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Speleology in Kazakhstan

Shakalov on 04 Jul, 2018
Hello everyone!   I pleased to invite you to the official site of Central Asian Karstic-Speleological commission ("Kaspeko")   There, we regularly publish reports about our expeditions, articles and reports on speleotopics, lecture course for instructors, photos etc. ...

Speleology in Kazakhstan

Shakalov on 04 Jul, 2018
Hello everyone!   I pleased to invite you to the official site of Central Asian Karstic-Speleological commission ("Kaspeko")   There, we regularly publish reports about our expeditions, articles and reports on speleotopics, lecture course for instructors, photos etc. ...

Speleology in Kazakhstan

Shakalov on 11 Jul, 2012
Hello everyone!   I pleased to invite you to the official site of Central Asian Karstic-Speleological commission ("Kaspeko")   There, we regularly publish reports about our expeditions, articles and reports on speleotopics, lecture course for instructors, photos etc. ...

New publications on hypogene speleogenesis

Klimchouk on 26 Mar, 2012
Dear Colleagues, This is to draw your attention to several recent publications added to KarstBase, relevant to hypogenic karst/speleogenesis: Corrosion of limestone tablets in sulfidic ground-water: measurements and speleogenetic implications Galdenzi,

The deepest terrestrial animal

Klimchouk on 23 Feb, 2012
A recent publication of Spanish researchers describes the biology of Krubera Cave, including the deepest terrestrial animal ever found: Jordana, Rafael; Baquero, Enrique; Reboleira, Sofía and Sendra, Alberto. ...

Caves - landscapes without light

akop on 05 Feb, 2012
Exhibition dedicated to caves is taking place in the Vienna Natural History Museum   The exhibition at the Natural History Museum presents the surprising variety of caves and cave formations such as stalactites and various crystals. ...

Did you know?

That paraphreatic is a paraphreatic passage has an air surface under relatively low flow conditions, when drainage is within the capacity of its downstream continuation, but reverts to being water-filled (phreatic) under conditions of high flow or when the downstream drainage is temporarily impeded [9].?

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Karst environment, Culver D.C.
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Your search for uncertainty (Keyword) returned 31 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 1 to 15 of 31
The `human revolution' in lowland tropical Southeast Asia: the antiquity and behavior of anatomically modern humans at Niah Cave (Sarawak, Borneo), , Barker G, Barton H, Bird M, Daly P, Datan I, Dykes A, Farr L, Gilbertson D, Harrisson B, Hunt C,
Recent research in Europe, Africa, and Southeast Asia suggests that we can no longer assume a direct and exclusive link between anatomically modern humans and behavioral modernity (the `human revolution'), and assume that the presence of either one implies the presence of the other: discussions of the emergence of cultural complexity have to proceed with greater scrutiny of the evidence on a site-by-site basis to establish secure associations between the archaeology present there and the hominins who created it. This paper presents one such case study: Niah Cave in Sarawak on the island of Borneo, famous for the discovery in 1958 in the West Mouth of the Great Cave of a modern human skull, the `Deep Skull,' controversially associated with radiocarbon dates of ca. 40,000 years before the present. A new chronostratigraphy has been developed through a re-investigation of the lithostratigraphy left by the earlier excavations, AMS-dating using three different comparative pre-treatments including ABOX of charcoal, and U-series using the Diffusion-Absorption model applied to fragments of bones from the Deep Skull itself. Stratigraphic reasons for earlier uncertainties about the antiquity of the skull are examined, and it is shown not to be an `intrusive' artifact. It was probably excavated from fluvial-pond-desiccation deposits that accumulated episodically in a shallow basin immediately behind the cave entrance lip, in a climate that ranged from times of comparative aridity with complete desiccation, to episodes of greater surface wetness, changes attributed to regional climatic fluctuations. Vegetation outside the cave varied significantly over time, including wet lowland forest, montane forest, savannah, and grassland. The new dates and the lithostratigraphy relate the Deep Skull to evidence of episodes of human activity that range in date from ca. 46,000 to ca. 34,000 years ago. Initial investigations of sediment scorching, pollen, palynomorphs, phytoliths, plant macrofossils, and starch grains recovered from existing exposures, and of vertebrates from the current and the earlier excavations, suggest that human foraging during these times was marked by habitat-tailored hunting technologies, the collection and processing of toxic plants for consumption, and, perhaps, the use of fire at some forest-edges. The Niah evidence demonstrates the sophisticated nature of the subsistence behavior developed by modern humans to exploit the tropical environments that they encountered in Southeast Asia, including rainforest

