понедельник, 13 августа 2018 г.

Evidence of Bronze Age human activity found on remote Scottish island

Archaeologists say they have found the “first clear evidence” of Bronze Age activity on Staffa, off Mull, in the Inner Hebrides. A fragment of decorated prehistoric pottery was found on the island, known for its unusual geology, including Fingal’s Cave, in 2016.

Evidence of Bronze Age human activity found on remote Scottish island
Archaeologists have uncovered evidence of a Bronze Age structure [Credit: NTS]

Last week, a larger trench was excavated. It revealed the western side of a structure defined by a series of ditches and pits. A burnt grain of hulled barley found in 2016 was radiocarbon dated to 1880-1700 BC. This along, with the other finds such as more pieces of pottery, have led archaeologists to suggest that people were visiting, and probably living, on Staffa in the Middle Bronze Age.
The Historic Archaeology Research Project, Staffa, a partnership involving a number of organisations including the National Trust for Scotland, The Glasgow School of Art SimVis and universities of Glasgow and Stirling, has been leading the study.

Evidence of Bronze Age human activity found on remote Scottish island
The Isle of Staffa [Credit: Getty Images]

Derek Alexander, the National Trust for Scotland’s head of archaeological services said: “This is our fifth season out at the island to investigate its past. Each time we go there we add another little piece of the jigsaw. It seems likely that people in the past were just as curious about their surroundings as we are. We can only imagine what Bronze Age people may have thought of the geological marvel that is Fingal’s Cave. Our next objective is to understand whether this evidence represents domestic occupation on the island or something a bit more ritualistic.”

Source: BBC News Website [August 10, 2018]




22 Roman graves discovered in Serbia

Archaeologists have discovered an important Roman necropolis complete with 22 graves containing ancient skeletons and burial gifts.

22 Roman graves discovered in Serbia
Credit: CEN

The startling discovery was made in a quarry near the town of Arandjelovac in Serbia close to the Vencac mountain.
The team of archaeologists told local media that the necropolis contained 22 graves of people who lived in the area between the fourth and sixth centuries.

22 Roman graves discovered in Serbia
Credit: CEN

The skeletons were buried in typical Roman fashion with the bodies laid northwest to southeast and the proximity of the graves to each other reportedly shows a well-arranged necropolis.
Snezana Stankovic from the Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments told local media: “We have a few whole skeletons, it is an exceptional find.”

22 Roman graves discovered in Serbia
Credit: RTS

Local media report that each grave contained objects that provided clues about the lives of those that are buried on the site.
Slavica Djordjevic from the Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments told reporters that earrings, head accessories, glass objects and a variety of ceramics had been found in the graves.

22 Roman graves discovered in Serbia
Credit: RTS

The fertile valley where the graves were discovered provided a suitable settlement during Roman times and the findings will give new insights into life in the region during the Roman period, according to reports.

Source: Express [August 10, 2018]




Burials dating to 4th millennium BC discovered during Aksay bypass construction in Rostov...

Archaeologists have found an ancient burial ground in an area where a future bypass around Aksay in Russia’s Rostov region is planned. The scientists speculated that it could be a 1,000 years older than the Egyptian pyramids, Russian state company Avtodor-Toll Roads that commissioned the excavation, stated Thursday.

Burials dating to 4th millennium BC discovered during Aksay bypass construction in Rostov Region
Credit: Russian Highways

“During the excavation, archaeologists found the most ancient burial ground on the Don [river], which is believed to date back to the fourth millennium BC,” the company said in a press release.

Burials dating to 4th millennium BC discovered during Aksay bypass construction in Rostov Region
Credit: Russian Highways

According to the announcement, the archaeologists have discovered burials beneath circular stone structures. In addition, well preserved vases and the remains of horse bridles were found. In the course of the excavations, copper tools were also discovered, which may indicate that people of high social status were buried here.

Burials dating to 4th millennium BC discovered during Aksay bypass construction in Rostov Region
Credit: Russian Highways

The ancient barrow, where the excavation was taking place, has long been known to experts. The site even appeared on 19th-century maps under the name of ‘Figurine’. However, archaeologists had not been able to explore the site for many years due to the absence of the necessary funding, which was finally allocated once the Aksay bypass project launched.

Source: Sputnik News [August 10, 2018]




All roads led to Rome but they also led to Europe’s modern-day prosperity, study...

Not only did all roads lead to Rome in the ancient world, they also led to modern-day prosperity.  A new study has shown a remarkable correlation between the network of stone roads built by the Romans 2,000 years ago and cities, transport hubs and economic development today.

