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Sun, 05 Jul 2020
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Colosseum

Climate change and the rise of the Roman Empire

Okmok
© Christina Neal — Alaska Volcano Observatory, USGS via Wikimedia Commons
Alaska's Okmok volcano
The assassination of Julius Caesar on the Ides of March in 44 B.C.E. triggered a 17-year power struggle that ultimately ended the Roman Republic leading to the rise of the Roman Empire. To the south, Egypt, which Cleopatra was attempting to restore as a major power in the Eastern Mediterranean, was shook by Nile flood failures, famine, and disease. These events are among the best known and important political transitions in the history of western civilization. A new study reveals the role climate change played in these ancient events.

An international team of researchers, including Yale's Joe Manning, used historical accounts and climate proxy records — natural preservers of an environment's history (such as ice cores) — to uncover evidence that the eruption of Alaska's Okmok volcano in 43 B.C.E. caused global climatic changes that sparked the period's political and social unrest and ultimately changed the course of ancient history. The research was published June 22 in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Comment: ArtNet provides some more details of the study:
During the civil war that followed Caesar's death, written accounts remarked on the unusual weather — the sun didn't shine, and the weather was unusually cold and wet, leading to famine. Historians have previously speculated that a volcano was to blame, and now geoscientists, historians, and archaeologists have been able to physically investigate that theory.

The study used climate models to see how Okmok's eruption would have affected the Mediterranean, and found that temperatures could have dropped up to 13.3 degrees Fahrenheit, with precipitation increasing up to 400 percent.
roman cooling timeline
© Desert Research Institute.
A timeline of events in the Roman Republic and Egyptian Ptolemaic Kingdom around the time of the Okmok eruption.
The effects of Okmok also rippled out to ancient Egypt, its dark cloud of volcanic aerosols possibly causing a drought in Africa. The resulting Egyptian famine likely made it easier for Octavian to defeat and annex the fallen Ptolemaic Kingdom as part of the nascent Roman Empire in 30 BC.
It's likely there were a number of factors driving Earth Changes as Pierre Lescaudron details in his article Volcanoes, Earthquakes And The 3,600 Year Comet Cycle.

See also: The Seven Destructive Earth Passes of Comet Venus


Info

Ancient Aboriginal underwater archaeological site discovered off Western Australia coast

Underwater Archaeology
© Handout FLINDERS UNIVERSITY/AFP
This handout aerial picture released by the DHSC Project and Flinders University shows a research area in the Dampier archipelago off the remote Western Australia coast where Aboriginal artefacts have been found on the seabed for the first time.

Archaeologists have for the first time found Aboriginal artefacts on the seabed off Australia, opening a door to the discovery of ancient settlements flooded since the last ice age,
they reported Thursday.

Hundreds of ancient stone tools made by Australia's Indigenous people at least 7,000 years ago were discovered two metres underwater off the remote Western Australia coast, the research published in the PLOS ONE journal said.

A second site nearby revealed traces of human activity 14 metres below sea level dating back at least 8,500 years -- though researchers believe both sites may be even more ancient.

Archaeologists say the finds mark an exciting first step in uncovering more Aboriginal sites thought to have been flooded since the last ice age between 18,000 and 8,000 years ago.

Flinders University associate professor Jonathan Benjamin, who co-authored the study, said sea-level rises covered more than 30 percent of the vast continent in water.

Better Earth

The Era of Chatham House and the British roots of NATO

Cecil Rhodes
© thetimes.co.uk
Cecil Rhodes
NATO secretary General Jens Stoltenberg's recent announcement of a NATO 2030 anti-nation state vision to extend the spheres of NATO's jurisdiction into the Pacific to contain China demonstrates a disturbing ideology which can lead nowhere but World War III if not nipped in the bud soon.

In my previous article NATO 2030: Making a Bad Idea Worse, I promised to shed light on the paradoxical situation of NATO's unabashed unipolar agenda on one hand and the many examples of President Trump's resistance to NATO witnessed by his removal of 9500 American personnel from Germany announced on June 11, his cutting of American participation in NATO military exercises, and his recent attacks on the military industrial complex.

The paradox: If NATO is truly a wholly owned tool of the American Empire, then why would the American Empire be at odds with itself? Of course, this only remains a paradox to the degree that one is committed to the belief in such a thing as "The American Empire".

Please do not get me wrong here. I am in no way saying that America has not acted like an empire in recent decades, nor am I romantically trying to whitewash America's historic tendencies to support colonization and defend systemic racism.

