Monday, October 31, 2005

3D scanning of prehistoric art

Archaeoptics has just relased the news that they have finished scanning several rock art panels: Ketley Crag, Chatton Park 1, Huntersheugh Howgill and Cotherstone. This is good news as laser scanning is the most accurate and non destructive way of recording rock art and so will provide an excellent record of these carvings many of which are threatened in many different ways.


Beckensall Archive of Northumberland Rock Art

I have also come across a nice article on the scanning of the art at Long Meg:

See also: Dr. Margarita Díaz-Andreu

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Brush up on your Yucatec

I was interested to learn that Mel Gibson's new film Apocalypto will be performed in the maya language Yucatec. This has to be a first but it is a good idea as Mayan history contains some brilliant stories, impressive spectacle and loads of violence. In case you wanted to learn more about this language here are some resources:

A Brief Introduction to Yucatec Maya

Combined Dictionary–Concordance of the Yucatecan Mayan Language

an online dictionary of all Mayan languages

Story about the film

Eastern Zhou grave discovered

The eastern zhou (770-256 BC) has produced some absolutely amazing relics so it’s nice to learn that a new tomb from that era has been discovered near Luoyang and properly excavated rather than being looted.


Saving China's antiquities

Monday, October 24, 2005

New Rock Art

I do love megalithtic art so i was very excited to hear about the discovery of a new decorated tomb in Scotland. The find was at Balblair Quarry, Beauly near Inverness an area that does not contain any similar art. It looks like the sort of thing that is found in Ireland and areas influenced by Ireland so the discovery on the east coast is an enigma. More information on the excavation and further pictures can be found here.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Palanth up again

The palanth forum where various aspects of human evolution are discussed is back up again after being down for some time due to technical problems:

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Wren's Nest

I live near the lovely Wren's Nest national nature reserve so was very happy to learn (via discuss fossils) that a website with pictures of fossils collected there has been created by Geoff Broughton here:


It's well worth a look.

If you want to see the fossils in real life you can visit the Dudley Museum & Art Gallery, or the Lapworth Museum, or of course you could visit Wren's Nest itself. The picture is of the trilobite Calymene blumenbachii from Wren's Nest in the Dudley museum.

I have a set of photos taken at the Dudley museum on flickr here.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005


Above is an image from Morphbank a a cool new wesite I have just heard about via Eurekalert. It will apparently be an 'international Web database that contains thousands of high-resolution photographs and other images of plant and animal specimens.' The images here are all very high quality and it is possible to download vey high resolution versions which is nice, especially as there seem to be lots of nice SEMs, and i do like a nice SEM. The taxonomic coverage is limited at the moment (mainly to wasps) but it could be an amazing resource in the future.

The picture is the wasp Aylax papaveris and morphbank can be found at Press release:

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Flower Development

A nice Review of flower development has just been published in Nature Reviews Genetics:

Krizek, B.A. and Fletcher, J.C. (2005) Molecular mechanism of flower development: An armchair guide. Nat. Rev. Genet. 6, 688-698.

An afternoon stroll through an English garden reveals the breathtaking beauty and enormous diversity of flowering plants. The extreme variation of flower morphologies, combined with the relative simplicity of floral structures and the wealth of floral mutants available, has made the flower an excellent model for studying developmental cell-fate specification, morphogenesis and tissue patterning. Recent molecular genetic studies have begun to reveal the transcriptional regulatory cascades that control early patterning events during flower formation, the dynamics of the gene-regulatory interactions, and the complex combinatorial mechanisms that create a distinct final floral architecture and form.

It is available to download from the Krizek lab homepage: