суббота, 21 декабря 2019 г.

Loch Kinord Iron Age Hut Circle Foundations Settlement 1, Loch Kinord, Dinnet, Cairngorms, 20.12.19.

Loch Kinord Iron Age Hut Circle Foundations Settlement 1, Loch Kinord, Dinnet, Cairngorms, 20.12.19.



* This article was originally published here

Eurogenes ANE K7


Update 01/01/2015: ANE is the primary cause of west to east genetic differentiation within West Eurasia.

...

As its name implies, the Eurogenes ANE K7 is specifically designed to estimate Ancient North Eurasian (ANE) ancestry. It's based on a series of supervised runs with the ADMIXTURE software, and freely available at GEDmatch under the Eurogenes Ad-mix tests tab.

The ANE component is not modeled on the Mal'ta boy or MA-1 genome, the main ANE proxy in scientific literature, because this sample didn't offer enough high quality markers for the job. So instead, I used the non-East Asian portions of several Karitiana genomes from the HGDP.

I wasn't sure what was going to come of that, but it actually seems to have worked out really well. Below are the results for several individuals that were not used in the making of the test, and clearly their ANE scores look pretty damn solid going by recent papers. For instance, both Lazaridis et al. and Raghavan et al. estimate the Karitiana Indians at just over 41% ANE (see here and here).

Karitiana_HGDP00998
ANE 41.56%
ASE 0.41%
WHG-UHG 0%
East_Eurasian 58.01%
West_African 0%
East_African 0.01%
ENF 0%

Lezgin_GSM536850
ANE 26.74%
ASE 3.88%
WHG-UHG 14.65%
East_Eurasian 0%
West_African 0.01%
East_African 0%
ENF 54.72%

Bedouin_HGDP00651
ANE 0%
ASE 0%
WHG-UHG 0.05%
East_Eurasian 1.49%
West_African 0%
East_African 8.19%
ENF 90.27%

Sardinian_HGDP01067
ANE 0%
ASE 0%
WHG-UHG 49.49%
East_Eurasian 1.8%
West_African 0.01%
East_African 0.01%
ENF 48.69%

You can also cross-check your ANE score with the results in this spreadsheet and table. The spreadsheet includes ANE estimates for more than 2,000 individuals that I tested with the ADMIXTURE software in supervised mode (see here).

On the other hand, the table comes from the Lazaridis et al. preprint, which I'm sure many of you have read by now several times over. And please pay attention to the range of ANE proportions for each population, rather than just the point estimates.

Obviously, there are also six other ancestral components in this test (hence the K7 in the name). They're basically byproducts of me trying to isolate ANE, and don't necessarily mean anything. Nevertheless, here's a brief rundown of what I think some of them might represent...

Ancestral South Eurasian (ASE): this is a really basal cluster that peaks in tribal groups of Southeast Asia. It's probably very similar in some ways to the Ancestral South Indian (ASI) component described by Reich et al. a few years ago.

Western European/Unknown Hunter-Gatherer (WHG-UHG): this essentially looks like a West Eurasian forager component, and includes the forager-like stuff carried by Neolithic farmers (Oetzi the Iceman has 40% of it).

Early Neolithic Farmer (ENF): I'd say that this is the component of the earliest Neolithic farmers from the Fertile Crescent.

The other three components should be easy to work out from their names. They're almost identical to several components with the same or similar names from my other tests.

Some of you might be wondering why this test doesn't offer an Early European Farmer (EEF) cluster. But the answer to that should be obvious by now. EEF is not a stable ancestral component. It's actually a composite of at least two ancient components, including the so called Basal Eurasian and WHG-UHG. If it really was a genuine ancestral component, like ANE, then I'm pretty sure I'd be able catch it with ADMIXTURE. But I can't.

Indeed, a really important thing to understand about the Lazaridis et al. study is that it doesn't actually attempt to estimate overall WHG-UHG ancestry in Europeans, but rather the excess WHG-UHG on top of what is already present in the EEF proxy Stuttgart.