What I am saying is that there are demonstrably now, just as there have been since 1776, TWO opposing dynamics operating within America, where only one is in alignment of the ideals of the Constitution and Declaration of independence while the other is entirely in alignment with the ideals of the British Empire and hereditary institutions from which it supposedly broke away.

One America has been defended by great leaders who are too often identified by their untimely deaths while in office, who consistently advanced anti-colonial visions for a world of sovereign nations, win-win cooperation, and the extension of constitutional rights to all classes and races both within America and abroad. The other America has sought only to enmesh itself with the British Empire's global regime of finance, exploitation, population control and never-ending wars.

Bullseye

The Kosovo Indictment: Proof of Bill Clinton's Serbian war atrocities

ClintonStatue
© Kosovo Archives/jimbovard.com
Statue of Bill Clinton in Pristina, Kosovo
President Bill Clinton's favorite freedom fighter just got indicted for mass murder, torture, kidnapping, and other crimes against humanity. In 1999, the Clinton administration launched a 78-day bombing campaign that killed up to 1500 civilians in Serbia and Kosovo in what the American media proudly portrayed as a crusade against ethnic bias. That war, like most of the pretenses of U.S. foreign policy, was always a sham.

Kosovo President Hashim Thaci was charged with ten counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity by an international tribunal in The Hague in the Netherlands. It charged Thaci and nine other men with "war crimes, including murder, enforced disappearance of persons, persecution, and torture." Thaci and the other charged suspects were accused of being "criminally responsible for nearly 100 murders" and the indictment involved "hundreds of known victims of Kosovo Albanian, Serb, Roma, and other ethnicities and include political opponents."

Hashim Thaci's tawdry career illustrates how anti-terrorism is a flag of convenience for Washington policymakers. Prior to becoming Kosovo's president, Thaci was the head of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), fighting to force Serbs out of Kosovo. In 1999, the Clinton administration designated the KLA as "freedom fighters" despite their horrific past and gave them massive aid. The previous year, the State Department condemned "terrorist action by the so-called Kosovo Liberation Army." The KLA was heavily involved in drug trafficking and had close to ties to Osama bin Laden. But arming the KLA and bombing Serbia helped Clinton portray himself as a crusader against injustice and shift public attention after his impeachment trial. Clinton was aided by many shameless members of Congress anxious to sanctify U.S. killing.

Biohazard

Ancient Maya reservoirs were polluted with toxins

Tikal
© David Lentz/UC
The ancient city of Tikal rises above the rainforest in northern Guatemala.
Reservoirs in the heart of an ancient Maya city were so polluted with mercury and algae that the water likely was undrinkable.

Researchers from the University of Cincinnati found toxic levels of pollution in two central reservoirs in Tikal, an ancient Maya city that dates back to the third century B.C. in what is now northern Guatemala.

UC's findings suggest droughts in the ninth century likely contributed to the depopulation and eventual abandonment of the city.

"The conversion of Tikal's central reservoirs from life-sustaining to sickness-inducing places would have both practically and symbolically helped to bring about the abandonment of this magnificent city," the study concluded.

Comment: See also: And check out SOTT radio's: MindMatters: America Before: Comets, Catastrophes, Mounds and Mythology


Smoking

Non-tobacco plant identified in ancient pipe for first time

pipes
© WSU
Replica pipes used to experimentally "smoke" tobacco and other native plants in WSU laboratories for the study. The charred residue is then extracted, chemically "fingerprinted", and compared to residue of ancient archaeological pipes.
People in what is now Washington State were smoking Rhus glabra, a plant commonly known as smooth sumac, more than 1,400 years ago.

The discovery, made by a team of Washington State University researchers, marks the first-time scientists have identified residue from a non-tobacco plant in an archeological pipe.

Unearthed in central Washington, the Native American pipe also contained residue from N. quadrivalvis, a species of tobacco not currently grown in the region but that is thought to have been widely cultivated in the past. Until now, the use of specific smoking plant mixtures by ancient people in the American Northwest had only been speculated about.

Comment: Meanwhile even earlier in the Middle East: Cannabis and Frankincenses found at 2,700 year old Judahite shrine of Biblical Arad

See also: And check out SOTT radio's: The Health & Wellness Show: The Truth about Tobacco and the Benefits of Nicotine


Eye 1

How US-Qatar regime change deception produced 'Caesar' sanctions and Syria's famine

'Caesar'
© Unknown
'Caesar' meets with congressmen
Like the mysterious figure it is named for, the Caesar sanctions bill is the product of an elaborate deception by shadowy US- and Gulf-backed operatives. Instead of protecting Syrian civilians, the unilateral measures are driving them towards hunger and death.

