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

Friday, May 3, 2019

7 Intriguing Mysteries in the Art History World

Art history has plenty of unsolved mysteries throughout the thousands of years humans have been creating and appreciating sculptures, statues, paintings, and other pieces. Some of these stories have been perplexing art lovers for decades. Here are seven intriguing mysteries in the world of art history.

1. The Mystery of Stonehenge

Ancient art pieces sometimes are shrouded in mystery. One of the most puzzling pieces from the ancient world is the Stonehenge monument in England. The stones have been standing in a unique circular formation for more than 5,000 years. The questions about Stonehenge center around its purpose. Researchers still aren't sure why prehistoric people built the monument and made changes to it for years.

2. Unsolved Heist


Art museums, such as Park West Galley, house great artwork to give the public access to beautiful pieces and their history. There have been many famous pieces of artwork stolen from museums, never to be seen again. Some pieces have been taken and recovered years later. One heist that stands out is an unsolved case from 1990 from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. More than $500 million in artwork was stolen, including works from Vermeer and Rembrandt. As of today, there are no suspects and none of the pieces have ever been seen again.

3. A Missing Masterpiece


Another example of a piece of stolen artwork that ended up being part of a mystery is the piece Dancer Making Points by Degas. This $10 million portrait of a ballerina was purchased by heiress Hugette Clark around 1955. After Clark died in 2011, her lawyers realized the valuable painting was missing. No one could determine when it disappeared or was stolen. A few years later, the painting mysteriously turned up in wealthy art patron Henry Bloch's collection. Today, the painting appears at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, after a settlement was reached to donate it.

4. The Identity of Banksy


Mysteries sometimes surround the artist, especially the world-famous street artist who goes by the name Banksy. Banksy's work has appeared throughout the world in major cities since the 1900s. Because of the nature of his work, which typically is in the form of graffiti, his real identity remains unknown. Many artists, such as Park West Galley artists, are influenced by his work.

5. David's Weapon


Classical statues, such as Michelangelo's David, may also have some hidden secrets. This masterpiece sculpture represents the biblical figure, David, who battled and bested the giant Goliath. Even though this statue has been well-covered and thoroughly studied by academics for hundreds of years, there is still some mystery with what he's holding in his right hand. Some art historians theorize that David is holding an ancient weapon, called a fustibal, in his hand. There appears to be fragments of this weapon in the current statue's hand, but it's not clear if this was intended to be the full staff-sized weapon.

6. The Purpose of the Nazca Lines


Geoglyphs in the form of prehistoric art usually have some questions behind them. Not much is completely known about the Nazca lines in Peru. The large shapes of animals, plants, and other figures have baffled scientists for decades. At the heart of the mystery is the actual purpose of the lines. Some theorize the ancient people who created them were trying to communicate with aliens.

7. Mona Lisas


The last big mystery that still has art lovers stumped centers around one of the best-known pieces in the world, the Mona Lisa. Leonardo da Vinci's painting has been copied by many student artists since it was first revealed in the 16th century. There are two other excellent copies of the piece that were reportedly painted by da Vinci's students.

Art is full of mysteries and unique stories. The next time you check out a gallery, be sure to learn more about the potential mysteries that come along with some of these pieces.

Friday, April 5, 2019

Ranavalona I – Mad Queen of Madagascar

Ranavalona I – Mad Queen of Madagascar
Ranavalona considered as the Mad Queen of Madagascar was born in 1788 in Madagascar. She was known to belong to humbleparents. Ranavalona I was also known as Ramavo and Ranavalo-Manjakal I lived a life of shame when her father got to know about a murder plot of the forthcoming king, Andrianampoinimerina. He immediately brought it to the notice of his master and the plot was averted. As a reward for saving his life, his master adopted Ramavo as his very own daughter.

Moreover he also arranged to marry her to his son, Radama. When Radama had been crowned King Radama I, Ranavalona was his first wife out of his twelve wives.To secure the line of succession it was essential to have an heir to the throne.

While at this position, her children would be the natural heirs to the throne. But King Radama and Ranavalona did not have any children. This became an issue when the King died without having any children. Their marriage was said to be a very unhappy affair, one which had failed to have an heir to the throne.

Brutal & Cruel 


According to the law, the next in succession to the throne was Rakotobe who was the son of the elder sister of Radama. He was known to be well educated. But when her husband died, Ranavalona played a trick and took over the throne for herself.

It was said that though she seemed to be out of focus from the public during the last few years of Radama’s reign. During that time, she had been busy scheming to take hold of the throne. She wanted to take over the control of the throne and with the assistance of some influential and wealthy supporters she had eventually taken control.

She was considered to be tough and cruel. Thereafter her reign of terror began. For three decades, Queen Ranavalona had reigned over the island nation of Madagascar off the coast of South Africa. She was known to be very brutal and had been the cause of death of millions of people.

Not Feeble & Ignorant Woman 


When she had captured the throne, at her coronation she made it known that she was not a woman to be toyed with. She stated “Never say, she is only a feeble and ignorant woman, how can she rule a vast empire? I will rule here to the good fortune of my people and the glory of my name. I will worship no gods, only those of my ancestors.

The ocean shall be the boundary of realm and I will not cede the thickness of one hair of my realm”. Her earliest actions were detecting and killing possible threats to her throne. It started by capturing and executing members of the husband’s family. Probably she could have been taking revenge for all that her husband had done earlier to her very own family.

During her initial time of her reign, Ranavalona who was considered to be a cold-blooded Queen had stated that her country was independent. She had all intention of keeping it that way, not permitting any outsiders to sabotage the system of culture and laws.

This was not accepted by the large number of Christian missionaries who had been visiting the island for a long time. Ranavalona had given a warning for those influencing on her subjects.

Probably she was doubtful about her power being sufficient enough to guarantee that her subjects would be obedient. Hence in 1835, she officially prohibited Christianity on that island. Finally her obsession extended to the other foreign interference, specially the French and the British.

The focus of Ranavalona’s years of reign was mostly on foreign intrusions. She was ruthless to the core and her subjects had to bear the brunt of her cruelty for the most unimportant crimes. Her act of brutally comprised of:

Hanging – The guilty were left hanging for several days over steep cliffs, where their relatives were forced to watch them till their ropes would fray out and the guilty would meet their end with a plunging death.

Boiling, burning, burying alive. Thousands of criminals were the victims of this brutality which was observed by friends and relative as a sign of warning from Ranavalona.

Beheading – As a means of another warning to those intending to invade the island, Ranavalona had executed heads of captured French soldiers which had been skewered along the beach of the island.
Poisoning – Ranavalona aimlessly carried out loyalty test by ordering poison on some subjects due to which only few of them survived.

Brutal forced labour- Ranavolona seemed whimsical and would unexpectedly make unrealistic construction projects utilising thousands of natives or captured prisoners.

Ranavalona due to her cruelty to her subjects, had been given the title of the `World’s Most Murderous Woman. When she died in 1861, Madagascar had a nine-month long mourning period for her death.

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Tutankhamum’s Tomb – Greatest Discovery

Tutankhamum’s Tomb

Tutankhamum’s Tomb – Greatest Discovery - 1922

Tutankhamum’s tomb is considered probably the greatest discovery during the period of 1922. The discovery was carried out by Howard Carter together with his team. Howard Carter, a British Egyptologist had been evacuating a royal ground towards the early 20th century. It was situated on the west bank of the ancient city of Thebes.

He had been short on funds in managing his archaeological excavations. He then made one more request to his financial supporter who was the fifth Earl of Carnarvon. Lord Carnarvon permitted him one more year to support him. Tutankhamum’s tomb eventually came to light with his final attempt in excavation. At the onset of his excavation, Carter observed first of the twelve steps of the entrance leading to the Tutankhamun’s tomb.

