воскресенье, 3 февраля 2019 г.

Roman Stones and Relics Photoset 4, Chesters Roman Fort and Environs, Hadrian’s...








Roman Stones and Relics Photoset 4, Chesters Roman Fort and Environs, Hadrian’s Wall, Northumberland, 27.1.19.


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Diamond | #Geology #GeologyPage #Mineral Locality: Diamantina,…


Diamond | #Geology #GeologyPage #Mineral


Locality: Diamantina, Minas Gerais, Brazil


Largest Crystal: 6mm


Photo Copyright © Jason McAvoy /e-rocks. com


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Buddhist remains found at India’s Kondaveedu fort

In a discovery that has pushed back the history of the Kondaveedu fort (in the Guntur district, Andhra Pradesh) to 3rd century AD, a Buddhist circular stupa and pillared pavilion (sila mandapa) datable to the Ikshvaku times, have been unearthed at the fort.











Buddhist remains found at India's Kondaveedu fort
E. Sivanagi Reddy and K. Siva Reddy observing the remnants of a Buddhist structure found atop Kondaveedu fort
[Credit: T.Vijaya Kumar]

E. Sivanagireddy, Buddhist archaeologist and CEO of the Cultural Centre of Vijayawada and Amaravathi along with K. Sivareddy, convenor, Kondaveedu Development Committee and Subhakar Medasani, secretary, Amaravathi Buddha Vihara, visited the site on Sunday.
Sighted under a temple


Mr. Sivareddy showed them the site where the remains of the stupa were exposed from underneath a sunken and dilapidated Siva temple of the Reddy period during the process of dismantling it for reconstruction.


“This site is a chaitya used by Buddhist monks to worship and used as a spiritual retreat centre,” said Mr.Siva Reddy.


The Kondaveedu fort was a well-fortified city and was the capital during the reign of Reddy kings and later used by the French and the British as a garrison.


A freelance archaeologist Kadiyala Venkateswara Rao had earlier unearthed marble stones at the same site indicating the Buddhist links.


Ikshvaku art style


Mr. Sivanagi Reddy said that the stupa structure which was 4.5 ft tall with a diameter of 12.5 ft consisted of 10 layers of well-dressed Palnadu limestone, which the Buddhists preferred.


The bottom layer was carved with a lotus flower design representing the mature phase of typical Amaravathi School of Art as seen at the pedestal of the world famous Nagarjunakonda Buddha image, thus giving clue to conclude that the stupa was built during the Ikshvaku period.


Mr. Reddy and the team appealed to the State Department of Archaeology and Museums to reconstruct the dismantled Siva temple at another place and protect the Buddhist stupa.


Panel recovered


It is also learnt that a beautiful sculptural panel depicting animals and floral motifs in Ikshvaku idiom was also recovered from the foundations of the stupa, along with a Brahmi label inscription (not legible ) which is now in the possession of the Department of Archaeology and Museums.


Interestingly, the team, while inspecting the levelling work going on at the parking area in the site, stumbled upon a beautiful limestone pillar carved with a half lotus medallion flanked by a bunch of flowers in the Ikshvaku art style.


Author: P. Samuel Jonathan | Source: The Hindu [January 28, 2019]



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Bubble Trouble Floating up to the surface of seas, volcanoes,…


Bubble Trouble


Floating up to the surface of seas, volcanoes, soup and hot chocolate – is there a more joyful sight than a popping bubble? Yet some are filled with bacteria like Escherichia coli (E.coli) and a pop launches microbes in all directions, potentially spreading infection. Zooming in on bubbles with a high-powered microscope reveals the bacteria-laden lower bubble has tell-tale bright spots. Each is a plucky microbe, climbing up the dome-like ‘cap’ as it readies to explode. Researchers found that E.coli produce surfactant chemicals that thin the surface of the bubble, extending its life from seconds to minutes as the bacterial payload gathers – ensuring that when it does burst, the microorganisms spread far and wide. These may be important insights for scientists trying to contain the spread of infection or learning more about airborne disease transmission.


Written by John Ankers



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Nabataean culture lived on long after kingdom’s disappearance

The evidence gathered from Petra, the Negev Desert and Dead Sea region proved the presence of Nabataean culture long after 2nd century AD and Roman annexation of the Nabataean Kingdom.











Nabataean culture lived on long after kingdom’s disappearance
An inscribed tombstone naming Dusarios, a Hellenised version of the word Dushara, in Ghor Safi
[Credit: Konstantinos Politis]

According to a Greek scholar, archaeological surveys, excavations and inscriptions found at these sites indicate that Semitic people with Nabataean characteristics existed in the area of southern Levant.