The US Department of Treasury's imposition this June of the so-called Caesar Civilian Protection Act, a draconian set of economic sanctions on Syria, amounts to a medieval-style siege on all Syrians living inside the country.

Inspired by photos that Western governments and media claim were smuggled out of Syria by a supposed Syrian military whistleblower codenamed "Caesar," the sanctions are the product of a highly deceptive intelligence operation orchestrated by the US and Qatari governments.

As this investigation will demonstrate, a network of US- and Qatar-backed regime change operatives marketing themselves as human rights lawyers and concerned Syrian activists groomed the supposed whistleblower, managed his files, and worked overtime to obstruct public scrutiny.

Bulb

Margaret Sanger statues honor a racist and eugenicist; but as with Darwin, let her stay

Margaret Sanger
© Cliff, via Flickr
Bust of Margaret Sanger, National Portrait Gallery.
Historical statues are a dispersed temple to memory, in need of vigilant guarding. My own memory, like yours, includes things I'm proud of things and things I'm not proud of. We would hate to lose any of it, the good or the bad, which is why sensitive people loathe the current wave of unchecked vandalism.

I asked earlier today if statues of Charles Darwin will come down at the hands of the marauders, given the vital work his writing has done in justifying scientific racism, eugenics, and genocide. (For more on that, see the documentary Human Zoos, below.) But what about another key and linked figure in history? Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger advocated racist eugenic measures and did not shy from addressing a KKK rally. Yet she's honored by a bust in the National Portrait Gallery's civil rights exhibit, of all places.

Voices of Protest

African American pastors have requested, in an entirely civil plea, that the statue be removed, only to be rebuffed by the Smithsonian. Another statue of Sanger adorns Boston's Old South Meeting House, among other tributes to America's "Voices of Protest."

"Yes, she could certainly be called a Voice of Protest," Discovery Institute Fellow J. Budziszewski has written. "She strongly protested the great many people of the planet whom she considered unfit. She was a racist, a vociferous opponent of charity, and an advocate of controlled human breeding."

Sanger, in her book Woman and the New Race, protested the rising tide of immigrants and people of color in U.S. cities. She worried, "Of the fifty principal cities of the United States there are only fourteen in which fifty percent of the population is of unmixed native white parentage."

She would not have liked the look of New York City today, where there is a Margaret Sanger Square not far from Washington Square Park, a site of recent Black Lives Matter protests.

Info

Prehistorical petroglyph discovered in central Iran

Prehistorical petroglyph
© Tehran Times
Tehran - A prehistorical petroglyph, which bears Pahlavi script written by ordinary people of the time, has recently been found during an archaeological survey in Teymareh region of Khomein county, central Iran.

"This is the sixth petroglyph, engraved with Pahlavi script, which has so far been found in the highlands of Teymareh. And the petroglyph is estimated to date back to 2,200 years ago," IRIB quoted Iranian archaeologist Mohammad Nasserifard as saying on Wednesday.

"The difference between this inscription and other inscriptions of the Pahlavi script discovered in Iran, (which have been inscriptions ordered by monarchs and rulers) is that these manuscripts belong to ordinary people and those who were far from the power and governments," Nasserifard explained.

Pahlavi is a particular, exclusively written form of various Middle Iranian languages. Pahlavi compositions have been found for the dialects/ethnolects of Parthia, Persis, Sogdiana, Scythia, and Khotan.

Talking about the significance of the relics, the top archaeologist said "From the content of their texts, we can learn about the social and anthropological views of the Iranian people who lived in this region about two millennia ago."

"Therefore, the texts of these inscriptions are first-hand documents that can help researchers to discover more about the life of ordinary people who lived in this region some 2,200 years ago."

Colosseum

Ancient Canaanite scepter may be first proof of life-sized 'divine statues'

Canaanite
© Canaanite
A scepter from the Canaanite temple that is believed to have been part of a life-sized "divinity statue."
An approximately 3,200-year-old scepter found at a biblical site in southern Israel may be the first physical evidence of life-sized "divine statues" used in Canaanite rituals, according to a new report.

Yosef Garfinkel, an archaeology professor at Hebrew University of Jerusalem, wrote in the academic journal Antiquity that the scepter, which was made from bronze and coated in silver, was discovered inside the cellar of a Canaanite temple at Lachish.

He linked the scepter, which looks like a spatula, to a scepter found at Hatzor in the north, as well as to a small figurine found at the site of a Canaanite temple at Meggido.

Comment: See also: