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Wed, 22 Aug 2018
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America's ancient trade routes revealed

Ancient Copper Band
© American Museum of Natural History
This copper band was interred with the cremated remains of at least seven people.
Cremated remains and a broken copper band in a 4,000-year-old settlement on a barrier island off the coast of Georgia suggest that trade networks in ancient North America linked people from the Great Lakes to the southeastern coast. And it wasn't just about exchanging goods; the far-flung connections created shared culture.

Widespread trade networks once linked communities in northeastern US with those around the Great Lakes and the Ohio River Valley and extended south to the Tennessee River Valley. Around 5,000 years ago, hunter-gatherer societies in eastern North America started to become more settled, and their populations started to grow. As these communities grew, they also developed long-distance social and economic connections with other communities.

In the archaeological record, we can only really see evidence for the exchange of goods, especially shells, beads, raw stone for working into tools, and copper. But those are probably just the tangible pieces of a more complex set of relationships that may have included political marriages to cement alliances and large ritual gatherings to bring people together and demonstrate wealth, power, and status.

Treasure Chest

2,800-year-old "exceptional" gold jewelry hoard discovered inside burial mound in Kazakhstan mountains

kazakhstan gold hoard

The first jewellery (above) was extracted here two years ago, although in the time of Russian ruler Peter the Great some treasure was removed
An astonishing stash of 2,800-year-old gold jewellery has been unearthed by archaeologists in Kazakhstan.

Some 3,000 golden and precious items were found in a burial mound in the remote Tarbagatai mountains.

The treasure trove - described as 'priceless' - is believed to belong to royal or elite members of the Saka people who held sway in central Asia eight centuries before the birth of Christ.

Among the finds are earrings in the shape of bells, gold plates with rivets, plaques, chains, and a necklace with precious stones.

Gold beads decorating clothes were made with the use of sophisticated micro-soldering techniques, indicating an exceptional level of development jewellery-making skills for the period.

Comment: With such exquisite craftsmanship and stunning originality, one wonders what other secrets we have yet to uncover regarding the life of the Scythian people:


MIB

How Mossad became the world leader in assassinations with over 800 'operations' in the last decade

Mossad logo
Forty years ago, Wadie Haddad was one of the world's most wanted men. Bold, determined, ruthless, Haddad was the founder of the far-Left Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

He trained notorious terrorist Carlos the Jackal and masterminded the hijack of an Air France plane that was flown to Entebbe in Uganda and later rescued by Israeli commandos.

Not surprisingly, the Israeli secret service, Mossad, wanted him dead. But six years after they first put out a 'kill order', Haddad was still very much alive, living in apparent comfort in Baghdad.

What happened next was worthy of a James Bond thriller. On January 10, 1978, a Mossad agent inside Haddad's inner circle, known only as Sadness, switched his toothpaste for an identical tube laced with a deadly toxin, developed in a secret laboratory near Tel Aviv.

Wadie Haddad

Forty years ago, Wadie Haddad was one of the world’s most wanted men. Bold, determined, ruthless, Haddad was the founder of the far-Left Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine

Comment: And this is just what we know:


Nuke

Nukes at the bottom of the sea?

What's the weirdest thing you've found in the ocean?

Several week ago, we tackled this question while discussing the incredible shrinking cups the deep-sea scientists like to decorate and send into the wine-dark deep. While toilets and spam cans and beer bottles make for good headlines and shocking images of how extensive human impacts are on the deep sea, those are far from the strangest objects to grace the sea floor.

By most reasonable metrics, that honor has to go to the many nuclear weapons and nuclear weapon components that have been lost at sea over the last 70 years. While a few high-profile incidents have received tremendous coverage, most incidents remain largely shrouded in secrecy, with only sparse reports available. Which brings us to a question that's been lodged in my brain for the last month: just how many nuclear weapons are sitting at the bottom of the sea?

Mark-43 nuclear bomb
© Southern Fried Science
A Mark-43 nuclear bomb. One of these is at the bottom of the sea.

Info

Enigmas of 3000 to 300 BC

Limestone Head from Cyprus
© Art Institute of Chicago
Did the Romans nostrify the history of the Etruscans to prolong their own chronology?

Tim Cullen collected many observations to support such an assumption.

