Category Archives: ASIA

Archaeologists find a 2,700-year-old toilet in a luxurious palace in Jerusalem

Archaeologists find 2,700-year-old toilet in luxurious palace in Jerusalem

Archaeologists in Israel have unearthed a private toilet dating from the seventh century B.C.E., a time when such a luxury would have been unheard of. According to Amy Spiro of the Times of Israel, the crew discovered the carved limestone fixture ahead of construction in Jerusalem’s Armon Hanatziv neighbourhood.

Archaeologists find 2,700-year-old toilet in luxurious palace in Jerusalem
The rare stone toilet is 2700 years old. Most likely used by one of the dignitaries of Jerusalem.

“A private toilet cubicle was very rare in antiquity, and to date, only a few have been found, mostly in the City of David,” says Yaakov Billig, who directed the dig for the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA), in a statement.

“Only the rich could afford toilets. In fact, a thousand years later, the Mishnah and the Talmud discuss the various criteria that define a rich person, and Rabbi Yossi [suggests that] to be rich is [to have] a toilet near his table.’”

As Haaretz’s Ruth Schuster reports, a cubicle surrounding the toilet and a deep septic tank beneath it were both carved out of limestone bedrock. The bathroom measured about 5 by 6.5 feet.

The researchers are unsure whether the toilet was carved from bedrock or made out of a finer stone, Billig tells Haaretz.

Inside the toilet cubicle, the team found 30 to 40 bowls. Billig says it’s possible the vessels may have held aromatic oils or incense—early air fresheners for those making use of the facility.

Archaeologists have previously found a number of other toilets in Jerusalem, including one at a building known as the House of Ahiel. In 2016, experts announced the discovery of a separate commode in the ancient city of Tel Lachish, about 40 miles southwest of Jerusalem.

They suggested that ancient Israeli forces may have installed the toilet as a way of intentionally desecrating a pagan shrine. According to Haaretz,  this interpretation is a matter of considerable debate.

Prior to the invention of the modern flush toilet in 1596 and its widespread adoption in the 19th century, people relied on a variety of toilet technologies, reported Jimmy Stamp for Smithsonian magazine in 2014. Most used communal outhouses, chamber pots or humble holes in the ground.

Some Mesopotamians had simple toilets as early as the fourth millennium B.C.E., wrote Chelsea Wald for Nature in 2016. About 1,000 years later, wealthy Minoans developed a system that used water to wash waste from their toilets into a sewer system. And, in ancient Greece and Rome, public latrines connected bench seats to drainage systems.

The excavation of the royal estate was discovered in Jerusalem. In the background is the City of David and the Temple Mount.

The newly identified toilet was not connected to a larger system, so servants would probably have had to empty it periodically, per Haaretz.

Researchers found it in the ruins of an ancient palace discovered last year. The team has also unearthed stone capitals and columns, as well as evidence of an ancient garden with orchids and aquatic plants, at the large estate, the Associated Press (AP) reports.

Inside the septic tank, archaeologists found remnants of pottery and animal bones and human waste, reports Rossella Tercatin for the Jerusalem Post. They plan to analyze these discoveries to find out more about dietary habits in the ancient city. 

The estate offered a view over the Temple Mount, and, according to Billig, it may have been a residence of a king of Judah. 

The team will present its findings at the conference “Innovations in the Archaeology of Jerusalem and Its Surroundings,” which is scheduled to take place Wednesday and Thursday both in Jerusalem and online.

Ancient maps of Jupiter’s path show Babylonians’ advanced maths

Ancient maps of Jupiter’s path show Babylonians’ advanced maths

Analysis of an ancient codebreaking tablet has revealed that Babylonian astronomers had calculated the movements of Jupiter using an early form of geometric calculus some 1,400 years before we thought the technique was invented by the Europeans.

This means that these ancient Mesopotamian astronomers had not only figured out how to predict Jupiter’s paths more than 1,000 years before the first telescopes existed, but they were using mathematical techniques that would form the foundations of modern calculus as we now know it.

“This shows just how highly developed this ancient culture was,” historian Matthieu Ossendrijver from Humboldt University in Germany told Maddie Stone at Gizmodo. “I don’t think anybody expected something like this would be discovered in a Babylonian text.”

