Posts Tagged ‘ancient’

How could you not be intrigued by a title like that? lol!

Like Leonardo da Vinci, the German Jesuit scholar Athanasius Kircher (ca. 1601-1680) was a true “Renaissance man.” Interested in both the arts and sciences, he wrote several dozen books on everything from medicine and geology to Egypt, cryptography, Noah’s Ark, and musical harmony.

Born near Fulda, in Buchonia, of the Hesse province, his name sometimes is epithet “Bucho,” “Buchonius” or “Fuldensis”. He was taught Hebrew by a rabbi, and studied philosophy and theology, although volcanoes were his passion. Several times in his life he had to flee Protestants who opposed the Catholics at the time of the Reformation. He joined the priesthood in 1628, and taught mathematics, ethics, and Hebrew/syriac at the University of Wurzburg, and developed an interest in Egyptian hieroglyphics. In 1633 he was called to Vienna by the emperor to succeed Johannes Kepler as chief Mathematician to the Habsburg court, however his ship was literally blown off course, and he ended up in Rome instead, where he based himself permanently at the Collegio Romano for several years before being fully devoted to his own research.

In 1661, Kircher discovered the ruins of a church said to have been constructed by Constantine on the site of Saint Eustace’s vision of Jesus Christ in a stag’s horns. He raised money to pay for the church’s reconstruction as the Santuario della Mentorella, and his heart was buried in the church on his death.

Kircher published a wide variety of scholarly texts at the time, with lengthy Latin names like “Physiologia Experimentalis” (1680), “Mundus Subterraneus” (1664),”Magneticum Naturae Regnum Sive Disceptatio Physiologica” (1667), “Ars Magna Sciendi Sive Combinatorica” (1669), about subjects such as “Arca Noe” (1675), “Sphinx Mystagoga” (1676), and “Obelisci Aegyptiaci” (1676). Probably his best known work is “Oedipus Aeguptiacus” (1652) one of the first truly encyclopedic resources in the field of Egyptology. He credited his sources as Chaldean astrology, the Hebrew Kabbalah, Arabian alchemy, latin philology, and Pythagorean mathematics. But the resource which was especially helpful to him, in the way the Rosetta Stone eventually would be to others that followed, was the acquisition of the Bembine Tablet–a diagram schematic identifying the host of Egyptian gods and symbols, confiscated from Cardinal Bembo after the Sack of Rome in 1527. Here it is:

Bembine Table of Isis

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A posting before I lose track of the story shared from “one of those facebook pages”…this is a section of ancient Egyptian art depicting, if you look closely, what appears to be an Alien Grey in the Valley of the Kings, Egypt* (This is not photoshopped. It is a well known piece of art)

“The ancient Egyptians were artists and meticulous chroniclers of history. They adorned the walls of the tombs of the mighty with a record of the great person’s life, deeds, accomplishments. The paintings on the walls of the tomb also recorded for the gods the worthy one’s relationships and momentous occasions. Especially relationships with the Sky Gods and the meetings between gods and humans.
The sensational discovery of an extraterrestrial depicted by ancient Egyptian artist-chroniclers is not unique. Other such finds have been alluded to by researchers for more than 120 years. This is the first, however, that’s been smuggled out of the research archive division of the Egyptian Antiquities department of the governmental authorities in Cairo. Other examples are claimed to be in the British Royal Museum of Natural History. If true, the London curator and staff are not talking.

Some information that found its way to the public was of little consequence except to researchers of the arcane. Other information, however, is potentially world-changing, like the paintings of aliens that adorn some tombs of the ancient Egyptian kings.”

So whaddya think?

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stone totem pole

Older than Stonehenge. Older than ancient Sumer. Older than Egypt. Possibly the oldest known religious structure in the world. Yet Gobekli Tepe is probably one of the least known sites in modern archaeology.

Located in south Anatolia, or modern-day Turkey, near the town of “Sanli’urfa” and about 350 miles west of Mount Ararat, Gobekli Tepe is believed to have been constructed between 11,000 to 12,000 years ago. Egypt, home of the great pyramids, and Sumer home of the Akkadians and the birthplace of agriculture and writing, have been dated to approximately 3100 BC and 2100 BC respectively. Yet Gobekli Tepe has been found to be at least 5000 years older, dated to 9500 BC. There is a life-sized statue of limestone that was found in Urfa, at the pond known as Balikli Göl, and this has been carbon-dated to 10,000–9000 BC, making it the earliest-known stone sculpture ever found.

