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SteveMDFP

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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #350 on: January 06, 2021, 02:19:32 AM »
British Bird-Watcher Discovers Trove of 2,000-Year-Old Celtic Coins
https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/amateur-treasure-hunter-discovered-2000-year-old-coins-180976658/
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The cache dates to the time of warrior queen Boudica’s revolt against the Romans

A brief history of Boudica;

Boudica: The Truth Behind the Legend



Tom_Mazanec

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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #351 on: January 14, 2021, 01:31:38 PM »
Oldest Known Cave Painting of Animals Discovered
https://www.realclearscience.com/articles/2021/01/14/oldest_known_cave_painting_of_animals_discovered_656469.html
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The painting portrays images of the Sulawesi warty pig (Sus celebensis), which is a small (40-85kg) short-legged wild boar endemic to the island.
Dating to at least 45,500 years ago, this cave painting may be the oldest depiction of the animal world, and possibly the earliest figurative art (an image that resembles the thing it is intended to represent), yet uncovered.
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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #352 on: February 06, 2021, 01:32:18 PM »
Archaeologists in Turkey have discovered a major, previously unknown kingdom
https://www.zmescience.com/science/archaeology/turkey-unknown-kingdom-04022021/
Quote
They ruled a big part of today's Turkey and defeated the legendary king Midas.

Researchers Just Looked at Neanderthal Poop to Understand Their Guts
https://gizmodo.com/researchers-just-looked-at-neanderthal-poop-to-understa-1846208365
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“The point is that we identified some microorganisms that are shared between modern humans and Neanderthals,” Candela said. “This means that these microorganisms populate the gut of the human lineage before the segregation of the Neanderthal and sapiens lineages.”
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kassy

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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #353 on: February 06, 2021, 10:25:29 PM »
Watch This Billion-Year Journey of Earth’s Tectonic Plates

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/06/science/tectonic-plates-continental-drift.html

Quote
Older computerized simulations tended to recreate the movements of the continents alone, showing them drifting about on an undynamic blue ocean background like croutons bobbing about in soup. This time around, the scientists tried a new approach. They combined magnetic data, which reveals the positions of rocks relative to the magnetic poles millions of years ago, with geological data describing how the plates interact along their boundaries. The result is a high-fidelity simulation, one that models the migration of entire tectonic plates — continents, oceans and all — showing how they fraternize with one another with remarkable precision.

In the past decade, similarly painstaking plate tectonics reconstructions have been made but only for limited windows of geologic time. This is the first time this type of full-blown plate tectonics reconstruction has been assembled for an uninterrupted fifth of Earth’s history.
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Tom_Mazanec

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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #354 on: February 09, 2021, 03:35:11 PM »
120,000-Year-Old Cattle Bone Carvings May Be World’s Oldest Surviving Symbols
https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/wild-cow-bone-may-have-120000-year-old-symbols-180976933/
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Archaeologists found the bone fragment—engraved with six lines—at a Paleolithic meeting site in Israel
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vox_mundi

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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #355 on: February 12, 2021, 12:50:35 PM »
Dramatic Discovery Links Stonehenge to Its Original Site – in Wales
https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2021/feb/12/dramatic-discovery-links-stonehenge-to-its-original-site-in-wales
https://phys.org/news/2021-02-stonehenge-stones-older-monument.html

Stonehenge likely made with stones from older monument

An ancient myth about Stonehenge, first recorded 900 years ago, tells of the wizard Merlin leading men to Ireland to capture a magical stone circle called the Giants’ Dance and rebuilding it in England as a memorial to the dead.

Geoffrey of Monmouth’s account had been dismissed, partly because he was wrong on other historical facts, although the bluestones of the monument came from a region of Wales that was considered Irish territory in his day.

Now a vast stone circle created by our Neolithic ancestors has been discovered in Wales with features suggesting that the 12th-century legend may not be complete fantasy.

Its diameter of 110 metres is identical to the ditch that encloses Stonehenge and it is aligned on the midsummer solstice sunrise, just like the Wiltshire monument.

A series of buried stone-holes that follow the circle’s outline has been unearthed, with shapes that can be linked to Stonehenge’s bluestone pillars. One of them bears an imprint in its base that matches the unusual cross-section of a Stonehenge bluestone “like a key in a lock”, the archaeologists discovered.

