Friday, August 26, 2016

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


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.


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.
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.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Edinburgh’s Underground City


A Colossal Though Basically Faulty Act of Engineering/Design

The Edinburgh Vaults or South Bridge Vault is said to be a chain of chambers which had been formed in the nineteen arches of the South Bridge in Edinburgh, Scotland, completed in 1788. The vaults had been utilised to house taverns, cobblers together with other tradesmen for about 30 years and as storage space for illicit material apparently the bodies of people who had been killed by serial killers, Burke and Hare for the purpose of medical experiments. Edinburgh’s South Bridge is a colossal though basically faulty act of engineering and design of the 18th century.

The city tends to link seven major hill where only two of these high points can be seen in the city centre presently namely Castle Hill over which is the Edinburgh Castle and Calton Hill warmly referred by the locals as Edinburgh’s disgrace. The unusual hills of this ancient city have now been masked by five bridges which tend to span the ensuing valleys and impeccably assimilate their swelling silhouettes in the landscape. A fascinating aspect of these five bridges, which was the second to be developed after the North Bridge, is the famous South Bridge of Edinburgh, a modern highway, built to link the High Street of the Old Town with the University buildings towards the south side of the city.

Bridge Comprises of 19 Stone Arches

The three closes namely Marlin’s Wynd, Peebles Wynd and Niddry’s Wynd had been demolished in the area of Cowgate in the city in order to make space for this scheme. These closes controlled an area which was said to be one of Edinburgh’s most run down and poorest quarter.

The crowded, winding streets had been knocked to the ground while the stone were then recycled. The building work had begun in 1785 and the bridge comprised of 19 stone arches which spanned a crevasse of over a 1000 feet long. Towards its highest point it stood 31 feet above the ground having a foundation that penetrated the bed rock of Edinburgh as far down as 22 feet.

But towards the turn of the 18th century, Edinburgh seemed to be a fearful as well as a superstitious location for real and also for imagined harm. The fright of what the unearthly as well as the supernatural could impose was aggravated by their inherent mistrust of the invading English that seemed to be a long held belief resulting in the construction of the defensive Flodden Wall after the disastrous Battle in 1513.

Locals Compelled to Live on Top of One Another

The man-made barrier surrounding the outskirts of the city together with the natural geography of Edinburgh, compelled the locals to live practically on top of one another and in some instances in houses of 14 storeys high instead of expanding outwards as in the case of several developing cities.

This form of atmosphere of claustrophobia, fear together with mistrust gave rise to a feeling of anxiety among the inhabitants. With the completion of the South Bridge in 1788, it was believed to be an suitable as well as fitting honour that the eldest resident of the Bridge, a well-known as well as respectable wife of the Judge should be the leading person to cross this fine architectural construction.

But sad to say, some days before the grand inaugural, the lady in question had passed away. As promised, the city fathers felt obliged to honour the original agreement and hence the first `body’ to cross the South Bridge was crossed in the coffin.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

The Hidden Mountain Tribe in Papua Where Villagers Mummified Their Ancestors with Smoke for Hundreds of Years

smoking mummification
ADEK BERRY via Getty Images

Preserved Remains of Ancestor – Village of Wogi, Women – West Papua

Unusual images of a tribe chief with the impeccably preserved remains of one of the ancestors have appeared in a remote Indonesian village. Eli Mabel, Dani tribe chief has been visualized holding the remains of Agat Mamete Mabel in the village of Wogi, Wamena in West Papua which is an island in the midst of Papua New Guinea. The ancient Dani tribes in half of the island of New Guinea, Indonesia had been cut off from the outside world till around the 20th century and their homeland had been in the Baliem Valley which was isolated by steep rugged valley together with dense highland forest.

 The native tribe which tends to inhabit the remote area of the Papuan central highlands would preserve their ancestors by smoking their bodies that kept them in an almost perfect condition for hundreds of years. Part of the mummification procedure comprised of smoking the mummy for almost 30 days.

 The smoking mummification is not practiced any longer though the people of the Dani tribe continue to still preserve several of the mummies as a symbol of their highest respect of their ancestors. The Dani tribe in recent years had drawn tourist from across the world with some villages even displaying their original customs as well as holding mock wars.

