Ancient Greek Inventions-1/5 Ancient History Encyclopedia, by Mark Cartwright -- The ancient Greeks are often credited with building the foundations upon which all western cultures are built, and this impressive accolade stems from their innovative contributions to a wide range of human activities, from sports to medicine, architecture to democracy. Like any other culture before or since, the Greeks learnt from the past, adapted good ideas they came across when they met other cultures, and developed their own brand new ideas. Here are just some of the ways the ancient Greeks have uniquely contributed to world culture, many of which are still going strong today. ...
Mysterious disk found in Ancient Greek Antikythera shipwreck-11/21 Tornos News, Perhaps one of the most significant finds came when archaeologists found ancient human remains at the site Bronze limbs, a sarcophagus lid, marble statue pieces, and a mysterious bronze disk were among the remains located during excavations of one of the world’s most ancient—and famous—shipwrecks, according to the following report by the Greek Observer. While the statues would likely have been evaluated as high art in their day, perhaps the most intriguing artifact found is a small, bronze disk. Punctuated with holes and decorated with the image of a bull, it’s unclear what the disk was used for, said Simossi. “It is maybe decoration for furniture or maybe a seal, or it could be an instrument,” Simossi hinted. “It is very early to say.” It’s also reminiscent of the Antikythera mechanism, a small, bronze disk that measures celestial movements with astonishing accuracy. That piece was found among the ship’s remains in 2006. The mechanism is so accurate, in fact, that it’s often referred to as an “ancient computer.” ...
Editor: I clicked on this link last week, bought the book for 12 bucks hardbound w/free Prime shipping. I couldn't put it down. Well written and the progression of learning why 2 year old Christian Haupt or Baseball Konrad as he liked to be called, was Lou Gehrig is masterfull as well as the mom's spirtual growth trying to come to grips with reincarnation. Full disclosure: I was born in NYC and moved to nearby Conn. at age three. I played baseball everyday at a local lot. I've been a rabid Yankee fan since the 50's. I used to lie in bed with a small transistor radio with a black leather cover and ear plug listening to Yankee games when I was supposed to be sleeping on a school night. In 7th grade when we were required to write a big paper for the first time in our lives, I did it on the Yankees. Of course, No. 7 was my hereo. Got to see The Mick play several times in Yankee Stadium. I had a '56 or '57 team signed baseball with Mantle and Berra in the sweet spot. Gehrig, Ruth, Dimaggio and Mantle are considered the greatest Yankees ever. Here's a weird coincidence, I know of only one Yankee I ever met. He was Wally Pipp. I met him in Michigan when I was pretty young. I think he was a friend of my great Uncle. Wally Pipp played first base for the Yankees in the early 1900's. He was a good player, hit lots of home runs and helped the Yankees win Championships. One day, as legend has it, he had a headache and asked to sit on the bench. Lou Gehrig took his place. Wally never played for the Yankees again. He went on to play for the Detroit Tigers. That's why he was living in Michigan where he obviously retired. Lou became known as the "Iron Horse" because he played in something like 2,130 consecutive games, until ALS or "Lou Gehrig's Disease" struck at age 36. He died two years later. As someone said in the book, 'to say that this kid eats, sleeps and lives baseball,' is an understatement.' His parents could not get the baseball uniform off him. He exhausted both of them wanting to hit and play catch 24/7. His reaction to Babe Ruth's pictures ('he was a mean man') whom Gehrig had a long feud with, is astonishing. I was worried that this kid might grow up to be a Dodger and not a Yankee. But after reading how much the Dodgers love him, especially Tommy Lasorda and pitcher Clayton Kershaw, I don't mind so much now. Although Adam Sandler believes he will be a Bronx bomber one day. Yankee fans might treasure this book a bit more, but I guarantee you will also like this funny, heartwarming book. It merits sitting on the bookshelf next to Soul Survivor. William House
Simon Miles - Francis Bacon and the Mystery of the Phoenix and Turtle-1/12 Sirbacon.org is honored to share Simon Miles in depth presentation on the enigmatic Shakespeare poem "The Phoenix and Turtle" that took place during the Shakespearean Authorship Trust conference in 2017. With many fresh insights, Mr. Miles' research will enlighten anyone interested in the pivotal last moments of the Tudor lineage regarding Queen Elizabeth I, Anthony Bacon, The Earl of Essex, Ben Jonson and the state of mind of Francis Bacon.
