Small clay and stone artifacts found in Israel's Jordan Valley, long thought to be phallic symbols, may actually be 8,000-year-old matchsticks. Scientists from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem used electro-microscopy to examine the objects, kept in the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, and found friction marks and possible burn marks suggesting that the cylinders had been used to start fires.
"We have fire evidence in modern humans and Neanderthals, from charcoal, ashes and hearths, but there was nothing ever found that was connected with how you ignite the fire," lead author Prof Naama Goren-Inbar of The Hebrew University of Jerusalem told BBC News.
But on a visit to the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, Professor Goren-Inbar recognized the shape of structures discovered at the Sha'ar HaGolan archaeological site as that found in tools used for purposes other than simply cultural ones.
"I saw this object and immediately it came to my mind that this was very, very similar to all the sticks that you see [used as] 'fire drills'. I made the connection and it slowly developed," she said.
"Archaeologists claim objects are earliest 'matches'" (BBC News)
"The Earliest Matches" (PLoS One)
Freddy deBoer writes that he’s been telling the same joke for years about Silicon Valley’s only product, which might be universalized as “At last, a way to verb with nouns on the internet!” But the social-media techopoly is stable, now, and so the venture capitalists have moved on to the three terrible trends that will […]
Alex Wood is an addict but won’t give up his smartphone. But he has five strategies for limiting its control over him: “I used to wake up tired. My body would ache and my head felt sore, like waking up with a hangover. Finally, I took control, like attending an AA class for addicts, I […]
We just got the Sport model of the EPIKGO hoverboard at my office. Besides being terribly chic, it’s apparently bulletproof.
Bamboo has lots of uses beyond just being panda food. Things like bikes, roads, scaffolding, and musical instruments are made from the fast-growing grass. But unless you are participating in a tropical-themed LARP, you probably wouldn’t want a shirt made from bamboo stalks. So why do bamboo bed sheets make any sense? Because yarn extracted from […]
If you want to work in tech, but don’t have any desire to code web apps to help businesses sell things to other business, you might want to consider a career in cybersecurity. Judging from the apparent complete infiltration of Russian hackers in American cyberspace, it seems fair to speculate that there’s a major shortage of […]
All moms are different. But all moms like getting flowers on Mother’s Day, and that’s a fact (not, however a fact we can document in any fashion.) Instead of getting chewed out for forgetting to call her on the second Sunday of May, you can take care of it ahead of time with Teleflora’s flower […]