moist and floodable areas around the city, groundwater flow that passed through Mellaria, a possible stretch of the Roman road from Cordoba to Merida nearby, visual and topographical recovery of lost or destroyed stretches of medieval roads between the towns of Fuente Obejuna and Belmez and between the villages of La Granjuela and El Hoyo, and even the development of some crops in the area.

The best spies in the skies analyze the ancient Roman city of Mellaria
Digital Model of the RGB Terrain of the environment of the Roman city of Mellaria
[Credit: Obejuna-Córdoba]

Few archaeology sites in the world have worked with this satellite constellation. Most of the ones that have were analyzed by the Italian-Chinese consortium, made up of the Istituto di Metodologie per l´Analisi Ambientale at Italy’s National Research Council and the Institute of Remote Sensing and Digital Earth at the Chinese Academy of Sciences. In fact, the Italian pennisula and China are, to date, the areas with the highest coverage of images and applications from an archaeological perspective. Apart from those places, the Saqqara pyramids in Egypt, the Incan site of Pachacamac in Peru and the ancient cities of Sabratha (Libya) and Hierapolis (Turkey) are other examples of the few places where patrimonial proof was found using this image system. The territory of the Roman city Mellaria can now be added to this short list of cultural heritage.

CSK missions

These radars, designed by the Italian military, carry out other civil missions apart from archaeology. In fact, the COSMO-SkyMed (CSK) network is also used to monitor Earth in order to prevent emergencies and manage environmental and humanitarian risks, such as observing human trafficking in the Mediterranean.

The best spies in the skies analyze the ancient Roman city of Mellaria
Artistic view of COSMO Sky MED [Credit: Thales Alenia Space]

CSK offers the best resolution in Europe and the world for civil use, at 1m/pixel spatial resolution. In this sense, Professor Monterroso explains that “in a military aspect, this technology can detect objects even in sandstorms at a precisión of 0.40 m/pixel. That means a five-meter-long object can be analyzed pretty precisely.” This last aspect “is a huge accomplishment considering that these satellites operate from a distance of 620 km.” In addition, CSK is able to take 1,800 images a day and monitor a surface area of 400,000 square kilometers in 15 days at a spatial resolution of 3m/pixel. CSK shares data with the French optical platform Pleiades and with NASA, forming one of the most powerful consortiums of Earth observation in the world.

This study is framed in the Ager Mellariensis project, financed by the European Regional Development Fund and the National RDI Programme for Research Aimed at the Challenges of Society 2016 of the Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness.

Source: University of Cordoba [July 27, 2018]




2018 July 29 Journey to the Center of the Galaxy Video Credit:…

2018 July 29

Journey to the Center of the Galaxy
Video Credit: ESO/MPE/Nick Risinger (skysurvey.org)/VISTA/J. Emerson/Digitized Sky Survey 2

Explanation: What wonders lie at the center of our Galaxy? In Jules Verne’s science fiction classic A Journey to the Center of the Earth, Professor Liedenbrock and his fellow explorers encounter many strange and exciting wonders. Astronomers already know of some of the bizarre objects that exist at our Galactic center, including like vast cosmic dust clouds, bright star clusters, swirling rings of gas, and even a supermassive black hole. Much of the Galactic Center is shielded from our view in visible light by the intervening dust and gas, but it can be explored using other forms of electromagnetic radiation. The featured video is actually a digital zoom into the Milky Way’s center which starts by utilizing visible light images from the Digitized Sky Survey. As the movie proceeds, the light shown shifts to dust-penetrating infrared and highlights gas clouds that were recently discovered in 2013 to be falling toward central black hole. In 2018 May, observations of a star passing near the Milky Way’s central black hole showed, for the first time, a gravitational redshift of the star’s light – as expected from Einstein’s general relativity.

∞ Source: apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap180729.html


2018 excavations at the Pyla Kokkinokremos site in Cyprus concluded

The Department of Antiquities, Ministry of Transport, Communications and Works, has announced that a fifth joint excavation campaign between the Universities of Ghent, Louvain and the Mediterranean Archaeological Society took place at Pyla-Kokkinokremos from the 27th of March until the 26th of May.

2018 excavations at the Pyla Kokkinokremos site in Cyprus concluded
Fig. 1: The pit with complete pithoid jar found in Room 12-13
[Credit: Department of Antiquities, Republic of Cyprus]

The site of Pyla-Kokkinokremos represents a singularly short-lived settlement in the island’s Late Bronze Age history. Established only a generation or so prior to its eventual abandonment in the early 12th century BC, the site provides important evidence relating to the crucial period at the end of the 13th and the beginning of the 12th century BC. Former excavations suggest the entire plateau of ca. 7 ha to have been densely occupied. Excavated parts on the plateau were laid-out regularly within a perimeter ‘casemate’ wall. During the 2018 season excavations continued both on the west and east lobe in an effort to better understand the layout, organisation and functional specialisation of the settlement.

Sector 4

Several rooms were partly or completely excavated in Sector 4. Their main characteristic is the great depth of deposit, in places up to 3 metres against the slope of the plateau. Specific stratigraphic details point to a natural disaster, possibly a seismic event, which led to the collapse of part of the plateau and the partial sealing of rooms built against it. The excavation of these rooms brought to light novel details suggesting a sudden and very quick departure of the inhabitants from the site, obviously in the face of acute danger.

Thus, in Room 8 ca. 100 loom weights, still unbaked and in the process of being made with raw strips of clay, were placed in a perishable container, possibly a basket with an oval shape, as their location on the bedrock suggests. The strips of clay were still malleable. It is the first time that such 12th century BC clay becomes available in considerable quantities, ideal for scientific investigation. Fragments of charcoal and burnt soil buried under the collapse of the plateau will provide important chronological details regarding the abandonment and partial destruction of some buildings.

