четверг, 6 сентября 2018 г.

17th century mass graves discovered in Barcelona

The works on the new AVE station of La Sagrera in Barcelona, which have discovered 68 graves with 358 skeletons, could lead to the appearance of more remains as the construction of the railway infrastructure progresses.











17th century mass graves discovered in Barcelona
Credit: Alejandro Garcia/EFE

According to Josep Pujades, who is in charge of archaeological interventions, the remains may have belonged to some of the soldiers of Philip IV’s troops who took part in the siege of Barcelona in 1651, in the Guerra dels Segadors (Reapers’ War) and who died as a result of plague. None of the bodies found have any indication of having died a violent death and in the great majority of cases they are men between 15 and 35 years of age.
“Since 2008, archaeologists have been working on all the interventions in the area. In 2011 a first grave was located and in months we found twelve graves with 182 corpses. We were facing multiple burials, some of which contain more than 60 bodies,” Pujades said.











17th century mass graves discovered in Barcelona
Credit: Massimiliano Minocri/El Pais

“When we see corpses piled up like this it is indicative of a major mortality crisis. We found fragments of ceramics that clearly indicate that it is a mid-seventeenth-century necropolis. Studying historical maps, we found that between this point and the centre of the city there was a large camp of Spanish troops that besieged Barcelona. We know that at this time there was plague and we believe that this is the cause of death of these men,” says the chief archaeologist.
Several small graves, with one or two bodies, were found that probably correspond to the first phase of the epidemic, while the other graves with dozens of dead, piled up, would correspond to the highest moments of mortality.











17th century mass graves discovered in Barcelona
Credit: Sergi Alcazar/El Nacional

The remains will be transferred to the Zona Franca, to the depots of the Museum of History of Barcelona, where they will undergo the relevant anthropological analyses. The few items that have been removed from the graves (some buttons, bits of leather and ceramic fragments) will also go to the Museum to be analysed.


The excavation will last a few more days, during which more bodies may appear. The graves themselves will be reburied by the works of the station.


Source: El Pais [September 04, 2018]



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Skeleton of sacrificed dog unearthed at the Domus Aemilia site in Tuscany

Archaeologists excavating at the Domus Aemilia archaeological site near Tassignano, in the Tuscan province of Lucca, have discovered the well-preserved skeleton of a dog, evidently sacrificial offering, dating to the foundation of the building between the second and first century BC.











Skeleton of sacrificed dog unearthed at the Domus Aemilia site in Tuscany
Credit: Comune di Capannori

“The discovery of the dog, in a good state of preservation and laid on its side in a ditch created within the foundation of the perimeter wall west of the balneum (baths), is a rare opportunity to catch a glimpse into the operations related to the rites connected with building foundations in the ancient world”, says Alessandro Giannoni, director of the excavations.
“The construction of buildings or settlements, in fact, obeyed magical-religious prescriptions even before building began: these provided for the sacrifice of dogs and their ritual deposition, which can be explained both for its purifying function as well as its protective aspect. Although known primarily from written sources, this rite has been difficult to document precisely because of the particular position and location of the offerings beneath structures”, the archaeologist added.











Skeleton of sacrificed dog unearthed at the Domus Aemilia site in Tuscany
Credit: Comune di Capannori

The aim of this year’s campaign was to complete the research on the site and verify it as a balneum. To this end, the investigations in the areas adjacent to the site were expanded and which added some important pieces to the history of the site.
In particular, an area immediately south of the balneum, which seems to have been used for water heating, was also surveyed. The investigations in this area, although not completed, have likewise allowed for the documentation of pre-existing structures destroyed in late antiquity.


The history of this site therefore spans at least five centuries, beginning with a domus built along the banks of the river Auser, at the time of the first Roman colonization of the plain of Lucca (180 BC) and subsequently refurbished in the 1st-2nd centuries AD, continuing in use until a female burial – named Aemilia (from which the domus gets it name) – marked the end of its residential use in favour of its use as a cemetery in late antiquity (4th-5th centuries).


Source: Repubblica [September 04, 2018]



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Unique medieval Venetian coin found in abandoned Swedish port

Archaeologists in Sweden have discovered a gold ducat from early medieval Venice in Elleholm, a once thriving port that has now entirely disappeared.











Unique medieval Venetian coin found in abandoned Swedish port
Venetian gold ducat, 14th cent. obverse [Credit: Blekinge Museum]

The ducat was minted during the reign of Doge Andrea Dandalos, who ruled the powerful Italian city state from 1343 to 1354.


“To find the first coin ever found in Sweden from the medieval Venice here, suggests it was an international trading port,” Marcus Sandekjer, head of Blekinge Museum, told The Local.


The Archbishop of Lund controlled the city from 1450 right up until the reformation in 1536, when it was passed to the Swedish crown.


“Of course when you find coins from Italy in the Archbishop’s city, it’s tempting to think that it has something to do with ties to Italy and to the Pope,” Sandekjer said. “But that is just a hypothesis.”


On the reverse side of the coin there is an image of St Marcus passing over a standard to the Doge, and on the other there is an image of the prophet Jesus Christ surrounded by an almond-shaped aureole of light, or Mandorla.


The city once took up most of the Elleholm island in the middle of the Mörrumsån river in Blekinge, and included the Sjöborg castle and a church.


“It’s a fascinating place, just imagine this little city on an island in the middle of a river,” Sandekjer said. “It was very compact.”











Unique medieval Venetian coin found in abandoned Swedish port
Venetian gold ducat, 14th cent. reverse [Credit: Blekinge Museum]

The city was destroyed at least twice, once in 1436 during the Engelbrekt rebellion against the Kalmar Union, and once in 1524 during Søren Norby’s Scanian rebellion.


The ongoing dig, a collaboration between the Blekinge Museum and Kulturen, a folk history museum in Lund, is the first on the site since 1924.


The city’s disappearance has been linked to the Reformation, which stripped the Archbishop of most of his power, as well as to the development of the nearby port of Karlshamn, and to the changing requirements for a successful trading port.


“This is a small island in the river, upstream, which means they could never go in with ships to the actual island,” Sandekjer explained. “It’s a medieval solution for a city to put it upstream.”


As trading volumes increased, ports moved directly to the sea, he said.


Sandekjer said a dendrochrological study of the remains of the bridge to the island had dated it back to 1340, indicating that the site had hosted a port for at least 100 years before it was formally granted city status. 


The archaeologists have also found a lead seal from Flanders, dating to the first half of the 14th century.


