The Abbey Library of St. Gall: One of the Oldest Working Libraries in the World
Founded during the 8th century, the Abbey of St. Gall has served both the Church and scholars over the years. Its library has a particular draw because it is one of the oldest and most important monastic libraries in the world.
The Abbey of St. Gall was an important monastery located in St. Gallen, a town in the northeastern Swiss canton of the same name. It continued to serve its monastic function until it was secularized in the early 19th century. Several decades later, the former abbey church was consecrated as a cathedral of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Saint Gallen.
The story of the Abbey of St. Gall begins with the Irish monk St. Gallus, a follower of the Irish missionary, St. Columbanus. According to tradition, in the year 612/613, St. Gallus was travelling southwards from Lake Constance into a forest when he received a divine sign (though various versions exist, most of them involve a bear). As a result of this, the monk decided to establish his hermitage on that spot.
Arctic Star Exploration Corp is pleased to announce the discovery of a new kimberlite on its 100% owned Timantti Diamond Project in Finland.
Finnish kimberlite expert Dr Hugh O’Brien of the GTK has undertaken petrographic and mineralogical examinations to confirm the new discovery. The new kimberlite is located approximately 230m west of the diamond bearing Black Wolf Kimberlite. There’s no record of this drill core being announced to the public.
In June 2005, previous explorer Karhu Mining Oy, drilled a geophysical magnetic target. Hole D476 intersected a meter of kimberlite in an inclined (-45°) hole located within a zone of extensive alteration and brecciation.
Dr O’Brien has conducted a detailed petrographic and mineralogical examination of the core from hole D476 and has confirmed that the kimberlite is “A micaceous Group II kimberlite importantly containing abundant indicator minerals including olivine macrocrysts 5mm in diameter.”
Dr O’Brien further stated “This kimberlite is very similar in texture and mineralogy to the rocks that form the diamond-bearing Wolf kimberlites. The existence of this kimberlite close to the Wolf kimberlites strongly indicates that the area is part of a kimberlite field and that the prognosis for additional discoveries in the area is quite high.“
Roy Spencer stated “As has been previously expressed by myself and supported now by kimberlite expert Dr Hugh O’Brien, kimberlites typically occur in fields or clusters and this exciting discovery 230 meters away from the Wolves strongly supports the thesis that we are looking at such a field here north of Kuusamo.
With only a single intersection we do not yet know what form this kimberlite will take but we suspect that the body has not been investigated any further previously, and are glad to add another kimberlite to the pack.”
ITHACA, NEW YORK—Science News reports that bioarchaeologist Matthew Velasco of Cornell University examined the 600-year-old skulls of 211 members of Peru’s Collagua ethnic community, and found that intentional head-shaping of the young may have helped to bind together powerful elites.
High-ranking elites are thought to have been buried in structures built against a cliff face, while non-elites were buried in caves and under rocky overhangs. Some of the bones and sediments were radiocarbon dated, so that Velasco could track how skull shapes changed over time.
He found that about three-quarters of the 114 elite skulls dating to the late pre-Inca period, between A.D. 1300 and 1450, had been modified, and more than 60 percent of the modified skulls had been elongated. Velasco thinks the elongated style may have been preferred by elites, and speculates that their unity may have helped the Collaguas negotiate a peaceful integration into the Inca Empire.
BORNHOLM, DENMARK—According to a report in Live Science, a small piece of copper has been found at the 5,000-year-old Vasagard archaeological site, which may have been a center of sun worship during the Neolithic period. The site consists of traces of several round timber structures within an earthen-wall enclosure. Hand-sized, polished stones inscribed with connected radiating lines resembling spider webs, and fragments of stones that may have been inscribed with symbolic maps, have also been recovered from the site. The piece of copper was found in what had been one of ten postholes for the largest timber structure.
Michael Thorsen of the Bornholm Museum said the metal may have been part of a larger ax that had been buried as part of a sacrifice. He suggests the ax had not been made locally, but was imported from the Mediterranean or the Balkans, where people were producing copper objects at that time. The building may have been used for rituals or as a place for housing the dead before it was ceremonially demolished and its postholes filled in with burned grain, burned stone axes, and the copper ax. “For me, it just makes the structure even more important, because they were offering a rare piece of copper like this,” Thorsen said.
The human foot is distinctive. Our five toes lack claws, we normally present the sole of our foot flat to the ground, and our first and second toes are longer than the smaller ones. In comparison to our fellow primates, our big toes are in line with the long axis of the foot – they don’t stick out to one side.
In fact, some would argue that one of the defining characteristics of being part of the human clade is the shape of our foot. So imagine our surprise when we discovered fossil footprints with remarkable, human-like characteristics at Trachilos, Crete, that are 5.7m years old. This research, published in the Proceedings of the Geologist Association , is controversial as it suggests that the earliest human ancestors may have wandered around southern Europe as well as East Africa.
The period corresponds to a geological time interval known as the Miocene. The footprints are small tracks made by someone walking upright on two legs – there are 29 of them in total. They range in size from 94mm to 223mm, and have a shape and form very similar to human tracks. Non-human ape footprints look very different; the foot is shaped more like a human hand, with the big toe attached low on the side of the sole and sticking out sideways.
An unknown author inscribed a curse onto an Assyrian stele in 800 BC. The stele was eventually broken in two – one half ended up in the hands of the British Museum and the other in Bonhams auction house. It was something of a surprise when news broke in 2014 that the British Museum decided against purchasing the second half of the rare artifact.
The fragment of the stele in the British Museum’s collection was found in 1879 in Dur-Katlimmu (modern Sheikh Hamad) in Syria. It was formed in basalt to commemorate a military achievement of King Adad-Nirari III. The British Museum has the top of the statue with the image of the king’s head in their portion of the stele. They had bought it from a private collector in 1881.
The lower portion of the stele was put up for auction by a private collector in Bonhams in London in 2014. The piece was estimated to fetch £ 600,000 – 800,000 (US$ 830,000 – 1,100,000) but was withdrawn. No information was provided at the time by the auctioneers regarding when or how the stele fragment had left Syria. They only reported the artifact as having been gifted “from father to son in the 1960s.” The lack of detail led many experts and the authorities to wonder if the artifact had been illegally removed from Syria.
The oldest version of the ancient text called Massekhet Kelim (“Treatise of the Vessels”) was included in the Hebrew book Emek Halchah, published in Amsterdam in 1648. A later version, published in 1876, was almost identical to that older version. As reported in LiveSciencethis week, James Davila, a professor at the University of St. Andrews, has recently translated the complete treatise into English for the first time.
According to Davila, the treatise claims that the treasures of King Solomon “were concealed by a number of Levites and prophets….[Some] were hidden in various locations in the Land of Israel and in Babylonia, while others were delivered into the hands of the angels Shamshiel, Michael, Gabriel and perhaps Sariel…” The text apparently stops short of revealing the exact location of the Ark and the other treasures, saying that it “shall not be revealed until the day of the coming of the Messiah son of David.”