• Strata Florida Archaeology Field School

    Join us at Strata Florida for an experience full of history, culture and archaeology!
    The Strata Florida Archaeology Field School (SFAFS) will open its doors (and trenches) for the very first time in 2019! Come and join us for what will be an exciting founding year!Strata Florida Abbey (Abaty Ystrad Fflur in Welsh) is a captivating, evocative and internationally significant site located in the foothills of the Cambrian Mountains in beautiful Mid Wales. Known affectionately as the Westminster Abb
  • Geomagnetic jerks finally reproduced and explained

    Initially described in 1978, geomagnetic jerks are unpredictable events that abruptly accelerate the evolution of the Earth's magnetic field, and skew predictions of its behaviour on a multi-year scale. Our magnetic field affects numerous human activities, ranging from establishing the direction in smartphones to the flight of low-altitude satellites. It is therefore essential to accurately predict its evolution. Still, geomagnetic...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full l
  • How does wildlife fare after fires?

    Fire ecologists and wildlife specialists at La Trobe University have made key discoveries in how wildlife restores itself after bushfires, and what Australian conservationists can do to assist the process.Credit: La Trobe UniversityThe study, published this week in Wildlife Research journal, looks at various reserves in the Australian state of Victoria after bushfires had taken place. It finds that the surrounding area of any fire...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full li
  • Human influence on climate change is traced back to the 19th century

    Climate change poses a serious challenge to the human society and it is generally believed that humans are themselves to blame. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has concluded that, with high confidence, human activities are responsible for the continuing rise of global mean surface air temperature since the 1950s.A graphic illustration for the anthropogenic-induced decrease in the difference of summer and winter...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, o
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  • Researchers calculate decades of 'scary' Greenland ice melting

    Measuring melting ice is a fairly precise business in 2019—thanks to satellites, weather stations and sophisticated climate models.Satellites are used to measure ice loss in Greenland[Credit: Jeff Schmaltz/AFP]By the 1990s and 2000s, scientists were able to make pretty good estimates, although work from previous decades was unreliable due to less advanced technology.Now, researchers have recalculated the amount of ice lost in...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full l
  • Simple sea anemones not so simple after all

    The tube-dwelling anemone is an ancient sea creature that resembles a prehistoric flower. The animals live slow, long and predictable lifestyles and look fairly similar from species to species. It'd be easy to use the word "simple" when considering this relative of coral and jellyfish. But wait - not so fast.This Pachycerianthus magnus tube anemone has a surprisingly complex mitochondrial genome
    [Credit: Sergio Stampar]New research...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full l
  • Better labour practices could improve archaeological output

    Archaeological excavation has, historically, operated in a very hierarchical structure, according to archaeologist Allison Mickel. The history of the enterprise is deeply entangled with Western colonial and imperial pursuits, she says. Excavations have been, and often still are, according to Mickel, led by foreigners from the West, while dependent on the labour of scores of people from the local community to perform the manual labour...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full
  • Graeco-Roman era tomb discovered in Egypt's Aswan

    The Egyptian-Italian archaeological mission working at the Aga Khan Mausoleum area, on Aswan West Bank, has discovered a rock-cut tomb of a person named Tjt, that dates back to the Late Pharaonic through to the Graeco-Roman Period.The AGH 26 tomb discovered in Aswan in January 2019 [Credit: Università degli Studi di Milano]
    (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});Mostafa Waziri, General Secretary of the Supreme council of...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for
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  • X-ray scanning technology to unlock mysteries of rare Roman-era chainmail shirt

    Researchers at EPFL have spent the past few months capturing 3D images of a Roman-era chainmail shirt using a computed tomography (CT) scanner. The piece of military armor, which dates back more than 2,000 years, is one of only a handful of similar items ever found in Europe. The twisted, corroded remains of the shirt were buried deep underground and fused with dozens of other objects that were almost impossible to tell apart using...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full l
  • Australian ship discovered off Victoria 77 years after Japanese submarine attack

    The second world war ship SS Iron Crown sank after it was torpedoed, killing 38 of its 43 crewAn Australian second world war freighter has been discovered 77 years after it was sunk in a deadly Japanese submarine attack.The SS Iron Crown was carrying a cargo of manganese ore through Bass Strait when torpedoed and sunk within 60 seconds, killing 38 of its 43 crew on 4 June 1942. Related: Spain logs hundreds of shipwrecks that tell story of maritime pastContinue reading...
  • Easter Island statues face new concerns

