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March 2 2015

Rare Roman Tombstone Discovered in England


A 1,800-year-old tombstone was discovered at a Roman cemetery in England this week. Because of its inscription, archaeologists know who was buried in the grave: a 27-year-old woman named Bodica.

"It's incredibly rare," said Neil Holbrook, of Cotswold Archaeology.


Related: Cathedral Grave May Have Belonged to a Medieval Knight

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March 2 2015

Archaeologists unearth lost fortress of Genghis Khan in western Mongolia


Japanese and Mongolian archaeologists said Feb. 26 that they have discovered the remains of a 13th-century military outpost established for Mongol conqueror Genghis Khan (c. 1162-1227) in southwestern Mongolia.


Related: Found Islamic Coins Hidden Inside Viking Age Shield Boss

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March 2 2015

Anger at Angkor: Cambodians upset over naked western tourists at temples


Cambodia’s most popular tourist attraction – the complex of ancient temples that includes Angkor Wat – is suffering from a form of overexposure. At least five foreign visitors have been arrested and deported this year for taking nude photos at the sacred sites.

Authorities have no tolerance for people stripping off at Angkor archaeological park, a sprawling Unesco World Heritage Site that drew 2 million visitors last year.

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March 2 2015

Call for Stonehenge access ban to curb 'annual vandalism'


Revellers at solstice celebrations should be banned from getting close to Stonehenge in order to prevent "annual vandalism", a heritage group has said.

The Heritage Journal said the monument was daubed with graffiti, stuck with chewing gum and marked with oil.

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March 2 2015

The barbaric destruction of Iraq’s ancient artefacts is a war crime


The destruction of Iraqi culture continues apace. Islamic State (Isis) in Mosul, in the north of Iraq, has released footage showing a group of zealous men smashing with sledgehammers what seem to be ancient artefacts (the Assyrian protective deity in the form of a winged bull is genuine while the rest are thought to be replicas).


Alt: Ancient Mesopotamian Artifacts Smashed in New ISIS Video

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March 1 2015

Season of the witch: why young women are flocking to the ancient craft


Rapper Azealia Banks brought witchcraft back into the mainstream by tweeting ‘I’m really a witch’. But women in the US have been harnessing its power for decades as a ‘spiritual but not religious’ way to express feminist ambitions.


Related: 'Witchcraft' Used to Fight Sex Trafficking in Africa

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March 1 2015

Can You Dig It? More Evidence Suggests Humans From The Ice Age


In Florida, archaeologists are investigating a site that a century ago sparked a scientific controversy. Today, it's just a strip of land near an airport.

Initially dismissed as a hoax a century ago, scientists have found evidence in Florida of humans living 14,000 years ago. If the findings hold up, they will help rewrite the history of early man.

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March 1 2015

Humour in the 13th century characterized by ridicule


We tend to think of the Middle Ages as grotesque and dreary. However, 13th century elites made use of laughter quite deliberately – and it resounded most loudly when it was at someone else's expense.

The things that medieval elites considered amusing can act as a window on their interpersonal relations: humour created a form of group solidarity and a clear distinction between friends and foes, thus revealing the power and value of entertainment, according to Beate Albrigtsen Pedersen at the Department of Archaeology, Conservation and History at the University of Oslo.

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March 1 2015

No one could see the color blue until modern times


This isn't another story about that dress, or at least, not really.

It's about the way that humans see the world, and how until we have a way to describe something, even something so fundamental as a color, we may not even notice that it's there.

Until relatively recently in human history, "blue" didn't exist, not in the way we think of it.

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March 1 2015

Human Hibernation: Snowy States Cause Longer Slumbers


On a cold and snowy day, you may want nothing more than to stay in bed until the weather's a little better.

Turns out, this may be a common sentiment — people in snowier states appear to sleep for a little longer during winter months than those in sunnier states, according to a recent analysis of data from a popular sleep tracking app.


Related: The Herbalist Who Lived to Be 256 Years Old: Fact, or Fiction? [Wikipedia]

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March 1 2015

Washington DC legalises marijuana possession and use


Washington DC has become the latest place in the United States to legalise the possession of small amounts of marijuana.

As of midnight on Thursday (05:00 GMT), people who use the drug in private no longer face prosecution.


Related: Alaska becomes third US state to legalise recreational marijuana use

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March 1 2015

Yes, we have more pandas


It’s official. There are now 1864 adult pandas in the wild, according to an announcement made by China’s State Forestry Administration at a long-awaited press conference in Beijing this morning.

For the past 40 years, China has conducted a survey of adult pandas in the wild, at roughly ten-year intervals. The 1970s estimate was 1100. In the 1980s, it was 1120. The third census, conducted between 1998 and 2002, gave us 1596 pandas.

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March 1 2015

Bees can experience false memories, scientists say


Researchers at Queen Mary University of London have shown for the first time that insects, too, can create false memories. Using a classic Pavlovian experiment, co-authors Kathryn Hunt and Lars Chittka determined that bumblebees sometimes combine the details of past memories to form new ones.


Related: Manx queen bees 'in demand' after disease-free ruling

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March 1 2015

Virtual Reality Can Make You Forget Pain


A couple of weeks from now I will be in hospital undergoing a knee replacement. It will be the most extreme surgery I’ve ever experienced and I’m pretty scared. I’ve been told that I can expect to endure excruciating pain afterwards but I won’t be allowed to lie in bed feeling sorry for myself. In order to ensure a good recovery I have to get up and exercise the new joint numerous times a day. Make no mistake, this is going to hurt.


Related: Will holidays soon be uploaded to our MINDS? Dr Michio Kaku reveals how we could use our brains in the next 50 years

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March 1 2015

Brain signals turn into drone commands in Lisbon presentation


Can we expect a time when aircraft will be directly controlled by the human brain? And what about mind-controlled drones? Imagine that, using an EEG (electroencephalogram) cap tracking neural activity, a man flies a drone with his brain.


Related: Volvo to test autonomous cars with ordinary drivers on public roads by 2017

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March 1 2015

Physicists suggest theory versus observational differences in the sun could be due to dark matter


A trio of astrophysicists has found that differences between observational data and solutions brought about through mathematics regarding the mechanism involved in heat transfer from the suns center to its outer parts, can be resolved by plugging dark matter into equations.


Related: Elusive 'Dark Photons' Still Lurking in the Shadows

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March 1 2015

Earth-like Planets Might be Rare After All


Given the recent discovery of thousands of exoplanets—many of them in the so-called habitable zone of their host star, where liquid water is stable on the planet’s surface—the paradigm has shifted to the point where scientists now believe there are a lot of Earth-like planets in our galaxy. By far, the largest number of known exoplanets orbit dM-stars, or red dwarfs. That’s no coincidence, because 80 percent of the stars in our galaxy are thought to be dM-stars, which have less than half the mass of our Sun.

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