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Stone engravings of mysterious ancient megastructures may be the world’s oldest ‘blueprints’



Archaeologists have unearthed ancient stone carvings of huge animal traps in Jordan and Saudi Arabia, which may be the earliest “blueprints” ever discovered.

Estimated to be between 7,000 and 8,000 years old, the engravings are accurate plans of nearby structures that archaeologists call “desert kites” – converging lines of stacked stones that were probably used to drive wild herds of gazelles and antelopes into holes along corners.

Regardless of the purpose of the structures, newly found plans show insight into huge kites – often larger than two football fields – that will be unmatched for millennia, says Rémy Crassard, an archaeologist at the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) and co-author of the study. published May 17 at PLUS ONE. Even today, kites can only be fully appreciated by observing them from the air.

“The surprising finding is that the plans are scaling,” Krassar says. They take a sophisticated approach to kites, “limited by shape, symmetry and size,” he adds. “We had no idea that people at the time could do it with such precision.”

Previously, several architectural plans for buildings and boats were known. Most of them are from Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia and may be up to 7,000 years old. There are also what may be a few rough stone age diagrams. But nothing so old and so accurate has never been seen before, the researchers say.

One engraving depicting a kite is carved on a stone approximately 80 centimeters long and 32 centimeters wide. Archaeologists found it in 2015 at an ancient campsite next to a kite in the Jibal al-Khashabiya area of ​​the Jordanian desert.

Seven other nearby kites on the edge of a plateau that stretches more than 20 kilometers south are built in the same pattern: a star-shaped body with pitted corners and curved “rudder lines” to allow hunters to guide the panicking herd. into it, the researchers write in their study.

The heaped stones are often nothing more than lines on the desert floor, and Crassar notes that gazelles and antelopes could easily jump over them. But they were visible enough for the animals to shy away from them and run into the pits, he says. According to the researchers, each animal could provide one person with meat for several weeks.

The surrounding landscape is now a rocky desert, but it was greener when the kites were made and is still of majestic beauty, says archaeologist Wael Abu-Azize of the Badiya Southeast Archaeological Project in Jordan, another of the study’s lead authors.

“The plateau is bordered by a paleolake, a natural depression in which water collected in ancient times, and comes out to the horizon,” he says.

The second engraving, found in 2015 while surveying the Jabal al-Zilliyat escarpment in Saudi Arabia, is carved on a sandstone boulder over three meters wide and two meters high. The boulder is midway between two pairs of star-shaped desert kites that match the engraving. The entrances to each pair of kites are close together, suggesting that hunters may try to catch the herd no matter which way the animals run.

The researchers carried out radiocarbon dating of samples taken from Jordanian sites and found that the engravings and kites were made around the same time, approximately 8,000 years ago. they suspect that the engraving and kites in Saudi Arabia are about 7,000 years old.

An obvious interpretation is that the engravings represent kite building plans, making them the earliest “drawings” of anything ever discovered.

But they can also be maps of already built kites for hunting planning, or symbolic representations of kites that can be used in rituals, says Abu-Azize. “These people were living kites, kite-eating, sleeping kites… maybe they needed to translate that into structural blueprints.”

Abu-Azize cannot count how many hunters worked with kites, assuming they may have had dogs and therefore needed fewer people.

The research team first thought that nomadic hunters moved between distant kites with migrations of herds of gazelles and antelopes. But now it seems that the migrating animals tended to stay in roughly the same area, so a set of kites could be used for months, says Abu-Azize. It also suggests that the ruins of nearby camps (such as the one in Jordan) may have been longer-lived settlements, which he plans to explore further.

Archaeologists have discovered over 6,000 desert kites in the Middle East and Central Asia; parts of Syria, Jordan and Saudi Arabia have up to one kite for every square kilometer. Middle Eastern kites are the oldest and there is evidence that some have been in use for thousands of years.

Archaeologist Hugh Thomas of the University of Western Australia, who was not involved in the new study, is the director of a research project in Saudi Arabia dedicated to mustache– huge ceremonial monuments built by piling up stones about 8000 years ago. They are often found in the same areas as the desert kite, but appear to have been used for processions and worship.

More than 1,000 mustatils are known to exist. All of them are in Saudi Arabia. In some cases, kites were built before the Mustatils, but some kites were built later, indicating that kites were so effective as animal traps that new ones were built and used for a long period of time, Thomas says. .

“Similar to our study of the Mustatils, this article demonstrates that even 7,000 years ago Neolithic people could design and build monumental structures using the landscape,” he says.

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Now you can call the number to book a ride with Uber



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Uber has probably become your “old trusted companion” for transportation from one place to another. And while you can currently get it through the app, what happens if you don’t have mobile data? Thankfully, Uber has an older delivery method.

Now you can also call Uber by phone. To do this, simply open the phone app and call 1-833-USE-UBER. From there, an Uber agent in English or Spanish will answer your call and help you book or schedule a trip for a future time or date right over the phone. Once your ride has been confirmed, Uber will send you a text message with details of your ride, including the driver’s name, profile picture, license plate number, and estimated time of arrival. When your ride arrives, Uber will send you another text message.

The only thing you can’t do with this method is tip the app, but if you want to tip the driver, you can leave him a cash tip.

