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The truth about imperial Russia


St. Petersburg, Russia
In early 1815, Nathan Rothschild approached Czar Alexander I (1801-25) at the Congress of Vienna with a proposal that he set up a central bank in Russia. Whether it was because he distrusted this shady banker or was aware of the perils of central banking is not known, but he prudently declined.

In 1860 The State Bank of the Russian Empire was founded with the aim of boosting trade turnovers and the strengthening of the monetary system. Up to 1894 it was an auxiliary institution under the direct control of the Ministry of Finance. In that year it was transformed into being the banker of the bankers and operated as an instrument of the government's economic policy. It minted and printed the nation's coins and notes, regulated the money supply and through commercial banks provided industry and commerce with very low interest rate loans. Its vast gold reserves, the largest in the world, except for the year 1906 exceeded the bank note issue by more than 100%.

Not unexpectedly Russia had the smallest national debt in the world. The following table reflects the number of rubles per inhabitant in 1908.

Comment: See also:

Wall Street and the Bolshevik Revolution, by Antony C. Sutton



Info

4,000-year-old burial with chariots discovered in South Caucasus

Chariot_1
© Photo courtesy Zurab Makharadze
Here, the roof of a 4,000-year-old burial chamber buried in a Kurgan (mound) in the country of Georgia.
An ancient burial containing chariots, gold artifacts and possible human sacrifices has been discovered by archaeologists in the country of Georgia, in the south Caucasus.

The burial site, which would've been intended for a chief, dates back over 4,000 years to a time archaeologists call the Early Bronze Age, said Zurab Makharadze, head of the Centre of Archaeology at the Georgian National Museum.

Archaeologists discoveredthe timber burial chamber within a 39-foot-high (12 meters) mound called a kurgan. When the archaeologists reached the chamber they found an assortment of treasures, including two chariots, each with four wooden wheels. [See Images of the Burial Chamber & Chariots]

The team discovered ornamented clay and wooden vessels, flint and obsidian arrowheads, leather and textile artifacts, a unique wooden armchair, carnelian and amber beads and 23 golden artifacts, including rare and artistic crafted jewelry, wrote Makharadze in the summary of a presentation he gave recently at the International Congress on the Archaeology of the Ancient Near East, held at the University of Basel in Switzerland.

"In the burial chamber were placed two four-wheeled chariots, both in good condition, [the] design of which represents fine ornamental details of various styles," Makharadze wrote. Thechamber also contained wild fruits, he added.

While the human remains had been disturbed by a robbery, which probably occurred in ancient times, and were in a disordered position, the archaeologists found that seven people were buried in the chamber. "One of them was a chief and others should be the members of his family, sacrificed slaves or servants," Makharadze told Live Science in an email.
Comet 2

Comets and meteorites on ancient coins

© www.astrostudio.at / Gerald Rhemann
The night sky was really important to ancient people. This can be hard for us to understand, living as we do in a world where light pollution denies us a clear view of the stars. What people saw in the sky - or thought they saw - they expressed as myths, as symbols, and even as designs on their coins. The crescent moon and spiky stars, for example, appear frequently on ancient coins.

Most ancient cultures believed in astrology - the notion that changes observed in the heavens above were strongly linked to events on earth below. Along with the reassuringly predictable motions of the stars and planets, more troubling things sometimes appeared in the sky.

Rare and unpredictable, comets and meteors were particularly potent symbols, and their appearance on a few ancient coins has sparked the interest of historians and astronomers as well as numismatists.

We know now that comets are large "dirty snowballs" with eccentric orbits that sometimes bring them close enough to the sun that long tails of gas and dust reflect enough sunlight to make them visible. The Greek word kometes means "long-haired." One Latin term for comet was stella crinita - "hairy star."

Aristotle thought comets were the result of combustible gas igniting in the upper atmosphere. Some ancients believed they were wandering planets. But many believed they were omens of natural or political catastrophe - wars, plagues, famines, and especially the death of rulers. This was a potential PR problem if you happened to be a king and a comet appeared.
Map

Large gold nugget dubbed 'Devil's Ear' found in Siberia during full moon on Friday 13th

A huge nugget of gold, nicknamed the Devil's Ear because of its peculiar shape, was found by miners in Siberia on Friday 13th, as a full moon shone over Russia.

