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Star of David

Remember when Paris Muslims helped Jews escape the Nazis?

mosque
© Alice Heartherb
Here's one they left out of the history textbooks. A recent French film, Free Men, brought to light the remarkable true history of how Muslims gave sanctuary to French Jews in Nazi-occupied Paris during Second World War. An untold "Oscar Schindler" story, the film is inspired by actual events and in this case, our 'Schindler' is Si Kaddour Benghabrit, the rector of the Grand Mosque of Paris until 1954.

Underneath the fortress of mosaics and tranquil gardens occupying an entire city block in the Latin Quarter, it is revealed the mosque's underground caverns once served as a refuge for resistance fighters and French Jews, where they could be provided with certificates of Muslim identity. Meanwhile upstairs, Benghabrit, a wise Algerian-born religious and political leader, was giving tours of the mosque to Nazi officers and their wives, unaware of what was transpiring right under their feet.

Watch the trailer for Free Men below:


Comment: The question is this: will France's Jews today, or its Christians or anyone else, have the humanity and conscience to do the same for their Muslim brothers and sisters when the time comes? Because it is coming, only this time, it's the Muslims who will receive the treatment the Jews received during the Nazi regime. Will we let it happen? Will you let it happen?

Info

Enormous underwater lemur graveyard discovered dating back 1,000 years in Madagasgar

© NSF
The lemur graveyard was found in a remote region of Madagascar.
What could be the largest single collection of lemur remains has been discovered in submerged caves in Madagascar.

A team of experts working with the National Science Foundation discovered the bone yard in a remote desert region of the island.

The complete lemur skeletons - all of extinct species - had remained intact for hundreds if not thousands of years, making it a unique site of great significance.

As well as vast numbers of lemur fossils, the remains of other animals were also found, including bats, rodents and carnivores.

USA

The forgotten history of the Bellamy Salute

© New-York tribune
The Bellamy salute is the salute described by Francis Bellamy (1855–1931) to accompany the American Pledge of Allegiance, which he had authored. During the period when it was used with the Pledge of Allegiance, it was sometimes known as the "flag salute".
Seventy one years ago -- December 22, 1942 -- Congress got the United States out of what had turned into an unexpectedly embarrassing situation.

It concerned the Pledge of Allegiance -- specifically, something called the Bellamy Salute.

Most people today have likely never heard of it, but the Bellamy Salute was once a constant part of the country's life.

Daniel Sharp Ford, the owner of a magazine called Youth's Companion, was on a crusade to put American flags in every school in the country. He sensed that the U.S. needed a boost of patriotism. Keep in mind: Not even 30 years before, the Civil War had still been raging. National unity was a fragile concept.

As part of the campaign, Sharp gave an assignment to a member of his staff: Francis J. Bellamy, who was an author, a minister and an advocate of the tenets of Christian socialism. Sharp asked Bellamy to compose a Pledge of Allegiance to the flag. Bellamy wrote it, and it was published in the magazine.

Info

The Great Famine of Ireland: Western governments have already used food as a weapon of genocide

drought
The Great Famine of Ireland, in which mass potato crop failures resulted in more than 1 million men, women, and children dying of starvation, is now recognized by some as one of the first historical examples of the dangers of monoculture. But what few people realize about this grave time in Western history is that it is also one of the earliest examples of food being used as a weapon of ethnic cleansing and genocide.

In his book The Famine Plot, Irish historian Tim Pat Coogan brings to light how the British monarchy essentially drove the Irish people of that time to their grim fate by engineering the food shortage that would eventually capture more than one in eight Irish lives. Based on the definitions outlined by the United Nations as to what genocide actually is, the way the Irish were treated by the Royal Crown during the mid-19th century serves as a clear example of genocide through food.

Comment: See also: Hunger: The Real Irish American Story Not Taught in Schools
Thomas Gallagher points out in Paddy's Lament, that during the first winter of famine, 1846-47, as perhaps 400,000 Irish peasants starved, landlords exported 17 million pounds sterling worth of grain, cattle, pigs, flour, eggs, and poultry -- food that could have prevented those deaths. Throughout the famine, as Gallagher notes, there was an abundance of food produced in Ireland, yet the landlords exported it to markets abroad.


Question

Atlantis' legendary metal found in shipwreck

Divers
© Superintendent of the Sea Office, Sicily
A team of divers recovered nearly 40 ingots off the sea floor near Sicily, from a ship that was lost in the sixth century.
Gleaming cast metal called orichalcum, which was said by Ancient Greeks to be found in Atlantis, have been recovered from a shipwreck that sunk 2,600 years ago off the coast of Sicily.

The lumps of metal were arriving to Gela in southern Sicily, possibly coming from Greece or Asia Minor. The ship that was carrying them was likely caught in a storm and sunk just when it was about to enter the port.

"The wreck dates to the first half of the sixth century," Sebastiano Tusa, Sicily's superintendent of the Sea Office, told Discovery News. "It was found about 1,000 feet from Gela's coast at a depth of 10 feet."

He noted that the 39 ingots found on the sandy sea floor represent a unique finding.

"Nothing similar has ever been found," Tusa said. "We knew orichalcum from ancient texts and a few ornamental objects."

Indeed orichalcum has long been considered a mysterious metal, its composition and origin widely debated.

