Secret History


Azerbaijani historian's sensational discovery

© Azernews
The famous Issyk inscription found in 1969 is not the only example of the Scythian-Saka written language.

The news was announced by employee of the Azerbaijan's Archaeology and Ethnography Institute Zaur Hasanov who talked to local media.

In addition to the inscriptions of the Issyk kurgan, two inscriptions of the Scythian period were discovered in Kazakhstan, the scientist said.

Found by prominent Kazakh scientist Zholdasbek Kurmankulov as a result of some excavations in 2005 in the ancient Scythian-Saka settlement, now known as Chirik Rabat, they date back to 4-2 centuries BC.

The first amphora-shaped vessel was found in the ruins of the temple. Five signs are incised on it - one on the top of the vessel and four others beneath it.

The second vessel was discovered in a tomb with burial place, together with a long iron sword. At the head of the body there was a ceramic flask with an inscription which begins with an ideogram and is followed by five signs.

The ideogram and five signs in these two vessels are similar to the signs of the Issyk inscription, the scientist said.


Older than Nazca: Mysterious rock lines marked way to ancient Peru fairs

© Charles Stanish
Mono B on the day before solstice (June 20) in 2013. A marker points to the solstice sunset.
New rock lines discovered in Peru predate the famous Nazca Lines by centuries and likely once marked the site of ancient fairs, researchers say.

The lines were created by people of the Paracas, a civilization that arose around 800 B.C. in what is now Peru. The Paracas culture predated the Nazca culture, which came onto the scene around 100 B.C. The Nazca people are famous for their fantastic geoglyphs, or rock lines, built in the shapes of monkeys, birds and other animals.

The new lines date to around 300 B.C., making them at least 300 years older than the oldest Nazca lines, said Charles Stanish, the director of the Cotsen Institute of Archaeology at the University of California, Los Angeles, who reported the new find today (May 5) in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

"They used the lines in a different way than the Nazca," Stanish told Live Science. "They basically created these areas of highly ritualized processions and activities that were not settled permanently."

The closest European analog, Stanish said, would be the medieval fairs that brought visitors from far and wide.


New battle for the dating of Chauvet cave

© Wikimedia
Chauvet cave art.
In 1994, the discovery of the wonders contained within Chauvet cave at Vallon-Pont-d'Arc (France) formed a crucial part of our understanding of Palaeolithic art as a whole. At the time the discovery became a media sensation and then more recently returned to the limelight with the release of Werner Herzog's film Cave of Forgotten Dreams.

The cave, extends horizontally for nearly 500 metres and is located at the entrance to the Ardèche gorges between the Cevennes and Rhone valleys. Over 425 groups of paintings have been documented and include numerous realistic renditions of animals (reindeer, horses, aurochs, rhinoceros, bison, lions, cave bears among others), human hand prints and abstract dots. The images in the front hall are primarily red, created with liberal applications of red ochre, while the back hall images are mainly black, drawn with charcoal.

The black drawings are grouped into two main phases; a paste of ground charcoal in water for the more recent and a dry charcoal stick for the earlier. However, the early age assigned to some of the black images have been called into question by researchers Jean Combiera and Guy Jouve, who have carried out a comparison with other cave art from the same period along with an examination of the original AMS radiocarbon dates.


New research suggests continuous human presence in Stonehenge landscape for ten millennia

© The Independent, UK
New research has revealed that the landscape around Stonehenge has been continuously occupied for around 10,000 years.

The findings - a series of radio carbon dates from a site 1.5 miles east of the famous prehistoric monument - strengthens the likelihood that the area was of considerable political significance for literally thousands of years before Stonehenge and its neighbouring monuments were built.

The earliest definitive evidence of human activity in the area - dating from around 8000 BC - is from a site 100 metres north of Stonehenge. But now a new series of 11 radio carbon dates reveal that an area 1.5 miles east of the site of Stonehenge was inhabited between 7600 and 4700 BC, during the pre-agricultural 'Mesolithic' period. Still standing ancient tombs and other monuments in the Stonehenge landscape date from the subsequent Neolithic, Bronze Age, Iron Age, Romano-British, Anglo-Saxon and later medieval periods - and the nearby small town of Amesbury has existed since at least the 9 century AD.


Tsunami created North Sea 'Atlantis' 8,000 years ago

© The Independent, UK
A prehistoric land mass once connecting Britain to mainland Europe may have been wiped out by a 5m-high tsunami, according to new research.

Some 8,000 years ago, a devastating subsea landslide off the coast of Norway generated a wave which overran the island of Doggerland, a low-lying Atlantis, which is now completely submerged.

"It would have completely inundated the landmass," says Dr Jon Hill, one of the team of researchers from Imperial College London, who have submitted their findings to the journal Ocean Modelling. "Any humans living there would have suffered a catastrophic event."

There could have been inhabitants on the island at the time the waves struck, though this is still unclear from the evidence. The Imperial team's computer models suggest that Doggerland was mostly less than 5m above sea level at the time of the tsunami, suggesting flooding would have been extensive.

The trigger for the tsunami was a landslide named Storegga, where 3,000 cubic km of sediment collapsed in the North Sea.

"That's a lot of sediment," says Dr Hill. "Three hundred times more than all the rivers in the world hold in a year, which is what makes this event so unique. The chances of it happening again are minuscule."


