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Colosseum

Sacred tunnel discovered in city of Teotihuacan is filled with ritual objects and may lead to royal tombs

Stone figures Teotihuacan
© Reuters
Stone figurines are seen in a tunnel that may lead to a royal tombs discovered at the ancient city of Teotihuacan, in this November 19, 2013 National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) handout picture made available to Reuters October 29, 2014.
A sacred tunnel discovered in the ancient Mexican city of Teotihuacan is filled with thousands of ritual objects and may lead to royal tombs, the lead Mexican archaeologist on the project said on Wednesday.

The entrance to the 1,800-year-old tunnel was first discovered in 2003, and its contents came to light thanks to excavations by remote-control robots and then human researchers, archeologist Sergio Gomez told reporters.

The site is located about 30 miles (50 km) northeast of Mexico City. The ruins have long been shrouded in mystery because its inhabitants did not leave behind written records.

The artifacts found inside the tunnel, located below the Temple of the Plumed Serpent, include finely carved stone sculptures, jewelry and shells.
Bomb

1980s Home Office nuclear warfare experiment: Put psychopaths in charge!

nuclear explosion
© AFP
A clandestine Home Office experiment in 1982 tested Britain's capacity to rebuild after a catastrophic nuclear assault. Previously secret files, made public by the National Archives, document proposals to keep order using psychopathic recruits.

The exercise, dubbed 'Regenerate', was devised to prepare Britain to cope with a massive nuclear attack. The project aimed to create back-up measures in the event of a World War Three scenario.

Establishment officials imagined a situation where a nuclear exchange had devastated Britain's major cities, causing millions of casualties and widespread radiation poisoning.

The Cold War experiment's strategic means of dealing with such a disaster entailed assembling and recruiting a large group of officials, who would report to 12 carefully selected commissioners.

Those who participated in the experiment were predominantly police officers, state officials, military officers and fire services.

Comment: The irony here is that the very professions involved in this experiment - police officers, state officials, military officers - are full of psychopaths. So Hogg's suggestion, "extraordinary" and "bizarre" as it may appear to someone like Hennessy, is actually not that far from the truth. The problem is that psychopaths' lack of feelings for others is NOT an advantage. That's what they would like us to believe, and there has been a disinformation campaign for years to put these ideas in the public's awareness. But as Andrew Lobaczewski shows in Political Ponerology, psychopaths are anything but good in such situations; they make life intolerable for everyone else.

Sherlock

Hoard of 17th century artefacts found at Rathfarnham Castle in Ireland

Items revealing lives of 'elite' family found in underground lair by construction workers

penny
© Frank Miller / The Irish Times
Archaeologist Alva MacGowan with a 1602 Elizabeth 1st Irish penny, part of a large hoarde of objects from the 17th century discovered in a pit during the construction of a lift shaft at Rathfarnham Castle in Co Dublin.
A near perfect hoard of 17th century artefacts has been discovered in an underground lair of Rathfarnham Castle, revealing intimate details of the lives of the family who lived there and wider Irish society during that period.

The hoard was discovered about a month ago by construction workers installing a lift shaft at the castle. It was found in a sealed lair between two stone floors at the bottom of one of the castle towers.

Alva MacGowan, find supervisor with Archaeology Plan, the organisation commissioned by the Office of Public Works to deal with the hoard, said the "absolutely superb" preservation of the artefacts was "every archaeologist's dream".

Among the items discovered was a foldable toothbrush, clay pipes, jewellery, porcelain, coins, chamber pots, crystal goblets, as well as wine bottles and ointment jars with as of yet unknown liquids inside.
Magnify

Eight square meter vault and marble door found in Amphipolis tomb

© Greek Ministry of Culture
In an effort to reach the fourth chamber in the Amphipolis tomb, the excavation crew reached an 8.4 square meter vault and found an almost intact marble door weighing 1.5 tons.

According to an official announcement by the Greek Ministry of Culture, the removal of the backfilling earth from the fourth chamber exposed a vault dug on the natural slate floor. The vault has a surface of 4X2.10 meters and its floor is sealed with limestone. In addition, a marble door that belongs to the third chamber with dimensions 2X0.90X0.15 meters, weighing 1.5 tons, was found with only a small part missing.

Parts of the limestone remain intact and are connected to the side walls. On the west part of the floor, there is an incline caused by the floor caving in. On the east part, the limestone is in place. The stones from the west wall will be removed to facilitate supporting and bracing works.

The report describes the vault as filled with soil, like the rest of the monument, and the removal of soil has led to a depth of 1.40 meters so far and it looks like it goes much deeper. The second door was found inside the soil. The removal of soil is continuing uninterrupted.
Chess

Medieval chess pieces unearthed in England

© MOLA
The chess pieces were found in a large dump of off-cuts near the foundations of a timber-framed building
Archaeologists have found two Medieval chess pieces made from antler during the final stages of a dig in Northampton town centre.

The excavation is at St John's Street, at the location of Northamptonshire County Council's new £43m headquarters.

Archaeologist Jim Brown said the pieces were "clear evidence" of demand for a "leisure product" in middle to late 12th Century Northampton.

The dig has now been completed and the finds will eventually go on display.

The larger piece was probably intended to be a bishop and is 60mm (2.3in) high, while the second piece was the top part of a king and is about 30mm (1.2in) high.

Mr Brown, from the Museum of London Archaeology, said the chess pieces were found among bone and antler off-cuts, and appear to been discarded during their manufacture.
Flashlight

"Ancient" skull recovered from a cave in England

© The Westmorland Gazette
Rescuers called in by police
Police are investigating after a human skull was discovered by cavers in a north Lancashire pothole.

