понедельник, 17 июня 2019 г.

Azurite | #Gelogy #GeologyPage #Mineral Location: Tsumeb Mine,…


Azurite | #Gelogy #GeologyPage #Mineral


Location: Tsumeb Mine, Otjikoto, Namibia


Size: 8.0 x 6.5 x 6.0 cm (small-cabinet)


Photo Copyright © Weinrich Minerals


Geology Page

www.geologypage.com

https://www.instagram.com/p/ByzwmyiAnUi/?igshid=1tkqcwqdko83b


Hear, Here Snap your fingers. You create tiny vibrations in…


Hear, Here


Snap your fingers. You create tiny vibrations in the air that reach your ear and are converted to electrical impulses. These impulses shoot along brain cells (neurons) to be processed as sound, all before your fingers have even stopped moving. The details of this instant information transfer along and between neurons are important but not fully understood. Nitric oxide (NO) is a signalling molecule that passes messages from one neuron to another. A new study looked at an audio-processing part of guinea pig brains and found NO-production machinery, nNOS, in surprising discrete spots (green) on the brain cells (pink). Activity in these cells responds to audio signals, but can be restricted by subduing nNOS, suggesting that NO is essential to hearing. Altered brain cell activity and unusual nNOS behaviour have been linked to tinnitus and hearing problems following acoustic trauma, so unpicking NO’s role might help patients hear clearly.


Written by Anthony Lewis



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Five Things You Need to Know About the Deep Space Atomic Clock


We are set to send a new technology to space that will change the way we navigate spacecraft — even how we’ll send astronauts to Mars and beyond. Built by our Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, the Deep Space Atomic Clock is a technology demonstration that will help spacecraft navigate autonomously. No larger than a toaster oven, the instrument will be tested in Earth orbit for one year, with the goal of being ready for future missions to other worlds.


Here are five key facts to know about our Deep Space Atomic Clock:


1) It works a lot like GPS



The Deep Space Atomic Clock is a sibling of the atomic clocks you interact with every day on your smart phone. Atomic clocks aboard satellites enable your phone’s GPS application to get you from point A to point B by calculating where you are on Earth, based on the time it takes the signal to travel from the satellite to your phone.


But spacecraft don’t have GPS to help them find their way in deep space; instead, navigation teams rely on atomic clocks on Earth to determine location data. The farther we travel from Earth, the longer this communication takes. The Deep Space Atomic Clock is the first atomic clock designed to fly onboard a spacecraft that goes beyond Earth’s orbit, dramatically improving the process.


2) It will help our spacecraft navigate autonomously



Today, we navigate in deep space by using giant antennas on Earth to send signals to spacecraft, which then send those signals back to Earth. Atomic clocks on Earth measure the time it takes a signal to make this two-way journey. Only then can human navigators on Earth use large antennas to tell the spacecraft where it is and where to go.


If we want humans to explore the solar system, we need a better, faster way for the astronauts aboard a spacecraft to know where they are, ideally without needing to send signals back to Earth. A Deep Space Atomic Clock on a spacecraft would allow it to receive a signal from Earth and determine its location immediately using an onboard navigation system.


3) It loses only 1 second in 9 million years



Any atomic clock has to be incredibly precise to be used for this kind of navigation: A clock that is off by even a single second could mean the difference between landing on Mars and missing it by miles. In ground tests, the Deep Space Atomic Clock proved to be up to 50 times more stable than the atomic clocks on GPS satellites. If the mission can prove this stability in space, it will be one of the most precise clocks in the universe.


4) It keeps accurate time using mercury ions



Your wristwatch and atomic clocks keep time in similar ways: by measuring the vibrations of a quartz crystal. An electrical pulse is sent through the quartz so that it vibrates steadily. This continuous vibration acts like the pendulum of a grandfather clock, ticking off how much time has passed. But a wristwatch can easily drift off track by seconds to minutes over a given period.


An atomic clock uses atoms to help maintain high precision in its measurements of the quartz vibrations. The length of a second is measured by the frequency of light released by specific atoms, which is same throughout the universe. But atoms in current clocks can be sensitive to external magnetic fields and temperature changes. The Deep Space Atomic Clock uses mercury ions — fewer than the amount typically found in two cans of tuna fish — that are contained in electromagnetic traps. Using an internal device to control the ions makes them less vulnerable to external forces.


5) It will launch on a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket



The Deep Space Atomic Clock will fly on the Orbital Test Bed satellite, which launches on the SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket with around two dozen other satellites from government, military and research institutions. The launch is targeted for June 24, 2019 from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida and will be live-streamed here: https://www.nasa.gov/live


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


Melting a satellite, a piece at a time


ESA — Clean Space logo.


17 June 2019


Researchers took one of the densest parts of an Earth-orbiting satellite, placed it in a plasma wind tunnel then proceeded to melt it into vapour. Their goal was to better understand how satellites burn up during reentry, to minimise the risk of endangering anyone on the ground.



Melting satellite part

Taking place as part of ESA’s Clean Space initiative, the fiery testing occurred inside a plasma wind tunnel, reproducing reentry conditions, at the DLR German Aerospace Center’s site in Cologne.


The test subject was a 4 by 10 cm section of magnetotorquer, designed to interact magnetically with Earth’s magnetic field to shift satellite orientation.



Melting a piece of a satellite

Made of an external carbon fibre reinforced polymer composite, with copper coils and an internal iron-colbalt core, this rod-shaped magnetotorquer was heated to several thousands of degrees Celsius within the hypersonic plasma.


ESA Clean Space engineer Tiago Soares explains: “We observed the behaviour of the equipment at different heat flux set-ups for the plasma wind tunnel in order to derive more information about materials properties and demisability. The magnetotorquer reached a complete demise at high heat flux level.


“We have noted some similarities but also some discrepancies with the prediction models.”



Debris landed in Texas

In theory reentering space hardware is burnt up entirely in the course of plunging through the atmosphere. In practice some pieces can make it all the way down to Earth – some of them big enough to do serious damage.


In 1997, for instance, Texans Steve and Verona Gutowski were woken by the impact of what looked like a “dead rhinoceros” just 50 m from their farmhouse. It turned out to be a 250 kg fuel tank from a rocket stage.



Magnetorquer beforehand

Modern space debris regulations demand that such incidents should not happen. Uncontrolled reentries should have a less than 1 in 10 000 chance of injuring anyone on the ground.


