Welcome to Sott.net
Thu, 02 Dec 2021
The World for People who Think

Secret History
Map

Info

Solving the mysteries of Palermo's child mummies

The first ever comprehensive study of mummified children in Sicily's famous Capuchin Catacombs is being led by Staffordshire University.

Capuchin Tombs
© Staffordshire University
The vaults of the Capuchin tombs in Palermo (wood engraving by E. de S)
Dr Kirsty Squires, Associate Professor of Bioarchaeology, and her team have been given exclusive access to a previously unstudied collection of children's mummies housed in the underground cemetery of the Capuchin Convent in Palermo.

The Catacombs contain the largest collection of mummies in Europe, with over 1,284 mummified and skeletonised bodies dating from the late sixteenth to early twentieth century. Children were accepted in the Catacombs from 1787 but while extensive research has been conducted on the mummified adults, the juvenile mummies have largely been overlooked.

Dr Squires explained: "The Capuchin Catacombs comprise one of the most important collections of mummies in the world. However, there is very little documentary evidence about the children who were granted mummification and the death records from the period contain limited information. Our study will rectify this knowledge gap."

Dig

Medieval port unearthed at foot of Château de Talmont, located 5 kilometers from the seafront

Château de Talmont

Château de Talmont
[Translated from the French original that can be found here]

A preventive excavation carried out in the center of a former seigneury of the Plantagenêt empire has unearthed a number of testimonies of daily life in this former harbor on the ocean.

From the archeology of the coast, five kilometers from the seafront. In the hinterland of Sables-d'Olonne, in Talmont-Saint-Hilaire, stand the remains of a proud fortified castle built from the XIe century. Converted under the Reformation into a Protestant fortress then dismantled in 1628, under the aegis of Richelieu, the beautiful fortress is admired each year by a few thousand visitors. Tourists tempted by the ascent of this Vendée citadel abandon their cars in a car park nestled at the foot of the castle elevation. But how many know that more than five centuries ago, the most cosmopolitan luggage already docked at the stronghold of Talmont? Transported, not by carriage or on horseback, but by boat. And to a port instead of the parking lot.

Comment: See also:


Newspaper

Foreign Office secretly targeted leading British news outlets

top secret card
© John McEvoy
During the 1970s, a secret British propaganda unit named the Information Research Department (IRD) collected information on, and proposed taking counter-measures against, leading British news organisations.

Though the IRD was part of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), it also had a "Home Desk" which was tasked with domestic operations against individuals and organisations deemed threatening to British interests.

Recently declassified files show that the IRD considered covert "counter-action" against Granada's World in Action series, collated a portfolio on its journalists, and used secret sources to monitor its activities abroad. It also secretly targeted the Morning Star newspaper by encouraging journalists to expose its sources of funding, and planned to produce a dossier on the newspaper with help from the Secret Service.

While this occurred within the context of the Cold War, there is little reason to believe such practices have ended.

Gold Bar

Fifty years since the end of Bretton Woods: A geopolitical review

dollar bill coins cracked bretton woods monetary system
© REUTERS/Dado Ruvic
Ironically, it was Stalin who was responsible for the economic reconstruction of Europe and the Bretton Woods system's birth.

On August 15th, 1971, the then-president of the United States, Richard Nixon, made an eighteen-minute speech to the country whose effects impacted the world. Among other subjects, he announced the end of the dollar-gold parity, which was a shock.

First of all, that decision meant the death of the Bretton Woods Monetary System without telling what would replace it. This fact represented an abrupt change in the international economic order. Secondly, Nixon's initiative undermined the economic development strategies used since 1947, when the Cold War had started. Those strategies were called "development by invitation" in the center countries and "national developmentalism" in the peripheral ones. Thirdly, the decision strengthened the attacks against the dollar as the main currency in the world, putting more pressure on the international currency hierarchy since then. Finally, in the history of monetary standards, the abandonment of precious metals, as a reference of value, revealed the "charter nature" of money to the detriment of the metallist one.

Comment: More views on Bretton Woods and its impact on world history:


Info

New findings on Jordanian megaliths

Jordan Megaliths
© Jagiellonian University
Mysterious stone structures that appeared in different parts of the world between the Neolithic and the Bronze Age have always been one of the most interesting yet difficult problems to solve by modern archaeology. However, researchers from the JU Institute of Archaeology have taken a significant step to solve that mystery.

A research team working in southern Jordan has carried out an investigation of a dolmen field near Shoubak. Located atop a rocky hill, the spot was probably frequented by nomadic communities travelling around the Arabian Peninsula, where they built the stone structures. It turns out that the dolmens contain some information about their builders. Inside a number of them, archaeologists have found fragments of pottery, flint tools, and even skeletal remains of people who were probably buried there.

'In one of the dolmens, we've found a grave and several items, most likely buried alongside the person. We hope that lab tests will allow us to determine their time of burial, sex, health and ethnicity. Maybe it'll bring us closer to solving the mystery of the Jordanian megaliths', said the team's chief researchers Dr Piotr Kołodziejczyk.