Also worth noting is that this K7 can be a bit noisy. That's mainly because it's very difficult to correctly assign proportions of ancient ancestry to present-day samples. But like I say above, this test is basically designed to estimate ANE scores. If you're wanting to learn about your overall ancestry then I recommend the Eurogenes K13 and K15 tests.

Missing SNPs might also be an issue for some people. It stands to reason that results will be noisier with more missing markers and no calls.

Have fun and don't forget to make a donation at some point to the Eurogenes cause, via the PayPal tab at the top right of the page. This will help me to keep up with what's going on in the world of Paleogenomics, and continue blogging and running analyses.

Citations...

Iosif Lazaridis, Nick Patterson, Alissa Mittnik, et al., Ancient human genomes suggest three ancestral populations for present-day Europeans, arXiv, April 2, 2014, arXiv:1312.6639v2

Raghavan et al., Upper Palaeolithic Siberian genome reveals dual ancestry of Native Americans, Nature, (2013), Published online 20 November 2013, doi:10.1038/nature12736

See also...

Corded Ware Culture linked to the spread of ANE across Europe




* This article was originally published here

A note on Steppe Maykop

I'm reading a new book titled Dispersals and Diversification: Linguistic and Archaeological Perspectives on the Early Stages of Indo-European (see here). One of the chapters is authored by archeologist David Anthony, in which he makes the following claims: A previously unknown genetic population actually was identified in Wang et al. (2019), but it was a peculiar relict-seeming group related to

* This article was originally published here

Short clip: The making of modern Europe


Simple but, I think, very cool animation: ten ancient genomes analyzed with the Eurogenes K15. More elaborate clips are on the way.



And this is basically the same thing, but restricted to samples from Hungary.



* This article was originally published here

2019 December 21 Solstice to Solstice Solargraph Timelapse ...



2019 December 21

Solstice to Solstice Solargraph Timelapse
Image Credit & Copyright: Sam Cornwell

Explanation: The 2019 December Solstice, on the first day of winter in planet Earth’s northern hemisphere and summer in the south, is at 4:19 Universal Time December 22. That’s December 21 for North America, though. Celebrate with a timelapse animation of the Sun’s seasonal progression through the sky. It was made with solargraph images from an ingenious array of 27 pinhole cameras. The first frame from the Solarcan camera matrix was recorded near December 21, 2018. The last frame in the series finished near June 21, 2019, the northern summer solstice. All 27 camera exposures were started at the same time, with a camera covered and removed from the array once a week. Viewed consecutively the pinhole camera pictures accumulate the traces of the Sun’s daily path from winter (bottom) to summer (top) solstice. Traces of the Sun’s path are reflected by the foreground Williestruther Loch, in the Scottish Borders. Just select the image or follow this link to play the entire 27 frame (gif) timelapse.

∞ Source: apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap191221.html



* This article was originally published here

Aboyne Prehistoric Stone Circle, Aboyne, Aberdeenshire, 20.12.19.

Aboyne Prehistoric Stone Circle, Aboyne, Aberdeenshire, 20.12.19.



* This article was originally published here

4mix: four-way mixture modeling in R


Thanks to Eurogenes project member DESEUK1. A zip file with the R script, instructions and a couple of data sheets is available here.

So let's model Poles as a bunch of ancient genomes from Central and Eastern Europe using output from my K8 analysis.

Copy & Paste: source('4mix.r')

Hit ENTER

Copy & Paste: getMix('K8avg.csv', 'target.txt', 'HungaryGamba_EN', 'HungaryGamba_HG', 'Karelia_HG', 'Corded_Ware_LN')

Hit ENTER

After a few seconds you should see the results...

