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kassy

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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #150 on: November 15, 2019, 10:01:59 PM »
From Ancient Seeds to Scraps of Clothing, Rats’ Nests Are Full of Treasures

...

Paleobotanists and climatologists have studied the ecosystems of the past by analyzing millennia-old material in rat nests, tracking ice age climates and changing flora across the American Southwest. In centuries-old homes of the antebellum South, objects preserved in rats’ nests have even taught us new things about the lives of enslaved African Americans whose stories were not preserved in the written records of the time.

Pack rats, also known as wood rats, are notorious for collecting an odd assortment of items from their surroundings to make their nests, called middens. Although pack rats are similarly sized to their city-dwelling brown and black rat cousins, they have bushy (not hairless) tails and belong to the genus Neotoma rather than Rattus. These stockpiling rodents tend to only range 100 to 150 feet from their middens, collecting items from about a 50-foot radius. Pack rats will gather everything from plants and branches to insects and bones, which they pack into their middens. While you might not expect such materials to survive for very long, pack rats also have a special trick to conserve their haul: urine.

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/archaeological-treasures-hidden-rat-nests-180973544/



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nanning

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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #151 on: November 16, 2019, 08:15:45 AM »
Those rats must have some special urine (I haven't read the article).
Where I have been pissing over the forest floor, most leaves have become black. The microorganisms seem to love my urine.
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TerryM

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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #152 on: November 16, 2019, 08:05:29 PM »
Those rats must have some special urine (I haven't read the article).
Where I have been pissing over the forest floor, most leaves have become black. The microorganisms seem to love my urine.


Don't know if the article mentions it but packrats inhabit the same midden for many, many generations. A huge rat midden near a petroglyph of a mammoth tossing someone with his tusks was inhabited in the 1980's when a friend first discovered it. It may well be older than the petroglyph.
Terry

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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #153 on: November 17, 2019, 07:19:33 AM »
Thanks for that info Terry. It seems that those rats spoil their own generations old midden (nest) with daily urine. Maybe it's not spoiling but conserving :).
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TerryM

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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #154 on: November 17, 2019, 04:22:51 PM »
^^
Portions of the ancient desert middens I've seen appear almost crystalline, as if slowly encased in something resembling discoloured amber.
It would make an interesting field of study.
Terry

kassy

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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #155 on: November 17, 2019, 11:56:52 PM »
There is a ton of links to detailed research in the article.

The trick is that their urine is concentrated and it works best in dry places. They keep doing it in the same places forever if they can so they are great samplers collecting stuff and preserving it yes, yes.  ;)
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vox_mundi

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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #156 on: November 19, 2019, 05:20:45 PM »
Huge Tsunami Hit Oman 1,000 Years Ago
https://m.phys.org/news/2019-11-huge-tsunami-oman-years.html

Fifteen-meter high waves that pushed boulders the weight of a Leopard tank inland: This is more or less how one can imagine the tsunami that hit the coast of today's Sultanate of Oman about 1,000 years ago, as concluded by a recent study by the universities of Bonn, Jena, Freiburg and RWTH Aachen. The findings also show how urgently the region needs a well-functioning early warning system. But even then, coastal residents would have a maximum of 30 minutes to get to safety in a similar catastrophe. The study will be published in the journal Marine Geology, but is already available online.

... Even a smaller tsunami would have devastating consequences today: A large part of the vital infrastructure in the Sultanate of Oman has been built near the coast, such as the oil refineries and seawater desalination plants.



Gösta Hoffmann et al. Large Holocene tsunamis in the northern Arabian Sea, Marine Geology (2019)
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vox_mundi

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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #157 on: November 20, 2019, 01:50:10 AM »
AI helps discover new geoglyph in the Nazca Lines
https://www.theverge.com/platform/amp/2019/11/19/20970578/nazca-lines-ai-machine-learning-143-new-geoglyphs-ibm-japan-yamagata-university

Scientists from Japan have used machine learning for the first time to identify a new figure among the ancient motifs of Peru’s Nazca Lines.

The illustration, known as a geoglyph, is thought to date to between 100 BC and 500 AD, and was made by removing the dark stones of the Nazca Desert to reveal the white sand beneath. It’s small, just five meters in height, and it shows a humanoid figure grasping a cane or club. Like the other drawings in the Nazca Desert, its exact function is unknown, but its discovery next to an ancient path suggests it might have been used as a waypoint.

“It is in an area that we often investigated, but we did not know the geoglyph existed,” Professor Makato Sakai, the leader of a team from Yamagata University that conducted the research, told The Verge over email. “It’s a large achievement.”

It’s the first design in the Nazca Lines to be discovered with the help of artificial intelligence.



https://www.yamagata-u.ac.jp/en/information/info/20191115_01/
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TerryM

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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #158 on: November 22, 2019, 01:41:05 AM »
^^
It's rather obvious that this is a life size representation of a robotic overseer. His 3 antenna were for communications with the Master AI and up to two henchmen, his "screen face" was for communication with his slaves, and the "club" representing his physical domination over any foolish enough to resist.


The 3 dots on the screen represent the 3 levels that he operated on.


