Monday, April 24, 2017

Scientists Unlock Secrets of Oldest Surviving Global Trade Map

Global Trade Map

Selden Map of China

The`Selden Map of China - origins and secrets of the 17th century, the oldest surviving merchant map in the world has been revealed by scientist who have utilised state-of-the-art imaging modus operandi. The study headed by Nottingham Trent University in association with the Science Section of the Victoria and Albert Museum for the first time were capable of classifying everything from the techniques and materials utilised, to the flaws and re-drawings made by the surveyor.

Writing in the Journal `Heritage Science’, the scientist had even offered a new location for the creation of the map depending on their proof. The map being 1.6 x 1m illustrates ancient maritime trade routes in Asia is presumed to have been made in the middle of 1607 – 1619 which is painted with watercolours and ink on Chinese paper.

 It is said to be an exceptional illustration of Chinese merchant cartography portraying a network of shipping routes with compass directions beginning from the port of Quanzhou, Fujian province getting as far as Japan and India. Not much is known regarding the origin of the Chinese-style map that had reached the Bodleian Library in 1659, at the University of Oxford which had been donated by John Selden, a prominent London lawyer which is said to be there till it was rediscovered in 2008.
Global Trade Map_2

Matching Systematic Schemes Utilised

Selden in his willhave stated that it was a `map of Chinamade there fairly’ and it had been taken by an English commander. The map had been scrutinized in-situ and non-invasively with the use of remote `multispectral’ imaging technique established at Nottingham Trent University.

The technique provided the scientist to view locations of the map utilising various wavelengths of light exposing the composition as well as make-up of materials that were used together with concealed details that were hidden to the naked eye.

A variety of matchingsystematicschemes had been utilised in identifying the materials. The researchers discovered the binding medium utilised for the map had been gum Arabic which was made from the sap of the acacia tree used by European, south and west Asians.

 It was not the animal glue which was always used during that time in Chinese paintings. On investigation of the pigment utilised, it was found that a combination of indigo with orpiment, which is a yellow mineral instead of gamboge, a yellow dye used in making green was also very unusualfor painting during this period in China.

Complete Map not Planned

The discovery of a basic copper chloride in the green regions indicated the impact from south and west Asia where the manuscripts had been utilised very often. Green pigment had not been utilised in paper based paintings in China.

The researchers have informed that the pigments as well as binders utilised had been more consistent with those discovered in manuscripts from a Persian or Indo-Persian tradition as well as the Islamic sphere then the European or Chinese. With comprehensive investigation, illustrations were found where the cartographers had made alterations, some of which were stylistic while other were unintentional, some made as the cartographer’s information of a positive area settled.

They were capable of identifying that the trade routes had been laid down before the land had been drawn in. They were of the belief that the cartographer had not planned the complete map in the beginning which was the reason that they had to redraw some of the routes several times. They also ran out of space towards the southern as well as the western points of the map, compelling the trade routes to clear off the compass directions.

Two Trade Routes Without Corresponding Compass Direction

Two trade routes had been drawn without their corresponding compass direction signifying that the map was incomplete. The researchers proposed another origin for the map with the evidence – Aceh towards the northwest end of Sumatra where it opened out to the Indian Ocean and is the most westerly port in south East Asia. It has been marked on the map and tends to have the longest history of the presence of Islam in the areas of south East Asia.

Moreover it also has a long history of Chinese contact. Beside this it is also one of the six ports on the map noticeable with a red circle probably signifying the main trading network of the owner of the map and is also the only port marked having a magnetic declination in the early 17th century nearest indicated by the tilt of the compass rose of the map. English ship which would have gone back to Europe from south East Asia would have to pass by Aceh either from the east or west coast of Sumatra, thus providing them with the opportunity of obtaining the map.

Chinese Map Evidence of Fusion of Cultures

According to professor Haida Liang, Head of the Imaging & Sensing for Archaeology, Art History & Conservation research group at Nottingham Trent University, this study tends to explain the importance of not judging a book by its cover.

