Jan 16, 2009 | 5
These days, chemical warfare is commonly associated with the modern world, such as the gassing of enemy troops in World War I and the Kurds in 1987-88 by Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq. But archaeological evidence suggests that it was used in antiquity by Persian warriors when the soldiers suffocated their Roman enemies using bitumen, or pitch (a tarry, sour oil), and sulfur crystals.
Archeologist Simon James of the University of Leicester in England says he discovered a "crime scene" indicating that Persian warriors suffocated 20 Roman soldiers in a Syrian mine. The attack occurred around A.D. 256, when soldiers from the Persian Sassanid Empire invaded Dura-Europos, a highly coveted city on the Euphrates River that had previously been conquered by the Romans.
Dec 8, 2008 | 1
Would-be emperors be warned: your empire is likely to crumble if the rains fail. Climate's role in the rise and fall of China's imperial dynasties has been established by the record in an ancient stalagmite, and now a similar record from a cave near Jerusalem adds climate change to the list of woes that forced a Roman and Byzantine retreat from the region by A.D. 700.
"Whether this is what weakened the Byzantines or not isn't known, but it is an interesting correlation," geologist John Valley at the University of Wisconsin–Madison said in a statement about the record found in a stalagmite from Soreq Cave. "These things were certainly going on at the same time that those historic changes occurred."
Deadline: Aug 31 2013
Reward: $100,000 USD
The Geoffrey Beene Foundation Alzheimer’s Initiative (GBFAI) is launching the 2013 Geoffrey Beene Global NeuroDiscovery Challenge whose
Deadline: Jun 29 2013
Reward: $7,000 USD
The Seeker for this Challenge desires proposals for chemical methods that could rapidly degrade a dilute aqueous solution
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