Scientists know more and more about our planet, but still not everything. Sometimes they have to arrange everything anew, because science brings surprises. And sometimes great discoveries happen by accident. Material of the magazine “Polska i Świat”.
The famous Inca city of Machu Picchu attracts millions of tourists and still hides many secrets. One of them has just been discovered by an international team of archaeologists. – Machu Picchu is older than we thought – says the traveler Elżbieta Dzikowska. “But not by much, a quarter of a century or so,” he adds.
The discovery challenges existing knowledge. Scientists examined the human remains found in Machu Picchu and on this basis determined that the city had been functioning since 1420. Polish researchers contributed to the discovery.
– They conducted research in Machu Picchu itself and dealt with, inter alia, dating, but they did not have such a rich set of samples – informs professor Janusz Wołoszyn from the Department of Archeology of the Americas, University of Warsaw. Archaeologist Dr. Radosław Biel admits that the results of Polish scientists’ research show that “the Inca empire could be established even faster than we assumed”.
Paintings of Neanderthals in Spain
This is not the only discovery that has electrified the world of science in recent days. In a cave near Málaga, Spain, scientists studied the red formations on the rocks in detail. For years it was considered a natural sediment. It turned out to be Neanderthal paintings from 65,000 years ago.
– Neanderthals were advanced, they had a cultural sphere. This proves that we, as homo sapiens, are not as special as we thought – says Dr. Radosław Biel.
A pigment was found in the red infiltrates. Now the rocks will be carefully examined to find out what the paintings represent. – Many researchers, many archaeologists stared at the walls and did not see. Only someone or the same person, after repeated viewing, discovered that we have some man-made paintings under the stalagmites – says ichnologist and palaeontologist Dr. Gerard Gierliński.
Scientific discoveries are often ruled by chance. Doctor Gerad Gierliński knows about it like few people. A few years ago in Crete, he discovered the oldest footprints of prehumans described so far. Their age is estimated at nearly 6 million years.
A few nice years also had to pass before the scientist said that what he was researching were not traces of animals, but a palaeontological sensation. – I looked at the tourist’s footprint in the sand, because it is a normal beach. And then I realized and started to laugh that as a human being I did not recognize traces similar to humans, it was a funny story and so often is in science – recalls doctor Gerard Gierliński.
Science can surprise even scientists themselves, and anyone who thinks that everything has already been researched is wrong. There are still plenty of secrets to discover. – I think that they will finally discover the secret of Machu Picchu repair – thinks Elżbieta Dzikowska.
– I have the impression that we live on an as yet unexplored planet. I know it is funny to say in the 21st century that we live on a poorly known planet, but this is the case when it comes to its history, we discover something new every week – points out Dr. Gerard Gierliński.
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