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Sherlock

500-Year old Indian Village Unearthed in North Carolina

© http://www.charlotteobserver.com/
An artist's rendering of the Catawba Meadows Archaeological Interpretive Center, located at Catawba Meadows Park in the city of Morganton. Located along the Catawba River, the center will be on the actual site where archaeologists are excavating an Indian village that stood here 500 years ago.
The Charlotte Observer reported on an American Indian village unearthed in Morganton, North Carolina, in Catawba Meadows Park. Archaeologists have been pulling artifacts from the ground in Burke County for some time now. The Observer spoke to Emma Richardson, who has been part of the team researching the village.

Richardson told the Observer that village hugged the banks of the Catawba River in present-day Morganton, and was likely circled by a wooden palisade, with village structures rising in a meadow where gardens flourished thank sto the rich river-bottom soil.

"Richardson also imagines a day in the 16th-century when villagers may have looked up from their toil and seen Spanish explorers arrive," Observer reporter Joe DePriest writes. "The story of this clash of cultures will be told in a major living history project going up on the actual site of the village, now occupied by Morganton's Catawba Meadows Park."
Newspaper

Great khufu Pyramid Starmap Etching Depicts Age of 9200 BCE


The etching of a starmap centered exactly above Gantenbrink's Door, in the "airshaft' running up and away south from the Queen's Chamber in the great pyramid, depicts some amazing surprises for us all, if we would only do the research. No hieroglyphs here at all; just celestial markings. These markings were NOT purposeless graffiti; because if purposeless graffiti were allowed, then markings would have been found all over the pyramid, and they were not. All facets of the pyramid were aligned to a Northmark - INCLUDING the shaft pointing south - to align that shaft to something different than the true north sky (what everything else was aligned to) would have caused failure in the engineering.

Is there one above the north shaft door? I do not know, because we were in such a rush to drill holes in things, that we failed to follow the scientific method and document the walls, untouched, first.
Question

'Vampire' Plague Victim Spurs Gruesome Debate

Vampire of Venice
© Matteo Borrini
The skull of the "vampire of Venice," found in a mass grave with a brick stuck in its jaw.
What may have been an exorcism of a vampire in Venice is now drawing bad blood among scientists arguing over whether gravediggers were attempting to defeat an undead monster.

The controversy begins with a mass grave of 16th-century plague victims on the Venetian island of Nuovo Lazzaretto. The remains of a woman there apparently had a brick shoved in her mouth, perhaps to exorcise the corpse in what may have been the first vampire burial known in archaeology, said forensic anthropologist Matteo Borrini of the University of Florence in Italy.

Vampire superstitions were common when plague devastated Europe, and much, if not all, of this folklore could be due to misconceptions about the natural stages of decomposition, Borrini said. The recently dead can often appear unnervingly alive. As the corpse's skin shrinks and pulls back, for example, hair and nails may appear to grow after death.

The remains of the woman were apparently wrapped in a shroud, based on the position of her collarbone, Borrini suggested. A corpse might appear to have chewed through its shroud because of corrosive fluids it spewed as it decayed, perhaps frightening gravediggers into thinking it was a vampire.

Vampire myths link the monsters with contagions, and the plague ran rampant in Venice in 1576, killing as many as 50,000 people, nearly a third of the city, including famed Renaissance artist Titian. The gravediggers that ran across this corpse may have wanted to prevent a vampire from ravaging the city further with pestilence, Borrini and his colleague Emilio Nuzzolese suggested in the Journal of Forensic Sciences in 2010. The "vampire" has since been discussed on Italian national TV and a National Geographic documentary.
Umbrella

Climate Change Led to Collapse of Ancient Indus Civilization, Study Finds

Indus collpapse
© Liviu Giosan, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution; Stefan Constantinescu, University of Bucharest; James P.M. Syvitski, University of Colorado.
Once extending more than 1 million square kilometers across the plains of the Indus River from the Arabian Sea to the Himalayas and the Ganges, over what is now Pakistan, northwest India and eastern Afghanistan, the Indus civilization was the largest—but least known—of the first great urban cultures that also included Egypt and Mesopotamia. Named for one of their largest cities, the Harappans relied on river floods to fuel their agricultural surpluses. Today, numerous remains of the Harappan settlements are located in a vast desert region far from any flowing river.

