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Later Communism totalitarian and oppressive? 'It was best time of my life' says Hungarian

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The golden years before Anglo-American 'free trade' (debt-slavery) devoured the world: Zsuzsanna, right, aged 14 with a friend
When people ask me what it was like growing up behind the Iron Curtain in Hungary in the Seventies and Eighties, most expect to hear tales of secret police, bread queues and other nasty manifestations of life in a one-party state.

They are invariably disappointed when I explain that the reality was quite different, and communist Hungary, far from being hell on earth, was in fact, rather a fun place to live.

The communists provided everyone with guaranteed employment, good education and free healthcare. Violent crime was virtually non-existent.

But perhaps the best thing of all was the overriding sense of camaraderie, a spirit lacking in my adopted Britain and, indeed, whenever I go back to Hungary today. People trusted one another, and what we had we shared.

I was born into a working-class family in Esztergom, a town in the north of Hungary, in 1968. My mother, Julianna, came from the east of the country, the poorest part. Born in 1939, she had a harsh childhood.

Comment: Whew, living under later Communism sounded truly horrid. Thank goodness the US and British governments saw to it that it was destroyed.

Now we can all be free and happy... together... in the gutter... as atomized automatons... with the NSA watching over us all... as the endless War on Terror... grinds on into infinity.




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Largest stone block from antiquity found at Baalbek, Lebanon

© Deutsches Archäologisches Institut
The largest stone block, partially buried. To the left is the Hajjar al-Hibla stone.
German archaeologists have discovered the largest stone ever carved by human hands, possibly dating to more than 2,000 years ago.

Still partially buried, the monolith measures 19.6 meters (64 feet) in length, 6 meters (19.6 feet) wide, and is at least 5.5 meters (18 feet) high. Its weight is estimated at a bulky 1,650 tons, making it biggest stone block from antiquity.

It was found by a team from the German Archaeological Institute in a stone quarry at Baalbek in Lebanon. Known as Heliopolis, "the city of the sun," during the Roman rule, Baalbek housed one of the grandest sanctuaries in the empire.

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Limestone 'Venus' 23,000 years old discovered in France

© Agence France-Presse
A person points to a 23,000 year-old chalk statue of a woman called the "Venus of Renancourt" which was found at the paleolithic site of Renancourt, France, November 27, 2014
A limestone statuette of a shapely woman some 23,000 years old has been discovered in northern France in what archaeologists Thursday described as an "exceptional" find.

Archaeologists stumbled on the Paleolithic-era sculpture during a dig in the summer in Amiens, the first such find in half a century.

"The discovery of this masterpiece is exceptional and internationally significant," said Nicole Phoyu-Yedid, the head of cultural affairs in the area, on showing the find to the media.

"We were expecting to find classical vestiges such as tooled flint or bones," said archaeologist Clement Paris.

Comment: See also: Ancient Siberian skeletons confirm Native American origins
Between 1928 and 1958, Russian scientists excavated a Siberian site in Mal'ta, Russia, near Lake Baikal, and unearthed a trove of Venus figurines along with the skeleton of a juvenile, all dating back approximately 24,000 years. The figurines were intriguing, because they were similar in style to ones made by European hunter-gatherers.



Gear

The Antikythera Mechanism: New analysis sets its calendar starting point to 205 B.C.

© National Archaeological Museum, Athens
Part of the Antikythera Mechanism, an astronomical calculator raised from a shipwreck in 1901.
A riddle for the ages may be a small step closer to a solution: Who made the famed Antikythera Mechanism, the astronomical calculator that was raised from an ancient shipwreck near Crete in 1901? The complex clocklike assembly of bronze gears and display dials predates other known examples of similar technology by more than 1,000 years. It accurately predicted lunar and solar eclipses, as well as solar, lunar and planetary positions.

For good measure, the mechanism also tracked the dates of the Olympic Games. Although it was not programmable in the modern sense, some have called it the first analog computer. Archaeologists and historians have long debated where the device was built, and by whom. Given its sophistication, some experts believe it must have been influenced, at least, by one of a small pantheon of legendary Greek scientists - perhaps Archimedes, Hipparchus or Posidonius. Its purpose has been debated, too. It has been described as, among other things, an eclipse predictor, an astrological forecasting system and an astronomical teaching device.

Now a new analysis of the dial used to predict eclipses, which is set on the back of the mechanism, provides yet another clue to one of history's most intriguing puzzles. Christián C. Carman, a science historian at the National University of Quilmes in Argentina, and James Evans, a physicist at the University of Puget Sound in Washington, suggest that the calendar of the mysterious device began in 205 B.C., just seven years after Archimedes died.

Comment: Ooparts (out of place artifact) like Antikythera are fascinating, because they lead us to the topic of the secret history of the world. Maybe Antikythera show hints of some technological knowledge that survived from earlier catastrophic event caused by cometary bombardment. What we know of our ancient history is highly distorted because these cataclysmic events seem to happen on a regular basis and also correlate with the periods of exceptional social turmoil. This is the key factor that our uniformitarianist science doesn't take into account.

Here is more information of Antikythera Mechanism:


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Are you celebrating American war crimes when you sit down for your turkey dinner?

© Rigourous Intuition
When Americans celebrate Thanksgiving, they don't know what they are celebrating.

In American folklore, Thanksgiving is a holiday that originated in 1621 with the Pilgrims celebrating a good harvest. Some historians say that this event is poorly documented, and others believe that the Thanksgiving tradition travelled to the New World with the Pilgrims and Puritans who brought with them the English Days of Thanksgiving. Other historians think the Pilgrims associated their relief from hunger with their observance of the relief of the siege of Leiden.

