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5,000-year-old settlement unearthed in Oman

Al Mudhaibi, (ONA) — As result of a second season of antiquary excavations in the archaeological site of Al Gharyein in the Wilayat of Al Mudhaibi, A'Sharqiyah North Governorate, exploratory teams unearthed a 5,000-year-old settlement.
Ancient Ruins
© Oman News Agency
This discovery was the outcome of joint cooperation between Sultan Qaboos University (SQU) and the Ministry of Heritage and Tourism.

The excavation team was headed by Dr. Nasser Said Al Jahwari, Professor in the Department of Archaeology at the SQU College of Arts and Social Sciences. The team comprised Dr. Khalid Douglas and Dr. Mohammad Hussein.

The Al Gharyein site's settlement boasts a unique organization and planning. It featured a tower structure, surrounded by multi-room dwellings, a cemetery with mass burial graves and the remains of other buildings.


Ancient Chinese text reveals earliest-known record of a candidate aurora

Passage in Bamboo Annals describes a "five-colored light" in 10th century BCE.

Auroral display over snow-capped mountains in Hangzhou, China.
© Liu Míng Sun/EyeEm/Getty Images
Auroral display over snow-capped mountains in Hangzhou, China.
There's rarely time to write about every cool science-y story that comes our way. So this year, we're once again running a special Twelve Days of Christmas series of posts, highlighting one science story that fell through the cracks in 2022, each day from December 25 through January 5. Today: New analysis of an ancient Chinese text revealed the earliest candidate aurora yet found, predating the next oldest by three centuries.
A pair of researchers has identified the earliest description, in an ancient Chinese text, of a candidate aurora yet found, according to an April paper published in the journal Advances in Space Research. The authors peg the likely date of the event to either 977 or 957 BCE. The next-earliest description of a candidate aurora is found on Assyrian cuneiform tablets dated between 679-655 BCE, three centuries later.

As we've reported previously, the spectacular kaleidoscopic effects of the so-called northern lights (or southern lights if they are in the Southern Hemisphere) are the result of charged particles from the Sun being dumped into the Earth's magnetosphere, where they collide with oxygen and nitrogen molecules — an interaction that excites those molecules and makes them glow. Auroras typically present as shimmering ribbons in the sky, with green, purple, blue, and yellow hues.

There are different kinds of auroral displays, such as "diffuse" auroras (a faint glow near the horizon), rarer "picket fence" and "dune" displays, and "discrete aurora arcs" — the most intense variety, which appear in the sky as shimmering, undulating curtains of light. Discrete aurora arcs can be so bright, it's possible to read a newspaper by their light. That was the case in August and September 1859, when there was a major geomagnetic storm — aka, the Carrington Event, the largest ever recorded — that produced dazzling auroras visible throughout the US, Europe, Japan, and Australia.


Evidence of US-Backed Coup in Kiev

© Wikipedia
Violence during the Maidan coup in Kiev • 2014
NewsGuard gave Consortium News a red mark for "publishing false content" on Ukraine, including that there was a U.S.-backed coup in Kiev in 2014. Here is CN's detailed proof:

NewsGuard, the media rating agency, alleges that Consortium News has published "false content" by reporting that there was a U.S.-backed coup in Ukraine in 2014 and that neo-Nazis have significant influence in the country.

NewsGuard took issue with:
"a February 2022 article 'Ukraine: Guides to Reflection,' [which] asserted, 'Hence, the inflation of Russian behavior in Ukraine (where Washington organized a coup against a democratically elected government because we disliked its political complexion) ... .'
It then wrote:
"The U.S. supported the Maidan revolution that ousted then-Ukraine President Viktor Yanikovych (sic) in 2014 — including a December 2013 visit by John McCain to Kyiv in support of protesters — but there is no evidence that the U.S. 'organized' a 'coup.' Instead, it has the markings of a popular uprising, precipitated by widely covered protests against Yanukovych's decision to suspend preparations for the signing of an association and free-trade agreement with the European Union."
Viktor Yanukovych was democratically elected as president of Ukraine in 2010 in an election certified by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, a fact not mentioned in NewsGuard's writings on the change of government in Ukraine. Even though Yanukovych agreed to an EU political settlement and early elections, violence forced him to flee from the capital on Feb. 21, 2014.

Comment: When revisions of history disguise the lesson, history is doomed to repeat.


Declassified intelligence files expose inconvenient truths about the Bosnian war

secret files bosnian war nato
© The Grayzone
A trove of intelligence files sent by Canadian peacekeepers expose CIA black ops, illegal weapon shipments, imported jihadist fighters, potential false flags, and stage-managed atrocities.

The established mythos of the Bosnian War is that Serb separatists, encouraged and directed by Slobodan Milošević and his acolytes in Belgrade, sought to forcibly seize Croat and Bosniak territory in service of creating an irredentist "Greater Serbia." Every step of the way, they purged indigenous Muslims in a concerted, deliberate genocide, while refusing to engage in constructive peace talks.

This narrative was aggressively perpetuated by the mainstream media at the time, and further legitimized by the UN-created International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) once the conflict ended. It has become axiomatic and unquestionable in Western consciousness ever since, enforcing the sense that negotiation invariably amounts to appeasement, a mentality that has enabled NATO war hawks to justify multiple military interventions over subsequent years.



Game day snacks: Archaeologists find fragments of olives, fruit and nuts in ancient drains of Rome's Colosseum

Rome Colosseeum draines sewage sysem
© Parco archeologico del Colosseo
Archaeologists began digging around in the sewers of the Colosseum in Rome, Italy in January, and yesterday revealed their contents. Pictured: The end of the main southern channel of the Colosseum's sewage system
Watching gladiators fight to the death was hungry work, and it appears that the best snacks to accompany such a spectacle were olives, fruits and nuts.

Archaeologists have discovered some ancient Roman leftovers while digging around in the sewers of the Colosseum in Rome, Italy.

They found seeds from figs, grapes and melons, as well as traces of olives and walnuts, thought to have been left by snacking spectators 1,900 years ago. Fragments of bones from ferocious animals that fought for their lives in the Roman arena were also unearthed in 230 feet (70 m) of searched drains.

Comment: Complete 2,700 year old colosseum-like structure unearthed in Turkey may be sole surviving example


Zippalanda, the God of Storm and the mystery of the 'circular structure'

Discovered in Turkey by archaeologists of the mission led by the University of Pisa, an enigmatic circular structure.
Uşaklı Höyük excavations
© Emanuele Taccola
Aerial view of Uşaklı Höyük excavations. At the bottom center, the circular structure found during the 2022 excavation campaign is visible.
Central-Northern Turkey, archaeological site of Uşaklı Höyük. It is here, in the heart of the Anatolian plateau, that the international team of archaeologists led by the University of Pisa brought to light one mysterious circle-shaped construction from the Hittite era. The discovery, together with the other facts during the previous excavation campaigns, could help confirm that the site is truly the ancient holy city of Zippalanda.

" The interpretation of this circular structure - explains the professor Anacleto D'Agostino of the University of Pisa, which directs the excavations - it is very difficult at the moment and an extension of the works will be necessary that allows you to get an idea of what is around it ".

" Its location north of what is probably the main temple in the city, not far from the river that flows near the base of the stands - adds D'Agostino -, however, makes us lean towards a ritual interpretation of this discovery, whose importance is also given by the fact that no such documents are documented in other contemporary sites".

" If this were the case - concludes the director of the excavations - this structure, together with the other finds discovered over the years, would help to strengthen the identification of Uşaklı with the important Hittite city of Zippalanda, center of worship of a powerful God of the Storm, home to a sanctuary and a royal residence and mentioned in several festivals in which the king " took part.


Tucker Carlson and the JFK allegations

Tucker on the News
© Off-Guardian
On December 15, the night that the Biden administration released some of the remaining JFK files while withholding others with another half-assed excuse, Tucker Carlson, the most-watched cable news television host, delivered a monologue about the JFK assassination.

It garnered a great deal of attention.

Although I don't watch Carlson's television show, I received messages from many friends and colleagues, people I highly respect, about his monologue's great significance, so I watched that episode. And then I watched it many more times.

