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Wed, 19 Feb 2020
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Colosseum

The different ages of Ancient Greece

Ancient Greece
Archaic. Classical. Hellenistic. These terms are often (and quite naturally) conflated together under the generic heading of 'classical', or, at the very least, 'old'. It appears that organizing history into clear, distinct eras can be a tricky business.

This, of course, is more true for the Greeks than for the Romans.

This is because it's relatively easy to get one's head around the fact that the Romans smoothly traversed the ages from Monarchy to Republic to Empire. (Obviously there are many more nuances to the situation than that - but let's save those for a later date).

Comment: As R.G Collingwood said in his book The Idea of History, history and its evolution throughout the the ages is essentially an emergent process that changes based on new information and data the historian acquires. The lines between the end of one era and beginning of a new -- even though there are defining moments and for the sake of brevity is often useful -- isn't so black and white. For example, our understanding of what constituted 'Greek' was variable in the case of the Minoans, and Greek culture and civilization, even though conquered by Rome, continued to live on and influence them in a number of ways, up to and including Western civilization today.


Cross

The incredible impact of Jesus Christ

Colosseum, cross
© Franco Origlia/Getty Images
A view of the Colosseum during the Way of The Cross at the held by Pope Francis on April 14, 2017 in Rome, Italy.
Twenty-five years ago, D. James Kennedy and I came out with a book called, What if Jesus had Never Been Born? It ended up becoming a best-seller.

The message is very simple: Because Jesus was born, look at all these incredible blessings we have throughout the world.

For instance, the Christian church created the phenomenon of the hospital and has created hospitals all over the world. Christianity has inspired some of the world's greatest music and arts, and has expanded education from the elite to the masses — even creating the entity of the university.

Here are just a few examples of Christianity's influence, fleshed out a bit: Prior to the coming of Christ, human life on this planet was expendable. Even today, in parts of the world where the Gospel of Christ or Christianity has not penetrated, life is exceedingly cheap. Christianity bridged the gap between the Jews — who first received the divine revelation that man was made in God's image — and the pagans, who attributed little value to human life. Meanwhile, as we in the post-Christian West continue to abandon our Judeo-Christian heritage, life is becoming cheap once again.

Cowboy Hat

Scythian tomb with 3 generations of warrior women unearthed in Russia

scythian
© Archaeoolog.ru
This female warrior was buried with an elaborately engraved headdress during the fourth century B.C.
The Amazon warriors of ancient Greek lore were once considered mythical figures. But in recent years, archaeological work and genetic analysis have identified women buried with weapons, horseback riding equipment and other accoutrements traditionally associated with warriors.

Earlier this month, a team led by archaeologist Valerii Guliaev announced the discovery of a 2,500-year-old tomb in which four such women were buried together. The findings were published in the journal of the Akson Russian Science Communication Association this week.

The women belonged to a nomadic group called the Scythians and were found in one of 19 burial mounds studied during a decade-long survey of the western Russian village of Devitsa, reports Ruth Shuster for Haaretz. The youngest individual in the grave was 12 or 13 years old. Two were in their twenties, and the last was between 45 to 50 years old.

Comment: See also:


Dig

Terracotta Army: 220 additional soldiers discovered, including new ranks, in famous tomb of Chinese Emperor

terracotta warriors

Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor
Archaeologists working on the tomb of Emperor Qin Shi Huang have announced the discovery of an additional 220 soldiers in the world-famous Terracotta Army after almost a decade of painstaking excavation.

The team has been excavating the tomb since 2009, covering an area of ​​about 500,000 square meters. The site is riddled with a vast array of artifacts including pottery, bronze, jade, a small amount of gold, silver, and iron and the aforementioned Terracotta Warriors.

Comment: See also: Also check out SOTT rado's:


Cloud Lightning

Incredible find at ancient site in Scotland reveals massive lightning scar in center of circle of standing stones


Comment: Thunderbolts of the gods, literally...