As part of a larger effort called CleanSat, ESA is developing technologies and techniques to ensure future low-orbiting satellites are designed according to the concept of ‘D4D’ – design for demise.



The aftermath

Previous studies have identified some satellite elements which are more likely to survive the reentry process. Along with magnetotorquers these include optical instruments, propellant and pressure tanks, the drive mechanisms operating solar arrays and reaction wheels – spinning gyroscopes used to change a satellite’s pointing direction.



ESA Presents…Clean Space

A big source of uncertainty in the demise process is the tendency for parts to fragment, generating multiple items of debris and driving up the casualty risk. Basically put, the more pieces in play, the higher the overall casualty risk estimation.


This test activity, carried out with UK-based Belstead Research as well as DLR, is helping fill gaps in knowledge of reentry behaviour with practical simulations. Portuguese company LusoSpace provided a magnetotorquer for testing.


Related links:


Belstead Research: http://belstead.com/


LusoSpace: https://www.lusospace.com/


Cleansat: http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Space_Safety/Clean_Space/cleansat


Go for the burn: how to melt a satellite: http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Space_Safety/Clean_Space/Go_for_the_burn_how_to_melt_a_satellite


Developing anti-space debris technologies: http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Space_Safety/Clean_Space/Developing_anti-space_debris_technologies


Scuttling satellites to save space: http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Space_Safety/Clean_Space/Scuttling_satellites_to_save_space


Testing space batteries to destruction for cleaner skies: http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Space_Safety/Clean_Space/Testing_space_batteries_to_destruction_for_cleaner_skies


DLR German Aerospace: https://www.dlr.de/dlr/en/desktopdefault.aspx/tabid-10002/


Images, Videos, Text, Credits: ESA/DLR/NASA.


Greetings, Orbiter.chArchive link


2019 June 17 Milky Way over Pyramid of the Feathered Serpent…


2019 June 17


Milky Way over Pyramid of the Feathered Serpent
Image Credit & Copyright: Robert Fedez


Explanation: To see the feathered serpent descend the Mayan pyramid requires exquisite timing. You must visit El Castillo – in Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula – near an equinox. Then, during the late afternoon if the sky is clear, the pyramid’s own shadows create triangles that merge into the famous illusion of the slithering viper. Also known as the Temple of Kukulkan, the impressive step-pyramid stands 30 meters tall and 55 meters wide at the base. Built up as a series of square terraces by the pre-Columbian civilization between the 9th and 12th century, the structure can be used as a calendar and is noted for astronomical alignments. To see the central band of our Milky Way Galaxy descend overhead the Mayan pyramid, however, requires less exquisite timing. Even the ancient Mayans might have been impressed, though, to know that the exact positions of the Milky Way, Saturn (left) and Jupiter (right) in the featured image give it a time stamp more specific than equinox – in fact 2019 April 7 at 5 am.


∞ Source: apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap190617.html


Organic carbon hides in sediments, keeping oxygen in atmosphere

A new study from researchers at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and Harvard University may help settle a long-standing question—how small amounts of organic carbon become locked away in rock and sediments, preventing it from decomposing. Knowing exactly how that process occurs could help explain why the mixture of gases in the atmosphere has remained stable for so long, says lead author Jordon Hemingway, a postdoctoral researcher at Harvard and former student at WHOI.











Organic carbon hides in sediments, keeping oxygen in atmosphere
The mixing of organic-rich and sediment-rich waters of the Rio Negro and Solimoes River
 in the amazon basin [Credit: Chris Linder]

Atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2), Hemingway notes, is an inorganic form of carbon. Plants, algae, and certain types of bacteria can pull that CO2 out of the air, and use it as a building block for sugars, proteins, and other molecules in their body. The process, which occurs during photosynthesis, transforms inorganic carbon into an «organic» form, while releasing oxygen into the atmosphere. The reverse occurs when those organisms die: microbes start to decompose their bodies, consuming oxygen and releasing CO2 back into the air.


One of the key reasons Earth has remained habitable is that this chemical cycle is slightly imbalanced, Hemingway says. For some reason, a small percentage of organic carbon is not broken down by microbes, but instead stays preserved underground for millions of years.


«If it were perfectly balanced, all the free oxygen in the atmosphere would be used up as quickly as it was created,» says Hemingway. «In order to have oxygen left for us to breathe, some of the organic carbon has to be hidden away where it can’t decompose.»


Based on existing evidence, researchers have developed two possible reasons why carbon is left behind. The first, called «selective preservation,» suggests that some molecules of organic carbon may be difficult for microorganisms to break down, so they remain untouched in sediments once all others have decomposed. The second, called the «mineral protection» hypothesis, states that molecules of organic carbon may instead be forming strong chemical bonds with the minerals around them—so strong that bacteria aren’t able to pluck them away and «eat» them.











Organic carbon hides in sediments, keeping oxygen in atmosphere
Lead author Jordon Hemingway holding a sample of Amazon river
water rich in sediments [Credit: Chris Linder]

«Historically, it’s been hard to tease out which process is dominant. The tools we have for organic geochemistry haven’t been sensitive enough,» says Hemingway. For this study, he turned to a method called «ramped pyrolysis oxidation», or RPO, to test the hypotheses in sediment samples from around the globe. With a specialized oven, he steadily raised the temperature of each sample to nearly 1000 degrees Celsius, and measured the amount of carbon dioxide it released as it warmed. CO2 released at lower temperatures represented carbon with relatively weak chemical bonds, whereas carbon released at high temperatures denoted strong bonds that took more energy to break. He also measured the age of the CO2 using carbon dating methods.


«If organic molecules are being preserved because of selectivity—because microbes aren’t able to break them down— we would expect to see a pretty narrow range of bond strength in the samples. Microbes would have decomposed the rest, leaving only a few stubborn types of organic carbon behind,» he says. «But we actually saw that the diversity of bond strengths grows rather than shrinks with time, indicating that a wide range of organic carbon types are being preserved. We think that means they’re getting protection from minerals around them.»


Hemingway also saw a pattern in the samples themselves that supported his findings. Fine clays like those found at river outlets had a consistently higher diversity of carbon bonds than coarse or sandy sediments, suggesting that fine sediments provide more surface area on which organic carbon could attach itself.