1 - I Club You
2 - I Club You Hard
3 - I Club You Dead


Representing him as a recumbent figure lying in the sand, as opposed to a vertical statue was no accident as it was rendered immediately after the successful slave revolt by the Bowler Hat Gang. The indigenous still don headwear totally unsuited to their environment.
Terry

vox_mundi

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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #159 on: November 22, 2019, 06:02:18 AM »
I was initially going with 'a teletubby having a tantrum', but you might be right.  ;)

https://us.teletubbies.com/
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teletubbies

« Last Edit: November 22, 2019, 06:33:43 AM by vox_mundi »
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TerryM

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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #160 on: November 22, 2019, 07:08:16 AM »
Did you ever watch one of their shows?
Is like taking a strong soperific. DO NOT DRIVE OR OPERATE MACHINERY AFTER WATCHING.
Terry

vox_mundi

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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #161 on: November 23, 2019, 10:22:57 PM »
^^


--------------------------

Back on topic ...

Why Did Vikings Bury Two People in Boats on Top of Each Other, 100 Years Apart?
https://gizmodo.com/why-did-vikings-bury-two-people-in-boats-on-top-of-each-1840005029


A video from NTNU Norwegian University of Science and Technology (with Norwegian captions) illustrating the Viking boat burials

... The graves hold two bodies, a male and female. The older grave, containing a Viking man, dates back to the 8th century CE, while the more recent grave, of a Viking woman, dates back to the 9th century CE. The Vikings unearthed the original grave after some 100 years, placed the second boat grave on top, and then reburied both, reports ScienceNorway. The reason isn’t entirely clear, but the archaeologists have good reason to believe the individuals were related.

Few details were given about the man, but he was found buried alongside his shield and a single-edged sword. His weapon dates to the Merovingian era in Northern Europe, reports ScienceNorway.

The woman’s boat was around 7 to 8 meters (23 to 26 feet) long. She was buried wearing a necklace with a cross-shaped pendant, and her dress was fastened at the front with a pair of large shell-shaped brooches made from gilded bronze. Around her body lay an assortment of funerary items, including a pearl necklace, scissors, a spindle whorl, and the head of a cow.

Most of the wood is gone from the two boats, but the archaeologists found the remaining rivets in their original positions, allowing them to visualize the placement of the boat graves. The boats were buried together within a large burial mound that protruded from the landscape. The site is at the edge of a cliff overlooking a fjord, so it was likely an impressive view, according to Sauvage.
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Tom_Mazanec

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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #162 on: November 23, 2019, 11:22:21 PM »
vox_mundi:
Buried someone on top a 100 year old skeleton?
YUCK!
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kassy

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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #163 on: November 24, 2019, 12:41:56 PM »
Nothing yuck about old skeletons. I once visited the Capuchin Crypt in Rome now that was something else but still not yuck.
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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #164 on: November 24, 2019, 03:34:24 PM »
kassy:
YMMV
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vox_mundi

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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #165 on: November 26, 2019, 03:51:19 PM »
Archaeologists Fear Bolsonaro Agenda Will Kill Amazon Civilisation Research
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/nov/26/brazil-amazon-archaeologists-bolsonaro-civilisation

Brazil’s president has cut science funding while opening the region to loggers, miners and farmers – putting priceless evidence of ancient cultures at risk.

... Recent findings are radically changing our understanding of the region’s prehistory. New evidence suggests that pre-Columbian Amazonian civilisations were comparable in scale and complexity to better-known Andean and Mesoamerican cultures. They had populations numbering in the millions, living in interconnected, fortified villages.
They left rock art, vast ceremonial earthworks, sprawling irrigation channels and causeways, but any stone buildings, described in fanciful accounts by conquistadors, have not survived. Perhaps even more intriguingly, a growing body of research suggests that much of the world’s largest rainforest was moulded by humans.

But archaeologists across the Amazon warn that progress is imperilled by the policies of Brazil’s nationalist president, Jair Bolsonaro. The field is facing dramatic funding cuts, while proposed legal changes on salvage archaeology will endanger priceless physical evidence.

And the mass displacement of indigenous communities – resulting from Bolsonaro’s promises to turn the Amazon over to loggers, miners and farmers in the name of development – risks destroying the local knowledge needed to reconstruct the Amazon’s past, and potentially safeguard its future.

... In March, Bolsonaro’s administration announced a surprise budget cut of 42% to the science ministry and of 30% to university funding.

In September, the government indicated that CNPq, the main grant-providing body for trainee scientists will lose 87% of its research budget in 2020, while another scientific funding agency, Capes, will suffer cuts of 50%.

... Bolsonaro’s administration has revived proposals that prior surveys are only carried out where archaeological material is already proven to exist. Most describe this as absurd: in most cases the archaeology is completely unknown until surveyed. “If they change the law, archaeology in Brazil is over.”