Members of Clapham-based Cave Rescue Organisation (CRO) were asked by Lancashire Police to retrieve the skull - which the rescuers described as "ancient" - from Dunald Mill Hole, Nether Kellet, yesterday.

The CRO team received the call at 11.21am on Friday.

A spokesman said: "An ancient human skull was discovered by cavers in Dunald Mill Hole and reported to the police.

"CRO was asked to retrieve it as part of the subsequent police investigation and a small team completed the task later in the day."
Sherlock

Ancient village discovered in Colombia

© EPM
Archaeologists have discovered a pre-Columbian town in central Colombia, recovering tons of archaeological evidence of which some dates as far back as 900BC, sponsor EPM said Friday.

The site was initially found when EPM, a public-private energy company, did soil research while planning the construction of an energy network in the municipality of Soacha, just southwest of the capital Bogota.

According to EPM, the archaeological site is the biggest ever found in Colombia, measuring some 4.9 hectares, and allows scientists to understand how now-extinct indigenous tribes lived.

"The relevance of this finding lies in the information contained in the settlement patterns, the architectural and agricultural development of the societies that lived on the central high plans of Colombia and, in general, about demographic aspects in pre-Hispanic times," archaeologist John Alexander Gonzalez told EPM, that paid for the $7.5 million operation.
Magnify

Magnificent ancient Roman silver treasure revealed

Roman Treasure of Berthouville makes its debut after meticulous conservation efforts.

Cup
© Wikimedia Commons
Cup with centaurs, detail. Italy, middle of the 1st century CE. From the Treasure of Berthouville, 1830.
Accidentally discovered by a French farmer plowing his field near the village of Berthouville in rural Normandy in 1830, the spectacular hoard of gilt-silver statuettes and vessels known as the Berthouville Treasure was an ancient offering to the Gallo-Roman god Mercury.

Following four years of meticulous conservation and research in the J. Paul Getty Museum's Antiquities Conservation Department, the exhibition Ancient Luxury and the Roman Silver Treasure from Berthouville, on view at the Getty Villa November 19, 2014, to August 17, 2015, will present this unique collection of ancient silver in its full splendor and offer new insights about ancient art, technology, religion, and cultural interaction. The opulent cache - in the collection of the Cabinet des médailles (now the Department of Coins, Medals and Antiques) at the Bibliothèque nationale de France - is displayed in its entirety for the first time outside of Paris, together with precious gems, jewelry, and other Roman luxury objects from the Cabinet's royal collections.

"Since 2010, this magnificent collection of silver objects has been undergoing extensive conservation and study at the Getty Villa, providing us a unique opportunity to examine the production of Roman luxury materials and seeing what this has to teach us about the art, culture and religion of Roman Gaul," says Timothy Potts, director of the J. Paul Getty Museum. "Being able to display this dazzling hoard at the Getty Villa is a great privilege for us and our visitors, and we have the added satisfaction of knowing that they will return to France much better understood and looking spectacularly better than before."
Info

Ancient stone circles in Mideast baffle archaeologists

J1
© David L. Kennedy, copyright is retained by the Aerial Photographic Archive for Archaeology in the Middle East imageAPAAME_20040601_DLK-0041
The Big Circle called J1 is about 390 meters (1,280 feet) in diameter, with an open area created by bulldozing in its interior.
Huge stone circles in the Middle East have been imaged from above, revealing details of structures that have been shrouded in mystery for decades.

Archaeologists in Jordan have taken high-resolution aerial images of 11 ancient "Big Circles," all but one of which are around 400 meters (1,312 feet) in diameter. Why they are so similar is unknown but the similarity seems "too close to be a coincidence" said researcher David Kennedy.

The Big Circles (as archaeologists call them) were built with low stone walls that are no more than a few feet high. The circles originally contained no openings, and people would have had to hop over the walls in order to get inside. [See Aerial Images of the Mysterious Big Circles in the Mideast]

Their purpose is unknown, and archaeologists are unsure when these structures were built. Analysis of the photographs, as well as artifacts found on the ground, suggest the circles date back at least 2,000 years, but they may be much older. They could even have been constructed in prehistoric times, before writing was invented, scientists say.
Magnify

Roman sculptures discovered in Northern England

Archaeologists find fertility genius, godheads and oil lamps in Roman Cumbria

© Megan Stoakley / Wardell Armstrong Archaeology
The Fertility Genius from Papcastle: likely a local deity representative of an area rather than a town or fort.
A fertility genius in "amazing" condition, believed to be a local deity thousands of years ago, and the carved heads of male and female Roman gods have been found by archaeologists digging at a village in Cumbria.

The vague outline of an altar can be seen below the hand of the genius, unearthed in a 2,500-square metre area at Papcastle, where the 2009 floods gave excavators the first glimpses of Roman remains.

A cap worn by the male statue comes from the Phrygian kingdom in modern-day Turkey, meaning the figure could be Mithras, who was worshipped in the north between the 1st and 4th centuries AD. Archaeologists are also speculating that he could be the Greek god Attis, which would be likely to identify the female head as Cybele - Phrygia's only known goddess.

"This happens once in a lifetime," says Frank Giecco, of Wardell Armstrong Archaeology, which has overseen the Heritage Lottery Fund-backed Discovering Derventio project.

"You can work in archaeology all your life and never find anything like that. It's incredible."
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