Tribe Discovered by American Zoologist/Philanthropist - 1938

They tend to hold mock battles with the neighbouring tribes namely the Lani and Yali people, every August, to celebrate the fertility as well as the welfare of the province of Papua and also to uphold the ancient traditions. The tribes of Baliem Valley, the Dani, Lani and Yali had been discovered by accident by Richard Archbold, an American zoologist and philanthropist, in 1938 while he was on a zoological voyage to New Guinea and had spotted the Dani people from his aircraft.

The men in the Dani tribe seemed to wear typical clothing comprising of face paint, feathers, animal bones and complicated penis sheaths known as Koteka while the women would wear skirts which were made from woven orchid fibres and decorated with straw and woven bags that were worn from the head known as noken.The Dani tribe is also said to be notorious in following the custom that if someone tends to die in the village like the mummified tribe leader then each of his female relative would have a section of their finger cut off.

Support as a Probable Tourist Opportunity

The performance at the 27th Baliem Valley Festival took place from August 8 to 19 that featured mock battles of highland tribes of Dani, Yali and the Lani. The performances at the festival symbolised the high spirit and the power which had been practiced by the tribes for many generations. Keeping up the traditions as well as the customs was important to the tribes’ way of living. Mummification seems to have disappeared after the missionaries had discouraged the practice in the 1950s.

The different generations in Papua New Guinea tend to reflect various attitudes to the practice and the spirit world. While the grandparents tend to believe in the tradition, middle-aged people seem to be uncertain regarding the spirit world and the practice of mummification. However, it tends to support as a probable tourist opportunity.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Scientists ‘Confirm’ Life after Death Exists with Ground-Breaking Study


New Study – People Experience Awareness – 3 Minutes After Death

According to some experts, consciousness tends to continue even when the heart of a person seems to stop. Death is said to be an unavoidable significance of life, though scientists are of the belief that they could have discovered some insight at the end of the tunnel. In a study of over 2,000 people, the British scientists have confirmed that thought continues after death and at the same time revealed substantial evidence of an out-of-the-body experience for a patient who had been declared dead by doctors.

The scientists believe that the brain tends to cease all activity, 30 seconds after the heart seems to stop pumping blood in the body and awareness tends to stop at that very time. However, research from the University of Southampton, suggest something else. According to the new study, people continue to experience awareness for around three minutes after death.

Head researcher, Dr Sam Parnia had commented that `contrary to perception, death is not a definite moment but a possibly reversible process which occurs after any severe illness or accident, causing the heart, lungs and brain to stop functioning. If attempts are made to reverse this procedure, it is considered as `cardiac arrest’. However if these attempts are not successful it is known as `death’

Experience Not of Awareness but Fear

From the 2,060 patients that had been interviewed from Austria, America and the UK for the study, who had lived after cardiac arrests, 40% stated that they were able to remember some form of awareness after being confirmed clinically dead.

Dr. Parnia had clarified the implication stating that `this suggests more people may have mental activity at first but then lose their memories after recovery, either owing to the effects of brain injury or sedative drugs on memory recall. Only 2% of the patients had described their experience of being stable with the feeling of an out-of-body experience, which is the consciousness one tends to feel almost totally aware of the surroundings after death.

About half of the respondents of the study stated that their experience was not one of awareness but fear. Probably the most substantial discovery of the study was that a 57 year old man was of the belief of being the first confirmed out-of-the-body experience in a patient.

Hallucination/Illusion – Occur Before Heart Stops/Restarted

On suffering from a cardiac arrest, the patient had revealed that he was able to recall what had taken place around him with strange precision after momentarily dying.Dr Parnia had commented that this is momentous since it is frequently presumed that the experiences with regards to death are possible hallucination or illusion which tends to occur before the heart stops or after the heart has been successfully restarted.

However it is not an experience matching with `real events when the heart is not beating. In this stage, the consciousness and the awareness seem to take place during the three minute span when there is no heartbeat.

