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People living during the Harappan civilization around 4,000 years ago have been found consuming high-protein, multigrain ‘laddoos’, according to a study.
The scientific study of the material found during an excavation in Rajasthan has revealed this.
Jointly conducted by the Birbal Sahni Institute of Palaeosciences (BSIP), Lucknow, and Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), New Delhi, the study was recently published in the ‘Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports’ by Elsevier.
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At least seven ‘laddoos’ were discovered in 2017 during the excavation of a Harappan archaeological site in Binjor in western Rajasthan (near Pakistan border) between 2014 and 2017.
BSIP senior scientist Rajesh Agnihotri said, “Seven similar big-size brown ‘laddoos’, two figurines of bulls and a hand-held copper adze (a tool similar to an ax, used for cutting or shaping wood) were excavated by the ASI at the Harappan site in Anupgarh district of Rajasthan.
“These laddoos, dating back to around 2600 BCE, were found well preserved since a hard structure had fallen in such a manner that it acted as a roof over them and prevented them from getting crushed. Had they been broken, the ‘laddoos’ would have decayed entirely but since these were in contact with the mud, some of the internal organic matter and other green constituents remained protected.”
He said the most peculiar thing about these ‘laddoos’ was that when it came in contact with water, the slurry turned purple.
ASI had handed over samples of laddoos to BSIP for scientific analysis.
“At first, we thought that these laddoos, excavated near the banks of Ghaggar (erstwhile Saraswati), had some connection with occult activities since figurines and adze were also found in close proximity. We were intrigued by their shape and size as they were clearly man-made. This curiosity led us to explore their composition. We initially presumed it could be a non-vegetarian food,” Agnihotri said.
However, primary microscopic investigations carried out by BSIP senior scientist Anjum Farooqui found that these were composed of barley, wheat, chickpea, and a few other oilseeds.
As the early Indus Valley people were mainly agriculturists, the composition of these food balls with mainly vegetarian items with high protein content made sense,” he added.
The presence of pulses, starch, and protein was further confirmed by the discovery of significant excesses of magnesium, calcium, and potassium.
“These laddoos had cereal and pulses, and moong dal dominated the ingredients,” the scientist said.
Full organic geochemistry of the food balls was later conducted at BSIP and National Botanical Research Institute (NBRI) in Lucknow.
A team of nine scientists and archaeologists from the two institutes concluded that the presence of seven laddoos along with typical Harappan tools/items hinted that Harappan people made offerings, performed rituals, and consumed multi-nutritive compact ‘laddoos’ as a food supplement for instant nutrition.
The presence of bull figurines, adze, and a Harappan seal in the vicinity of these seven food balls signifies that humans revered all these items due to their utility and importance to them.
“The study provides important insights into types of food grain used in making laddoos, which reveal contemporary farming practices by Harappan people. This scientific finding appears to be unique and opens up avenues for more intrusive scientific research in archaeology to reconstruct the unwritten history of India and its glorious past,” Agnihotri said.
The discovery of food balls, along with figurines of bulls and copper adze, suggests that Harappan people used these items to perform some kind of rituals. (IANS/KB)
As robots evolve to do more work around us, the UK-based humanoid robot manufacturer Engineered Arts has infused more human-like facial expressions into one of its robots, which may leave you with an eerie feeling.
In a video posted on YouTube, the robot called 'Ameca' displays various human expressions, like appearing to "wake up" from sleep, as its face shows confusion and frustration when it opens its eyes.
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Once awake, 'Ameca' starts looking at its hands and arms, opens its mouth and raises its eyebrows, just like a human does.
At the end of the video, Ameca smiles and holds a welcoming hand out towards the viewer.
According to Engineered Arts, the humanoid bot is currently unable to walk and it is working towards giving it the ability in the near future.
"Designed specifically as a platform for development into future robotics technologies, 'Ameca' is the perfect humanoid robot platform for human-robot interaction," says the company.
The 'Ameca' hardware is a development based on its own research into humanoid robotics and built on its advanced 'Mesmer' technology.
Ameca' on display at the CES 2022 conference in Las Vegas in the US in January.Unsplash
Also read: NASA humanoid robot dances to technology
Engineered Arts is slated to put 'Ameca' on display at the CES 2022 conference in Las Vegas in the US in January.
