Welcome to Sott.net
Mon, 05 Jun 2023
The World for People who Think

Secret History


Japan's mysterious 'Rock Ship of Masuda' monolith

Masuda Monolith
© Wikimedia
Located in the Takaichi District of Nara Prefecture, Japan, the village of Asuka is famous for its mysterious stones. The ancient origins of the village date back to the Tumulus period, also known as Kofun Jidai (c. 3rd century-538 C.E.).

Kofun Jidai period (AD 250-552) is characterized by a specific type of earth mound in the shape of a key and surrounded by moats. However, the area is known for its many Buddhist temples, shrines, and statues.

Stone monuments that do not match Buddhist-style sculptures or construction on the hills surrounding Asuka attracts curious visitors and explorers.

Masuda-no-iwafune (literally "Rock Ship of Masuda", 益 田 岩 船 in Japanese), or Rock Ship of Masuda, is the name of the largest of these monuments. Its function is still unknown and it is located atop a hill close to Okadera Station. The largest of the mysterious rock mounds, the rock ship is made of solid granite and measures 11 meters (36 feet) by 8 meters (26 feet), 4.5 meters high (15 feet), and weighs approximately 800 tons as it stands. It's a carved mound, with two holes each about a meter square in the center, going through to the ground.


Pre-Hispanic ceremonial center with unknown characteristics was discovered in the Andes

Photograph and site plan of Waskiri
© P. Cruz
Photograph and site plan of Waskiri.
While investigating at Waskiri, near the Lauca River and the Bolivian-Chilean border, archaeologists found an impressive circular construction on a small hill at the site.

The Waskiri structure, which surprised researchers with its large dimensions and design, is a pre-Hispanic ceremonial center with unknown features in the Andes, according to the researchers.

The study authors say the "surprising" construction is unlike any other ever found in the Andes.

Although Waskiri has never been mentioned in the archaeological record, a priest from Spain named Bartolomé Alvarez, who visited Carangas in the 1580s, does seem to have made a reference to it.

Describing the rituals that took place at the site, Álvarez wrote of attendees in a state of "solemn drunkenness" entering what he called the "house and business of hell.


A sanctuary for Mithras discovered in Germany

Trier Excavations
© Arkeonews Net
A place of worship for the Roman god of light, Mithras, was discovered during archaeological excavations in Trier, in southwestern Germany.

The first findings from archaeological excavations started in Trier in February of this year at a site where a new central station for the city fire department was to be built was presented. Scientists discovered the remains of the Mithraeum - the sanctuary of the ancient Roman deity Mithra, which was destroyed and abandoned at the end of the 4th century.

So far, the most significant discovery at the excavation site has been a 1.2-meter limestone bas-relief depicting Cautes, one of Mithras' two torch-bearing companions.

Cautes and Cautopates symbolize sunrise and sunset, summer and winter, and life, and death. Outwardly, they do not differ, but one holds the torch lit and up, the other - extinguished and down.

Better Earth

The end of the world system

© Unknown
In October 1990, I gave a lecture at Columbia University. One of those present sarcastically asked: "Don't you think that the bell is ringing for communism?" I told him that John Donne had a poem where there is this line, Hemingway used it as an epigraph: "Never ask for whom the bell tolls. The bell is ringing for you!" I mean that the destruction of the Soviet system is the beginning of the end of your system, in 10-15 years. The audience laughed... But in 2008 the crisis really came. The crisis that was predicted in the West in the early 80s.

And now the question arises, in fact, for whom does the bell toll? He is calling the existing world system. And if Russia remains mentally, economically, socially in such a lax form a part of this world, then the bell will ring for her too. Another thing is that if Russia were not part of this world, but was, say, a socialist system in itself, everything would be different...as expected in the American forecasts of the early 80s.

In the early 1980s, Reagan ordered forecasts from three groups of economists for the next 15 years. And they came to absolutely identical conclusions, and then together they summed up the overall result. The forecast was as follows: ahead of the "two-humped" crisis - 1987-1992-93. Production in the capitalist segment falls by 20-25%, in the socialist - by 10-12%.

Blue Planet

16th century Benin Bronzes crafted of metal from mines in western Germany

Benin Bronzes
© Jens Schlueter
'Altar group with a queen mother' is one of more than 3,000 Benin Bronzes pillaged from Benin during Britain's 1897 military expedition. The Benin Bronzes were made from rings used to purchase slaves in Africa. Now, scientists have found that most of the metal was mined in western Germany.
The Benin Bronzes — some roughly 3,000 stunning bronze artworks sculpted by African metalsmiths between the 16th and 19th centuries — were crafted from metal mined from Germany's Rhineland region, a new study finds.

Researchers had long suspected that the masterfully crafted sculptures — created by the Edo people of the Kingdom of Benin, now part of modern-day Nigeria — were made from melted-down brass rings used as a currency during the trans-Atlantic slave trade, but confirmation proved elusive.

Now, scientists have used these metal rings, called manillas, recovered from five centuries-old Atlantic shipwrecks to trace the artworks' provenance, confirming that their metal came from repurposed bracelets that had been originally used to purchase enslaved people. By tracing the manillas' metal, the researchers found the majority had been mined from western Germany. They published their findings April 5 in the journal PLOS One (opens in new tab).

Comment: See also:


The truth about Tibet and her liberation from slavery

© Nikkei Asia

Tibet before 1959 was a feudal serf society. The serfs had no freedom, no land, and were often hungry. The democratic reform abolished serfdom and enabled millions of serfs to master their own life.

