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Archaeologists Dig Up 200-Year-Old Canal Barge in England

After three seasons of digging, the Exeter Express & Echo reports, volunteers have fully uncovered the remains of a barge preserved in England's Stover Canal. The boat is believed to be over 200 years old.

Between the 1790s and the 1930s, the Stover Canal, located in the southwest, was primarily used for transporting granite and ball clay for commercial purposes. The canal was officially decommissioned in the 1930s, but by that time the upper section had already been out of use since around the 1880s. This means that the barge could have been sitting where it was recently unearthed for the past 140 years or so. As of now, the barge is unique in that it's the only one that's been excavated from the canal.

The archaeological dig is the work of the Stover Canal Trust and volunteer diggers led by archaeologist Phil Newman. In addition to the remnants of the barge, the team also uncovered a section of tramroad beside the canal this year.

Canals were a vital part of British commerce during the Industrial Revolution. By 1850, more than 4000 miles of canal were spread out across the country. Closer examination of the Stover Canal barge could reveal specific details of how it was made and what it was used to carry in its heyday.

[h/t Exeter Express & Echo]

All images: Stover Canal Trust via Facebook 

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The Evolution of "Two" in the Indo-European Language Family
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The Indo-European language family includes most of the languages of Europe as well as many languages in Asia. There is a long research tradition that has shown, though careful historical comparison, that languages spanning a huge linguistic and geographical range, from French to Greek to Russian to Hindi to Persian, are all related to each other and sprung from a common source, Proto-Indo-European. One of the techniques for studying the relationship of the different languages to each other is to look at the similarities between individual words and work out the sound changes that led from one language to the next.

This diagram, submitted to Reddit by user IronChestplate1, shows the word for two in various Indo-European languages. (The “proto” versions, marked with an asterisk, are hypothesized forms, built by working backward from historical evidence.) The languages cluster around certain common features, but the words are all strikingly similar, especially when you consider the words for two in languages outside the Indo-European family: iki (Turkish), èjì (Yoruba), ni (Japanese), kaksi (Finnish), etc. There are many possible forms two could take, but in this particular group of languages it is extremely limited. What are the chances of that happening by accident? Once you see it laid out like this, it doesn’t take much to put *dwóh and *dwóh together.

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Beyond Plumbing: 19 Other Jobs on Mario's Resume
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Nintendo made news this week by subtly announcing that Mario is no longer a plumber. In fact, they're really downplaying his whole plumbing career. On the character's Japanese-language bio, the company says, "He also seems to have worked as a plumber a long time ago."

But Mario has always had plenty of jobs on the side. Here's a look at his resume:

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