Monday, February 1, 2016

Tower of Babel

Archaeological evidences are available at the dig site of Babylon which tends to support that Nebudchadnezzar II had commissioned the Tower of Babel. Carving of the Tower of Babel has been found which dates back over 2,500 years on a stone tablet. The Tower of Babel is an etiological legend in the Book of Genesis of the Tanakh which is referred to as the Hebrew Bible or the Old Testament. It is meant to explain the origin of various languages.

After the biblical Flood of Genesis 7-8, Noah together with his family had come out of the Ark in the mountains of Ararat to begin new lives in a strange world. They settled in a plain in Shinar as per the Jewish historian, Josephus.This was the first place where the growing group of people stayed after leaving the mountains. Everyone on the earth spoke in the same language and as the people migrated from the east, they settled in Shinar. The story of the city of Babel has been recorded in Genesis 11:1-9.The 1st century Jewish interpretation found in Flavius Josephus clarifies the construction of the tower as a hubristicact of defiance of the people against God which was ordered by the arrogant Nimrod.

Rebelled Against God & Build City/Tower

They rebelled against God and began to build a city and tower to make a name for themselves to avoid being scattered all over the world. God came down and looked at the city and the tower and observed that as one people with one language, nothing they would seek would be out of their reach. God then confused their speech in order to complicate them and they could not understand each other and were scattered over the face of the earth.

Eventually they stopped building the city. Thus the city was known as Babel as it appears in the King James Version of the Bible. The story of the Tower of Babel gives details of the confusion of tongues and the variation of human language.According to the scripture, the people built the Tower in Babel on the plain of Shinar which is in Mesopotamia but the precise location of the Tower of Babel is not known.

Shinar – Land of Two Rivers - Hebrew

Shinar means the `land of two rivers’ in Hebrew and is similar in meaning to the Greek word Mesopotamia for the space of the Tigris-Euphrates river system. Traditional view is that Shinar is considered to be the Chaldean region of southern Babylonia in current day Iraq and identifies Babel with Babylon that tends to lie about 50 miles south of present day Baghdad.

The Tower of Babel has been related to known structures as per some modern scholars, especially the Etemenanki, a ziggurat which has been dedicated to the Mesopotamian god Marduk by the king of Babylonia, Nabopolassar. The Great Ziggurat of Babylon is said to have a height of 91 metres. It was said that Alexander the Great had commanded to demolish circa 331 BCE in order to reconstruct though he died prior to it.

A Sumerian story with similar elements is narrated in Enmerkar and the Lord of Aratta. Subsequently, several people made attempts to rebuild it in their own images, each time tearing down what had earlier been rebuilt, to start afresh. In the end, no one could ever complete it and it seemed that this place eventually ended up representing humankind’s incapability of working together.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Jotunvillur Code

Jotunvillur Code

Mysterious Jotunvillur Code Unravelled

Crypto-anthropologist has discovered a Viking code which dates to the 12th or 13th century Scandinavia and remained frustratingly unsolved for several years. This was due to a miniature Rosetta stone which was a simple engraving on which two people had recorded their names in both coded as well as basic runic.

The mysterious Jotunvillur code has been unravelled by K Jonas Nordby from the University of Oslo after studying a 13th century stick wherein two men Sigurd and Lavrans had their name carved in both code and in standard runes. The jotunvillur code was found on only nine inscriptions from various parts of Scandinavia and had not been interpreted earlier.

Nordby who has been writing his doctorate on cryptography in runic inscriptions from the Viking Age and the Scandinavian Middle Ages has informed that the thing which helped him to solve was to see the two old Norse names, Sigurd and Lavrans and after each of them was a combination of runes which made no sense. He later realised that in jotunvillur, the rune sign is changed for the last sound in the rune’s name, for instance the `m’ rune, maor could be written as the rune for `r’.

Rune Sticks Excavated – Scandinavia

Nordby thought that with this system he had a solution and could read the text. But the code seemed to be very confusing since several runes end in the same sound and one had to decide which one to choose.

Nordby had mentioned that the sticks where the code had been written seems to be daily objects and hence one tends to find names often on them either since they are used to communicate that it was something they wanted to keep or sell or to practise writing or because they talked about people so names tend to occur regularly. Several rune sticks are excavated in Scandinavia and only a few have used codes and still less have used the jotunvillur code.

He mentioned that they were used to communicate like the SMSes of the Middle Ages; they were for recurrent messages which were valid for a particular moment, probably a message to a wife or a transaction.

