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Neolithic henge and Iron Age 'mystery' murder victim found in Wendover, England

iron age murder

HS2
The man could have lived as much as 2,500 years ago and may have been murdered or executed. The clay soil helped preserve his skeleton
An Iron Age skeleton with his hands bound has been discovered by HS2 project archaeologists, who believe he may be a murder victim.

The remains of the 2,000-year-old adult male were found face down at Wellwick Farm near Wendover in Buckinghamshire.

Project archaeologist Dr Rachel Wood described the death as "a mystery" and hopes further analysis will shed light on the "potentially gruesome" find.

A Stonehenge-style wooden formation and Roman burial have also been discovered.

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Info

Origins of string revealed by ancient seashells

Ancient Shells
© Bar-Yosef Mayer et al/Plos One/PA Wire
Photo of shells from Qafzeh Cave in Israel. Humans living around 120,000 years ago collected shells with holes in them and strung them together as beads, scientists have discovered.
People living on the Israeli coast 120,000 years ago strung ocher-painted seashells on flax string, according to a recent study in which archaeologists examined microscopic traces of wear inside naturally occurring holes in the shells. That may shed some light on when people first invented string — which hints at the invention of things like clothes, fishing nets, and maybe even seafaring.

Seashells by the seashore

Picking up seashells has been a human habit for almost as long as there have been humans. Archaeologists found clam shells mingled with other artifacts in Israel's Misliya Cave, buried in sediment layers dating from 240,000 to 160,000 years ago. The shells clearly weren't the remains of Paleolithic seafood dinners; their battered condition meant they'd washed ashore after their former occupants had died.

For some reason, ancient people picked them up and took them home.

Shell collectors at Misliya seemed to like mostly intact shells, and there's no sign that they decorated or modified their finds. But 40,000 years later and 40km (25 miles) away, people at Qafzeh Cave seemed to prefer collecting clam shells with little holes near their tops. The holes were natural damage from scraping along the seafloor, but people used them to string the shells together to make jewelry or decorations. Tel-Aviv University archaeologist Daniella Bar-Yosef Mayer and her colleagues examined five shells from Qafzeh and found microscopic striations around the edges of the holes — marks that suggest the shells once hung on a string.

Archaeologists even have a good idea of what that 120,000-year-old jewelry looked like. Wear marks around the holes suggest hanging on a string, and other wear marks on the edges of the shells suggest that the shells rubbed against each other, so they probably hung close together. And four of the shells still carried traces of red ocher pigment. The only thing missing is also the most interesting piece: the string.

Palette

Unifying spirit between East and West: Giuseppe Castiglione (1688-1766), Jesuit painter in the Forbidden City

Castiglione

Giuseppe Castiglione (aka: Lang Shi Ning), scientist and court painter to three emperors featured with scientific instruments introduced by the Jesuits into China
"In pursuing the Belt and Road Initiative, we should ensure that when it comes to different civilizations, exchange will replace estrangement, mutual learning will replace clashes, and coexistence will replace a sense of superiority. This will boost mutual understanding, mutual respect and mutual trust among different countries"

-Xi Jinping, Belt and Road Summit, 2017
Now that a new paradigm of trust, mutual respect and cooperation amongst the various cultures of the world has taken on a new empowering life led by Xi Jinping's vision of the Belt and Road Initiative, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and the BRICS+, thinking citizens must take the opportunity now to embody the best character of this new renaissance spirit. This means that instead of looking only at what separates the various cultures of the world as distinct from their neighbours, the time has come to commit ourselves to a true universal renaissance, whereby each culture finds what is most beautiful, good and truthful in themselves and also in their neighbours. The best discoveries of each culture when cross pollinated in this way will create new and incredible wholes that will always be more than the sum of their parts, and contain greater degrees of potential for creative expression and understanding than each could sustain on their own.

Flashlight

Unprecedented 4,200-year-old rock art etching of animal herd found in Golan Heights dolmen

dolmen
© Yaniv Berman/ Israel Antiquities Authority
The dolmen in the Yehudiya Nature Reserve.
The unique discovery of a clearly composed, artistic rendering of a herd of animals is shifting the way archaeologists think about the little-understood peoples who created the thousands of massive stone burial chambers, or dolmens, that dot northern Israel's Golan and Galilee.

"This is the first time we see this kind of rock art in dolmens in the Middle East," said Israel Antiquities Authority archaeologist Uri Berger in a video accompanying the IAA press release on Wednesday. The findings were published in a scholarly article co-authored by Berger and Tel Hai College's Prof. Gonen Sharon last week in the peer-reviewed journal Asian Archaeology.

"These megalithic structures were built more than 4,000 years ago. They are ancient burials and they were built by a group of people of whom the only thing we know is that they built their dolmens," said Sharon in the video.

Comment: See also: And check out SOTT radio's:


Brain

Dark Forces: How to take back control of your mind

manipulation
"Politicians, Priests, and psychiatrists often face the same problem: how to find the most rapid and permanent means of changing a man's belief...The problem of the doctor and his nervously ill patient, and that of the religious leader who sets out to gain and hold new converts, has now become the problem of whole groups of nations, who wish not only to confirm certain political beliefs within their boundaries, but to proselytize the outside world."

- William Sargant "Battle of the Mind"
It is rather ironic that in this "age of information", we are more confused than ever...

It had been commonly thought in the past, and not without basis, that tyranny could only exist on the condition that the people were kept illiterate and ignorant of their oppression. To recognise that one was "oppressed" meant they must first have an idea of what was "freedom", and if one were allowed the "privilege" to learn how to read, this discovery was inevitable.