This is paradoxical since the brain typically stops functioning within 20-30 seconds when the heart stops and does not resume again till the heart is revived. Moreover, in this case the detailed recollection of visual awareness was steady with verified events.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

The Emerald Tablet

The Emerald Tablet

Emerald Tablet – Inscribed with Secrets of the Universe

The Emerald Tablet is considered to be a tablet of green stone or emerald which has been inscribed with the secrets of the universe. The foundation of the original Emerald Tablet is not known and so it has been encircled by legends.

One of the most common legend states that the tablet had been found in a caved tomb beneath the statue of Hermes in Tyana which was grasped in the hands of the body of Hermes Trismegistus, while another legend suggest that it was the third son of Adam and Eve, according to Seth who had originally written it. Still others are of the belief that the Emerald Tablet had once been held within the Ark of the Covenant and still others claim that the original source of the Emerald Tablet is the fabled city of Atlantis.

Though numerous assertions have been provided with regards to the origin of the Emerald Tablet, so far there is no confirmable evidence which has been supportive of them. The oldest documentable source of the text of the Emerald Tablet is the Kitab sirr al-haliqi, – Book of the Secret of Creation and the Art of Nature, which had been a composite of the earlier works.

`Balinas’ of Pseudo-Apollonius of Tyana

This had been an Arabic work which had been written in the 8th century A.D., attributing to a `Balinas’ of Pseudo-Apollonius of Tyana. It was Balinas who had provided us with the story of the Emerald Tablet that had been revealed in the caved tomb.

 Established on this Arabic work, some are of the belief that the emerald Tablet had been an Arabic work that had been written between the 6th and 8th centuries AD instead of a piece of work from ancient times, according to several others.

 Though Balinas state that originally, the Emerald Tablet had been written in Greek, the original document which he possessed does not exist anymore, possibly if it ever existed at all. However, the text became very popular and has been translated by many over the centuries.

For example the early version seemed to be in the work known as the Kitab Ustuqus al-Uss al-Thani – Second Book of the Elements of the Foundation, which is credited to Jabir ibn Hayyan. It would take many more centuries before the text could be accessible to the Europeans. The Emerald Tablet had been translated into Latin by Hugo von Santalla in the 12th century.

Significant Text in Medieval/Renaissance Alchemy

The Emerald Tablet was an extremely significant text in Medieval and Renaissance alchemy and is still till date. It could have become one of the pillars of Western alchemy. Besides translations of the Emerald Tablet, various interpretations have been written with regards to its contents.

 A translation for instances, by Isaac Newton had been found among his alchemical papers which is presently held in King’s College Library in Cambridge University. Notable researchers of the Emerald Tablet comprise of Roger Bacon, John Dee, Albertus Magnus and Aleister Crowley. The reading of the Emerald Text is not a straightforward stuff since it a section of obscure text.

 For instance, one version suggests that the text defines seven stages of alchemical transformation, namely calcination, dissolution, separation, conjunction, fermentation, distillation and coagulation. Nonetheless, in spite of the different clarifications that are available, it is said that none of their authors have claimed to possess knowledge to the complete truth. Moreover, the readers have been motivated to read the text and attempt to understand and discover the hidden truth by themselves.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Roanoke Colony

Roanoke Colony

Roanoke Colony – Oldest Unexplained Mysteries of America

The heritages of one of the oldest unexplained mysteries of America is said to be traced to August 1587 wherein a team of around 115 English immigrants had come to Roanoke Islands which is off the coast of the present day North Carolina. Later in the year, it had been planned that the governor of the new Colony, John White would sail back to England to collect a fresh stock of supplies.

However, as he arrived, a major naval war took place between England and Spain and Queen Elizabeth I called on every existing ship to oppose the great Spanish Armada. White eventually returned to Roanoke in August, 1590 where he had left his wife and daughter, his infant granddaughter – the first English child born in the Americas, Virginia Dare, together with the other three immigrants three years ago.

On his return, he found no trace of the colony or its inhabitants with only a few clues as to what could have occurred apart from only a word `Croatoan’ which had been carved onto a wooden post. Investigations into the fate of the `Lost Colony’ of Roanoke had continued for centuries, though no satisfactory results came up.