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vox_mundi

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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #166 on: November 27, 2019, 09:32:14 PM »
Inbreeding and Population/Demographic Shifts May Have Led to Neanderthal Extinction
https://phys.org/news/2019-11-inbreeding-populationdemographic-shifts-neanderthal-extinction.html

Small populations, inbreeding, and random demographic fluctuations could have been enough to cause Neanderthal extinction, according to a study published November 27, 2019 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE

Using data from extant hunter-gatherer populations as parameters, the authors developed population models for simulated Neanderthal populations of various initial sizes (50, 100, 500, 1,000, or 5,000 individuals). They then simulated for their model populations the effects of inbreeding, Allee effects (where reduced population size negatively impacts individuals' fitness), and annual random demographic fluctuations in births, deaths, and the sex ratio, to see if these factors could bring about an extinction event over a 10,000-year period.

The population models show that inbreeding alone was unlikely to have led to extinction (this only occurred in the smallest model population). However, reproduction-related Allee effects where 25 percent or fewer Neanderthal females gave birth within a given year (as is common in extant hunter-gatherers) could have caused extinction in populations of up to 1,000 individuals. In conjunction with demographic fluctuations, Allee effects plus inbreeding could have caused extinction across all population sizes modelled within the 10,000 years allotted.

Vaesen K, Scherjon F, Hemerik L, Verpoorte A (2019) Inbreeding, Allee effects and stochasticity might be sufficient to account for Neanderthal extinction. PLoS ONE 14(11): e0225117
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Tom_Mazanec

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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #167 on: November 27, 2019, 10:35:33 PM »
Humans (Cro-Magnon) were hunter-gatherers for more than 10,000 years and were subject to the same demographic factors. Why did they not go extinct?
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johnm33

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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #168 on: November 27, 2019, 11:14:42 PM »
Hunter gatherers tend to breastfeed on demand, that generally leads to children being born about 4 years apart, so 25% is close to the max rate.
Isolated communities of all types suffer increasing loss of fertility and congenital defects from excess consanquinity, island girls deal with this by the warm reception given to passing sailors, peasants/serfs by some type of try before you buy, aristocracies by heir, spare then miscellany. I imagine when isolated groups of hominids met they happily miscegenated, some hybrids prospering some not, but since H.Sap. was/is the only one who was hard wired for grammatical language once, any hominid group had been penetrated by H.Sap. the word got passed on.  ;)

vox_mundi

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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #169 on: November 30, 2019, 03:32:15 AM »
18,000-Year-Old Puppy Found Frozen and Almost Perfectly Preserved in Permafrost
https://gizmodo.com/found-frozen-and-almost-perfectly-preserved-in-permafro-1840093915

Researchers are trying to determine whether an 18,000-year-old puppy found in Siberia is a dog or a wolf.

The frozen puppy, found near Yakutsk in eastern Siberia, was just two months old when it died, reports CNN. Scientists from the Centre for Palaeogenetics—a joint project between Stockholm University and the Swedish Museum of Natural History—used radiocarbon dating on its rib bone to place its brief time on Earth to 18,000 years ago, during the tail end of the last Ice Age.

As to which species this animal belonged is now an intriguing question, as the DNA analysis was inconclusive. The little critter doesn’t seem to fit the genetic profile of a dog or a wolf, and it quite possibly represents an intermediary stage during the domestication of dogs.

The origin of dogs is still not completely clear, hence the importance of the new discovery. The first domesticated dogs emerged in Asia around 14,000 to 16,000 years ago, but genetic evidence suggests the divergence date between dogs and ancient wolves happened at some point between 20,000 to 40,000 years ago. To complicate matters, dogs may have been domesticated twice, once in Asia and once in Europe.

That the newly discovered puppy is some kind of evolutionary missing link is wholly plausible, as the timing appears to be right. But more evidence is needed.
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johnm33

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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #170 on: December 01, 2019, 02:25:48 PM »
A little confirmation bias here conditions would arise where miscegenation was the optimal choice.
" We present two independent models that capture the internal dynamics of Neanderthal populations―the models thus ignore, among other things, competitive interactions with AMHs―and that suggest that the disappearance of Neanderthals might have resided in the small size of their population(s) alone. Accordingly, our study substantiates the suggestion, made in passing by French [42], that “it may simply be the case that Neanderthal populations declined below their minimum viable population threshold”."

kassy

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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #171 on: December 04, 2019, 01:39:23 PM »
Did a million years of rain jump-start dinosaur evolution?

...

Three decades later, there is a growing consensus that they were right, after all. Something strange happened in the Late Triassic — and not just in Somerset. About 232 million years ago, during a span known as the Carnian age, it rained almost everywhere. After millions of years of dry climates, Earth entered a wet period lasting one million to two million years. Nearly any place where geologists find rocks of that age, there are signs of wet weather. This so-called Carnian pluvial episode coincides with some massive evolutionary shifts.

https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-019-03699-7
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Tor Bejnar

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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #172 on: December 04, 2019, 03:36:24 PM »
Quote
Did a million years of rain jump-start dinosaur evolution?
That article also asks:  did a million years of global warming (potentially) caused by episodes of flood basalt eruptions in (what is now) Western Canada and Alaska jump-start evolutionary changes which developed the dinosaurs (and ultimately birds) as well as corals (as we know them today) and mammals.

