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Gold Earring, Precious Stones Among 2,000-Year-Old Treasure

Ancient Artifacts
© Sharon Gal, courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority.
Archaeologists uncovered about 140 gold and silver coins along with gold jewelry in a pit in the courtyard of an exposed building dating to the Roman and Byzantine period.
A trove of gold and silver coins and jewelry discovered near the Qiryat Gat in Israel was likely stashed there by a wealthy woman during the Bar Kokhba Revolt, the last Jewish-Roman war, archaeologists announced today (June 5).

Scientists uncovered about 140 gold and silver coins, along with gold jewelry, during an excavation that exposed rooms of a building dating to the Roman and Byzantine period. The treasure trove was wrapped in cloth and hidden in a pit in the building's courtyard.

The jewelry could make even a modern gal smile; among the hoard is a flower-shaped earring and a ring holding a precious stone that is covered with a seal of a winged goddess.

Two sticks of silver in the trove were likely kohl sticks, which were used type of like eyeliner in Arabia and Egypt to darken the edges of eyelids. The coins date to the reigns of emperors Nero, Nerva and Trajan, who ruled the Roman Empire from about A.D. 54 to 117; the emperors' images adorn one side of the coins.

And the other side of the coins shows cultic portrayals of the emperors, symbols of the brotherhood of warriors and mythological gods such as Jupiter seated on a throne or Jupiter grasping a lightning bolt in his hand.
Cheeseburger

Brits used cold storage in Bronze Age 4,000 years ago

Homes in Britain may have had 'mod cons' as many as 4,000 years ago, according to archaeologists.

They have discovered what are believed to be some of the country's earliest cold storage larders, which are precursors to the fridge, at a Bronze Age site.

The larders, an early form of refrigeration used to keep milk and meat from going off, were uncovered by a team investigating six roundhouses found at a housing development site at Dunstaffnage, near Oban, Argyll.

They are the first north of the Border to have ring ditches inside.

Dr Clare Ellis, of Argyll Archaeology, who led an evaluation at the site, believes the ditches are cellars for keeping food cool.

"This is a new design, not recognised or seen before in Scotland. The general consensus was that ring ditches occur outside the roof supports of roundhouses, but still within the roundhouse structure, and were erosional features where animals were kept," the Daily Mail quoted her as saying.

"But these are inside the roof support area and the theory is that they are low cellars that would have had wooden floors over them. We think they are an early form of cellar, an early larder storage system.
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."
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'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".
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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.

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