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Mon, 18 Oct 2021
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Colosseum

Hundreds of ornate, rock-cut tombs discovered in 1,800 year old ruins of Turkish city

turkey tombs
© Blaundos Archaeological Excavation Project Archive
The tombs feature images of vines, flowers and geometric patterns, as well as mythological figures.
Excavations at Blaundos in Uşak, Turkey, have revealed 400 rock-cut tombs dated to 1,800 years ago, when the ancient city was under Roman control. Many of the tombs are decorated with images of vine branches, bunches of grapes, flowers, animals and mythological figures, the state-run Anadolu Agency (AA) reports.

Blaundos was located atop a hill and surrounded by a canyon that offered protection from attackers. The tombs were carved into the steep sides of the canyon.

"There are arched sarcophagi carved into the bedrock in front of the walls of each room," expedition leader Birol Can, an archaeologist at Uşak University, tells AA. "Apart from these, places that are thought to be used for funeral ceremonies were also found inside the rock tombs. The main door of the tombs was closed with a marble door and reopened during burial or ceremony times in the past."

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MIB

In COINTELPRO, FBI used anarchism to 'disrupt' leftist groups, attack Vietnam & USSR

cartoon FBI anarchist zine magazine

A cartoon in the FBI's anarchist zine
US police used anarchist talking points and ideology to "disrupt" the left and demonize Vietnam, the Soviet Union, and other targets of imperialism, according to internal FBI documents released through Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests.

"The anarchists point of view is the most disruptive element in the New Left and should be capitalized on in the most confusing ways," the FBI wrote.

In its Counter Intelligence Program (COINTELPRO), which aimed to destabilize and destroy the socialist, anti-imperialist left in the United States, the FBI realized that anarchism and other ultra-left movements could be an effective weapon.

The FBI impersonated anarchists and even created its own underground newspaper or zine.

Black Cat 2

Oldest drawing of ghost found on 3,500-year-old Babylonian tablet in British Museum vault

spirit babylon
© The British Museum
A lonely spirit being led to eternal bliss by a lover on a Babylonian clay tablet. White line tracing James Fraser and Chris Cobb for The First Ghosts, by Irving Finkel.
Its outlines are faint, only discernible at an angle, but the world's oldest drawing of a ghost has been discovered in the darkened vaults of the British Museum.

A lonely bearded spirit being led into the afterlife and eternal bliss by a lover has been identified on an ancient Babylonian clay tablet created about 3,500 years ago.

It is part of an exorcist's guide to getting rid of unwanted ghosts by addressing the particular malaise that brought them back to the world of the living - in this case, a ghost in desperate need of a companion. He is shown walking with his arms outstretched, his wrists tied by a rope held by the female, while an accompanying text details a ritual that would to dispatch them happily to the underworld.

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Info

Not 'out of Japan' - Native American origins debunked by genetics and skeletal biology

The biological evidence "simply does not match up" with archeological finds.
Ancient Skull
© Shutterstock
Analysis of teeth has revealed Native Americans did not directly descend from the Jomon people in ancient Japan.
Native Americans may not have originated in Japan as previous archaeological evidence has suggested, according to a new study of ancient teeth.

For years, archaeologists had predicted that the first people to live in North America descended directly from a group called the Jomon, who occupied ancient Japan about 15,000 years ago, the same time people arrived in North America around 15,000 years ago via the Bering Land Bridge, a strip of land that previously connected Russia to North America before sea levels rose above it. This theory is based on archaeological similarities in stone tools, especially projectile weapons, found in Native American and Jomon settlements.

However, the authors of the new study say this scenario is highly unlikely because the biological evidence "simply does not match up" with the archaeological findings, according to a statement from the researchers.

"The Jomon were not directly ancestral to Native Americans," lead author G. Richard Scott, an anthropologist at the University of Nevada, Reno, told Live Science. "They [the Jomon] are more aligned with Southeast Asian and Pacific groups than with East Asian and Native American groups."