    In 1981, UCLA archaeology graduate student Jo Anne Van Tilburg first set foot on the island of Rapa Nui, which is commonly called Easter Island, eager to explore her interest in rock art by studying the iconic stone heads that enigmatically survey the landscape.Excavation of Moai RR-001-156 [Credit: Easter Island Statue Project]Van Tilburg was one of just a few thousand people who would visit Rapa Nui each year back then. And though...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full
  • Pleistocene mammal teeth reveal the climate of the past

    The seasons, as we know them, did not always exist. This is the result of a new paleo-environmental study that analysed fossil teeth to reveal the eating habits of a diverse group of herbivores that lived during the Pleistocene, the period that was characterised by an increase in climactic seasonality following a long glaciation that took place 900,000 years ago.Credit: Flavia Strani        ...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other
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  • Perfectly preserved 12th-century ‘Viking-style’ ship reveals construction secrets

    A 12th century viking-style ship dating back to 1188 has been lifted from ten feet under water at a German port where it was found.A diver examines the wreck [Credit: Landesamt für Kultur und DenkmalpflegeMecklenburg-Vorpommern]Pieces of timber from the 80 x 13 foot (25 x 4 metre) vessel were pulled up after being found just ten feet (three metres) under water.A Nordic research team lifted the ship out and, using a 3D scanner,...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full l
  • Restoration of early Byzantine church in central Turkey completed

    Restoration works on the ancient Constantine-Helena Church [Andaval Church] located on the Christian holy pilgrimage path in central Turkey's Niğde province, have been completed, the local governor's office said Monday.Credit: Anadolu AgencyThe church, which is one of the historical landmarks in the city, along with the ancient city of Tyana, a Roman-era water basin and the Byzantine-era Gümüşler cave monastery, was heavily damaged...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit m
  • Expansive New Kingdom tomb unveiled in Egypt's Luxor

    Archaeologists on Thursday unveiled an unusually large tomb on Luxor’s west bank dated to ancient Egypt’s 18th dynasty.Workers standing inside the gates of one of the largest newly discovered pharaonic tombs 'Shedsu Djehuty' in Luxor
     [Credit: Mohamed Abd El Ghany/Reuters]The 3,500-year-old, 450-square-metre (540-square-yard) tomb contains 18 entrance gates and is believed to have belonged to a nobleman named...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links,
  • Underwater find off Lebanon coast points to fleet of ancient Greek ships

    Forty metres down, on the Mediterranean seabed off the coast of Lebanon, the divers knew they were looking at history.Credit: Lebanon Divers Syndicate, HOAmong the shipwrecks they investigated this month at 11 sites south of the city of Tyre, they found pottery and stone that had been there for more than 2,300 years.“The shape of the pottery confirms that it dates back to more than 332 BC,” said the Lebanese archaeologist Dr. Jafar...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my websit
  • Liquid blood found inside 42,000 year old foal boosts hopes of bringing extinct species back to life

    Semyon Grigoryev, head of the Mammoth Museum in Yakutsk, said today: ‘The autopsy shows beautifully preserved internal organs.Credit: North-Eastern Federal University‘Samples of liquid blood were taken from heart vessels - it was preserved in the liquid state for 42,000 years thanks to favourable burial conditions and permafrost.‘The muscle tissues preserved their natural reddish colour. We can now claim that this is the best...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my websit
  • Greek team digitizing ancient Christian manuscripts at Sinai monastery

    A team from Greece are photographing thousands of fragile manuscripts, including some of the earliest copies of the Christian gospels, using a complex process that includes taking images in red, green and blue light and merging them with computer software to create a single high-quality color picture. There is a tangible sense of urgency to the mission.'Codex Syriacus', an ancient copy of the Gospels in Syriac, is seen on display in...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full
  • US returns looted fragment of Mayan stela to Mexico

    The National Museum of Anthropology received from the United States a fragment of Stela 2 from the Mayan site La Mar, in Chiapas, which corresponds to the upper right corner of the stela and its approximate measurements are 45 cm wide by 74 cm long, and 7 cm thick.Credit: INAHThe repatriated part of the Late Classic period (800-850 AD) lost its original thickness since it was cut to subtract and move the piece out of Mexico....[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, o
  • OK, I admit, this is not a temple

    I often hark back to much older posts on this blog, which I suppose is part of having been blogging for more than a decade. Still, you would have to have a special kind of memory to remember my theory about the so-called ‘tomb type’ deniers of ninth- or tenth-century Barcelona, which is just as well as I think I now have to admit that it was wrong.1 So, I probably ought to explain a bit, and then show you why it’s wrong and wonder what’s right now.
    So, when the Frankish k
  • Burrowing down to carbon date ‘Roman’ rabbits | Letters

