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Tue, 22 May 2018
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Unusual sleepovers to preserve former slave homes

Armed with a sleeping bag, whistle, flashlight and journal Joseph McGill is ready to spend another night in a strange place -- a building that once housed slaves.

This week, the program officer with the National Trust for Historic Preservation, will sleep in a former slave dwelling in Egypt, Texas.

The unusual sleepover is part of his push to preserve buildings that once housed slaves, and it's just one of the overnight excursions the Charleston, South Carolina, man has planned around the country this year.

"It is usually those iconic places -- the big house, the house on the hill, the architecturally significant houses -- that are saved, and very few of the places that tell the story of African Americans," said McGill.

"Slave dwellings certainly tell that story," he added. "It's not one of those happy stories."

McGill's independent project is in its second year. Last summer, he spent the night in 10 slave cabins in South Carolina and Alabama.

This year, which marks the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War, he has expanded the project to Texas, North Carolina, Louisiana, Maryland and Missouri.

Crusader

Was the Bible Forged? Author Claims Some New Testament Books Were Written by 'People Pretending to be Apostles'

garden of Eden
© Alamy
Agenda: Professor Erhman claims whoever wrote 1 Timothy was trying to put women in their place by citing the garden of Eden as an example of what can happen when women are in charge
Parts of the Bible were written by people who lied about their identity, an author has claimed.

Bart D Ehrman claims many books of the New Testament were forged by people pretending to be the apostles Peter, Paul or James.

Writing in the Huffington Post, Professor Ehrman, best selling author of Misquoting Jesus and Jesus, Interrupted, said religious scholars were well aware of the 'lies' of the Bible.

While some were happy to acknowledge them others refer to them as pseudepigrapha - meaning a falsely attributed work -, he wrote.

In his new book , Why the Bible's Authors Are Not Who We Think They Are, Professor Ehrman claims The Second Epistle of Peter - or 2 Peter - was forged.

Comment: See also:

Who Wrote the Bible

and The Lost Gospel: The Book of Q and Christian Origins by Burton L. Mack

and The Most Dangerous Cult in The World

and Gnosticism and the Christian Myth

If you don't like these views which are the views of the founder of this site, find another website to hang around. The sooner the sheep are separated from the goats, the better.


Blackbox

India: Stone Axes Over a Million Years Old Found

Image
© Unknown
Stone instruments of an antiquity ranging between one million and 1.7 million years were discovered in India, which might help to explain the migration of the hominids in south of Asia.

According to Science magazine, among the pieces found in a deposit of Attiramapakkam, in the state of Tamil Nadu, in the Indian southeast, double-edged stone axes were found, as well as cutters and other instruments of the so-called Achelense technology.

The Achelense technology is characterized by the planned and standardized manufacture of stones axes. Its distinctive elements are the bifaces (stone axes, picks and cleavers) carved in complex forms on both faces.

Sherlock

Stone Tools Discovery Points to Earliest Americans

wooly mammoth & pre-clovis man
© n/a
Archaeologists have unearthed thousands of ancient stone tools which they say could push back the theory of human presence in North America by as much as 2,500 years.

A team of researchers from the Texas A&M University in the US discovered the ancient artefacts from an archaeological site near Texas which predate the technology widely assumed to have been carried by the first settlers.

The trove of 15,528 artefacts, including chipping debris from working stones and 56 tools like blades, scrapers and choppers, was found buried in sediments believed to be between 13,200 and 15,500 years old, the Daily Mail reported.

The find was located five feet below materials left by the well-known Clovis culture, which was once thought to have been the first American settlers around 13,000 years ago, the researchers said.

Bad Guys

Canada: Alberta oilfield worker finds massive dinosaur fossil

A worker at Suncor has stumbled across one of the oldest dinosaur fossils ever unearthed in Alberta.

The discovery was made this week at a mine north of Fort McMurray.

Paleontologists from the Royal Tyrrell Museum rushed to the scene to start documenting the find.

It's believed the 110-million-year-old remains are of an ankylosaur, a plant-eating dinosaur with a large tail.

Originally, the creature was buried beneath a kilometre of earth, which would normally flatten out a fossil.

But this dinosaur was encased in extremely large rock.

Don Henderson of the Royal Tyrrell says it's a magnificent find.

"It's not disturbed at all. We've even got fingers and impressions of the scale that covered the outside of the body."

Magnify

Archaeologists Discover Saber-Toothed Vegetarian

Image
© The Associated Press / Science
This undated handout image provided by the journal Science shows the skull of Tiarajudens eccentricus. Surprised scientists have discovered the remains of a saber-toothed vegetarian. The leaf-crunching animal lived 260 million years ago in what is now Brazil.
Surprised scientists have discovered the remains of a saber-toothed vegetarian. The leaf-crunching animal - about the size of a large dog - lived 260 million years ago in what is now Brazil, researchers report in Friday's edition of the journal Science. Its upper canine teeth were nearly 5 inches long.

