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Tue, 17 Jan 2017
The World for People who Think



Ancient Egyptian cemeteries discovered near Aswan by Swedish archaeologists

© Handout/Reuters
Skeletal and animal remains are seen at one of the 12 newly discovered ancient Egyptian cemeteries.
Swedish archaeologists have unearthed a dozen burial sites near the southern city of Aswan that date back almost 3500 years to the New Kingdom era of ancient Egypt, the Antiquities Ministry said on Wednesday.

Human and animal remains were found in the cemeteries, which were discovered in the Gabal al-Silsila or Chain of Mountains area 65 km (40.3 miles) north of Aswan and would have been used during the reigns of pharaohs Thutmose III and Amenhotep II.

It is hoped the burial sites will help historians better understand ancient Egyptian healthcare and give a boost to Egypt's struggling tourism industry, which has been beset by political upheaval and militant attacks since the unseating of autocrat Hosni Mubarak in 2011.
© Reuters
An Egyptian pharaonic scarab is pictured at the site of one of dozen newly discovered ancient Egyptian cemeteries dating back to the New Kingdom era.
Some of the cemeteries were for animals and contain one or two chambers with either stone or clay coffins, or ones made of cartonnage, Mahmoud Afify, the ministry's head of Ancient Egyptian Antiquities, said in a statement. Totems and scorpions were also found.


Orangutan slaps tourist taking a selfie!

Jakarta -- A tourist traveling with friends in Indonesia captured their encounter with an initially-friendly orangutan that ended up slapping one of the men in the face.

The video, posted to YouTube by user RailGod, shows the group of men and their guides riding on a boat traveling down the Sekonyer river in the Borneo jungle.

"We came across a wild orangutan hanging over the river on our way to Camp Leakey, who joined us in the boat," the uploader wrote.

The orangutan appears unafraid of the humans and approaches them to receive some offered snacks. The primate appears content to take food from the hands and mouths of the men, but seems suddenly annoyed when one of the men attempts to take a selfie with it. The orangutan slaps the man in the face and quickly backs away from him.

"He just slapped me, like, right on the nose!" the uninjured man says through laughter. The orangutan hangs out at the back of the boat for a little longer before climbing back into the trees.


Archaeological find in Yukon, puts humans in North America 10,000 years earlier than thought

© Photo by Bourgeon et al
Cut marks in the jaw bone of a now-extinct Yukon horse serve as evidence that humans occupied the Bluefish Caves in Yukon, Canada, tens of thousands of years ago.
About 24,000 years ago, when much of North America was buried under the ice of the Last Glacial Maximum, a few hunters took shelter in a small cave above the Bluefish River in what is now northwestern Yukon. The hunters had killed a Yukon horse and were butchering it using super-sharp stone shards called microblades. As they sliced out the horse's meaty tongue, the microblades left distinctive cuts in its jaw bone. Millennia later, archaeologist and doctoral candidate Lauriane Bourgeon spotted those marks through her microscope at the University of Montreal and added the fragment of ancient jaw bone to her small selection of samples for radiocarbon dating.

The bones came from excavations led by archaeologist Jacques Cinq-Mars between 1977 and 1987 and have been in storage at the Canadian Museum of History in Gatineau, Quebec. At the time, Cinq-Mars and his team concluded that the Bluefish Caves showed evidence of occasional human use as much as 30,000 years ago. That is so much older than anything else found in the Americas that Cinq-Mars's conclusions were widely disputed, and the three small caves were largely left out of discussions about the peopling of the Americas.

Read more at Hakai Magazine


Dovekie seabird from the Arctic turns up in Bermuda

Dovekie (Little auk)
You thought the recent weather was cold by Bermuda's standards? This little auk probably thought so too.

The dovekie, right, which is related to puffins and breeds in Iceland and Greenland, was found at Ferry Point Park by a group of American students on a field trip.

According to birder Andrew Dobson, it is the first dovekie found on the island in almost 50 years, and was brought here by strong winds.

