Secret HistoryS


Bizarrely adorned ancient burials found in Ukraine

ukraine skeleton
© (Courtesy of Vyacheslav Baranov/ National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine)
A recently unearthed cemetery in Ukraine, dating back 1,000 years, has yielded an array of fascinating finds, including weapons, jewelry, and, unusually, buckets positioned around the feet of some of the interred. The men were found buried with weapons such as axes, spearheads, and swords, and several of the women were buried with thick twisted bronze neck rings in an 11th-century cemetery near the village of Ostriv, south of Kyiv, Ukraine.

Excavations Reveal Millenium Old Burial Site

The site, located roughly 50 miles (80 kilometers) south of Kyiv, encompasses 107 graves. According to archaeologists Vsevolod Ivakin and Vyacheslav Baranov from the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, most burials were contained in wooden coffins.

This discovery was detailed in a paper presented at the Archaeological Institute of America's annual meeting in Chicago, held from January 4-7.


California's 'ARkStorm': Historic 1000-year floods of 1861-62 featured 8 weeks of atmospheric rivers

This 1861 photograph shows flooding at K and
This 1861 photograph shows flooding at K and Front streets Sacramento. A nine-year stretch of calm weather was broken with record flooding in the winter of 1861 to 1862.
Imagine Disneyland under feet of water for weeks. Rivers swelling to levels never seen before and never seen since. Days of rain stretch into weeks as floodwaters rise to epic levels.

California may have endured an onslaught of tropically-infused atmospheric river storms that filled the calendar for months at the end of 2022 and the start of 2023 and is staring at another atmospheric river this weekend, but those storms pale in comparison to the historic floods during the winter of 1861-1862.

Colloquially today known as an "ARkStorm" - a deft reference to an "atmospheric river (AR) 1,000 (k) year storm" - the storms were a recipe for disaster for a young region that had recently been settled. Abraham Lincoln was president at the time, and America was embroiled in the first months of the Civil War. But out West, California's population was bulging to about a half million in the wake of the great Gold Rush about a dozen years prior.


German war crimes: 80th anniversary of the siege of Leningrad - 1.1 million dead

St. Isaac's cathedral Leningrad (St. Petersburg)
Boris Kudoyarov - "The Eastern Front in Photographs", John Erickson
(25 January 2024) (Edit. CH-S) The human cost and the horror the German war of aggression of 1941 meant for the Russian civilian population is quickly forgotten in our days. Today, once more the enemy is officially called Russia.

The mass killing of the civilian population of Leningrad (St. Petersburg) by a starvation blockade, which was calculated ice-cold by the German political leadership at the time, was one of the sad highlights of German "master race" behaviour.

Yet once again, attempts are being made to create an enemy image of Russia and to portray the people and their political leadership as "primitive". Has German policymakers learnt nothing from history? Where are the peace efforts? Where are the steps towards moderation?


From 2015: 872 days of cold, hunger and death: Leningrad siege survivors share their memories

From 2018: Anniversary of the Siege of Leningrad: Putin visits his older brother's grave

From Michael Jabara Carley: Remembering Russia's V-Day (or, the history of World War II not often heard in the West)


Occupants of the unspoiled 4th-century BCE Royal Tombs at Vergina in northern Greece have been identified

The tomb of Phillip II at Aigai
© Guillén Pérez/CC by-ND 2.0The tomb of Phillip II at Aigai.
The identities of the occupants of the unspoiled 4th-century BCE Royal Tombs at Vergina in northern Greece have been identified. The burials contain the remains of Alexander's father, stepmother, half-siblings, and son, along with armor and other items belonging to the man himself.

While there is never been any doubt that the human skeletal remains found in Royal Tombs I, II, and III belong to close relatives of Alexander, scholars have spent almost half a century bickering over who exactly lies within each grave.

The researchers examined the skeletal elements with the aid of macrophotography, radiographs, and anatomical dissection. The study authors combined osteological analyses, macro photography, X-rays, and anatomical dissections of the ancient remains with historical sources from the ancient past.

A knee fusion was found in the male skeleton of Tomb I consistent with the historic evidence of the lameness of King Philip II. Researchers also discovered that Tomb I contained the bones of a man with an injured knee, as well as a woman and a baby, who was just days or weeks old at the time of death.

They conclude that the male figure was Alexander the Great's father, King Philip II of Macedon, who was known to limp. The infant's extremely young age is also consistent with the story of Philip's assassination in 336 BCE.

According to most sources, Philip II was assassinated by his bodyguard only a few days after his wife Cleopatra gave birth. The murder is thought to have been ordered by Philip's previous wife, Olympias, the mother of Alexander the Great. Almost immediately after the assassination, Olympias killed Cleopatra and her baby, possibly by burning them alive, paving the way for Alexander to succeed to the throne.


Meritocracy: Men in medieval China were able to move up the social ladder as easily as male Baby Boomers in the US, study suggests

Daming Palace, China
A miniature landscape palace of Xi 'an Daming Palace National Heritage Park is seen under heavy snow in Xi 'an City, Shaanxi Province, China, Nov 11, 2023.
  • Obtaining high status was likely as easy for men in the Tang Dynasty as for men in the modern US, a study suggests.
  • It found that social mobility for men at the time could be compared to that of the 1960s in the US.
  • These men weren't aristocrats, but became bureaucrats through the rigorous imperial examination.
Men in medieval China could gain high status in society as easily as male Baby Boomers in the US, according to a new study released on Thursday.

The study, published in the peer-reviewed Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, analyzed education, family status, and ranks of officials in the Tang Dynasty, and found that social mobility at the time was comparable to standards in the 1960s and 1970s in the US.

The research team, led by Michael Hout, a professor of sociology at New York University, combed through thousands of epitaphs describing the lives of these officials, who lived in the 7th to 10th century.

These were men who had essentially made it in life, Hout told Business Insider.

Comment: The Western world is in rapid decline and having gone away from a system of meritocracy has had a lot to with it. China and many other countries outside the Western 'garden' are sticking to a system which chooses the most qualified people for a job rather than the color of their skin, their sex or sexual orientation, their ethnicity or their wokeness.

See also:

Better Earth

Best of the Web: Paleoclimate reconstructions show significant cold periods coincided with pandemics & plagues in ancient Rome

© Painting at the Walters Art Museum, Public Domain, Wikimedia CommonsSt Sebastian pleading for the life of a gravedigger afflicted with plague during the 7th-century Plague of Pavia.
High-resolution paleoclimate reconstructions from southern Italy, dating to between around 200 BCE and 600 CE, provide a clearer picture of how climate and disease intersected in ancient Rome.

Reconstructions showed that temperature and precipitation became increasingly unstable after ~130 CE, with several cold periods tied to historic pandemic outbreaks such as the Justinian Plague.

Paleoclimate proxies can offer insights into how past climate change may have influenced human societies, such as when warm or cool intervals coincided with periods of social development or pandemics.

Comment: It's probably no wonder that the establishment would have us believe we're in an era of 'global boiling', rather than on the precipice of a similar (or worse) cooling that correlates with famine, an uptick in cometary activity, and great dyings caused by (real) pandemics:


'Lost' 4,000-year-old tomb rediscovered in Ireland

Billy Mag Fhloinn with the remnants of the tomb.
© Seán Mac an tSíthigh/RTÉ NewsBilly Mag Fhloinn with the remnants of the tomb.
A "lost" 4,000-year-old tomb has been rediscovered on the Dingle Peninsula in Co Kerry.

The megalithic tomb known locally as Altóir na Gréine (the sun altar) was believed to have been completely destroyed in the 1840s, with its stones broken and carried away for use as building material.

While the existence of a tomb "near" Baile an Fheirtéaraigh is documented in 19th century antiquarian literature, a record of the monument's location did not exist.

