3,000-year-old bricks from Mesopotamia reveal changing strength of Earth's ancient magnetic field 3,000-year-old bricks from Mesopotamia reveal changing strength of Earth's ancient magnetic field

3,000-year-old bricks from Mesopotamia reveal changing strength of Earth's ancient magnetic field

3,000-year-old bricks from Mesopotamia reveal changing strength of Earth's ancient magnetic field

Scientists have found 3,000-year-old bricks inscribed with the names of Mesopotamian kings. By studying these bricks, scientists discovered important information about the Earth's magnetic field.
A new study in which scientists from University College London participated revealed that ancient bricks engraved with the names of Mesopotamian kings gave important insights into a mysterious anomaly in the Earth's magnetic field 3,000 years ago.

The bricks contain small pieces of iron, and changes in the Earth's magnetic field have affected these pieces of iron.

The study, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, describes how changes in the Earth's magnetic field were imprinted on the iron oxide grains inside ancient clay bricks, and how scientists were able to reconstruct these changes from the names of the kings inscribed on them.

The team hopes that using “archaeological magnetism,” which looks for signatures of the Earth’s magnetic field in archaeological items, will improve the history of the Earth’s magnetic field and can help better determine the ages of artifacts, something they were not able to do previously.

“We often rely on dating methods such as radiocarbon dates to get a sense of chronology in ancient Mesopotamia,” said study co-author Professor Mark Al-Taweel from the Institute of Archaeology at the University of California, Los Angeles. However, some of the more common cultural remains, such as bricks and ceramics, usually cannot be easily dated because they do not contain organic materials. "This work is now helping to establish an important dating baseline that will allow others to benefit from absolute dating using archaeological magnetism."

Our planet has a magnetic field that fluctuates between the weakest and the strongest. This change leaves a mark, especially on some hot metals that are sensitive to the magnetic field.

The scientists conducted an analysis of the magnetic signature inherent in the grains of iron oxide minerals embedded in 32 clay bricks sourced from archaeological sites throughout Mesopotamia, which now overlaps with modern-day Iraq.

These bricks were manufactured thousands of years ago, and the magnetic force of the Earth at that time was imprinted on them.

Each brick was inscribed with the name of the ruling king, allowing archaeologists to determine the possible time periods for each.

Together, the printed name and the measured magnetic strength of the iron oxide grains provided a historical map of changes in the strength of the Earth's magnetic field.

Scientists took small pieces of broken parts of bricks to measure iron oxide grains and used a special instrument called a “magnetometer.” To measure it carefully. This method is more accurate than radiocarbon dating, which can tell us the age of something within only a few hundred years.

In a few samples of the mold of “Nebuchadnezzar II”, the second king of the Neo-Babylonian Empire (about 604 to 562 BC), the Earth’s magnetic field changed very quickly. This supports the idea that the magnetic field can increase in intensity quickly.

Professor Matthew Howland from Wichita State University, lead author of the study, said: “By comparing ancient artifacts to what we know about ancient magnetic field conditions, we can estimate the dates of which artifacts were heated in ancient times.”

Each brick had the name of the ruling king written on it, and archaeologists have estimated the time during which these kings ruled. By looking at the name of iron oxide and its magnetic strength, scientists created a kind of map showing how the Earth's magnetic field has changed over time.

Scientists discovered a strange time called “the Levantine Iron Age geomagnetic anomaly,” which occurred around 1050 to 550 BC in the region that is now known as Iraq.

The Earth's magnetic field was unusually strong during this period, but scientists are not sure why.

Co-author Professor Lisa Tookes of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography said: “The geomagnetic field is one of the most mysterious phenomena in Earth sciences. The ancient archaeological remains of the rich cultures of Mesopotamia, especially the bricks inscribed with the names of specific kings, provide an unprecedented opportunity to study changes in field strength with high precision, and to trace changes that occurred over several decades or even less.”


Is memory deterioration as we age considered a disease or a normal condition?

Neurologist Maria Cherdak said that our brain's work inevitably slows down starting at the age of thirty. While it is wrong to believe that memory deterioration and other skills weaken with age, it is a normal condition.
The neurologist and researcher in the Neurology Laboratory at the Russian Aging Research Center, Pirogov University, said: According to National Medical Research our longevity depends to a large extent on the health of the brain and its success in the aging process. The first age-related changes begin in youth. The problem is that our brain changes throughout life in two directions.

The volume of gray and white matter decreases, and the process of removing myelin occurs as a result of damage to the membrane of nerve fibers and other processes, meaning that the physical part of the brain that has size and mass ages. The condition of the blood vessels then plays a decisive role. Its properties serve as an excellent biomarker, and as a "barometer" For age.

One of the main indicators is the propagation speed of the PWV pulse wave. The doctor explained that this is a non-invasive way to evaluate the condition of the walls of large arteries. The speed of propagation of the pulse wave allows the biological age of the person as a whole to be accurately determined. Meanwhile, this index is closely related to changes in cognitive abilities, such as thinking, memory, concentration, etc. as we age.

Tests to measure the speed of propagation of the pulse wave are performed in sports medicine and cardiology clinics and multidisciplinary medical centers.

The doctor uses sensors to determine when this wave passes through the blood vessels in several areas of the arm. At a younger age, the speed is lower, because the softer and more elastic vessel expands somewhere and changes its diameter. The older a person is biologically, the harder the vessel and the denser its walls. Therefore, the blood flows faster, and the speed of propagation of the pulse wave is greater.

Studies show that increasing PWV by 1 m/s, starting from 8 m/s, is associated with a 14% increase in the risk of cardiovascular disease and a 15% increase in cardiovascular disease mortality.

Since the brain vessels are in the same state as the rest of the body's organs, PWV also reflects the biological age of our body's control center.

The doctor said that our brain is not just a mass of nerve cells, and we can think and feel like humans thanks to “Connectum.” (Neural network), and this is what scientists call the system of connections between neurons, thanks to which the brain works and generates consciousness. Maria Cherdak explained that the neural network is formed throughout a person's life. What happens to him as he gets older? - Of course, it also affects cognitive abilities. But it's not that simple.

The doctor went on to say: “It is a mistake to believe that memory deterioration and the weakness of other skills with age are normal. In fact, different cognitive processes change in different ways. The only thing that "deteriorates" Inevitably, with age, for everyone, there is an indicator that is reflected in the pace of mental processes, that is, it begins to slow down from about the age of thirty. In other words, information perception, analysis, decision-making, etc. become less rapid. but! This does not mean that the quality of thinking is necessarily affected.

The neurologist confirmed that “many cognitive functions in elderly people who experience successful brain aging can continue to improve.” For example, your vocabulary can continue to build and become better at age 80 and 90.
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