 He then sent a telegram to Carnarvon in England in order to open the tomb together. Carnarvon immediately left for Egypt on 26th November, 1922 and together they began excavating the entrance of the antechamber to proceed with their findings. Carter stated that initially they found nothing. The hot air escaping from the chamber caused the flame of the candle to flicker though later on their eyes got accustomed to the chamber light. Gradually they began to see through the mist - statues, strange animals and gold. Lay in Case of Three Golden Caskets

Tutankhamum’s tomb was found intact which belonged to an Egyptian pharaoh of the 18th Dynasty. It was the only tomb of a pharaoh which had not been touched and identified in the Valley of the Kings. It had been found with artefacts comprising of statues and artwork of such amazing quantity that it took almost ten years to record them.

 In Tutankhamen’s tomb, they found not one casket but three caskets, which lay within a case of three golden caskets containing the body of the king. The outer part of the caskets had been crafted in wood with gold coverings together with several semiprecious stones. These were lapis lazuli and turquoise. However the inner caskets had solid gold.

 Carter in his discovery notes had mentioned that it had been covered with thick black pitch like layer which extended from the hands down to the ankles. This could probably be the anointing liquid which had been poured over the casket at the time of the burial ceremony. This had been lavishly poured in great abundance.

 The image of him has been portrayed like that of a god who is believed to have gold skin, bones of silver and hair of lapis lazuli. The king here has been shown in his divine form. He is portrayed holding the crook and flail in his crossed arm, which are symbols of the rights of the king to rule.

Ignited Global Spark

 

According to an art critic, Alastair Sooke commented that the 1922 discovery had ignited a global spark for ancient Egypt -`A craze for Egyptian exoticism convulsed the West, infiltrating both high and low culture across the fields of music, fine art, fashion, film and furniture design’ Carter thereafter had been a popular person conducting tours in America and delivering lectures with regards to his discovery.

Tutankhamum’s rule lasted for almost ten years from 1336 – 1327 BCE. Howard Carter and Lord Carnarvon had found Tutankhamum’s tomb which was untouched in November 1922 in the Valley of Kings. It is said that the mummified body of the king was surrounded by precious goods.

 This was discovered in his golden coffin after his burial chambers had been officially opened in the presence of Egyptologists and government officials on 17th February 1923.According to the discovery, it was observed that Tutankhamum had died when he was around 18 years of age. His end led several scholars to wonder about his death.

Tomb Revealed Numerous Perceptions


However, it is not clear, precisely when he died. His body revealed damage at several stages which could have occurred before or immediately after his death, during the hasty mummification development, in the tomb which could be due to the chemical reaction taking place in the coffin or probably during extraction from the coffin.

There are various damages envisaged on the chest and legs of Tutankhaman which indicates an accident, probably hunting or a chariot accident. Perhaps it could also be death on the battlefield. Still others state that Tutankhamu could have been murdered. Tutankhamun had been nine years of age when he was crowned the king of Egypt during the period of the 18th Dynasty of the New Kingdom. If the archaeologist Howard Carter had not discovered Tutankhamum’s tomb, we would have lost his history and would be ignorant of the knowledge of what laid in his tomb.

 His intact tomb revealed a wealth of objects providing us with numerous perceptions during his period of ancient history of Egypt. Overall, it took Carter and his team almost ten years to document and clear Tutankhamum’s tomb. After he had completed his work in 1932 at the tomb, Carter started writing a six-volume book. Unfortunately Carter died without completing it on March 2 1939 at his home in Kensington, London.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Archaeologists discover ancient 4,400-year-old tomb decorated with Hieroglyphs in Egypt

Ancient Tomb - 

 

According to authority a well preserved ancient tomb of a priest Wahtye, has been excavated which dates back to over 4,400 years in the pyramid area of Saqqara, south of the Egyptian capital of Cairo capital. Saqqara had been the burial ground for Memphis the capital of ancient Egypt for over two millennia. To preserve their bodies for afterlife, the ancient Egyptians had preserved humans while the animal mummies had been utilised as religious offerings.

The tomb is said to be adorned with symbols and statues which has led the archaeologists to investigate the site further, for more findings. According to Reuters, Mostafa Waziri, secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, had informed reporters at the site that the tomb was discovered buried in a crest which had been intact and unharmed. The excavation as per New York Times had started since November.

Tomb – One of a Kind – Last Decades

 

According to his description, he had stated it as `one of a kind in the last decades’. The tomb belonged to a period during the rule of Neferirkare Kakai, who was the 3rd king of the Fifth Dynasty of the Old Kingdom.The name of the departed, hieroglyphs engraved in the stone over the door of the tomb reveals the title, royal purification priest, royal supervisor together with inspector of the sacred boat. The tomb had only been partially unearthed and the archaeologists are anticipating more finding on excavating the site further. A last layer of debris had been removed from the tomb by the archaeologist who discovered five shafts within. On examination, it was found that one of the shafts was unsealed with nothing in it. However the other four had been sealed and more discoveries were anticipated on uncovering the shafts.

Tomb is Unique 


The rectangular gallery of the tomb is said to be ten metres long, thirty three metres wide and less than three metres high. It is covered in painted reliefs, sculptures together with inscriptions. Waziri had stated that the tomb is unique due to its statues and its almost flawless condition.Itportrays Wahtye together with his wife, Weret Ptah, his mother Merit Meen and the daily scenes comprising of hunting, making offerings, sailing and developing goods like pottery and obituary furniture. One will find big painted statues of the priest and his family in 18 niches and 26 smaller niches towards the floor have statues of an unidentified person in a standing or seated position with his legs crossed.

Rock-Cut Tomb Chapel


Besides this, the colour too is intact inspite of being 4,400 years old. Khaled al-Enany, Antiquities Minister had informed the audience of guests who had been invited inclusive of AFP reporters, that they would be announcing the latest discovery of 2018, a new discovery of a private tomb.An Egyptologist, Aidan Dodson at the University of Bristol had mentioned in an email that `what we have is a rock-cut tomb-chapel. What has been exposed so far is the public part of the complex, where family, friends and priests could come and leave offerings for the dead’. Dodsonwas not involved in this project. He had commented that the number as well as the variety of the statues seems unusual. He had also added that the rest of the decoration comprises of scenes intended to mystically construct an atmosphere for the next world especially the creation of food to sustain the dead for eternity and their acceptance of offerings.

Home to Well-Know Djoser Pyramid 


The Saqqara catacomb is also a home to the well-knownDjoser pyramid which is 4,600 years old structure that tends to overlook the site. It is considered to be the first tombstone of Egypt. The tomb had been erected by Imhotep, the master architect for Pharaoh Djoser which was 62 metres tall initially. It is said to be the oldest building in the world which is built completely of stone.

The ancient tomb had been a very famous tourist attraction for years enticing visitors in indulging in rare glimpses of this amazing site which was inhabited by people living there thousands of years ago. Moreover it is also considered as a UNESCO World Heritage site and home to several other tombs.

However inspite of its interesting site tourists have stopped visiting this country due to fear of violence created against the former Egyptian President, Hosni Mubarak. With the continuous political issues together with series of terrorists attacking tourist areas, international travellers have been discouraged from visiting this country.

A dozen of ancient unearthinghas been done by Egypt during this year. With these discoveries, Egypt expects to enhance its image abroad, reviving interest among tourists. Tourists not long ago used to visit its iconic temples and pyramid but had refrained from visiting this country owing to the 2011 political revolution. Egypt has now made its contribution with its archaeological discoveries, to international media and diplomats with the hope of gaining more visitors in the country.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Clues of Heart Disease Found in 16th-Century Mummies

 16th-Century Mummies
It is always fascinating to see what we can learn from our ancestors. How they lived without intervention or use of modern utilities, the knowledge that we have today and much more that are home to the current time. But what about looking at diseases present today? Were the same diseases, found today, present in our ancestors too? Well that may be a question that is hard to answer since asking our ancestors is totally out of the question. So what about CT scans? Researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital did just that.

