Tag Archives | Egypt

The Secret History of Rock ‘n’ Roll: Building a Mystery

SecretHistoryRockNRollSite editor’s note: The following is excerpted from The Secret History of Rock ’N’ Roll: The Mysterious Roots of Modern Music by Christopher Knowles (Viva Editions, October 2010). Used with permission.

I like to think of the history of rock & roll like the origin of Greek drama. That started out on the threshing floors during the crucial seasons, and was originally a band of acolytes dancing and singing. Then, one day, a possessed person jumped out of the crowd and started imitating a god.

—Jim Morrison

Most historians believe that the Mysteries began at the end of the Neolithic Age (also known as the New Stone Age, roughly 9000 to 4500 BCE), making them one of the earliest cultural developments known to humanity. Coinciding with the development of agriculture, the rituals were designed to appeal to the grain gods of the Underworld by acting out their myths, which celebrated the cycles of planting, growth and harvesting.… Read the rest

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Scientists Suggest That Cancer Is A Man-Made Disease

Source: Joshua Sherurcij (CC)

Source: Joshua Sherurcij (CC)

Basing their findings on research conducted at the University of Manchester’s KNH Centre for Biomedical Egyptology, professors Rosalie David and visiting Villanova professor Michael Zimmerman assert:

“In an ancient society lacking surgical intervention, evidence of cancer should remain in all cases. The virtual absence of malignancies in mummies must be interpreted as indicating their rarity in antiquity, indicating that cancer causing factors are limited to societies affected by modern industrialization”.

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Moving from prehistory to modern times utilizing literary and mummified remains, there is little occurrence or reference to cancer, until the 17th century, where the team found the first reports in scientific literature of operations for breast and other types of cancer.

It has been suggested that the short life span of individuals in antiquity precluded the development of cancer. Although this statistical construct is true, individuals in ancient Egypt and Greece did live long enough to develop such diseases as atherosclerosis, Paget’s disease of bone, and osteoporosis, and, in modern populations, bone tumors primarily affect the young.… Read the rest

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Beyond The Valley Of The Whales

Whale skeleton at Wadi Al-Hitan. Photo:Volker Scherl

Whale skeleton at Wadi Al-Hitan. Photo:Volker Scherl

BBC News reports on an unlikely location for massive whale fossils: the Sahara desert in Egypt:

Its name in Arabic is Wadi Hitan but it is known as the Valley of the Whales.

For years archaeologists have been unearthing a remarkable collection of whale fossils, all the more surprising because the area is now inland desert in upper Egypt.

It is believed that about 40 million years ago the area was submerged in water, part of the Tethys Sea. As the sea retreated north to the Mediterranean it left a series of unique rock formations and also a cornucopia of fossils.

One of the most exceptional finds was a 37 million-year-old whale from the species Basilosaurus Isis, unearthed by a team led by Prof Philip Gingerich of the University of Michigan in the United States.

But now it has become the subject of a bizarre customs wrangle at Cairo airport.

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The Mayan Calendar And The Return Of The Extraterrestrials

Erich von Daniken 1[disinformation ed.’s note: The following is an excerpt from the new book by Erich von Däniken, Twilight of the Gods: The Mayan Calendar and the Return of the Extraterrestrials, courtesy of New Page Books.]

“There are no absolute truths, and if there were, they would be boring.”—Theodor Fontane, 1819–1898

This sentence cannot really be applied to the exact sciences. Two plus two always makes four. And in geometry, A squared plus B squared always equals C squared. It may be boring, but “exact science” does indeed bring us many “absolute truths.” Alongside all the many errors that are constantly being corrected.

However, our power of reason is not just impressed by the results gleaned by the exact sciences; the humanities—and these include so much that requires interpretation—violate our way of thinking no less. Religions fall into this category, as do philosophy, ethnology and archaeology. Excuse me? Isn’t archaeology a combined science that cites only verified findings?… Read the rest

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Who Stole King Tut’s Genitals?

king-tutA mystery that may never be solved … The genitals on the mummy of Egyptian king Tutankhamen were declared missing in 1968 but were later found buried in the sand. However, scientists now suggest that the genitals were “swapped” and the real thing is missing. No one has any idea where King Tut’s private parts are hidden, or in whose possession, or why … Perhaps they are haunting someone. From TIME:

After some digging, Marchant was able to confirm that the king’s genitalia was attached to the mummy during its first unwrapping in 1922, meaning the postmortem castration likely occurred in modern times. Interestingly, Tut’s penis was declared missing in 1968 until a CT scan discovered it hidden in the sand that surrounded the mummy. (Penises, Brains and Skulls: The Most Amazing Stolen Body Parts)

This evidence has lead some to believe that Tut’s penis was swapped sometime after his body was embalmed, suggesting a conspiracy existed to save him from embarrassment of the locker room variety, even in the afterlife.

