Speaker for the Dead

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I'm a PhD candidate. In general, my interests span across archaeology and physical anthropology
This blog has anthropology related posts with some added quirkiness reflecting my personality.
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Nazca Lines of Kazakhstan: More Than 50 Geoglyphs Discovered

archaeologicalnews:

image

More than 50 geoglyphs with various shapes and sizes, including a massive swastika, have been discovered across northern Kazakhstan in Central Asia, say archaeologists.

These sprawling structures, mostly earthen mounds, create the type of landscape art most famously seen in the Nazca region of Peru.

Discovered using Google Earth, the geoglyphs are designed in a variety of geometric shapes, including squares, rings, crosses and swastikas (the swastika is a design that was used in ancient times). Ranging from 90 to 400 meters (295 to 1,312 feet) in diameter, some of them are longer than a modern-day aircraft carrier. Read more.

magictransistor:

The skull of a two-year-old Neanderthal child: ‘Dederiyeh 2’ (Syria); between 70,000 and 50,000 years old. Smithsonian Institution.

magictransistor:

The skull of a two-year-old Neanderthal child: ‘Dederiyeh 2’ (Syria); between 70,000 and 50,000 years old. Smithsonian Institution.

(via alphacaeli)

we-are-star-stuff:

What Are Conjoined Twins?

Twins whose bodies are connected are called conjoined twins.

Births of conjoined twins, whose skin and internal organs are fused together, are rare. Conjoined twins occur once every 200,000 live births, and their survival is anything but assured.

For some reason, female siblings seem to have a better shot at survival than their male counterparts. Although more male twins conjoin in the womb than female twins, females are three times as likely as males to be born alive. Approximately 70 percent of all conjoined twins are girls.

Conjoined twins begin as a single fertilized egg. Usually a single fertilized egg develops into a single baby. Sometimes a single egg divides in half during the first one to two weeks after it’s fertilized. This creates a set of identical twins.

The exact cause of conjoined twinning is not known. There are two theories. One is that the egg divides late and does not divide completely. The other is that the egg divides completely but then fuses (joins) back together.

The connection between the twins’ bodies may be fairly simple. They may share only a small amount of tissue, and both children may have all the organs and other structures they need. For example, the twins may be joined at the belly with a “bridge” that connects their livers.

Usually the connection is more complex, and sometimes it is very complex. The children may share:

  • Vital organs, like one heart
  • Many structures, like several parts of their digestive, genital and urinary systems
  • A large segment of their body, like all of their lower body
  • Part of the brain and skull

Types of conjoined twins

Doctors group conjoined twins based on where they are joined.

  • Joined at the chest, called thoracopagus. This is the most common type. About 40% of conjoined twins are in this group. These twins are face to face. In about 75% of cases, they share one heart. Twins joined at the chest may also share their liver, biliary tract (which carries bile from the liver to the small intestine) and upper digestive tract.
  • Joined from the breastbone to the waist, called omphalopagus or xiphopagus. These twins are face to face. They may share their liver, biliary tract and upper digestive tract. About 35% of conjoined twins are in this group.
  • Joined at the sacrum and buttock area, called pygopagus. These twins are back to back. They may share part of their lower digestive tract and parts of their skeleton, nervous system and genitals. About 20% of conjoined twins are in this group.
  • Joined in the pelvic area, possibly up to the breastbone, called ischiopagus. These twins may be oriented to each other in different ways. In general, they partly face each other. They may share their liver and biliary tract, part of their upper and all of their lower digestive tract, their genital and urinary systems and part of their skeleton. About 6% of conjoined twins are in this group.
  • Joined at the head, called craniopagus. These twins may share their skull, brain and other parts of their nervous system. About 2% of conjoined twins are in this group.

Outlook for Conjoined Twins

Most sets of conjoined twins do not survive because their organs cannot support them. About 40% of conjoined twins are not alive when they are delivered (stillborn). About 35% die within a day after they are born. The overall survival rate of conjoined twins is somewhere between 5 percent and 25%.

Survival

Even so, more conjoined twins survive now than in the past. Advances in imaging, surgical techniques and anesthesia have helped improve chances for survival. We also have tools to detect their condition before birth. This means their families and doctors can plan their early care before they are born.

Usually this includes scheduling delivery by cesarean section (C-section) a month before their due date. This is because a vaginal birth is too hard for mother and babies.

