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In brief
August 2, 2010   
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Warsaw Archeologists Take a Break in Sudan

Archeologists from the University of Warsaw’s Center for Mediterranean Archeology have completed another excavation season in the Sudanese city of Dongola. Prof. Włodzimierz Godlewski from the university’s Institute of Archeology is managing the archeologists’ work in Sudan.

This past season, the archeologists focused on exploring a royal palace from 1,500 years ago. Their main finds included a collection of amphorae from Egypt, Palestine and Greece. The collection has enabled the archeologists to determine more precisely when the palace was built and how the city of Dongola traded with cities in Egypt and the rest of the Byzantine Empire.

The archeologists investigated a complex of royal buildings that were surrounded by massive fortifications in the late 5th and early 6th centuries. Most of the excavations were on the site of the Palace of King Johannes, a one-story building with an area of more than 1,200 square meters.

Ceramic, glass and metal artifacts found in one section of the complex show that the palace was built in the last two decades of the 6th century, the archeologists say. Previous research suggested the palace dated back to the first half of the 7th century.

South of the palace, the archeologists uncovered a section of a large building, sized 21 by 15 meters, that they believe was once used for religious purposes.

PET Scanner
Paweł Moskal, Ph.D., from the Jagiellonian University’s Faculty of Physics, Astronomy and Applied Computer Science, has designed a new type of positron emission tomography (PET) scanner to screen patients for cancer.

The scanner makes use of organic materials and is cheaper to use than standard computed tomography scanners, the researcher says.

Moskal wants to use a special type of plastic in the scanner as a scintillator, or material in which gamma rays excite flashes of light. This will allow doctors to detect the growth of cancer in early phases.

Clothes for Disabled, Elderly
Scientists from the Textile Research Institute in ŁódĽ have designed a special collection of functional and ergonomic clothes for disabled and elderly people. The collection is particularly intended for wheelchair users and bedridden patients, according to the institute’s Elżbieta Mielicka, Ph.D.

“The clothing has as few seams as possible so as to minimize the risk of bedsores and take into account various bodily deformities,” Mielicka said.

The collection is the result of research on functional designs and careful selection of modern fabrics, according to Mielicka. “All the clothes are practical to use and have remarkable antibacterial and thermal properties,” she said.

The collection includes underwear, night gowns, T-shirts and tracksuits for physical exercises, as well as coats and capes. The outwear is made of three-layer material with a lining and a breathable membrane. Outwear for wheelchair users includes a cape that is shorter in the back and longer in the front to protect the legs from rain. Thanks to rubber clips and straps on the wrists, the cape will stay in place. There are also rainproof leg covers for wheelchair users, capes for people with mobility impairments, and special pants for leg amputees.

Medieval Bell Foundry Unearthed

Archeologists from a regional museum in the western town of W±growiec have unearthed the remains of a bell foundry from the late 14th century or early 15th century.
On the site, the archeologists have found parts of a clay kiln that they say was used for smelting bronze in the Middle Ages. Inside the kiln were pieces of a ceramic melting pot filled with bronze slag and charcoal.

The archeologists believe that the foundry made bells for nearby churches and monasteries.

Compiled by Tadeusz Belerski
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