The evidence backs a century-old theory that the nation’s greatest prehistoric monument was built in Wales and venerated for hundreds of years before being dismantled and dragged to Wiltshire, where it was resurrected as a second-hand monument.

The newly discovered circle – one of the largest ever constructed in Britain – is virtually a stone’s throw (3 miles) from the Preseli quarries from which the bluestones were extracted before being dragged more than 140 miles to Salisbury Plain some 5,000 years ago.



Mike Parker Pearson et al. The original Stonehenge? A dismantled stone circle in the Preseli Hills of west Wales, Antiquity (2021).
https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/antiquity/article/original-stonehenge-a-dismantled-stone-circle-in-the-preseli-hills-of-west-wales/B7DAA4A7792B4DAB57DDE0E3136FBC33
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kassy

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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #356 on: February 12, 2021, 06:46:08 PM »
https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-wales-56029203

The Merlin story is cool. It´s not in the bbc version. But apparently these people did move their monument at some time.

It is interesting how somehow parts of the true story keep preserved and then embellished in legend like the Iliad.

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vox_mundi

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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #357 on: February 12, 2021, 09:36:34 PM »
Epidemic Possibly Caused Population Collapse In Central Africa 1400-1600 years ago
https://phys.org/news/2021-02-epidemic-possibly-population-collapse-central.html


Temporal variation in the activity of ancient pottery-producing communities in the Congo basin over the past 4000 years.

A new study published in the journal Science Advances shows that Bantu-speaking communities in the Congo rainforest underwent a major population collapse from 1600 to 1400 years ago, probably due to a prolonged disease epidemic, and that significant resettlement did not restart until around 1000 years ago.

These findings revise the population history of no less than seven present-day African countries (Cameroon, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, and Angola) and challenges the commonly held belief that the settlement of Central Africa by Bantu-speaking communities was a continuous process from about 4000 years ago until the start of the transatlantic slave trade.

... According to archeologist Dirk Seidensticker (UGent), one of the two lead authors, the multi-proxy approach developed in this study is unique both in terms of empirical evidence and scientific method, in that it uses 1149 radiocarbon dates linked to 115 pottery styles recovered from 726 sites throughout the Congo rainforest and adjacent areas: "We are the first to integrate these three types of archeological datasets on such a large scale and for such a long period and to demonstrate that throughout Central Africa two periods of more intense human activity (~800 BCE to 400 CE and ~1000 to 1900 CE) are separated by a widespread population collapse between 400 and 600 CE. Doing so, we could clearly delineate the periods commonly known as the Early Iron Age and Late Iron Age, each of them characterized by distinct pottery styles which first underwent a widespread expansion phase followed by a regionalization phase with many more local pottery styles. Pottery being one of the few material items of cultural heritage that has survived the ravages of time, this is an important step forward for the archeology of Central Africa."

The initial spread of Bantu-speaking people from their homeland on the border between Nigeria and Cameroon towards eastern and southern Africa starting some 4000 years ago is unique in the world due to its magnitude, rapid pace, and adaptation to multiple ecozones. This spread had a momentous impact on the continent's linguistic, demographic, and cultural landscape. The Bantu languages constitute Africa's largest language family: about one out of three Africans speak one or several Bantu languages.

Historical linguist and Africanist Koen Bostoen (UGent) is excited about how these new insights that urge us to rethink the Bantu Expansion, one of the most controversial issues in African History: "Africa's colonization by Bantu speech communities is usually seen as a single, long-term and continuous macro-event. We tend to see today's Bantu speakers as direct descendants from those who originally settled the rainforest some 2700 years ago. Likewise, we think that current-day Bantu languages developed directly from the ancestral languages of those first settlers. However, our results show that this initial wave of Bantu-speaking Early Iron Age communities had largely vanished from the entire Congo rainforest region by 600 CE. The Bantu languages of this area may thus be almost 1000 years younger than previously thought. Scientifically speaking, this introduces new challenges for our use of linguistic data to reconstruct Africa's history. More generally, our study shows that African societies faced serious catastrophes long before the transatlantic slave trade and European colonization and had the resilience to overcome them. This is hopeful."

