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'Demon trap' carvings to protect James I after 1605 Gunpowder Plot found in Kent, UK

© Wikipedia
James I of England
Abstract markings discovered under the floorboards of an historic aristocratic home have been identified by archaeologists as "demon traps" created to protect King James I during a visit shortly after the failure of the Gunpowder Plot.

The grids, crudely carved into wooden floorboards at National Trust property Knole in Kent, stem from a superstitious zeal that descended upon England in the aftermath of the failed 5th November, 1605 conspiracy to assassinate James I and blow up the Houses of Parliament, when conspiracies against the monarchy were rife.

The carvings, described as witchmarks, remained hidden for over 400 years and failed to surface in any historical documents, The Times suggests.

But a group of archaeologists from the Museum of London Archaeology were able to pinpoint when they were created using advanced carbon-dating methods.

Careful analysis of natural patterns in the wood revealed it stemmed from timber that had been felled in the winter of 1605. The archaeologists were able to discern the planks were laid in the property as flooring while they were pliable and fresh the following spring or summer.

The dates reflect a period in British history when the 1st Earl of Dorset, Thomas Sackville, enticed King James I to stay at his residence in 1606 by constructing a group of royal apartments.

An MP and Lord High Treasurer, Sackville was the nephew of executed Queen of England Anne Boleyn. Carpenters, in full knowledge they were constructing a bedroom for a monarch, strove to protect James I by carving special marks they believed would serve as talismans.

Comment: See also:
  • This Day in History 1605: King James Learns of Gunpowder Plot


Frog

Paleontologists discover ancient groundhog-like mammal in Madagascar

vintana sertichi
© Lucille Betti-Nash.
This is an artist’s rendering of Vintana sertichi.
A team of paleontologists led by Prof David Krause of Stony Brook University has discovered a groundhog-like animal that lived in what is now Madagascar during the Late Cretaceous epoch, about 70-66 million years ago.

The new fossil mammal, named Vintana sertichi, belongs to Gondwanatheria (or gondwanatherians), a group of early mammals that lived during the Cretaceous through the Miocene in the Southern Hemisphere, including Antarctica.

The animal's skull was huge, measuring 13 cm long - twice the size of the previously largest known mammalian skull from the entire Age of Dinosaurs of the southern supercontinent Gondwana.
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Joseon dynasty shipwreck discovered off Korea's coast

© Yonhap
Ceramics recovered from a shipwreck off Mado Island are on display during a press conference in Taean, South Chungcheong Province, Wednesday.
Buncheong ceramics, white porcelain pieces among relics salvaged from underwater site

A shipwreck with more than 100 pieces of earthenware, presumed to date back to 18th- or 19th-century Korea, has been found in western waters in what archeologists say could be the first discovery of a Joseon-era ship.

The National Research Institute of Maritime Cultural Heritage said Wednesday that its underwater research team discovered what appeared to be a vessel's stern and some wooden beams on the seabed off Mado Island, Taean County, South Chungcheong Province.

"A pilot excavation of the shipwreck site resulted in the discoveries of two buncheong-ware ceramics. It's highly likely that the vessel is from the Joseon era," the institute said in a press release.
Boat

How the sinking of the Lusitania was used to bring America into WWI

lusitania
© en.wikipedia.org
When the Lusitania left New York for Liverpool on what would be her final voyage on 1st May 1915, during the Great War, it would alter the course of history forever.

Just a week later on 7th May 1915, the Lusitania was torpedoed and sunk by a German U-boat resulting in the loss of 1,198 lives of both passengers and crew off the southern coast of Ireland inside Germany's declared, but unrecognised "zone of war."

The sinking, without any prior search or warning, and with no regard for the safety of the passengers and crew, breached international law. Germany produced the argument (unconvincingly) that the liner was itself breaching international law by carrying munitions, and through doing so, providing Germany with justification for the attack.

