Showing posts with label ancient history. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ancient history. Show all posts

Thursday, March 16, 2017

The Sarah Joe Mystery: Disappearance in the Pacific

Sarah Joe
The Sarah Joe Mystery

We find several stories of various unexplained events in maritime history. Once such event is the Sarah Joe mystery which had started on 11th February 1979 when a group of five friends had boarded a Boston Whaler called Sarah Joe. The vessel is said to be 17 feet in length having an 85 horsepower engine and was unequipped for any main sea voyages. When the vessel had set off from the town of Hana on the Hawaiian island of Maui, its sailing conditions did not appear to be good.

 There was hardly any wind and the surface had been as smooth as glass. Towards noon, which was barely two hours of departure, the local weather seemed to get worse and none of the five members had checked on the local conditions of sailing or the weather reports. Instead they opted in keeping watch on the horizons.

This seems to be the usual practice with amateur sailors who only tend to be out to sea for some few hours. Had they checked on the weather conditions, they would have been aware of a major low pressure system which had been approaching the islands. Had the storm which had hit the town was an indication, then the conditions at sea would have been dreadful and most inappropriate for even the experts at sea.

No Trace of Whereabouts of Five Crew Members

Hurricane force winds together with torrential rain tossed the vessel around like a rag doll Numerous bigger fishing vessels seemed to make it back to port wherein reports recommended that the wells peaked at a height of around 40 feet, Though the hopes were bleak, none of the locals or relatives of the missing boat sat tight without making some attempt in the rescue operation.

 They sent a search along the coastline though the visibility seems to be poor but the weather conditions seemed to be very rough to search further till the storm had subsided. This mystery drove a massive search wherein the day after the disappearance of the vessel, the Coast Guard suggested the mission and over a period of time it developed into a huge fleet of ships, boats together with aircraft.

The search covered 70,000 square miles of ocean for five days though they were unable to trace the whereabouts of the five crew members or the boat. The main issue was that none knew in which direction the group had ventured or where they eventually ended up. Moreover the strong currents of the Alenuihaha Channel seemed to hinder their search.

Family/Relatives not Ready to Abandon Hopes

They also resorted in bringing in homing pigeons that had been specially trained in locating people that had been stranded out at sea. After around a week, the storm experts were of the opinion that the Sarah Joe had wrecked and sank with all on board.

However the family members and friends of the missing men were not ready to abandon their hopes and they combined their resources and cash in order to maintain a search for an additional three weeks. They focussed on some of the most remote islands with a hope of getting some information of the missing vessel though they did not get any trace of the boat or the missing men.

Eventually the search had been called off and the Sarah Joe mystery seemed to be a forgotten event. However years later some of the search party members had been on a routine wildlife mission in the uninhabited islands of the Western Pacific for the National Marine Fisheries Services. The Marshall Islands and the remote Taongi islands are about 2200 miles southwest of Hawaii.

Make-Shift Cross Designed from Driftwood

Biologist John Naughton got himself involved himself in this mystery on 10, September 1988 for the second time. He came across an abandoned fibreglass boat on the coastline while working at Taongi Island and he could only define a portion of the registration of the boat though it was sufficient to learn that it had come from somewhere in the Hawaiian Islands. On investigating further, it had been established that Naughton had solved the mystery of what had taken place with Sarah Joe.

Many queries were raised since there was nothing in and around the vessel and they searched for signs of life, notes or sort of equipment which could provide some clues to the mysterious vessel. Unfortunately there were none and Naughton together with his team took some time to decide on the next thing to be done and decided to search the surrounding area. The team then made another discovery about a hundred yards from the boat wherein a make-shift cross designed from driftwood was seen sticking out of the top of a shallow grave together with a human jaw bone bulging from the direction post of coral and shingle stones.

Blank Pieces of Paper on Skeleton

On examining the grave closely, they envisaged blank pieces of paper on top of the skeleton which were loose though arranged like an open manuscript or book. Between the papers was something which Naughton later described as tinfoil. The pack of 3 inch square papers was about ¾ inch thick and did not have any function according to the biology team.

They jointly decided that any more excavation of the grave would be disrespectful and refrained from further attempts of digging. The jawbone sent to forensic lab for testing revealed that they were indeed of Scott Moorman while the other smaller bones discovered beyond the grave also seemed to match with those of Moorman. No other remains were discovered on the whole island. There seems to be much more on the mystery of Sarah Joe than the disappearance and then the appearance of one man out of the five.

 Since the boat was not well equipped and was designed for only coastal use, it seemed a mystery on how it survived one of the worst storms on record and landed on a desolate island many miles away. According to experts who tend to have a better comprehension state that the drift time between Hawaii and the Marshall Island could have been somewhere in the area of three months.

Monday, March 6, 2017

World War II: Adolf Hitler Gruesome Plan of Destroying London Found In an Attic

World War II
World War II ear map has been unearthed after 75 years which showcases the Adolf Hitler’s plan of bombing the targets in London. This particular rare plan fitted in to a Luftwaffe direction finder and this map carefully labels the prominent targets which building some of the important buildings such as Chelsea Barracks and Battersea Power Station. Germans has also planned to bomb the Duke of York’s HQsas well as Fulham Palace which happens to the household of the Bishop of London.

Quite interestingly this map carefully focuses on the targets following the route of the river which works as an effective guidance for the navigators. This map is dated from November 30, 9141 and it brings forward the gruesome plan of the Germans to get rid of London iconic and strategic landmarks during the war. The ownership of this map has been attributed to a late Second World War air gunner and it is being speculated that map has been carefully taken from the wreckages of a short down Luftwaffe aircraft.

Rare Map can be bought at the auction

The only good thing which can be seen from this map is that Germans has decided not to bomb the hospitals by marking those building with a cross. This map is being sold off by Bernard Pass and it can be bought by anyone to keep a piece of the history with them. It will come as a surprise but even after bombing London for days Luftwaffe pilots were unable to demolish most of the landmarks from the skies.

World War II

A look into the history

Such maps are not meant to be kept safely at all rather it has to be destroyed so it doesn’t fall into the hands of British army. From the history it is widely known that facing the defeat in the Battle of Britain, Germans has attempted to bomb the London right into submission. This rare map shows that they had specially decided to target the major and minor targets in order to generate as much damage as possible. The bombing campaign began in September 1940 wherein London was bombed mercilessly for 57 days.

As we have seen in the history this act of mercilessly bombing didn’t resulted in breaking the morale of the British rather boosted the will of the people towards overthrowing the tyrant. During the bombing a number of iconic and prestigious building in London were destroyed which includes the City of London Hospital in Old Street, The Great Synagogue of London in Aldgate and the Carlton Hotel in Haymarket.

