Energy use 'drove human walking'
BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Energy use 'drove human walking'
Salon IFA 169 reports:'
According to Jenny Collier, of Imperial College, London, and her colleague, Sanjeev Gupta, the English Channel was formed some time between 450,000 and 200,000 years ago, when a natural land dam at the Strait of Dover failed. The results of their research are published in this month’s Nature, and are based on a new high-resolution sonar survey of the Channel floor, which shows the deep gouges and scour marks in the bedrock at the bottom of the Channel caused by the inundation, which occurred when a lake fed by meltwater from the British and Scandinavian ice sheets and by the Thames and Rhine river systems broke through the chalk ridge that once ran continuously from the Weald into the Artois region of northern France and Belgium.
The Imperial College team has yet to explain what triggered the event. According to Jenny Collier: ‘It is possible that it was the pressure of rising water and that it would have happened anyway, but there are little earthquakes in that area — there was one recently in Kent — and it is a tantalising possibility that one triggered the flood.’
‘This would have been a torrent of water carving out a huge valley through this wild landscape,’ said Dr Gupta. ‘There would be powerful eddies, with huge boulders and chunks of chalk … thrown around in the surge.’ The team estimates the surge released between 200,000 and 1 million cubic metres of water a second, equivalent to one hundred times the discharge of the Mississippi river.
One result was to cut Britain off from the European mainland even during periods of heavy glaciation when sea levels were low, making it much harder for early humans to settle what was previously a peninsula. This, in turn, seems to have contributed to a population crash and may explain why early human occupation of Britain came to an abrupt halt for almost 120,000 years. Professor Chris Stringer, of the Natural History Museum, who heads the Ancient Human Occupation of Britain Project, said: ‘We know of ancient humans 700,000 years ago at Pakefield, 500,000 years ago at Boxgrove, 400,000 years ago at Swanscombe and 220,000 years ago at Pontnewydd, but there is no evidence beyond 180,000 years ago until around 60,000 years ago.’'
Salon IFA 169 reports on:
'A metal dectectorist has recently found a Romano-British finger ring inscribed with 'the legend: DEO TOTA FELIX, which Adam Daubney, Lincolnshire Finds Liaison Officer for the Portable Antiquities Scheme, translates as ‘To the God Totatis, use this and be happy’.
Found near Battlesden, in Bedfordshire, the ring is one of forty-four similar finger rings inscribed with the letters TOT, and abbreviation of the deity Toutates, mostly from Lincolnshire and dating from the second and third centuries AD. ‘When we map them they almost exactly mirror the limits of the Iron Age tribe Corieltauvi’, said Adam, who added: ‘This suggests that the Corieltauvi were active, with clearly defined borders, well into the Roman period, covering the area east of the River Trent through Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire, and that native tribes may have had more freedom to pursue their own religions and lifestyle than previously thought.’
The Roman poet Lucan, who wrote from between AD 39–65, refers to the deity as the ‘dreaded Toutates’. Fans of the Asterix the Gaul comic books will be familiar with the name as being one of Asterix’s favourite curses.'
|Letter to the London Archaeologist|
I was very interested to read the article in the Spring 2007 issue of London Archaeologist about the ''Osteological evidence of mercury treatment of syphilis in 17th to 19th Century London' by Fiona Tucker.
She notes that not all cases of syphilis seems to have been treated by with Mercury.
At the Old Operating Theatre Museum in Southwark we came across the following recipe created by Dr Richard Mead in the early 18th Century to cure people suffering from venereal disease. Mead was a friend of the great Dr Johnstone and not a quack or mountebank. The enclosed recipe was designed as a medicine for poor people who could not afford more expensive treatments.
'Take Garden-Snails cleansed and bruised 6 gallons,
Earthworms washed and bruised 3 Gallons,
Of common Wormwood, Ground-Ivy, and Carduus, each one Pound and half,
Penniroyal, Juniper-berries, Fennelseeds, Aniseeds, each half a Pound,
Cloves and Cubebs bruised, each 3 Ounces,
Spirit of Wine and Spring-water, of each 8 Gallons.
Digest them together for the space of 24 Hours,
And then draw it off in a common Alembick.'
Recipe by Dr Richard Mead (Physician to St. Thomas's Hospital)
In 'Pharmacopoeia Pauperum' 1718 (compiled by Henry Banyer)
An alembic is a still to distill the essense of the mixture.
Readers of the London Archaeologist might like to come along to the Old Operating Theatre Museum to uncover more interesting medical curiosities.
I like the new layout of London Archaeologist by the way
With best wishes
Director Old Operating Theatre Museum and Herb Garret
9a St Thomas ST London SE1 9RY open 7 days a week 10.30 - 5pm
Here are a few interesting ICT projects all with a new
technology twist, which I produced for a
friend of a friend.
There is a guide to interactivity in Summer 07 issue of
(There was an article in Museums Journal in the last
few months on the
subject of PDA tours but I can't find my copy!)
What Was here?
Labels: narrative environments
Interesting stuff about London, Museums and HeritageHistory Museums London Archaeology Narrative Environments