Secret History


Inca child mummy reveals lost genetic history of South America

© Scientific Reports and Gómez
The Aconcagua Boy was found frozen and naturally mummified 500 years after he was sacrificed during an Incan ritual called capacocha.
Back in 1985, hikers climbing Argentina's Aconcagua mountain stumbled upon a ghastly surprise: the frozen corpse of a 7-year-old boy. It was apparent that he'd been there for a long time, so the hikers notified archaeologists, who carefully excavated the body. They determined that the Aconcagua boy, as he came to be known, was sacrificed as part of an Incan ritual 500 years ago and had been naturally mummified by the mountain's cold, dry environment. Now, a new analysis of the Aconcagua boy's mitochondrial DNA reveals that he belonged to a population of native South Americans that all but disappeared after the Spanish conquest of the New World.

The Aconcagua boy died as part of an Incan ritual of child sacrifice called capacocha. Children and adolescents were taken to the tops of high peaks and left to die of exposure or killed outright; the Aconcagua boy was likely executed with a blow to the head. Several capacocha mummies have been found on mountains scattered throughout Inca territory, but the Aconcagua boy is "one of the best preserved," says Antonio Salas, a human geneticist at the University of Santiago de Compostela in Spain and an author of the new study. The boy died 5300 meters above sea level in "one of the driest climates that exist," Salas says. That gave him hope that the mummy might still contain traces of DNA.

It did. Salas and his team extracted the mummy's complete mitochondrial genome—comprising 37 genes passed down solely from the mother—from one of its lungs. Sampling an internal organ was a good choice for minimizing the risk of contamination, says Bastien Llamas, a geneticist at the University of Adelaide in Australia who studies ancient South American populations. In the years since the mummy was found, "you assume ... no one has touched the lung with their own hands, so there is no contamination from the people who have been working on it," says Llamas, who was not involved in the study. But to make sure his research team wasn't contaminating the find with its DNA, Salas genotyped every last one of them.


Massive tsunami devastated northwest Europe 8,150 years ago


A huge landslide of Ice Age sediment under the Norwegian Sea 8,150 years ago (illustrated) produced a tsunami so powerful it swept hundreds of miles down the North Sea and created waves of up to 65 feet high
It was a time when stone-age hunter gatherers were spreading across northern Europe and into Britain as the glaciers of the last ice age retreated.

But just as these mesolithic tribes were settling in these newly uncovered areas a giant tsunami triggered by an underwater landslide off the coast of Norway devastated large parts of Europe.

Waves of up to 65 feet (20 metres) are thought to have smashed into Iceland, Greenland, Norway, Scotland and parts of England's northern coastline.

Scientists have now uncovered evidence that shows just how powerful these huge waves were and the huge area that they effected.


Mysterious Middle East "Wheel of Giants" is as old as Stonehenge

Ancient rock formation is believed to be 5,000 years old -- but no one is sure what it was used for.

A mysterious stone circle in the Middle East is estimated to be nearly 5,000 years old -- about the same age as Stonehenge.

It's known in Arabic as Rujm el-Hiri, or "stone heap of the wild cat," and Gilgal Refaim in Hebrew, which means "Wheel of Giants" and refers to a race of giants mentioned in the Bible.

"It's an enigmatic site. We have bits of information, but not the whole picture," Uri Berger, an expert on megalithic tombs with the Israel Antiquities Authority, told Reuters. "Scientists come and are amazed by the site and think up their own theories."


Two centuries-old tombs unearthed beneath historic New York City park

The second, previously unknown burial vault contains about 20 wooden coffins.
The tombs, which city archaeologists knew existed but were unsure exactly where, were discovered during a water main dig and are about two centuries old

City workers have discovered two burial vaults underneath Washington Square Park in New York City, uncovering the remains of at least a dozen people interred around two centuries ago.

Contractors for the city department of design and construction (DDC) uncovered the first vault on Tuesday, during excavations to replace a century-old water main on the east side of the park, in the heart of bustling Greenwich Village. The workers called an archaeologist contracted by the city, who opened a way into the chamber only 3.5ft beneath the sidewalk.

Inside they found an arched brick chamber with skulls, femurs and other bones littered on the dirt floor.

The first vault was actually a rediscovery: power company ConEdison first uncovered the vault in 1965, finding 25 skeletons inside. Before this week's excavation archaeologists knew the tomb existed, but were not sure where thanks to the company's poor record-keeping.

Bad Guys

A short history of Western plots to hijack Islam, from Nazi Germany to today

© Unknown
The celebration of hajj at Mecca, Saudi Arabia.
The New York Review of Books, a US-based magazine covering intellectual trends, has provided an interesting analysis, based on a review of two books on the Nazi relationship with Muslims, of why the strategy of mobilizing Islam in wartime and using it for geopolitical ends, mostly applied by the US, results in a "continual failure."

The magazine has provided a review of David Motadel's Islam and Nazi Germany's War and Stefan Ihrig's Atatürk in the Nazi Imagination.

Both books recount of Hitler's fascination with Islam and the attempts of the Nazis to use Muslims in their fight against their enemies, be it Britain or the Soviet Union.

Comment: Imperial strategists have long used religion as a tool to rally the masses, and to divide them. For them, faith is nothing but a means to an end, an end which is clouded by propaganda because of how repellent it truly is.

These days we witness psychopaths rallying to the flags of the Islamic State, al Qaeda, and Boko Haram. These psychopaths then become useful tools for both propaganda and geopolitical purposes. They can be used to topple governments. They can be used as justification for 'intervening' in a country which has not towed the imperial line. And the world is told, both explicitly and implicitly, that these groups represent Islam in a nutshell.