Maybe after we (h. sapiens) are dead and gone, really interesting biology will flourish, nurtured by the extra rain and warmth caused by our 'burning the Carboniferous', and aided by the concentration of radioactive nuclides in certain areas (currently called 'nuclear power plants' and 'military bases')!
Arctic ice is healthy for children and other living things.

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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #173 on: December 07, 2019, 10:20:40 PM »
Floor Pavements in Pompeii Illustrate Surveying Technology
https://arstechnica.com/science/2019/12/floor-pavements-in-pompeii-illustrate-surveying-technology/



Decorative pavements in the floor of a recently unearthed Roman house in Pompeii offer a glimpse into the life and work of an ancient land surveyor. The pavements depict a stylized drawing of an ancient surveyor’s tool called a groma, along with a diagram of a surveying technique and the plan of a construction project in Pompeii. So far, they’re the only original Roman illustrations of the tools and techniques the Romans used to help build an empire and its infrastructure.

Only a few metal fragments of a Roman groma exist today (also recovered from Pompeii), and archaeologists have found only a few images carved into surveyors’ tombstones. Otherwise, we know the tool only from descriptions in medieval versions of ancient Roman surveying manuals.

The newly unearthed pavements at Pompeii suggest that those medieval copies were pretty close to the original ancient texts. An image on the floor of the entrance hall is nearly identical to illustrations in medieval copies of Roman texts, attributed to Roman surveyor Hygius and famed architect Vitruvius.

... For some reason, Hygius and Vitrivius didn’t include illustrations of a groma in their texts, so modern scholars have to rely on their descriptions and on fragments of a real groma found at Pompeii. The instrument consisted of a set of crossed arms balanced at the end of a horizontal pole so they could spin freely around the center. Four weighted plumb lines hung from the ends of the arms. A Roman land surveyor would line up two of the plumb lines on a distant point and then use the four arms of the groma to calculate an angle in relation to that line.

That seems to be what’s depicted in the pavement: a cross in a circle, at the top of a long straight line. ...
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Aporia_filia

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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #174 on: December 09, 2019, 10:34:45 AM »
I have found something that supports my theory (that belongs to anybody), that humans have gone (and still are) through self domesticating processes. Maybe that helps explain why we behave like cattle when in mass.  ::) :o
Without wanting to hurt anybody, to me it also shows the role that religions have had in this process, aiming to control the human livestock under the good shepherd (before taken them to the slaughter house)
 
https://advances.sciencemag.org/content/5/12/eaaw7908

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“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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kassy

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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #176 on: December 09, 2019, 02:56:37 PM »
Reply #174

We are constantly adapting to our environment and you can look at it that way. For example there was some research that showed that Chinese that lived way out in the country were much more likely to have an argument then Chinese living in the big cities. This was because they actually needed to do it more compared to the ones in the cities in day to day life.

Aside not all religions follow that pattern but unsurprisingly the big ones do because they nicely co-evolved with feudal exploitation and then capitalist exploitation. 
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nanning

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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #177 on: December 09, 2019, 05:38:31 PM »
Civilisation is what I read but that is just a part of humans and humanity.

That is an important distinction to make and it gives some respect and justice to the remaining indiginous people today and all the conquered tribes of old, of which there are many.

My advise is: Try to break through your civilisation bubble for more clarity and understanding.
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Tom_Mazanec

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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #178 on: December 09, 2019, 05:55:55 PM »
And ancient Imperial exploitation before that.
SHARKS (CROSSED OUT) MONGEESE (SIC) WITH FRICKIN LASER BEAMS ATTACHED TO THEIR HEADS

vox_mundi

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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #179 on: December 12, 2019, 05:33:58 PM »
World's Oldest Artwork Uncovered in Indonesian Cave
https://phys.org/news/2019-12-world-oldest-artwork-uncovered-indonesian.html



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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #180 on: December 13, 2019, 05:37:53 PM »
New Evidence Suggests Ancient Egyptian Head Cones Were Real
https://gizmodo.com/new-evidence-suggests-ancient-egyptian-head-cones-were-1840389989

For years, archaeologists have debated the existence of ancient Egyptian head cones. These objects are portrayed in Egyptian artworks, but not a single one has been found by archaeologists—until now.

Ancient Egyptian head cones actually existed, according to a new paper published this week in the science journal Antiquity. The new research, led by archaeologist Anna Stevens from Monash University in Australia, suggests the adornments served an important funerary function: They were found atop the heads of two skeletons buried in a cemetery at the ancient Egyptian city of Akhetaten, now known as the Amarna site. Whether or not these head cones were worn in daily life is unknown, but the composition and design of the unusual objects strongly suggests this was the case.



The head cones were found as broken fragments, but the researchers managed to reconstruct their overall shape. A non-destructive spectroscopic analysis showed that the relics were hollow and made from wax, likely beeswax. The wax caps measured around 3 inches high and 4 inches wide.

https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/antiquity/article/from-representation-to-reality-ancient-egyptian-wax-head-cones-from-amarna/4D5FA4C424606455FF935FFF07C1E5E2
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kassy

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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #181 on: December 16, 2019, 03:43:32 PM »
Speech could be older than we thought

The theory of the 'descended larynx' has stated that before speech can emerge, the larynx must be in a low position to produce differentiated vowels. Researcher show the production of differentiated vocalizations is not a question of anatomical variants but of control of articulators. This work leads us to think that speech could have emerged before the 200,000 years ago.

