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Sat, 23 Sep 2023
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Secret History


Explorer Who Discovered Titanic Sets Sights on Ancient Ruins

Oceanographer Robert Ballard, best known for discovering the Titanic wreck, has new plans to plumb the depths of the seas.

Ballard said Thursday that his latest deep-sea venture will send crews combing through the Black, Aegean and Mediterranean seas for artifacts from ship wrecks and ancient civilizations.

His research vessel, the E/V Nautilus, set out from a port in Turkey last week on a four-month mission that will use four remote-operated vehicles and sonar technology to explore lost cities, as well as hydrothermal vents and undersea volcanoes.

At a news conference at Mystic Aquarium in Connecticut, Ballard said that while he has a general idea of what his crew might find, the exploration is about looking for the unknown.

"We're fascinated by extremely confusing parts of our planet and we say 'let's go there and see if we can figure it out," said Ballard, a co-leader of the mission who is planning to join the ship later.


Ancient Reindeer Engraving Among Britain's Oldest Rock Art

Rock Art
© George Nash
This faint engraving depicts the antlers, torso and legs of a reindeer. It was found in 2010 in a cave on the Welsh Gower Peninsula.

A faint engraving of a reindeer in a South Wales cave looks to be among the oldest rock art known in Britain.

Researchers completed an analysis on July 27 that dated the image at roughly 12,600 years or older, putting it about on par with Britain's oldest known rock art.

The archeologist who discovered the engraving, George Nash, from the University of Bristol, said he believed it could be even older.

Nash discovered the engraving while visiting the cave with a group in September 2010. But dating - using a technique that looks at the decay of traces of radioactive uranium and thorium in the stalagmite crust deposited over the engraving - was only just completed.

The engraving's location is being kept secret to prevent vandalism, because the cave in which it is located is open to the public, said Nash, who also works with the environmental firm SLR consulting.

In 2003, the first British rock art from the Upper Paleolithic, which ended about 12,000 years ago, was discovered in Creswell Crags in England. A dating analysis put these engravings at roughly the same minimum age as Nash's more recent find. Rock art created since the end of the Upper Paleolithic is more common in Britain.


US: Archaeology team returns to historic New York fort site

© Marvel.com
Even after years of excavations at the 18th-century military outpost that inspired James Fenimore Cooper's The Last of the Mohicans, archaeologist David Starbuck says there's still plenty of history waiting to be unearthed.

Starbuck is overseeing an archaeological field project at Fort William Henry in the southern Adirondack tourist village of Lake George. It's his fifth summertime dig at the reconstructed French and Indian War fort and 21st overall under the auspices of Adirondack Community College.

Starbuck-led teams conducted excavations at Fort William Henry from 1997 to 2000, turning up, among other things, the charred wooden foundations of the fort the British built here in 1755 and the French captured and burned after a weeklong siege in August 1757. Scores of the fort's soldiers and civilians were killed by Indian allies of the French in what became known as the massacre at Fort William Henry. The siege and its aftermath were retold in Cooper's novel and several film versions of his book, including the 1991 adaptation starring Daniel Day-Lewis.

All of which makes the fort, in Starbuck's estimation, the most famous of the nation's French and Indian War sites, most of which are concentrated in the Northeast. Visitors to the fort are encouraged to watch the archaeology work unfold and question the diggers about what they're doing. Hopefully, such interactions will give people a better understanding of the fort's role in a little-known yet vital part of American history, Starbuck said.

"Schools don't teach it, so sites like this have to tell the story," he said. "We need to convey to people why people did what they did, that it's not just a good guy versus a bad guy thing."


US: Archaeologists search for lost graves at Uncle Tom's Cabin Historic Site

© Unknown
Archaeologists from The University of Western Ontario and the Ontario Heritage Trust will search for unmarked graves at Uncle Tom's Cabin Historic Site in Dresden, Ontario next week.

The site is home to two historic cemeteries belonging to the British American Institute and the Henson family. Although many tombstones are visible at the two cemeteries, their positions do not always precisely mark the location of the underlying graves.