An 1838 sketch of the tomb, its reputed association with the sun and its strange disappearance has been a source of intrigue for archaeologists for decades.

However, the 180-year-old mystery has now been solved by local man Billy Mag Fhloinn.

The folklorist has not only found the prehistoric site, but he has also discovered some of the large stones, which had been believed to have been removed, still in situ.

A number of orthostats (large upright stones) have survived, as well as a large capstone, while more may lie under the dense undergrowth.

The monument is situated on the crest of a hill overlooking the village of An Buailtín.


Ancient sword with possible Viking origins and a mysterious inscription recovered from Polish river

ancient viking sword river poland
© Provincial Office for the Protection of Monuments in ToruńThe ancient Viking sword was fished out of the Vistula River in Poland, in January 2024
Research is underway to learn more about the origins of medieval sword found earlier this month at the bottom of a Polish river, which some experts believe may have belonged to the Vikings.

The sword sports a "mysterious inscription" and is one of eight weapons of its kind discovered so far in Poland, the Provincial Office for the Protection of Monuments in Toruń, a city near the spot where the sword was found and itself a protected world heritage site, wrote in a translated announcement on Facebook. Workers unearthed the sword from the bottom of Poland's Vistula River while dredging the port at Włocławek, which is about 30 miles from Toruń.

Preliminary analyses of the weapon, having weathered centuries of corrosion, traced it back more than 1,000 years to the 10th century A.D., the culture office said. That period is significant for Poland, which did not exist prior to the formation that century of the House of Piast, the earliest known dynasty that settled in that area and began the first recorded reign over modern-day Polish land. Officials wondered in their announcement whether the sword may have borne witness to the formation of Polish statehood.

Comment: From Facebook:

Matthew Sosnowski, Olaf Popkiewicz

An early medieval sword from Włocławek a witness to the formation of Polish statehood?
Friday, January 12, 2024, turned out to be a happy day for the employees of the company leading the work related to deepening the pool of the port of the Sport and Recreation Center in Włocławek. Completely accidentally they made an unprecedented discovery related to history, not only Włocławek, but all of Poland.

While unloading the charm from the harbor by boat, Sławomir Mularski - the owner of the company leading the work - noticed on the mule, thrown away by the excavator, an entirely preserved early medieval sword. Without a moment of hesitation, the Provincial Monument Protection Office in Włocławek informed about his discovery, whose employees secured this valuable monument and handed it over for the first analysis.

Preliminary analyses of the discovered sword now allow us to conclude that it is dated to the 10th century, that is, the period when the country of the first Piast was formed. Typologically, based on the construction of the frame, this sword can be classified as the S type, according to Petersen typology, which are characterized by a simple blade that extends symmetrically towards the end, while the head of these swords usually had a three-piece head overlay and are dated to the period between 900 and 1000 years. It is believed that the region of origin of this type of weapons should be considered northwestern Europe (areas of Scandinavian or Franconian State), the territory of today's Poland was most likely due to Scandinavian influences, which at that time were very strong throughout the region of Central-Eastern Europe.

In order to assess the condition of the discovered sword, an X-ray photo was also made, which allowed us to look under a layer of over a thousand years of corrosion and to discover further fascinating facts related to the very construction of this unique object. First of all, the inscription can be clearly seen on the main sword, perhaps the sword from Włocławek can be counted as one of the famous swords signed with the mysterious inscription U[V]LFBERTH, which is one of the most famous and at the same time the best, in terms of performance of the main, early medieval swords from Europe. This would be the eighth sword of this type discovered in today's Poland, however only after cleaning and maintenance can such a hypothesis about the origin of the main sword itself be confirmed.

The geographical-historical context in which this object was found is also interesting. On the basis of previous archaeological and historical research, we know that the history of Włocławk is very rich and reaches much further into the past than the fact that the city was locked in 1255. Probably in the 10th century, i.e. during the period when the discovered object is dated, a strong town center, connected to the beard on the Vistula, operated in this place, through which the trade route from the Kujaw area to the land of Dobrzyn, Chełmiń and further towards Prus. Perhaps because of the location over the Vistula river, which must have been an important sailing trail at that time, there was also a port, connecting this place to the waters, and as a result, the far-reaching paths of the Batycian Sea, also towards Scandinavia.

It should be mentioned that this is not the first object of Scandinavian origin discovered around Włocławek and dated to the beginning of Polish statehood. In 2007, during the construction of the A1 motorway, bypassing Włocławek from the west, in the town of Bodzia, a cemetery dating back to the Xth and XI centuries was discovered, where during the investigation they found many objects of Scandinavian origin, allowing us to assume that in this necropolis were buried by foreigners from Scandinavian, who perhaps they were in the service of the first Piasties, who were creating their country in this area during this period.

Looking for an analogy to the sword from Włocławek we can point out two swords of this type (type S according to Petersen) from Lutów (voj. Kuyavian-Pomeranian) and from Ciepłý (voj. Pomeranian). This second monument is particularly interesting because the sword from Warm was found in the context of the early medieval cemetery, located on the edge of the Vistula Valley, in the vicinity of today's Anger. The cemetery, like the one from Bodza, dates back to the 10th and 11th centuries, and houses graves of people whose origins are related to Scandinavian immigrants, as was the case with the Bodza necropolis. Perhaps the sword discovered in Włocławek was an element of equipping a person among the people responsible for the expansion of Piast's rule in the 10th century to new areas beyond Greater Poland? However, we leave the answer to this question in the sphere of hypothesis, which require wider research, which unfortunately do not always have to bring us the expected results.

Returning to the sword itself, it now faces a strenuous process of conservation and scientific development, which may bring us further revelations related to its construction and ornaments, and consequently its wonderful history.

(Google translation)
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10,000 year old "chewing gum" provides insight into diet of ancient Scandinavians

Mastic Gum
© Wikimedia CommonsMastic Gum
What did people eat on the west coast of Scandinavia 10,000 years ago? A new study of the DNA in a chewing gum shows that deer, trout and hazelnuts were on the diet. It also shows that one of the individuals had severe problems with her teeth.

Some 9,700 years ago, a group of people were camping on the west coast of Scandinavia, north of what is today Göteborg. They had been fishing, hunting and collecting resources for food. And some teenagers, both boys and girls, were chewing resin to produce glue, just after munching on trout and deer, as well as on hazelnuts. Due to a bad case of periodontitis (severe gum infection that can lead to tooth loss and bone loss), one of the teenagers had problems eating the chewy deer-meat, as well as preparing the resin by chewing it.

Better Earth

Humans were inhabiting China 45,000 years ago, new site analysis reveals

human china ancient
© Esteban De Armas / AlamyThe first members of our species to reach China might have entered the region from the north. A fresh look at an archaeological site in northern China that was excavated in the 1960s has confirmed Homo sapiens was present there about 45,000 years ago.
Modern humans were living in what is now China by 45,000 years ago. The finding means our species reached the area thousands of years earlier than generally thought, possibly via a northerly route through modern-day Siberia and Mongolia.

A team co-led by Francesco d'Errico at the University of Bordeaux in France re-examined an archaeological site called Shiyu in northern China. It was originally excavated in 1963 during the unrest of China's cultural revolution. "This was not the best moment to find such an important site," says d'Errico.

Shiyu is an open-air site in a river gully. It holds a 30-metre-deep deposit of sands and other sediment, which the original excavators divided into four horizontal layers, the second from bottom of which was found to hold evidence of human occupation.

Comment: A number of Chinese researchers question the current Out of Africa theory, highlighting evidence that they've been in the region for 100,000s of years: Ancient Chinese relics point to unbroken cultural links that began a million years ago

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