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Untwisting the revisionists' history: Stalin's Russia won WW2, not the Anglo-American alliance, and he tried to prevent Cold War

The Soviet Union alone indeed could have won World War II, but would have done it at a much slower pace, believes British historian Professor Geoffrey Roberts.

"The Soviet Union could have defeated Nazi Germany on its own, but it would have taken it a lot longer and at much greater price and, of course, it would have taken the country much longer to recover after World War II," he told RT.

"Yes, the Soviet Union did not ultimately need its allies to win the war, but its alliance with particularly the United States and Great Britain helped it to win the war a lot quicker than it would have otherwise been the case," he added.

According to Roberts, following World War II, the Soviet Union was much less enthusiastic about the Cold War than its recent allies, the USA and Great Britain.

"On the Western side, once the Cold War had broken out, there was a much more positive engagement with the Cold War, whereas on the Soviet side there was a reluctance to become involved in the Cold War and continuous efforts to revive the Grand Alliance," he said.

"One of the great themes of post-war Soviet foreign policy is a desire to return to the Grand Alliance," Roberts added.
Pyramid

Pyramid in Croatia? Secret Dalmatia follows a 1570 map in Zagora

After the Bosnian pyramid, is there a Croatian equivalent? Secret Dalmatia investigates a map dating back to 1570 in Zagora.

While the traditional association with pyramids is Egypt, the alleged discovery of pyramids in Bosnia and Hercegovina a few years ago brought the possibility of their existence in Europe, and a field trip by boutique agency Secret Dalmatia in Croatia on March 10, 2014 has offered up one more intriguing angle to the mystery.

Croation Pyramid
© Alan Mandic
The pyramid.
Specialists in discovering and promoting the many secrets of Croatia and the Dalmatian hinterland, Digital Journal recently reported on how owner Alan Mandic and local adventure specialists Dalmatia Explorer discovered the lost village of Karanovac, and a similar field trip at the weekend investigated a curious feature on a map of the region produced in 1570.
Question

Mystery of Blarney Stone's heritage finally solved

Blarney Stone
© Associated Press
A tourist kisses the Blarney Stone – which researchers now say is Irish in origin.
As millions of Irish people at home and abroad celebrate Saint Patrick's Day by pinning shamrocks to their clothes and downing the odd pint or two, their Celtic cousins across the sea in Scotland have shattered a couple of myths about one of Ireland's most iconic tourist attractions.

The Blarney Stone - famous for giving you the "gift of the gab" if you kiss it - is 100% Irish, according to researchers at Glasgow University.

For centuries, legends have abounded about the origins of the stone, which some have claimed was hewn from Stonehenge or sent over as a gift from the Scots by Robert the Bruce after victory at the battle of Bannockburn in 1314. But the secret of the stone has been unravelled after the discovery of a unique 19th-century microscopic slide taken from the rock at Blarney Castle, near Cork.

Geologists at the University of Glasgow's Hunterian Museum can reveal the true nature of the Stone after studying the historic microscope slide, containing a slice of the stone ground so thin that it is transparent to light. Their analysis indicates the Blarney is a limestone, made of the mineral calcite, and containing recrystallised and slightly deformed fragments of fossil brachiopod shells and bryozoans - all of which are unique to the region where it is based.

Dr John Faithfull, curator at the Hunterian museum, said: "This strongly supports views that the stone is made of local carboniferous limestone, about 330m years old, and indicates that it has nothing to do with the Stonehenge bluestones, or the sandstone of the current 'Stone of Destiny', now in Edinburgh Castle."
Cow Skull

A creepy collection of 9,000-year-old stone faces is on display in Israel

Billed as "the oldest masks in the world," a creepy collection of 9,000-year-old stone faces is now display in Israel.
© Elie Posner/Israel Museum
Holes at the edges of the stone artifact may have been threaded with hair or strung with cords to attach the mask to the face or hang it up on a building.
With stilted smiles and large eyeholes, the artifacts are thought to have represented the spirits of dead ancestors and may have been worn during Stone Age ceremonies and rituals, researchers say.

Before putting the rare artifacts inside glass cases at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, the curators say they brought the masks together for a comparative study. Three-dimensional modeling showed that most of the masks could have been placed comfortably on the face, curator Debby Hershman said. [See Pictures of the Stone Age Masks]

"The eye holes allow for a wide field of vision, and the comfortable apportioning of the mass is suited to human facial contours," Hershman told Live Science in an email.
Sherlock

1930s homicide detectives trained in forensics with an unusual tool: Dollhouses

Frances Glessner Lee's miniature murder scenes are dioramas to die for

Frances Glessner Lee (1878-1962) was a millionaire heiress and Chicago society dame with a very unusual hobby for a woman raised according to the strictest standards of nineteenth century domestic life: investigating murder. And she did this through a most unexpected medium: dollhouse-like dioramas. Glessner Lee grew up home-schooled and well-protected in the fortress-like Glessner House, designed by renown American architect H.H. Richardson, but she was introduced to the fields of homicide investigation and forensic science by her brother's friend, George Magrath, who later became a medical examiner and professor of pathology at Harvard Medical School. Instantly captivated by the nascent pursuit, she became one of its most influential advocates. In 1936, she endowed the Department of Legal Medicine at Harvard and made subsequent gifts to establish chaired professorships and seminars in homicide investigation. But that's not all.
Frances Glessner Lee
© Glessner House Museum, Chicago, Illinois
Frances Glessner Lee hard at work on her one of her deadly dioramas, The Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death.
As architect and educator Laura J. Miller notes in the excellent essay "Denatured Domesticity: An account of femininity and physiognomy in the interiors of Frances Glessner Lee," Glessner Lee, rather than using her well cultivated domestic skills to throw lavish parties for debutantes, tycoons, and other society types, subverted the notions typically enforced upon a woman of her standing by hosting elaborate dinners for investigators who would share with her, in sometimes gory detail, the intricacies of their profession. Glessner Lee oversaw every detail of these dinners herself, down to the menu and floral arrangements. She could probably tell you which wine goes best with discussion about a strangled corpse found in a bathroom. But the matronly Glessner Lee -- who may have been the inspiration for Angela Lansbury's character in "Murder She Wrote" - wanted to do more to help train investigators. She wanted to create a new tool for them.
Info

