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Tue, 25 Jan 2022
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Sophisticated, artistic, trading internationally: What the Culduthel dig tells us about Scotland's pre-historic Highlanders


Various images from the excavation of the Iron Age craft village at Culduthel, Inverness.
Various images from the excavation of the Iron Age craft village at Culduthel, Inverness.

Anyone who imagines the Highlands 2,000 years ago to be wild, woolly and primitive should think again.

The newly-published findings of an archaeological dig at Culduthel, on the southern outskirts of Inverness, have revealed an Iron Age craft village manned by exceptionally skilled artisans, producing goods from iron, bronze and glass for international trade.

The dig was carried out by Headland Archaeology prior to a housing development by Tulloch Homes.

The excavation team at Culduthel, Inverness. Supplied by Headland Archaeology.

Comment: See also:

Magic Hat

The origins of the ancient Etruscans

Etruscan bas-relief of a sarcophagus depicting Ulysses
© Leemage/Corbis via Getty Images
Etruscan civilization, 4th century BC : Bas-relief of a sarcophagus showing Ulysses tied to the mast to resist to the song of sirens, from Volterra, Pisa province, Italy - Archaeological Museum, Florence.
Unearthing ancient relics can tell you many things about a ghost civilization, but where you found those relics is not necessarily where those long-lost people came from.

For years, the origins of the Etruscans remained an unsolved mystery. They inhabited central Italy for two thousand years before the Roman Empire flourished and were thought to have emerged there. However, there were suspicions that they migrated from somewhere else (not in an Ancient Aliens type of way). Where their strange — and now dead — language came from is unknown, but it was definitely not Indo-European. So how did they materialize?

Researcher Cosmio Psoth of the University of Tübingen, who recently coauthored a study in Science Advances, revealed they crossed the steppes of what is now Russia and Ukraine to reach the Italian peninsula of Etruria. This disproves the assumption that language and origins are always related in some way or another. Etruscan genes were relatively stable until the Roman Empire took over, and conquering rulers seized foreign lands and brought in new blood.

"The Etruscans carried the steppe-related genetic component derived from populations that likely spread Indo-European languages across Italy. Nevertheless, they preserved their cultural and linguistic identity," Psoth told SYFY WIRE.

Blue Planet

41,500-year-old ivory pendant found in cave in Poland may be oldest human-decorated jewelry in Eurasia

ivory pendant
© Antonino Vazzana/BONES Lab
Two different views of the pendant, crafted from mammoth ivory. The scale bar is 1 centimeter. The decorations might be tied to cycles of the sun or moon.
Archaeologists in Poland have discovered the remains of a 41,500-year-old pendant made of mammoth ivory and decorated with puncture marks, which is the oldest piece of jewelry decorated by modern humans in Eurasia on record.

The pendant, which is now in two pieces, was found during archaeological excavations carried out in Stajnia Cave, Poland, in 2010, and recent radiocarbon work dates it to around 41,500 years ago, a team of scientists reported in a paper published online Thursday (Nov. 25) in the journal Scientific Reports.

"The decoration of the pendant included patterns of over 50 puncture marks in an irregular looping curve, and two complete holes," the team said in a statement. They noted that each puncture could represent a successful animal hunt or cycles of the moon or sun.

Comment: See also: And check out SOTT radio's:


Ancient Chinese society that collapsed more than 4,000 years ago was wiped out by flooding: study

UNESCO World Heritage Centre Archaeological Ruins of Liangzhu City

UNESCO World Heritage Centre
Archaeological Ruins of Liangzhu City
More than 4,000 years ago, one of the most advanced societies in ancient China, referred to as "China's Venice of the Stone Age" for its complex water management system, disappeared suddenly.

The reason for the abrupt collapse of Liangzhu City hasn't been clear until now, but according to a new study published in the journal Science Advances, the city was wiped out not by war or famine but by an unusually heavy monsoon season, which flooded the region.

The ruins of Liangzhu City can be found in the Yangtze Delta, around 160 kilometres southwest of Shanghai, all that remains of an advanced society that existed around 5,300 years ago.

Star of David

Jack Ruby: Israel's Smoking Gun

Comment: At the end of this article is a must-watch documentary - Assassination of The Kennedy Brothers - made by the author.

Jack Ruby JFK Oswald
By a strange paradox, most Kennedy researchers who believe that Oswald was "just a patsy" spend an awful lot of time exploring his biography. This is about as useful as investigating Osama bin Laden for solving 9/11. Any serious quest for the real assassins of JFK should start by investigating the man who shot Oswald at pointblank in the stomach at 11:21 a.m. on November 24, 1963 in the Dallas Police station, thereby sealing the possibility that a judicial inquiry would draw attention to the inconsistencies of the charge against him, and perhaps expose the real perpetrators. One would normally expect the Dallas strip-club owner Jack Ruby to be the most investigated character by Kennedy truthers. But that is not the case.