238U---234U---230Th---232Th systematics and the precise measurement of time over the past 500,000 years, 1987, Lawrence Edwards R. , Chen J. H. , Wasserburg G. J. ,
We have developed techniques to measure the 230Th abundance in corals by isotope dilution mass spectrometry. This, coupled with our previous development of mass spectrometric techniques for 234U and 232Th measurement, has allowed us to reduce significantly the analytical errors in 238U---234U---230Th dating and greatly reduce the sample size. We show that 6 x 108 atoms of 230Th can be measured to 30[per mille sign] (2[sigma]) and 2 x 1010 atoms of 230Th to 2[per mille sign]. The time over which useful age data on corals can be obtained ranges from a few years to ~ 500 ky. The uncertainty in age, based on analytical errors, is 5 y (2[sigma]) for a 180 year old coral (3 g), 44 y at 8294 years and 1.1 ky at 123.1 ky (250 mg of coral). We also report 232Th concentrations in corals (0.083-1.57 pmol/g) that are more than two orders of magnitude lower than previous values. Ages with high analytical precision were determined for several corals that grew during high sea level stands ~ 120 ky ago. These ages lie specifically within or slightly postdate the Milankovitch insolation high at 128 ky and support the idea that the dominant cause of Pleistocene climate change is Milankovitch forcing

Recent flowstone growth rates: field measurements and comparison to theoretical results, 1995, Baker A. , Smart Pl. ,
The model of calcite precipitation kinetics of D. Buhmann and W. Dreybrodt, based on the rate laws of L.N. Plummer et al., is used to predict cave flowstone growth rates. These theoretically modelled growth rates are compared to actual growth rates of recent samples found in cave and mine sites in southwest England. A good agreement is found between modelled and actual growth rates within the 95% confidence level of the determinations, although in general modelled growth rates overestimate actual growth rate by between 2.4 and 4.7 times. Several reasons for this overestimation are discussed, including uncertainties arising from the experimental data of L.N. Plummer et al., seasonal shut-off of water flow onto the flowstones and significant variations in the growth rate determining parameters during the period of flowstone growth. For one flowstone an underestimation of growth rate is observed and is explained by the presence of rimstone pools which pond water on the sample surface

Determination of transmissivity from specific capacity tests in a karst aquifer, 1997, Mace R. E. ,
Specific capacity tests are useful for estimating transmissivity in aquifers that have few good-quality pump tests, In karst aquifers, this has been done by (1) correcting specific capacity for turbulent well loss and using analytical relationships between transmissivity and specific capacity, and (2) correcting specific capacity for well loss and deriving an empirical relationship between transmissivity and specific capacity. This study focuses on the uncertainties of estimating well loss and presents an empirical relationship between transmissivity and uncorrected specific capacity for a karst aquifer. Well loss is difficult to estimate without good-quality step-drawdown tests. Pipe-flow theory tends to underestimate well loss, and an empirical relationship between specific capacity and well-loss constant has a large prediction interval that leads to well loss exceeding measured drawdown, To overcome uncertainties of estimating web loss, transmissivity and uncorrected specific capacity were related for aquifer tests from the Edwards aquifer in Texas, The resulting best-fit line is T = 0.76(S-c)(1.08) for T and S-c in m(2) d(-1), with a coefficient of determination, R-2, Of 0.89 and a 95-percent prediction interval spanning approximately 1.4 log cycles, Though the prediction interval is large, approximate but useful estimates of transmissivity can be determined because the relationship extends over five orders of magnitude from 1 to 100,000 m(2) d(-1). The relationship is applicable in at least one other karst aquifer and therefore may be useful for others