    Naomi Sykes on finding out when bunnies came to Britain, and Terry Walsh on the origins of the Welsh word for rabbitIt’s lovely to see so much response (Letters, 19 April) to our rabbit story. With regards to concerns about the linguistics – our Leicester team is working on this. It is tempting to draw links between Latin terms and the Romans but it’s not always so straightforward. The Easter E.g. team, who reported on the Fishbourne rabbit, are very aware of the famous Lynford
  • Notre Dame fire: UK ready to share conservation expertise

    Stonemasons, archaeologists and craftspeople standing by to go to Paris to aid restorationFrance will need an army of specialists to rebuild Notre Dame Cathedral and the UK is on standby to send over architects and archaeologists, conservators and craftspeople.Stonemasons and carpenters, as well as authorities on stained glass and drying out saturated buildings, are ready to cross the Channel to share their expertise on conservation and salvage. Related: Notre Dame Cathedral fire – a visua
  • Scientists restore some functions in a pig's brain hours after death

    Circulation and cellular activity were restored in a pig's brain four hours after its death, a finding that challenges long-held assumptions about the timing and irreversible nature of the cessation of some brain functions after death, Yale scientists report in the journal Nature.Immunofluorescent stains for neurons (NeuN; green), astrocytes (GFAP; red), and cell nuclei (DAPI, blue) in thehippocampal CA3 region of brains either...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links
  • The Cerrado once connected the Andes with the Atlantic Rainforest

    The tropical forests of the Andes and Brazil's Atlantic Rainforest biome are separated by almost 1,000 km of drier areas with open vegetation in the Chaco, Cerrado (Brazilian savanna), and Caatinga (Brazilian semiarid) biomes. Today, these tropical forests are not connected, but the fact that they share closely related species and lineages suggests that these biomes were connected in the past. For example, 23 rainforest bird species...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full
  • NASA study verifies global warming trends

    A new study by researchers from NASA has verified the accuracy of recent global warming figures. The team used measurements of the 'skin' temperature of the Earth taken by a satellite-based infrared measurement system called AIRS (Atmospheric Infra-Red Sounder) from 2003 to 2017.Credit: iStock/oonalThey compared these with station-based analyses of surface air temperature anomalies -- principally the Goddard Institute for Space...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links
  • Mesopotamian King Sargon II envisioned ancient city Karkemish as western Assyrian capital

    In a new study published in the Journal of Near Eastern Studies, Gianni Marchesi translates a recently discovered inscription of the Assyrian King Sargon II found at the ruins of the ancient city of Karkemish. The inscription, which dates to around 713 B.C., details Sargon's conquest, occupation, and reorganization of Karkemish, including his rebuilding the city with ritual ceremonies usually reserved for royal palaces in capital...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full lin
  • Daily grind: The biography of a stone axe

    Tom Breukel analysed some 250 stone axes from the Caribbean and reconstructed their biographies, thus increasing our knowledge of production and trade in the period around the arrival of Columbus. His Ph.D. defence is on 18 April.Credit: Tom BreukelBreukel researched how the stone axes – a collective term in archaeology that also includes adzes and chisels – were produced, traded, and used in the Dominican Republic and the Windward...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my websit
  • Researchers hunt for 17th century 'witch bottles'

    A team of archaeologists and historians from MOLA and the University of Hertfordshire are calling on people who may have discovered 17th century 'witch bottles' during restoration work or know of examples curated at their places of work, to come forward.Credit: University of Hertfordshire'Witch bottles' is the name given to 17th century stoneware and glass vessels believed to have served as objects for ritual protection or as the...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full lin
  • Argentinian researchers discover an extraordinary 220 million year old animal cemetery in San Juan

    It is a surprising accumulation of fossils that would belong to dinosaurs, giant crocodiles and mammalian ancestors. In this "bed of bones", there are skulls and dismembered parts of, at least, seven or eight individuals, although there could be many more.The fossilised dinosaur remains discovered in western Argentina are believedto be 220 million years old [Credit: CTyS-UNLaM Agency]Dr. Ricardo Martínez, a researcher at the...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full l
  • Fish that outlived dinosaurs reveals secrets of ancient skull evolution