The Radical Christianity of Thomas More’s “Utopia”-1/12 The Imaginative Conservative, by Audrey Novak -- Utopia is an instructive call to return to the radical Christianity of Christ, to the purity and simplicity of His words, as the only way of saving mankind from ourselves… -- Thomas More’s Utopia remains one of the most puzzling and paradoxical treatises on the ideal state. In order to elucidate More’s true ideas and judgments, an examination of Raphael Hythloday, the state of Utopia, and the dialogue among characters, particularly the characters of Thomas More and Hythloday, is necessary. Utopia is much more than a satire, or even a treatise in political philosophy: Within the dialogue dwell More’s reflections, often dangerously radical, on the nature of man, community and government, freedom and free will. Many critics of Utopia choose between dismissing the commonwealth as diverting satire, labeling it a prescient warning on the dangers of a humanitarian communism, or accepting it as More’s genuine vision of the ideal state and society. Any such singular interpretation of the dialogue narrows More’s political, literary, and philosophical genius and fails to address the ways in which Utopia questions and clarifies our own time, our own government, and our own souls.
Throughout much of Book I, More condemns European institutions and society through the character of Hythloday. He attacks injustices entrenched in English laws and courts, the selfishness, greed, and vanity of political advisors and politicians, the readiness of European elites to engage needlessly in violent wars, the idleness and profligacy of the aristocracy, and the misuse of religion by men in power. Few critics doubt More’s authenticity in these passionate denunciations; more controversial is the character who speaks them.
Hythloday believes the majority of European leaders to be so corrupt that to serve on their counsels would only result in the compromise of his moral virtue; therefore, he avoids devoting himself to an earthly king. The eponymous character of More claims, on the contrary, that the wise and godly man is obligated to serve his king as a means to promote peace, justice, and order within his nation and throughout the greater world. More admits that serving in a political office may involve morally-gray areas, but holds staunchly to the use of a middle- ground philosophy, whereby the prudent politician attempts slowly to influence the policies of a monarch, so as to ensure that “as little bad as possible” occurs. Hythloday disregards this approach as utterly useless for the good of the masses, as well as downright harmful to the soul: “Either they will seduce you by their evil ways, or… you will me be made a screen for the knavery and folly of others. You wouldn’t stand a chance of changing anything for the better by that ‘indirect approach’”. Hythloday, in an effort to maintain the purity and clarity of his own soul and intellect, flees from the corrupting influence of politics, where he would be obliged to “openly approve the worse proposals and endorse the most vicious policies”.
Hythloday attributes his decision to his vehement devotion to personal freedom; he passionately claims that a life as a political advisor to a king, a position he judges to be nearly servitude, would be “absolutely repellent to my spirit”, for he prefers to “live as I please”. In addition, he cuts ties with his entire family and homeland in order to attain complete freedom to travel, discover, and learn, telling Giles and More “I’ve already done my duty by them tolerably well”. He appears to define his familial duty as distributing his possessions, property, and money amongst his relatives, evidence of his perception of a purely material connection to his family, his roots, and his native land. Many readers and critics conclude that More likely intended Hythloday and his opinions to be taken lightly because of this unholy disregard for the bonds of family and homeland, his refusal to serve a king—despite the good such service could bring to thousands of lives—and his proclivity to indulge his own caprices by traveling and exploring. Hythloday seems to define freedom as a selfish detachment from humanity for the sake of pursuing private pleasure, a definition gravely similar to modernity’s.
Such a perfunctory reading of Hythloday’s character detracts from the genius of Utopia. The story of Hythloday’s past, his refusal to serve kings, and his fixation on “freedom” must be interpreted in light of Hythloday’s entire character, a large portion of which is revealed through Hythloday’s discussion of Christianity. Just as he scorns the character More’s adherence to a political “middle way,” so too does Hythloday loathe the “middle ground” adopted by conciliatory Christian preachers, who “have adjusted His [Jesus’s] teaching to the way people live” and in doing so only “make people feel more secure about doing evil.” Hythloday goes on to explain the necessity of the uncompromising nature of Christ’s message, especially when it conflicts with the “the common customs of mankind”. Hythloday sees Christianity as a socially radical doctrine if it is believed, accepted, and lived in its totality. ...
