The mummies of two high-status ancient Egyptians discovered in a temple on the Nile delta may bring researchers a step closer to finding the remains of Cleopatra, the legendary Egyptian queen.
The mummies, which had lain undisturbed for 2,000 years, are in a poor state of preservation because water had seeped into the tomb, according to the Guardian.
But they were originally covered with gold leaf – a luxury reserved for only the top members of society’s elite – meaning they may have personally interacted with Cleopatra.
The male and female mummies may have been priests who played a key role in maintaining the power of the legendary Egyptian queen and her lover, Mark Anthony.
Also found at the site were 200 coins bearing Cleopatra’s name and her face, which would have been pressed based on Cleopatra’s direct instructions.
The location of the long-lost tomb of Mark Antony and Cleopatra VII from the year 30 BC remains unknown, although it’s somewhere near the Egyptian city of Alexandria.
But this research team are convinced excavations at the ancient city of Taposiris Magna, which is marked by a temple that still stands today, will soon uncover the ancient couple’s resting place.
The two mummies found inside a sealed tomb at Taposiris Magna, where digs are ungoing to oncover the grave of Cleopatra
The temple is located near Alexandria, the capital of ancient Egypt and where Cleopatra killed herself in 30BC
Despite the fact researchers have been excavating the site since 2005, only a tiny percentage of the vast site has been explored.
The mummies were found in what is the first ever intact tomb to be opened at Taposiris Magna – an event that’s the subject of a Channel 5 documentary to be broadcast this week.
‘Although now covered in dust from 2,000 years underground, at the time these mummies would have been spectacular,’ Dr Glenn Godenho, a senior lecturer in Egyptology at Liverpool University, told the Guardian.
‘To be covered in gold leaf shows they would have been important members of society.’
One of the mummies was found wearing an image of a scarab, pained in gold leaf, symbolising rebirth.
But the 200 coins bearing Cleopatra’s likeness links the pharaoh ruler directly to Taposiris Magna, which was founded in the third century BC.
The ‘prominent nose and double chin’ of the queen as depicted on the coins suggest she wasn’t as conventionally beautiful as the actresses that portrayed her on screen – most memorably by Elizabeth Taylor in the 1963 film ‘Cleopatra’.
Archaeologists searching for the tomb of Anthony and Cleopatra (pictured played by Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor in the 1963 film) have zeroed in on a site in northern Egypt
Dr Kathleen Martinez, an academic from the Dominican Republic, is leading the dig at the Taposiris Magna temple.
After working there for over 14 years, Dr Martinez and her colleagues are more convinced than ever Cleopatra’s tomb will be found there.
Dr Martinez is seen reacting to the opening of the newly-found mummies at Taposiris Magna in the Channel 5 documentary, which will broadcast on Thursday.
After an initial limestone slab is removed, she says: ‘Oh my god, there are two mummies … See this wonder.’
Osteoarchaeologist, Dr Linda Chapon, working to conserve the two mummies found inside a sealed tomb at Taposiris Magna
Experts believe Cleopatra made plans for herself and Anthony to be buried at a temple called Taposiris Magna in order to imitate the ancient myth of Isis and Osiris
Cleopatra was Egypt’s last pharaoh and the ruler of the Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt, from 51 BC to 30 BC.
Cleopatra and her Roman lover Mark Anthony may have been buried at the site 2,000 years ago because of her desire to imitate an ancient prophecy, Dr Martinez believes.
During her life, which ran from 69 BC to 30 BC, Cleopatra was known both as a seductress and as a captivating personality.
She famously used her charms to first seduce Julius Caesar to cement Egypt’s alliance with Rome, and then to seduce one of his successors, Mark Anthony.
In order to fix herself and Anthony as rulers in the minds of the Egyptian people, she also worked hard to associate them with the myth of Isis and Osiris.
Dr Glenn Godenho and Dr Kathleen Martinez inside Taposiris Magna temple near Alexandria in Egypt
Kathleen Martinez, who is leading the dig, believes the site was strongly associated with the myth of Isis and Osiris – a myth that Cleopatra often tried to imitate during her life
According to the myth, Osiris was killed and hacked into pieces that were scattered across Egypt.