“It was probably a seal for cloth or clothing,” Sandekjer says. “So that shows us that it was an active place before we knew that it was active.”


Author: Richard Orange | Source: The Local [September 04, 2018]



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Roman ‘bird basin’ found in the Netherlands

Archaeologists have found a unique Roman washing basin made of bronze in Rijnsburg in Zuid-Holland. There are some ten examples known in Europe of this kind of basin with ribbed sides but this is the only one with an eagle’s head,’ provincial archaeologist René Proos told the NRC.











Roman ‘bird basin’ found in the Netherlands
Credit: Provincie Zuid-Holland

The basin was found among the cremated remains of three people in a grave dating from the fourth century. Proos said other finds, such as combs made in Northern Germany, means it’s likely the people were part of a Germanic tribe. The basin pre-dates the other objects by around 50 years.
The basin was found in pieces and it has taken a year to put it together again. The quality of the piece shows it was probably made a specialised workshop in Italy while the eagle could indicate ownership by a high-ranking Roman officer stationed at the nearby Northern border of the Roman empire.











Roman ‘bird basin’ found in the Netherlands
Credit: Provincie Zuid-Holland

Proos said the find could have been used to bribe a Germanic tribal chief: Roman generals and diplomats tried to buy the loyalty of local chiefs with gold, jewellery and bronze and silver objects.


Historians assumed the Romans left the Netherlands in the 3rd century. However, says Proos, this find, along with others from the last ten years, could mean the Roman army settled in the area again at the end of third or the beginning of the fourth century, perhaps by bribing the local chiefs.


Source: Dutch News [September 04, 2018]



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Santorini Aphrodite retrieved in smuggling bust

A 2,000-year-old statue of the ancient Greek goddess of love Aphrodite, one of a batch of antiquities stolen from a museum storeroom on the resort island of Santorini, has been recovered from traffickers in a car trunk, Greek police said Wednesday.











Santorini Aphrodite retrieved in smuggling bust
Credit: Hellenic Police

The 80-centimeter (31-inch) marble work was found Tuesday, together with two more ancient stone artefacts believed to have been illegally excavated, in a car stopped in a parking lot in the southern seaside town of Loutraki.


Police arrested a 46-year-old Greek man in the car, who was allegedly seeking to sell the three pieces for a total €350,000 ($400,000). Another two Greek men have been identified as suspected accomplices, a police statement said, adding that the crackdown followed a tipoff.


According to Wednesday’s statement, the director of the Santorini museum confirmed that the Aphrodite statue, which dates to the 2nd or 1st centuries BC, was stolen from the storeroom.


Earlier this year, a watchman at the Santorini museum and another suspect were arrested for allegedly stealing antiquities from the storage area, and about 20 pottery and stone artifacts — many dating to the 17th century BC — were recovered.


No inventory of other missing artifacts was published, and it was unclear how many were stolen.


Police said the other two artefacts found in the car trunk were a cylindrical marble box and a 3rd century AD stone relief plaque depicting one of the labors of Hercules — the mythical heros fight with the Hydra monster.


Greece’s rich ancient heritage frequently falls prey to antiquities smugglers, with scores of arrests recorded every year. But thefts from museums are rare. [AP]


Source: Kathimerini [September 05, 2018]



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Ancient household waste gives more clues about Devon’s Roman history

Recently discovered household waste thrown away by families thousands of years ago will provide valuable clues for archaeologists uncovering the secrets of Devon’s Iron Age, Roman, and Medieval history.











Ancient household waste gives more clues about Devon’s Roman history
University of Exeter archaeologists have been excavating different parts of the site
during the past seven years [Credit: University of Exeter/PA]

The rubbish, found by experts working on a major archaeological dig in the county, will allow them to reconstruct farming methods thousands of years ago and learn more about what people ate.


Members of the community and experts from the University of Exeter are once again investigating fields near Ipplepen, in South Devon, to discover more about a site occupied by Iron Age, Roman, and early medieval communities who lived more than a thousand years ago.


The public can find out more about the excavations at an Open Day on Saturday 8th September. People will be able to have a tour of the excavation, see some of the finds, and talk to members of the excavation team and two re-enactment groups who will reconstruct what life was like for the Roman army and farming communities.


The excavations have shown features such as ditches and wells were back filled with domestic rubbish including broken pots, butchered animal bones, metal studs from old shoes, and even a dead badger.











Ancient household waste gives more clues about Devon’s Roman history
The archaeological dig in fields near Ipplepen [Credit: University of Exeter/PA]

The remains of Amphora, large pottery storage vessels used to transport and store wine and olive oil from the Mediterranean, have also been found. This suggests the community in the area enjoyed foreign food and drink.


The settlement was occupied from the Middle and Late Iron Age (about 400 BC to AD43), throughout the Roman period (AD43-410), and into the early medieval period (AD410-800). It was home to a farming community and in the Roman period a road was constructed through the settlement that linked it with Exeter.


Professor Stephen Rippon, from the University of Exeter, who is leading the archaeological work, said: “We can use these animal bones to reconstruct past patterns of farming. If animals such as the sheep were killed at a young age then they were being kept for their meat – lamb, whereas if they were kept into old age then they were being kept for their wool and even their milk!. Some of the bones that have been found have cut marks from when they were butchered.”


University of Exeter archaeologists have been excavating different parts of the site during the past seven years. They are joined by members of the local community who are helping them to excavate the area thanks to support from the National Lottery. Since exploration of the site started in 2012, 200 people have volunteered to help uncover its secrets.


In previous years excavations have uncovered Iron Age roundhouses, a Romano-British settlement and associated field system, Roman road, and an early medieval cemetery. This year the team are exploring the southern part of the site where traces of a settlement have been found that was occupied during the final years of Britain being part of the Roman Empire.


The Open Day is free and runs from 10.30am to 3.30pm. Directions to the site will be signposted on the day from Ipplepen on the A381 Newton Abbot to Totnes road.


Source: University of Exeter [September 05, 2018]



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The Bigger Picture Imagine looking at a map but only seeing…


The Bigger Picture


Imagine looking at a map but only seeing the motorways, or fields, or rivers. You wouldn’t be getting the whole picture. A similar problem arises when looking at tissue biopsies from patients. With cancer tissue biopsies, spotting changes in multiple proteins often means more appropriate treatment can be given. Researchers now present a technique called tissue-based cyclic immunofluorescence (t-CyCIF), which images multiple proteins at high resolution. Human tissue biopsies were treated with fluorescently tagged antibodies that bound a specific protein. Each biopsy was imaged, the fluorescence then deactivated and the process repeated again for different proteins. Stitching together the images revealed a more complete picture of the tissue. In the case of metastatic skin cancer (pictured), the team simultaneously looked at proteins marking out cancer cells (green), immune cells (white) and connective tissue (red). With this approach researchers can more easily uncover changes that occur in cancer for more personalised treatments.