"Heretical" 1500 Year-Old Text of Jesus' Supposed Secret Teachings Discovered-12/3 iflscience.com, By Tom Hale -- After years of lying in a dusty archive, two biblical scholars have discovered a rare Greek copy of a heretical Christian text describing Jesus’ secret teachings to his "brother" James. The discovered text is one of the only copies of this early Christian story that is written in Greek, the original language of composition. Over 1,400 years ago, a collection of Coptic Gnostic texts were buried in Upper Egypt. They remained lost for centuries until archeologists unearthed 13 of the books containing the 52 texts in 1945, now known as the Nag Hammadi library. Scholars have studied these documents for years, however two researchers at the University of Texas at Austin have somehow stumbled across a text that evaded their attention. Within the archives at Oxford University in the UK, they found one of the only known copies of the First Apocalypse of James that's not written in its later Coptic translation. “To say that we were excited once we realized what we’d found is an understatement,” Geoffrey Smith, an assistant professor of religious studies, said in a statement. “We never suspected that Greek fragments of the First Apocalypse of James survived from antiquity. But there they were, right in front of us.” “The text supplements the biblical account of Jesus’ life and ministry by allowing us access to conversations that purportedly took place between Jesus and his brother, James – secret teachings that allowed James to be a good teacher after Jesus’ death,” Smith said.
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A Reincarnation in Vietnam-11/21 The Anomalist, By Hong Van*
She is Ha Thi Khuyen, 13 years old by now, living in Buoc Village , Lam Phu commune, Lang Chanh district, Thanh Hoa, central province of Vietnam. She was born in December, 1988, to Ha Van Loi and his wife, Lo Thi Son. Khuyen was different from other children. At 8 months, she could walk and run. When she was little more than one year old, she could speak. Khuyen told her parents very often that she was not their daughter. Never she called her parents dad or mum but she called them brother and sister-in-law. She told them that she had been a daughter of a family in Van village, later located in Yen Thang commune, in the same Lang Chanh district of Thanh Hoa, and that she died in an accident. Van Village and Buoc Village are divided by ridge of mountain. They are 10 kilometers apart by air and it is 110 kilometers by road to go from one village to the other. People of these two villages rarely visit each other because the roads are in such bad condition over the mountain. Early in the Summer of 2000, when a woman from Van village came by chance to Buoc village, Khuyen recognized her. She asked whether the woman remembered her or not. The woman did not remember.
"Who are you?" the woman asked.
"I am Chuan, my father is Liem living in Van village. I died 10 years ago," said Khuyen
"Why are you here?" the woman asked.
"I am re-born coming and living here," replied Khuyen.
The woman came back to Van village and told everyone this story. She learned that 10 years before, there was a girl named Chuan who had died. Some months later, Chuan's aunt came to Buoc vilage to probe into the matter.
When she came, Khuyen happily ran out to her: "Aunt Thuan? Why are you here?"
"Who are you?" said the woman named Thuan
"I am Chuan, daughter of Dad Liem," said Khuyen. "I died after swallowing a peach seed. I died in your arms when you were rushing me to hospital."
"Why you are here?" Chuanís aunt asked.
"I am re-born here," said Khuyen. Then Khuyen told her aunt about all the family members.
On August, 18, 2000, Khuyen and the woman who gave birth to her came to Van village. They were so poor that they had not managed to visit Van village before. Khuyen then recognized her family members, friends and neighbours, and recognized her house when her uncle pretended to pass by it. Her family members then realized that she looked like other members of the family. Back to the beginning of the story: Luong Thi Chuan (first life) was born in 1980. When she was 7 years old, she died. In 1988, she was re-born under the new name: Ha Thi Khuyen. Lo Thi Son, aged 36, who gave birth to Ha Thi Khuyen said: "We got married for 4 years and did not have any children. One day, I passed by Van village and witnessed a funeral of a young girl. I said, 'what a pity child.' I was pregnant a few days after that." Khuyen told another story: "My funeral was going on when I saw a woman sitting on the side of the road saying that she loved me so much. In a hurry, I jumped into her belly bag (look like kangaroo's) and my second life started ever since." Lo Thi Son added that she has four children. Khuyen is the first, the second died shortly after being born, the third was born in 1990 and the fourth, born in 1993. Ha Van Cap, Son's fourth child, a boy, also told her that he had once been the daughter of Vi Van Cuu. Cap is now accepted by both families. He looks like a girl because the previous life, he was a girl. He wants to wear dress, and it is very strange that his ears look as if there had once been earring holes. Khuyen is one of many cases of re-birth in the Lam Phu commune. Local people tell five other stories about re-born children and call for interested scientists to investigate. Most of the children died in accidents when they were so young and were reborn in another family. Local people see it as normal phenomenon.
