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Sun, 19 Aug 2018
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Secret History


2000-year-old Roman shipwreck found off Crimean coast

Fragments of ancient Roman shipwreck underwater
© Screenshot from Reuters video
Fragments of ancient Roman shipwreck underwater
It is the first Roman vessel found in Crimea in such an excellent condition, according to Roman Dunayev, who leads the Neptune underwater expeditions

A wooden Roman vessel, found at the bottom off the coast near Crimea's Balaklava, dates back to the 2nd or 3rd centuries and could have been used as a merchant ship, senior researcher Viktor Lebedinsky told TASS on Thursday.

Earlier, head of the Neptun underwater archeological expedition Roman Dunayev, told TASS that the first well-preserved ancient wooden ship presumably dating back to the Roman period had been discovered off Crimea.


Ancient Mayan discovery: 7,000yo skeleton unearthed in Mexican cave

7000 yr old mayan skull
© Mexico's National Institute of Anthropological History (INAH)
One of the skulls recovered from the cave in Tabasco
Human remains dating back as far as 7,000 years have been found in a cave in southern Mexico. Experts believe the skeletons belong to the earliest-known ancestors of the country's ancient Mayan civilization.

Researchers from Mexico's National Institute of Anthropological History (INAH) discovered three sets of remains during a search of the Puyil cave in the Tacotalpa municipality of Tabasco state in Mexico. One set is thought to be around 7,000 years old, while the other two are estimated to date back 4,000 years.


Former Russian DM Ivanov: Condoleezza Rice told me Saakashvili was 'off leash'

CondiRice MikhailSaakashvili
© Irakli Gedenidze/Reuters
Former US Sec. of State Condoleeza Rice • Former President Georgia Mikhail Saakashvili
Condoleezza Rice, who served as US State Secretary in 2008, admitted that the then-president of Georgia, Mikhail Saakashvili, was 'off the leash' after Tbilisi attacked South Ossetia, a former Russian defence minister has said.

Any impartial observer would understand that the Georgian operation in South Ossetia was solely "the gamble of Saakashvili," Sergey Ivanov who served as Defence Minister until 2007 told the Kommersant newspaper.

August 8th marks ten years since Georgian troops launched an attack on South Ossetia, subjecting its capital Tskhinval to indiscriminate shelling. On the day, which coincided with the opening ceremony of 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, Russian peacekeepers, stationed in the area to monitor the ceasefire, and Russian citizens were killed.

It prompted Moscow to respond with military force. Saakashvili insisted - and insists today - that the attack was a pre-emptive strike to prevent a Russian invasion of Georgia.


3,400yo Bronze Age citadel, three times larger than Troy unearthed in Romania

Romanian bronze age citadel
© Florin Gogaltan
Aerial view of the excavations of the Bronze Age citadel found in Romania.
The "Old Citadel" (Cetatea Veche), as the archaeologists called it, was unearthed on the territory of Sântana, a town in Arad county. The first excavations were made there in 2009 but the team of German and Romanian archaeologists has intensified the research in the last two years, revealing the huge discovery.

Rüdiger Krause, professor at the Goethe University in Frankfurt, and Romanian professor Florin Gogâltan, from the Institute of Archaeology and History of Art of the Romanian Academy in Cluj-Napoca, came to the conclusion that the "Old Citadel" in Sântana was built in the 14th century BC, about 3,400 years ago.

The citadel in Sântana is one of the largest fortifications built during the mentioned period. Our purpose is to find out why this fortification was made, why this construction was needed," the German professor said.

Bizarro Earth

A Short History of the 20th Century: Bolsheviks Robbed Russia of What Would Have Been 'The Russian Century'

This is essentially a short history of the 20th century from the point of view of HBD realism and the maxim that "population is power."

This century turned out to be an "American Century."

But it wasn't obvious that it was going to be that way - while the United States was almost predestined to play a primary role, several other countries - primarily, Germany and Russia - had the potential to emerge as true peer competitors. And China took a surprisingly long time to emerge out of its slumber.

Why did things turn out the way they did?