The key to figuring this out was a single, 50-year-old photograph of an astronomical tablet, which Ossendrijver used to decode the meaning of a strange trapezoid that had been carved into the stone more than 2,000 years ago.

For decades, researchers had been confounded by four Babylonian tablets held by London’s British Museum that all cite this trapezoid shape in the text referring to Jupiter’s movements across the sky. While we have plenty of archaeological evidence that basic geometry was often used in Babylonian mathematics, until now, we’ve only seen signs of them using arithmetic. 

So why would they be referring to geometrical calculations based on the long and short sides of a trapezoid? Without the codebreaking tablet in the photograph above, it just didn’t add up.

These cuneiform tablets were excavated from sites in Babylon and Uruk (now Iraq) in the 19th century and transported to the British Museum. Ossendrijver has known the contents of the four tablets like the back of his hand for decades, but until encountering this photograph, he’d never seen the fifth. 

“When I found this tablet last year, I immediately thought of these other tablets that I knew about, a few of which I translated myself,” Ossendrijver told Joshua Sokol at New Scientist. “But I never understood them.”

Essentially, this tablet held the key to understanding how the Babylonians used the trapezoid shape to predict Jupiter’s position, which was integral to their beliefs about the weather, the price of goods, and the fluctuating river levels throughout the year.

“The now-decoded ‘text A’ describes a procedure for calculating Jupiter’s displacement across the ecliptic plane, the path that the Sun appears to trace through the stars, over the course of a year,” says Maddie Stone at Gizmodo.

“According to the text, the Babylonians did so by tracking Jupiter’s speed as a function of time and determining the area under a time-velocity curve.”

Pretty impressive, right?

And what’s fascinating is French and British scholars had been using the same technique during the 14th century – using trapezoids to calculate measurements of velocity and displacement – and everyone had assumed it originated with them.

“In 1350, mathematicians understood that if you compute the area under this curve, you get the distance travelled,” Ossendrijver told Gizmodo. “That’s quite an abstract insight about the connection between time and motion. What is shown by [these texts] is that this insight came about in Babylonia.”

His findings have been published in Science.

A Valley in Kazakhstan Home to Countless Massive Stone Spheres

A Valley in Kazakhstan Home to Countless Massive Stone Spheres

Close to the town of Shetpe in Western Kazakhstan lies the Valley of Balls – or Torysh, as it is known in Kazakh. It consists of numerous ball-like rock formations strewn across a wide range of steppe land. The balls range in size from tiny marble-like rocks to huge boulders the size of a car.

The Torysh Valley in Kazakhstan is home to a unique landscape. Scattered across the surface are countless stone spheres of different sizes.

It’s as if in the distant past, it rained massive spheres from the heavens. The unique Kazakhstani spheres are found in the southwestern part of the country, amidst mountains, valleys, deserts, and tundra.

The spheres are believed to be more than 150 million years old, and they are unusual not only because of their age but by their shape and impressive size. Some of the Spheres are as large as a car, while some spheres are only a few centimetres in diameter.

How they came into existence is also exciting and is the result of science facts mixed with folklore or even legends.

Scientists say the region is home to a geological wonder and that the spheres most likely date back from the Jurassic to the early Cretaceous period, between 180 and 120 million years.

Furthermore, it is thought that the stone spheres are composed of silicate or carbon cement.

The researchers that travelled to Kazakhstan to study the spheres believe they are the result of massive concretions. However, alternative researchers hold that these massive stone spheres are the ‘ancestors’ of more recent spheres discovered in Costa Rica and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Those who believe they are not naturally made argue the massive stone spheres of Kazakhstan result from long-lost civilizations that existed on Earth before written history.

But the truth is that the valley of spheres is poorly reached.

Nonetheless, there could be various geological explanations ranging from megaspherulites – crystalline balls created in volcanic ash and then exposed by weathering – to cannonball concretions – a process where an area’s sediment tends to accumulate around a more rigid core.

In addition, some argue that the speeches are also the result of a process called spheroidal weathering, where the conditions are perfect for eroding rocks, giving them a spherical form.

However, since not all the spheres in the enigmatic valley are of the same size, researchers believe the stone ‘balls’ are most likely the result of megaspherulites.

Roman Temple Discovered in Ancient City of Tyre

Roman Temple Discovered in Ancient City of Tyre

A new Roman temple has been discovered by archaeologists in the ancient Phoenician city of Tyre, located off the coast of Lebanon. The joint excavation, led by María Eugenia Aubet (Pompeu Fabra University of Barcelona), Ali Badawi (General Directorate of Antiquities of Lebanon), and Francisco J. Núñez (Polish Centre of Mediterranean Archaeology, University of Warsaw), focused on the massive structure.

Roman Temple Discovered in Ancient City of Tyre
View of the excavated area from the southwest.

Two phases of construction have been identified, placing the temple in the early Roman period (about 31 B.C.E. to 193 C.E.) with a major modification in the late Roman period (about 284 C.E. to 476 C.E.). The temple is situated in the Tyre Acropolis, the highest point of the landmass, which Greek and Phoenician inscriptions describe as a sacred area. Researchers believe many cult-related rituals and worship activities would have taken place here.

Aerial view of the site, 2021.

“Its location on a podium in the most elevated area of the ancient island highlights this building’s particular status,” said Núñez in an email.

The rectangular building is east-west in orientation, with a vestibule flanked by two columns, and a podium on the other side. Temple walls were originally comprised of sandstone blocks, and the building stood on a platform made of limestone and sandstone.

The 26-foot-high columns were made of Egyptian pink granite, and the stepped entryway was decorated with engraved slabs featuring geometric motifs.

“It is one of but a few buildings of this character found in Tyre to date,” Núñez wrote. “Our knowledge of Tyre in Antiquity, despite the great prominence of the city, is unfortunately quite limited.”

Researchers believe there may have been a subterranean chamber located south of the entrance. The exact object of veneration at the massive temple remains a mystery. “At least, for now, the name of the deity worshipped in this building remains elusive to us,” wrote Núñez.

The porticoed street that descends from the temple intersects with a narrower street leading to a nearby shrine, with two rooms and a courtyard. This smaller structure is oriented north-south, with one room featuring an Egyptian relief that portrays the goddess Isis breastfeeding her son Horus as a child.

Work in the location of the Roman temple’s facade, with the foundation of a column in the foreground.

Tyre is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, with a long history of settlement dating back to the 3rd millennium B.C.E. It has long been a significant port and trading centre in the Mediterranean region.

During the Bronze Age and Iron Age, around 1,200 B.C.E. to 868 B.C.E., it was an independent Phoenician city and a site of major economic importance, including industry, commerce, and crafts. Originally located on an offshore island, Tyre was connected to the mainland by a causeway built by Alexander the Great.

Buildings constructed over five millennia by various cultures have made Tyre a difficult archaeological site to investigate, with layers of occupation overlapping each other.

“The superimposed architectural remains, along with natural catastrophes, the rise of the sea level, and the dynamic land development and public works in the recent decades efficiently obscured the character of ancient architecture,” Núñez said in a statement.

The area around the temple was severely damaged and reconstructed in the Early Byzantine era. The temple itself was dismantled and replaced by a large basilica, which was eventually destroyed along with other parts of the city during a tsunami in the 6th-century C.E.

Work will continue at the site in 2022, with further investigations of the Roman temple and surrounding area. Researchers plan to determine whether a second monumental building, located to the north, is another temple.

1,000-Year-Old Silver Coins Unearthed in the United Arab Emirates

1,000-Year-Old Silver Coins Unearthed in the United Arab Emirates

Ancient silver dirham coins minted one millennium ago in Morocco, Persia, Al-Rai, the Khorasan region, Armenia and Transoxiana have been discovered in Sharjah.

A team from Sharjah Archaeology Authority made the discovery in the central region of the emirate. The Islamic coins were stored in an Abbasid-style pot dating back to the 9th or 10th century AD.

This proves the early presence of the Abbasid dynasty in the region, said Dr Sabah Aboud Jasim, director-general of the Sharjah Archaeology Authority.

Provided by The National Ancient coins from the Abbasid dynasty were discovered in pottery by a team from Sharjah Archaeology Authority.

The Abbasid Caliphate was the third such to succeed the Prophet, Mohammed.

The rare coins bear the iconography of five caliphs, who were the chief Muslim leaders from the period, including Abu Jaafar Al Mansour, Mohamed Al Mahdi, Haroun Al Rashid, Mohamed Al Amin and Abu Jaafar Abdullah Al Maamoun.

The haul includes a silver dirham-link coin of Lady Zubaida, also known as Umm Jaafar, the wife of Caliph Haroun Al Rashid, as well as a copper Abbasid fils coin was also found.

The coins were minted in several geographical and administrative areas in the late 8th to early 9th century AD, or 154-199 AH of the Hijri period in the Islamic calendar.

The discovery documents a pivotal period in the history of Sharjah and the UAE during the Abbasid dynasty and highlights the commercial activity taking place in the UAE and in Sharjah’s central region.

The coins, which travelled along several important trade routes to the Arabian Gulf and the UAE, confirm that the region was an important trading centre during that period.

This find is one of many made in recent months in the area. In February, archaeologists at Sharjah Archaeology Authority unearthed a treasure trove of 409 coins in Mleiha.

Many discoveries made in the area are now on display in the Mleiha Archaeological Centre, which opened to visitors in 2016 and charts the region’s history back to the Stone Age.

Sharjah Ruler visits Sharjah Archaeology Authority – in pictures

Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, was briefed on the latest archaeological discoveries found by historians working in the central region of the emirate.
Sheikh Dr Sultan is shown a priceless Roman key found by archaeologists.
Thirty two swords dating back to the third or second century BC were found in Mleiha.
1,000-Year-Old Silver Coins Unearthed in the United Arab Emirates
A treasure trove of 409 coins was unearthed in February in Mleiha, a hugely significant find.
Sheikh Dr Sultan was shown priceless artefacts found at Mleiha in Sharjah.

Nazca Lines of Kazakhstan: More Than 50 Geoglyphs Discovered

Nazca Lines of Kazakhstan: More Than 50 Geoglyphs Discovered

More than 50 geoglyphs with various shapes and sizes, including a massive swastika, have been discovered across northern Kazakhstan in Central Asia, say, archaeologists.

Nazca Lines of Kazakhstan: More Than 50 Geoglyphs Discovered
More than 50 geoglyphs, including one shaped like a swastika, have been discovered in northern Kazakhstan.

These sprawling structures, mostly earthen mounds, create the type of landscape art most famously seen in the Nazca region of Peru.

Discovered using Google Earth, the geoglyphs are designed in a variety of geometric shapes, including squares, rings, crosses and swastikas (the swastika is a design that was used in ancient times). Ranging from 90 to 400 meters (295 to 1,312 feet) in diameter, some of them are longer than a modern-day aircraft carrier.

Researchers say that the geoglyphs are difficult to see on the ground, but can easily be seen from the sky

Over the past year, an archaeological expedition from Kazakhstan’s Kostanay University, working in collaboration with Vilnius University in Lithuania, has been examining the geoglyphs.

The team, which is conducting archaeological excavations, ground-penetrating radar surveys, aerial photography and dating, recently presented its initial results at the European Association of Archaeologists annual meeting in Istanbul.

The geoglyphs were made of earthen mounds.

Archaeological excavations uncovered the remains of structures and hearths at the geoglyphs, suggesting that rituals took place there, said archaeologists Irina Shevnina and Andrew Logvin, of Kostanay University, in an email to Live Science.

Ancient tribes may also have used the geoglyphs to mark ownership of the land, the researchers noted.

“As of today, we can say only one thing — the geoglyphs were built by ancient people. By whom and for what purpose, remains a mystery,” said Shevnina and Logvin.

Why they’re builders used geometric shapes is also a mystery, although the swastika is an ancient symbol found throughout Europe and Asia.

Geoglyphs around the world

While Peru’s Nazca Lines are the world’s most famous geoglyphs, archaeological research suggests that geoglyphs were constructed in numerous areas around the world by different cultures.

For instance, in the Middle East, archaeologists have found thousands of wheel-shaped structures that are easily visible from the sky, but hard to see on the ground. Also recently in Russia, archaeologists excavated a geoglyph shaped like an elk, which appears older than the Nazca Lines.

Ancient geoglyphs have also been reported in many other countries, including the United Kingdom, Brazil and even the Southwestern United States.

The introduction of high-resolution Google Earth imagery over the last decade has helped both professional archaeologists and amateurs detect and study these enigmatic structures.

10-foot-tall Bronze Age geoglyph of a bull found in Siberia Is A First

10-foot-tall Bronze Age geoglyph of bull found in Siberia Is A First

A geoglyph of a bull discovered in Siberia dates back more than 4,000 years, making it twice as old as the famed Nazca lines of Peru and millennia older than Uffington’s chalk-lined White Horse.

Geoglyphs, which often have spiritual or religious meaning, are large designs made in the ground that can typically only be seen from the air.  The bull, which measures 10 feet tall by 13 feet long, is formed from carefully arranged pebbles and sandstone.

It was part of a larger Early Bronze Age burial site uncovered near Khondergey, a village in southwest Tuva close to Russia’s border with Mongolia.

Archaeologists in Siberia have discovered a bull geoglyph they believe is more than 4,000 years old—a millennia older than Uffington’s White Horse and twice as old as the famed Nazca lines of Peru
The bull, which measures 10 feet tall by 13 feet long, is formed from carefully arranged pebbles and sandstone.

This is the first animal geoglyph found in this part of Central Asia, according to archaeologists at the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Institute of the History of Material Culture, who participated in the discovery.

‘The bull motif is very typical for the Central Asia cultures of the Early Bronze Era,’ Marina Kilunovskaya, head of Tuva Archaeological Expedition, told The Siberian Times. ‘Later in the Scythian era, bulls were replaced by deers.’ 

Kilunovskaya said petroglyphs, or rock carvings, of bulls, have been discovered in Tuva and the surrounding regions before but this is the first animal geoglyph.

‘We didn’t previously find such stone compositions.’ she told the Times.

Only the back half of the bovine remains—its front was destroyed by road construction in the 1940s. Members of the expedition hope the bull’s rear will be better preserved.

10-foot-tall Bronze Age geoglyph of bull found in Siberia Is A First
A graphic indicating what the bull would have looked like when it was made. Its front end was unknowingly destroyed during road construction in the 1940s

Geoglyphs have been discovered in diverse corners of the world: In addition to the Nazca Lines in Peru and Uffington’s White Horse in England, the Blythe Intaglios are a group of gigantic figures carved into the ground in the Colorado Desert near Blythe, California, that have been radiocarbon-dated to between 900 and 1200 BC.

The Cerne Abbas Giant in Dorset, England, is a 180-foot tall nude male figure with a prominent erection and large club. The phallic figure’s outline was made by digging two-foot deep trenches into the ground and filling it with crushed chalk. 

Dates for when it was carved have ranged from the Middle Ages to the 17th century, but using optically stimulated luminescence,  scientists have placed it much further back, somewhere between  700 1110 AD.

The oldest known geoglyph is also in Russia, though some 1,100 miles away from the Tuva bull: An enormous moose only clearly visible from the sky in Chelyabinsk dates to about 6,000 years ago.

The moose, sometimes labelled an elk, was incised on the Zyuratkul Mountains. It stretches for about 902 feet and depicts an animal with four legs, antlers, and a long muzzle.

Only discovered in 2011 using satellite imaging, the moose is also the largest-known figurative geoglyph, as opposed to an abstract or geometric design.

Stone tools uncovered by archaeologists at the site show indicate were made to fit the hands of children, who partook in the glyph’s creation.

The Cerne Abbas Giant in Dorset, England, is a 180-foot tall nude male figure with a prominent erection and large Club.

‘But it was not a kind of slave labour of children,’ Stanislav Grigoryev, a senior researcher from the Chelyabinsk History and Archaeology Institute, told The Siberian Times. ‘They were involved to share common values, to join something important to all the people.’

In 2014, dozens of 50 geoglyphs of various shapes and sizes, including a massive swastika, were discovered across northern Kazakhstan.

18,000 Years Ago, Humans Raised World’s Most Dangerous Bird as Pets: Study

18,000 Years Ago, Humans Raised World’s Most Dangerous Bird as Pets: Study

As early as 18,000 years ago, humans in New Guinea may have collected cassowary eggs near maturity and then raised the birds to adulthood, according to an international team of scientists, who used eggshells to determine the developmental stage of the ancient embryos/chicks when the eggs cracked.

