Friday, March 25, 2005

No posts yesterday since Blogger was being spastic most of the morning and then we were busy the remainder of the day.

First a Great Wall, now a Long Wall New Geophysic Studies on the Longest Wall of Ancient Iran

Archaeologists have innitiated a new series of geophysic studies in the immediate vicinity of the ancient wall of Gorgan, to uncover yet unknown architectural remains of the area.

The wall, located in the nothern province of Golestan is considered the longest historical wall of Iran, and the second longest in Asia after the world-famous ancient wall of China. Some believe that the two walls were built at the same period as fortifications against northern invaders.

NNEFTA?* Did Use of Free Trade Cause Neanderthal Extinction?

Economics-free trade may have contributed to the extinction of Neanderthals 30,000-40,000 years ago, according to a paper published in the “Journal of Economic Organization and Behavior.”

“After at least 200,000 years of eking out an existence in glacial Eurasia, the Neanderthal suddenly went extinct,” writes University of Wyoming economist Jason Shogren, along with colleagues Richard Horan of Michigan State University and Erwin Bulte from Tilburg University in the Netherlands. “Early modern humans arriving on the scene shortly before are suspected to have been the perpetrator, but exactly how they caused Neanderthal extinction is unknown.”

Creating a new kind of caveman economics in their published paper, they argue early modern humans were first to exploit the competitive edge gained from specialization and free trade. With more reliance on free trade, humans increased their activities in culture and technology, while simultaneously out-competing Neanderthals on their joint hunting grounds, the economists say.

This seems interesting in that it treats whole areas as functional bits of a whole rather than a large number of functionally redundant units, somewhat analogous to the switch from colonial organisms to those with true functional specializations.

* Non-Neanderthal Eurasian Free Trade Agreement

Ancient city of Pedasa to rise from the ruins

A plan has been initiated for new excavations in the ancient city of Pedasa, located eight kilometers from Bodrum in the small town of Konacık, reported the Doğan News Agency.

Pedasa was an important Leleg city located near Mt. Gökçeler that enjoyed its heyday between the 11th and sixth centuries B.C. and where a copper needle and various artifacts and jewelry dating back 3,000 years were found last year in a royal tomb.

Non-archaeological but still way cool Preserved soft tissue found in dinosaur bone

Scientists who had to break a dinosaur bone to remove it from its sandstone location say they have recovered 70-million-year-old soft tissue from inside the bone.

The find included what appear to be blood vessels, and possibly even cells, from a Tyrannosaurus Rex.

The material is currently being studied, and if scientists can isolate proteins from the material they may be able to learn new details of how dinosaurs lived, lead researcher Mary Higby Schweitzer of North Carolina State University said.

From what we've been reading on this it's not all that rare, except for large critters because paleontologists are somewhat loathe to bust up bones.