Tag Archives | Ancient History

Setting the Record Straight: Secret Chambers and ‘Hall of Records’

[disinfo ed.'s note: the following is excerpted from Secret Chamber Revisited: The Quest for the Lost Knowledge of Ancient by Robert Bauval]

There shall appear and shine the sign of the Son of Man in the Heaven. . . . – Matthew 24:30

Only an initiate may understand. . . . – Edgar Cayce on the Great Pyramid of Giza, Reading 5748-5

Gizah Pyramids. Photo: Ricardo Liberato (CC)

Gizah Pyramids. Photo: Ricardo Liberato (CC)

The hope of finding a secret chamber in the Giza Plateau, the home of the Great Pyramid and the Great Sphinx, has never been so high. As I write these words (late February 2014), Egyptians have gone to the ballot boxes and voted in favor of a new constitution. Soon presidential elections will take place, to be followed immediately by the formation of a parliament. A new Egypt is in the making, and hopefully along with it a new and more open-minded Ministry of Antiquities.… Read the rest

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Sulawesi Cave Paintings Offer New Conclusions About Origins of Art

Cave paintings in Sulawesi, Indonesia, have been estimated to be at least 39,900 years old, changing ideas about creative art being exclusively European, reports BBC News (note to Graham Hancock fans: how does this affect Graham’s hypothesis in Supernatural?):

Scientists have identified some of the earliest cave paintings produced by humans.

Sulawesi cave painting with Dr Maxime Aubert (Photo: Dr. Aubert).

Sulawesi cave painting with Dr Maxime Aubert (Photo: Dr. Aubert).

Until now, paintings this old had been confirmed in caves only in Western Europe.

Researchers tell the journal Nature that the Indonesian discovery transforms ideas about how humans first developed the ability to produce art.

Early artists made them by carefully blowing paint around hands that were pressed tightly against the cave walls and ceilings. The oldest is at least 40,000 years old.

There are also human figures, and pictures of wild hoofed animals that are found only on the island. Dr Maxime Aubert, of Griffith University in Queensland, Australia, who dated the paintings found in Maros in Southern Sulawesi, explained that one of them (shown immediately below) was probably the earliest of its type.

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Neanderthals Created Cave Art

A new discovery at Gorham’s Cave in Gibraltar suggests that Neanderthals were, contrary to their poor reputation, cave artists (and created the hashtag). Report via Chicago Tribune:

Belying their reputation as the dumb cousins of early modern humans, Neanderthals created cave art, an activity regarded as a major cognitive step in the evolution of humankind, scientists reported Monday in a paper describing the first discovery of artwork by this extinct species.

Gorham's Cave.jpg

Gorham’s Cave. Photo by Gibmetal77 (CC)

The discovery is “a major contribution to the redefinition of our perception of Neanderthal culture,” said prehistorian William Rendu of the French National Center for Scientific Research, who was not involved in the work. “It is a new and even stronger evidence of the Neanderthal capacity for developing complex symbolic thought” and “abstract expression,” abilities long believed exclusive to early modern humans.

In recent years researchers have discovered that Neanderthals buried their dead, adorned themselves with black and red pigments, wore shell and feather jewelry and cared for the elderly and infirm, all evidence of complex thought.

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Ancient Egyptians Used Wooden Sleds to Move Pyramid Stones and Overcame Problem of Friction With a Simple But Clever Trick: Wet Sand.

Gizah Pyramids. Photo: Ricardo Liberato (CC)

Gizah Pyramids. Photo: Ricardo Liberato (CC)

The mystery of how the pyramids were built at Giza, Egypt, has fascinated generation after generation of visitors. A new study purports to reveal the simple truth of it, reports the Washington Post:

Few have traveled to the pyramids of Egypt and not wondered how an ancient civilization without modern technology could have constructed structures so large they can be viewed from space. Some have theorized they were built inside out.

On the flakier side, some say aliens did it.

Perhaps the most confounding mystery of all involves how incredibly large stones made their way to the middle of the desert without massive mechanical assistance. No camel, even the Egyptian kind, is that strong.

The truth, researchers at the University of Amsterdam announced this week in a study published in the journal Physical Review Letters, may actually be quite simple. It has long been believed that Egyptians used wooden sleds to haul the stone, but until now it hasn’t been entirely understood how they had overcome the problem of friction. It amounts to nothing more, scientists say, than a “clever trick.”

They likely wet the sand.

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Jesus’s Wife Manuscript Genuine

Papyrus fragment: front. Karen L. King 2012

Papyrus fragment: front. Karen L. King 2012

A couple of years ago Harvard University Divinity professor Karen L. King caused a furore in certain circles by revealing an ancient papyrus fragment that actually refers to Jesus having a wife. The Boston Globe now reports that the papyrus checks out and is not a forgery:

New scientific tests have turned up no evidence of modern forgery in a text written on ancient Egyptian papyrus that refers to Jesus as being married, according to a long-awaited article to be published Thursday in the Harvard Theological Review.

The findings support the argument of Harvard professor Karen L. King that the controversial text, the first-known explicit reference to a married Jesus, is almost certainly an authentic document.