The bombing raids didn’t just damage the targeted buildings but also caused firestorm in many cases and quite incidentally the St. Paul’s Cathedral was narrowly saved. When Germans started preparation to invade the Soviet Union only then the Luftwaffe forces were withdrawn from the west. During the London bombing as many as 30,000 people were killed while 50,000 were left seriously injured in the World War II.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Mysterious Jade Jewel Worn by Mayan king to Appease Wind God Found in Belize

Jade
Archaeologists have unveiled a new discovery that supports an ancient a myth. The discovery includes a jade pendant of ancient origin that used to be worn by a Maya King especially on their chest. This pendent was first discovered on the soil of Nim Li Punit and is hailed as the second largest jade of the Maya king and is supposedly a product of late 672 AD.

It is undoubtedly a remarkable piece of art and is designed in such a way that it resembles wind and breath and when the archaeologists were carrying on the expedition the pendent was found adjacent to a vessel that could have been the ancient Maya god of wind. This is a gem of a jewel which consists of inscriptions just like a historical text. An important story is described they’re with the help of almost 30 hieroglyphs.

This excavation was carried in 2015 by Geoffrey Braswell who is an UC San Diego archaeologist, and have recently published a paper depicting the importance of this jade pendent in the Ancient Mesoamerica journal.
The pendent is 7.4 inch wide, 4.1 inch in length and is .3 inch in terms of breath. The thickness was very surprising for the archaeologists.

Further research regarding this ancient jewel have unveiled the fact that the sculptors who made this must have just used a string, fat and dust of jade to develop such a piece of a gem. Another imperative fact is that the jewel is the only ancient discovery found till date that consists of 30 hieroglyphs which makes it to identify as a historical text where the name of the person who first owned is also inscribed at the back of the pendent.

Braswell who led to its discovery said that the inscription depicts a very small story with a larger than life message. The pendent was found when they were excavating a palace that was built about 400 years ago.

They discovered the jewel inside the palace along with 25 pottery vessels, a stone that was quite big in stature and resembled a deity, and amongst them the jade pendent was lying. There weren’t any remains of a human. The pendent resembled the letter T and the same alphabet was carved on the front. The archaeologists who were a part of this expedition proclaims that this ‘T’ is the personification of wind and breath.

Wind is denoted as a very vital natural resource in Maya culture, as these winds are responsible to attract monsoon rains which is important for the crops to thrive in. In their culture the king was the one who other than looking at the well being of its subjects was also responsible for all the sacred ceremonies, for that the king performed several functions as per their authentic calendar. The rituals also included many exaggerating ceremonies performed by the king, so that the wind and rain is properly restored in their kingdom.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Mysterious Tiny Mummy Stuns Experts

Tiny Mummy
A Tiny Human Mummy Stuns the Experts at KIMS

The Egyptian mummies have been a subject of scrutiny and study by scientists and historians for hundreds of years. The study of these mummies reveals a lot of facts about the era of Pharos. Recently a study was conducted in the UK and it simply stunned the experts when they discovered the truth about a tiny Egyptian mummy. This mummy was long thought to be the preserved remains of a hawk, but is actually a human baby. This human baby mummy was a part of Maidstone Museum Collection and was studied by the Computerized Tomography. The study was conducted at Kent Institute of Medicine and Surgery, and the results literally astounded the experts.
Tiny Mummy_2

Mummy of a Miscarriage baby

The Collections Manager of the museum Samantha Harris remarked that the scans conducted at KIMS revealed the fact that it was the mummy of a human baby. Further studies conducted also proved that it was the mummy of a miscarriage baby, a 20-week gestation fetus. It is a one of a kind discovery as it is the youngest human mummy to be unearthed. The CT scan actually gave the experts the opportunity to run tests on the mummy. It is believed to be a 2,300 years old mummy, and no damaged has been caused by the scans and tests. Harris also explained that it was only because of the technology which helped identifying and learning about the mummy. Without access to such a technology it was have been impossible to study the baby without causing irrevocable damage from unwrapping.
Tiny Mummy_3

Speculations of Mummy Being a Love Child

This rare discovery has led to a few speculations that the mummy could have been the love child of an Egyptian pharaoh. However, a spokesman of Maidstone Museum remarked that no such evidence has been found to support this speculation. The museum also stated that further conservation and research will be undertaken to care and respect the mummy as a human child. They consider it their duty to maintain highest standards of ethical responsibility in order to preserve the remains of the mummy. Following the results of this research, another study was conducted on a Maidstone Museum mummy called Ta-Kush, and the results were equally remarkable.

Tests on Other Ancient Remains

The tests conducted on Ta-Kush not only revealed evidence of wisdom teeth, but also helped the experts conclude her age. They also found evidence of a wedge fracture in vertebrae, a symptom which showed that the patient suffered a downward impact. At first the experts though that Ta-Kush was 14 but later tests proved that she was in her mid 20’s. Other tests are being conducted in Liverpool John Moores University to help reveal additional details about this young female mummy. It has been officially declared that the university will further research and conduct additional tests to reconstruct the mummy’s face.

Considering the results of these tests, another research was done on an Egyptian ram’s horn, which was scanned at KIMS hospital. The experts found that it was filled with objects like buttons and necklaces belonging to the Victorian Era.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Charfield Railway Disaster

Charfield Railway Disaster

The Charfield Railway Disaster – Disastrous Train Crash


The Charfield railway disaster is said to be a disastrous train crash that had taken place in 1928 on 13 October in the village of Charfield in the English county of Gloucestershire. In the early hours of that fateful day, the night mail train from Leeds to Bristol had crashed beneath the road bridge at Charfield station.

The carriages had been blown up due to the
gas cylinders which were used in lighting the carriages and the fire had been so severe that those who had met their fate had been badly decomposed wherein their relative had to accept the offer of the railway company of a mass grave, which is noticeable in a corner of the village churchyard till date.

It is on the memorial stone that the mystery prevails, that after recording 10 names together with their places of origin, it tends to end with `Two Unknown’. However in spite of various theories of the true identity, they seemed to be yet unknown. The Western Daily Press has launched an appeal to anyone who would be capable of eventually revealing the mystery which had shrouded the crash for decades,as the 80th Anniversary of the tragedy tend to draw near.

Distant Signal – Misunderstood


Over 50 passengers had been on the train on that fateful night when it headed towards Charfield at around 5.30 am in thick fog. Henry Button had accepted the train from the Berkeley Junction and had put the distant signal to danger, according to some sources which should had stopped the express till a freight train had retreated into sidings.

Unfortunately driver Henry Aldington and his fireman, Frank Want had read the distant signal as a clear one rather than of danger and went ahead which ended in a calamity.

The goods driver had nearly cleared the line when he noticed the mail train coming down on him and the express crashed into the goods tender, ploughing off the line, hitting another empty goods train head on. One of the coaches had been thrown over the bridge that had crossed the line though worse seemed to follow.

Firemen Combatted for Five Hours


The express’ engine had fallen on its side among the splintered wagons where hot ashes had scattered from the firebox surrounding the line. Gas that has powered the lights in the coaches had escaped from the supply pipes which had been broken due to the impact and as they came in contact with the hot ashes it had turned the worn-out coaches into an inferno.