She further added that `a Chinese map had turned out to be the material evidence of a fusion of cultures. It is stylistically a Chinese painting which tends to follow some Chinese as well as non-Chinese cartographic elements though the painting materials together with their usage are more akin to those of Persian of Indo-Persian manuscripts.

Due to its geographic location, Aceh had been frequented by Indian, Arab, Chinese as well as European traders. They were of the belief that the map could have been made there by a Fujianese probably a Muslim in close connection with the Islamic world.

This had been the globalisation in the early years of the 17th century and on focusing on the material confirmation it was discovered that scientific analysis and art history was used. They thus arrived at new conclusion on where the map had been made following the earlier studies based on historical study.

This work portrayed the immense importance of interdisciplinary research and the new visions it could be bringing along.The map has attained an iconic status and has become the focus of international interest and the understanding of the map through its conservation tends to continue in contributing to the research of eminent scholars all over the world.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

King Tutankhamun Grandmother Statue UnEarthed

Tutankhamun Grandmother

Alabaster Statue of Queen Tiye

At the obituary temple of Amenhotep III, an excavation mission excavated a beautifully carved statue of a woman which could be the grandmother of King Tutankhamum. The enormous statue was located towards the west bank orf Luxor which was the site of Thebes, the ancient city.

The archaeologist had stumbled on the alabaster state of Queen Tiye, accidentally while lifting some section of the colossus of King Amenhotep II which is said to be the first of its kind. Tiye is said to be the wife of King Amenhotep III and the grandmother of the young pharaoh Tutankhamun.

The extraordinary statue was discovered beside the right leg of the colossus of Amenhotep III at the time of exaction of Kom Al-Hittan which the archaeologist doubted that it could be a representation of Tiye. This unusual figure is said to be made from alabaster while all the other depictions of the queen which have been discovered till date have been carved from quartzite.

According to Dr Khaled El-Enany, Minister of Antiquities, it seems to be beautiful, distinguished as well as unique. Dr Hourig Sourouzian leading the excavations has commented that the statue is said to be in very good shape taking into account its age and has also maintained all its ancient colours.
Tutankhamun Grandmother Statue

Lion-Headed Warrior Goddess

As per the Ministry of Antiquities of Egypt, the researchers have been working on restoring the same. The Ministry had revealed that the German archaeological mission had exposed dozens of statues, earlier in the month portraying a lion-headed warrior goddess at the temple of Amenhotep III.

It is presumed that they had been arranged thousands of years back in order to guard the ruler from evil. The intricate arrangements of Tutankhamum family have been one of the greatest mysteries regarding the young king. The identity of his mother had been very elusive while that of his father was known to have been Pharaoh Akhenaten.

The DNA testing in 2010 had confirmed mummy that had been located in the tomb of Amenhotep II which was of Queen Tiya, the chief wife of Amenhotep III, the mother of Pharaoh Akhenanten and Tutankhamun;s grandmother.

A third mummy presumed to be one of the wives of Pharaoh Akhenaten was discovered to be a probable candidate as the mother of Tutankhamun though the DNA evidence portrayed that it was the sister of Akhenaten.

No Evidence in Archaeology/Philology

The analysis of 2013 showed that Nefertiti, chief wife of Akhenaten was the mother of Tutankhamun. But the work of Marc Gabolde, a French archaeologist had recommended Nefertiti was also the cousin of Akhenaten.

This incestuous ancestry could also be helpful in explaining some of the irregularities which the scientists found distressed Tutankhamun. Besides this he had suffered a deformed foot, a slightly cleft palate together with a mild curvature of the spine. His claims, however has been disputed by the other Egyptologists inclusive of Zahi Hawas the head of Supreme Council of Antiquities of Egypt.

