3,000-Year-Old Leather Sports Balls Discovered In China, The Oldest In Eurasia

KEY POINTS

  • Researchers found what might be the oldest known balls in Eurasia
  • It’s not clear how the game was played but it was likely part of exercise and military training
  • The ball game possibly arose around the same time as horseback riding

Researchers found what may just be the oldest ancient balls in Eurasia. The find provides evidence that ball games were already around in Europe and Asia earlier than previously thought.

In a new study, a team of German and Chinese researchers report the discovery of three ancient balls that were recovered from the graves in the prehistoric Yanghai cemetery in northeast China. They are made of leather and measure somewhere between 7.4 and 9.2 centimeters.

Radiocarbon dating of the balls reveals that they are likely from 2,900 to 3,200 years ago, making them the oldest balls in the region.

“This makes these balls about five centuries older

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US Air Force sends software updates to one of its oldest aircraft midair

WASHINGTON — For the first time, the U.S. Air Force updated the software code on one of its aircraft while it was in flight, the service announced Oct. 7.

And there’s a surprise twist: The aircraft involved wasn’t the “flying computer” F-35, the mysterious B-21 bomber still under development, or any of the Air Force’s newest and most high-tech jets. Instead, the service tested the technology aboard the U-2 spy plane, one of the oldest and most iconic aircraft in the Air Force’s inventory.

On Sept. 22, the U-2 Federal Laboratory successfully updated the software of a U-2 from the 9th Reconnaissance Wing, which was engaged in a training flight near Beale Air Force Base, California, the Air Force said in a news release.

To push the software code from the developer on the ground to the U-2 in flight, the Air Force used Kubernetes, a containerized system that allows

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One of SF’s oldest thrift shops survives in the heart of the Mission District

There’s a peculiar sound coming from inside the magenta building at 623 Valencia St.

The muffled crinkling of plastic sanitary gloves accompanies customers as they hurriedly sift through secondhand clothing racks, unusually tidy bookshelves and rows of assorted knick-knacks. Laughter rings out from another corner of the shop, where a group of masked teenage girls unfurl posters to reveal faded images of Gumby and Vincent Van Gogh. The synth pop drawl of Thomas Dolby’s “She Blinded Me with Science” echoes over the speakers as more people line up on the sidewalk outside of Community Thrift, where in-store shopping has resumed for the first time in months.
 
The steel garage door typically intended for moving large donations has been lifted to safely allow customers through. In its place is a seated employee shielded by a clear, glass divider. One by one, she provides each guest with a pump of hand sanitizer, … Read More

Why Astronomy is Considered the Oldest Science

Millions of years ago, ancient humans living on the African savanna likely gazed up in wonderment at the bright moon and star-filled sky. This cosmic backdrop wasn’t too different from the one we see today; but how they interacted with it almost assuredly was. It wasn’t until humans came to view the stars as tools that we became masters at understanding their movements.

By some 7,000 years ago, a group of nomadic people living on the African savanna became the first-known humans to record the motions of the stars at a site called Nabta Playa. This cattle-worshiping cult of hunters and gatherers built the world’s oldest stone circle to track the arrival of the summer solstice, as well as the seasonal monsoons they depended on for water and food.

“This was the dawn of observational astronomy,” J. McKim Malville, a professor emeritus at the University of Colorado and archaeoastronomy expert,

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University of Oregon-led project identifies the age, depth and carbon stock of the world’s oldest tropical peatlands — ScienceDaily

Researchers probing peatlands to discover clues about past environments and carbon stocks on land have identified peatland that is twice as old and much deeper than previously thought.

Their findings, detailed in an open-access paper published Sept. 14 in the journal Environmental Research Letters, show that an inland site near Putussibau, not far from the Indonesia-Malaysia border, formed at least 47,800 years old and contains peat 18 meters deep — roughly the height of a six-story building.

The study provides new insights about the climate of equatorial rainforests, especially during the last ice age, said study co-author Dan Gavin, a professor of geography at the University of Oregon.

“This existence of this very deep and old peatland provides some clues on past climate,” Gavin said. “It tells us that this area remained sufficiently wet and warm to support peat growth through the last ice age. The climate during that

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