Among the conjoined twins who survive more than a day after birth, some continue to live for days, weeks, months or years while conjoined. Some live into adulthood still physically connected to each other.

Some have surgery to be separated, usually in the first year of life. The success of this surgery depends on many factors, mainly where the twins are connected and which structures they share. In some cases, both twins survive after surgery. In some cases, only one survives, or neither does.

Although success rates have improved over the years, surgical separation is still rare. Since 1950, at least one twin has survived separation about 75 percent of the time.

[Sources: x x]

(via anthropologyadventures)

stunningpicture:

2000 years old green serpentine stone mask found at the base of Pyramid of the Sun, Teotihuacán, México

stunningpicture:

2000 years old green serpentine stone mask found at the base of Pyramid of the Sun, Teotihuacán, México

(via anthrogirlet)

thedivinesociety:

"There are as many atoms in a single molecule of your DNA as there are stars in a typical galaxy. The same is true for dogs, bears and every living thing. We are, each of us, a little universe.
— Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey; Episode 2

thedivinesociety:

"There are as many atoms in a single molecule of your DNA as there are stars in a typical galaxy. The same is true for dogs, bears and every living thing. We are, each of us, a little universe.
— Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey; Episode 2

(Source: thedivinesociety)

museumsandthings:

Museums on Instagram: A List

(a blog post by Russell Dornan)

Click through and read to find a selection of some of the best (and less obvious) museum Instagram accounts. Get following for fantastic objects and brilliant behind the scenes views.

(via jangojips)

zune-politikon:

Check it ooooout. Laser cleaning the Caryatids. If this isn’t the sickest shit you’ve ever seen, then I don’t wanna know you.

(via suzythered)

Ancient DNA could unlock South Florida secret

archaeologicalnews:

About 14,000 years ago, modern humans roamed to South Florida and lived side by side with mammoths, mastodons and saber-tooth tigers.

That, at least, is what Florida Atlantic University scientists hope to prove by analyzing ancient DNA found at an archaeological dig in Vero Beach.

If they can confirm the age of some very brittle bones, it will fill a major gap in human history, said Greg O’Corry-Crowe, an FAU associate research professor. “It would imply that humans were on this continent much longer than originally thought,” he said.

Officially called the Old Vero Man site, the dig is considered one of the most important archaeological finds in North America. Read more.

ancientpeoples:

Rishi coffin of Puhorsenbu
c.1580-1479 BC
17th-18th Dynasty, Late Second Intermediate Period/Early New Kingdom
The Arabic word “rishi,” meaning feathered, is used to describe a group of coffins made in the Theban area during Dynasty 17 and early Dynasty 18. This coffin is a particularly fine example of the type. Special care has been taken with the modelling of the face. The feather pattern has become an abstract design, as has the broad collar, whose strands of beads echo the contour of the vulture pendant making the bird’s wings appear to extend up the mummy’s shoulders. 
(Source: The Metropolitan Museum)

ancientpeoples:

Rishi coffin of Puhorsenbu

c.1580-1479 BC

17th-18th Dynasty, Late Second Intermediate Period/Early New Kingdom

The Arabic word “rishi,” meaning feathered, is used to describe a group of coffins made in the Theban area during Dynasty 17 and early Dynasty 18. This coffin is a particularly fine example of the type. Special care has been taken with the modelling of the face. The feather pattern has become an abstract design, as has the broad collar, whose strands of beads echo the contour of the vulture pendant making the bird’s wings appear to extend up the mummy’s shoulders. 

(Source: The Metropolitan Museum)

(via ryanbroadley)

Amphipolis: There might be a fourth chamber in the Tomb

archaeologicalnews:

image

A high-ranking Ministry of Culture official told Greek news sources that the archaeologists who are currently clearing out the dirt from the third chamber in the Amphipolis tomb believe that a fourth chamber may exist.

Meanwhile, the head of the excavation Katerina Peristeri told journalists that based on the findings so far, she believes the enigmatic tomb definitely dates back to the last quarter of the 4th century B.C. Mrs. Peristeri complained about colleagues who appear in the media claiming that the tomb may have been constructed in the Roman era.

“The tomb is Macedonian. We have all the proof for that.” said Mrs. Peristeri. “It’s futile for some people to say that it is Roman. I feel indignation against some colleagues of mine that speak to the TV channels, just for 5 minutes on prime time TV without knowing anything about the excavation.” (source)

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