Muffin

Longhouses of the earliest farmers from the 6th millennium BC discovered in south-western Germany

longhouse
© Universität Tübingen/Veronika Stein
Students of the Institute for Prehistory and Early History at the University of Tübingen uncovering
the foundations of a longhouse from the second half of the 6th millennium BC
Northwest of Tübingen-Unterjesingen, in the Ammenbühlen field, west of the Enzbach stream, lies a prehistoric settlement. Although the site was discovered back in 1926, hardly anything was known about the area, with the exception of a few isolated finds. In the course of recent field research, important insights into the settlement structure and the findings have now been gained.

The investigations took place within the framework of a joint project of the State Office for the Preservation of Monuments (LAD) in the Regional Council of Stuttgart and the University of Tübingen. The project on the settlement history of the Ammer Valley during the early Neolithic period was led by Prof. Dr. Raiko Krauß, Institute for Prehistory and Early History at the University of Tübingen, and Jörg Bofinger, Head of the Operative Archaeology Department at the LAD.

Comment: See also: And check out SOTT radio's: MindMatters: The Meaning of the World's Mythologies


Attention

Cosmic Origins of Halloween - An introduction by Randall Carlson

Halloween
© Borderless Journal/Creative Commons
Contrary to what many people may think, there is a deep and symbolical origin to the celebration of Halloween. More than just an opportunity for kids to dress up in costumes or an excuse for adults to party, Halloween preserves an ancient legacy of profound importance. This 30 minute video opens a window onto a powerful tradition of immense significance for the understanding of our forgotten human past and our place in the cosmos.


Info

More desert kites found hidden in sands of Saudi Arabia

Desert Kites
© Amusing Planet
MAKKAH: Crossing over into the Hail region, east of Madinah, the mystery deepens on the extent of the Arabian Peninsula's ancient desert civilizations as more desert kites are found.

The stone circles and structures, known as kites, have been found mainly in the Kingdom's western region. Aerial surveys found more nestled between the desert sands of the Great Nafud.

Believed to be Neolithic, the polygons, funnel, and triangle-looking structures are mainly concentrated near the Harrat Khaybar Lava fields in the west, some that date back to the fourth and seventh centuries B.C. The structures in Hail are found in Qaa Al-Sibaq near the town of Shuwaimis, northwest of Hail.

More than 5,800 desert kites have been discovered across Armenia, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Kazakhstan, with the highest concentration found in Syria with 2,500 kites.

Hidden treasures of the Kingdom's vast deserts remain unseen and are waiting to be discovered. Desert kites are sophisticated and well-engineered structures whose purpose remains a secret to this day.

Dr. Salma Hawsawi, a professor of ancient history at King Saud University, told Arab News that Saudi Arabia has an abundance of stone circles, kites, and structures scattered all over the Kingdom. Many desert kites were found in the area north of Madinah (Khaybar, Fadak, AlUla). The large slabs are in different shapes: Circles, triangles, ovals, raised stones, stone piles, squares, and arcs.

Hawsawi said the kites were geometric shapes that may be connected or unconnected to each other. They may be part of a building or separate, or stone piles: A group of stones on top of each other in a gradual form, not consistent in size or shape.

"Some of the triangles have small, large, and hollow bases, parallel and successive, opposite at the vertex," she said. "There are also circles with a middle point, hollow points, irregular, flat, and overlapping stones. Other shapes include circles with a square in the middle, small and large ovals, ovals overlapping with circles and squares, irregular squares, hollow and irregular rectangles, and rectangles stacked on top of each other."

Colosseum

Slaves living quarters discovered in exceptional state of preservation in Pompeii

slave room pompeii

This exceptionally well-preserved room forms part of the villa within the area of Pompeii where the ceremonial chariot and stable with harnessed horses were previously discovered
Discoveries continue to be made at Civita Giuliana, in the suburban villa to the north of Pompeii which has been studied since 2017, and from which - in the servant's quarters - have already emerged a ceremonial chariot and stable containing the remains of 3 equines, for one of which it was possible to make a cast.

Completing the context of these rooms is the latest discovery of a room used by slaves who worked in the villa.

It offers an extraordinary glimpse into a part of the ancient world that usually remains largely in the dark. The room grants us a rare insight into the daily reality of slaves, thanks to the exceptional state of preservation of the room and the possibility of creating plaster casts of beds and other objects in perishable materials which have left their imprint in the cinerite that covered the ancient structures.

Comment: The living conditions of today's poor, even in the developed world, is relatively little different to how it was back then.

See also: And check out SOTT radio's:


Boat

2,500-year-old shipwreck found off the Greek island of Kythera

Ancient Shipwreck
© IPTO
The marine survey for Crete-Peloponnese subsea interconnection, revealed a unique shipwreck of the classical era.

A unique shipwreck of the classical era was revealed during the marine survey carried out by the Independent Power Transmission Operator (IPTO) in Cythera, within the framework of the construction of Crete-Peloponnese subsea interconnection.

According to the preliminary results of the research conducted by the Ephorate of Underwater Antiquities and the Hellenic Center for Marine Research (HCMR), with funding from IPTO, the shipwreck which was located at a depth of 222 meters, dates from the end of the 5th to the mid-4th century B.C.

Amphoras originating from Corfu, Skopelos and Chios were identified in the cargo deck of the sunken ship, a fact that indicates developed commercial activity in the Aegean and the Ionian Sea. The completion of the three-dimensional imaging of the shipwreck, which is in progress, is expected to give an even clearer view of the size of the vessel and the volume of its cargo.