Secret HistoryS


Celtic Noble's Tomb Discovery is a 'Milestone of Archaeology'

Noble's Shoe
© WikipediaShoe decorations from the Hochdorf Chieftain's grave, found in the same area as the Heuneburg.

The dig leader and chief of the Baden-Württemberg State archaeology, Dirk Krausse, referred to the discovery as a "milestone of archaeology," according to The Local.

One reason for the claim is likely the manner of excavation, which is new. In the past, such burial chambers have been dug up piece by piece locally, but now the team lifted the entire burial chamber, measuring four by five square metres (12 by 15 square feet) as one block of earth and placed it on a special truck to be transported to the State Office for the Preservation of Monuments in Stuttgart.
The first results are only expected around June 2011.

The reason for this unusual type of excavation is that scientists want to preserve every scrap of material without exposing it to open air, which can destroy materials like cloth once it has been exposed.

The tomb likely dates from the late Halstatt Period of Celtic culture (640-475 B.C.) and has already been found to contain gold and amber jewellery which will make a very exact dating possible. Photos of the finds can be seen here.


One of King Solomon's Fortresses Wasn't, After All

Tel Qudadi Fortress
© USA TodayTel Qudadi Fortress

The discovery of a single amphora, or clay jar, found in the ancient fortress of Tel Qudadi in the Israeli city of Tel Aviv could indicate both that the fortress itself is much younger than previously thought, and that trade between the area and Greek city states were much more common.

Writing in the journals Palestine Exploration Quarterly and BABESH: Annual Papers on Mediterranean Archaeology, archaeologists from Tel Aviv University say their work shows the fortress was not from the 10th century B.C.E. at the time of King Solomon, as was previously believed. Instead, it appears to date from the late 8th or early 7th centuries B.C.E.

That dating would make it part of a larger Assyrian trade network. At the time, Assyria was involved in the international trade between Phoenicia, Philistia and Egypt.


Ancient Bible Fragments Reveal a Forgotten History

© Syndics of Cambridge University LibraryGeniza palimpsest with Hebrew (shown upside down) written over the top of a 6th-century copy of Akylas' Greek translation (c. 125 CE) of the Books of Kings (shown the right way up); T-S 12.184r.
New research has uncovered a forgotten chapter in the history of the Bible, offering a rare glimpse of Byzantine Jewish life and culture.

The study by Cambridge University researchers suggests that, contrary to long-accepted views, Jews continued to use a Greek version of the Bible in synagogues for centuries longer than previously thought. In some places, the practice continued almost until living memory.

The key to the new discovery lay in manuscripts, some of them mere fragments, discovered in an old synagogue in Egypt and brought to Cambridge at the end of the 19th century. The so-called Cairo Genizah manuscripts have been housed ever since in Cambridge University Library.

Now, a fully searchable online corpus has gathered these manuscripts together, making the texts and analysis of them available to other scholars for the first time.

"The translation of the Hebrew Bible into Greek between the 3rd and 1st centuries BCE is said to be one of the most lasting achievements of the Jewish civilization - without it, Christianity might not have spread as quickly and as successfully as it did," explained Nicholas de Lange, Professor of Hebrew and Jewish Studies in the Faculties of Divinity and Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, who led the three-year study to re-evaluate the story of the Greek Bible fragments.


First Ever Nose Jobs in 16th Century Book

© Gaspare TagliacozziA nose job, 16th century style. From the first plastic surgery book ever printed.
Details of the world's first ever nose jobs can be revealed after a 16th century book detailing the operation was sold at auction.

The incredibly rare work is written in Latin and illustrated with diagrams of the process in which the patient's nose was attached to a flap of skin from his upper arm.

The surgery - known as rhinoplasty - is considered a modern phenomenon but this book shows it was used over 400 years ago.

The skill, however, was mysteriously lost until the late 18th century when similar treatments were recorded.

Today, celebrities are keen to undergo nose jobs for reasons of vanity, with the late singer Michael Jackson one of the world's most famous people to have had them done.

But when this astonishing book was written, the operation was carried out to repair faces that had been wounded in battle


How Neanderthals Also Enjoyed Their Greens: Meat-Only Diet Was Myth, Teeth Reveal

Neanderthal's tooth
© Daily Mail, UKDental data: A Neanderthal's tooth has shown scientists that they ate a lot more vegetables than originally thought.

For years it was believed the Neanderthals were carnivores who devoured meat.

But new research has found not only did our primitive ancestors eat a lot of greens, they were able to cook them as well.

It was widely believed that the limited meat-only diet of Neanderthals and their lack of cooking skills contributed to their extinction.

Their rivals Homo Sapiens, our direct ancestors, who lived alongside them were more adaptable as they had a wider variety of food sources to choose from.

But a microcscopic analysis of the fossilised teeth of Neanderthals reveals their diet was more varied than previously thought - with their vegetable intake including beans, roots and tubers and palm dates.

The evidence, from cave sites in Iraq and Belgium, also suggests Neanderthals controlled fire in much the same way as Homo Sapiens.