Novel research conducted by Dr. Matthew Seligmann, Reader in History, at the Department of Politics, History and Law at Brunel University London, has unveiled new information on the incident. Dr. Seligmann has uncovered records that demonstrate that the Lusitania, one of the two fastest and most luxurious British passenger liners built at the turn of the century, had a hidden purpose. It acted as a trade protection vessel against attacks on British merchant vessels by German commerce raiding auxiliary cruisers.

Comment: In contravention of the rules of war at the time (the Hague Conventions and the Cruiser Rules) the RMS Lusitania was carrying a considerable amount of ammunition, explosives, and other war materiel for the armies of England and France. Germans knew that The Lusitania was carrying military supplies bound for Germany's enemies on the Western Front. The German embassy in Washington even took the precaution of placing an advertisement in 50 U.S. newspapers warning civilians not to sail on the Lusitania. Due to the intervention of the State Department most of the notices were not published

The sinking of the Lusitania was a major catalyst for America's later entry into the World War. Total deaths from the War are estimated between 9 and 15 million souls; American casualties of dead and wounded were in excess of 300,000. But the House of Morgan, House of Rothschild, and other banksters were thoroughly pleased at America's entry into the War. It meant that they continued to benefit hugely from the wholesale slaughter and misery of millions of programmed human beings. When one thinks of Pearl Harbour, Gulf of Tonkin, 9/11, and other false flags it seems that some things never change. The lessons of history are quickly forgotten. See: Sinking the Lusitania: An act of mass murder by the banksters

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New mosaics unearthed in ancient city of Zeugma

© AA Photos
Three new mosaics have been unearthed as part of the Muzalar House excavations in the ancient city of Zeugma, in Turkey's southern province of Gaziantep.
This year's round of excavations in Gaziantep's ancient city of Zeugma have ended, as the restoration period now begins

Three new mosaics have been unearthed during the Muzalar House excavations in the ancient city of Zeugma in Turkey's southern province of Gaziantep.

The uncovered mosaics were displayed at a press conference attended by Gaziantep Mayor Fatma Şahin and the head of the excavations, Professor Kutalmış Görkay.

Görkay said excavations at Zeugma, which was one of the most important centers in the Eastern Roman Empire, had started in 2007, adding that good progress had been made with the support of the Culture and Tourism Ministry, the Gaziantep Metropolitan Municipality and İş Bank.

"There are still unexcavated areas. There are rock-carved houses here. We have reached one of these houses and the house includes six spaces. We have also unearthed three new mosaics in this year's excavations," he said.
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Post-Sandy construction uncovers 19th-century shipwreck

© CBS New York
A piece of what is believed to be a 19th-century shipwreck discovered by workers building a sea wall in Brick, N.J.
Work on a coastal steel wall to protect one of the areas hardest hit by Superstorm Sandy has come to a standstill after the discovery of a 19th-century shipwreck about 25 feet underneath the sand.

Mayor John G. Ducey said workers using a specialized drill struck the relic last week. They were doing excavating work for the 3.5-mile long structure, which is intended to shield Route 35 and oceanfront homes in Mantoloking and Brick on the northern barrier island from the catastrophic impact of a future major hurricane or nor'easter comparable to the Oct. 29, 2012, disaster.

"They hit something. It broke the head on the machine," Brick Deputy Office of Emergency Management Coordinator Joe Pawlowicz told CBS New York. "They decided to replace the head. They replaced the head, and it also broke."

Experts and shipwreck historians were summoned to the scene in an attempt to identify the vessel, which is broken up into many pieces and made entirely of wood, with no iron or other metal, the mayor explained.
Boat

17th Century Dutch warship discovered off coast of Tobago

wreck site Tobago

A diver measures a cannon found at the wreck site in Tobago's Rockley Bay.
The wreck of a 17th-century Dutch warship has been discovered off the coast of Tobago, a small island located in the southern Caribbean. Marine archaeologists believe the vessel is possibly the Huis de Kreuningen, which was lost during a bloody fight between Dutch and French colonists.

On March 3, 1677, the French Navy launched a fierce attack against the Dutch in Tobago's Rockley Bay. European settlers coveted Tobago for its strategic location; in fact, the island changed hands more than 30 times after Christopher Columbus arrived in the New World.