Target = 19% HungaryGamba_EN + 14% HungaryGamba_HG + 2% Karelia_HG + 65% Corded_Ware_LN @ D = 0.0062






Obviously the script can use ancestry proportions and/or population averages from any test, provided they're formatted properly. The accuracy of the modeling will depend on the quality of the input.

Update 19/05/2015: A new version of the 4mix script that can run multiple targets is available here, courtesy of Open Genomes.



* This article was originally published here

Полёт с воздухом 21 декабря 2019 аэротруба



21 декабря 2019 
Впечатления не просто сказать незабываемые, а выше всего, что можно было себе представить, летая с турбинным аэродинамическим воздухом. Ощущения разные, настолько разные, что сложно их сформулировать словами, правильно. Во время самого полёта единственное, что можно с уверенностью сказать, так это нет страха и головокружения. Не у каждого человека они будут одинаковы. А вот, когда выходишь из аэротрубы, минут чрез 30, начинается самое невероятное. Тело как бы разделяется на две части. От колен и выше, оно воздушное, лёгкое, каждая клеточка наполнена радостью и восторгом. От колен и ниже до стоп, полное, фундаментальное ощущение, что стоишь в магнитных сапогах, которые притягивают к Земле, отвечают за гравитационное притяжение. Очень чёткое ощущение сапог, тяжестью прижимающих к Земле. Сон ночью очень крепкий, спокойствие и гармония внутри невероятные по силе ощущения. Последующие дней 6 -7 ощущения спокойствия и гармонии сохраняются и даже нелепые негативные ситуации, навязываемые со стороны людьми, не имеют никакого влияния на изменения внутреннего состояния спокойствия.

 The impressions are unforgettable, above all that could be imagined, flying with turbine aerodynamic air. The sensations are different, it is difficult to formulate them in words. During the flight itself there is no fear and dizziness. Not every person will be the same. When you exit the wind tunnel, after 30 minutes the most incredible begins. The body is divided into two parts. From the knees and above, it is airy, light, each cell is filled with joy and delight. From the knees and lower to the feet, the complete, fundamental feeling that you are standing in magnetic boots that attract to the Earth is responsible for gravitational attraction. Sleep at night is very strong, calm and harmony inside are incredible sensations. The next 6–7 days, feelings of calm and harmony persist, and even negative situations imposed by people do not have any effect on changes in the internal state of calm.

 December 21, 2019
The impressions are unforgettable, above all that could be imagined, flying with turbine aerodynamic air. The sensations are different, it is difficult to formulate them in words. During the flight itself there is no fear and dizziness. Not every person will be the same. When you exit the wind tunnel, after 30 minutes the most incredible begins. The body is divided into two parts. From the knees and above, it is airy, light, each cell is filled with joy and delight. From the knees and lower to the feet, the complete, fundamental feeling that you are standing in magnetic boots that attract to the Earth is responsible for gravitational attraction. Sleep at night is very strong, calm and harmony inside are incredible sensations. The next 6–7 days, feelings of calm and harmony persist, and even negative situations imposed by people do not have any effect on changes in the internal state of calm.

NASA’s Webb Telescope to Search for Young Brown Dwarfs and Rogue Planets

Scientists will use Webb to search the nearby stellar nursery NGC 1333 for its smallest, faintest residents. It is an ideal place to look for very dim, free-floating objects, including those with planetary masses. Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/R. A. Gutermuth (Harvard-Smithsonian CfA). Hi-res image

How small are the smallest celestial objects that form like stars, but don't produce their own light? How common are they compared to full-fledged stars? How about “rogue planets,” which formed around stars before being tossed into interstellar space? When NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope launches in 2021, it will shed light on these questions

Answering them will set a boundary between objects that form like stars, which are born out of gravitationally collapsing clouds of gas and dust, and those that form like planets, which are created when gas and dust clump together in a disk around a young star. It will also distinguish among competing ideas about the origins of brown dwarfs, objects with masses between 1% and 8% of the Sun that cannot sustain hydrogen fusion at their cores.

