Digging Up The Past

My weekend and all I can say is thank you for the days of calm reflection……I have studied archeology while in school and I like the history behind the field….so today I will post on a couple of archeological finds recently………

Iraq has been in the news a lot in the last couple of months and not in a good way…..but with all the death and destruction there has been an archeological find……..

An archaeologist is closing in on the location of an ancient temple so venerated that when it was sacked in 714 BC, its king tore off his crown, “pulled out his hair, pounded his chest with both hands”—then killed himself, according to an early account. The long-lost temple in question was in the city of Musasir, and Dutch doctoral student Dlshad Marf Zamua thinks he’s found its column bases in Kurdistan, in modern day Iraq, LiveScience reports. The temple was dedicated to Haldi, the supreme god of the Uratu kingdom, and its bases were found by villagers and date back 2,500 years to the Iron Age, when several groups competed for control of the region. The aforementioned drama king was the Urartu king Rusa I, after the Assyrians looted it.

Discovery of the column bases isn’t the end of the story. Marf Zamua has found a bronze statuette of a wild goat with cuneiform inscriptions that need decoding, and several 7 1/2-foot-tall statues of bearded men that were once raised above burial sites. An ancient carving of Musasir also revealed architecture similar to that found in modern villages, Marf Zamua says. His discoveries in Kurdistan have been made under the growing cloud of ISIS. LiveScience has photos of the finds here, but it’s not the only Iron Age story in the news today.

Have you seen the terracotta soldiers that were found in the tomb of the first emperor of China…..each one is unique in facial expression, size, etc…….now the mystery of these statues may have been solved……

Every member of First Emperor Qin Shihuang’s Terracotta Army—thousands of replicas of Chinese imperial guards rendered in clay around 221 BC—is unique and incredibly realistic, which is why they’ve fascinated researchers since they were discovered in 1974. Now, scientists in China say they’ve peeled back another layer of mystery—they’ve figured out the binding media used to paint the more than 8,000 soldiers, chariots, and horses, Science China Press announces. The army was covered with a couple layers of lacquer; layers of pigment and binding media went on top of this. The pigment was identified, but the binding media was a mystery, making it difficult to conserve or restore the figures—until now. By comparing “artificially aged” replica samples to the historical samples, researchers pinpointed the binding material as animal glue.

The Terracotta Army was built on the emperor’s orders to guard the underground palace where he was buried, to protect him in the afterlife. Just as the palace mirrored the imperial capital, the warriors replicated the imperial guard. The intricately detailed statues were posed as if ready for a fight—and now they look set to join the ranks of movie superheroes, thanks to a planned collaboration between movie companies in the US, UK, and China, the Sunday Express reports. But the plot of the potential movie—which could end up being just the first in a new franchise—is probably not what the First Emperor envisioned. On the silver screen, rather than protecting the emperor, they’ll come alive to protect the modern world from aliens. The movie studios have some pretty awesome-sounding working titles, including Rise of the Terracotta Warriors and Super Terracotta Warriors.

A few of the mysteries in archeology that may have an answer after years of questions……

The Little War That Could

Inkwell Institute

War/Conflict Desk

Since my stint in the army I have studied war and conflicts and their causes and effects…….there is one that I have been watching for many years and it is the one that could push the limits of acceptability…….

While we were watching the antics of the police in Ferguson and the world’s reaction and while we were mouthing our disgust at the actions of ISIS and the death of Foley….a small conflict that has been simmering for decades erupted into a minor skirmish that could turn ugly with a capital “U”………there is so much more to the world than in our little prism…

Let’s return to the year 1947………The partition of the Indian sub-continent along religious lines led to the formation of India and Pakistan. However, there remained the problem of over 650 states, run by princes, existing within the two newly independent countries.

Because of its location, Kashmir could choose to join either India or Pakistan. Maharaja Hari Singh, the ruler of Kashmir, was Hindu while most of his subjects were Muslim.  Unable to decide which nation Kashmir should join, Hari Singh chose to remain neutral.

Indian and Pakistani forces thus fought their first war over Kashmir in 1947-48. India referred the dispute to the United Nations on 1 January.   In a resolution dated August 13, 1948, the UN asked Pakistan to remove its troops, after which India was also to withdraw the bulk of its forces.

In all there have been 3 wars fought over Kashmir region….1947, 1965 and 1999……and during the lulls of actual war there have been many cross border skirmishes between the army of India and Pakistan.

The wars have been over territory but they are also as much about religion as the province of Kashmir……..you know me……there has got to be a reason that I bring up this conflict…a conflict that few seem to care about……

And you would be right in the assumption that there is something going on in the neighborhood of Kashmir…….on 24 August 2014 Reuters reported…….

- Indian and Pakistani troops intensified firing across the border over the weekend killing at least four, an Indian official said on Sunday, straining ties between the arch rivals who recently called off top-level diplomatic talks.

Last week India said its foreign secretary would not meet with her Pakistani counterpart as scheduled on Monday because of plans by Pakistan to consult separatists from the border state of Jammu and Kashmir ahead of the meeting.

 

According to India’s Defence Ministry, there have been 70 ceasefire violations by Pakistan in Jammu and Kashmir since Modi took over.

 

“Pakistani troops violated ceasefire again today and restored to heavy firing targeting 22 Border Security Force (BSF) posts,” BSF Inspector General for Jammu frontier, Rakesh Sharma, told Reuters.

There we have a couple of odd army units firing across some line at each other….what could possibly make this so damn important?