An experimental study of calcite and limestone dissolution rates as a function of pH from -1 to 3 and temperature from 25 to 80 degrees C, 1998, Alkattan M, Oelkers Eh, Dandurand Jl, Schott J,
Dissolution rates of single calcite crystals, limestones, and compressed calcite powders were determined from sample weight loss using free-drift rotating disk techniques. Experiments were performed in aqueous HCl solutions over the bulk solution pH range -1 to 3, and at temperatures of 25 degrees, 50 degrees, and 80 degrees C. Corresponding rates of the three different sample types are identical within experimental uncertainty. Interpretation of these data using equations reported by Gregory and Riddiford [Gregory, D.P., Riddiford, A.C., 1956. Transport to the surface of a rotating disc. J. Chem. Sec. London 3, 3756-3764] yields apparent rate constants and H diffusion coefficients. The logarithms of overall calcite dissolution rates (r) obtained at constant disk rotation speed are inversely proportional to the bulk solution pH, consistent with r = k(2') a(H,b), where k(2)' stands for an apparent rate constant and a(H,b) designates the hydrogen ion activity in the bulk solution, This variation of dissolution rates with pH is consistent with corresponding rates reported in the literature and the calcite dissolution mechanism reported by Wollast [Wollast, R., 1990. Rate and mechanism of dissolution of carbonates in the system CaCO3-MgCO3. In: Stumm, W. (Ed.), Aquatic Chemical Kinetics. Wiley, pp. 431-445]. Apparent rate constants for a disk rotation speed of 340 rpm increase from 0.07 0.02 to 0.25 0.02 mol m(-2) s(-1) in response to increasing temperature from 25 degrees to 80 degrees C. H diffusion coefficients increase from (2.9 to 9.2) x 10(-9) m(2) s(-1) over this temperature range with an apparent activation energy of 19 kJ mol(-1). (C) 1998 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved

Mapping groundwater vulnerability: the Irish perspective, 1998, Daly D, Warren Wp,
The groundwater protection scheme used in the Republic of Ireland since the 1980s had not encompassed the vulnerability mapping concept. Yet internationally, vulnerability maps were becoming an essential part of groundwater protection schemes and a valuable tool in environmental management. Consequently, following a review of protection schemes world-wide, the scheme used in Ireland was updated and amended to include vulnerability maps as a crucial component of the scheme. The approach taken to vulnerability assessments and mapping in the Republic of Ireland has been dictated by the following fundamental questions: Vulnerability of what? Vulnerability to what? Which factors determine the degree of vulnerability? What is the appropriate scale for map production? How can limitations and uncertainties be taken into account? How can vulnerability assessments be integrated into environmental and resource management? The following decisions were made: (i) we should map the vulnerability of groundwater, not aquifers or wells/springs; (ii) the position in the groundwater system specified to be of interest is the water-table (i.e. first groundwater encountered) in either sand/gravel aquifers or in bedrock; (iii) we should map the vulnerability of groundwater to contaminants generated by human activities (natural impacts are a separate issue); (iv) as the main threat to groundwater in Ireland is posed by point sources, we should map the vulnerability of groundwater to contaminants released at 1-2 m below the ground surface; (v) the characteristics of individual contaminants should not be taken into account; (vi) the natural geological and hydrogeological factors that determine vulnerability are the sub-soils above the watertable, the recharge type (whether point or diffuse) and, in sand/gravels, the thickness of the unsaturated zone; (vii) based on these factors, four vulnerability categories are used (extreme, high, moderate and low); (viii) map scales of 1:50 000 and 1:10 000 are preferred; (ix) limitations and uncertainties are indicated by appropriate wording on the maps and a disclaimer; (x) vulnerability maps should be incorporated into groundwater protection schemes, which should be used in decision-making on the location and control of potentially polluting developments. Vulnerability maps have now been produced for a number of local authority areas. They are an important part of county groundwater protection schemes as they provide a measure of the likelihood of contamination, assist in ensuring that protection schemes are not unnecessarily restrictive of human economic activity, help in the choice of engineering preventative measures, and enable major developments, which have a significant potential to contaminate, to be located in areas of relatively low vulnerability and therefore of relatively low risk, from a groundwater perspective