Paleobotanist and tropical forest ecologist Wannes Hubau (UGent & RMCA Tervuren), the other lead author, highlights that the drastic population collapse around 400-600 CE coincided with wetter climatic conditions across the region and may therefore have been promoted by a prolonged disease epidemic: "We note the broad coincidence between the sharp demographic decline in the Congo rainforest and the Justinian Plague (541-750 CE), which is regarded as one of the factors leading to the fall of both the Roman Empire and the Aksumite Empire in Ethiopia. It may have killed up to 100 million people in Asia, Europe, and Africa. We have no firm evidence that the population collapse observed in our archeological data is really due to a persistent vector-borne disease. However, the bacteria Yersinia pestis, which caused the Justinian Plague, has a long-standing presence in Central Africa. One particular strain, still found today in DRC, Zambia, Kenya and Uganda, has prevailed in Central Africa for at least 300 years and is the oldest living strain closely related to the lineage that caused the Black Death in 14th century Europe. We therefore consider a prolonged pandemic of plague to be a plausible hypothesis for the observed supra-regional population decline in 5th-6th century Central Africa."

D. Seidensticker el al., "Population collapse in Congo rainforest from 400 CE urges reassessment of the Bantu Expansion," Science Advances (2021)
https://advances.sciencemag.org/content/7/7/eabd8352
“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

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greylib

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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #358 on: February 13, 2021, 02:26:12 AM »
Dramatic Discovery Links Stonehenge to Its Original Site – in Wales
https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2021/feb/12/dramatic-discovery-links-stonehenge-to-its-original-site-in-wales
https://phys.org/news/2021-02-stonehenge-stones-older-monument.html
My wife is Welsh. Very Welsh. Over the centuries, according to her, the people have been enslaved and used as builders of castles (to defend against the Welsh), miners for gold, lead, copper, iron and especially coal. The valleys have been flooded and turned into reservoirs - not for the Welsh, but for the English, especially Liverpool. Now it turns out that we've even stolen their greatest monument.

I mildly suggested that maybe the Preseli locals had decided to move to Wiltshire for the better weather, and wanted to bring a "touch of home" with them. Ok, so there were at least the 42 stones that are there now, and possibly up to 80. Ok, they weighed between two and four tons each... Ok, they had to carry them 140 kilometres... Some people just get homesick, I guess!

Wikipedia backs me up:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stonehenge
Quote
... As there was evidence of the underlying chalk beneath the graves being crushed by substantial weight, the team concluded that the first bluestones brought from Wales were probably used as grave markers. Radiocarbon dating of the remains has put the date of the site 500 years earlier than previously estimated, to around 3000 BC. A 2018 study of the strontium content of the bones found that many of the individuals buried there around the time of construction had probably come from near the source of the bluestone in Wales and had not extensively lived in the area of Stonehenge before death.

I also pointed out that she hadn't used the common nationalist cry "taking our women". She ran me through with a piercing Celtic eye, and said "at least I got to choose - and you're still on probation!"
Step by step, moment by moment
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sidd

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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #359 on: February 13, 2021, 06:01:41 AM »
Re: you're still on probation!

Hehehehe. That i so funny and very true. I find the best marriages are when both parties bear that in mind.

sidd

vox_mundi

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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #360 on: February 15, 2021, 03:27:55 PM »
First Humans In Tasmania Must Have Seen Spectacular Auroras
https://phys.org/news/2021-02-humans-tasmania-spectacular-auroras.html

Drilling a 270,000-year old core from a Tasmanian lake has provided the first Australian record of a major global event where the Earth's magnetic field 'switched'—and the opportunity to establish a precedent for developing new paleomagnetic dating tools for Australian archaeology and paleosciences.

"This is the first study of this kind in Australia since pioneering studies in the 1980s," said author Dr. Agathe Lisé-Provonost, a McKenzie Fellow from the School of Earth Sciences at the University of Melbourne. "Just two lakes in north-east Australia previously provided such "full-vector" record, where both the past directions and the past intensity of the Earth's magnetic field are obtained from the same cores."

Published in the journal Quaternary Geochronology, Chronostratigraphy of a 270-ka sediment record from Lake Selina, Tasmania: Combining radiometric, geomagnetic and climatic dating, established from the 5.5 meter long Lake Selina core that 41,000 years ago, people in Tasmania must have seen spectacular auroras when the Earth's magnetic field flipped, and for a few thousand years, north was south and south was north.

