What’s New In Archeology?

I am a bit of a history buff (an understatement) and I am always reading about the discoveries these people are making….

Let me bring you up to date……

A lot of people are interested in the Maya, especially what happened to make them all but disappear…..

(Newser) – Everything from overhunting and a peasant uprising to deforestation and an alien invasion has been proposed to explain why the Mayan civilization collapsed, Smithsonian notes. But one theory has been gaining ground in recent years: extreme drought. Now more evidence has surfaced to support the drought postulation—and the proof may just lie in Belize’s most famous underwater cave. Rice University professor Andre Droxler’s team analyzed sediment found in the “Great Blue Hole,” a 410-foot-deep sinkhole in the middle of Lighthouse Reef, LiveScience reports. Not only did the chemical composition of the silt indicate periods of sparse rainfall during the Mayan decline (likely between AD800 and AD1000): It also showed that a second huge drought probably occurred between AD1000 and AD1100—right around the time the Mayans’ relocation site of Chichen Itza is said to have fallen.

Over thousands of years, runoff from rivers and streams during periods of ample rainfall deposited layers of sediment in the Blue Hole’s lagoon, offering scientists a geological timeline to examine. “It’s like a big bucket,” Droxler tells LiveScience. “It’s a sediment trap.” Excessive rain also erodes volcanic rock, which contains titanium. Droxler’s team found that the sediment’s mineral composition—specifically, the low ratio of titanium to aluminum—in the lagoon indicated periods of low rainfall during the times when the Mayas, for the most part, disappeared. Scientists surmise that due to a climate glitch, monsoons may have skipped over the Yucatan Peninsula during these periods, leading to eventual catastrophe all around. “When you have major droughts, you start to get famines and unrest,” Droxler explains. (A “lost” Mayan city with 15 pyramids was discovered in Mexico last year.)

Let’s move on to China……..

For years, researchers have been stumped by an ancient Chinese civilization on the banks of the Minjiang River that suddenly vanished around 3,000 years ago. “The current explanations for why it disappeared are war and flood, but both are not very convincing,” says the co-author of a new study that thinks it’s solved the mystery of Sanxingdui’s abandonment. Researchers say an earthquake caused massive landslides that dammed Sanxingdui’s main water source and diverted it elsewhere between 2,800 and 3,000 years ago, LiveScience reports. The study concludes that the civilization—capable of producing impressive 8-foot-tall bronze sculptures unlike anything else in the world at the time—deliberately packed up and followed the water to a new location.

That new location may have been the ancient city of Jinsha nearby. Some believe a gold crown at Jinsha, similar in design to a golden staff at Sanxingdui, is proof. Elephant tusks, sculptures, and jade and stone artifacts found in two pits in 1986 were perhaps purposefully hidden before the move. There’s more evidence of an earthquake: Geographical data shows a temblor occurred in the walled city’s general region sometime between 3,330 and 2,200 years ago and that massive flooding occurred. Researchers note that ancient writers recorded an earthquake 250 miles from Sanxingdui in 1099 BC; Sanxingdui didn’t have writing at the time, so it’s possible the quake was closer but went unrecorded.

Fast forward to the Middle East……..

Israel requires that archaeologists perform a sweep of any historically significant land where construction is planned, and they were surprised to find a 20-acre parcel of land along the western side of the Sea of Galilee may have ties to Jesus. Haaretz revisits a story that has the Rev. Juan Solana at its root. The Catholic priest set out a decade ago to purchase four plots near the Israeli town of Migdal. Solana’s goal: to build a resort for Christian pilgrims there. In anticipation of that, in 2009 architects with the Israel Antiquities Authority began to dig, expecting to find nothing of note. Instead, they found the remnants of a synagogue that experts believe was originally constructed in the year 1AD. The Wall Street Journal earlier this year described it as the only known one from the period in Galilee; the Bible describes Jesus as “teaching in [Galilee’s] synagogues, preaching the good news.”