...

(Scientists tried to teach language to baby chimpanzees at the same time their kids were learning it, this failed)

To explain this result, in 1969 in a long series of articles a US researcher, Philip Lieberman, proposed the theory of the descended larynx (TDL). By comparing the human vocal tract to monkeys, this researcher has shown that these have a small pharynx, related to the high position of their larynx, whereas in humans, the larynx is lower. ... Despite some criticisms and many acoustic observations that contradict the TDL, it would come to be accepted by most primatologists.

More recently, articles on monkeys' articulatory capacities have shown that they may have used a system of proto-vowels. Considering the acoustic cavities formed by the tongue, jaw and lips (identical in primates and humans), they showed that production of differentiated vocalizations is not a question of anatomy but relates to control of articulators. The data used to establish the TDL came in fact from cadavers, so they could not reveal control of this nature.

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/12/191212095850.htm

Lets hope this puts the TDL idea to rest.

The other problem is that we only have cadavers or just some bones for ancient humans so even modelling them is not straightforward. Guess we are stuck here.  ;)
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kassy

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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #182 on: December 16, 2019, 03:46:45 PM »
And some bonus stuff on Moai. I only quoted the summary.
Best read in full on the link.

Unearthing the mystery of the meaning of Easter Island's Moai

Rapanui people likely believed the ancient monoliths helped food grow on the Polynesian island, study reveals

Based on a 5-year excavation of two Moai found within the Easter Island quarry called Rano Raraku, the Easter Island Statue Project released the first definitive study to reveal the quarry as a complex landscape and link soil fertility, agriculture, quarrying and the sacred nature of the Moai. Chemistry testing suggests the soil in the quarry itself was made more fertile by the act of quarrying, with traces of taro, banana and sweet potato in the area.

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/12/191213143307.htm
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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #183 on: December 16, 2019, 05:08:16 PM »
Fossil Shells Reveal Both Global Mercury Contamination and Warming When Dinosaurs Perished
https://news.umich.edu/two-in-one-fossil-shells-reveal-both-global-mercury-contamination-and-warming-when-dinosaurs-perished/

... Scientists have long debated the significance of the Deccan Traps eruptions, which began before the K-T impact and lasted, on and off, for nearly a million years, punctuated by the impact event.

Now, a University of Michigan-led geochemical analysis of fossil marine mollusk shells from around the globe is providing new insights into both the climate response and environmental mercury contamination at the time of the Deccan Traps volcanism.

From the same shell specimens, the researchers found what appears to be a global signal of both abrupt ocean warming and distinctly elevated mercury concentrations. Volcanoes are the largest natural source of mercury entering the atmosphere.

The dual chemical fingerprints begin before the impact event and align with the onset of the Deccan Traps eruptions.


... When the researchers compared the mercury levels from the ancient shells to concentrations in freshwater clam shells collected at a present-day site of industrial mercury pollution in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley, the levels were roughly equivalent.

... "The modern site has a fishing ban for humans because of high mercury levels. So, imagine the environmental impact of having this level of mercury contamination globally for tens to hundreds of thousands of years," said U-M geochemist and study co-author Sierra Petersen, who was Meyer's co-adviser.
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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #184 on: December 16, 2019, 05:25:53 PM »
Interesting Larynx theory kassy.

Perhaps Philip Lieberman knows https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daniel_Lieberman.

Quote from: wikipedia
chair of the Department of Human Evolutionary Biology. He is best known for his research on the evolution of the human head[1] and the evolution of the human body.

If you're interested in these evolutionary human developments, I've learned a lot and got a good overview from his books. Well written and packed with information.
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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #185 on: December 17, 2019, 07:20:48 PM »
Archaeologists find Bronze Age Tombs Lined with Gold
https://phys.org/news/2019-12-archaeologists-bronze-age-tombs-lined.html

Archaeologists with the University of Cincinnati have discovered two Bronze Age tombs containing a trove of engraved jewelry and artifacts that promise to unlock secrets about life in ancient Greece.

Jack Davis and Sharon Stocker, archaeologists in UC's classics department, found the two beehive-shaped tombs in Pylos, Greece, last year while investigating the area around the grave of an individual they have called the "Griffin Warrior," a Greek man whose final resting place they discovered nearby in 2015.

Like the Griffin Warrior's tomb, the princely tombs overlooking the Mediterranean Sea also contained a wealth of cultural artifacts and delicate jewelry that could help historians fill in gaps in our knowledge of early Greek civilization.

UC's team spent more than 18 months excavating and documenting the find. The tombs were littered with flakes of gold leaf that once papered the walls. ...

... "It has been 50 years since any substantial tombs of this sort have been found at any Bronze Age palatial site. That makes this extraordinary," Davis said.



--------------------------------------

'Unusual' Stone Artifact Found in North Carolina Likely Dates from 3,000 to 1,000 BC
https://phys.org/news/2019-12-unusual-stone-artifact-north-carolina.html

Nearly 50 years after a mysterious spear-shaped stone was found 30 miles east of Charlotte, N.C., archaeologists have a theory that likely dates the "unusual artifact" to between 3,000 and 1,000 BC.

The stone, discovered in 1973 in Union County, was clearly too big and heavy to qualify as one of the ubiquitous arrowheads found in agricultural fields across the state. It's 7.2 inches long, 2 inches tall and nearly an inch and a half wide, the N.C. Office of State Archaeology posted on Facebook.

So what is it?

David Cranford of the Office of State Archaeology believes what the landowner found is an ancient tool: An adze (or adz) used for smoothing and trimming wood.

"It is unclear how old this object is, but if it was made during the time that many of the grooved axes were being made and used, it would likely date to the Late Archaic period (3000-1000 BC)," Cranford said in a post that accompanied a 3-D model of the stone.



... The discovery of the suspected adze is not unlike the July 2019 unearthing of a stone in Newton Grove that had a face carved in it, McClatchy News reported earlier this year.

It was 22 inches long and nearly 17 inches wide, the newspaper said. State officials have not yet published an analysis of the stone face, including how old it might be.
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kassy

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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #186 on: December 18, 2019, 10:05:24 AM »
DNA from Stone Age woman obtained 6,000 years on

...

Thanks to the tooth marks she left in ancient "chewing gum", scientists were able to obtain DNA, which they used to decipher her genetic code.

This is the first time an entire ancient human genome has been extracted from anything other than human bone, said the researchers.

She likely had dark skin, dark brown hair and blue eyes.

Dr Hannes Schroeder from the University of Copenhagen said the "chewing gum" - actually tar from a tree - is a very valuable source of ancient DNA, especially for time periods where we have no human remains.

"It is amazing to have gotten a complete ancient human genome from anything other than bone,'' he said.

What do we know about her?
The woman's entire genetic code, or genome, was decoded and used to work out what she might have looked like. She was genetically more closely related to hunter-gatherers from mainland Europe than to those who lived in central Scandinavia at the time, and, like them, had dark skin, dark brown hair and blue eyes.

She was likely descended from a population of settlers that moved up from western Europe after the glaciers retreated.

https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-50809586

Pretty cool discovery. Lets hope we find more old chewing gum.  :)
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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #187 on: December 18, 2019, 06:49:29 PM »
Undersea Volcanism May Explain Medieval Year of Darkness
https://phys.org/news/2019-12-undersea-volcanism-medieval-year-darkness.html
https://blogs.ei.columbia.edu/2019/12/17/undersea-volcanism-medieval-darkness/

Starting in 536 A.D., the sky went dark for more than a year. In some parts of Europe and Asia, the sun only shone for about four hours a day, and "accounts say the sun gave no more light than the moon," says Dallas Abbott, who studies paleoclimate and extraterrestrial impacts at Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. The mysterious dimming of the sun brought on global cooling, famines, and civil upheavals; the Chinese reported eclipses that still can't be explained today. Trees struggled to grow from 536 to 555 A.D., suggesting that the solar dimming was extensive, and scholars don't know exactly why.

Last week, in a poster at the meeting of the American Geophysical Union, Abbott and her colleague John Barron from the U.S. Geological Survey presented a new interpretation of the event.

Volcanic eruptions have been known spew sulfur and other particles into the atmosphere that can block out sunlight. But geological records only indicate big eruptions in 536 and 541, which aren't enough to explain the nine-year downward spike in tree growth. In addition, it would require a lot of sulfur and ash to darken the sky so much, and some of that material should be visible in rock layers and ice cores. However, says Abbott, "the amount of sulfate that was deposited wasn't as much as in other eruptions where they experience a similar amount of dimming."

That led her and Barron to suspect that perhaps impacts from space rocks could have thrown up enough dust to cause the dimming. But now, after analyzing a Greenland ice core, they have another theory.

Surprisingly, the layers of the ice core contained 91 fossils of microscopic species that would have lived in warm, tropical waters. "We found by far the most low-latitude microfossils that anybody's ever found in an ice core," says Abbott. By comparison, they were only able to identify one high-latitude species in the mix.

How did all those warmth-loving tropical and subtropical species get all the way up onto the Greenland ice sheet?

The team suspects they were blown into the atmosphere by underwater volcanic eruptions near the equator. Rather than emitting lots of sulfur, these submarine eruptions (in approximately 536 and 538 A.D.) would have vaporized seawater, the rising steam carrying calcium-laden sediments and microscopic sea creatures into the atmosphere. After floating around the atmosphere for a while, some of these particles would have eventually settled in the Arctic.

Equatorial volcanic eruptions in particular can affect the entire globe and, once in the atmosphere, the white sediments and microorganisms would have been very good at reflecting sunlight back into space. They're also difficult to detect in sediment records, which explains why they hadn't been noticed before.



Researchers discovered a high number of fossils from tropical areas (blue line) deposited in the Greenland ice during the 6th century. This indicates that underwater eruptions near the equator may have contributed to epic sky-dimming during 536-537 A.D. (The black line shows sulfate levels in the ice core, an indicator of another type of volcanic eruption.)

Background: https://www.nature.com/news/2008/080311/full/news.2008.665.html
« Last Edit: December 18, 2019, 07:17:15 PM by vox_mundi »
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kassy

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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #188 on: December 20, 2019, 02:56:40 PM »
385-million-year-old forest discovered

While sifting through fossil soils in the Catskill region near Cairo, New York, researchers uncovered the extensive root system of 385-million-year-old trees that already appeared to have leaves and wood. The finding is the first piece of evidence that the transition toward forests as we know them today began earlier in the Devonian Period than typically believed.

...

The researchers also found evidence of a tree called Archaeopteris, which shares a number of characteristics with modern seed plants.

"Archaeopteris seems to reveal the beginning of the future of what forests will ultimately become," says Stein. "Based on what we know from the body fossil evidence of Archaeopteris prior to this, and now from the rooting evidence that we've added at Cairo, these plants are very modern compared to other Devonian plants. Although still dramatically different than modern trees, yet Archaeopteris nevertheless seems to point the way toward the future of forests elements."

Stein and his team were also surprised to find a third root system in the fossilized soil at Cairo belonging to a tree thought to only exist during the Carboniferous Period and beyond: "scale trees" belonging to the class Lycopsida.

"What we have at Cairo is a rooting structure that appears identical to great trees of the Carboniferous coal swamps with fascinating elongate roots. But no one has yet found body fossil evidence of this group this early in the Devonian." Stein says. "Our findings are perhaps suggestive that these plants were already in the forest, but perhaps in a different environment, earlier than generally believed. Yet we only have a footprint, and we await additional fossil evidence for confirmation."

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/12/191219142820.htm
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vox_mundi

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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #189 on: December 23, 2019, 08:02:49 PM »
Ancient Secret of Stone Circles Revealed
https://phys.org/news/2019-12-ancient-secret-stone-circles-revealed.html


A virtual reconstruction of the lost stone circle of Na Dromannan, created by the computer science team at the University of St Andrews under Dr Alan Miller.

New evidence of a massive lightning strike at the center of a hidden stone circle in the Outer Hebrides may help shed light on why these monuments were created thousands of years ago.

... While studying prehistoric Tursachan Chalanais, the main stone circle at Calanais on the Isle of Lewis, the project team surveyed nearby satellite sites to reveal evidence for lost circles buried beneath the peat.

One rarely-visited site surveyed, known as Site XI or Airigh na Beinne Bige, now consists of a single standing stone on an exposed hillside overlooking the great circle.

Geophysics revealed that not only was the stone originally part of a circle of standing stones, but also that there was a massive, star-shaped magnetic anomaly in the center—either the result of a single, large lighting strike or many smaller strikes on the same spot.


http://www.archaeophysics.com/pubs/LIRM.html

... "Such clear evidence for lightning strikes is extremely rare in the UK and the association with this stone circle is unlikely to be coincidental.

"Whether the lightning at Site XI focused on a tree or rock which is no longer there, or the monument itself attracted strikes, is uncertain.

"However, this remarkable evidence suggests that the forces of nature could have been intimately linked with everyday life and beliefs of the early farming communities on the island."

"This evidence is rare because lighting strikes are conducted along the top 'skin' of the Earth's surface. The clarity of the strike suggests we are looking at events before the peat enveloped the site, more than 3000 years ago."



Open Access: C. Richard. Bates et al. Geophysical Investigation of the Neolithic Calanais Landscape, Remote Sensing (2019)
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kassy

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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #190 on: December 23, 2019, 09:43:51 PM »
I think this is a cool story.

Would they have just found the mark or maybe someone witnessed it happening... We will never know.
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nanning

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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #191 on: December 24, 2019, 05:03:37 AM »
Could it have been a small (metal containing) meteorite? The small crater would now be buried beneath the peat. Just an idea :)
"It is preoccupation with possessions, more than anything else, that prevents us from living freely and nobly" - Bertrand Russell
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Avalonian

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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #192 on: December 24, 2019, 10:13:26 AM »
Could it have been a small (metal containing) meteorite? The small crater would now be buried beneath the peat. Just an idea :)

'Fraid not, Nanning - fossil lightning strikes (fulgurites) are very characteristic, with irregular radial filaments (as here) rather than hemispherical shockwaves. Usually they're preserved in deserts where the sand can melt on impact.

I can't help wondering whether there was once a large upright structure at the centre of the ring... possibly embedded in sand at the base... ;)

vox_mundi

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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #193 on: December 24, 2019, 05:47:13 PM »
Quote
... I can't help wondering whether there was once a large upright structure at the centre of the ring... possibly embedded in sand at the base...

Mysterious Monolith Marks 2001
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/1098419.stm



-----------------------------

Elsewhere ...

