Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Acrobat's last tumble
crobats apparently ranked high enough in Nagar’s social sphere to serve as sacrificial offerings, the researchers report in the June Antiquity. Cuneiform texts from Ebla, a nearby site from the same time period, refer to individuals from Nagar known as húb. Scholars have variously defined húb as a term for acrobats, jugglers or horsemen.

An analysis of the most complete human skeleton found in the Nagar structure supports a translation of húb as acrobats, Oates says. The specimen’s leg, foot and toe bones display signs of enlarged muscles and energetic activity associated with acrobatics, her team finds.