All roads led to Rome but they also led to Europe's modern-day prosperity, study finds
The ancient Romans built their roads to allow soldiers and supplies to move 
around the empire [Credit: Getty]

The spider’s web of Roman roads that were constructed from Hadrian’s Wall to North Africa and the Near East corresponds closely to contemporary patterns of urbanisation and industrialisation.

The similarity is particularly striking for modern-day London, Paris and Rome, as well as the Po Valley of northern Italy, where the Romans established Milan.

Danish economists from the University of Copenhagen said that their findings showed that Roman military and economic endeavours put down deep roots that persist to this day.

Carl-Johan Dalgaard and his team of researchers produced a map of roads across the Roman Empire when it was at its greatest geographical extent, in the year 117 AD.

They then compared it with a 2010 satellite image of contemporary Europe at night, with the most brightly illuminated areas indicating major cities, towns and motorways.

They discovered a “remarkable pattern of persistence showing that greater Roman road density goes along with greater modern road density (and) greater economic activity in 2010.”

Roman cities, military outposts and roads set the template for economic development for the next two millennia, the academics suggest.

“Areas that attained greater road density during antiquity are characterised by a significantly higher road density today,” the research team wrote in their paper, which was published by Copenhagen University.

“Roman roads were linked to economic activity beyond the end of antiquity, and remain a strong and positive correlate of prosperity today.”

The only part of the Roman Empire where there is not a correlation is North Africa and the Middle East, where roads were abandoned as the Romans retreated, with local tribes switching from horse and carts to camel caravans. Roman roads fell into disrepair because there was no longer any use for them.

All roads led to Rome but they also led to Europe's modern-day prosperity, study finds
Roman roads and contemporary night light intensity among 1000 country-cells within the 
Roman empire in 117 CE [Credit: NASA Earth Observatory/Harvard University]

The development of the Middle East and North Africa subsequently took a very different course and both regions are now “considerably poorer” than Europe.

As a result, “we find that there is no significant link between ancient infrastructure and modern infrastructure within North Africa and the Middle East.

“In contrast, Roman roads continued to be maintained and in use in Europe after the fall of the Western Roman Empire,” the economists said.

Roman road-building began in earnest with the construction of the Appian Way from Rome to Capua, near present-day Naples.

The all-weather paved road was built to allow the army to move men and supplies south as they fought the Second Samnite War. The road was finished in 308 BC and the Romans defeated the Samnites four years later.

The Appian Way was eventually extended far to the south, to Brundisium, modern-day Brindisi on the Adriatic coast. It became the model for all subsequent road-building, both in Italy and across the rapidly expanding empire.

At the height of the empire’s reach, there were 50,000 miles of paved road. Many of them incorporated bridges, tunnels, sophisticated drainage systems and guesthouses for weary travelers.

“The purpose of the roads was to increase the speed and the ease with which the legions could reach locations of military interest – including territories of ongoing campaigns, army bases and Roman colonies that provided the army with essential supplies,” the study said.

“Very soon, the roads were also used by traders and for transportation of agricultural goods, but this was not the main intention.”

Author: Nick Squires | Source: The Telegraph [August 11, 2018]




Bronze Age town being unearthed in Turkey’s Eskişehir

Tucked away in the historic Seyitgazi district lay the remains of the oldest town in Eskişehir (Greek Dorylaion).

Bronze Age town being unearthed in Turkey's Eskişehir
Credit: Anadolu Agency

Shovel by shovel, Küllüoba is being revealed with excavations which have been carried out since 1996.

The head of the excavations, professor Dr. Turan Efe and associate professor Dr. Murat Türkteki, the head of Bilecik Şeyh Edebali University (BŞEU) Archaeology Department and deputy head of the excavations, lead a 35-person team.

Artifacts that have been found in a two-month excavation period hint that the region is located in the “Great Caravan Trail.” The items are being displayed at Eskişehir’s ETİ Archeology Museum.

Efe explained that Küllüoba district lies on the west of the Sakarya Plains and 15 kilometers northeast of Seyitgazi.

Bronze Age town being unearthed in Turkey's Eskişehir
Credit: Eskişehir Kültür Envanteri

On the foot of the mound, which uninterruptedly includes the prehistoric periods from 3,500 B.C. to the beginning of the Middle Bronze Age in 1,900 BC, there also were Hellenistic settlements.