Researchers found evidence of heart disease in mummies from the 16th century.

CT Scan on 16th century Mummies to Discover Heart Disease: 


Researchers subjected 5 mummies from 16th century Greenland to a CT scan and the results were astounding. The research team began to look for evidence of plaque in the mummies and were not disappointed. Plaque in the arteries is indicative of atherosclerosis, one of the leading causes of death in the US today.

The high resolution scans showed that there were calcium deposits in the blood vessels in the chest of the mummies. There were four adults and a child from the Inuit community that were tested for heart disease and in all four were these telltale deposits of calcium discovered.

The images from the five mummies was scanned and even shown on National Geographic in a show titled “Explorer”. The research into the mummies from Greenland was only a small part of the main research project. A project to discover heart disease in early hunter gatherer or pre industrial civilization is the main project behind the research into mummies form 16th century Greenland.

A Look at the Past and Heart Disease: 


Researchers have looked at mummies form Egypt to Mongolia and now more recently to Greenland for evidence of atherosclerosis- a heart disease. The Greenland mummies were of particular interest to researchers because of their particular diet. The Inuit community mainly consumed fish and small sea mammals.

A fish diet is considered good for a healthy heart, so finding heart disease in a community thought to have had a largely fish diet seems somewhat surprising. While others may be surprised with the findings, researchers were not. The relationship between a fish diet and a healthy heart is not really proven. Finding heart disease in these mummies would require further investigations.

Fish rich in omega 3 is good for the heart but certain other fish are rich in cholesterol and contain things such as mercury and PCBs that are touted as causes for heart disease.

Other Factors that may have Caused Heart Disease: 


While diet may be a main cause of causing heart disease, there could be other factors at play that can cause heart disease. Lifestyle factors such as excessive smoke while cooking could also be one of the reasons why these mummies showed signs of heart disease.

Researchers are not taking the results seriously as they are based on a small sample of population and not indicative of the entire population.

Monday, July 23, 2018

When and Why Did Our Human Ancestors First Leave Africa?

human migration

Human Migration

Scientists are still trying to find out the earliest signs of human migration. Earlier, they discovered1.85million-year-old fossils and tools in Dmanisi, Georgia which is about 3,800 miles to the west of the new excavation site. Lately, they have uncovered tools in China which pushes back the date of human existence outside Africa to about 250, 000 years.

According to some exciting news that was published in the journal, Nature, there were scattered remains of stone tools dating back to 2.1 million years that were unearthed in Loess Plateau in China. Scientists have been tracking the human migration outside Africa. With the latest discovery, they have come closer to understanding the migration of humans from Africa more than 6 million years ago.

An anthropology and geological sciences professor, John Kappelman from the University of Texas at Austin, wrote an article in the journal Nature’s “News & Views” on the importance of such a discovery. The latest findings bridge the gap between the beginning of humans and where they are today.

Human migration from Africa


John Kappelman who was not involved with the study, shares his views about the research.

Firstly, the human migration out of Africa keeps getting pushed back in time. It is possible that the human migration was towards Asia in the east and only many years later to Europe in the west. This is substantiated with the latest discovery.

Secondly, the human migration to the north suggests that they were able to adapt to colder regions. When it became much colder, the people migrated to the south to warmer climates.

What are the reasons for human migration? 


Those who are hunter-gatherers migrate to places where resources are available. This human migration is also seen in industrial societies, where people move to areas where jobs are available. If we consider the hunter-gatherers of today, they could cover around 5-15 kms per day. If the ancient group covered that distance in a year, and the distance between China and East Africa which is 14,000 km is divided by 15 kms, then the human migration would take place within 1,000 years.

Climatic conditions during human migration


The humans migrated out of Africa during the glacial and interglacial conditions of Pliocene and Pleistocene. It is more likely they migrated during the warmer climates. The climatic conditions were equitable as compared to the extreme climates witnessed in the past million or half a million years ago.

What was the population size of China 2.1 million years ago? 


The stone tools that were discovered were scattered and not really a dense accumulation. This shows the hominin presence but the size of the population cannot be determined.

Of what materials were the tools? 


According to evidence, the raw materials were from the Qinling Mountains about 10 km away. Since there was not much excavations carried out, it is not sure if the tools came from that area itself or it was brought in during human migration.

What more are the researchers looking for? 


There were animal bones found in the sediments near some of the stone tools. They will be examining them for cut marks to see if the tools were used to process the animal carcasses for their meat and bone marrow. They can also analyse the cutting edges of the stone tools for biological residues. The team may carry out a search for human fossils. It is highly probable that some large- scale excavation may take place.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Rare Collection of Jewish Texts finds a Place at Brown University

Jewish Texts
A rare collection of Jewish texts spanning a number of centuries and many continents has found a place at Brown University. These Jewish texts contain collections of Haggadot which has details of how the Passover rites had to be performed. The book of rare Jewish Texts had been gifted to Brown University by Ungerleider Jr. in honor of his father who studied in Brown University.

The book details how Jews celebrated the Passover Seder in many centuries past.

What are these Jewish Texts all About?


The Dr. Steven Ungerleider Collection of Haggadot is a guide to the preparation of the Passover fest celebrated by Jews to mark their ancestors exodus from Egypt. Haggadot is a plural to haggadah which is a guide to the various preparations required for the Passover feast. These Jewish Texts detail rituals, customs and blessings marking the freedom of Jews from Egypt.

This rare collection of Jewish Texts gives a valuable insight into the way the Passover seder was celebrated worldwide in the past.

The Jewish collection of texts will also support all sorts of learning by scholars and students alike. It is also a valuable treasure for those who have a genuine interest in looking at past texts.

The Jewish Texts cover regions far and wide:


The haggadot contained in these Jewish Texts cover regions and practices of Jewish communities from all over the world. The haggadot covers the tradition of Jewish communities from Asia, Europe, North America, Africa and the near East.

The haggadot are chronicles of tradition detailed by Jewish communities in Constantinople in 1505, used in Calcutta in 1841 and also by Holocaust survivors in camps in Munich in 1945 to 1946. These are not the only places detailed in these Jewish texts but just a few among many others.

Besides being a collection of passed down tradition, these Jewish Texts also contain annotations, hand written notes and many other such writings by families following the tradition. Since these Jewish Texts span many different continents, it also contains many different languages including Yiddish, Judeo- Italian, Judeo Arabic ad Ladino.

These texts span all from U.S. to Australia to India and in Casablanca to Moscow via Jerusalem.

Those Interested In the Jewish Texts:


Students of History, Judaic Studies, Religion, History of art and architecture, Italian studies, Music, German studies, Renaissance and Early modern studies and Slavic studies will benefit from this book among others such as scholars and those who have a genuine interest in everything of the past.

The viewing of the Jewish Texts:


The book is open to public viewing at Brown University’s Special Collection Reading Room and also available in a digital format for all others who cannot be there in person. As of now only a few of the Jewish Texts has been made into a digital format but the University is well on its way to making available the entire Jewish text in a digital format.

This rare collection of Jewish Texts is valued at $ 2 million.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Mysterious Pool and Fountain Discovered at Ancient Christian Site in Israel

Mysterious Pool and Fountain

Second Largest Spring – Judean Hills

An old pool and fountain considered to be 1,500 years old has been revealed by archaeologist in Jerusalem which could have been the spot of one of the most referred baptism of Christians. The pool could have been formed as a place of a main story referred in the New Testament where St. Philip the Evangelist had baptised and converted an Ethiopian to Christianity.

