Please tell me I missed something on that site.
On another note, this is pretty cool:
especially the bit about frustrated magnets. I wonder if the creators of these had any concept of this phenomenon.
But I guess "robot finds rocks on the ground" doesn't have the same ring to it.
Some days I think I shouldn't be a web developer.
I use (used to use, anyway. Before everyone decided to mount a bar at the top) space or page-down to read stuff online. When there's a bar riding above the content I can't use space anymore. I have to use space and then my arrow keys because the visible portion doesn't match what the browser thinks of the page, so it ends up doing a full-size page down, which means the bar covers text I haven't read yet. :(
Except in my head they were also levitating in the midst of a vast antechamber paved with demihuman skulls, while bathed in a murky, sourceless flame whose flicker caused the wall reliefs to seem to dance, and stab at the probe with wicked implements of shadow.
So I suppose disappointment was inevitable :\
Hundreds of mysterious spheres lie beneath the Temple of the Feathered Serpent, an ancient six-level step pyramid just 30 miles from Mexico City.
The enigmatic spheres were found during an archaeological dig using a camera-equipped robot at one of the most important buildings in the pre-Hispanic city of Teotihuacan.
"They look like yellow spheres, but we do not know their meaning. It's an unprecedented discovery," said Jorge Zavala, an archaeologist at Mexico's National Anthropology and History Institute.
The Mesoamerican ruins of Teotihuacan, a World Heritage Site, represent one of the largest urban centers of the ancient world. Thought to have been established around 100 B.C., the pyramid-filled city had more than 100,000 inhabitants at its peak, but was abandoned for mysterious reasons around 700 A.D. -- long before the Aztecs arrived in the 1300s.
The excavation at the temple focused on a 330-foot-long tunnel which runs under the structure. The conduit was discovered in 2003 when heavy rain uncovered a hole a few feet from the pyramid.
Exploring the tunnel, which was deliberately filled with debris and ruins by the Teotihuacan people, required several years of preliminary work and planning.
"Finally, a few months ago we found two side chambers at 72 and 74 meters (236 and 242 feet) from the entrance. We called them North Chamber and South Chamber,” archaeologist Sergio Gómez Chávez, director of the Tlalocan Project, told Discovery News.
The archaeologists explored the tunnel with a remote-controlled robot called Tlaloc II-TC, which has an infrared camera and a laser scanner that generates 3D visualization of the spaces beneath the temple.
"The robot was able to enter in the part of the tunnel which has not yet been excavated yet and found three chambers between 100 and 110 meters (328 and 360 feet) from the entrance," Gómez Chávez said.
The mysterious spheres lay in both the north and south chambers. Ranging from 1.5 to 5 inches, the objects have a core of clay and are covered with a yellow material called jarosite.
"This material is formed by the oxidation of pyrite, which is a metallic ore," Gómez Chávez said. "It means that in pre-hispanic times they appeared as if they were metallic spheres. There are hundreds of these in the south chamber."
According to George Cowgill, professor emeritus at Arizona State University and the author of several publications on Teotihuacan, the spheres are a fascinating find.
"Pyrite was certainly used by the Teotihuacanos and other ancient Mesoamerican societies," Cowgill told Discovery News. "Originally the spheres would have shown brilliantly. They are indeed unique, but I have no idea what they mean."
Even the walls and ceiling of both chambers were covered with a mineral powder composed of magnetite, pyrite and hematite which provided a special brightness to the place.
"We believe that high-ranking people, priests or even rulers, went down to the tunnel to perform rituals," Gómez Chávez said.
Indeed the archaeologists found many offerings, including pottery and wooden masks covered with inlaid rock crystal, jade and quartz -- all dating from around 100 A.D.
Gómez Chávez and his team now look forward to the next phase of the project -- exploring the last part of the tunnel and three chambers which archaeologists have seen through the robot cameras.
"The tunnel is in pristine condition, untouched for almost two millennia," said Ng “TC” Tze Chuen, an independent researcher who worked on the design of the Tláloc II-TC robot. "Can you can imagine what can be found inside?"
Ng, who helped create the Djedi robot that explored Egypt's Great Pyramid in 2010, believes the Mexican tunnel might lead to one of the most significant archaeological finds in Teotihuacan.
"The results are very encouraging indeed," he said.
According to Gómez Chávez, the tunnel was sealed twice by the Teotihuacan people. Thick walls, erected to block access, were demolished about 1,800 years ago in order to deposit something very important in the central chamber at the end of the tunnel.
"Maybe in this place," Gómez Chávez said, "we will find the remains of those who ruled Teotihuacan.”
Copying and pasting whole articles into comments? Maybe when the internet actually breaks, do that. But when a couple of people have a whinge about a lightbox, or someone else complains about Flash which doesn't seem to be there...
What if they edit their article? Will you update your post with those corrections?
Congratulations exodust, you're one of a kind.
1) Ancient pyramid? Check
2) Hidden tunnel under pyramid to special room? Check
3) Weird items of unknown purpose hidden in room? Check
4) Tunnel filled in and hidden from view by ancient people? Check
5) Tunnel uncovered in modern times by accident? Check
6) Modern Archaeologists disturb ancient alien eggs causing decimation of the human race? Che...
On-Topic: Anything that good hackers would find interesting. That includes more than hacking and startups. If you had to reduce it to a sentence, the answer might be: anything that gratifies one's intellectual curiosity.