http://www.daytondailynews.com March 26th ... a brief item on a local Ohio man involved in the discovery and excavation of an ancient Assyrian city at Ziyaret Tepe = Tushan. It was located on the northern border of the Assyrian Empire and flourished between 900-600BC, when it was destroyed by an invading army (tablets record the immanent approach). Several thousand artifacts have been uncovered.

New Species of Hominid?

The Daily Galaxy March 25th (www.dailygalaxy.com) has a story that was also featured on Science News (www.sciencenews.org/view/generic/id/57573 ) a day or so earlier. Mitochondrial DNA analysis of a finger bone found in a cave high in the Altai mountians of southern Siberia suggests a group of unknown hominids ventured out of Africa less than a million years ago. Why?

Hole in the Ground

BBC News March 24th ... deforestation has revealed what might be a giant impact crater in central Africa - in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The findings of an Italian researcher was presented at a Lunar and Planetary Science Conference in Texas and the shape of the crater is clearly visible from satellite imagery. It is unlikely to be recent as part of the structure has been eroded but future study on the ground is planned in order to place a date on the crater.

Ancient Wall

http://news.yahoo.com March 22nd ... a source in Greece has announced the discovery of a wall which stood at the entrance to a cave in Thessaly dating back some 23,000 years ago - at the height of the last glacial maximum.

New Dating Method

www.eurekalert.org March 23rd ... a new method to determine the age of ancient relics has been announced by the American Chemical Society. It will revolutionise radiocarbon dating and raises the possibility for analysing extensive museum collections that have previously been off limits because of their rarity and the destructive nature of the current C14 dating methodology. Don't expect any radical redating of Egyptian NK artefacts however or those of the Mycenaean Greeks as this is just a new way of performing radio carbon testing.

Plates and Tectonic Activity

At www.physorg.com/print188500078.html March 22nd ... a new model of the earth which took 20 years to construct offers a precise description of the relative movements of 25 interlocking tectonic plates over 95 + per cent of the surface of the planet. The model can be used to predict plate movement relative to any other plate. It is remarkably simple in a mathematical way, the research offers.

Mapping Venus

At www.physorg.com/print188466638.html March 22nd ... is another incredible piece of research. The article has a computer generated image of the surface of Venus created from radar images taken during NASAs Magellan mission during the 1990s. Peter James, a graduate student in the Earth and Planetary Sciences, has shown that plate tectonics do not seem to apply on Venus - or Mars and Mercury.

Triassic Boundary

www.physorg.com/print188488094.html March 22nd ... 200 million years ago most land on the planet was consolidated into a single continent - Pangea. There was no Atlantic Ocean and the animal world was dominated by creatures related to modern crocodiles. Their world was transformed after what appears to have been a huge catastrophe involving massive and widespread volcanic activity which in turn led to a spike in atmospheric greenhouse gases that wiped out half of the plant species and brought the Triassic to an end.

Rapid evolution?

Science Daily March 22nd ... www.sciencedaily.com/release/2010/03/100322083654.htm ... evolution can apparently proceed much more rapidly than has been thought. This is shown by Magnus Karlsson of Linnaes University. It is generally accepted that measurable evolutionary changes occur slowly, often taking 100s of generations.

Antarctic Fossils

Daily Galaxy, March 22nd (see www.dailygalaxy.com ) ... a team working in an ice free region of high mountains and dry valleys in the Olympus Range in Antarctica last summer discovered a rare trove of perfectly preserved fossils of mosses, diatoms, and astrocods - life forms usually associated with tundra conditions such as exist today on South Georgia. The climate switched from tundra to a deep freeze suddenly, it goes on.