Treasure Chest

How Norse Greenlanders once dominated the walrus ivory trade

A walrus rostrum

A walrus rostrum (upper jaw bone) with tusks, which was used in the study to identify the origin of medieval ivory in Europe.
For years, archaeologists have wondered why the Norse settled on Greenland's inhospitable, ice-bound edges at the end of the first millennium A.D. The living certainly wasn't easy-so why did they stay, and how did they survive?

The Norse communities farmed and fished. But a new study suggests that they had another valuable source of support: trading valuable walrus ivory with an avid European market.

Walrus ivory was popular in early medieval Europe, prized as an exotic material from the far-flung north. Churches were decorated with tusks, and elaborately carved chessman played their way across the boards of the elite. But until now, researchers were unsure where exactly the ivory was being sourced from: the icy eastern waters of Scandinavia, or the remote western reaches of Greenland?

Comment: It's more likely the shifting in trade came about with the changing climate, because, as noted in The Medieval warm period and how grapes grew where polar bears now roam:
"There was a secondary optimum of climate between 400 and 1200 A.D., the peak probably being 800-1000 A.D. This was on the whole a dry, warm period and apparently remarkably stormfree in the Atlantic and in the North Sea.
See also:


'Beacon of liberty': 10 years since Georgia attacked South Ossetia and Russia - not the other way around

Children play with an empty grenade launcher
© Sergei Karpukhin / Reuters
Children play with an empty grenade launcher in Tskhinval on September 1, 2008
Wednesday marks exactly a decade since an ambitious Georgian leader shook world politics and ushered in a new era of antagonism between Russia and the West.

Ten years ago Western audiences learned about breaking news. Russia was doing it again - attacking its weaker neighbor Georgia with tanks and warplanes. Georgia's President Mikhail Saakashvili was giving exclusive interviews right and left, explaining how his country was being attacked because it wants freedom and how the battle was for values, nothing less. Anchors reminded viewers that Georgia provided troops to missions in Iraq and Afghanistan, and wanted to be part of NATO.

On the same day Russian audiences learned that Saakashvili went on his latest military adventures, sending tanks and heavy artillery to shell the rebellious city of Tskhinval. Russian peacekeepers stationed there had been killed. President Dmitry Medvedev, visiting the Olympic Games in Beijing, ordered a military response to enforce peace in South Ossetia.

Comment: A nurse from South Ossetia, who rescued 19 people from a burning psychiatric ward in Tskhinval during the Georgian raid and spent days in a cellar with terrified mental patients, has recalled the tragic events of August 2008.
Irina Bibilova was on a night shift on August 8 when the Georgian forces launched a sudden, large-scale attack on the breakaway Republic of South Ossetia. Its capital Tskhinval immediately came under indiscriminate shelling, with a local psychiatric ward becoming one of the targets.

As the first explosions were heard, Irina and other medics decided to gather the patients on the first floor of the hospital. But they quickly realized that it wasn't safe there either and began evacuating the facility.

"Under the garage building [not far from the hospital] there was a trench to repair the cars. And they let us in and we stayed in that hole for 24 hours," Irina told RT's Ruptly video agency.
Irina recalled that she and other nurses even tried to extinguish the flames, saying: "Despite the shelling, we managed to get three buckets of water there, but, of course, we couldn't save our hospital."

"But, thank God, we managed to save the patients," Irina recalled, barely able to hold back her tears.
Ten years after Georgia tried to seize the breakaway region of South Ossetia by force, RT spoke to survivors about how they have coped with the mental and physical scars suffered in those few days.
From a boy who was born to a cannonade of Georgian shelling in Tskhinval, to a nurse injured while trying to treat Russian peacekeepers besieged by Georgian troops, to a Florida man, whose Ossetian wife was caught in the crossfire - thousands of people were affected by the August 2008 war.

RT's documentary tells the stories of ordinary people, and of the burdens they have been carrying, in an attempt to answer a question: Can there be lasting peace on the war-scarred land of South Ossetia?

Arsen turned 10 on August 8. When he was born, his home city was under heavy shelling by the Georgian troops. Doctors were preparing to assist with the delivery in a basement, which offered some protection from incoming projectiles and debris.

"An ambulance came to take me to the hospital," recalled Arsen's mother Shorena Kachmazova. "There was heavy gunfire. When I reached the city, it was burned out and lay in ruins. There were burnt-out cars everywhere. That's how I got to the maternity hospital."

"We delivered him as the shells came down!" said Nellu Khugaeva, a nurse. "It was terrifying! We were shaking!"

Arsen said he was told a grenade blew up outside the hospital just as he was born.


Sub­merged Stone Age set­tle­ment found in south­east Fin­land

Lake Kuolimojärvi
© Pertti Ikonen
Archaeologists working on Lake Kuolimojärvi in Savitaipale.
The prehistoric settlement submerged under Lake Kuolimojärvi provides us with a clearer picture of the human occupation in South Karelia during the Mesolithic and Early Neolithic Stone Age (about 10,000 - 6,000 years ago) and it opens up a new research path in Finnish archaeology.

In the early Stone Age, the water levels in the small lakes located in the southern parts of what are today Lake Kuolimojärvi and Saimaa were several metres below the present levels. After this period, the water levels started rising as a result of uneven land uplift and the tilting of lakes and rivers. The rise in water levels ended with the outburst of River Vuoksi through the Salpausselkä Ridge about 6,000 years ago when water masses carved a new southeastern outflow channel towards Lake Ladoga.

With the rise in water levels, areas that were on dry land in the early Stone Age have been buried in the bottom of the lake and its littoral deposits.

The aim of the three-year study carried out by the University of Helsinki has been to find traces of early Stone Age settlements under water and from wetlands at lakes Kuolimojärvi and Saimaa.

"This means that there is a huge gap in our archaeological knowledge of this particular area because we have not yet found the earliest Stone Age sites," explains postdoctoral researcher Satu Koivisto who heads the project.

So far the oldest sites have been settled after the breakthrough of River Vuoksi (6000 years ago and onwards). However, there has definitely been human habitation in this area for thousands of years before that, as is shown by the traces of settlements of more than 10,000 years old discovered at Kuurmanpohja in Joutseno further to the south.


Edward Curtin: The satanic nature of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

Hiroshima and Nagasaki
© Universal History Archive/UIG via Getty Images
Ahab is forever Ahab, man. This whole act's immutably decreed. 'Twas rehearsed by thee and me billion years before this ocean rolled. Fool! I am the Fates' lieutenant; I act under orders." Herman Melville, Moby Dick
The greatest evil is not now done in those sordid 'dens of crime' that Dickens loved to paint...But it is conceived and ordered (moved, seconded, carried, and minuted) in clean, carpeted, warmed, and well-lighted offices, by quiet men with white collars and cut fingernails and smooth-shaven cheeks who do not need to raise their voice."C. S. Lewis, author's preface, 1962, The Screwtape Letters



The year was 1992, George H.W. Bush accused Bill Clinton of 'going Russian' but few remember it today

© Getty Images
Former presidents Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush
When a former CIA director accused Bill Clinton of being in-league with the KGB

The 1992 US Presidential election was one that the incumbent George H.W. Bush was 'supposed' to win. After the former CIA director served as Vice President for eight years behind a personally popular Ronald Reagan, 1988 saw him enter the White House as President. A blitzkrieg style attack on Iraq in the First Gulf War gave Bush a chance to play the "war leader" card and therefore, putting some bandages on an ailing economy was all that stood before him and a second term.

That was the logic of the 1992 US Presidential election until two very capable candidates stood to oppose him. By the end of the 1992 election, Bill Clinton had gone from a little known governor of a materially impoverished state to a charismatic campaigner who countered Bush's often robotic mannerisms with a human touch. With a saxophone in one hand and cheeseburger in the other, Clinton's success at connecting with ordinary people very much changed the dynamic of the election. Then there was the appearance of the most successful third party candidates in decades - Ross Perot. Perot's economic and foreign policy platform in the 1990s was not dissimilar from Donald Trump's in 2016 and likewise, Perot's straight talking style also made him appear more direct than Bush.

Comment: Comparing the past and recent events, it's evident Killary Clinton never wastes a bad thing.