from the world's big
Researchers discover a massive ceremonial structure of the ancient Mayans using lasers.
- Archaeologists used laser-based aerial surveys to discover the oldest and largest Mayan structure ever found.
- The 3,000-year-old complex in the Mexican state of Tabasco was likely used as a ceremonial center.
- Researchers believe the site represents a communal society rather than one based on worshipping elites.
While building a new airport, construction crews uncover a gigantic collection of ancient bones.
- During digging for a new airport in Mexico, workers came across three sites containing the remains of mammoths, as well as some pre-Spanish human burial sites.
- It's unclear why the mammoths were all found in this one spot, though it may have to do with an ancient lake.
- Retrieving this massive sample will likely give experts new insights into a long-lost North American pachyderm.
In the Mexico Basin about 45 miles north of Mexico City in the Santa Lucía region, the new Felipe Ángeles Airport is under construction. According to Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH), workers there have dug up a massive surprise: a trove of 60 ice-age mammoth skeletons. They've also unearthed 15 pre-Hispanic human burial sites.
Image source: Sergiodlarosa/wikimedia
The pachyderm bones belong to Colombian mammoths, Mammuthus columbi, who last lived in North America in the Pleistocene epoch between 2.6 million and 13,000 years ago, when they are believed to have become extinct. They're the mammoths that visitors to Los Angeles' La Brea Tar Pits encounter. (No woolly mammoth remains were found in Santa Lucía.)
It's not yet known how many of the mammoth skeletons are complete. It is clear, though, that males, females, and their young are there. The bones are being found between 80 centimeters and 2.5 meters below the surface and spread across three exploration areas. First discovered in October 2019, the digs are still being stabilized and undergoing analysis and classification, according to INAH National Coordinator of Archaeology, Pedro Francisco Sánchez Nava.
How 60 mammoths wound up together in death at this location is an interesting question. No signs of human tracks leading to or from the site are evident nor have any indications of hunter accommodations have been found. By contrast, the prehistoric mammoth hunting site discovered in the Mexican municipality of Tultepec in November 2019 does exhibit such signs of human interaction.
Archaeologists suspect the 60 mammoths got stuck in a muddy swamp over time — the site is near the shores of the former Lake Xaltocan. Researchers say the most complete skeletons found are those close to the former lake's shoreline. It remains possible that the immobilized mammoths were then preyed upon by hunters even without clear evidence of that so far.
Once the remains are retrieved, they'll be studied by a team of 30 archaeologists, supported by a trio of restorers, to make a full account of what's been found. They hope to learn more about how and precisely when the animals lived, ate, and what health issues they may have had as evidenced in their skeletal remains.
An old home, a new home
Image source: Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia
Meanwhile, construction of the new airport continues. Says Salvador Pulido Méndez, director of INAH Archaeological Salvage, "So far, no findings have been recorded on the land that lead to the rethinking of the construction site, either totally or partially. Rather, the works have allowed INAH a research conjuncture in a space where, although it was known of the existence of skeletal remains, they had not had the opportunity to locate, recover and study them."
Prior to the beginning of construction, the Santa Lucía region had been used by the Santa Lucía Military Air Base, and the national defense organization Sedena has preserved its historic Santa Lucía hacienda, integrating it within the new airport. The various parties involved plan to create a museum within the hacienda that will allow visitors to learn about the Santa Lucía region and its amazing mammoth mammoth graveyard.
Trump said USMCA is "the most important trade deal we've ever made by far."
- The new agreement is between Canada, Mexico and the U.S.
- It's more of an updated version of NAFTA than a new agreement.
- The deal includes changes to trade terms and policies in sectors like dairy, auto manufacturing and intellectual property rights.
Timeframe<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8xODY3ODU3My9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYyMjI5NzkxN30.dDwcER4ITrvyWkkEQC3SdvnPpdkaYnz84qEvmJwjc6g/img.jpg?width=1245&coordinates=0%2C102%2C0%2C23&height=700" id="fcc74" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="4c80756b55e394df64bbb8739a0695ca" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
US President Donald Trump after a phone conversation with Mexico's outgoing President Enrique Pena Nieto on trade on August 27. The new deal was made just hours before the October 1 deal deadline.
(Photo: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)<p>The new agreement would take effect in 2020. Under the terms, the three countries would meet every six years to review and potentially renegotiate the deal, which would last 16 years, at which time the countries could agree to extend it.</p>
Auto industry<p>To encourage more localized car manufacturing, the new deal requires 75% of a car's parts to be produced in Mexico, Canada or the U.S. in order for automakers to avoid tariffs. That's an increase of about 12% compared to NAFTA.<br></p><p>In addition, nearly one-third of automobile manufacturing in the three countries must be done by workers earning an average production wage of $16 an hour.</p>
Dairy<p>Canada will open up its dairy market slightly by allowing American farmers to export about <a href="https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2018/10/01/comparison-nafta-and-usmca-trade-agreements/1487163002/" target="_blank">$560 million worth of dairy products</a>. Canadian farmers criticized the move, but it's a general win for the U.S.<br></p><p>"The deal includes a substantial increase in our farmers' opportunities to export American wheat, poultry, eggs and dairy, including milk, butter, cheese, yogurt and ice cream," the president said Monday. "Those products were not really being treated fairly as far as those who worked so hard to produce them, and now they're going to be treated fairly."</p><p>Canadian officials had said the U.S. was at fault for producing too much dairy products.</p>
Copyright laws<p>The new deal features stronger restrictions on copyright infringement. It says that internet service providers (ISPs) shouldn't be held directly responsible when their users or companies traffick in pirated content—so long as they cooperate with copyright owners and law enforcement.</p><p>The agreement says there should be "legal incentives for Internet Service Providers to cooperate with copyright owners to deter the unauthorized storage and transmission of copyrighted materials or, in the alternative, to take other action to deter the unauthorized storage and transmission of copyrighted materials," the agreement reads, adding that ISPs can obtain legal protection (or 'safe harbor') by "adopting and reasonably implementing a policy that provides for termination in appropriate circumstances of the accounts of repeat infringers."</p>
Ultimately a win for Trump<p>Replacing NAFTA has long been a goal for Trump, who's called the longstanding trilateral deal a "<a href="https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2018/08/trump-nafta/568654/" target="_blank">disaster</a>." And even though USMCA is more of an updated version of NAFTA than a completely new deal, the president arguably scored a few victories, and possibly some more supporters among American farmers and auto workers, by reaching the agreement just hours before Sunday night's deadline.<br></p><p>Still, USMCA will likely have little effect on the president's ongoing trade conflicts with China.</p><p>"We'll see what happens with China," Trump said. "We don't have a deal with China. There is no deal. They do whatever they want."</p>
15 million Aztecs were probably killed by a form of salmonella the Spanish brought from Europe.
- When Europeans arrived in North America, they brought pathogens that natives were not immune to.
- Smallpox wiped out 5-8 million Aztecs shortly after the Spanish arrived in Mexico in 1519.
- But a different disease entirely is now suspected to have killed 15 million Aztecs, ending their society.
A new study suggests that sensitivity to the emotion of disgust affects one's attitudes on immigration.
A recent study shows that people who are easily disgusted are more likely to hold anti-immigration views. The findings are just the latest in a growing body of research on how disgust sensitivity affects human values and behavior.