Mysterious buried artifacts discovered in Egypt's Valley of the Kings

© Image by Przemyslaw Idzkiewicz, CC Attribution share-alike generic 2.5, available on Wikimedia
A view of the Valley of the Kings, the burial place of rulers from Egypt's New Kingdom period (ca. 1550-1070 B.C.), including Merenptah.
Four deposits of artifacts possibly buried as a ritual act of sorts before the construction of a tomb have been discovered in Egypt's Valley of the Kings.

The so-called foundation deposits, arranged in a boxlike shape, contain a mix of artifacts, including the head of a cow, a vase painted in blue and flint blades that have wooden handles that are still preserved after more than three millennia.

The Valley of the Kings was used to bury Egyptian royalty during the New Kingdom (1550 - 1070 B.C.) period. The discovery was made in its "western valley," an area sometimes called the "valley of the monkeys" after a scene depicting 12 baboons was discovered in one of its tombs.

"Previously discovered foundation deposits in the Valley of the Kings have always been associated with a nearby tomb," write Afifi Ghonim and Glen Dash in the abstract of a presentation they gave recently at the Current Research in Egyptology conference in London.


Dozens of mummies discovered in Egypt's Valley of the Kings


A tomb containing up to 50 mummified remains has been found in the Egyptian Valley of the Kings. Pictured can be seen fragments of coffins, cloth and pottery within tomb KV 40. The tomb was used twice, once in the 18th dynasty (14th century BC) and again in the 22nd dynasty (9th century BC)
The charred remains of least 50 mummified Egyptians have been found in a plundered tomb in Cairo.

It is thought most of the bodies were members of the ancient Egyptian elite, and inscriptions suggest the tomb contains a prince and princess, related to two pharaohs who ruled during the 14th century BC.

But excavation wasn't easy because the tomb is covered in soot - from a fire started by grave robbers in the late 19th century.

The find was made during excavations by Egyptologists from the University of Basel Kings' Valley Project close to the royal tombs in the Valley of the Kings, about 310 miles (500 kilometres) south of Cairo.

Experts identified the burial place of several children as well as other family members of two pharaohs.

The team have been working on tomb KV 40 - where the find was made - close to the city of Luxor for three years.


Ancient Civilizations? Check out these mysterious structures found on the bottom of the ocean floor

© The Truth Wins
In cultures all over the world, there are ancient stories about beautiful, prosperous cities that became submerged in the ocean and were never seen again. The most famous of these is the story of Atlantis, but there are many others. So could it be possible that some of these cities actually exist? In recent years, modern technology has allowed humanity to investigate the ocean floor like never before. As we have done so, we have made some incredible discoveries. You are about to see some amazing mysterious structures that have been found on the bottom of the ocean floor all over the world. Could these mysterious structures actually be evidence of very advanced ancient civilizations? As we learn about these ancient civilizations, will this knowledge turn the conventional version of human history that we all learned in school upside down?

We live at a time when mind blowing discoveries are being made at a pace never seen before. Just last month, I wrote about the megalithic ruins that have just been discovered in Russia that contain the largest blocks of stone ever found (even bigger than Baalbek).

Nobody can explain where those stones came from, who lived there, or how ancient humans could cut and move such massive blocks.

Well, similar things could be said about many of these mysterious structures on the bottom of the ocean floor...


Ancient caribou hunting site discovered beneath Lake Huron

© John O'Shea/University of Michigan
An acoustic image of the ancient caribou hunting site produced via a mosaic of scanning sonar images. (Light colored objects are stones that produce a strong acoustic signature while dark areas are acoustic shadows.)
An elaborate array of linear stone lanes and V-shaped structures has been discovered on an underwater ridge in Lake Huron, marking what is thought to be the most complex set of ancient hunting structures ever found beneath the Great Lakes, according to a new report.

Researchers based at the University of Michigan think the roughly 9,000-year-old-structure helped natives corral caribou herds migrating across what was then an exposed land-corridor - the so-called Alpena-Amberley Ridge - connecting northeast Michigan to southern Ontario. The area is now covered by 120 feet (347 meters) of water, but at the time, was exposed due to dry conditions of the last ice age.

Using underwater sonar and a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) equipped with a video camera, the researchers found two parallel lines of stones that create a 26-foot-wide (8 meters) and 98 foot-long (30 m) northwesterly-oriented lane that ends in a natural cul-de-sac. The team also found what appear to be V-shaped hunting blinds oriented to the southeast, and a rectangular area that may have been used as a meat cache, according to the researchers. The entire feature spans an area of about 92 feet by 330 feet (28 by 100 m), the team reports. [See Images of Ancient Hunting Structures Under Lake Huron]


How modern humans became weaklings compared with our ancient ancestors who could outrun and outlift today's top athletes


The study looked at skeletons dating back to around 5,300 BC with the most recent to 850 AD - a time span of 6,150 years. Pictured is an early Neolithic (approximately 4000 - 5000 BC) 35-40 year old male from Vedrovice, Czech Republic which was analysed as part of the research
* Human leg bones have grown weaker since farming was invented

* Scientists found bone structure declined after agriculture emerged

* Male farmers 7,300 years ago had legs of cross-country runners

* But just 3,000 years later, they had legs comparable to 'sedentary' students

Mo Farah would have had some tough competition from ancient farmers living 7,300 years ago.

Scientists claim if they were to cross paths, our ancestors would have been capable of outrunning some of the world's most talented athletes.

That's according to recent research by Cambridge University which reveals just how far our fitness has fallen in just a couple of millennia.