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Sherlock

Lake Ontario - Ancient 'New York City' of Canada Discovered

Today New York City is the Big Apple of the Northeast but new research reveals that 500 years ago, at a time when Europeans were just beginning to visit the New World, a settlement on the north shore of Lake Ontario, in Canada, was the biggest, most complex, cosmopolitan place in the region.
© Unknown
A model of a longhouse at the Royal Ontario Museum.
Occupied between roughly A.D. 1500 and 1530, the so-called Mantle site was settled by the Wendat (Huron). Excavations at the site, between 2003 and 2005, have uncovered its 98 longhouses, a palisade of three rows (a fence made of heavy wooden stakes and used for defense) and about 200,000 artifacts. Dozens of examples of art have been unearthed showing haunting human faces and depictions of animals, with analysis ongoing.
Igloo

Tree-rings prove climate was warmer in Roman and Medieval times than it is now - and world has been cooling for 2,000 years

© Unknown
The annual growth rings in trees are the most important witnesses over the past 1,000 to 2,000 years as they indicate how warm and cool past climate conditions were.
Rings in fossilised pine trees have proven that the world was much warmer than previously thought - and the earth has been slowly COOLING for 2,000 years. Measurements stretching back to 138BC prove that the Earth is slowly cooling due to changes in the distance between the Earth and the sun. The finding may force scientists to rethink current theories of the impact of global warming.

It is the first time that researchers have been able to accurately measure trends in global temperature over the last two millennia.

Over that time, the world has been getting cooler - and previous estimates, used as the basis for current climate science, are wrong.

Their findings demonstrate that this trend involves a cooling of -0.3°C per millennium due to gradual changes to the position of the sun and an increase in the distance between the Earth and the sun.

'This figure we calculated may not seem particularly significant,' says Esper, 'however, it is also not negligible when compared to global warming, which up to now has been less than 1°C.

Comment: Here is a fascinating read on the subject of climate change: Fire and Ice: The Day After Tomorrow

Sherlock

19th Century Shipwreck Becomes A Buried Time Capsule

Australian archaeologists have transformed the wreck of a 16 meter colonial ship - the Clarence - into a buried 'time capsule'.

© Heritage Victoria
Divers on the Clarence shipwreck
According to the University of Western Australia (UWA), the Clarence sank in five meters of water and was declared a protected zone in 1985, prohibiting access by divers and anglers. The site remained popular with local anglers whose anchors and fishing equipment had been damaging the site for decades.

"Constructed of native timbers in New South Wales in 1841, Clarence is one of the best examples of small early colonial-built vessels," said Prof Peter Veth of UWA, who led the conservation and reburial of the wreck.
Sherlock

Powerful Scanning Equipment Helps Reveal Secrets of Roman Coins

British archaeologists and engineers have collaborated to examine buried Roman coins using the latest X-ray imaging technology. Originally designed for the analysis of substantial engineering parts, such as jet turbine blades, the powerful scanning equipment at the University of Southampton's µ-VIS Center for Computed Tomography is being used to examine Roman coins buried in three archaeological artifacts from three hoards in the United Kingdom.

© University of Southampton
Computer rendered image of the coins extracted from the CT data scan of the complete pot from the Selby Area Hoard
The equipment can scan inside objects - rotating 360 degrees whilst taking thousands of 2D images, which are then used to build detailed 3D images.

In the case of the coins, the exceptionally high energy/high resolution combination of the Southampton facilities allows them to be examined in intricate detail without the need for physical excavation or cleaning. For those recently scanned at Southampton, it has been possible to use 3D computer visualization capabilities to read inscriptions and identify depictions of emperors on the faces of the coins - for example on some, the heads of Claudius II and Tetricus I have been revealed.
Blackbox

'Rightful king of England' dies: Aussie forklift truck driver's ancestors were 'cheated out of crown'

Rightful King of England

The king and I: Michael Hastings posing in front of a portrait of a relative in his home town of Jerilderie
Mike Hastings became a household name after TV researchers revealed his family was cheated out of the crown in the 15th century.

An Aussie forklift driver believed by some historians to be the rightful King of England has died, aged 71.

Mike Hastings became a household name after TV researchers revealed his family was cheated out of the crown in the 15th century.

A Channel 4 team found documents suggesting Edward IV was illegitimate, so his younger brother George, the Duke of Clarence and Mike's ancestor, should have been king.

It said that Edward's father Richard of York was fighting the French at Pontoise when he was conceived, while his mother Cecily was 125 miles away at Rouen, allegedly in the amorous arms of an English archer.

If true, the crown should have passed on to Edward's younger brother George, the duke of Clarence, who was a direct ancestor to Hastings.
Magnify

Ancient Mosaic Depicting Fiery Bible Story Discovered

© Jim Haberman
A mosaic inscription about rewards for those who do good deeds.
A glittering mosaic of colored stones once decorated an ancient synagogue floor with scenes of the Biblical hero Samson getting revenge on the Philistines.

This newly excavated discovery in the ancient Jewish village of Huqoq not only depicts an unusual scene - Samson tying torches to foxes' tails in order to burn his enemies' crops - it's also remarkably high-quality, said dig archaeologist Jodi Magness of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

In a mosaic, "the smaller the cubes, the finer the work," Magness told LiveScience. "Our cubes are very small and fine."