Calanais Stones
© Screen Shot
Calanais Stones were constructed with astrological phenomena.
New evidence of a massive lightning strike at the centre of a hidden stone circle in the Outer Hebrides may help shed light on why these monuments were created thousands of years ago.

The Calanais Virtual Reconstruction Project, a joint venture led by the University of St Andrews with the Urras nan Tursachan and the University of Bradford, with funding from Highlands and Islands Enterprise, has uncovered a potential link between ancient stone circles and the forces of nature.

While studying prehistoric Tursachan Chalanais, the main stone circle at Calanais on the Isle of Lewis, the project team surveyed nearby satellite sites to reveal evidence for lost circles buried beneath the peat.

One rarely-visited site surveyed, known as Site XI or Airigh na Beinne Bige, now consists of a single standing stone on an exposed hillside overlooking the great circle.

Comment: What an astonishing find.

Clearly, at least some of these stone circles - located all over the world - were machines or technologies of some sort....


Wine

How the English invented Champagne

champagne

The secondary fermentation process for making Champagne, or Sparkling English Wine, was invented in Winchcombe, Cotswolds, 30 years before it was in France. This woman is carrying two champagne bottles and wearing a wire face mask, used to protect workers in case the bottles exploded due to the pressure
French winemakers have claimed the riches of sparkling wine, or Champagne, for centuries - overlooking the fact their success is based on inventions made by l'anglais.

The secondary fermentation process for making 'Sparkling English wine' was invented in Winchcombe, Cotswolds, by a scientist 30 years before Dom Perignon, at the abbey of Hautvilliers, claimed to have the same idea.

And the bottles needed were also made by the English at least 85 years before the French - when the absence of forests due to ship construction forced bottlemakers to switch to coal which was hotter and, as a result, made thicker glass.

Comment: See also: The Medieval warm period and how grapes grew where polar bears now roam


Info

Decoding the Boar in ancient stone sculptures

Hybrid human-fish sculpture
© Prehistory Decoded
Common Lepinski Vir stone sculpture, often interpreted as representing a human-fish hybrid.
I think the boar has finally been decoded, at least in Neolithic and Iron Age Europe. First see the ancient site of Lepinski Vir, a Neolithic site on the Danube in Serbia - part of the Danube Gorges cultural complex.

Lepinski Vir is best known for being a gateway site between Neolithic Anatolia and Mesolithic Europe. Essentially, the 'Anatolian farmers' who migrated or invaded Europe after the 8.2 kiloyear event (around 6200 to 6300 BC) appear to have used this route. It is one of the very first European sites to have adopted agriculture, thereby entering the Neolithic age.

Before the main phase of occupation at Lepinski Vir, from 6200 to 5900 BC, a few small Mesolithic settlements on this site are known over the preceding few thousand years.

However, the main phase of occupation is quite different to these earlier settlements. Apart from adopting agriculture, they built trapezoidal plan, or 'fan' shaped, houses with stone floors in which various animal remains have been found. These are usually interpreted as grave goods, accompanying burials under the floors of houses, like at Catalhoyuk.

The most interesting thing for us are the species used in these graves. According to a paper by Vesna Dimitrijevic in 2008, the most common animal species remains found inside these houses are: boar, deer and dog. Fish remains are also common, but these are harder to quantify. However the other thing Lepinski Vir is known for are its fish sculptures - see image left. So we can presume that the fish was an important symbol, and not just an important food source, for these people.

Wine

Large-scale feasts at ancient capital of Ulster drew crowds from across Iron Age Ireland

iron age ireland
© Dr Richard Madgwick
One of the analysed pig jaws for the study
People transported animals over huge distances for mass gatherings at one of Ireland's most iconic archaeological sites, research concludes.

Dr Richard Madgwick of Cardiff University led the study, which analysed the bones of 35 animals excavated from Navan Fort, the legendary capital of Ulster. Researchers from Queen's University Belfast, Memorial University Newfoundland and the British Geological Survey were also involved in the research.

