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PhD student solves 2,500-year-old Sanskrit grammar puzzle

The discovery makes it possible to translate any word written in Sanskrit.

Sanskrit MAnuscript
© Cambridge University Library
A page from an 18th-century copy of Dhātupāṭha by Pāṇini from the Cambridge University Library.
A PhD student studying at the University of Cambridge has solved a puzzle that has stumped scholars since the fifth century BCE. Rishi Rajpopat decoded a rule taught by Pāṇini, an Indian grammarian who is believed to have lived in present-day northwest Pakistan and southeast Afghanistan. Scholars have referred to him as one of the fathers of linguistics.

Sanskrit is an ancient an classical Indo-European language from South Asia and the sacred and literary language of Hinduism. It is also how much of India's greatest science, philosophy, poetry, and other secular literature has been written. It is spoken in the country by roughly 25,000 people today.

"Some of the most ancient wisdom of India has been produced in Sanskrit, and we still don't fully understand what our ancestors achieved, said Rajpopat, who first learned Sanskrit as a high school student and is now at the University of St. Andrews, in a statement. "We've often been led to believe that we're not important, that we haven't brought enough to the table. I hope this discovery will infuse students in India with confidence, pride, and hope that they too can achieve great things."

With Rajpopat's discovery, scholars can now construct millions of grammatically correct words in Sanskrit. The findings were published as Rajpopat's PhD thesis in 2021.


16,500-year-old stone figurine discovered in cave in Turkey

Stone Figurine
© Arkeonews Net
A stone figurine was discovered in a 16500-year-old votive pit belonging to the Epi-paleolithic period, the transition phase from the Paleolithic Age to the Neolithic Age, during the archaeological excavation carried out in the Gedikkaya Cave in the İnhisar district of Bilecik in northwest Turkey.

With the permission of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, General Directorate of Cultural Heritage and Museums, the rescue excavation started by the Bilecik Museum Directorate in the cave 1 kilometer away from İnhisar continues.

Traces of life were found in the cave at a depth of 180 meters, a height of about 20 meters, and a width of 30 meters, in two sections, the lower and the upper.

Bilecik Şeyh Edebali University (BŞEU) Faculty of Arts and Sciences Archeology Department Lecturer Assoc. Dr. Deniz Sarı, an ongoing study under the scientific consultancy of sheds light on the archeology of the region.

Blue Planet

Goldworking toolkit found in Bronze Age burial near Stonehenge

Stonehenge gold
© Antiquity (2022). DOI: 10.15184/aqy.2022.162
A tentative chaîne opératoire for sheet-gold cover working. Diamond-shaped boxes display sourcing, production and maintenance processes. Solid rectangular boxes display production/manufacturing processes evidenced in our analyses. Dashed rectangular boxes show processes implied by the sheet-gold objects (figure produced by R. Crellin, using images produced by C. Tsoraki; photographs courtesy of Wiltshire Museum, Devizes).
Archaeologists have identified a 4000-year-old goldworking toolkit amongst the grave goods from an important Bronze Age burial near Stonehenge.

The toolkit was found at the Upton Lovell G2a Bronze Age burial, which was excavated in 1801 and is now on display at the Wiltshire Museum in Devizes. Now, a team of researchers from the University of Leicester, working with experts from the University of Southampton, have re-examined the stone and copper-alloy grave goods found with the burial, revealing they are goldworking tools.

Dr. Christina Tsoraki, Leicester, carried out wear-analysis of the grave goods at the museum in Devizes as part of the 'Beyond the Three Age System' project. In the process, she noticed what appeared to be gold residues on their surfaces. It also became clear that the stone tools had been used for a range of different purposes — some were used like hammers and anvils whereas others had been used to smooth other materials.