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ANA HOLDINGS and JAXA Partner to Create a New Space Industry Centered Around Real-World...


ANA – AVATAR X Prize logo.


September 6, 2018


“AVATAR X” program launches to boost humanity’s access to the Moon, Mars and beyond.


ANA HOLDINGS INC. (hereinafter ANA HD) and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) are proud to announce the launch of “AVATAR X,” a multi-phased program to revolutionize space exploration and development using real-world Avatars (1).



AVATAR X Phases

AVATAR X aims to capitalize on the growing space-based economy by accelerating development of real-world Avatars that will enable humans to remotely build camps on the Moon, support long-term space missions and further explore space from afar.


AVATAR X is part of “ANA’s AVATAR Vision (2),” a breakthrough endeavor to advance and pioneer real-world Avatar technologies, and JAXA’s new research and development program “J-SPARC” (JAXA Space Innovation through Partnership and Co-creation). Together with a growing list of public and private partners, AVATAR X hopes to catalyze new space-based businesses that will provide key services and an unprecedented level of access to space.


Some of the new business fields that AVATAR X aims to unlock, using real-world Avatars, include:


・Remote construction in space, including the lunar surface and Mars
・Operation and maintenance of space stations and facilities from Earth
・Space-based entertainment and travel for the general public


The first phase of AVATAR X starts in 2018 with the establishment of the AVATAR X consortium. The consortium will be the official forum to discuss and construct a roadmap for the AVATAR X program. The consortium is open to companies and organizations from all sectors that are interested in jointly pioneering this new space initiative.


The second phase consists of building the “AVATAR X Lab@OITA” in Japan’s southern prefecture of Oita. This facility will be the world’s first dedicated Avatar space test field. Key telecommunication and research infrastructure will be installed at the facility to enable testing for Avatars in space scenarios defined by the AVATAR X consortium. Unique structures, designed by award-winning architecture firm CLOUDS Architecture Office (3) (CLOUDS AO), will also be built at the AVATAR X Lab@OITA to house research facilities, conference and exhibition rooms as well as restaurants and other amenities for researchers and visitors.



AVATAR X Prize poster

Planned for the early 2020’s, the third phase of AVATAR X will transport technologies developed at the AVATAR X Lab@OITA to Low Earth Orbit (LEO) for testing in space. Once the capabilities of these new technologies are confirmed in the space environment, the fourth phase will begin. Phase four involves deploying AVATAR X technology to begin building and further exploring the Moon, Mars and beyond.


“ANA is driven by a bold and inspiring vision of the future of flight and this boldness doesn’t stop on our planet,” said Shinya Katanozaka, President and CEO of ANA HD. “Through innovative partnerships, like AVATAR X, we are excited about the possibilities of what we can accomplish and where we can go when the private and public sectors join forces.”


Notes:


(1). A real-world Avatar is essentially a robot controlled by a human that will enable a person to see, hear, feel and interact freely in a remote environment in real-time. Each Avatar consists of an operator apparatus (pilot) and remote apparatus (Avatar) that are in complete synchronization. The intentions of the operator are transmitted to the remote Avatar and the resulting sensations of sight, sound and touch detected by the remote Avatar are fed back to the operator.


(2). ANA AVATAR Vision website: https://ana-avatar.com/english.html


ANA AVATAR Vision press release: https://www.ana.co.jp/group/en/pr/201803/20180313.html


(3). CLOUDS AO was awarded first place in NASA’s Centennial Challenge Mars Habitat Competition.


AVATAR X Website: https://avatarx.com/english.html


Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA): http://global.jaxa.jp/


Images, Text, Credits: Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)/ALL NIPPON AIRWAYS CO., LTD.


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Telescope maps cosmic rays in large and small magellanic clouds

A radio telescope in outback Western Australia has been used to observe radiation from cosmic rays in two neighbouring galaxies, showing areas of star formation and echoes of past supernovae.











Telescope maps cosmic rays in large and small magellanic clouds
A red, green, blue composite image of the Large Magellanic Cloud made from radio wavelength observations at 
123MHz, 181MHz and 227MHz. At these wavelengths, emission from cosmic rays and the hot gases belonging 
to the star forming regions and supernova remnants of the galaxy are visible [Credit: ICRAR]

The Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) telescope was able to map the Large Magellanic Cloud and Small Magellanic Cloud galaxies in unprecedented detail as they orbit around the Milky Way.


By observing the sky at very low frequencies, astronomers detected cosmic rays and hot gas in the two galaxies and identified patches where new stars are born and remnants from stellar explosions can be found.


International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR) astrophysicist Professor Lister Staveley-Smith said cosmic rays are very energetic charged particles that interact with magnetic fields to create radiation we can see with radio telescopes.


“These cosmic rays actually originate in supernova remnants–remnants from stars that exploded a long time ago,” he said.











Telescope maps cosmic rays in large and small magellanic clouds
A red, green, blue composite image of the Large Magellanic Cloud (left) and Small Magellanic Cloud (right) made from 
radio wavelength observations taken at 123MHz, 181MHz and 227MHz. At these wavelengths, emission from cosmic 
rays and the hot gases belonging to the star forming regions and supernova remnants of the galaxy 
are visible [Credit: ICRAR]

“The supernova explosions they come from are related to very massive stars, much more massive than our own Sun.


“The number of cosmic rays that are produced depends on the rate of formation of these massive stars millions of years ago.”


The Large and Small Magellanic Clouds are very close to our own Milky Way–less than 200,000 light years away–and can be seen in the night sky with the naked eye.


ICRAR astronomer Dr Bi-Qing For, who led the research, said this was the first time the galaxies had been mapped in detail at such low radio frequencies.











Telescope maps cosmic rays in large and small magellanic clouds
The Milky Way arching over the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds as viewed from 
the Pinnacles Desert in Western Australia [Credit: inefekt69/Flickr]

“Observing the Magellanic Clouds at these very low frequencies–between 76 and 227MHz–meant we could estimate the number of new stars being formed in these galaxies,” she said.