Surprisingly the driver and fireman seem to survive from the ordeal and together with the villagers woke up by the noise of the crash. Passengers who had climbed clear had made great efforts to save those who had been trapped by the inferno. Within a span of 20 minutes, the flames had leapt by 50 feet high above and rescuers had managed to bring down the fire.

Firemen had come from Bristol, Gloucester and Stroud who combatted with the blaze for five hours before eventually bringing it under control. However, it was many hours thereafter when they could search through the smouldering wreckage and recover the bodies of those killed. In total there were 15 people who had died and 23 who had been severely wounded.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

The Death of Lord Darnley

Lord Darnley

Mysterious Death of Henry Stuart – Lord Darnley


The mysterious death of Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley has perplexed Scottish history researchers till date. Darnley belonged to a family which gave him claims to the Scottish as well as English thrones through family bonds with James II of Scotland and Henry VII of England.

 When Darnley was young, he enjoyed his childhood which was bestowed to the few privileged during the 16th century. At the age of 20, in February of 1565, he had travelled to Scotland and had the opportunity of meeting QueenMary who was besotted with him. According to one chronicler it is said that `she took well with him and said that he was the lustiest and best proportioned long man that she had seen’. They were married that July and Darnley became King of the Scots.

Very soon it became obvious that he could not handle himself royally and became foes due to his bad temper, drunkenness and arrogant manner. Mary herself got tired of his company and the couple were often separated though they seemed to get along well to have a son, James who later would rule Scotland as well as England. Their unsteady marriage seemed to continue since Mary was a Roman Catholic and divorce was not permitted. She may have resorted to an alternative solution.
Lord Darnley_1

Huge Explosion at Kirk o’Field


The couple had been staying at Kirk o’Field a large church house in Edinburgh in February 1567 when in the early hours of the 10th were heard two huge explosions that were heard for miles around the place. The Kirk had been almost destroyed.

Later on it had been determined that two barrels of gunpowder had been placed secretly beneath the bedroom of Darnley, where he had been recovering from smallpox, which according to other sources was syphilis.Many had come over to witness the devastation. However, the body of Darnley was not traceable and after some superficial searching by the people, a soldier had located the remains of Darnley together with a servant on the grounds of the Kirk.

On examination, it had been obvious that the death wounds inflicted on Darnley and his servant had not been from the explosion. It seemed that the two of them had been strangled after the gunpowder had done its task. Suspicion increased and the noble families of Scotland needed answers to their queries.

Death of Darnley Remained a Mystery


Mary who had been living at the Kirk with Darnley was not there or could have been away at a wedding on that critical night. However the facts could not be overlooked. Someone had placed the gunpowder under Darnley’s room which had exploded thereafter.

 Darnley perhaps had learned of the danger and had fled into the nightwith only his nightshirt on, where his body had been found. It was observed that someone had overpowered and strangled him to death. Those guilty could have been from the Scottish nobles, probably with the Queen being party to the murder who disapproved of the power Darnley exercised or maybe disliked him.

Mary too had her own problems when she escaped to England only to be imprisoned and ultimately executed in 1587 by Elizabeth I and whatever information she had regarding the death of her husband went down with her in the grave.

Weight of the Human Soul is 21 grams

Human Soul weight

Experiment to Prove Human Soul has Mass – Can be Measured


A rare experiment had been conducted on April 10, 1901 in Dorchester, Massachusetts by Dr Duncan MacDougall to prove that the human soul had mass and hence could be measured. Dr MacDougall a respected physician of Haverhill as well as the head of the Research Society had been performing work in this field for around six years before the experiment.

 Though his experiment presently would be taken as unethical, it tends to be a peculiarity with plenty of disapproval ranging from methodology utilised in different religious implication. Dr MacDougall performed this experiment on six dying patients who had been placed on specially provided Fairbanks weight scales just before their death. His purpose was to weigh each body before and after death in order to determine any differences by the delicate scales.

The patients had been selected depending of their looming death. Two of the patients had been suffering from tuberculosis, one was a woman and 5 were men. Together with a team of four doctors, Dr MacDougall measured the weight of his first patient cautiously before his death. When the patient died he noticed an interesting thing. He observed that suddenly, coincident with death, the beam end dropped with an audible stroke hitting against the lower limiting bar and remaining there with no rebound.

Loss – Ascertained to Three-Fourths of an Ounce


The loss had been ascertained to be three-fourths of an ounce. The experiment was also conducted on the next patient with the same results. Dr MacDougall sensed that had struck something strange. The following is a quote from the New York Times articles of 11 March 1907 capturing the historical moment : `The instant life ceased the opposite scale pan fell with a suddenness that was astonishing – as if something had been suddenly lifted from the body.

Immediately all the usual deductions were made for physical loss of weight and it was discovered that there was still a full ounce of weight unaccounted for’.Each of the five doctors had taken their own measurements, comparing their results. Though all the patients had not lost the same weight, they did lose something which could be accounted. The results of only four of the six patients could be accounted for owing to mechanical failures or the patients dying before the test equipment were in place.

Consistent Weight Loss - Query


However the consistent weight loss posed a query. Everything from the air in the lungs to bodily fluids had been taken in consideration but there did not seem to be any explanation to this query. However on the third patient, an interesting variation took place, who had maintained the same weight immediately after his death though one minute thereafter he had lost around an ounce of weight.

Dr MacDougall had clarified this discrepancy as - `I believe that in this case, that a phlegmatic man slow of though and action, that the soul remained suspended in the body after death, during the minute that elapsed before its freedom. There is no other way of accounting for it and it is what might be expected to happen in a man of the subject’s temperament’.

After the experiment and in consultation with the other members of the team, it had been certain that the average weight loss of a person was three-fourth of an ounce and the conclusion drawn by Dr MacDougall was that a human soul weighed 21 grams.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Geologists Find Evidence of China’s Great Flood

Great Flood

Chines Civilization – Great Flood


Chinese civilization as per legend had started with Great Flood which had covered the plains of northern and the central area of China for around 22 years, till the rule of Yu who had led a great dredging project that had brought the river to its original channel. The gods had rewarded Yu with a divine decree to rule China and had found the Xia, its first imperial dynasty.

 The story of the Great Flood and the founding of Chinese civilization by Yu, for 1000 years had been handed down as oral history before eventually coming into written record in the first millennium BCE. However, with no solid proof of Xia or the flood, scholars have been debating whether these events really took place or were it the substance of legend.

 It seems that the Great Flood could have been a real natural disaster which struck the Yellow River valley in around 1920 BCE. A group of geologists headed by Wu Qinglong of Nanjing Normal University had located the remains of a landslide which had dammed up the Yellow River, 1000 of years ago where it had flowed through Jishi Gorge in northern China’s Qinghai Province.

Sediments – Upstream of Dam


The dimension of the natural dam could be between the size of the Three Gorges Dam in China and the Hoover Dam in the U.S. which had blocked the river totally and the water which had built up behind it finally formed a lake 650 feet deep. The researchers found sediments, upstream of the dam, which seemed to match with what would gather on the bottom of a dammed lake.