Comment: See also:


Tiny flakes tell a story of tool use 300,000 years ago

Tübingen University and Senckenberg Centre for Human Evolution and Palaeoenvironment team analyze flint chips found in Schöningen, Lower Saxony.
Ancient Tools
© Flavia Venditti
Overview of the flint chips from Schöningen, which were created as "waste" during the re-sharpening of knife-like tools. They are sorted by size in millimeters. In the middle a scale of 3cm.
When prehistoric people re-sharpened cutting tools 300,000 years ago, they dropped tiny chips of flint - which today yield evidence of how wood was processed by early humans. The small flint flakes were discovered at the Lower Paleolithic site of Schöningen, Lower Saxony. Now, a multidisciplinary team led by the University of Tübingen and the Senckenberg Centre for Human Evolution and Palaeoenvironment (SHEP) in Tübingen has analyzed this very old material for the information it can provide. The study has been published in Scientific Reports.

The 57 small stone chips and three bone implements for re-sharpening stone tools were discovered around the skeleton of a Eurasian straight-tusked elephant that had died on the shore of a lake about 300,000 years ago. "We can prove, among other things, from these finds that people - probably Homo heidelbergensis or early Neanderthals - were in the vicinity of the elephant carcass," says Dr. Jordi Serangeli, director of the archaeological excavations in Schöningen. "This site is located about two meters below the famous site of the world's oldest spears," he adds.


A union of groups capable of the worst makes World War possible

The Great Dictator chaplin

Scene from The Great Dictator
While we react with fear to the resurgence of fascist, Nazi or Japanese imperial groups, we fail to see that it was not these ideologies that provoked World War, but the alliance of rulers ready for the worst. The same configuration is about to be repeated with other groups. In a few months, if we do not react now, a Third World War may be possible.

The Second World War can serve as a lesson to us. It did not appear in a serene sky. It was not a battle of the Good guys against the Bad guys. It was just triggered by an unforeseen gathering of forces capable of destroying everything.

After the economic crisis of 1929, the whole world was convinced, and rightly so, that the capitalism of that time was over. The Soviet Union alone offered an alternative, Bolshevism. Soon the United States came up with a second alternative, the structural reforms of the New Deal, and then Italy promoted a third alternative, fascism. The great Anglo-Saxon capitalists chose to support a new regime, close to fascism, Nazism. They thought that Germany would attack the USSR, thus preserving their interests threatened by both Bolshevik collectivisations and US economic reforms. However, nothing worked out as planned, since Italy, Germany and Japan formed the Axis with their own logic and the war was not started against the Soviets, but against the great fortunes that prepared it.

Blue Planet

Did devastating drought in Hungary drive Attila and the Huns to attack the Roman Empire?

tree rings
© Shutterstock
A study of tree rings suggests that the Hunnic peoples migrated westward across Eurasia, switched between farming and herding, and became violent raiders in response to severe drought in the Danube frontier provinces of the Roman Empire.

Hungary has just experienced its driest summer since meteorological measurements began, devastating the country's usually productive farmland. Archaeologists now suggest that similar conditions in the 5th century may have encouraged animal herders to become raiders, with devastating consequences for the Roman Empire.

The study, published today in the Journal of Roman Archaeology, argues that extreme drought spells from the AD 430s - 450s, forced Hunnic peoples to adopt new strategies to buffer against severe economic challenges.

Comment: See also: The Seven Destructive Earth Passes of Comet Venus

And check out SOTT radio's: Behind the Headlines: Who was Jesus? Examining the evidence that Christ may in fact have been Caesar!


Turkish team in Mount Ağrı to look for Noah's Ark

Mount Agri
© Hürriyet Daily News
A team from Istanbul Technical University (İTÜ) and Ağrı İbrahim Çeçen University (AİÇÜ) has started works on a site at the eastern province of Ağrı's Mount Ağrı, said to host the Noah's Ark.

A large number of samples of soil and rock fragments taken from the field by the team, including geophysics, chemistry and geoarchaeology experts, were sent to İTÜ's laboratories for examination.

"Laboratory examinations of experts will probably be concluded after one and a half to two months. Based on these results, we will determine a roadmap," said professor Faruk Kaya, the vice-rector of the AİÇÜ, which has been continuing its work in the field since 2003.

