Tech Today w/ Ken May

Archive for October 1st, 2017

schwit1 was the first Slashdot reader to bring us the news. Newsweek reports: Archaeologists believe they have found the key to unlocking a mystery almost as old as the Great Pyramid itself: Who built the structure and how were they able to transport two-ton blocks of stone to the ancient wonder more than 4, 500 years ago…? Experts had long established that the stones from the pyramid’s chambers were transported from as far away as Luxor, more than 500 miles to the south of Giza, the location of the Great Pyramid, but had never agreed how they got there. However, the diary of an overseer, uncovered in the seaport of Wadi al-Jafr, appears to answer the age-old question, showing the ancient Egyptians harnessed the power of the Nile to transport the giant blocks of stone. According to a new British documentary Egypt’s Great Pyramid: The New Evidence, which aired on the U.K.’s Channel 4 on Sunday, the Great Pyramid, also known as the Pyramid of Khufu, was built using an intricate system of waterways which allowed thousands of workers to pull the massive stones, floated on boats, into place with ropes. Along with the papyrus diary of the overseer, known as Merer, the archaeologists uncovered a ceremonial boat and a system of waterworks. The ancient text described how Merer’s team dug huge canals to channel the water of the Nile to the pyramid. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: reader

Enlarge / Four billion years old? You don’t look a day over 2 billion! (credit: Tashiro et al/Nature ) You could be forgiven for thinking that the remnants of the Earth’s first life don’t want to be found. Between geology and happenstance, the earliest life has certainly covered its tracks well. While paleontologists studying dinosaurs can sometimes bring an unambiguously gigantic femur home, those who study the origins of life are usually left arguing over the significance of microscopic motes of rock. A new discovery in northernmost Labrador, made by a team led by Takayuki Tashiro of the University of Tokyo, fits into that latter category. But don’t let its abstract smallness of the evidence dull your excitement. The researchers argue they have uncovered evidence that there was life on Earth more than 3.95 billion years ago—on a planet that isn’t much more than 4.5 billion years old itself. Counting carbon Some of the evidence for early life is in the form of fossilized microorganisms. It can be difficult to rule out bacterium-shaped mineral bits that can form in other ways, but research published earlier this year identified microscopic structures that seem to fit the bill in 3.7 billion-year-old rocks that were once part of seafloor hydrothermal vents. Read 10 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Categories: reader