*Hong Van works for Japanese TV, NHK, in Vietnam.
In India, schoolkids say Virgin Mary appeared amid scent of jasmine-11/21 Catholic News Agency, Kochi, India, Oct 14, 2017 / 04:01 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Both Hindu and Catholic schoolchildren in India claim to have witnessed an apparition of Christ and several appearances of the Virgin Mary accompanied by the scent of jasmine, the gift of contrition, and the healing of a girl’s ear problem. The site of the alleged apparitions is St. Ambrose Church and Lower Primary School in Edavanakkad, in the far southwestern state of Kerala, 16 miles northwest of Kochi. The parish and adjacent school are under the Archdiocese of Verapoly. The Marian apparitions are said to have happened on at least two separate dates. The church’s assistant pastor Father Merton D’Silva said archdiocesan authorities have taken a “wait-and-see” approach before intervening, the news site Matters India reports. Matters India has recounted the apparitions based on a note on the parish billboard by parish priest Father Mathew D’Cunha. The apparition reportedly began Sept. 28 when a student at the school, a Hindu girl named Krishnaveda, went to the church to pray for her ear problem. She put some holy water on her ear. She later told her fellow students that the holy water immediately helped her ear. When the children left the school to pray in the church, they looked up and saw in the sky a vision of Christ being scourged. They recited the name of Jesus and went into the church to thank God for healing the girl’s ear. The only Catholic girl among them, Ambrosiya, volunteered to lead the students in praying the rosary. However she did not know the Luminous Mysteries recited on Thursday and sought a teacher’s help. The children were in prayer when the teacher reached them at about 1:45 in the afternoon. One of the girls, named Anusree, told the teacher that the Blessed Virgin was standing under the altar. They reported the smell of jasmine flower. The alleged apparition told the children to come closer, which frightened a girl named Sivanya, who said she wanted to leave. While the teacher was leading the children out of the church, the girls said the apparition followed them and pleaded with them not to leave. The teacher went to tell the other teachers, while some children went to the assistant pastor, Father D’Silva. When D’Silva took the children back to the church so they could pray, the children claimed to see the Virgin Mary standing under the altar. The adults could not see anything. According to the children, the apparition promised them help in their studies and promised to send them the Holy Spirit. The apparition also promised to take them to heaven. When the news of the apparition spread, people began to gather at the church. Parents of the children took them home. ...
1,600-year-old church mosaic puzzles out key role of women in early Christianity-11/21 The Times of Israel, By Amanda Borschel-Dan -- Female donor memorialized in one of seven Greek inscriptions found recently in Byzantine village churches in the Galilee -- A newly uncovered mosaic in the western Galilee speaks to the relatively high status of women in the early Church. Dating to the 5th century, a Greek-language inscription memorializes one “Sausann” (or Shoshana) as a donor for the construction of a village church. It is one of seven inscriptions — including a massive five-meter long text — which were found in three Byzantine churches during this summer’s excavations by Kinneret College archaeologist Mordechai Aviam and historian Jacob Ashkenazi. Unusual in a patriarchal society, the donor Sausann is credited in the inscription independently of any spouse or male guardian. This Sausann is thought to have been a woman of some standing, perhaps following in the footsteps of her presumed namesake, the female disciple Susannah, who was among the women named in Luke 8:3 who provided for Jesus “out of their resources.”