The mosaic decorates part of a synagogue dating back to about A.D. 400 to 500. So far, Magness and her team have excavated only part of the eastern wall of the structure, so they don't yet know how big the synagogue was. But the building appears to be made of large, "beautifully cut" blocks of stone, Magness said, suggesting an expansive structure.
Question

"Frankenstein" Bog Mummies Discovered in Scotland

Combo Mummy
© Mike Parker Pearson, University of Sheffield
A female Bronze Age mummy from Cladh Hallan is a composite of different skeletons.
In a "eureka" moment worthy of Dr. Frankenstein, scientists have discovered that two 3,000-year-old Scottish "bog bodies" are actually made from the remains of six people.

According to new isotopic dating and DNA experiments, the mummies - a male and a female - were assembled from various body parts, although the purpose of the gruesome composites is likely lost to history.

The mummies were discovered more than a decade ago below the remnants of 11th-century houses at Cladh Hallan, a prehistoric village on the island of South Uist (map), off the coast of Scotland.

The bodies had been buried in the fetal position 300 to 600 years after death. (See bog body pictures.)

Based on the condition and structures of the skeletons, scientists had previously determined that the bodies had been placed in a peat bog just long enough to preserve them and then removed. The skeletons were then reburied hundreds of years later.

Terry Brown, a professor of biomedical archaeology at the University of Manchester, said there were clues that these bog bodies were more than they seemed.

On the female skeleton, "the jaw didn't fit into the rest of the skull," he said. "So Mike [Parker Pearson, of Sheffield University] came and said, Could we try to work it out through DNA testing?"

Brown sampled DNA from the female skeleton's jawbone, skull, arm, and leg. The results show that bones came from different people, none of whom even shared the same mother, he said.

The female is made from body parts that date to around the same time period. But isotopic dating showed that the male mummy is made from people who died a few hundred years apart.
Wine

China's earliest wine unearthed in NW tomb

China's earliest wine

Xi'An, (Xinhua) -- Liquid inside an ancient wine vessel unearthed in Shaanxi province is considered to be the earliest wine in China's history, archaeologists told Xinhua Thursday.

The wine vessel made of bronze was unearthed in a noble's tomb of the West Zhou Dynasty (1046 BC - 771 BC) in Shigushan Mountain in Baoji city.

The liquid is likely the oldest wine discovered in China, said Liu Jun, director of Baoji Archaeology Institute, who is in charge of the project.

The vessel, one of the six discovered in the tomb, could be heard to contain a liquid when it was shaken, Liu said.

However, the cover of the vessel was pretty solid and there was no appropriate tools to open it at the excavation site, so the liquid remains a mystery, he said.
Sherlock

'Britain's Atlantis' found at bottom of North sea - a huge undersea world swallowed by the sea in 6500BC

'Britain's Atlantis' - a hidden underwater world swallowed by the North Sea - has been discovered by divers working with science teams from the University of St Andrews.

Doggerland, a huge area of dry land that stretched from Scotland to Denmark was slowly submerged by water between 18,000 BC and 5,500 BC.

Divers from oil companies have found remains of a 'drowned world' with a population of tens of thousands - which might once have been the 'real heartland' of Europe.

A team of climatologists, archaeologists and geophysicists has now mapped the area using new data from oil companies - and revealed the full extent of a 'lost land' once roamed by mammoths.

© St Andrews University
Divers from St Andrews University, find remains of Doggerland, the underwater country dubbed 'Britain's Atlantis

Comment: Well that pretty much throws uniformitarianism out the window. If an entire landmass can be suddenly submerged just a few thousand years ago, we can say goodbye to everything we think know about how earth changes happen. Maybe scientists will finally embrace the reality of cyclical catastrophism?

(We're not holding our breath)

Question

Secrets of Cemetery of Giant Rocks

Vietnam Cemetary_1
© VietNam Net
From a distance, one can see giant rocks of several tons in weight in Dong Thech cemetery. However, nobody understands why ancient people moved these rocks to this site, and how they could do that task.

Mr. Bui Minh Loi, a former official of Vinh Dong commune, in charge of culture affairs, has taken care of the giant rocks since he retired ten years ago. Loi witnessed a dozen of excavations, conducted by Vietnamese and international experts, at the cemetery but he did not know clearly about the cemetery. He only knows legendaries about it.

According to legends, this canyon, named Dong Thech is in dragon mouth shape. The canyon is surrounded by mountain ranges in the shape of a rolling dragon and a sitting tiger. Geomancers said that this canyon was very good in feng shui, so mandarins of Muong ethnic group buried their ancestors in the canyon.

The cemetery fell into oblivion after several centuries and it was covered by the jungle. When Loi was a boy, this area was the home to wild animals only. Muong people believe that this is the land of god so nobody dared to come to this land, except for ba moi (magicians of Muong people).

Each Muong village has a ba moi, who has great power and worships Hung Kings, Vietnam's ancestors. Ba moi used to go to the cemetery during holidays to make rituals and Muong people believed that after that their power developed.

Loi showed Chinese scripts on a rock of three meters high and said that he could not read them but he had a transcript by experts. These scripts mean: Mr. Dinh Cong Ky, the head of Muong tribe in Muong Dong. He was born in 1582 and died on October 13, 1647. He was carried to this cemetery on February 22 by 15 funeral hearses, 7 elephants and five horses. The funeral of this man is solemn like the funeral of a king.
Vietnam Cemetary_3
© VietNam Net
Local mandarins, their wives and children were also buried in this cemetery.
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