Ancient Tale of Sun’s Behavior Revealed By Tree Rings

tree ring

What we now know is that the sun has been in the same routine for at least 290 million years, according to research.

On January 9th 2017, it was proposed that Ancient tree rings from the Permian period record a roughly 11-year cycle of wet and dry periods, climate fluctuations caused by the ebbing and flowing of solar activity, in Geology. The discovery would push back the earliest evidence of today’s 11-year solar cycle by tens of millions of years.


“The sun has apparently been doing what it’s been doing today for a long time,” Nat Gopalswamy, a solar scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., who was not involved in the study said in Science News.

The sun’s brightness and the frequency of sunspots and solar flares completes one round of waxing and waning every 11 years. These solar changes alter the intensity of sunlight reaching Earth and, some scientists hypothesize, may affect the composition of the stratosphere and rates of cloud formation. Those effects could alter rainfall rates, which in turn influence tree growth.

That is how ancient trees may hold clues to similar cycles from long ago.

In what is now southeast Germany, volcanic eruptions buried an ancient forest under debris roughly 290 million years ago. Paleontologists Ludwig Luthardt and Ronny Rößler of the Natural History Museum in Chemnitz, Germany, identified tree rings in the fossilized remains of the trees.

By measuring the widths of the rings, it showed how much the plants grew each year, so the researchers could discover a cycle in growth rates. The cycle lasted on average 10.62 years. This cycle reflects years-long rises and falls in annual rainfall rates caused by the solar cycle. The cycle’s average length falls within the 10.44-year to 11.16-year length of the sunspot cycle seen over the last few hundred years according to the research.

Are solar and tree ring cycles connected?

While this isn’t certain according to paleoclimatologist Adam Csank of the University of Nevada, Reno, the research can still continue.

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The 8,000-year-old Kazakhstan Puzzle

nasa image

The mysterious earthworks known as the Steppe Geoglyphs are thousands of years in the making. Scattered throughout remote parts of Kazakhstan and only visible from high above, their patterns vary in shapes — from giant rings to swastikas.

There are nearly 300 of these strange works, the oldest of which was constructed at least 8,000 years ago. And no one, including scores of scientists who have studied them, really knows why they’re there. The theory is that they came from an ancient settlement.

Dmitriy Dey, who first spotted them in 2007 on Google Earth — he was looking for ancient pyramids at the time — thinks they may have been built as “horizontal observatories to track the movements of the rising sun,” according to a New York Times interview last year.

The ancient relics are so puzzling that NASA has been working to unravel the mystery. From 430 miles above the Earth, the space agency captured some of the clearest images, which were released in late 2015.

Amateur archaeologist Dmitriy Dey first discovered the geoglyphs in 2007 using Google Earth. Since then, Dey has already discovered 260 forms of the land design, which look like strange versions of crop circles and coming in a variety of shapes.

Another formation, called Ushtogaysky Square, is 810,000 square feet—with each side as long as an aircraft carrier. To make the shape more complex, there is an X shape that runs through the middle of the square.

These formations, however, would seem normal when placed side by side the Turgai Swastika, which, as the name suggests, resembles the infamous swastika. Of course when one thinks of swastika, they think of Nazi Germany, however the swastika is a far more ancient and sacred Vedic Indian symbol that the Nazis repurposed.

All of these formations can be found at the northern region of Kazakhstan, which offered rich hunting grounds for nomadic Stone Age tribes.

Persis B. Clarkson, an archaeologist at the University of Winnipeg, said these geoglyphs are making him and his colleagues rethink what they know about human civilisation.

“The idea that foragers could amass the numbers of people necessary to undertake large-scale projects—like creating the Kazakhstan geoglyphs—has caused archaeologists to deeply rethink the nature and timing of sophisticated large-scale human organisation as one that predates settled and civilised societies,” Clarkson said, as quoted by Gizmodo

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2,300-Year-Old Pure Gold Crown Forgotten Under Pensioner’s Bed

Gold Crown 2300 Yrs Old

An elderly man was stunned when he discovered that a box of trinkets he inherited from his grandfather contained an ancient Greek crown made of pure gold that an auctioneer says is worth at least $230,000.

It has been reported that the pensioner had seen the crown nearly a decade ago but did not realize its’ worth or importance and put it aside in a tatty cardboard box beneath his bed. It was only when he finally decided get a box of items valued by Dukes of Dorchester, that he came to discover the crown is an authentic Greek myrtle wreath dating back to around 300 BC. “Stylistically it belongs to a rarefied group of wreaths dateable to the Hellenistic period and the form may indicate that it was made in Northern Greece,” Guy Schwinge, a valuer from Duke’s of Dorchester, told Mail Online.

Gold Crown2

“It is eight inches across and weighs about 100 grams. It’s pure gold and handmade, it would have been hammered out by a goldsmith.” Ancient Greeks wore wreaths on special ceremonial occasions and received them as athletic prizes and honors. The myrtle wreath was a symbol of love as the myrtle plant was believed to be sacred to the goddess Aphrodite. Many such wreaths that survive today had been found in important burials, and although the provenance of the pensioner’s wreath is unknown, it is likely that it too was buried at some point as it still has dirt embedded in it.

It is not the first time that a valuable artifact has been overlooked by an unsuspecting owner. In 2014, an object pulled up by a plow in a field and used to prop open an office door was identified by archaeologists as an extremely rare and valuable Bronze Age ceremonial dagger, known as a dirk, one of only six found in the whole of Europe. Last year, a 60-year-old Chinese farmer who found an old sword blade digging in the ground used it as a kitchen knife for several years before realizing its value and historical importance.

Photo Credit: Dukes / BNPS.

Author: April Holloway – News Source: Mail Daily (05-26-2016)