`Croatoan’ – Home to Native American Tribe

The name `Croatoan’ had been given to the island south of Roanoke which had been a home to a Native American tribe of the same name and possibly the colonist then had been killed or even abducted by the Native Americans.

 Other theories state that they could have attempted to navigate back to England on their way and may have been lost at sea or they could have met with a bloody end at the hands of the Spaniards who had trooped up from Florida or they could have moved further inland and may have been immersed into a friendly tribe.

Towards 2007, attempts were made in gathering and analysing DNA from the local families to figure out if they had been related to the Roanoke immigrants, local Native American tribes or both. In spite of the mystery, it tends to be one thing to be grateful for which is the lessons learned at Roanoke that could have assisted the next group of English immigrants.

These would have found their own colony seventeen years thereafter just a short distance at Jamestown towards the north.

Notion Regarding Deserts Varies

The immigrants that had arrived in 1587 had vanished in 1590 with only two clues, one of which was the words `Croatoan’ that had been carved on the fort’s gatepost and `Cro’ which had been etched into a tree. Notions regarding the desertion tend to range from an overwhelming disease to a violent rampage by local Native American tribes.

 Earlier digs provided some information and artifacts from the original colonists though very little on what could have happened to them. Due to advances in technologies together with a cover-up on a map, the researchers have been making progress in identifying what could have occurred to the lost colony of Roanoke Island.

The lost colonists are said to be the third group of English arrivals on Roanoke Island, in North Carolina, that had settled near the present day town of Manteo. In 1584, the first group had arrived who came to explore and map the land for the future groups. The second group had arrived in 1585 and had been charged with a military and a scientific mission. However, the trip of the second group had not been peaceful.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

The Devil’s Footprints

Devil’s Footprints

The Devil’s Footprints – Mysterious Footprints in Snow

An old legend regarding a visit to Devon by Satan has been rekindled after a great grandmother revealed a set of mysterious footprints in her snow laden back yard. The Devil’s Footprints had been the name given to a phenomenon which had taken place in February 1855 around the Exe Estuary in East Devon and South Devon, England. Trails of hoof like marks had appeared after a heavy snowfall covering a distance of around 40 to 100 miles.

The footprints had been so called since some of the people were of the belief that they had been the tracks of Satan as they were apparently made by a cloven hoof. The incident had taken place on the night of 8-9 February 1855 and probably one or two nights later after heavy snowfall where a series of hoof-life marks seemed to appear in the snow.

The footprints are said to measure around four inches long, three inches diagonally between eight and sixteen inches apart and in a single file. They were reported from more than thirty locations all over Devon and a couple in Dorset.The space where the prints seemed to appear extended from Exmouth to Topsham and through Exe Estuary to Dawlish and Teignmouth.

Investigators Cynical About the Tracks

In 1890, an article published in Notes and Queries by R.H. Busk stated that the footprints had appeared further afield towards the south to Totnes and Torquay. Besides this, there were two more reports stating that the prints were seen as far away as Weymouth- Dorset as well as Lincolnshire. They seemed to be made by something which seemed bipedal and have cloven hooves.

According to legend, the hooves tend to cut right through the snow and almost to the ground below as though they had been burned there. The people were frightened especially by the prints which had appeared to stop right at the threshold of their homes and several of them were afraid of leaving their home with the belief that the devil himself had been wandering all over Devon looking out for sinners.

Several explanations had come up regarding the incident where some investigators seemed to be cynical that the tracks extended over a hundred miles debating that no one would be capable of following their entire course in one day.

Descriptions of the Footprints Differ

Another reason for scepticism according to Joe Nickell was that the description of the eye witnesswith regards to the footprints seemed to differ from person to person. On the night of March 12, 2009, additional strange marks matching to those left in 1855 were located in Devon. Reasonable investigation portrayed similar markings.

Rumours of identical strange, obstacle-unheeded footprints occurred in other areas of the world though none seemed to be of such a scale like those of the Devil’s Footprints. On the high mountains of that elevated district where the Glenorchy, Glenlyon and Glenochay tend to be adjoining, there have been instances on several occasions during winter, tracks of animals on the snow which have been unknown presently in Scotland.

