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TagEgypt (ancient)

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Temple of Hathor, Dendera, Egypt

How Video Games Helped Researchers Unpack Real History

Experts in ancient Egyptian life helped game developer Ubisoft create Origins in 2017 and Ubisoft wanted to return the favor

The massive mysteries of ancient Egypt were undecipherable until the discovery of the Rosetta Stone in 1799 because the meaning of the hieroglyphics in which the inscriptions were composed had been lost: The Stone featured text engraved in Egyptian hieroglyphs alongside easily recognized Greek from the 2nd century BC. It enabled a first stab at interpreting the mysterious older symbols. But there are a lot of symbols and only one Stone. So it has been slow work for centuries. A job for machine learning? In 2017, with much help from Egyptologists, game creator Ubisoft’s Montreal division released Assassin’s Creed: Origins, a game set in Egypt during the reign of Cleopatra (70/60–30 BC). The goal was to create authenticity as well…

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Cat looks strange look in the night

Some Mysteries About Cats … Solved!

Pet dogs outnumber cats but they’ll never excel at creating the aura of mystery at which the cat effortlessly succeeds

Following up on the ways cats are intelligent, it might be fun to look at how humans got involved with them. It turns out that there are reasons why we have always found cats mysterious, compared to dogs. Why are people so fond of cats? There are lots of reasons but here’s an interesting find: Domestic cats’ meows for attention are said to be unique to their relationship with humans. Oxford neuroscientist Morten Kringelbach has found a way to map human responses via magnetoencephalograph (MEG) studies that measure electrical activity in our brains in real time. He found that the cry of a baby triggered a response in the orbitofrontal cortex before study subjects had identified the sound consciously. Adult…