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Sat, 12 Jun 2021
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"The mighty snake firmly resolved to harm the men": The last 12,000 years

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© Unknown
The mighty snake firmly resolved to harm the men. [from the Walam Olum]

Although we cannot yet say specifically how our ancestors were affected by the interaction of Earth with a large, short period, comet over the past 12,000 or more years, there are certain aspects that can be discerned by combining elements of what we have discovered about our past. One thing that most of us are familiar with is a tradition that claims humanity once lived in a world of abundance and did not have to work very hard to live well. In most cultures that retain a notion of this land of happy and easy living the good times are brought to an end by the activities of some powerful serpent-like creature. Such a tradition of prior abundance is really not at odds with what we presently know of Pleistocene conditions and we have recently discovered through ice core and other time defining studies that this era of rich flora and fauna ended quite abruptly around 11,000 years ago. If we assume that a large comet had something to do with this rapid change then we have a pretty clear picture of why our ancestors' stories invoke an image of a serpent-like creature destroying this pleasant time.

What is interesting about this conjecture is the fact that we will be able to establish whether interaction with comet debris caused this deterioration of conditions and, if indeed this was the reason, then the basis for some of the tales that have come down to us becomes much more understandable. It seems very likely now that much of the lore dealing with gods of the sky are metaphorical descriptions of the history of this comet as it literally fell into pieces from being exposed to both the heat of the sun and the many gravitational forces tugging on it along its less than four year Earth-crossing orbit. Thus, seemingly nonsensical statements such as Athena being born fully formed from the head of Zeus can be seen as lore that interprets the splitting of a comet as the birth of a new god.

Blackbox

Scientists 'step closer' to solving Stonehenge mystery

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© Unknown
It is a mystery that has baffled geologists and historians for centuries... how were the Stonehenge rocks transported from Wales' Preseli mountains to their resting place 120 miles away.

Scientists are today one step closer to solving the 4,000-year- old mystery after making their most significant discovery in 15 years.

Of the six to eight different bluestone types found in the inner circle of rocks on Salisbury Plain, only one, the so- called "spotted dolerite", was convincingly traced to the Mynydd Preseli area in north Pembrokeshire in the early 1920s.

But modern technology has now assisted geologists at Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales - in creating a "fingerprint" for one of the other rock types found in Wiltshire.

And that "fingerprint" has been identically matched to stones found in an area north of the Mynydd Preseli range, in the vicinity of Pont Saeson.

Meteor

6th Century Wasteland: Secret Volcano or Cosmic Interaction?

Cosmic Horror
© The Cosmic Tusk

I was not surprised to see the paper below this week in Science. I have read all of Mike Baillie's books, as well as Catastrophe by David Keys, leaving me feeling as though I had actually lived through the 6th Century.

The inescapable conclusion of the popular books and the hard science is that something quite horrid happened during this period. Dr. Baillie, one the world's most experienced and published dendrochronologists, has maintained for over a decade that the sum of all the evidence; tree rings, ice chemistry and (heretically) written accounts from the time, suggest that it was a horror from above - not below - that led to the worldwide decline of trees, global cultural upheavals, and human health reversals such as the Justinian Plague.

As might be expected, other scientists disagreed with Baillie's conclusion and instead finger an unidentified equatorial volcano for the misery of the era. Chief among these critics is Keith Briffa of "Climategate" fame.

Over the next week or two, the Tusk plans to dig more deeply in the drift of evidence for the ~536 event and it's cause. I hope to bring attention to what I believe is another attempt to brush away the reasoned conclusion of a respected mainstream scientist - Mike Balllie - by a group of thinkers consumed by an agenda that discourages free inquiry or alternative explanations.

Meteor

Survival of the Fittest of the Luckiest: Cosmic Catastrophes and The Evolution of Life

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© Unknown
There seems to be a tendency to set evolution and catastrophism as opposite ways of thinking. That's a big misunderstanding. As if Darwin or the concept of evolution would need some defending against some mystical, religious or supernatural concepts, there is coined the term punctuated evolution. I see no need for any such term. Evolution as a theory in the form as Darwin put it, needs refinements in the same way as Einstein refined the theories of Newton. Nothing more, nothing less.

So what has changed since Darwin to warrant this discussion or, more specifically, what has to be added or refined? In short, the paraphrase of the "survival of the fittest" must be enlarged to the "survival of the fittest of the luckiest". Evolution as such has no ultimate goal. It has only temporary goals, as long as we see the universe as a changing place.

Taking as an example our home planet, the Earth, it seemed for billions of years, from some 3.8 billion of years ago (when the bombardment in the Solar System lowered to its nowaday level) to some 800 million years ago, a suitable place for micro-organisms to fill every niche available to them. At some places there most probably was some cooperation between some micro-organisms that was nearly or exactly like multi-cellular life.

Comment: Although there are good reasons to question the established theory of evolution the way it is described in this article (like the story of human migration out of Africa, for example), the reality of the situation is, that evolution on this planet, exposed to a periodic bombardment from space, was indeed marked by the survival of the fittest of the luckiest. And it looks like it might happen again...and rather soon.


Eye 2

Japanese government conducted macabre human experiments during WWII

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© Itsuo Inouye/AP
Toyo Ishii, a former military nurse, broke her 60-year silence about Unit 731 in 2006.
Former Tokyo medical school site is linked to Unit 731, branch of imperial army which used prisoners in germ warfare programme

Authorities in Japan have begun excavating the former site of a medical school that may contain the remains of victims of the country's wartime biological warfare programme.