In a study led by Aleks Scholz of the University of St Andrews in the United Kingdom, researchers will use Webb to discover the smallest, faintest residents of a nearby stellar nursery called NGC 1333. Located about 1,000 light-years away in the constellation Perseus, the stellar cluster NGC 1333 is fairly close in astronomical terms. It is also very compact and contains many young stars. These three factors make it an ideal place to study star formation in action, particularly for those interested in very faint, free-floating objects.

“The least massive brown dwarfs identified so far are only five to 10 times heftier than the planet Jupiter,” explained Scholz. “We don’t yet know whether even lower mass objects form in stellar nurseries. With Webb, we expect to identify cluster members as puny as Jupiter for the first time ever. Their numbers relative to heftier brown dwarfs and stars will shed light on their origins and also give us important clues about the star formation process more broadly.”

A Fuzzy Boundary

Very low-mass objects are cool, meaning they emit most of their light in infrared wavelengths. Observing infrared light from ground-based telescopes is challenging because of interference from Earth's atmosphere. Due to its sheer size and ability to see infrared light with unprecedented sensitivity, Webb is ideally suited for finding and characterizing young free-floating objects with masses below five Jupiters.

The distinction between brown dwarfs and giant planets is blurry.

“There are some objects with masses below the 10-Jupiter mark freely floating through the cluster. As they don’t orbit any particular star, we may call them brown dwarfs, or planetary-mass objects, since we don’t know better,” said team member Koraljka Muzic of the University of Lisbon in Portugal. “On the other hand, some massive giant planets may have fusion reactions. And some brown dwarfs may form in a disk.”

There is also the issue of “rogue planets”—objects that form like planets and then later get ejected from their solar systems. These free-floating bodies are doomed to wander between the stars forever.

Dozens at Once

The team will use Webb’s Near Infrared Imager and Slitless Spectrograph (NIRISS) to study these various low-mass objects. A spectrograph breaks the light from a single source into its component colors the way a prism splits white light into a rainbow. That light carries fingerprints produced when material emits or interacts with light. Spectrographs allow researchers to analyze those fingerprints and discover properties like temperature and composition.

NIRISS will give the team simultaneous information for dozens of objects. “That is key. For an unambiguous confirmation of a brown dwarf or rogue planet we need to see the absorption signatures of molecules — water and methane primarily — in the spectra,” explained team member Ray Jayawardhana of Cornell University. “Spectroscopy is time consuming, and being able to observe many objects simultaneously helps enormously. The alternative is to take images first, measure colors, select candidates, and then go and take spectra, which will take much more time and relies on more assumptions.”

This work is being conducted as part of a Webb Guaranteed Time Observations (GTO) program. This program is designed to reward scientists who helped develop the key hardware and software components or technical and interdisciplinary knowledge for the observatory. Jayawardhana has been involved in the design and development of NIRISS, as well as its key science programs, as a core member of the instrument team since 2004.

The James Webb Space Telescope will be the world’s premier space science observatory when it launches in 2021. Webb will solve mysteries in our solar system, look beyond to distant worlds around other stars, and probe the mysterious structures and origins of our universe and our place in it. Webb is an international program led by NASA with its partners, ESA (European Space Agency) and the Canadian Space Agency.

For more information about Webb, visit www.nasa.gov/webb.

By Ann Jenkins
Space Telescope Science Institute
Baltimore, Md.

Editor: Lynn Jenner





* This article was originally published here

Aboyne Prehistoric Stone Circle (Lomo Effect in Winter), Aboyne, Aberdeenshire, 20.12.19.

Aboyne Prehistoric Stone Circle (Lomo Effect in Winter), Aboyne, Aberdeenshire, 20.12.19.



