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Thu, 20 Feb 2020
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Zodiacal system in Iron-Age Britain

British Iron-Age coin showing back-to-back crescent moons
© Prehistory Decoded
British Iron-Age coin showing back-to-back crescent moons.
While the Picts, famous for their symbol stones, were fighting each other, and then the Romans, in Scotland, British Celts were fighting each other, and then the Romans, in the rest of Britain. Nearly all these people, and their culture, were imported from mainland Europe in the preceding few millennia - we now know this from genetic studies. This means the British and Scottish Celts represent the tail-end of the Indo-European migration from the Pontic Steppe.

Several millennia before that, the indigenous hunter-gather population was almost totally replaced by Anatolian farmers. So we have the sequence: hunter-gatherers, Anatolian farmers, Indo-Europeans, in the British Isles.

However, we now suspect all these different cultures used practically the same zodiacal system - only a some of the symbols seem to differ across this vast timescape. We know this because of the correlations in Palaeolithic cave art, Anatolian Gobekli Tepe and Catalhoyuk, and Celtic western Europe. It appears to have been in operation right from the time the first sapiens set foot in Europe. Quite possibly, it was developed elsewhere, over 40,000 years ago, and transported across the whole world.

We can therefore expect the rest of the British Isles to have used the same zodiacal system as the Picts to the North. The Picts were nothing special.


Rare Assyrian stone relief discovered in Iraq

Ancient Relief Iraq
© Isabella Finzi Contini
Ancient reliefs rarely found outside of palaces depict a procession of Assyrian gods, including the main deity Assur and his consort Mullissu, standing on lions, dragons, and other animals.
In the eighth century BC, Assyrian King Sargon II ruled over a wealthy and powerful empire that included much of today's Middle East and inspired fear among its neighbors. Now a team of Italian and Iraqi Kurdish archeologists working in northern Iraq have uncovered ten stone reliefs that adorned a sophisticated canal system dug into bedrock.

The surprising find of such beautifully crafted carvings — typically found only in royal palaces — sheds light on the impressive public works supported by a leader better known for his military prowess, msn.com reported.

"Assyrian rock reliefs are extremely rare monuments," said Daniele Morandi Bonacossi, an archeologist at Italy's University of Udine, who co-led the recent expedition. With one exception, no such panels have been found in their original location since 1845.

"And it is highly probable that more reliefs, and perhaps also monumental celebratory cuneiform inscriptions, are still buried under the soil debris that filled the canal."

The site near the town of Faida, close to the border with Turkey, has been largely closed to researchers for a half century due to modern conflict. In 1973 a British team noted the tops of three stone panels, but tensions between Kurds and the Baathist regime in Baghdad prevented further work.

An expedition led by Morandi Bonacossi returned in 2012 and found six more reliefs. The subsequent invasion by Daesh terrorist group again halted research efforts.ffer

Eye 1

Retired Mossad agent's claims of Israel's 'greatest spy' at top of Egyptian establishment

© Mossad website / screenshot
Although Ashraf Marwan, known as one of Israeli intelligence's valuable assets under the code name "Angel", died under suspicious circumstances in London years ago, speculations about his work continue, including allegations that he was a double agent. The control who ran him for decades is now shedding light on his story.

A retired staffer from the Israeli intelligence service Mossad has refuted claims that former Egyptian President Anwar Sadat's aide Ashraf Marwan, who passed on information to Tel Aviv for years, was a double agent in an interview with the outlet Haaretz. The 85-year-old, who asked to conceal his identity and was featured in the article as Dubi, acted as a handler for the valuable asset at the very top of the Egyptian establishment and regularly met him. He describes the agent, whose code name was "Angel", as the Egyptian president's confidant and mediator with the Saudi and Libyan intelligence chiefs, who was "like a brother" to Libyan ruler Muammar Gaddafi.

As the former Mossad staffer confirmed, Marwan first contacted Israel himself. His motives remained unknown, however, and this bothered headquarters in Tel Aviv, according to Dubi, who explained that "intelligence personnel don't like volunteers and are wary of them". As Dubi suggested, their Egyptian asset "wanted money and lots of it".

Comment: See also: Dead 'Mossad spy' was writing exposé


What Poland Has to Hide About The Origins of World War II

nazi occupation poland
© Waldemar Engler/ Wikimedia Commons
A Nazi prepares to shoot a man during the Piaśnica massacres of 1939-1940, in which 12,000-14,000 Poles (intelligentsia, psychiatric patients, and others) were killed.
On 20 December 2019 President Vladimir Putin intervened very publicly to correct the West's fake history of the origins and waging of World War II. Four days later, obviously exasperated, he took aim at Poland, characterising the Polish ambassador in Berlin during the latter 1930s, Jósef Lipski, as "a bastard and anti-Semitic pig". The Polish governing elite was notoriously anti-Semitic, and in 1938 Lipski told Adolf Hitler that the Poles would "'erect him a beautiful monument in Warsaw' if he carried out [a] plan to expel European Jews to Africa." In reaction, the Polish parliament, with a bipartisan majority, has indicated its intention "to pass a law that criminalizes lies about the causes of World War II." Putin's language about Lipski was not very presidential, but he was clearly outraged. He had reasons to be.

Last August the Canadian prime minister, Justin Trudeau, issued a statement lamenting the "infamous" Nazi-Soviet non-aggression pact, concluded on 23 August 1939. Trudeau equated the Soviet Union with Nazi Germany in bringing "untold suffering upon people across Europe". Obviously, Trudeau knows nothing about the origins and unfolding of World War II, but he is not alone. A few weeks later the European Parliament in Strasbourg (PACE) approved a resolution along the same lines as Trudeau's statement: the Nazi-Soviet non-aggression pact "paved the way for the outbreak of the Second World War." The resolution appears to have originated with a group of Polish MEPs representing the right-wing, so-called ECR Group. For PACE and the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), such resolutions are old hat. In 2008-2009 PACE established a bogus holiday on 23 August to commemorate the victims of fascist and communist "totalitarianism" and the signing of the Nazi-Soviet non-aggression pact. East Europeans and the NATO (read: the United States) Parliamentary Assembly were also behind the launch of the new "holiday". The Poles would do well not to raise questions about the origins of the World War II. It is rather like digging with a stick into a pile of manure. As soon as you stir it up, the manure begins to stink.


75th anniversary: Newly-released wartime docs debunk modern Polish myths about Soviet liberation of Warsaw

poland warsaw liberation

A Polish soldier waves the national flag in Warsaw, after it was liberated by the Soviet Union and its Polish allies on January 14-17, 1945.
Warsaw was liberated by Soviet forces 75 years ago today — and Polish officials have cloaked the pivotal event in myths ever since. Yet, newly-released historical documents help shed some light on the truth.

Official Warsaw had no plans to celebrate this date — but it is not the first time that Poland has ignored the liberation of its state capital. Since the collapse of the Soviet Bloc in the early 1990s, politicians across Eastern European have pushed the notion that the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany were equally responsible for instigating World War II — and the idea that Red Army soldiers led a brutal occupation, instead of liberating Poland, has firmly found its place in the nation's history books.

That view continues to prevail in some other European states, too — but a trove of recently-declassified wartime documents, published by the Russian Defense Ministry, tells a different story.

Myth 1: 'Only the Home Army were true heroes'

With Poland under Nazi occupation, the Home Army (Armia Krajowa/AK), which supported the country's London-based government-in-exile, became a dominant resistance movement. Decades on, the AK are lionized by many in modern Poland as the true heroes and patriots of history, while Poles who helped Soviet forces are often demonized as traitors.

The AK are hailed in annual ceremonies around a white obelisk erected in the 90s in downtown Warsaw to honor their efforts. In 2019, President Andrzej Duda honored surviving AK members as role models and a "precious treasure of history."

Comment: Poland is so far gone into delusion that it isn't even commemorating this event. 200,000 Soviet soldiers died to liberate Warsaw... for what?

Even Poland's 'democratic revolutionary leader' in the 1980s, Lech Walesa, thinks Putin should have been invited to attend something.


Britain secretly funded Reuters in 1960s & 1970s declassified docs reveal

A file photo from the Reuters archive shows journalists in the Reuters Newsroom at 85 Fleet Street, London, during the British General Election of 1950.
The British government secretly funded Reuters in the 1960s and 1970s at the behest of an anti-Soviet propaganda unit linked to British intelligence and concealed the funding by using the BBC to make the payments, declassified government documents show.

The money was used to expand Reuters coverage of the Middle East and Latin America and hidden by increased news subscription payments to Reuters from the BBC.

"We are now in a position to conclude an agreement providing discreet Government support for Reuter services in the Middle East and Latin America," according to a redacted 1969 British government document marked "Secret" and entitled "Funding of Reuters by HMG".

"HMG's interests should be well served by the new arrangement," said the document, which was declassified last year. HMG stands for Her Majesty's Government.

Comment: Similar 'cooperation' continues with news agencies today: How the UK Security Services neutralised the country's leading liberal newspaper


Beach-combing Neanderthals dove for shells

© Villa et al., 2020
General morphology of retouched shell tools, Figs C-L are from the Pigorini Museum.
Did Neanderthals wear swimsuits? Probably not. But a new study suggests that some of these ancient humans might have spent a lot of time at the beach. They may even have dived into the cool waters of the Mediterranean Sea to gather clam shells.

