Academic blogs, Roman imperial sceptres, and early Europeans
- As the Beano lads used to say when faced with something tasty: Sloo! At least, I think that's what they said. It's been a while. Anyway... check out the Academic Blog Portal. Yum.
- From the Telegraph: the only Roman imperial sceptre found thus far is going on display.
The sceptre, which is topped by a blue orb that represents the earth, was discovered at the end of last year and is believed to have been held by Emperor Maxentius, who ruled for six years until 312AD.
It was found at the base of the Palatine hill, carefully wrapped in silk and linen and then placed in a wooden box. Alongside it were other boxes holding two other imperial battle standards and ceremonial lance heads. The depth of the burial allowed archaeologists to date the find to Maxentius' rule.
- Going much further back, a study has just been published that confirms that Neolithic Europeans were unable to digest milk:
The first direct evidence that early Europeans were unable to digest milk has been found by scientists at UCL (University College London) and Mainz University.
In a study, published in the journal 'PNAS', the team shows that the gene that controls our ability to digest milk was missing from Neolithic skeletons dating to between 5840 and 5000 BC. However, through exposure to milk, lactose tolerance evolved extremely rapidly, in evolutionary terms.
(I first saw the story at Dienekes' Anthropology Blog.)