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The Mummy Returns: Egyptian Dignitary’s Face and Brain Reconstructed


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The Mummy Returns: Egyptian Dignitary’s Face and Brain Reconstructed

The mummified head of Nebiri, an Egyptian dignitary who lived under the reign of the 18th Dynasty pharaoh Thutmoses III.

Credit: Francesca Lallo

An international team of researchers has reconstructed the face and brain of a 3,500-year-old Egyptian mummy, revealing a unique “packing” embalming treatment.

Consisting of a well-preserved head and canopic jars containing internal organs, the remains belong to Nebiri, an Egyptian dignitary who lived under the reign of the 18th Dynasty pharaoh Thutmoses III (1479–1425 B.C.).

Nebiri’s mummy became famous two years ago when he was diagnosed with the oldest ever case of chronic heart failure. [Photos: The Amazing Mummies of Peru and Egypt]

He was between 45 [and] 60 years old when he died,” Raffaella Bianucci, a bioanthropologist in the Legal Medicine Section at the University of Turin, told Live Science. “His tomb in the Valley of the Queens was plundered in antiquity and his body deliberately destroyed.”

In 1904, Italian Egyptologist Ernesto Schiaparelli found what remained of the mummy, now housed at the Egyptian Museum in Turin.

Now, after his desecration, Nebiri has been brought back to life through modern forensics. Using a type of computed tomography and facial reconstruction techniques, the researchers produced an impressive facial approximation.

Nebiri appears as a man with a prominent nose, wide jaw, straight eyebrows and moderately thick lips.

Scientists have reconstructed the face of Nebiri, an Egyptian dignitary.

Scientists have reconstructed the face of Nebiri, an Egyptian dignitary.

Credit: Philippe Froesch

“The reconstruction is nice, but this is not just art in my eyes,” Philippe Charlier, a forensic pathologist and physical anthropologist at the University of Paris 5, told Live Science. “It is a serious forensic work based on the latest techniques of facial reconstruction and soft tissues over skull superposition. Beyond beauty, there is anatomical reality.” [Image Gallery: The Faces of Egyptian Mummies Revealed]

Preliminary chemical data presented at the World Mummy Congress held in Rio de Janeiro in 2013 showed that the linen bandages had been treated with a complex mixture of an animal fat or plant oil, a balsam or aromatic plant, a coniferous resin and heated Pistacia resin. The recent CT scans revealed the bandages were carefully inserted almost everywhere in the head, in the nose, ears, eyes and mouth.

Researchers reconstructed the brain of Egyptian dignitary Nebiri.
Researchers reconstructed the brain of Egyptian dignitary Nebiri.

Credit: Philippe Froesch

Nebiri’s mummified head is the result of a “perfect packing,” Bianucci, Charlier and colleagues explained in a paper published in the journal Forensic Science, Medicine and Pathology.

Additional packing was introduced into the mouth to fill the cheeks.

“The meticulous packing created a barrier to protect the body from insect colonization. At the same time, it had a cosmetic purpose, allowing the facial features and neck to maintain their original lifelike appearance,” Bianucci said.

Intriguingly, CT scans showed a tiny hole in a honeycomb-like bone structure known as the cribriform plate, which separates the nasal cavity from the brain. However, the brain was not taken out.

“Given the meticulous treatment of the head, it can be speculated that the perforation of the cribriform plate was not performed to extract the brain, but to insert the linen packing,” the researchers wrote.

Indeed, fragments of linen strips can still be seen within the dehydrated cerebral tissue.

Using data from the CT scan, the researchers could perform a 3D brain surface reconstruction, which allowed them to reconstruct soft tissues destroyed or modified by post-mortem alterations.

“No anatomical anomalies were detected,” Bianucci said.

The elaborate treatment of the head is like the embalming found in the nonroyal couple Yuya and Thuya, the researchers noted. DNA analysis conducted in 2010 identified the couple as the great-grandparents ofTutankhamun.

“We were able to add strength to the argument that Nebiri was [a] high elite,” the paper’s first author, Robert Loynes, at the KNH Center for Biomedical Egyptology at the University of Manchester in England, told Live Science.

Loynes noted the head is a rare example of a high-status funerary treatment of an early 18th Dynasty nonroyal individual.

“It’s a unique finding that predates the developments seen in later 18th to 20th Dynasty kings, queens and kin,” Loynes said.

Dario Piombino-Mascali, an anthropologist at the University of Messina in Sicily, who next month will begin a mummy field school in Sicily (giving students field experience investigating mummies), found it striking that the head alone could reveal so much about mummification.

“Using a combination of non-invasive techniques, the researchers have been able to find a particular treatment of the brain, which did not require its removal,” Piombino-Mascali, who is not involved in the study, told Live Science.

At the crossroads of forensic anthropology and osteo-archaeology, the research opens new possibilities for the study of mummies.

“The brain reconstruction was produced from the Dicom file of the CT scan and, therefore, could be reproduced on any other mummy which had been CT scanned,” Loynes said.

Original article on Live Science

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10 Facts About The Pyramids That Could Prove Advanced Ancient Technology


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10 Facts About The Pyramids That Could Prove Advanced Ancient Technology

NICOLE SHAY JUNE 2, 2017

https://listverse.com/2017/06/02/the-pyramids-of-giza-prove-advanced-ancient-technology/

The ancient pyramids of Giza have wowed mankind for centuries. They tower over the desert landscape, with the Great Pyramid standing a whopping 139 meters (455 ft) high. For many years, the Great Pyramid, believed to have been built by Pharaoh Khufu around 2550 BC, was the largest structure on Earth. The second pyramid is believed to have been built by Khufu’s son, Khafre, circa 2520 BC. The second pyramid also includes the Sphinx, a limestone monument with the body of a lion and ordained with the head of a pharaoh. The third pyramid is much smaller than the first two and is thought to have been built by Pharaoh Menkaure around 2490 BC. Some scientific analysis has determined that these pyramids could be much older than is generally thought, suggesting that Khufu simply claimed the massive structures that were already in place for himself.

Many scientists have concluded that it only took 20,000 workers a period of 20 years to build the Great Pyramid. This is quite astounding, when our history tells that us they only used wooden implements with ropes and pulleys. With all the detail and precise alignments, it is hard to believe that such magnificence could be gained in a 20-year period by so few workers with such limited tools and resources.

Despite all the study of these ancient wonders, scientists still can’t confirm exactly how the pyramids were built. We have not been able recreate them, even on a smaller scale, with the same precision as our predecessors. The technology to do so back then simply didn’t exist, according to current historic teachings. It shouldn’t have been possible for the pyramids to be built. On top of that, the Great Pyramid is the only of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World to survive.

With some evidence suggesting that these pyramids could predate the Egyptians, there are those who believe that the pyramids could be a mark left by a more advance civilization, much older than 4,500 years. These are the top ten reasons the pyramids of Giza could prove that advanced ancient technology existed.

10Size And Weight Of Materials


The pyramids‘ massive size alone creates a very persuasive argument that there was some unknown technology involved in their construction. The Great Pyramid, the largest of the three and the largest in the world, consists of 2.3 million stone blocks that weigh 2.5 to 15 tons apiece. According to archaeologists, they were quarried from a nearby source. At such a marvelous weight, how did the workers move these blocks?

It is theorized that large groups of workers would have pushed these massive blocks over wooden ramps. This seems very unlikely, as there does not appear to have been any material, much less any type of wood, that could have withstood the weight of these massive stones. When you do the math for the time frame of the Great Pyramid’s construction, it comes out to workers setting a block every two and half minutes. Seems pretty incredible, if not impossible.

9Intricate Tunnel Systems


New discoveries are regularly made beneath the Giza pyramids. The tunnel systems found below them truly allude to an advanced civilization. Carved from limestone bedrock, these labyrinths protrude deep beneath the desert and have much left to be discovered. The passageways are always revealing new truths and hidden chambers, unknown to man for thousands of years. A recent find by archaeologist Brien Foerster only strengthens the notion that ancient advanced technologies once existed, long before our time.

While exploring deeper into the mazes beneath the pyramids, Foerster discovered 20 boxes cut with precision from Aswan granite. Each box weighs in at 100 tons a piece. Experts believe these huge boxes were burial places for prized bulls. The only issue with this belief is that no bulls have ever been found. The function of the boxes remains a mystery. Some think they were perhaps used to store an ancient form of energy. That might make more sense than bull burials.

8Alignment With The North Pole


There are a lot of theories that circulate concerning the alignment of the pyramids, specifically the Great Pyramid. They all agree that they cannot conclusively say how the ancient Egyptians were able to construct the Great Pyramid with such accuracy to the cardinal directions.

The north-south axis is aligned to within 0.15 degrees of true north-south. The ancient Egyptians didn’t have the North Star like we do today as a guide to true north. One of the only ways for them to have constructed the pyramids with such accuracy would have been to use complex algorithms. These algorithms would have only worked close to the seasonal solstice times, when the Sun’s alignment is more easily viewed. Further complicating the process, we must take into consideration atmospheric conditions, obstruction of viewpoint, etc.

Historically, no records have been found of the process the Egyptians used. The Great Pyramid, constructed thousands of years ago, is more accurate in alignment than our modern-built Meridian Building at the Greenwich Observatory in London.

7Mortar Of Unknown Origin


Samples of the mortar used for the construction of the pyramids have been analyzed many times, and though the composition has been determined, our modern technology has yet to be able to recreate it. The mortar is mostly made of processed gypsum, and it wasn’t used like the cement we use for our modern-day bricks.

Ancient Egyptian mortar was used to support the joints of the huge stones as they were placed. An estimated 500,000 tons of mortar were used during the construction of the Great Pyramid. Astoundingly, this gypsum mortar is stronger than the stones themselves and has remained in place for thousands of years.

6Mysterious Shafts

Photo credit: R.F. Morgan

There has been much speculation regarding the shafts inside the Great Pyramid. Of the three pyramids in Giza, it is the only one to be built with them. The angles of these shafts seem to correspond with celestial bodies. This would still beg the question: What unknown technology were they using to get such precise alignments, and why go through all the trouble?

Just like the pyramid’s alignment with the poles, there are no records found within Egyptian culture that reveal how they were able to get these alignments. There are other theories that state these shafts were simply for ventilation, though most of them do not even break the surface of the pyramid to reach outside air.

520-Ton Door

Photo credit: Olaf Tausch

At one time, some pyramids had huge swivel doors. These massive doors were undetectable because they fit so perfectly into the openings within the pyramids. Such a swivel door was discovered when the Great Pyramid was first being explored.

One could open the door from the inside with minimal force, due to how perfectly balanced it was. We are talking about an estimated 20 tons being moved with ease by a single hand. How the Egyptians were able to cut and place these doors with such precision remains a mystery. How were they able to balance such enormous weight?

4Casing Stones

Photo credit: World Pyramids

The Great Pyramid was once covered in white, polished limestone, referred to as casing stones. This would have made the pyramid shine like a gem in the middle of the desert. The stones reflected the light of the Sun like a mirror. The cuts made in this reflective stone were angled perfectly, so when the Great Pyramid was covered in them, it had a smooth, flat appearance. A great number of these stones were cut from a quarry across the Nile River and then transported across the water. After crossing the river, the stones were placed with an exactness that is difficult to parallel.

A large earthquake in AD 1303 caused many of the casing stones to loosen. They were then used to build mosques and fortresses. Today, all that remains is the inner core of the pyramid. What a sight the Great Pyramid must have been intact, in its day.

3Eight-Sided Precision

Photo credit: Awesci

At first glance, the Great Pyramid of Giza looks like a four-sided pyramid. But from the air, you can see that each side indents, making it an eight-sided structure. It is thought that perhaps these indentations were part of the design in order to keep the casing stones in place. Others have tried to claim that they’re the result of erosion.

Whatever the reason, the precision is amazing. The sides indent by one degree of a half-degree. Even in today’s world, that would be hard to facilitate. To deny the intent behind these indentations and credit the windwith their existence completely undermines the skill it took to make them.

2Khufu’s Coffin

Photo credit: Popo le Chien

It is said that Khufu had the Great Pyramid built, though one wonders. When his sarcophagus was found and analyzed, it raised many questions. It was massive, weighing in at an estimated 3.75 tons, and its dimensions make it too large to have been brought into the chamber. Therefore, it must have been placed while the pyramid was being constructed.