If education of the masses could turn the majority of a population literate, it was thought that the higher ideas, the sort of "dangerous ideas" that Mustapha Mond for instance expresses in "The Brave New World", would quickly organise the masses and revolution against their "controllers" would be inevitable. In other words, knowledge is freedom, and you cannot enslave those who learn how to "think".

However, it hasn't exactly played out that way has it?

Comment:


Better Earth

Mysteries of Americas earliest inhabitants revealed deep inside Yucatan caves

Q Roo
© CINDAQ.ORG
A diver from Centro Investigador del Sistema Acuífero de Q Roo (CINDAQ A.C.) collects charcoal samples in the oldest ochre mine ever found in the Americas, used 10,000-12,000 years ago by the earliest inhabitants of the Western hemisphere to procure the ancient commodity. The charcoal is thought to come from wood burned to light the cave for the ancient miners. The mine holds some the best-preserved evidence of the earliest inhabitants of the hemisphere and was found in a cave that is now underwater in Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula.
It was all about the ochre.

Thousands of years ago, the first inhabitants of the Americas journeyed deep into caves in present-day Mexico to mine red ochre, a highly valued, natural clay earth pigment used as paint.

Now, according to a new study, scientists and divers have discovered the first evidence of this mining operation deep within underwater caves in Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula.

"What is remarkable is not only the preservation of the mining activity, but also the age and duration of it," said study lead author Brandi MacDonald of the University of Missouri. "We rarely, if ever, get to observe such clear evidence of ochre pigment mining of Paleoindian age in North America, so to get to explore and interpret this is an incredible opportunity for us.

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Info

Genome studies support influence of Native Americans on Polynesians

Easter Island
© Andres Moreno-Estrada
The Tongariki site on Rapa Nui (Easter Island).

Native Americans had a genetic and cultural influence on Polynesia more than five centuries before the arrival of Europeans in the region, a new study suggests.


And it didn't all start in the obvious place - Rapa Nui (Easter Island) - according to the international team of researchers.

They say evidence shows first contact was on one of the archipelagos of eastern Polynesia, such as the South Marquesas, as proposed by the late Norwegian explorer Thor Heyerdahl, who made his famous drift voyage from Peru to Polynesia on the raft Kon-Tiki in 1947.

The new study, which is described in a paper in the journal Nature, was led by Andrés Moreno-Estrada, from Stanford University, US, and Alexander Ioannidis from Mexico's National Laboratory of Genomics for Biodiversity.

With colleagues they examined the genomes of more than 817 people from 17 island populations and 15 Pacific coast Native American groups and found "conclusive evidence" for contact around 1200 CE, "contemporaneous with the settlement of remote Oceania".

"Our analyses suggest strongly that a single contact event occurred in eastern Polynesia, before the settlement of Rapa Nui, between Polynesian individuals and a Native American group most closely related to the indigenous inhabitants of present-day Colombia," they write.

Better Earth

The art of Burganov: A lasting reminder of US - Russia friendship

Lincoln Tsar

President Abraham Lincoln and Russian Tsar Alexander II.
For many open-minded Americans and Russians it has become a tradition to congratulate each other on their independence days, which are June 12 for Russia and July 4 for America.

This year we decided to note some Russian artistic works, which in the current political atmosphere might speak better than words when sending best wishes to America.

We are talking about sculptures of famous Americans located in Moscow and produced by well known Russian artist Alexander Burganov. As a side note, his sculpture of Russia's most famous poet Alexander Pushkin is located on the campus of George Washington University, at the corner of 22nd and H streets, NW.

Comment: See also: The international dimensions of 1776 and how an age of reason was subverted


Sherlock

A historical reminder of what defines the United States, as told by a former slave

Frederick Douglass
© Wikimedia
Frederick Douglass
We live in tumultuous days... one could say "the end of an era".

It is clear that there is a storm coming, however, the question is will it be the sort of storm that provides sustenance and relief to drought-stricken and barren lands, or will it be the sort of storm that destroys indiscriminately and leaves nothing recognizable in its wake?

There is such a heavy tension in the air, the buildup we are told of centuries of injustice, oppression and murder. It feels like the entire world's burden has laid itself upon one culprit and that it is high time that that villain pay for past blood spilled.

That villain is the United States.

It is common to hear that this nation was created under the hubristic banner of "Freedom from Empire", while it brutally owned slaves and committed genocide on the indigenous people. That the "Declaration of Independence" and the "U.S. Constitution" are despicable displays of the highest degree of grotesque hypocrisy, and that in reality the U.S. was to replace one system of empire with another and far worse.

Info

Mysterious Stone Age flint artefacts may be crude sculptures of humans say archaeologists

The potential flint figurines
© Kharaysin archaeological team
The potential flint figurines.
More than 100 distinctive flint artefacts from a Stone Age village in Jordan may be figurines of people used in funeral rituals, according to a team of archaeologists. However, other researchers aren't convinced that the objects represent people at all.

Since 2014, Juan José Ibáñez at the Milá and Fontanals Institution for Humanities Research in Spain and his colleagues have been excavating a site called Kharaysin in Jordan. It was occupied from around 9000 BC until at least 7000 BC. At this time, people who were previously hunter-gatherers were taking up settled farming. Kharaysin is one of the oldest examples of a village where people built houses and lived year-round.

"We were excavating funerary areas, a cemetery," says Ibáñez. This is where the researchers found the flint objects, each with the same distinctive shape and with two pairs of notches carved into it on either side.

"We know very well the tools that are made at that period," says Ibáñez. These artefacts didn't look like any of them.

The objects don't seem to have been used as tools, as they show no signs of wear from use. This suggests they were decorative or symbolic, says Ibáñez.