In terms of its location, Migdal was named for the ancient town of Magdala, where Mary Magdalene is believed to have hailed from, and the dig revealed the site in question “was not just near Magdala; this was Magdala,” as the Journal puts it. In Haaretz’s telling, experts say it’s probable that Jesus preached there. Dina Gorni, one of the archaeologists who worked on the dig, was a bit more cautious in a 2012 interview with the Global Mail. Gorni notes the synagogue was likely built to hold 120, though thousands lived in Magdala. “We believe, we suggest, that this was a special community, not large, that put itself at the edge of the main Jewish village,” said Gorni. “They may be connected to Jesus and Mary Magdalene. We know that Jesus was not involved in the main Jewish community and preferred to live aside. Perhaps he was the leader around whom this synagogue was built.” (A new book claims Jesus had two children.)

Mummies!  Always a good subject……

When researchers claimed to have found a million burials at a dig site in Egypt, the supposed news was widely reported—including on this site. But officials in the country say the claim is false, and they’ve revoked the scientists’ dig licenses in connection with it, io9 reports. Archaeologist Kerry Muhlestein’s team said in a statement that “the math suggests that there are over a million mummies in the cemetery, though we cannot be certain of this without further exploration and a thorough academic review process,” the Luxor Times reports. To be fair, at Live Science, Muhlestein was quoted as qualifying the word “mummy,” given the natural, not artificial, processes reportedly involved: “If we want to use the term loosely, then they were mummified,” he said.

But Dr. Youssef Khalifa, who, Newsweek reports, heads the ancient Egypt department at the country’s antiquities ministry, suggests that neither the number nor the word “mummy” are correct. The statement, which was published in the Daily Mail, “is not true,” he says. “There are no million mummies; a mummy definition to begin with means a complete mummified body, and there is only one mummy found at the site of Fag el-Gamous, in 1980.” In recent years, says Dr. Khalifa, “only poor skeletons were found,” along with a few thousand bones. Researchers broke rules on press statements, and “that’s why the committee of the ancient Egypt department took the decision to stop their permission to work at the site after 28 years,” he says. Muhlestein says it’s a matter of “misunderstandings.”

And there you have all the info you NEVER asked for….you are welcome!

Iran: What’s The Big Secret?

The whole world knows of the problems that Iran has caused worldwide since 1979…..the hostages, the nuke thing, its hatred of Israel and so on….and on….and on.  Well all that is up to interpretation…….

Let’s take a short trip in the “way back machine” to 1953 and the events up to that year…..first Persia, as it was known for eons,  becomes Iran in 1935……1941 - The Shah’s pro-Axis allegiance in World War II leads to the Anglo-Russian occupation of Iran and the deposition of the Shah in favour of his son, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.  1950 - Ali Razmara becomes prime minister and is assassinated less than nine months later. He is succeeded by the nationalist, Mohammad  1951 April – Parliament votes to nationalise the oil industry, which is dominated by the British-owned Anglo-Iranian Oil Company. Britain imposes an embargo and a blockade, halting oil exports and hitting the economy. A power struggle between the Shah and Mossadeq ensues and the Shah flees the country in August 1953.

Now you are caught up with the events from Persia becoming Iran to the year of a coup that brought the shah into power….

Let me bring the events of 1953 into focus…….1953 August – Mossadeq is overthrown in a coup engineered by the British and American intelligence services. General Fazlollah Zahedi is proclaimed as prime minister and the Shah returns.

That coup lead to the Shah regaining power that lasted into the 1970’s when he was removed from power by a popular uprising…..

A long waited report on the coup which was lead by the CIA has stayed classified……but why?

Jason Ditz brings us a bit more info on this report……

In 1953, the CIA orchestrated a coup d’etat against the democratically elected government of Iranian Premier Mohammad Mossadegh, installing Shah Reza Pahlavi.

It’s no secret that the CIA did it, and the US has admitted it time and again, but the State Department has announced it is once again delaying the release of its study on the coup, claiming the admission would undermine “ongoing negotiations with Iran.”

The coup was carried out primarily for the benefit of British oil interests, as Mossadegh was planning nationalization. Legally speaking, the State Department was only supposed to keep the history secret for 30 years.

