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  • #46
    ‘Frozen’ alligators stick noses through ice to survive in Oklahoma


    Alligators in Oklahoma went into a deep freeze as frigid, icy temperatures plagued much of the central and eastern United States.

    Wildlife photographer David Arbour captured stunning photos of several alligators poking their snouts through the ice to breathe at the Red Slough Wildlife Management Area this week.

    While the alligators may appear to be dead, scientists say they’re not. It’s a survival technique alligators use when the water starts to freeze.

    Adam E. Rosenblatt, a biology professor at the University of North Florida, tells Science Alert that when the alligators go under, they enter what's called "brumation"—a hibernation-like state for reptiles. Their bodies almost entirely shut down and all they need to do is breathe. Basically, the ice sticks to their snouts, locking them in place while their bodies dangle below the surface.

    "They basically shut down their metabolism. They don't need to eat because they're not burning a lot of energy," Rosenblatt said. "They slow down their heart rate, their digestive system, and they just sit there and wait out the cold weather. It's a pretty amazing adaptation.": https://www.fox5ny.com/news/frozen-a...ve-in-oklahoma


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    • #47
      First-ever 'space hurricane' detected over the North Pole


      For the first time, astronomers have detected a powerful, 600-mile-wide (1,000 kilometers) hurricane of plasma in Earth's upper atmosphere — a phenomenon they're calling a "space hurricane."

      The space hurricane raged for nearly 8 hours on Aug. 20, 2014, swirling hundreds of miles above Earth's magnetic North Pole, according to a study published Feb. 22 in the journal Nature Communications.

      Made from a tangled mess of magnetic field lines and fast-flying solar wind, the hurricane was invisible to the naked eye — however, four weather satellites that passed over the North Pole detected a formation not unlike a typical terrestrial hurricane, the study authors wrote. The space hurricane was shaped like a funnel with a quiet "eye" at the center, surrounded by several counterclockwise-spinning spiral arms of plasma (ionized gas found all over the solar system, including in Earth's atmosphere).

      Instead of raining water, the space hurricane rained electrons directly into Earth's upper atmosphere.

      "Until now, it was uncertain that space plasma hurricanes even existed, so to prove this with such a striking observation is incredible," study co-author Mike Lockwood, space scientist at the University of Reading in the U.K., said in a statement. "Tropical storms are associated with huge amounts of energy, and these space hurricanes must be created by unusually large and rapid transfer of solar wind energy and charged particles into the Earth's upper atmosphere.": https://www.space.com/space-hurricane-over-north-pole - https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-021-21459-y
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      • #48
        Storms Reveal Two Historic Shipwrecks on England’s Eastern Coast

        Winter storms on England’s Suffolk coast have uncovered the wrecks of two ships possibly dated to the 18th century or earlier, reports Katy Sandalls for the East Anglian Daily Times.

        “It was really nice to go and look at,” he tells the East Anglian. “It was quite impressive.”

        The remains of the ship’s hull are held together largely with wooden treenails, a type of fastening pin used between the 13th and 19th centuries, according to BBC News. Traces of the vessel were first uncovered three years ago but were subsequently hidden again by shifting sand and pebbles.

        Storms also revealed a portion of a second ship, similarly secured with trenails, at Thorpeness, about 20 miles south of Covehithe. As Sandalls writes in a separate article for the East Anglian Daily Times, Nicholas Mellor, the heritage conservation specialist who stumbled onto the Thorpeness wreck, initially assumed that the debris was driftwood. When he took a closer look, however, Mellor realized that it was part of a larger structure.

        “It’s got the curve of a large boat,” he tells the East Anglian. “It’s built incredibly solidly.”

        Mellor adds that the ship was likely either a warship or a collier, a type of bulk cargo ship that carried coal.

        So far, Covid-19 restrictions have prevented coastal archaeologists from visiting the wrecks to learn more about them. But Andy Sherman, discovery officer for the Coastal and Intertidal Zone Archaeological Network (CITiZAN), tells BBC News that photographs shared by the public have offered a “tantalizing glimpse” of the ships.