The “Gospel of Jesus’s Wife” was introduced to the world by King at a conference in Rome 18 months ago. The announcement made headlines around the world, and many of King’s academic peers, as well as the Vatican newspaper, swiftly dismissed it as a fake.

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Why Everyone from the Mormons to the Muslim Brotherhood is Desperate for a Piece of Tutankhamun

Buste de Toutânkhamon (musée du Caire Egypte) (1815597310)We can’t get enough of magical Egyptian Pharaoh Tutankhamun. After telling us how Mormons want to posthumously convert Tutankhamun to their religion, Jo Marchant writes at Medium:

…The possibility that Mormon researchers were trying to convert the ancients was a particular, peculiar threat to Egypt’s sense of self, but it soon became apparent that it wasn’t just the Mormons that the Egyptians were worried about: it was all foreigners.

In 2000, Sakuji Yoshimura, the respected director of the Institute of Egyptology at Waseda University in Japan, secured the permission of Egypt’s antiquities service to test Tutankhamun’s DNA. He hoped to determine the king’s lineage by comparing his genetic code to that of several other royal mummies thought to be his relations. But Yoshimura’s project, too, was cancelled, reportedly, just an hour before he was due to take his samples in the Valley of the Kings. The excuse given by the authorities was brief and vague: security reasons.

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The Great Forgetting

Photo: JLantzy

Photo: JLantzy

Lest we forget our once and former culture … Via Deep Ecology Hub:

The Great Forgetting refers to the wealth of knowledge that our culture lost when we adopted our new civilized lifestyle. The knowledge that allowed indigenous cultures to survive, the knowledge that we had once also been tribal and the understanding that we were but one mere culture of thousands. All of this disappeared in a few short generations.

The Great Forgetting accounts for an enourmous cultural collapse as once tribal people found themselves in a new and strange mass centralized society. New beliefs, new ways of life rushed into this cultural vaccuum to fill the void. But without being tested by natural selection over thousands of years this new culture was evolutionarily unstable.

It is only recently that the Great Forgetting has been exposed. Understanding it holds the key to making sense of our destructive culture.

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Prototype For Noah’s Ark Was Round Per 4,000-Year-Old Tablet

Mesopotamian tablet at British Museum

The Mesopotamian tablet at British Museum

So might there be some truth the the biblical story of Noah, his ark and the animals entering two by two? A 4000-year-old stone tablet that’s just gone on display at the British Museum suggests exactly that. Oh, and the ark was round, per this report from AP:

It was a vast boat that saved two of each animal and a handful of humans from a catastrophic flood.

But forget all those images of a long vessel with a pointy bow – the original Noah’s Ark, new research suggests, was round.

A recently deciphered 4,000-year-old clay tablet from ancient Mesopotamia – modern-day Iraq – reveals striking new details about the roots of the Old Testament tale of Noah. It tells a similar story, complete with detailed instructions for building a giant round vessel known as a coracle – as well as the key instruction that animals should enter “two by two.”

The tablet went on display at the British Museum on Friday, and soon engineers will follow the ancient instructions to see whether the vessel could actually have sailed.

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The Crumbling Ancient Texts That May Hold Life-Saving Cures

Loc timbuktu manuscripts amm0001rsAstonishing lost medical science being unearthed from ancient texts smuggled out of Timbuktu to avoid Al-Qaeda? It may sound like the plot of a Dan Brown potboiler but it appears to be true based on this first hand report by Amy Maxmen who went to Mali for Nautilus:

…Subjects in the collections, spanning the 13th through 17th century, include the Koran, Sufism, philosophy, law, medicine, astronomy, and more. Haidara stresses the need for climate-controlled safe-houses for the manuscripts, so that academics can begin to study the books to learn about African history. He thinks the books might also contain information about cures for maladies that persist today. “Every book has answers, and if you analyze them you can learn solutions,” he says. “Everything that exists now, existed before now.” One prime example of this constancy is a plague that has afflicted humans at least since ancient times and currently kills approximately 1.2 million people per year: malaria.

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King Tut’s Mummified Erection May Provide Angle On Ancient Religious Conflict

800px-Howard_Carter_in_the_King_Tutankhamen's_tomb

Pic: Harry Burton (PD)

King Tutankhamun’s father was Ahkenaten, who among other things instituted a new heliocentric religion that led to the persecution of Egypt’s priestly class. Tut (incidentally, my favorite honky) rolled back much of his father’s radical changes, apparently something the priests wished him to continue in death.

Via HuffPost:

Egypt’s King Tutankhamun was embalmed in an unusual way, including having his penis mummified at a 90-degree angle, in an effort to combat a religious revolution unleashed by his father, a new study suggests.

The pharaoh was buried in Egypt’s Valley of the Kings without a heart (or a replacement artifact known as a heart scarab); his penis was mummified erect; and his mummy and coffins were covered in a thick layer of black liquid that appear to have resulted in the boy-king catching fire.

These anomalies have received both scholarly and media attention in recent years, and a new paper in the journal Études et Travaux by Egyptologist Salima Ikram, a professor at the American University in Cairo, proposes a reason why they, and other Tutankhamun burial anomalies, exist.

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