Instead, the researchers suspect that Native Americans descended from a different group living somewhere in East Asia, although a lot of uncertainty remains about exactly where and when those ancestors lived.

Smoking

Earliest evidence of tobacco use dates to over 12,000 years ago says new study

Burnt Tobacco
© D. DUKE ET AL/NATURE HUMAN BEHAVIOR 2021
Burned tobacco seeds found at an archaeological site in Utah, including this seed shown here from multiple angles, date to more than 12,000 years ago.
Ancient North Americans started using tobacco around 12,500 to 12,000 years ago, roughly 9,000 years before the oldest indications that they smoked the plant in pipes, a new study finds.

This discovery replaces the pipe-smoking report as the oldest direct evidence for the human use of tobacco anywhere in the world.

Excavations at the Wishbone site in Utah's Great Salt Lake Desert uncovered four charred seeds of wild tobacco plants in a small fireplace, say archaeologist Daron Duke of Far Western Anthropological Research Group in Henderson, Nev., and colleagues.

Those seeds, three of which the scientists radiocarbon dated, likely came from plants gathered on foothills or mountains located 13 kilometers or more from the Wishbone area, Duke's team reports October 11 in Nature Human Behavior.

Blue Planet

The unearthing of Ireland's mysterious sweathouses

sweathouse ireland
© Holmes Garden Photos/Alamy
Until the 1900s, when people in Ireland got sick, they would get naked and disappear into steamy saunas. Now, a new project is aiming to uncover these timeworn structures' secrets.N

Naked and sweaty, they laid inside grass-covered stone igloo-like structures in the remote fields of Ireland. Some were ill, others may have been having hallucinations, hatching plans to distil illegal alcohol or imagining they were the Vikings who once raided this country. By the time these addled folk emerged from the structures back into the fresh air of 19th-Century Ireland, they had been through a jarring mental and physical journey. One that still holds many mysteries.

"Some people reckoned the cure was worse than the disease," archaeologist Aidan Harte told me of this sweltering experience, as he stood atop a 150-year-old Irish sweathouse in Killadiskert, an isolated corner of County Leitrim. "Part of the reason there's crazy theories about hallucinations and making alcohol is because we just don't fully know the truth about sweathouses and all their uses. They're a bit of a riddle that we're now trying to work out."

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


Info

Oldest footprints of pre-humans identified in Crete

Six million year old fossilized footprints on the island show the human foot had begun to develop.
Footprint in Crete

The oldest known footprints of pre-humans were found on the Mediterranean island of Crete and are at least six million years old, says an international team of researchers from Germany, Sweden, Greece, Egypt and England, led by Tübingen scientists Uwe Kirscher and Madelaine Böhme of the Senckenberg Center for Human Evolution and Palaeo-environment at the University of Tübingen. Their study has been published in the journal Scientific Reports.

The footprints from fossilized beach sediments were found near the west Cretan village of Trachilos and published in 2017. Using geophysical and micropaleontological methods, researchers have now dated them to 6.05 million years before the present day, making them the oldest direct evidence of a human-like foot used for walking. "The tracks are almost 2.5 million years older than the tracks attributed to Australopithecus afarensis (Lucy) from Laetoli in Tanzania," Uwe Kirscher says. This puts the Trachilos footprints at the same age as the fossils of the upright-walking Orrorin tugenensis from Kenya. Finds connected with this biped include femurs, but there are no foot bones or footprints.

The dating of the Cretan footprints therefore sheds new light on the early evolution of human perambulation more than six million years ago. "The oldest human foot used for upright walking had a ball, with a strong parallel big toe, and successively shorter side toes," Per Ahlberg, professor at Uppsala University and co-author of the study, explains. "The foot had a shorter sole than Australopithecus. An arch was not yet pronounced and the heel was narrower."

