Secret History


New theory challenges claim Columbus' Santa Maria was shipwrecked

Christopher Columbus on Santa Maria in 1492, in a paiting by Emanuel Leutze from 1855. Experts now believe they have discovered the wreck of the ship off the coast of Haiti.
The ship that led Christopher Columbus' mission to discover America was run aground and used as accommodation before finally being burnt by natives, it has been claimed.The theory raises new questions about claims that the boat was found off the coast of Haiti by a US explorer earlier this year.

Portuguese-American historian, Manuel Rosa has spent 20 years tracing the ship.He believes the Santa Maria was purposely dragged up onto the beach of Caracol, re-christened Natividad and ordered shot side-to-side by a cannonball on January 2, 1493.

'This cannonball intentionally disabled and marooned the Santa Maria,' claims Rosa.

Comment: Columbus Day? True Legacy: Cruelty and Slavery

Black Magic

'Dracula's tomb' discovered in Italy

Count Dracula
© Hurriyet Daily News
Count Vlad Tepes is also known as Vlad the Impaler.
Estonian researchers believe they may have finally discovered the whereabouts of "Dracula's" grave, which is in Italy and not the Romanian Transylvanian Alps as first thought.

The inspiration behind Bram Stoker's 1897 gothic novel Dracula is thought to be Vlad III, the 15th century Prince of Wallachia in Eastern Europe. Known posthumously as Vlad the Impaler, the ruler was known for his brand of cruelty across Europe, which included impaling his enemies.

Vlad's ultimate enemy were the Ottomans. Depictions of his endless cruelty made history books, securing his reputation as one of the biggest villains in Turkey's collective consciousness, as written by Emrah Güler of the Hürriyet Daily News in 2012. Vlad's story was also converted into a ballet last year in Turkey.

Born in 1431, Count Vlad Tepes was part of a noble family who belonged to the Order of the Dragon, a group that was founded as a means of protecting Christianity in Eastern Europe from Ottoman expansion. His father was nicknamed Dracul, meaning "Dragon," so the young Vlad became known as Dracula, or "son of Dragon."

Did da Vinci Create a 3D 'Mona Lisa'?

mona lisa 3d
© Carbon & Hesslinger. Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa entering the next dimension. Perception, 42(8).
The famous Mona Lisa painting exhibited in the Louvre museum in Paris (right), and her sister painting the Museo del Prado in Madrid (left).
Leonardo Da Vinci's "Mona Lisa" painting may be part of the oldest 3D artwork, say two visual scientists.

In 2012, scientists discovered that beneath layers of black paint, a seemingly insignificant "knock-off" of the "Mona Lisa" in the Museo del Prado in Madrid was in actuality very close to the original hanging in the Louvre Museum in Paris, revealing the same subject with the same mountain landscape background. That painting may have been painted by Da Vinci or possibly one of his students.

Comment: You can read the whole paper here (pdf) for more


SOTT Talk Radio Show #59 - Historical Games of the Global Elite - Interview With Eric Walberg

eric walberg
Canadian Eric Walberg is known worldwide as a journalist specializing in the Middle East, Central Asia and Russia. A graduate of University of Toronto and Cambridge in economics, he has lived in both the Soviet Union and Russia, and then Uzbekistan as a UN adviser, writer, translator and lecturer.

He is a writer for the foremost Cairo newspaper, Al Ahram and a regular contributor to Counterpunch, Dissident Voice, Global Research, Al-Jazeera and Turkish Weekly.

Eric is the author of the excellent Postmodern Imperialism Geopolitics and the Great Games

This week Sott Talk Radio spoke with Eric about the truth behind modern history and the forces that have created the current global Empire under which we all live.

History buffs won't want to miss this one.

Here's the transcript:

Why were trousers invented?

© Thinkstock
These days, pants are our garment of choice. But for years, our ancestors draped themselves in tunics, robes, and gowns, until someone decided they were tired of having the wind up their skirt. So, what prompted the change? When, exactly, did two-legged trousers become a thing?

A recent archaeological discovery gives us a clue. Archaeologists Ulrike Beck and Mayke Wagner of the German Archaeological Institute in Berlin excavated two ancient graves in a cemetery in Xinjiang, China and, among the remains, discovered two pairs of well-preserved woolen pants. Radiocarbon dating puts them at between 3000 and 3300 years old, making them the oldest-known pair of trousers ever discovered. This historical time period corresponds with the rise of "mobile pastoralism" in Central Asia - nomads began moving their herds across the land, and they did so on horseback. Tunics and robes weren't comfortable or conducive to long, bumpy rides - and battles - so these ancient people innovated. They created pants.

Early neolithic farmers arrived in Europe by sea

© Modified NASA map
Genetic markers in modern populations indicate the Neolithic migrants who brought farming to Europe traveled from the Levant into Anatolia and then island hopped to Greece via Crete and then to Sicily and north into Southern Europe.
Scientists have long wondered how Neolithic people found their way to Europe. Now, researchers have turned to genetics. With the help of genetic markers, they've uncovered new clues and have found exactly how Neolithic culture first came to Europe.

Between 8,000 and 10,000 BC in the Levant, which is the region in the eastern Mediterranean that encompasses Israel and the West Bank, Jordan, Syria and part of southern Turkey, people began to domesticate wild grains. This allowed our ancient ancestors to abandon their nomadic lifestyles and instead become farmers. This transition from hunting and gathering to farming marked the end of the Paleolithic era and a transition to the Neolithic era.