Ancient Greek tombstones served as therapy

Tombstone
© University of Gothenburg
Tombstone from Smyrna. The small boy to the left is sitting on a grave monument and holding a rattle in his right hand, while another curly haired boy is holding a bunch of grapes above a small dog. On the right, in front of a pillar, is a mourning a servant boy with his right hand on his chin.
Greek tombstones were not just commemorative markers, but served as therapy for the bereaved, says a study on images and epitaphs found on 2,300-year-old gravestones.

The research examined 245 grave reliefs from the Greek city-states of Smyrna and Kyzikos in present-day Turkey.

Dating to the Hellenistic period (323-31 B.C.), when production of funerary reliefs was at its height in western Asia Minor, the rather expensive tombstones probably belonged to the equivalent of middle class individuals.

According to Sandra Karlsson, a doctoral student at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, the rarely investigated sepulchral imagery can offer precious insights about funerary rituals, demographics, and family structures. Most of all, the reliefs reflect people's way of relating to death.

"In classical antiquity there were strict conventions for grieving for the dead, based on the belief that death is not an evil and hence not a reason for sorrow," Karlsson wrote in her doctoral thesis in classical archaeology and ancient history.
Pyramid

Arkaim: Russia's Stonehenge and a puzzle of the ancient world

Everyone's heard of Stonehenge. You could probably venture into the Amazonian jungle and seek out an untouched tribe of hunter-gatherers, spend months gaining their trust and learning their language, fighting off dysentery while you're at it, and when their chief finally makes you an honorary member of their society, against the emphatic advice of his shaman, you could ask them if they've heard of Stonehenge, and the answer would probably be: yes.

Some might say that's overstating the matter a touch, but the point stands. The sarsen stones of Wiltshire are famous; they've made their way into popular culture the world over. Though, would it surprise you to know that Stonehenge isn't the only megalithic stone circle in the world? Probably not, but most don't realise that there are somewhere on the order of 5000 stone circles around the world. Some exist as collections of circles, like the Senegambian circles in Gambia, Senegal, which are counted as one circle in the global list, but which actually consists of more than 1000 individual monuments covering an area of 15,000 square miles.

Great Britain boasts a large number of these Neolithic sites, but they don't have a monopoly on henges, as they're called over there. One of their neighbours actually has quite a few as well.
Magic Wand

Ancient 'ritual wand' etched with human faces discovered in Syria

Ritual Wand
© Ibanez et al, Antiquity, 2014
A 9,000-year-old wand with a face carved into it was discovered in Syria.
Archaeologists have unearthed an ancient staff carved with two realistic human faces in southern Syria.

The roughly 9,000-year-old artifact was discovered near a graveyard where about 30 people were buried without their heads - which were found in a nearby living space.

"The find is very unusual. It's unique," said study co-author Frank Braemer, an archaeologist at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique in France.

The wand, which was likely used in a long-lost funeral ritual, is one of the only naturalistic depictions of human faces from this time and place, Braemer said.
Info

Newly found megalithic ruins in Russia contain the largest blocks of stone ever discovered

Megalithic Stones_1
© The Truth Wins
An incredible discovery that was recently made in Russia threatens to shatter conventional theories about the history of the planet. On Mount Shoria in southern Siberia, researchers have found an absolutely massive wall of granite stones. Some of these gigantic granite stones are estimated to weigh more than 3,000 tons, and as you will see below, many of them were cut "with flat surfaces, right angles, and sharp corners". Nothing of this magnitude has ever been discovered before.

The largest stone found at the megalithic ruins at Baalbek, Lebanon is less than 1,500 tons. So how in the world did someone cut 3,000 ton granite stones with extreme precision, transport them up the side of a mountain and stack them 40 meters high? According to the commonly accepted version of history, it would be impossible for ancient humans with very limited technology to accomplish such a thing. Could it be possible that there is much more to the history of this planet than we are being taught?

For years, historians and archaeologists have absolutely marveled at the incredibly huge stones found at Baalbek. But some of these stones in Russia are reportedly more than twice the size. Needless to say, a lot of people are getting very excited about this discovery.
Info

Clues to Genghis Khan's rise, written in the rings of ancient trees

Ancient Tree
© Kevin Krajick/Earth Institute
An ancient tree grows in a lava field in central Mongolia.
In the rings of ancient and gnarled trees, a team of scientists has found evidence of a period of consistent warmth and wetness in Mongolia between the years 1211 and 1225 -- the exact time that Genghis Khan first rose to power.

Coincidence? They think not.

This unusual stretch of mild temperatures and unprecedented rain in an area traditionally known for its cold and arid climate would have increased the productivity of grasslands in the Mongolian steppe, the researchers say. The abundant grass would in turn increase the number of grazing animals that could live off it.

Members of Khan's army reportedly had five horses apiece, which allowed them to swiftly conquer an enormous area that stretched from eastern Asia to eastern Europe, as well as parts of northern India and the Mideast. They also traveled with a herd of livestock that provided them with food.
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