«If you take, say, granite from New Hampshire and break it down, you’ll get a sort of sand. Those grains are relatively large, so there’s not that much surface available to interact with organic matter. You really need fine sediments created via chemical weathering at the surface—things like phyllosilicate clays,» says Valier Galy, a biogeochemist at WHOI and co-author on the paper.


Although this work provides strong evidence for one hypothesis over another, Hemingway and his colleagues are quick to note that it doesn’t provide a definitive answer to the organic carbon puzzle. «We were able to put our finger on the mechanism by which carbon is being preserved, but we don’t provide information about other factors, like sensitivity to temperature in the environment, for instance. There are a lot of other factors to consider. This paper is intended as a sort of waypoint to direct biogeochemists in their research,» says Galy.


The findings have been published in the journal Nature.


Source: Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution [June 12, 2019]



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South American monkeys face climate change extinction threat

Monkeys living in South America are highly vulnerable to climate change and face an «elevated risk of extinction», according to a new University of Stirling-led study published in Global Change Biology.











South American monkeys face climate change extinction threat
The Dusky Titi Monkey (Callicebus moloch) is one of those under threat, according to the new study
[Credit: University of Stirling]

The research, involving an international team of scientists, found that a large percentage of non-human primates — including monkeys, lemurs and apes — are facing substantial temperature increases and marked habitat changes over the next 30 years.


The team, led by Dr Joana Carvalho of Stirling’s Faculty of Natural Sciences, said that New World monkeys — which live primarily in tropical South America — will be particularly affected.


Dr Carvalho said: «Based on our analysis, it is clear that New World monkeys in particular can be considered highly vulnerable to projected temperature increases, consequently facing an elevated risk of extinction.»


The study looked at all 426 species of non-human primates contained within the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List database — and examined their exposure risk to changes in climatic and land use conditions forecast for the year 2050. The authors considered the best-case scenario — slowly declining emissions, with appropriate mitigation measures put in place — and the worst-case scenario, assuming that emissions continue to increase unchecked.


The team identified key regions where future conditions will be particularly bleak for species — with New World monkeys exposed to extreme levels of warming. They said that 86 percent of Neotropical primate ranges will experience maximum temperature increases of greater than 3°C, while extreme warming — of more than 4°C — is likely to affect 41 percent of their ranges, including many areas that presently harbour the highest number of primate species.


Dr Carvalho continued: «Studies that quantify what magnitudes of warming primates are able to tolerate physiologically are lacking. However, we have reason to believe that extreme temperature increases — as those predicted based on the low mitigation scenario — would most likely surpass the thermal tolerance of many species.»


Professor Hjalmar Kuehl, senior author of the study and primatologist at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Germany, said: «Climate-change mitigation measures have not yet been systematically included into on-site management and strategic development of primate conservation.


«Given the timescale on which climate change and resulting impact on primate populations will occur, efforts for integrating climate change mitigation measures need to be enhanced urgently in order to be able to develop and implement appropriate actions.»


The study also suggests that anticipated changes in how humans use the land and alter existing primate habitats will exacerbate the negative effects on primate populations brought about by global warming.


According to the authors, about one quarter of Asian and African primates will face up to 50 percent agricultural crop expansion within their range, while undisturbed habitat is expected to disappear nearly entirely across species’ ranges and will be replaced by some form of human-disturbed habitat.


The authors conclude that «urgent action» is required — in relation to the implementation of climate-change mitigation measures — to avert primate extinctions on an unprecedented scale.


Source: University of Stirling [June 12, 2019]



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Old ice and snow yields tracer of preindustrial ozone

Using rare oxygen molecules trapped in air bubbles in old ice and snow, U.S. and French scientists have answered a long-standing question: How much have «bad» ozone levels increased since the start of the Industrial Revolution?











Old ice and snow yields tracer of preindustrial ozone
Rice University researchers and collaborators used ice cores, like the one shown here from Antarctica,
in combination with atmospheric chemistry models to establish an upper limit for the increase
in ozone levels in the lower atmosphere since 1850 [Credit: Jeff Fitlow/Rice University]

«We’ve been able to track how much ozone there was in the ancient atmosphere,» said Rice University geochemist Laurence Yeung, the lead author of a study published in Nature. «This hasn’t been done before, and it’s remarkable that we can do it at all.»


Researchers used the new data in combination with state-of-the-art atmospheric chemistry models to establish that ozone levels in the lower atmosphere, or troposphere, have increased by an upper limit of 40% since 1850.


«These results show that today’s best models simulate ancient tropospheric ozone levels well,» said Yeung. «That bolsters our confidence in their ability to predict how tropospheric ozone levels will change in the future.»


The Rice-led research team includes investigators from the University of Rochester in New York, the French National Center for Scientific Research’s (CNRS) Institute of Environmental Geosciences at Université Grenoble Alpes (UGA), CNRS’s Grenoble Images Speech Signal and Control Laboratory at UGA and the French Climate and Environmental Sciences Laboratory of both CNRS and the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA) at the Université Versailles-St Quentin.


«These measurements constrain the amount of warming caused by anthropogenic ozone,» Yeung said. For example, he said the most recent report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) estimated that ozone in Earth’s lower atmosphere today is contributing 0.4 watts per square meter of radiative forcing to the planet’s climate, but the margin of error for that prediction was 50%, or 0.2 watts per square meter.


«That’s a really big error bar,» Yeung said. «Having better preindustrial ozone estimates can significantly reduce those uncertainties.


«It’s like guessing how heavy your suitcase is when there’s a fee for bags over 50 pounds,» he said. «With the old error bars, you’d be saying, ‘I think my bag is between 20 and 60 pounds.’ That’s not good enough if you can’t afford to pay the penalty.»


Ozone is a molecule that contains three oxygen atoms. Produced in chemical reactions involving sunlight, it is highly reactive, in part because of its tendency to give up one of its atoms to form a more stable oxygen molecule. The majority of Earth’s ozone is in the stratosphere, which is more than five miles above the planet’s surface. Stratospheric ozone is sometimes called «good» ozone because it blocks most of the sun’s ultraviolet radiation, and is thus essential for life on Earth.


The rest of Earth’s ozone lies in the troposphere, closer to the surface. Here, ozone’s reactivity can be harmful to plants, animals and people. That’s why tropospheric ozone is sometimes called «bad» ozone. For example, ozone is a primary component of urban smog, which forms near ground level in sunlit-driven reactions between oxygen and pollutants from motor vehicle exhaust. The Environmental Protection Agency considers exposure to ozone levels greater than 70 parts per billion for eight hours or longer to be unhealthy.


