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Sun, 10 Dec 2023
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Secret History


Scott Ritter: No 'end of history' in Ukraine

© Fronteiras do Pensamento/Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0
Francis Fukuyama in 2016
Francis Fukuyama's triumphalist post-Cold War vision of liberal democracy — published in 1989 — had a major blindspot. It omitted history.
"What we are witnessing is not just the end of the Cold War, or a passing of a particular period of postwar history, but the end of history as such: that is, the end point of mankind's ideological evolution and the universalization of Western liberal democracy as the final form of human government."
These words, written by the American political scientist Francis Fukuyama, who in 1989 published "The End of History," an article that turned the academic world upside down.

Fukuyama wrote:
"Liberal democracy replaces the irrational desire to be recognized as greater than others with a rational desire to be recognized as equal.

"A world made up of liberal democracies, then, should have much less incentive for war, since all nations would reciprocally recognize one another's legitimacy. And indeed, there is substantial empirical evidence from the past couple of hundred years that liberal democracies do not behave imperialistically toward one another, even if they are perfectly capable of going to war with states that are not democracies and do not share their fundamental values."
But there was a catch.


100-year-old origin theory of Stonehenge's iconic Altar Stone could be wrong, scientists say

© Drone Explorer/Shutterstock
A new analysis of the Altar Stone at Stonehenge suggests it may have come from as far north as Scotland, allowing for "creative thinking" about its archaeological significance.

The largest stone in Stonehenge's inner circle, known as the Altar Stone, may have come from farther afield than its neighboring monoliths — possibly even from northern England or Scotland, according to a new study that questions a 100-year-old idea about the stone's origins.

A century has passed since British geologist Herbert Henry Thomas published his seminal 1923 study on Stonehenge, in which he traced the origin of the "bluestones" that make up the monument's inner circle to the Preseli Hills in western Wales. Among these bluestones — so called because they acquire a bluish tinge when wet or freshly broken and to distinguish them from the "sarsen" stones that make up the outer circle — Thomas included a 16-foot-long (4.9 meters) flat-lying, gray-green slab of stone known as the Altar Stone.

"It seems as though he wanted all the non-sarsen stones to come from a limited geographic area and this basic assertion has not been challenged for 100 years," Richard Bevins, an honorary professor of geology and Earth sciences at Aberystwyth University in Wales who led the new research, told Live Science in an email.


The Lost Men of Carrhae: The Enigma of a Roman Legion in Ancient China

A man from Liqian, China
© Johnathon Kos-Read/ CC BY ND 2.0
A man in Liqian, China. There is debate whether his village was inhabited by Roman soldiers from the lost legion of Carrhae.
Rome and China stand as two monumental civilizations that significantly influenced the societies under their dominion. Despite their immense impact, these two cultures seemingly remained largely separate from one another. Consequently, any instances of interaction between them have intrigued historians. Such captivating tales include the legend of Carrhae's lost legion, believed by some to have found their way to Liqian, China.

Comment: Roman Descendants Found in China?


New statues found in Göbeklitepe and Karahantepe: The first painted neolithic statue was discovered

New Statues Composite
© Arkeolojik Haber
New discoveries that will leave their mark on art history were made during the Stone Hills (Taş Tepeler) archaeological excavations. The first painted neolithic statue was unearthed from Göbeklitepe. The 2.3 meter high human statue in Karahantepe evokes a seated person with ribs, spine and shoulder bones emphasized. Remains of red, white and black pigments attract attention on the surface of the life-size wild boar statue made of limestone in Structure D of Göbeklitepe

New finds were discovered in Göbeklitepe and Karahantepe. At around 12,000 years old, Göbekli Tepe is the world's oldest megalithic site - and it has a "sister site" called Karahantepe.

A recent discovery in the world's oldest religious sanctuary, Göbeklitepe, "Potbelly Hill" in Turkish, which is described as the "zero point of history" has revealed a painted wild boar statue.

The UNESCO World Heritage site of Göbeklitepe has changed the way historians and archaeologists think about the cradle of civilization. And there is so much more to be discovered.

A painted wild boar statue was discovered during ongoing excavations in Göbeklitepe. The artifact, which contained red, white, and black pigment residues on its surface, was the first painted sculpture found from its period to the present day.

As part of the Taş Tepeler project, which sheds light on prehistory and has seen highly significant discoveries on a global scale, the archaeological excavations carried out in 2023 in 9 different areas have recently led to the discovery of human and animal statues.

Eye 2

Stakeknife: The Inside Story of The British Spooks Who Ran the IRA

Freddie Scappaticci funeral of IRA  Larry Marley
© Pacemaker
Freddie Scappaticci at the 1987 funeral of IRA man Larry Marley.
Just as Rome was not built in a day, so also was this abnegation of Ireland and everything Irish not done in the seven or so days it took God to create the world.

Freddie Scappaticci, Stakeknife was, according to the book's blurb, "the British spy who played a leading role in the British intelligence war against the Provisional IRA." Stakeknife, along with John Joe McGee, another British intelligence plant, ran the IRA's Nutting Squad, the IRA's MI6 equivalent, which brutally dispatched spies and those Stakeknife, McGee and their fellow MI6 agents further up the food chain lied were MI6 spies. Typical of their victims was widowed mother of 10 Jean McConville, who was buried like a dog in an unmarked grave on an isolated beach close to the Irish border where Gerry Adams, Stakeknife's alleged controller, regularly walked his dogs.

Although there is an impressive library on the war crimes Stakeknife, McGee and Adams are implicated in, O'Rawe is uniquely placed to shed new light on these British funded criminals because he was publicity officer for the Provisional IRA's blanket men prisoners, ten of whom, including Bobby Sands, seen here with MI6 agent Denis Donaldson, died by hunger strike, and the last six of whom died, so O'Rawe's previous book convincingly argues, because Adams, Donaldson, Stakeknife and their MI6 pals wanted to milk the maximum amount of political leverage from their martyrdom.


Archaeologists have discovered a horse skeleton with a bronze curb bit in its jaw at the Çavuştepe excavations

Horse Skeleton
© Özkan Bilgin/AA
A horse skeleton with a bronze curb bit (a metal piece inserted into its mouth to guide the mount) was found in the Çavuştepe castle belonging to the Urartians who ruled in the Eastern Anatolia Region.

Çavuştepe Castle was constructed by Urartian King Sarduri II. in 750 BC.

The ongoing excavations at Çavuştepe Castle and the necropolis area north of the castle are being led by Prof. Dr. Rafet Çavuşoğlu, who is the Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Van Yüzüncü Yıl University (YYÜ).

For the first time in Urartian history, a curb bit in the form of a ring has come to light.

Last year, at the location where a skeleton believed to belong to the Urartian ruling class was unearthed, this year an at skeleton with a bronze curb bit (a metal piece inserted into the horse's mouth to control it) was found, as well.

Wine n Glass

Roman soldiers in northern Bulgaria used built-in 'fridge' to keep their wine cool

roman wine fridge refridgerator
© Piotr Dyczek
The new find is similar to a Roman-constructed primitive refrigerator discovered at the site last year.
Fragments of wine glasses, bowls, and animal bones offer evidence for their last meal.

Roman soldiers occupying what is now northern Bulgaria along the Danube River had to deal with all manner of uprisings against the empire, but at least they could keep their wine reasonably cool. Archaeologists have discovered a 2,000-year-old built-in ceramic structure they believe was used to store wine and perishable foods.

It's a rare find and the second such "refrigerator" to be discovered at a former fortress at the archaeological site of Novae. The first was found last year: a container made of ceramic plates beneath the floor of a military barracks room. It was most likely used to store food, based on the ceramic vessels and small baked bone fragments found along with it, as well as charcoal and a bowl that may have been used to burn incense to ward off insects.