        “It’s very exciting to see,” he says. “Hopefully they will still be there in three or four months so that we can do further investigations.”

        Based on available photographs, Sherman has confirmed that the Thorpeness vessel was held together with treenails. He says that the ship may have been made with an unusual technique employed by builders in the late 16th and early 17th centuries.

        “It’s difficult to tell from the photographs but this section of wreck appears to have double hull planking, which could be really exciting,” Sherman explains to BBC News. “This makes the vessel slightly more buoyant on one side and is really, really rare. Although the technique is known from historical writings there is only one well-known example in the U.K. archaeological record.”

        The discovery at Thorpeness has attracted much public interest, with almost 300 people tuning in to a March 4 online discussion organized by Mellor and 4D Heritage.

        According to BBC News, Mark Horton, an archaeologist at the Royal Agricultural University who took part in the event, suspects that the wreck is probably an 18th-century collier similar to the H.M.S. Endeavour.

        Sailed by James Cook on his 1768–1771 voyage to the South Pacific, the Endeavour was initially designed as a coal carrier. Cook and his crew adapted it for the journey, which ostensibly took them to New Zealand and Australia on a scientific expedition but also involved a secret mission: asserting Britain’s imperialist presence in the region, as Lorraine Boissoneault wrote for Smithsonian magazine in 2018. The Endeavour eventually made its way to the United States, where it sank off the coast of Rhode Island in 1778.

        No known colliers survive today, says Horton to BBC News, so the newly discovered shipwreck could yield important findings about this type of vessel.

        Mike Tupper, managing director of the International Boatbuilding Training College Lowestoft, is among the individuals who have visited the Thorpeness wreck in person. He tells BBC News that “the sheer size of it blew my mind.” The ship’s topside—constructed out of oak timbers—appears to have measured between 100 and 150 feet long, he adds.

        “If we can identify the species of oak, we’ll have a good idea of where it was made because back-in-the day, trees of this size—at least 150 years old—would not have been moved far as they were so heavy,” Tupper says.

        Like the Thorpeness ship, the wreck at Covehithe will have to wait for pandemic restrictions to be lifted before experts can fully analyze it. The vessel appears to sport thin metal sheathing plates that could be used to date it.

        Might have been a good storm for some: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart...ast-180977188/

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        • #49
          Researchers discover a dinosaur preserved sitting on a nest of eggs with fossilized embryos



          Scientists are celebrating the first discovery of a dinosaur preserved while sitting on a nest of eggs with fossilized embryos, including at least three that were visible.

          The oviraptorosaur fossil was uncovered from rocks that are 70 million years old in Ganzhou City, China, the Carnegie Museum of Natural History (CMNH) said in a news release in January.

          Oviraptorosaurs were part of a diverse group of feathered, bird-like dinosaurs that lived during the Cretaceous period.

          "Dinosaurs preserved on their nests are rare, and so are fossil embryos. This is the first time a non-avian dinosaur has been found sitting on a nest of eggs that preserve embryos, in a single spectacular specimen," said Shundong Bi, a CMNH researcher and professor at the Indiana University of Pennsylvania, in the release. Bi and Xing Xu, a professor at Chinese Academy of Sciences, were the primary authors of a paper announcing the discovery in Science Bulletin.

          The fossil of what is believed to be an adult oviraptorid can be seen hunched over 24 eggs or more, at least seven of which preserved the bones of the partial embryos found inside, the researchers said in the journal.

          Some of the embryos in the eggs were visible as well the "forearms, pelvis, hind limbs, and partial tail of the adult," CMNH said.: https://www.cnn.com/2021/03/13/world...rnd/index.html - https://www.sciencedirect.com/scienc...635?via%3Dihub - https://carnegiemnh.org/press/resear...ilized-babies/

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          • #50
            New piece of Dead Sea Scrolls jigsaw discovered after 60 years



            Israeli archaeologists racing against treasure hunters to search caves near the Dead Sea have discovered a trove of artefacts, including fragments of a biblical text, the like of which has not been seen for decades.

