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The Nitrogen The Vikings Left Behind
New Scientist ^ | 9-11-2006

Posted on 09/11/2006 2:55:50 PM PDT by blam

nitrogen the Vikings left behind

11 September 2006
From New Scientist Print Edition.

Discovering ancient settlements is often rather hit and miss, but the odds would be improved with a bit of chemical analysis. Plants growing over old sites of human habitation have a different chemistry from their neighbours, and these differences can reveal the location buried ruins.

Plants mostly take in nitrogen from the soil as the isotope nitrogen-14, with just a dash of nitrogen-15. Plants growing above archaeological sites in Greenland, however, seem to have absorbed a larger dose of nitrogen-15.

Rob Commisso and Erle Nelson from Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, Canada, spent three summers collecting plants from sites in south-west Greenland. Some of their samples were unusually rich in nitrogen-15, and subsequent digs revealed that these plants had been growing above long-abandoned Norse farmsteads (Journal of Archaeological Science, vol 33, p 1167).

(Excerpt) Read more at newscientist.com ...


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: behind; godsgravesglyphs; isotopicanalysis; left; nitrogen; vikings

1 posted on 09/11/2006 2:55:51 PM PDT by blam
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To: SunkenCiv

GGG Ping.


2 posted on 09/11/2006 2:56:19 PM PDT by blam
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To: blam

The grass is always greener over the septic tank.


3 posted on 09/11/2006 3:04:46 PM PDT by Deaf Smith
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To: blam

btt


4 posted on 09/11/2006 3:24:36 PM PDT by Cacique (quos Deus vult perdere, prius dementat ( Islamia Delenda Est ))
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To: Cacique

Still doesn't explain why N-15 is more abundant than N-13 or N-14 in human habitats. Its not like there is radioactive decay happening. Nitrogen is nitrogen, regardless of the isotope.


5 posted on 09/11/2006 3:28:21 PM PDT by Frohickey
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To: Frohickey

the difference in isotope is what got Landis in trouble.


6 posted on 09/11/2006 3:45:47 PM PDT by donmeaker (If the sky don't say "Surrender Dorothy!" then my ex wife is out of town.)
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To: blam
Why do ancient civilizations always seem to end up underground? Do they sink? Or, does dirt rise up and consume them? I asked this question once before and was told that the wind blows soil across the surface of the earth and everything eventually gets buried. But .... I'm not buying that one. Any theories out there?
7 posted on 09/11/2006 4:14:16 PM PDT by layman (Card Carrying Infidel)
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To: layman

Tons of dust fall on every acre over the eons. That's what a geologist pal told me, anyway.


8 posted on 09/11/2006 4:20:52 PM PDT by Eric in the Ozarks (BTUs are my Beat.)
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To: layman
"Why do ancient civilizations always seem to end up underground? Do they sink? Or, does dirt rise up and consume them? I asked this question once before and was told that the wind blows soil across the surface of the earth and everything eventually gets buried. But .... I'm not buying that one. Any theories out there?"

Parts of Ukraine have some of the deepest topsoil in the world, 150 feet. It blew there from Russia.

When I lived in Florida, I frequently had to wash the thick orange (iron laden) dust from the Sahara desert off my car.

9 posted on 09/11/2006 4:35:19 PM PDT by blam
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To: layman
Why do ancient civilizations always seem to end up underground? Do they sink? Or, does dirt rise up and consume them?

They get behind on their yard work.

10 posted on 09/11/2006 5:18:35 PM PDT by Erasmus (It takes branes to make an alternate universe!)
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To: layman

It might be the wind in the desert, but one fellow,at least credits the earthworms. They chew their way through the soil and put their droppings(?) on top.


11 posted on 09/12/2006 7:23:07 AM PDT by Western Phil
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To: blam; FairOpinion; StayAt HomeMother; Ernest_at_the_Beach; 24Karet; 3AngelaD; ...
Thanks Blam.

To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list. Thanks.
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12 posted on 09/13/2006 10:49:56 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (updated my FR profile on Saturday, September 2, 2006. https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: Western Phil
"It might be the wind in the desert, but one fellow,at least credits the earthworms. They chew their way through the soil and put their droppings(?) on top."

