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Archaeologists have reportedly uncovered a 1,000-year-old box that could potentially hold the remains of the Buddha in China.
Remains of Prince Siddhartha Gautama, known as the Buddha or the “awakened one", who founded Buddhism and is believed to have lived around 566-486 BCE, may have been found in a temple in Nanjing.
A skull bone of the Buddha may have been discovered inside a model of a stupa – a Buddhist shrine containing relics that is used for meditation – hidden inside a stone casket in the crypt of a Buddhist temple.
According to inscriptions found on the box - made of sandalwood, silver and gold, - the skull bone found within the remains belonged to the Buddha.
Last year, while fossil-hunting in Antarctica, Gulbranson and his team found the oldest polar forest on record from the southern polar region. They haven't dated that forest precisely yet, but it probably flourished about 280 million years ago before being rapidly buried in volcanic ash, which preserved it down to the cellular level, the researchers said.
The plants are so well-preserved in rock that some of the amino acid building blocks that made up the trees' proteins can still be extracted, said Gulbranson, who specializes in geochemistry techniques. Studying these chemical building blocks may help clarify how the trees handled the southern latitudes' weird sunlight conditions, as well as the factors that allowed those plants to thrive but drove Glossopteris to its death, he said.
Scientists say 8,000-year-old pottery fragments have revealed the earliest evidence of grape wine-making.
The earthenware jars containing residual wine compounds were found in two sites south of the Georgian capital, Tbilisi, researchers said.
"We believe this is the oldest example of the domestication of a wild-growing Eurasian grapevine solely for the production of wine," said co-author Stephen Batiuk, a senior researcher at the University of Toronto.
"Wine is central to civilisation as we know it in the West. As a medicine, social lubricant, mind-altering substance and highly valued commodity, wine became the focus of religious cults, pharmacopoeias, cuisines, economies and society in the ancient Near East."
Astronomers have spotted a roughly Earth-mass world circling the small, dim star Ross 128, which lies just 11 light-years from the sun. The planet, known as Ross 128b, may have surface temperatures amenable to life as we know it, the researchers announced in a new study that will appear in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics.
"This is the closest Earth-mass planet potentially in the habitable zone that orbits a quiet star," Bonfils told Space.com via email, referring to the range of orbital distances where liquid water could exist on a world's surface.
They say the older the wine, the better