The print is said to be a precise resemblance of a foal of substantial size though with a small difference. But since no one had the opportunity of a glimpse of the creature, not much can be said of its shape or dimension. The footprints seemed to remain unexplained till date though some have provided some reasonable explanations.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

The Mystery of Space Roar


ARCADE – Scientific Instrument Package Sent in Space – Helium Balloon

Early in July 2006, ARCADE – Absolute Radiometer for Cosmology, Astrophysics and Diffuse Emission, a scientific instrument package had been sent in the air through a Helium Balloon. Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility of NASA in Palestine Texas had been the point of launch and had reached an altitude of 120,123 feet at the point one would call `Space. A research scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Centre, Dr Alan Kogurt who was also the head of the ARCADE team had been looking for unusual Radio Emission which are rather challenging to monitor on ground level due to the increased Radio noise found on the ground.

 The radio emissions stemming from space has been known since the discovery by Nikola Tesla and probably Karl Jansky. It is said that there is a fragment and uniform radio emission which is believed to have been the result of the Big Bang, Cosmic Background Radiation. Dr Kogurt had been hoping to find confirmation of the Cosmic Background as well as a few new radio emission points and what he found was one of those historic `Wow Moments’ in his scientific research. What he has learned is noted in his own words `The universe really threw us a curve’. Instead of the faint signal we hoped to find, here was this booming noise six times louder than anyone had predicted’

NASA Discovered `Space Roar’

NASA found something known as `Space Roar’ which is a sound that is six times louder than anything one could have ever expected. It is a signal that has been discovered by NASA’s ARCADE instrument that is presently without any explanation.

In space no one could hear you scream since there is no medium through which sound can move. Space roar is not actually a sound but it is radio waves. Space roar had first been discovered by ARCADE and has a very fancy name for some very fancy equipment which NASA had attached to a big balloon which was sent into space. ARCADE had intended to look for radio signals from distant galaxies.

Since radio is so commonly used and also utilised in creating auditory signals, it seems easy to overlook that it is just another form of light. It is much less energetic than the visible light where our eyes are not accustomed for it though it tends to behave in the same manner.

Intended to Pick Faint Radio Signals of Distant Stars

A star releasing radio waves is not much different from the sun releasing visible light. Actually to someone far away or far in the future, the sun possibly is emanating primarily radio waves.ARCADE, when sent out in space was intended to pick up the faint radio signals of distant stars. Instead it received strong blare of radio and the input has been described as `boom’ by those who have been researching on it.

After some research done, the idea had been ruled out that it had been just very loud early stars. They also ruled out that it was coming from the dust of our own galaxy and was just a blast of radio, - `space roar’ which seemed to be part of the background noise with no explained reason. Though space roar has vexed the interest of several, there is yet no explanation for the same.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

History of the Fort of St. George

Fort of St. George

Madras – Creation of East India Company as Trading Centre

The city of Madras, for its importance and size is unusually missing in buildings of any antique; largely due to the unique settlement which was a creation of the East India Company was only a trading centre. During the early days of the 17th century, it was necessary to strengthen any overseas trading centre against the possibility of an attack.

 A grant had been obtained in 1639 from Damarla Venkatappa Nayaka, the local chief of Chandragiri on behalf of the Company, between the Cooum and the Bay of Bengal, a strip of land, as a site for a factory together with permission of building a fortification in order to safeguard it. The unusual settlement had been the nucleus of the prevailing Fort St. George.
Fort of St. George_1
Fort St. George in 1820 by William Daniell

Group of buildings had been constructed within the Fort at various stages for different purposes with the growing needs of the East India Company. The building which presently houses the Legislative Assembly of Tamil Nadu is said to be the centre of Fort St. George and the Fort is the fulcrum wherein the metropolitan city of Madras is now known as Chennai that has developed to a great extent within the past three and a half centuries.

