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Sun, 03 Dec 2023
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Nation-states as 'business models': Ukraine as another neoliberal privatization exercise

© TheFreeThoughtProject
Blackrock Spectrum • Presidents Zelensky and Biden

Perhaps the leading two veteran critics of US policy in Ukraine, Colonel Douglas MacGregor USA and Major Scott Ritter USMC, have said loud and clear that at least from a military standpoint the Ukrainian armed forces have lost the war against Russia.

There have been numerous voices calling for an end to the conflict, not least because the more than USD 46 billion and counting in military aid alone, has yet to produce any of the results announced as aims of what has finally been admitted is a war against Russia.[i]

If Mr Zelenskyy, the president of the Ukraine's government in Kiev, is to be taken at face value, then the hostilities can only end when: Crimea and the Donbass regions are fully under Kiev's control and Vladimir Putin has been removed from office as president of the Russian Federation. To date no commentator has adequately explained how those war aims are to be attained. This applies especially after the conservatively estimated 400,000 deaths and uncounted casualties in the ranks of Kiev's forces since the beginning of the Special Military Operation in February 2022.

Before considering the political and economic issues it is important to reiterate a few military facts, especially for those armchair soldiers who derive their military acumen from TV and Hollywood films.

As MacGregor and Ritter, both of whom have intimate practical knowledge of warfare, have said: Armies on the ground need supplies, i.e. food, weapons, ammunition, medical care for wounded, etc. These supplies have to be delivered from somewhere.

Comment: An amazing compilation of information and dot connecting you won't find anyplace else.

Blue Planet

Complete neolithic cursus discovered on the Isle of Arran, first full example ever found in Britain

David Bennett
© Murdo MacLeod/The Guardian
Land owner David Bennett at the site of Drumadoon cursus: the space was usually built for procession and gathering.
Below the rolling heath on the Isle of Arran's south-west coast, overlooked by harriers and the occasional peregrine, a monument to ancient ceremony is being uncovered.

In August, archaeologists working alongside local volunteers began their excavation at Drumadoon of what is almost certainly the only complete Neolithic cursus monument found in Britain.

These vast rectangular enclosures, which date back to between 4000 and 3000BC, are believed to have been built as spaces for procession, ceremony and gathering, deliberately separate from quotidian settlements or farming land.

Comment: Notably these cursus appear to be situated in the same era as the mysterious Crannog, and Broch, structures: See also:


Shipwreck hunters find fully intact remains of doomed 156-year-old schooner

shipwreck schooner trinidad wisconsin
© State Historical Society of Wisconsin
This July 2023 photo provided by State Historical Society of Wisconsin shows the schooner Trinidad.
Shipwreck hunters have discovered the well-preserved remains of a schooner that sank in Lake Michigan in 1881, with the crew's possessions still intact.

Brendon Baillod and Robert Jaeck, maritime historians from Wisconsin, found the 156-year-old Trinidad ship back in July at a depth of 270 feet off Algoma, Wisconsin, the Associated Press (AP) reported Friday. The historians used a combination of side-scan sonar and historical accounts from those who survived the shipwreck to narrow down its location.

"The wreck is among the best-preserved shipwrecks in Wisconsin waters with her deck-house still intact, containing the crew's possessions and her anchors and deck gear still present," a statement released after the discovery reads, according to AP.


Archaeologists have uncovered oldest Roman forum in Hispania, at the site of a named unknown city

Ancient Thermal Baths
© University of Zaragoza
Aerial view of La Cabañeta thermal baths.
Archaeologists have uncovered an ancient Roman forum from more than 2,000 years ago at the site of an unknown city in the municipality of El Burgo de Ebro in northeastern Spain.

Excavations by the Institute of Heritage and Humanities of the University of Zaragoza, co-directed by Alberto Mayayo and Borja Díaz, have found the forum — the most important part of a Roman city and where its most prominent political and religious institutions were located — which is considered the oldest ever unearthed in the interior of Spain.