After finding all of the pieces and making her husband whole again, Isis was able to resurrect him for a time.
Martinez believes Taposiris Magna was closely associated with the myth as the name means ‘tomb of Osiris’.
The inclusion of ‘Osiris’ could mean it was one of the places where his body was scattered in the story.
The temple at Taposiris Magna. The opening of the first-ever intact tomb found at Taposiris Magna will be shown on Channel 5 this week
The inside of Taposiris Magna temple, where excavation work is taking place. The temple was established between 280 and 270 BC
After Mark Anthony killed himself following defeat to Octavian but before her own suicide, Cleopatra put detailed plans in place for them both to be buried there, in echoes of the myth, Dr Martinez thinks.
She previously told National Geographic: ‘Cleopatra negotiated with Octavian to allow her to bury Mark Antony in Egypt.
‘She wanted to be buried with him because she wanted to reenact the legend of Isis and Osiris.
‘The true meaning of the cult of Osiris is that it grants immortality. After their deaths, the gods would allow Cleopatra to live with Antony in another form of existence, so they would have eternal life together.’
Doubts have been cast on the theory, however, as other experts believe Cleopatra was hastily buried in Alexandria itself – the city from where she ruled Egypt until her death, believed to have been caused by snake venom.
The Hunt for Cleopatra’s Tomb will be shown on Channel 5 on Thursday 16 July at 9pm.
ANTHONY, CLEOPATRA AND THE PTOLEMAIC DYNASTY
Cleopatra, often known as the world’s first celebrity, was the last of a long line to Ptolemaic rulers of Egypt – descended from Greek general Alexander the Great.
By the time of her birth, his empire had been reduced to a shadow of its former self, while the ruling class was prone to bitter in-fighting.
Married to her brother Ptolemy XIII in her father’s will, she united with Julius Caesar against him – famously having herself smuggled to see the Roman general inside a carpet so she could strike terms with him.
After his murder in 44BC Egypt, Mark Anthony was appointed to oversee the eastern reaches of the Republic – including the independent kingdom of Egypt.
Though married to Octavian’s sister, Anthony formed a relationship with Cleopatra and had three children with her.
Eventually Anthony and Octavian turned against one-another and fought for control of the Republic, which ended with defeat at the Battle of Actium.
Octavian chased Anthony and Cleopatra back to Alexandria, where they were eventually captured.
Anthony died in Cleopatra’s arms after fatally stabbing himself, before she also committed suicide – reportedly by letting an asp bite her.
Octavian returned to Italy where he became the first Emperor of Rome, while Cleopatra and Anthony were buried in Egypt.
Powered by: Daily Mail
Microbes beneath the seafloor found living on fifty-billion-billion times less energy than a human’
Tiny microbes living underneath the seafloor have been found surviving on a fraction of the energy a human needs to live – setting a new lower energy limit for life.
An international team of researchers led by Queen Mary University of London used data from the sub-seafloor to create a new global picture of the ocean biosphere.
They discovered that microorganisms buried in sediment beneath the seafloor can survive on less energy than was previously known to support life.
The study has implications for understanding the limit of life on Earth and the potential for life elsewhere in the solar system, the team said.
The team behind the study are pictured here carrying a sediment core on the catwalk of the ship they used as a base of operations
Researchers combined data on the distribution and amounts of carbon and microbial life contained in Earth’s biosphere with the rate of chemical reactions.
Using this information they were able to determine the ‘power’ consumption of individual microbial cells – in other words – the rate at which they utilise energy.
All life on Earth constantly uses energy in order to remain active, sustain metabolism, and carry out essential functions such as growth, and the repair of biomolecules.
The results show that sub-seafloor microbes survive using far less energy than has ever previously been shown to support any form of life on Earth.
By stretching the ‘habitable boundaries of life’ to include lower energy environments – the team hope this could help them work out how early life started on Earth.
Dr James Bradley, Lecturer in Environmental Science at Queen Mary said we tend to think about plants, animals, algae and bacteria when we think about life on Earth.