A new study combining the latest archaeological evidence with state-of-the-art geoscience technologies provides evidence that climate change was a key ingredient in the collapse of the great Indus or Harappan Civilization almost 4000 years ago. The study also resolves a long-standing debate over the source and fate of the Sarasvati, the sacred river of Hindu mythology.

Once extending more than 1 million square kilometers across the plains of the Indus River from the Arabian Sea to the Ganges, over what is now Pakistan, northwest India and eastern Afghanistan, the Indus civilization was the largest -- but least known -- of the first great urban cultures that also included Egypt and Mesopotamia. Like their contemporaries, the Harappans, named for one of their largest cities, lived next to rivers owing their livelihoods to the fertility of annually watered lands.

"We reconstructed the dynamic landscape of the plain where the Indus civilization developed 5200 years ago, built its cities, and slowly disintegrated between 3900 and 3000 years ago," said Liviu Giosan, a geologist with Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and lead author of the study published the week of May 28 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. "Until now, speculations abounded about the links between this mysterious ancient culture and its life-giving mighty rivers."
Magnify

'Tudor era' is misleading myth, says Oxford historian


Henry VII was the first of the line of 'Tudor monarchs'.
The idea of a "Tudor era" in history is a misleading invention, claims an Oxford University historian.

Cliff Davies says his research shows the term "Tudor" was barely ever used during the time of Tudor monarchs.

There are also suggestions the name was downplayed by Tudor royals because of its associations with Wales.

Dr Davies says films and period dramas have reinforced the "myth" that people thought of themselves as living under a "Tudor" monarchy.

"The term is so convenient," says Dr Davies, of Wadham College and the university's history faculty. But he says it is fundamentally "erroneous".
Info

Occupy the Neolithic

Ancient Farmer
© BDA-Neugebauer
On top of the food chain. This 7000-year-old farmer from Austria was buried with a stone adze (at his back), a sign that he was part of the social elite.
Even the most democratic societies are rife with social and economic inequalities, as the current tension between the poorer "99%" and the richest "1%" vividly illustrates. But just how early in human events such social hierarchies became entrenched has been a matter of debate. A new study of skeletons from prehistoric farming communities across Europe suggests that hereditary inequality was an early feature, going back more than 7000 years ago.

Most researchers agree that social hierarchies began with the advent of farming. The earliest known farming communities are found in the Near East, dating back almost 11,000 years.

Archaeologists have looked for evidence of social stratification in these societies with mixed results. Some early farming societies show signs that people played different roles and that some were buried with greater ritual - shuffling off this mortal coil with a number of elaborate "grave goods," including pottery and stone tools. However, there is little evidence that social inequality was hereditary or rigidly defined.

That seems to have changed sometime after farmers moved into Europe from the Near East, beginning about 8500 years ago during a period known as the European Neolithic. One of the best studied farming cultures is the Linearbandkeramik (LBK), which arose in what is today Hungary about 7500 years ago and spread as far as modern-day Paris within 500 years, after which it appears to have been superseded by other cultures.

Archaeologists have long noted signs that the LBK culture might have been socially stratified. For example, some, but not all, males were buried with stone tools called adzes, which were thought to be used to build the wooden houses in which the farmers lived. But a few researchers have argued that this stratification took place only gradually over the 500 year period of the LBK.
Sherlock

Was Columbus secretly a Jew?

© Getty Images
Christopher Columbus bids farewell to his son Diego at Palos, Spain, before embarking on his first voyage on August 3, 1492.
Today marks the 508th anniversary of the death of Christopher Columbus.

