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Another Earthquake in Iran, 600-year-old Murder Mystery, and Armor Piercing Cannonballs

 

A Scottish Crannog Photo Credit, MB Griggs

A Scottish Crannog Photo Credit, MB Griggs

Today, the news is rightfully dominated by the marathon bombings in Boston, but while we’re mourning, reading about news in other parts of the world might be a helpful distraction. Here’s your weekly round-up of rock-related news.Watch Full Movie Online Streaming Online and Download

Geology

  • For the second week in a row, a major earthquake strikes Iran, this time in the southern part of the country. The 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck at 3:14 pm local time, and was felt in Pakistan, India, and as far away as Dubai. Iranian officials have been quoted as anticipating hundreds of casualties.

Archaeology

  • Archaeologists in Ireland are looking into the murder of a young woman, whose body was recently unearthed at a crannog site. Crannogs are dwellings or islands built on lakes, making them easy to defend. They were common in the British Isles for hundreds of years, mostly during times of war and unrest, and mostly disappeared by the 1500’s. The presumed victim was buried without ceremony, dumped in the ground, archaeologists hope to discover her cause of death back in the lab, but have little hope of bringing the perpetrator to justice-the crime scene is nearly 600 years old.
  • Over in Germany, researchers are looking into even older violent deaths, examining the remains of 70 people, all executed around 700 years ago.
  • Meanwhile, researchers over in Japan discovered that people may have been using pottery to cook 15,000 years ago. From Science News:

“Until the 1990s, researchers traced the origins of pottery in Japan to rice farmers living no more than 2,300 years ago. An excavation in the early 1990s of a large Jōmon settlement containing buildings, graves and numerous pottery fragments first challenged that view.

Further discoveries have shown that ancient hunter-gatherers across East Asia made pottery. A study published last year traced the earliest known examples to about 20,000 years ago in China. But none had directly connected the ancient pottery to cooking.

Craig’s finding raises the possibility that East Asian hunter-gatherers, rather than Middle Eastern farmers, may have introduced pottery making into Europe, suggests archaeologist Simon Kaner of the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England.”

  • And last but not least, we check in with the 468 year-old Tudor shipwreck, the Mary Rose, where researchers have uncovered what they believe are armor piercing cannonballs.  The lead cannonballs have an iron core, making them more damaging to ships. But how damaging is the question? According to the Telegraph: “The [Mary Rose Trust] hopes to conduct tests at the The Royal Armouries to try to better understand the damage they would have inflicted.”