Many of the plant remains had undergone physical changes that make scientists believe they were cooked before they were eaten.

Researchers are still trying to identify remains of other plants on the teeth.


Researchers: Ancient Human Remains Found In Israel

Ancient Human Discovered_1
© Associated PressProfessor Avi Gopher, left, and Dr. Ran Barkai from the Institute of Archeology of Tel Aviv University inspect an archeological site where ancient teeth were discovered near Rosh Haain, central Israel, Monday, Dec. 27, 2010. Israeli archaeologists say they may have found the earliest evidence yet for the existence of modern man. A Tel Aviv University team excavating a cave in central Israel said Monday they found teeth about 400,000 years old. The earliest Homo sapiens remains found until now are half as old. Archaeologist Avi Gopher says further research is needed to solidify the claim. If it does, he says, "this changes the whole picture of evolution."
Israeli archaeologists say they may have found the earliest evidence yet for the existence of modern man.

A Tel Aviv University team excavating a cave in central Israel said Monday they found teeth about 400,000 years old. The earliest Homo sapiens remains found until now are half that old.

Archaeologist Avi Gopher said Monday further research is needed to solidify the claim. If it does, he says, "this changes the whole picture of evolution."

Accepted scientific theory is that Homo sapiens originated in Africa and migrated out.


Best of the Web: CIA Introduced Crack Cocaine To America's Inner Cities In The 1980s

The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) helped introduce crack cocaine into America's inner cities in the 1980s. The organisation wanted to create an ongoing income for its own 'black operations' and also to help the Contras to raise funds.In addition, Washington's elite wanted to crush any potential subversive movements among US blacks through the social degradation that the crack epidemic caused. (1996 News Special)

Better Earth

Best of the Web: John Trudell Documentary

A chronicle of legendary Native American poet/activist John Trudell's travels, spoken word performances and politics.


Deconstructing the Myths of "The First Thanksgiving"

© Jean Louis Gerome Ferris"The First Thanksgiving"
What is it about the story of "The First Thanksgiving" that makes it essential to be taught in virtually every grade from preschool through high school? What is it about the story that is so seductive? Why has it become an annual elementary school tradition to hold Thanksgiving pageants, with young children dressing up in paper-bag costumes and feather-duster headdresses and marching around the schoolyard? Why is it seen as necessary for fake "pilgrims" and fake "Indians" (portrayed by real children, many of whom are Indian) to sit down every year to a fake feast, acting out fake scenarios and reciting fake dialogue about friendship? And why do teachers all over the country continue (for the most part, unknowingly) to perpetuate this myth year after year after year?

Is it because as Americans we have a deep need to believe that the soil we live on and the country on which it is based was founded on integrity and cooperation? This belief would help contradict any feelings of guilt that could haunt us when we look at our role in more recent history in dealing with other indigenous peoples in other countries. If we dare to give up the "myth" we may have to take responsibility for our actions both concerning indigenous peoples of this land as well as those brought to this land in violation of everything that makes us human. The realization of these truths untold might crumble the foundation of what many believe is a true democracy. As good people, can we be strong enough to learn the truths of our collective past? Can we learn from our mistakes? This would be our hope.

We offer these myths and facts to assist students, parents and teachers in thinking critically about this holiday, and deconstructing what we have been taught about the history of this continent and the world. (Note: We have based our "fact" sections in large part on the research, both published and unpublished, that Abenaki scholar Margaret M. Bruchac developed in collaboration with the Wampanoag Indian Program at Plimoth Plantation. We thank Marge for her generosity. We thank Doris Seale and Lakota Harden for their support.)


Best of the Web: Cooking the History Books: The Thanksgiving Massacre

Is All That Turkey and Stuffing a Celebration of Genocide?

© Republic of Lakotah
Thanksgiving is a holiday where families gather to share stories, football games are watched on television and a big feast is served. It is also the time of the month when people talk about Native Americans. But does one ever wonder why we celebrate this national holiday? Why does everyone give thanks?

History is never simple. The standard history of Thanksgiving tells us that the "Pilgrims and Indians" feasted for three days, right? Most Americans believe that there was some magnificent bountiful harvest. In the Thanksgiving story, are the "Indians" even acknowledged by a tribe? No, because everyone assumes "Indians" are the same. So, who were these Indians in 1621?

In 1620, Pilgrims arrived on the Mayflower naming the land Plymouth Rock. One fact that is always hidden is that the village was already named Patuxet and the Wampanoag Indians lived there for thousands of years. To many Americans, Plymouth Rock is a symbol. Sad but true many people assume, "It is the rock on which our nation began." In 1621, Pilgrims did have a feast but it was not repeated years thereafter. So, it wasn't the beginning of a Thanksgiving tradition nor did Pilgrims call it a Thanksgiving feast. Pilgrims perceived Indians in relation to the Devil and the only reason why they were invited to that feast was for the purpose of negotiating a treaty that would secure the lands for the Pilgrims. The reason why we have so many myths about Thanksgiving is that it is an invented tradition. It is based more on fiction than fact.