Archive for Ancient History & Culture
Filmed in New York, December 2016, a month before John was diagnosed with cancer. Please show your support for this great man and for his work by making a donation to his crowdfunding campaign, The John Anthony West Project, here: https://fundly.com/john-anthony-west-…
Filmed, produced and edited by Dave Steffey. Additional camera by Bill Cote.
POINT ROSEE, Canada It’s a two-mile trudge through forested, swampy ground to reach Point Rosee, a narrow, windswept peninsula stretching from southern Newfoundland into the Gulf of St. Lawrence.
Last June, a team of archaeologists was drawn to this remote part of Canada by a modern-day treasure map: satellite imagery revealing ground features that could be evidence of past human activity.
The treasure they discovered here—a stone hearth used for working iron—could rewrite the early history of North America and aid the search for lost Viking settlements described in Norse sagas centuries ago.
To date, the only confirmed Viking site in the New World is L’Anse aux Meadows, a thousand-year-old way station discovered in 1960 on the northern tip of Newfoundland. It was a temporary settlement, abandoned after just a few years, and archaeologists have spent the past half-century searching for elusive signs of other Norse expeditions.
The confirmed discovery of a Norse camp at L’Anse aux Meadows proved that the Viking sagas weren’t entirely fiction. A second settlement at Point Rosee would suggest that the Norse exploration of the region wasn’t a limited undertaking, and that archaeologists should expand their search for evidence of other settlements, built 500 years before the arrival of Christopher Columbus.
“For a long time, serious North Atlantic archaeologists have largely ignored the idea of looking for Norse sites in coastal Canada because there was no real method for doing so,” says Bolender. “If Sarah Parcak can find one Norse site using satellites, then there’s a reasonable chance that you can use the same method to find more, if they exist. If Point Rosee is Norse, it may open up coastal Canada to a whole new era of research.”
Read whole article: Discovery Could Rewrite History of Vikings in New World
A whole new world of magic animals, brave young princes and evil witches has come to light with the discovery of 500 new fairytales, which were locked away in an archive in Regensburg, Germany for over 150 years. The tales are part of a collection of myths, legends and fairytales, gathered by the local historian Franz Xaver von Schönwerth (1810–1886) in the Bavarian region of Oberpfalz at about the same time as the Grimm brothers were collecting the fairytales that have since charmed adults and children around the world.
Last year, the Oberpfalz cultural curator Erika Eichenseer published a selection of fairytales from Von Schönwerth’s collection, calling the book Prinz Roßzwifl. This is local dialect for “scarab beetle”. The scarab, also known as the “dung beetle”, buries its most valuable possession, its eggs, in dung, which it then rolls into a ball using its back legs. Eichenseer sees this as symbolic for fairytales, which she says hold the most valuable treasure known to man: ancient knowledge and wisdom to do with human development, testing our limits and salvation.
Von Schönwerth spent decades asking country folk, labourers and servants about local habits, traditions, customs and history, and putting down on paper what had only been passed on by word of mouth. In 1885, Jacob Grimm said this about him: “Nowhere in the whole of Germany is anyone collecting [folklore] so accurately, thoroughly and with such a sensitive ear.” Grimm went so far as to tell King Maximilian II of Bavaria that the only person who could replace him in his and his brother’s work was Von Schönwerth.
Von Schönwerth compiled his research into a book called Aus der Oberpfalz – Sitten und Sagen, which came out in three volumes in 1857, 1858 and 1859. The book never gained prominence and faded into obscurity.
A massive cult complex, dating back about 3,300 years, has been discovered at the site of Tel Burna in Israel.
While archaeologists have not fully excavated the cult complex, they can tell it was quite large, as the courtyard alone was 52 by 52 feet (16 by 16 meters). Inside the complex, researchers discovered three connected cups, fragments of facemasks, massive jars that are almost as big as a person and burnt animal bones that may indicate sacrificial rituals.