Further loom weights, fired this time, came to light in Rooms 15-16 suggesting the possible location of a loom. In Room 12-13 a pit was found. It contained a complete pithoid jar (Fig. 1). The excavation continued in the partly investigated Rooms 25 and 43-37bin Sector 4.1. It became clear that these rooms continue further to the east, towards the centre of the west lobe of the plateau.

2018 excavations at the Pyla Kokkinokremos site in Cyprus concluded
Fig. 2: Sector 5 located on the south-eastern sector of the summit plateau
[Credit: Department of Antiquities, Republic of Cyprus]

Sector 5

Sector 5 is located on the south-eastern sector of the summit plateau (Fig. 2). Five excavation seasons have resulted in the discovery of 34 spaces, built on three distinct terraces. Spaces 21-34 were excavated during the 2018 campaign. The architecture within this sector is remarkably well preserved, especially against the slope. So far, the remains of Sector 5 show no signs of a clear north-south external façade suggesting the presence of a casemate wall.

Spaces 5.26 and 5.28 each seem to have held an outer (settlement) entrance which appears to have been closed off at some point in time. If so, the rock-cut shafts adjacent to the entrance in both these rooms might have belonged to a later phase, since they would not fit within the context of an entrance. Another prominent element in Space 5.26 is a large, well-cut, trapezoid ashlar block.

Space 5.31 generated an ensemble of finds, namely three dozen chunks of ore neatly stacked within a rectangular surface alongside a complete pithos, a stone hammer and a ca. 2,5 kilo heavy lead block – denoting the use of this room as part of a metal workshop. Assemblages of bronze objects were unearthed in Spaces 5.2 (excavated in 2014) and 5.21. The latter yielded a concentration of more than 100 bronze fragments as well as a sickle, an arrowhead and earrings; presumably all these bronze objects had been collected in a vessel. Some other interesting finds are a large stone tripod mortar or vessel (Space 5.25) and a bronze arrowhead, probably intentionally deposited within a crack in the bedrock floor (Space 5.28).

2018 excavations at the Pyla Kokkinokremos site in Cyprus concluded
Fig. 3: Limestone quarry discovered during the topographical survey of the Kokkinokremos hill
[Credit: Department of Antiquities, Republic of Cyprus]

Topographical survey

During the topographical survey of the Kokkinokremos hill a large, hitherto non-published limestone quarry was discovered (Fig. 3). Located immediately below the west lobe of the plateau on which the Late Bronze Age settlement is situated (Sector 4), the quarry extents over ca. 500 metres², with a width of 40 metres and a length between 15 to 24 metres.

The exploitation, either by chisels or stone picks, is illustrated by the usual extraction channels (ca. 8 to 10 cm wide) in the rock as well as several, unfinished regular blocks. No surface sherds were observed, hence further study is necessary to decide whether the quarry already dates to the Bronze Age or to the historical period occupation that is attested in the proximity. This said, several ashlar blocks were also noted on the surface of the Bronze Age site and some were either found reused in the walls or used as lintels.

Source: Department of Antiquities, Republic of Cyprus [July 26, 2018]




Ecuador displays priceless artifacts recovered from Germany

Ecuador began on Wednesday exhibiting 13 pre-Columbian artifacts illegally transported to Germany after they were taken from archaeological digs, bringing to an end six years of legal wrangling.

Ecuador displays priceless artifacts recovered from Germany
The National Institute of Cultural Heritage (INPC) recovered 13 pre-Hispanic archaeological pieces
which were to be auctioned in Germany [Credit: Rodrigo Buendia/AFP]

The priceless artifacts included human and animal sculptures as well as vases, some dating back more than 5,000 years.

They were found after being put up for auction by the Kuchenmueller family in Germany, who eventually agreed to return them.

Ecuador displays priceless artifacts recovered from Germany
The statues and vessels had been acquired by a private collector and taken
 illegally to Germany [Credit: Rodrigo Buendia/AFP]

A member of that family was a university professor in Ecuador’s largest city, Guayaquil, and had taken part in several archeological digs along the Pacific coast.

“He was German and when he returned to his country, he took the artifacts,” Cesar Molinaro, secretary of Ecuador’s committee combating the trafficking of cultural heritage property, told AFP.

Ecuador displays priceless artifacts recovered from Germany
Both human and animal sculptures were among pre-Columbian artifacts
illegally transported to Germany [Credit: Rodrigo Buendia/AFP]

Joaquin Moscoso, executive director of the National Institute of Cultural Heritage, said the recovery was a boost to the defense of Ecuador’s “cultural rights and heritage assets.”

Since 2010, Ecuador has recovered more than 12,000 looted artifacts, sculptures, canvases and documents, almost 5,000 of which had been whisked out of the country, mostly to Britain, France, Belgium and the United States, said Molinaro.

Source: AFP [July 26, 2018]




Prehistoric Sites in Wales Photoset 1 28.7.18.

Prehistoric Sites in Wales Photoset 1 28.7.18.

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Prehistoric Sites in Wales Photoset 2 28.7.18.

Prehistoric Sites in Wales Photoset 2 28.7.18.

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Prehistoric Sites in Wales Photoset 3 28.7.18.

Prehistoric Sites in Wales Photoset 3 28.7.18.

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https://t.co/hvL60wwELQ — XissUFOtoday Space (@xufospace) August 3, 2021 Жаждущий ежик наслаждается пресной водой после нескольких дней в о...