It has not been determined that the pool had been utilised for the baptism of the Ethiopian, however if it had been used for the same, it would possibly be the centre of `one of the main events in the spread of Christianity’. However, it is not known what the pool had been used for. The artifacts are said to be part of Jerusalem Ein Hanya, the second largest spring in the Judean Hills.

 Irina Zilberbod, the excavation director for the Israel Antiques Authority (IAA), stated, that according to the Jewish Press, the most significant finding in the excavation was a large and impressive pool from the Byzantine period. Zilberbod further stated that it was hard to know what the pool had been utilised for, whether for irrigation, washing, landscaping or perhaps as part of baptismal ceremonies at the site.

Magnificent Nymphaeumor Fountain

The site had been exposed and excavated by the team of archaeologist from the IAA between 2012 and 2016 though it had only been made available to the public recently. The IAA is of the belief that the pool tends to date back between the 4th and the 6th centuries A.D.The pool is considered to date back to the Byzantine Era that had happened around 1,500 years ago.

 Byzantine-era pool is said to drain into a network of channels leading to a magnificent nymphaeum or fountain which seems to be adorned with images of nymphs. According to the scientist, the fountain is said to be the first of its kind in Jerusalem.

The pool could have been a part of a royal estate which had been constructed during the time of the First Temple era that had started 3,000 years back. A column discovered at the site which may be 2,400 year old might have specified that the ground had been used as a royal estate and the pool could have served as the centre of a `spacious’ complex before a church which had once stood on the grounds.

Zilberhod had stated that a row of elaborate, roofed columns served as a path to various residential wings. The experts had been successful in restoring the water systems in order to make the fountain in a working condition.

Common Motif in Christian Art

Yuval Baruch, the IAA’s Jerusalem district archaeologist, according to the Times of Israel, had stated that identifying the place where the event had taken place had kept the scholars busy for several generations and had become a common motif in Christian art.

He further added that it’s no wonder part of (Ein Hanya) is still owned by Christians and is said to be a focus of religious ceremonies for the Armenian Church as well as the Ethiopian Church. Moreover scientists also discovered a mass of rare, ancient trinkets, varying from pottery, roof tiles, glass together with multi-coloured mosaic pieces.

With the help of these items, scientists have determined that the site could have probably been active between the 4th and the 6th centuries. The scientists had come upon a rare silver coin that is said to be one of the oldest they had found so far in the area of Jerusalem.

According to them it is said to be the Greek currency drachma. The Times of Israel observed that drachma had been minted in Ashdod by the Greek rulers between 420 and 390 BCE.

Lost Roman City of Julias

The site is considered as one of the most amazing archaeological locations in Israel which has provided much perception on early Christianity. For instance last year archaeologist had discovered an amazing 1,500 year old Christian mosaic which had been the floor of a church or monastery in the ancient city of Ashdod-Yam.

In 2017 another ancient Greek inscription was discovered on a 1,500 year old mosaic floor in the proximity of Damascus Gate in the Old City of Jerusalem. On the inscription was the name of the Byzantine emperor Justinian who had ruled in the 6th century A.D. and honours the building’s founding by Constantine a priest.

Between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, a 1,500 year old church had been discovered at a Byzantine-era rest stop in 2015. In 2014, the remains of another church from the same era had been uncovered in southern Israel.

Experts are of the belief that they have also discovered the lost Roman City of Julias which was formerly the village of Bethsaida considered to be the home of the apostles of Jesus, namely Peter, Andres and Philip.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Archaeologists Uncover Rare 2,000-Year-Old Sundial During Roman Theatre Excavation

2,000-Year-Old Sundial

Undamaged Sundial Discovered – Interamna Lirenas – Italy

During an excavation of a roofed theatre in the roman town of Interamna Lirenas, in the vicinity of Monte Cassino, in Italy, a 2,000 year old inscribed sundial has been discovered which is said to be one of the only known artefact to have survived.

 The sundial has not only survived undamaged for over two millennia but its presence of two Latin texts could indicate that researchers from the University of Cambridge have made it possible to assemble accurate information regarding the person who had commissioned it.

The students of the Faculty of Classics had located the sundial lying face down while they had been excavating the front of one of the entrances of the theatre along a secondary street. The sundial could possibly be left behind during that time when the theatre as well as the town had been rummaged for building material at the time of the Medieval to post-Medieval era. It may not have belonged to the theatre though could be removed from a noticeable spot more likely from the top of a pillar in the nearby setting.

A lecturer at the Facultty of Classics at Cambridge and a Colleague of Gonville & Caius College, Dr Alessandro Launaro, mentioned that `less than a hundred specimens of this particular type of sundial have survived and of those only a handful tends to bear any kind of inscription and so this really is a special discovery.
 

Numerous Contemplations

 
He further added that they have not only been capable of identifying the individual who had custom-made the sundial but have also been capable of determining the specific public office he held with regards to the probable date of the inscription.

Highly featured towards the base, is the name of M(arcus) NOVIUS M(arci) F(ilius) TUBULA [Marcus Novius Tubula, son of Marcus] while the engravings on the curved rim of the dial surface record that he held the office of TR(ibunus) PL(ebis) [Plebeian Tribune] and had paid for the sundial D(e) S(ua) PEC(unia) with his own cash. It is said that the nomen Novius had been quite common in Central Italy while the cognomen Tubula (literally `small trumpet), on the other hand is verified at Interamna Lirenas.

What is more appealing is the public office Tubula held with regards to the likely date of the inscription. Numerous contemplations regarding the name of the individual together with the lettering style of the inscription of the sundial placed comfortably during (mid 1st c. BC onwards) wherein the inhabitants of Interamna, had been granted by then, full Roman citizenship.
 

Carved From Limestone

 
Launaro stated `that being the case, Marcus Novius tubal, coming from Interamna Lirenas could be a hitherto unknown Plebeian Tribune of Rome and the sundial could have represented his method of celebrating his election in his own hometown.

 The sundial carved from a limestone block of 54 x 35 x 25 cm, tends to feature a concave face carved with 11 hour lines, (defining the twelve horae of daylight) intersecting three days curves (providing the indication of the season considering the time of the winter solstice, equinox and summer solstice).

Though the iron gnomon (the needle forming the shadow) seems to be lost, some of it tends to be present below the surviving lead fixing and this type of spherical sundial had been comparatively common during the Roman period which was called hemicyclium.

 Launaro further added that though the recent archaeological fieldwork has profoundly affected our understanding of Interamna Lirenas, dispelling long-held views with regards to its precocious decline and considerable marginality, this was not a town of remarkable prestige or notable influence.
 

Informative Case-Study

 
He stated that it remained an average, middle-sized settlement and this is precisely what makes it a potentially very informative case study regarding conditions in the majority of Roman cities in Italy during that time. In this regard, the discovery of the inscribed sundial tends to give some insight on the place Interamna Lirenas occupied in the broader network of political relationship all over Rome, Italy as well as it was also a more general indicator of the amount of involvement in the affairs of Rome where individual coming from this as well as the other comparatively secondary communities could aspire to.

New evidences regarding important aspects of the Roman civilization, emphasizing on the high levels of connectivity together with integration (political, social, economic and cultural) have been adding up with the on-going archaeological project at Interamna Lirenas, which it tends to feature.

Headed by Dr Launaro (Gonville & Caius College) together with Professor Martin Millett (Fitzwilliam College), both from the Faculty of classics, together in partnership with Dr Giovanna Rita Bellini of the Italian Soprintendenza Archeologia, Belle Arti e Paesaggio per le Province di Frosinone, Latina e Rieti, the 2017 excavation is part of an enduring relationship with the British School at Rome and the Comune of Pignataro Interamna which has profited from the generous aid of the Isaac Newton Trust as well as Mr Antonia Silvestro Evangelista

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Hidden Structure InSided the Great Pyramid of Giza

Pyramid of Giza

Secrets of Great Pyramid of Giza

 
Scientists have come across a long hidden narrow emptiness in Great Pyramid of Giza which has revealed the secrets of the 4,500 year old monument. The emptiness is said to stretch for at least 30 metres above the Grand Gallery, an ascending corridor which tends to connect the chamber of the Queen to the Kings’ towards the core of the Pyramid.

