A complex farming society developed in Uruguay around 4,800 to 4,200 years ago, much earlier that previously thought, Iriarte and his colleagues report in this weeks Nature (December 2). Researchers had assumed that the large rivers system called the La Plata Basin was inhabited by simple groups of hunters and gatherers for much of the pre-Hispanic era.
Iriarte and coauthors excavated an extensive mound complex, called Los Ajos, in the wetlands of southeastern Uruguay. They found evidence of a circular community of households arranged around a central public plaza. Paleobotanical analyses of preserved starch grains and phytoliths –tiny plant fossils- show that Los Ajos farmers adopted the earliest cultivars known in southern South America, including maize, squash, beans and tubers.
Over time, around 3,000 years ago, the mound complex architectural plan of Los Ajos exhibited sophisticated levels of engineering, planning, and cooperation revealing an earlier, new, and independent architectural tradition previously unknown from this region of southern South America. The formal and compact layout of the central part of the site (Inner Precinct) consists of seven imposing platform mounds surrounding a central plaza area.
José Iriarte | EurekAlert!
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In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.
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A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
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In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
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The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
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