These were mostly fragments of purple-brown mud-rock and green schist that were washed in the lower Jishi Gorge and downstream into the Guanting Basin.They had mentioned in the paper published in Science that at the mouth of the gorge, where the Yellow River enters Guanting Basin, the sediments had reached 20m thickness, including boulders up to 2m in diameter.

The sediments assisted in outlining the size of the dammed lake as well as the area covered by the flood. Centred on those areas, the researchers calculated that when the landslide dam eventually gave way, it had unleashed a torrent of 300,000 to 500,000 cubic meters of water per second.

The Flood – Breaking Point


The flood has been the breaking point in a rough year for the Oija villages towards this stretch of the Yellow River which had begun with an earthquake that had devastated a settlement on a bend in the river on the Guanting Basin, a few miles south of the Jishi Gorge.

 The locals had abandoned the site after the earthquake, which is presently Lajia and had left behind the bodies of almost five victims trapped in their shrunken homes. Those who survived in the area downstream of the gorge, the flood could have come as an awful shock.

This was not a mere local calamity. Wu Qinglong together with his team had estimated that the floodwaters could have travelled more than 1,000 mils down the Yellow River and probably even more ahead. The flood could have breached through the river’s natural level and could have also crossed the banks carving a new course through the plains of northern China.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Christ's Burial Place Exposed for First Time in Centuries

Christ's Burial Place

Burial Place of Jesus Christ – Revealed


Restoring work in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Israel has revealed stone slab venerated as the place of rest of Jesus Christ. For the first time in centuries, it has been disclosed by scientists regarding the original surface considered traditionally as the tomb of Jesus Christ.

Situated in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in the Old City of Jerusalem, the tomb is said to be covered by cladding of marble since around 1555 A.D and probably centuries earlier. Fredrik Hiebert, archaeologist-in-residence at the National Geographic Society and a partner in the restoration project commented that the marble covering of the tomb had been pulled back and they were surprised by the amount of fill material below it.

 It would be a long scientific analysis though they will eventually be capable of seeing the original rock surface on which as per tradition, the body of Christ had been laid. The body of Jesus Christ, as per Christian tradition, had been laid on a shelf or burial bed carved from the side of a limestone cave after he had been crucified by the Romans in A.D. 30 or 33.

 Christian believe that Christ resurrected after death and Mary Magdalene who had anointed his body three days before his death had reported that his grave was empty when she had visited his tomb.
Christ's Burial_1

Inner Tomb Under Restoration


The burial shelf is said to be enclosed now by a small structure which is known as the Edicule-from the Latin aedicule or little house, which had been reconstructed last in 1808 -1810 after it had been damaged in a fire. The Edicule and the inner tomb presently are under restoration by a team of scientists from the National Technical University of Athens under the guidance of the Chief Scientific supervisor Professor Antonia Moropoulou.

The discovery of the burial bed has been providing researchers with an unprecedented opportunity of studying the original surface of the most sacred site in Christianity. An examination of the original rock may permit them to comprehend much better not only the earlier form of the tomb chamber but also on how it progressed as the focal point of veneration from the time it had initially been identified by Helena, the mother of the Roman emperor Constantine, in A.D. 326.
Christ's Burial Place_2

Under Charge of Six Christian Sects


Moropoulou had stated that they are at the critical moment of rehabilitating the Edicule and the techniques which were being utilised to document this unique monument would enable the world to study their findings as if they themselves had been in the tomb of Christ.

The interior of the tomb which normally glows with faint constellation of wax candles, together with bright construction lighting, illuminated the small cell, exposing minute details which seemed to be usually overlooked. The marble slab which tends to cover the holy bench by around 3 by 5 feet, carved from creamy marble had been pulled away from the wall.

Below it, was a grey beige stone which a conservator has enquired and had received an unclear reply. The Church of the Holy Sepulchres is presently under the charge of six Christian sects. Three major groups, the Greek Orthodox Church, the Roman Catholic Church and the Armenian Orthodox Church tend to maintain main control over it while the Coptic, Ethiopian Orthodox and Syriac communities also tend to have a presence there.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Clues to Mystery of Mesopotamian Clay Balls

Clay Balls

Clues on Secrets of Mesopotamian Clay Balls


Interesting clues in deciphering the secrets of the Mesopotamian clay balls has surfaced after research was conducted in late 2013 that dates back 5,500 years ago. The study had utilised CT scanning to view within the clay balls and it was revealed that the balls could represent the very first data storage system in the world. The extent of details which the scientist had gathered from the CT scans as well as 3D modelling seemed to be extraordinary.

Woods had mentioned during his lecture that they could learn more about these artefacts by non-destructive testing instead of physically opening the envelopes. Woods would be publishing the full research results in the future and intends to put the images and 3D models online. The clay balls were located at the Choga Mish archaeological site towards western Iran during late 1960s which has baffled experts after its discovery.

Their dimensions tend to differ from the size of golf ball to baseball and till date, around 150 intact samples have been located in the region. Researchers were of the belief that they had been utilised to record economic transactions wherein this conclusion was based on an analysis of a 3,300 year old clay ball discovered at a site in Mesopotamia. These had 49 pebbles together with a cuneiform text comprising of a contract commanding a shepherd to care for 49 sheep and goats.
Mesopotamian Clay Balls

High Tech Equipment


But without any additional facts, this assumption seemed to remain as a possible explanation for the use and purpose. Moreover, should the assumption seem to be accurate, it seems unknown how the devices could have worked to record the exchange of commodities during the period of prehistoric times, before the development of writing. Researchers had utilised high-tech equipment together with 3D modelling in order to view the interior of the balls and discovered that they comprised of tokens in various geometric shapes. There is a possibility that the shaped bore numbers which were used in counting various kinds of products that were bartered. In such cases there could be a possibility to crack the code by uncovering how token kinds tend to gather and differ.

The CT scan strangely showed that one ball comprised of token that could have been wrapped in cloth before it had been placed in the ball and then bitumen kind of liquid could have been poured over it, which still seems to be a mystery. It is said that some of the balls had tiny criss-crossing channels that a professor at the University of Chicago’s Oriental Institute, Christopher Woods was of the belief that it could have contained fine threads which got connected together on the outside.

Details from CT Scans/3D Modelling – Extraordinary


The threads could have had labels probably made of wax that revealed the tokens in the clay balls. The section that once had the flourishing civilization of Mesopotamia does not seem to be the only location where the clay or stone balls could have been found. Over 400 carved stone balls had been discovered in Scotland which dates back to the Neolithic period between 3000 and 2000 BC.

Thousands of baseball-sized clay balls were discovered in the ancient Neolithic city of Catalhovuk in Turkey and it could be accidental that these artefacts may have been found in several countries across the globe which belonged to the same period. The latest study could bring us close in comprehending these mysterious relics though there seems to be much to learn from it.