"Historic cemeteries are notorious for having many more burials than are marked by gravestones or recorded in the cemetery records," says Edward Eastaugh, who will lead Western's survey team.

Dena Doroszenko, archaeologist for the Ontario Heritage Trust, which owns and operates the historic site, says, "This work will be extremely helpful. Because the Henson family cemetery is still in use today, it's important to know the exact location of all the graves in the cemetery."


Jesus' Apostle's Tomb Unearthed in Turkey

Apostle's Tomb?
© DHA Photo

An Italian professor has announced the apparent discovery of the tomb of St. Philip, one of Jesus Christ's apostles, at the ancient city of Hierapolis in the Aegean province of Denizli.

The discovery of the grave of the biblical saint, who was killed by the Romans 2,000 years ago, will attract immense attention around the world, said Francesco D'Andria. St. Philip, one of the 12 apostles, came to Hierapolis 2,000 years ago to spread the Christianity before being killed by the Romans, the professor said.

D'Andria has been leading archeological excavations at the ancient city for 32 years.

"Until recently, we thought the grave of St. Philip was on Martyrs' Hill, but we discovered no traces of him in the geophysical research conducted in that area. A month ago, we discovered the remnants of an unknown church, 40 meters away from the St. Philip Church on Martyrs' Hill. And in that church we discovered the grave of St. Philip," said D'Andria.


Ancient City Mysteriously Survived Mideast Civilization Collapse

© Tell Qarqur Expedition
The site of Tell Qarqur in northwest Syria was occupied for nearly 10,000 years. The debris that people left behind accumulated into a human-made mound known as a tell. Archaeologists have determined that 4,200 years ago, at a time when cities and civilizations were collapsing in the Middle East, Tell Qarqur actually grew.
As ancient civilizations across the Middle East collapsed, possibly in response to a global drought about 4,200 years ago, archaeologists have discovered that one settlement in Syria not only survived, but expanded.

Their next question is - why did Tell Qarqur, a site in northwest Syria, grow at a time when cities across the Middle East were being abandoned?

"There was widespread abandonment of many of the largest archaeological sites and ancient cities in the region and also large numbers of smaller sites," said Jesse Casana, a professor of anthropology at the University of Arkansas. "At Tell Qarqur and probably at other sites also in the Orontes River Valley, where our site is located, [settlement] continues, and in our case, seems to have probably broadened [during that time]."

Casana and Boston University archaeologist Rudolph Dornemann discovered mud-brick homes beyond the city's fortification walls, suggesting the area was thriving.


UK: 3,000 Roman 3rd Century Coins Found in Montgomery Field

Adrian Simmons (R) found some of the coins using a metal detector
More than 3,000 Roman coins have been discovered in a field, it has emerged.

The hoard of copper alloy coins, dating from the 3rd Century, was unearthed in Montgomery, Powys, several weeks ago.

About 900 were found by a member of a Welshpool metal detecting club, with the rest of the discovery made with help from archaeologists.

The exact location is being kept secret to protect the site. The Powys coroner will determine whether they qualify as treasure.

Clwyd-Powys Archaeological Trust (CPAT), which helped unearth the coins, said the discovery had the potential to reveal more about Roman life in mid Wales in the late 3rd Century.

The Romans left Wales in 410AD, having first arrived in 47AD. The find in Montgomery is a few miles away from where a Roman fort once stood in the village of Forden.

Arrow Down

Canada: Second World War Plane Found in Ontario Lake

© Dan Janisse
OPP boat near the Leamington Marina in Leamington, Ont., June 6, 2011. Three bodies were recovered near a breakwall that their boat struck Sunday evening.
More than 70 years after it went down, a Second World War aircraft has been discovered in the depths of Lake Muskoka, it was announced Tuesday.

The Ontario Provincial Police, Department of National Defence, the provincial Heritage Ministry and the Lost Airmen of Muskoka Project confirmed that the A-17 Nomad that crashed following a mid-air collision in 1940 was discovered in the lake.

Although the announcement was made this week, the wreckage was first discovered a year ago, in July 2010, by an OPP underwater search crew using sonar.

