June 29, 2012
A few weeks ago, Jonathon Allen, a biochemistry major at the University of California, Santa Cruz, was listening to the Nature podcast when he heard about a team of researchers in Japan who had found an odd spike in carbon-14 levels in tree rings. The spike probably came from a burst of high-energy radiation striking the upper atmosphere, increasing the rate at which carbon-14 is formed.
But there was a problem: the only known causes of such radiation are supernova explosions or gigantic solar flares, and the researchers knew of no such events in ad 774 or 775, the dates indicated by the tree rings.
Intrigued, Allen hit the Internet. “I just did a quick Google search,” he says.
Not a slam dunk quite yet, but the coincidence is certainly intriguing.
June 28, 2012
Archaeologists working at the site of La Corona in Guatemala have discovered a 1,300-year-old-year Maya text that provides only the second known reference to the so-called “end date” of the Maya calendar, December 21, 2012. The discovery, one of the most significant hieroglyphic finds in decades, was announced today at the National Palace in Guatemala.
“This text talks about ancient political history rather than prophecy,” says Marcello A. Canuto, director of Tulane’s Middle American Research Institute and co-director of the excavations at La Corona.
And there are 175 days remaining.
June 27, 2012
Bulgarian archaeologists have conducted a ritual reburial of a man discovered in a medieval grave who was treated against vampirism, the latest among a couple of other similar discoveries in Bulgaria that made global headlines.
The grave in question was one of the 10 medieval graves found during excavations by the team of Prof. Nikolay Ovcharov and Prof. Hitko Vachev in the necropolis of the St. Peter and St. Paul Monastery complex in Veliko Tarnovo, one of Bulgaria’s medieval capitals, dating back to the 13th century, the apex of the Second Bulgarian Empire, BGNES reported.
Read it all for the ritual they performed.
South Korea’s archaeological agency says it has unearthed evidence of East Asia’s oldest known farming site.
Archaeologist Cho Mi-soon said Wednesday that the agency has found the remains of a farming field from the Neolithic period on South Korea’s east coast. The site may be up to 5,600 years old. That’s more than 2,000 years older than what is now the second-oldest known site, which also is in South Korea.
I was going to say that isn’t terribly old, and in some ways it isn’t, I suppose, but then. . . .hmmmm.
Okay, so I just got back from the first live data collection into the new iPad/FIlemaker database. Result: Eh, okay.
It’s got some issues still. First of all, the iPad is kind of heavy to be holding for long periods. Now, I work out hard every day and my arm was starting to get tired after an hour and a half. I don’t have a case with a strap on the back, not sure if that would make a difference or not. But it’s tiring. Second, it’s tough to see, much more difficult than my little Palm’s screen. That is, the text isn’t nearly as clear and sharp and the screen may not be as bright — I had to use my reading glasses. Devilishly hard to see in sunlight, too. Some of the glare might be helped with a non-reflective screen film (I’ve got a reflective one on now). Still need to fiddle with the sizes of things to maybe see them better.
Otherwise, the actual app itself still needs some tweaking, but it seems to collect everything properly. I did find one really funny thing though: I entered a new record, but when I got to one screen that shows related Inscription table records, it was showing one for a different person’s! Can’t figure that out at all.
Not sure how to deal with the weight issue. . . .I imagine I’ll just get used to it if I use it steadily. Otherwise. . . .well, it’s a start.
June 26, 2012
Archaeologists from a Belgian university have uncovered a mass burial tomb containing the remains of 80 individuals at the Pachacamac ruins in Peru.
The site, situated 20 miles south of Lima, is currently under review for UNESCO World Heritage status, and is one of the largest and most important pre-Hispanic sites in South America.
It was first settled around AD 200 and ruled over by the Ychsma (pronounced eesh-ma) lords from AD 900 until it was taken over by the Inca around 1470.
Funny thing is the wooden heads. Would seem to represent war trophies, but are the heads actually missing? They speculate some of the infants may be sacrifices, but I suppose they may just be the usual array of dead kids from high mortality.
Archaeologists in Greece’s second-largest city have uncovered a 70-meter (230-foot) section of an ancient road built by the Romans that was the city’s main travel artery nearly 2,000 years ago.
The marble-paved road was unearthed during excavations for Thessaloniki’s new subway system, which is due to be completed in four years. The road in the northern port city will be raised to be put on permanent display when the metro opens in 2016.
There are better photos of the road around, I’ll try to link to one.
UPDATE: Here’s one.
A mystery city lies in Syria’s deserts, one older than the pyramids — but the war-torn area is preventing archaeologists from decoding its riddles.
Fragments of stone tools, stone circles and lines on the ground, and even evidence of tombs appear to lie in the desert near the ancient monastery of Deir Mar Musa, 50 miles north of Damascus, archaeologist Robert Mason of the Royal Ontario Museum said. He likened the formations to “Syria’s Stonehenge.”
It actually doesn’t appear all that spectacular, but interesting.
Sweet Billy Pilgrim have just unveiled the video for ‘Archaeology’, the second single from their stunning, and hugely acclaimed, new album ‘Crown And Treaty’. Shot and edited by renowned TV writer and director Julian Simpson, it features the actress (and winner of Masterchef), Lisa Faulkner and was made for the remarkable sum of just £85.
I wasn’t expecting much, but that was a really good song. Video at the link.