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Secret History

Light Sabers

Earliest evidence for mass production of weapons in southern Levant discovered, sling stones dated to 7,200 years ago

stone levant
© Assaf Peretz/IAA
Aerial view of the Ein Zippori archaeological site. Archaeologists find Israel Huge caches of uniformly designed sling stones from 7,200 years ago indicate organized production of missiles, the earliest evidence of warfare in the Southern Levant.
The roots of organized conflict in the Southern Levant go back to at least the late Stone Age, according to a recently released study by Israel Antiquities Authority researchers.

The study examined hundreds of slingshot stones found at two large prehistoric sites in Israel: Ein Zippori in the lower Galilee and Ein Esur in the northern Sharon plain. The stones date from around 7,200 years ago, during the Early Chalcolithic period (c. 5800-4500 BCE).

The researchers found that the stones were nearly identical in size, shape and composition, indicating they were mass-produced in an organized fashion, almost certainly with warfare in mind.

Comment: This is notable in light of Mary Settegast's research and theories on Plato's history of Atlantis, and prehistoric warfare.

For further insight into what was occurring on the planet at the time, in Volcanoes, Earthquakes And The 3,600 Year Comet Cycle, Pierre Lescaudron writes:
The above raises several questions: was Kizimin the sole contributor, or contributor at all, to the 7,200 BP sulfate spike? What triggered the wave of virtually simultaneous volcanic eruptions?

In any case, the 7,200 BP event left marks on human activity, despite a scarcity of archeologic sites for this period of time. One of those sites is Çatalhöyüki in Anatolia (Turkey) which was founded ca. 7,500 BC and flourished for 22 centuries, until its abandonment c. 5,300 BC:
The settlement [Çatalhöyük] was then abandoned around 5300 B.C.

Mary Settegast. Plato Prehistorian. The Rotenberg Press. 1987, p.207
See also: And check out SOTT radio's: MindMatters: Zoroastrianism: The Ancient System of Values That Sought to Change The World, And Did


Michael Nicholson: Famine novel changed my mind on England's guilt in Ireland's famine

Britain's most decorated reporter set out to write a Famine novel to restore England's reputation but the facts confounded him. He tells how Trevelyan earned his scorn
nicholson rosaleen
"A million dead. A million fled." It was those few words that had such an impact on me. Think of it. Try to visualise. Try putting it into a modern context, something happening today, something you are watching on television news, an apocalyptic disaster on an unheard-of scale, something that dwarfs Hiroshima.

A million dying because a foreign blight had turned a potato crop into rotten, stinking, putrefying mush. Try to picture families of living skeletons whispering their last prayer in the shelter of a ditch as they watch others turning black with the fever that spread like a summer fire across bracken from Skibbereen to Donegal, from Wicklow to Clare. Imagine another million, still untouched by it, desperately fleeing their motherland to find safety and sanctuary anywhere and with anyone who would take them. This was Ireland in the Famine years.

As a foreign correspondent for ITN, travelling the globe for more than 30 years, I reckon I have seen more than my fair share of man's inhumanity to man. It is said that we reporters suffer from an overdose of everything, saturated as we are in the world's woes. In places like Bangladesh, Sudan, Ethiopia, Rwanda, I became used to dealing in numbers; the dead and dying in their hundreds, or in their thousands, even their tens of thousands. But a million corpses in a forgotten corner of what was then the world's greatest and wealthiest Empire is inconceivable.

Dark Rosaleen is the story of murder and betrayal, of a starving people held captive, of a failed rebellion and a love that grew out of it during those years of the Great Hunger. In 1845, when the potato crop failed yet again, the British government sent a commissioner to Ireland to oversee the distribution of food aid. In my story his spoilt, overprivileged young daughter Kate is obliged to go with him to what, in her tantrums, she calls "this hateful land of saints and savages". In her first few months, isolated in her father mansion overlooking Cork, she cares nothing for the suffering outside. Then the scale of the disaster gradually overwhelms her and her selfish arrogance turns to pity and anger. Finally, despairingly, she turns against both her father and her country. She is condemned as a traitor when she joins the rebellious Young Irelanders in their fight to end British rule.

Bizarro Earth

How many people died in the Black Death?

black death
© Flappiefh / Wikimedia Commons
Top Image: Map showing the spread of the Black Death in Europe between 1346 and 1353
It was the worst pandemic in human history - in the mid-fourteenth century a bubonic plague would spread throughout Asia, Europe and North Africa. One big question about the Black Death is how many people were killed?

