We are living in the Meghalayan Age

Scientists have marked the time since the Earth began its life. They have divided it into different Epochs, Periods, Eras and Eons progressively in increasing time groups.

 

We are living in the following division of time.

Eon: Phanerozoic

Era: Cenozoic

Period: Quaternary

Epoch: Holocene

Holocene epoch began roughly 11700 years back and continues till present. United States Geological Survey (USGS) has divided this time into three ages namely

Greenlandian: 11700 to 8326 years ago

Northgrippian: 8326 to 4250 years ago

MEGHALAYAN: 4250 to present date

MEGHALAYAN age marks the time when a mega drought devastated civilizations across the world, including those in Egypt, Greece, Syria, Palestine, Mesopotamia, The indus Valley and the Yangtze valley. Drought lasted some 209 years and supposed to be prompted by shifts in ocean and atmospheric circulation.

Geologists chose the name “Meghalayan” as a nod to a rock sample they analyzed from Meghalaya, a northeastern state in India, whose name means “the abode of clouds” in Sanskrit. By analyzing a stalagmite growing on the ground of Mawmluh Cave, geologists found that each of the stalagmite layers had different levels of oxygen isotopes, or versions of oxygen with different numbers of neutrons. This change marked the weakening of monsoon conditions from that time.

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Henna

It is natural dye derived from green henna leaves and is used to decorate the body with intricate designs in India and Pakistan. The hands and legs of the brides and her friends are adorned with intricate designs using a paste made from ground henna and juice of lemon. Motifs include birds, animals and geometrical patterns.

aupoman-hk-henna-tattoo-hand

Application of henna causes a cooling effect. It is also a fact that longer this stays on the hands more is the color darker. So after application to prevent the paste from flaking off, small amounts of lemon juice and sugar are applied. Usually after the night, it dries off. It is scraped off and hands are washed leaving behind an auburn colored dye designs on the body. It stays there for many days.

The paste is prepared from the green leaves of Lawsonia inermis, a small tree that grows in warm, arid regions of the world such as India, Pakistan, and Northern Africa. Numerous artifacts found in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean countries, dating back to 1400 B.C., show women with henna patterns on their hands. The earliest writing on an artifact that refers to the specific use of henna as an adornment for a bride or a woman’s special occasion is an inscription on a tablet from about 2100 B.C. found in northwest Syria.

It is commonly used as a hair dye. The material can also reduce dandruff, kill ringworm and head lice, act as a sunscreen. As it produces a cooling effect, in India, especially in desert areas where the temperatures are extremely high, henna was cool the body.

Staining properties of henna are due to the presence of the compound 2-hydroxy-1,4-naphthoquinone, also known as lawsone, hennotannic acid, or natural orange 6. It is present in the leaves. The leaves are plucked and dried and ground into a paste.

English: Mehndi or Henna Lawsonia inermis in H...
English: Mehndi or Henna Lawsonia inermis in Hyderabad , India. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Henna paste is prepared by mixing crushed dry henna leaves with a mild acidic ingredient like juice of lemon which helps in releasing the dye from the petals. Different oils and herbs may also be added to enhance the scent of the paste.

At room temperature, it normally takes about a day for the acid to activate the dye and three days for the paste to lose its staining capabilities. The process is faster in hotter environments.

Lawsone dye infuses skin, hair, and porous surfaces but does not permanently or chemically alter them. The dye molecules, which are about the same size as amino acid molecules, migrate from the henna paste into the outermost layer of the skin. After the dried paste is scraped off the skin, air oxidation or perspiration can further darken the stain over the next 48 hours.