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Fri, 24 Mar 2017
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Secret History


Divers discover important collection of artifacts from 1,600-year-old shipwreck in Caesarea National Park harbor

© Clara Amit, courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority.
Figurine of the moon goddess Luna (L.) and a bronze lamp decorated with the image of the sun god Sol.
IAA archaeologists diving in the ancient harbor in the Caesarea National Park recovered beautiful artifacts and coins from a 1,600-year-old shipwreck. This is the largest assemblage of marine artifacts to be recovered in the past thirty years.

A fortuitous discovery by two divers in the ancient port of Caesarea in the Caesarea National Park before the Passover holiday led to the exposure of a large, spectacular and beautiful ancient marine cargo of a merchant ship that sank during the Late Roman period 1,600 years ago.

As soon as they emerged from the water divers Ran Feinstein and Ofer Ra'anan of Ra'anana contacted the Israel Antiquities Authority and reported the discovery and removal of several ancient items from the sea.

A joint dive at the site together with IAA archaeologists revealed that an extensive portion of the seabed had been cleared of sand and the remains of a ship were left uncovered on the sea bottom: iron anchors, remains of wooden anchors and items that were used in the construction and running of the sailing vessel. An underwater salvage survey conducted in recent weeks with the assistance of many divers from the Israel Antiquities Authority and volunteers using advanced equipment discovered numerous items that were part of the ship's cargo.

Quenelle - Golden

Slow-motion coup against Jeremy Corbyn: British media goes bonkers over Labour members' "anti-Semitic comments"

© Toby Melville / Reuters
Former London mayor Ken Livingstone
Former London mayor Ken Livingstone has been suspended from the Labour party after he said Hitler had supported Zionism, during an interview where he defended a colleague accused of anti-semitism.

Livingstone refused to apologize for his comments and said people should not confuse criticizing the Israeli government's policies with being anti-Semitic after being confronted by Labour MP John Mann, who called him a "Nazi apologist" and claimed he was "rewriting history."

The row, which was captured on video, broke out after the veteran politician went on BBC Radio London to defend MP Naz Shah who was accused of anti-Semitism over a series of Facebook posts.

Comment: But 'Gorgeous' George Galloway did...


Secret tunnel found in Teotihuacán may solve the mysteries of an ancient Mexican civilization

© eu tirada/Public Domain
The Avenue of the Dead, with the Pyramid of the Sun to the left.
Teotihuacán is mysterious. A city that probably started around 400 B.C., before it was abandoned over 1,000 years later, this central Mexican civilization has long puzzled archaeologists, as Teotihuacanos seemingly left no written records.

Were they ruled by a single, all-powerful king? Or was it a council? What was their religion? What language did they speak? We simply don't know.

But 13 years ago, as Matthew Shaer reports in Smithsonian, an archaeologist who has devoted his entire career to the Teotihuacanos stumbled upon a secret: a tunnel, specifically, that no one knew existed before. It was built under a temple in the city.

Six years later, the archaeologist, Sergio Gómez, began excavating. What he uncovered was a trove of artifacts, from necklaces to knives to bones. And Gomez might find more: there are three chambers still to be excavated.


Computer reconstructs the Antikythera Mechanism

© National Archaeological Museum, Athens, Greece

This is the largest piece of the Antikythera Mechanism, which is on display at the National Archaeological Museum in Athens, Greece.
The Antikythera Mechanism has been called an "ancient calculator," but there is so much more to it than meets the eye. The shoebox-size device has a complex gearwheel system of 30 intricate bronze gear wheels used to run a system that displayed the date, positions of the sun and moon, lunar phases, a 19-year calendar and a 223-month eclipse prediction dial. This makes it an analog computer of great complexity. No other machine of known existence shows a similarity in advanced engineering for at least another 1,000 years.

The discovery

In 1900, a boatload of sponge divers in the Mediterranean were forced off course by a storm and took shelter nearby the island of Antikythera. The next day, they went diving near the island and discovered a 2,000-year-old Greek shipwreck, according to NOVA.

The ship likely sank between 70 B.C. and 60 B.C. on a voyage from Asia Minor to Rome. The sponge divers salvaged from the ship three flat pieces of corroded bronze that later became known to be the Antikythera Mechanism.

Comment: Related Articles:

Blue Planet

Erosion of North Sea reveals remnants of 7,000 year old ancient forest believed to be part of Doggerland

The North Sea has eroded the shore of a Northumberland beach to reveal the remnants of an ancient forest dating back 7,000 years. Archaeologists believe the preserved tree stumps and felled tree trunks lining the shoreline. Forests would have covered the area once known as 'Doggerland' - an area of land stretching between England and Europe which existed before the North Sea was formed by glacial melt water and geological movements.
Ancient footprints as well as prehistoric tree stumps and logs have become visible along a 200-meter stretch of a coastline at Low Hauxley near Amble, Northumberland, in what is believed to be Doggerland, the Atlantis of Britain.

The Daily Mail reports that the forest existed in the late Mesolithic period. It began to form around 5,300 BC, and it was covered by the ocean three centuries later. The studies proved that at the time, when the ancient forest existed, the sea level was much lower. It was a period when Britain had recently separated from the land of what is currently Denmark. The forest consisted mostly of hazel, alder, and oak trees. Researchers believe the forest was part of Doggerland, an ancient stretch of a land, which connected the UK and Europe.

Doggerland: Stone Age Atlantis of Britain

Located in the North Sea, Doggerland is believed to have once measured approximately 100,000 square miles (258998 square kilometers). However, the end of the Ice Age saw a great rise in the sea level and an increase in storms and flooding in the region, causing Doggerland to gradually shrink.