"During the geomagnetic 'excursion," the strength of the Earth's magnetic field almost vanished," said Dr. Lisé-Provonost. "This would lead to a big increase in cosmic and solar particles bombarding our planet because the magnetic field normally acts like a shield. We don't know when the next geomagnetic excursion will happen, but if one was to occur today, satellites would be rendered useless, smartphone navigation apps would fail, and there would be major disruptions of power distribution systems."

Agathe Lisé-Pronovost et al. Chronostratigraphy of a 270-ka sediment record from Lake Selina, Tasmania: Combining radiometric, geomagnetic and climatic dating, Quaternary Geochronology (2021)
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1871101421000030
« Last Edit: February 15, 2021, 03:51:57 PM by vox_mundi »
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kassy

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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #361 on: February 15, 2021, 04:45:07 PM »
Lakes can be so amazing. :)

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vox_mundi

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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #362 on: February 18, 2021, 11:16:44 PM »
A Global Environmental Crisis 42,000 Years Ago
https://phys.org/news/2021-02-ancient-relic-earth-history-years.html

The temporary breakdown of Earth's magnetic field 42,000 years ago sparked major climate shifts that led to global environmental change and mass extinctions, a new international study co-led by UNSW Sydney and the South Australian Museum shows.

This dramatic turning point in Earth's history—laced with electrical storms, widespread auroras, and cosmic radiation—was triggered by the reversal of Earth's magnetic poles and changing solar winds.

The researchers dubbed this danger period the 'Adams Transitional Geomagnetic Event', or 'Adams Event' for short—a tribute to science fiction writer Douglas Adams, who wrote in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy that '42' was the answer to life, the universe, and everything.

The findings are published today in Science.



..."The findings were made possible with ancient New Zealand kauri trees, which have been preserved in sediments for over 40,000 years.

"The kauri trees are like the Rosetta Stone, helping us tie together records of environmental change in caves, ice cores and peat bogs around the world," says co-lead Professor Alan Cooper, Honorary Researcher at the South Australian Museum.

The researchers compared the newly-created timescale with records from sites across the Pacific and used it in global climate modelling, finding that the growth of ice sheets and glaciers over North America and large shifts in major wind belts and tropical storm systems could be traced back to the Adams Event.

One of their first clues was that megafauna across mainland Australia and Tasmania went through simultaneous extinctions 42,000 years ago.

"This had never seemed right, because it was long after Aboriginal people arrived, but around the same time that the Australian environment shifted to the current arid state," says Prof. Cooper.

The paper suggests that the Adams Event could explain a lot of other evolutionary mysteries, like the extinction of Neandertals and the sudden widespread appearance of figurative art in caves around the world.

... According to the team's findings, the most dramatic part was the lead-up to the reversal, when the poles were migrating across the Earth.

"Earth's magnetic field dropped to only 0-6 percent strength during the Adams Event," says Prof. Turney.

Quote
"We essentially had no magnetic field at all—our cosmic radiation shield was totally gone."

During the magnetic field breakdown, the Sun experienced several 'Grand Solar Minima' (GSM), long-term periods of quiet solar activity.

Even though a GSM means less activity on the Sun's surface, the weakening of its magnetic field can mean more space weather—like solar flares and galactic cosmic rays—could head Earth's way.

"Unfiltered radiation from space ripped apart air particles in Earth's atmosphere, separating electrons and emitting light—a process called ionisation," says Prof. Turney.

"The ionised air 'fried' the Ozone layer, triggering a ripple of climate change across the globe."

"Early humans around the world would have seen amazing auroras, shimmering veils and sheets across the sky," says Prof. Cooper. [... aboriginal dream time?...]

Ionised air—which is a great conductor for electricity—would have also increased the frequency of electrical storms.

"It must have seemed like the end of days," says Prof. Cooper.

The researchers theorise that the dramatic environmental changes may have caused early humans to seek more shelter. This could explain the sudden appearance of cave art around the world roughly 42,000 years ago.

"We think that the sharp increases in UV levels, particularly during solar flares, would suddenly make caves very valuable shelters," says Prof. Cooper. "The common cave art motif of red ochre handprints may signal it was being used as sunscreen, a technique still used today by some groups.



... While the magnetic poles often wander, some scientists are concerned about the current rapid movement of the north magnetic pole across the Northern Hemisphere.