A newly uncovered mosaic in the western Galilee speaks to the relatively high status of women in the early Church. Dating to the 5th century, a Greek-language inscription memorializes one “Sausann” (or Shoshana) as a donor for the construction of a village church. It is one of seven inscriptions — including a massive five-meter long text — which were found in three Byzantine churches during this summer’s excavations by Kinneret College archaeologist Mordechai Aviam and historian Jacob Ashkenazi. Unusual in a patriarchal society, the donor Sausann is credited in the inscription independently of any spouse or male guardian. This Sausann is thought to have been a woman of some standing, perhaps following in the footsteps of her presumed namesake, the female disciple Susannah, who was among the women named in Luke 8:3 who provided for Jesus “out of their resources.” The find buttresses the position taken by a growing number of early church scholars that women played an important role in its foundation. According to a recent article in Christianity Today, “in the upper echelons of society, women often converted to Christianity while their male relatives remained pagans, lest they lose their senatorial status. This too contributed to the inordinate number of women in the church, particularly upper-class women.” The idea of an independent women of means in rural Western Galilee came as a surprise to archaeologist Aviam, who heads the Institute for Galilean Archaeology. He said in a recent Haaretz article, “She’s an independent woman who donated money to the church, which says something about life in the Galilean village.” ...
In the Time of the Rosetta Stone-11/21 Archaeology, By JASON URBANUS -- Turbulent events surrounding the Rosetta Stone are being revealed by new excavations in the ancient Egyptian city of Thmuis -- The Rosetta Stone is, inarguably, one of the most famous archaeological artifacts in the world. Shortly after it was uncovered by French Napoleonic troops in Egypt in 1799, it was seized by the British and transferred to the British Museum, where it has remained prominently on display for the past 200 years. The carved gray granodiorite stela is strikingly elegant, but the stone’s significance lies more in its tripartite inscription than in its aesthetics. The juxtaposition of the three passages, identical but for each having been written in a different script—Egyptian hieroglyphics, Egyptian Demotic, and Ancient Greek—would prove to be key to solving the puzzle of deciphering ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics. While many people may be familiar with the basics of the Rosetta Stone, few perhaps know what the text says or understand the events that influenced the stela’s creation. The stone was once part of a series of carved stelas that were erected in locations throughout Egypt amid events of the Great Revolt (206–186 B.C.). These monuments were inscribed with the Third Memphis Decree, which was issued by Egyptian priests in Memphis in the year 196 B.C. to celebrate Ptolemy V’s achievements and affirm the young king’s royal cult. It is sometimes forgotten that the Ptolemaic rulers were actually Greek. Ptolemy V (r. 205-180 B.C.) came to power as a child of six when his father, Ptolemy IV (r. 222-205 B.C.), died. Ptolemy V was no more than 14 when the decree was written. The decree, nonetheless, chronicled his victory in the Nile Delta over a faction of native Egyptians who were violently rebelling against Hellenistic rule. While specifics of the revolt remain obscure today, the little that is known has been drawn from a few surviving texts and inscriptions, including the Rosetta Stone. Until recent excavations at the ancient city of Thmuis, located in an area where some of the bloody events are known to have occurred, hardly any archaeological evidence of the revolt existed. But at Thmuis, archaeologists have encountered signs of violent destruction and death, which they believe are the first definitive remains associated with the uprising. In addition, these discoveries are leading to a new and more subtle understanding of the Rosetta Stone—one in which it is viewed less as linguistic serendipity and more as a propagandistic document created for all to see in a tumultuous time. ...
Astral Travels with Jack London-1/12 The Public Domain Review, On the centenary of Jack London’s death, Benjamin Breen looks at the writer’s last book to be published in his lifetime, The Star Rover — a strange tale about solitary confinement and interstellar reincarnation, which speaks to us of the dreams and struggles of the man himself. ...
... London’s sole foray into the realm of science fiction and fantasy is simultaneously a hard-bitten, minimalist monologue about life in solitary confinement and an exuberant tour of the universe. The book’s narrator, Darrell Standing, moves disarmingly from the agony of his confinement in a straitjacket to his travel amidst the stars equipped with a glass wand that allows him to access an infinity of past lives, including a fourth-century hermit, a shipwrecked seal hunter, a medieval swordsman, and a confidant of Pontius Pilate. It is a novel about sensory deprivation in a shared reality, and sensory overload in a private one. This is a deeply eclectic book. ...
