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'Cultic' temple, 10,000-year-old house discovered in Israel

Archaeologists say they've uncovered some stunning finds while digging at a construction site in Israel, including stone axes, a "cultic" temple and traces of a 10,000-year-old house. The discoveries provide a "broad picture" of human development over thousands of years, from the time when people first started settling in homes to the early days of urban planning, officials with the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) said.
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© IAA
The excavation took place at Eshtaol, located about 15 miles (25 kilometers) west of Jerusalem, in preparation of the widening of an Israeli road. The oldest discovery at the site was a building from the eighth millennium B.C., during the Neolithic period. [See Photos of the Excavations at Eshtaol]

"This is the first time that such an ancient structure has been discovered in the Judean Shephelah," archaeologists with the IAA said, referring to the plains west of Jerusalem.

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Oldest Buddha shrine dates birth to 6th century B.C.

© Ira Block/National Geographic
Pilgrims meditate by a stone pillar erected by the ancient king Asoka in the third century B.C., with the Maya Devi Temple in the background.
The birthplace of the Buddha has been found in Nepal, revealing that the origins of Buddhism date to the sixth century B.C., according to archaeologists. What's more, evidence of tree roots at the birth site reinforce the mythology of Buddha's birth under a tree.

The excavations took place within the already sacred Maya Devi Temple at Lumbini, Nepal, a UNESCO World Heritage site long thought to have been the Buddha's birthplace.

The archaeological team dug under a series of brick temples at the site and unearthed a previously unknown sixth-century B.C. timber structure. It is described in the latest issue of the journal Antiquity.

The timber structure contains an open space in the center that links to the nativity story of the Buddha himself.

"By placing the life of the Gautama Buddha firmly into the sixth century B.C. we can understand the exact character of the social and economic context in which he taught - it was a time of dramatic change with the introduction of coinage, the concept of the state, urbanization, the growth of merchants and the middle classes," Robin Coningham, co-leader of the project, told Discovery News.

"The discovery of evidence of tree roots in the center of the earliest shrines at Lumbini - the presence of a tree shrine - add a real physical perspective to the Buddhist traditions of his life story, which associated Lumbini with the Buddha's birth under a tree," added Coningham, who is an archaeologist at Durham University.

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Battle for the Red Lady of Paviland: Welsh politician asks Oxford University to return 30,000-year-old skeleton to its homeland

  • The Red Lady of Paviland is actually the skeleton of a man and got its name as it was dyed in red ochre, giving its bones the unusual colour
  • It is the oldest ceremonial burial of a human discovered in Western Europe
  • Byron Davies, the Assembly Member for South Wales, has asked Oxford University to return the remains of the man who was buried in Gower
A Welsh politician has picked a fight with Oxford University by asking for the return of one of Wales' oldest treasures.

The university is currently the custodian of a 33,000-year-old skeleton that received the oldest ceremonial burial in Western Europe.

But Byron Davies, the Assembly Member for South Wales, has asked the university to return the remains of the person known as the Red Lady of Paviland, who was buried in Gower, Wales.
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The 'Red Lady of Paviland' was discovered in a limestone cave in Gower in 1823 by a geology professor at the Oxford University, where it is kept. Here, Museum Assistant Lisa Roberts is pictured with the remains when they were on show at the National Museum and Galleries of Wales in Cardiff
The skeleton, which is actually that of a man, got its name as it was dyed in red ochre, giving its bones the unusual colour.

It was discovered in a limestone cave in Gower in 1823 by a geology professor at the university, which is why the skeleton has been under lock and key in Oxford ever since.

It is still the oldest ceremonial burial of a human discovered in Western Europe.

Oxford University said the skeleton is one of the iconic relics of the British Palaeolithic, and a cast of the skeleton is on permanent display, along with related artefacts, at the Oxford University Museum of Natural History.

Book

Essential books on JFK's assassination

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Earlier this month Salon's David Talbot wrote the best summation pointing to why unanswered questions, government secrecy and media cover-up over the JFK assassination matter even more than a 'black hole' pursuit of the actual identity of the shooter.

For over 20 years I have studied the assassination and have come to believe that the American electorate's persistent majority belief in more than one shooter and in a conspiracy is rooted as much in a gnawing sense that the President of the United States is not the supreme authority in the land (no matter how many insist on calling POTUS 'the must powerful man in the world,') as anything else. It is this sense that unseen persons and powers operate above and outside of elected authority which undergirds the passionate insistence that more than one shooter is responsible for what happened on November 22, 1963. That such 'outlaw' elite authorities are apolitical and never abusive of their unbridled power is nonsense, the electorate is sure.

Comment: There are other excellent books out there, of course, and one SOTT.net highly recommends is A Secret Order: Investigating the High Strangeness and Synchronicity in the JFK Assassination
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Hanging garden marvel may not be Babylon's

A British academic believes she has identified the precise spot of the elusive Hanging Gardens of Babylon - in one of the most dangerous places on earth

© Alamy
Ancient texts may have revealed what could be the site of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon.
It is the only one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World for which the location has for centuries remained elusive.

Now, though, an academic from Oxford University believes she has solved one of the world's last great archaeological mysteries by identifying the precise spot on which the Hanging Gardens of Babylon once stood.

Dr Stephanie Dalley focused her search hundreds of miles north of the site of the ancient city of Babylon, now near Hillah, in central Iraq, to support her theory that the lush, elevated marvel was in fact built near the city of Ninevah, in the north of the country.

From piecing together clues from ancient texts, the academic has uncovered evidence that the gardens were in fact produced not by the Babylonians and their king Nebuchadnezzar, as has traditionally been assumed, but rather by their neighbours and foes, the Assyrians under their monarch, Sennacherib, around 2,700 years ago.

