Secret HistoryS


Walking moai stone statues and "Levitated Mass"

As director of the UCLA Rock Art Archive, I have had the privilege of studying the seminal research of renowned California archaeologist Robert F. Heizer. He spent much of his professional life researching prehistoric art, known as rock art. His son, the famous artist Michael Heizer, grew up exploring his father's excavations throughout California. Michael Heizer's masterwork, entitled "Levitated Mass," is a massive granite boulder weighing 340 tons. Installed at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, "Levitated Mass" is a profoundly literal interpretation of "rock art." Transported from a distant desert quarry, the boulder was moved along a 105 mile route with minimal environmental impact and accompanied by a cacophony of Internet tweets. The space shuttle Endeavor, in contrast, recently traversed the city in a challenging 12 mile journey that Los Angeles Times architecture critic Christopher Hawthorne likened to an ancient ceremonial procession. Both events involved advanced industrial technology, enormous resources, careful and farsighted planning, large numbers of participants and crowds of observers, and were motivated by the goals of history, private passion, and public education.

Comment: Easter Island heads have bodies!?
Archaeologists Upset Theory About Easter Island Statues


Archaeologists analyze previously undiscovered Stonehenge carvings

When ArcHeritage researchers used Bentley Pointools to analyze 850 GB of laser-scanning data, they discovered 72 previously unknown prehistoric carvings.
While the mysteries of Stonehenge, constructed in England between 3,000 and 2,000 BC, may never be truly revealed or understood, a recent examination of the historic monument using cutting-edge visualization tools has unearthed some fascinating carvings that date to the Bronze Age. It is not yet known what questions about Stonehenge these carvings will answer, but the project did demonstrate the potential for using laser-scanning and visualization technology on the world's antiquities.

The plan to more closely examine the stone structure began in November 2011 when English Heritage, the U.K. government's statutory adviser on the historic environment, commissioned the most detailed laser scan survey of Stonehenge ever undertaken. During the project, each stone was recorded with point spacing of 0.5 millimeters by the Greenhatch Group survey company. The resulting resource, comprising more than 850 GB of survey data, would lead to new discoveries about the monument.

In April 2012, the enormous task of examining the data was awarded to ArcHeritage, part of the York Archaeological Trust, whose Geomatics and Visualisation team examined the laser scan survey. One challenge was to visualise a large amount of information and identify and isolate very subtle features. Preliminary examination of meshed models showed promising signs of useful information in the data set. For example, individual tool marks more than 5,000 years old could be seen and identified, but there were also tantalizing hints that the data contained prehistoric artwork carved onto the surfaces of the stones.


Scottish Island discovery digs up new information about Neolithic religion

A new archaeological find on an island off of Scotland could have a connection to Neolithic religion. Jeffrey Brown examines background of the discovery and explores some of its surrounding mysteries, including why the site might have been part of the biggest barbecues in history.


Finally tonight: the unfolding mystery of a huge and exciting new archaeological find. It's all happening on a group of islands off the northern tip of Scotland.

Jeffrey Brown reports.

JEFFREY BROWN: Drive across the windswept, almost treeless landscape of the Orkney Islands, and you will see sheep, cattle and farmland. But it won't be long before you come across an ancient standing stone, or two or three.

The islands are littered with a collection of world-famous archaeological sites. There's Skara Brae, a superbly preserved Neolithic hut settlement, Maeshowe, a chambered stone tomb, built so the midwinter sun shines along its low entrance hall, and the Standing Stones of Stenness.

But now, nearby, a site recently unearthed site to top them all, the Ness of Brodgar, a vast temple-like complex, one of the most important Neolithic discoveries in Europe that may provide new insight into Stone Age religious practice.


Treasure-filled warrior's grave found in Russia

Ancient Jewelery
© Valentina MordvintsevaThe burial of the warrior was richly adorned and contained more than a dozen gold artifacts. This fibula-brooch, despite being only 2.3 by 1.9 inches in size, contains intricate decorations leading toward the center where a rock crystal bead is mounted.
Hidden in a necropolis situated high in the mountains of the Caucasus in Russia, researchers have discovered the grave of a male warrior laid to rest with gold jewelry, iron chain mail and numerous weapons, including a 36-inch (91 centimeters) iron sword set between his legs.

That is just one amazing find among a wealth of ancient treasures dating back more than 2,000 years that scientists have uncovered there.

Among their finds are two bronze helmets, discovered on the surface of the necropolis. One helmet (found in fragments and restored) has relief carvings of curled sheep horns while the other has ridges, zigzags and other odd shapes.

Although looters had been through the necropolis before, the warrior's grave appears to have been untouched. The tip of the sword he was buried with points toward his pelvis, and researchers found "a round gold plaque with a polychrome inlay" near the tip, they write in a paper published in the most recent edition of the journal Ancient Civilizations from Scythia to Siberia.


Iraqis, foreign teams work together to excavate ancient sites

© Essam al-Sudani/AFPThe walls of Uruk, east of Samawa, were first built 4,700 years ago by the Sumerian King Gilgamesh. More than 40,000 archaeological sites are still untapped.
The Iraqi Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities on Monday (February 18th) announced it has authorised six foreign teams to start archaeological excavations at a number of ancient sites.

"As part of its work programme for the current year, the ministry has reached agreements with six archaeological teams from Italy, the United Kingdom and the Czech Republic," Hakim al-Shammary, director of the tourism minister's media office, told Mawtani.

The teams will begin excavations at a number of sites, particularly in the south, he said.

"Among the sites to be excavated are ancient hills such as Tal Abu Tuwaira in the city of al-Nasiriya, Tal al-Baqarat in al-Kut and Tal Abu Shathar in Maysan province, as well as other sites in al-Dalmaj marshes," he said.

Iraqi archaeologists and excavators will work alongside these teams to acquire additional skills, using advanced equipment to salvage relics and identify historical periods, and learning how to preserve the pieces, al-Shammary said.

"The return of foreign archaeology teams to the country, as a result of the stable security situation, will give great momentum to ministry efforts and plans for the excavation of archaeological treasures," he said.

Geographic surveys indicate that more than 40,000 archaeological sites throughout Iraq have yet to be excavated and studied, al-Shammary said.

The ministry hopes to increase the number of foreign excavation teams, not only so they can support officials through excavation, "but also to help us undertake the special projects of maintaining and rehabilitating archaeological and heritage sites, with their expertise and advanced technologies", he said.


Silk Road history buried under sand

Silk Road
Taklimakan is the largest desert in the country. Measuring 330,000 square kilometers, it's a scene of endless sand. But buried under this vast desert are relics of the Silk Road, one of the greatest commercial routes in history that linked the east and west.

117 years ago, in 1896, Swedish explorer Sven Hedin made a surprising discovery at the oasis town of Dandan Oilik, in the heart of the Taklimakan Desert.

Zhang Yuzhong, former deputy director of Xinjiang Archeology Research Institute, said, "In the past, experts in China and abroad had believed there was no trace of humans in the desert. But Sven Hedin found many remains of houses. Then Aurel Stein, another explorer known as a pioneer of the Silk Road, stayed there for two weeks, and found the remains of another 18 residential houses and identified some temples. He also found documents from the Tang and Han dynasties.

In 1900, Hedin once again visited the Taklimakan. In this expedition, he found the ruins of the ancient city Loulan, buried under the sand.


Greco-Roman tombs dating back 2,300 years found in Egypt

Ancient Tombs
© Latin American Herald Tribune
Cairo - Egyptian archaeologists have discovered several Greek and Roman tombs dating from as early as 332 B.C. in the Al-Qabari district of the Mediterranean city of Alexandria, the Ministry of State for Antiquities said Thursday.

The ministry said in a statement that it suspected antiquities might be found at a planned construction site for a public service building and dispatched a team of experts who found the burial chambers there.

The tombs have two stories and some parts are submerged in subterranean water.

Al-Qabari is considered a major archaeological zone because it is home to the necropolis of Alexandria and numerous other ancient tombs have been found there.

The newly discovered tombs do not contain mummies or skeletons and were used to bury citizens who were not high-ranking officials. EFE


Stone Age Women Endured Regular Violence

anthropology skulls
© David Hunt, North Carolina State UniversitySkulls from a forensic anthropology lab.
Stone Age farmers lived through routine violence, and women weren't spared from its toll, a new study finds.

The analysis discovered that up to 1 in 6 skulls exhumed in Scandinavia from the late Stone Age -- between about 6,000 and 3,700 years ago -- had nasty head injuries. And contrary to findings from mass grave sites of the period, women were equally likely to be victims of deadly blows, according to the study published in the February issue of the American Journal of Physical Anthropology.

Ancient pastoralists

Linda Fibiger, an archaeologist at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, and her colleagues focused on the late Stone Age, when European hunter-gatherers had transitioned into farming or herding animals.


They might be giants! 18ft. tall giant human skeleton found by oil prospector J. Mckinney in Texas!

I am doing research on historic finds across America. Any articles and shared research would be much appreciated as I put together evidence of giant races. Contact me here. Also, If anyone has any personal writings or information on Doctor. P. R Hoy, from Racine, Wisconsin I would be interested in talking to you as well.

My last article to bring awareness of the giant phenomenon has received much attention and my inbox seemed to be full of stories like this one. One contact that reached out to me was Jim Vieira researcher and writer for Ancient American Magazine. We had a discussion about Stone builders, Mound builders and the Giants of Ancient America. Discoveries like this one found in the local Texas newspaper archives. The thought that a race of 18 ft. tall giants would bring some answers to unexplained architecture and legends. Giants appear all throughout history and multiple cultures. I wonder how much a group of these giants could lift? How fast could they row? What else is real?

First let's look at some popular giant characteristics that do not show up on human individuals. These usually are their size, six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot. This is even mentioned in the Bible 1st Chronicles 20:6. In Amos 2:9, Amos describes them "as tall as cedars", which in most cases is taken as figurative and not literal.


King Tut's parents were cousins, not siblings: Researcher

King Tut
© Egyptian MuseumThe discovery of jars of wine in King Tuts tomb prompted a team of Spanish scientists to try and determine if the boy king preferred red or white wine. An analysis of residues in 2005 revealed that the jars contained syringic acid, which implied that the wine was made with red grapes.
For all the popularity Tutankhamun enjoys today, key details about the ancient Egyptian pharaoh's life, such as his parentage, have remained somewhat mysterious. While Akhenaten was known to be Tut's dad, the identity of the boy king's mother has remained elusive. But at least one archaeologist believes she was Nefertiti.

Recent DNA analyses from the mummies of Tut and his kin revealed that the boy king's parents were siblings. Those results, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in February 2010, pointed to the "heretic" king Akhenaten and one of his sisters as the mom and dad of Tut.

But researcher Marc Gabolde said in a talk at Harvard University last week that he believes King Tut's mom was Akhenaten's cousin Nefertiti, who was Akhenaten's chief wife and the mother of six of his daughters.