Temperatures on Monday had fallen to a near-record low of 53F (12C), with winds gusting at 37 knots.

© Annie Lee
Dovekie (Little auk)
The dovekie is the smallest member of the auk family in the North Atlantic.

A seabird, it breeds predominantly in high-arctic regions and it winters in massive numbers in the low-arctic and boreal waters of northeastern North America.


Dead whale found on East Lombok Beach, Indonesia

© ANTARA/Nyoman Budhiana
Photo document of whale stranded in Batu Tumpeng, Klungkung, Bali, on Monday (Jan. 14th, 2016).
A dead whale was found stranded on Seriwe Beach in Jerowaru Sub-district, East Lombok District, West Nusa Tenggara Province.

"The dead whale was found by the local fishermen on Thursday," Senior Adjunct Commissioner, Dewa Wijaya of the West Nusa Tenggara Police stated here, Friday.

The whale, weighing four tons, was 10 meters long, and its diameter was one meter.

He believed that the whale was rather old, so it was easily washed ashore by the waves.


Killer whale found dead on island in Shetland, Scotland

© SNH Shetland/Smass
Dead orca: Marine experts hope to study corpse.
A killer whale has washed up dead on a small island off mainland Shetland.

The orca was discovered on the shoreline of the uninhabited island of Linga on Thursday.

Scientists hope to study the corpse to learn more about orcas living in Scottish waters.

The Scottish Marine Animal Strandings Scheme (Smass) said the island's remoteness could make that difficult.

A spokesman said: "The whale is in a fresh condition and Smass is going to attempt to get to the island to do a necropsy and hopefully establish the cause of death.


Boy suffers facial injuries in mauling by family pit bull; grandmother and mother injured in Warren, Michigan

A grandmother, a mother and a 3-year-old boy were mauled by a pit bull Friday morning before officers arrived and killed the dog in Warren.

The attack happened at about 11 a.m. in the 21000 block of Louge Avenue.

According to Warren police, the family's dog attacked the 3-year-old boy and caused serious facial injuries.

The 47-year-old grandmother tried to take the pit bull off the boy and the dog attacked her, biting her arms. The child's mother stepped in and she was bit in the arm.

Bizarro Earth

Sheep attacks the shepherd after being startled by passing car

© enes asm/YouTube
In an incredible animal challenge to human authority, a sheep uncharacteristically went rogue and revolted against its shepherd in a vicious attack that was caught by the dashcam of a nearby motorist.

The shepherd was rammed no fewer than three times by the aggressive animal who took the opportunity to pounce when the rest of the flock was startled by a passing car.

In the footage, the shepherd can be seen calmly herding the flock along a picturesque mountain road when a passing car sends the animals into complete disarray.


Teenage surfer stable following shark attack at Ballina, Australia

A teenage surfer was in stable condition after he was bitten by a shark Monday at the same Australian beach where a Japanese surfer was fatally mauled last year, officials said.

Cooper Allen, a 17-year-old high school student, was surfing with friends on the first day of the students' spring vacation when he was attacked off Ballina's Lighthouse Beach at midmorning, Ballina Mayor David Wright said.

The shark struck from behind and bit across the board's fins as the boy lay on the board paddling. The shark's lower jaw tore into the fiberglass as its upper teeth clamped his right hip and thigh, Wright said.

"The shark lacerated his leg in three or four places fairly deep," Wright said. "Luckily the lifeguards were on duty and got down there quickly."


Dead minke whale washes ashore in Flushing Bay, New York

Dead minke whale washes ashore in Flushing bay
A dead whale washed ashore in Flushing Bay Thursday afternoon.

The 15-foot minke whale is at the end of the LaGuardia Airport runway near the 'Welcome to New York' sign.

There is no word yet on how the whale died.

It was discovered on the embankment leading up to runway 1331, one of two intersecting runways at LaGuardia.

The Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation says it is providing support to airport personnel as they determine the options for removing the mammal without disrupting flight operations.

The foundation wants the opportunity to examine the whale.