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The Dashka Stone - A 120 million year-old map?

© Ancient Origins
The controversial Dashka Stone: 120 Million-year-old map?
The Dashka Stone is a controversial artifact that it is believed by some to be the guidelines used by the architect of the world. Known as the Map of the Creator, this stone tablet has baffled researchers since its discovery in 1999. As impossible as it may seem, Russian experts believe the stone map, could be 120 million years old.

The Dashka slab depicts not only the environs of the Ural Mountains, but also a series of civil engineering projects including 7457 miles (12,000 km) of channels, several dams, and hieroglyphic notations of unknown origin. The accuracy and perspective of the map suggest that it was created from an aerial point of observation. The hieroglyphs have not, as of the time of writing, been deciphered but are thought to be related to an ancient form of Chinese.

Archeologists from the Bashkir State University discovered the Dashka stone in the Ural Mountains of eastern Russia on July 21, 1999. The discoverers were immediately struck by the size of the tablet. It measures 58 inches (148 cm) high, 42 inches (106 cm) wide, 6 inches (16 cm) thick, and weighs one ton. Upon further examination, the researchers were even more stunned: the tablet appears to show a highly accurate topographical map of Bashkiria, a specific area of the Ural Mountains, at a scale of approximately 1:1.1km. Alexandr Chuvyrov, a professor at Bashkir State University who led the team, named the stone Dashka in honor of his granddaughter who was born on that day.

The Map of the Creator is comprised of three levels, strongly suggesting that it did not originate in nature but was artificially made. The first layer is roughly 7 inches (18cm) of a cement or ceramic compound based on dolomite. The second layer is roughly 1 inch (2.5cm) of diopside glass enriched with silicon. The third layer is only a few millimeters thick and is made of a calcium-porcelain mixture, perhaps to give the tablet added protection or perhaps to create a diffused light to better illuminate the stone.


'A great and good man, cruelly murdered and slandered' - Alternative view of Russian mystic Rasputin

Put not your trust in princes, nor in the sons of men, in whom there is no hope.

Psalm 145, 3

As the Truth of God begins to be revealed, so everything in Russia will change.

Elder Nikolai (Guryanov)

My interest in Gregory Rasputin was first sparked by a television programme fifty years ago on the fiftieth anniversary of his assassination. Although, as a child, I could not investigate the claims made, I knew instinctively that there was something wrong with what was being said. I sensed a manipulation.

Forty-two years ago I went to study at Oxford at the oldest college in Oxford, where Prince Felix Yusupov, the supposed murderer of Gregory Rasputin had studied and visited the 'Yusupov room' where the prince had lived. I still could not understand the story since, with the Soviet Union and the Cold War still in full swing, I could not access the necessary archives on either side.

Others have since done that and their results, given below, provide long-awaited justice.

Comment: For more information about the possible hidden hand in the murder of Gregory Rasputin and Tsar Nicholas II and his family, read: The Controversy of Zion by Douglas Reed.


Mussolini message found under Rome obelisk

© Alessio77/Wikimedia Commons
A message from the Italian Fascist leader Benito Mussolini lies underneath a giant obelisk in Rome, a new archival research has discovered.

Written on parchment in Latin, the 1,200-word essay was carefully placed in a metal box with a few gold coins. It was then buried beneath the base of a 300-ton obelisk bearing the Latin inscription MVSSOLINI DVX, meaning Mussolini Duce (Mussolini the Leader).

Still standing in the Foro Italico sports complex in Rome, the 120-foot-high white marble monolith was unveiled to cheering crowds in 1932 as a monument to the power of fascism.

At that time, Mussolini (1883 - 1945) had already turned the Italian government into a dictatorship.

Titled "Codex Fori Mussolini," the text was supposed to remain an unreachable secret for contemporaries.

Mussolini's message from his rule, which ended in 1943, was intended to reach the future. The dictator believed the text would have only been read at the fall of the obelisk and consequently, of fascism.

The obelisk's physical collapse, however, wasn't necessary to find the Codex.

Two classics researchers, Bettina Reitz-Joosse at the University of Groningen, and Han Lamers, from Humboldt University Berlin and Catholic University of Leuven, were able to piece together the text from three sources found in libraries and archives in Rome.


Watch Nelson Mandela's first TV interview ever, just unearthed by Dutch archivist

© Nelson Mandela Foundation / YouTube
A 1956 television interview believed to be Nelson Mandela's first has been found in the archives of Dutch broadcaster AVRO.

The 24-second clip predates any other known interviews with the South Africa freedom fighter by at least five years.

"It seems to have been filmed during a break at the 1956 Treason Trial which lasted four-and-a-half years," according to the Nelson Mandela Foundation, which received the clip from AVRO after it waived its licensing fee for one year.

The interview occurred outside the Old Synagogue in Pretoria which was used as a court during the trial. Mandela was one of 156 people put on trial accused of treason as part of a government crackdown on opposition to apartheid.


Michelangelo painted symbols of female anatomy in the Sistine Chapel, says new study

© Associated Press
An undated picture showing the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican City.
Michelangelo painted some of the most recognizable images in art on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in Vatican City. He also, evidently, included a bunch of heretical body parts.

Among a number of famous scenes depicted on the ceiling of the chapel is the Creation of Eve, which depicts the first female pleading with God in the Garden of Eden. Both Eve and Adam are shown without clothes, but Michelangelo took care to cover select parts of the female anatomy.