“We get the impression that the first steps of a development towards urban development in architecture was taken in Küllüoba around these times. The most important example is the appearance of public buildings. The building complex with a size of 31 by 24 meters which we call ‘Complex II,’ stands in the middle of the settlement with the large courtyard. This structure probably belongs to the ruler of the settlement. As a result of the excavations at Küllüoba, we realized that the cultural and commercial relations between Çukurova and therefore Mesopotamia and Troy (Çanakkale) in the Early Bronze Age III, around 2,400-2,200 B.C., were not through the sea along the shores of the Mediterranean and Aegean Sea but through the Konya, Akşehir, upper Sakarya, Eskişehir and the İznik-İnegöl plains,” he said.

Bronze Age town being unearthed in Turkey's Eskişehir
Credit: Eskişehir Kültür Envanteri

Adding that this transportation line is called “Great Caravan Trail,” Efe noted that the ceramic material called “Syrian bottles” is among the findings that have origins in Mesopotamia.

Türkteki also stated that there is a big monumental structure in Küllüoba, which has been a settlement for 1,600 years without interruption and that this structure shows that there was a presence of a ruling class and thus social stratification on the way to the urban development. The excavation works this year focused on the “Lower Settlement.”

He noted that these structures belong to the Bronze Age II period.

Bronze Age town being unearthed in Turkey's Eskişehir
Credit: Eskişehir Kültür Envanteri

“Our other area of work is for the discovery of the architecture of the settlement dating back to 2,200-1,900 B.C. which we call Middle Bronze Age transition period.” he added.

He also said that they are carrying out excavation with a team of 35, of which 20 are students.

‘It’s exciting to witness the discovery of a tearbox’

Bronze Age town being unearthed in Turkey's Eskişehir
Credit: Eskişehir Kültür Envanteri

Eskişehir Culture and Tourism Deputy Manager Şennur Azade said that they were pleased to find traces belonging to the earlier civilizations of the country.

“Our ministry offered TL 90,000 ($14,000) to the excavation this year. We, as provincial directorate, provide support as much as we can. It’s exciting to witness the discovery of a tearbox in the excavations. We are glad to share our past cultures with our people,” he said.

Source: Daily Sabah [August 12, 2018]




Easter Island’s society might not have collapsed

You probably know Easter Island as “the place with the giant stone heads.” This remote island 2,300 miles off the coast of Chile has long been seen as mysterious–a place where Polynesian seafarers set up camp, built giant statues, and then destroyed their own society through in-fighting and over-exploitation of natural resources. However, a new article in the Journal of Pacific Archaeology hints at a more complex story–by analyzing the chemical makeup of the tools used to create the big stone sculptures, archaeologists found evidence of a sophisticated society where the people shared information and collaborated.

Easter Island's society might not have collapsed
Examples of the Easter Island statues, or moai [Credit: Dale Simpson, Jr.]

“For a long time, people wondered about the culture behind these very important statues,” says Field Museum scientist Laure Dussubieux, one of the study’s authors. “This study shows how people were interacting, it’s helping to revise the theory.”

“The idea of competition and collapse on Easter Island might be overstated,” says lead author Dale Simpson, Jr., an archaeologist from the University of Queensland. “To me, the stone carving industry is solid evidence that there was cooperation among families and craft groups.”

The first people arrived on Easter Island (or, in the local language, Rapa Nui) about 900 years ago. “The founding population, according to oral tradition, was two canoes led by the island’s first chief, Hotu Matu’a,” says Simpson, who is currently on the faculty of the College of DuPage. Over the years, the population rose to the thousands, forming the complex society that carved the statues Easter Island is known for today. These statues, or moai, often referred to as “Easter Island heads,” are actually full-body figures that became partially buried over time. The moai, which represent important Rapa Nui ancestors, number nearly a thousand, and the largest one is over seventy feet tall.

According to Simpson, the size and number of the moai hint at a complex society. “Ancient Rapa Nui had chiefs, priests, and guilds of workers who fished, farmed, and made the moai. There was a certain level of sociopolitical organization that was needed to carve almost a thousand statues,” says Simpson.

Easter Island's society might not have collapsed
Easter Island moai [Credit: Dale Simpson, Jr.]

Recent excavations of four statues in the inner region of Rano Raraku, the statue quarry, were conducted by Jo Anne Van Tilburg of Cotsen Institute of Archaeology, UCLA and director of the Easter Island Statue Project, along with her Rapa Nui excavation team. To better understand the society that fabricated two of the statues, Simpson, Dussubieux, and Van Tilburg took a detailed look at twenty one of about 1,600 stone tools made of volcanic stone called basalt that had been recovered in Van Tilburg’s excavations. About half of the tools, called toki, recovered were fragments that suggested how they were used.

For Van Tilburg, the goal of the project was to gain a better understanding of how tool makers and statue carvers may have interacted, thus gaining insight into how the statue production industry functioned. “We wanted to figure out where the raw materials used to manufacture the artifacts came from,” explained Dussubieux. “We wanted to know if people were taking material from close to where they lived.”

