Nerd Stuff
spaceexp:

An Astronaut in the ISS observing airglow, the very weak emission of light by a planetary atmosphere.

spaceexp:

An Astronaut in the ISS observing airglow, the very weak emission of light by a planetary atmosphere.

Museum rediscovers ancient skeleton in storage

archaeologicalnews:

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An archaeology museum in Philadelphia has made an extraordinary find—in its own storage rooms.

The Penn Museum, part of the University of Pennsylvania, announced Tuesday that it had rediscovered a 6,500-year-old human skeleton believed to have been a man at least 50 who stood 5 feet, 9 inches (1.75 meters) tall. The remains were originally excavated from southern Iraq around 1930.

Museum officials said the complete human skeleton had been stored in a coffin-like box but with no trace of identifying documentation.

Skeletons of the same time period, particularly complete remains, are extremely rare, the Penn researchers said. They hope a skeletal analysis will reveal more about the population’s diet, stresses and ancestral origins. Read more.

New Nazca Lines geoglyphs uncovered by gales and sandstorms in Peru

archaeologicalnews:

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High winds and sandstorms in Peru have revealed previously undiscovered geoglyphs in the ancient Nazca Lines.

Eduardo Herrán Gómez de la Torre, a pilot and researcher, found the new shapes while flying over the desert last week, El Comercio reported.

He believes one of the geoglyphs depicts a snake 60 metres long and 4 metres wide, near the famous “hummingbird”.

A bird, camelids (possibly llamas) and a zig zag line are among the lines found etched into the ground on hills in the El Ingenio Valley and Pampas de Jumana. Read more.

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Scientists solve 2000-year-old mystery of the binding media in China’s polychrome Terracotta Army

archaeologicalnews:

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Even as he conquered rival kingdoms to create the first united Chinese empire in 221 B.C., China’s First Emperor Qin Shihuang ordered the building of a glorious underground palace complex, mirroring his imperial capital near present-day Xi’an, that would last for an eternity.

To protect his underworld palaces, the First Emperor issued instructions that his imperial guard be replicated, down to the finest details, in red-brown terracotta clay, poised to do battle. Thousands of these imperial guards were initially discovered in 1974; some contained patches of pigment that had survived 22 centuries buried underground, along with minute remnants of binding media that had aided in the creation of this polychrome Terracotta Army.

Efforts to conserve, and perhaps even restore, these remarkable examples of sculpture in the round from the first empire have been hampered by the failure of a series of scientific experiments to pinpoint the binding material used in applying pigments to Qin Shihuang’s underground army. Read more.

Merovingian Necropolis Reveals 300 Graves

archaeologicalnews:

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A team of archaeologists working on a site at Saint-Aubin-des-Champs in France have discovered the remains of a Merovingian necropolis dating to the 5th -7th centuries AD.

The excavations, which began in mid-March 2014, confirmed the importance of the initial 2013 evaluation, with the uncovering of a complete burial ground containing more than 300 graves, some of which contain rich grave goods. The study of this site involves several specialisms, including ceramics, glass and metal.

The graves were found at a variety of depths with some up to 1.50 m deep. Each burial contained the deceased once contained within a wooden coffin, now completely rotted away. Read more.

Major archaeological discovery unveiled

archaeologicalnews:

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SEBASTIAN — Searching around undersea boulders, shipwreck salvager Eric Schmitt spotted a glint of gold beneath a heap of shells, sand and stones on the ocean floor.

Then Schmitt started hollering expletives of surprise and joy — underwater.

With his right thumb and pointer finger, the scuba diver gently pulled out the back half of a gold filigree pendant. The high-karat religious artifact was lost when a doomed Spanish treasure ship sank in a fierce hurricane in 1715 off the coast of modern-day Fort Pierce. Read more.

Google brings 76 more India heritage sites and rare archives online

archaeologicalnews:

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After Taj Mahal and Humayun Tomb, Google and Archaeological Survey of India together have now brought online 360-degree panoramic imagery of 76 more Indian heritage sites and 30 new immersive exhibitions of arts and historical institutions from across India. The new historical sites include the Safdarjung Tomb, Ellora Caves, and Purana Quila, a statement released here said.

These panoramas, collected using Street View technology, are available for viewing on the Google Cultural Institute site. The Google Cultural Institute, an initiative by the search giant, in an effort to make important cultural material available and accessible to everyone and to digitally preserve it to educate and inspire future generations. Read more.

dezeen:

The “first man-made biological leaf” could enable humans to colonise space»
Orkney dig dispels caveman image of ancestors

archaeologicalnews:

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THE image of our Neolithic ancestors as simple souls carving out a primitive existence has been dispelled.

A groundbreaking excavation of a 5,000-year-old temple complex in Orkney has uncovered evidence to suggest that prehistoric people were a great deal more sophisticated than previously thought.

The archaeological dig at the Ness of Brodgar, which is still in its early stages, has already thrown up discoveries that archaeologists say will force us to re-evaluate our understanding of how our ancestors lived.

The picture that has emerged so far points to a complex and capable society that displayed impeccable workmanship and created an integrated landscape. Read more.