Attention

Breaking the News: How the first media moguls shaped history

Media Moguls
© Corbett Report
I'm sure you're familiar with the old adage that "you are what you eat." Well, here's a similarly important observation that you probably weren't told as a child: you are what you read. Or, to put it in terms that the "Netflix and chill" generation can understand: you are what you watch.

This should be a pretty obvious insight. Why do you think one of Jeff Bezos' first moves in his quest to become the real-life embodiment of a comic book supervillain was to buy The Washington Post? It's sometimes said that money is power, but Bezos' purchase of WaPo shows that owning a major press outlet is a way to leverage that power and stretch those dollars even further. Indeed, as I observed in How to Save the World (in One Easy Step!), narrative — the ability to shape people's understanding of the world through story — is the most powerful weapon in the world. It should go without saying that owning a major media entity is the most effective way of wielding that weapon.

I say "it should go without saying" because the history of mass media is the history of rich and powerful people trying to shape entire nations' understanding of the world. But, as usual, this is the type of history that is not taught in schools, so it's entirely possible that this observation in fact does not go without saying.

So today let's examine the story of some of the early media moguls and the effect that their control of the press had in shaping the history of the world in the 20th century.

Folder

Declassified CIA files raise further questions about US complicity in Colombian massacres

Jimenez
© AFP/HO/POLICIA NACIONAL
Carlos Mario Jimenez
Newly released files reveal the extent to which the US has long been aware of collusion between the Colombian government and paramilitary groups intent on wreaking havoc - and yet seemingly turned a blind eye to it.

On September 28, a US federal court in Miami, Florida found former Colombian paramilitary chief Carlos Mario Jiménez guilty of the 2001 murder of Bogotá community leader Eduardo Estrada.

The judgment marks the culmination of a legal battle lasting over a decade. Then-Colombian President Álvaro Uribe extradited Jiménez - nicknamed 'Macaco' by his subordinates - to Washington in 2008, whereupon he was convicted of drug trafficking and served 11 years of a 33-year sentence.

US prosecutors opted to focus exclusively on narco-related charges, meaning thousands of victims of Macaco's paramilitary group, Bloque Central Bolivar, were prevented from seeking justice for assassinations, massacres, and other acts of extreme violence perpetrated by him and his criminal fraternity over the course of their never-ending, blood-spattered war against the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).

Released in 2019 and repatriated to Colombia, Jiménez was immediately arrested on homicide and conspiracy charges. Now at last brought to justice, the presiding judge cited "an abundance of evidence" that Bloque Central Bolivar "operated in a symbiotic relationship with Colombian state actors," and moreover with protection from law enforcement, as the group committed countless hideous atrocities.

Book

Zbigniew's Ghost: An Exorcism (A Book Review of Valediction: Three Nights of Desmond)

Brzezinski
© Jim Young/Reuters
Zbigniew Brzezinski
The only difference between 2021 and 1981 is that today, a Multipolar Alliance led by the Russia and China has created a new paradigm, capable of challenging the dystopic unipolar hegemon that Brzezinski believed should govern the New World Order.

As a journalist, it is necessary to do my best not only to stay up-to-date on as many of the cutting edge developments as possible, but to also keep a flexible mind so that the buzzing myriad of facts emerging every day can be imbued with value such that my analysis can be useful to readers.

Over the past weeks, my mind processed such a dizzying array of information pertaining to the evolving situation surrounding Afghanistan that I ultimately had to shut myself off of reading any breaking news for a few days. It was during this short break that I took great pleasure reviewing the pre-release of a new novelized memoir entitled Valediction: Three Nights of Desmond, published by Trine Day Press and written by the husband and wife team of Paul Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Gould.

Just when I was beginning to think that nothing new could be offered to the topic, I was happily surprised that this book provided an invaluable dimension to Afghanistan's story within the context of world history from the first-hand account of the only two American journalists permitted to enter the war-torn nation in 1981 and again in 1983. The two documentaries produced by the duo during that period went far to shatter the carefully-constructed narrative of a "Russian Vietnam" that had been built up for years by a western deep state.