Photograph taken from ALVIN, a manned deep-ocean research submersible, taking sediment cores at the ocean floor of the Dorado Outcrop in 2014
‘Yet here we show that an entire biosphere of microorganisms – as many cells as are contained in all of Earth’s soils or oceans, have barely enough energy to survive.
‘Many of them are simply existing in a mostly inactive state – not growing, not dividing, and not evolving. These microbes use less energy than we previously thought was possible to support life on Earth.’
The average human uses about 100 watts of power – or about the power of a ceiling fan or two lightbulbs, the researchers explained.
‘We calculate that the average microbe trapped in deep ocean sediments survives on fifty-billion-billion times less energy than a human,’ said Bradley.
Jan Amend, Director of the Center for Dark Energy Biosphere Investigations (C-DEBI) at the University of Southern California, and co-author of the study, said previously studies of the sub-seabed focused on how much life is there.
‘Now we’re digging deeper into ecological questions: what is it doing, and how fast is it doing it? Understanding the power limits of life establishes an essential baseline for microbial life on Earth and elsewhere,’ said Amend.
The findings raise fundamental questions about our definitions of what constitutes life, as well as the limits of life on Earth, and elsewhere.
With such little energy available, it is unlikely that organisms are able to reproduce or divide, but instead use this miniscule amount of energy for ‘maintenance’ – replacing or repairing their damaged parts.
It is likely, therefore, that many of the microbes found at great depths beneath the seafloor are remnants from populations that inhabited shallow coastal settings thousands to millions of years ago.
Unlike organisms on the surface of Earth, which operate on daily and seasonal) timescales according to the Sun, these deeply microbes exist on much longer timescales, such as the movement of tectonic plates.
The research also sheds light on how the microbes interact with chemical processes occurring deep below the seafloor.
Whilst oxygen provides the highest amount of energy to microbes, it is in overwhelmingly short supply – present in less than 3 per cent of sediments.
Photograph taken from ALVIN, a manned deep-ocean research submersible, taking sediment cores at the ocean floor of the Dorado Outcrop in 2014.
Anoxic sediments, however, are far more widespread, often containing microorganisms that obtain energy by generating methane – a greenhouse gas.
Despite being practically inactive, the microbial cells contained in Earth’s marine sediments are so numerous, and survive over such extraordinarily long timescales, that they act as an important driver of earth’s carbon and nutrient cycles.
They even affect the concentration of CO2 in earth’s atmosphere over thousands to millions of years.
‘The findings of the research call into question not just the nature and limits of life on Earth, but elsewhere in the Universe,” added Dr Bradley.
‘If life does exist on Mars or Europa for example, it would most likely take refuge in the subsurface of these energy-limited planetary bodies.
‘If microbes only need a few zeptowatts of power to survive, there could be remnants of extant life, long dormant but still technically ‘alive’, under their surface.’
The results have been published in the journal Science Advances.
KEY DISCOVERIES IN HUMANITY’S SEARCH FOR ALIEN LIFE
Discovery of pulsars
British astronomer Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell was the first person to discover a pulsar in 1967 when she spotted a radio pulsar.
Since then other types of pulsars that emit x-rays and gamma rays have also been spotted.
Pulsars are essentially rotating, highly magnatised neutron stars but when they were first discovered it was believed they could come from aliens.
‘Wow!’ radio signal
In 1977, an astronomer looking for alien life in the nigh sky above Ohio spotted a powerful radio signal so strong that he excitedly wrote ‘Wow!’ next to his data.
In 1977, an astronomer looking for alien life in the nigh sky above Ohio spotted a powerful radio signal so strong that he excitedly wrote ‘Wow!’ next to his data
The 72-second blast, spotted by Dr Jerry Ehman through a radio telescope, came from Sagittarius but matched no known celestial object.
Conspiracy theorists have since claimed that the ‘Wow! signal’, which was 30 times stronger than background radiation, was a message from intelligent extraterrestrials.
Fossilised martian microbes
In 1996 Nasa and the White House made the explosive announcement that the rock contained traces of Martian bugs.