Fort St. George Completed by St. George Day – 23rd April 1640

The foundation of the city was laid back by Francis Day and Andrew Cogan, two traders of East India Company in July/August 1639. The most important section of it was possibly completed by the St. George Day which was on the 23rd April 1640 and so was named as Fort St. George. The other significant construction was the St. Mary’s Church in 1680 which was the first Anglican Church in the country.
Fort of St. George_2
A view from the King's barracks, Fort St. George in 1807

Towards the beginning, the Fort is said to be a simple plan and at the centre there was the Governor’s house or the Castle. There had been an outer fortification. The English families had settled in the area between the castle and the outer fortification and the settlement flourished with native weavers, painters together with other workers of cloth the grew up to the north of the external ramparts.

The settlement eventually was named `Chennapatnam’ according to the wishes of the Nayaka who preferred to name the settlement after his father Chennappa Nayaka.
Fort of St. George_3
Fort Square, from the south side of the Fort St. George in 1807

Fort St. George Developed as Trade Flourished

The first Fort House of the British was a large grey construction having various block columns placed in the centre of the enclosure on the east which functioned as a trading warehouse in the early part of the 17th century. Against the wishes of the East India Company, it is said that Fort St. George developed as the trade flourished.

 In 1693 the Fort House was finally pulled down when it indicated signs of collapse and was rebuilt further east which took around two years. Sections of the structure still tend to exist as the core of the current Secretariat building. With this structure, St. Mary’s Church established the title of the oldest building in Madras and the fort remained to be the commercial outpost with a restricted defense for more than a century till it was attacked in 1746 and seized by the French.
Fort of St. George_4
St. Mary's Church in 1841

Towards 1710, the Fort had been occupied with proper houses most of which organised in neat streets to the north and south of the main building. In a siege in 1746, the French had destroyed a section of the Black Town and in 1758, during the unsuccessful siege of the French for a second time; several of the buildings had been extensively damaged with most of them losing their higher floors.

Fort Turned from Square to Pentagon Shape

St. Mary’s Church was the only structure which had survived. Frantic renovation and new construction had been carried out for two decades. The Barracks of the King had been the largest of all, spreading beyond 10,000 sq. metres. The Fort seems to be what it is presently in 1783 and the three storeyed structures accommodated the residence of the Governor in the uppermost floor having rooms for the Council in the lower area.

A detached gallery of rooms was constructed in 1714 which enclosed the central building into what was called the Fort Square. The Exchange building now known as the Fort Museum was constructed in 1790 and the Fort was now independent. The walls during this phase were also strengthened and the western area was totally changed.
Fort of St. George_5

 In order to expand the western area, the course of the Flambore River had been averted by filling the riverbed and the fort had been turned from square into a pentagon shape. Thereafter a wet ditch or moat had been dug surrounding the main curtain wall and around each of the ravelins and lunettes.

No more additions were made till 1825, when wings seemed to appear on each side of the western area of the building overlooking the Parade Square at the back. A second floor over the wings and the magnificent Assembly Hall to the east with various black columns had been added in 1910 which enhanced its frontage. The lavishly decorated Assembly still continues to be operative effectively till date.

Friday, August 5, 2016

What is Geocaching


Geocaching – Outdoor Entertaining Action

Geocaching is said to be an outdoor entertaining action wherein the participants tend to utilise a Global Positioning System – GPS, receiver or a mobile device together with other navigational systems for hiding and seeking containers known as `geocaches’ or `caches’ at definite places which have been marked by co-ordinates all across the world. Geocaching could be a great stimulus in getting outside and doing some exploring, to get some kind of exercise and get to know about location which one may have never visited.

Geocaching could be considered as a high-tech treasure hunt where the task is to find a geocache, subtly hidden by other player utilising a GPS in guiding the player to the location of geocache utilising coordinates obtained from a geocaching website. When one had obtained the geocache’s location, you then have to depend on your senses in searching for and locating the geocache that is constantly concealed and at time well imperceptible.A distinctive cache is said to be a small waterproof container comprising of a logbook where the geocacher tends to enter the date they found it and signs it with their well-known code name.

Combine Technology with Adventure & Nature

On signing the log, the cache should be placed back precisely where the person had found it. Bigger containers such as plastic storage containers, or ammunition boxes could also have items for trading like toys or trinkets, usually of emotional value than financial. Geocaching tends to share several aspects with trig pointing, benchmarking, orienteering, letterboxing, treasure-hunting and way-marking.