A remotely operated vessel was later used to explore the site, some 150 kilometres north of Toronto, and the two-seater aircraft was identified as one that went down on Dec. 13, 1940. It was searching for another plane when the collision took place.


Doubts Over Authenticity of 'Ancient Christian' Books

Ancient Fakes_1
The metal books, the Lead Codices, range in size and are covered in ancient lettering.

In the cool living room of a stone-built house in Northern Israel I might just have held in my hands the keys to the ancient mysteries of Christianity.

And then again, I might not have.

With the blinds shuttered against the glare of the midday sun my host, Hassan Saeda, lays out a collection of extraordinary books which he says are about 2,000 years old.

Flowing of hair and neat of beard, he bears a distracting resemblance to an illustration of Christ from an old children's Bible. It lends the scene an air of extra gravity.

The books - bindings, pages, covers and all - are made entirely of various metals.

They are inscribed - or engraved, stamped or embossed - with various simple pictures and writing in a variety of languages including Greek and Old Hebrew.

And they are astonishingly heavy. Some are no larger than a credit card but some are the size of large-format modern paperbacks. The largest that I handled probably weighed 4 or 5kg (about 10lbs).

Ancient Fakes_2
"I spent so much time and so much money to prove these are real. There are a lot of professors and one of them told me that I'm living in a fantasy”

Hassan Saeda, Owner of metal books.
You can see why the publishing industry was eventually won over by the flexibility and portability of paper.


What is war good for? Sparking civilization, suggest UCLA archaeology findings from Peru

© Unknown
"Gateway of the Sun", Tiahuanaco, drawn in 1877. Site of Pukara in the northern Titicaca Basin
Warfare, triggered by political conflict between the fifth century B.C. and the first century A.D., likely shaped the development of the first settlement that would classify as a civilization in the Titicaca basin of southern Peru, a new UCLA study suggests.

Charles Stanish, director of UCLA's Cotsen Institute of Archaeology, and Abigail Levine, a UCLA graduate student in anthropology, used archaeological evidence from the basin, home to a number of thriving and complex early societies during the first millennium B.C., to trace the evolution of two larger, dominant states in the region: Taraco, along the Ramis River, and Pukara, in the grassland pampas.

"This study is part of a larger, worldwide comparative research effort to define the factors that gave rise to the first societies that developed public buildings, widespread religions and regional political systems - or basically characteristics associated with ancient states or what is colloquially known as 'civilization,'" said Stanish, who is also a professor of anthropology at UCLA. "War, regional trade and specialized labor are the three factors that keep coming up as predecessors to civilization."

The findings appear online in the latest edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Comment: Perhaps a destructive and associated with "sparking of civilization" process, similar to what is described in the following excerpt from Laura Knight-Jadczyk's article The Golden Age, Psychopathy and the Sixth Extinction occurred also in the Titicaca basin of southern Peru.
I have theorized previously that the cometary destruction associated with the Deluge may have been responsible for mutations in the human population and these mutations led to a variety of psychopathologies that have spread gradually in the population, incrementally corrupting humanity and life on Earth, until we are where we are today. That may have been what happened to Atlantis via an even earlier cataclysmic interaction, and I'm going to explain why I think so. What Atlantis ended up with, according to Plato, and what we have today, was and is a corrupt global system that seeks domination of the entire world. For Atlantis, in the midst of, or immediately after, fighting a war of domination, the Deluge came destroying nearly all life on earth in a single day and night. Rather sobering if you think about it. Makes one feel like going Biblical!
"But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and knew not until the flood came, and took them all away..." (Matthew 24:37-38.)
So, something corrupted the world of Cro-Magnon man long before this time and whatever it was, it led peaceful hunter-gatherer types to create a complex technological civilization that then took the peoples of the world into an abyss; and this corruption may very well have survived the Deluge and still be present in our own society. It is a system that posits pure materialism as its foundation, and excludes entirely the potentials of consciousness as a factor in human dynamics (except as a by-product or 'excretion' of matter). And when I refer to materialists, I actually include the creationists because their position is actually as entirely materialism-based as the evolutionists.