The school has links to Unit 731, a branch of the imperial Japanese army that conducted lethal experiments on prisoners as part of efforts to develop weapons of mass destruction.

The Japanese government has previously acknowledged the unit's existence but refused to discuss its activities, despite testimony from former members and growing documentary evidence. In 2002 a Japanese court said Tokyo was under no obligation to compensate victims.

The government agreed to launch a ¥100m (£741,000) investigation after Toyo Ishii, a former nurse, said she had helped bury body parts on the site as the US occupation forces moved into Tokyo at the end of the second world war. Officials said so far there was no evidence the site had been used for experiments.

Sherlock

Roman fort dig near Neath school unearths new secrets

Roman Fort Neath School
© BBC
The site at Dwr-y-Felin Comprehensive School was occupied by a Roman timber fort in the 1st Century, before it was replaced by a stone version
Excavation work on the site of a Roman fort near a school has revealed what archaeologists believe are structures never previously seen in the UK.

The dig in the playing fields of Dwr-y-Felin Comprehensive Upper School in Neath has uncovered sections of the defences of the 1st Century building.

These include a defence tower partially set outside its ramparts allowing soldiers to shoot at gate attackers.

A fort was in occupation on the site until at least the 3rd Century.

Richard Lewis, head of projects at the Glamorgan/Gwent Archaeological Trust, said: "It's certainly of high importance in Wales and the UK because nobody has been able to expose as large an area as we have".

Brick Wall

World's first skyscraper? A monument to intimidation, or something else?

Discovered by archaeologists in 1952, a 28-foot-high stone tower discovered on the edge of the town of Jericho has puzzled scientists ever since. Now, 11,000 years after it was built, Tel Aviv University archaeologists at the ancient site Tel Jericho are revealing new facts about the world's first "skyscraper."

Tower Tel Jericho
© American Friends of Tel Aviv University
This is a view of the interior of the tower at Tel Jericho.

Recent computer-based research by doctoral student Roy Liran and Dr. Ran Barkai of Tel Aviv University's Jacob M. Alkow Department of Archaeology and Ancient Near Eastern Cultures at the Lester and Sally Entin Faculty of Humanities sheds light on who built the 28-foot-high tower - and why.

The researchers note that this is the first instance of human beings erecting such a tall structure, even before the transition to agriculture and food production in the region. Liran and Dr. Barkai now believe that the tower, which required about ten years to build, is an indication of power struggles at the beginning of the Neolithic period, and that a particular person or people exploited the primeval fears of Jericho's residents in persuading them to build it. The new revelations about the ancient tower were recently published in the journal Antiquity.

"In the newly published article, we present a new and exciting discovery," Liran and Dr. Barkai said in a joint statement, "which is connected to the exact position of the tower on the edges of the village of Jericho, and the shadow that covers the site when the sun sets on the longest day of the year."

Magnify

Altar of the Twelve Gods sees the Light

Archaeologists hope to persuade ISAP to stop renovation work that may compromise ancient monument.

Renovation work on the aged Piraeus-Kifissia electric railway (ISAP) on the stretch between the central Athenian neighborhoods of Monastiraki and Thisseio have brought to light one of the most exciting archaeological discoveries of recent years.

Archaeologists believe that remnants found during construction in the area of the Ancient Agora, on the northwestern slope of the Acropolis, belong to the famed Altar of the Twelve Gods, one of Athens's most ancient monuments and a landmark that marked the very center of ancient city, from which all distances were measured -- like an ancient Syntagma Square, which marks the starting point in terms of street numbers.

Info

Skull in Underwater Cave May Be Earliest Trace of First Americans

Pre-Mayan Find_1
© Daniel Riordan-Araujo
PET/GUE Divers descend into the abyss at Hoyo Negro.
Explorers have discovered what might be the oldest evidence of humans in the Americas.

Alex Alvarez, Franco Attolini, and Alberto (Beto) Nava are members of PET (Projecto Espeleológico de Tulum), an organization that specializes in the exploration and survey of underwater caves on the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico.

Alex, Franco and Beto have surveyed tens of thousands of feet of mazelike cave passages in the state of Quintana Roo. The team's relatively recent explorations of a large pit named Hoyo Negro (Black Hole, in Spanish), deep within a flooded cave, resulted in their breathtaking and once-in-a-lifetime discovery of the remains of an Ice Age mastodon and a human skull at the very bottom of the black abyss.

Beto recalls the amazing day of the discovery of Hoyo Negro.

"We started the exploration while following the main tunnel and progressed relatively fast by using scooters to cover more terrain.

"After about 1,500 feet [450 meters] we began to see the light of another entrance, so we headed towards it and surfaced.

"After taking a moment to chat and laugh about what a great dive we were having, we dropped down to continue the work."

Pharoah

Egyptian stolen treasures: Hawass implicated

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© Tara Todras-Whitehill, AP
Flanked by special forces, antiquities chief Zahi Hawass speaks at Cairo's Egyptian Museum last Monday. But did he actually have his loyal thugs steal artifacts then blame it on the protesters?
Translation from Arabic of the YouTube interview with an Egyptian Manager of Antiquity Locations: Nour el din Abdel Samad

First I would like to start by saying he is an employee of the Ministry of Antiquities

[This is my first translation I hope I have done it justice. -- Anonymous Translator]

Note: What follows is a rough translation of the video interview published by the Arabic site: www.alwafd.org.

(Some spelling errors have been corrected however for the most part the translation from Arabic to English has not been professionally proof read).

Click Here to view the original YouTube video interview in Arabic.