The existence of the emptiness is not known or if there are any valuable artefacts within, since the same is not accessible. However, it tends to have the same dimensions to the Gallery of 50 metres long, eight metres high and about a metre wide. According to the researchers, it could be a construction gap’ section of a trench enabling workers to access the Grand Gallery as well as the chamber of the King while the rest of the pyramid was built.


The discovery came to light when physicist had taken images of the interior of the Pyramid utilising particles fired to Earth from space wherein these cosmic particles penetrated the rock in much the same way like X-rays though much deeper. Since the 19th century, the combination of efforts of the archaeologist, physicists as well as the historians have been considered as the biggest discovery within the Giza landmark.
 

Man-Made Construction of the World

 
The Great Pyramid or the Pyramid of Giza, built under the supervision of the Pharaoh Khufu and completed in 2550 BC, functioned as the tallest man-made construction of the world for thousands of years. The edifice, the only survivor of the ancient Seven Wonders of the World is also known as Khufu’s Pyramid. There is no general agreement with regards to its creation.

Scientists state that the latest finding published in the journal Nature could give some insight on its construction. In October 2015, in order to get better understandings regarding the Pyramid, researchers from various countries such as France and Japan had started a project to scan the structure.
 They made the discovery utilising cosmic-ray imaging, recording the behaviour of subatomic particles known as muons which tend to penetrate the rock. Muons that tend to travel through rock or any dense material will slow and ultimately stop.

 The reason is to catch the muons when they have passed through a Pyramid and to measure their energies as well as trajectories. Thereafter researchers can compile a 3D image which exposes the hidden chambers. This discovery according to the study brings about the possibility that the empty space could be connected to other various undiscovered structures within the Pyramid.
 

Scan Pyramids Big Void

 
Pyramid had detectors installed in it, including in the Queen’s Chamber. This enabled a glimpse of the interior of the Pyramid without physically disturbing the same, the outcome of which was the empty space differed from rock. The paper stated that the presence of the space, known as the ScanPyramids Big Void had been confirmed on utilising three various detection technologies for many months after the same had been discovered.

Thereafter the results had been analysed thrice. The ScanPyramids mission comprised of researchers from the Ministry of Antiquities, the University of Cairo, Egypt together with the non-profit organisation the heritage Innovations Preservation – HIP Institute. Author Mehdi Tayoubi, president and co-founder of the HIP Institute reported to MailOnline that the ScanPyramids Big Void is not a room or a chamber and they are not clear it is horizontal or inclined or it is composed by one or many successive structure, though it tends to be big.

The Grand Gallery is said to be an internal spectacular structure a type of internal cathedral towards the centre of the Pyramid. The said Big Void could be successive chambers, a tunnel, owing to the similar size characteristics like the Grand Gallery with the possibility of several theories.
 

Several Techniques – Scan Pyramid

 
The newly revealed structure, in spite of the discovery is still to be reached physically by any researcher. Mr Tayoubi, the report author had stated that this structure does not seem to be accessible and they don’t see any person had attempted considering the Grand Gallery, for accessing the void which is overhead.

He presumed that the void had been hidden from the time of the construction of the Pyramid and was not accessible. In spite of the discovery, the excavated structure is yet to be reached in person by any researcher. Mehdi Yayoubi stated that they need the technique and the right one at the right time in order to be capable of identifying it and to discover the same. He added that they were confident that the results were accurate, since no one had seen the interior of the void and the purpose of its construction tends to be mysterious.

According to the experts, the researchers claimed that it could be on an ascent meaning that it could have been utilised to transport massive blocks in the centre of the pyramid and then left. All through the process of their study, the team had utilised several techniques to scan the Pyramid.

Friday, November 3, 2017

The Theft of the Mona Lisa is What Made Her Famous

 Mona Lisa

Painting of Leonardo da Vinci – Stolen from Louvre Museum

The well-known Mona Lisa painting of Leonardo da Vinci had been stolen on August 21, 1911 from the Louvre museum in Paris by a small time thief Vincenzo Perugia who had earlier worked in the museum. The robbery of Mona Lisa had caused quite a stir all over the world which was concluded over two years thereafter, when the priceless Mona Lisa painting had been located in the possession of Perugia.

 It had been 24 hours before anyone had noticed that the painting of Mona Lisa had gone missing with artworks often been removed for the purpose of being photographed or cleaned. Charney, founder of the Association for Research into Crimes against Art – ARCA, had stated that the Louvre had more than 400 rooms though only 200 guards and even less on duty overnight. There was basically no alarm and was under-secure where most of the museums seemed to be at that point of time.

It seemed to be a mystery as to how he managed to steal the Mona Lisa painting and the purpose of committing the crime. The first mystery is how he managed to get into the museum on the day in August to gain access to the Mona Lisa painting. The police speculated that he could have hidden himself in the museum the previous night and had come out once the museum had been closed for the day.

Different Conclusions

However Perugia himself had informed that he had gained access to the museum in a much creepy manner on that particular day of the actual theft. He informed that had a white smock worn by the employees of the museum that had probably been kept from the time he had worked at the Louvre earlier and when the crew of workers for that day had entered through the employee entrance, he had joined the crowd and walked through the museum unobserved.

He had walked all around the huge building mingling with the other employees till he had entered the room where the painting of Mona Lisa hung and had waited till he had been the only person there. This event had been before any kind of modern alarm system existed so he could just take the Mona Lisa painting off its hangers and moved quickly to the nearest stairway. Thereafter he had removed the painting from its frame as claimed later by him and walked away with the Mona Lisa painting under his smock.
Mona Lisa

The Archives Nationales in Paris had questioned this and pointed out that Perugia had been too short to have hidden it under his smock while wearing it. Instead they recommended that he had taken the smock off wrapped the Mona Lisa painting in it and had walked back from the same door from which he had entered.

Stealing Artwork Entirely Patriotic 

Or probably there could have been the involvement of another person. Either of these options had been successful in smuggling the painting of Mona Lisa. However this does not seem to be the only probable disagreement between the authorities concluded and what Perugia had claimed.Being a native of Dumenza, Italy, Perugia had been living in Paris during the theft of the Mona Lisa. Uncertain on what could be done with the Mona Lisa painting, he had hidden it in an old truck in his apartment trying to figure out on his next plan of action.

He seemed to get restless to get the painting out of his possession and so he travelled back to his home town and made a stop at Florence. Here he got in touch with Alfredo Geri, the owner of a nearby art gallery. Geri had been suspicious of the painting which was in possession of Perugia and so he took the opinion of another owner of a gallery who discovered that Perugia indeed had the original da Vinci painting. The two men persuaded Perugia to leave the Mona Lisa painting in their possession and Perugia was too happy to oblige. The two men had immediately contacted the police and had Perugia arrested.

Imprisoned and Released in Seven Months 

Perugia later had claimed that he merely desired to return the Mona Lisa painting to its rightful country of origin and also stated that the purpose of stealing the artwork was entirely patriotic. Noah Charney, art professor had informed that Perugia had mistakenly thought that he would be considered as a hero by the Italian people.

On the contrary, he was imprisoned and the Mona Lisa painting had finally been sent back to the Louvre in 1913. There is another theory on why he finally decided to deposit the painting with Alfredo Geri, the gallery owner. It had nothing to do with the home of the Mona Lisa painting and irrespective of his statement of patriotism it had been clear that he had intentions of selling it for a huge amount of money.