Uber previously ran a trial for phone calls before the COVID-19 pandemic, but now it’s rolling out more widely. So if you want to call Uber through your phone, be sure to save that number.

sources: TechCrunch

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Pioneering project that pays for ghost fishing gear | The science



Lost fishing gear can continue to catch and trap prey, a devastating outcome called ghost trapping.
Malgorzata Moravska / Alamy Stock Photo

This article is from Hakai Magazine, an online publication about science and society in coastal ecosystems. Read more stories like this at

Crab traps are a bit like cockroach motels: the crabs crawl in but don’t crawl out. This is good news for fishermen who fish for crabs to get a good catch, but when the traps are lost at sea, they become a threat to all kinds of animals.

With no one to pick them up, the traps continue to catch fish, according to Ryan Bradley, head of the nonprofit Mississippi Commercial Fisheries United. “Marine life is trapped. Eventually, they can’t eat, so they die, which then attracts other marine life. They get trapped and die. It just turns into this terrible cycle of death.”

Abandoned crab traps harm wildlife and interfere with other fishermen, especially shrimp fishermen. Cumbersome crab traps get caught in shrimp nets, breaking them or blocking shrimp catching. Frustrated shrimp, with nowhere to put stink traps, usually just throw them back, continuing the cycle.

But a group in Mississippi found a solution: paying the shrimp a $5 reward to collect and recycle abandoned crab pots. In just three years, the program removed nearly 3,000 crab pots from Mississippi waters. Crab traps are marked and those that are still in good condition are returned to their owners, while traps that are too bad are sent for recycling.

This is a real win-win. Wildlife is safer, water is cleaner, and according to Bradley, one of the program’s founders, there’s a clear trend for shrimp to be caught in fewer traps.

The group, which includes a fishermen’s association, Mississippi State University, the Mississippi-Alabama Marine Grants Consortium, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Marine Litter Program, recently published a paper. expansion of project achievements.

Alyssa Rodolphic, a graduate student at the University of Mississippi, knows the north central Gulf of Mexico well. She grew up in the area where she fished with her father, a charter boat captain. But she didn’t give much thought to abandoned crab pots until she started working in an incentive program as an intern.

“I didn’t realize how big a problem it was until I started cleaning, after several months of removing about 200 crab pots at a time,” she says. “It was heavy and rough and the amount of by-catch in the traps was high.”

At the same time, she talked to the shrimp, learning about the problems that abandoned traps pose for them. Now as program manager, Rodolfić says he is pleased to see the results. “It seems to me a great achievement not only to see how much garbage was removed, but also to see changes in attitude and behavior,” she says.

The incentive works like a bottle redemption program. Participating shrimp enroll in the program, document the traps they collect and label them before turning them in to a ransom site and documenting the drop to receive a reward.

“It’s not uncommon for our guys to rent out 5, 10, 15 of these traps in one multi-day shrimp trip,” says Bradley.

Chloe DuBois, co-founder and head of British Columbia-based nonprofit Ocean Legacy Foundation specializing in marine litter, calls it “a big success story.” Her organization was not involved in the project, but advocates for a similar program to be piloted in British Columbia.

Dubois says buyback programs have historically been very successful in redirecting waste at the end of its life cycle. But in the realm of catching ghosts and marine debris, she says the Mississippi program is a pioneer. “There are not many examples of such programs,” she says.

Partnering with the fishing industry on incentives and using the program to collect data on the number and location of traps and remove marine litter further differentiates the program, she said.

Bradley says his group has received calls from other communities hoping to develop similar programs, though he notes that some states have legal issues that make it hard for fishermen to collect traps that don’t belong to them.

Meanwhile, the Mississippi program is growing and expanding. Thanks to a recent grant from NOAA, they are starting a new pilot project that pays shrimp to collect all another things they find in the bay.

“We saw everything from washing machines to toilets to tires and plastic bags,” says Bradley. “The other day, a guy told me he stopped a shopping cart. That’s what we want to remove from our marine environment.”

This article is from Hakai Magazine, an online publication about science and society in coastal ecosystems. Read more stories like this at

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Colorado Gov. Jared Polis vetoed a bill that could delay the return of gray wolves



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Colorado Gov. Jared Polis continued his not-too-veiled hint that he would veto a measure that could delay the state’s plan to capture and release gray wolves along the West Slope to the end of the year.

Polis vetoed Senate Bill 23-256 – along with two other measures – on Tuesday, his office said in a statement. He called the bill “unnecessary” and said it would undermine the will of voters who supported the reintroduction of gray wolves and expect them to be released by December.

The measure, proposed by Western Slope legislators, whose voters largely opposed the reintroduction, would depend on a special type of federal permit that would allow state officials to manage (trap, move, or even kill) wolves.

This authorization, officially referred to as the 10(j) rule, is underway but not yet finalized. State officials said the federal process could be delayed if Colorado’s measure becomes law, delaying reintroduction.

According to spokesman Conor Cahill, Polis wants government officials to have the 10(j) ruling in their hands.

“Unfortunately, the legal analysis of this bill is such that it will likely delay or even prevent the successful assignment of 10-J status, which is why he vetoed it.”

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quotes: Governor of Colorado. Jared Polis vetoes bill that could delay reintroductions of gray wolves (2023 May 17), retrieved May 17, 2023 from -vetoes.html.

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