* This article was originally published here

Colossus statue of Horus unearthed in Egypt's Luxor


During excavations carried out at the Funerary Temple of king Amenhotep III, an Egyptian-German archaeological mission led by Horig Sourouzian unearthed a large part of a granodiorite colossus of a standing falcon-headed god Horus.

Colossus statue of Horus unearthed in Egypt's Luxor
Credit: Egypt. Ministry of Antiquities
Sourouzian said the statue is missing the legs, and the arms are broken, but the head and torso are very well preserved.


The 1.85-metres-tall statue depicts the ancient Egyptian deity Horus wearing the divine pleated kilt held around the waist with a horizontally pleated belt. The back pillar of the statue is uninscribed.

Colossus statue of Horus unearthed in Egypt's Luxor
Credit: Egypt. Ministry of Antiquities
The statue was found among the ruins of the hypostyle hall of the Funerary Temple of Amenhotep III, also known as the Temple of Millions of Years, at Kom Al-Hettan, Luxor’s West Bank.

The mission also uncovered the lower part of a seated goddess and the head of a god, both in granodiorite. The god is wearing a tripartite wig, and a wide collar adorns his chest.

Author: Nevine El-Aref | Source: Ahram Online [December 19, 2019]



* This article was originally published here

Spitzer Studies a Stellar Playground With a Long History

A collection of gas and dust over 500 light-years across, the Perseus Molecular Cloud hosts an abundance of young stars. It was imaged here by the NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope.Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltec. › Full image and caption

This image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope shows the Perseus Molecular Cloud, a massive collection of gas and dust that stretches over 500 light-years across. Home to an abundance of young stars, it has drawn the attention of astronomers for decades.

Spitzer's Multiband Imaging Photometer (MIPS) instrument took this image during Spitzer's "cold mission," which ran from the spacecraft's launch in 2003 until 2009, when the space telescope exhausted its supply of liquid helium coolant. (This marked the beginning of Spitzer's "warm mission.") Infrared light can't be seen by the human eye, but warm objects, from human bodies to interstellar dust clouds, emit infrared light.

Infrared radiation from warm dust generates much of the glow seen here from the Perseus Molecular Cloud. Clusters of stars, such as the bright spot near the left side of the image, generate even more infrared light and illuminate the surrounding clouds like the Sun lighting up a cloudy sky at sunset. Much of the dust seen here emits little to no visible light (in fact, the dust blocks visible light) and is therefore revealed most clearly with infrared observatories like Spitzer.

On the right side of the image is a bright clump of young stars known as NGC 1333, which Spitzer has observed multiple times. It is located about 1,000 light-years from Earth. That sounds far, but it is close compared to the size of our galaxy, which is about 100,000 light-years across. NGC 1333's proximity and strong infrared emissions made it visible to astronomers using some of the earliest infrared instruments.

This image from NASA'S Spitzer Space Telescope shows the location and apparent size of the Perseus Molecular Cloud in the night sky. Located on the edge of the Perseus Constellation, the collection of gas and dust is about 1,000 light-years from Earth and about 500 light-years wide.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech.  Full image and caption

In fact, some of its stars were first observed in the mid-1980s with the Infrared Astronomical Survey (IRAS), a joint mission between NASA, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands. The first infrared satellite telescope, it observed the sky in infrared wavelengths blocked by Earth's atmosphere, providing the first-ever view of the universe in those wavelengths. 

More than 1,200 peer-reviewed research papers have been written about NGC 1333, and it has been studied in other wavelengths of light, including by the Hubble Space Telescope, which detects mostly visible light, and the Chandra X-Ray Observatory

Many young stars in the cluster are sending massive outflows of material - the same material that forms the star - into space. As the material is ejected, it is heated up and smashes into the surrounding interstellar medium. These factors cause the jets to radiate brightly, and they can be seen in close-up studies of the region. This has provided astronomers with a clear glimpse of how stars go from a sometimes-turbulent adolescence into calmer adulthood.