«The thing about ozone is that scientists have only been studying it in detail for a few decades,» said Yeung, an assistant professor of Earth, environmental and planetary sciences. «We didn’t know why ozone was so abundant in air pollution until the 1970s. That’s when we started to recognize how air pollution was changing atmospheric chemistry. Cars were driving up ground-level ozone.»


While the earliest measurements of tropospheric ozone date to the late 19th century, Yeung said those data conflict with the best estimates from today’s state-of-the-art atmospheric chemistry models.


«Most of those older data are from starch-paper tests where the paper changes colors after reacting with ozone,» he said. «The tests are not the most reliable — the color change depends on relative humidity, for example — but they suggest, nevertheless, that ground-level ozone could have increased up to 300% over the past century. In contrast, today’s best computer models suggest a more moderate increase of 25-50%. That’s a huge difference.


«There’s just no other data out there, so it’s hard to know which is right, or if both are right and those particular measurements are not a good benchmark for the whole troposphere,» Yeung said. «The community has struggled with this question for a long time. We wanted to find new data that could make headway on this unsolved problem.»


Finding new data, however, is not straightforward. «Ozone is too reactive, by itself, to be preserved in ice or snow,» he said. «So, we look for ozone’s wake, the traces it leaves behind in oxygen molecules.


«When the sun is shining, ozone and oxygen molecules are constantly being made and broken in the atmosphere by the same chemistry,» Yeung said. «Our work over the past several years has found a naturally occurring ‘tag’ for that chemistry: the number of rare isotopes that are clumped together.»


Yeung’s lab specializes in both measuring and explaining the occurrence of these clumped isotopes in the atmosphere. They are molecules that have the usual number of atoms — two for molecular oxygen — but they have rare isotopes of those atoms substituted in place of the common ones. For example, more than 99.5% of all oxygen atoms in nature have eight protons and eight neutrons, for a total atomic mass number of 16. Only two of every 1,000 oxygen atoms are the heavier isotope oxygen-18, which contains two additional neutrons. A pair of these oxygen-18 atoms is called an isotope clump.


The vast majority of oxygen molecules in any air sample will contain two oxygen-16s. A few rare exceptions will contain one of the rare oxygen-18 atoms, and rarer still will be the pairs of oxygen-18s.


Yeung’s lab is one of the few in the world that can measure exactly how many of these oxygen-18 pairs are in a given sample of air. He said these isotope clumps in molecular oxygen vary in abundance depending on where ozone and oxygen chemistry occurs. Because the lower stratosphere is very cold, the odds that an oxygen-18 pair will form from ozone/oxygen chemistry increase slightly and predictably compared to the same reaction in the troposphere. In the troposphere, where it is warmer, ozone/oxygen chemistry yields slightly fewer oxygen-18 pairs.


With the onset of industrialization and the burning of fossil fuels around 1850, humans began adding more ozone to the lower atmosphere. Yeung and colleagues reasoned that this increase in the proportion of tropospheric ozone should have left a recognizable trace — a decrease in the number of oxygen-18 pairs in the troposphere.


Using ice cores and firn (compressed snow that has not yet formed ice) from Antarctica and Greenland, the researchers constructed a record of oxygen-18 pairs in molecular oxygen from preindustrial times to the present. The evidence confirmed both the increase in tropospheric ozone and the magnitude of the increase that had been predicted by recent atmospheric models.


«We constrain the increase to less than 40%, and the most comprehensive chemical model predicts right around 30%,» Yeung said.


«One of the most exciting aspects was how well the ice-core record matched model predictions,» he said. «This was a case where we made a measurement, and independently, a model produced something that was in very close agreement with the experimental evidence. I think it shows how far atmospheric and climate scientists have come in being able to accurately predict how humans are changing Earth’s atmosphere — particularly its chemistry.»


Author: Jade Boyd | Source: Rice University [June 12, 2019]



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Powerful lasers for fragile works of art

«Time alters all things,» wrote the Latin poet Horace. Museum conservators would love to prove him wrong. Protecting artworks from the effects of aging requires an understanding of the way materials alter over time. Professor Patrizio Antici of Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique (INRS) has developed a new diagnostic and analytical method for use in cultural conservation, putting his scientific knowledge of lasers and particle accelerators to work for the art world. He describes the new method in an article published in the journal Science Advances.











Powerful lasers for fragile works of art
Professor Patrizio Antici conducts an experiment on an ancient vase with the plasma-induced
luminescence technology that he developed [Credit: INRS]

The bright yellow that Vincent van Gogh used in his paintings darkens over time. Peter Paul Rubens had the same type of paint on his palette and his paintings display the same loss of brightness. To shine a light on the mystery of this darkening, their mythical yellows are now being analyzed using In Air Plasma-Induced Luminescence, or In-Air PIL for short. This careful examination reveals that light causes a change in the quality of the paint crystals, which explains the darkening that is characteristic of certain works.
Developed by Patrizio Antici and his team, In-Air PIL uses a small particle accelerator and a laser-generated photon source. This method rapidly produces a reading of the chemical composition and crystal characteristics on larger surfaces than the leading methods currently in use. By performing a variety of luminescence analyses simultaneously, In-Air PIL reduces the number of complex devices needed for a diagnosis. More compact than comparable technologies and easy to set up, In-Air PIL produces information that can potentially be used to infer an artwork’s state of conservation, authenticity, composition, and provenance.



Numerous scientific teams throughout the world are in a race to develop similar approaches. The challenge is to develop alternatives to the PIXE (Particle-Induced X-ray Emission) diagnostic, considered the golden standard in the field, which produces extremely precise analyses but also comes with significant constraints, particularly in terms of cost and infrastructure. «In many cases that kind of extreme precision isn’t essential, making In-Air PIL a highly viable alternative,» says professor Antici.
The current study lays out the proof of concept that has motivated Professor Antici and his collaborators to pursue their efforts to bring In-Air PIL to market. The device would be aimed at heritage conservators but would also have applications in numerous other areas of material science.


The professor is also a pioneer in developing a new generation of more affordable, laser-driven PIXE. His work in that area has already led to a patent and two articles, including one recently published in Scientific Reports, and triggered a new field of science, now followed by several international research centers.


