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Rocket

Secret SS archive reveals Hitler bombed thousands of Germans to test V-2 rockets

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© wikipedia.org
Damage Caused by V2 Rocket Attacks in Britain, 1945.
During WWII Nazi leader Adolf Hitler bombed thousands of Germans with V-2 rockets to test their force, putting the blame for the damage on Allied Forces, according to a highly classified archive kept secret for decades by a German collector.

The top secret SS documents, revealing how Hitler used German citizens as live targets for bombing practice - before attacking Britain and continental Europe in the last years of WWII - are to be sold off by a London auction house on March 18, The Daily Mail reports.


Comment: If this is true then it was really despicable.


Phoenix

War crime: Tokyo fire bombing 70th anniversary, 100,000 people died in a single night

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On the 70th anniversary of Tokyo’s fire bombing, relatives are asking for a real tribute to its victims
It was just after midnight when the rumble of B-29 bombers was heard, jolting Tokyo awake. The incendiaries that fell from their bellies, full of jelly petroleum, were like nothing anyone had ever seen.

They turned canals and rivers into flame and if the jelly stuck to you, it kept burning till flesh turned to bone. "The planes filled the sky like dragonflies," recalls Michiko Kiyoka. "Everywhere you looked there were charred bodies."

Today, Ms Kiyoka, now 91, will join a small group of elderly Tokyoites and mark the death of her father and sister in the 1945 firebombing, which killed about 100,000 people in the single night of 10 March.

Because men of fighting age were away, most of the victims were women, the elderly and children. A US survey later concluded that probably more people lost their lives during the raid by 300 bombers than at any single moment in history.

Magnify

Archeologists begin excavation of 16th - 17th century burial ground under path of London's Crossrail transit line

© AP Photo/Matt Dunham
Archaeologists excavate the 16th and 17th century Bedlam burial ground uncovered by work on the new Crossrail train line next to Liverpool Street station in London, Friday, March 6, 2015. The excavation team estimate there to be 3,000 human skeletons at the site, which was a burial ground to the then adjacent Bedlam Hospital, the world's first psychiatric asylum. The 118-kilometer (73-mile) Crossrail project to put a new rail line from west to east London is Britain's biggest construction project and the largest archeological dig in London for decades.
They came from every parish of London, and from all walks of life, and ended up in a burial ground called Bedlam. Now scientists hope their centuries-old skeletons can reveal new information about how long-ago Londoners lived—and about the bubonic plague that often killed them.

Archaeologists announced Monday that they have begun excavating the bones of some 3,000 people interred in the 16th and 17th centuries, who now lie in the path of the Crossrail transit line. They will be pored over by scientists before being reburied elsewhere.

One recent workday, just meters (yards) from teeming Liverpool Street railway station, researchers in orange overalls scraped, sifted and gently removed skeletons embedded in the dark earth. In one corner of the site, the skeleton of an adult lay beside the fragile remains of a baby, the wooden outline of its coffin still visible. Most were less intact, a jumble of bones and skulls.

"Part of the skill of it is actually working out which bones go with which," said Alison Telfer, a project officer with Museum of London Archaeology, which is overseeing the dig.

Due to open in 2018, the 118-kilometer (73-mile) trans-London Crossrail line is Britain's biggest construction project, and its largest archaeological dig for decades. The central 21-kilometer (13-mile) section runs underground, which has meant tunneling beneath some of the oldest and most densely populated parts of the city.

Comment: See also: Back to Bedlam: Crossrail digging unearths ancient London burial ground


Info

Mysterious jade artifact may have been offering to ancient gods

© Professor Carl Wendt
The jade artifact, which has cleft rectangles, incisions and a cone at its top, was discovered underwater in Veracruz, Mexico.
A mysterious corncob-shaped artifact, dating to somewhere between 900 B.C. and 400 B.C., has been discovered underwater at the site of Arroyo Pesquero in Veracruz, Mexico.

Made of jadeite, a material that is harder than steel, the artifact has designs on it that are difficult to put into words. It contains rectangular shapes, engraved lines and a cone that looks like it is emerging from the top. It looks like a corncob in an abstract way archaeologists say.

It's an "extraordinary and unusual archaeological specimen made of mottled brown-and-white jadeite," the team wrote in an article published recently in the journal Ancient Mesoamerica.

Jack Hunter, a diver with the Arroyo Pesquero archaeological project, discovered the artifact in 2012 while diving with Jeffery Delsescaux about 2 to 3 meters (6.6 to 9.8 feet) below the surface of a deep stream.

Gift 2

Ireland's 'famine': Sculpture offered in honor of Native American Indians' historic gift

© Unkown
Sharon O' Reilly-Coates says a feather sculpture in Cork is a thank you to Native American Indians

FIRM, bronzed bodies above and below a loincloth. Long, silky black hair, colourful feathers, a tepee and perhaps a fishing spear? Enviable, shiny-haired girls.

Mention Choctaw Indians and that's the image I have. I think of chocolate, also, but only because it sounds like Choctaw.

But because of one noble act of kindness, the Native American Choctaws will be forever etched in Irish minds.

When these gentle folk were at their most downtrodden, they raised $710 and sent it across the Atlantic to Ireland, to ease our famine woes.

It's one Corkman's job to make sure the Irish people never forget this extraordinary gift.

Info

Historian accuses Allies of mass rape in Germany

© FP, Getty Images File , London Daily Telegraph
Allied troops are shown entering the city of Mainz, Germany, on March 30, 1945. A German historian claims hundreds of thousands of German women were raped by British, U.S. and French soldiers.
Hundreds of thousands of German women were raped by British, U.S. and French soldiers after the end of the Second World War, a German historian has claimed.