The name of this Roman city on the banks of the Ebro is unknown, though some experts believe it could be Castra Aelia, a second-line Roman camp that became a city with a large forum after the defeat of the Celtiberians in Numancia.

The city, which was first built as a military camp, only existed for a brief period of time because evidence suggests that it was obliterated during a conflict known as the Sertorian Wars in the early first century B.C.


Nose ornament made from human bone found at Maya archaeological site in Palenque

maya bone
© Carlos Varela Scherrer
Archaeologists from the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) have uncovered a nose ring made from human bone during excavations at the Maya city of Palenque.

Palenque, also known as Lakamha in the Itza Language (meaning "Flat-Place-River"), is located near the Usumacinta River in the Mexican state of Chiapas.

Excavations of House C, part of a palace complex built by Pakal the Great, has led to the discovery of a ritual deposit containing a nose ring made from human bone. The deposit is likely an offering to commemorate the building's completion between AD 600 and 850 during the Late Classic period.

The nose ring is made with part of a human distal tibia which forms the bony structure of the ankle joint, and has an engraved scene used to personify K'awiil, the Mayan god associated with lightning, serpents, fertility, and maize. The Maya often depicted Kʼawiil holding the promise of "Innumerable Generations" who was part of the Maya rulers ritual inauguration and accession to the throne.

Comment: One might suppose that this find isn't necessarily a grim find, what with ancestor worship and what not, except that there's evidence showing that the Mayan civilisation was rather brutal even before it began to experience other stressors, such as that brought about by an abrupt shift in climate: Also check out SOTT radio's: MindMatters: America Before: Comets, Catastrophes, Mounds and Mythology


New ancient ape from Turkey challenges the story of human origins

Hominine Fossil
© Sevim-Erol, A., Begun, D.R., Sözer, Ç.S. et al.
A new face and partial brain case of Anadoluvius turkae, a fossil hominine — the group that includes African apes and humans – from the Çorakyerler fossil site located in Central Anatolia, Türkiye.
A new fossil ape from an 8.7-million-year-old site in Türkiye is challenging long-accepted ideas of human origins and adding weight to the theory that the ancestors of African apes and humans evolved in Europe before migrating to Africa between nine and seven million years ago.

Analysis of a newly identified ape named Anadoluvius turkae recovered from the Çorakyerler fossil locality near Çankırı with the support of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism in Türkiye, shows Mediterranean fossil apes are diverse and part of the first known radiation of early hominines — the group that includes African apes (chimpanzees, bonobos and gorillas), humans and their fossil ancestors.

The findings are described in a new study published in Communications Biology co-authored by an international team of researchers led by Professor David Begun at the University of Toronto and Professor Ayla Sevim Erol at Ankara University.

Our findings further suggest that hominines not only evolved in western and central Europe but spent over five million years evolving there and spreading to the eastern Mediterranean before eventually dispersing into Africa, probably as a consequence of changing environments and diminishing forests," said Begun, professor in the Department of Anthropology in the Faculty of Arts & Science. "The members of this radiation to which Anadoluvius belongs are currently only identified in Europe and Anatolia."

The conclusion is based on analysis of a significantly well-preserved partial cranium uncovered at the site in 2015, which includes most of the facial structure and the front part of the brain case.


2,000-year-old wooden bridge that once linked England and Wales discovered

Wooden Bridge
An ancient bridge – believed to have been built by the Romans 2,000 years ago – was found preserved in mud in the River Wye near Chepstow
Known as the gateway to Wales, Chepstow is a border town steeped in history.

It boasts a 12th-century Norman castle overlooking the River Wye but was seen as a strategic stronghold long before those battle lines were drawn.

That's because archaeologists have previously uncovered evidence of prehistoric, Roman and Anglo-Saxon fortifications — and now something else.

It turns out the town was once home to an ancient bridge that linked England and Wales before the two countries came to be.

