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vineri, 14 septembrie 2012

Who Were the Etruscans?


The Etruscans, who lived in Etruria, were known as Tyrrhenians by the Greeks. They were at their height in Italy from the 8th to the 5th century B.C. Herodotus (c. 450 B.C.) reports, as a theory of their origin, that the Etruscans came from Asia Minor. Recent work on DNA in cattle suggests Herodotus may have been right, although some still consider them indigenous to the Italic peninsula.

Will Ancient Akrotiri Face Another Massive Eruption?

Akrotiri is well known to archaeologists as the excavation site of a remarkably well-preserved Minoan Bronze Age settlement that was buried by the massive and widespread Theran eruption in the middle of the second millennium BC. The eruption was one of the largest volcanic events in recorded history. 

It devastated the island of Thera (also called Santorini), which included the settlement at Akrotiri, in addition to communities and agricultural areas on nearby islands and on the coast of Crete. Like the Roman ruins of Pompeii much later in 79 A.D., it's buildings and human artifacts were exceptionally preserved under the super-heated, yet protective, covering of the volcano's ashfall.  Frescoes, pottery, furniture, advanced drainage systems and three-story buildings have been discovered at the site through excavations conducted by Spyridon Marinatos beginning in 1967. Some historians suggest that this settlement, as well as the volcanic disaster, was the inspiration for Plato's writing about Atlantis.

Supercomputer Recreates Universe From Big Bang to Today

Scientists would love to be able to rewind the universe and watch what happened from the start. Since that's not possible, researchers must create their own mini-universes inside computers and unleash the laws of physics on them, to study their evolution.

Now researchers are planning the most detailed, largest-scale simulation of this kind to date. One of the main mysteries they hope to solve with it is the origin of the dark energy that's causing the universe to accelerate in its expansion.

Dark Energy Really IS Real

Our universe is a mysterious place. Only 4 percent or so is made up of the ordinary matter we see around us, including all those galaxies filled with stars. The rest, physicists believe, is made of up weakly interacting dark matter, and a mysterious substance called dark energy that is causing the cosmos to expand at an accelerating rate.

At least, that's the working hypothesis, and it seems to fit the data, although there are scientists who question its existence and tout alternatives to explain that accelerating expansion.

Ancient Tomb Built to Flood—Sheds Light on Peru Water Cult?

Archaeologists in Peru thought they had discovered something special when they uncovered the tomb of a pre-Inca priestess and eight other corpses in 2011. But an even bigger find was right beneath their feet.

Continuing their search for artifacts a year later, the team dug beneath the priestess, uncovering a basement tomb they believe was built by an ancient water cult and meant to flood.