The Medes

Median dynasty architectural remains have been found in Azerbaijan (see www.cais-soas.com/news/ August 11th) ... a joint US/ Azerbaijani team of archaeologists have found remains  dating to the dynasty of the Medes, the first Iranian people to rule over what is now Iran and various other regions which included a large part of northern Mesopotamia including parts of modern Azerbaijan. What is now known as Oglangala was an ancient kingdom that was desperately trying to thwart the expansion of Urartu.

'Censorinus, the Sothic Cycle, and Calendar Year One in Ancient Egypt: the epistemological problem'

This was sent in by member Eric Aitchison after he had received the link from Bergen, one of the Chronology members. Bergen posted it in response to a post by Ian Onvlee who maintained that Sothic dates are based on the risings of the star Sirius - without any doubt. He did experiment with a location of Sothis in Orion's Girdle, for an undisclosed reason, but found this could not be sustained.

Are physicists making up dark energy?

This story was sent in by Gary Gilligan and is interesting as it represents the problem from an astro-physicist that believes dark energy is real rather than a critique from a detractor. He is the author of a popular book and can be read on a regular basis at http://io9.com/5607692/are-physicists-making-up-dark-energy/ and as well as the article itself some of the comments following it are also just as interesting - the interaction between supporters of the consensus as opposed to the irreverent.

Nefertiti in Colour

Archaeologists are examining a cache of talatat blocks stored in Luxor, some 62,000 of them. They have been locked away for some years and only now are they seriously been catalogued and dusted down, and amazingly the original pigments of colour have been preserved on what is Amarna period art that went out of favour and was reused as fill material for later constructions. The excavation reports of when and where they were located might be interesting from a revisionist angle.

Back to Kola

Pierre Gosselin, on his blog http://pgosselin.wordpress.com August 7th ... discusses a series of tree ring proxies near the Arctic shores of Euroasia which includes the Kola peninusular proxy mentioned on a post last week. Only one of these proxies actually showed any evidence of a hockey stick - but it's inclusion in the series gave shape to the multiplication of proxies (some four or five).

Marden Henge - what do we know?

Actually, we still know very little. The latest bit of archaeological investigation has now come to an end (see BBC News August 6th) and we know more than what was known previously - but that is not a lot as the excavations were made in just one small section of what is a huge site. Indeed, English Heritage have no say on most of the henge.

Neanderthal Sleeping Quarters

At http://news.discovery.com/archaeology/neanderthal-bedroom-house.html otherwise Discovery News, there is a description in juvenile terminology of the discovery of a separate space set aside in a cave in Cantabria with a makeshift bed.

Almagest Ephemeris Calculator

At www.phys.uu.nl/~vgent/astro/almagestephemeris_main.htm is a web page with Java Script calendar and ephemeris modules for calculating geocentric luni-solar and planetary positions for an arbitrary calendar date according to the kinematical models of the sun, the moon and the planets as described in the Almagest of Claudius Ptolemy in AD150.

Himalayan Odds

At www.physorg.com/print200237328. html there is a report on a geological study into the formation of the Himalayas, the movement of the Indian plate into the Asian plate. The Indian plate was subducted and this in turn led to the creation of the mountain chain as it just kept pushing against the other. The Indian plate also included oceanic crust which was pushed down into the mantle. Now, researchers on the high mountains have discovered eclogites and the samples have been found to contain garnet.

Demise of rainforests

www.physorg.com/print200224571.html once again, and a paper in Conservation Letters says 45 per cent of plants and animals making up the rainforest habitat will remain intact over the next 100 years - but they add the caveat that may be as low as 18 per cent (to make it more scary). However, the rest of it will disappear, they say, but fear not this is a computer simulation based on an assumption that temperatures will continue to rise over the same period.