Codes Used for Education

Nordby is of the belief that the codes especially jotunvillur could have been utilised for education. It seems to be clear that coded runes were not for keeping secrets or sensitive communications like during the Second World War or like present day secure communications.

Nordby states that they were used to know the alphabet or rune names and he presumes that the code could have been used in teaching, in learning to write and read runes. Swedish expert on runes from Uppsala University, Henrik Williams welcomed the discovery. He informed Science Nordic that it helped in understanding that there were more codes than they were aware of. Each runic inscription interpreted, raised their hope of being able to read more.

This was pure detective work and each new system enhanced their chances. Williams was in agreement that the codes could have had an educational use and were not just used for communication. William added to the Guardian that the `specific code of jotunvillur seemedto be entertaining than useful though it brings to the fore that playfulness exhibited by several rune carvers was also an important discovery’

Monday, January 25, 2016

Solving the Mystery of Rudyard Kipling’s Son

Rudyard Kipling

Rudyard Kipling – Britain’s Most Popular Writer

Rudyard Kipling had been Britain’s writer and the first Briton to win the Nobel Prize for Literature as well as the youngest winner. At the height of his career he was Britain’s most popular writer. Kipling was born in India in 1865 but was sent to live near Portsmouth.

 Andrew Lycett, Kipling biographer states that `he was brought out of the colour and excitement of India, which he clearly loved, to the drabness of South-sea and foster parents who treated him badly. Kipling, as an adult, travelled widely and it was on those bitter years in South-sea which had inspired his famous story – The Jungle Book.

The book was written in 1894 when Kipling was living in snowy Vermont and the tale became a remarkable success. Long before the WW1, the soldiers has fascinated Kipling and made his name with a collection of poetry, Barrack-Room Ballads. John, Kipling’s’ son was very keen to join the British war effort in 1915 and barred from joining the navy due to his weak eyesight, he was compelled to use his father’s influence in getting a commission in the infantry.

After an intervention from a friend of his father, Lord Roberts, Field Marshall, Jack managed to get a position with the Irish Guards.

John Wounded/Disappeared/Missing

On his 18th birthday on August 17, 1915, Jack arrived in France and only six weeks thereafter he was commanding a platoon at the Battle of Loos. Jack had recently been promoted to lieutenant and had been wounded though later had disappeared and was listed as missing by the end of the war three years thereafter.

Rudyard Kipling had written a poem, several weeks after his death about him which had begun with the line `have you news of my boy Jack?’For 80 years, the mystery of the missing body of John remained unsolved. Towards 1919, the body of an unidentified Irish Guard lieutenant had been located on the battlefield and had been buried in an anonymous grave at St. Mary’s Cemetery.

 Then in 1992, the Commonwealth War Graves Commission had announced that the grave had in fact been of Jack and had changed the inscription on the tombstone of an unknown soldier to read John Kipling.

New Evidence Found

However, critics instantly denied that it could be his, stating that the body had been discovered three miles away from where Jack had last been seen. But the researchers Graham Parker as well as Joanna Legg discovered some new evidence which indicated that the identification seems to be right and the body was indeed that of Jack which was buried in the cemetery.

There were three issues according to Ms Legg; firstly the reference seems to propose that the body had been found three miles away from where John had been fighting which has now been shown as a clerical error. Secondly the other lieutenant had gone missing at the same time and it was informed that the second officer had been taken away to a hospital at the time of the battle and was buried some distance from the battle scene.

Another issue was concerning John’s rank wherein on recovering the body, there were stars of a first lieutenant and Kipling was officially a second lieutenant. Ms Legg was of the belief that this was owing to an error in communication and John in fact had been promoted in June.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

La Isabela and the Silver Ore

La Isabela

La Isabela Discovered by Columbus

La Isabela had been discovered by Columbus when he had returned to Spain with stories of the fortune that they were going to locate there if they had little more time, money and people.La Isabela is the name of the first European town which was established in the Americas and had been established during Columbus’s second expedition to the American continents where the town was named for Queen Isabela of Spain.Her first expedition had lasted from 1492-1493.

Columbus had returned to Spain after his expedition of discovering America and had taken gold from the inhabitants of Hispaniola. The gold had convinced King Ferdinand and Queen Isabela to fund a second and a large expedition. In early 1494, Columbus together with 1,500 crew, had returned to Hispaniola and had established the colony. The motive of the expedition was mainly to find and exploit deposits of precious metals. Archaeological indication at La Isabela of silver extractions seemed to show that the expedition had found and tested deposits of silver bearing lead ore in the Caribbean.

