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    Russia-InfoCenter / October 31, 2006
    The Kulikovo Field Mystery Is Finally Solved

    Загадка Куликова поля - отсутствие захоронений - породила множество невероятных гипотез, начиная с предположения о том, что битва проходила в другом месте, и заканчивая утверждением о том, что ее не было вовсе. Последние результаты георадарной съемки Куликова поля и разведывательные археологические раскопки позволяют выдвинуть новую версию.

The Kulikovo field mystery - the lack of burial grounds - has generated many incredible hypotheses: starting with denial of the very fact of this historical battle and ending with suggestion that the battle took place near the walls of Moscow Kremlin. Recent survey by means of a ground-penetrating radar, as well as reconnaissance archeological diggings of the discovered underground heterogeneity, reveals a new approach to the problem.
The ground-penetrating radar survey of the site of the 1380's famous battle was performed by the joint think-tank from the Foundation of Underwater Archeological Research, the Institute for Earth's Magnetism, Ionosphere and Radio-Wave Propagation (IEMIRP), the All-Russian Science and Research Institute of Mechanical Hand Tools (ASRIMHT) and the State Reserve Museum "The Kulikovo Field".
Scientists made several failure attempts to use geo-radars for burial grounds search on the Kulikovo field. Five years ago designers from IEMIRP and ASRIMHT developed a new generation of devices for underground sounding - geo-radar "LOZA", which allowed scientists to expect success from the next search. Eastern part of the Kulikovo field was used for agricultural needs till spring 2006, thus scientists were unable to perform any surveys. Nowadays the mentioned part of the field belongs to the museum and is no more in agricultural use. The profiling of the territory helped to reveal six objects, located from the west to the east direction with the interval of 100-120 m.
The researchers suggest the objects, discovered by means of the "LOZA" geo-radar, to be the burial grounds of people killed in the Kulikovo battle. Bodies of the deceased were buried in the shallow graves - as deep as the black soil layer was, which is now undoubtedly clear because this layer is followed by dense continent clay, which is difficult to dig with a wooden shovel with a metal edge common for those times. Black soil, which is very chemically active compared to other soils, has decomposed all body parts including bones, which were not protected by the waterproof clay, with the help of precipitation.
This hypothesis needed to be proved - thus archeologists have asked medical assessors for help. Medical experts have performed the analysis of soil samples, collected from the underground object of the Kulikovo field, detected during the geo-radar survey. They came to the following conclusion: the underground object contained ashes, similar to those, found in the burial grounds with fully decomposed flesh and bones. Infrared spectrophotometery showed credible differences between soil samples of the object and control soil samples, collected outside the object site. Medics claim identifying of the ashes (whether they have belonged to human beings or animals), as well as finding out the time of burial and correspondence to the battle of 1380, is impossible. Data correction and detailed studies will be possible only after discovery of bone material, fragments of which are usually found together with ashes.
The studies, performed by the scientists, allowed making the conclusion that the discovered objects are burial grounds, containing ashes, which were almost totally decomposed by the soil activity and precipitation, making their identification impossible. Shallow burial - less than 1 meter - speaks against possible cattle mortuary. However, the hypothesis needs further studies - planned archeological diggings with compulsory physical and chemical soil analysis.

© Garant-InfoCentre, 2004-2006.

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    Sveriges Radio, Sweden / Oct 26, 2006
    Russian scientists found Willem Barents's ship

    Экспедиция ученых Российского географического общества обнаружила на побережье Новой земли, в Ледяной гавани, обломки шхуны известного мореплавателя Виллема Баренца. Судно застряло во льду в 1596 году, когда очередная экспедиция, возглавляемая Баренцом, дошла до архипелага Шпицберген.

Dutch experts verify that fragments found at the Novaja Zemlja coast originate from the ship of Willem Barents, who found the Northern Route 400 years ago.
The latest scientifical expedition from the Russian Geographical Society to the Arctic ended unexpectedly - the crew had to send an SOS-message and was rescued by the icebreaker "Arctica". But the polar explorers are pleased with the journey.
Important discovery
They are sure they managed to make a very important discovery. The Russian expedition set out on the expedition on board of the whale-boat "Sokol". It reached the New Land (Novaja Zemlja) and Spitzbergen five times.
A high-risk project
This time the researchers set a task to find fragments of the ship of the famous Dutch navigator Willem Barents. This trip was a high-risk project because of dangerous ice conditions. Dmitry Kravchenko, the leader of the expedition, received information from Norwegian sources that the whole coast of the New Land including the Ice harbor was free from ice.
Found fragments
Just on the coast of the Ice harbor fortune smiled at the expedition. They found lots of fragments of a ship. All of them looked like above-water parts and it was difficult to judge for sure if they were fragment from Barents's ship. Not far from that place fragments of a winter-hut were found and they proved this version. It was a twist of fate when the Russian whale-boat got into the same trap as the Barents's ship four hundred years ago - it was locked in the Arctic ice.
Stuck in the ice
The Russian travellers couldn't set their boat free. The only rubber dinghy was torn by polar bears. As we know, the scientific group was in the end rescued by the icebreaker "Arktika". But good luck accompanied them further.
Fragments verified
Dutch experts have now verified that the fragments that were found on the Novaja Zemlja coast originate from the ship of Willem Barents. The whale-boat "Sokol" is under repair now. Its captain says that the vessel is only slightly damaged and soon will be able to set out on new expeditions.

