Fossils & Ruins

Daily Mail: Sacred text found in Italy could unlock the secrets of the Etruscan religion

32A42CD800000578-0-image-a-43_1459264575143Science reporter Abigail Beall with The Daily Mail covered SMU sponsored research at Italy’s Poggio Colla site where archaeologists have found what may be rare sacred text in the lost language of the Etruscans.

The text is inscribed on a large 6th century BC sandstone slab and could reveal name of the god or goddess that was worshipped at the site. Continue reading

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SMU seismology team response to March 28, 2016 U.S. Geological Survey hazard forecasts

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) today released maps showing potential ground shaking from induced and natural earthquakes, including forecasts for the DFW metropolitan area. The North Texas Earthquake Study at Southern Methodist University provided data, and SMU scientists co-authored peer-reviewed publications cited in the report. Continue reading

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Text in lost language may reveal god or goddess worshipped by Etruscans at ancient temple

Archaeologists in Italy have discovered what may be a rare sacred text in the Etruscan language that is likely to yield rich details about Etruscan worship and early beliefs of a lost culture fundamental to western traditions.

The lengthy text is on a large 6th century sandstone slab uncovered from an Etruscan temple. Continue reading

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New look at Pizarro’s conquest of Inca reveals foot soldiers were awed by empire’s grandeur

Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro’s 1532 attack on the Inca empire during a two-day conflict in Cajamarca, Peru is an infamous episode in history.

But efforts by the pre-contact Inca to display their power and authority to the Spanish through architecture, landscape, geoglyphs, textiles, ceramics, feather work and metalwork failed to stop Pizarro, says SMU pre-Columbian expert Adam Herring. Continue reading

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SMU Research Day 2016: Students present their research to the SMU and Dallas community

SMU graduate and undergraduate students presented their research to the SMU community at the University’s Research Day 2016 on Feb. 10.

Sponsored by the Office of Research and Graduate Studies, the research spanned more than 20 different fields from schools across campus. Continue reading

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Long-term daily contact with Spanish missions triggered collapse of Native American populations in New Mexico

New research in the Southwest U.S. has resolved long-standing debates on the timing and magnitude of American Indian population collapse in the region.

The severe and rapid collapse of Native American populations in what is now New Mexico didn’t happen upon first contact with Spanish conquistadors in the 1500s. Nor was it as gradual as others had contended. Continue reading

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SMU 2015 research efforts broadly noted in a variety of ways for world-changing impact

SMU scientists and their research have a global reach that is frequently noted, beyond peer publications and media mentions.

It was a good year for SMU faculty and student research efforts. Here’s a small sampling of public and published acknowledgements during 2015, ranging from research modeling that made the cover of a scientific journal to research findings presented as evidence at government hearings. Continue reading

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Live Science: The 10 Strangest Animal Discoveries of 2015

Desmo, Ray Troll, Louis Jacobs, SMU, AlaskaScience writer Laura Geggel with Live Science named a new species of extinct marine mammal identified by two SMU paleontologists among “The 10 Strangest Animal Discoveries of 2015.”

The new species was identified by SMU paleontologist Louis L. Jacobs, a professor in the Roy M. Huffington Department of Earth Sciences, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, and paleontologist and SMU adjunct research professor Anthony Fiorillo, vice president of research and collections and chief curator at the Perot Museum of Nature and Science. Continue reading

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North America’s newest pterosaur is a Texan — and flying reptile’s closest cousin is English

A new species of toothy pterosaur is a native of Texas whose closest relative is from England. The new 94-million-year-old species, named Cimoliopterus dunni, is strikingly similar to England’s Cimoliopterus cuvieri.

Identification of the new flying reptile links prehistoric Texas to England, says SMU paleontologist Timothy S. Myers, who identified the fossil as a new species.
Continue reading

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