• Golden Horde era mausoleum found in North Kazakhstan

    An archaeological expedition to the Ualikhanov District of the North Kazakhstan Region, organised by the Margulan Centre of Pavlodar State Pedagogical University, has discovered the ruins of a mausoleum belonging to an elite member of the ruling Genghisid Jochi Khan dynasty dating back to the middle of the second half of the 14th century.Credit: Ilya Pitalev/RIA NovostiAccording to the head of the archaeological expedition Timur...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full link
  • Research shows people made ropes and baskets during the Paleolithic era

    A research team from the University of Valencia and the CSIC has published a study that demonstrates the use of plant fibres during the Final Palaeolithic era in the Santa Maira caves (Castell de Castells, Alicante).Santa Maira cave [Credit: Asociación RUVID]These are fragments of braided rope and basketwork imprints on clay. The rope has provided the oldest direct dating in Europe for an object made of braided fibres: 12,700 years...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for
  • Fossil dig leads to unexpected discovery of 91-million-year-old shark new to science

    A 91-million-year-old fossil shark newly named Cretodus houghtonorum discovered in Kansas joins a list of large dinosaur-era animals. Preserved in sediments deposited in an ancient ocean called the Western Interior Seaway that covered the middle of North America during the Late Cretaceous period (144 million to 66 million years ago), Cretodus houghtonorum was an impressive shark estimated to be nearly 17 feet or slightly more than 5...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full
  • Are hyoliths Palaeozoic lophophorates?

    Hyoliths are extinct invertebrates with calcareous shells that were common constituents of the Cambrian fauna and formed a minor component of benthic faunas throughout the Palaeozoic until their demise in the end-Permian mass extinction. The biological affinity of hyoliths has long been controversial and the group has been compared with a number of animal phyla, most frequently the Mollusca or the Sipuncula, although other researchers...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for ful
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  • Farmer discovers giant Byzantine-era pithos in central Turkey

    A farmer plowing his field in Turkey's central Kırıkkale province discovered a giant ancient pithos jar from the Byzantine era.Credit: AA (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});The farmer, who lives in the Koçubaba village in Balışeyh district discovered the jar after his tractor got locked on the jar. He immediately called the gendarmerie to inform officials about the find.Credit: IHA
    (adsbygoogle =...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for
  • Horse-head statue looted by Anglo-French allied forces during Second Opium War in 1860 repatriated to China

    A bronze horse head will be returned to the Old Summer Palace, or "Yuanmingyuan" in Chinese, according to China's National Cultural Heritage Administration (NCHA).The horse-head statue is among the 12 statues of Chinese Zodiac signs looted from the royal garden of 
    Old Summer Palace in Beijing by Anglo-French allied forces during the Second Opium War in 1860[Credit: China Daily] (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle ||...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other
  • Lichens are way younger than scientists thought

    You've probably seen a lichen, even if you didn't realize it. If you've ever meandered through the forest and wondered what the crusty stuff on trees or rocks was, they're lichens, a combination of algae and fungi living together almost as if they were one organism. And since they can grow on bare rocks, scientists thought that lichens were some of the first organisms to make their way onto land from the water, changing the planet's...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full
  • Lifelike chemistry created in lab search for ways to study origin of life

    University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers have cultivated lifelike chemical reactions while pioneering a new strategy for studying the origin of life.Under ultra-high magnification, the researchers found distinctive fractal shapes spreading along pyrite grains aftertheir chemical soups went through multiple generations. The researchers believe these fractals are salty deposits
     induced to form by a thin layer of organic...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links,
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  • Genes borrowed from bacteria allowed plants to move to land

    Natural genetic engineering allowed plants to move from water to land, according to a new study by an international group of scientists from Canada, China, France, Germany, and Russia.Microscopic image of Spirogloea muscicola, a new species of algae identified as part of a study that showshow plants evolved to move from water to land [Credit: Barbara & Michael Melkonian]"This is one of the most important events in the evolution...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full l
  • Butterflies take different paths to arrive at the same colour pattern

    An international team of scientists working with Heliconius butterflies at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) in Panama was faced with a mystery: How do pairs of unrelated butterflies from Peru to Costa Rica evolve nearly the same wing-color patterns over and over again? The answer, published in Current Biology, forever changes the way evolution is understood.Unrelated butterflies may have the same wing patterns....[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full link
  • Global climate change concerns for Africa's Lake Victoria

    Global climate change could cause Africa's Lake Victoria, the world's largest tropical lake and source of the Nile River, to dry up in the next 500 years, according to new findings from a team of researchers led by the University of Houston. Even more imminent, the White Nile -- one of the two main tributaries of the Nile -- could lose its source waters in just a decade.View of modern Lake Victoria from the Kenya shoreline where...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full link
  • NASA finds Neptune moons locked in 'dance of avoidance'

    Even by the wild standards of the outer solar system, the strange orbits that carry Neptune's two innermost moons are unprecedented, according to newly published research.Neptune Moon Dance: This animation illustrates how the odd orbits of Neptune's inner moons Naiad and Thalassaenable them to avoid each other as they race around the planet [Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech]Orbital dynamics experts are calling it a "dance of avoidance"...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links
  • Two cosmic peacocks show violent history of the magellanic clouds

    Two peacock-shaped gaseous clouds were revealed in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) by observations with the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA). A team of astronomers found several massive baby stars in the complex filamentary clouds, which agrees well with computer simulations of giant collisions of gaseous clouds. The researchers interpret this to mean that the filaments and young stars are telltale evidence of...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full lin
  • Jarrett makes it to the TV screen

    This week’s is a very short post, with some surprising news. That news is: on 25th November this year, on the Smithsonian Channel, at 8 pm (the site says ‘All times ET/PT’, and I admit I don’t understand how it can be both), there will be shown a program called ‘Viking Murder Mystery’, and I have good reason to believe I’m in it, though you’ll be thankful to hear, neither as Viking nor as perpetrator. I’m not visible in the previews, either,
  • Early DNA lineages from Finland shed light on the diverse origins of the contemporary population

    A new genetic study carried out at the University of Helsinki and the University of Turku demonstrates that, at the end of the Iron Age, Finland was inhabited by separate and differing populations, all of them influencing the gene pool of modern Finns. The study is so far the most extensive investigation of the ancient DNA of people inhabiting the region of Finland.Medieval burial site of Kalmistomaki in Kylalahti, Hiitola in Russia...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full
  • Genetic analysis of sacred ibis mummies sheds light on early Egyptian practices

    New genetic research into the mummification of ibises found in Egyptian catacombs has shed light on how Ancient Egyptians obtained millions of the ‘wise’ birds to sacrifice annually.The ibises were mummified and placed in clay jars by temple priests then offered to Thoth 
    who had the appearance of a man but the head of an ibis [Credit: Griffith University]The research, led by Griffith University, investigated historical...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for f
  • Alpine rock axeheads became social and economic exchange fetishes in the Neolithic

    Axeheads made out of Alpine rocks had strong social and economic symbolic meaning in the Neolithic, given their production and use value. Their resistance to friction and breakage, which permitted intense polishing and a re-elaboration of the rocks, gave these artefacts an elevated exchange value, key to the formation of long-distance exchange networks among communities of Western Europe. Communities who had already begun to set the...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full
  • What felled the great Assyrian Empire?

    The Neo-Assyrian Empire, centered in northern Iraq and extending from Iran to Egypt -- the largest empire of its time -- collapsed after more than two centuries of dominance at the fall of its capital, Nineveh, in 612 B.C.E.Deportees after the Assyrian siege of Lachish, Judea (701 B.C.E.). Detail from bas-relief removed from Sennacherib's'Palace Without Rival,' Nineveh, Iraq, and now in The British Museum [Credit: The British...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links,
  • DNA data offers scientific look at 500 years of extramarital sex in Western Europe

    These days it's easy to resolve questions about paternity with over-the-counter test kits. Now, researchers have put DNA evidence together with long-term genealogical data to explore similar questions of biological fatherhood on a broad scale among people living in parts of Western Europe over the last 500 years.Credit: Getty ImagesThe findings reported in Current Biology yielded some surprises. While the number of so-called...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, o
  • Spot the difference: Two identical-looking bird species with very different genes

    New research by the Milner Centre for Evolution academics in collaboration with Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou (China) shows that Southern and Northern breeding populations of plovers in China are in fact two distinct species: Kentish plover (Charadrius alexandrinus) in the North and white-faced plover (Charadrius dealbatus) in the South.The Kentish Plover (right) and White-faced Plover (left) are look very similarbut are in...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full lin
  • Predicting evolution: Survival of the fittest takes a hit