“We found that the rate of star formation in the Large Magellanic Cloud is roughly equivalent to one new star the mass of our Sun being produced every ten years.


“In the Small Magellanic Cloud, the rate of star formation is roughly equivalent to one new star the mass of our Sun every forty years.”


Included in the observations are 30 Doradus, an exceptional region of star formation in the Large Magellanic Cloud that is brighter than any star formation region in the Milky Way, and Supernova 1987A, the brightest supernova since the invention of the telescope.


Professor Staveley-Smith said the results are an exciting glimpse into the science that will be possible with next-generation radio telescopes.



“It shows an indication of the results that we will see with the upgraded MWA, which now has twice the previous resolution,” he said.


Furthermore, the forthcoming Square Kilometre Array (SKA) will deliver exceptionally fine images.


“With the SKA the baselines are eight times longer again, so we’ll be able to do so much better,” Professor Staveley-Smith said.


The research was published in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society and is available here.


Source: International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research [September 03, 2018]




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Veiled supernovae provide clue to stellar evolution

At the end of its life, a red supergiant star explodes in a hydrogen-rich supernova. By comparing observation results to simulation models, an international research team found that in many cases this explosion takes place inside a thick cloud of circumstellar matter shrouding the star. This result completely changes our understanding of the last stage of stellar evolution.











Veiled supernovae provide clue to stellar evolution
Artist’s impression of a red supergiant surrounded with thick circumstellar matter [Credit: NAOJ]

The research team led by Francisco Förster at the University of Chile used the Blanco Telescope to find 26 supernovae coming from red supergiants. Their goal was to study the shock breakout, a brief flash of light preceding the main supernova explosion. But they could not find any signs of this phenomenon. On the other hand, 24 of the supernovae brightened faster than expected.
To solve this mystery, Takashi Moriya at the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ) simulated 518 models of supernovae brightness variations and compared them with the observational results. The team found that models with a layer of circumstellar matter about 10 percent the mass of the Sun surrounding the supernovae matched the observations well. This circumstellar matter hides the shock breakout, trapping its light. The subsequent collision between the supernova ejecta and the circumstellar matter creates a strong shock wave that produces extra light, causing it to brighten more quickly.











Veiled supernovae provide clue to stellar evolution
Light curve (points) of SNHiTS15aw one of the observed supernovae, compared to standard model (dashed line),
and simulations of this study (continuous lines). The observed light curve rises up faster than the standard model
and matches the simulation results very well [Credit: Förster et al. Nature Astronomy 2018, modified]

Moriya explains, “Near the end of its life, some mechanism in the star’s interior must cause it to shed mass that then forms a layer around the star. We don’t yet have a clear idea of the mechanism causing this mass loss. Further study is needed to get a better understanding of the mass loss mechanism. This will also be important in revealing the supernova explosion mechanism and the origin of the diversity in supernovae.”


These observations were performed by the Blanco Telescope at Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory during six nights in 2014 and eight nights in 2015. The simulations by Moriya were performed on the NAOJ Center for Computational Astrophysics PC cluster.


This research was published in Nature Astronomy.


Source: National Institutes of Natural Sciences [September 03, 2018]



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Greenhouse emissions from Siberian rivers peak as permafrost thaws

Permafrost soils store large quantities of frozen carbon and play an important role in regulating Earth’s climate. In a study published in Nature Geoscience, researchers from Umeå University, Sweden, in collaboration with an international team, now show that river greenhouse gas emissions rise high in areas where Siberian permafrost is actively thawing.











Greenhouse emissions from Siberian rivers peak as permafrost thaws
The Taz River in Western Siberia [Credit: Egor Istigechev]

As permafrost degrades, previously frozen carbon can end up in streams and rivers where it will be processed and emitted as greenhouse gases from the water surface directly into the atmosphere. Quantifying these river greenhouse gas emissions is particularly important in Western Siberia – an area that stores vast amounts of permafrost carbon and is a home to the Arctic’s largest watershed, Ob’ River.


Now researchers from Umeå University (and collaborators from SLU, Russia, France, and United Kingdom) have shown that river greenhouse gas emissions peak in the areas where Western Siberian permafrost has been actively degrading and decrease in areas where climate is colder, and permafrost has not started to thaw yet. The research team has also found out that greenhouse gas emissions from rivers exceed the amount of carbon that rivers transport to the Arctic Ocean.


“This was an unexpected finding as it means that Western Siberian rivers actively process and release large part of the carbon they receive from degrading permafrost and that the magnitude of these emissions might increase as climate continues to warm” says Svetlana Serikova, doctoral student in the Department of Ecology and Environmental sciences, Umeå University, and one of the researchers in the team.


Quantifying river greenhouse gas emissions from permafrost-affected areas in general and in Western Siberia in particular is important as it improves our understanding the role such areas play in the global carbon cycle as well as increases our abilities of predicting the impacts of a changing climate on the Arctic.


“The large-scale changes that take place in the Arctic due to warming exert a strong influence on the climate system and have far-reaching consequences for the rest of the world. That is why it is important we focus on capturing how climate warming affects the Arctic now before these dramatic changes happen” says Svetlana Serikova.


Author: Ingrid Söderbergh | Source: Umea University [September 03, 2018]



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Researchers offer new way to see dirty underside of glaciers

Accurate projections of sea level rise require sophisticated models for glacier flow, but current approaches do a poor job capturing the physical processes that control how fast glaciers slide over sediments, according to University of Oregon researchers.











Researchers offer new way to see dirty underside of glaciers
UO postdoctoral researcher Colin Meyer reaches with an ice axe on frozen sediment
beneath a glacier in Alaska [Credit: Kiya Riverman]

In a new study, the UO team, led by postdoctoral researcher Colin Meyer, offered a theoretical approach that helps to shed light on what they call the dirty, dark undersides of glaciers and improve the modeling of ice flow.


Detailed in a July article in the journal Nature Communications, the approach captures how the amount of sediment frozen to a glacier’s base varies with the underlying water pressure, melting rate and particle size. It helps account for resulting changes in frictional resistance to glacier sliding.


To illustrate their theory, the UO researchers noted that regardless of the size or weight of a glacier, sliding accommodates ice flow that is driven by gravity and adjusts surface slopes so that friction at the bed never exceeds more than about 1 bar of stress.


“This is a longstanding problem,” Meyer said. “If we want to forecast what glaciers are going to do in the future, we have to talk about the place that we can’t see: the interface between the ice and the bed.”


