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Maia Atlantis: Ancient World Blogs - http://planet.atlantides.org/maia

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    Archaeologists at Stonehenge have accused a highway construction company of drilling through a...

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    ČRNOMELJ, SLOVENIA—STA reports that archaeologists excavating one of 15 Celtic burials at the Pezdirčeva Njiva site, which is located in southeastern Slovenia, discovered a bronze belt adorned with a gold coin dating to the third century B.C. The coin bears images of the goddesses Nike and Athena and is thought to be a copy of a Greek coin known as an Alexander the Great stater. “A golden coin as such is a rare find in Slovenia,” said Lucija Grahek of the Academy of Sciences and Arts. “As far as I know, this is the third golden coin found at Slovenian sites, and as it seems, the oldest.” Some organic material making up the belt was also preserved. To read about another discovery in Slovenia, go to “Fixing Ancient Toothaches.”


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    Denisovan ivory tiaraNOVOSIBIRSK, RUSSIA—According to a report in The Siberian Times, archaeologists have found a 50,000-year-old piece of worked woolly mammoth tusk in the southern gallery of Denisova Cave. Alexander Fedorchenko of the Novosibirsk Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography suggests the curved ivory object is a fragment of an ornament whose large size indicates it was worn by a Denisovan man. A cord would have been threaded through holes in either end of the piece and then tied around the wearer's head in order to keep his hair out of his eyes. There is evident wear and tear on the artifact, which was eventually discarded. Such ivory “tiaras,” as they are called, have been found in other parts of Siberia, but those decorated items were created between 20,000 and 28,000 years ago by modern humans. The Densiovan tiara suggests the tradition could be older than previously thought. For more, go to “Denisovan DNA.”


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    The remarkable find was made this summer in the famous Siberian cave where over many millennia early...

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    December 07, 2018 19.00 - LECTURE Μαρία Σάρδη, Δρ Ιστορίας Ισλαμικής Τέχνης, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London

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    Sweden Neolithic plagueMARSEILLE, FRANCE—Live Science reports that a new strain of Yersinia pestis, the bacteria that causes plague, has been identified in human remains from a Neolithic tomb in Sweden by a team of researchers led by biologist Nicolás Rascovan of Aix-Marseille University. The bacterial DNA came from the dental pulp of a 20-year-old woman who is thought to have died about 4,900 years ago from the deadly pneumonic form of the disease. Based upon comparisons with other strains of Yersinia pestis, Rascovan and his colleagues suggest this one diverged about 5,700 years ago, making it the oldest known strain of plague. It had been previously thought that plague first traveled to Europe from the Eurasian steppe as people migrated west and replaced European farmers, but the age of the plague strain found in Sweden suggests that European farmers may have already suffered from the infection and been in decline when the Eurasians arrived. Karl-Göran Sjögren of the University of Gothenburg said the presence of the plague in Sweden could reflect the growth of bigger settlements and poor sanitary conditions, use of wheeled transport, and increased contact among groups of people through trading networks in the Neolithic world, all of which may have helped spread the pathogens. The scientists have not yet found direct evidence of plague in any of these large Neolithic settlements, however. For more, go to “A Parisian Plague.”


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    When Augustus Caesar rose to become the first Roman emperor, in 27 BC, the seeds recently unearthed by Turkish archeologists were already 2,000 years old. Some of the recently found olive seeds [Credit: Gaziantep University]Those same seeds, found during excavations in Kilis, along the Turkish-Syrian border, have a vintage dating back four millennia -- around the time the Great Pyramids of Egypt were built. (adsbygoogle =...

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    The Earth formed relatively quickly from the cloud of dust and gas around the Sun, trapping water and gases in the planet's mantle, according to research published in the journal Nature. Apart from settling Earth's origins, the work could help in identifying extrasolar systems that could support habitable planets. Artist's impression of a young star surrounded by a protoplanetary disk in which planets are forming. Based on measures...