“This behaviour that we are seeing is coming thousands of years before the domestication of the chicken,” said Kristina Douglass, assistant professor of anthropology and African studies, Penn State. “And this is not some small fowl, it is a huge, ornery, flightless bird that can eviscerate you. Most likely the dwarf variety that weighs 20 kilos (44 pounds).”

The researchers report today (Sept. 27) in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that “the data presented here may represent the earliest indication of human management of the breeding of an avian taxon anywhere in the world, preceding the early domestication of chicken and geese by several millennia.”

Cassowaries are not chickens; in fact, they bear more resemblance to velociraptors than most domesticated birds. “However, cassowary chicks imprint readily to humans and are easy to maintain and raise up to adult size,” the researchers report.

Imprinting occurs when a newly hatched bird decides that the first thing it sees is its mother. If that first glance happens to catch sight of a human, the bird will follow the human anywhere. According to the researchers, cassowary chicks are still traded as a commodity in New Guinea.

Importance of eggshells

Eggshells are part of the assemblage of many archaeological sites, but according to Douglass, archaeologists do not often study them. The researchers developed a new method to determine how old a chick embryo was when an egg was harvested. They reported this work in a recent issue of the Journal of Archaeological Science.

A captive, modern adult cassowary.

“I’ve worked on eggshells from archaeological sites for many years,” said Douglass. “I discovered research on turkey eggshells that showed changes in the eggshells over the course of development that was an indication of age. I decided this would be a useful approach.”

The age assignment of the embryos/chicks depends on the 3-dimensional features of the inside of the shell. To develop the method needed to determine the eggs’ developmental age when the shells broke, the researchers used ostrich eggs from a study done to improve ostrich reproduction.

Researchers at the Oudtshoorn Research Farm, part of the Western Cape Government of South Africa, harvested three eggs every day of incubation for 42 days for their study and supplied Douglass and her team with samples from 126 ostrich eggs.

They took four samples from each of these eggs for a total of 504 shell samples, each having a specific age. They created high-resolution, 3D images of the shell samples. By inspecting the inside of these eggs, the researcher created a statistical assessment of what the eggs looked like during stages of incubation.

The researchers then tested their model with modern ostrich and emu eggs of known age. The insides of the eggshells change through development because the developing chicks get calcium from the eggshell. Pits begin to appear in the middle of development.

“It is time-dependent, but a little more complicated,” said Douglass. “We used a combination of 3D imaging, modelling and morphological descriptions.”

The researchers then turned to legacy shell collections from two sites in New Guinea—Yuku and Kiowa. They applied their approach to more than 1,000 fragments of these 18,000- to 6,000-year-old eggs.

“What we found was that a large majority of the eggshells were harvested during late stages,” said Douglass. “The eggshells look very late; the pattern is not random. They were either into eating baluts or they are hatching chicks.”

A balut is a nearly developed embryo chick usually boiled and eaten as street food in parts of Asia. The original archaeologists found no indication of penning for the cassowaries. The few cassowary bones found at sites are only those of the meaty portions—leg and thigh—suggesting these were hunted birds, processed in the wild and only the meatiest parts got hauled home.

“We also looked at burning on the eggshells,” said Douglass. “There are enough samples of late-stage eggshells that do not show burning that we can say they were hatching and not eating them.”

To successfully hatch and raise cassowary chicks, the people would need to know where the nests were, know when the eggs were laid and remove them from the nest just before hatching. Back in the late Pleistocene, according to Douglass, humans were purposefully collecting these eggs and this study suggests people were not just harvesting eggs to eat the contents.

Also working on this project from Penn State were Priyangi Bulathsinhala, assistant teaching professor of statistics; Tim Tighe, assistant research professor, Materials Research Institute; and Andrew L. Mack, grants and contract coordinator, Penn State Altoona.

Others working on the project include Dylan Gaffney, graduate student, University of Cambridge, U.K.; Theresa J. Feo, senior science officer, California Council of Science and Technology; and Megan Spitzer, research assistant; Scott Whittaker, manager, scientific imaging; Helen James, research zoologist and curator of birds; and Torben Rick, curator of North American Archaeology, all at the Natural Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution. Glenn R. Summerhayes, professor of archaeology, University of Otago, New Zealand; and Zanell Brand, production scientist, Oudtshoorn Research Farm, Elsenburg, Department of Agriculture, Western Cape Government, South Africa, also worked on the project.