This was likely due to the Catholic Church's ban on dissection of the human body, as well as patriarchal ideas about who was in charge (hint: men).

But a study published in the journal Clinical Anatomy reveals that the Renaissance artist appears to have hidden a number of references to the female body throughout his Sistine fresco.

In the Creation of Eve, for example, Eve's arm is positioned so that it "clearly resembles the shape of an inverted triangle...thus, in the exact center of the Sistine Chapel's ceiling...Michelangelo may have placed a notorious pagan female symbol," says the study, according to the International Business Times.

Researchers used imaging software to detect triangles throughout the ceiling, many of which play a clear, symbolic role.


Body parts of Nazi experimentation victims discovered during Max Planck Institute renovations

© Katarina Stoltz / Reuters
The horrors of the Holocaust are continuing to seep into the present. A Munich research institute has discovered jars containing body parts and the brains of human victims from gruesome experiments carried out at concentration camps.

The Max Planck Psychiatric Institute made the grim discovery during renovations last year but have only released details this week, reported Arutz Sheva.

The samples were used by Nazi neuroscientist Julius Hallervorden who performed much of his research on the brains of executed prisoners from concentration camps including Auschwitz.

"We are embarrassed by these findings, and the blemish of their discovery in the archives," the institute said in a statement. "We will update the public with any further information that comes to light with complete transparency."


Origins of the ancient Roman vomitorium

© Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported
Though ancient Romans didn't have special "vomit" rooms so they could empty their tummies and fill them back up, they did love a good feast, scientists say.
As far as pop culture is concerned, a vomitorium is a room where ancient Romans went to throw up lavish meals so they could return to the table and feast some more. It's a striking illustration of gluttony and waste, and one that makes its way into modern texts. Suzanne Collins' "The Hunger Games" series, for example, alludes to vomitoriums when the lavish inhabitants of the Capitol — all with Latin names like Flavia and Octavia —imbibe a drink to make them vomit at parties so they can gorge themselves on more calories than citizens in the surrounding districts would see in months.

But the real story behind vomitoriums is much less disgusting. Actual ancient Romans did love food and drink. But even the wealthiest did not have special rooms for purging. To Romans, vomitoriums were the entrances/exits in stadiums or theaters, so dubbed by a fifth-century writer because of the way they'd spew crowds out into the streets.

"It's just kind of a trope," that ancient Romans were luxurious and vapid enough to engage in rituals of binging and purging, said Sarah Bond, an assistant professor of classics at the University of Iowa.


U.S. conducted biological weapons research at least until 2003 despite 1969 presidential order, 1972 treaty

President Richard Nixon ordered the destruction of all US biological weapons in 1969. His White House declaration, Statement on Chemical and Biological Defense Policies and Programs, declared that «the United States shall renounce the use of lethal biological agents and weapons, and all other methods of biological warfare. The United States will confine its biological research to defensive measures such as immunization and safety measures». With that and the ratification of the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention by the United States, Soviet Union, and Great Britain, the US biological weapons program came to an end. Or did it?

Pursuant to Nixon's order to end America's biological warfare program, the US Army's Biological Warfare Laboratory at Fort Detrick, Maryland changed its name to the US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID). The facility made headlines in the weeks after the 9/11 attacks when the weaponized anthrax strain sent through the US postal system was found to have originated at USAMRIID. A USAMRIID scientist, Dr Bruce Ivins, was named as a «person of interest» in the anthrax attack, even though the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) had scant evidence to charge the scientist. After Ivins allegedly «committed suicide» in 2008, the FBI declared Ivins the chief perpetrator and closed the case.


Tsunami wall found in ancient Harappan town

© The Hindu
Research by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and Goa-based National Institute of Oceanography (NIO) has provided evidence for the burial of parts of the Harappan port town of Dholavira, Gujarat, by marine sediments possibly transported by a tsunami.

Dholavira was the site of the largest port-town of the Harappan period Dr. Rajiv Nigam, former Deputy Director of NIO, told press persons here on Monday.

Located within India's borders, Dholavira was a well-planned urban settlement that flourished for about 1,500 years from about 3,450 to 5,000 years ago, said Dr. Nigam.

A unique feature of Dholavira is the presence of a 14-18-metre-thick wall, apparently built as a protective measure.

Walls of such thickness are not found even in historic times, the real purpose of the Dholavira wall has generated considerable debate.

Recently, a group of scientists deputed by NIO and led by Dr. Nigam, suggested the wall was built to protect the town from extreme oceanic events such as storm surges and tsunamis. Ancient Indians (in the Harappan settlement) were aware of tsunami and storm protection measures, said Dr. Nigam, giving a new interpretation of thick walls at Dholavira.

He said tsunamis are known to have hit the region during the historical period. For instance, the Makran earthquake of November 28, 1945, generated a huge tsunami, over 10 metres in height, which devastated large areas along the northern shores of the Arabian Sea. The exact timing of the sediments deposited in Dholavira is yet to be established, he said. "The thick wall in Dholavira shows that the Harappans were not only aware of the potential threats from tsunamis, but they were also pioneers in coastal disaster management," said Outgoing Director, SWA Naqvi.


Paris catacombs: The dark and enigmatic underworld of the French capital

The capital of France, known also as the City of Lights, serves as home to one of the most famous underground complexes in the world — the Paris Catacombs.
© AFP 2016/ Boyan Topaloff
The catacombs are a part of a much larger ancient network of tunnels known as the Mines of Paris.