Towards the end of 1911, Perugia had written to his father stating that he would be making his fortune `in one shot’. He had been released within a short sentence period of seven months since the authorities were unclear on what to do with a culprit of this kind of crime. Perugia had fought for Italy during the First World War and eventually went back to France, married and had a daughter.

Mona Lisa – Great Masterpiece 

On October8, 1925 in a suburb near Paris he had breathed his last. Since he had then reverted back to his birth name of Pietro Peruggia, very few linked his name to the infamous robbery of the Mona Lisa painting. The painting became very popular after it had been returned and it grew till he became possibly the most well-known piece of art in the world.

Charney has informed that this could not have occurred if a different painting had been stolen. The image of Mona Lisa had been plastered in newspapers as well as in magazines all across the world. Carney acclaims that the world-wide attention was drawn, familiarizing the image of the lady with the mystic smile.

So Perugia in some way had been responsible for the present amazing fame of the Mona Lisa painting. No one may ever know the precise motivation of Perugia for the theft of the well-known painting of Mona Lisa. Times have changed and the Mona Lisa tends to hang behind a bullet-proof glass in a space of the Louvre with security guards monitoring the Mona Lisa painting all the time in order to avert another theft of this great masterpiece which only a Renaissance genius could have created.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

The Minaret of Jam

The Minaret of Jam

Minaret of Jam – Splendour & Multifaceted Design


The Minaret of Jam located in Afghanistan is known for its splendour and multifaceted design and the 64-meter tower is a graceful, soaring structure which is said to be in good condition till date in spite of it being constructed by baked bricks in the 12th or 13th century.

It is covered with intricate brickwork with a blue tile inscription towards the top and is remarkable for the excellence of its architecture as well as adornment, representing the finale of an architectural and artistic tradition of that region.

The Minaret of Jam is located on an octagonal base comprising of four cylindrical shafts resting one above the other and becoming progressively smaller as they tend to go higher. It is made of fired brick and lime mortar having two wooden balconies together with a lantern towards the top.

 Its external is decorated in superb detail covered with brick, stucco and glazed tiles contain sophisticated inscriptions of alternating band of Kufic and naskhi calligraphy, geometric patterns together with verses from the Quran.

The complex decorations together with the inscriptions seem to be clearly visible presently which has led it to be declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The tower had been constructed by Ghorid Dynasty at the height of its glory when it reigned over areas of modern Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan and India.
Minaret of Jam


Turquoise Mountain – Legendary Lost Afghan Capital


It is presumed that the Minaret of Jamhad one been linked to a mosque which had been washed away in a flood earlier to the Mongol sieges.

Archaeologists had located physical evidence of a large courtyard building that had once existed besides the minaret. In Central Asia, it was common to build single huge towers as a means of political power. The Minaret of Jam is said to be both amazingly large and visible owing to its size though hidden from the world because of its location within the valley. The most fascinating concept of the Minaret of Jam is that it could have belonged to the lost city of Firozkoh which is also known as the Turquoise Mountain.

This city had been the capital of Ghorid Dynasty as well as one of the greatest cities in the world and the capital had been totally ruined in the early 1220s by Ogedei Khan the son of Genghis wherein its location had been lost forever to history.

The Turquoise Mountain – Firozkoh is said to be the legendary lost Afghan capital of the Middle Ages and was apparently a prospering multicultural centre. It was believed that the ancient city had been the home of a Jewish trading community, documented by inscription on tombstones that had been discovered in the 1950s.
Minaret of Jam 1


Lasting Legacy – Christians/Jews/Muslims



The minaret seems to be very apparent from the religious point of view. One of the visitors had commented that `this chapter, called Maryam tells of the Virgin Mary and Jesus, both venerated in Islam and of prophets such as Abraham and Isaac.

 It’s a text that emphasises what Judaism, Christianity and Islam have in common instead of their differences. It appears the Ghorids positioned the text here to appeal for harmony and tolerance in the land, a message that is more relevant now than ever’.


It remains as a lasting legacy belonging to a period wherein Christians, Jews and Muslims are said to live side-by-side in harmony and united by their commonalities instead of being divided by their differences.

The effect of the Minaret of Jam is amplified by its histrionic setting with a deep river valley between gigantic mountains in the core of the Ghur province. It is one of the well preserved monuments that tend to represent the extraordinary artistic creativity and the mastery of structural engineering of that time.

 Its architecture and adornment seems to be outstanding with regards to art history, blending together foundations from the earlier developments in the region, in an incomparable manner as well as employing a great influence on later architecture in that region.

Outstanding Universal Value



Its graceful soaring structure is a remarkable model of the architecture and adornment of the Islamic period in Central Asia. It tends to play an important role in their future diffusion with regards to India as demonstrated by the Qutb Minar, in Delhi that begun in 1202 and was completed in the early 14th century.

Ever since the building of the Minaret of Jam which was around eight hundred years back, there were no reconstruction or extensive restoration work carried out in the area. In 1957, the archaeological remnants had been surveyed and recorded when the ruins had been first located by archaeologist. Ensuing surveys and researches have led to simple safety maintenance measures to the base of the Minaret.

Thus the characteristics which express the Outstanding Universal Value of the site, not least the Minaret but the other architectural forms together with their settings in the landscape is said to be unharmed within the limitations of the property and beyond.

The Minaret of Jam had been truly forgotten for several centuries and had only been rediscovered in 1886 by Sir Thomas Holdich, then forgotten again and once again rediscovered in 1957.

Threatened by Seepage/Erosion/Vibration – Road Construction



Presently it is threatened by seepage from the waters of the rivers where it tends to stand, together with erosion, vibrations from the road-construction in the surrounding areas which are threats of intentional destructions together with the continuation of illegal archaeological digs.

Visitors to the Minaret of Jam can climb to the top by a set of stairs that have been shaped like a double helix. The steps first end in an open chamber where the visitors can view out over the rivers and the scenery in the vicinity.

A second set of stairs can be taken to see the lantern gallery. But few visitors tend to make it to the minaret since it is a long and complex climb filled with several dangers and threats, inclusive of local bandits, abduction or execution by rebels.

The Minaret of Jam in Afghanistan is undoubtedly located in the midst of very unsafe area of the present world. With no extensive restoration coming up since the minaret had been constructed, together with little funding in conducting any repairs, it is doubtful if the minaret would be preserved or will be left to crumble into ruins.

Friday, August 25, 2017

The Prehistoric Plague House

Skeletal Remains Discovered – Northeast China

Unearthing had been done in the ruin site of a tiny wooden house in northeast China wherein the archaeologist came across the skeletal remains of almost 100 bodies which seemed crammed up. They have been attempting to put them together to know what could have actually taken place at the ruin site.

Anthropologist were of the belief that a prehistoric disaster could have probably killed hundreds of people around 5,000 years ago and had compelled the village to stuff the house full of the dead rather than to bury them.

At some point of time, the house had been set on fire or possibly caught fire as verified by the state of the ruins. It was observed that some of the skulls and limb bones seemed to be charred as well as deformed. It was presumed that the fire had been the cause of the collapse of the wooden roof and damaged the bodies that were there.

 At least 97 bodies had been unearthed from the pile that had been left there which ranged in the age group of 19 and 35 years according to reports. Several of the skeletons had been discovered in a disorderly manner in the ruin site of a crypt-type house dubbed F40, which was a small structure of only 210 square feet by way of size.

According to archaeologist in a published study in the journal Chinese Archaeology had reported that the site in northeast China known as `Hamin Mangha’ dates 5,000 year back and is the biggest as well as the best preserved prehistoric settlement located till date in northeast China.

Plague House

Archaeological Discoveries

Besides the bodies, the researcher also discovered over 100 pieces of pottery, jade works, stone implements together with artifacts of bone, shell and horn at the ruin site. There were three tombs there as well as ten ash pits together with a ditch or moat that had been surrounding the area.

