A Mississippi State University archaeological team uncovered six official clay seals at a dig in southern Israel — offering some support for the reigns of King David and his wise son Solomon as found in the Hebrew Bible.
The seals, or bullae, were found at a site near Gaza called Khirbet Summeily and used to seal important documents. Ancient people would wrap a string around a rolled sheet of papyrus, then place a lump of clay on it and stamp it with the seal, according to James Hardin, an associate professor at MSU’s Department of Anthropology and Middle Eastern Cultures. The only way to read the document was to break the clay.
Jimmy Hardin co-directed a team in Israel that found archaeological evidence from the time of kings David and Solomon. In his MSU laboratory, Hardin examines an Egyptian figurine dating to the 10th or 11th century BC.
Around 1200 B.C., Hardin says that the great states of the Bronze Age collapsed and left a vacuum of power. At the same time, there may have been a period of great climatological disasters, such as earthquakes and storms. The unrest and upheaval may have eventually led to
WASHINGTON, Dec. 20 (UPI) — Washington, D.C. and Annapolis, Md. are already past a ‘tipping point’ for frequent flooding caused by sea level rise, a new study finds.
NASA’s Space to Ground is your weekly update on what’s happening aboard the International Space Station.
Permafrost in Alaska’s iconic Denali National Park and other areas could all but disappear by the end of this century, new research suggests.
Impressions from ancient clay seals found at a small site in Israel east of Gaza are signs of government in an area thought to be entirely rural during the 10th century B.C., says Mississippi State University archaeologist James W. Hardin.
Underwater structures of the Great Bahamas Bank are pictured in this image from the Landsat-8 satellite on 5 February. Sitting north of Cuba, the bank is made of limestone – mainly from the skeletal fragments of marine organisms – that has been accumulating for over 100 million years.
Homecoming view of NASA’s first Orion spacecraft after returning to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Dec. 19, 2014 after successful blastoff on Dec. 5, 2014. Credit: Ken Kremer – kenkremer.com
KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FL – After a history making journey of more than 60,000 miles through space, ocean splash down and over 2000 mile cross country journey through the back woods of America, NASA’s pathfinding Orion crew capsule has returned to its home base at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
“The Orion mission was a spectacular success,” said Jules Schneider, Lockheed Martin Program manager for Orion at KSC, during a homecoming event attended by space journalists including Universe Today on Friday, Dec. 19, 2014. (…)
Read the rest of NASA’s First Orion Crew Module Arrives Safely back at Kennedy Space Center (720 words)
© Ken Kremer for Universe Today, 2014. |
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Inspired by the snails’ spiky shells and acid-loving nature, researchers named the new species Alviconcha strummeri, after Clash frontman Joe Strummer.
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Skywatchers will have another shot at seeing shooting stars in 2014, thanks to the Ursid meteor shower.
The Ursid shower, which seems to originate in the constellation Ursa Minor, has been active since Wednesday and is expected to peak overnight on Monday, Dec. 22 through Tuesday, Dec. 23.
The best viewing hours for skywatchers in the Northern Hemisphere are between midnight and dawn local time.
Ursid meteors active around December solstice
— EarthSky (@earthskyscience) December 19, 2014
The Ursids won’t be quite as spectacular as the Geminid shower that came earlier this month. But the show should be worth watching, with as many as 10 to 15 meteors per hour anticipated at the shower’s peak.
No special equipment is needed to see the meteors. Just bundle up, and find a suitable location from which to watch.
“Get to a dark spot, get comfortable, bring extra blankets to stay warm, and let your eyes adjust to the dark sky,” NASA recommends. “A cozy lounge chair makes for a great seat, as does simply lying on your back on a blanket, eyes scanning the whole sky.”
In 2014, NASA took significant steps on the agency’s journey to Mars — testing cutting-edge technologies and making scientific discoveries while studying our changing Earth and the infinite universe as the agency made progress on the next generation of air travel. Here’s a look at some of the top NASA stories of the year.