The impoverished population in the region dropped from 590,000 in 2015 to 150,000 in 2018. The net annual income of rural residents has reached 10,330 yuan (US$1,540) per person by 2017, a 13.6-percent increase year-on-year. The region's GDP more than doubled in six years to 131 billion yuan (US$19.5 billion) in 2017, according to China's National Bureau of Statistics. The Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) eradicated absolute poverty in 2019. China has lifted all of its citizens out of poverty by 2020.


'Special' service: Declassified Guantanamo court filing suggests some 9/11 hijackers were CIA agents

9/11 image
© Global Look Press
What does the intelligence agency have to do with the suicide terrorist attack?

An explosive court filing from the Guantanamo Military Commission - a court considering the cases of defendants accused of carrying out the "9/11" terrorist attacks on New York - has seemingly confirmed the unthinkable.

The document was originally published via a Guantanamo Bay court docket, but while public, it was completely redacted. Independent researchers obtained an unexpurgated copy. It is an account by the Commission's lead investigator, DEA veteran Don Canestraro, of his personal probe of potential Saudi government involvement in the 9/11 attacks, conducted at the request of the defendants' lawyers.

Two of the hijackers were being closely monitored by the CIA and may, wittingly or not, have been recruited by Langley long before they flew planes into the World Trade Center buildings.


New Testament: Fragment of 1,750-year-old translation discovered

It is an important piece of the jigsaw puzzle in New Testament history and one of the oldest textual witnesses of the Gospels: a small manuscript fragment of the Syriac translation, produced in the 3rd century and copied in the 6th century. A researcher from the Austrian Academy of Sciences discovered the fragment with the help of ultraviolet photography.
New Testament
© Austrian Academy of Sciences
The fragment of the translation of the New Testament is visible under UV light (c) Vatican Library.
About 1,300 years ago a scribe in Palestine took a book of the Gospels inscribed with a Syriac text and erased it. Parchment was scarce in the desert in the Middle Ages, so manuscripts were often erased and reused. A medievalist from the Austrian Academy of Sciences (OeAW) has now been able to make the lost words on this layered manuscript, a so-called palimpsest, legible again: Grigory Kessel discovered one of the earliest translations of the Gospels, made in the 3rd century and copied in the 6th century, on individual surviving pages of this manuscript.


The geopolitics of the color revolutions

© Arktos.com
This is an excerpt from Alexander Dugin's Last War of the World-Island (Arktos, 2015)

In the same period, opposite geopolitical tendencies, "color revolutions," began to unfold intensely. Their meaning consisted in bringing to power openly anti-Russian, pro-Western, and often nationalistic political forces in the countries of the CIS, and thereby finally tearing these countries away from Russia, to frustrate integration, and in the long term to include them in NATO as occurred in the Baltic countries. The peculiarity of these revolutions was that they were all aimed at bringing about closer relations of the countries in which they occurred with the USA and the West, and they followed the method of "non-violent resistance,"1 which American strategists had elaborated in the framework of the "Freedom House" project.2 This was carried out through subversive measures and the organization of revolutions that had been executed in the Third World under the direction of the CIA.

In November 2003, the "Rose Revolution" happened in Georgia, where the evasive Eduard Shevardnadze, who had been wavering between the West and Moscow, was replaced by the strictly pro-Western, radically Atlanticist, and pro-American politician Mikhail Saakashvili. An active role in the events of the "Rose Revolution" was played by the youth organization Kmara (literally "Enough!"), which acted in accordance with the ideas of the primary theoretician of analogous networks of protest organizations, Gene Sharp, and with the methods of "Freedom House." These techniques had already been tested in other places; in particular in Yugoslavia during the overthrow of Slobodan Milošević, using the pro-Western Serbian youth organization Otpor.


St Bartholomew and flaying

Last Judgement
© Wikipedia
Michelangelo's The Last Judgment - St Bartholomew holding the knife of his martyrdom and his flayed skin; it is conjectured that Michelangelo included a self-portrait depicting himself as St Bartholomew after he had been flayed alive.
During a talk at an archaeological society meeting I heard mention of St Bartholomew and a 'flaying knife' - or had my imagination run wild and it was a flying knife used by the saint. When I got home I looked up the Wiki where we have quite a bit of info on the subject, much better than at other sites that came up on my search engine. Flaying is another word for skinning.

A dead animal can be flayed when preparing the meat as food - or to obtain its hide, or fur. This is more commonly known as skinning rather than flaying. At this point we may note that flaying of humans became a form of torture and torment - which is why it was applied to St Bartholomew. Flaying alive was an especially horrible form of punishment. It seems this is a practice going back a long way - deep into the depths of time. For example, we know from Iron Age Assyrian records that prisoners were on occasion flayed alive - usually resulting in their death via hypothermia, as an example. It is commemorated in royal edicts, and engraved inscriptions.

How long the practice had taken place before the Iron Age is an unknown factor. Asurnasirapli II brags of flaying rebellious kings and officials. In Chinese history flaying was also common - of servants, officials, and rebels. The Ming dynasty was associated with flaying, at its inception and its passing. It therefore led to the ascendancy of the Ming - and also contributed to their downfall, via the mandate of heaven. One wonders what kind of flaying is implied in this tradition - perpetrated by humans, or by the gods. Or even with an origin in the heavens. Flaying was an occasional punishment in Europe, among the Vikings - and therefore inherited by the Normans. Hence, Edward I had three rebels flayed, and their skins were attached to three doors of Westminster Abbey, as a warning. They had been accused of robbing the treasury.