Site Excavated in Late 1980 & Early 1990

The site at Isabela had been excavated widely in late 1980s and early 1990s. The town’s buildingscomprised of a citadel built for Columbus to live in, together with a fortified storehouse or alhondiga, to store their material goods, some stone building for different purposes accompanied with a European style plaza. Silver-ore processing station was towards the north of the storehouse and there were 58 triangular graphite-tempered assaying crucibles together with 1 kg of liquid mercury which had been brought from powdered ore by amalgamation, for the extraction of gold.

The mercury is said to have been excavated from the ruins of the alhondiga which was a fortified structured raised for storage as well as protection of royal property. According to a new research, the silver bearing ore which had been discovered by Columbus’s second expedition had not been mined in the Americas.

As per Alyson Thibodeau who had analysed the ore, states that the ore which the researchers had excavated from the settlement, La Isabela had come from Spain.David J. Killick, had informed that `what had appeared to be the earliest evidence of European finds of precious metals in the New World turned out not to be that at all and was a different story.

Columbus Failed Settlement- Not found in Historical Documents

The researchers presumed that the explorers had brought the Spanish ore to La Isabela to utilise it for comparison when examining the new ores they had expected to find. The researchers’ state that towards 1497, the remaining settlers of La Isabela on finding no gold or silver, became desperate to recover something of the value from the futile settlement and were reduced in extracting silver from the galena that they had brought from Spain.

According to a geosciences graduate student at The University of Arizona in Tucson, Thibodeau, `this part of the story of Columbus’s failed settlement is one which is not found in the historical documents and it would never have been figured out without using the techniques of physical sciences to the archaeological artifacts.

A UA associate professor of anthropology, Tguvideay Killick together with his colleagues would be publishing the article `The Strange Case of the Earliest Silver Extraction by European Colonist in the New World’ in the online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences during the weeks of February 19.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Who Shot JFK and RFK


Assassination of President John F. Kennedy – Shocking Incidents of 20th Century

The killing of the U.S. President John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963 seems to be one of the most shocking incidents of the 20th century. Thereafter, the murder of his brother Robert F. Kennedy which was on June 5, 1968 gave rise to added scheme notions. In both the cases, it was considered that a sole gunman had been accused and the death of both remained to be unsolved.

Many have been speculating whether a second gunman was present on the grassy knoll along the motorcade route which JFK had undertaken. Queries have been raised on how a gunman with a small mail-order rifle could attempt to aim the President while his car was on the move and that too from such a distance.

According to a blue ribbon panel which was controlled by Earl Warren, Supreme Court Chief Justice, have arrived at the conclusion that Oswald seemed to be the only assassin, though a Gallup survey six decades thereafter observed that 60% of the Americans disapproved the conclusion. Regarding John F. Kennedy, a witness informed CNN in 2012, that she had heard two guns firing during the shooting in Los Angeles, which the authorities had changed her account of the crime.

Murder Arranged By the Same Group

It is said that the murder of John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy had been arranged by the same group. Both had identical objective in mind of not getting involved in the Vietnam War and had to pay for it with their lives. JFK made efforts of avoiding the Vietnam War since he envisaged it as a military predicament which would have utilised American resources, waste American lives as well as eventually hurt his legacy as a president who administered a losing battle.

Robert Kennedy was still recovering from the assassination of hisbrother, where the Vietnam War seemed to be the main issue that had stirred the accomplices. As RFK pursued the Democratic nomination for the 1968 presidency, it needs to be noted that the most of his supporters seemed to be in early mid 20s that included the demographics of the people who were strongly against the Vietnam War. Hence RFK had an intention of retreating fromthe forces of Vietnam for governmental reasons. He was determined in ending the Vietnam War.

RFK – A Threat of Reopening the Case of JFK’s Murder

Robert F. Kennedy was considered as a threat of being capable of reopening the case of his brother’s murder. This caused apprehension to Allan Dulles, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, George Bush and David Rockefeller if the situation of reopening the murder case ever took place. RFK had to be prevented, with regards to his pursuit for the Presidency.Robert F. Kennedy who had been murdered 42 years back in the midst of his campaign for the U.S. presidency had been dominated by the death of his brother, President John F. Kennedy.

The authorised justification on the tragic death of Robert F. Kennedy, apparently shot down by a sole gunman as in the case of his brother, had received less attention. An expert in the scientific study of assassinations, Professor James H. Fetzer, had provided a sketch of how we are aware of what had occurred to them and why, where the murder of RFK had been put in section with the intention of preventing a reinvestigation into the death of his brother.