Formulations dating from the early 1950s attributed this upper stress limit to the plastic-like nature of ice deformation. In their paper, however, the UO researchers noted that 50 percent of all glaciers, including those that move the most ice off land in Greenland and Antarctica into the sea, are sliding.











Researchers offer new way to see dirty underside of glaciers
Map shows areas in North America’s Laurentide Ice Sheet where there is strong evidence
for glacial sliding [Credit: University of Oregon]

The earlier explanation for 1 bar of frictional stress was based on observations by Paul Mercanton, a Swiss geophysicist, in 1950 and the analysis of John Nye, now professor emeritus at the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom, in 1952.


“Nye’s work carried the caveat that the formula only works for non-sliding areas,” said Alan Rempel, a professor in the UO’s Department of Earth Sciences and the paper’s senior author. “It’s not the complete story. It only applies if the glacier is stuck.”


Using their new theory, which combined mathematical analysis with satellite data and geological evidence from regions previously covered by ice sheets, the UO team matched the 1 bar limit. The result provided confidence that freezing sediments is the physical process that controls the friction of the ice-sediment interface. The importance of freezing sediment, Meyer said, will be influential in developing more accurate ice flow models.


The theory’s incorporation of freezing sediment provides a more complete view of glacial movement, Rempel said. “It focuses on the sliding and should help scientists accurately find the velocity of an advancing or receding glacier.”


“If we want to understand how fast sea levels are going to rise, we need to know how fast the ice sheets are going to disintegrate,” Meyer said. “We need to understand the role of friction at the base of a big glacier. Does water lubricate the interface or is the glacier frozen to the sediments? This friction sets how fast glaciers can flow.”


The rate of sliding, Rempel said, is key to understanding impacts on sea level.


“The hypothesis that we’ve pushed forward is that the physics of how glacier ice interacts with its bed is exactly the same physics as how ice interacts with dirt in the world around us,” Rempel said. “What we’ve looked at are conditions under which ice will just slide over dirt versus when ice sinks into and takes the dirt along with it.”


Incorporating frozen sediment into sliding laws, Rempel said, will lead to more accurate projections of sea level rise based on glacier-related conditions.


Author: Jim Barlow | Source: University of Oregon [September 03, 2018]



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Mud from the deep sea reveals clues about ancient monsoon

Analyzing traces of leaf waxes from land plants that over millennia accumulated in deep sea sediments, a team of researchers led by the University of Arizona reconstructed the history of monsoon activity in northern Mexico. Their results, published in the journal Nature Geoscience, help settle a long-standing debate over whether monsoon activity shut down completely under the influence of cooling brought about by the ice sheets that covered much of North America, or was merely suppressed.











Mud from the deep sea reveals clues about ancient monsoon
Monsoon rainstorms bring moisture from the tropics to the arid lands of the Desert Southwest,
supporting a landscape that is much more biodiverse than most other deserts in the world
[Credit: Deborah Lee Soltez/Public Domain]

During the Last Glacial Maximum, about 20,000 years ago, when mammoths and other prehistoric beasts roamed what is now northern Mexico and the southwestern United States, summer rains contributed a 35 percent of the annual rainfall, compared with about 70 percent today, according to the new study.


By diverting moisture from the tropics, the summer monsoon brings relief from months-long intense summer heat and drought to the arid lands of the American Southwest and northwestern Mexico. If the region depended on winter rains alone, the Sonoran Desert would not be known as one of the world’s most biodiverse deserts.


“The monsoon is such an iconic feature of the desert Southwest, but we know very little about how it has changed over thousands and millions of years,” says Tripti Bhattacharya, the study’s first author. “Our finding that the Southwestern monsoon was suppressed, but not completely gone under glacial conditions, points to the dramatic variability of the atmospheric circulation at the time, but suggests it has been a persistent feature of our regional climate.”


Previous studies had yielded inconclusive results, in part because the records used to infer evidence of past monsoon rainfall tend to be more like snapshots in time rather than providing more continuous climate records. For example, researchers have gained valuable glimpses into long-vanished plant communities based on plant parts preserved in packrat nests called middens, or by analyzing the chemical signatures they left behind in soils. Those studies suggested persistent monsoon activity during the last ice age, whereas other studies based on climate modeling indicated it was temporarily absent.


By applying a clever method never before used to study the history of the monsoon, Bhattacharya and her co-authors discovered the equivalent of a forgotten, unopened book of past climate records, as opposed to previously studied climate archives, which in comparison are more like single, scattered pages.


Forming a vast natural vault almost 1,000 meters below the sea surface, the seafloor of oxygen-poor zones in the Gulf of California contains organic material blown into the water for many thousands of years, including debris from land plants growing in the region. Since the deposits remain largely undisturbed from scavengers or microbial activity, Tierney and her team were able to isolate leaf wax compounds from the seafloor mud.


Co-author Jessica Tierney, an associate professor in the UA’s Department of Geosciences and Bhattacharya’s former postdoctoral adviser, has pioneered the analysis of the waxy coatings of plant leaves to reconstruct rainfall or dry spells in the past based on their chemical fingerprint, specifically different ratios of hydrogen atoms. The water in monsoon rain, according to Tierney, contains a larger proportion of a hydrogen isotope known as deuterium, or “heavy water,” which has to do with its origin in the tropics. Winter rains, on the other hand, carry a different signature because they contain water with a smaller ratio of deuterium versus “regular” hydrogen.


“Plants take up whichever water they get, and because the two seasons have different ratios of hydrogen isotopes, we can relate the isotope ratios in the preserved leaf waxes to the amount of monsoon rain across the Gulf of California region,” Tierney explains.


Piecing together past patterns of the monsoon in the Southwest can help scientists better predict future scenarios under the influence of a climate that’s trending toward a warmer world, not another ice age, the researchers say.


“The past is not a perfect analog, but it acts as a natural experiment that helps us test how well we understand the variability of regional climate,” says Bhattacharya, who recently accepted a position as assistant professor of earth sciences at Syracuse University. “If we understand how regional climates responded in the past, it gives us a much better shot at predicting how they will respond to climate change in the future.”


One way scientists can take advantage of past climate records is by applying climate models to them, using the records to “ground-truth” the models.


“The problem is that right now, our best climate models don’t agree with regard to how the monsoon will change in response to global warming,” Tierney says. “Some suggest the summer precipitation will become stronger, others say it’ll get weaker. By better understanding the mechanics of the phenomenon, our results can help us figure out why the models disagree and provide constraints that can translate into the future.”