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., a man whom I hold in the highest esteem, tweeted that it was:
the most courageous newscast in 60 years. The CIA's murder of my uncle was a successful coup d'état from which our democracy has never recovered."
While I completely agree with his second sentence, I was underwhelmed by Carlson's words, to put it mildly. I thought it was clearly "a limited hangout," as described by the former CIA agent Victor Marchetti:
Spy jargon for a favorite and frequently used gimmick of the clandestine professionals. When their veil of secrecy is shredded and they can no longer rely on a phony cover story to misinform the public, they resort to admitting, sometimes even volunteering, some of the truth while still managing to withhold the key and damaging facts in the case. The public, however, is usually so intrigued by the new information that it never thinks to pursue the matter further.
Or listens carefully.


A Company Family: The Untold History of Obama and the CIA

Obama speech CIA langley
© politico.eu
Obama speaks at CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia.
Despite his liberal pretensions, Obama's foreign policy was dreamed up at Langley — which should not have been surprising given his background

In the summer of 2012, President Barack Obama signed a secret order authorizing the CIA and other U.S. agencies to support rebels in Syria seeking to oust Syrian leader Bashir al-Assad — a nationalist who had allied with Iran and stood up to U.S. proxy Israel.[1]

Costing more than $1 billion, Operation Timber Sycamore evolved into the largest covert operation since the arming of mujahadin fighters in Afghanistan in the 1980s.

U.S. Special Forces under Timber Sycamore again trained Islamic fundamentalists, this time in Jordan, who again carried out a reign of terror.[2]


What is crimson contagion?

virus label
The lockdowns of March 2020 shocked the American people and most public health agencies, not to mention infectious disease doctors. The idea of school shutdowns, business closures, plus mandatory remote work and other restrictions have previously seemed inconceivable. It was especially remarkable to have such an "all-of-government" response to a virus that we already knew posed a threat mainly to the elderly and infirm.

Issues like public-health precedent, American legal tradition, and medical knowledge about dealing with respiratory viruses, not to mention natural immunity and collateral damage of lockdowns, were all thrown out the window.

Robert Kennedy, Jr.'s book The Real Anthony Fauci mentions a tabletop exercise called Crimson Contagion that ran from January through August, 2019. I had not previously heard of it and I found the mention remarkable, simply because it proves that not everyone was shocked by lockdowns. They were not part of official planning documents of either the CDC or WHO but they were clearly in the plans of someone.

I've only followed up on this report in light of growing focus on the person who coordinated Crimson Contagion: Robert Kadlec, who served in the Trump administration as Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services, Preparedness and Response. It was he who also ran the Covid response between HHS and the Department of Homeland Security.


Humans have been using bear skins for at least 300,000 years

A research team from the University of Tübingen and the Senckenberg Centre for Human Evolution and Palaeoenvironment Tübingen examines traces on bones from the archaeological site of Schöningen in Lower Saxony.
Metatarsal of Bear
© Volker Minkus
Metatarsal of a cave bear with cut marks.

Humans have been using bear skins to protect themselves from cold weather for at least 300,000 years. This is suggested by cut marks on the metatarsal and phalanx of a cave bear discovered at the Lower Paleolithic site of Schöningen in Lower Saxony, Germany. This makes it one of the oldest examples of this type in the world. The research was conducted by an archaeological team from the University of Tübingen, the Senckenberg Centre for Human Evolution and Palaeoenvironment (SHEP) in Tübingen, together with a colleague from Leiden University. This study was published in the Journal of Human Evolution.

"Cut marks on bones are often interpreted in archaeology as an indication of the utilization of meat," explains Tübingen researcher Ivo Verheijen. "But there is hardly any meat to be recovered from hand and foot bones. In this case, we can attribute such fine and precise cut marks to the careful stripping of the skin." A bear's winter coat consists of both long outer hairs that form an airy protective layer and short, dense hairs that provide particularly good insulation. Bears, including extinct cave bears, needed a highly insulating coat for hibernation. "These newly discovered cut marks are an indication that about 300,000 years ago, people in northern Europe were able to survive in winter thanks in part to warm bear skins," says the researcher, a doctoral student in the Schöningen research project and employee of the State Heritage Office of Lower Saxony.