In the South, the Fire Ant has replaced the earth worm as the #1 'turner of the soil.'

13 posted on 09/13/2006 10:57:22 AM PDT by blam
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To: blam

Wonder if there is enough distinction that a satellite could use color enhancement to spot them?


14 posted on 09/13/2006 10:59:43 AM PDT by Lee'sGhost (Crom!)
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To: Lee'sGhost
"Wonder if there is enough distinction that a satellite could use color enhancement to spot them?"

Maybe. I've read that something along that line is used in a small plane to detect people in this rural area who have leaking septic systems. We're near the bay and a nice fresh water river.

15 posted on 09/13/2006 11:03:41 AM PDT by blam
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To: layman

When I was in Israel, I was told by a tour guide that when a new group of people moved into an area, they would just cover with dirt the ruins of whoever had been there before.


16 posted on 09/13/2006 11:13:34 AM PDT by ChocChipCookie (Homeschool like your kids' lives depend on it.)
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To: ChocChipCookie
For a good description of this, I recommend the Covenant by James Mitchner. It details the different people who lived on the same site for thousands of years and is being excavated by Israeli/Arab archaeologists as the plot progresses.

Typical for Mitchner, it starts at the beginning.

17 posted on 09/13/2006 12:46:56 PM PDT by bert (K.E. N.P. Slay Pinch)
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To: blam
In the South, the Fire Ant has replaced the earth worm as the #1 'turner of the soil.'

Is there any benefit to Fire Ant castings?

18 posted on 09/13/2006 2:12:02 PM PDT by Sawdring
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To: layman
Why do ancient civilizations always seem to end up underground? Do they sink?

I would blame the wind less, and trees more. Most of these ancient sites are in depositional areas. Every year they are coated with a layer of fallen leaves and other debris from plants around them. This layer of detritus eventually breaks down into soil. Some sites are subject to frequent flooding, that deposits a layer of mud over the entire site, burying it, unless it is removed, and most of the ancient civilizations had a habit of knocking down the exposed parts of structures and building right over the older structures.

19 posted on 09/13/2006 2:15:30 PM PDT by Fraxinus
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To: Eric in the Ozarks

Well in the 21 years I've lived in my house, my lawn has raised at least 2 inches. Some areas have gotten so high above the sidewalk that we've had to scrape off the weeds, remove dirt and re-seed (hoping for grass this time instead of weeds!) Every 5 years or so, we have to add another landscape timber on top as the others have gotten too low. Imagine a few thousand years of the same.


20 posted on 09/13/2006 4:00:14 PM PDT by ODC-GIRL (Proudly serving our Nation's Homeland Defense)
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To: Eric in the Ozarks

Just imagine if you didn't dust in your home for say six months. I wouldn't be able to find my shoes!


21 posted on 09/13/2006 4:46:59 PM PDT by Recon Dad (Marine Spec Ops Dad)
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To: blam

Sure beats the sh*t the Packers left behind Sunday at Lambeau Field.


22 posted on 09/13/2006 4:48:20 PM PDT by LukeL
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To: layman
I have two theorys:

1. Gravity pushes stuff down into the earth.
2. Dust from outer-space is landing on earth everyday and piles up. This means the earth is getting larger. Which might explain global warming, With the finite amount of atmosphere between earth and space has started to spread thin and we keep getting closer to the sun.
23 posted on 09/14/2006 11:35:21 AM PDT by CJ Wolf
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To: blam

Nitrates: cheaper than day rates.


24 posted on 09/14/2006 11:35:41 AM PDT by BeHoldAPaleHorse ( ~()):~)>)
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To: layman
All of the above ground ruins were found long ago. The only ones left to find are the buried ones.
25 posted on 09/14/2006 11:43:06 AM PDT by doubled (LadyLuck is like a politician. She has such few favors to give, and too many friends to give them to)
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26 posted on 07/09/2008 11:09:45 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/_________________________Profile updated Friday, May 30, 2008)
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