To test the hypothesis of whether colder times generally weaken the monsoon and warmer periods strengthen it, Tierney’s group is planning to investigate how the monsoon responded to warmer periods in the past. Future research will focus on the last interglacial period about 120,000 years ago, and a period marked by greenhouse gas levels similar to those in today’s atmosphere: the Pliocene Epoch, which lasted from 5.3-2.5 million years ago.


Having better records of the Southwestern monsoon also helps scientists better understand how it compares to monsoons in other parts of the world that are better studied.


“We now know that our monsoon appears to be much more sensitive to the large-scale configuration of the atmosphere, whereas other monsoon systems are tied more closely to local ocean conditions,” Bhattacharya says.


Source: University of Arizona [September 03, 2018]



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Evolutionary origins of animal biodiversity

A new study by an international team of researchers, led by scientists from the University of Bristol, has revealed the origins and evolution of animal body plans.











Evolutionary origins of animal biodiversity
A fossil trilobite from the Cambrian Sirius Passet fossil Lagerstätte of North Greenland. Trilobites are one of the
earliest groups of animals to appear in the fossil record [Credit: Jakob Vinther, University of Bristol]

Animals evolved from unicellular ancestors, diversifying into thirty or forty distinct anatomical designs. When and how these designs emerged has been the focus of debate, both on the speed of evolutionary change, and the mechanisms by which fundamental evolutionary change occurs.


Did animal body plans emerge over eons of gradual evolutionary change, as Darwin suggested, or did these designs emerge in an explosive diversification episode during the Cambrian Period, about half a billion years ago?


The research team tackled this question by exhaustively compiling the presence and absence of thousands of features from all living animal groups.


Professor Philip Donoghue, from the University of Bristol’s School of Earth Sciences, said: “This allowed us to create a ‘shape space’ for animal body plans, quantifying their similarities and differences.


“Our results show that fundamental evolutionary change was not limited to an early burst of evolutionary experimentation. Animal designs have continued to evolve to the present day – not gradually as Darwin predicted – but in fits and starts, episodically through their evolutionary history.”











Evolutionary origins of animal biodiversity
Fossil Halkieria evangelista from the Cambrian Sirius Passet fossil Lagerstätte of North Greenland. The affinity of
halkieriids has been much debated, showing similarities to molluscs, brachiopods and annelids. It has been
 interpreted to represent a distinct Cambrian animal body plan but it is more conventionally interpreted
as a primitive mollusc [Credit: Jakob Vinther, University of Bristol]

Co-author Bradley Deline, from the University of West Georgia (USA), added: “Our results are important in that they highlight the patterns and pathways in which animal body plans evolved.


“Moreover, major expansions in animal form following the Cambrian aligns with other major ecological transitions, such as the exploration of land.


“Many of the animals we are familiar with today are objectively bizarre compared with the Cambrian weird wonders. Frankly, butterflies and birds are stranger than anything swimming in the ancient sea.”


Co-authors James Clark from Bristol’s School of Earth Sciences and Dr Mark Puttick from the University of Bath’s Department of Biology, worked on trying to fit fossil species into the study.


Dr Puttick said: “One of the problems we had is that our study is mostly based on living species and we needed to include fossils. We solved the problem through a combination of analyzing the fossils and using computer models of evolution.”











Evolutionary origins of animal biodiversity
This image is based on the presence and absence of anatomical features, like jointed legs and compound eyes, neurons
 and bony skulls. Considering all of these features, animals that are similar group together, far away from animals
 that are dissimilar. Most of this ‘design space’ is unoccupied, in part because of extinction of ancient ancestors
 that are unrepresented, in part because animals have only been around for half a billion years
and that is not enough time to explore all possible designs, but most of the design space
is unoccupied because those designs are impossible [Credit: University of Bristol]

James Clark added: “The fossils plot intermediate of their living relatives in shape space. This means that the distinctiveness of living groups is a consequence of the extinction of their evolutionary intermediates. Therefore, animals appear different because of their history rather than unpreserved jumps in anatomy.”


Co-author Jenny Greenwood, also from the University of Bristol’s School of Earth Sciences, wanted to dig deeper. She wanted to work out which of the many proposed genetic mechanisms drove the evolution of animal body plans.


Jenny said: “We did this by collecting data on the different genomes, proteins, and regulatory genes, that living animal groups possess. The differences in anatomical designs correlate with regulatory gene sets, but not the type or diversity of proteins. This indicates that it is the evolution of genetic regulation of embryology that precipitated the evolution of animal biodiversity.”


Co-author Kevin Peterson from Dartmouth College (USA), added: “Our study confirms the view that continued gene regulatory construction was a key to animal evolution.”


The study is published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.


Source: University of Bristol [September 03, 2018]



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2018 September 6 Along the Western Veil Image Credit &…


2018 September 6


Along the Western Veil
Image Credit & Copyright: Data – Steve Milne & Barry Wilson, Processing – Steve Milne


Explanation: Delicate in appearance, these filaments of shocked, glowing gas, are draped across planet Earth’s sky toward the constellation of Cygnus. They form the western part of the Veil Nebula. The Veil Nebula itself is a large supernova remnant, an expanding cloud born of the death explosion of a massive star. Light from the original supernova explosion likely reached Earth over 5,000 years ago. Blasted out in the cataclysmic event, the interstellar shock wave plows through space sweeping up and exciting interstellar material. The glowing filaments are really more like long ripples in a sheet seen almost edge on, remarkably well separated into atomic hydrogen (red) and oxygen (blue-green) gas. Also known as the Cygnus Loop, the Veil Nebula now spans nearly 3 degrees or about 6 times the diameter of the full Moon. While that translates to over 70 light-years at its estimated distance of 1,500 light-years, this telescopic two panel mosaic image of the western portion spans about half that distance. Brighter parts of the western Veil are recognized as separate nebulae, including The Witch’s Broom (NGC 6960) along the top of this view and Pickering’s Triangle (NGC 6979) below and left.


∞ Source: apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap180906.html


Dramatic vegetation changes in the past hint at dire future

A study on dramatic changes to Earth’s vegetation as it emerged from the last ice age and temperatures rose has offered clues on the kinds of transformations that will occur to landscapes with similar increases in temperature anticipated over just the next 150 years.