Such large teeth are more often the mark of a meat-eating animal, used to capture and kill prey.

The enormous canines were likely used by the plant-eating animals to fight each other or protect against predators, said research leader Juan Carlos Cisneros of the University of Piaui in northeastern Brazil.

For example, they might have fought for territory, resources or females, like the modern musk deer, which also have a pair of large, tusklike teeth, he said via email.

"These situations are extremely important for the survival of an individual and the success of a species," he said. Discovering animals like this "shows us how nature is extremely creative in providing solutions for several life tasks."

In addition to its saber shaped fangs, the newly discovered animal named Tiarajudens eccentricus (tee-AH-ruh-HOO-denz ek-SIN-trik-us) had rows of teeth on the roof of its mouth for chewing, the researchers said. The lower jaw was incomplete, but they expect it would have had similar rows of teeth.

Sherlock

Roman Quarry Found in Barry, Wales

Image
© unknown
Archeologists say the wall of limestone might have been left in place to keep the sea out of the quarry.
An archeologist says he has found the remains of a Roman quarry in the old harbor at Barry in the Vale of Glamorgan which provided the limestone for a Roman fort.

Karl-James Langford of Barry says the pottery remains show that the beach man-made walls might date back to 1,900 years ago, the state-funded BBC reported.

The quarry was used until the 19th century, but its origins were unknown.

"It's not in the records - it may have been completely ignored because it's too obvious," Langford said, adding that the quarry was the limestone source for the Roman fort whose ruins can be seen in the walls around Cardiff Castle.

"I've had this belief that there was a Roman quarry there all my life," he said.

According to Langford, a wall of unquarried high-quality lias limestone left on the beach was evidence of a quarry, similar to larger examples along the coast at Porthkerry, Rhoose and Aberthaw.

Pharoah

Wart detected on King Tut's grandmother

Image
© unknown
The mummified face of King Tut's grandmother, Queen Tiye
Mummy experts have found a flat wart on the face of King Tut's grandmother, a phenomenon which they say is not very common in Egyptian mummies.

Located between the eyes, the small wart was detected by director of the Instituto de Estudios Cientificos en Momias in the Spanish city of Madrid, who spotted it during a visit to the Cairo Museum.

"I got a high-resolution image of the mummy's face from the Egyptian museum. From the enlargement, the small growth appears compatible with a flat wart or verruca plana," Mercedes Gonzalez told Discovery News.

The mummy was identified by DNA testing in 2010 as Queen Tiye, daughter of Yuya and Thuya, wife of Amenhotep III, and mother of Akhenaten.

The so-called Elder Lady has long reddish hair falling across her shoulders, the mummy belongs to one of the most beautiful women in the Egyptian history and the most influential woman of Amenhotep III's 38-year reign.

Blackbox

First Americans arrived 2500 years before we thought

Image
© Michael R. Waters
America's first toolkit
It's time to rewrite the story of how Stone Age explorers from Asia crossed over into the Americas and colonised the continents.

The Clovis people were leading candidates for the title of first Americans. But a hoard of tools newly uncovered in Texas suggests the land was inhabited several thousand years before the reign of the Clovis culture.

When the people who built the Texan tools migrated, ice sheets would have made travel by land difficult. This lends strength to the hypothesis that the Americas were colonised by sea, not land.

Who the first Americans were, where they came from and when they arrived are contested issues among archaeologists. One favoured theory, known as "Clovis first", says that during the last Ice Age, people from Asia followed herd animals across a land bridge connecting Siberia to Alaska and established the first settlements in North America. The Clovis culture is characterised by pointed stone tools.

But recent finds of artefacts that pre-date the Clovis, including this new one in Texas, have challenged the Clovis-first hypothesis.

Better Earth

Giant, prehistoric bunny was too big to hop

Image
© Josep Quintana
An artist's take on a giant rabbit that lived on the island of Minorca.
A giant fossil rabbit discovered by a scientist from the Catalan Institute of Paleontology might have you rethinking everything you thought you knew about fuzzy little bunnies.

And maybe giving Uncle Wiggily a second thought, too.

The giant rabbit - technically termed Nuralagus rex - apparently lived between 3 million and 5 million years ago on the island of Micorca in the Mediterranean Sea. Fossils indicate the creatures had brittle backbones that made it impossible for them to hop, and likely weighed more than 25 pounds.

"N. rex was a very robust and peculiar rabbit," project leader Josep Quintana told Discovery News. "Surely he was a very calm and peaceful animal that moved with slow, but powerful, movements."

The rabbit was isolated on the island with just a few other species, including a type of bat, a dormouse and a giant tortoise. Because it didn't have any enemies, the rabbits' eye sockets and ears reduced over time.