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The Ukraine Crisis in context: Brzezinski's grand chessboard in the 21st Century

© unknown
Ukraine • NATO • Zbigniew Brzezinski • Volodymyr Zelensky • Joe Biden • Vladimir Putin
We are now living in the Raging Twenties of the 21st century . . . but the past has a tendency of catching up with present before evolving into the future.

In the aftermath of Watergate affair and its political fallout, U.S. foreign policy was dominated by the figure of Zbigniew Brzezinsky (1928-2017) and his anti-Communist fervour and blatant Russophobia. An ideological circumstance that was to lead to the emergence of political Islam and Islamist terrorism worldwide. As Brzezinski had mobilized Islam as a weapon against global Communism in the seventies (and eighties), and the resultant blowback set the stage for the American-led Global War-on-Terror as a veiled 'Crusade against Islam,' spearheaded by George W. Bush and Barack Obama (2001-2017).

From War-on-Terror to New Cold War

In the wake of NATO secretary-general (1994-5) Willy Claes's February 1995 proclamation that "Islamic militancy has emerged as perhaps the single gravest threat to the NATO alliance and to Western security" and of course, "9/11," the Brzezinski template gave way to Bush, Jr.'s neoconservative doctrine of pre-emption and the global War-on-Terror. Far from being a resounding success, the Bush doctrine led to a new reality — a new reality that normalized living in a state of constant alarm while being under equally constant surveillance (i.e. the Patriot Act), on the one hand, and a very real Islamist extremist threat to the West (with Islamist terror attacks in such varied places like Madrid, London, Paris, Istanbul and Brussels), on the other.

In the same breath, Bush and Obama's 'successful' fight against Usamah (spelled as Osama, by the American establishment) bin Laden (or OBL, in American parlance) and his shadowy terror group Al Qaeda was followed by the emergence of Caliph Ibrahim (aka Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi) and his Islamic State (or IS, formerly known as ISIS or ISIL). In this century, Brzezinski himself recognized the folly of the American-led Crusade against Islam, writing in 2007 that "[t]he 'war on terror' has created a culture of fear in America." Going on to lay out his Russophobic argument in full in the next instance - as Russia and not Islam arguably represents "the real challenges" faced by the U.S.

Better Earth

Ancient DNA upends European prehistory: Genes reveal striking diversity within similar ice age cultures

Venus of Brassempouy
People across Europe crafted figurines similar to the so-called Venus of Brassempouy.
Thirty thousand years ago, Europe was a land of open steppes with herds of grazing mammoth and other megafauna — and a strikingly uniform human culture. Its inhabitants, whom archaeologists call the Gravettians, dwelled in caves or in shelters built of mammoth bones. They carved palm-size sculptures from mammoth tusk, depicting mammoths, cave lions, and stylized female figurines with elaborate headdresses and exaggerated breasts and buttocks, and left their distinctive art and artifacts from Spain to western Russia. "You can make a case for saying the Gravettian is the first pan-European culture," says University of Tübingen archaeologist Nicholas Conard.

But despite appearances, the Gravettians were not a single people. New DNA evidence, published today in Nature, shows Gravettians in France and Spain were genetically distinct from groups living in what is now the Czech Republic and Italy. "What we thought was one homogenous thing in Europe 30,000 years ago is actually two distinct groups," says Mateja Hajdinjak, a molecular biologist at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology who was not part of the new study.

Comment: See also:

Better Earth

'Deep and diversified history of humans on Tibetan Plateau' revealed by genomic study

© FU Qiaomei
The Tibetan Plateau, hailed as the world's largest and highest plateau above sea level, is considered one of the most unforgiving environments to be inhabited by mankind. Its frigid and parched climate, coupled with an elevation that frequently exceeds 4000 meters above sea level (masl), presents an enormous challenge to its inhabitants.

Spanning across an immense area of Asia that measures approximately 2.5 million square kilometers, this formidable plateau is home to more than 7 million individuals, predominantly comprising the Tibetan and Sherpa ethnic communities.

Our understanding of the origins and history of ancient humans on the Tibetan Plateau has long been incomplete due to limited sampling of DNA from ancient human remains. However, a recent breakthrough study published in Science Advances today, led by Prof. FU Qiaomei from the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology (IVPP) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, has provided new insights by sequencing the genomes of 89 ancient humans from 29 archaeological sites across the plateau, dating back to 5100 BP.