 The extent of details which the scientist had gathered from the CT scans as well as 3D modelling seemed to be extraordinary. Woods had mentioned during his lecture that they could learn more about these artefacts by non-destructive testing instead of physically opening the envelopes. Woods would be publishing the full research results in the future and intends to put the images and 3D models online.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

The Mysterious Disappearance of Agatha Christie

Agatha Christie

Agatha Christie – English Crime Novelist/Short Story Writer/Playwright


Agatha Christie is also recognized as Dame Agatha Mary Clarissa Christies, Lady Mallowan, was an English crime novelist, a short story writer and playwright. She is well-known for her collections of 66 detective novels and 14 short stories which orbited around investigative work of her fictional detectives Hercule Poirot and Jane Marple.

She had also written the longest running play in the world which was a murder mystery. Agatha Christie had mysteriously disappeared from her home on December 3, 1926. Her car was located abandoned some miles away with a few of her clothes together with her identification around in the car.

Though no foul play was suspected, the newspapers had reported that the car had been deliberately run down Newlands corner with the brakes off. Before her disappearance, Agatha had written several baffling letters. One had been written to her brother-in-law stating that she was just going for a vacation in Yorkshire, while another to the local chief constable stating that she feared for her life.

 A lake known as Silent Pool which was a quarter-mile from where her car was found abandoned had been utilised for motivation for one of the deaths of her character. Fifteen thousand volunteers had been organised by the police to search for her in the surrounding countryside.

Mysterious Affair at Styles – First Book


Colonel Archie Christie, her husband had informed reporters that she had been suffering from nervous breakdown. Suspicions were raised that probably he had been responsible for her disappearance, like a plot in one of his wife’s mystery novels.

 This was reinforced with the rumours regarding his infidelity which instigated the police to tap his phone. For eleven days, she had disappeared with no trace regarding her whereabouts. When she was ultimately discovered at a spa in Harrogate, her husband claimed that she had been suffering from temporary amnesia.

What had led Agatha Christie to leave her home on that cold December night seems to be a mystery. Till date, her biographers tend to vary on what precisely could have occurred during those two weeks in December 1926.

Agatha Christie had published over ten novels and short stores, by the date of her disappearance, each more being much more successful than the other. The Mysterious Affair at Styles, her first book was eventually accepted in 1919 for publication and along with it, the Belgian detective Hercule Poirot had been introduced to the world.

1926 – Agatha Disappeared


The year 1926 had been the year where Agatha had lost her mother Clara. Thereafter she had to put up with another bit of bad news regarding her husband Archie who had informed her that their marriage of twelve year would come to an end since he had fallen in love with another woman, Nancy Neele, needed a divorce. Agatha had implored with Archie to give their marriage another chance to which he had agreed unwillingly.

On that significant day, she had been informed by Archie that he would be spending the weekend with some friends and would not be returning home. On that Friday night at 9.45, Agatha had informed her secretary that she was going out and had left in her car to Newland Downs where she had abandoned the car.

Thereafter she had walked back to town and got into a train to London where she did some shopping for winter coat. It was here that she had posted a letter to Campbell her brother-in-law, informing him that would be going to a spa in Yorkshire after which she had taken a train to Harrogate and had checked in Hydro spa under the name of Theresa Neele.

Monday, October 17, 2016

The Spinning Relic

Spinning Relic

Spinning Egyptian Statuette


The mystery has been solved of a 4,000 year old Egyptian statuette which had perplexed experts whenit creepily started rotating in a museum. Neb-Senu, the so-called 10 inch tall relic dates back to 1800 BC seemed to spin 180 degrees, mysteriously with no one going near it. Supervisors were amazed after they found it facing the wrong way and equipped up a time-lapse camera to capture its movement.

However, the camera portrayed the figure moving on its own in front of the visitors who seemed to pass by without a second glance. The relic had made headlines across the globe when footage had appeared about it spinning in a display glass case at the Manchester Museum. Clarification regarding its movement varied from mystical as well as magical ancient myths, with the influence of curses and spirits to the object.

According to the museum chiefs the statue which had been discovered in one of the mummy’s tomb could have carried the spirit of one who had died thousands of years back.There were some sensational stories on how the statue could have related to the curse of the pharaoh, which were released by Howard Carter, a hired team of experts who presumed that the outside traffic of cars together with foot traffic from visitors could have made the statute to move often.

Vibration Combination of Multiple Sources


The statute is said to be in the museum for more than 80 years. However several observers seemed to be perplexed that vibrations only could cause an ancient stone relic to spin around almost completely. The ITV’s Mystery Map which tends to examine myths together with mysterious stories had set out to locate the truth and recruited investigators who had position sensors in the display cabinet.

They observed that the statutes had stopped moving overnight when few vibrations existed. However it started spinning the next day when the vibrations seemed to increase. Steve Gosling, vibration expert commented that the vibration was a combination of multiple sources, with buses outside on the busy road, there’s footfall activity which is the combination of those things. When interrogated as to why the other displays had not rotated, he had added that this statute had a convex base.

Statuette – Alternative Vessel for Spirit


There was a lump towards the bottom which made it more susceptible to vibrations than the others which seemed to have a flat base and this was certain. A curator at the museum on Oxford Road, Campbell Price had commented that everyone wants a mystery and there is this link between Ancient Egypt and mystery with the secret which has made this story circulate all across the globe.

But in reality we may have suspected there was just a very logical explanation. Campbell Price was of the belief that there could be a spiritual explanation to the rotating statue. Egyptologist Mr Price had informed that the statuette was something that went in the tomb together with the mummy.

He was of the belief that in ancient Egypt if the mummy was destroyed, then the statuette would act as an alternative vessel for the spirit and this could have been the cause of the movement.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

The Zealots of Thessalonica

Andronikos III

Conflict Between New Regency & Kantakouzenos


Towards the beginning of the fourteenth century, the Byzantine Empire had undergone an intense weakening with major civil war in the 1320s followed by invasions from practically every side.

With the weakening of the Empire, it became poorer and the misery of the great multitudes in the countryside as well as the cities seemed to become intolerable. The wealth was in the hands of a small aristocratic class, in the country as well as in the town and in contradiction of them was the bitterness of the deprived multitudes.

John Kantakouzenos had been the head of the powerful aristocratic class after the death of Emperor Andronikos III Palaiologos and was the effective regent for the latter’s infant son, John V. A group in Constantinople had been formed around the powerful megas doux Alexios Apolaukos which plotted against him and achieved to procure the assistance of dowager empress Anna of Savoy together with the Patriarch John Kalekas.

This conflict broke out openly in October 1341 between the new regency and Kantakouzenos. The political and dynastic quarrel rapidly changed into a class-based, social conflict when the aristocratic land-holders of Macedonia and Thrace together with the propertied classes supporting the Regency.