Of course, it is perfectly normal that Chief Justice Earl Warren, when Ruby told him on June 7, 1964, "I have been used for a purpose," failed to ask him who had used him and for what purpose.1 But what about independent investigators? Are only readers of the Forward ("News That Matters To American Jews") worthy of being informed that "Lee Harvey Oswald's Killer 'Jack Ruby' Came From Strong Jewish Background," and that he told his rabbi Hillel Silverman that he "did it for the Jewish people"? Here is the relevant passage of Steve North's 2013 article, relating Silverman's reaction after hearing on the radio that a "Jack Rubenstein" had killed the assassin:


14,000-year-old settlement site discovered on Turkey's west coast

Head of terracotta statuette
© Adriana Günzel
Head of terracotta statuette of the Meter Kybele with its characteristic crown.
In the province of Izmir, between the modern towns of Dikili and Bergama (UNESCO World Heritage Site Pergamon-Bergama), layers from the post-Paleolithic period (Epipalaeolithic) were discovered for the first time in a cave and uncovered in the course of a rescue excavation. They are overlaid by an ancient sanctuary of the Anatolian mother deity Meter-Kybele. As an important natural monument, the site was also frequented in the following Byzantine and Islamic eras before falling into oblivion.

Throughout history, the territory of present-day Turkey has been the site of significant developments and events at the interface between East and West. Most recently, the finds from Göbekli Tepe in Upper Mesopotamia have attracted particular attention. The first monumental architecture and sculptures were created there in the 10th millennium BC. Compared to the Neolithic period, in whose early phase Göbekli Tepe belongs, the older phases of human history (Palaeolithic) are less well known. So far, only a few sites of this period have been excavated in southern and south-eastern Turkey. In western Anatolia, i.e. in the contact zone of the Aegean and at the transition to Europe, there is a gap in the reliable evidence of the Palaeolithic and its transitional phases to the Neolithic.

It was all the more surprising when in autumn 2020, during an archaeological survey of the DAI-Pergamon excavation in a cave between the modern cities of Dikili and Bergama (Pergamon), layers from the post-Paleolithic period (Epipalaeolithic) were discovered that are around 14,000 years old. First horizons with stone tools and bones were documented, whose age could be precisely determined with the help of the radiocarbon method and the examination of the stone tools.


Molecular analysis reveals the oldest Denisovan fossils yet

An international team, led by researchers from the Universities of Vienna and Tübingen, and the Max Planck Society, has identified five new human fossils from the key site of Denisova Cave in southern Siberia. The remains, which include three Denisovans and one Neanderthal, were found in a secure and well dated ~200,000-year-old context. Surrounded by archaeological remains such as stone tools and food refuse, the finds shed light on the adaptation strategies of these early hominins as they spread across Eurasia.
The entrance to Denisova Cave.
© IAET, Siberian Branch Russian Academy of Sciences
The entrance to Denisova Cave.
Denisova Cave in the Altai Mountains of southern Siberia rose to fame 11 years ago, when genetic sequencing of a fossil pinky bone revealed a new, previously unknown human group. Despite the fact that the group has been named 'Denisovans' after the site, identifying further Denisovan remains from the cave has been challenging, as any human remains are extremely fragmentary and difficult to spot amongst the hundreds of thousands of animal bones that are also present. Without definitive Denisovan remains, when they arrived at the site, how they lived, and how they interacted with other humans they shared the space with has remained a mystery.

Over the course of four years, a team led by Assistant Professor Katerina Douka at the Department of Evolutionary Anthropology of the University of Vienna - with colleagues in Germany and Russia, have worked to extract and analyse ancient proteins and DNA from nearly 4000 bone fragments from Denisova Cave. Their new findings are reported in Nature Ecology and Evolution and provide robust insights into the first occupants of Denisova Cave and their archaeological signature.

Using a biomolecular method known as peptide fingerprinting or 'ZooMS' (Zooarchaeology by Mass Spectroscopy), the team focused on the site's oldest layers, which date to as early as 200,000 years ago and lacked human fossils until now. Such methods are the only means by which scientists could find human remains among the thousands of bones from the site, as more than 95% were too fragmented for standard identification methods. Samantha Brown, doctoral student at Douka's ERC FINDER Project and now junior group leader at the University of Tübingen, analysed 3800 bone fragments no larger than 4 cm in length that were previously deemed taxonomically unidentifiable. Ultimately, Brown identified five bones whose collagen matched the peptide profile of humans.


Roman mosaic depicting scenes from Homer's Iliad unearthed in England

Rutland Mosaic
© Historic England Archive. DP264284
Rutland mosaic and surrounding villa discovery. Historic England staff with team members from ULAS/University of Leicester during the excavations
Archaeologists have unearthed the first Roman mosaic of its kind in the UK. Today, a rare Roman mosaic and surrounding villa complex have been protected as a scheduled monument by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) on the advice of Historic England.

The decision follows archaeological work undertaken by a team from University of Leicester Archaeological Services (ULAS), working in partnership with Historic England and in liaison with Rutland County Council.