It’s hard to imagine anything in the history of the coup is unknown, let alone that it could do any further harm to US-Iranian relations after decades of acrimony. Still, the lure of secrecy seems to be winning out among officials, as usual.

This could lead to a wealth of conspiracies, that is if anyone cared enough to even know about this report……but this is just another story that most Americans will glaze over on their way to the comics.

My thought is that is more to the coup than the socialistic leanings of the new, popularly elected PM……..my guess is a major corporation or more had a major influence and it is not time for us mere mortals to be told…..

Any thoughts?

How the Iraq Wars began with the Invasion of Panama | Informed Comment

Today is Christmas Eve so I will be lazy….there will only be a couple of posts today……getting ready for tomorrow…..thanx for your understanding.

I enjoy studying historical perspectives….you know how one international event can lead to another and another…..kinda like the events that gave us World War 1……

It seems that Iraq has become our perpetual war that seems to go on and on without any possibility of conclusion……then I ask ….but why?

It is time for Americans to remove their heads from the sand……they should realize just what their government is doing and why……


How the Iraq Wars began with the Invasion of Panama | Informed Comment.

Please after reading let me know your thoughts……

Guess Who Else Tortured People Like the CIA Did—Soviets and Nazis — War Is Boring — Medium

Torture has once again pitted the neocons against humans……..there will be those that feel it was a good thing and then those that feel it is a desperate act of barbarity….

There have been some prime examples of how torture worked and its desired effects…….

First let me say…..If you have never experienced torture then your opinion is NOTHING!


Guess Who Else Tortured People Like the CIA Did—Soviets and Nazis — War Is Boring — Medium.

A History of the C.I.A.’s Secret Interrogation Program – NYTimes.com

Years ago the subject of torture was a hot button issue and then like all other hot button issues it fell be the wayside to make room for something m,ore important….like the Kardashians or something equally as mind numbing….

And then the debate was resurrected with the torture report out of the Senate.

Just to help people catch up there is a historical timeline that can help those that want to understand….


A History of the C.I.A.’s Secret Interrogation Program – NYTimes.com.

Another One Bites The Dust

After so many years since the end of WW2 you would think that most of the “bad guys’ were dead and gone…..well most are but there are still a few that few still at large waiting their demons to catch up with them…..and another bites the dust…..Alois Brunner is dead, dead, dead………

The world’s most-wanted Nazi is dead, and he died without regrets about his role in the murder of thousands of Jews. That’s according to Nazi hunter Efraim Zuroff, who says a German secret service agent recently revealed that Alois Brunner, Adolf Eichmann’s “best man,” died in Syria four years ago at the age of 98, the Times of Israel reports. Brunner handled the deportation of more than 128,000 Jews to Nazi death camps, but he evaded capture and landed in Syria, where he’s said to have advised President Hafez al-Assad on torture methods he honed during his SS tenure, the Daily Express reports. “He was involved in the harsh treatment of the Jewish community of Syria and was an expert in terror and torture,” Zuroff, head of the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Israeli office, tells the Express. “He said himself his one regret was he did not kill more Jews. He was unrepentant.”

Brunner was able to flee because authorities mistakenly hanged SS member Anton Brunner for crimes Alois committed. He then claimed he got paperwork from “American authorities” under an assumed name and served as a US Army driver, Arutz Sheva reports. In 1954, he used a fake Red Cross passport to travel to Rome, then Egypt (where the New York Times reported he rented a room from a Jewish family he described as being “quite nice people, really”) before heading to Syria. Per the Times of Israel, the late Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal wrote in his memoirs, “In my eyes, he was the worst [Third Reich criminal] ever. While Adolf Eichmann drew up the general staff plan for the extermination of the Jews, Alois Brunner implemented it.” Zuroff says the center will now take Brunner’s name off the “wanted” list to concentrate on nabbing other surviving Nazis. (The US hired “at least a thousand” Nazis after WWII, per a new book.)

Personally…..good riddance!  The world is a better place without this son-of-a-bitch!