Comment: See also:

Tsunami created North Sea 'Atlantis' 8,000 years ago
Britain's Atlantis: Scientific study beneath North Sea could revolutionise how we see the past


Earth's mysterious prehistoric monuments: Scientists searching for keys

Our planet is dotted with baffling monuments of unknown origin and purpose. Scientists have been racking their brains over these riddles for years, but the more answers they come up with, the more new questions arise. Let's explore some of the most inscrutable monuments scattered across the planet.

© Flickr/ Alex Ranaldi
Legend has it that Stonehenge was erected by Merlin the wizard. But from the scientific perspective, the monument had emerged long before the life of King Arthur's wise companion. It is still unclear how people transported the monumental blocks from a quarry located hundreds of kilometers away. And what was the purpose of the structure? Was it an observatory (the megaliths form a precise model of the Solar System), a sanctuary (as it was used by druids) or something else?

Comment: In her landmark work, The Secret History of the World and How to Get Out Alive, Laura Kinght-Jadczyk explores many ancient enigmas, from monuments to The Bible, questioning mainstream interpretations and theories and shedding new light in these areas.


The heart of the beast: The story of Sykes-Picot and Europe's colonial partition of the Middle East

A century ago, on May 16, 1916, diplomats from Britain and France set about carving up the former Ottoman Empire, drawing boundaries and separating peoples based on Western imperialist interests. Syria and Lebanon were to be the domain of the French, Jordan went to the British, and both took half of Iraq—while setting into motion the events that would lead to the settler-colonial state of Israel in Palestine.

It wasn't until a year later that the agreement drafted by diplomats Mark Sykes and Francois Georges-Picto was revealed, thanks only to a revolutionary government seizing power in Russia and publishing the text. But the effects were felt immediately and the deal continues to shape the Middle East today.

teleSUR looks back at the Sykes-Picot agreement, 100 years later, and its ramifications then and now for the region and the world.

Forgotten History: The Story of Sykes-Picot

Comment: Here is a photo/letter of Arthur Balfour's infamous 1917 secret letter to Walter Rothschild, 'the 2nd Lord Baron Rothschild':

See also:


Pleiades dates ancient Greek poem

© Wikimedia Commons
The Pleiades, an open cluster consisting of approximately 3,000 stars at a distance of 400 light-years (120 parsecs) from Earth in the constellation of Taurus. It is also known as "The Seven Sisters", or the astronomical designations NGC 1432/35 and M45.
Modern software recreated the night sky more than 2,500 years ago to confirm the timing of a famous Greek poem.

A trio of astronomers, led by the University of Texas at Arlington's Manfred Cuntz, took a section from Greek lyric poet Sappho's Midnight Poem and recreated constellations of the time. Based on the rise of a star cluster, the Pleiades, they calculated the poem was set between 25 January and 31 March 2,586 BCE (570 BC).

Sappho was born and died on the Greek island Lesbos. Even though she was a prolific poet - rivalling Homer, according to the researchers - little remains of her work. Only around 200 fragments survive today.

Midnight Poem is one such piece. A section mentions the narrator, all alone, watching the Pleiades setting before midnight:

The moon has set,
and the Pleiades;
it is midnight,
the time is going by,
And I sleep alone.

The Pleiades, a distinctive group of bright stars, and also known as the Seven Sisters, is visible from the northern hemisphere and most of the southern. The cluster featured in many ancient cultures, including Australian Aborigines, Vikings, Mayans and Babylonians.


Zionism's roots in nationalism

Theodor Herzl, the father of political Zionism
It was an assessment no one expected from the deputy head of the Israeli military. In his Holocaust Day speech last week, Yair Golan compared current trends in Israel with Germany in the early 1930s. In today's Israel, he said, could be recognised "the revolting processes that occurred in Europe ... There is nothing easier than hating the stranger, nothing easier than to stir fears and intimidate."

The furore over Gen Golan's remarks followed a similar outcry in Britain at statements by former London mayor Ken Livingstone. He observed that Hitler had been "supporting Zionism" in 1933 when the Nazis signed a transfer agreement, allowing some German Jews to emigrate to Palestine.

In their different ways both comments refer back to a heated argument among Jews about whether Zionism was a blessing or a blight. Although largely overlooked today, the dispute throws much light on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Those differences came to a head in 1917 when the British government issued the Balfour Declaration, a document promising for the first time to realise the Zionist goal of a "national home" for the Jews in Palestine. Only one minister, Edwin Montagu, dissented. Notably, he was the only Jew in the British cabinet. The two facts were not unconnected. In a memo, he warned that his government's policy would be a "rallying ground for anti-Semites in every country".

He was far from alone in that view. Of the 4 million Jews who left Europe between 1880 and 1920, only 100,000 went to Palestine in line with Zionist expectations. As the Israeli novelist A B Yehoshua once noted: "If the Zionist party had run in an election in the early 20th century, it would have received only 6 or 7 per cent of the Jewish people's vote."


Bloody Thursday in People's Park: Reagan's deadly war on student protesters

© Senor Silencio / YouTube
Forty-seven years ago, the US National Guard and armed police violently targeted students and anti-war demonstrators in an unfair fight over a small community park in Berkeley, California.

Later termed the Battle For People's Park, one person was killed and scores injured as police fired shotguns indiscriminately in a bid to disperse demonstrators on the Berkeley campus on 15 May, 1969.

With the blessing of then-California governor Ronald Reagan, armed police and soldiers carrying bayonets tackled protesters, many of them students, in a small park set up on unused University of California property.

Earmarked for a million dollar development, the area was left vacant by the university and transformed by students into a community park.