Author: Stéphanie Thibault | Source: Institut national de la recherche scientifique — INRS [June 12, 2019]



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50 stele cemeteries identified in northeastern Poland

Not seven, but as many as 50 stele cemeteries, in which burials had been marked with a single, high boulder, have been identified in the Podlasie by Hubert Lepionka, an archaeologist from the Podlasie Museum in Bialystok.











50 stele cemeteries identified in northeastern Poland
Credit: Hubert Lepionka

Until now, the prevailing view was that that in Podlasie stele cemeteries were the final resting places of the Yotvingians. It was a warrior community, closely related to the Prussians and the Lithuanians. They were conquered by the Teutonic Order. According to other opinions – they were epidemic cemeteries, where the deceased were mass-buried after the «night air» plague which affected Podlasie several times.


«Today these hypotheses change», says Hubert Lepionka, an archaeologist from the Podlasie Museum in Bialystok, who searches for and studies these necropolises. «Firstly, it turned out that there were several times more stele cemeteries than previously thought — not 7, but as many as 50. Secondly, they should not be associated with the Yotvingians or epidemics», he adds.


Stones — steles, marked the location of the graves. They were made of various types of glacial erratics, by splitting and grinding their fragments.


«Their shape is always unique, and most of them do not bear any symbols, but on some we can find Latin, Greek, Orthodox crosses, less often dates or, for example, hearts», the scientist says.











50 stele cemeteries identified in northeastern Poland
Credit: Hubert Lepionka

According to Lepionka, stele graveyards are mainly ordinary modern cemeteries (that is, up to a few hundred years old), in which peasants from nearby villages were buried. Who were they and what was their religion? Archaeologists and historians do not know their origins, nor the moment when the cemeteries first appeared in this area.


«It still remains to be clarified. At this moment it is difficult to tell the religion or ethnos of the deceased buried there, because at that time Podlasie was a mosaic of various nationalities: Mazovian, Russian and post-Yotvingian settlers», he says.


Lepionka explains that according to historical texts, this type of necropolis could have arisen due to… savings.


«The modern period was characterized by high costs of burials, which the peasants were not always able to cover. Although the synods forbade priests from charging for funerals, in practice the mourners were required to pay. These costs could ruin the entire family for a long time. Probably the way to avoid the funeral fee was to bury the dead in semi-legal graveyards, like the ones that are the subject of my research», the scientist says.











50 stele cemeteries identified in northeastern Poland
Stone stele in the cemetery in Dobrowoda, commune Turosn Koscielna,
Podlasie region [Credit: PAP]

Lepionka says that the church tried to fight this «peasant practice». It issued ordinances prohibiting «burying peasants in the fields and forests». In practice, the custom continued until the mid-nineteenth century.


Cemeteries with steles are usually found near the settlements founded from the fifteenth to the mid-seventeenth century. Necropolises were usually located on nearby hills that were in sight of the village, their area usually did not exceed 2 hectares. The cemeteries themselves were surrounded by round or four-sided earth embankments. Lepionka says that not many of them have survived to this day due to agricultural activity or gravel mining.


According to the researcher, conclusions regarding burials and their age are confirmed by excavations carried out, for example, in Jaginty. Three skeletons were found, including two placed in wooden coffins. The deceased were an approx. 55 years old woman and approx. 5 and 12 years old children. No traces of epidemiological disease were found on the bones. According to researchers, the cemetery was used from the second half of the 17th century to the early 18th century.


The researcher admits that he does not intend to conduct excavations within all stele necropolises. But sometimes interesting information about them is provided by ethnographic data obtained during interviews with local residents.











50 stele cemeteries identified in northeastern Poland
Stone stele in the Halickie cemetery, commune Zabludow,
Podlasie region [Credit: PAP]

«The most interesting stories are the repeated accounts, even from the period preceding World War II, that this or other cemetery is the place of burial of two different weddings, which, having met, murdered each other in a fight», he says.


Another story, written in 1976 by ethnologists, concerns the stele necropolis in the village Halickie. One of the villagers told the story heard from his grandfather, about a woman who committed suicide. For this reason, it was decided to bury her in the old stele cemetery, and not in the village cemetery.


«But that was not the end, Stolarycha would return to the village after death, she would open pigsties and let the animals out … (…), they blessed the place and nothing helped … Until someone advised to drive a wooden stake through her throat. And so they did, they dug her out, pierced with a stake, and from then on she stopped coming», read the notes of ethnologists quoted by the scientist.


Research on stele cemeteries was possible with funding from the Podlasie Museum and the Human Ecosystem Research Foundation. The goal of the project is to inventory the cemeteries record their state of preservation.


Author: Szymon Zdzieblowski | Source: PAP — Science in Poland [June 12, 2019]



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A new electric plane will soon be launched in Switzerland


H55 logo.


June 16, 2019


A revolutionary machine will be unveiled Friday in Switzerland: the two-seater H55. Its propulsion system is derived from the experience gained with the Solar Impulse aircraft.



Prototype H55

A new electric plane is about to be launched in Switzerland, reports the «SonntagsZeitung». The device of the Swiss pioneer of electric aviation André Borschberg will soon go into production. It will be unveiled next Friday at Sion airport.


The two-seater H55, powered by electric motors and expected to be used for pilot training, will be produced by a Czech family-owned BRM Aero, a manufacturer of small Bristell aircraft.



Solar Impulse pilot André Borschberg wants to revolutionize air transport

The propulsion system is based on the experience acquired with the Solar Impulse aircraft, which made the first round of the world in stages between 2015 and 2016 by moving only through solar energy, with André Borschberg and Bertrand Piccard at orders.


In addition to the fact that they do not emit CO2, electric powered aircraft are also much quieter.


Related links:


BRM Aero: https://www.bristell.com/


Solar Impulse: https://orbiterchspacenews.blogspot.com/search?q=solar+impulse


Images, Text, Credits: H55/Orbiter.ch Aerospace/Roland Berga.


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The CENIEH collaborates in the excavation of the Sendrayanpalayam site in India

The Centro Nacional de Investigacion sobre la Evolucion Humana (CENIEH) is part of an international project, funded by the Fundacion PALARQ and The Leakey Foundation, whose objective is to investigate the characteristics and timing of the end of the Acheulian and transitions to the Middle Palaeolithic in India. For this purpose, excavations and prospections are being carried out in the area of the Sendrayanpalayam (SEN) site in the state of Tamil Nadu, in southern India.











The CENIEH collaborates in the excavation of the Sendrayanpalayam site in India
Credit: CENIEH

Between the competing hypotheses of hominin dispersals out of Africa and endemic technological changes arising from local cultural evolution, there is at present no consensus on the complex story of hominin behavioural changes in South Asia. To investigate this transition issue, an international team of scientists from SCHE (India), CENIEH (Spain), CNRS and MNHN (France), PRL, IFP (India), and PGIAR (Sri Lanka) launched fieldwork at Sendrayanpalayam in March and April of this year.


“In this first season, a horizontal trench and test-pits were excavated and sections were mapped across the site, to investigate variations in the stratigraphy and artefact assemblages, and for geochronological, sedimentological and palaeobotanical studies”, explains Mohamed Sahnouni, archaeological program coordinator at CENIEH, and  coordinator of the Spanish team.


In addition to detailed mapping of all artefacts, clasts and features, photogrammetric reconstruction of levels is ongoing. The emerging picture is a sequence of stratified colluvial and sheetflood gravel deposits dominated by laterite debris. The top of this gravel formation displays a distinctive layer of sandstone and quartzite cobbles.


While analysis is ongoing, the assemblage structure represents a potential Terminal Acheulian. The high artefact density and diversity of core reduction strategies, indicates that hominins were attracted to this environment for its rich source of raw materials for knapping.


An underlying ferricrete level represents a different context of occupation, containing low-density artefact scatters with a clear preference for sandstone as raw material. The presence of conjoinable artefacts in these layers points to a high degree of site integrity.


Regional surveys of the landscape and of regolith with associated archaeological horizons were also conducted, and we expect these findings to reveal new dimensions to the cultural processes, regional evolutionary trajectories and hominin dispersal patterns in South Asia”, says Mohamed Sahnouni.


Background


The background to this project lies in long-term multidisciplinary research at the neighbouring site of Attirampakkam (ATM), where excavations by a team led by Professor Shanti Pappu and Dr. Kumar Akhilesh, from the Sharma Centre for Heritage Education (SCHE), initially paved the way to some exciting new discoveries about the age and nature of Early Pleistocene Acheulian industries in the region and about transitional processes leading to an early Middle Palaeolithic culture.


An information gap in the stratigraphic and archaeological record at ATM between the earlier Acheulian and the Middle Palaeolithic has nonetheless left many questions unanswered concerning later Acheulian evolutionary trajectories in this region. Preliminary surveys by the SCHE around ATM, leading to generation of data on other Acheulian to Late Palaeolithic sites in the landscape, have resulted in the demarcation of several locations that display some potential for addressing these issues. One of these is Sendrayanpalayam (SEN), situated on the gently sloping but flat surface of a pediment which today forms a spur between two topographic embayments at slightly lower elevations.


Source: CENIEH [June 12, 2019]



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Organisms aim to maximise inclusive fitness in order to pass genes to the next generation

New research might change our answer to the question: what goal are plants and animals adapted to achieve? Natural history documentaries marvel at the design-like features of animals: perfect camouflage, stunning speed, incredibly mimicry. The goal is surely survival, but «survival of the fittest» runs into problems for animals who sacrifice their own reproduction, and even lives, to help others. A study of the University of Jyväskylä, Finland, and Australian National University was published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B.











Organisms aim to maximise inclusive fitness in order to pass genes to the next generation
Credit: WikiCommons

Classic theory predicted that organisms evolve to maximize their own reproductive success, because genes that enhance reproduction are more likely to be passed to future generations.


This view was updated in 1964, when British zoologist William Hamilton set out to explain why some organisms forgo reproduction to devote their lives to helping relatives. Hamilton reasoned that blood relatives share genes, so genes that enhance a relative’s reproduction are likewise passed down. Organisms should therefore strive to maximize their «inclusive fitness»: the optimal combination of reproducing and helping that determines how many genes are passed to future generations.


«The idea of inclusive fitness became highly influential, despite persistent confusion about its definition,» said lead author Dr. Lutz Fromhage from the University of Jyväskylä in Finland.


One widely used definition is to count up an individual’s own offspring, plus any effect it has on increasing its relatives’ offspring production, weighted by relatedness. (After all, an individual shares more genes with its siblings than distant cousins.)


However, theoreticians object that this simplified «folk definition» of inclusive fitness misses a crucial part of Hamilton’s original idea. For «genetic bookkeeping» reasons he stated that an individual’s own reproductive success must be stripped of any offspring that are due to help by others. Without this stripping, theoreticians argue that inclusive fitness fails to predict whether a gene is selected for or against.


«This stripping is unfeasible in most real-world situations,» said co-author Professor Michael Jennions from the Australian National University. «For example, the evolution of the behavior and morphology of a queen bee cannot be understood in isolation from the help provided by her workers.»


A new study offers a possible breakthrough. Fromhage and Jennions argue that the previously rejected folk definition of inclusive fitness is, after all, the quantity which individuals evolve to maximize. Mathematical arguments and computer simulations show that previous objections fall away if we switch our attention from a particular gene to the combined effects of many genes.


Organisms are then predicted to gradually evolve phenotypes that best propagates their genes in a given social environment—none of whose effects should be disregarded or stripped away when measuring inclusive fitness.


«The paper is technical, but the outcome is practical,» said Dr. Fromhage. «Field tests of social evolution, be they on bacteria in hospitals or hyena, are inspired by the idea of inclusive fitness.»


Source: University of Jyväskylä [June 13, 2019]



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New ‘king’ of fossils discovered in Australia

Fossils of a giant new species from the long-extinct group of sea creatures called trilobites have been found on Kangaroo Island, South Australia.











New 'king' of fossils discovered in Australia
Artist’s impression of a Redlichia trilobite on the Cambrian seafloor
[Credit: Katrina Kenny]

The finding is adding important insights to our knowledge of the Cambrian ‘explosion’, the greatest diversification event in the history of life on Earth, when almost all animal groups suddenly appeared over half-a-billion years ago.


Trilobites, which had hard, calcified, armour-like skeletons over their bodies, are related to modern crustaceans and insects. They are one of the most successful fossil animal groups, surviving for about 270 million years (521 to 252 million years ago). Because of their abundance in the fossil record, they are considered a model group for understanding this evolutionary period.


«We decided to name this new species of trilobite Redlichia rex (similar to Tyrannosaurus rex) because of its giant size, as well as its formidable legs with spines used for crushing and shredding food — which may have been other trilobites,» says James Holmes, PhD student with the University of Adelaide’s School of Biological Sciences, who led the research.


The preservation of trilobite ‘soft parts’ such as the antennae and legs is extremely rare. The new species was discovered at the Emu Bay Shale on Kangaroo Island, a world-renowned deposit famous for this type of preservation. The findings have been published in the Journal of Systematic Palaeontology by a team of scientists from the University of Adelaide, South Australian Museum and the University of New England.











New 'king' of fossils discovered in Australia
Credit: University of Adelaide

The new species is about 500 million years old, and is the largest Cambrian trilobite discovered in Australia. It grew to around 30 cm in length, which is almost twice the size of other Australian trilobites of similar age.


«Interestingly, trilobite specimens from the Emu Bay Shale — including Redlichia rex — exhibit injuries that were caused by shell-crushing predators,» says senior study author Associate Professor Diego García-Bellido, from the University of Adelaide and the South Australian Museum.


«There are also large specimens of fossilised poo (or coprolites) containing trilobite fragments in this fossil deposit. The large size of injured Redlichia rex specimens and the associated coprolites suggests that either much bigger predators were targeting Redlichia rex, such as Anomalocaris — an even larger shrimp-like creature — or that the new species had cannibalistic tendencies.»


One of the major drivers of the Cambrian explosion was likely an evolutionary «arms race» between predators and prey, with each developing more effective measures of defence (such as the evolution of shells) and attack.


«The overall size and crushing legs of Redlichia rex are a likely consequence of the arms race that occurred at this time» says James Holmes. «This giant trilobite was likely the terror of smaller creatures on the Cambrian seafloor.»


Source: University of Adelaide [June 13, 2019]



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First archaeological artefacts found during search for lost prehistoric settlements in...

During May 2019, an 11-day expedition by European scientists from Belgium and Britain was undertaken to explore three sites of potential geological and archaeological interest in the southern North Sea. Through chance finds by fishermen over many decades, it has long been suspected that the southern North Sea hides a vast landscape that once was home to thousands of people.











First archaeological artefacts found during search for lost prehistoric settlements in North Sea
Two views of a hammerstone flint found on the seabed 25 miles off the Norfolk coast
[Credit: Visualising Heritage, University of Bradford]

Over the past 2 years the British team has been recreating the drowned landscape using data provided by oil and gas companies, windfarm developers and the coal board. The modelled landscape contains areas with a higher likelihood of past human activity, locations where evidence for these activities might more likely be found.
Prospecting this drowned landscape in search of the evidence of people is a challenging activity, as the North Sea is not only one of the busiest seaways in the world but the weather often makes it inhospitable. Further, multiple utilities cross the area and visibility under water is often limited.











First archaeological artefacts found during search for lost prehistoric settlements in North Sea
Two views of a piece of flint found in the sea bed near an ancient estuary dubbed Southern River
by scientists [Credit: Visualising Heritage, University of Bradford]

Given these challenging conditions, researchers on the Belgian vessel, RV Belgica, used acoustic techniques and physical sampling of the seabed to survey three of the high potential target areas. The team used both traditional geophysical techniques and a novel new technique with a parametric sonar. This enabled the highest resolution images to be obtained of the deposits beneath the seabed.


Although the survey was heavily impacted by poor weather, confirmation of the occurrence of a well-preserved Early Holocene land surface was made near Brown Bank (Area C in figure 2) where several large samples of peat and ancient wood were recovered. This evidence strongly suggests that a prehistoric woodland once stood in this area.











First archaeological artefacts found during search for lost prehistoric settlements in North Sea
The area of the North Sea that is being searched for lost prehistoric settlements
[Credit: Europe s Lost Frontiers/VLIZ]

Survey over Area B targeted a large river system identified in the model landscape. This area was focused on a zone where the river entered an ancient sea, and was suspected to be a location where evidence of human activity was more likely to be preserved.
The survey recorded not only remains of peat but also nodules of flint which may originate from submarine chalk outcrops near the ancient river and coast. These findings are supported by the results of vibrocores acquired in the area for the Europe’s Lost Frontiers project.











First archaeological artefacts found during search for lost prehistoric settlements in North Sea
The modelling led the team to pinpoint where the likelihood of past human activity could be
[Credit: Europe’s Lost Frontiers/VLIZ]

Further study has also revealed the first archaeological artefacts from the survey area. One was a small piece of flint that was possibly the waste product of stone tool making. The second was a larger piece, broken from the edge of a stone hammer, an artefact used to make a variety of other flint tools.


As well as being evidence for flint tool production the hammer fragment derived from a large battered flint nodule would once have been part of a personal tool kit. Research is still ongoing into this artefact and its context within the landscape.











First archaeological artefacts found during search for lost prehistoric settlements in North Sea
Map of the survey (lines marked on in yellow). Location of the Flint is labelled «B»
[Credit: Europe’s Lost Frontiers/VLIZ]

In the relatively short period of time available for survey and sampling around the Southern River and the Brown Bank, the project methodology has clearly demonstrated its value. Marine geophysics has been used to map the topography of these lost lands and identify areas where prehistoric sediments may exist.
Where these are accessible and are within areas of the landscape that are likely to be attractive for human occupation or use, sediments can be extracted for careful examination and with a higher expectation of making finds than was previously possible. The material recovered suggests that the expedition has revealed a well-preserved, prehistoric landscape which, based on preliminary inspection of the material, must have contained a prehistoric woodland.


The recovery of stone artefacts not only demonstrate that these landscapes were inhabited but also that archaeologists can, for the first time, prospect for evidence of human occupation in the deeper waters of the North Sea with some certainty of success. Work will now proceed to refine our knowledge of the larger context of these finds and to plan further expeditions to explore these hidden prehistoric landscapes.


The May 2019 expedition led by Dr. Tine Missiaen from the Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ) involves an international team of scientists from Belgium (Ghent University, VLIZ) and the UK (University of Bradford).



The voyage on board the Belgian research vessel «RV Belgica» takes place within thecollaborative Belgian-UK-Dutch research project «Deep History: Revealing the palaeo-landscape of the southern North Sea» which is aimed at reconstructing the Quaternary history (roughly spanning the last 500.000 years) and human occupation of the wider Brown Bank area.


The project complements the Bradford-led «Europe’s Lost Frontiers» project. Led by Professor Vincent Gaffney, archaeologists from the team are exploring the early Holocene, North Sea landscape known as Doggerland. This project received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (ERC funded project No. 670518 LOST FRONTIERS). The project team also includes researchers from the Universities of St Andrews, Wales Trinity Saint David, Nottingham in Ningbo China, Warwick, Birmingham, University College Cork and the Natural History Museum.


Source: University of Bradford [June 13, 2019]



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300-year-old musket ball and mortar shell discovered at site of 18th century Jacobite...

A team of archaeologists working at the scene of Scotland’s ‘forgotten’ Jacobite rising have uncovered the first historic remains of the decisive 300-year-old battle which ended James Francis Edward Stuart’s ambitions to take the throne.











300-year-old musket ball and mortar shell discovered at site of 18th century Jacobite battle
A shell fragment was among the finds of a recent dig at the battle site
[Credit: NTS]

The team, which was led by the Trust, has been working at the scene of the Battle of Glenshiel and uncovered several large fragments of a coehorn mortar shell that had been fired at Lord George Murray and the Jacobite right wing on the knoll south of the River Shiel. A musket ball fired by government forces at the Jacobites was also uncovered.
The coehorn was a small squat gun that could lob shells in high arcs onto the Jacobite and Spanish positions, creating noise and explosions that must have caused disorder and panic in some of the Jacobites. One reference also suggests the grass and heather was set alight by the red-hot fragments, adding to the confusion.


The Battle of Glenshiel was the first time that the device had been used on British soil, making it an exciting find for the team. The mortar shells also confirm the interpretation of a smaller fragment found on the north side of the river last year.











300-year-old musket ball and mortar shell discovered at site of 18th century Jacobite battle
The team also uncovered a flattened musket ball
[Credit: NTS]

Monday 10 June marked the 300th anniversary of the Battle of Glenshiel, where a force of over 1,000 Jacobites, including troops sent from Spain, attempted to restore ‘the Old Pretender’ James Francis Edward Stuart to the throne of Great Britain.
To mark the anniversary, archaeologists, volunteers and people who had signed up for a Thistle Camp (working holidays which are run by the Trust) excavated an area where the Spanish troops were positioned. The team soon picked up a signal with metal detectors and carefully dug out a flattened musket ball.


‘This is the first positive piece of evidence that we have found from the battle’, said Derek Alexander, Head of Archaeology. ‘We were excavating just below the Spanish position, where there is quite a large outcrop of bedrock with a vertical face. We picked up a strong signal with the metal detector and, working with Historic Environment Scotland, we were allowed to excavate four or five objects. The first that we looked at was the musket ball. It had been fired from below, up at the Spanish position. It hit the bedrock, flattened and fell to the ground and lay there. It was fired three hundred years ago, hit the wall and fell to the ground. Now it has been found.’











300-year-old musket ball and mortar shell discovered at site of 18th century Jacobite battle
Archaeologists excavating at the site of the Battle of Glenshiel
[Credit: NTS]

Tests will now be carried out to determine the calibre of the ball and just who fired it, with government troops using a variety of muskets or carbines. Finds such as this allow historians to create a fuller picture of what happened on that day and to bring the events to life.
Cared for and protected by the  Trust, Glenshiel is often described as Scotland’s most picturesque battlefield. It remains largely unchanged since the time of the battle and visitors to the site can still see the walls built by the Jacobites as they took cover during the mortar barrage by government troops.


‘Finds like this are really important’, added Derek. ‘They are the tangible remains of historic events, which can be quite rare. When we hold something in our hands that we know came from a single event, 300 years ago – that is incredibly powerful. In order to understand the battle better, we need to know a lot more. The understanding of battlefield archaeology can be a slow process and it’s something which happens over a longer period.’



In the wake of the defeat the Jacobites were scattered, with several of their leaders going back into exile on the continent. The Spanish troops were captured and marched to Edinburgh Castle, where they were held before eventually being released later in the year.
The anniversary was marked at the weekend by a gathering of clans on the site. While the 1719 rising is often overlooked, compared to the risings of ’15 and ’45, the defeat had a lasting impact on both the Highlands and the Jacobite cause. Derek explained:


‘The rising fizzled out, but it led to the arrival of General Wade and his building of the road systems and garrisons in locations across the Highlands. It fixed the government’s minds on the clans and the Jacobites. Its failure also meant that there was little appetite for another uprising until Bonnie Prince Charlie and the ’45. It effectively put paid to Jacobite ambitions for 30 years, which is a long time.’


Source: The National Trust for Scotland [June 13, 2019]



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Medieval leather fragment decorated with dragon found in York

Engineers from Northern Powergrid have unearthed a highly decorated fragment of leather in York, thought to be from medieval times.











Medieval leather fragment decorated with dragon found in York
Credit: Minster FM

The artifact, which features a dragon or other mythical beast design, was discovered on Aldwark as part of the electrical distribution firm’s £300,000 investment in York’s power network.
Mike Hammond, Northern Powergrid’s general manager for the North Yorkshire region, said: “To find a piece of York’s past as we invest in the city’s future is really exciting. We’ve been working closely with the York Archaeological Trust as part of our work to replace high voltage cable on Aldwark, Goodramgate and Deangate, the first scheme of work to improve the reliability and resilience of the electricity network, but were not expecting to unearth anything quite so interesting. We are working with the York Archaeological Trust to ensure the restoration and conservation of the leather fragment, which looks like it could be straight out of Game of Thrones, with its medieval dragon design.”











Medieval leather fragment decorated with dragon found in York
Credit: Minster FM

Northern Powergrid has completed the first of four schemes in York two weeks ahead of schedule, which will see some two-and-a-half kilometres of high voltage underground cable replaced across the city centre during 2018/19.
The second scheme of work, which will take place on Grosvenor Road, Bootham Crescent and Queen Anne’s Road, has been brought forward and started on Monday ahead of schedule.


Toby Kendall, project officer from York Archaeological Trust, added: “Good early communication with the team from Northern Powergrid and the contractors completing the excavations has allowed us to archaeologically monitor and record the works without causing any delays. The incredibly well preserved, and fantastically decorated, leather fragment had probably been disturbed from its waterlogged, deeper, burial conditions when the sewers were first installed over 100 years ago. The recovery of the artifact shows the value of observing the works underway, even though they have not directly disturbed the waterlogged archaeology lower down.”


Author: Daniel Willers | Source: York Press [June 13, 2019]



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