"This speed—alongside the weakening of Earth's magnetic field by around nine percent in the past 170 years—could indicate an upcoming reversal," says Prof. Cooper.

"If a similar event happened today, the consequences would be huge for modern society. Incoming cosmic radiation would destroy our electric power grids and satellite networks."

A. Cooper at South Australian Museum in Adelaide, SA, Australia el al., "A global environmental crisis 42,000 years ago," Science (2021).
https://science.sciencemag.org/content/371/6531/811
“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

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vox_mundi

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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #363 on: February 23, 2021, 05:00:45 PM »
Ancient Art Reveals Extinct Goose
https://phys.org/news/2021-02-ancient-art-reveals-extinct-goose.html



As a University of Queensland researcher examined a 4600-year-old Egyptian painting last year, a speckled goose caught his eye.

UQ scientist Dr. Anthony Romilio said the strange but beautiful bird was quite unlike modern red-breasted geese (Branta ruficollis), with distinct, bold colors and patterns on its body, face, breast, wings and legs.

"The painting, Meidum Geese, has been admired since its discovery in the 1800s and described as "Egypt's Mona Lisa,'" he said.

"Apparently no-one realized it depicted an unknown species.

"Artistic license could account for the differences with modern geese, but artworks from this site have extremely realistic depictions of other birds and mammals."

Dr. Romilio said no bones from modern red-breasted geese (Branta ruficollis) had been found on any Egyptian archaeological site.

"Curiously, bones of a similar but not identical bird have been found on Crete," he said.

"From a zoological perspective, the Egyptian artwork is the only documentation of this distinctively patterned goose, which appears now to be globally extinct."

Dr. Romilio said Egypt was not always predominantly desert and had "a biodiverse history, rich with extinct species."

Dr. Romilio said the artwork he examined was from the tomb of Nefermaat and Itet at Meidum and was now in Cairo's Museum of Egyptian Antiquities.

A. Romilio. Assessing 'Meidum Geese' species identification with the 'Tobias criteria', Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports (2021)
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S2352409X21000468
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Tom_Mazanec

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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #364 on: February 26, 2021, 12:19:08 PM »
Greek ship carrying parts of the Parthenon is giving up more secrets
https://www.livescience.com/greek-shipwreck-parthenon-elgin-marbles-discoveries.html
Quote
But the small objects recovered from the wreck reveal intriguing aspects of the lives of the people onboard the ship when it sank, said marine archaeologist Dimitris Kourkoumelis, of the Ephorate of Underwater Antiquities, a department of the Greek Ministry of Culture and Sports.

Human Remains Unearthed Where Colonial Williamsburg’s First Black Church Once Stood
https://gizmodo.com/human-remains-unearthed-where-colonial-williamsburg-s-f-1846353818
Quote
Despite the amount of history that sits atop its soil, plenty of stories remain buried below Colonial Williamsburg. One of those stories is that of the First Baptist Church of Williamsburg, an early Black church that stood until the 1950s on the historic site, on which excavations began last fall. Now, archaeologists have found human remains on the site; further assurance that the team was digging in the right place, and a step towards being able to connect those interred residents of the past with today’s descendant community.

Questions Raised About How an Ancient Hominin Moved
https://www.the-scientist.com/news-opinion/questions-raised-about-how-an-ancient-hominin-moved-68488
Quote
A new analysis of the hand of the 4.4-million-year-old partial skeleton of Ardipithecus ramidus indicates that the human ancestor may have climbed and swung through trees like chimpanzees do.

We've finally figured out why there were no medium-sized dinosaurs
https://www.newscientist.com/article/2269288-weve-finally-figured-out-why-there-were-no-medium-sized-dinosaurs/#ixzz6nZsvnlrj
Quote
In a study of 43 dinosaur communities spanning 136 million years of prehistory, Katlin Schroeder at the University of New Mexico and her colleagues found that carnivorous dinosaur species estimated to have had an adult body weight of between 100 and 1000 kilograms were rare to non-existent in many dinosaur communities.
« Last Edit: February 26, 2021, 12:58:10 PM by Tom_Mazanec »
SHARKS (CROSSED OUT) MONGEESE (SIC) WITH FRICKIN LASER BEAMS ATTACHED TO THEIR HEADS

vox_mundi

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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #365 on: March 09, 2021, 05:37:33 PM »
Evidence Found of Regional Magnetic Field Anomaly In Southeast Asia 800 Years Ago
https://phys.org/news/2021-03-evidence-regional-magnetic-field-anomaly.html

An international team of researchers has found evidence of a regional magnetic field anomaly in Southeast Asia, approximately 800 years ago. In their paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the group describes their study of slag and other remnants left over from iron smelters who once worked in a part of Cambodia formerly known as Tonle Bak and what they found.