The hydrogeological effect of quarrying karstified limestone: options for prediction and mitigation, 1998, Hobbs S. L. , Gunn J. ,
The hydrogeological effect of limestone extraction from open pits (quarries) depends on the location of the site in the landscape, the vertical and horizontal extent of the excavation, the methods used to excavate the stone, and the extent of karstification. Groundwater quality is commonly affected by quarrying through increased fine sediment concentrations and accidental spillages. Removal of any soil cover allows direct access for pollutants into the aquifer, a problem which may be exacerbated by licensed or illegal tipping of waste following cessation of stone extraction. Quarrying also removes the entire subcutaneous (epikarstic) zone which is an important ground-water store, together with part or all of the unsaturated zone. Pumping of water from the excavation will change the ground-water balance and can alter the direction and amounts of conduit flow, particularly if the quarry extends beneath the water table. Prediction of such impacts is difficult, especially when the limestone is karstified, such that there will always be a degree of uncertainty associated with the impact of the workings. Hence, it is essential that for new quarries monitoring is undertaken prior to, throughout, and following mineral working, with options for mitigation if mineral working causes an unacceptable impact. When a quarry ceases to be worked, the direct impacts on groundwater quality may rapidly decrease but there are important implications for after-use of the site. Impacts on groundwater quantity are likely to be more long-term

Karst and agriculture in Australia, 1999, Gillieson David, Thurgate Mia
Much of the development and degradation of karst lands in Australia has occurred in the last two centuries since European settlement. Recent prolonged El Nino events add further climatic uncertainty and place real constraints on sustainable agriculture. The lower southeast of South Australia is perhaps the one area in Australia where karst, and particularly karst hydrology, impinge on the daily lives of the community in that pollution and overexploitation of the aquifer are readily apparent to the local population. Effluent from intensive dairy farms, piggeries and cheese factories enters the karst and has caused concern over pollution of water supplies. Human impacts on the Mole Creek karst of Tasmania have been well documented. The principal recent impacts on the karst arc associated with land clearance for farmland, forest cutting for timber, road building, refuse disposal and associated hydrological change. There is similar evidence of agricultural impacts un karst in central New South Wales, with clear evidence of vegetation clearance and soil stripping on the limestones at Wellington, Orange and Molong.

Estimating recharge in a tropical karst aquifer, 2000, Jones I. C. , Banner J. L. , Humphrey J. D. ,
Unique constraints on seasonal and spatial variations in recharge to the Pleistocene limestone aquifer of Barbados are obtained from the analysis of oxygen isotopic compositions of groundwater and rainwater. Conventional methods of estimating recharge are based on groundwater chloride variations, coastal groundwater discharge, and potential evapotranspiration. These methods typically yield estimates of recharge for Barbados that range from 9% to 20% of average annual rainfall, with significant uncertainties that arise from poorly constrained model input parameters. Owing to the low relief and tropical climate of Barbados, variations in rainwater and groundwater delta(18)O values are primarily influenced by the amount of rainfall, with negligible temperature or altitude effects. Composite monthly rainwater delta(18)O values are inversely related to rainfall, while groundwater delta(18)O values show little seasonal variability. Rainwater delta(18)O values are equivalent to groundwater values only at the peak of the wet season. By using mass balance, the difference between groundwater and weighted-mean rainwater delta(18)O values gives recharge values. These values are in general agreement with estimates by conventional methods (10-20%) and provide unique additional information including the following: (1) Recharge is restricted to the wettest 1-3 months of the year, and (2) there is less recharge at higher elevations. The effective shift in delta(18)O values between contemporaneous rainwater and groundwater via recharge is a useful tool for estimating temporal and spatial variability in recharge and must be considered in paleoclimatic studies where climate inferences are based on groundwater delta(18)O values preserved in the geologic record

Comparisons Among Ground-Water Flow Models and Analysis of Discrepancies in Simulated Transmissivities of the Upper Floridan Aquifer in Ground-Water Flow Model Overlap Areas, 2001, Sepulveda N.