The findings come from Grotta dei Moscerini, a picturesque cave that sits just 10 feet above a beach in what is today the Latium region of central Italy.

In 1949, archaeologists working at the site dug up some unusual artifacts: dozens of seashells that Neanderthals had picked up, then shaped into sharp tools roughly 90,000 years ago.

Now, a team led by Paola Villa of the University of Colorado Boulder has uncovered new secrets from those decades-old discoveries. In research published today in the journal PLOS ONE, she and her colleagues report that the Neanderthals didn't just collect shells that were lying out on the beach. They may have actually held their breath and went diving for the perfect shells to meet their needs.

Comment: See also:


Mystery of early Neolithic house orientations solved

Early Neolithic settlement near Vráble in Slovakia
© Nils Müller-Scheeßel
Aerial photo of the excavation area of an Early Neolithic settlement near Vráble in Slovakia.
Human behaviour is influenced by many things, most of which remain unconscious to us. One of these is a phenomenon known among perception psychologists as "pseudo-neglect". This refers to the observation that healthy people prefer their left visual field to their right and therefore divide a line regularly left of centre.

A study published on Friday, 10.01. in the online magazine PLOS ONE now shows for the first time what effect this inconspicuous deviation had in the prehistoric past. A Slovak-German research team has investigated the alignment of early Neolithic houses in Central and Eastern Europe. Scientists of the Collaborative Research Centre (CRC) "Scales of Transformation" of Kiel University (CAU) and the Slovakian Academy of Sciences were able to prove that the orientation of newly built houses deviated by a small amount from that of existing buildings and that this deviation was regularly counterclockwise.

Archaeologist Dr. Nils Müller-Scheeßel, who coordinated the study within the CRC, says: "Researchers have long assumed that early Neolithic houses stood for about a generation, i.e. 30 to 40 years, and that new houses had to be built next to existing ones at regular intervals. By means of age determination using the radiocarbon method, we can now show that the new construction was associated with a barely perceptible rotation of the house axis counterclockwise. We see "Pseudoneglect" as the most likely cause of this."


Atoms for Peace vs. Atoms for War may be the only fix for Iran-US relations

Atoms for Peace stamp
War hawks in Israel and Washington have been quick to denounce Iran's nuclear power ambitions for years with the repeated excuse that "Iran has so much oil that nuclear energy is irrelevant for them - unless they wanted to build an Islamic Bomb!"

Hogwash. As we shall come to see, not only has Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei created a 2003 fatwa declaring nuclear weapons forbidden under Islamic Law, but Iranian leaders were already calling for the need to transition to a new and superior form of energy in order to escape the geopolitical constraints of oil politics over 70 years ago... ironically through the help of the USA!

On December 8, 1953 a speech was delivered at the United Nations by President Dwight D. Eisenhower which has come to be known as his Atoms for Peace speech. As flawed as Eisenhower was as a political leader, this speech did provide a valuable gateway out of the unwinnable Cold War logic of Mutually Assured Destruction that had officially begun with the Soviet Union's first detonation of their own atomic bomb in 1949.


Columbus' claims of invading Caribs from South America not a myth, but were they cannibals?

© Public domain image
Caribs hailed from the Northwest Amazon, and archaeologists long believed they never expanded north of the Lesser Antilles.

Detail from a painting by John Gabriel Stedman.
Christopher Columbus' accounts of the Caribbean include harrowing descriptions of fierce raiders who abducted women and cannibalized men - stories long dismissed as myths.

But a new study suggests Columbus may have been telling the truth.

Using the equivalent of facial recognition technology, researchers analyzed the skulls of early Caribbean inhabitants, uncovering relationships between people groups and upending longstanding hypotheses about how the islands were first colonized.

One surprising finding was that the Caribs, marauders from South America and rumored cannibals, invaded Jamaica, Hispaniola and the Bahamas, overturning half a century of assumptions that they never made it farther north than Guadeloupe.

"I've spent years trying to prove Columbus wrong when he was right: There were Caribs in the northern Caribbean when he arrived," said William Keegan, Florida Museum of Natural History curator of Caribbean archaeology. "We're going to have to reinterpret everything we thought we knew."

Comment: It's notable that during the time frames mentioned in the study for the migration of the Caribs appears to have coincided with climatic upheaval elsewhere in the Americas. As noted in Did Drought Kill the Mayans?
According to their analyses, one of the most severe periods of drought occurred between 897 and 922, the researchers reported in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, just as the Terminal Classic period came to an end. Another 19-year drought around 1150 coincided with the fall of the Toltec state, which was the dominant civilization of central Mexico at the time.
See also: Also check out SOTT radio's: MindMatters: America Before: Comets, Catastrophes, Mounds and Mythology