August 2010

Sol Invictus at Archaeology Museum of Yalvac, ...

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If the Roman Emperor Constantine had not taken that critical decision in the first half of the 4th century, the picture of the world we live in would have been probably very different than today. As some historians speculate, we would have seen “Mithraeums” instead of churches (and probably mosques) throughout the western world (and the Middle East), decorated with iconographies of a sun cult, along with the mysterious “Tauroctony” reliefs on the innermost walls of the temples.

When the “brain team” of the emperor came with a suggestion to establish a “one strong official religion” in order to reinforce the central authority throughout the Empire, the strongest candidate was “Mithraism” (or as it was called after a metamorphosis on Roman lands, “Sol Invictus Mithra”) which was very popular among soldiers, officers and most intellectuals.


Sternstunden - Wunder des Sonnensystems, Ausst...

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The Bronze Age relic known as “The Nebra Disk” was one of the most significant archaeological discoveries just before the end of millenium, in 1999. Believed to be made around 17th century BCE, the disk is thought to be designed as a kind of “astronomical clock” by the priests of a Bronze Age central European sun-cult. Now some archaeologists suggest another point, not contradicting this generally accepted view but questioning the “function” of the disk after a very serious natural catastrophe changed the circumstances of the Ancient World.

The mega eruption of the Thera volcano in Santorini island around 3600 years ago, not only shook most of the Bronze Age civilizations and cause some of them to collapse (Minos and Harappa) or fall into a serious crisis (Egypt and Babylonia), but also changed the climate conditions harshly all over the world. A “volcanic winter” caused by the ash clouds that covered the sky, deeply affected the lives of millions of people: Contaminated waters caused by the acid rains and sulphur (remember the Exodus story, which said “there were blood on rivers in all Egypt”); crop failures which resulted famines on many agricultural lands; unusually cool summers and deadly cold winters.


Illustration of Mitochondrial Eve

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Mitochondria, the fundamental part of a cell which supplies the most of the chemical energy by generating ATP, also gives extremely valuable clues about the human genome. Since it is inherited maternally, all human beings on the earth could be traced back to an individual female lived in Africa who is called “Mitochondrial Eve” and  by the scientists. A recent study of scientists from Rice University suggests that our common “grandma” lived 200,000 years ago. Fascinating story.

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The most robust statistical examination to date of our species’ genetic links to “mitochondrial Eve” the maternal ancestor of all living humans confirms that she lived about 200,000 years ago.

Artist's cross section of a mitochondrion
The Rice University study was based on a side by side comparison of 10 human genetic models that each aim to determine when Eve lived using a very different set of assumptions about the way humans migrated, expanded and spread across Earth. (more…)

This is quite a mystery. An ancient (probably from the mid-1700’s) ship’s remains found buried 20 to 30 feet below street level at WTC site – probably undisturbed for more than two centuries. Build date is uncertain and the ship design is unfamiliar. A large team of archaeologists is working on the remains at Maryland to solve this puzzle.

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On July 12 the remains of an 18th century ship were found buried 20 feet below street level at the site of the World Trade Center in New York City. The question is how did they get there?

Mysteries Abound in WTC Ship Remains
Nobody knows for sure — yet. And even though there are timbers from the front half of the ship, nobody can identify what kind of ship it is because, among other mysteries, it’s not a design we’ve seen before. (more…)

Still controversial, but definitely interesting and thought provoking: Do the carvings on the 1,500 years old “Pictish Stones” found in Scotland, present “written words” of an ancient language, rather than being “just pictures”? Professor Rob Lee from Exeter University thinks so, while French linguist Arnaud Fournet does not agree.

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A linguistic mystery has arisen surrounding symbol inscribed stones in Scotland that predate the formation of the country itself.

The stones are believed to have been carved by members of an ancient people known as the Picts, who thrived in what is now Scotland from the 4th to the 9th Centuries.

These symbols, researchers say, are probably “words” rather than images.

Many of the stones are believed to have been carved during the 6th Century

But their conclusions have raised criticism from some linguists.

The research team, led by Professor Rob Lee from Exeter University in the UK, examined symbols on more than 200 carved stones.

They used a mathematical method to quantify patterns contained within the symbols, in an effort to find out if they conveyed meaning.

Professor Lee described the basis of this method. (more…)

The museum displays the Great Pyramid in which...

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It’s been more than 18 years since German engineer Rudolph Gantenbrink discovered the “secret door” in the southern shaft of the so-called “Queen’s Chamber“, using his remote controlled robot named “Upuaut” (Meaning “The Opener” in Ancient Egyptian.) It took Supreme Council of Antiquities ten years to examine what lied behind that door. During this long period, nobody was allowed to make researches in Great Pyramid (including Gantenbrink) which added a lot to the mystery cloud surrounding the Queen’s Chamber.


Almost every week or so we hear sensational discoveries from the world of archaeology. This time, teams from Manchester and York universities claimed to have discovered a house which is 10,500 years old – the oldest house found so far in Britain.

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Archaeologists are claiming to have discovered the oldest house in Britain.

The circular structure, found at a site near Scarborough, North Yorkshire, has been dated as being made in 8,500BC.

Archaeological dig at Star Carr

Described as a “sensational discovery” by archaeologists, this is 500 years older than the previous oldest house.

The teams from the universities of Manchester and York are also examining a nearby wooden platform, which is being claimed as the oldest example of carpentry in Europe. (more…)

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