A huge nugget of gold, nicknamed the Devil's Ear because of its peculiar shape, was found by miners in Siberia on Friday 13th, as a full moon shone over Russia. Depending on its purity, it may be worth £180,000 ($300,000).
  • Precious lump was cast aside by a sifting machine at the Ukhagan mine
  • Fortunately, nugget was spotted by a worker while he was levelling a pile
  • Named Devil's Ear due to shape and the fact its 6.66kg weight features the 'devil's number'
  • Miners are hoping to find more gold nuggets in the Bodaybinsky district
  • Devil's Ear is around ten times smaller than the world's largest nugget, Welcome Stranger, which weighed in at 72.02 kg (158.78 lbs)
Initially the precious lump was cast aside by a sifting machine, but was later spotted by an eagle-eyed worker at the Ukhagan mine in the Irkutsk region's Bodaybinsky district.

'Even the giant nugget's weight seems sinister - including three sixes - 6.664kg (14.69lb)' reported The Siberian Times.

Depending on its purity, this would make the nugget worth around £180,000 ($300,000).
Blue Planet

Scientists find 6,200 year-old parasite in ancient tomb

© Science picture co/Getty Images
Schistosoma parasitic worm that causes Schistosomiasis
In a skeleton more than 6,200 years old, scientists have found the earliest known evidence of infection with a parasitic worm that now afflicts more than 200 million people worldwide.

Archaeologists discovered a parasite egg near the pelvis of a child skeleton in northern Syria and say it dates back to a time when ancient societies first used irrigation systems to grow crops. Scientists suspect the new farming technique meant people were spending a lot of time wading in warm water - ideal conditions for the parasites to jump into humans. That may have triggered outbreaks of the water-borne flatworm disease known as schistosomiasis.

"The invention of irrigation was a major technological breakthrough (but) it had unintended consequences," said Gil Stein, a professor of Near Eastern archaeology at the University of Chicago, one of the report's authors. "A more reliable food supply came at the cost of more disease," he wrote in an email.
Info

Ancient skulls reveal 'mixed' Neanderthal-like lineage

Hominin skull
© Javier Trueba/Madrid Scientific Films
A hominin skull (dubbed Skull 17) from the Sima de los Huesos cave site in Sierra de Atapuerca, Spain.
A key first step in Neanderthal evolution may have been the development of front teeth that could act like a "third hand," researchers now say.

These new findings are based on 17 hominin skulls showing a mix of traits from Neanderthals and more primitive human lineages, dating back some 430,000 years. The specimens likely belonged to a hominin group within the Neanderthal lineage but perhaps not direct Neanderthal ancestors. (Hominins include modern humans and extinct ancestors and close relatives of the human lineage.)

The mix of traits suggests the defining features of the Neanderthal body may have evolved separately in stages instead of evolving together gradually, scientists added.

These findings also reveal that, evolutionarily speaking, "Neanderthals have very deep roots, as deep as 430,000 years," lead study author Juan-Luis Arsuaga, a paleontologist at and director of the Joint Center for Evolution and Human Behavior in Madrid, told Live Science.

"Modern humans, on the contrary, have roots only 200,000 years deep. It seems that modern humans evolved later."
USA

American history myths debunked: White settlers did not carve America out of the untamed


"Mayflower in Plymouth Harbor" by William Halsall, 1882 at Pilgrim Hall Museum, Plymouth, Massachusetts
We've spent the last six days going through Cracked.com's popular post "6 Ridiculous Lies You Believe About the Founding of America," breaking each myth down, taking a look at their sources and adding our own. The last myth we're going to dive into is myth number two, "White Settlers Did Not Carve America Out of the Untamed Wilderness," which says the "pilgrims were the first in a parade of brave settlers who pushed civilization westward along the frontier with elbow grease and sheer grizzled-old-man strength."

That's not exactly how it happened though. Most of the information Cracked.com cites comes from 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus, a book by Charles Mann, and written records from early colonial times, though they don't give any actual citations for those.
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

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