A University of Otago, New Zealand, PhD student analysing dental calculus (hardened plaque) from ancient teeth is helping resolve the question of what plant foods Easter Islanders relied on before European contact.
Known to its Polynesian inhabitants as Rapa Nui, Easter Island is thought to have been colonized around the 13th Century and is famed for its mysterious large stone statues or moai.
|This is a sacrifice scene on a mosaic in St. Roman en Gal. June. – Luz Neira/UC3M|
Driving away bad luck, the evil eye and, in short, envious people — this was one of the purposes of mosaics in Ancient Rome, according to research coordinated by Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, which analyzed rituals and magic practices in these artistic representations.Ancient literary sources and data provided by archaeology offer much information about the religious beliefs of the Romans, such as their rituals and magic or funeral practices. “With this research, we are trying to find out how these beliefs are represented in Roman mosaics throughout the Empire,” said UC3M professor of Ancient History Luz Neira, who coordinates the team of twelve researchers that recently published their findings in the book Religiosidad, rituales y prácticas mágicas en los mosaicos romanos (CVG, 2014).
|https://www.flickr.com/photos/sybarite48/9335917742/ under a Creative Commons Attribution license )”>|
|The Roman aqueduct near the Luynes in Indre-et-Loire, central France, is the only remnant of the ancient city of Malliacum. Water management infrastructure such as the Luynes aqueduct were central to providing the Romans with stable water supplies in regions with variable and dry climates. – Daniel Jolivet (Image distributed via https://www.flickr.com/photos/sybarite48/9335917742/ under a Creative Commons Attribution license )|
Smart agricultural practices and an extensive grain-trade network enabled the Romans to thrive in the water-limited environment of the Mediterranean, a new study shows. But the stable food supply brought about by these measures promoted population growth and urbanisation, pushing the Empire closer to the limits of its food resources. The research, by an international team of hydrologists and Roman historians, is published today in Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, an open access journal of the European Geosciences Union (EGU).
In light of the film Dinosaur 13, which describes the discovery and loss of the complete Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton known as “Sue” by the Black Hills Institute of Geological Research, the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology reiterates its strong endorsement of the U.S. Federal laws and regulations that protect fossils on public lands, which are fully consistent with the professional standards held by paleontological scientists and with the ethics of the Society.
|Vintana sertichi. Middle: Digitally segmented version of the skull, with individual bones highlighted in unique colors. Bottom: Reconstruction of the head of Vintana sertichi. – Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology“>|
|Top: Right lateral (side) view of the actual specimen of Vintana sertichi. Middle: Digitally segmented version of the skull, with individual bones highlighted in unique colors. Bottom: Reconstruction of the head of Vintana sertichi. – Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology|
Mammals that lived during the time of the dinosaurs are often portrayed as innocuous, small-bodied creatures, scurrying under the feet of the huge reptiles. In reality, this wasn’t the case, and a new fossil from Madagascar further underscores this point, revealing fascinating perspectives on the growing diversity of Mesozoic mammals. Vintana sertich had previously been described in a preliminary note in November of this year, but a new memoir in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology delves far deeper into the morphology and paleoecology of this amazing fossil animal. The memoir brings together multiple experts to conduct a range of descriptive and comparative analyses and consists of multiple papers describing the geological setting of the fossil, its cranial anatomy, its dental morphology and function, its braincase, and its sensory abilities.