The abbreviated story of this particular battle is, "Everybody dies, and every ship sinks," according to Kroum Batchvarov, an assistant professor of maritime archaeology at the University of Connecticut. Indeed, about 2,000 people were killed and up to 14 ships went down during the skirmish. But until now, none of those sunken vessels had been recovered.
Treasure Chest

Prophet Mani: Ancient seal provides insights from antiquity

When a personal artifact of a religious leader is discovered nearly 1,700 years after its use, the object provides invaluable historical insights. Zsuzsanna Gulacsi, professor of Comparative Cultural Studies, has been studying an ancient crystal seal used by prophet Mani, to provide new interpretations and prepare the seal for further research.

Mani, a Persian born in 216, established Manichaeism, a religion drawing from the era's dominant religions, including Zoroastrianism and Christianity. Mani stood out among religious leaders of the time, Gulacsi said, because he wrote his own doctrine, compared to Jesus, Mohammad and the historical Buddha who were not known to read or write. The engraved crystal seal was used to authenticate Mani's writings and correspondence.

According to Gulacsi, Mani believed other religious leaders had their teachings distorted because they could not write themselves. "Their disciples did not have the capacity of a prophet, whose clarity of religious insight was believed to surpass that of ordinary human beings," Gulacsi said.
Palette

Leonardo legends: Master's self-portrait hidden from Hitler in case it gave him magic powers

leonardo da vinci

Self-Portrait by Leonardo da Vinci
One of the world's most famous self-portraits is going on rare public display in the northern Italian city of Turin. Very little is known about the 500-year-old, fragile, fading red chalk drawing of Leonardo da Vinci but some believe it has mystical powers.

There is a myth in Turin that the gaze of Leonardo da Vinci in this self-portrait is so intense that those who observe it are imbued with great strength.

Some say it was this magical power, not the cultural and economic value of the drawing, that led to it being secretly moved from Turin and taken to Rome during World War Two - heaven forbid it should ever fall into Hitler's hands and give him more power.

Whatever the reason, this was the only work from the entire collection of precious drawings and manuscripts to be removed from the Royal Library in Turin at the time.

The library's current director, Giovanni Saccani, says nobody even knows exactly where it was hidden. "To prevent the Nazis from taking it, an intelligence operation saw it transported in absolute anonymity to Rome."

Under such difficult circumstances, preservation was not properly considered, "nor did they have the same knowledge and techniques back then," says Saccani. "Naturally, this did not do its condition any good."

Inside the Royal Library a pristine red carpet lines the stairs - we follow the steps down to a secure underground vault with reinforced doors.

This purpose built caveau has been the home of Leonard's Self-Portrait, and thousands of other priceless drawings and manuscripts, since 1998. The picture's treatment today could not contrast more strikingly with the neglect it suffered during the first half of the 20th Century.
Dollar

American Tariffs and Wars: From the Revolution to the Great Depression

Fair trade is once again a rallying cry for many Americans. Many contemporary leftists believe that the U.S. government should impose restrictions or tariffs on imported goods that are alleged to have been produced by underpaid or oppressed Third World workers. Few contemporary protectionists are aware of the sordid history of trade conflicts earlier in American history. Restrictive trade policies were a major cause of the American Revolution. "In 1732, England slapped heavy duties on American pig iron, and, in a death blow to the hat industry, decreed that hat makers were forbidden to have more than two apprentices each," as an 1892 Stanford University monograph noted. In 1750 Britain prohibited Americans from erecting any mill for rolling or slitting iron; William Pitt exclaimed, "It is forbidden to make even a nail for a horseshoe." The Declaration of Independence denounced King George for "cutting off our trade with all parts of the world." Many Founding Fathers recognized the corrupt nature of such restrictions. Benjamin Franklin observed, "Most of the statutes or acts, edicts, arrests, and placarts of parliaments, princes, and states, for regulating, directing, or restraining trade, have been either political blunders, or jobs obtained by artful men for private advantage, under pretense of public good."
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