In a new book, Miriam Gerhardt, a well-regarded German academic, challenges the established view that Soviet troops were responsible for the vast majority of rape cases in occupied Germany.

"The assumption that Western Allied soldiers would not do such a thing turned out not to be true," she told the broadcaster Deutsche Welle. "In the method and violence of rape there was no difference between American GIs and the Red Army, as far as I can see."

Gerhardt drew on detailed accounts kept by Bavarian Roman Catholic priests on individual cases for her book, When the Soldiers Came.

Hardhat

Two "lost cities" discovered in Honduras by archaeologists

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© Dave Yoder/National Geographic
Archaeologists in Honduras have found dozens of artifacts at a site where they believe twin cities stood.
Archaeologists have discovered two lost cities in the deep jungle of Honduras, emerging from the forest with evidence of a pyramid, plazas and artifacts that include the effigy of a half-human, half-jaguar spirit.

The team of specialists in archaeology and other fields, escorted by three British bushwhacking guides and a detail of Honduran special forces, explored on foot a remote valley of La Mosquitia where an aerial survey had found signs of ruins in 2012.

Chris Fisher, the lead US archaeologist on the team, told the Guardian that the expedition - co-coordinated by the film-makers Bill Benenson and Steve Elkins, Honduras and National Geographic (which first reported the story on its site) - had by all appearances set foot in a place that had gone untouched by humans for at least 600 years.

"Even the animals acted as if they've never seen people," Fisher said. "Spider monkeys are all over place, and they'd follow us around and throw food at us and hoot and holler and do their thing."

"To be treated not as a predator but as another primate in their space was for me the most amazing thing about this whole trip," he said.

Fisher and the team arrived by helicopter to "groundtruth" the data revealed by surveying technology called Lidar, which projects a grid of infrared beams powerful enough to break through the dense forest canopy.

Pocket Knife

Ancient well-heeled Roman traveler's multi-tool displayed at Cambridge museum

© Fitzwilliam Museum, University of Cambridge
With a spoon, knife, fork and toothpick, a spike used for deducing meat from the shells of seafood or removing stones from horses' hooves and a spatula which could have worked as a toothbrush or for scooping paste from bottles, it's little wonder a highly versatile Roman version of a Swiss army knife has provoked popular intrigue at the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge.

Nearly 38,000 visitors have wondered how this implement might have been used 2,000 years ago, making it the most popular object on the museum's website. And the answer might be less practical than we thought: curators say it's "hard to avoid" concluding that the neatness of the knife might just have made it a possession Romans wanted to show off with.

"The fact that this is made of silver, and so beautifully crafted, definitely marks it out as a luxury item," says the museum.

"Most likely it was the possession of a wealthy person who was a frequent traveller - one can imagine him getting it out at an inn and showing off with it, not unlike having the latest type of iPhone, except that this would also have rarity value."

Although the iron knife blade has corroded, the other handy sections, hinged and riveted onto a flat silver handle, can all be wielded. There is little evidence that Romans set forks at the dinner table, but they may have put them to surgical use.

"Portability seems to be the motive behind these implements," say curators.

"The Germans call them Reisebestecke or travelling cutlery - like their modern counterparts they are highly portable.

Sherlock

Celtic royal burial site uncovered in small north-central French town

© Denis Gliksman/Inrap
The cauldron is finely decorated with designs and figures, including the head of the Greek god Achelous
France's National Archaeological Research Institute (Inrap) on Wednesday revealed the discovery of an ancient grave site, probably that of a Celtic prince, which is helping shed light on trade between some of Europe's earliest civilizations.

Archaeologists uncovered the tomb dating from the fifth century BC in an industrial zone in the small town of Lavau, in France's Champagne region. Inrap, which routinely scours construction sites in order to find and preserve the country's archaeological heritage, began excavating at Lavau site in October 2014.

A 40-metre-wide burial mound of the Celtic ruler crowns a larger funeral complex, which archaeologists said preceded the royal's final resting place, and could have first been built during the Bronze Age.

The prince was buried with his prized possessions, which archaeologists said were still being unearthed.

The most exciting find has been a large bronze-decorated cauldron that was used to store watered-down wine. Inrap said it appears to have been made by Etruscan craftsmen in what is now northern Italy.

Comment: In spite of all the evidence people still seem to have the image of Celts as howling savages.

Archaeologists discover bronze remains of Celtic Iron Age chariot


Black Magic

Elongated Peruvian skulls DNA tested: Not human?


Paracas skulls at the National Museum of Achaeology, Anthropology, and History in Lima
Ever since their discovery by Julio Tello in 1928, the bizarre Paracas Skulls have amazed and terrified in equal measure. Uncovered in a tomb in South Peru, and believed to be around 3,000 years old, the skulls feature strange elongated craniums which gives them a decidedly inhuman appearance.

In fact, some have claimed they could in fact be the skulls of ancient alien visitors who apparently frequented South America, with other clues including the Nazca Lines and stepped pyramids. Now, an expert on these skulls, Brien Foerster, has claimed he has scientific evidence to back up these claims.

The traditional logic dictates that the skulls were created via a process of 'binding' - in which rope and wood was used to change the shape of a new born infant's skull. This was not unique to the Paracas region, and was practiced all over the South American continent by indigenous tribes. Over 300 elongated skulls of different shapes and sizes were discovered by Tello alone, suggesting the process may have been widespread and used to illustrate a highborn status. The Paracas skulls are particularly strange, however, as they are 60% heavier than most normal skulls.

Comment: Even if the DNA is 'non-human' (and it would be nice if the geneticists who worked on the samples went public, or if others who were willing to do so would attempt to verify their results), that does not necessarily imply alien.