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Archaeology

Ancient tombs and hundreds of objects dating back to 'golden age' in Chinese history unearthed at Silk Road origin

china ancient tombs
© Xi'an Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology
Archaeologists working at the starting point of the Silk Road in northwest China's Shaanxi province have unearthed a group of ancient tombs dating back around 2,000 years to the early days of the Han dynasty.

A total of 27 ancient tombs were excavated in the provincial capital Xi'an and a hoard of objects, including ceramic figurines and thousands of pieces of jade clothing were found. Four of the tombs are large in scale and experts say they are the final resting places of important people of the day.

More than 2,200 pieces of jade clothing were unearthed in the grandest of the tombs and their restoration will provide an important reference for the study of the jade clothes system during the reign of the dynasty. The excavation of the tombs is also set to yield valuable insights into the burial customs of the time.

Black Magic

Eugenics in high school history: Failure to confront the past

Margaret Sanger
© Cliff, via Flickr
Bust of Margaret Sanger, National Portrait Gallery.
Judging by a representative sample of textbooks, America's high-school students get little exposure to the history of eugenics and scientific racism. One reason might be that the relationship of these movements to Progressivism is too close for comfort.

Eugenics and scientific racism in the United States emerged in the second half of the nineteenth century and lasted through the 1930s. It claimed that heredity was the fundamental determinant of an individual's ability to contribute to society. Eugenics claimed the scientific ability to classify individuals and groups as "fit" or "unfit." The unfit were defined by race, mental and physical disabilities, country of origin, and poverty. Eugenics was widely accepted by academics, politicians, intellectuals, government, the U.S. Supreme Court, and especially progressives, who supported eugenics-inspired policies as policy instruments to be utilized by an interventionist administrative state to establish a healthy and productive society. Those who questioned the "settled science" of eugenics were dismissed as "deniers," much like those who question the "settled science" of climate change are today dismissed as "deniers."

Eugenics and slavery share much common ground in their inherent racist view of blacks; however, the inherent racist perspective of eugenics was broader in that the set of those considered unfit included individuals and groups beyond those who were black. Eugenics provided the scientific foundation for involuntary sterilization policies in thirty-two states, supported the racist immigration policies in the first part of the twentieth century, and supported a variety of de jure and de facto policies designed to limit those defined as "unfit" to less than full-citizenship status. More troubling, eugenics and eugenics-inspired policies in the United States were admired by Adolf Hitler. American and German eugenicists interacted and exchanged views up to the late 1930s, and sterilization laws, immigration restrictions based on race or ethnicity, and efforts to prevent full citizenship to the unfit in the United States became the model for the Nuremburg Laws of 1935. Stefan Kühl (1994) was the first to document in detail the American-German eugenics connection. In Hitler's American Model (2017), James Whitman extended this research to illustrate how U.S. policies influenced Nazi race law in the 1930s and the Nuremberg Laws in particular. The Big Lie: Exposing the Nazi Roots of the American Left (2017) by Dinesh D'Souza is the most recent effort to bring public attention to eugenics and the American-German connection.

Info

Hyksos invasion of ancient Egypt debunked in new study

Egyptian Painting
© CCO
Egypt was ruled by the pharaohs from approximately 3100 BC to 30 BC. However, there was a short period when the country was under the rule of the Hyksos, who took advantage of a power vacuum and seized control of Egypt for one hundred years - or at least that's what historical documents have told us. Who precisely the Hyksos were remains unclear.

Scientists from Bournemouth University claim to have debunked a millennia-old myth about an invasion of Egypt by the Hyksos. After the pharaohs retook power from them, the Hyksos were called foreign invaders of an obscure race. However, historians have struggled to find evidence to prove this narrative. They failed to discover signs of an invasion despite the existence of extensive burial sites, while documents showed that more men with Egyptian names married women with non-Egyptian names at the time. During invasions and wars, which were generally waged by men, foreign conquerors often married women from the losing side.

According to a new study published on 15 July in the Journal PLOS One, the narrative promoted by the pharaohs about the Hyksos invading Egypt was fake news. During the research, Chris Stantis and her colleagues examined teeth from the Hyksos; in particular, they looked at the levels of strontium in them. This chemical element gets into our bones and teeth through water and food and people from one area have different ratios of strontium compared with people from another area.

Pharoah

The American who restored Hagia Sophia's ancient mosaics to their former glory

Komnenos mosaic
© Hagia Sophia
Mosaic of John Komnenos – Eirene – Alexios, 13th century
The mosaics of Hagia Sophia are world-renowned priceless artifacts not only of Greek Orthodoxy but also of Byzantine Civilization and Hellenism. What is lesser known is that the hagiographies inside the Cathedral were restored by an American man before it was turned into a museum in 1935.

The name Thomas Whittemore may not mean much to many, but the American academic and amateur archaeologist and restoration expert is the man responsible for the restoration of the Byzantine mosaics that adorn Hagia Sophia.

Whittemore's team restoration
© Unknown
Whittemore’s team works to restore Hagia Sophia mosaics and icons.
While the fascinating mosaics were covered and uncovered multiple times throughout its 1,500 year history, their present state owes a great deal to Whittemore.

Magnify

Oldest evidence of cranial deformation in Eurasia found, skull is 11,000 years old

Songhuajiang
© Xijun Ni et al. 2020
CT-scanned images of the intentionally deformed Songhuajiang Man
An 11,200-11,400 year old fossil of an adult man's skull from a pre-agricultural culture in northeastern China, termed Songhuajiang Man I, is the oldest record of intentional skull deformation in Eurasia, and one of the oldest records in the world. Evidence from stable isotopes in the fossil show that Songhuajiang Man relied on foods like fish from rivers and lakes. This fossil of an intentionally modified human skull from Heilongjiang Province in China is described in a new paper in the journal Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences by Chinese, American, and Pakistani authors.

In well-known societies around the world such as the ancient Mayans, Egyptians, Huns, and Polynesians, the skull was intentionally deformed into a non-natural shape by compressing an infant's head with hand pressure, binding the head with hard and flat surfaces, or by tightly wrapping the head in cloth, Songhuajiang Man I is the oldest evidence in the world for what is called tabular deformation; where hard and flat surfaces are bound to the forehead and back of the skull of an infant in order to permanently alter their skull shape. In the resulting adult's head, the forehead is flatter and taller with a similarly flattened back of the skull.

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Dig

'Huge' Iron Age religious structures detected at Navan Fort, Ireland

Navan Fort
© Comparative Kingship Project/Queen's University
Archaeologists believe they have uncovered evidence of Iron Age Temples and other religious complexes.
Research teams believe they have found evidence of "absolutely huge" religious structures at Navan Fort outside Armagh city.

Armagh is the ecclesiastical capital of Ireland, home to both Catholic and Anglican archbishops.

But before the arrival of Christianity in the fifth century it was a place of huge religious importance.

Archaeologists believe they have uncovered evidence of Iron Age temples and other religious complexes.

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Vader

NATO before NATO: British and French joint aggressions in the mid-19th century

Thin red line crimea battle balaclava painting
© Wikimedia
The Thin Red Line, 1881 oil-on-canvas painting by Robert Gibb depicting the 93rd Regiment of Foot at the Battle of Balaclava on 25 October 1854, during the Crimean War.
The two most militarily powerful nations in the West, both free to project naval power and maritime domination anywhere in the world, get together to punish and overthrow regimes they find guilty of human rights abuses and political repression in the name of human rights and promoting democracy: What could possibly go wrong?

It is of course NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg's new call for NATO, which has already over the past decade exercised its nation-building and promotion of enlightened regime policies with such brilliant success in Ukraine, Libya, Syria and Afghanistan to spread its mantle of protection, enlightenment and peace over the Indo-Pacific and the rest of Asia as well.

But it has all been done before. And the results brought death, enslavement, ruin and destruction to hundreds of millions of entirely innocent people.

Eye 2

Kissinger's reverence for the 1815 Congress of Vienna: A masterkey into universal history

kissinger congress of vienna
© Ehret/Wikimedia
The incredibly shrinking Henry Kissinger is known for many things, but a revolutionary is not one of them. Over the years of service to the empire, the career geopolitician has been consistent in his unfailing commitment to 1) destroy the Westphalian system of sovereign nation states, 2) promote population control across the developing sector, 3) advocate limited nuclear war (in opposition to the more popular visions of total nuclear war advocated by Cold Warriors) and 4) selectively overthrow troublesome governments as a co-architect of color revolutions.

The unifying theme throughout has been Kissinger's total commitment to stability. No matter what chaotic means chosen to advance his agenda, you can be sure that Kissinger does it all for a near religious commitment to "order" and stability.

Although too often overlooked, Henry Kissinger's 1st published work in 1957 A World Restored: Metternich, Castlereagh and the Problems of Peace 1812-1822, offers us the greatest insight into the broader historical forces which young Kissinger understood and which won him entry into the most trusted inner echelons of the oligarchy. It also offers us a sort of master key into unravelling some major historical paradoxes that will assist us in making great sense out of our present age plagued by color revolution and war.

Archaeology

1.4-million-year-old hand ax crafted from hippo leg bone adds to Homo erectus' known toolkit

1.4-million-year-old bone hand ax Africa
© Berhane Asfaw
A 1.4-million-year-old bone hand ax found in East Africa (shown from both sides) expands the known toolmaking repertoire of Homo erectus, scientists say. Hardened sediment attached to the artifact is lighter colored than the tool.
Homo erectus, a possible direct ancestor of people today, crafted a surprisingly cutting-edge tool out of a hippo's leg bone around 1.4 million years ago, researchers say.

This find is a rare example of an ancient type of hand ax made out of bone rather than stone, reports a team led by paleoanthropologists Katsuhiro Sano of Tohoku University in Sendai, Japan, and Gen Suwa of the University of Tokyo. The tool was discovered at Ethiopia's Konso-Gardula site (SN: 1/2/93), which has produced stone tools and fossils attributed to H. erectus.

Horse

Most ancient evidence of horsemanship in the bronze age discovered

horsemanship ancient
© SUSU
Scientists from South Ural State University (SUSU) have discovered new facts about the use of horses in the Bronze Age, working with materials from the monuments of Andronovo culture. As part of an international team from Kazakhstan, Russia, and the U.S., the researchers studied the age of animals found in the ancient mound, as well as changes in the skull that indicate the use of horses by riders. An article on the result of a multidisciplinary study of horse burial is published in the Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports.

Horse breeding in the Andronovo culture

The international team of scientists, which included senior researcher Igor Chechushkov, proved that the Andronovites mastered horse riding several centuries earlier than is commonly believed. The researchers made this conclusion when working with the findings of the fifth barrow in the system of the Novoilinovsky-2 burial ground.

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