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Group of cannibal Neanderthals 'butchered 12 of their neighbours including children and ate them for dinner', say scientists after discovering grim remains in Spain

  • Scientists used modern forensic techniques to analyse ancient remains
  • Bones were discovered in a deep cave, and had been stripped of meat
  • Neanderthal family, including a child of two, were killed and eaten
  • Killers believed to be from a neighbouring tribe
A group of Neanderthals killed and ate their fellow ancient humans, including young children, scientists have found.

Using modern forensics techniques, including DNA analysis, the researchers found that 12 Neanderthals, all from the same family, had been eaten by their peers.

In research presented to the Royal Society in London, biologist Carles Lalueza-Fox, said that the bones of the victims had been cracked open to extract the marrow, while the skulls were opened so brains and tongues could be eaten.

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Butchered: Scientists have found that a family of Neanderthals were killed and eaten by their fellow ancient humans (file picture)
Remains, discovered at the El Sidrón cave system, near Asturias, in north western Spain, included the bones of three female and three male adults, three teenage boys and three children aged between two and nine-years-old.

Sherlock

Acid rain, ozone depletion contributed to ancient extinction

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© Benjamin Black
This photo taken along Kotuy River in Arctic Siberia shows the base of the Siberian Traps volcanic sequence
Around 250 million years ago, at the end of the Permian period, there was a mass extinction so severe that it remains the most traumatic known species die-off in Earth's history. Some researchers have suggested that this extinction was triggered by contemporaneous volcanic eruptions in Siberia. New results from a team including Director of Carnegie's Department of Terrestrial Magnetism Linda Elkins-Tanton show that the atmospheric effects of these eruptions could have been devastating. Their work is published in Geology.

The mass extinction included the sudden loss of more than 90 percent of marine species and more than 70 percent of terrestrial species and set the stage for the rise of the dinosaurs. The fossil record suggests that ecological diversity did not fully recover until several million years after the main pulse of the extinction. One leading candidate for the cause of this event is gas released from a large swath of volcanic rock in Russia called the Siberian Traps. Using advanced 3-D modeling techniques, the team, led by Benjamin Black of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, was able to predict the impacts of gas released from the Siberian Traps on the end-Permian atmosphere.

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Lee Harvey Oswald's girlfriend: Oswald was innocent & saved Kennedy's life 3 weeks prior

© CudahyNow
With the 50 year anniversary of the JFK Assassination today We Are Change caught up with Judyth Baker, Lee Harvey Oswald's ex-girlfriend. Judyth goes in-depth about their relationship and is speaking out about her belief that Oswald was framed. Lets not forget, our government at the time already had many other devious plots they planned to partake in, such as Operation Northwoods.

Operation Northwoods, Which eerily sounds similar to the events that took place on September 11, 2001, had the written approval of the Chairman and every member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, called for innocent people to be shot on American streets; for boats carrying refugees fleeing Cuba to be sunk on the high seas; for a wave of violent terrorism to be launched in Washington, D.C., Miami, and elsewhere.

People would be framed for bombings they did not commit; planes would be hijacked. Using phony evidence, all of it would be blamed on Castro, thus giving Lemnitzer and his cabal the excuse, as well as the public and international backing, they needed to launch their war This is an elementary military maneuver called a "False Flag". JFK rebuked this plan and single-handedly prevented this tragedy. It may have played a key role in his assassination.

We Are Change caught up with Lee Harvey Oswald's former girlfriend Judyth Baker. Judy in the video below goes in-depth on why she thinks Oswald is innocent. She also explains that Oswald saved Kennedy's life 3 weeks prior and it doesn't make sense that he would kill Kennedy. One can only wonder if he wanted him dead, why would he save his life 3 weeks prior?

Sherlock

Archaeologists find sunken Nazi sub in Indonesia with 17 skeletons

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© AFP/National Archaeology Centre
Indonesian researchers said on Thursday they have discovered what is believed to be the wreck of a German submarine that was torpedoed off the main island of Java during World War II.

Indonesian researchers said Thursday they have discovered what is believed to be the wreck of a German submarine that was torpedoed off the main island of Java during World War II.

A team found the wreck - which contained at least 17 human skeletons - north of Java earlier this month after a tip-off from local divers.

Researchers believe it is submarine "U-168", which succeeded in sinking several allied vessels before itself being torpedoed by a Dutch submarine in 1944.

"This is the first time we have found a foreign submarine from the war in our waters," said Bambang Budi Utomo, head of the research team at the National Archaeology Centre that found the vessel.

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Ancient neanderthal viruses discovered in modern human DNA

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Ancient Neanderthal Viruses Discovered in Modern Human DNA
Traces of ancient Neanderthal viruses were discovered in modern human DNA by Oxford University and Plymouth University researchers.

Studies conducted on ancient Neanderthals have caught the fancy of many researchers worldwide. Not only are such studies interesting, they also reveal many unknown facts about the evolution of mankind. In one such study, researchers from Oxford University and Plymouth University discovered traces of ancient Neanderthal viruses in modern human DNA, reveals a press release.

For the study, researchers examined genetic data from fossils of Neanderthals and another group of ancient human ancestors called Denisovans and compared their findings to DNA data of modern-day cancer patients. The comparison led to the discovery that ancient Neanderthal viruses originated in our common ancestors more than half a million years ago.

Approximately 8 percent of a person's DNA is made up of endogenous retroviruses (ERVs) which are DNA sequences constructed from viruses that are passed from generation to generation. These DNA sequences are also part of the 90 percent human DNAs whose functions are not yet known, commonly referred to as "junk" DNA.

Comment: For more information on this topic, see our forum discussion The Neanderthal Legacy by Paul Mellars and
On viral 'junk' DNA, a DNA-enhancing Ketogenic diet, and cometary kicks