These farmers, though, didn't stay in the Levant. Instead, they moved to Europe and introduced farming and genes to native Paleolithic people. Yet exactly what routes they used have long remained a mystery-at least until now.

Ancient Roman sanctuary discovered in France

Ancient Diety_2
© Denis Gliksman/Inrap
In Northern France's Picardy region about 35 kilometers north of Paris in the city of Pont-Sainte-Maxence, archeologists have uncovered an ancient Roman sanctuary dating back to the second century, which has no equivalent in Roman Gaul.

This sanctuary, which measures 70 meters by 105 meters, has two small pavilions in the back, of which only the foundations remain. In the center, the Cella, visitors could access a dramatic masonry platform via a front staircase.

Here in the heart of the sanctuary, the ancient Romans would have erected the statue of a deity. Archaeologists have discovered many elements of the artwork inside the sanctuary, including clashed spears and marble veneer.

The entrance to the sanctuary was a monumental façade measuring 10 meters high and 70 meters long, which made it an exceptional structure in Roman Gaul. This façade consists of thirteen to seventeen arches, above which the Romans surmounted an entablature and, exceptionally, a frieze that should include a dedication in bronze letters.

A few decades after its erection, the façade collapsed in one piece perhaps due to a defect in the foundation related to the nature and slope of the ground, which caused a mess of thousands of blocks and fragments.

Archaeologists intend to study these fragments to gradually restore the original appearance of the sanctuary. The ornamentation, sometimes enhanced color reveals carved decorations: Greek meanders, foliage, animals, and mythical characters such as Venus, Apollo, and Jupiter.
Fireball 5

Polish meteorite venerated by Neolithic man?

© Wikipedia
A meteorite found in the remains of a Neolithic hut in Bolkow, north west Poland, may have been used for shamanic purposes, academics have argued.

The meteorite was discovered among a large group of sacral objects in a hut on the banks of Swidwie Lake in the West Pomeranian region.

Archaeologists from the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnology in Szczecin found items including an amulet, a so-called 'magic staff' fashioned from antlers and decorated with geometrical motifs, and an engraved bone spear.

They were made about 9000 years ago. The discovery of the meteorite, which is 8cm high and 5.3cm wide at the base, proved especially intriguing in this context.

"The meteorite was brought to the hut as an object of special significance, because it came 'from another world," Professor Tadeusz Galinski told the Polish Press Agency.

"The item became an object in their belief system, and perhaps even a prop in the practice of shamanic magic," he said.

Archaeologists have been carrying out excavations at the site for several years now. The meteorite was discovered last year, but at first academics failed to identify it correctly.

4,000-year-old pharaonic tomb from 11th dynasty discovered in Luxor

Ancient Tomb
© AFP/Getty
The entrance of the tomb found by Spanish archaeologists, who said the discovery would reveal new details about the 11th dynasty.
Spanish archaeologists have discovered a 4,000-year-old pharaonic tomb belonging to a leader from the 11th dynasty of Egypt in Luxor, the antiquities ministry said on Monday.

The wide surface of the tomb showed it was that of "someone from the royal family or a high-ranking statesman," the antiquities minister, Mohamed Ibrahim, said.

The Spanish team was led by José Galán, who said the tomb would provide new insights into the dynasty that ruled in Luxor, the modern site of the city of Thebes, which was then the capital of ancient Egypt.

Sequencing of mitochondrial DNA used to track spread of first European farmers

Neolithic agricultural practices
© Alejandro Pérez Pérez (UB) and Miquel Molist (UAB)
Experts analyzed samples from three sites located in the birthplace of Neolithic agricultural practices.
By sequencing the mitochondrial DNA of the first Near Eastern farmers for the first time, an international team of researchers have discovered evidence supporting an Early Neolithic pioneer maritime colonization of mainland Europe that involved expansion through Cyprus and the Aegean Islands.

Writing in the journal PLOS Genetics, the study authors explained their analysis of genetic samples obtained from three sites located in what has been dubbed the birthplace of Neolithic agricultural practices: the Middle Euphrates basin and the oasis of Damascus, which is located in modern-day Syria. Those samples date back to approximately 8,000 BC.

"The genetic impact associated to the Neolithic spread in Europe has been widely debated over the last 20 years," the researchers wrote. "Within this context, ancient DNA studies have provided a more reliable picture by directly analyzing the protagonist populations at different regions in Europe."

"However, the lack of available data from the original Near Eastern farmers has limited the achieved conclusions, preventing the formulation of continental models of Neolithic expansion," they added. "Here we address this issue by presenting mitochondrial DNA data of the original Near-Eastern Neolithic communities with the aim of providing the adequate background for the interpretation of Neolithic genetic data from European samples."

The research team looked at 63 skeletons from the Pre Pottery Neolithic B (PPNB) sites of Tell Halula, Tell Ramad and Dja'de El Mughara, which have been dated to between 8,700 BC and 6,600 BC. They recovered 15 validated mitochondrial DNA profiles, and compared them to available ancient genetic data from human remains belonging to the Linearbandkeramik-Alföldi Vonaldiszes Kerámia and Cardial/Epicardial cultures.