Saudi Arabia surprise

• This is a photo of a bull’s eye and triangle formation at Samhah in Saudi Arabia. Archaeologist David Kennedy has been studying these mysterious “gates”, structures that may have been created by ancient tribes, for the last decade using Google Earth. Saudi officials have finally given him permission to study these structures via helicopter.

Oldest wine jar

• This Neolithic jar, dated between 6,000 and 5,000 BC, from Georgia — a country that straddles the fertile valleys of the south Caucasus Mountains between Europe and the Middle East — most likely held 300 litres of wine. In a new study, researchers found wine residue on pottery shards from two archaeological sites in Georgia dating back to 6,000 BC. That means Georgia could be the birthplace of wine. 

Dying alone

• When European colonisers first reached North America, there were about 5 billion passenger pigeons. In the next few decades the birds vanished. While excessive hunting was one of the reasons, a new paper suggests that natural selection was extremely efficient in passenger pigeons, making them well-suited for living in dense flocks, but unable to cope with living in sparse groups once their numbers started to plummet. 


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