Archive for September, 2009

A recent find of Tyrannosaurs Gorgosaurus the smaller cousin of the T-Rex show that two Tyrannosaurs have been fighting each other in a fight of the giants. The Gorgosaurus was eight to nine meter long. The full report was published in the journal Lethaia. Tyrannosaurs fighting and biting each other aren’t uncommon. There are a couple of theories why they went on each other, it could have been males fighting for females, it could be a family quarrel or maybe a part of the mating ritual. The find consisted of a jaw with teeth burrowed in it.

The dinosaur died at the latest a couple of weeks after the bite because there was no healing around the wound. It can also be cannibalism if the dinosaur was dead and a scavenger came around and took a bite from the dinosaur. The teeth was snapped off which supports that the dinosaurs were alive and probably fighting. The teeth grew back within two years so the wounds have a bigger problem than loosing a tooth.

Read the full article here

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Hello everyone around the world!

I’m sorry for not posting much content to the blog today. I’ve been really superbusy today and will continue to be that the next couple of days. On Sunday I’ll hope to be more or less be running in full speed again.

It is my university studies of historical archaeology that takes a lot of time. So I can give you an example of what it can be like. At the moment we are currently working with a block in Lund. The point is that we cover and write a report on the history from the Stone Age until today and what has happened. We are also looking at things as social status, crafting, buildings, and what buildings that is important to preserve.

My group have the block known as Repslagaren in Lund in the southern part of Sweden. The name is connected to a factory during the 20th century which manufactured “ropes” of all kinds to boats etc. So far we have discovered that we have a church Saint Stephen. The first one was built in timber during 1050 AD and was demolished probably around 1110. Another church also to honor Saint Stephen built in stone this time which stood until the reformation. During the excavation in the 1970’s there was found over 2000 graves. We also have some metal crafting during the medieval period and later on we have gardens a high elementary school for girls as well as factory for making sugar. The sugar factory failed during the middle of the 19th century. It only succeed in making a badly smelling fluid.

It is really an interesting report to make and requires a lot of research and it is a good excercise. But to conclude were all the houses have been is quite hard to figure out because they are mentioned in written sources or sometimes seen in the archaeology. But due to the way the archaeology sometimes were handled 30-40 years ago much have been destroyed and was poorly documented. The report will be finished in the beginning of October.

Feel free to ask if you want to know more, I’ll maybe post more updates about it later on.

If you don’t have a place to live, or you are maybe a student looking for a place to live? Then check out the camper bike!

It is a three-wheeled bike with a house. Inside the house you have room for a tv, a couch some cupboards more or less everything you need in a home.

Otherwise try the camper kart where you could sleep in the cart. You just need some fantasy and some building skills to make yourself a really portable home.

Check out the site to know more of the portable living here

As a matter of fact 6 million of them. Stan Munro have been building famous landmarks as Angkor Wat, Big Ben and The Vatican for the last six years. It has taken 6 million toothpicks and 170 liters of glue. Normally he does them in scale 1:164. The most of the time spent is searching for technical drawings and photos and planning the work. It have taken from a day to six months to complete a building.

Stan is currently working on his models at the museum of Science and Technology in Syracuse in New York, United States.
He says if people can’t travel the world they should think they have seen the world when they have seen his models.

Picture from dailymail.co.uk

Italian and British archaeologists in Italy have unearthed a large country villa which they believe to be the birthplace of Vespasian, the Roman emperor who ordered the beginning of the “Colosseums” construction.

The 2,000 year old ruins were found about 80 miles northeast of Rome near Cittareale. Some of the rooms in the villa had floors covered with marble slabs which was being imported from different places within the Roman Empire. The villa which is 150 000 square feet is at the center of the ancient village of Falacrine which was Vespasians hometown.

One of the archaeologists says about the doubt other archaeologists have if it is really the birthplace of Vespasian: “Let’s say that we are pretty confident that this is the villa where Vespasian was born – also given the fact that there are no other possible hypothesis“. The archaeologists also  says “even though there are no inscriptions to attribute it for certain, the villa’s location and luxury make it likely it was Vespasian’s birthplace“.

In part of the statements I tend to do disagree with the archaeologist. I agree with it could be the birthplace and it is possible and maybe as well be likely since it is a large villa and seem to be rather exclusive. But for one thing is there any ancient texts that mentions Vespasian’s villa where he grew up? Or does the archaeologist just presume that since he later became the emperor he most have grown up in the biggest and richest villa in Falacrine? It might be possible but there could as well be other undiscovered villas in the area which are even larger and more exclusive even if it’s not likely. As an archaeologist you have to expect the unexpected!

The lack of inscriptions also makes it harder to connect it to Vespasian but even if there was one, I would be surprised if it said “this is the birthplace of Vespasian who later become Emperor of Rome”. But the worst thing is when the evidence is presented as that it is the birthplace because there are no other possible hypothesis I’m almost scared. That’s is just some bad rhetoric. You are just going in circles, “there are no evidence that is more plausible than mine so mine is the most plausible and automatically is the right one”. You shouldn’t say that as a scientist we are meant to have a critical eye on things.  It is just as plausible that he lived somewhere else. If you would have done a total excavation of the village and this was the biggest and most luxuries house it might be a bit more plausible since he probably was from quite a wealthy family to later become the Emperor of Rome.

As an archaeologist and scientist it is important to do two things, you must be critical of your own and others research but as well sometime you have to jump off the cliff and take a chance. Put your foot down and say” according to what we know at the moment we think this is x and y but it might change. But our current theory is the most likely in this moment in our opinion but needs more research and debate”. So I give cred to the archaeologists on this excavation to stand up and say we think this is the birthplace of Vespasian. It is a lot better to say that than it is just a big villa or even worse we don’t know and don’t have any theories whatsoever.

You could read the full article here and there is also a video from the excavation

It can be tricky but great fun to be an archaeologist and a scientist!

According to previously unseen records, Tolkien trained with the top-secret Government Code and Cypher School (GCCS) and this was just a few months before the Second World War began.

He spent three days at their London HQ in March 1939 and it was just 18 months after the publication of his first book the world famous The Hobbit.

But although he was ‘interested”, Tolkien who was a professor of English literature at Oxford University – declined a £500 a year offer to become a full-time recruit.

The reasons behind his decision are not known to us today.

Instead he went on to write the Lord of the Rings trilogy, one of the most popular and influential works in 20th-Century literature which later became world famous movies.

Tolkien’s involvement with the war effort was shown for the first time this week in a new exhibition at GCHQ, the new name for GCCS, the Government’s spy base in Cheltenham, Glos.

John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, or ‘JRR’ Tolkien as he became known, was among a selected few of intellectuals that was chosen  for service by the Foreign Office.

The GCCS began preparing for a second World War in the late 1930s, and quickly knew the importance of establishing a code breaking centre to defeat the German forces.

The director of GCCS, known only as ‘Alastair G Denniston’, drew up a list of 50 possible candidates ”earmarked for service” in the event of a war.

Tolkien, a professor of Anglo Saxon at Oxford from 1925 to 1945, and professor of English Language and Literature from 1945 to 1959, was suggested.

Tolkien and 12 others agreed to a ”tester” day at GCCS HQ in London, where he  received training in Scandinavian languages and Spanish.

He visited the base for three days between March 27th and March 29th 1939.

A record of his training carries the word ”keen” beside his name.

Those who passed the course, and agreed to sign-up, were offered an annual wage of £500 – the equivalent of around £50,000 today.

But Tolkien – who is assumed to have passed the course with flying colours – rejected the offer.

The exhibition opened in a museum at GCHQ HQ this week and will remain on show for the next few months.

It also includes documents from the First World War, and a range of captured Enigma machines, but the exhibition is not open to everyone, the museum is strictly only open for GCHQ’s 10,000 staff.

Read the full article here

Picture from Telegraph.co.uk

At the Blue Planet in Cheshire the zoological team have successfully breaded the rare called anableps. The fish originally comes from the rivers in South America. Their pupil are divided which do that they have four-eyes!

They can use one pair looking for food below or at the surface while the other pair looks out for predators. The zoological team hope they will have more babies and more females are pregnant. It is one of the most popular species at the aquarium. They give birth after about 8 weeks and are about 5 centimeters when born but grow quickly within eight months to become 15-20 cm.

They feed on insects and other invertebrates.

Read the full article here

Picture from the Telegraph.co.uk