The answer to this is both complicated and, ultimately, we don't know. People have taken guesses, but there are many problems with these estimates. For example, if people search for an answer online, they will probably turn to Wikipedia. And they get this information about the Black Death:
the most fatal pandemic recorded in human history, causing the deaths of 75-200 million people, peaking in Europe from 1347 to 1351.
Even though both the high and low numbers given here are huge, there is quite a big difference between them. It also lacks a key piece of information - how many people were actually alive at this point in history. Therefore, how are we to know what percentage of people died during the Black Death?

Comment: For further insight, check out SOTT's:

Better Earth

Ancient Sumerians invented water flumes thousands of years earlier than previously thought

© British Museum/Dr Sebastien Rey
The British Museum’s ongoing Girsu Project discovered the true function of a mysterious structure
Ancient Sumerians invented a "civilisation-saving" water channel 4,000 years ago, a British Museum dig has revealed.

Archaeologists working at the ruined city of Girsu in Iraq have discovered the true function of a mysterious structure created by the civilisation.

The inhabitants of the ancient city created a device known as a "flume" to propel water to distant locations where it was needed, thousands of years before this technology was thought to have been discovered.

Comment: See also:


Archaeologists unearthed a pot of copper coins in first major discovery at Mohenjo Daro in Pakistan, in 93 years

Copper Coins
© Ary News
A pot full of copper coins was discovered from a stupa (a dome-shaped building erected as a Buddhist shrine) at the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Mohenjo Daro during conservation work in Pakistan's Sindh province.

Mohenjo Daro, or "Mound of the Dead" is an ancient Indus Valley Civilization city that flourished between 2600 and 1900 BCE. The ruins of the huge city of Moenjodaro - built entirely of unbaked brick lie in the Indus Valley. The site was discovered in the 1920s.

The Archaeological Ruins at Moenjodaro are the best preserved urban settlement in South Asia. The acropolis, set on high embankments, the ramparts, and the lower town, which is laid out according to strict rules, provide evidence of an early system of town planning.

Experts evaluated the discovery of the pot filled with copper coins as the first significant artifact discovery in 5,000-year-old city ruins after 93 years.

Director of Archaeology Mohenjodaro, Dr Syed Shakir Shah, who led the team comprising archaeological conservator Ghulam Shabir Joyo, had confirmed that the staff busy with preservation work had stumbled upon the pot of coins on Wednesday.

Shah said laborers recovered the pot of coins during excavation but buried it again. Later some of them informed the officials of the archives department who then dug them out.

The team continued the work for three hours and safely secured the coins buried in the debris along with the jar wherein they were kept.


Traces of cannabis found in bones of 17th-century Italians suggest widespread use of plant

© University of Milan Laboratory of Forensic Anthropology and Odontology
Forensic scientists at University of Milan's Laboratory of Forensic Anthropology and Odontology take samples from human bones buried near the Ospedale Maggiore in the 17th century. Of the samples from nine different skeletons, two showed traces of cannabis.
People have been consuming weed for a very long time.

Ancient Greek historian Herodotus wrote about flowers with psychotropic effects in 440 BC, and medical records from the Middle Ages in Europe show cannabis was widely administered to treat everything from gout, urinary infections and birthing pains to weight loss, as well as being used as an anesthetic.

But in 1484, Pope Innocent VIII passed a bull, or decree, labelling cannabis an "unholy sacrament" and banning its use among the faithful. During the time of the Inquisition, medicinal and hallucinogenic herbs were associated with magic and witchcraft.

For the centuries that followed, there has been no hard evidence of its use — that is, until now, with the discovery by a team of forensic scientists in Milan, Italy, of traces of cannabis in the remains of two skeletons from the 17th century.

Comment: See also:


Satellite images bring Serbia's hidden Bronze Age megastructures to light

Using Google Earth and aircraft reconnaissance, archaeologists identify more than 100 previously unknown sites.
Bronze Age  Artifacts
Bronze Age people built massive enclosures on the Pannonian Plain, leaving behind artifacts such as this clay chariot discovered in a cremation urn 1 century ago.
More than 3000 years ago during the Bronze Age, people across Eurasia formed massive trade networks that tied the continent together. But the Pannonian Plain, an open expanse that today includes parts of Romania, Hungary, and Serbia, was considered a relative hinterland. That was true even after archaeologists 2 decades ago uncovered a handful of massive Bronze Age enclosures, some protected by walls and ditches many kilometers long.

