Posts tagged history

Lost World Locked in Stone at Fossil Lake

With just two inhabited buildings and a population of five, Fossil, Wyo., is all but a ghost town today. But as far as ghosts go, the ones at Fossil are pretty remarkable — 50-million-year-old monitor lizards, stingrays and freakishly long-tailed turtles among them.

Fossil showed promise of becoming a train-stop city during America’s westward expansion. The town’s real golden age, however, may have been the early Eocene, when it was covered in a subtropical lake with an incredible diversity of aquatic life, surrounded by lush mountains and active volcanoes.

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Image 1: This is the most complete skeleton of a so-called dawn horse ever discovered. This specimen of Protorohippus venticolus was much more diminutive than today’s horses, standing less than two feet high at the shoulder, but its long back legs suggest it was a good jumper. Perhaps it was less skilled as a swimmer; researchers aren’t sure how the horse ended up at the bottom of the middle of Fossil Lake but they suspect it drowned, possibly trying to escape a predator. Credit: Photo by Lance Grande from The Lost World of Fossil Lake: Snapshots from Deep Time, © 2013, published by the University of Chicago Press.

Image 2: This fossil immortalizes stingray sex of the Eocene. The male and female fat-tailed stingrays (Asterotrygon maloneyi) shown here were likely mating or just about to mate when they were killed, researchers believe. Credit: Photo by Lance Grande from The Lost World of Fossil Lake: Snapshots from Deep Time, © 2013, published by the University of Chicago Press.

(via scinerds)

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evocativesynthesis:
Jarlshof: looking down into a round house | The archaeological site at Jarlshof represents over 4,000 years of continual human habitation. The earliest remains are of Bronze Age buildings from around 2500-2000 BC; Iron Age round houses date from between 200 BC and AD 800; a Viking settlement from the 9th to 14th centuries stands towards the eastern side of the site; and finally the castle, the Laird’s House, stands in the centre of the site and was converted from a medieval farmhouse to a fortified residence in the 1500s. (via Geograph)

evocativesynthesis:

Jarlshof: looking down into a round house | The archaeological site at Jarlshof represents over 4,000 years of continual human habitation. The earliest remains are of Bronze Age buildings from around 2500-2000 BC; Iron Age round houses date from between 200 BC and AD 800; a Viking settlement from the 9th to 14th centuries stands towards the eastern side of the site; and finally the castle, the Laird’s House, stands in the centre of the site and was converted from a medieval farmhouse to a fortified residence in the 1500s. (via Geograph)

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Illustrations by the giants of science.


1, 2 & 3: Isaac Newton 
4 & 5: Galileo Galilei 
6 & 7: Charles Messier 
8: Caroline Herschel 
9: Johannes Kepler
10: Nicolaus Copernicus.

(Source: brain-smudge, via iamjapanese)

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1969: I don’t even need to caption this.

1969: I don’t even need to caption this.

(via fuckyeahspaceexploration)

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Apollo 16 command and service module above the Moon.

Apollo 16 command and service module above the Moon.

(Source: fuckyeahspaceexploration)

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Sputnik poster.

Sputnik poster.


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(Source: tezcatlipolka)

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tammuz:

A calcite bowl dedicated to the Sumerian goddess Inanna from Ur’s Early Dynastic III Era (2600-2500 BC). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City, NY.     
Photo by Babylon Chronicle

tammuz:

A calcite bowl dedicated to the Sumerian goddess Inanna from Ur’s Early Dynastic III Era (2600-2500 BC). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City, NY.     

Photo by Babylon Chronicle

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This is a so-called Chac Mool statue from Chichén Itzá. They’re a fairly typical piece of sculpture at sites dating to a period of mixed Toltec / Maya culture in 11th and 12th century Mesoamerica (the “mix” thought by most to have resulted from a Toltec invasion of the northern Yucatán peninsula). That flat spot on its stomach is thought to have been used as a place to leave offerings to the gods (the sometimes gruesome nature of the offerings being left to your imagination).

They were named (supposedly after the Mayan for “thundering paw”) by a 19th century explorer and antiquarian named Augustus Le Plongeon — an eccentric figure now known more for his fanciful speculation than for his actual (impressive) achievements. In particular, Le Plongeon and his collaborator (later, wife) Alice Dixon spent a decade documenting and photographing the then-newly-discovered Maya ruins of the Yucatán peninsula. Le Plongeon and Dixon went on to develop a number of speculative theories on the history of the Maya (essentially all now discounted by modern scholarship), including supposed links between the Maya and both ancient Egypt as well as the fabled lost continent of Atlantis. In Le Plongeon’s and Dixon’s alternative history, Chac Mool statues were representations of a prince of Atlantis (of the same name).

Although most of the Chac Mool examples have been found at Chichén Itzá, Yucatán, and Tula, Hidalgo, we also know of its existence in other pre-Hispanic sites located in the states of Quintana Roo, Michoacan, Veracruz and even in Mexico City.

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