Zealots – An Anti-Aristocratic Governmental Group


Besides this, the existing Byzantine society had also been divided on religious disputes among the mysticist Hesychasts or Palamites together with the intellectuals or Barlaamites. They were the ones who had favoured to trail the study of philosophy and cherish the inheritance of Ancient Greece.

The Zealots had been an anti-aristocratic governmental group having social demands which had controlled the political developments in Thessalonica from 1342 till 1350.The existing sources particularly anti-Zealot in consideration had provided little details regarding the government of Zealots of Thessalonica.

 The Zealots had accomplished in forming operative civic self-government for eight years and had seized property of the aristocracy, redistributing their wealth. But it is difficult to know if the Zealots really had a program for social reform. One likely justification could be that since the city had been in a continuous state of siege, to some extent, a democratic society could have taken shape.

Reactionary Movement


The Zealot council had controlled Thessalonica during the period of the civil war and for some time, they insisted allegiance to Megaduke Apokaukos. However, they were hostile to the aristocracy and ultimately declared their independence after slaying his son.

The revolt had only been put down after John Kantakouzenos had become the emperor. The Serbian king Stefan Dusan had been invited by some of the Zealots to take the city though there were others who found this unpatriotic and a combat took place.

The city was overtaken with ease by Kantakouzenous and had executed the leading Zealots. The Zealots mainly clashed with the concentration of wealth in the hands of the landed oligarchs and more usually that landed wealth had been the same with power.

The new westernized state was rejected by them and hence they had demanded decentralized, medieval style of rule which became a `reactionary’ movement similar to the all peasant movement. But further than these general principles, the usual routine of the Republic of Thessalonian is not known to historians.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Barbarians and Romans

Barbarians

Barbarians – Protection at Roman Frontiers - Julius Caesar


Barbarians had been organized for protection at the Roman frontiers right from the time of Julius Caesar. The river Rhine and Danube demarcated the Roman Empire in the European continental segregating the citizens of Rome from the various people who had inhabited Germania, which is the Roman term for the location extending as far north as Scandinavia and far east as the Vistula River.

The empire had at no point of time isolated itself from the Germanic people known as barbarian who were recruited as soldiers for the Roman army and developed commercial as well as political bonds with their leaders who had occupied lands beyond the borders.Several of these barbarians would return to the homeland though others would stay with their families in the Roman territories and would rise to the highest rank in military.

The kingdom had established diplomatic ties with the Germanic monarchs who had inhabited the lands further than the borders in order to safeguard them from hostile barbarians much beyond the field. Possibilities of Roman citizenship together with military as well as economic support had encouraged barbarian leaders to support their well to do neighbours mainly with the provision of troops.
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Barbarian Neighbours – Hierarchical/Wealthy Elites


The barbarian neighbours of the empire were hierarchical as well as wealthy elites. Refereed by the buried artifacts and some observation in the literature of Rome, ‘Gaul almost everywhere had been governed by elite families who had been merged together by marriage as well as service in the community and region’.

These provisions enabled the barbarians of high position to amass wealth like direct gifts of jewellery from the empire together with payment in gold coin which in turn could be utilised in the commissioning of luxury objects of personal beautification from the local artists.

In the later centuries of the empire the increasing strength and the extent of the military needed the assimilation of improved quantities of barbarians units called the foedarati, in the army. Towards the fourth century, around 75,000 soldiers had been posted in the Roman province of Gaul where most of them were Germanic.
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Roman Belief – Superior to Barbarian Neighbours


Burns had described the relations between the Roman Empire and the barbarians towards the frontier in Western Europe through a span of 500 years. The Romans were of the belief that they were superior to their barbarian neighbours and looked on their own civil wars as serious affairs though made light of the endemic warfare among the barbarians.

 Rome had been interested in stability and peace on its borders and the barbarians were aggressive and invading each other inclusive of the societies with whom the Romans had agreements. Besides protecting the barbarian allies, Rome also pressured these allies in limiting the warfare.

The trade between the Romans and the barbarians had been universal which comprises of Celtic people whom the archaeologists had found signs of having large amount of Roman goods. This indicated that they had on-going trade.Towards the second century BCE, in southern and central Gaul, the Celts had created `highly refined iron products and the Roman trader had acquired Celtic iron wear for resale.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

The Mackenzie Poltergeist in Greyfriars

Mackenzie

Mackenzie Poltergeist – Most Bloody Religious Persecution


The greatest bloody religious oppressions passed out in the 17th century by King who appointed Lord Advocate Sir George Mackenzie against the Presbyterian Covenanters rebel was at the Greyfriars Kirkyard site. This was carried out due to their failure in accepting the state approved religion and to swear loyalty to the King. It is also said to be the location of the most popular documented poltergeist activity in the world known as the Mackenzie Poltergeist in Greyfriars.

It had started fifty years after the National Covenant had been signed promising to keep Scotland as a Presbyterian country and when King Charles II had risen to the throne and had immediately renounced the Covenanters right to practice their religion freely. He had demanded that all should accept the new official state religion and on June 22, 1679, his forces had swept the last of the Presbyterian Covenanters in a bloody yet significant battle which was called the Bothwell Brig.

Numerous of the thousand Presbyterian Covenanter rebels who had refused to swear allegiance to the King were rounded up and confined in a segment of the Greyfriars Kirkyard which is the graveyard of the small Greyfriars Kirk parish owned by The church of Scotland and is known as the Covenanters’ prison.

Bluidy MacKenzie


The Covenanter prisoners of war had been registered rebels and were subjected to exile, inhuman torture, exposure, starvation and executions at the hands of Lord Advocate Sir George Mackenzie. Being nicknamed as `Bluidy MacKenzie’ by his victims the dreadful brute had been in charge of the Presbyterian Covenanter oppression on behalf of Charles II.

Though his daily life disguise had been that of a loving husband and father, legal scholar, published author, the private business of persecution which he had conducted on behalf of the king was well hidden which his own wife was not aware of his malicious and aggressive nature.

The persecution seemed persistent and eventually most if not all of the prisoners had died and were buried in the Greyfriars Kirkyard cemetery the place where they were confined. Overall, Mackenzie had been responsible for the death of around 18,000 of his compatriots in search of a combined religion during `The Killing Time’.

Black Mausoleum


His reign of terror came to an end in 1691 after his death and he was ironically buried in a casket contained in the Black Mausoleum tomb which is a building placed on the GreyFriars Kirkyard in close vicinity from the scene of his gruesome war crimes, where his victim had been laid to rest.

The victims as well as the tormentor were laid to rest in an uneasy peace, for 300 years, just feet from each other. In 1998 on a dark and stormy night, a homeless man probably needing shelter from the rain or possibly on the lookout to steal something of value had broken into the `Black Mausoleum’ a vaulted and well-fortified tomb which was the final resting place of the notorious `Bluidy MacKenzie’.