There are at least three different sources on Easter Island that the Rapa Nui used for material to make their stone tools. The basalt quarries cover twelve thousand square meters, an area the size of two football fields. And those different quarries, the tools that came from them, and the movement between geological locations and archaeological sites shed light on prehistoric Rapa Nui society.

“Basalt is a grayish rock that doesn’t look like anything special, but when you look at the chemical composition of the basalt samples from different sources, you can see very subtle differences in concentrations of different elements,” explains Dussubieux. “Rock from each source is different because of the geology of each site.”

Easter Island's society might not have collapsed
More Easter Island statues in Rano Raraku [Credit: Dale Simpson, Jr.]

Dussubieux led the chemical analysis of the stone tools. The archaeologists used a laser to cut off tiny pieces of stone from the toki and then used an instrument called a mass spectrometer to analyze the amounts of different chemical elements present in the samples. The results pointed to a society that Simpson believes involved a fair amount of collaboration.

“The majority of the toki came from one quarry complex–once the people found the quarry they liked, they stayed with it,” says Simpson. “For everyone to be using one type of stone, I believe they had to collaborate. That’s why they were so successful–they were working together.”

To Simpson, this level of large-scale cooperation contradicts the popular narrative that Easter Island’s inhabitants ran out of resources and warred themselves into extinction. “There’s so much mystery around Easter Island, because it’s so isolated, but on the island, people were, and still are, interacting in huge amounts,” says Simpson. While the society was later decimated by colonists and slavery, Rapa Nui culture has persisted. “There are thousands of Rapa Nui people alive today–the society isn’t gone,” Simpson explains.

Van Tilburg urges caution in interpreting the study’s results. “The near exclusive use of one quarry to produce these seventeen tools supports a view of craft specialization based on information exchange, but we can’t know at this stage if the interaction was collaborative. It may also have been coercive in some way. Human behavior is complex. This study encourages further mapping and stone sourcing, and our excavations continue to shed new light on moai carving.” In addition to potentially paving the way for a more nuanced view of the Rapa Nui people, Dussubieux notes that the study is important because of its wider-reaching insights into how societies work. “What happens in this world is a cycle, what happened in the past will happen again,” says Dussubieux. “Most people don’t live on a small island, but what we learn about people’s interactions in the past is very important for us now because what shapes our world is how we interact.”

Source: Field Museum [August 13, 2018]




HIPOD (13 Augus 2018): We’ll Always Have the South Pole    —…

HIPOD (13 Augus 2018): We’ll Always Have the South Pole

    — While the global dust storm has obscured much of the surface, we’ve still been able to get some good images of the polar region. (247 km above the surface, less than 5 km across.) 

NASA/JPL/University of Arizona


Units of Being Proteins and DNA live in symbiosis – in a cell,…

Units of Being

Proteins and DNA live in symbiosis – in a cell, one can’t survive without the other. The work-horses of the cell, proteins are transporters, catalysts and signal carriers, their functions underpinned by DNA carrying an intricate code that dictates the sequence of amino acids in each protein. A hormone named insulin was the first protein to have its amino acid sequence uncovered, the product of over ten years of patient work by Frederick Sanger – born on this day in 1918 – who used ‘Sanger’s reagent’ to break up the long amino acid chains of the protein and meticulously sequence each fragment. Awarded his first Nobel Prize in 1958 for this work on protein structure, Sanger’s second Nobel Prize was awarded in 1980 for work on the other building block of life – DNA, where, by inventing the ‘Sanger method’ of reading the genetic code, Sanger revolutionised the field of genetics for years to come.

Read more here about Fred Sanger at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology

Written by Ellie McLaughlin

You can also follow BPoD on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook

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Quartz | #Geology #GeologyPage #Mineral Locality:…

Quartz | #Geology #GeologyPage #Mineral

Locality: Lukmanierschlucht, Disentis, Graubünden, Switzerland

Size: 6.8 x 4 x 2.5 cm

Photo Copyright © Saphira Minerals

Geology Page



Papakolea Beach “Green Sand Beach”, Hawaii |…

Papakolea Beach “Green Sand Beach”, Hawaii | #Geology #GeologyPage #GreenSandBeach #Hawaii

Papakolea Beach (also known as Green Sand Beach or Mahana Beach) is a green sand beach located near South Point, in the Ka’u district of the island of Hawaii. One of only four green sand beaches in the world, the others being Talofofo Beach, Guam, Punta Cormorant on Floreana Island in the Galapagos Islands, and Hornindalsvatnet, Norway(citation needed). It gets its distinctive coloring from the mineral olivine, found in the enclosing cinder cone.