"Human-like Artificial Intelligence needs a human-like artificial body. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning systems can be tested and developed on Ameca alongside our powerful 'Tritium' robot operating system," the company posted on its website. (IANS/PR)
(Keywords: Humanoid Robot, Ameca, Technology)
Microsoft has disrupted the activities of a China-based hacking group, gaining control of the malicious websites the group used to attack organisations in the US and 28 other countries around the world.
The Microsoft Digital Crimes Unit (DCU) said in a statement that a federal court in Virginia granted its request to seize websites of the hacking group called 'Nickel', enabling the company to cut off Nickel's access to its victims and prevent the websites from being used to execute attacks.
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"We believe these attacks were largely being used for intelligence gathering from government agencies, think tanks and human rights organisations," said Tom Burt, Corporate Vice President, Customer Security and Trust at Microsoft.
Obtaining control of the malicious websites and redirecting traffic from those sites to Microsoft's secure servers will help the company protect existing and future victims while learning more about Nickel's activities.
Also Read : Fortnite : A Gold Mine for Hackers
"Our disruption will not prevent Nickel from continuing other hacking activities, but we do believe we have removed a key piece of the infrastructure the group has been relying on for this latest wave of attacks," Burt said late on Monday.
To date, in 24 lawsuits - five against nation-state actors -- Microsoft has taken down more than 10,000 malicious websites used by cybercriminals and nearly 600 sites used by nation-state actors.
"We have also successfully blocked the registration of 600,000 sites to get ahead of criminal actors that planned to use them maliciously in the future," the tech giant informed.
"We believe these attacks were largely being used for intelligence gathering from government agencies, think tanks and human rights organisations."Unsplash
In some observed activity, Nickel malware used exploits targeting unpatched on-premises Exchange Server and SharePoint systems.
"However, we have not observed any new vulnerabilities in Microsoft products as part of these attacks. Microsoft has created unique signatures to detect and protect from known Nickel activity through our security products, like Microsoft 365 Defender," the company noted.
Nickel has targeted organisations in both the private and public sectors, including diplomatic organisations and ministries of foreign affairs in North America, Central America, South America, the Caribbean, Europe and Africa. (IANS/SP)
(Keywords : hacking, China, Microsoft, website, victim, intelligence, attack, malicious, traffic, server, company, disruption, lawsuits, cybercriminals, vulnerability.)
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Chip manufacturer MediaTek on Monday announced that it is focused on making 2022 a year aimed at rapid growth, business success, substantial expansion in Research and Development capabilities.
MediaTek's plans to boost technology democratisation and enable access to disruptive connectivity with its range of mainstream to flagship 5G chips.
"We at MediaTek are focused on making 2022 a year aimed at rapid growth, business success, and substantial expansion in our R&D capabilities. For 2022, we are focused on further strengthening our presence in India, offering incredible experiences to customers, and supporting the country's technology initiatives with our expertise and collaboration with leading OEMs," Anku Jain, Managing Director, MediaTek India said in a statement.
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In the flagship segment, MediaTek recently announced the Dimensity 9000 chip, which is a milestone of innovation and a rise to the incredible, built-to-power flagship 5G smartphones in the world, the company claims.
MediaTek Dimensity 9000 features a single Cortex-X2 performance core clocked at 3.05GHz, three Cortex-A710 cores at 2.85GHz and four Cortex-A510 efficiency cores at 1.8GHz.
It packs a 10-core Arm Mali-G710 that takes care of graphics processing, the report said.
The chipset also comes packed with MediaTek's fifth-generation APU with six total cores for AI processing.Unsplash
Also read: Realme Unveils First 5G Smartphone
The chipset also comes packed with MediaTek's fifth-generation APU with six total cores for AI processing.
The chipset can handle screens with up to a 180Hz refresh rate at Full HD+ resolutions. It is also the first chipset to have an 18-bit image signal processor, offering the ability to capture 4K HDR video using up to three cameras at the same time, or still photos using up to a massive 320MP sensor. (IANS/PR)
(Keywords: 5G, smartphones, Mediatek)