            The finds, preserved by the hot, dry air of the Judean desert, also include the 6,000-year-old partly mummified skeleton of a child, and a perfectly intact, finely woven basket dating back 10,500 years that the Israel Antiquities Authority said on Tuesday was likely to be the oldest in the world.

            The Authority has overseen a survey of more than 100 km (65 miles) of cliffs and the caves carved or eroded into them.

            The fragments of parchment, about 2,000 years old, bear biblical verse, written in Greek, and match a scroll discovered about 60 years ago called the "Book of the 12 Minor Prophets".

            That scroll is one of a trove of ancient Jewish texts called the Dead Sea Scrolls that were found in 1947 by local Bedouin in the caves of Qumran, about 20 km east of Jerusalem.

            The collection, which has come to include texts discovered elsewhere along the western shore of the Dead Sea, provided a window into Jewish society and religion before and after the time of Jesus.

            A flurry of exploration followed their discovery but the search eventually petered out - until recently, when new pieces of scrolls and parchment appeared on the black market.

            The likelihood that antiquities robbers had found a new trove spurred the Authority into action.

            Since 2017, crews have been abseiling down marl and limestone cliffs and using drones to map hundreds of caves and hollows.

            Many were filled with centuries of sand and debris, and about a dozen thought to be likely hiding places were excavated fully.

            The new fragments of manuscript were found in the "Cave of Horror", which years ago yielded up the 1,900-year-old skeletons of Jewish rebels who had fought against the Roman Empire.

            "These are new pieces of the puzzle and we can add them to our greater picture of the period and of the text," said Oren Ableman of the Antiquities Authority's Dead Sea Scrolls Unit.

            "Even though these pieces are small, they did give us some new information that we did not know before."

            The fragments allowed the reconstruction of 11 lines of text, and provided insight into the parchment the text is written on.: https://www.reuters.com/article/isra...-idUSKBN2B82H0
            Last edited by S Landreth; 03-19-2021, 05:35 PM.
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            • #51
              World’s Largest Painting Sells for $62 M. at Dubai Auction


              At 17,000 square feet, Sacha Jafri’s The Journey of Humanity (2020), an abstraction featuring drips, whorls, and splatters of various hues, is the world’s largest painting, as certified by the Guinness Book of World Records. This week, the grand canvas was sold for a fittingly epic price at an auction in Dubai.

              On Tuesday, The Journey of Humanity sold for $62 million at an auction held at Atlantis, The Palm hotel. The sale puts it among the most expensive artworks by a living artist ever sold at auction, and it is not far behind behind a $69 million Beeple NFT piece that sold at Christie’s earlier this month.

              Jafri’s plan had initially been to slice up the painting and sell it in 60 segments to raise $30 million to support “global digital equality.” Those paintings were intended to have been sold in four auctions.

              But the work instead ultimately sold as one, and it went to Andre Abdoune, chief executive of Altius Gestion International Holding, according to the Emirati outlet National. The proceeds will go a variety of organizations, including UNICEF, UNESCO, the U.A.E.’s Ministry of Education, and the Global Gift Foundation.

              Jafri, who has not previously had a major presence at auction, painted The Journey of Humanity over the course of several months last year at the Atlantis. The resulting canvas includes more than 300 layers of paint and is the size of two football fields. He has previously sold his art to benefit charitable organizations, with actress Eva Longoria, musician Paul McCartney, and former U.S. President Barack Obama reportedly among his buyers.: https://www.artnews.com/art-news/new...on-1234587531/

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              • #52
                Rare Superman comic sells for record $3.25 million



                One of the few copies of the comic book that introduced Superman to the world has sold for a super-sized, record-setting price.

                The issue of Action Comics #1 went for $3.25 million in a private sale, ComicConnect.com, an online auction and consignment company, announced Tuesday.

                It narrowly bested the previous record for the comic, set in the auction of another copy in 2014 for slightly over $3.2 million.

                The comic, published in 1938, “really is the beginning of the superhero genre,” said ComicConnect.com COO Vincent Zurzolo, who brokered the sale.

                It told readers about the origins of Superman, how he came to Earth from another planet and went by Clark Kent.

                The seller of this particular issue bought the comic in 2018 for slightly more than $2 million.

