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Jericho's Tower: World's first skyscraper sought to intimidate masses, promote agriculture?

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© Travelujah
Constructed 11,000 years ago, Jericho tower was aimed at promoted the farming life, archeologists say.

The world's first skyscraper was built by early farmers, who were frightened into erecting a solar marker by mankind's early bosses, archaeologists say.

Long before its Biblical walls came tumbling down, Jericho's residents were being enticed to give up hunting and gathering and start farming for a living. They settled in this oasis next to the Jordan River and built a mysterious 8.5-meter (28-foot) stone tower on the edge of town.

When discovered by archaeologists in 1952, it was dated at over 11,000 years old, making it the first and oldest public building even found. But its purpose and the motivation for erecting it has been debated ever since.

Now, using computer technology, Israeli archaeologists are saying it was built to mark the summer solstice and as a symbol that would entice people to abandon their nomadic ways and settle down.

"The tower was constructed by a major building effort. People were working for a very long time and very hard. It was not like the other domestic buildings in Jericho," said Ran Barkai of the Department of Archaeology at Tel Aviv University, who was part of a team that did the computer analysis.

Comment: From the Superluminal Communication session dated 02 November, 1994:

Q: (L) Who were the original inhabitants of the city of Jericho?
A: Aramaic.
Q: (L) There was a stone tower at one of the lower levels, what was it built for?
A: Energy disbursement. Attempt to duplicate tower of Babel and Atlantean crystal towers.

Also read Origins of Agriculture - Did Civilization Arise to Deliver a Fix? to understand how introducing agriculture contributed to the gradual decline of our civilization.


Cult

Jewish ritual bath found in Baltimore may be oldest in U.S.

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© Algerina Perna
Archaeologists peeling back layers of history beneath the historic Lloyd Street Synagogue in East Baltimore have uncovered what is believed to be the oldest Jewish ritual bath complex in the United States.

Hints of the presence of the 1845 bath, or "mikveh," were first detected during excavations in 2001. But further digging this winter has revealed about a quarter of a five-foot-deep wooden tub, and linked it to a related cistern found in 2008, and to remains of a brick hearth once used to warm the bath's water.

"The idea of a ritual bath complex helps fill out the history of Jewish religious practice in this country," said Avi Decter, executive director of the Jewish Museum of Maryland, of which the old Lloyd Street Synagogue is now a part. "This is a very ancient practice, going back thousands of years."

The 1845 mikveh is just a few feet away from a pair of more modern, tile-lined baths, built and used by the Shomrei Misheres Orthodox congregation that used the building after 1905.

Question

"Wildest Mammoth in the West" Found?

While researchers in northern Colorado dig up the bones of giant Ice Age mammoths (see gallery), others nearby in southeastern Utah are looking at a very different record of these extinct creatures.

High on a cliff overlooking the floodplain of the San Juan River, rock art specialists Ekkehart Malotki and Henry Wallace have examined several highly stylized images carved into the rock face including what they believe to be the first example of prehistoric Native American rock art to show a mammoth. While such images are common in the caves of Europe, they are surprisingly unknown in the New World.

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© Ekkehart Malotki
This image from 15 feet up a cliff face in southeastern Utah shows two overlapping engravings, including one interpreted by researchers as a mammoth.
To be sure, many other American mammoth images have surfaced in the past two centuries, but until recently all had either disappeared or been shown to be forgeries. In 2009 however a bone from Vero Beach, Florida surfaced with a detailed engraving of a mammoth, and several tests and expert opinions have so far supported its authenticity. Here too though, further tests are needed before a final verdict is reached. (Read more about the Vero Beach mammoth.)

Well aware of this history of promise and disappointment, Malotki and Wallace set out to verify this most recent find.

Magnify

US: In Pacific Discovery, Traces of Nantucket and 'Moby-Dick'

Remains of an 1800s Nantucket whaling ship with a poignant tie to the book Moby-Dick have been discovered on a remote reef almost 600 miles northwest of Honolulu.


The Two Brothers is the first wrecked Nantucket whaler to be discovered, and the chance find illuminates an era when close to 150 whaling ships from this tiny island set out across the world's oceans in search of the lucrative oil extracted from blubber and left behind the near-extinction of many whale species.