Other important archaeological discoveries comprised of the Niuheliang Goddess Temple which seemed to be the most mysterious site of the ancient Hongsham 5,000 years ago wherein beautiful relics of unknown deities as well as bigger than life statues were found. Moreover, the ruin site of the ancient tombs from the Qijia Culture in northwest China dating 4,000 years back has also shown evidences of human sacrifice.

The site `Hamin Mangha’ dates back to an era where writing had not been utilised and the locals lived in comparatively small settlements, growing crops and hunting for their food. The village comprised of the remains of grinding instruments, arrows and spearheads, besides pottery which gives some insight on their way of living.

 The researchers in one field season between April and November 2011 had discovered the foundations of 29 houses which seemed simple one-room structures comprising of a hearth and doorway.

Insight – Catastrophic Events/Mass Disasters

These discoveries at Hamin Mangha provided the researchers with the understanding of the prehistoric people of northern China and how they managed with catastrophic events and mass disasters.

The images taken by the archaeologist at the ruin site express the prehistoric scene better than words. The archaeologist had stated that the bones in the northwest were relatively complete while those in the east often have only skulls with limb bones scarcely remaining. He added that in the south, limb bones were discovered in a mess, forming two or three layers’.

The remains were never buried and had been left behind for the archaeologist to find out some 5,000 years thereafter. A team of anthropologists at Jilin University in China has been researching on the prehistoric remains in an attempting of determining what had occurred to these people at that point of time.

The team had published a second study in Chinese, in the Jilin University Journal, Social Sciences edition on their discoveries.

The Jilin team had detected that the people in that house had died owing to prehistoric disaster resulting in dead bodies being stuffed in the house. The dead resulted quicker than they could be buried at the ruin site.

Outbreak of Acute Infectious Disease

Team leaders Ya Wei Zhou and Hong Zhu had mentioned in the study that the human bone accumulation in F40 had been formed due to ancient human putting remains in the house successively and stacked centrally.

 No remains of older adults besides individuals between the age of 19 and 35 were found. The researchers had observed that the age of the victims that were discovered at Hamin Mangha seemed to be the same that had been found in another prehistoric mass burial that had been earlier unearthed in present day Miaozigou in northeast China.

Zhou and Zhu had also mentioned that this similarity of the ruin site could indicate the cause of the Hamin Mangha site had been identical to that of the Miaozigou sites which means that they both could probably relate to an outbreak of an acute infectious disease. Had it been a disease, it killed people of all age group giving no time for survivors to bury the deceased in a proper manner.

The excavation had been conducted by researchers from the Inner Mongolian Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology and the Research Centre for Chinese Frontier Archaeology of Jilin University.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Operation Gladio

Operation Gladio – Nickname for - NATO

Operation Gladio is the name given for a secret North Atlantic Treaty Organisation – NATO `stay behind’, procedure during the Cold War in Italy. Its resolution was to formulate and implement armed resistance in case of a Warsaw Pact attack and conquest. It was a NATO backed revolutionary network that had been established after WW2 initially inspired due to fear of the USSR.



 It had been called the `stay behind network since in case of doubt if the Red Army would invade Europe, its member had to `stay behind’ enemy line to disrupt Soviet control. Gladio is said to be the Italian type of gladiu a kind of Roman shortsword. The stay-behind operations had been prepared in several NATO member countries as well as some neutral countries.

The role of the Central Intelligence Agency – CIA in Gladio as well as the extent of its activities at the time of the Cold War era together with any connection to terrorist attacks perpetrated in Italy at the time of the `Years of Lead’ – in late 1860s to early 1980s, were the topic of debate. Switzerland together with Belgium were the countries who had parliamentary inquiries in the matter. Operation Gladio had first been known in 1990 in Italy after more than 40 years of secret operations.

NATO’s Secret Armies


It had been revealed by the members of the project that identical projects prevailed in most of the countries of Western Europe. These stay-behind networks had been in essence, super-secret armies in about 14 European countries that had been kept undisclosed from the official governmental structure of the host countries.

They were controlled by the other forces like the CIA and MI6 which were mostly inactive though were also involved in anti-communist activities comprising of anti-democratic tension together with false flag `terrorism’. Gladio or Sword in Italian was the name technically given to their operations in Italy though has since, come by extension to stand for the phenomenon as complete.

 Indication of such type of arrangement that had been kept concealed from both public as well as politicians democratically elected governments in the host countries for a quarter of a century had been exposed through a series of scandalous revelations in Italy together with other NATO countries at the time of the 90s.

It had been meticulously documented by Daniele Ganser, a Swiss historian in his 2004 book – NATO’s Secret Armies. This had debatably been the most shocking book ever to be unnoticed by the corporate media.
 

Accepted/Confirmed Instance of False-Flag Terrorism


  Evidence in the Ganser book of terrorism focused against the people by secret armies had been funded and organised by NATO as well as answerable to deep state elements with NATO, MI6 together with CIA instead of the respective governments, is said to be too shocking that the initial reaction of several people would be to discard the same.

However, in Italy, Switzerland and Belgium, the claims have been authenticated by juridical inquired and have been debated in the European Parliament. Gladio and its stay-behind networks could be one of the historically `accepted or confirmed instance of false-flag terrorism.

 The resolution, documentation together with the confessions and convictions tend to confirm that Gladio is said to be much more than the media or government would have you to believe a mere plot theory.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

The Unexplained Mystery of Granger Taylor

The Unexplained Mystery of Granger Taylor

Granger Taylor – Mechanical Genius

Granger Taylor was a self-taught mechanical genius, a dropout of school in the eighth grade. But at the age of fourteen he had built a one-cylinder automobile that is kept on display at the Duncan Forest Museum together with a steam locomotive which he had hauled out of the woods and renovated.

At the age of seventeen he had also overhauled a bulldozer which no one could repair. Besides that he had also built a model of a World War II fighter plane which had been snatched up by a collector for $20,000. Granger would always speculate on how Flying Saucer were driven and built his own from two satellite dishes one top and another bottom as a means of inspiration.

This flying saucer became a home away from home with a couch, TV together with a woodstove and he would regularly sleep in his space craft. Later on he informed that he had been in touch with extra-terrestrials who were going to display to him how their technology operated. He even went on to tell everyone that he intends going on a trip on an alien space ship and on one particular night in November 1980 he had disappeared, leaving a note for his family.


Great Canadian Mystery

Till date in spite of a RCMP investigation, he was never found nor did they find any probable clues regarding his whereabouts. This has been a great Canadian mystery and surely a person of his apparent mechanical talents could not go unobserved if he had only just slipped away in the night.

 After an investigation period of four years of thorough checks of hospital, employment, passport and vehicle records, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police did not come across a single lead to know where he could have been.

The Granger Taylor Flying Saucer is said to rest on stilts in the backyard area of his home at Duncan on Vancouver Island and is a mute memorial to young Granger Taylor who was its builder. Douglas Curran in his book – In Advance of the Landing: Folk Concepts of Outer Space (1985) had mentioned that `he had built his spaceship out of two satellite receiving dishes and outfitted it with a television, a couch and a wood-burning stove.

 He had become obsessed with finding out how flying saucers were powered, and spend hours sitting in the ship thinking and often falling off to sleep there’.

Disappeared – On Night of November 1984

On a night on November 1984, he had just disappeared leaving behind a yard strewn with old tractors, machine engines, vintage automobiles, a bulldozer together with a note that read- `Dear Mother and Father, I have gone away to walk aboard an alien ship.

As recurring dreams assured a 42 month interstellar voyage to explore the vast universe, then return. I am leaving behind all my possession to you as I will no longer require the use of any. Please use the instructions in my will as a guide to help. Love Granger. He had informed a friend a month before his disappearance that he was in spiritual contact with someone from another galaxy and he had received an invitation to go on a trip through the Solar System.

Curran had mentioned that on the night Granger disappeared, there was a storm which had struck the central area of Vancouver Island and hurricane winds were reported and electrical power had been affected. Granger had disappeared with his blue pick-up truck.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

The secret room hidden under a trapdoor in Florence that experts believe contains a lost Michelangelo artwork unseen for centuries

Michelangelo artwork
Michelangelo’s Renaissance Secret

A Renaissance secret remained hidden below the Medici Chapels in Florence for hundreds of years, wherein behind a trapdoor beneath a wardrobe, a room with charcoal and chalk was discovered. According to the National Geographic Exclusive report, the room had been discovered in 1975 when Paola Dal Poggetto, the director then, of the Medici Chapels museum of Florence, had come across the Renaissance treasure.

 In the process of locating new options of exit for tourists, he together with his colleagues had found the trapdoor hidden near the new Sacristy which was a chamber intended to house the ornate tombs of Medici rulers. Beneath the trapdoor, some stone steps gave way to an oblong room packed with coal which appeared at first to be more than a storage space.

However, on the walls, they found the sketches which were believed to be the drawings of the famed artist, Michelangelo. Though the room had been closed to the public in order to safeguard the artwork, Paola Wools the National Geographic photographer had been granted exceptional access to capture its amazing content, thirty years after its discovery.So, while some may have been done by Michelangelo himself, the expert says others were likely to be done by some of his many assistants during their breaks
Michelangelo artwork


Removed Layers of Plaster from Wall – Insight to History of City

After discovering the room that had been occupied with coal, the experts started a cautious task of removing layers of plaster from the wall to know what laid beneath and would get an insight to the history of the city. It was then revealed that dozens of drawings seemed identical to some of the famous works of Michelangelo.

According to the National Geographic, from the pictures there was an image resembling a sculpture in the New Sacristy chamber of the chapel which had been designed by Michelangelo. It was also observed by the experts; equivalents between a specific sketch and the artist’s chalk drawing of the Resurrection of Christ, together with sketches significant of the depiction of Michelangelo of Leda and the swan. Others portrayed humans flying across the walls or dropping from the sky while the drawings are presumed to be a version of one of the figures in the paintings of the artist at the Sistine Chapel.

 According to Dal Poggetto together with the other experts, in 1530, Michelangelo had remained hidden in the oblong room for around two months. The artist is said to have been commissioned by the Medici family.
Michelangelo artwork


Betrayal in 1527

However he had betrayed them in 1527, during their exile by aligning himself against their rule with the others, which had put him in danger at a later stage according to National Geographic.

It was presumed that the artwork in the room had been an assortment of work which he had completed already as well as of those which he intended to complete, though this explanation has not convinced all. Moreover the pieces too are not signed and some of them have been considered to be too `amateurish’ to be actually completed by the famed artist.

As in the case of any unsigned centuries-old artwork, it tends to get difficult in confirming the origins of a drawing with confidence. The consensus is of the opinion that some of the sketches on the wall seem to be too unprofessional belonging to Michelangelo though the attribution of others tends to be a matter of opinion.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Scientists Unlock Secrets of Oldest Surviving Global Trade Map

Global Trade Map

Selden Map of China

The`Selden Map of China - origins and secrets of the 17th century, the oldest surviving merchant map in the world has been revealed by scientist who have utilised state-of-the-art imaging modus operandi. The study headed by Nottingham Trent University in association with the Science Section of the Victoria and Albert Museum for the first time were capable of classifying everything from the techniques and materials utilised, to the flaws and re-drawings made by the surveyor.

Writing in the Journal `Heritage Science’, the scientist had even offered a new location for the creation of the map depending on their proof. The map being 1.6 x 1m illustrates ancient maritime trade routes in Asia is presumed to have been made in the middle of 1607 – 1619 which is painted with watercolours and ink on Chinese paper.

 It is said to be an exceptional illustration of Chinese merchant cartography portraying a network of shipping routes with compass directions beginning from the port of Quanzhou, Fujian province getting as far as Japan and India. Not much is known regarding the origin of the Chinese-style map that had reached the Bodleian Library in 1659, at the University of Oxford which had been donated by John Selden, a prominent London lawyer which is said to be there till it was rediscovered in 2008.
Global Trade Map_2

Matching Systematic Schemes Utilised

Selden in his willhave stated that it was a `map of Chinamade there fairly’ and it had been taken by an English commander. The map had been scrutinized in-situ and non-invasively with the use of remote `multispectral’ imaging technique established at Nottingham Trent University.

The technique provided the scientist to view locations of the map utilising various wavelengths of light exposing the composition as well as make-up of materials that were used together with concealed details that were hidden to the naked eye.

A variety of matchingsystematicschemes had been utilised in identifying the materials. The researchers discovered the binding medium utilised for the map had been gum Arabic which was made from the sap of the acacia tree used by European, south and west Asians.

 It was not the animal glue which was always used during that time in Chinese paintings. On investigation of the pigment utilised, it was found that a combination of indigo with orpiment, which is a yellow mineral instead of gamboge, a yellow dye used in making green was also very unusualfor painting during this period in China.

Complete Map not Planned

The discovery of a basic copper chloride in the green regions indicated the impact from south and west Asia where the manuscripts had been utilised very often. Green pigment had not been utilised in paper based paintings in China.

The researchers have informed that the pigments as well as binders utilised had been more consistent with those discovered in manuscripts from a Persian or Indo-Persian tradition as well as the Islamic sphere then the European or Chinese. With comprehensive investigation, illustrations were found where the cartographers had made alterations, some of which were stylistic while other were unintentional, some made as the cartographer’s information of a positive area settled.

They were capable of identifying that the trade routes had been laid down before the land had been drawn in. They were of the belief that the cartographer had not planned the complete map in the beginning which was the reason that they had to redraw some of the routes several times. They also ran out of space towards the southern as well as the western points of the map, compelling the trade routes to clear off the compass directions.

Two Trade Routes Without Corresponding Compass Direction

Two trade routes had been drawn without their corresponding compass direction signifying that the map was incomplete. The researchers proposed another origin for the map with the evidence – Aceh towards the northwest end of Sumatra where it opened out to the Indian Ocean and is the most westerly port in south East Asia. It has been marked on the map and tends to have the longest history of the presence of Islam in the areas of south East Asia.

Moreover it also has a long history of Chinese contact. Beside this it is also one of the six ports on the map noticeable with a red circle probably signifying the main trading network of the owner of the map and is also the only port marked having a magnetic declination in the early 17th century nearest indicated by the tilt of the compass rose of the map. English ship which would have gone back to Europe from south East Asia would have to pass by Aceh either from the east or west coast of Sumatra, thus providing them with the opportunity of obtaining the map.

Chinese Map Evidence of Fusion of Cultures

According to professor Haida Liang, Head of the Imaging & Sensing for Archaeology, Art History & Conservation research group at Nottingham Trent University, this study tends to explain the importance of not judging a book by its cover.

She further added that `a Chinese map had turned out to be the material evidence of a fusion of cultures. It is stylistically a Chinese painting which tends to follow some Chinese as well as non-Chinese cartographic elements though the painting materials together with their usage are more akin to those of Persian of Indo-Persian manuscripts.

Due to its geographic location, Aceh had been frequented by Indian, Arab, Chinese as well as European traders. They were of the belief that the map could have been made there by a Fujianese probably a Muslim in close connection with the Islamic world.

This had been the globalisation in the early years of the 17th century and on focusing on the material confirmation it was discovered that scientific analysis and art history was used. They thus arrived at new conclusion on where the map had been made following the earlier studies based on historical study.

This work portrayed the immense importance of interdisciplinary research and the new visions it could be bringing along.The map has attained an iconic status and has become the focus of international interest and the understanding of the map through its conservation tends to continue in contributing to the research of eminent scholars all over the world.