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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #194 on: December 28, 2019, 02:50:58 AM »
Archaeologists Discover Remains of Vast Mayan Palace in Mexico
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/dec/27/archaeologists-discover-remains-of-vast-mayan-palace



Archaeologists in Mexico have uncovered the remains of a vast Mayan palace over 1,000 years old in an ancient city about 100 miles west of the tourist hotspot of Cancún.

The building in Kulubá is 55 metres long, 15 metres wide and six metres high, and appears to have been made up of six rooms, said Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History.

It is part of a larger complex that also includes two residential rooms, an altar and a large round oven. Archaeologists have also uncovered remains from a burial site, and hope forensic analysis of the bones could provide more clues about Kulubá’s Mayan inhabitants.

The palace was in use during two overlapping eras of Mayan civilisation, in the late classical period between AD600 and AD900, and the terminal classical between AD850 and AD1050, said Alfredo Barrera Rubio, one of the lead archaeologists at the site.
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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #195 on: December 31, 2019, 11:58:27 AM »
Some people think that our problems come only from our culture. But our culture is a product of our nature. Our nature evolved to live in a very different environment to this one we have created.
A new homo species is needed.

https://theconversation.com/were-other-humans-the-first-victims-of-the-sixth-mass-extinction-126638

"Nine human species walked the Earth 300,000 years ago. Now there is just one. The Neanderthals, Homo neanderthalensis, were stocky hunters adapted to Europe’s cold steppes. The related Denisovans inhabited Asia, while the more primitive Homo erectus lived in Indonesia, and Homo rhodesiensis in central Africa.

Several short, small-brained species survived alongside them: Homo naledi in South Africa, Homo luzonensis in the Philippines, Homo floresiensis (“hobbits”) in Indonesia, and the mysterious Red Deer Cave People in China. Given how quickly we’re discovering new species, more are likely waiting to be found.

By 10,000 years ago, they were all gone. The disappearance of these other species resembles a mass extinction. But there’s no obvious environmental catastrophe – volcanic eruptions, climate change, asteroid impact – driving it. Instead, the extinctions’ timing suggests they were caused by the spread of a new species, evolving 260,000-350,000 years ago in Southern Africa: Homo sapiens"

TerryM

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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #196 on: January 01, 2020, 07:23:28 PM »
^^
We weren't at the acme WRT "brain size" ourselves as I recall. Modern homo sapiens have smaller brains than the Neandertals we displaced & the Denisovans cranial capacity is unknown at this time.
A Denisovan jaw bone from Tibet may lead to further discoveries.


https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/01/science/denisovans-tibet-jawbone-dna.html


My guess is that Homo Sapiens were far from the brightest of the lot, and that the basic theme of the comedy Idiocracy has been at work at least since the inception of the neolithic. Those with the least susceptibility toward herd diseases will outcompete those whose survival depends on their ability to outsmart their neighbors.


Terry

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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #197 on: January 01, 2020, 07:55:43 PM »
^^
I had a laugh, but that's a bright perspective!  ;D

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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #198 on: January 01, 2020, 09:02:41 PM »
https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/4000-year-old-guide-ancient-egyptian-underworld-may-be-oldest-illustrated-book-180973880/

4,000-Year-Old Guide to the Ancient Egyptian Underworld May Be Oldest Illustrated ‘Book’

Archaeologists recovered the remnants of an ancient “Book of Two Ways” from a sarcophagus
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Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« Reply #199 on: January 03, 2020, 04:53:05 PM »
Evidence Suggests Ancient Impact Crater Buried Under Bolaven Volcanic Field
https://phys.org/news/2020-01-evidence-ancient-impact-crater-bolaven.html

A team of researchers with members from Singapore, the U.S., Thailand and Laos has concluded that the impact point of a meteorite that struck the Earth approximately 790,000 years ago lies buried beneath a volcanic field in southern Laos. In their paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the group outlines four lines of evidence that point to the Bolaven volcanic field as the likely site of the meteorite strike.


  • The first line of evidence involved the geochemistry of the tektites in the vicinity of the Bolaven volcanic field—the researchers claim it implies the presence of basalts at the impact site.
  • The second line involved geologic mapping and dating of basaltic lavas that existed before and after the time of the impact, which showed a change occurred around the time of the impact.
  • The third line of evidence came from gravity measurements the team took at the Bolaven volcanic field—they report an anomaly that suggests the presence of a 13- to 17-kilometer crater.
  • The final piece of evidence came from what the team describes as an outcrop of crudely layered sandstone and mudstone boulders 10 to 20 kilometers from the Bolaven volcanic field, which appear to have been thrown there by the force of the meteorite striking the ground.
Prior research has shown that approximately 790,000 years ago, a large meteorite (the largest known young meteorite impact) struck Earth in the Eastern Hemisphere. So great was the impact that debris was strewn across a tenth of the entire planet's surface. ... Prior evidence also suggested the impact site was likely somewhere in Southeast Asia, but until now, the exact location has been unknown.

Open Access: Kerry Sieh et al. Australasian impact crater buried under the Bolaven volcanic field, Southern Laos, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2019)
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Insensible before the wave so soon released by callous fate. Affected most, they understand the least, and understanding, when it comes, invariably arrives too late