Russian Flag

Remember, no colonialism: Why Russia did not participate in the 'Scramble for Africa'

Russia-Africa Summit
© Sputnik / Ilya Pitalev
Russia-Africa Summit and Economic and Humanitarian Forum
It is typically believed that Russia became actively involved in Africa only in the second half of the 20th century. Of course, it is true that, for ideological reasons, the Soviet Union supported decolonization, invested significant funds in the socio-economic development of the continent, and sent military advisers and volunteers to defend the independence of the young African nations. In the 20th century, the USSR became one of the main partners of African countries.

However, the real history of Russian-African relations goes much further back than the last 50 years. By the 18th and 19th centuries, the Russian Empire was already actively involved in the affairs of the African continent - but not in the same way as other European powers, which actively took part in 'the Scramble for Africa' and brutally divided the continent between their colonial empires.

Resourceful diplomats and travelers promoted Russian interests in Africa, fought against the slave trade, and denounced racism long before the liberation movements of the 20th century. Bold adventurers took part in daring colonial expeditions, courageous military advisers helped Africans resist advanced European armies, and brave volunteers fought alongside the local population against the vast British Empire.

Now that Russia is making a political comeback in Africa and its influence on the continent is growing, it is particularly important to know how these relations began and developed over the centuries. Below, RT gives a historical overview of the relationship between the Russian Empire and Africa.


Bronze Age hexagonal 'pyramid' not like anything 'found before in the Eurasian steppe'

Archaeologists in Kazakhstan have discovered a hexagonal pyramid that served as a burial site in the Bronze Age.
Hexagonal-shaped pyramid in Kazakhstan.
© Ulan Umitkaliyev
An aerial view of the hexagonal-shaped pyramid in Kazakhstan. Notice how the inner stone walls form a maze-like path that leads toward the burial site at its center.
Archaeologists in Kazakhstan have discovered a 3,800-year-old hexagon-shaped structure that they describe as a "pyramid." The maze-like structure is not as tall as Egypt's monuments, but currently stands about 10 feet (3 meters) high and likely served as an elite burial site.

The discovery is not like anything "found before in the Eurasian steppe," according to a statement from Eurasian National University in Kazakhstan.

"This pyramid on the territory of Eastern Kazakhstan was found this year," Ulan Umitkaliyev, the head of Eurasian National University's archaeology and ethnology department who is leading excavations at the site, told Live Science in an email. "It is hexagonal in shape, with megaliths weighing up to 1 ton [0.9 metric tons] placed in each corner."

While archaeologists use the term "pyramid" or "step pyramid" to describe it, the Bronze Age monument is unlike the pyramids found in Egypt. Its outer stone walls form a hexagon, the structure's inner walls look like a maze that leads to a grave at its heart. Parts of it were once covered by an earthen mound, Umitkaliyev added. It's not clear if there was ever a roof over part of the structure or whether it was entirely open air.


A new Indo-European language discovered in the Hittite capital Hattusa

Lion Gate Hattuşa Capital of Hittite Empire, Çorum
© historicalsites.goturkiye.com/
Lion Gate Hattuşa Capital of Hittite Empire, Çorum.
The Çorum Provincial Directorate of Culture and Tourism announced in a written statement that a new Indo-European language was discovered during excavations in the Boğazkale district of Çorum, which is home to Hattusa, the capital of the Hittites.

The Hittites lived in Anatolia around 3,500 years ago. They recorded state treaties and decrees, prayers, myths, and incantation rituals on clay tablets - in a language that could only be deciphered around 100 years ago. The basis for this is around 30,000 manuscripts, which are predominantly written in the Hittite language, but also to a lesser extent in other languages such as Luwian or Palaian. Now a new one has been added to these languages.

The Hittites, one of the most mysterious and powerful civilizations in Anatolian history, empire rose with the invention of the alphabet when humanity transitioned from the Middle to the late Bronze Age in the late 14th and 12th centuries B.C.

We know that they were one of the greatest military powers of their time - after all, they went head-to-head with the great pharaohs of Egypt, such as Ramesses the Great, before their power was finally put in check by the world's first peace treaty. And then one day, in around 1,180 B.C., their powerful empire suddenly broke apart, splintering into independent Neo-Hittite city-states, which slowly and mysteriously disappeared off the face of the earth.