The initial discovery of the mosaic was made during the 2020 lockdown by Jim Irvine, son of landowner Brian Naylor, who contacted the archaeological team at Leicestershire County Council, heritage advisors to the local authority.

Given the exceptional nature of this discovery, Historic England was able to secure funding for urgent archaeological investigations of the site by ULAS in August 2020. Further excavation involving staff and students from the University of Leicester's School of Archaeology and Ancient History examined more of the site in September 2021.
A ramble through the fields with the family turned into an incredible discovery.

Finding some unusual pottery amongst the wheat piqued my interest and prompted some further investigative work. Later, looking at the satellite imagery I spotted a very clear crop mark, as if someone had drawn on my computer screen with a piece of chalk! This really was the 'oh wow' moment, and the beginning of the story.

This archaeological discovery has filled most of my spare time over the last year. Between my normal job and this, it's kept me very busy, and has been a fascinating journey. The last year has been a total thrill to have been involved with, and to work with the archaeologists and students at the site, and I can only imagine what will be unearthed next!

Jim Irvine


Declassified after 56 years: JFK was engaged in 'existential' battle with Israel over its nuclear weapons program

Comment: US-Israeli relations during the Kennedy administration were practically expunged from the official record following his assassination in November 1963. Given what was being quietly fought over - Israel's acquisition of nukes, and Kennedy's determined efforts to prevent the gerrymandered statelet from getting them - it's unsurprising that it has taken over half a century for the picture to emerge in the mainstream media...

JFK Ben-Gurion
Kennedy and Ben-Gurion. Their meeting in May 1961 was as tetchy as their subsequent communication regarding Israel's nukes
Throughout the spring and summer of 1963, the leaders of the United States and Israel - President John F. Kennedy and Prime Ministers David Ben-Gurion and Levi Eshkol - were engaged in a high-stakes battle of wills over Israel's nuclear program. The tensions were invisible to the publics of both countries, and only a few senior officials, on both sides of the ocean, were aware of the severity of the situation.

In Israel, those in the know saw the situation as a real crisis, as a former high-level science adviser, Prof. Yuval Ne'eman, told one of us (Avner Cohen) 25 years ago. Ne'eman recalled that Eshkol, Ben-Gurion's successor, and his associates saw Kennedy as presenting Israel with a real ultimatum. There was even one senior Israeli official, Ne'eman told me, the former Israel Air Force commander Maj. Gen. (res.) Dan Tolkowsky, who seriously entertained the fear that Kennedy might send U.S. airborne troops to Dimona, the home of Israel's nuclear complex.

Comment: The authors appear not to have realized it, but the publication in 2019 of these documents revealing the secret US-Israeli war over nukes - right up to JFK's sudden demise in November 1963 - puts Israel squarely in the frame for his assassination.

They had motive - not the only motive, but certainly a strong one - and, through their double-agent James Jesus Angleton in the CIA's counter-intelligence unit, they had the means to stage a palace coup...

See also: Did Israel Kill The Kennedys?

Star of David

Did Israel Kill The Kennedys?

Comment: 58 years ago today, John F Kennedy, the United States of America's first and last Catholic president, was assassinated in broad daylight in Dallas, Texas. Most people don't need convincing that he wasn't killed by a lone gunman who 'just didn't like him', but most research into the terrible event has assumed that the president's murder was a largely 'homegrown' affair. French author Laurent Guyénot has a tantalizing new theory that may account for why the American establishment has spent the last six decades 'defending the indefensible' - namely the 'magic-bullet-from-behind' theory...

Kennedys Israel

Just after midnight of June 6, 1968, Senator Robert Kennedy was assassinated in a backroom of the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles. He had just been celebrating his victory at the California primaries, which made him the most likely Democratic nominee for the presidential election. His popularity was so great that Richard Nixon, on the Republican side, stood little chance. At the age of 43, Robert would have become the youngest American president ever, after being the youngest Attorney General in his brother's government. His death opened the way for Nixon, who could finally become president eight years after having been defeated by John F. Kennedy in 1960.

John had been assassinated four and a half years before Robert. Had he survived, he would certainly have been president until 1968. Instead, his vice-president Lyndon Johnson took over the White House in 1963, and became so unpopular that he retired in 1968. Interestingly, Johnson became president the very day of John's death, and ended his term a few months after Robert's death. He was in power at the time of both investigations.

And both investigations are widely regarded as cover-ups. In both cases, the official conclusion is rife with contradictions. We are going to sum them up here. But we will do more: we will show that the key to solving both cases resides in the link between them. And we will solve them beyond a reasonable doubt.

Comment: This is an intruiging angle on the JFK assassination, that there was a plot within the plot. We thought as much occurred on 9/11, with an 'Israeli double-cross' taking the Bush gang by surprise and 'binding' them to effectively conduct a cover-up on behalf of perps who had escalated the false-flag attacks to a whole other level.

It makes sense then that there would be historical precedent for such a ruse. At long last, the 'LBJ-did-it' vs the 'CIA-did-it' wings of JFK assassination research come together in a logically coherent synthesis.