An Evolving Mystery

Other clusters of stars seen below NGC 1333 in this image have posed a fascinating mystery for astronomers: They appear to contain stellar infants, adolescents and adults. Such a closely packed mixture of ages is extremely odd, according to Luisa Rebull, an astrophysicist at NASA's Infrared Science Archive at Caltech-IPAC who has studied NGC 1333 and some of the clusters below it. Although many stellar siblings may form together in tight clusters, stars are always moving, and as they grow older they tend to move farther and farther apart.

This annotated image of the Perseus Molecular Cloud, provided by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, shows the location of various star clusters, including NGC 1333.  Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech..  Full image and caption

Finding such a closely packed mixture of apparent ages doesn't fit with current ideas about how stars evolve. "This region is telling astronomers that there's something we don't understand about star formation," said Rebull. The puzzle presented by this region is one thing that keeps astronomers coming back to it. "It's one of my favorite regions to study," she added. 

Since IRAS's early observations, the region has come into clearer focus, a process that is common in astronomy, said Rebull. New instruments bring more sensitivity and new techniques, and the story becomes clearer with each new generation of observatories. On Jan. 30, 2020, NASA will decommission the Spitzer Space Telescope, but its legacy has paved the way for upcoming observatories, including the James Webb Space Telescope, which will also observe infrared light.

The Spitzer-MIPS data used for this image is at the infrared wavelength of 24 microns. Small gaps along the edges of this image not observed by Spitzer were filled in using 22-micron data from NASA's Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE).

To learn more about Spitzer and how it studies the infrared universe, check out the Spitzer 360 VR experience, now available on the NASA Spitzer channel on YouTube: http://bit.ly/SpitzerVR.

More information about Spitzer is available at the following site(s):   https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/spitzer/main

News Media Contact

Calla Cofield
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.
626-808-2469

calla.e.cofield@jpl.nasa.gov

Source:   JPL-Caltec/News




* This article was originally published here

Marker overlap and test accuracy


A few people are asking me about the effects of marker overlap or genotype rate on test accuracy. Logic dictates that the better the overlap, the more accurate the results, but this isn't strictly true. Here's what I've learned over the years:

- accuracy doesn't necessarily improve with higher marker overlap, it improves (up to a certain point) with more markers

- you will still see accurate results using as little as 25,000 SNPs, as long as the test doesn't suffer from any serious problems

- poorly designed tests, such as those based on less than 1000 reference samples, always produce garbage results no matter what the marker overlap

In other words, a well designed test based on 200,000 SNPs will produce very accurate results for a genotype file with a marker overlap of 50%. On the other hand, another well designed test, based on just 50,000 SNPs, is likely to produce less accurate results for a genotype file with a marker overlap of 100%.

So how can you tell a well designed test from a poorly designed one? It's easy, just have a look at the results they're producing for people with less complex ancestry. For instance, ask a Lithuanian, Swede or Pole what they're seeing at the top of their oracles. Is the Swede seeing Swedish or, say, German? If the answer is German instead of Swedish, or at least some type of Scandinavian, then the test is garbage and best ignored.

By the way, the recent Allentoft et al. paper on the ancient genomics of Eurasia includes a useful discussion on the effects of missing markers on the accuracy of both ADMIXTURE and PCA results. Refer to section 6.2 in the freely available supplementary info PDF here.



* This article was originally published here

Culsh Prehistoric Earth House, Tarland, Aberdeenshire, Scotland, 20.12.19.

Culsh Prehistoric Earth House, Tarland, Aberdeenshire, Scotland, 20.12.19.



* This article was originally published here

Celebrated ancient Egyptian woman physician likely never existed


For decades, an ancient Egyptian known as Merit Ptah has been celebrated as the first female physician and a role model for women entering medicine. Yet a researcher from the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus now says she never existed and is an example of how misconceptions can spread.

