Israeli archaeologists are showing off a 1,400-year-old box decorated with a cross and featuring inside portraits of two figures, probably Christian saints, possibly Jesus and the Virgin Mary.

What makes the box even more interesting is its size: It measures just eight-tenths of an inch by six-tenths of an inch, or barely the size of a man’s thumb.

It was probably carried by a religious believer around the end of the sixth century, according to Yana Tchekhanovets, a member of the Israel Antiquities Authority, who found the relic, reported the Daily Telegraph.

A tiny, exquisitely made box, carved from the bone of a cow, horse or camel, was found in an excavated street in Jerusalem two years ago. 

It was treated by preservation experts and extensively researched before it was unveiled at an archaeological conference last week, according to The Associated Press.

Read the rest of this entry »

Three newly discovered chemical elements were officially given names last week by the General Assembly of the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics at a meeting in London.

They are darmstadtium, roentgenium and copernicium, and have the atomic numbers of 110, 111 and 112, respectively.

None of the three elements occur in nature and all were created in Darmstadt, Germany, at the Society for Heavy Ion Research Laboratory (Gesellschaft fur Schwerionenforschung) by bombarding heavy nuclei with beams of other atoms, according to the New York Times.

Jennifer Welsh of Live Science said the trio of elements are large and unstable — so unstable, in fact, that scientists have been unable to experiment on them and know very little about them. Darmstadtium, roentgenium, and copernicium have been classified as Transuranium or “Super Heavy” elements, according to Red Orbit.

Read the rest of this entry »