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Fireball 4

Cyclical plague: Remains of 'End of the World' epidemic found in Ancient Egypt

© Associazione Culturale per lo Studio dell’Egitto e del Sudan
Archaeologists have uncovered the remains of an epidemic in Egypt so terrible that one ancient writer believed the world was coming to an end.

Working at the Funerary Complex of Harwa and Akhimenru in the west bank of the ancient city of Thebes (modern-day Luxor) in Egypt, the team of the Italian Archaeological Mission to Luxor (MAIL) found bodies covered with a thick layer of lime (historically used as a disinfectant). The researchers also found three kilns where the lime was produced, as well as a giant bonfire containing human remains, where many of the plague victims were incinerated.

Pottery remains found in the kilns allowed researchers to date the grisly operation to the third century A.D., a time when a series of epidemics now dubbed the "Plague of Cyprian" ravaged the Roman Empire, which included Egypt. Saint Cyprian was a bishop of Carthage (a city in Tunisia) who described the plague as signaling the end of the world.

Occurring between roughly A.D. 250-271, the plague "according to some sources killed more than 5,000 people a day in Rome alone," wrote Francesco Tiradritti, director of the MAIL, in the latest issue of Egyptian Archaeology, a magazine published by the Egypt Exploration Society.

Comment: For a much broader perspective, you may read Earth Changes and the Human Cosmic Connection: The Secret History of the World - Book 3 by Pierre Lescaudron and Laura Knight-Jadczyk, also available here.

For more historical background, you may also read Laura Knight-Jadczyk's Comets and the Horns of Moses (The Secret History of the World, volume 2), also available here.

Sherlock

Britain's A1 road is 10,000 years old? Evidence uncovered of Mesolithic settlement

A team of archaeologists, who were working alongside the A1, the longest road in Britain, were shocked to discover evidence of a Mesolithic settlement which suggests the route may have been in use for 10,000 years, according to a report in The Express. This means the route predates previous estimates that claimed an ancient route in the same location was originally built by the Romans.
The A1 was built nearly a century ago and stretches 410 miles from London to Edinburgh. The earliest documented northern routes are the roads created by the Romans during the period from 43 to 410 AD, which consisted of several itinera recorded in the Antonine Itinerary. A combination of these were used by the Anglo-Saxons as the route from London to York, and together became known as Ermine Street, later known as Old North Road.

Archaeologists were carrying out excavations of a known Roman settlement along the road, ahead of plans to upgrade the junctions from 51 to 56 to motorway status, when they discovered a number of flint tools that date back to between 6,000 and 8,000 BC. They also found a small Mesolithic structure that resembled a type of shelter where they were making the flint tools. The site, near Catterick in North Yorkshire, is believed to have been used by people travelling north and south as an overnight shelter, similar to today's motorway service stations.
Boat

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."
Palette

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

Chess

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:
Question

Why were trousers invented?

pants
© 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.
Boat

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.
Info

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?

Meteorite
© 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.
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