Survey engineer İlhan Durupınar, who flew into the region in a bid to draw the map of the Eastern Anatolia Region on Sept. 11, 1959, on the land between Telçeker and Üzengili villages of Doğubayazıt district, discovered the ruins, which have become a center of attraction for both domestic and foreign tourists.

"The region has a very intense potential for faith tourism as most of the sources draw attention to Mt. Ağrı and its surroundings," Kaya said.


Early humans were far more sophisticated than we thought

neanderthal family
© Nikola Solic / Reuters
Neanderthal Museum in the town of Krapina, Croatia. 25 February 2010.
Recent findings suggest that some things we take for granted in human civilizations are much older than thought. Now, these findings are provisional but they are worth looking at.

Some owl stones from 5,500 and 4,750 years ago may be children's art:
But new research suggests the palm-sized plaques decorated in geometric patterns and with two engraved circles at the top might be the work of children.

Numbering in the thousands and made from slate, the owl-like objects — previously dated the stone objects to be between 5,500 and 4,750 years old — may be "the archaeological trace of playful and learning activities carried out by youngsters," according to the team of Spanish researchers behind the new study...

They suggest kids would have been able to easily engrave slate using pointed tools made of flint, quartz, or copper, creating 'body' patterns that emulate the streaked plumage of owls, and the circles for eyes are unmistakably owl-like, casting an unwavering stare straight at the observer.

The "owliness" of the designs is comparable to the drawing skills of modern school children who depict owls in much the same way.

Clare Watson, "Thousands of Mysterious 'owl' stones may be the work of ancient children" — Science Alert (December 7, 2022) The paper is open access.

Blue Planet

Skeletons in sarcophagi from Notre Dame Cathedral identified as a high priest and young nobleman

skeleton notre dame

The sarcophagi were discovered during the reconstruction of the cathedral. They were buried more than 65 feet below the floor of the church
Archaeologists removed the lids of two sarcophagi found buried 65 feet beneath the Notre Dame Cathedral, revealing the remains of two wealthy men who died more than 200 years ago.

The lead coffins were uncovered during the reconstruction work of the Paris cathedral in 2022 following a 2019 fire that nearly destroyed the structure.

Scientists have now determined the well-preserved skeletal remains of a high priest and a young nobleman.

The young man is unknown, but the priest's coffin features an identification plate with the name Antoine de la Porte and his death date, December 24. This man lived to the age of 83.

Much of the UNESCO World Heritage landmark building was devastated during the blaze, but firefighters saved Notre Dame's spectacular Gothic facade and two landmark towers from being destroyed. Officials have set 2024 as when reconstruction will be complete.

Comment: See also: And check out SOTT radio's:

Eye 1

Ex-Nazi in the service of Uncle Sam: How the US took control of Germany's main intelligence service

Unk Sam/Germans
© RT
German-US Intelligence
The history of the BND, its founder Reinhard Gehlen, and its loyal service to Washington.
"The United States still essentially occupies Germany, Japan, the Republic of Korea, and other countries. At the same time, it cynically calls them equal allies... What kind of cooperation is that?"
This question was posed by Russian President Vladimir Putin during his speech in the Kremlin on September 30, 2022, when agreements on the entry of the new regions into the Russian Federation were signed.

The Russian president did not go into further detail, but it's hard to argue against his words. Western Europe's strongest country, Germany, increasingly acts against its national interests. Berlin coordinates its foreign policy course with Washington not only at regular NATO and G7 summits, but also through more private channels. One of these is Germany's foreign intelligence service, officially called the German Federal Intelligence Service (BND).

This department was created in the post-WWII years by former Nazis and SS officers as a private intelligence organization. Control over the service was entirely in the hands of the United States, and major intelligence operations were carried out in the US interest. Numerous journalistic investigations allow us to conclude that the situation has not changed much to this day.

RT recalls the history of German intelligence as one of the most loyal tools in the hands of the United States.