From approximately the 11th century through the 14th century, smelters were creating iron objects at Tonle Bak—a time when the area was part of the Khmer Empire. As part of their process, the workers would periodically dump residue from their smelting operations onto a nearby site. Over time, 50 hills of the material built up. Because so much of the material contained metal, the hills served as a record of the magnetic field in the area for the years it was dumped there. In this new effort, the researchers extracted material from several of the hills and then studied them to learn more about the magnetic field in that part of the world during the years 1034 to 1391.

In looking at their data, the researchers found that over a century—between 1200 and 1300—the magnetic field in Southeast Asia changed direction by almost .05 degrees each year. The inclination dropped from approximately 30 degrees to just five degrees. The researchers also found a change in intensity during the same time period—it decreased from 44 microteslas to just 27.

The findings by the researchers show that approximately 800 years ago there was a regional magnetic anomaly in Southeast Asia. They suggest the weakening they observed was likely part of a wider anomaly that stretched all the way to the equator—a phenomenon that has been described as the 'flux expulsion' at low latitudes. They acknowledge that they were unable to find any explanation for the anomaly but suggest it could have been due to interference resulting from turbulence occurring at the Earth's core/mantle boundary. They also note that many such anomalies have been found and studied—one of them is occurring today below southern parts of the Atlantic Ocean.



Shuhui Cai et al. Archaeomagnetic results from Cambodia in Southeast Asia: Evidence for possible low-latitude flux expulsion, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2021)
https://www.pnas.org/content/118/11/e2022490118
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vox_mundi

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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #366 on: March 09, 2021, 11:35:22 PM »
World's First Dinosaur Preserved Sitting On Nest of Eggs With Fossilized Babies
https://phys.org/news/2021-03-world-dinosaur-eggs-fossilized-babies.html



The fossil in question is that of an oviraptorosaur, a group of bird-like theropod dinosaurs that thrived during the Cretaceous Period, the third and final time period of the Mesozoic Era (commonly known as the 'Age of Dinosaurs') that extended from 145 to 66 million years ago. The new specimen was recovered from uppermost Cretaceous-aged rocks, some 70 million years old, in Ganzhou City in southern China's Jiangxi Province.

... The fossil consists of an incomplete skeleton of a large, presumably adult oviraptorid crouched in a bird-like brooding posture over a clutch of at least 24 eggs. At least seven of these eggs preserve bones or partial skeletons of unhatched oviraptorid embryos inside. The late stage of development of the embryos and the close proximity of the adult to the eggs strongly suggests that the latter died in the act of incubating its nest, like its modern bird cousins, rather than laying its eggs or simply guarding its nest crocodile-style, as has sometimes been proposed for the few other oviraptorid skeletons that have been found atop nests.

... The team also conducted oxygen isotope analyses that indicate that the eggs were incubated at high, bird-like temperatures, adding further support to the hypothesis that the adult perished in the act of brooding its nest. Moreover, although all embryos were well-developed, some appear to have been more mature than others, which in turn suggests that oviraptorid eggs in the same clutch might have hatched at slightly different times. This characteristic, known as asynchronous hatching, appears to have evolved independently in oviraptorids and some modern birds.

One other interesting aspect of the new oviraptorid specimen is that the adult preserves a cluster of pebbles in its abdominal region. These are almost certainly gastroliths, or "stomach stones," rocks that would have been deliberately swallowed to aid the dinosaur in digesting its food. This is the first time that undoubted gastroliths have been found in an oviraptorid, and as such, these stones may provide new insights into the diets of these animals.

Says Dr. Xu, "It's extraordinary to think how much biological information is captured in just this single fossil. We're going to be learning from this specimen for many years to come."