 His research team recommended that the mother of Tut was like Akhenaten, the daughter of Amenhotep II and Queen Tiye. Moreover Hawass added that there has been `no evidence’ in archaeology or philology indicating that Nefertiti was the daughter of Amenhotep III.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Radiation from Nearby Galaxies Helped Fuel First Monster Black Holes

Galaxy

Presence of Supermassive Blackholes – Confusion of Astronomers

The presence of supermassive black holes towards the beginning of the creation has given rise to confusion to astronomers from the time of their discovery, more than a decade back. A supermassive black hole is considered to be formed over billions of years, though more than two dozen of these behemoths have been seen within 800 million years of the Big Bang 13.8 billion of years ago.

A team of researchers from Dublin City University, Georgia Tech, Columbia University as well as the University of Helsinki, in their new study in the journal `Nature Astronomy’, showed signs of one concept on how these antique black holes which seemed to be around billion times heavier than the sun could be formed and seemed to put on weight rapidly.

The researchers showed that a black hole could swiftly develop towards the core of its host galaxy if an adjoining galaxy and seemed to emit sufficient radiation to switch off its capability to form stars. Hence restricted, the host galaxy is inclined to cultivate till it ultimately collapses, forming a black hole which feeds on the left over gas, and later, dust, dying stars, and perhaps other black holes, that become great colossal.
  

Collapse of Galaxy/Formation of a Million-solar-mass BlackHole


According to co-author, Zoltan Haiman, an astronomy professor at Columbia University commented that the collapse of the galaxy and the formation of a million-solar-mass black hole took around 100,000 years — a glitch in planetary times and a few hundred million years later, it had grown into a billion-solar-mass supermassive black hole.

This seemed to be much quicker than expected. Stars and galaxies in the early creation had been formed as molecular hydrogen cooled and flattened to primordial plasma of hydrogen and helium. This environment had limited black holes from growing very big since molecular hydrogen would turn gas into stars adequately far away to escape the black holes, gravitational pull.

Astronomers had come up with a number of methods that supermassive black holes could have overcome this obstacle. Haiman together with his colleagues, in their 2008 research had hypothesized that radiation from a considerable nearest galaxy could divide molecular hydrogen into a atomic hydrogen causing the nascent black hole together with its host galaxy to collapse instead of spawning new clusters of stars.

Research - Effects of Gravity/Fluid/Dynamics/Chemistry/Radiation

A study after this, headed by Eli Visbal a postdoctoral researcher a Columbia then had summed that the nearby galaxy could have been around 100 million times much bigger than the sun to emit adequate radiation in order to stop star formation.

 However, being comparatively rare, adequate galaxies of this size seemed to exist in the initial creation to describe the supermassive black holes witnessed so far. Presently the study, headed by John Regan, a postdoctoral researcher at Ireland’s Dublin City University, had displayed the procedure utilising software established by Columbia’s Greg Bryan wherein his study comprised of the effects of gravity, fluid dynamics, chemistry as well as radiation.

 Few days subsequently of crunching the numbers on a processer, the researchers established that the adjoining galaxy could have been smaller as well as closer than earlier assessed. A study co-author John Wise, the Dunn Family Associate Professor in Georgia Tech’s College of Physics, had commented that the nearby galaxy could not be too close, or too far away, and similar to the Goldilocks principle, excessively hot or cold.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

100 years History of tanks

tank
Honour 100th Anniversary of Tanks

On the morning of September 15 1916, the first tank had rolled across a battled when the British forces had attacked the positions of the German 28th Reserve Infantry Regiment at Flers-Courcelette together with 32 tanks to destroy the stalemate on the Somme.

In order to honour the 100th anniversary of the memorable event, Claire Apthorp recalls over the evolution of tanks in the U.K.The tanks which had traversed to no man’s land in the German territory on September 15, 1916 morning had developed from an experimental modeleestablished the previous year by Fosters of Lincoln called `Little Willie’.

This vehicle consisted of components created and built by various industrialists which drew on advanced technologies under the earlier projects.It had been constructed on unsuspended track frame, fitted with non-rotatable dummy turret having a machine gun mount which was 8 m long and needed two men to drive it.

 One was for steering, clutch, gear box together with throttle operation while the other was for the brakes and four to control the armament. It has been protected with boiler plate which could travel no quicker than two miles per hour. An upgraded model to be known as Big Willie and thereafter, Mother used a rhomboid track frame which enabled the tracks to travel around the vehicle.

Turret Substituted with Armament

The turret had been substituted with armament placed inside sponsons and neither models saw combat. However they were invaluable in the progress of the technology which would reach the battlefield the subsequent year.Mother had shaped the design for the first tank for battle with the British armed forces which was called the British Mark I and this vehicle was in service in August 1916 in two alternates namely `male’ armed with two six pounder guns and three 8mm Hotchkiss machine guns.

It weighted 28 tons while `female’ had four 0.303 Vickers machine guns with a single Hotchkiss weighing 27 tons. Sufficient tanks had been ordered by Fosters and Metropolitan to raise six tank companies having 25 vehicles each. With the unavailability of six pounder guns, half had been equipped with only machine guns and each vehicle had a crew of eight.

About a third of the 32 British tanks which had been set up on 15 September at the Somme thrived in breaking through to German line while 17 of the 49 vehicles shipped to France seemed unfit to enter the battle. From those that did, some broke down while others were disabled due to direct hits of artillery as well as mortar shells. .

British Tanks Used - WWI

However, the tanks which did not clear no man’s land set claim to a revolution in present warfare. In spite of their inadequacies they were capable of crossing trenches of 9 ft. and pass through the barbed wire.

They portrayed the capability for extreme mobility which secured them an important role in the land force tool kit for the subsequent century. By the time the Mark IV tank had entered production in May 1917, substantial developments had taken place in armament, armour, logistics as well as recovery systems for the vehicle.

The British tanks had been used the most during WWI with 420 males together with 595 females and 202 supply variants built. An additional modified variant with innovative engine together with transmission system came into production from December 2016 with 200 each of male and female built, the first `hermaphrodite’ variants having a male and a female sponson developing.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Science Fiction Style Artificial Island to be Built in North Sea

Artificial Island
The world is in fear that the natural resources may come to an end in the next fifty years. For this, we need to use the renewable energy for completing our needs. With the world heavily dependent on the technology, a recent news has stated that an artificial island would be built in the North Sea, which is near to the coast of England. The island is supposed to be a home for millions and would have everything ranging from airport to fuel supply.

THE PLAN

The concept of artificial island is a quite surprise for the common mass as they are used to watch this in the sci-fi movies. But when this is taking place in reality, this is really exceptional. The island is supposed to be built in the large sandbank of Dogger Bank which is 62 miles off the east coast. The island will be fitted with windmills which can supply lots of power to the Northern countries of Europe such as Britain, Denmark, Germany, Dutch to name a few. The wind turbines can help to compensate the power supply in these European countries.

THE PROJECT

The project will be signed on 23rd of this month. The Danish farm named Energinet.dk is taking the responsibility to make this project come true of constructing the famous artificial island in the real world. This will be an incredible step towards the power supply in the years to come for many countries. The German farm is jointly working with the Dutch farm to make this happen. Once the electricity is generated from the wind turbines in the fake island, this can be supplied to different homes in and around Europe.

THE RENEWABLE ENERGY

The world is currently facing the threat of the extinction of the natural resources which in a way can put the lives of human lives in grave danger. For this, the Dutch farm and the German farm are trying their best to expand the power supply chain in the cross border countries. They have great experiences in the on-shore wind energy. So they are trying to explore what has not been done earlier by building a artificial island with huge number of wind turbines which can produce tons of electricity and light up millions of homes and industries in the Northern countries of Europe.

THE FUTURE

The artificial island has the perfect location and the environment for the production of electricity. Well, the Transmission System Operators are the leading members for this project and it is quite obvious they are the best suited. They would work with other Dutch colleagues in the most efficient manner so that the project gets completed at the earliest. The future is quite bright with the completion of the project. This is a great step towards saving the resources as well using the technology which will serve as a benefit for numerous countries. The power bank artificial islandwill surely going to be source of light for millions of people.