Believing this official lie, the world equates Islam with terrorism and extremism. It becomes a nucleus of division, and takes on a life of its own. The invasion and destruction of sovereign nations and the evaporation of the rights of the public become the 'new normal'. Soon everyone becomes an 'extremist' of some sort, and an 'extremism industry' develops to tell you who's who. Absorbed by these manufactured problems, real problems go unsolved, and real criminals go unpunished as they loot the country . And the ends, clouded by this insane propaganda, are the same. It's the absolute corruption, dehumanization, and ponerization of societies that were conned out of everything by thieves and liars.

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Amateur archaeologists discover Mesolithic rock paintings in Kadapa, India

© n/a
The Peddakona and Gandikota rock paintings discovered in Kadapa district.
Amateur archaeologists Y. Ramakrishna Reddy and Lakshmi Kanta Reddy, have stumbled upon Mesolithic period rock paintings at Gandikota Fort in Kadapa district.

The duo is serving in government departments have shown interest in archaeology. Mr. Ramakrishna Reddy, working as conductor in the Proddutur bus depot of AP State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) and Mr. Lakshmi Kanta Reddy, a police constable in APSP battalion, Siddhavatam, were on a visit to the fort when they discovered the paintings.

They found the paintings on the rocky surface at Peddakona, also known as Dongalakona, located next to Farah Bagh area on the way from the Anantapadmanabha temple of the fort to the gorge of the river Penna.

The paintings representing geometrical designs are seen on a big boulder executed in red ochre. The lines painted in the shape of rectangles, triangles and circles denote abstract forms of some animals.

Based on the information given by Mr. Ramakrishna Reddy, archaeologist and CEO of The Cultural Centre of Vijayawada (CCV) E. Sivanagi Reddy inspected the site and confirmed that the rock paintings belong to the Mesolithic period datable to 10,000-8000 B.C.


Scanning technologies reveal striking anomaly in the Great Pyramid

© Philippe Bourseiller/HIP.Institute/Faculty of Engineering Cairo/Ministry of Antiquities
"This anomaly is really quite impressive and it's just in front of us, at the ground level," Mehdi Tayoubi, founder of the Paris-based Heritage Innovation Preservation Institute involved in the scanning, told Discovery News.
A striking anomaly has been detected on the eastern side of the Great Pyramid at Giza, Antiquities Minister Mamdouh el-Damaty said on Monday.

The announcement comes at the end of a two-week project to scan Egypt's main pyramids in order to identify the presence of unknown internal structures and cavities.

Called Scan Pyramids, the study is in its first stage and is carried out by a team from Cairo University's Faculty of Engineering and the Paris-based organization Heritage, Innovation and Preservation under the authority of the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities.

The project uses a mix of technologies such as infrared thermography, muon radiography, and 3-D reconstruction to look inside four pyramids, which are more than 4,500 years old. They include Khufu, or Cheops, Khafre or Chephren at Giza, the Bent pyramid and the Red pyramid at Dahshur.

Several thermal anomalies were observed in all the monuments, but one remarkable anomaly was detected in the Great Pyramid, known as Khufu or Cheops.


Italy's first Neanderthal dates back 250,000 years

© Micheal Himbeaut/Flickr
A new study has found that Neanderthal man was present in Italy 100,000 years earlier than previously thought.
Neanderthal man arrived on the Italian peninsular some 100,000 years earlier than previously thought, according to a study set to be published this month.

The discovery was made after researchers analyzed radioactive deposits that were found in sediments present inside two Neanderthal skulls unearthed in a gravel pit Saccopastore, Lazio, in the 1930s.

The site of the dig is now occupied by an eastern section of Rome's ring road.

"The results of our studies show that the Saccopastore remains are 100,000 years older than previously thought - and push back the arrival of Neanderthal man in Italy to 250,000 years ago," said Fabrizio Marra, a researcher who carried out the study with the Italian Institute for Geophysics and Vulcanology (INGV).


New clues point to secret chamber in King Tut tomb

© Harry Burton/Wikimedia Commons
Howard Carter opens King Tut’s tomb.
The investigation of King Tut's tomb to find secret chambers ended today with promising results, according to a statement from Egypt's antiquity ministry.

A team from Cairo University's Faculty of Engineering and the Paris-based organization Heritage, Innovation and Preservation used infrared thermography to detect the temperature of the walls in the tomb. Preliminary analysis indicates the presence of an area different in its temperature than the other parts of the northern wall.

"The experiment lasted for 24 hours," Egypt's Antiquities minister Mamdouh Eldamaty said in a statement.

In order to certify the results, Eldamaty said, a number of experiments will be carried out to determine more accurately the area showing the difference in temperature.


6-million-year-old untouched cave found in Sarawak

© Photo courtesy of Ramli Ahmad, Sarawak Forestry Corporation, November 7, 2015
A new cave, Conviction Cave, has been discovered in Sarawak’s Gunung Mulu national park in Baram.
A new cave, said to be six million years old and likely untouched by any human, has been discovered in Sarawak's famous Gunung Mulu national park in Baram.

The park, famous for its limestone karst formations, is known for its enormous caves within the mountain, such as the Sarawak Chamber, currently the second largest cave in the world, and vast subterranean networks such as the Deear Cave - one of the largest single cave passages in the world.

The new cave, named Conviction Cave, was discovered by British explorer Andy Eavis (pic below) and Sarawak authorities said it was an extremely significant find.

The cave was announced by Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem at the Sarawak Forestry Corporation's 12th anniversary dinner in Kuching yesterday.

Eavis, 68, who has been exploring the Mulu national park for caves since 1977, made the discovery on October 15 while on an expedition to in area named The Hidden Valley.

The entrance of the cave is about 15km from the park headquarters or a two-hour walk over rugged terrain.