This wooden structure - believed to have been built by the Romans 2,000 years ago - was found preserved in mud following a race against time to uncover it during an 'extreme low tide event'.


Palaeogeneticists analyse a 3,800-year-old extended family

32 individuals from a burial site in the southern Ural region show close kinship relations / Only women came from other areas.
Ancient Skeleton
© Svetlana Sharapova
A skeleton from the Nepluyevsky site.
The diversity of family systems in prehistoric societies has always fascinated scientists. A groundbreaking study by Mainz anthropologists and an international team of archaeologists now provides new insights into the origins and genetic structure of prehistoric family communities.

Researchers Dr. Jens Blöcher and Professor Joachim Burger of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) have analyzed the genomes of skeletons from an extended family from a Bronze Age necropolis in the Russian steppe. The 3,800-year-old Nepluyevsky burial mound was excavated several years ago and is located on the geographical border between Europe and Asia. Using statistical genomics, the family and marriage relationships of this society have now been deciphered. The study was carried out in cooperation with archaeologists from Ekaterinburg and Frankfurt am Main and was partly financially supported by the German Research Foundation (DFG) and the Russian Science Foundation (RSCF).

The burial mound or so-called kurgan investigated was the grave of six brothers, their wives, children, and grandchildren. The presumably oldest brother had eight children with two wives, one of whom came from the Asian steppe regions in the east. The other brothers showed no signs of polygamy and probably lived monogamously with far fewer children.

Blue Planet

Longest stretch of Ancient Jerusalem's upper aqueduct discovered

© Sraya Diamant
The directors of the dig in Givat Hamatos, Dr. Ofer Sion, left, and Rotem Cohen. The ancient aqueduct was discovered during an archeological dig in East Jerusalem's Givat Hamatos, ahead of the construction of a new neighborhood in the controversial area.
An archeological salvage dig in East Jerusalem that was carried out in advance of the construction of a new neighborhood has uncovered a 3-kilometer (1.8-mile) stretch of ancient Jerusalem's upper aqueduct.

Researchers have attempted for about 150 years to decipher the secret of how the ancient city's huge water system brought water to Jerusalem during the Second Temple period (which ended in the year 70) and on into the late Roman period. In its time, it was the largest network of water infrastructure in the country.

Experts know about two aqueducts from those periods: the lower aqueduct, which supplied the Temple, and the upper aqueduct, which suppled the upper city - where the Jewish Quarter and the Armenian Quarter of the Old City are now situated. The two aqueducts carried water over considerable distances from Solomon's Pools in the Bethlehem area into Jerusalem's city walls. Small sections of aqueduct were discovered over the years, but the debate about their precise route - and particularly when they were built - continues.

Comment: Recent studies reveal that our understanding of history and religion of the area is sorely lacking: Also check out SOTT radio's:


Paleolithic artists incorporated natural rock formations into cave painting designs, stereoscopic imaging reveals

Paleolithic art
© amiteshikha, CC BY 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons
Research led by Complutense University, Madrid, has discovered an array of ancient cave paintings hidden among previously described cave art. In a paper, "Animals hidden in plain sight: stereoscopic recording of Paleolithic rock art at La Pasiega cave, Cantabria," published in Antiquity, the team fills in details missing from previous photographic images.

The researchers revisited La Pasiega cave's rock art using new digital stereoscopic recording methods and identified previously unnoticed animal figures within the cave art. Specifically, they discovered new depictions of horses, deer, and a large bovid (possibly an aurochs) that had not been recognized before.

Some figures were previously considered incomplete as if the artist simply gave up on the rendering midway through. Through stereoscopic photography and a better understanding of how natural rock formations were incorporated into the artwork, these incomplete figures were reinterpreted as complete animal depictions.

Comment: There's sufficient evidence to conclude that our paleolithic ancestors were much more capable, creative, and inspired, than we are led to believe: Also check out SOTT radio's: