#Norway; #Archaeology; #VikingTradeCenter
Tromsø (Norway), Jul 18 (Canadian-Media): According to a statement released by the Arctic University of Norway, archaeology student Tor-Kjetil Krokmyrdal has discovered a Viking trade center in northern Norway on the coast of the island of Hinnøya, www.archaeology.org/news reports said.
Norway Viking Imports. Image credit: Julie Holme Damman, The Arctic University Museum of Norway and Tor-Ketil Krokmyrdal.
Jewelry, weights, coins, and items related to forging iron and shipbuilding and repair have been recovered. The ninth-century site is the first of its kind to be found in the region.
Krokmyrdal said he began searching the site with a metal detector because the village where the site is located is named “Sandtorg,” which translates to “market or trading place at Sand.”
Tjelsund, the name of the local municipality, is related to the word “tjelde,” which means to spend a night in or under a boat resting on land. Krokmyrdal thinks a ninth-century chieftain living at the site may have controlled shipping through the straits separating the island from the mainland.
“The location is also very strategic in terms of trade,” Krokmyrdal said. “The current at Sandtorg is really strong, and all the travelers would have to wait until the current turned before they could continue their journey," he explained. To read about a Viking ship burial recently excavated on the Norwegian island of Edoya, go to "Sailing the Viking Seas."
#Archaeology; #OregonPaisleyCaves; #humanSterols
Newcastle Upon Tyne (England), Jul 18 (Canadian-Media): Gizmodo reports that archaeologists John Blong and Lisa-Marie Shillito of Newcastle University and their colleagues tested 21 coprolites unearthed in Oregon’s Paisley Caves for the presence of human sterols and bile, which are not soluble in water and thus chemically stable, https://www.archaeology.org news reports said.human sterols
Oregon-Paisley-Caves. Image credit: John Blong
Previous mitochondrial DNA testing of the ancient waste indicated that all of the samples were human in origin, but critics argued that DNA from later occupation of the cave may have washed into lower, older cave sediments and contaminated the samples. “We address issues of potential DNA contamination through fecal lipid biomarker analysis, providing evidence that there likely was DNA moving from younger human occupations into older cave sediments and coprolites, but also confirming that people were camping at the caves as early as 14,200 years ago,” Blong said. In the new analysis, only 13 of the 21 samples were identified as human droppings, while one was linked to a panther and another to a lynx. The researchers are now analyzing the coprolites for clues to what those early campers had eaten. For more on Paisley Caves, go to "America, in the Beginning."
Thanks to the extremely dry environment inside Oregon’s Paisley Caves, University of Oregon archaeologist Dennis Jenkins and his team came across five human droppings that dated to older than 14,000 years over the course of nine years of digging there.
In addition, they also found three points that Jenkins believes belong to what is known as the Western Stemmed tradition. Unlike Clovis points, which have a signature notch at their base so that wooden spears can be attached, these have constricted bases. They have also clearly been struck from smaller pieces of stone than the typical Clovis counterpart. Two human coprolites dated to just over 13,000 years ago were found within eight inches of one of the points. At the very least, this evidence suggests that there was a parallel occupation of the continental United States by both the Clovis people and a second group who made different types of tools.
Evidence of baskets and rope, plant fibers, wooden artifacts, and animal bones were also found at the caves. Pollen and other plant minerals extracted from the coprolites suggest that people came to the site in the spring and early summer. They also provide evidence that the people in the caves ate everything from edible roots to bison, horse, and even animals as big as mastodon.
Jenkins, for his part, thinks Paisley Caves were not a destination location. “There is very little debitage [residue from production] from stone tools over time,” he explains. “The archaeology suggests this is a place where people are passing by—something, weather or resources nearby, or the time of day, makes you stop in.”
#EarthSciences; #OriginOfWaterOnEarth; #NASA
Hokkaido University (Japan), Jul 18 (Canadian-Media): According to a current study published in Scientific Reports, scientists have found the interstellar organic matter could produce an abundant supply of water by heating, suggesting that organic matter could be the source of terrestrial water.
Organic matter in nebula could be the source of terrestrial water. Image Credit: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)
There remains a number of mysteries on our planet including the elusive origin of water on the earth. Active studies suggested that terrestrial water had been delivered by icy comets or meteorites containing hydrous silicates that came from outside the "snow line"—the boundary beyond which ice can condense due the low temperatures. More recent studies, however, have provided observations opposing to cometary origin theory, yet still failing to suggest plausible substitutions for the source of terrestrial water. "Until now, much less attention has been paid to organic matter, comparing to ices and silicates, even though there is an abundance inside the snow line" says planetary scientist Akira Kouchi at Hokkaido University.
In the current study published in Scientific Reports, a group of scientists led by Akira Kouchi demonstrates that heating of the interstellar organic matter at high temperature could yield abundant water and oil. This suggests that water could be produced inside the snow line, without any contribution of comets or meteorites delivered from outside the snow line.
New insight into the origin of water on the earth
As a first step, the researchers made an analog of organic matter in interstellar molecular clouds using chemical reagents. To make the analog, they referred to analytical data of interstellar organics made by irradiating UV on a mixture containing H2O, CO, and NH3, which mimicked its natural synthetic process. Then, they gradually heated the organic matter analog from 24 to 400 ℃ under a pressured condition in a diamond anvil cell. The sample was uniform until 100 ℃, but was separated into two phases at 200 ℃. At approximately 350 ℃, the formation of water droplets became evident and the sizes of the droplets increased as the temperature rose. At 400 ℃, in addition to water droplets, black oil was produced.
The group conducted similar experiments with larger amounts of organic matter, which also yielded water and oil. Their analysis of absorption spectra revealed that the main component of the aqueous product was pure water. Additionally, chemical analysis of produced oil showed similar characteristics to the typical crude oil found beneath the earth.
Organic matter analog producing water and oil by heating. Round water droplets were remarkably formed at approximately 350 ℃. Credit: Hideyuki Nakano et al., Scientific Reports"Our results show that the interstellar organic matter inside the snow line is a potential source of water on the earth. Moreover, the abiotic oil formation we observed suggests more extensive sources of petroleum for the ancient Earth than previously thought," says Akira Kouchi. "Future analyses of organic matter in samples from the asteroid Ryugu, which the Japan's asteroid explorer Hayabusa2 will bring back later this year, should advance our understanding of the origin of terrestrial water."