Everybody knows the story of Columbus, right? He was an Italian explorer from Genoa who set sail in 1492 to enrich the Spanish monarchs with gold and spices from the orient. Not quite.

For too long, scholars have ignored Columbus' grand passion: the quest to liberate Jerusalem from the Muslims.
Question

Discovery of Ancient Religious Text Will Kill Christianity

Christianity is going to collapse, claims Iranian press. Reason? The writings in a recently unearthed religious text written on animal skin that dates back to the fifth century.

The text which is believed to be an authentic version of the Gospel by Barnabas, a disciple of Jesus, is presently with Turkish authorities as they have confiscated it from a group of smugglers who were taking away antiquities.

According to Iranian media, the book has the power to collapse the foundation of Christianity and shake the politics of the world with its claims that Jesus was never crucified.
Ancient Bible
© Device Magazine
Moreover, the book claims that Jesus foretold the coming of the Prophet Muhammad, claims Iranian media like The Basij Press.

The book which is actually written in Syriac, a dialect of Aramaic, has even made the Vatican curious enough to make an official request with Turkey to allow them to view the book.

Comment: Even if it were authentic as to date, that doesn't make the ideas presented in the text the truth. What's more, it is highly unlikely to "spell the death of Christianity" since any Christian worth his salt is so much an authoritarian follower that he will automatically fall back on Augustine's argument that this is produced by the Devil to test his faith. I'd say this piece is a bit of sensationalist journalism mixed with propaganda.

Info

200,000 Year Old Palaeolithic Site Discovered

Ancient Palaeolithic Site
© New Straits Times
Universiti Sains Malaysia archaeology research team head Prof Dr Mokhtar Saidin (left) showing Sabah Museum director Joanna Kitingan some samples the research team had collected at the site in Kampung Lipasu, Keningau.
Kota Kinabalu: A PALAEOLITHIC site believed to be 200,000 years old has been discovered in Keningau, 138km from here.

Archaeologists claimed that the site in Kampung Lipasu in the sub-district of Bingkor could rival the Mansuli site in Lahad Datu, which is 235,000 years old.

Universiti Sains Malaysia archaeology research team head Prof Dr Mokhtar Saidin said researchers, however, had not revealed the exact age of the site said to be a location for making Palaeolithics stone tools.

Excavation began on May 9 and is expected to finish on May 29.

The team, comprising researchers from the USM Global Archeological Research Centre and the Sabah Museum Department, has discovered several artefacts, including an anvil, core stone, hammer stone, chopper and flake tools.

"We believe the Bingkor site could be older than the Mansuli site as there could be more layers beneath the present excavation site," said Mokhtar.
Info

Caveman Flutists? First Instruments Date Back 40,000 Years

Ancient Flute
© The University of Tübingen
40,000 year old flute from the site of Geißenklösterle made from bird bones.
Early modern humans could have spent their evenings sitting around the fire, playing bone flutes and singing songs 40,000 years ago, newly discovered ancient musical instruments indicate. The bone flutes push back the date researchers think human creativity evolved.

Researchers were studying a modern human settlement called Geißenklösterle, a part of the Swabian caves system in southern Germany, when they came across the bone flutes.

One is made of mammoth ivory, while the other seems to be made of bones from a bird. They also found a collection of perforated teeth, ornaments and stone tools at the site.

"These results are consistent with a hypothesis we made several years ago that the Danube River was a key corridor for the movement of humans and technological innovations into central Europe between 40,000 and 45,000 years ago," study researcher Nick Conard, of Tübingen University, said in a statement.

"Geißenklösterle is one of several caves in the region that has produced important examples of personal ornaments, figurative art, mythical imagery and musical instruments. The new dates prove the great antiquity of the Aurignacian in Swabia." The Aurignacian refers to an ancient culture and the associated tools.
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