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Sun, 16 May 2021
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Secret History


Brutal murder of warrior Pharaoh reconstructed using CT scans

© Dr. Sahar Saleem
Sahar Saleem places the mummy of pharaoh Seqenenre into a CT scanner.
Since the mummy of pharaoh Seqenenre Taa II, who ruled over southern Egypt in the 16th century BCE, was found in the 1880s, researchers have debated the circumstances of his obvious murder. Visible to the naked eye, the king's crushed facial bones, punctured skull, and contorted hands tell a grisly but incomplete story. Was he the victim of a palace conspiracy? Did he die as a prisoner of enemy invaders?

Now, a forensic investigation has combined CT scans used to reconstruct in three dimensions the king's bones and soft tissues with an analysis of archaeological artifacts and historical accounts to sort through theories surrounding the king's death and provide a more detailed understanding of his final moments.

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Treasure Chest

Trove of 650 coins bearing likenesses of Caesar, Mark Antony unearthed in Turkey

roman coin trove turkey
© Courtesy of Pamukkale University
Archaeologists uncovered the coins in 2019 but only examined them recently due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Archaeologists in the ancient Turkish city of Aizanoi have discovered a cache of 651 Roman coins in a vessel buried near a stream, reports Muharrem Cin for the state-run Anadolu Agency.

"The jug was aimed to be kept [in place] by three terracotta plates covering it," lead archaeologist Elif Özer of Pamukkale University tells the Hurriyet Daily News, adding that that the coins were likely buried during Emperor Augustus' reign (27 B.C. — 14 A.D.).

Per a statement, the scholars concluded that 439 of the coins were denarii, a type of silver coin first introduced in the third century B.C., while 212 were cistophori, or silver coins from Pergamum, an ancient Greek city in what is now Turkey. Though the researchers discovered the coins in 2019, they weren't able to examine them until recently due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

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MindMatters: Mr. Jones and the 'Holodomor' Red Pill - What Happened During Stalin's Famine?

mr jones
Based on true events, Agnieszka Holland's 2019 film Mr. Jones tells the story of an English government functionary who, hot off the heels of interviewing Hitler in the early 1930's, tasked himself with going to Soviet Russia to interview Stalin. The story's protagonist, Gareth Jones, seeks to inform Stalin of Hitler's plans for European domination and plant the seeds of an alliance between England and the Soviet Union that could offset the Nazi party's plans. In the process, Jones learns that the Communist nation's rapid development is due in large part to the amount of grain it is extracting from the Ukraine. The scandal drives Jones on an odyssey and discovery of truth and horror as he learns of what later became known as the 'Holodomor famine'.

In this week's MindMatters show, we delve into the surrounding context and facts about Holodomor - and how despite his own shady background, Mr. Jones got the story right, unlike his shameless colleague at the New York Times, Walter Duranty. But like much of how history is presented in art, and elsewhere, the omission of crucial information also threatens to turn a story on its head and make it perfect fodder for contemporary propaganda - even decades after the fact. With that in mind we also discuss the implications of mass collectivization, the realities of a Communist political system, and how the film speaks, perhaps unwittingly, to many detrimental developments that we are now witnessing on the world stage. Historical events are often quite complicated, but with a nuanced examination of how history is told, and the real lessons that may be derived from it, we may better see where we are, and where we're going.

Running Time: 01:24:52

Download: MP3 — 77.7 MB

Red Flag

Reviewing "Repressive Tolerance" and other works by Herbert Marcuse, the quack who became America's most influential thinker

In my early twenties, I read an expedition was being planned in search of the grave of Genghis Khan. Being young, game, and interested in writing on an adventure, I inquired about tagging along.

I found a professor at Harvard connected with the mission, whom I quizzed about its likelihood of success. The man laughed and eventually revealed the team had little idea where Khan was buried. Some colleagues merely dug up a few stories of Khan's death that would be enough to take in a sponsor.

I was blown away. How, I asked, could the archaeologists justify that?

"Son," he laughed. "They're intellectuals. They can justify anything."

People complain about QAnon, but truly lasting, impactful lunacy is always exclusive to intellectuals. Everyone else is constrained. You can't fish on land for long. Same with using a chainsaw for headache relief. An intellectual may freely mistake bullshit for Lincoln logs and spend a lifetime building palaces. Which brings us to Herbert Marcuse.

Often called the "Father of the New Left," and the inspiration for a generation of furious thought-policing nitwits of the Robin DiAngelo school, Marcuse was a great intellectual. Most Americans have never heard of him — he died in 1979 — but his ideas today are ubiquitous as Edison's lightbulbs. He gave us everything from "Silence Equals Violence" to "Too Much Democracy" to the "Crisis of Misinformation" to In Defense of Looting to the 1619 Project and Antiracist Baby, and from the grave has cheered countless recent news stories, from the firing of Mandalorian actress Gina Corano to the erasure of raw footage of the Capitol riot from YouTube to...

Comment: Taibbi's article is paywalled. For James Lindsay's read-through and analysis of "Repressive Tolerance", see these:

Magic Wand

Whitewashing Britain's largest intelligence agency: GCHQ

GCHQ antennae
Electronic intelligence-gathering antennae used by GCHQ in Yorkshire, Britain
The new 'authorised history' of GCHQ, Britain's largest intelligence agency, ignores or simply dismisses its most controversial activities as supposed scandals, giving a thoroughly one-sided account of the spy agency.

First, it was the Security Service, MI5; then the Secret Intelligence Service, MI6; now GCHQ has approved an authorised history.

GCHQ was the most secretive of Britain's security and intelligence agencies. Its eye-catching modern headquarters, widely referred to as "the doughnut", is now the best-known building in Cheltenham, a spa town in southwest England.

GCHQ has more than 7,000 staff - many of them computer wizards, mathematicians and linguists - excluding Royal Air Force, Navy and Army signals experts working with the agency. It takes up the lion's share of Britain's £3-billion plus secret intelligence budget.

The initials GCHQ, which not so long ago could only be whispered, are prominently displayed on local bus routes. GCHQ's books of puzzles are popular Christmas gifts.

"Behind the Enigma" is the clever but misleading title of the spy agency's authorised history. Over more than 600 pages, its author, Canadian historian John Ferris, ignores or simply dismisses GCHQ's most controversial activities - notably, the bulk interception of private communications without proper safeguards - as "scandals". It is a description he uses to suggest that concerns about what GCHQ has been up to are exaggerated.

Blue Planet

Most southerly evidence of Neanderthals revealed in cave in Palestine

© Amos Frumkin
The view from Shuqba Cave.
The fossilised tooth of a nine-year-old child found in Shuqba (or Shukbah) Cave is the most southerly evidence of Neanderthals ever discovered.

New archaeological evidence from the cave, in the hills to the north of Jerusalem, also suggests for the first time that Neanderthals used a stone tool-making technology thought to have been unique to modern humans.

Chris Stringer, a human evolution expert at the Museum, says, 'There are two fascinating things about this discovery.

'Firstly, we have speculated for a long time whether Neanderthals ever got to Africa. Shuqba is just a few hundred miles from Africa, so this finding really adds to the possibility that they did make it there.

Comment: For more on the Neanderthals, check out: The Golden Age, Psychopathy and the Sixth Extinction

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Oxfordshire, UK: 'Astonishing' dig reveals domestic life in the iron age

Wittenham ironage roundhouse
© DigVentures
An iron age roundhouse revealed by archaeologists at the site near Wittenham Clumps.
When archaeologists began excavating land near the iron age hillfort at Wittenham Clumps, a famous Oxfordshire landmark, they were hopeful of unearthing something of interest because the area has been occupied for more than 3,000 years. But nothing prepared them for the excitement of discovering an extended iron age settlement, with the remains of more than a dozen roundhouses dating from 400BC to 100BC - as well as an enormous Roman villa built in the late third to early fourth century.

The structures would have remained buried beneath the sprawling green landscape if not for a decision by Earth Trust, the environmental charity that cares for it, to redevelop its visitor centre. Investigating the archaeology was part of the planning application.


Origin of modern humans cannot be traced to a single point

Experts from the Natural History Museum, The Francis Crick Institute and the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History Jena have joined together to untangle the different meanings of ancestry in the evolution of our species Homo sapiens.

Ancient Skulls
© Natural Museum History
From left to right, the skulls of Homo erectus, Homo heidelbergensis, Homo neanderthalensis and Homo sapiens.
Most of us are fascinated by our ancestry, and by extension the ancestry of the human species. We regularly see headlines like 'New human ancestor discovered' or 'New fossil changes everything we thought about our ancestry', and yet the meanings of words like ancestor and ancestry are rarely discussed in detail. In the new paper, published in Nature, experts review our current understanding of how modern human ancestry around the globe can be traced into the distant past, and which ancestors it passes through during our journey back in time.

Co-author researcher at the Natural History Museum Prof Chris Stringer said: "Some of our ancestors will have lived in groups or populations that can be identified in the fossil record, whereas very little will be known about others. Over the next decade, growing recognition of our complex origins should expand the geographic focus of paleoanthropological fieldwork to regions previously considered peripheral to our evolution, such as Central and West Africa, the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia."

The study identified three key phases in our ancestry that are surrounded by major questions, and which will be frontiers in coming research. From the worldwide expansion of modern humans about 40-60 thousand years ago and the last known contacts with archaic groups such as the Neanderthals and Denisovans, to an African origin of modern human diversity about 60-300,000 years ago, and finally the complex separation of modern human ancestors from archaic human groups about 300,000 to 1 million years ago.


Chrystia Freeland: Rhodes Scholar Trustee of the WEF, Deputy PM of Canada and the Failure of the 'Super Elite'

© Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Canadian FM Chrystia Freeland • World Economic Forum
Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland has become a bit of a living parody of everything wrong with the detached technocratic neo-liberal order which has driven the world through 50 years of post-industrial decay.

As the February 2, 2021 National Post coverage of Freeland's leading role as trustee of the World Economic Forum makes clear: Her role as Deputy Prime Minister of Canada (which is nominally a position devoted to protecting the interests of Canadians) creates more than a small conflict of interest. The WEF Great Reset agenda is, after all, nothing more than a dystopic program aimed at deconstructing industrial civilization under the cover of COVID-19 and this is not something which benefits any nation.

It is also important to keep in mind that the technocratic globalists whom Freeland represents have worked hard to undo the aberration of Donald Trump which profoundly altered the sacred script which had been obeyed for so many decades without much resistance. Even though Biden was imposed onto the American people this year, it is vital to recall that the script is profoundly flawed, and Trump's 2016 victory was but one display of that.


Ancient graves and mysterious enclosure discovered at Stonehenge ahead of tunnel construction

woman grave at stonhenge
© Wessex Archaeology
The grave of a woman in her 20s, crouched around a pot or beaker, was found by archaeologists only a short distance from the Neolithic stone circle at Stonehenge. It is thought to date from about 4,500 years ago.
Archaeological work ahead of the construction of a controversial road tunnel beside Stonehenge has led to the discovery of ancient graves, including one with the remains of a baby dating back more than 4,500 years; a strange earth enclosure; and prehistoric pottery, among other buried treasures.

Some of the finds may have been used by people who built the mysterious Neolithic monument, and all of the discoveries show that the region was inhabited by different ancient peoples for thousands of years.

"Collectively, [the finds] allow us to build up an ever-more-detailed picture of what people were doing and how they were living in the area around Stonehenge," Matt Leivers, a consultant archaeologist for Wessex Archaeology, told Live Science.

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