Urfa, previously known as Edessa, located in an oasis, at the head of a spring which leaves town to join the Euphrates River, is possibly the town known as Ur in the Bible. Some have theorized that it might even be the site of the Garden of Eden. The name “Gobekli” means navel, and the term “tepe”, hill. Some have called it “the navel of the world”. It is currently the site of the oldest archaeological dig on the planet, and believed to be the first ante-diluvian (pre-Flood) site ever discovered. Gobekli is also older than any site in South America, and it would hypothetically even pre-date Atlantis, which was said to have been destroyed by the great Deluge.

Gobekli is also older than ancient Crete. However some of the stone structures have similarity to those of the Minoan civilization. There are also other sites in Turkey which have been compared to Gobekli. gobekli tepe_reconstructionThe most famous of these sites is Çatal Höyük. It was discovered in 1958 by British archaeologist James Mellaart, who began excavations in 1961 and eventually dated the site to 7500–5700 BC. Çayönü, located around 96 kilometres from Göbekli Tepe, has been dated to 7500–6600 BC. Neval Cori shares many parallels with Göbekli Tepe, such as the T-shaped pillars and is dated to 8400–8000 BC. Until these sites were discovered in Turkey, the oldest known city was thought to be biblical Jericho, in Israel, whose age was pushed back to 8000 BC.

What makes Gobekli Tepe distinctive, and makes the association to nearby Mount Ararat, is the presence of animal carvings on the T-columns. In this one location, are carvings of boars, bulls, foxes, reptiles, lions, crocodiles and birds, as well as insects and spiders. One column depicts several geese, caught in what seems to be a woven net. It brings to mind the story of Noah’s Ark, and the effort to capture all the animals to be put on board. The site is constructed, with circular “rooms” and the evenly spaced T-columns throughout, decorated with the engravings almost like the banners we see announcing exhibits at modern-day museums. Is it possible this ancient storyboard commemorated the feat of preservation of animal life Noah accomplished after the great Flood? The Hebrew Bible states that the very first thing Noah did when he landed and was safe was build an altar to God. (Genesis Chapter 8 Verse 20.)

But the myth of a Great Flood is universal, and not just a biblical tale. The individual called Noe, or Noah in the Bible, is known by many other names. In Sumer: King Ziusudra; Babylon: Utnapishtim; Greece: Deucalion; China: Yu; India: Manu; Scandinavia: Bergelmir; Welsh: Dwyfan; East Africa: Tumbainot; Mongolia: Hailibu….EVERY civilization on the face of the Earth has a flood myth and a flood hero, and even the tale of Atlantis recounts the destruction of an advanced civilization which is submerged into the ocean. And the presence of human sacrifices at the sites adjacent to Gobekli, support the moral implications of the destruction of righteous destruction of a humanity gone awry.

Interestingly, the Bible recounts that following his successful survival of the destruction of the rest of humankind, Noah was the first man to practice cultivation and agriculture. It is said he was the first tiller of the soil, and the first to plant a vineyard and create wine. (Genesis 9:20-21) Granted that agriculture was first attributed to civilizations such as the Summerians’in the Tigris Euphrates River Valley, it’s interesting that Sanliurfa was located at the headwaters of the Euphrates. And depicted on a column at Gobekli Tepe, is what appears to be the image of a scythe — the tool which cuts grain or tills the earth. What better a tribute to Noah, “the first tiller of the soil”.

from Phillip Coppens’ “Gobekli Tepe: the World’s Oldest Temple”

mythology of the great flood

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A little while back, I mentioned that part of my purpose in keeping this blog, was to preserve some of the more unusual links I come across…the weird stuff!

Here’s one. An ancient burial place in the desert of Xinjiang Province, China, just north of Tibet, has revealed bodies which were because of the unusual environmental conditions, naturally mummified, basically freeze-dried. What is also unusual, is that although the burial place is located north of China, the interred remains have Caucasion facial features. And apparently wooded forests existed at the time, because the graves are surrounded by a tall fence of wooden poles, similar to some of the wooden henges in Great Britain. Stranger yet, each grave is covered by an overturned wooden boat, and some of the wooden stakes nearby resemble long oars with paddle blades painted red and black. Wood and boats in the middle of a high desert in south Siberia?

Those factors almost override the initial shock that the bodies mummified at the Small River Cemetery in the Tarim Basin are almost 4000 years old. And yet you can see the shape of their faces, and even the facial tatoos, and hair and textiles are still well-preserved.

All the men who were analyzed had a Y chromosome that is now mostly found in Eastern Europe, Central Asia and Siberia, but rarely in China. The mitochondrial DNA, which passes down the female line, consisted of a lineage from Siberia and two that are common in Europe. Since both the Y chromosome and the mitochondrial DNA lineages are ancient, Dr. Zhou and his team conclude the European and Siberian populations probably intermarried before entering the Tarim Basin some 4,000 years ago.