These two countries have fought 3 wars over the region….if that is not bad enough both of these countries are nuclear capable states…….think about that for a couple of minutes.  This region could hold the key to the next ‘great war’.

 

Forward To The Past

Opinion from the desk of the Editor:

 

Ever get Deja Vu…..all over again?

The other day I awoke at my usual early hour and after looking around I thought I may have stepped through some unforeseen time vortex…….and as usual the first thing I do is turn on the news…..and there is where my mind starting racing around trying to decide what was what…….

There are protests and civil unrest on the streets of America…….the Middle East is on fire……voters are having to fight for the right to vote……hostages being help in the Middle East including journalists…….Russia and the West are in a standoff…..Russian troops have entered into another country to quell anti-Russian sentiments……poor people being disenfranchised……black people confronting police………WTF?

I will admit it….I was and am a Doctor Who fan….but I never thought real time travel was possible….but watching the news that day the only explanation I had was that I had somehow stepped back in time to the 1960’s.

What has happened?  And is it possible that American society can get it right this time?

After looking in a mirror I noticed the grey hair….so logically speaking……either I imagined the time vortex or the grey hair went with me……

My trip….forward to the past.

Oppressed Becomes The Oppressor

Inkwell Institute

Middle East Desk

By this point in your life you have been exposed to the horror of World war 2 and the Holocaust……if not…..where the Hell have you been?

Every time Israel goes into action against the Palestinians we are reminded over and over about the horrors that the Jews were exposed to during the Holocaust…all the death and misery.  And because of the horrors they endured you would expect them to have No toleration for any such actions what so ever…….but you would be WRONG!  Not mistaken but flat out WRONG!

One of the Israeli intellectuals of the founding generation, Yeshayahu Leibowitz feared that a Jewish state would become no better than the oppressors that he and so many others fled from in the days of WW2….he stated………”it would invert the whole history of the Jewish people, turning them into the spitting image of the oppressors whose terrorism from which we fled.”

He also noted that the …..”the entire energies of the Jewish state, instead of looking after the needs of its citizens, would be directing at enforcing “a strange system of political domination”……he was more prophetic than he has been given credit.

Israelis were the victims in the days of WW2….they were imprisoned, lands confiscated, harassed and put to death…….where is that any different than the circumstances with the Palestinians?  They were victims and for that they were basically given a country….the world trying to soothe its guilt….and in doing so have turned the victim into the oppressors they fled from in the past.

The world continues to close its eyes to the horrendous effects that Israeli policy is having on Palestinians….all because the world still feels the guilt of World War 2…..until they break that feeling this sort of murderous outreaches will continue.

The victim will continue to be the oppressor……and the Palestinians must wait for the world to rid itself of a guilty past.

The Making Of Martyrs

First of all I want to say that I do not normally write on religious subjects because….well it is my choice…..but I have seen much on the web about the silliness of people dying and becoming martyrs.

The idea of martyrdom has become more closely scrutinized since Islamic extremism has been in the news…..the whole idea that someone in service to God that dies is immediately martyred and goes to Heaven or in Islam’s case Paradise.

I have heard many them call the idea ridiculous and in NO way a duty of the devout.  With that I agree.  A deity that requires me to die to show I am devout is NO deity that I want anything to do with in any way.

With that said….martyrs or the making of martyrs is not an Islamic idea solely…..Christians had their fringe that thought the only way to know Jesus was to be killed so that they could join him in Heaven…..

Ever hear of the Circumcellions?

  1. The Circumcellions were a heretical splinter group of early Christianity circa the fourth century.
  2. They were known for loving them some martyrdom and would go to great lengths to bring about their own deaths.
  3. Circumcellions would carry sticks and blunt clubs to attack unwary people in order to entice said people to kill them.

………real Circumcellions were reduced to jumping out at random travelers on the road, shouting “Praise the Lord!” and swinging large clubs called “Israels.” The aim was to provoke retaliation. With a li’l bit of luck, the traveller would overcome his bemusement and fight back, hopefully kill the circumcellion attacker, making them, you guessed it, a Martyr. If the attackee was a magistrate, so much the better. When this source of martyrdom was cut off, circumcellions were driven to acts of mass suicide. Crowds flung themselves off cliffs, or into the River Chotts. The really radical ones burned themselves alive.

So you see the whole idea of martyring oneself in the name of God is not an exclusive Islamic thing………..like I said….if I must die to prove my loyalty to a deity then it might want to move past me….I prefer to let my actions determine my status.  A true God does not demand the death to prove the devout….that is my opinion and I will stick with it.

This Day In History: 06 August 1945

Today is a day of infamy…..one country totally devastated another and the Nuclear Age had begun.

On this day at 0815 hrs a bomb named Little Man was drooped on the Japanese city of Hiroshima the resulting explosion killed thousands and the survivors would suffer from radiation sickness and death…..the bomb in effect ended world War 2.

Now there has been an argument going on since the day the bomb was dropped as to whether it was necessary because, some say, Japan was already defeated.

Thanx to the bomb the world would enter into a new age and a new war, the Cold War.

Please take a moment today and remember those civilians that were evaporated in the name of war…..and pray that humanity is NEVER that irresponsible or cruel ever again.

 

How the Ottoman delusions of 1914 shaped the modern Middle East | The National

Today is the centennial of the start of World War One….I will be posting on the subject all day in remembrance of the stupidity of war and its outcome….. I do hope my readers appreciate the day and will take a little time to remember those that fought and died in the Great War……and maybe think about the deception and lies that made modern day Middle East…..those lies have help create the situations that we face today…..

 

How the Ottoman delusions of 1914 shaped the modern Middle East | The National.