American spy satellites reveal lost Roman forts in Syria and Iraq

American spy satellites reveal lost Roman forts in Syria and Iraq

Researchers have studied satellite images used in espionage operations during the Cold War, which provide unique snapshots of the Middle Eastern steppes in the 1960s and 1970s, in Syria and Iraq.

Experts identified the remains of 396 Roman forts, buildings that served as bases for Roman forces during the days of the empire nearly two thousand years ago.

Because of the unique design of the forts scattered throughout the area rather than forming a line, the team believes they served as bases, facilitating "the movement of people and goods."

Other studies have shown that Roman forts once formed a line and thus served as a barrier against invaders, making them sites of violent conflict.

But the new study conducted by researchers in the Department of Anthropology at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, shows that this may not have always been the case. The team says their findings have "radical implications" for the modern understanding of Roman life.

It is already known that the steppes of the Middle East were the site of many fortresses built by the Romans. Even if no traces of construction can be seen with the naked eye on the ground, their imprint on the landscape can be captured through aerial photographs, often using light sensing methods.

A preliminary aerial survey of the steppes in this region was published by the pioneering French archaeologist Antoine Boidbard in 1934.

He recorded a line of 116 forts, and noted that their location formed a line and corresponded to the eastern border of the Roman Empire.

For this reason, Boydbard was sure that the fortresses served as a defensive line to protect the eastern provinces from Arab and Persian raids from the west.

“Since the 1930s, historians and archaeologists have debated the strategic or political purpose of this fort system,” said lead author of the new study, Professor Jessie Cassana at Dartmouth College. “But few scholars have questioned Boydbard’s basic observation of a line of forts defining the eastern Roman frontier.”

With the new study, the team wanted to see if they could find evidence of additional forts that Boydbard had not found, which could challenge his assumptions.

They used declassified spy satellite images from the Cold War, from two different programs codenamed “Corona” and “Hexagon.”

The researchers say that the "Corona" images were collected from 1960 to 1972, and the "Hexagon" images, from 1970 to 1986. Using the forts found by Boydbard as a reference point, the team was able to identify an additional 396 forts, bringing the total to 512.

What was interesting was that they were found widely distributed throughout the region from east to west, which does not indicate that they together formed a border, as Boydbard thought.

Instead, researchers now believe that the forts were built to support trade in the region and protect Roman caravans traveling between the eastern provinces and non-Roman regions.

Meanwhile, the distribution of Boydbard fortresses is merely the product of “exploratory bias,” the team claims.

“The addition of these forts calls into question Boydbard’s thesis of a defensive frontier, and suggests instead that the structures played a role in facilitating the movement of people and goods across the Syrian steppe. These forts supported a caravan-based interregional trade system, communications and military transport,” they wrote.

Indeed, recent scholarship has reconceptualized Roman borders as sites of “cultural exchange” rather than barriers where bloody conflict constantly took place.

Although conflicts may have occurred in forts, this was likely not their only purpose, researchers point out.

The team points out that because the declassified satellite images are about half a century old, many of the forts have likely been destroyed since then due to urban or agricultural development.

A huge radioactive explosion may tell us where life came from!

Scientists have detected one of the most powerful explosions ever seen in the universe, which could explain the source of life.
The explosion occurred exceptionally bright. It is a gamma ray burst known as GRB 230307A, when two neutron stars met and merged into one star.

This caused a massive explosion that extended across the universe and could be seen from Earth. Scientists have observed it using a variety of ground-based and space telescopes, such as NASA's new James Webb Space Telescope.

Scientists witnessed this event when the collision formed one of the brightest explosions of its kind, a million times brighter than our entire Milky Way galaxy. It lasted for 200 seconds, making it relatively long, which is unusual for a gamma-ray burst resulting from the collision of neutron stars, and was thought to be impossible until recently.

In the aftermath of the explosion, the team discovered an important chemical element called tellurium. It is one of the vital materials necessary for the continuation of life on Earth, and this discovery may help explain how it first appeared.

Scientists believe that these explosions, known as "macronova" or "kilonova", could also be a source of other basic materials needed for life on Earth, such as iodine and thorium.