The archaeologists said they aren’t sure who was worshipped at the complex, though Baal, the Canaanite storm god, is a possibility. “The letters of Ugarit [an ancient site in modern-day Syria] suggest that of the Canaanite pantheon, Baal, the Canaanite storm god, would have been the most likely candidate,” Itzhaq Shai, a professor at Ariel University who is directing a research project at Tel Burna, told Live Science in an email. [See Images of the Cult Building and Related Artifacts]
The researchers said they can’t rule out that a female deity, such as the ancient war goddess Anat, was worshipped there, Shai said.
The artifacts include fragments of two masks. “The burna mask fragments, both of noses, are quite interesting, because they are quite large, although as seen in [a photo], they were clearly meant to be worn,” Shai said.
“It is difficult to determine exactly who the masks are depicting and whether it is a specific image. In general, masks are known to have been used in cultic ceremonies and processions.”
The three connected cups, which were found in the cultic complex, were likely imported from Cyprus, the researchers say. The artifacts’ use remains a mystery. “In the past, joint vessels similar in concept as the one found here have been considered as cultic objects,” said Shai.
Dvory Namdar, of Hebrew University, is currently analyzing the walls of the vessels to determine what was put in them, something that may shed light on their purpose Shai said. “Residue analysis is currently being conducted in order to further understand what this vessel may have been used for,” said Shai.
Giant vessels, scarabs and more …
The researchers also found massive “pithoi” vessels (large storage jars), some almost as big as a person. “Along the eastern edge of the exposed area of the building, a row of sunken pithoi, with several smaller vessels found inside of them, were found,” said Shai. Two of the vessels were imported from Cyprus, as indicated by their design.
“The pithoi were likely used as storage for tithes brought to the cultic complex, although this is also being further analyzed through residue analysis.” A tithe, in this instance, would be goods given to the cultic complex by those who used or lived near it.
The complex yielded many other finds, including a cylinder-shaped seal, goblets, chalices, broken figurines that look part-human and part-animal, and even a scarab, an artifact with an Egyptian hieroglyphic inscription on it.
The spectacular remains of what appears to be a Viking grave, most likely belonging to a blacksmith, has been uncovered in Sogndalsdalen, Norway (as reported by NRK). The grave was found by Mr Leif Arne Norberg, under a series of stone slabs in his back garden. Mr Norberg had been carrying out landscaping works when he suddenly spotted a blacksmith’s tongs, followed soon afterwards by a bent sword. On closer examination it quickly became apparent that he had stumbled upon a remarkable Viking Age find.
Archaeologists from Bergen University and the County’s Cultural Department were called to the scene and the remains were subsequently excavated. The finds recovered from the grave suggest that it probably dates from the 8th or 9th century AD. They included various pieces of metalwork, a tongs, a sword and an axe, all of which will be conserved before being put on display at the University Museum of Bergen. Personally I can’t wait to find out more information about this exciting discovery.
PHOKIS, Delphi. Circa 480-475 BC. AR Tridrachm (25mm, 18.31 g). Two drinking vessels (rhytons) in the form of rams heads; above them, two dolphins swimming toward each other; around, border of dots / Quadripartite incuse square in the form of a coffered ceiling; each coffer decorated with a dolphin and a spray of laurel leaves. Asyut 239 (this coin); BCD 376; Svoronos, Delphi pl. 25, 34 (Berlin) and 35 (Paris = Kraay & Hirmer 461). Extremely rare and of the greatest artistic, historical, and architectural importance. A superb example, probably the finest known. Extremely fine.
Purchased privately from the BCD collection in 2002. Ex Leu 54 (28 April 1992), 100 (illustrated on the front cover) and from the Asyut Hoard of 1968/9 (IGCH 1644).
The tridrachms of Delphi are among the most historically interesting of all Greek coins. Prior to the Asyut find they were only known from two coins in Paris and Berlin, as well as a fragment from the Zagazig Hoard of 1901 (IGCH 1645); now there are at least 11 examples, of which this may well be the best (of the seven from Asyut five have test cuts). The fact that almost all the known examples were found in Egypt suggests that the unusual weight standard might have been chosen specifically with Egyptian trade in mind. The obverse type is a direct reference to the Greek victory over the Persians at Plataea in 479, when a great deal of booty, including silver vessels, was taken by the Greeks. These two rhyta were certainly from that booty and must have been brought as a dedication to Apollo in Delphi (rams were sacred to Apollo, along with dolphins). The reverse of this coin is also very unusual: it is not a normal quadripartite incuse but, rather, clearly shows the stepped coffering that we know decorated ancient ceilings, especially those of prestigious buildings like that of the Temple of Apollo. The dolphins that ornament these coffers make the identification sure as they are a play on both the name of Delphi and on the fact that Apollo himself could appear in the form of a Dolphin.
