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Sword unearthed in Japan bears Chinese sign for year 570

FUKUOKA -- An ancient sword bearing kanji characters that show the year 570 according to the Chinese sexagenary cycle has been unearthed from an ancient burial mound here, the local education board announced on Sept. 21.

The discovery made by the Fukuoka Municipal Board of Education is consistent with the Chronicles of Japan, one of Japan's oldest history books, which says Japan imported the Chinese calendar from Paekche, one of the countries that existed on the Korean Peninsula.
mediaevalist: (Default)
It's a bt of old news, but regardless.

Ancient swords, modern nanotechnology

Though science and technology in the modern era have accomplished things that our ancestors couldn’t even dream of, it is still worth remembering that the ancients weren’t dummies. Through a combination of ingenuity, observation, determination, and probably a lot of luck, these people managed to develop a number of surprising technologies — many of which have been lost to history and have proven surprisingly hard to reproduce today.

...

Still, a good understanding of the remarkable mechanical properties of the metal remained elusive. In 2006, however, researchers at the Institut fur Strukturphysik at the Technische Universität Dresden published the results of their own detailed investigations. They obtained a small sample of a Damascus sabre from the Berne Historical Museum in Switzerland, and inspected it using high-resolution transmission electron microscopy. An electron microscope, which uses electrons rather than light particles (photons), can resolve images of objects that are smaller than a nanometer (a billionth of a meter).

Remarkably, they found the presence of so-called carbon nanotubes, a material that is on the cutting edge of nanotechnology!

June 2015

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