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Life, the universe & everything

world Updated: Mar 11, 2013 01:26 IST

Stonehenge: burial site earlier?
London: Stonehenge — the world’s most famous prehistoric monument — may have started as a giant burial ground for the stone age elite as early as around 3,000 BC, a new study has found.

Researchers led by archaeologist Mike Parker Pearson excavated more than 50,000 cremated bone fragments, of 63 individuals buried at Stonehenge. Pearson, who has been working at the site and on nearby monuments for decades, believes the earliest burials long predate the monument in its current form, ‘The Guardian’ reported. He believes the first bluestones — smaller standing stones — were brought from Wales and placed as grave markers around 3,000 BC, and it remained a giant circular graveyard for at least 200 years, followed by sporadic burials. It was thought that almost all the Stonehenge burials, many originally excavated almost a century ago, but discarded as unimportant, were of adult men.

Bright comet may damage your eyes
London: Comet Pan-Starrs, which is making a rare visit to the inner solar system this week, and will fly past the sun, could pose danger to the eyes of astronomers. The comet also known as C/2011 L4 will not be seen on earth again until the year 112,000.

Experts have warned that amateur astronomers should not try to see it. Rev Kate Kay of Norman Lockyer Observatory in Sidmouth said the comet is going around the sun, and there is always a danger that if people try to look at it when it is near the sun, their eyes could get damaged.

Twenty Stone-Age skeletons found
New York: Archaeologists have unearthed 20 Stone-Age skeletons, dating between 8,000 and 4,200 years ago, around a rock shelter in Libya’s Sahara desert.The burials spanned thousands of years, suggesting the place was a persistent cemetery for the local people, researchers said.

“It must have been a place of memory. People throughout time have kept it, and they have buried their people, over and over, generation after generation,” said study co-author Mary Anne Tafuri, an archaeologist at the University of Cambridge.

Monkeys avoid selfish others
New York: Capuchin monkeys judge the social interactions of others and hold biases against individuals behaving selfishly. Study investigated how monkeys in captivity reacted to different third-party social interactions.

In one study, capuchins watched two actors engage in reciprocity exchanges, in which one actor handed over several balls to another, who then either reciprocated or selfishly kept all the balls.

The second study involved a similar setup, but this time one actor helped or refused to help another actor who was struggling to open a container.