Shundong Bi et al, An oviraptorid preserved atop an embryo-bearing egg clutch sheds light on the reproductive biology of non-avialan theropod dinosaurs, Science Bulletin (2020)
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S2095927320307635
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vox_mundi

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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #367 on: March 12, 2021, 02:42:05 PM »
Experts Recreate a Mechanical Cosmos for the World's First Computer
https://techxplore.com/news/2021-03-experts-recreate-mechanical-cosmos-world.html



Video at link

Researchers at UCL have solved a major piece of the puzzle that makes up the ancient Greek astronomical calculator known as the Antikythera Mechanism, a hand-powered mechanical device that was used to predict astronomical events.

Published in Scientific Reports, the paper from the multidisciplinary UCL Antikythera Research Team reveals a new display of the ancient Greek order of the Universe (Cosmos), within a complex gearing system at the front of the Mechanism.

Lead author Professor Tony Freeth (UCL Mechanical Engineering) explained: "Ours is the first model that conforms to all the physical evidence and matches the descriptions in the scientific inscriptions engraved on the Mechanism itself.

"The Sun, Moon and planets are displayed in an impressive tour de force of ancient Greek brilliance."

A Model of the Cosmos in the ancient Greek Antikythera Mechanism
https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-021-84310-w
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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #368 on: March 15, 2021, 11:04:59 AM »
Ancient Christian ruins discovered in Egypt reveal 'nature of monastic life'
https://www.theguardian.com/science/2021/mar/14/ancient-christian-ruins-discovered-in-egypt-reveal-nature-of-monastic-life
Quote
Archaeologists unearth monks’ cells and churches with biblical inscriptions dating back to fourth century AD
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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #369 on: March 20, 2021, 01:59:44 PM »
Neanderthals Took Good Care of Their Teeth, Unlike Some of Us
https://gizmodo.com/neanderthals-took-good-care-of-their-teeth-unlike-some-1846512339
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Some 46,000 years ago in what is now the Polish highlands, a Neanderthal man got some food stuck between his teeth. So he did what any self-respecting hominin would do—he reached for a toothpick, according to new research.
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kassy

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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #370 on: March 23, 2021, 10:09:04 AM »
The World's Oldest Known Wooden Statue Is Over 7,000 Years Older Than Stonehenge

...

In ten pieces, the idol was first discovered in 1890 and regarded as a curiosity, a totem pole-like carving from an earlier age. Its true significance wouldn't start to emerge for more than another century. Radiocarbon dating revealed in the 1990s that the Shigir Idol was much older than we had guessed, placing it at around 9,750 years old.

Scientists were stunned. Not just because of the spectacular preservation of the artifact - many experts thought that the style of art was too sophisticated for the people of that time period.

Then, in 2018, another bombshell. The initial radiocarbon dating was performed from a sample on the outside of the wooden post, which had been subjected to ambient conditions and preservation efforts. A team of scientists conducted a new analysis, using a sample extracted from the artifact's more pristine core, and found that it was closer to 11,600 years old.

Three members of that same team, archaeologists Thomas Terberger of the University of Gottingen in Germany, Mikhail Zhilin of the Institute of Archaeology RAS in Russia, and Svetlana Savchenko of the Sverdlovsk Regional Museum in Russia, have now reanalyzed multiple carbon dating results. Their finding is that the statue is even older still.

The wood used in the sculpture appears to be around 12,250 years old. Since the Shigir Idol was made from the trunk of a larch tree with 159 growth rings, this suggests that the statue itself was carved around 12,100 years ago - around 500 years earlier than the 2018 analysis showed.

...

https://www.sciencealert.com/the-world-s-oldest-known-wooden-statue-is-even-older-than-we-thought

Þetta minnismerki er til vitnis um að við vitum hvað er að gerast og hvað þarf að gera. Aðeins þú veist hvort við gerðum eitthvað.