The two maps below also show indisputable similarities between the political constellations in the Phoenician period of the Etruscans (9th-6th c.), and in the Punic period of the Romans (6th-3rd c.).
Ancient Rome_1
© Malaga Bay

Books

Diaries from 17th Century Japan provide clues to solar cycle and lightning

Hirosaki

Researchers in Japan turned to detailed logs kept by farm families and government officials hundreds of years ago, looking for mentions of thunder and lightning events. Original copy of the Diary of Hirosaki Clan Government Office, held at the Hirosaki City Library, is shown
Diary entries dating back to the 1700s could help scientists understand the link between lightning activity on Earth, and the rotational cycle of the sun.

Researchers in Japan have turned to detailed logs kept by farm families and government officials hundreds of years ago, looking for mentions of thunder and lightning events.

The study shows this activity lined up with the time it takes sunspots to make a complete rotation, suggesting the cycle plays a 'very important role,' in daily weather.

Comment: Historical and archaeological records show a strong correlation with predictable solar cycles and the changes to our planets climate. And as we enter what is proving to be one of the weakest solar cycles for at least 200 years we're seeing record breaking cooling, a surge in extreme weather and a variety of other unexpected and ominous phenomena: For more on the changes occurring on our planet, check out SOTT radio's: Behind the Headlines: Earth changes in an electric universe: Is climate change really man-made?


Magnify

Archeologists perplexed by tar decorations scrawled on bones of nomadic woman buried 4,500 ago in Ukraine

Tar decorations bones woman ukraine
Mysterious tar decorations scrawled on the bones of a nomadic woman buried 4,500 years ago have left archaeologists stumped.

The burial ritual, which is unlike anything ever seen in Europe, was unearthed along the river Dniester in Ukraine.

Experts believe the markings were made after the woman's body had completely decomposed, allowing ancient people to draw directly on the bones.

No other comparable prehistoric custom has ever been recorded in Europe.

Researchers say the baffling new find proves how complicated and elaborate funeral rituals were millennia ago.

Chess

Medieval-era gaming board found in search for Pictish monastery

medieval game Hnefatafl
© Michael Sharpe/Book of Deer Project
The medieval gaming board used to play Norse strategy game Hnefatafl.
A medieval gaming board has been found by archaeologists working to find a lost Pictish-era monastery in Aberdeenshire.

Archaeologist Ali Cameron said the board found near Old Deer was a "very rare" find with it used to play the Norse strategy game of Hnefatafl.

A date for the board has yet to be established but a similar piece found in Birsay, Orkney, in 1989 was dated to the Late Iron Age/Pictish period from the 5th to 9th Century AD. Ms Cameron said: "It is a very rare object and only a few have been found in Scotland, mainly on monastic or at least religious sites."

Dig

136 ancient tombs discovered in Shandong, China

shadong tomb china
A total of 136 tombs have been unearthed in a cemetery dating back to the Eastern Zhou Dynasty (770-256 B.C.) in east China's Shandong Province, local archeological authorities said Tuesday.

The cemetery is located in Dahan Village of Tengzhou City, according to the provincial cultural heritage and archaeology institute.

Liu Yanchang, a researcher from the institute said that the excavation of the cemetery started in October last year.

So far, 100 small tombs, 36 large and medium-sized tombs, as well as more than 800 items of ceramic, jade, bone and bronzeware have been found.

"Based on the size of the tombs, distribution and number of burial objects, the large and medium-sized tombs might belong to nobles. Their nationalities haven't been identified yet," Liu said.

Comment: See also:


Document

The new JFK revelations: What the declassified documents reveal about Cold War history

cia magnifying glass
© Adapted by WhoWhatWhy from Tullio Saba / Flickr and CIA / Wikimedia
One year ago this week, the National Archives and Records Administration released the first of what were to be seven batches of newly declassified documents. Some of those documents had actually been released in past decades, albeit with extensive redactions. Others had never been seen before.

Analysis of the newly available documents, including those released in the 1990s - most of which still remain undigitized - are already shedding light on the murky background of President Kennedy's murder.

Among other things, the findings offer a golden opportunity to unpack more of the hidden history of the Cold War, revise our assumptions about that fraught era, and - finally - get the story right.

There will be no new document releases until 2021. That gives us three years to digest what we already have, and to create some stronger tools for analysis.

But the work of researchers and interested citizens is already paying off.