Welcome to DU! The truly grassroots left-of-center political community where regular people, not algorithms, drive the discussions and set the standards. Join the community: Create a free account Support DU (and get rid of ads!): Become a Star Member

Wicked Blue

Wicked Blue's Journal
Wicked Blue's Journal
June 27, 2023

Weird stuff

June 27, 2023

Pompeii archaeologists discover 'pizza' painting


By James Gregory
BBC News

Archaeologists in the ancient Roman city of Pompeii have uncovered a painting which depicts what might be the precursor to the Italian pizza.

The flatbread depicted in the 2,000-year-old fresco "may be a distant ancestor of the modern dish", Italy's culture ministry said.

But it lacks the classic ingredients to technically be considered a pizza.

The fresco was found in the hall of a house next to a bakery during recent digs at the site in southern Italy.


At least it didn't have pineapple
June 13, 2023

Today's weirdness

June 13, 2023

bathroom sign

June 9, 2023

Sweet tidbit: Trump will be arraigned a day before his birthday

Mike Calia, CNBC

Trump's arraignment Tuesday will come just a day before he turns 77. The former president has protested his innocence in a post on his social media site and called the probe “a hoax.”


I hope someone bakes a hacksaw into his birthday cake

June 8, 2023

As long as we have this bad air quality situation,

why don't state and local governments in the northeastern US issue temporary bans on the use of wood-burning fireplaces, charcoal grills, campfires and other sources of particulates?

Why can't we have a few restrictions on driving, just for a couple of days?

Why can't incinerators be shut down for the duration?

During droughts, governments impose restrictions on watering lawns and other not-so necessary water uses.

It seems to me that federal, state, county and local governments need to start being quickly responsive to poor air quality conditions.

It's going to get worse in the future, and we need ways to mitigate the effects.

June 5, 2023

Homo naledi were burying their dead at least 100,000 years before humans

Ars Technica
Jennifer Ouellette - 6/5/2023, 2:00 PM

Some 25 miles outside of Johannesburg, South Africa, there is a famous paleoanthropological site known as the Cradle of Humankind. So many hominin bones were found in the region that it was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1999. Among the many limestone caves in the region is the Rising Star cave, where cavers discovered fossils representing a new hominin species, Homo naledi, in 2015. Only H. naledi remains were found in the cave, suggesting the possibility that the bodies had been placed there deliberately, although this hypothesis proved to be a bit controversial.

Now the same expedition team has announced the discovery of H. naledi bodies deposited in fetal positions, indicating intentional burials. This predates the earliest known burials by Homo sapiens by at least 100,000 years, suggesting that brain size might not be the definitive factor behind such complex behavior. The team also found crosshatched symbols engraved on the walls of the cave that could date as far back as 241,000–335,000 years, although testing is still ongoing.

Taken together, the discoveries provide evidence of a major cognitive step in human evolution in terms of mortuary practices and meaning-making. The team described these new findings during a virtual press conference and in three new preprints posted to the BioRxiv, which will be published later this year in the journal eLife.

"I think we are facing a remarkable discovery here of hominids with brains a third the size of living humans, and slightly larger than chimpanzees, burying their dead—something previously only found in large-brained hominids—as well as etching meaning-making symbols on the wall," said Lee Berger, a paleoanthropologist and National Geographic Explorer in Residence who leads the Rising Star Project. "This would mean not only are humans not unique in the development of symbolic practices, but [they] may not even have invented such behaviors."


June 2, 2023

Newly discovered stone tools drag dawn of Greek archaeology back by a quarter-million years


June 2, 2023, 4:39 AM EDT / Source: Associated Press
By Associated Press

Deep in an open coal mine in southern Greece, researchers have discovered the antiquities-rich country’s oldest archaeological site, which dates to 700,000 years ago and is associated with modern humans’ hominin ancestors.

The find announced Thursday would drag the dawn of Greek archaeology back by as much as a quarter of a million years, although older hominin sites have been discovered elsewhere in Europe. The oldest, in Spain, dates to more than a million years ago.

The Greek site was one of five investigated in the Megalopolis area during a five-year project involving an international team of experts, a Culture Ministry statement said.

It was found to contain rough stone tools from the Lower Palaeolithic period — about 3.3 million to 300,000 years ago — and the remains of an extinct species of giant deer, elephants, hippopotamus, rhinoceros and a macaque monkey.


June 2, 2023

What did Stonehenge sound like?

By Anna Muckerman
2nd June 2023

Through the doors of a university building, down a concrete hallway and inside a foam-covered room stands a shin-high replica of one of the most mysterious monuments ever built: Stonehenge.

These miniature standing stones aren't on public display, although they might help give the million annual visitors who come to the real site a better understanding of the imposing, lichen-covered stone structure built roughly 5,000 years ago. Instead, this scale model is at the centre of ongoing research into Stonehenge's acoustical properties, and what its sound might tell us about its purpose.

"We know that the acoustics of places influence how you use them, so understanding the sound of a prehistoric site is an important part of the archaeology," said Trevor Cox, professor and acoustics researcher at the University of Salford in Manchester.


Thanks to Cox's recent studies, however, we now know a fascinating detail about one of the world's most enigmatic sites: it once acted as a giant echo chamber, amplifying sounds made inside the circle to those standing within, but shielding noise from those standing outside the circle. This finding has led some to ponder whether the monument was actually constructed as a ritual site for a small and elite group.


Profile Information

Gender: Female
Hometown: Maryland
Home country: United States
Member since: Tue Aug 11, 2020, 08:58 PM
Number of posts: 5,535

Journal Entries

Latest Discussions»Wicked Blue's Journal