At the foot of each pole there were indeed boats, laid upside down and covered with cowhide. The bodies inside the boats were still wearing the clothes they had been buried in. They wore large woolen capes with tassels and leather boots. They had felt caps with feathers tucked in the brim, uncannily resembling Tyrolean mountain hats.

One, called “Cherchen Man,” was 6 feet, 6 inches tall. Dated to about 1,000 B. C., his light brown hair surrounds a face on which yellow paint forms
a rayed-spiral that extends from his right temple across his nose to the other temple. Hundreds of other light-skinned, fair-haired mummies have also been found in the Tarim Basin, along with advanced tools and dolmen burial mounds and circles of stone.

from the article A Host of Mummies, a Forest of Secrets

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via World Mysteries – Mystic Places – Puma Punku – Puma Punka.

Pumapunku, also called “Puma Pumku” or “Puma Puncu”, is part of a large temple complex or monument group that is part of the Tiwanaku Site near Tiwanaku, Bolivia. In Aymara, its name means, “The Door of the Cougar”. The processes and technologies involved in the creation of these temples are still not fully understood by modern scholars. Our current ideas of the Tiwanaku culture hold that they had no writing system and also that the invention of the wheel was most likely unknown to them. The architectural achievements seen at Pumapunku are striking in light of the presumed level of technological capability available during its

Sacsayhuaman, Qenko Peru

construction. Due to the monumental proportions of the stones, the method by which they were transported to Pumapunku has been a topic of interest since the temple’s discovery

Puma Punku doesn’t look impressive: a hill as remains of an old pyramid and a large number of megalithic block of stone on the ground, evidently smashed by a devastating earthquake. However, closer inspection shows that these stone blocks have been fabricated with a very advanced technology. Even more surprising is the technical design of these blocks shown in the drawing below. All blocks fit together like interlocking building blocks.

continue reading World Mysteries – Mystic Places – Puma Punku – Puma Punka

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I Heart Words

currently playing on my iPod: Fade Into You by Mazzy Star

Upon watching BBC America’s coverage of the royal wedding (which was absolutely fantastic, btw), I became intrigued with the Great Pavement. The Great Pavement is the mosaic floor before the High Altar at Westminster Abbey.

The floor was commissioned by Henry III (a medieval English king known for his good taste in art and architecture) when he rebuilt the abbey in the mid 13th century. The style is deemed Cosmati work after the Italian family who developed that particular style of mosaic floor. It is beautiful, intricate, and mysterious. I love it. I want one. Seriously.

Set on a background of dark limestone called Purbeck marble, the various small pieces are made of cut metal, glass (which was not usually present in Cosmati work), precious stone, and marble–some of which was recycled from Roman ruins. 

There were inscriptions on the floor that are not very readable…

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In a clever bit of technological legerdemain, Stanford University has combined historical research, mapping, and Web technology to bring ancient Roman Empire travel to the Internet. A cross-disciplinary team has created and launched ORBIS: The Stanford Geospatial Network Model of the Roman World. With it, a user can determine how long it will take to travel from any point in the Roman Empire to any other, as well as calculate the cost of transporting goods and people.

This heretofore unnatural union of geographers, technologists, and historians of the ancient world is becoming more and more common under the descriptor of “digital humanities.” ORBIS looks to be one of the most effective examples of its promise.

Built by historian and classicist Walter Scheidel and Stanford Libraries’ digital humanities specialist Elijah Meeks, with the assistance of geographer and Web developer Karl Grossner and GIS analyst Noemi Alvarez, the interactive online atlas is based on a host of data. This includes historical tide information and weather; size, grade, and surface of roads; main cities and ports; land, sea, and river routes; vehicle speed (including ships, ox carts, horse, and walking); and the cost of transport…

continue reading Travel across the Roman Empire in real time with ORBIS | Ars Technica.

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I Heart Words

currently playing on my iPod: Slow and Steady by Of Monsters and Men (thanks Robin!)

During my latest dive into historical research–my passion for old stuff pops up in everything I write–I discovered an instrument called the carnyx. A bronze instrument 3 meters in length, the carnyx played a special role in Celtic ceremony and welfare.

Celts designed the crazy-looking instrument to sound above the heads of warriors to signal specific movements and to make Romans wet their small clothes.

And let me tell you, it wasn’t the animal head–usually a boar or a serpent complete with a wiggling tongue–that scared the enemy. It was the god-awful sound. All I can think of when I hear it is Wow. The Hound of the Baskervilles and a wooly mammoth had a baby. 

Check it. Here’s your chance to see if you freak out like a retreating Roman. A man named John…

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