Geology Page



Move over J.K. Rowling! Get me! My photo books and poetry…

Move over J.K. Rowling! Get me! My photo books and poetry pamphlets on show! Some more currently in the making.

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Chesters Roman Fort, Hadrian’s Wall, 11.8.18. (Silent footage)

Chesters Roman Fort, Hadrian’s Wall, 11.8.18. (Silent footage)

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2018 August 13 The Pencil Nebula in Red and Blue Image Credit…

2018 August 13

The Pencil Nebula in Red and Blue
Image Credit & Copyright: José Joaquín Perez

Explanation: This shock wave plows through interstellar space at over 500,000 kilometers per hour. Near the top and moving up in this sharply detailed color composite, thin, bright, braided filaments are actually long ripples in a cosmic sheet of glowing gas seen almost edge-on. Cataloged as NGC 2736, its elongated appearance suggests its popular name, the Pencil Nebula. The Pencil Nebula is about 5 light-years long and 800 light-years away, but represents only a small part of the Vela supernova remnant. The Vela remnant itself is around 100 light-years in diameter, the expanding debris cloud of a star that was seen to explode about 11,000 years ago. Initially, the shock wave was moving at millions of kilometers per hour but has slowed considerably, sweeping up surrounding interstellar material. In the featured narrow-band, wide field image, red and blue colors track the characteristic glow of ionized hydrogen and oxygen atoms, respectively.

∞ Source: apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap180813.html


Packing for a Journey into the Twilight Zone

Submitted for your consideration: A team of researchers from

more than 20 institutions, boarding two research vessels, heading into the ocean’s

twilight zone.

The twilight zone is a dimly lit region between 650 and 3300

feet below the surface, where we’re unfolding the mystery of how tiny ocean

organisms affect our planet’s climate.


These tiny organisms – called phytoplankton – are plant-like

and mostly single-celled. They live in water, taking in carbon dioxide and

releasing oxygen.


Two boats, more than 100 researchers from more than 20

partner institutions, and a whole fleet of robotic explorers make up the EXport

Processes in the Ocean from RemoTe Sensing (EXPORTS)
team. We’re learning more

about what happens to carbon dioxide after phytoplankton digest it.


The Equipment to Find



Phytoplankton have predators in the ocean called

zooplankton. They absorb the phytoplankton’s carbon, carrying it up the food

chain. The EXPORTS mission will focus partly on how that happens in the ocean’s

twilight zone, where some zooplankton live.  When phytoplankton die, sometimes their bodies

sink through the same area. All of this carries carbon dioxide into the ocean’s

depths and out of Earth’s atmosphere.


Counting Life

Studying the diversity of these organisms is important to

better understand what’s happening to the phytoplankton as they die.

Researchers from the Virginia Institute of Marine Science are using a very fine

mesh net to sample water at various depths throughout the ocean to count

various plankton populations.


Researchers from the University of Rhode Island are bringing

the tools to sequence the DNA of phytoplankton and zooplankton to help count

these organism populations, getting a closer look at what lives below the

ocean’s surface.


Science at 500 Feet

Taking measurements at various depths is important, because

phytoplankton, like plants, use sunlight to digest carbon dioxide. That means that

phytoplankton at different levels in the ocean absorb and digest carbon

differently. We’re bringing a Wirewalker, an instrument that glides up and down

along a vertical wire to take in water samples all along its 500-foot long



This journey to the twilight zone will take about thirty

days, but we’ll be sending back dispatches from the ships. Follow along as we

dive into ocean diversity on our Earth Expeditions blog: https://blogs.nasa.gov/earthexpeditions.

Make sure to follow us on Tumblr for your regular dose of space: http://nasa.tumblr.com.


Gamelands Stone Circle, Cumbria, 11.8.18. A sizeable recumbent…

Gamelands Stone Circle, Cumbria, 11.8.18.

A sizeable recumbent circle on the edge of farmed land with orthostats of various sizes.

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С 12 на 13 aвгуста 2018 красивый звездопад Пеpсеиды

С 12 на 13 aвгуста 2018 нас ждёт самый красивый звездопад года  Благодаря метеорному потоку Пеpсеиды, можно будет увидеть до 100 падающих звёзд в час. Наблюдаем перед Рассветом.
С 12 на 13 aвгуста 2018 нас ждёт самый красивый звездопад года  Благодаря метеорному потоку Пеpсеиды, можно будет увидеть до 100 падающих звёзд в час. Наблюдаем перед Рассветом. Анимация от “Читающие”




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