The meteorite, catalogued as Allen Hills (ALH) 84001, crashed onto the frozen wastes of Antarctica 13,000 years ago and was recovered in 1984.
Photographs were released showing elongated segmented objects that appeared strikingly lifelike.
Photographs were released showing elongated segmented objects that appeared strikingly lifelike (pictured)
However, the excitement did not last long. Other scientists questioned whether the meteorite samples were contaminated.
They also argued that heat generated when the rock was blasted into space may have created mineral structures that could be mistaken for microfossils.
Behaviour of Tabby’s Star in 2005
The star, otherwise known as KIC 8462852, is located 1,400 light years away and has baffled astonomers since being discovered in 2015.
It dims at a much faster rate than other stars, which some experts have suggested is a sign of aliens harnessing the energy of a star.
The star, otherwise known as KIC 8462852, is located 1,400 light years away and has baffled astonomers since being discovered in 2015 (artist’s impression)
Recent studies have ‘eliminated the possibility of an alien megastructure’, and instead, suggests that a ring of dust could be causing the strange signals.
Exoplanets in the Goldilocks zone in 2015
In February this year astronomers announced they had spotted a star system with planets that could support life just 39 light years away.
Seven Earth-like planets were discovered orbiting nearby dwarf star ‘Trappist-1’, and all of them could have water at their surface, one of the key components of life.
Three of the planets have such good conditions, that scientists say life may have already evolved on them.
Researchers claim that they will know whether or not there is life on any of the planets within a decade, and said ‘this is just the beginning.’
Powered by: Daily Mail
Brain-computer interfaces like Elon Musk’s Neuralink at risk
Elon Musk plans to link human brains to computers using tiny implants, but a new report warns the implants could leave us vulnerable to hackers.
Speaking with Zdnet, Experts said cybercriminals can access these brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) to erase your skills and read thoughts or memories – a breach worse than any other system.
To make the technology secure, systems need to ‘ensure that no unauthorized person can modify their functionality.’
This could mean using similar security protocols found in smartphones such as encryption to antivirus software.
Scroll down for video
Elon Musk plans to link human brains to computers, but a new report warns the implants could leave us vulnerable to hackers
Musk has been working on his startup Neuralink since 2016, which he says will one-day human brains to computers in order to avoid our species from being outpaced by artificial intelligence.
The billionaire has shared the BCI would help cure injuries, depression and other ailments that plague the human body.
However, the technology may be too good to be true, as researchers have come forward to share the horrors that could await.
The chip could open a window for hackers to invade thoughts or memories of political officials, military personnel and other thieves attempting to carry out their own digital attacks, Jo Best with Zdnet reports.
Neuralink, which was founded in 2016, is designing tiny flexible ‘threads’ that are ten times thinner than a human hair and can be inserted directly into the brain. Experts say hackers can access these brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) to erase your skills and read thoughts
The tech tycoon explained that the device is about one inch in diameter, similar to the face of a smart watch, and is implanted by removing a small chunk of the skull
A breach of this type of data would surpass any we have ever seen before.
Dr Sasitharan Balasubramaniam, director of research at the Waterford Institute of Technology’s Telecommunication Software and Systems Group (TSSG), told Zdnet: ‘What type of damage will [an attack] do to the brain, will it erase your skills or disrupt your skills?’
‘What are the consequences – would they come in the form of just new information put into the brain, or would it even go down to the level of damaging neurons that then leads to a rewiring process within the brain that then disrupts your thinking.’
‘It’s not only at the information level, it could also be the physical damage as well.’
The report lays out a number of attacks that could be carried out if the brain chips fell into the wrong hands.
Hackers could intercept data traveling from the BCI to the brain, allowing them to gather sensitive data such as logins for emails and other systems
Hackers could intercept data traveling from the BCI to the brain, allowing them to gather sensitive data such as logins for emails and other systems.
Researchers note that malicious software could be transmitted to the technology, allowing attackers to show the user images or feed fake versions of the neural inputs to control the BCI.