 He had ransacked the tomb breaking caskets on every level till he had come to one that had the body of Bluidy MacKenzie. While attempting to open the casket a huge hole opened up in the floor beneath his feet dropping the man into a chamber below and the pit was filled with the remains of plague victim, who had been unceremoniously dumped in the hole and covered during the plague days in order to dispose the bodies. Coming across the remains and the stench of still rotting flesh, the man ran away screaming hilariously from the mausoleum into the night and was never heard again

The Copper Scroll treasure

Copper Scroll

Copper Scroll – Mystery Treasure


A Copper Scroll had been discovered by archaeologist in a cave on March 14, 1952 while most of the other Dead Sea Scrolls were found by Bedouins, at the back of Cave 3 at the Qumran site. They are said to be on display at the Jordan Museum in Amman. As per its name, the writing had been etched onto a copper scroll which records a huge amount of hidden silver and gold treasures.

The scroll seems to date back to over 1,900 years to a time when the Roman Empire had taken charge of the Qumran area. It had been the last of 15 scrolls found in the cave and hence has been referred as 3Q15. While the other had been written on parchment or papyrus, this particular scroll had been written on copper mixed with around 1% tin.

The rusted metal could not be unfurled in any conservative way and hence the scroll had been cut into 23 strips and then patched back together in 1955. The language appeared different from the others, wherein Hebrew seems closer to the language of the Mishnah than the literary Hebrew of the rest of the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Opening of Copper Scroll – John Marco Allegro


The opening of the Copper Scroll had been supervised by John Marco Allegro, who transcribed its content instantly and it then became clear that there had been something very unique regarding the content. Contrasting from the other scrolls, that were literary works, the copper scroll seemed to comprise of a list which did not seem like an ordinary list.

It contained directions to 64 locations where amazing quantities of treasures could be discovered. There had been various revolts against the Roman rule during the time the scroll had been written and the scientists have assumed that the treasure had been concealed in order to avoid being captured by the Roman forces. The Copper Scroll is said to be a part of the extraordinary cache of the First century documents.

It seems to differ from the other documents in the library of Qumran and tends to be quite unusual among the Dead Sea Scrolls wherein its author, style, script, language, content, genre together with the medium seem to differ to the other scrolls.

Unique/Important/Least Understood


Professor Richard Freund had commented that the copper scroll could possibly be the most unique, the most important, and the least understood.The treasure of the scroll was presumed to be the treasure of the Jewish Temple and some of the scholars claimed that it belonged to the First Temple and was destroyed in 586 BC by Nebuchadnezzar, the King of Babylon.

Others have suggested that the treasure could have been that of the Second Temple but according to historical records, the main treasure of the Temple tend to be in the building when it fell to the Romans. The copper scroll has led several to the biggest treasure hunt in history with various expeditions taken up in locating the valuable treasure.

It has not been revealed in the scroll by whom or when, the treasure were buried or why. However it has been presumed that it had been hidden within Judaea or near the Mount Gerizim in Samaria, parts of modern Israel.

Friday, September 9, 2016

The Secret Codex of a Lost Civilisation Being Hidden Beneath a 16th Century Manuscript for 500 Years

Manuscript

Codex Selden – Lost Civilisation in Mexico


Research scrutinized a manuscript known as the Codex Selden dating around 1560 and is said to be one of the less than 20 Mexican codices which has survived from the pre-Columbian period. For almost 500 years, the contents had been unsatisfyingly concealed by a layer of plaster covering the details of a lost civilization which had existed in Mexico before the arrival of the Spanish.

However due to a new imaging technique, for the first time, historians can go through the material on top to disclose a series of pictograms on the deer underneath. This has provided them with a glimpse at the culture and history of the early Mexican civilisation which was known as the Mixtec.

However experts suspect that the codex could have been formed from a much older document which had been covered up to arrange for a new surface for writing. The document which is 16 feet long is composed of deer hide which is covered with gesso, said to be a white plaster made from gypsum and chalk before it is folded into a 20 page manuscript. The plaster had been scraped away in the 1950s to expose a vague image on the deer hide below though no further work has been revealed as to what lies below for fear of damaging the same.
Manuscript

Hyperspectral Imaging


However, researchers at Leiden University in the Netherlands, who have been working with the historians at Bodleian Libraries at Oxford University, housing the Codex Selden, have located a way of seeing through the plaster. Their discovery had been published in the Journal of Archaeological Sciences.

The technique utilised was known as hyperspectral imaging to reveal the outline of vivid pictogram which were on the original document.David Howell, head of heritage science at the Bodleian Libraries also involved in the research stated that `hyperspectal imaging has portrayed great promise in helping to begin to reconstruct the story of the hidden codex and finally to recover new information regarding Mixtex history and archaeology.

It is a new technique and they have learned valuable lessons on how to utilise hyperspectral imaging in the future for very fragile manuscript as well as for countless others like it. An archaeologist at Leiden University, Ludo Snijders, leading the work had informed MailOnline that they are now for the first time capable of revealing at least in part, the images of the palimpsest without the fear of damaging the object.

Genealogy Appear Unique


He further added that `what’s interesting is that the text found does not match that of the other early Mixtec manuscripts. The genealogy seen appears to be unique which means it may prove invaluable for the interpretation of archaeological remains from southern Mexico’.

Seven of the pages of the codex had been analysed by the researchers and some of the pages featured over 20 characters sitting or standing though all seemed to be looking in the same direction. Similar scenes were also located on other Mixtex manuscripts that typically represent a King with his council. Scrutiny of the characters concealed under the Codex Selden exposed though that they portrayed a mixture of male as well as female characters and the same has perplexed scientists on what the text could be illustrating.

 Besides this, there were other imaged comprising of people walking with sticks and spears, women with red hair or headdresses and glyphs illustrating a river which seems to be names of place.The imaging also disclosed a prominent individual who is seen recurrently on the document and is represented by a big glyph comprising of a twisted cord and a flint knife.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

4,500 Year Old New Stonehenge was Made of Wood

henge

Neolithic Monument in Wiltshire


It is believed that an excavation at a 4,500 year old superhenge would have over 90 stones hidden underground which have failed in locating any evidence of rock monoliths. It was presumed to be a huge prehistoric stone monument which could have once dwarfed the enormous Stonehenge.

Experts are not of the belief that the Neolithic monument in Wiltshire could have been developed utilising large wooden posts which had been sunk in the ground. At first archaeologist believed that the site concealed a series of stones of around 15 ft. long lying down which had been buried below a massive earthwork. It has been revealed through ground penetrating radar of the `irregularities’ which were believed to be the stones scattered around the large site.

However, on excavating two of them, the researcher found huge pits which seemed to have contained timber post earlier. An archaeologist with the National Trust, Dr Nicola Snashall, who had been working on the site, informed Mail Online that they are certain that they do not have any stones and what they have on the contrary are at least 120 pits which were created to take great big timber posts.


henge_1

Enormous Earthwork – Durrington Walls


They think that there could have been as many as 200 or more since they have some gaps in the ground penetrating radar data. The site that is just outside Durrington, Wiltshire, is said to have been a large Neolithic settlement earlier, housing the builders of Stonehenge less than two miles away.