Comment: See also:

Better Earth

Frequent fires struck Antarctica during the age of dinosaurs, 75 million years ago

antarctica forest
© Frontiers in Earth Science (2023). DOI: 10.3389/feart.2023.1048754
Paleoenvironmental reconstruction of austral areas under the influence of paleo-wildfires promoted by the Campanian active volcanism; artistic reconstruction by J. S. d’Oliveira: (A) original wet environments occupied by a forest of conifers, ferns, and mesophilic angiosperms growing near bodies of water and in surrounding high areas; (B) pyroclastic flows reaching the vegetation with hot ash, which burnt the vegetation either partially or totally; (C) the over-time cyclic restoration of the paleofloras and the variable conditions related to intervals between volcanic activities.
Paleontologists from Brazil and Chile reveal an important discovery about the past of the most inhospitable continent on Earth, Antarctica. Today covered in snow, in the past, however, the location was not like this. The research, led by Brazilian paleobotanist Dr. Joseline Manfroi, along with her collaborators, proves that Antarctica was disturbed by frequent forest fires that were directly associated with active volcanic episodes during the end of the age of dinosaurs, 75 million years ago.

The research was developed with paleontological samples collected on King George Island, in the Shetland Islands archipelago, on the Antarctic Peninsula, during scientific expeditions carried out by the Chilean Antarctic Institute (INACH) and the Brazilian Antarctic Program (Proantar).

The first evidence of forest fire occurrence in Antarctica had already been proven by the same researcher in 2015, in a paper published in the journal Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Paleoecology, entitled "The first report of a Campanian palaeo-wildfire in the West Antarctic Peninsula." In 2021, another study for Antarctica also presented more evidence on the issue.

Comment: Catastrophic, extinction-level events on earth appear to involve much of the same natural phenomenon: Two mass extinctions occurred alongside massive volcanic eruptions

See also:

Better Earth

Modern-day Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish people have Pictish ancestry

© Peace Palace Library - Public Domain
During the Pre-Viking and Early Middle Ages around AD 300-900, the Picts inhabited the area north of the Forth-Clyde isthmus in Britain.
Most of what we know about the Picts can be deduced from Pictish stones and early medieval manuscripts. While very little Pictish writing has survived, much of its history is known from external sources, including Bede's Historia ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum, hagiography of saints' lives such as that of Columba by Adomnán, and the Irish annals.

Medieval traditions, including from the time of the Picts themselves, had ascribed exotic origins such as Thracians (north of the Aegean Sea), Scythians (eastern Europe), or people from the isles north of Britain.

In a new study published in the journal PLoS Genetics, researchers have extracted genomes sampled from Pictish burials to explore how they are related to other cultural groups in Britain.

Comment: For more on the mysterious Picts, see:


Roman military camps in desert found by archaeologists using Google Earth

An aerial view of the western camp.
An aerial view of the western camp.
Three new Roman fortified camps have been identified across northern Arabia by a remote sensing survey by the University of Oxford's School of Archaeology. Their paper, published today [Thurs] in the journal Antiquity, reports the discovery may be evidence of a probable undocumented military campaign across south east Jordan into Saudi Arabia.

The camps were identified using satellite images. According to the research team, they may have been part of a previously undiscovered Roman military campaign linked to the Roman takeover of the Nabataean Kingdom in AD 106 CE, a civilisation centred on the world-famous city of Petra, located in Jordan.

Dr Michael Fradley, who led the research and first identified the camps on Google Earth, suggests there is little doubt about the date of the camps. He says, 'We are almost certain they were built by the Roman army, given the typical playing card shape of the enclosures with opposing entrances along each side. The only notable difference between them is that the westernmost camp is significantly larger than the two camps to the east.'

According to Dr Mike Bishop, an expert on the Roman military, 'These camps are a spectacular new find and an important new insight into Roman campaigning in Arabia. Roman forts and fortresses show how Rome held a province, but temporary camps reveal how they acquired it in the first place.'


Norse colonists imported timber from North America to Greenland

© Shutterstock
A microscopic analysis has revealed that Norse colonists imported timber from Northern Europe and North America to Greenland.

Greenland, or Grœnland in Old Norse, was settled by Norwegian and Icelandic explorers in AD 985 or 986. The settlers established two colonies on the southwest coast: The Eastern Settlement or Eystribyggð, in what is now Qaqortoq, and the Western Settlement or Vestribygð, close to present-day Nuuk.

In a study published in the journal Antiquity, archaeologists from the University of Iceland have conducted a wood taxa analysis on pieces of timber found in 11th to 14th century AD Norse farmsteads.

The purpose of the study is to differentiate between native wood, imported wood, and driftwood, revealing that 0.27% of the wood was unambiguous imports, including oak, beech, hemlock and Jack pine. Another 25% of the total wood was either imported or driftwood, including larch, spruce, Scots pine and fir.

Comment: The following recent study reveals some of the environmental conditions that led to the abandonment of the settlements in Greenland: Sea-level rise caused by crustal subsidence contributed to Viking abandonment of Greenland, researchers believe

Blue Planet

1800-year-old ritual mask uncovered in Osaka Prefecture

mask japan
© Osaka Centre for Cultural Heritage
In an announcement by the Osaka Centre for Cultural Heritage, archaeologists have uncovered an 1800-year-old ritual mask in the Osaka Prefecture, Japan.

The discovery was made during excavations to extend the Osaka Monorail in the city of Higashiōsaka, where the team found a mask hewn from a cedar tree with a representation of a human face.

The mask measures around 30cm in height by 18cm wide and features two eye holes, a mouth, and a perforated hole surviving on one side that probably held string for holding the mask on the wearers face.

Comment: See also:

Blue Planet

Fossilized soot provides insight into history of Nerja cave, occupied by humans for 41,000 years

nerja cave
© Scientific Reports (2023). DOI: 10.1038/s41598-023-32544-1
Image composition of the materials. (A) Black mark (dating number 33). (B) Micro-charcoal inside fixed lamp (dating number 43). (C) Scattered charcoals (dating number 54). (D) GN16-08 stalagmite section. The red arrows point to one of the samples, analyzed both by TEM–EDX and Raman micro-spectroscopy.
A new study reveals that Nerja is the European cave containing Paleolithic Art with the most confirmed and recurrent visits during Prehistory

For 41,000 years human beings have been visiting the Cave of Nerja; for a few of them, it has been exploited as a tourist attraction, and for almost the same amount of time, the object of scientific study. Throughout its history, and even today, it continues to stun visitors and researchers from around the world.

The latest surprise from the cave, located in the province of Malaga, was just published in Scientific Reports by an international team including researchers from the University of Córdoba; Marian Medina, currently at the University of Bourdeux; Eva Rodríguez; and José Luis Sachidrián, a Professor of Prehistory and the scientific director of the Cave of Nerja.


Astral Magic: The occult religion of modern cosmology

behind the veil
How the Renaissance revival of ancient alchemy birthed the mythos of modern science.

The European Renaissance was defined as a cultural rebirth, but what was it actually a rebirth of? This "rebirth" was a disastrous reintroduction of Hermeticism into European scholasticism, establishing the Hermetic tradition as a crucial factor in the development of modern science. Quite simply, the Renaissance was the rebirth of neoplatonic astral magic flooding into European culture.

This Hermetic dominance of modern scholastic thought can be quite obviously seen in its great impact on the Copernican revolution. With the entire Renaissance being funded by the Medici Italian banking family, their Laurentian library was the knowledge hub of Europe, housing countless occult manuscripts that ushered in the golden age of alchemy. As Erasmus of Rotterdam saw this alchemical obsession begin to unfold, he forewarned, "I have a fear and it is, that, with the study of ancient literature, ancient Paganism will reappear."

Copernicus worked out his heliocentric cosmological model under the mystical influence of Hermes Trismegistus, who is considered the founder of science, religion, mathematics, geometry, alchemy, philosophy, medicine, and magic. The notion that the sun is at the center of the cosmos and not the earth is a belief not found in the Bible but in the Heremetica of Hermes Trismegistus, a compilation of ancient esoteric texts believed to contain the wisdom of the ancient Egyptians. The author of the Arabic Hermetic text, the Pecatrix, wrote that Hermes built a temple to the sun, and in the Corpus Hermeticum V, it states that the sun is supreme among the gods of heaven. The Asclepius lists the sun as far greater than all the planets.