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Posted on Monday, August 26 - 2013

Poisoned drinks would have proven deadly.
Image Credit: CC 2.0 Robert-Couse-Baker


Archaeologists in Bulgaria have uncovered a ring once used as a way to secretly poison people"s drinks. Dating back to the 14th century, the well worn ring was discovered at Cape Kaliakra, the site of a medievalfortress that is currently being excavated.

The ring was designed to be worn on the little finger of the right hand, most likely by a male nobleman. The wearer would likely have filled it with deadly poison and then surreptitiously emptied it in to the target"s drink or food while either filling a glass or stretching across the table.The find is particularly interesting because it shows that politically-motivated murders were potentially commonplace in medieval Bulgaria."I have no doubts that the hole is there on purpose and thering was worn on the right hand, because the hole was made in such a way so as to be covered by a finger, so that the poison can be dropped at a momentís notice," said Dr. Bonnie Petrunova who led the excavation. "This explains many of the unexplained deaths of cape among nobles and aristocrats close to Dobrotitca."

Source: DiscoveryNews

Views : 749
[ Read More ] Reference : History, Miscellaneous

Posted on Monday, August 26 - 2013

Prehistoric monster - Leedsichthys grew up to 50ft.
Image Credit: CC 3.0 Dmitry Bogdanov


The monstrous 16m-long Leedsichthys problematicus would have swam the ocean 160 million years ago. The fossil remains of the sea-faring behemoth were unearthed at a quarry by an internationalscience team led by Professor Jeff Liston of the National Museums of Scotland.

The discovery is important because it shows that while the dinosaurs were increasing in size on land, creatures in the world"s oceans were also getting larger.Small fragments of Leedsichthys specimens have been found before however until now it wasn"t possible to get a proper idea of the creature"s full size. So problematic in fact was the collection of information about the species that these difficulties were even reflected in its name"problematicus".Despite its huge size, Leedsichthys would have been a gentle giant, feeding on shoals of plankton by sweeping it up through its gills which acted like a filter. This mechanism proved highly effective, helping the species to thrive in the world"s oceans until it was wiped out along with the dinosaurs 65 million years ago.

Source: Guardian

Views : 633

Posted on Sunday, August 25 - 2013

The Lincoln Observatory Tower at Lincoln Castle.
Image Credit: CC 2.0 Dave Hitchborne


Archaeologists have uncovered a stone sarcophagus thought to contain someone "terribly important". The sarcophagus was unearthed while the castle was being refurbished so that a new center to housethe Magna Carta could be built.

Among the discoveries were the remains of a church dating back 1,000 years and a number of skeletons.Archaeologists working at the site believe that the stone sarcophagus is likely to be the resting place of a figure of great importance, possibly a Saxon bishop or king. If this turns out to be the case then it would be one of the most important finds in the region for some years."Logistically it"s quite a difficult job because the trench is deep and the sarcophagus obviously weighs alot," said excavation team member Cecily Spall. "It"s very unusual for archaeologists to encounter a church which hasn"t been detected in historical documents."Lincoln Castle itself was built in the late 11th century by William the Conqueror at the site of a pre-existing Roman fortress and remains a popular tourist destination for visitors from all over the world.

Source: BBCNews

Views : 632

Posted on Sunday, August 25 - 2013

An astronaut collects a sample from the asteroid.
Image Credit: NASA


The space agency has revealed new concept images detailing their plans to land astronauts on an asteroid. The newly released images depict the planned rendezvous between amanned Orion spacecraft and an asteroid that has been moved in to a near-Earth orbit.

Among the pictures are concepts showing Orion reaching its destination and astronauts on a spacewalk collecting samples from the surface of the asteroid.Despite concerns over NASA"s budget, the space agency has confirmed that it is still committed to the ARU ( Asteroid Retrieval and Utilization ) mission with a tentative launch date estimated to be within the next 12 years.It is hoped thatif successful, the mission will not only represent the first time humans have landed on an asteroid but will also open the door to a new era of space exploration.The full gallery of images released by NASA are available to view - here.

Source: NASA

Views : 596


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