The Pilgrims' Thanksgiving, if it happened, might not have been the first in the New World. Historians say the Virginia colonial charter declared a Day of Thanksgiving in 1619, and other historians say the first Thanksgiving was observed by the Spanish in Florida in 1565.

Comment: For more on the sordid history of Thanksgiving see:

Lest we forget: The genocidal roots of Thanksgiving

Cooking the History Books: The Thanksgiving Massacre

American Thanksgiving: A pure glorification of racist barbarity


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Graves of "vampires" discovered in Poland were cholera victims

Archaeologists have discovered the graves of cholera victims which were treated like vampires to stop them rising from the grave and infecting the locals

© PLOS One
Excavations of graves suggested the deaths of six occupants were likely to have been viewed with fear and suspicion.
When archaeologists discovered graves in Poland where the dead had been buried with sickles across their throats and rocks under their chins, they assumed the unfortunate victims were suspected vampires.

But a new study suggests they actually died of cholera, and villages were afraid they would rise from the dead, bringing the deadly disease back with them form the underworld.

In post-medieval northwestern Poland little was understood about how diseases spread and it was thought the first to die in deadly outbreaks would return from the dead as vampires.

So they were subjected to funerary rites involving traditional practices intended to prevent evil.

These rites occurred throughout the 17th and 18th centuries as cholera epidemics swept through Eastern Europe.

The unusual graves were among hundreds of normal burials.

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Stone Age axe found deliberately stuck in the mud

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© Museum Lolland-Falster
The shafted axe was found standing up vertically into the earth.
Archaeologists in southern Denmark have unearthed a 5,500-year-old axe with the handle still attached. The axe was deliberately jammed into what used to be the seabed during the Stone Age.

The finding was made during an archaeological survey for the construction of the Femern Belt link, an immersed tunnel that will connect the German island of Fehmarn with the Danish island of Lolland. Earlier this month, the same dig yielded 5,000-year-old footprints.

"Axes are among the typical finds from the Stone Age, but in hafted form (attached to a handle), they are extremely rare," Anne-Lotte Sjørup Mathiesen of the Museum Lolland-Falster, said in a statement.

The axe was found stuck 12 inches down into the seabed, along with other artifacts which include a paddle, two bows and some 14 axe shafts.

As a result of the particular conditions of the silted seabed, all items were extremely well preserved.

Sherlock

New species of dinosaur discovered lying forgotten in a museum

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© University of Bath/PA
Pentaceratops aquiloniua
A palaeontologist from University of Bath studying fossils that were kept in a museum in Canada for over 75 years has discovered a new species of dinosaur.

Dr. Nick Longrich from our University studied the fossilized bones of two horned dinosaurs from the ceratopsian family and found that they were, in fact, two previously unknown species. The findings reveal that the dinosaur species from this region were much more diverse than first thought.

"We thought we had discovered most of the species, but it seems there are many undiscovered dinosaurs left," said Dr. Nick Longrich from the University's Department of Biology & Biochemistry. "There are lots of species out there. We've really only just scratched the surface."

One of the new species represents a new species of Pentaceratops, named Pentaceratops aquilonius. Pentaceratops, a smaller cousin of Triceratops, belong to the Chasmosaurinae, a group of large, horned dinosaurs characterized by long brow horns and elongate frills. Around the size of a buffalo, they were a major group of plant eating dinosaurs in western North America at the end of the Cretaceous Period, around 75 million years ago. The other appears to represent a new species of Kosmoceratops.

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Mysterious Roman god baffles experts

© Peter Jülich
An unknown Roman god was recently unearthed at a sanctuary in southeast Turkey. The god, who is emerging from a plant, is depicted with both Near Eastern and Roman elements, and may have been a baal, or subdeity, of the temple's major god, Jupiter Dolichenus.
A sculpture of a mysterious, never-before-seen Roman deity has been unearthed in an ancient temple in Turkey.

The 1st century B.C. relief, of an enigmatic bearded god rising up out of a flower or plant, was discovered at the site of a Roman temple near the Syrian border. The ancient relief was discovered in a supporting wall of a medieval Christian monastery.

"It's clearly a god, but at the moment it's difficult to say who exactly it is," said Michael Blömer, an archaeologist at the University of Muenster in Germany, who is excavating the site. "There are some elements reminiscent of ancient Near Eastern gods, as well, so it might be some very old god from before the Romans." [See Images of the Mysterious Roman God]

The ancient Roman god is a complete mystery; more than a dozen experts contacted by Live Science had no idea who the deity was.

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Bone analysis shows Gravettian people ate mammoth

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© Nomad_Soul / Fotolia
Artist's depiction of cave painting of primitive hunt.
Biogeologists have shown how Gravettian people shared their food 30,000 years ago.

Předmostí I is an exceptional prehistoric site located near Brno in the Czech Republic. Around 30,000 years ago, it was inhabited by people of the pan-European Gravettian culture, who used the bones of more than 1000 mammoths to build their settlement and to ivory sculptures. Did prehistoric people collect this precious raw material from carcasses -- easy to spot on the big cold steppe -- or were they the direct result of hunting for food? This year-round settlement also yielded a large number of canids remains, some of them with characteristics of Palaeolithic dogs. Were these animals used to help hunt mammoths?

To answer these two questions, Tübingen researcher Hervé Bocherens and his international team carried out an analysis of carbon and nitrogen stable isotopes in human and animal fossil bones from the site. Working with researchers from Brno and Brussels, the researchers were able to test whether the Gravettian people of Předmostí ate mammoth meat and how the "palaeolithic dogs" fit into this subsistence picture.