                Zurzolo said that while there were hundreds of thousands of copies initially published, it’s estimated only about 100 exist today, and in varying conditions. He said this copy is among the best-kept ones.

                “There’s no comic book that you could value higher in terms of a comic book than Action Comics #1,” he said.: https://www.cnbc.com/2021/04/06/rare...5-million.html

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                • #53
                  Rachael Blackmore makes history with Grand National win on Minella Times


                  Rachael Blackmore made Grand National history by becoming the first female jockey to win the race as she steered Minella Times across the finishing line at Aintree on Saturday.

                  The Irishwoman, who became the first female leading jockey at the Cheltenham Festival last month, timed her finish to perfection as Minella Times surged ahead after the 30th and final fence.

                  Minella Times, priced at 11-1, never looked threatened in the charge to the finish 100-1 shot Balko Des Flos coming second and Any Second Now in third place.

                  The closest a female jockey had previously come to winning the most famous steeplechase in the world was Katie Walsh on Seabass in 2012 when she finished third.

                  "I cannot believe it," Blackmore said. "He was a sensational spin. I'm so lucky to be riding. It is unbelievable.

                  "He was just incredible and jumped beautifully. I tried to wait as long as I could. When I jumped the last and asked him for a bit, he was there.

                  "I don't feel male or female right now, I don't even feel human. This is just unbelievable."

                  Favourite Cloth Cap, ridden by Tom Scudamore, pulled up at the third last fence.

                  This year's race took place in front of empty stands because of COVID-19 restrictions.

                  Female jockeys have only been allowed to enter and race in the National since 1975, when the Sex Discrimination Act was passed. Blackmore is the 20th female jockey to compete in the race.: https://www.espn.com/horse-racing/st...-win-minella-s

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                  • #54
                    2.5 billion T. rex roamed Earth, but not all at once, study finds



                    One Tyrannosaurus rex seems scary enough. Now picture 2.5 billion of them. That’s how many of the fierce dinosaur king probably roamed Earth over the course of a couple million years, a new study finds.

                    Using calculations based on body size, sexual maturity and the creatures’ energy needs, a team at the University of California, Berkeley figured out just how many T. rex lived over 127,000 generations, according to a study in Thursday’s journal Science. It’s a first-of-its-kind number, but just an estimate with a margin of error that is the size of a T. rex.

                    “That’s a lot of jaws,” said study lead author Charles Marshall, director of the University of California Museum of Paleontology. “That’s a lot of teeth. That’s a lot of claws.”

                    The species roamed North America for about 1.2 million to 3.6 million years, meaning the T. rex population density was small at any one moment. There would be about two in a place the size of the Washington, D.C., or 3,800 in California, the study said.

                    “Probably like a lot of people, I literally did a double-take to make sure that my eyes hadn’t deceived me when I first read that 2.5 billion T. rexes have ever lived,” said Macalester College paleobiologist Kristi Curry Rogers, who wasn’t part of the study.

                    Marshall said the estimate helps scientists figure the preservation rate of T. rex fossils and underscores how lucky the world is to know about them at all. About 100 or so T. rex fossils have been found — 32 of them with enough material to figure they are adults. If there were 2.5 million T. rex instead of 2.5 billion, we would probably have never known they existed, he said.

                    Marshall’s team calculated the population by using a general biology rule of thumb that says the bigger the animal, the less dense its population. Then they added estimates of how much energy the carnivorous T. rex needed to stay alive — somewhere between a Komodo dragon and a lion. The more energy required, the less dense the population. They also factored in that the T. rex reached sexual maturity somewhere around 14 to 17 years old and lived at most 28 years.

                    Given uncertainties in the creatures’ generation length, range and how long they roamed, the Berkeley team said the total population could be as little as 140 million or as much as 42 billion with 2.4 billion as the middle value.

                    The science about the biggest land-living carnivores of all time is important, “but the truth, as I see it, is that this kind of thing is just very cool,” said Purdue University geology professor James Farlow.: https://www.nbcnews.com/science/weir...-finds-rcna694

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                    • #55
                      Las Vegas couple finds bones potentially dating back to Ice Age in their backyard

                      When Matt Perkins and his husband moved from Washington state to Las Vegas, finding bones potentially dating back to the Ice Age weren't quite on their bingo card — they just wanted a pool.

                      “Monday morning we woke up [and] the pool guy said he was going to come to check out the pool," Perkins told KTNV. "We assume that was normal, we wake up he’s out front with the police."

                      Joshua Bonde, the director of research of the Nevada Science Center, estimated the bones were between 6,000 and 14,000 years old and could belong to a horse or other large mammal that lived in the Mohave desert at the time. The bones appeared to be surrounded by partially compacted vegetation, he said, speculating that it could have died on the edge of a spring and fallen in, leading the bones to be preserved.

                      “So this thing is about four to five feet below the present ground surface and so the animal was probably wandering around the world in Southern Nevada, which was not nearly as populated as it is today," Bonde told KTNV. "There were probably still people in the area and it was probably a little bit marshy."

                      America is changing faster than ever! Add Changing America to your Facebook or Twitter feed to stay on top of the news.

                      Perhaps it shouldn't have been such a surprise — their home isn't far from Tule Springs Fossil Beds National Monument, where such fossils have been found before, and Bonde told KTNV that neighbors in the Las Vegas Valley shouldn’t be surprised to make similar discoveries.

                      “We had joked on Friday that while they started digging, ‘Oh great maybe they will find a dinosaur for us and it will pay for our pool," Perkins told KTNV.

                      Technically, according to U.S. laws and precedents, the fossils belong to the property owner, but while they could make a profit, the couple told KTNV that they planned to turn the bones over to the Nevada Science Center.

                      "Our bigger concern was this might be something. I’d love to find out what it is and preserve it if we can before we just go to concrete it up," Perkins told KTNV.: https://thehill.com/changing-america...ntially-dating

                      Hagerman Horse: https://www.nps.gov/hafo/learn/natur...rman-horse.htm


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                      • #56
                        Hunt for 48 crates of Hitler’s gold worth $900 million hidden in Polish palace

                        Treasure hunters are hoping to dig up 48 crates of Adolf Hitler’s hidden gold worth around $900 million at a Polish palace used as a brothel by his SS henchmen.

                        The team of treasure hunters will begin the archaeological excavation at the 18th-century palace in the village of Minkowskie in southern Poland next week and hope to unearth 10 tonnes of gold and other riches.

                        The swag was stolen towards the end of World War II under the instruction of SS boss Heinrich Himmler, to fund the creation of a Fourth Reich.

                        It is also thought to be made up of jewellery and possessions treasured by Germany’s elite who lived in the area and gave the Nazis their valuables to avoid them being snatched by Russia’s advancing Red Army.

                        Diary proves key to finding Nazi gold

                        The elusive Gold of Breslau, which disappeared from police headquarters in the Polish city of Wroclaw, is also believed to be among the hidden loot.

                        The treasure hunters, from the non-profit Silesian Bridge foundation, determined the location after scouring through secret documents, an SS officer’s diary, and a map they received from the offspring of officers who frequented a discreet lodge dating back over 1000 years.

                        The 10th-century Quedlinburg lodge was created during the rule of the first German King Henry the Fowler, who was so fascinating to Himmler, he believed he was the king’s reincarnation.

                        Quedlinburg members were awarded high-ranking positions in many Nazi institutions after the two formed an alliance in the Third Reich.

                        The records were handed over by descendants as “the return of world heritage is seen as a milestone on the long path of reconciliation,” according to the foundation.

                        The uncovered diary, believed to have been written by a high-ranking SS officer under the alias Michaelis, seems to be the key to the buried booty.

                        A pencil-written entry from March 12, 1945, discussing the stash at the palace in Minkowskie reads: “A trough has been dug in the orangery, which is a safe ‘home’ for the delivered chests and containers.

                        Michaelis continued: “48 chests from the Reichsbank, in good condition, were hidden, very well covered with earth and ‘greened’ with still living plants.

                        “Let providence watch over us.”

                        The revealing memoir has proved to be quite the treasure map, after it earlier revealed the location of another palace in the region last year where 28 tonnes of valuables are believed to be buried at the bottom of a well.

                        But the Silesian Bridge team have opted to excavate the Minkowskie mansion as the stash is easier to access.

                        Among the other indicative documents is a letter from a senior SS officer by the name of von Stein, written to a female who worked at the palace who later became his lover.

                        “My dear Inge, I will fulfil my assignment, with God’s will. Some transports were successful. The remaining 48 heavy Reichsbank’s chests and all the family chests I hereby entrust to you,” he wrote.

                        “Only you know where they are located. May God help you and help me, fulfil my assignment.”

                        Masses of loot stolen by Nazis in WWII

                        “Several people took part in hiding the deposits in Minkowskie. One of them was an officer called von Stein,” the head of the Silesian Bridge foundation, Roman Furmaniak, told the MailOnline.

                        “He used to stay in the palace because he had a lover there. Due to its location it was often visited by high-ranking SS officers who treated it like a brothel.”

                        He convinced Inge to keep a watchful eye over the treasure, who happily obliged because “she was in love with the handsome officer in a black SS uniform”.

                        “They were like gods,” Mr Furmaniak continued.

                        “She believed that she would have to stay there for a year, maybe two, then it would all be over.

                        More: https://www.news.com.au/travel/trave...652e4f0aba3942

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                        • #57
                          World’s longest pedestrian suspension bridge Arouca 516 opens in Portugal






                          The world’s longest pedestrian suspension bridge has been completed in Portugal. The bridge, Arouca 516, sits 175 metres above the River Paiva in the north of the country. Its 516 metre-long walkway breaks the record previously held by the Charles Kuonen Bridge in the Swiss Alps. Located near the tiny town of Arouca and within the Unesco-recognised Arouca Geopark, the bridge took two years to construct and is held up by steel cables and two large towers on each side
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                          • #58
                            Malian woman gives birth to nine babies

                            A Malian woman gave birth to nine babies on Tuesday - two more than doctors had detected inside her crowded womb - joining a small pantheon of mothers of nonuplets.

                            The pregnancy of Halima Cisse, 25, has fascinated the West African nation and attracted the attention of its leaders. When doctors in March said Cisse needed specialist care, authorities flew her to Morocco, where she gave birth.

                            "The newborns (five girls and four boys) and the mother are all doing well," Mali's health minister, Fanta Siby, said in a statement.

                            Cisse was expected to give birth to seven babies, according to ultrasounds conducted in Morocco and Mali that missed two of the siblings. All were delivered by caesarean section.

                            Nonuplets are extremely rare. Medical complications in multiple births of this kind often mean that some of the babies do not reach full term.: https://www.reuters.com/world/africa...es-2021-05-04/
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                            • #59
                              Archaeologists discover the oldest known human burial in Africa

                              Archaeologists have uncovered the oldest known human burial in Africa: a young child laid to rest in a shallow grave 78,000 years ago.

                              New research published Wednesday in the journal Nature details the excavation of the child’s grave at the mouth of the Panga ya Saidi cave site along the coastline of southeastern Kenya.

                              Researchers first discovered portions of the child’s bones during excavations in 2013 and spent the next several years digging and casting the fragile bones in plaster.

                              “At this point, we weren’t sure what we had found. The bones were just too delicate to study in the field,” Emmanuel Ndiema of the National Museums of Kenya said in a release. “We had a find that we were pretty excited about - but it would be a while before we understood its importance.”

                              The specimen was then transported to a laboratory for detailed analysis. Researchers were later able to study teeth and confirm the remains belonged to a 2 to 3-year-old human, who was later nicknamed “Mtoto,” which means "child" in Swahili.

                              Scans of the specimen revealed that the child’s body had been laid in a fetal position with knees tucked up towards the chest, and the position of the skull suggests it may have been laid on a headrest or pillow. Researchers believe the body may have been wrapped tightly in a shroud material before burial, and they determined the child was intentionally buried shortly after death.

                              “The articulation of the spine and the ribs was also astonishingly preserved, even conserving the curvature of the thorax cage, suggesting that it was an undisturbed burial and that the decomposition of the body took place right in the pit where the bones were found,” María Martinón-Torres, director of the National Research Center on Human Evolution (CENIEH), said.

                              While the site is believed to be the oldest known burial site in Africa, Archaeologists have made similar discoveries in Asia that range between 90,000 and 130,000 years old.: https://thehill.com/changing-america...n-human-burial

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                              • #60
                                THE FIRST PREGNANT MUMMY EVER FOUND IN EGYPT HAS BEEN EXPECTING FOR ALMOST 2,000 YEARS



                                When a team of scientists used CT scans to virtually unwrap a mummy whose coffin had been inscribed with the name of male priest Hor-Djehuty, it didn't seem to be who it was supposed to be. That was hardly the most shocking thing about this find, though.

                                Archaeologist and anthropologist Marzena Ożarek-Szilke of the University of Warsaw led a team of researchers who were just about to finish their investigation on the mummy — whose skeleton was somewhat delicate for a man — when something came to their attention. They were already certain from the scans that this was the body of a woman. What they didn’t expect was something that looked like a tiny foot inside her abdomen.

                                Ożarek-Szilke’s husband, an Egyptologist, was the first to notice as the father of three children. More scans and X-rays revealed that this woman had died pregnant.

                                “This mummy provides new possibilities for pregnancy studies in ancient times, which can be compared with and related to current cases,” the scientists said in a study recently published in Journal of Archaeological Science, adding that “This specimen sheds a light on an unresearched aspect of ancient Egyptian burial customs and interpretations of pregnancy in the context of ancient Egyptian religion.”

                                What seemed to be a case of mistaken identity turned out to be the first pregnant mummy ever found in Egypt. Because current technology is advanced enough to see beyond the wrappings, the mummy of this woman, whose name remains unknown, never needed to be unwrapped. She had been born into the elite class of Thebes (which is probably why she could afford a decent mummification and was found among the royal tombs), and radiology revealed she had been sent off to the afterlife with many magical amulets. She was between the ages of 20 and 30 and around 26 to 30 weeks pregnant. Though she was embalmed, the fetus had been left inside her untouched, but why?

                                Ancient Egyptians viewed naming as a person’s very essence. The souls of the dead could only enter the afterlife if they were named. Unnamed souls would be forever lost and earthbound, wandering in the ether. The only way to ensure passage for the unnamed was attachment to someone who was named. This is why it is believed that the fetus was neither removed nor mummified because so long as it remained in the mother, even after death, it was seen as a part of the mother’s body. It had no name because it had not yet seen anything outside the womb. Embalmers left it in the mother so it would pass to the next world as a part of her.

                                However, if the fetus was left inside the mother because of its lack of personhood through the eyes of the ancient Egyptians, then what can explain the two mummified fetuses that would have been the daughters of King Tutankhamun if they had actually been born? Tutankhamun’s queen, Ankhesenamun, miscarried at least twice (whether she had more miscarriages earlier on in pregnancy is impossible to know). Some Egyptologists blame inbreeding. Though the miscarried fetuses had not survived, they had still left the body of the mother. They were no longer part of her body. This possibly explains the reason they were mummified. Though the fetuses were not individually named, gold bands on both coffins were inscribed with "The Osiris".

                                Whether this was really the reason that this mummy’s fetus was left inside her and the miscarried fetuses of Tutankhamun and Ankhesenamun were not is still hypothetical. Though the cause of death is also unknown, it was no secret that the mortality rate was high for pregnant women in Ancient Egypt, who prayed to Tawaret, goddess of fertility and childbirth. Many also died giving birth. Because she was embalmed with so much care, traces of blood were preserved in some of her soft tissues, and examining those could at least prove or rule out pathogens or other toxins.

                                “[The pregnant mummy] opens up new possibilities of researching pregnancy in ancient times and practices related to maternity,” the scientists said. “A critical approach of interpretation of Egyptian mummies is [also] necessary, since many of them do not match their coffins.”: https://www.syfy.com/syfywire/first-...found-in-egypt -

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