    A team of scientists, led by Harvard researchers, has used a new method of DNA "re-barcoding" to track rapid evolution in yeast. The new approach, published in Nature, advances the field of organismic and evolutionary biology and holds promise for real-world results.Using yeast as the vehicle, researchers watch evolution deviate from what we thought we knew[Credit: Douglas Benedict/Academic Image]The potential impact of the work...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full link
  • Distant worlds under many suns

    Is Earth the only habitable planet in the universe or are there more worlds somewhere out there that are capable of supporting life? And if there are, what might they look like? In a bid to answer these fundamental questions, scientists are searching space for exoplanets: distant worlds that orbit other stars outside our solar system.The nearest exoplanet Proxima Centauri b is situated in a multiple star system. This is what the...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full link
  • New study proposes light signature for detecting black hole mergers

    Gravitational wave detectors are finding black hole mergers in the universe at the rate of one per week. If these mergers occur in empty space, researchers cannot see associated light that is needed to determine where they happened. However, a new study in The Astrophysical Journal Letters, led by scientists at the American Museum of Natural History and the City University of New York (CUNY), suggests that researchers might finally be...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for ful
  • Mysteries behind complex interstellar carbon molecules finally answered

    Scientists have long been puzzled by the existence of so-called "buckyballs" - complex carbon molecules with a soccer-ball-like structure - throughout interstellar space. Now, a team of researchers from the University of Arizona has proposed a mechanism for their formation in a study published in the Astrophysical Journal Letters.Artist's conception showing spherical carbon molecules known as buckyballs coming out from a planetary...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full li
  • Extinct giant ape directly linked to the living orangutan

    By using ancient protein sequencing, researchers have retrieved genetic information from a 1.9 million year old extinct, giant primate that used to live in a subtropical area in southern China. The genetic information allows the researchers to uncover the evolutionary position of Gigantopithecus blacki, a three-meter tall and may be up to 600 kg heavy primate, revealing the orangutan as its closest, living relative.Artistic...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, ot
  • World's oldest glue used from prehistoric times till the days of the Gauls

    Birch bark tar, the oldest glue in the world, was in use for at least 50,000 years, from the Palaeolithic Period up until the time of the Gauls. Made by heating birch bark, it served as an adhesive for hafting tools and decorating objects.(A) Illustration of hinge (© S. Sorin, CNRS, CEPAM), based on Deschler-Erb 1998; (B) Hinge from Nice(Transfert Massena; Alpes-Maritimes, sample MR6258); (C) Decorative plaque from...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other
  • Ancient cup given to first marathon victor returned to Greece

    An ancient Greek cup awarded as a prize to the marathon winner in the first modern Olympics of 1896 has been returned to Athens from a German university.An ancient Greek drinking cup decorated with runners, which was one of the awards presented to Spyros Louis,the Greek winner of the Marathon in the 1896 first modern Olympic Games in Athens, is seen at theNational Archaeological Museum in Athens [Credit: Petros...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content,
  • Venice on its knees as floods devastate city

    Venice was in a state of crisis on Wednesday due to huge flooding after the high-water mark reached 187cm late on Tuesday, the highest level since the record 1966 flood.Credit: ANSA/AP (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});"Venice is on its knees," Venice Mayor Luigi Brugnaro said via Twitter. "St Mark's Basilica has suffered serious damage, like the whole city and the islands... We need everyone's help to get...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, othe
  • Researchers explore the tomb of Germany's Holy Roman Emperor Friedrich III

    The tomb of Emperor Frederick III (1415-1493) in St. Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna has been found to contain, among other things, a crown, a sceptre and an imperial orb.The tomb of Emperor Frederick III (1415-1493) in St. Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna[Credit: KHM-MUSEUMSVERBAND/APA/dpa]Scientists explored the interior of the last untouched imperial grave in Europe with small cameras. The experts involved described the discovery as...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full li
  • Oldest carnivorous dinosaur unearthed in southern Brazil

    An amazingly well-preserved skeleton of the world's oldest-known meat-eating dinosaur has been unearthed in the south of Brazil.Illustration of Gnathovorax cabreirai
    [Credit: Marcio L. Castro]The predator named 'Gnathovorax cabreirai' lived 230 million years ago when South America was still part of the supercontinent called Pangaea.The skeleton is virtually intact — and includes razor-sharp teeth and claws that would have made it a...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for
  • Review – Hadrian’s Wall 2009-2019: A summary of recent excavation and research prepared for the Fourteenth Pilgrimage of Hadrian’s Wall, 2019