Discrepancies in simulated transmissivities of the Upper Floridan aquifer were identified in the overlap areas of seven ground-water flow models in southwest and west-central Florida. Discrepancies in transmissivity are generally the result of uncertainty and spatial variability in other aquifer properties. All ground-water flow models were used to simulate the potentiometric surface of the Upper Floridan aquifer for approximated steady-state conditions from August 1993 through July 1994 using the time-independent hydraulic properties assigned to the models. Specifiedhead and general-head boundary data used to generate boundary conditions appropriate to these models were obtained from the estimated annual average heads for the steady-state period. Water-use data and the approximated surficial aquifer system water table were updated to reflect conditions during the approximated steady-state period. Simulated heads at control points, vertical leakage rates to the Upper Floridan aquifer, and spring flows were used to analyze the discrepancies in transmissivities in model overlap areas. Factors causing transmissivity discrepancies in model overlap areas include differences among directly applied recharge rates, differences among model simulated vertical leakance values assigned to the overlaying confining unit resulting in varying leakage rates to the Upper Floridan aquifer, differences in heads and conductances used in general-head boundary cells, and differences in transmissivities assigned in the vicinity of springs. Additional factors include the grid resolution and algorithm used to approximate the heads of the surficial aquifer system when these are used as a source/sink layer. 


Engineering approaches to conditions created by a combination of karst and faulting at a hospital in Birmingham, Alabama, 2002, Cooley T,
Foundations for a major expansion and modification of a multistory hospital in Birmingham, AL, were founded on faulted and karst-dissolutioned dolomite. The foundation approach had to accommodate a high degree of uncertainty concerning local conditions due to limited access for exploration and extremely variable rock conditions. The scope of the construction included excavation of a subbasement into rock with associated tiebacks to support adjacent foundations, installation of rock-bearing shear walls and rock anchors under the existing hospital, and installation of rock-bearing caissons and wall foundations outside the existing hospital. Local complications included areas of highly shattered rock, a generally pinnacled rock surface with average relief of 3-6 m (10-20 ft), locally very deep cutters and pits, areas where dolomite was weathered to sand or weak rock up to 3 m (10 ft) thick, and pockets of flowing sand and mud near the rock surface. Because of the complexity of site conditions and limited initial access to the site, on-site geotechnical services required innovative approaches to gather additional information on the highly variable and ambiguous rock conditions and adapt detailed foundation design and foundation approaches to the actual conditions encountered. These approaches included triple-tube coring of shattered rock at selected caisson locations; development of a technique for installation of rock anchors into shattered rock, determination of required undercut depths, and remediation at individual foundations where rock was shattered, disaggregated, or steeply pinnacled; characterization of individual cutters by airtrack probing for remediation information in wall foundations; low-angle coring for cutter characterization in the tieback area; change in foundations from walls to caissons or caissons to mat foundations in select areas; and above all, careful judgment-based design. Limitations of characterization methods are also discussed. A fundamental understanding of karst processes and three-dimensional conceptualization was an essential part of the engineering required for this project. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved

Integrated high-resolution geophysical investigations as potential tools for water resource investigations in karst terrain, 2002, Mcgrath R. J. , Styles P. , Thomas E. , Neale S. ,
Karstic aquifers can be particularly vulnerable to both pollution from surface activities and large-scale dewatering from mineral winning operations. This is because of the enhanced vertical and lateral flow paths, resulting from the dissolution of carbonate species by rainfall. Often this process results in the development of voids that can range in size from several centimetres to several tens of metres. To date, groundwater vulnerability maps for England and Wales, including karst areas, have been produced using a methodology that does not consider the presence of karst features. The uncertainties that are presented by the potential for pollution by the presence of water-carrying conduits in karst areas, where there are proposed or existing limestone quarries, require new techniques for detecting and delineating underground cave systems. In order for any mapping technique to provide an acceptable assessment of vulnerability, the location and spatial distribution of high permeability flow paths need to be established. Of the available geophysics techniques that may allow for the identification of such features, microgravity and resistivity imaging are likely to be the most successful. Microgravity surveying has the potential to identify the presence and location of such voids, and with the integration of electrical tomographic work, can provide 'targets' for the location of monitoring boreholes. Whilst these techniques are intensive and may not be cost effective on a regional scale, they do have the potential to provide high-resolution data over smaller areas, which would be invaluable to any site or area-specific assessment of vulnerability