Copyright Sveriges Radio.

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    Daily Telegraph / 01/11/2006
    Russian trawlers prepare to invade Arctic seas
    • By Charles Clover, Environment Editor

    По прогнозам, ледники, покрывающие летом поверхность Северного Ледовитого океана, исчезнут к 2080-2100 году, что ставит под угрозу жизнедеятельность белых медведей и моржей, однако позволит расширить ареал обитания треске и другим видам рыбы. Существенная часть этой рыбы окажется в международных водах, и рыболовная, а также нефтегазовая гонка в арктических морях уже стартовала. Россия предъявила претензии на воды вплоть до Северного полюса.

Russian trawlers are already being built to exploit the Arctic seas opened up as the sea ice shrinks as a result of global warming, scientists warned yesterday.
Yet the international agreements which constrain oil, gas and fisheries activities in the High Arctic are at best rudimentary and at worst defective, a meeting in London heard yesterday.
The summer Arctic ice cover is predicted to disappear by 2080-2100, endangering the polar bear and the walrus, but vastly enlarging the range of cod and other fish species.
Much of these fish will be in international waters and a race to exploit them and the oil and gas supplies in Arctic waters is already on. Russia has lodged a claim to the waters as far as the North Pole.
Canada and Denmark are technically at war over Hans Island, a small uninhabited island in the Kennedy Channel, part of the North West passage which they both claim.
The United States, one of the Arctic countries, is not a member of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, which regulates fisheries in international waters.
Prof Jacqueline McGlade, executive director of the European Environment Agency, said two Russian trawler fleets operating out of Murmansk were already building specialised trawlers to fish in waters north of Svalbard (Spitzbergen).
"Fisheries are moving northwards into terra incognita. If we were to allow a full ecosystem to develop we could have huge fisheries there. If we go too quickly we will get just shrimp and squid. But can states hold off long enough? Business as usual in the fishing industry is pretty catastrophic. Let's not repeat the disaster of the European fishing fleets and allow open access."
She said Inuit communities on the east side of Greenland had banned all outside fishing for the shrimp stocks that are growing in the absence of summer ice and had decided to exploit them themselves.
Yet elsewhere industrial trawlers were mopping up the new fisheries stimulated by the lack of summer ice.
The best way to regulate effort was to allow the Arctic communities, whose interests have often been ignored, to set the management of stocks themselves, she said.
Prof Graham Shimmield, director of the Scottish Association for Marine Science, said: "Mackerel, herring, cod and capelin are following the ice floes. The plankton stocks are moving north and we are seeing a northern extension of the food chain."
Until now, plankton in the Arctic have fed creatures on the sea bed, such as lobster, scallops and other shellfish. With more open sea, there will be more upper sea plankton and more migratory fish species, he said.
Recent studies by the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea have shown that the cod could become more prolific globally than it is at present if it were allowed to expand its range into the warming Arctic, but if there were not enough fish stocks breeding south of the Arctic to fuel the migration, this might not happen.
Overfishing in Norway, Canada and the EU was the constraining factor.

© Copyright of Telegraph Media Group Limited 2006.

* * *
    MyWestTexas.com / Oct 25, 2006
    UTPB meeting with Russian scientists encouraging
    • Ruth Campbell, Staff Writer

    Состоялась встреча ученых из Опытного конструкторского бюро машиностроения им. И.И. Африкантова, Российского научного центра "Курчатовский институт" и американской компаниии General Atomics (Сан-Диего).

ODESSA - Although it's too early to tell what will come out of it, University of Texas of the Permian Basin President David Watts is optimistic about a recent meeting with scientists from Russia and General Atomics of San Diego, Calif.
General Atomics is helping with preconceptual design on a high temperature teaching and test reactor, to be located in Andrews County. Scientists from Afrikantov OKB Mechanical Engineering and the Russian Research Centre Kurchatov met with HT3R Director Jim Wright and UTPB physics professor Steve Nelson on Monday.
The reactor, which probably would not be operational until 2012, would be a state-of-the-art, helium-cooled nuclear research facility, built largely underground in Andrews County. Estimated cost is $400 million.
"What's exciting is Russia is trying to build same kind of reactor. They, too, are consulting with General Atomics. ... They believe, like we do, that this reactor has great potential. The technical discussions (Monday) were very helpful in learning what they were doing and for them to learn what we are doing," Watts said.
"It verifies some the applications we're looking at. It verifies some of design elements and provides credibility to our project, and their's as well. They're further along on their funding than we are," Watts added.
The scientists also visited Andrews and McDonald Observatory near Fort Davis. Today, they will also meet with UT Austin faculty collaborating with UTPB on the reactor project, Watts said.
The facility will train engineers and scientists to use new nuclear energy technology, plus perform the research, testing and development required to fully develop solutions to energy shortages.
While no formal arrangements have yet been made, Wright said the talks have been very positive.
"These are some of the brightest minds in the world, and I feel very encouraged about our meeting. We are all concerned about the future of mankind and know that by working together we will find solutions and new technologies faster and more effectively," he said in a news release.

© MyWestTexas.com 2006.

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