Dramatic vegetation changes in the past hint at dire future
Yarra Ranges National Park in Victoria [Credit: Steven Penton, Flickr]

ANU was part of the international research team that found two-thirds of the world’s vegetation underwent significant changes from 21,000 years ago until the pre-industrial era, when the Earth warmed by four to seven degrees Celsius.


Knowing the relationship between temperature change and the degree of vegetation change allowed the researchers to determine how ecosystems might be transformed under various greenhouse gas emissions models for this new study published in Science.


One of the ANU researchers, Professor Simon Haberle, said the team used the results from past changes to vegetation at 594 sites including every continent except Antarctica to assess the risk of future changes to ecosystems globally.


“We’re already starting to see warning signs of big changes in vegetation across Australia, with declines in the Mountain Ash forests in Victoria and the Pencil Pine forests in Tasmania that are occurring, in large part, due to climate change,” said Professor Haberle from the ANU Department of Archaeology and Natural History.


“Widespread and rapid changes to ecosystems are likely to have major knock-on effects for nationally important ecosystem services such as biodiversity, carbon storage and recreation.”


Dr. Janelle Stevenson from the ANU School of Culture, History, and Language was a co-author on the new Science paper, which was led by the University of Arizona and involved a team of 42 authors from around the world.


“The palaeoecological data that was used for this study can be viewed as natural experiments exploring the response of ecosystems to drivers of change over time scales that can’t be captured by instrumental or historical records,” Dr. Stevenson said.


ANU contributed and analysed datasets, based on ancient pollen records, for a large number of the sites from Australia and across the Pacific and South East Asia that had been compiled over decades.


“Pollen reflects the changes in landscape and vegetation cover, and the beauty of these ancient pollen records is that they allow us to see these changes over thousands to millions of years,” Dr. Stevenson said.


“The parts of Earth that had the biggest temperature increases over the time period analysed also had the most substantial changes in vegetation.


“Our study provides yet another wake-up call that we need to act now to move rapidly towards an emission-free global economy.”


Author: Will Wright | Source: Australian National University [August 31, 2018]



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Earth’s oxygen increased in gradual steps rather than big bursts

A carbon cycle anomaly discovered in carbonate rocks of the Neoproterozoic Hüttenberg Formation of north-eastern Namibia follows a pattern similar to that found right after the Great Oxygenation Event, hinting at new evidence for how Earth’s atmosphere became fully oxygenated.











Earth's oxygen increased in gradual steps rather than big bursts
An oxygenated Earth is vital for the evolution of complex life [Credit: NASA]

By using the Hüttenberg Formation, which formed between a billion and half a billion years ago, to study the time between Earth’s change from an anoxic environment (i.e. one lacking oxygen) to a more hospitable environment that heralded the animal kingdom, a team of researchers led by Dr. Huan Cui of the NASA Astrobiology Institute at the University of Wisconsin–Madison discovered a sustained, high level of carbon. This influx of carbon, coupled with changes in other elements, indicates how changing levels of oceanic oxygen may have lent a helping hand to early animal evolution.


The study, published in the journal Precambrian Research,paired new oxygen, sulfur, and strontium isotope data, with carbon isotope data published in 2009, obtained from drill core samples from the Hüttenberg Formation. Together, the data provides further evidence that Earth’s oxygen increased in a stepwise fashion, as opposed to being constrained to two major events capping the Proterozoic (a geological epoch that lasted between 2.5 billion and 541 million years ago). The resulting pattern of changing redox reactions (i.e. reactions involving oxygenation and reduction via the exchange of electrons) was named the Hüttenberg Anomaly, after the rock formation in which it was found.


The University of Maryland’s Dr. Alan J. Kaufman, who is the second author of the study and the lead author of the 2009 carbon isotope study, says that the paired data “suggest that the rise of oxygen was oscillatory through this 50- to 75-million year intervalassociated with the Hüttenberg Anomaly and the Neoproterozoic Oxidation Event or NOE at the end of the Proterozoic.”


The anomaly shows how the carbon isotope ratios (13C/12C) experienced a sustained 12 to 14 parts per thousand increase in abundance for roughly 15 million years before returning to prior low levels. As oxygen levels in the ocean increased, sulfides were converted to sulfates, which some microbes use in their metabolism to digest and recycle organic carbon on the seafloor. The isotopes of oxygen, carbon, and sulfur moved in tandem during the Hüttenberg Anomaly, convincing the scientists that what they were seeing wasn’t just a coincidence.


Wild fluctuations


Although it has long been accepted that high levels of atmospheric oxygen paved the way for animals to populate the Earth, global carbon and oxygen cycles fluctuated wildly during the Proterozoic, between the time when oxygen first accumulated in the atmosphere during the Great Oxygenation Event (GOE) around 2.4 billion years ago, and the time in which they stabilized near to modern levels once animals took the world stage following the NOE, around 500 million years ago.











Earth's oxygen increased in gradual steps rather than big bursts
Lead researcher Huan Cui analyzing isotopes in the wet lab at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Oxygen, carbon,
 strontium and sulfur isotopes during the Neoproterozoic reveal a step-wise pattern of atmospheric oxygen,
crucial to the evolution of complex life [Credit: Huan Cui]

During the time between those two events, pulses of unicellular life and variable levels of oxygen in the oceans are thought to have stimulated the evolution of more complex life. These ancient oxygen swings were crucial to the evolution of multicellular life at the Precambrian–Cambrian boundary (541 million years ago; the Cambrian is a geological period that marked the origin and diversification complex animal life on Earth). As pools of oxygenated water grew in the ocean, life was given the opportunity to develop towards a future when oxygen would be at stable and high levels. The Hüttenberg Anomaly represents one such window of opportunity for life.


Kaufman compares the jump in oxygen to another oxygen oasis in time, the Lomagundi event right after the GOE. The Lomagundi event has been described as a false start, when oxygen concentrations rose to levels that could support some life, before decreasing again. It wouldn’t be until the NOE that oxygen would rise to modern-day levels.


“Here’s an isotope anomaly in the Neoproterozoic that is associated broadly in time with the NOE, but which has a rise and fall structure that looks very similar to the GOE,” Kaufman tells Astrobiology Magazine. “At both ends of the Proterozoic Eon there was continental rifting, glaciations, and profound carbon fluctuations; just as the GOE was likely responsible for the evolution of simple eukaryotes, the NOE was involved in the evolution of multicellularity.”


So the GOE ushered in eukaryotes, which are microbes with cells containing a nucleus wrapped by a membrane, and the NOE ushered in even more complex animals. These exceptional events in Earth’s history each harbored an evolutionary test pool that fostered new lifeforms. How exactly the Hüttenberg Anomaly fits into these events or exactly what evolutionary consequence it had still remains to be seen.


Temporary habitability


During the period between the GOE and the NOE, pockets or bubbles of habitability in a mostly uninhabitable planet would pop up, but these blips on the radar were reversible. Shifting ice sheets or the absence of erosion would decrease elements such as nitrogen and phosphorus required by photosynthesizing life, causing the oxygen and carbon signatures to disappear. The tipping point would appear in the Cambrian Period when the planet was consistently oxygenated.











Earth's oxygen increased in gradual steps rather than big bursts
Drill core samples from the Tsumeb mine in the Huttenberg Formation in north-eastern Namibia. A carbon anomaly
 found in the samples holds clues as to the early oxygenation of Earth’s oceans [Credit: Huan Cui]

We see similar effects of anomalies today; in our mostly well-oxygenated atmosphere, there are still oxygen-depleted environments where life struggles to persist or takes an alternative evolutionary pathway: inland seas, underground caves and oceanic dead zones where sulfate- or nitrate-breathers persist while the rest of the world breathes oxygen.


“There are still anoxic environments in the modern Earth,” Huan Cui, first author of the paper, says. “If you go to the Black Sea, you can still find local anoxic environments in the modern ocean.”


In this study the anomaly was oxygen. Today, the anomaly is a lack of oxygen.


While rocks in other areas of Namibia have been well-studied, the rock strata containing the Hüttenberg Anomaly have been eroded out in many sections, leaving the crucial data piece missing for decades.


Taking another look


Dr. Paul Myrow, a geology professor at Colorado College who was not involved with the study, says that given the time constraints this study provides, more researchers will now take a closer look at other ancient rock formations and re-examine whether this anomaly exists elsewhere on the planet.


Parsing out whether the rise in oxygen was restricted or widespread throughout the ancient ocean or on different ancient continents is something every isotopic study has to take into account.


“One of the ways that we can get that answer is to see if the signal of the Hüttenberg Anomaly can be matched to places around the world,” Myrow, who also studies Precambrian ocean conditions, says. “If there is this shift that took place in different continents at the same time, then we can be more confident about this being global.”


At a time when the planet’s oceanic chemistry, tectonic plates and inhabitants were in such a state of disequilibrium, the Earth’s low-oxygen and unstable atmosphere could be considered wildly dangerous by today’s standards. As the Earth was changing, its teenage awkwardness manifested as smelly, sulfuric pits, hairy living situations, moody shifts in its accommodations, and irreverence towards its co-inhabitants. The Hüttenberg Anomaly is one small step towards the Earth airing out its dirty laundry, cleaning up and becoming presentable for the lifeforms that evolved later.


Author: Emily Moskal | Source: Astrobiology Magazine [August 31, 2018]



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New archaeological evidence excavated at Shakespeare’s Theatre

A team of archaeologists from MOLA have embarked on an exciting new excavation at the site of Shakespeare’s London playhouse and Hackney’s first Scheduled Ancient Monument, The Theatre. The work is underway to prepare the space for a new development, The Box Office, which will place the in-situ archaeological remains of The Theatre centre stage in an exhibition dedicated to exploring Elizabethan commercial theatre culture, and how The Theatre came to be one of the most important places in the story of Shakespeare in London.











New archaeological evidence excavated at Shakespeare’s Theatre
MOLA archaeologists excavate the outide areas of The Theatre in 2018
[Credit: (c) MOLA]

In this most recent dig, archaeologists have built on the evidence uncovered in our 2008 excavations that revealed the classic polygonal playhouse structure surrounding the gravel yard. Incredible new evidence is emerging of how the area was remodelled by James Burbage, from buildings that belonged to the earlier Holywell Priory, to create an Elizabethan Theatre Complex
Shakespeare’s plays are known to have taken four hours plus to be performed and academics from Before Shakespeare believe there were cues in his plays to keep the attention of theatregoers, with plot recaps and clues about what comes next, something evident in Hamlet.











New archaeological evidence excavated at Shakespeare’s Theatre
MOLA archaeologists excavate evidence of Burbage’s remodelling of Holywell Priory buildings
[Credit: (c) MOLA]

The new archaeological evidence from The Theatre indicates how Burbage was creating a Theatre Complex with enough space for audiences to mill around and socialise during these long performances. It’s a rare and exquisite opportunity to peer into the much-fantasised about experience of going to a Shakespearean playhouse.
Heather Knight, Lead MOLA Archaeologist on the dig, said: “It’s incredible to be back on site at The Theatre, it’s an internationally significant and iconic archaeological site and a really special place for archaeologists, historians, thespians and Londoners but especially for Shoreditch, London’s first theatreland. It was the discovery of The Theatre that gave Hackney its first Scheduled Ancient Monument, hopefully this dig will bring more amazing discoveries to light.”











New archaeological evidence excavated at Shakespeare’s Theatre
A floor plan of the exhibition, including The Theatre’s footprint
[Credit: Nissen Richards Studio]

The exhibition, which will feature a viewing window onto the in-situ remains of The Theatre, which haven’t been seen by the public for over 400 years. It will display new discoveries made during the dig, iconic artefacts from our 2008 excavations and objects loaned by institutions across London. It will be fully accessible and open to the public towards the end of 2019.
The drama is set to continue outside of the building, where the scene is set for transformation. A beautiful art-wall evoking the tragic romance of Romeo and Juliet, two of Shakespeare’s most famous characters, has recently been unveiled by renowned street artists Global Street Art.











New archaeological evidence excavated at Shakespeare’s Theatre
A reconstructed view of what The Theatre once looked like
[Credit: David Toon, Lee Sands/MOLA]

The plans to further echo the area’s rich theatrical past include the installation of a William Shakespeare statue, a landmark commission designed and sculpted by Raphael Maklouf and Hayley Gibb. The construction of the new building and exhibition space will be undertaken by The Box Office New Inn Broadway Limited, a subsidiary company of the Belvedere Trust.


Adding to Hackney’s inimitable artistic appeal, the new space will encompass the cultural and creative forces that have been flourishing in Shoreditch for over 400 years and evoke the drama and excitement of Shakespearean theatre. By partnering with artists, sculptors, archaeologists and top museums, it’s hoped that it will be a go-to destination for dramatic events and act as an important educational resource for the local community.


Source: Museum of London Archaeology [August 31, 2018]



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