The environmental impacts of human activities and engineering constructions in karst regions, 2002, Milanovic P. ,
With increasing demands on water resources in karst regions, an important issue is how to keep the balance between the necessity for development and preservation of complex and unpredictable hydrogeological systems. Karst terrains have been modified and adapted through a range of human activities as needs for drinking water, hydroelectric power and other resources increase. In many regions, reclamation projects, construction of large dams and reservoirs, deep underground excavations and complex foundation structures have had a detrimental impact on the environment. However, because each karst region is unique, the nature of environmental change is unpredictable, often occurs very rapidly, and similar situations are seldom, if ever, repeated. Changes in karst function can have a profound impact on regional ecological, infrastructure, social and political systems. The majority of impacts can be foreseen and mitigated by appropriate designs. Ecological and environmental protection is more difficult when the changes are unexpected and source of problem is some distance from the impacted area. Optimal environmental protection requires a multidisciplinary approach, a lot of patience and perseverance, and adequate funds. Legal aspects and insurability are also very important basic elements in karst environmental protection. Criteria for determining the environmental protection, as well as regulatory procedures that are applicable for nonkarst regions are generally not suitable for karst terrain. Successful solutions require serious and complex geological/hydrogeological investigation programs and close co-operation of a wide spectrum of scientists and engineers: geologists, civil engineers, biologists, chemists, hydrogeologists, geophysicists, sociologists and many others. In karst areas where interrelations and interactions are inadequately known, the ultimate aim is identification of crucial parameters that define causes and consequences between human activities and the resulting impact (cause-and-effect relations). As a consequence of human activities and engineering construction in karst regions, the common negative environmental impacts are: severe spring discharge change, groundwater quality deterioration, endemic fauna endangering, waste disposal failures, induced seismicity, induced sinkholes, and a number of different secondary uncertainties. In some cases, socio-economic problems related to migration from submerged regions are very pronounced. Similar problems are related with flooding of cultural and historical monuments and natural rarities. The major aims of proper planning of water resource systems in karst terrain are to minimize negative and to maximize positive environmental impacts. The optimal strategy of water resources development in karst areas is a key requirement for regional socio-economic development

Is the water still hot? Sustainability and the thermal springs at Bath, England, 2002, Atkinson Tc, Davison Rm,
The hot springs at Bath are the largest natural thermal source in Britain. Sustainable use of the waters for a spa requires maintenance of their temperature and flow rate. Together with smaller springs at Hotwells, Bristol, they form the outflow from a regional thermal aquifer that occurs where the Carboniferous Limestone is buried at depths > 2.7 km in the Bristol-Bath structural basin. The aquifer is recharged via limestone outcrops forming the south and west portions of the basin rim. Current knowledge of the basin's structure is reviewed, and important uncertainties identified concerning the hydrogeological role of thrust faults which may cut the limestone at depth. A simple numerical model is used to determine the possible influence of thrusts upon groundwater flow within the thermal aquifer. Comparison of the modelled flow patterns with geochemical data and structure contours eliminates the hypothesis that thrusts completely disrupt the continuity of the aquifer. The most successful model is used to simulate the possible impact of dewatering by large quarries at the limestone outcrops north and south of Bath. Substantial reductions in modelled flow at Bath result from proposed dewatering in the eastern Mendips, although the steady-state approach adopted has severe limitations in that it does not take account of the incremental staging of actual dewatering, nor allow for partial restitution of groundwater levels. The geological uncertainties highlighted by the modelling could be addressed by future research into the effect of thrusts on the continuity of the Carboniferous Limestone. More refined modelling to predict the timing of possible impacts of quarry dewatering will require measurements of the storativity of the thermal aquifer

Radiometric dating of the Siloam Tunnel, Jerusalem, 2003, Frumkin, A. , Shimron, A. , And Rosenbaum, J.

The historical credibility of Biblical texts is often debated when compared with Iron Age archaeological finds. Modern scientific methods may, in principle, be used to independently date structures that seem to be mentioned in the Biblical text, in order to evaluate its historical authenticity. In reality, however, this approach is extremely difficult because of poor archaeological preservation, identification uncertainty, scarcity of datable materials, and restricted scientific access into well-identified worship sites. Due to these problems, no well-identified Biblical structure has been radiometrically dated prior to the present study. Here we report radiocarbon and U-Th dating of the Siloam Tunnel (ST), proving its Iron Age II date (Fig. 1a); we conclude that the Biblical text presents an accurate historic record of ST construction. Being one of the longest ancient water tunnels lacking intermediate shafts, dating ST is a key in determining where and when this technological breakthrough took place. ST dating also refutes a claim that ST was constructed at the 2nd century BCE.


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