Archeology Update

It is once again the weekend and I get to spend time with family and friends….you see they have to work and I have time to fart around… it is time to get caught up…..

My readers are aware that I love some history ergo archeology also…..this past week there were several stories in the field of archeology that were amazing…well at least to me…..

First, Stonehenge….few decades, probably longer man has been trying to figure out how the ancients moved the stones so many ages ago….I mean they were barely out of the knuckle dragging stage…..well they may have their answer…..

Researchers in London think they have solved one of the most enduring mysteries of Stonehenge: How did a bunch of prehistoric Britons haul massive stones from a quarry in Wales to the site of the monument more than 100 miles? “The answer,” per the Telegraph, “is surprisingly simple.” By mounting a giant stone on a wooden sleigh and dragging it along a track of timbers, a team from University College London found that just 10 people were able to move a more than 2,000-pound stone at a rate of about 1mph. “We were expecting to need at least 15 people to move the stone so to find we could do it with 10 was quite interesting,” doctoral student Barney Harris tells the Telegraph. The rocks in question, the ones at the center of the monument known as bluestones, were quarried in Preseli hills in Pembrokeshire, Wales, according to a separate study last year.

They were laid at Stonehenge, some 140 miles away in Wiltshire, around 2400 BC, according to The larger stones around the perimeter, called sarsens, are local sandstone and were laid during a second phase of construction about 500 years later. The sleigh-and-track method, if that’s what Stonehenge’s architects used, is not unique, Harris tells the Telegraph. “We know that pre-industrialized societies like the Maram Naga in India still use this kind of sledge to construct huge stone monuments, he says, adding that the Japanese are known to have used similar sleighs thousands of years ago. Could oxen have been used to pull the stones along the track? “Oxen are quite belligerent and difficult to control,” Harris says. “This experiment shows that humans could have carried out the task fairly easily.”

Next, on to Egypt…..Please do not let those whacked out stoners of the ancient alien theories know of this news…..

King Tut’s dagger is out of this world—or at least it was at some point. Italian and Egyptian researchers teamed up to analyze the blade found in the boy king’s sarcophagus (placed on his right thigh) using portable fluorescence spectrometry. They found that the iron used to make the dagger came from a meteor, reports Discovery News. (As Gizmodo puts it: “King Tut Had a Space Dagger.”) “Since its discovery in 1925, the meteoritic origin of the iron dagger blade … has been the subject of debate and previous analyses yielded controversial results,” the researchers write in the journal Meteoritics and Planetary Science. However, the recent analysis “strongly supports its meteoritic origin.” The tipoff? Nickel, researcher Daniela Comelli tells Discovery News. While many iron artifacts have a maximum of 4% nickel, the blade of Tut’s dagger (complete with a gold handle and decorated gold sheath) contains nearly 11%.

And then there’s the cobalt concentration, a slim 0.58%. “The nickel and cobalt ratio in the dagger blade is consistent with that of iron meteorites,” Comelli says. Researchers also think they may have identified the meteor the iron came from. Of the 20 they looked at, just one’s nickel and cobalt measurements are in the ballpark. That meteor, called Kharga, was discovered in 2000 on a limestone plateau about 150 miles west of Alexandria. The researchers say the quality of the blade indicates that Egyptians of the 14th century BC already were skilled ironsmiths. And then, a linguistic insight: The researchers note a “composite term” introduced one century later means “iron of the sky,” and “suggests that the ancient Egyptians … were aware that these rare chunks of iron fell from the sky already … anticipating Western culture by more than two millennia.”

Dagger of King Tutankhamun

With this news they can turn it into a hour show for their series…(BTW how did these guys get a series?)

That is the archeology update for now….please start your weekend and enjoy some time for yourself……be safe and have a day, my friends.

Muhammad Ali–R.I.P.

Sorry to start my weekend post with the sad news of the death of Mohammad Ali….the world’s greatest boxer.

He was fast of fist and foot—lip, too—a heavyweight champion who promised to shock the world and did. He floated. He stung. Mostly he thrilled, even after the punches had taken their toll and his voice barely rose above a whisper. He was The Greatest. Muhammad Ali died Friday at age 74, according to a statement from the family. He was hospitalized in the Phoenix area with respiratory problems earlier this week, and his children had flown in from around the country. A funeral will be held Wednesday in his hometown of Louisville, Kentucky. The city plans a memorial service Saturday, the AP reports.

“It’s a sad day for life, man. I loved Muhammad Ali, he was my friend. Ali will never die,” Don King, who promoted some of Ali’s biggest fights, told the AP. “Like Martin Luther King his spirit will live on, he stood for the world.” With a wit as sharp as the punches he used to “whup” opponents, Ali dominated sports for two decades before time and Parkinson’s Syndrome, triggered by thousands of blows to the head, ravaged his magnificent body, muted his majestic voice, and ended his storied career in 1981. “He was the greatest fighter of all time but his boxing career is secondary to his contribution to the world,” promoter Bob Arum told the AP. “He’s the most transforming figure of my time certainly. He did more to change race relations and the views of people than even Martin Luther King.” Click for much more on Ali’s legacy.

A sad day for the US……

May he Rest In Peace…..Good-bye.