The evidence shows a continuation of “religious practices, funerary customs, language, inscriptions, art, architecture and apparel”, said Konstantinos Politis, the chairperson of the Hellenic Society for Near Eastern Studies.


“These, together with the literary testimony, combine to make a compelling argument for a Nabataean cultural continuity into the early Byzantine period,” stressed Politis.


The continuous occupation of Nabataean sites is evidence that Nabataean people under the Roman and Byzantine empires did not cease to physically exist, the veteran archaeologist said, adding that they had the tenacity to adapt and were able to continue to express many of their remarkable cultural values.


“Therefore, many modern Jordanian Arabs are proud to identify with the Nabataeans as being their ancient ancestors,” Politis underlined.


The question researchers are trying to answer now is how much the Nabataeans changed after Rome annexed their kingdom in 106AD.


“By the time of the Roman conquest, the Nabataeans were a cultural entity possessing their own Aramaic dialect and associated script, distinct religious pantheon, characteristic art style, architectural forms and a territory centred at Petra and Madain Saleh,” he explained.


The Romans may have planned to neutralise Nabataea by establishing a new capital of Arabia, encompassing most the Nabataean territory, at Bostra in the Hauran region.


However, the Nabataeans themselves may have decided in the late 1st century AD to move northwards in order to remain competitive on the trade routes.


In either case, the result of this northern relocation was to bring the Nabataean centre much closer to the Roman powerbase in Syria, the scholar claimed.


Later on, the Byzantine administration further divided the Nabataeans by separating them into two provinces of Palestine, Politis said.


“To a great extent these efforts succeeded, but the underlying response was that many of the indigenous Nabataean Arab people overcame these pressures, and together with their physical survival managed to retain many of their cultural traits and customs,” Politis elaborated.


Written sources in the form of documents, literature and epigraphy play a role in defining an ethnic group.


“Therefore, investigating the most recently found Nabataean inscriptions is crucial in determining the survival of the Nabataeans,” the Greek scholar added.


However, not many inscriptions from the Early Byzantine period have survived, “and none at Petra”.


“A rock-cut tomb at the Qasr Al Bint in Madain Saleh [in Saudi Arabia] has a Nabataean inscription dated to 267AD, which indicates the continuous use of this important necropolis together with the Nabataean language into the later Roman period,” according to Politis.


Another late Nabataean inscription is inked graffiti on the wall plaster of a building at Oboda, in the Negev Desert, dating to the 4th century AD, which invoked the Nabataean gods Oboda and Dushara, Politis said.


“This not only demonstrates the persistent use of the Nabataean language and script, but also a continued veneration of their original pagan religion, through Oboda who remained well-known in the late Roman period,” Politis stressed.


The scholar added that the survival of the Nabataean language and people is evident in Greek inscriptions found in the Ghor Safi from the Byzantine-Christian period, which contain the Hellenised versions of Nabataean people and place names.


“These [inscriptions] verify the preservation and continuity of Nabataean heritage in ancient Jordan,” Politis underscored.


Author: Saeb Rawashdeh | Source: The Jordan Times [January 30, 2019]



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2019 February 3 An Airglow Fan from Lake to Sky Image Credit…


2019 February 3


An Airglow Fan from Lake to Sky
Image Credit & Copyright: Dave Lane; Rollover Annotation: Judy Schmidt


Explanation: Why would the sky look like a giant fan? Airglow. The featured intermittent green glow appeared to rise from a lake through the arch of our Milky Way Galaxy, as captured during 2015 next to Bryce Canyon in Utah, USA. The unusual pattern was created by atmospheric gravity waves, ripples of alternating air pressure that can grow with height as the air thins, in this case about 90 kilometers up. Unlike auroras powered by collisions with energetic charged particles and seen at high latitudes, airglow is due to chemiluminescence, the production of light in a chemical reaction. More typically seen near the horizon, airglow keeps the night sky from ever being completely dark.


∞ Source: apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap190203.html


New trilingual inscription discovered near tomb of Persian king Darius

A researcher in the field of ancient Iranian culture and languages announced that a hitherto undocumented trilingual inscription has been discovered on the hillside around the tomb of Darius in Naqshe-Rustam.











New trilingual inscription discovered near tomb of Persian king Darius
Credit: IRNA

The discovery of the inscription, which had remained hidden under moss and lichen for over two millennia, is of great importance in the field of ancient Iranian studies and ancient linguistics, said French archaeologist Werther Henkelman.











New trilingual inscription discovered near tomb of Persian king Darius
Credit: IRNA

The inscription is written in the Persian, Elamite and Babylonian languages, and is of particular importance to linguists as it adds new verbs to all three ancient languages ​​in which it is inscribed.











New trilingual inscription discovered near tomb of Persian king Darius
Credit: IRNA

“It is still hoped that in the area of Naqshe-Rustam, which has been explored continuously for decades, other such valuable inscriptions will be discovered”, added Hansklmann.











New trilingual inscription discovered near tomb of Persian king Darius
Credit: IRNA

Henkelman emphasized that the discovery of this detailed inscription will add valuable information about the archives of Persepolis and enhance our previous knowledge of the genealogy and names of the aristocratic families of the Achaemenid period.


“The discovery of this inscription offers great information to archaeologists about the circle of the Achaemenid King’s associates and advisers”,  he said.


Source: IRNA [January 30, 2019]



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Hubble Spies Stellar Time Capsule with Cosmic Distance Markers


NASA – Hubble Space Telescope patch.


Feb. 2, 2019



This image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope reveals an ancient, glimmering ball of stars called NGC 1466. It is a globular cluster — a gathering of stars all held together by gravity — that is slowly moving through space on the outskirts of the Large Magellanic Cloud, one of our closest galactic neighbors.


NGC 1466 certainly is one for extremes. It has a mass equivalent to roughly 140,000 Suns and an age of around 13.1 billion years, making it almost as old as the universe itself. This fossil-like relic from the early universe lies some 160,000 light-years away from us.


Nestled within this ancient time capsule are 49 known RR Lyrae variable stars, which are indispensable tools for measuring distances in the universe. These variable stars have well-defined luminosities, meaning that astronomers know the total amount of energy they emit. By comparing this known luminosity to how bright the stars appear in the sky, the distance to these stars can be easily calculated. Astronomical objects such as this are known as standard candles, and are fundamental to the so-called cosmic distance ladder.



Hubble Space Telescope (HST). Animation Credits NASA/ESA

For more information about Hubble, visit:


http://hubblesite.org/


http://www.nasa.gov/hubble


http://www.spacetelescope.org/


Animation (mentioned), Image, Credits: ESA/Hubble & NASA/Text credit: European Space Agency (ESA)/NASA/Karl Hille.


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Excavations for Copenhagen Metro dig up evidence of interglacial period

Work on the new Metro station revealed traces of a hitherto unknown interglacial period in Denmark, science media Videnskab.dk writes based on research published in the journal Boreas.











Excavations for Copenhagen Metro dig up evidence of interglacial period
The soil layers at the Trianglen excavation, as seen in the picture here, lie in the same order as the layers
at the Copenhagen Free Harbour, which have long been a thorn in the eye of the geologists
[Credit: Joakim Stiel Korshøj from the company Geo]

Analysis of amino acids enabled researchers to demonstrate the existence of a period around 200,000 years ago which punctuated two ice ages, otherwise known as an interglacial.
An interglacial is a warmer period such as the one we are currently living in, which falls between two ice ages.


The Copenhagen Metro find is remarkable due to its location, according to Ole Bennike, a geologist with the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS).











Excavations for Copenhagen Metro dig up evidence of interglacial period
In the cliff at Trelde, Professor Emeritus Bent Vad Odgaard found in 2013 an unprecedented
intermediate period in Denmark [Credit: Bent Vad Odgaard]

“This is certainly a surprise, because lots of drillings have been done in Copenhagen. It’s very unlikely to come across these types of interglacial deposits,” Bennike told Ritzau.
Global climate has varied between ice ages and interglacials for millions of years. The current interglacial began around 11,700 years ago.


Researchers have previously found evidence of four interglacial periods in Denmark, with the new find representing the fifth.











Excavations for Copenhagen Metro dig up evidence of interglacial period
Aerial view of the Copenhagen Metro construction site [Credit: Copenhagen Metro]

Further discoveries in future are likely, according to Bennike.


“Our ability to date [sediment] layers is becoming better and better. New methods are being developed with which to date these layers,” he said.


Source: The Local [February 01, 2019]



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Ancient asteroid impacts played a role in creation of Earth’s…


Ancient asteroid impacts played a role in creation of Earth’s future continents http://www.geologypage.com/2019/02/ancient-asteroid-impacts-played-a-role-in-creation-of-earths-future-continents.html


Roman Stones and Relics Photoset 3, Chesters Roman Fort and Environs, Hadrian’s...

Roman Stones and Relics Photoset 3, Chesters Roman Fort and Environs, Hadrian’s Wall, Northumberland, 27.1.19.












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Mummy-filled burial chambers discovered in Egypt’s Minya

As the sun warmed the air at Tuna El-Gebel necropolis in Minya governorate on Saturday morning, hundreds of media and officials gathered to witness the announcement of the first discovery of 2019.











Mummy-filled burial chambers discovered in Egypt's Minya
Credit: Egypt. Ministry of Antiquities

Over the last two years, a large number of new discoveries in Egypt have grabbed the world’s attention.
At the site, Minister of Antiquities Khaled El-Enany announced that a joint mission from the ministry and the Research Centre for Archaeological Studies at Minya University had stumbled upon a collection of Ptolemaic-era rock burial chambers, filled with a large number of mummies of different sizes and genders.


Mummy-filled burial chambers discovered in Egypt's Minya










Mummy-filled burial chambers discovered in Egypt's Minya
Credit: Egypt. Ministry of Antiquities

Rania Al-Mashat, the minister of tourism, Major General Kassem Hussein, the governor of Minya, Mostafa Waziri, the secretary-general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, and ambassadors and cultural attachés from 11 foreign countries, among them Malta, the Czech Republic, Spain, Serbia, Ireland, Belarus, and China, along with their families, as well as Mostafa Abdel-Nabi, the head of Minya University and members of parliament from Minya attended the announcement ceremony at the site.


El-Enany told the attendees that this is the discovery to be announced in Minya since he took office and the first in 2019. He also promised that this year will witness more discoveries.


Mummy-filled burial chambers discovered in Egypt's Minya

Mummy-filled burial chambers discovered in Egypt's Minya










Mummy-filled burial chambers discovered in Egypt's Minya
Credit: Egypt. Ministry of Antiquities

He noted that the ambassadors had told him that they always admire mummies in museums but it is a different experience to be face-to-face with them in situ.
“The newly discovered tombs are a familial grave which was probably for a family from the upper middle class,” El-Enany said.


Mummy-filled burial chambers discovered in Egypt's Minya










Mummy-filled burial chambers discovered in Egypt's Minya
Credit: Egypt. Ministry of Antiquities

He highlighted that the grave consists of a number of burial chambers containing a large number of human mummies of different genders and age, including children. All are in a good conservation condition and some are wrapped in linen, or decorated with Demotic handwriting.


There are over 40 mummies. Some of them still have fragments of coloured cartonnage covers near their feet.


Mummy-filled burial chambers discovered in Egypt's Minya










Mummy-filled burial chambers discovered in Egypt's Minya
Credit: Egypt. Ministry of Antiquities

“The methods used in burying the mummies inside the maze of tombs varies in style,” Waziri told attendees, explaining that some of the mummies were inside stone or wooden sarcophagi while others were buried in sand or were laid on the floors of the tombs or inside niches.
Ostraca and fragments of papyri were also found in the tomb, he said, which helped reveal that it could date to the Ptolemaic, early Roman and Byzantine periods.


Mummy-filled burial chambers discovered in Egypt's Minya










Mummy-filled burial chambers discovered in Egypt's Minya
Credit: Egypt. Ministry of Antiquities

Wagdi Ramadan, the head of the mission, said that the mission started its work for the first time in Tuna El-Gebel in February 2018, when it discovered a tomb engraved in rock composed of a corridor leading to sloping stairs that opened to a rectangular chamber with a number of burials.


Another chamber was also located at the western side filled with mummies and large stone sarcophagi. At the northern side there is a third chamber with a collection of stone sarcophagi inside niches.


Mummy-filled burial chambers discovered in Egypt's Minya










Mummy-filled burial chambers discovered in Egypt's Minya
Credit: Egypt. Ministry of Antiquities

This is the typical burial style used in Tuna El- Gebel, which once was the necropolis of Egypt’s 15th nome during the late New Kingdom and the beginning of the New Intermediate Period.


Fathi Awad, director of Tuna El-Gebel, said that the archaeological site has several tombs, among them the tomb of Petosiris, the Isadora tomb, a sacred animal ceremony, a Roman cemetery and two frontier reliefs of Akhenaten.


Al-Mashat said that the event was an important message to the whole world that Egypt “has it all.”


Author: Nevine El-Aref | Source: Ahram Online [February 02, 2019]



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