“After just over 150 years since Dmitri Mendeleev wrote the periodic table of the elements, we are now finally in a position to start filling in those last gaps of understanding where everything was made,” says Andrew Levan, from Radboud University, lead author of the new study. Thanks to the James Webb Telescope.

The new findings indicate that these elements, essential to everything around us, are formed in colliding neutron stars.

Ben Gompertz, from the University of Birmingham, explained: “Gamma-ray bursts come from powerful jets traveling at almost the speed of light, in this case driven by a collision between two neutron stars. These stars spent several billion years moving towards each other before they collided to produce the gamma-ray burst that... "We observed it in March of this year. The location of the merger is the approximate length of the Milky Way (about 120,000 light-years) outside its parent galaxy, which means they must have been launched together."

He continued: “The colliding neutron stars provide the necessary conditions for the synthesis of very heavy elements, and the radial glow of these new elements powers the kilonovas that we discovered as the explosion faded. Kilonovas are extremely rare and very difficult to observe and study, which is why this discovery is so exciting.”

The findings are reported in a new paper in the journal Nature.

Despite the ban, thousands demonstrate in Paris in support of Palestine, and the police disperse them with tear gas

Paris : Despite the Paris Police Chief’s ban on the pro-Palestinian demonstration in Paris today and the Administrative Court’s support for his decision, that did not prevent thousands from gathering today, Saturday, in Paris to support the Palestinian people and demand an end to the Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip, in a square. A chalet in the heart of the French capital.

Many of these demonstrators chanted phrases such as: “Israel is a killer Macron is complicit,” “We are all children of Gaza!”, and “What happened yesterday is a war crime, and even a crime against humanity. International justice will judge it,” in reference to the intensification of The bombing carried out by the Israeli army on the Gaza Strip last night. The protesters also include elected officials from the left.

The demonstrators were intending to leave from Chatelet Square in the heart of Paris to reach the famous Place de la République, but the police intervened to disperse them and prevented the crowd from moving, sometimes firing tear gas. According to police, at least 80 people were fined.

The demonstrators face a fine of 135 euros, after the Paris Administrative Court maintained the ban imposed on the demonstration earlier in the day.

Paris Police Chief, Laurent Nunez, had said that he would ban this demonstration due to the “risk of disturbing public order.” He said, during an interview with France-Info radio: “The organizations or associations that called for this gathering on Saturday, through the comments that I was able to make, could suggest that they still support Hamas, and therefore I will ban this demonstration.”

Unlockable demolition until the end of the data recovery successive data. When one chose is clear: Paris is with the city and its menaces and the pressure does not change.

President Emmanuel Macron said yesterday, Friday, that he “trusts the chief” of the Paris police, pointing to the “ambiguity” surrounding the organizers of some gatherings, and called again for not “importing the Palestinian-Israeli conflict” into France. He pointed out that “several demonstrations were allowed, because they were in support of the Palestinian cause for peace,” but other demonstrations were banned “when there was sometimes ambiguity regarding the organizers or the intention to send messages in support of the Hamas movement.”

Demonstrations also took place in other French cities, such as Marseille and Le Mans, as well as in Montpellier, in support of the Palestinian cause. The city of Rennes witnessed a demonstration demanding an immediate ceasefire, the protection of the civilian population in Gaza, and the application of international law in the conflict. Unlike Paris, these demonstrations were not banned by the authorities in these localities. The demonstrators chanted phrases before: “Gaza, Gaza, Paris is with you,” “Humanity is what we assassinate,” and “Macron is Israel’s partner in killing.”

The Council of State, the highest administrative judicial authority in France, reminded the French government on October 18 that pro-Palestinian demonstrations cannot be systematically banned, and that it is up to local authorities and police prefects alone to assess whether there is a local risk of disruption. By public order.

This came in response to an order by French Interior Minister Gerard Darmanin to police directors or governors in all regions to ban all pro-Palestinian demonstrations. He also called for the systematic arrest of the organizers of these gatherings and the “rioters.” He justified this by saying that these pro-Palestinian demonstrations are likely to lead to disturbances in public order. His order came at a time when several pro-Palestinian demonstrations were organized in France in the context of the ongoing escalation between Hamas and Israel. Many police governors carried out the order of the Minister of the Interior, but despite this, peaceful gatherings took place in several cities in France.

Previous Post Next Post