The site had long been considered a centre for ritual gatherings, as excavations found a huge 40m diameter building and a barbary ape cranium, likely from at least as far as Iberia. Results suggest the pigs, cattle and sheep were brought from across Ireland, perhaps being reared as far afield as Galway, Donegal, Down, Tyrone and Antrim. Evidence suggests some were brought over more than 100 miles.

Dr Madgwick, based in Cardiff University's School of History, Archaeology and Religion, said: "Our results provide clear evidence that communities in Iron Age Ireland were very mobile and that livestock were also moved over greater distances than was previously thought.


Comment: According to Wikipedia, "the Iron Age of Prehistoric Ireland begins around 500 BC, when the Greek Iron Age had already ended, and finishes around 400 AD. "


Comment: It's fascinating that similar findings have also been reported at Bamburgh Castle in England, which was noted by researchers as the center of a 'Northumbrian enlightenment', hosting visitors from as far as North Africa. It would appear there are some interesting similarities shared between the two societies from the organisation and possible societal structure organization, over vast distances, and, although the dating is not completely clear, it is possible they were extant at the same time. It's particularly notable that, despite leaving a mark in the archeological record, we otherwise know very little about them.

See also:


Nuke

Declassified after 56 years: JFK was engaged in 'existential' battle with Israel over its nuclear weapons program


Comment: US-Israeli relations during the Kennedy administration were practically expunged from the official record following his assassination in November 1963. Given what was being quietly fought over - Israel's acquisition of nukes, and Kennedy's determined efforts to prevent the gerrymandered statelet from getting them - it's unsurprising that it has taken over half a century for the picture to emerge in the mainstream media...


JFK Ben-Gurion
© DPA / AFP
Kennedy and Ben-Gurion. Their meeting in May 1961 was as tetchy as their subsequent communication regarding Israel's nukes
Throughout the spring and summer of 1963, the leaders of the United States and Israel - President John F. Kennedy and Prime Ministers David Ben-Gurion and Levi Eshkol - were engaged in a high-stakes battle of wills over Israel's nuclear program. The tensions were invisible to the publics of both countries, and only a few senior officials, on both sides of the ocean, were aware of the severity of the situation.

In Israel, those in the know saw the situation as a real crisis, as a former high-level science adviser, Prof. Yuval Ne'eman, told one of us (Avner Cohen) 25 years ago. Ne'eman recalled that Eshkol, Ben-Gurion's successor, and his associates saw Kennedy as presenting Israel with a real ultimatum. There was even one senior Israeli official, Ne'eman told me, the former Israel Air Force commander Maj. Gen. (res.) Dan Tolkowsky, who seriously entertained the fear that Kennedy might send U.S. airborne troops to Dimona, the home of Israel's nuclear complex.

Comment: The authors appear not to have realized it, but the publication this year of these documents revealing the secret US-Israeli war over nukes - right up to JFK's sudden demise in November 1963 - puts Israel squarely in the frame for his assassination.

They had motive - not the only motive, but certainly a strong one - and, through their double agent James Jesus Angleton in the CIA's counter-intelligence unit, they had the means to stage a palace coup...


Hourglass

Mexico: New Mayan palace discovered in Yucatán

The Mayan palace was discovered in the archaeological zone of Kulubá, Yucatán. The construction, located within this pre-Hispanic Mayan city, is approximately 55 meters long (180.5 ft) by 15 meters (49.2 ft) wide and 6 meters (19.6 ft) tall.
Kulubá Yucatan, Palace
© INAH
Kulubá Yucatan, Palace
37 kilometers southeast of the city of Tizimin in Yucatan, Kulubá is located. It is quite an interesting Mayan archaeological site since everyday something new shows up.

The name Kulubá, according to the Maya language specialist William Brito Sansores (La escritura de los mayas, 1981), is allegedly formed by the words "K'ulu", which refers to a kind of wild dog, and "ha", water.

The archaeological zone of Kulubá, in Yucatán, is home to a 55-meter-long palace, according to the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH).

"This work has confirmed the existence of a palace to the east of the main square of Group C, through the liberation and recognition of the base, the stairways and a crossing with pilasters, at the top, which would have been used by the elite of the place," the INAH explained in a statement.