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A 26-Foot-Tall Anubis Statue Installed at Denver International Airport

anubisVia Red Ice Creations:
Ever since it was first installed at Denver International Airport, the 32-foot-tall blue "Mustang" has been the talk of the town, but a new addition is sure to get plenty of attention. A crew is installing a seven-ton, 26-foot-tall concrete sculpture of an Egyptian god at the airport. Anubis, a statue with a jackal-head, will be built south of the Jeppesen Terminal. Although part of the lore of the 9,000-pound "Mustang" is that its creator, Luis Jiménez, was tragically killed while making the piece, Anubis may be even more notorious. He's the Egyptian god of death and the afterlife. It's being put in to preview the Denver Art Museum's King Tut exhibit. The exhibit runs June 29 through Jan. 9, 2011, and Anubis will be standing guard during that time...
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Now We Know What Killed King Tutankhamun. Or Do We?

Tuthankhamun_Egyptian_MuseumI’ve just returned from the International Conference on Ancient Studies in Dubai. By the time I left I was almost deliriously tired, enough perhaps to find a passionate and fiery exchange between two wonderful speakers from the conference, Ahmed Osman and Andrew Collins, debating who or what killed Egypt’s King Tut as we drove to the airport, highly comical. I can already hear in my mind Mr. Osman’s contempt for this report in the New York Times (he firmly believes that the boy king was murdered):

King Tutankhamun, the boy pharaoh, was frail, crippled and suffered “multiple disorders” when he died at age 19 in about 1324 B.C., but scientists have now determined the most likely agents of death: a severe bout of malaria combined with a degenerative bone condition.

The mummified feet of King Tutankhamun in a 2007 photograph. Scientists have now determined that the boy pharaoh most likely died of a severe bout of malaria combined with a degenerative bone condition.

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Egypt Announces Find of Ancient Cat Goddess Temple

HAMZA HENDAWI writes in the AP via Yahoo News:

CAIRO — Archaeologists have unearthed a 2,000-year-old temple that may have been dedicated to the ancient Egyptian cat goddess, Bastet, the Supreme Council of Antiquities said Tuesday. The ruins of the Ptolemaic-era temple were discovered by Egyptian archaeologists in the heart of the Mediterranean port city of Alexandria, founded by Alexander the Great in the 4th century B.C.

Cat Goddess Ancient Egypt

The city was the seat of the Greek-speaking Ptolemaic Dynasty, which ruled over Egypt for 300 years until the suicide of Queen Cleopatra. The statement said the temple was thought to belong to Queen Berenice, wife of King Ptolemy III who ruled Egypt in the 3rd century B.C.

Mohammed Abdel-Maqsood, the Egyptian archaeologist who led the excavation team, said the discovery may be the first trace of the long-sought location of Alexandria’s royal quarter. The large number of statues depicting Bastet found in the ruins, he said, suggested that this may be the first Ptolemaic-era temple dedicated to the cat goddess to be discovered in Alexandria.

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Egypt’s Chief Archaeologist Says Pyramids Were Not Built by Slaves

Zahi HawassEgypt’s irrepressible and media-hungry chief archaeologist Zahi Hawass has taken the rare step of changing the official version of who built the pyramids. The establishment Egyptologists may take years to recover … what’s next, Zahi endorsing Robert Bauval’s Star Correlation Theory?!? From ABC News/Reuters:

New tombs found in Giza support the view that the Great Pyramids were built by free workers and not slaves, as widely believed, Egypt’s chief archaeologist said on Sunday.

Films and media have long depicted slaves toiling away in the desert to build the mammoth pyramids only to meet a miserable death at the end of their efforts.

“These tombs were built beside the king’s pyramid, which indicates that these people were not by any means slaves,” Zahi Hawass, the chief archaeologist heading the Egyptian excavation team, said in a statement.

“If they were slaves, they would not have been able to build their tombs beside their king’s.”

He said the collection of workers’ tombs, some of which were found in the 1990s, were among the most significant finds in the 20th and 21st centuries.

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The Secrets Of Tutankhamun’s Decaying Tomb

From The Independent:

Given the peace and quiet Tutankhamun enjoyed for three millennia, it has been a rough 87 years for him since he was discovered by Howard Carter in 1922. He was immediately relieved of his treasures; his tomb became one of the world’s best-known tourist attractions, and finally, in 2005, his mummified corpse was hoiked out of its final resting-place to be studied by scientists.

The “boy king’s” fame did not just cost him his privacy. His underground tomb, in Egypt’s Valley of the Kings, is now suffering from the wear and tear caused by tens of thousands of sweaty visitors who each year make a pilgrimage to the underground chamber where he once lay sheathed in the solid gold death-mask that has become his trademark.

Most day-trippers come to soak up the atmosphere at the spot where Carter famously made a “tiny breach in the top left-hand corner” of a hidden stone doorway, before chiselling his way inside and declaring: “I see wonderful things.” But in common with most mass tourists, these visitors have begun to threaten the very monument they come to admire.

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