    A new study into one of the world's oldest types of fish, Coelacanth, provides fresh insights into the development of the skull and brain of vertebrates and the evolution of lobe-finned fishes and land animals, as published in Nature.Coelacanth off waters near South Africa [Credit: Laurent Ballista,Gombessa expeditions, Andromede Oceanology Ltd]Coelacanth (Latimeria chalumnae) is so rare it was thought to have gone extinct with...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links
  • These beetles have successfully freeloaded for 100 million years

    Almost 100 million years ago, a tiny and misfortunate beetle died after wandering into a sticky glob of resin leaking from a tree in a region near present-day Southeast Asia. Fossilized in amber, this beetle eventually made its way to the desk of entomologist Joe Parker, assistant professor of biology and biological engineering at Caltech. Parker and his colleagues have now determined that the perfectly preserved beetle fossil is the...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full
  • Explosion on Jupiter-sized star 10 times more powerful than ever seen on our sun

    A stellar flare ten times more powerful than anything seen on our sun has burst from an ultracool star almost the same size as Jupiter. The star is the coolest and smallest to give off a rare white-light superflare, and by some definitions could be too small be considered a star.A superflare on an L-dwarf [Credit: University of Warwick/Mark Garlick]The discovery, funded by the Science and Technology Facilities Council, is published...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full l
  • Elusive molecule, first in Universe, detected in space

    In the beginning, more than 13 billion years ago, the Universe was an undifferentiated soup of three simple, single-atom elements. Stars would not form for another 100 million years.Illustration of planetary nebula NGC 7027 and helium hydride molecules. In this planetary nebula, SOFIA detectedhelium hydride, a combination of helium (red) and hydrogen (blue), which was the first type of molecule to ever
     form in the early...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links,
  • A closer look at Mercury's spin and gravity reveals the planet's inner solid core

    How do you explore the interior of a planet without ever touching down on it? Start by watching the way the planet spins, then measure how your spacecraft orbits it -- very, very carefully. This is exactly what NASA planetary scientists did, using data from the agency's former mission to Mercury.This colourful view of Mercury was produced by using images from the color base map imaging campaign duringMESSENGER's primary mission...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links
  • Neotropical cloud forests to lose what most defines them: Clouds

    In as few as 25 years, climate change could shrink and dry 60-80% of Western Hemisphere cloud forests, finds a study published today. If greenhouse gas emissions continue increasing as they have been, 90% of Western Hemisphere cloud forests would be affected as early as 2060. The current cloud and frost environment of the highly diverse alpine ecosystems above these equatorial cloud forests, known as páramo, will nearly...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links,
  • Researchers discover 'ghostly' signs of a mysterious new mineral

    An international research team including Curtin University scientists has documented the 'ghost' of an undiscovered mineral at two ancient meteorite impact craters.Monazite under a microscope showing the former presence of a new mineral[Credit: Curtin University]The new study, published in the journal Geology, is the first to document evidence of a new form of the mineral monazite, which only exists on Earth during the immense...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links,
  • Finding the key to flightlessness

    Since Darwin's era, scientists have wondered how flightless birds like emus, ostriches, kiwi, cassowaries and others are related, and for decades the assumption was that they must all share a common ancestor who abandoned the skies for a more grounded life.Ostriches [Credit: Josh*m, via Flickr]By the early 2000s, new research using genetic tools upended that story, and instead pointed to the idea that flighlessness evolved many times...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full
  • A history of the Crusades, as told by crusaders' DNA

    History can tell us a lot about the Crusades, the series of religious wars fought between 1095 and 1291, in which Christian invaders tried to claim the Near East. But the DNA of nine 13th century Crusaders buried in a pit in Lebanon shows that there's more to learn about who the Crusaders were and their interactions with the populations they encountered. The work appears in The American Journal of Human Genetics.This image shows the...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full
  • How superstitions spread

    Ancient Roman leaders once made decisions about important events, such as when to hold elections or where to build new cities, based on the presence or flight patterns of birds. Builders often omit the thirteenth floor from their floor plans, and many pedestrians go well out of their way to avoid walking under a ladder.Do you change direction when you see a black cat approaching? A game theory-driven model developedby two...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, othe
  • Is one toe really better than three? How horse' legs evolved for travel rather than speed

    Palaeobiologists from the University of Bristol and Howard University (USA) have uncovered new evidence that suggests that horses' legs have adapted over time to be optimised for endurance travel, rather than speed.Three-toed Transitional Horse (Parahippus leonensis), from Gilchrist Co., Florida.Lived ~18 million years ago [Credit: Florida Museum]The ancestors of horses (including asses and zebras) had three toes on each foot....[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links,
  • Fossils found in museum drawer in Kenya belong to gigantic carnivore