Celebrated ancient Egyptian woman physician likely never existed
Merit Ptah is often called the first woman doctor, CU Anschutz researcher calls it a case of mistaken identity
[Credit: University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus]
"Almost like a detective, I had to trace back her story, following every lead, to discover how it all began and who invented Merit Ptah," said Jakub Kwiecinski, PhD, an instructor in the Dept. of Immunology and Microbiology at the CU School of Medicine and a medical historian. His study was published last week in the Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences.

Kwiecinski's interest in Merit Ptah (`beloved of god Ptah') was sparked after seeing her name in so many places.

"Merit Ptah was everywhere. In online posts about women in STEM, in computer games, in popular history books, there's even a crater on Venus named after her," he said. "And yet, with all these mentions, there was no proof that she really existed. It soon became clear that there had been no ancient Egyptian woman physician called Merit Ptah."

Digging deep into the historical record, Kwiecinski discovered a case of mistaken identity that took on a life of its own, fueled by those eager for an inspirational story.


According to Kwiecinski, Merit Ptah the physician had her origins in the 1930s when Kate Campbell Hurd-Mead, a medical historian, doctor and activist, set out to write a complete history of medical women around the world. Her book was published in 1938.

She talked about the excavation of a tomb in the Valley of Kings where there was a "picture of a woman doctor named Merit Ptah, the mother of a high priest, who is calling her `the Chief Physician.'"

Kwiecinski said there was no record of such a person being a physician. "Merit Ptah as a name existed in the Old Kingdom, but does not appear in any of the collated lists of ancient Egyptian healers -- not even as one of the `legendary'; or `controversial cases," he said. "She is also absent from the list of Old Kingdom women administrators. No Old Kingdom tombs are present in the Valley of the Kings, where the story places Merit Ptah's son, and only a handful of such tombs exist in the larger area, the Theban Necropolis."

The Old Kingdom of Egypt lasted from 2575 to 2150 BC. But there was another woman who bears a striking resemblance to Merit Ptah. In 1929-30, an excavation in Giza uncovered a tomb of Akhethetep, an Old Kingdom courtier. Inside, a false door depicted a woman called Peseshet, presumably the tomb owner's mother, described as the `Overseer of Healer Women.' Peseshet and Merit Ptah came from the same time periods and were both mentioned in the tombs of their sons who were high priestly officials.


This discovery was described in several books and one of them found its way into Hurd-Mead's private library. Kwiecinski believes Hurd-Mead confused Merit Ptah with Peseseth.

"Unfortunately, Hurd-Mead in her own book accidentally mixed up the name of the ancient healer, as well as the date when she lived, and the location of the tomb," he said. "And so, from a misunderstood case of an authentic Egyptian woman healer, Peseshet, a seemingly earlier Merit Ptah, `the first woman physician' was born."

The Merit Ptah story spread far and wide, driven by a variety of forces. Kwiecinski said one factor was the popular perception of ancient Egypt as an almost fairytale land "outside time and space" perfectly suited for the creation of legendary stories.

The story spread through amateur historian circles, creating a kind of echo chamber not unlike how fake news stories circulate today.


"Finally, it was associated with an extremely emotional, partisan -- but also deeply personal -- issue of equal rights," he said. "Altogether this created a perfect storm that propelled the story of Merit Ptah into being told over and over again."

Yet Kwiecinski said the most striking part of the story is not the mistake but the determination of generations of women historians to recover the forgotten history of female healers, proving that science and medicine have never been exclusively male.

"So even though Merit Ptah is not an authentic ancient Egyptian woman healer," he said. "She is a very real symbol of the 20th century feministic struggle to write women back into the history books, and to open medicine and STEM to women."

Source: University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus [December 16, 2019]



* This article was originally published here

Iron Age Crannog Island on Loch Kinord, Cairngorms, Scotland, 20.12.19.

Iron Age Crannog Island on Loch Kinord, Cairngorms, Scotland, 20.12.19.



* This article was originally published here

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