Geocaching can be a real-world; outdoor treasure hunting game with the use of GPS enabled devices where the participants tend to navigate a specific set of GPS coordinates attempting to locate the geocache container concealed in a location. It is said to be a popular, fun filled, inclusive and healthy pastime for people of all age group and is also great for groups like classes, families, friends and youth groups which tend to work as a team. The sports tend to combine technology with adventure and nature, which is a combination that some of the individual had thought would be impossible.

Fundamental Guidelines

The fundamental of the sports comprise of utilising a hand held GPS receiver unit in guiding the individual toa location where the hidden container or a cache is stored. Once located, one could log the visit in an included logbook and optionally trade one of the several contained `treats’ for one of your own. Though always evolving, geocaching tends to follow a few fundamental guidelines which are:

  • Refrain from placing caches on private land without consent or in national parks or wilderness areas 
  • Do not encroach on reserved property without consent to reach a geocache 
  • Do not include offensive or inflammatory substance in a cache 
  • Observe a philosophy of `tread softly’ and Leave No Trace
Geocaching and GPS tend to go hand in hand and even the most simple of unit is adequate in tracking down the location of a geocache. However to get a visual knowledge with the area one intends to navigate, a map is essential. Your GPS could show you the straight line between two points, though unless the way points of the route has been preloaded in your unit, the map could only show you the path between you and your location.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Herodotus and the Gold Digging Ants

Gold Digging Ants

Herodotus Homo Fabulator

Herodotus who is considered as the father of history has mentioned that gold digging ants were in the northern stretches of ancient India. We need to be aware that Ancient India had covered most part of present day Pakistan, before the separation of 1947. Presently Pakistan tends to cover the original India, the region of the Indus Valley, the Sindhu Desh, Sindh country or the land of the Sindhus.

Due to his story of ants together with other strange tales which are not verified during that time, several researchers as well as writers since ancient times, have accused Herodotus of stupidity and lying. Voltaire like Cicero recognized him as the father of history during the Age of Enlightenment. He thought that history was a block containing fables and legends and that it is ok if the writer seems to be a liar.

He has been assessed by Aulus Gellius in Attic Nights III, 10, as `Herodotus homo fabulator’ and has been found guilty for reciting that plea to the fantastical, ethnographical elements which tends to induce superhuman races as well as for geographical description which at that time were inexplicable.


Species of Fox-Sized Furry Ants

Herodotus has reported that a species of fox sized furry ants seemed to be living in one of the far eastern Indian provinces of the Persian Empire which according to him was a sandy desert where the sand there comprised of a wealth of fine gold dust. Michel Peissel, a French ethnologist asserts thatthe Himalayan marmot on the Deosai Plateu in Gilgit-Balistan province of Pakistan could have been the giant `ants’ according to Herodotus.

Herodotus’s description of the province was that the ground of the Deosai Plateau was rich in gold dust. The Minaro tribal people living in the Doesai Plateau had been interviewed by Peissel who had confirmed that they had for generations collected the gold dust which the marmots had brought to the surface while digging burrows. The story had been well-known in the ancient world and later on authors such as Pliny the Elder had revealed it in his gold mining segment of the Naturalis Historia.

Discovery of the Greek El Dorado in Himalayas

Peissel speculates in his book, The Ants’ Gold – The Discovery of the Greek El Dorado in the Himalayas that Herodotus could have tangled the old Persian word for `marmot’ with `mountain ants’ since he possibly was unaware of any Persian and relied on local translator while travelling in the Persian Empire. Herodotus has not claimed of having seen the gold-digging `ant’ creatures but had stated that he was just reporting what the other travellers had informed him.

Whether Herodotus had made the mistake or it could have been one of his sources, will never be known states Alex Hollman, a scholar of Herodotus at Harvard University. He further adds that if the discovery seems to be true, it tends to show that though Herodotus could have misunderstood the story and was not certainly making it up. Herodotus known as the father of history would collect stories from sources around the world which is believed to be first recited and then published, around 425 BC and the gold-digging ants’ legend is said to be one of the most famous one due to its outrageousness.