    Compiled by Rob Collins and Matthew SymondsTitus Wilson & Son, £15ISBN 978-1873124825Review Richard HingleyThis extremely important volume was produced to accompany the 14th Pilgrimage of Hadrian’s Wall, an event that was explored in CA 353. It stands in line with earlier volumes produced for previous Pilgrimages in 2009 and 1999. Rob Collins and Matthew Symonds were selected by the Committee that managed the 14th Pilgrimage to compile and edit this impressive volume, which forms
  • Review – Adorn: jewellery – the human story

    A new exhibition at Colchester Castle explores how we have made and worn objects to ornament ourselves from prehistory to the present day. Lucia Marchini went along to take a look around.Discovered in Cavenham Heath, Suffolk, in 1921, this Roman crown may have been worn by a priest in the 4th century AD. [Image: Ipswich Borough Council]A newly made replica shows how it may have originally looked. [Image: Colchester Museums – Douglas Atfield]When Boudica advanced on the Roman town of Camulo
  • Experts crack mystery of ancient Egypt’s sacred bird mummies

    DNA analysis helps work out origin of nearly 6 million mummified ibisesAn ancient Egyptian mystery has been solved, according to researchers, who say they have cracked the conundrum of where millions of mummified birds came from.Pharaohs and members of the nobility were often mummified, but the practice was not reserved for humans – cats, crocodiles, mice and mongooses are among the mummified animals that have been found. Related: Show me the mummy: the undying allure of ancient EgyptRelat
  • With Mars methane mystery unsolved, Curiosity serves scientists a new one: Oxygen

    For the first time in the history of space exploration, scientists have measured the seasonal changes in the gases that fill the air directly above the surface of Gale Crater on Mars. As a result, they noticed something baffling: oxygen, the gas many Earth creatures use to breathe, behaves in a way that so far scientists cannot explain through any known chemical processes.A sunset at the Viking Lander 1 site, 1976 
    [Credit:...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full link
  • ‘Are we alone?’ Study refines which exoplanets are potentially habitable

    In order to search for life in outer space, astronomers first need to know where to look. A new Northwestern University study will help astronomers narrow down the search.Artist’s conception shows a hypothetical planet with two moons orbiting within the habitable zone ofa red dwarf star [Credit: NASA/Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics/D. Aguilar]The research team is the first to combine 3-D climate modeling with...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links,
  • Why words make language

    From hieroglyphics to emojis, and grunts to gestures, humans have always used multiple modes to communicate, including language.Modes of communication [Credit: Wits University]If you've ever sent a text using emojis, which the recipient received and understood, then you've communicated in a new language code. Communication codes have been with us since the grunts of our ancestors developed in to the first languages—Aramaic, Sanskrit,...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website fo
  • Scientists explore Egyptian mummy bones with x-rays and infrared light

    Experiments at the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) are casting a new light on Egyptian soil and ancient mummified bone samples that could provide a richer understanding of daily life and environmental conditions thousands of years ago.The stepped Pyramid of Djoser and a nearby cobra frieze in Saqqara, Egypt. Bone samples from 
    mummified remains recovered at Saqqara were studied at the...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full
  • Modern apes smarter than pre-humans

    New research from the University of Adelaide suggests living great apes are smarter than our pre-human ancestor Australopithecus, a group that included the famous "Lucy."Australopithecus afarensis (Lucy) [Credit: National Museum of Natureand Science, Tokyo, Japan]The study, conducted in partnership with the Evolutionary Studies Institute of the University of the Witwatersrand and published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B,...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full l
  • Last Arctic ice refuge is disappearing

    The oldest and thickest Arctic sea ice is disappearing twice as fast as ice in the rest of the Arctic Ocean, according to new research.New research finds the Arctic’s oldest and thickest ice is more mobile and is vanishingtwice as fast as ice in the rest of the Arctic [Credit: NOAA]A new study in AGU's journal Geophysical Research Letters finds ice in the Arctic Ocean north of Greenland is more mobile than previously thought, as...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for ful
  • Geoscientists reconstruct the climate of the past by analysing dripstones

    In the last interglacial period on Earth about 125,000 years ago, the Indian monsoon was longer, more extreme and less reliable than it is today. This is the conclusion drawn by geoscientists from Ruhr-Universitat Bochum (RUB) and the University of Oxford, together with other colleagues from the UK, New Zealand, China and the USA. The team analysed a dripstone from a cave in north-eastern India, combining various methods that provide...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full
  • First evidence of feathered polar dinosaurs found in Australia

    A cache of 118 million-year-old fossilized dinosaur and bird feathers has been recovered from an ancient lake deposit that once lay beyond the southern polar circle.Australian Feathered Polar Dinosaur[Credit: Peter Trusler]Feathered dinosaur fossils are famous, but known from a handful of localities worldwide. Examples from the Southern Hemisphere are especially rare, and mainly include only isolated feathers.An international...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links,
  • At future Mars landing spot, scientists spy mineral that could preserve signs of past life

    Next year, NASA plans to launch a new Mars rover to search for signs of ancient life on the Red Planet. A new study shows that the rover's Jezero crater landing site is home to deposits of hydrated silica, a mineral that just happens to be particularly good at preserving biosignatures.Jezero crater, where NASA plans to land a new Mars rover next year, is home to the remains of an ancient river delta.Researchers have now found...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links,
  • Ancient rain gauge: New evidence links groundwater, climate changes in deep time

    Changes in groundwater millions of years ago created alternating layers of vivid yellow and brown in the mineral sphalerite, and those variations align with movements in Earth's orbit that impacted climate in the deep past, Penn State scientists found.Yellow and brown banding in the mineral sphalerite are caused by changes in rainfall and groundwater.Penn State scientists found patterns in the banding match movement in Earth's...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links,
  • A runaway star ejected from the galactic heart of darkness

    Astronomers have spotted an ultrafast star, traveling at a blistering 6 million km/h, that was ejected by the supermassive black hole at the heart at the Milky Way five million years ago.Hypervelocity star ejected by black hole[Credit: S5 Collaboration]The discovery of the star, known as S5-HVS1, was made by Carnegie Mellon University Assistant Professor of Physics Sergey Koposov as part of the Southern Stellar Stream Spectroscopic...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full l
  • 'Ghost' footprints from Pleistocene era revealed by radar tech

    Invisible footprints hiding since the end of the last ice age - and what lies beneath them - have been discovered by Cornell University researchers using a special type of radar in a novel way.The researchers collecting GPR data at White Sands National Monument in New Mexico
     [Credit: Cornell University]The fossilized footprints reveal a wealth of information about how humans and animals moved and interacted with each other...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full link
  • Scientists find no evidence for 'insect Armageddon' but there's still cause for concern

    Researchers who set out to test the widespread theory that the UK is experiencing an alarming plunge in insect numbers have found no evidence For "insect Armageddon."The large emerald (Geometra papilionaria). These moths feed on birch trees, which are very sensitiveto dry conditions and drought [Credit: Dr Callum Macgregor]Instead, the researchers from the University of York found peaks and troughs in moth populations over a period...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full l
  • 'Pac-Man-like' mergers could explain massive, spinning black holes

    Scientists have reported detecting gravitational waves from 10 black hole mergers to date, but they are still trying to explain the origins of those mergers. The largest merger detected so far seems to have defied previous models because it has a higher spin and mass than the range thought possible. A group of researchers, including Rochester Institute of Technology Assistant Professor Richard O'Shaughnessy, has created simulations...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full l
  • Near-Earth asteroid pairs

    Near Earth Objects (NEOs) are small solar system bodies whose orbits sometimes bring them close to the Earth, making them potential collision threats. NEOs also offer clues to the composition, dynamics and environmental conditions of the early solar system and its evolution, and because they are relatively close to the Earth they lend themselves to astronomical measurements. Most NEOs are discovered in optical searches, but one crucial...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for fu
  • Miniature fanged 'deer' rediscovered tiptoeing through Vietnam's coastal forests

    Global Wildlife Conservation and partners Southern Institute of Ecology and Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research have rediscovered a species lost to science since 1990 called a silver-backed chevrotain -- a deer-like species that is the size of a rabbit, has a silver sheen, and has been hanging on in a region of Vietnam ravaged by poaching by snares. The silver-backed chevrotain, also called the Vietnamese mouse deer, was...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full
  • Evolutionary diversity is associated with Amazon forest productivity

    An international team of researchers led by the University of Leeds have revealed for the first time that Amazon forests with the greatest evolutionary diversity are the most productive.The Amazon canopy [Credit: Fernanda Coelho, 
    University of Leeds]The team used long term-records from 90 plots as part of the Amazon Forest Inventory Network (RAINFOR) and ForestPlots.net to track the lives and productivity of individual trees...[[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full li

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