No one was sure how the structures were tied to cultural developments elsewhere in Europe, although scattered finds of bronze artifacts showed the enclosures weren't completely isolated. "They were seen as unicorns on the landscape," says Barry Molloy, an archaeologist at University College Dublin. "This was thought of as a backwater."

In 2015, Molloy and other archaeologists turned to satellite imagery to see whether they could spot more structures that ground-based investigations had missed. Last week in PLOS ONE, they report finding more than 100 of these distinct enclosures in what is today Serbia. Spaced closely together, they form a belt stretching 150 kilometers along the Tisza River, a major north-south artery dividing the Pannonian Plain. The findings suggest the structures were part of a vast network of settlements that took part in a booming, continentwide bronze trade that flowered some 3600 years ago.

"For the first time we can see the extent of this phenomenon," says Austrian Archaeological Institute archaeologist Mario Gavranovic, who was not part of the new study. "The remote sensing approach is great."

The structures, many identified for the first time, have been hiding in plain sight. Many are invisible from the ground because they were plowed nearly flat after decades of intensive agriculture or destroyed in prehistoric times. After identifying the enclosures in Google Earth photos, Molloy and his team flew over the area in a small airplane, then visited as many of the sites as possible by foot. "We spent a lot of time trudging through mud," Molloy says.


The Bible and Archaeology

Ancient Ceramics
© The Postil Magazine
Samson carrying the gates of Gaza (Huqoq synagogue, 5th-century).
Why does Israel need to exist? This question may seem startling and unfair, but it is one that is frequently asked and hotly debated. The various answers and arguments given fall under two categories. First is the political and somewhat historical answer, which argues that the Levant is the Ur-Heimat of the Jews and thus for Jews to settle there is not only natural, but an unquestionable (God-given) right, as it is simply reclamation of legitimately owned property, and it is the Palestinians who are recent interlopers.

Here it is important to note that the vast majority of the land itself in Israel is owned by the state, and thus reserved for Jews, which means an exclusion of Palestinians. The second answer expands on this approach and seeks to bolster it by veering into the mystical and the messianic: Israel must exist because it is the necessary condition for housing the Third Temple, which in turn will bring the messiah and his "golden age." This second answer brings together the aspirations of Protestant and Jewish Zionists.

Both answers, sadly, also inform much of the anti-Arab sentiment that pervades the powers that be in Israeli society: the land does not really belong to Palestinians; the Jews, as God's chosen people, must do what God needs them to do: build the Third Temple so that the age of the messiah can begin.

Better Earth

Scandinavia's oldest ship burial 'rewrites history'

© Hanne Bryn, NTNU Science Museum
In Leka, a municipality in Norway's Trøndelag county, archaeologists have uncovered Scandinavia's oldest identified ship burial, dating back to around 700 AD.

This summer, archaeologists carried out a small survey of the 60-meter mound Herlaugshaugen, a site mentioned in Snorre's royal sagas as the final resting place of King Herlaug.

Herlaugshaugen is one of the country's largest burial mounds. In the late 1700s, it was excavated three times. According to reports, findings included a type of wall, iron nails, a bronze kettle, animal bones, and a seated skeleton with a sword.

Comment: See also:


Mummified baboons point to the potential location of the fabled land of Punt

Punt ancient egypt trade expedition papyrus drawing
© Nastasic
Drawing of a trade expedition to Punt during the reign of Queen Hatshepsut. Note the presence of baboons on board the lower ship.
Egyptians often mentioned a trading partner but neglected to say where it was.

One of the most enduring mysteries within archaeology revolves around the identity of Punt, an otherworldly "land of plenty" revered by the ancient Egyptians. Punt had it all — fragrant myrrh and frankincense, precious electrum (a mixed alloy of gold and silver) and malachite, and coveted leopard skins, among other exotic luxury goods.

Despite being a trading partner for over a millennium, the ancient Egyptians never disclosed Punt's exact whereabouts except for vague descriptions of voyages along what's now the Red Sea. That could mean anywhere from southern Sudan to Somalia and even Yemen.

Now, according to a recent paper published in the journal eLife, Punt may have been the same as another legendary port city in modern-day Eritrea, known as Adulis by the Romans. The conclusion comes from a genetic analysis of a baboon that was mummified during ancient Egypt's Late Period (around 800 and 500 BCE). The genetics indicate the animal originated close to where Adulis would be known to come into existence centuries later.