The earlier excavations have exposed seven houses and it has been proposed that around 4,000 people may have inhabited the village. However, Dr Snashall has stated that the settlement seems to be decommissioned after about 10 to 12 years of use and it was after this that the timbers had been set up surrounding the site in a huge ring.

This seems to follow the line of what is presently an enormous earthwork which is called Durrington Walls. The earthwork is said to encircle an area of 1,575 feet across, measuring just less than a mile in circumference. It is surrounded by a ditch to around 58 feet wide, with an outer bank of about 131 feet wide which is raised to around 10 feet high.
henge_3

Henge Earlier Constructed from Wood


The radar scans by the team from the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute in Austria and Birmingham University last year, had disclosed something which seemed to be up to 90 standing stones that could have earlier measured up to 15 feet tall, lying on their side below the enormous bank of Earth.

However, the latest excavation indicates that his henge had been earlier constructed from wood instead of stone and the new research had been led by the Stonehenge Hidden Landscapes Project, the Stonehenge Riverside Project and the National Trust.

This could mean that it could have appeared more like the nearby Woodhenge, which is a Neolithic site near to Stonehenge, presumed to be built around 2300BC. According to Dr Snashall it seems that the earthworks were built on top of the pits where once the post seemed to be.

She commented that earlier to the timber posts being put in, the place was presumed to have housed the builders of Stonehenge and it was only after they had left, that the timbers were put in, probably as a means of setting aside this place as somewhere important.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Yamashita’s Gold: The Philippine Treasure Caves

gold

Japan Plundered Asia – Before/During World War II


It is a known fact that Japan had plundered Asia in the years before and during the World War II. As per legend, they had amassed a genuine fortune for themselves. A special team known as `The Golden Lily’ had been formed who’s main aim was to plunder the invaded countries.

There had been plenty of confiscated treasure which needed a full time attempt of transporting all of it back to Japan. Initially, the Philippines was utilised as a layover spot for the plundered treasure to be loaded onto ships for the last leg of the journey. The American forces posed as a problem for Japan when they began sinking a number of the ships on the high seas.

The royal family of Japan decided to hide the remaining loot in the Philippines and it is here where General Yamashita tends to come in.Yamashita had been given the task of organizing and implementing the plans of digging tunnels and locate caves in which they could hide all the plundered goods together with the other items. The Japanese soldiers and prisoners of war would dig out tunnels and move the hideaways in them.

Various Theories – Whereabouts of Treasure


However, when the gold had been transferred, the entrances had been covered up usually through explosive devices which left the labourers trapped within to die. Several theories have been coming up regarding the whereabouts of the treasure over the years.

According to one theory, Ferdinand Marcos, ex-president of the Philippines, had found a portion of the treasure and had kept it for himself. He undertook severe control in searching and excavating during his term, wherein he had to personally support each expedition. In 1971, one particular expedition was led by Rogelio Roxas who claimed that he had found a huge cache of gold in a cave.

He had brought a lawsuit against Marcos and his wife asserting that when his discovery had been known to Marcos, he had been beaten and arrested after which his gold had been taken away by his men. The suit which had been filed in the state of Hawaii ultimately was found in favour of Roxas stating that there was adequate evidence to indicate that he had indeed found the gold which had been taken away from him and was awarded $6 million.

Debate on Uncertainty of Gold


Some other researchers and historians had claimed that the US had been given the location of the treasure in exchange for not being charged against the royal family for war crimes together with other outrages. It is said that the CIA and the OSS had received most of the gold that had been used to fund those agencies.

Several are sceptical and tend to doubt the presence of the treasure of Yamashita or argue about the amounts presumed to exist. They debate on the uncertainty of gold as claimed by history;there would be several more levels of discovery.

In spite of many claims by treasure hunters and Filipino natives to the opposing, there has been little or no evidence of any gold found. Though there has been no proof of any of these claims, Roxas’s story is possibly the closest anyone could get in having the story authenticated.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Mysterious Carvings Found in a Maya Royal Tomb May Reveal Murky Secrets of the 'Snake Dynasty

Maya

Discovery of Hidden Royal Tomb – Ancient Maya Ruins


Archaeologists have discovered the hidden royal tomb in the ancient Maya ruins of Xunantunich in western Belize which reveals a new chapter in the story of the powerful Snake Dynasty.The tombs could be among the biggest to be located in Belize at the ruins of Xunantunich in the city on the Mopan River which had been a ceremonial centre, which was at its height during 600 – 890 AD.

In it were the remains of a mysterious male of the Xunantunich royal family between the age of 20 and 30 years. Research done on the remains indicated that he had been powerfully built and muscular and his body was placed on the floor of the tomb on his back with his head positioned towards the south.There were around 36 ceramic vessels placed besides the body, together with a necklace of jade beads stone blade and bones from jaguars and deer.

Moreover, the archaeologist also discovered three hieroglyphic panels towards the flanks of the central stairway which lead to the summit of the temple covering the tomb. The panels are said to be the part of a hieroglyphic stair which had earlier been erected at Caracol, around 26 miles south of Zunantunich.

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Texts On Two Panels, Stimulating Epigraphers of Maya- America & Europe


An anthropologist at Northern Arizona University, Dr Jaime Awe leading the team who had made the discovery, stated that `the texts on the two panels now stimulating the epigraphers of Maya, across America and Europe. Maya Epigraphers contend that the Hieroglyphic Stair was custom-built by Caracol’s ruler Lord K’an II to record his defeat of the site of Naranjo.

A number of years later, in 680 AD, Naranjo defeats Caracol and as part of its revenge is believed to have dismantled the Hieroglyphic Stair and moved it to Naranjo where it was again resembled. But when the panels had been re-assembled at Naranjo in a jumbled order, some of the parts had been missing which did not reveal much. Some of the experts were of the belief that this had been done intentionally by the people of Naranjo to distort the history of their rivals.

Archaeologist discovered one of the missing panels at a site which was further up the river from Zunantunich known as Ucanal and another fragment had been located at Caracol.
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Image: Jaime Awe

Dynasty Named – Snake Head Emblem Linked with Line of Rulers


However, Dr Awe informs that the panels that were found outside the tomb at Xunantunich were presumed to represent two more of the missing panels. He states that it could be a possibility that Zunantunich may have assisted as an ally of Naranjo in the event of defeat of Caracol and the panels seemed to represent war booty gifted to the site for this participation.

It meant that the individual they had located entombed with the panels could have played an important role in the victory over Caracol as a supporter of Naranjo. At that time, Naranjo had withdrawn its fealty to the disreputable Snake Dynasty that had its power centre in Calakmul. The dynasty is said to have earned its name due to the snake head emblem linked with its line of rulers.

Dr Awe mentioned that the individual were undoubtedly member of the ruling choice at Xunantunich. The size of the tomb together with its burial temple within the city centre with the associated grave goods and the other cultural materials related with the building strongly indicated that he could have been one of the rulers at the site.