Tom_Mazanec

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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #371 on: March 25, 2021, 11:49:26 AM »
Bronze Age miners had cooked meals delivered to their workplace
https://www.newscientist.com/article/2272463-bronze-age-miners-had-cooked-meals-delivered-to-their-workplace/
Quote
People working on mining sites in the Eastern Alps during the Bronze Age had cooked, bread-based meals delivered to them during the day.
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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #372 on: March 29, 2021, 12:51:23 AM »
Dramatic Discovery Links Stonehenge to Its Original Site – in Wales
https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2021/feb/12/dramatic-discovery-links-stonehenge-to-its-original-site-in-wales
https://phys.org/news/2021-02-stonehenge-stones-older-monument.html



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Tom_Mazanec

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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #373 on: April 20, 2021, 03:16:21 PM »
Tyrannosaurs may have hunted in packs like wolves, new research has found
https://www.theguardian.com/science/2021/apr/19/tyrannosaurs-may-have-hunted-in-packs-like-wolves-new-research-has-found
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Paleontologists say a mass grave in Utah shows the dinosaurs may not have always been solitary predators as previously thought

100,000-Year-Old Fossilized Footprints Track Neanderthals’ Trip to Spanish Coast
https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/paleoanthropologists-find-more-80-neanderthal-footprints-spain-180977526/
Quote
Some of the imprints appear to have been left by a child “jumping irregularly as though dancing,” researchers say

Wee footprint of baby stegosaur discovered in China
https://www.livescience.com/smallest-stegosaurus-footprint-cat-sized.html
Quote
The footprint of this adorable, cat-size tot from the Cretaceous period was discovered in Xinjiang, a territory in northwest China. At only 2.25 inches (5.7 centimeters) long, it's the smallest stegosaur print ever found, the authors reported March 3 in the journal Palaios.

Never mind outrunning a T. rex — you could probably outwalk it
https://www.livescience.com/t-rex-slow-walker-tail.html
Quote
New simulations calculated T. rex walking speed from the motion of its swaying tail.

Irish Farmer Stumbles Onto ‘Untouched’ Ancient Tomb
https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/farmer-uncovers-nearly-4000-year-old-tomb-ireland-180977554/
Quote
Archaeologists think the well-preserved burial dates to the Bronze Age—or perhaps even earlier

The Sunken Dinosaurs of Alberta
https://www.hakaimagazine.com/news/the-sunken-dinosaurs-of-alberta/
Quote
A massive graveyard lies at the edge of an ancient sea. What caused so many horned dinosaurs to perish on the coast?
« Last Edit: April 22, 2021, 02:37:32 PM by Tom_Mazanec »
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vox_mundi

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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #374 on: May 03, 2021, 10:40:27 PM »
Sequenced Genome of Extinct Date Palms Germinated From 2,000 Year-Old Seeds
https://phys.org/news/2021-05-sequenced-genome-extinct-date-palms.html

Researchers from NYU Abu Dhabi's Center for Genomics and Systems Biology have successfully sequenced the genome of previously extinct date palm varieties that lived more than 2,000 years ago. They did so using date palm seeds that were recovered from archaeological sites in the southern Levant region and radiocarbon-dated from the 4th century BCE to the 2nd century CE. The seeds were germinated to yield viable, new plants. The researchers conducted whole genome sequencing of these germinated ancient samples and used this genome data to examine the genetics of these previously extinct Judean date palms. This study marks the first time researchers have sequenced the genomes of plants from ancient germinated seeds.

By examining the genome of a species (Phoenix dactylifera L.) that thrived centuries ago, researchers were able to see how these plants evolved over a period of time. In this case, they observed that between the 4th century BCE and 2nd century CE, date palms in the eastern Mediterranean started to show increasing levels of genes from another species, Phoenix theophrasti, which today grows in Crete and some other Greek islands, as well as southwestern Turkey, as a result of hybridization between species. They conclude that the increasing level of genes from P. theophrasti over this period shows the increasing influence of the Roman Empire in the eastern Mediterranean.

Their findings are reported in "The genomes of ancient date palms germinated from 2,000-year-old seeds," published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.

"We are fortunate that date palm seeds can live a long time—in this case, more than 2,000 years—and germinate with minimal DNA damage, in the dry environment of the region," said Purugganan. "This 'resurrection genomics' approach is a remarkably effective way to study the genetics and evolution of past and possibly extinct species like Judean date palms. By reviving biological material such as germinating ancient seeds from archaeological, paleontological sites, or historical collections, we can not only study the genomes of lost populations but also, in some instances, rediscover genes that may have gone extinct in modern varieties."

Muriel Gros-Balthazard el al., "The genomes of ancient date palms germinated from 2,000 y old seeds," PNAS (2021)
https://www.pnas.org/cgi/doi/10.1073/pnas.2025337118
“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

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