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    Global carbon emissions are set to hit an all-time high in 2018 - according to researchers at the University of East Anglia (UEA) and the Global Carbon Project. A coal-fired power plant in Bergheim. Germany. Coal use in power stations is a major source of CO2 emissions [Credit: EPA-EFE]A projected rise of more than 2 per cent has been driven by a solid growth in coal use for the second year in a row, and sustained growth in oil and...

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    Surface melting across Greenland's mile-thick ice sheet began increasing in the mid-19th century and then ramped up dramatically during the 20th and early 21st centuries, showing no signs of abating, according to new research published in the journal Nature. The study provides new evidence of the impacts of climate change on Arctic melting and global sea level rise. Large rivers form on the surface of Greenland each summer, rapidly...

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    Scientists long believed that the lower mantle was composed of Bridgmanite (Mg,Fe)SiO3 and magnesiowüstite (Mg,Fe)O, in which Fe2+ dwells. This view changed when experiments showed that Fe2+ simply can't exist at the pressure and temperature of the lower mantle. What is present is Fe3+. The two phases (Mg,Fe)SiO3 and (Mg,Fe)O both shed Fe2+ and, in turn, MgSiO3 and MgO remain. However, what...

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    Researchers at the RIKEN Center for Biosystems Dynamics (BDR) and collaborators have described for the first time the development of the hagfish inner ear. Published in the journal Nature, the study provides a new story for inner ear evolution that began with the last common ancestor of modern vertebrates. The eel-shaped, slime-producing hagfish is a living fossil, remaining unchanged in its structure and habits for over 300 million...

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    An ancient, dolphin-like marine reptile resembles its distant relative in more than appearance, according to an international team of researchers that includes scientists from North Carolina State University and Sweden's Lund University. Molecular and microstructural analysis of a Stenopterygius ichthyosaur from the Jurassic (180 million years ago) reveals that these animals were most likely warm-blooded, had insulating blubber and...

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    Botryllus schlosseri, a marine invertebrate that lives in underwater colonies resembling fuzzy pinheads clinging to rocks, has a blood-forming system with uncanny similarities to that of humans, according to scientists at Stanford University. Under the microscope, a Botryllus colony looks like a bouquet of flowers, although in reality each “petal” is a separate organism with its own heart, gills, digestive system, brain and blood...

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    New research by an international team raises questions about the timing and nature of early interactions between indigenous people and Europeans in North America. A human face effigy from ceramic vessel from the Mantle site [Credit: Archaeological Services Inc./Andrea Carnevale]The European side of first contact with indigenous people and settlement in northeast North America is well known from European sources. Until now it's been...

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    What's a feast for the human eye may be a literal feast for microorganisms that colonize works of art, according to a new study in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Elisabetta Caselli of the University of Ferrara, Italy, and colleagues. The researchers characterized the microbial community on a 17th century painting and showed that while some microbes destroy such works of art, others might be employed to protect them. Carlo Bononi,...

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    Although helium is a rare element on Earth, it is ubiquitous in the Universe. It is, after hydrogen, the main component of stars and gaseous giant planets. Despite its abundance, helium was only detected recently in the atmosphere of a gaseous giant by an international team including astronomers from the University of Geneva (UNIGE), Switzerland. The team, this time led by Genevan researchers, has observed in detail and for the first...

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    "Super-Earths" and Neptune-sized planets could be forming around young stars in much greater numbers than scientists thought, new research by an international team of astronomers suggests. The Taurus Molecular Cloud, pictured here by ESA's Herschel Space Observatory, is a star-forming region about 450  light-years away. The image frame covers roughly 14 by 16 light-years and shows the glow of cosmic dust in the...

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    Paleontologists from Russia have described a new dinosaur, the Volgatitan. Seven of its vertebrae, which had remained in the ground for about 130 million years, were found on the banks of the Volga, not far from the village of Slantsevy Rudnik, five kilometers from Ulyanovsk. The study has been published in the latest issue of Biological Communications. Volgatitan simbirskiensis anterior caudal vertebra (holotype), in right lateral...

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