    Paleontologists at Ohio University have discovered a new species of meat-eating mammal larger than any big cat stalking the world today. Larger than a polar bear, with a skull as large as that of a rhinoceros and enormous piercing canine teeth, this massive carnivore would have been an intimidating part of the eastern African ecosystems occupied by early apes and monkeys.imbakubwa kutokaafrika, an extinct hyaenodont, with a skull as...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full
  • Meet Gobihadros, a new species of Mongolian hadrosaur

    The complete skeletal remains of a new species of Mongolian dinosaur fill in a gap in the evolution of hadrosaurs, according to a study published in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Khishigjav Tsogtbataaar of the Mongolian Academy of Science, David Evans of the Royal Ontario Museum, and colleagues.These are skeletal reconstructions of Gobihadros mongoliensis[Credit: Tsogtbaatar et al, 2019]Dinosaurs of the family Hadrosauridae...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full lin
  • What Earth's gravity reveals about climate change

    On March 17, 2002, the German-US satellite duo GRACE (Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment) were launched to map the global gravitational field with unprecedented precision. After all, the mission lasted a good 15 years - more than three times as long as expected. When the two satellites burnt up in the Earth's atmosphere at the end of 2017 and beginning of 2018, respectively, they had recorded the Earth's gravitational field and...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full
  • New study identifies natural dyes used to colour clothing in ancient China and Peru

    Even thousands of years ago people wore clothing with colourful patterns made from plant and animal-based dyes. Chemists from Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU) have created new analytical methods to examine textiles from China and Peru that are several thousand years old. In the scientific journal Scientific Reports they describe their new method that is able to reconstruct the spatial distribution of dyes, and hence the...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for ful
  • The secret to a stable society? A steady supply of beer doesn't hurt

    A thousand years ago, the Wari empire stretched across Peru. At its height, it covered an area the size of the Eastern seaboard of the US from New York City to Jacksonville. It lasted for 500 years, from 600 to 1100 AD, before eventually giving rise to the Inca. That's a long time for an empire to remain intact, and archaeologists are studying remnants of the Wari culture to see what kept it ticking. A new study found an important...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full li
  • Funerary customs, diet, and social behaviour in a pre-Roman Italian Celtic community

    Analysis of human remains from a Pre-Roman Celtic cemetery in Italy shows variations in funerary treatment between individuals that could be related to social status, but these variations were not reflected by differences in their living conditions. Zita Laffranchi of Universidad de Granada, Spain, and colleagues present these new findings in the open access journal PLOS ONE.Localization of main Celtic necropolises of Italy and...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links
  • Switch from hunting to herding recorded in ancient pee

    The transition from hunting and gathering to farming and herding is considered a crucial turning point in the history of humanity. Scholars think the intensive food production that came along with the Neolithic Revolution, starting around 10,000 B.C., allowed cities to grow, led to technological innovation and, eventually, enabled life as we know it today.Students working on the western Section of Aşıklı Höyük, where the evidence was...[[ This is a content summary only.
  • TESS finds its first Earth-sized planet

    A nearby system hosts the first Earth-sized planet discovered by NASA's Transiting Exoplanets Survey Satellite, as well as a warm sub-Neptune-sized world, according to a new paper from a team of astronomers that includes Carnegie's Johanna Teske, Paul Butler, Steve Shectman, Jeff Crane, and Sharon Wang. Their work is published in the Astrophysical Journal Letters.Artist's conception of HD 21749c, the first Earth-sized planet found by...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full
  • Astronomers take first, high-resolution look at huge star-forming region of Milky Way

    Astronomers from the United States and South Korea have made the first high-resolution, radio telescope observations of the molecular clouds within a massive star-forming region of the outer Milky Way.This image from a radio telescope shows a huge star-forming region of the outer Milky Way galaxy.The ovals identify the main subdivisions of the region's molecular cloud, including the smaller 1a,which is very efficient at producing...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full lin
  • Travel through wormholes is possible, but slow

    A Harvard physicist has shown that wormholes can exist: tunnels in curved space-time, connecting two distant places, through which travel is possible.Illustration of a wormhole [Credit: Shutterstock]But don't pack your bags for a trip to other side of the galaxy yet; although it's theoretically possible, it's not useful for humans to travel through, said the author of the study, Daniel Jafferis, from Harvard University, written in...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full li

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