The teams do not believe all is lost, but urge BCI creators to take a multi-layered security approach when designing their systems including antivirus software and encryption.
Musk is the top dog in the brain chip business and is set to release news of a possible working prototype August 28.
Powered by: Daily Mail
Extreme heat could kill more people than HIV, malaria and yellow fever combined by 2100, study warns
As the world struggles to combat the coronavirus, researchers come forward with a warning of a deadlier threat – extreme heat.
Temperatures are increasing across the globe due to global warming and could kill more people than the current infectious diseases combined.
The team found that if greenhouse gas emissions are not curbed, heatwaves could kill 73 people per 100,000 by 2100.
This is the same number of fatalities linked to HIV, malaria and yellow fever combined.
Following an investigation into temperature and mortality, the results showed that it is those with underlying cardiovascular issues that are more at risk.
Scroll down for video
Temperatures are increasing across the globe due to global warming and could kill more people than the current infectious diseases combined. The team found that if greenhouse gas emissions are not curbed, heatwaves could kill 73 people per 100,000 by 2100
The warning comes from a team of more than 30 scientists at the Climate Impact Lab, who gathered 399 million death records from 41 countries for the study, as reported on by Earther.
The records show that the direct impact of extreme heat, which results in heat stress or heat stroke, only affected a small pieces of deaths linked to rising temperatures.
However, the largest amount of heat-related fatalities were a result of indirect impacts, as heat is known to increase risk of heart attacks among those with cardiovascular issues.
Amir Jina, environmental and development economist at the University of Chicago and co-author of the study, told Earther in an email that when an individual with heart problems is exposed to extreme heat, their ‘body starts pumping more blood around, trying to stay cool and it puts extra stress on the system.’
The team found that if greenhouse gas emissions are not curbed, heatwaves could kill 73 people per 100,000 by 2100. This is the same number of fatalities linked to HIV, malaria and yellow fever combined
As many previous studies have suggests, the current report predicts that populations in the warmest parts of the world will see the highest death tolls.
This includes Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sudan, which could see as many as 200 deaths per 100,000 people.
However, the increased fatalities is not only because these areas are already hot, it is also due to the fact they are poor and cannot afford proper cooling systems.
Jina and his team also predict that if greenhouse gases are not cut, heat-related deaths will cost 3.2 percent of the world’s global economic output by the end of the century.
Through the study, researchers found that one ton of carbon dioxide emitted costs the world $36.60 in damages.
A study released in June also highlighted how deadly extreme temperatures are.
Death records show that hundreds of Americans die from heat each year, but a new investigation reveals it may actually be thousands.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has estimated some 600 people lose their lives to extreme temperatures, but a new study suggests the real amount is more than 5,600.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has estimated some 600 people lose their lives to extreme temperatures, but a new study suggests the real amount is more than 5,600
Researchers used data from the National Center for Health Statistic on deaths in populous areas in the US from 1997 through 2006, along with a model that estimates temperatures in these regions.
The data shows moderate heat killed 3,309 people per year in the counties included in the study, and extreme heat killed 2,299 people each year.
However, as the coronavirus linger across the nation, experts fear these numbers will increase, as publicly accessible air conditioned spaces are now longer available.
Powered by: Daily Mail
YouTube star Jake Paul’s LA home raided by FBI after big party
Man Utd vs LASK LIVE: Stream free, TV channel, teams and kick-off time for Europa League last 16 tie
Man City complete Nathan Ake transfer as Pep Guardiola lands £41m centre-back
Above Suspicion (2019)
The Invisible Man (2020)
The Dinner Party (2020)
Movies4 weeks ago
Above Suspicion (2019)
Movies1 month ago
The Invisible Man (2020)
Movies2 months ago
The Dinner Party (2020)
Movies1 month ago
Gabriel’s Inferno (2020)
Movies1 month ago
Adventures of Rufus: The Fantastic Pet (2020)
Movies1 month ago
Sports2 months ago
Templegate’s horses to follow: Our top racing tipster lets you in on his horses to keep on side this Flat season
Australia2 months ago
Big Brother Uncut’s most outrageous moments resurface