Malta’s Minister for Justice, Culture and Local Government, Owen Bonnici, announced on Monday that a Phoenician shipwreck has been found in Maltese waters.
The 50-feet-long sunken ship is located one mile off the coast of Gozo, Malta’s second largest island, at a depth of 120 meters. The ship dates back to 700 B.C. It could be the oldest shipwreck in the Mediterranean, according to Bonnici.
The site is being explored by GROplan Project, funded by the French National Research Agency. The project is aimed at developing underwater photogrammetry in an efficient and economical way.
Department of Classics and Archaeology at University of Malta and institutions in France and the United States are involved in the project. The discovery was kept secret until the necessary studies were carried out.
An incredible discovery that was recently made in Russia threatens to shatter conventional theories about the history of the planet. On Mount Shoria in southern Siberia, researchers have found an absolutely massive wall of granite stones. Some of these gigantic granite stones are estimated to weigh more than 3,000 tons, and as you will see below, many of them were cut “with flat surfaces, right angles, and sharp corners”. Nothing of this magnitude has ever been discovered before.
The largest stone found at the megalithic ruins at Baalbek, Lebanon is less than 1,500 tons. So how in the world did someone cut 3,000 ton granite stones with extreme precision, transport them up the side of a mountain and stack them 40 meters high? According to the commonly accepted version of history, it would be impossible for ancient humans with very limited technology to accomplish such a thing. Could it be possible that there is much more to the history of this planet than we are being taught?
For years, historians and archaeologists have absolutely marveled at the incredibly huge stones found at Baalbek. But some of these stones in Russia are reportedly more than twice the size. Needless to say, a lot of people are getting very excited about this discovery.
Another very unusual thing about these stones is that they caused the compasses of the researchers to start behaving very strangely.
The following is an excerpt from a story on a Russian news source…
Some events that were happening during the autumn expedition could probably be called mystical. The compasses of the geologists behaved very strangely, for some unknown reason their arrows were deviating from the megaliths. What could this mean? All that was clear was that they came across an inexplicable phenomenon of the negative geomagnetic field. Could this be a remnant of ancient antigravity technologies?
Of course much more research needs to be done on this site.
Nobody knows who cut these stones or how old they are.
Eduardo Schenberg, of the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil, recently published a piece in Sage Journals, detailing his belief that Ayahuasca has cancer-fighting abilities, essentially encouraging the legalization of research in the field.
He says, “There is enough available evidence that Ayahuasca’s active principles, especially DMT and harmine, have positive effects in some cell cultures used to study cancer, and in biochemical processes important in cancer treatment, both in vitro and in vivo,” and “Therefore, the few available reports of people benefiting from Ayahuasca in their cancer treatment experiences should be taken seriously, and the hypothesis presented here, fully testable by rigorous scientific experimentation, helps to understand the available cases and pave the way for new experiments.”
“In summary, it is hypothesized that the combined actions of β-carbolines and DMT present in Ayahuasca may diminish tumor blood supply, activate apoptotic pathways, diminish cell proliferation, and change the energetic metabolic imbalance of cancer cells, which is known as the Warburg effect,” Schenberg wrote. “Therefore, Ayahuasca may act on cancer hallmarks such as angiogenesis, apoptosis, and cell metabolism.”
“If Ayahuasca is scientifically proven to have the healing potentials long recorded by anthropologists, explorers, and ethnobotanists, outlawing Ayahuasca or its medical use and denying people adequate access to its curative effects could be perceived as an infringement on human rights, a serious issue that demands careful and thorough discussion.”
Similar to the way cancer has been successfully treated with cannabis oil, or vitamin B-17 from the apricot pit, it is emerging as a viable possibility that Ayahuasca is another herbal, ancient cure to disease found in abundance in the new world of synthetic consumption.
A new discovery challenges―if not rewrites―ancient history by showing how the world’s first cultures mysteriously shared the same religious icon. From the Egyptians to the Assyrians, the pre-Incas to the Europeans, the icon is ubiquitous. Is it the lost symbol of a forgotten Golden Age religion that flourished globally in the remote past? How can it not be?
For several decades, mainstream scholars have insisted that the world’s first civilizations arose separately and independently.
But an amazing new find now casts serious doubt on their theory.
It shows how ancient cultures worldwide―cultures that scholars insist evolved independently―actually followed the same global spiritual system or Universal Religion, the central icon of which has now been found to be common amid their ruins.
LA PAZ, Bolivia (AP) – A team of Belgian and Bolivian archaeologists has found more than 2,000 pieces of ceramic, gems and gold objects at an apparent ceremonial site beneath the waters of Lake Titicaca.
The most impressive of the items, some said to date back a millennium, are well-preserved puma heads carved of stone, while pieces of gold leaf were hammered into other anthropomorphic forms.
“We have found archaeological material from the Tiwanaku and Inca cultures among objects from the 19th to the 9th century,” project leader Christophe Delaere said during a televised meeting Tuesday with President Evo Morales.
Delaere said divers found the objects more than 20 feet (7 meters) underwater off the Island of the Sun. Also uncovered in the lake that borders Bolivia and Peru were the rudder and anchor of a pre-Columbian boat, he said.
Lake Titicaca, at more than 12,000 feet above sea level, was sacred for the Incas and Tiwanakus.
Jose Luis Paz, an archaeologist at the University of La Paz not associated with the expedition, said the discovery was not a first but was nonetheless significant.
Charles S. Stanish, a specialist in Andean anthropology at the University of Southern California, said the discovery looks legitimate based on the limited information available.
“Such offerings are known around the lake, particularly near islands,” he said via email.
Göbekli Tepe in southern Turkey, may have been built to worship the dog star, Sirius.
The 11,000-year-old site consists of a series of at least 20 circular enclosures, although only a few have been uncovered since excavations began in the mid-1990s. Each one is surrounded by a ring of huge, T-shaped stone pillars, some of which are decorated with carvings of fierce animals. Two more megaliths stand parallel to each other at the centre of each ring (see illustration).
Göbekli Tepe put a dent in the idea of the Neolithic revolution, which said that the invention of agriculture spurred humans to build settlements and develop civilisation, art and religion. There is no evidence of agriculture near the temple, hinting that religion came first in this instance.
“We have a lot of contemporaneous sites which are settlements of hunter-gatherers. Göbekli Tepe was a sanctuary site for people living in these settlements,” says Klaus Schmidt, chief archaeologist for the project at the German Archaeological Institute (DAI) in Berlin.
But it is still anybody’s guess what type of religion the temple served. Giulio Magli, an archaeoastronomer at the Polytechnic University of Milan in Italy, looked to the night sky for an answer. After all, the arrangement of the pillars at Stonehenge in the UK suggests it could have been built as an astronomical observatory, maybe even to worship the moon.
Magli simulated what the sky would have looked like from Turkey when Göbekli Tepe was built. Over millennia, the positions of the stars change due to Earth wobbling as it spins on its axis. Stars that are near the horizon will rise and set at different points, and they can even disappear completely, only to reappear thousands of years later.
Today, Sirius can be seen almost worldwide as the brightest star in the sky – excluding the sun – and the fourth brightest night-sky object after the moon, Venus and Jupiter. Sirius is so noticeable that its rising and setting was used as the basis for the ancient Egyptian calendar, says Magli. At the latitude of Göbekli Tepe, Sirius would have been below the horizon until around 9300 BC, when it would have suddenly popped into view.
“I propose that the temple was built to follow the ‘birth’ of this star,” says Magli. “You can imagine that the appearance of a new object in the sky could even have triggered a new religion.”