According to the ancient Greeks, it was invented by Cadmus, a Greek-Phoenician mythological character. The fourth century B.C. Greek philosopher Plato made orichalcum a legendary metal when he mentioned it in the Critias dialogue.
Magnify

Ancient amulet discovered in Cyprus with palindrome inscription

two-sided amulet uncovered in Cyprus
© Marcin Iwan
The amulet contains a Greek inscription, 59 letters long, which reads the same backwards as it does forwards, a feature known as a palindrome. The three letters at the very bottom, ΕΑΙ, were squeezed in and are hard to read. The amulet is about 1.4 inches by 1.6 inches (34.9 millimeters by 41.2 millimeters) in size. The inscription translates as “Iahweh is the bearer of the secret name, the lion of Re secure in his shrine.”
An ancient, two-sided amulet uncovered in Cyprus contains a 59-letter inscription that reads the same backward as it does forward.

Archaeologists discovered the amulet, which is roughly 1,500 years old, at the ancient city of Nea Paphos in southwest Cyprus.

One side of the amulet has several images, including a bandaged mummy (likely representing the Egyptian god Osiris) lying on a boat and an image of Harpocrates, the god of silence, who is shown sitting on a stool while holding his right hand up to his lips. Strangely, the amulet also displays a mythical dog-headed creature called a cynocephalus, which is shown holding a paw up to its lips, as if mimicking Harpocrates' gesture.
Footprints

Vast 5,000 year-old underground city discovered in central Turkey

© Creative Commons/Katpatuka
Tatlarin, another overground city near Nevşehir
A 5,000 year-old underground city thought to be the largest in the world has been discovered in central Turkey.

The subterranean settlement was discovered in the Nevşehir province of Turkey's Central Anatolia region, in the historical area of Cappadocia.

Cappadocia is famous in archaeological circles for its large number of underground settlement.

But the site, located around the Nevşehir hill fort near the city of Kayseri, appears to dwarf all other finds to date.

Hasan Ünver, the mayor of the city on those outskirts the discovery was found, said other underground cities were nothing more than a "kitchen" compared to the newly uncovered settlement.

Mehmet Ergün Turan, the head of Turkey's housing development administration, said the discovery was made during the groundwork for a housing project meant to develop the area.

Derinkuyu underground city, to the south of Nevşehir city "It is not a known underground city. Tunnel passages of seven kilometers are being discussed. We stopped the construction we were planning to do on these areas when an underground city was discovered," Mr Turan told Turkish publication Hurriyet Daily News.

The agency has already spent 90 million Turkish liras (£25m) on the development project, but the organisation's head said he did not see the money spent as a loss due to the magnitude of the historical discovery.

The upper reaches of the city were first spotted last year but it was not until now that the size of the discovery became apparent. The organisation has so far taken 44 historical objects under preservation from the site.

Cappadocia's characteristic volcanic rock landscape lends itself to underground cities. The area has been officially registered with Turkey's Cultural and Natural Heritage Preservation Board and no further building work will be done.

Comment: See also:

Inside the intriguing ancient underground city of Derinkuyu

Pharoah

Archeologists discover mythical tomb dedicated to Osiris, god of the dead, in Egypt

Tomb of Osiris
© www.ancient-origins.net
Inside the replica of the tomb dedicated to the god Osiris.
A Spanish-Italian archaeological team, in cooperation with the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities, has made an incredible discovery in the necropolis of Sheikh Abd el-Qurna, on the West Bank at Thebes, Egypt - an enormous ancient reproduction of the mythical Tomb of Osiris as described by Egyptian legend, complete with multiple shafts and chambers. Inside the tomb complex, researchers found a carving of Osiris and a room with a wall relief depicting a demon holding knives.
Info

Ancient Mexico provides lesson on human unity, experts say

Mexico's Races
© Latin America Herald Tribune
Mexico City - Scientists have found substantial genomic differences among Mexico's indigenous populations that persist despite the widely popular concept of a homogeneous mestizo la raza, experts say.

"There is a high degree of differentiation among indigenous populations, and more so between those who are more isolated," Victor Acuna Alonzo, an anthropologist at the National School of Anthropology and History, told Efe.

An international team of researchers analyzed genome samples taken from more than 1,000 individuals representing 20 indigenous and 11 mestizo, or mixed, population groups, the journal Science reported recently.

The greatest differences were found between the Seri ethnic group living in northwest Mexico and the Lacandones in the southeast, with genomic differences wider than those existing between European and Chinese people.

The Mexican Constitution states that the country's population is multicultural and rooted in its indigenous populations, but the diversity has tended to be hidden or shunned in mainstream discourse that favors the concept of a monolithic culture.

The National Council for the Prevention of Discrimination says one of the main reasons for this is the "mestizo myth" based on the emergence of a national identity that integrates all the distinct components of Mexico's population.
Black Magic

Evidence of sacrificial practices found at 6,000 year old temple in Ukraine

Ukraine Temple
© The Independent, UK
Burnt animal bones found on the remains of stone altars.
Archaeologists exploring the remains of a 6,000 year old temple in Ukraine have found evidence of complex sacrificial practices at the site.

The temple, thought to belong to the ancient Trypillian culture, was found near the modern-day city of Nebelivka and originally unearthed in 2009.

Burnt bones of lambs were found lying on the remains of stone altars, suggesting sacrifices had taken place on the site.

The building, which was two stories high, was part of a vast 288 acre prehistoric settlement which may have contained as many as 1,200 buildings.

The temple itself measures 60 metres by 20 metres and was made of wood and clay. It included a gallery and a courtyard.
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