While marine archeologists are ecstatic at the information they hope to glean from the coral-encrusted cooking pots and blubber hooks, the artifacts also complete the tale of a famously cursed captain: George Pollard Jr., who had commanded the Essex, the whaler from Nantucket that was sunk by an enraged sperm whale and inspired Herman Melville to write his classic novel.

Bulb

New View of Human Evolution? 3.2 Million-Year-Old Fossil Foot Bone Supports Humanlike Bipedalism in Lucy's Species

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© Carol Ward/University of Missouri
This image shows the position of the fourth metatarsal Australopithecus afarensis (AL 333-160) recovered from Hadar, Ethiopia, in a foot skeleton.
A fossilized foot bone recovered from Hadar, Ethiopia, shows that by 3.2 million years ago human ancestors walked bipedally with a modern human-like foot, a report that appears Feb. 11 in the journal Science, concludes. The fossil, a fourth metatarsal, or midfoot bone, indicates that a permanently arched foot was present in the species Australopithecus afarensis, according to the report authors, Carol Ward of the University of Missouri, together with William Kimbel and Donald Johanson, of Arizona State University's Institute of Human Origins.

The research helps resolve a long-standing debate between paleoanthropologists who think A. afarensis walked essentially as modern humans do and those who think this species practiced a form of locomotion intermediate between the quadrupedal tree-climbing of chimpanzees and human terrestrial bipedalism. The question of whether A. afarensis had fully developed pedal, or foot, arches has been part of this debate. The fourth metatarsal described in the Science report provides strong evidence for the arches and, the authors argue, support a modern-human style of locomotion for this species. The specimen was recovered from the Hadar locality 333, popularly known as the "First Family Site," the richest source of A. afarensis fossils in eastern Africa, with more than 250 specimens, representing at least 17 individuals, so far known.

Bad Guys

From Dresden to Gaza: Some people never change

Goodnes over Dresden
© Richard Peter, 1946, Air Force Magazine
August Schreitmüller's sandstone sculpture "The Goodness" on Dresden's town hall overlooking the city in 1946, after the February 13-15, 1945 bombing.
64 years since that ill-fated day when Dresden was completely destroyed by the Allied forces and defenseless civilians perished helplessly in a firestorm of bombing raids, questions remain unanswered. One of the most beautiful and green-laden cities of Europe, "with a pleasant location and a mild climate on the Elbe, Baroque-style architecture housing numerous world-renowned museums and art collections, Dresden became known as 'Elbflorenz' (Florence on the Elbe)." The descriptions of the city as well as pictures from that time also give us an idea about the people inhabiting it: they must have been individuals who cared about beauty, art and nature, and who were predominantly civilized and refined, personality traits reflected in their cityscape. But their lives were destined to change overnight, the beautiful city traumatised by the horrific events of Valentine's Day 1945, its charred remains testimony to the psychopaths in power's relentless oppression of humanity.

As we now know, after years of following the events of our world and observing how the pathocrats make war as an excuse to "express their thirst for blood and evilness", the deliberate targeting of the most humane of people is a favorite tactic, one with the added benefit of extinguishing certain bloodlines and genetics. It wouldn't be surprising if the pathocrats wanted Dresden destroyed for what it stood for, as a symbolic warning to the rest of humanity. And the psychopathic leaders of the time went over and beyond with brutality, ceasing only at humanity's opposition. That's how psychopaths gauge when enough is enough, since they don't posses the internal "stop-cruelty switch" themselves. Same story with the recent carnage in Gaza. Without humanity voicing its opposition (citizens rather than heads of states and governments), the Israeli government would have "cleared out" Gaza completely. And so the British and US forces, following commands from above, unleashed hell on the city of Dresden.

Footprints

Arabian Gulf: the Cradle of Civilisation?

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Is the Arabian Gulf the Cradle of Civilisation? Yes, postulates Dr Jeffrey Rose, archaeologist and researcher at the University of Birmingham, UK, in a recently published paper. Rose's paper summarises the theories that are now gaining ground and causing considerable excitement among Middle Eastern archaeologists and historians: that the shallow waters of the Gulf may well hide evidence of the earliest human migrations out of Africa.

