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The Antikythera Mechanism: New analysis sets its calendar starting point to 205 B.C.

Antikythera mechanism
© National Archaeological Museum, Athens
Part of the Antikythera Mechanism, an astronomical calculator raised from a shipwreck in 1901.
A riddle for the ages may be a small step closer to a solution: Who made the famed Antikythera Mechanism, the astronomical calculator that was raised from an ancient shipwreck near Crete in 1901? The complex clocklike assembly of bronze gears and display dials predates other known examples of similar technology by more than 1,000 years. It accurately predicted lunar and solar eclipses, as well as solar, lunar and planetary positions.

For good measure, the mechanism also tracked the dates of the Olympic Games. Although it was not programmable in the modern sense, some have called it the first analog computer. Archaeologists and historians have long debated where the device was built, and by whom. Given its sophistication, some experts believe it must have been influenced, at least, by one of a small pantheon of legendary Greek scientists - perhaps Archimedes, Hipparchus or Posidonius. Its purpose has been debated, too. It has been described as, among other things, an eclipse predictor, an astrological forecasting system and an astronomical teaching device.

Now a new analysis of the dial used to predict eclipses, which is set on the back of the mechanism, provides yet another clue to one of history's most intriguing puzzles. Christián C. Carman, a science historian at the National University of Quilmes in Argentina, and James Evans, a physicist at the University of Puget Sound in Washington, suggest that the calendar of the mysterious device began in 205 B.C., just seven years after Archimedes died.

Comment: Ooparts (out of place artifact) like Antikythera are fascinating, because they lead us to the topic of the secret history of the world. Maybe Antikythera show hints of some technological knowledge that survived from earlier catastrophic event caused by cometary bombardment. What we know of our ancient history is highly distorted because these cataclysmic events seem to happen on a regular basis and also correlate with the periods of exceptional social turmoil. This is the key factor that our uniformitarianist science doesn't take into account.

Here is more information of Antikythera Mechanism:

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Are you celebrating American war crimes when you sit down for your turkey dinner?

Thanksgiving
© Rigourous Intuition
When Americans celebrate Thanksgiving, they don't know what they are celebrating.

In American folklore, Thanksgiving is a holiday that originated in 1621 with the Pilgrims celebrating a good harvest. Some historians say that this event is poorly documented, and others believe that the Thanksgiving tradition travelled to the New World with the Pilgrims and Puritans who brought with them the English Days of Thanksgiving. Other historians think the Pilgrims associated their relief from hunger with their observance of the relief of the siege of Leiden.

The Pilgrims' Thanksgiving, if it happened, might not have been the first in the New World. Historians say the Virginia colonial charter declared a Day of Thanksgiving in 1619, and other historians say the first Thanksgiving was observed by the Spanish in Florida in 1565.

Comment: For more on the sordid history of Thanksgiving see:

Lest we forget: The genocidal roots of Thanksgiving

Cooking the History Books: The Thanksgiving Massacre

American Thanksgiving: A pure glorification of racist barbarity

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Graves of "vampires" discovered in Poland were cholera victims

Archaeologists have discovered the graves of cholera victims which were treated like vampires to stop them rising from the grave and infecting the locals

Cholera Victim
© PLOS One
Excavations of graves suggested the deaths of six occupants were likely to have been viewed with fear and suspicion.
When archaeologists discovered graves in Poland where the dead had been buried with sickles across their throats and rocks under their chins, they assumed the unfortunate victims were suspected vampires.

But a new study suggests they actually died of cholera, and villages were afraid they would rise from the dead, bringing the deadly disease back with them form the underworld.

In post-medieval northwestern Poland little was understood about how diseases spread and it was thought the first to die in deadly outbreaks would return from the dead as vampires.

So they were subjected to funerary rites involving traditional practices intended to prevent evil.

These rites occurred throughout the 17th and 18th centuries as cholera epidemics swept through Eastern Europe.

The unusual graves were among hundreds of normal burials.
Magnify

Stone Age axe found deliberately stuck in the mud

© Museum Lolland-Falster
The shafted axe was found standing up vertically into the earth.
Archaeologists in southern Denmark have unearthed a 5,500-year-old axe with the handle still attached. The axe was deliberately jammed into what used to be the seabed during the Stone Age.

The finding was made during an archaeological survey for the construction of the Femern Belt link, an immersed tunnel that will connect the German island of Fehmarn with the Danish island of Lolland. Earlier this month, the same dig yielded 5,000-year-old footprints.

"Axes are among the typical finds from the Stone Age, but in hafted form (attached to a handle), they are extremely rare," Anne-Lotte Sjørup Mathiesen of the Museum Lolland-Falster, said in a statement.

The axe was found stuck 12 inches down into the seabed, along with other artifacts which include a paddle, two bows and some 14 axe shafts.

As a result of the particular conditions of the silted seabed, all items were extremely well preserved.
Sherlock

New species of dinosaur discovered lying forgotten in a museum

© University of Bath/PA
Pentaceratops aquiloniua
A palaeontologist from University of Bath studying fossils that were kept in a museum in Canada for over 75 years has discovered a new species of dinosaur.

Dr. Nick Longrich from our University studied the fossilized bones of two horned dinosaurs from the ceratopsian family and found that they were, in fact, two previously unknown species. The findings reveal that the dinosaur species from this region were much more diverse than first thought.

"We thought we had discovered most of the species, but it seems there are many undiscovered dinosaurs left," said Dr. Nick Longrich from the University's Department of Biology & Biochemistry. "There are lots of species out there. We've really only just scratched the surface."

One of the new species represents a new species of Pentaceratops, named Pentaceratops aquilonius. Pentaceratops, a smaller cousin of Triceratops, belong to the Chasmosaurinae, a group of large, horned dinosaurs characterized by long brow horns and elongate frills. Around the size of a buffalo, they were a major group of plant eating dinosaurs in western North America at the end of the Cretaceous Period, around 75 million years ago. The other appears to represent a new species of Kosmoceratops.
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Mysterious Roman god baffles experts

Unknown Roman god
© Peter Jülich
An unknown Roman god was recently unearthed at a sanctuary in southeast Turkey. The god, who is emerging from a plant, is depicted with both Near Eastern and Roman elements, and may have been a baal, or subdeity, of the temple's major god, Jupiter Dolichenus.
A sculpture of a mysterious, never-before-seen Roman deity has been unearthed in an ancient temple in Turkey.

The 1st century B.C. relief, of an enigmatic bearded god rising up out of a flower or plant, was discovered at the site of a Roman temple near the Syrian border. The ancient relief was discovered in a supporting wall of a medieval Christian monastery.

"It's clearly a god, but at the moment it's difficult to say who exactly it is," said Michael Blömer, an archaeologist at the University of Muenster in Germany, who is excavating the site. "There are some elements reminiscent of ancient Near Eastern gods, as well, so it might be some very old god from before the Romans." [See Images of the Mysterious Roman God]

The ancient Roman god is a complete mystery; more than a dozen experts contacted by Live Science had no idea who the deity was.
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Bone analysis shows Gravettian people ate mammoth

© Nomad_Soul / Fotolia
Artist's depiction of cave painting of primitive hunt.
Biogeologists have shown how Gravettian people shared their food 30,000 years ago.

Předmostí I is an exceptional prehistoric site located near Brno in the Czech Republic. Around 30,000 years ago, it was inhabited by people of the pan-European Gravettian culture, who used the bones of more than 1000 mammoths to build their settlement and to ivory sculptures. Did prehistoric people collect this precious raw material from carcasses -- easy to spot on the big cold steppe -- or were they the direct result of hunting for food? This year-round settlement also yielded a large number of canids remains, some of them with characteristics of Palaeolithic dogs. Were these animals used to help hunt mammoths?

To answer these two questions, Tübingen researcher Hervé Bocherens and his international team carried out an analysis of carbon and nitrogen stable isotopes in human and animal fossil bones from the site. Working with researchers from Brno and Brussels, the researchers were able to test whether the Gravettian people of Předmostí ate mammoth meat and how the "palaeolithic dogs" fit into this subsistence picture.
Sherlock

1,700-year-old Silk Road cemetery contains mythical carvings

A cemetery discovered in Kucha
© Chinese Cultural Relics
A cemetery dating back around 1,700 years has been discovered in Kucha, a city in China.
A cemetery dating back roughly 1,700 years has been discovered along part of the Silk Road, a series of ancient trade routes that once connected China to the Roman Empire.

The cemetery was found in the city of Kucha, which is located in present-day northwest China. Ten tombs were excavated, seven of which turned out to be large brick structures.

One tomb, dubbed "M3," contained carvings of several mythical creatures, including four that represent different seasons and parts of the heavens: the White Tiger of the West, the Vermilion Bird of the South, the Black Turtle of the North and the Azure Dragon of the East.

The M3 tomb also "consists of a burial mound, ramp, sealed gate, tomb entrance, screen walls, passage, burial chamber and side chamber" the researchers wrote in a report published recently in the journal Chinese Cultural Relics.

The cemetery was first found in July 2007 and was excavated by the Xinjiang Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology, with assistance from local authorities. The research team, led by Zhiyong Yu, director of the Xinjiang Archaeological Institute, published the findings in Chinese in the journal Wenwu. The article was recently translated into English and published in the journal Chinese Cultural Relics.
Satellite

Laser from a plane discovers Roman goldmines in Spain

Hidden under the vegetation and crops of the Eria Valley, in León (Spain), there is a gold mining network created by the Romans two thousand years ago, as well as complex hydraulic works, such as river diversions, to divert water to the mines of the precious metal. Researchers from the University of Salamanca made the discovery from the air with an airborne laser tele-detection system.

© J. Fernández Lozano, et al.
Ancient goldmines in the Eria river valley, with channels and reservoirs for exploitation. The model generated with LiDAR data (left) allows these structures to be located on aerial photos (right).
Las Médulas in León is considered to be the largest opencast goldmine of the Roman Empire, but the search for this metal extended many kilometres further south-east to the Erica river valley. Thanks to a Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) laser system attached to an aircraft, the ancient mining works of the area and the complex hydraulics system used by the Romans in the 1st century BC to extract gold (including channels, reservoirs and a double river diversion) have been discovered.

"The volume of earth exploited is much greater than previously thought and the works performed are impressive, having achieved actual river captures, which makes this valley extremely important in the context of Roman mining in the north-east of the Iberian Peninsula," as Javier Fernández Lozano, geologist at the University of Salamanca and co-author of this study published in the Journal of Archaeological Science, tells SINC.

The specialists consider that the systems for the transport and storage of water were copied from those already existing in North Africa, where the Egyptians had been employing them for centuries. Some details of the methodology used appear in texts such as those of the Pliny the Elder, the Roman procurator in charge of overseeing mining in Hispania.
Book

Ancient Egyptian handbook of spells deciphered

© Effy Alexakis
An Egyptian Handbook of Ritual Power (as researchers call it) has been deciphered revealing a series of invocations and spells. It includes love spells, exorcisms and a cure for black jaundice (a potentially fatal infection). Written in Coptic (an Egyptian language) the 20 page illustrated codex dates back around 1,300 years. This image shows part of the text.
Researchers have deciphered an ancient Egyptian handbook, revealing a series of invocations and spells.

Among other things, the Handbook of Ritual Power, as researchers call the book, tells readers how to cast love spells, exorcise evil spirits and treat "black jaundice," a bacterial infection that is still around today and can be fatal.

The book is about 1,300 years old, and is written in Coptic, an Egyptian language. It is made of bound pages of parchment - a type of book that researchers call a codex.

"It is a complete 20-page parchment codex, containing the handbook of a ritual practitioner," write Malcolm Choat and Iain Gardner, who are professors in Australia at Macquarie University and the University of Sydney, respectively, in their book, A Coptic Handbook of Ritual Power (Brepols, 2014).
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