UT Austin Professors Discover Copy of Jesus’ Secret Revelations to His Brother-12/3 news.utexas.edu, The first-known original Greek copy of a heretical Christian writing describing Jesus’ secret teachings to his brother James has been discovered at Oxford University by biblical scholars at The University of Texas at Austin. To date, only a small number of texts from the Nag Hammadi library — a collection of 13 Coptic Gnostic books discovered in 1945 in Upper Egypt — have been found in Greek, their original language of composition. But earlier this year, UT Austin religious studies scholars Geoffrey Smith and Brent Landau added to the list with their discovery of several fifth- or sixth-century Greek fragments of the First Apocalypse of James, which was thought to have been preserved only in its Coptic translations until now. “To say that we were excited once we realized what we’d found is an understatement,” said Smith, an assistant professor of religious studies. “We never suspected that Greek fragments of the First Apocalypse of James survived from antiquity. But there they were, right in front of us.” The ancient narrative describes the secret teachings of Jesus to his brother James, in which Jesus reveals information about the heavenly realm and future events, including James’ inevitable death. “The text supplements the biblical account of Jesus’ life and ministry by allowing us access to conversations that purportedly took place between Jesus and his brother, James — secret teachings that allowed James to be a good teacher after Jesus’ death,” Smith said. Such apocryphal writings, Smith said, would have fallen outside the canonical boundaries set by Athanasius, Bishop of Alexandria, in his “Easter letter of 367” that defined the 27-book New Testament: “No one may add to them, and nothing may be taken away from them.” With its neat, uniform handwriting and words separated into syllables, the original manuscript was probably a teacher’s model used to help students learn to read and write, Smith and Landau said. “The scribe has divided most of the text into syllables by using mid-dots. Such divisions are very uncommon in ancient manuscripts, but they do show up frequently in manuscripts that were used in educational contexts,” said Landau, a lecturer in the UT Austin Department of Religious Studies. ...
Uncovering the Lost Tomb of Osiris-11/21 Daily Grail, Personal Reflections on an Archaeological Mystery -- by Ray Grasse
I was just 12 years old when I grabbed a shovel from my father’s tool collection and began digging a hole in the family backyard. That wasn’t just because the thought of digging a hole appealed to me, although that was true, too. It was because I was inspired by the fantasy of a long-distant past, and secret hopes of uncovering lost artifacts from the Native American tribes that once roamed my neighborhood, or perhaps even fossils from the dinosaur era. When my mother strolled out hours later and found me at the bottom of a seven-foot hole, she was horrified and ordered me out immediately, fearful that I might suffocate if those damp walls were to collapse on me. Well, she did have a point. I’ve often wondered if our childhood obsessions didn’t harbor the seeds of our later interests and ambitions during adulthood. That fascination with the past and “digging deeper” certainly seemed to portend my own, and among other things led to an amateur interest in any and all things related to paleontology, archaeology, and most of all, Egypt. That curiosity lingered well into my adult years and led to a series of unusual experiences I’d eventually have in that extraordinary land. What I’d like to do here is describe one such event that took place in 1997 involving a little-known chamber deep underground on the Giza Plateau that’s since been the source of considerable speculation, but also considerable misinformation. John Anthony West and Friends
But to do that I first need to set the stage by mentioning that throughout the 1990s I worked on the editorial staff of the Theosophical Society in America, located in Wheaton, Illinois. During that time I came to know an independent researcher and lecturer by the name of John Anthony West, who had published a provocative book titled Serpent in the Sky: The High Wisdom of Ancient Egypt. I first read his book in the mid-1980s, and was captivated by its theories, which explored the “symbolist” theory of Egypt first articulated by the writer Schwaller de Lubicz (1887-1961). In a series of books and essays, De Lubicz suggested that ancient Egypt possessed a far greater degree of wisdom than generally acknowledged by modern-day academics, and that was subtly encoded in the symbolism of its monuments, architecture, and hidden geometries. One of my duties working for the Society was that of acquisitions editor, so when I discovered that John’s book had gone out of print I asked him about acquiring the rights for a reprint, and thus it was Quest Books released a new and updated version of his book. ...
Hundreds of 7000-Year-Old Stone Structures Discovered in Saudi Arabia-11/21 Daily Grail, Greg Taylor;
Stuff keeps getting older: an upcoming article in the journal Arabian Archaeology and Epigraphy will discuss the discovery of almost 400 mysterious stone structures at Harrat Khaybar, in west-central Saudi Arabia. The structures are believed to be around 7000 years old (that’s more than 2000 years older than the pyramids of Egypt). Dubbed ‘gates’ by those studying them, as they look like fence gates when viewed from above, the structures are actually low, stone walls that “appear to be the oldest man-made structures in the landscape”,according to the author of the paper, Professor David Kennedy. “No obvious explanation of their purpose can be discerned.” The smallest of the gates extends about 43 feet (13 meters), while the longest is 1,699 feet (518 m) long, or longer than an NFL football field. Many have multiple stone walls that, in some instances, form a rectangular design; some of the others, called “I” type gates, have only one stone wall with heaps of stone at each end. “Gates are found almost exclusively in bleak, inhospitable lava fields with scant water or vegetation, places seemingly amongst the most unwelcoming to our species,” Kennedy wrote.
Some of the rock structures are even built on the side of old lava domes, and are partially covered by lava flows, indicating they are older than those flows. Though many of the recent discoveries have been made through satellite surveys, the gates were noticed way back in the 1980s by volcanologists mapping the area. And some of the primary investigative work on the structures has been done by a group of Saudi Arabian citizens known as Desert Team. I highly recommend heading over to their site and browsing their webpage – they have posted an amazing number of photos showing these sites – and other, even more bizarre shaped structures – both from the sky, and on the ground. While most of the content is in Arabic, you can use Google Translate to get a good idea of the original text. And it’s worth noting, despite this being a ‘breaking’ story in the English world, these photos are from 2008. For instance, here are a few other structures, which they’ve dubbed ‘comets’ and ‘triangles’, which range from tens to hundreds of metres in length (credit for all photos below to alsahra.org): ...
Mystery of who wrote the Dead Sea Scrolls may FINALLY be revealed after the discovery of 2,200-year-old skeletons linked to a celibate Jewish brotherhood-11/21 Daily Mail,
• Remains were found near where the scrolls were discovered in the West Bank
• They suggest the texts were linked to the Essenes, an ancient Jewish sect
• The bones were almost entirely male and did not carry the wounds of soliders
• Experts believe this shows they are members of an Essenes group
• Previous theories have suggested the scrolls were written or guarded by Essenes scholars
More than 30 newly discovered 2,200-year-old skeletons could finally help to reveal who wrote the ancient Dead Sea Scrolls. Remains found near the site where the scrolls were discovered suggest the bodies were linked to an celibate Jewish brotherhood known as the Essenes. The Dead Sea Scrolls have fascinated scholars and historians since the ancient texts were found around 70 years ago scattered within a series of caves in the West Bank. Thought to have been written between 200 BC and 100 AD, the scrolls inscribe some of the oldest known foundations of the Old Testament. Despite experts citing the texts as among the biggest archaeological finds of the 20th Century, their origins and authorship have remained a mystery for decades. Ever since their discovery, a number of suggestions have been put forward as to who created or oversaw the texts, including soldiers, craftsmen, people from the Iron Age, or Bedouins.
Now an analysis of remains found in 33 newly uncovered graves could help experts to understand the mysterious texts' history. Analyses of the bones support a previous theory that the scrolls were written or guarded by members of a celibate, all-male Jewish sect called the Essenes. The mysterious group flourished in Palestine from the 2nd century BC to the end of the 1st century AD. Like the scrolls themselves, the graves were found in Qumran, an archaeological region in the West Bank along the northwestern shore of the Dead Sea. Anthropologists from the Israel Antiquities Authority in Jerusalem radiocarbon dated the bones, revealing they are about 2,200 years old, around the same age as the scrolls. But it was not just the age of the bones that linked them to the ancient texts. All but three of the 33 skeletons were identified as probably male, based on factors such as body size and pelvic shape. ...
Paranormal America 2017-11/21 Chapman University Survey,
The Chapman University Survey of American Fears Wave 4 (2017) includes a battery of items on paranormal beliefs ranging from belief in Bigfoot and psychic powers to visits by aliens and haunted houses.
Currently the most common paranormal belief in the United States is the belief that ancient, advanced civilizations, such as Atlantis once exited with more than half of respondents (55%) agreeing or strongly agreeing with this statement. Slightly more than half (52%) believe that places can be haunted by spirits. More than a third (35%) believe that that aliens visited Earth in our ancient past and more than a fourth believe aliens have come to Earth in modern times (26%). Of the items we asked about, Americans are the most skeptical about Bigfoot, with only approximately 16% of Americans expressing belief in its existence. ...