Around 8,000 years ago, when the last Ice Age drew to a close, rising sea levels resulting from the melting of the ice caused the Indian Ocean to break through a natural barrier in what is now known as the Straits of Hormuz. In what must have been the mother of all waterfalls, sea water poured through the gap and over a period of some 200 years flooded what had been a fertile plain, watered by rivers including the Tigris and Euphrates in what is now Iraq, and springs which welled up from an aquifer through the karstic limestone which lines the basin. Such springs, known as khawakh in local Arabic, still exist to this day and are thought to have given rise to the name Bahrain - 'two seas', ie salt and fresh water.

During the Pleistocene period, which ended around 12,000 years ago, the inhabitants of Arabia were among the first anatomically modern humans to branch from the common ancestral population that first appeared in East Africa some 190,000 years ago.

Sherlock

University of Arizona scientists carbon-date mysterious Renaissance-era document

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© Unknown
Researchers at the University of Arizona have solved one of the biggest mysteries about what has been called "the world's most mysterious manuscript."

Using radiocarbon dating, a team led by Greg Hodgins in the UA's department of physics has determined that the enigmatic Voynich Manuscript was penned someone in the early 15th century, making it a century older than scholars once thought.

A release from the University of Arizona states that the "The DaVinci Code" is lackluster compared to The Voynich Manuscript - which contains alien characters penned in a language no one understands, flowing artistically between illustrations of plants, astronomical charts and human figures.

Hodgins is fascinated with the mystery.

"Is it a code, a cipher of some kind?" he asks. "People are doing statistical analysis of letter use and word use - the tools that have been used for code breaking. But they still haven't figured it out."

But thanks to Hodgins' team, its age has been figured out. He traveled to Yale University and dissected a pieces of the parchment to obtain four tiny samples that were brought back to Tucson.

Comment: This journalistic piece is a bit sensationalized. The author of the study in question writes:
"It would be great if we could directly radiocarbon date the inks, but it is actually really difficult to do. First, they are on a surface only in trace amounts" Hodgins said. "The carbon content is usually extremely low. Moreover, sampling ink free of carbon from the parchment on which it sits is currently beyond our abilities. Finally, some inks are not carbon based, but are derived from ground minerals. They're inorganic, so they don't contain any carbon."



Info

Scientists Hunting for Giant Prehistoric Rat Fossils Stumble Across Ancient Rock Portraits

Ancient Portraits_1
© John Brush
Portraits: Australian researchers exploring a large cave on the north-east tip of East Timor were stunned to find a row of engraved faces staring at them from the wall.
A team of scientists searching for fossils of giant rats from a prehistoric age have stumbled across an extraordinary 'gallery' of rock art portraits up to 12,000 years old.

The Australian researchers were exploring a large cave on the north-east tip of East Timor, which gained independence from Indonesia after a bloody conflict in 2002, when they were stunned to find, by chance, a row of engraved faces staring at them from the wall.

'Looking up from the cave floor at a colleague sitting on a ledge, my head torch shone on what seemed to be a weathered carving,' said Dr Ken Aplin of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, based in Canberra.

'I shone the torch around and saw a whole panel of engraved prehistoric human faces on the wall of the cave.

'The local landowners with whom we were working were stunned by the findings.

'They said the faces had chosen that day to reveal themselves because they were pleased by the field work we were doing.'

Chalkboard

American Science Decline: The Cause and Cure

Peer Review
© Gideon Burton/Flickr

The methodology is seriously and multiply flawed that was invented by the National Science Foundation in the 1950s for U.S. Government funding of science. Those flaws have been gradually undermining, corrupting, and trivializing American science for decades. Here I disclose the principal flaws and point the way for the President of the United States to correct them.

Science is an important component for the strength of America and for the well being of her people. Science is the mother that gives birth to the technology that makes our economy robust and our military strong. Science improves our health and enables us to see our world in ways never before envisioned, uplifting spirits and boosting national prestige. But for the past four decades, despite ever-increasing science budgets, American science has continued to decline toward third-world status. Why? Because fundamental mistakes underlie the methodology by which the U.S. Government supports science.

Before World War II there was very little government funding of science, but that changed because of war-time necessities. In 1951, the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) was established to provide support for post-World War II scientific research. The methodology for administrating science-funding, invented in the early 1950s by NSF, has been adopted essentially unchanged by virtually all subsequent U.S. Government funding agencies, such as the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). The problem is this: That methodology is flawed and those flaws have been gradually undermining, corrupting, and trivializing American science for decades. Here I disclose the principal flaws and point the way for the President of the United States to correct them.