The sarcophagus was made from a solid piece of granite, hollowed out from within. It also features holes that appear to have been made with some form of a drill. There is much to question concerning how such a primitive time could produce such things. The effort it would have taken to hollow out and penetrate this granite raises eyebrows as to how on Earth it was accomplished. Can you imagine a wooden pickax being all you had to work with?

1Strange Heat Spots Observed

Photo credit: AP

In 2015, a thermal scan of the pyramids revealed that the Great Pyramid has three areas along the bottom that generate some form of heat.Speculation as to what could be the cause for these stunning anomaliesbegan quickly. Some say there are small passageways beneath these heat points, which could lead to hidden chambers. Others believe that the heat is being generated by leftover ancient technology that has long been forgotten. There is sure to be more investigation of this discovery, as more heat spots have also been found along the upper half of the Great Pyramid.

Maybe the Great Pyramid of Giza is actually an ancient alien ship, preparing for takeoff after thousands of years at rest, absorbing the Sun’s energy. The heat spots are the engines starting to activate. It’s a possibility, right?

Nicole Shay is a freelance writer who loves all things ancient history.

10 Strange Archaeological Finds Straight Out Of A Horror Story


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10 Strange Archaeological Finds Straight Out Of A Horror Story

MARK OLIVER MAY 7, 2017

http://listverse.com/2017/05/07/10-strange-archaeological-finds-straight-out-of-a-horror-story/

Scattered under the ground beneath our feet are the remains of history. There are little pieces of the lives of people who lived before us that give us little glimpses into who they were—the things they held dear, the homes they lived in, and the bones of their decaying bodies.

But life thousands of years ago wasn’t always gentle and easy. Sometimes, when these remains are uncovered, the stories they reveal are brutal and violent—and sometimes, they’re pulled straight out of a horror story.

 

10A Pit Of Amputated Arms

10b-amputated-arm-bones-from-pit

Photo credit: phys.org

A team working in France found a horrible glimpse into our past: sevensevered arms that had been brutally hacked off and thrown into the bottom of a pit 6,000 years ago.

The people whose limbs were buried there, the archaeologists believe, were farmers—although one was torn off the body of a child. After their arms were thrown into the pit, dozens of full bodies were piled on top of them. Their arms were still intact, but their skulls had caved in.

It’s not clear exactly what happened to these people. The only thing we know for sure is that a horrible massacre happened here. Only losing an arm, the researchers believed, may have been a mark of social status—a more merciful penalty for living with a tribe that was to be wiped out.

The rest is unclear. We don’t know who killed them or why their arms were removed.[1] This pit, though, along with others like it, supports the idea that life in 4000 BC was often brutal and violent.

9The Frankenstein Bog Mummies

9-bog-mummies

Photo credit: National Geographic

About 15 years ago, a team of archaeologists found the buried bodies of a man and a woman in Scotland. They had died 3,000 years ago, but they weren’t buried right away. Instead, their bodies were thrown into the Scottish bog where they were preserved and mummified for 300 to 600 years before they were finally put underground.

There was something wrong about these bodies, though. The woman’s jaw was a little too large for her skull, and the man’s limbs seemed out of place. After 10 years, researchers ran DNA tests on the bodies and discovered something disturbing and macabre: These were not the bodies of two people. They were the bodies of six separate people fused together[2] like a morbid jigsaw puzzle or like Frankenstein’s monster.

The female body had been put together with parts from people who had died around the same time. But the parts that made up the male body were from people who had died hundreds of years apart.

Whoever made these jigsaw corpses didn’t simply push bones together. The researchers believed that the bodies were still preserved when they were attached—with mummified flesh still on the bones.

 

8The Staked Man

8-staked-skeleton

Photo credit: Smithsonian Magazine

Archaeologists working in Bulgaria found a body straight out of a horror story. A steel stake had been driven through the man’s chest. His murderers, it appears, were terrified that he would not stay buried. They pinned his body to his tomb.

He died in the 13th century, and it was brutal. His left leg was removed and thrown carelessly into his tomb. It is likely that he was still alive when it was lost.

The stake, though, fits some of the ideas that were floating around the Romani people at that time. Vampires were thought to be real back then. A deformed appendage was a sign that someone had been resurrected by Satan[3] and could only be stopped by driving an iron stake through their heart.

It’s believed that this man was the victim of a horrible superstition. His countrymen had convinced themselves that he was evil, and they’d put him through hell to keep him from coming back.

7The Man-Eating Animals Of Teotihuacan

7-man-eating-animals

Photo credit: plos.org

Inside Teotihuacan, the ancient Mesoamerican city, archaeologists found what appeared to be a den where animals were kept. Vicious predators, including jaguars, pumas, and lynxes, were kept there while they waited for the priests to sacrifice them to the gods.

The bones of the animals they had been fed were still there, thousands of years after they’d died. Scattered among the animal bones, though, archaeologists found another type of remains: the bones of humans.[4]

Testing on the remains of the animals themselves showed that they had traces of maize in their diet. In Teotihuacan society, maize was more likely to come their way by eating people than by actually eating vegetables. There is also artwork on the walls that shows these animals eating human hearts.

The priests in Teotihuacan, it seems, dragged people into these dens. Whether as a punishment or ritual, people were thrown inside with jaguars and pumas and became the animals’ meals.

6The Hanging Coffins

6a-cave-with-coffins

Photo credit: ecns.cn

In Hubei, China, there is a man-made cave known as the Cave of the Fairies. Once, it was believed that magical beings lived in the cave. But when people actually looked inside, they found something altogether different. Hanging up to 50 meters (165 ft) over their heads were 131 old, decaying coffins.

Some of the coffins were hanging from wooden stakes, while others had been wedged into openings in the rocks. The coffins were huge.[5] Each one was carved out of a single tree trunk and weighed more than 100 kilograms (220 lb). Some, though, had been torn apart and ripped up.

These coffins were all 1,200 years old, put up by ancient Bo people. They had been hung up, it is believed, as part of a religious ritual meant to bless the dead and keep wild animals from eating their bodies.

The damage happened only 50 years ago. In the 1960s, it is believed, someone found the coffins and, instead of reporting the discovery, tore the wood out for firewood—desecrating an ancient grave to get a few moments of heat.

 

5The Floating Skeletons

5-krakatoa-eruption-1883

Photo credit: Parker & Coward

In July 1884, children at a mission school in Zanzibar were playing at the beach when they saw black, volcanic stones washing up on the shore. Excited and curious, they rushed over to gather the volcanic pumice. Mixed among the stones, they found human bones picked clean of flesh.

When their teacher reported it, she found out that it wasn’t the first time it had happened. Skeletons had been washing up[6] all along the shore of southeastern Africa. These were the remains of people in Sumatra and Java, where the Krakatoa volcano had erupted one year earlier. It had wiped out 36,000 people and eradicated an entire island.

For a year, the bodies of these people floated across the ocean on rafts of volcanic pumice. Then the skeletons washed onto the shore of Africa, drifting up on the beach where children were looking for rocks in the sand.

4The Cannibalized Remains Of Herxheim

4a-Herxheim-remains

Photo credit: museum-herxheim.de

A construction team working in Herxheim, Germany, unearthed something absolutely horrifying. Underneath the ground where they had intended to build was a massive pit full of dead bodies—more than 1,000 in all.

The bodies had been resting there for more than 7,000 years. Whatever happened to them, though, was a fate worse than death. They hadn’t just been killed. Their skulls had been scraped clean.[7] Their ribs had been peeled from their vertebrae like a butcher preparing a pig. Some of the bones had been snapped and the marrow inside sucked out.

These people, it seems, were scalped, skinned, butchered, and cannibalized. This, though, was no act of desperation by starving people. There were more than 1,000 victims, and the way they’d been skinned was too ritualized. This was not a crime of passion or a temporary lapse of sanity. It was a planned ritual that a whole community had come together to perform.

3The Shackled Skeletons Of Athens

3-shackled-skeletons

Photo credit: reuters.com

Archaeologists were investigating a necropolis in Athens, where respected people were gently laid to rest, when they found something out of place. Buried together were 80 skeletons, all with their wrists shackled above their heads before they were killed.

These were the bodies of young men who had been violently killed, apparently together. They had likely been shackled[8] in a row while an executioner had gone down the line taking them out. For all the horror in their deaths, though, they had been buried with respect.

We can only guess what happened to these men. But the archaeologists who found them think that they were nobles executed for staging a coup. Either way, the men certainly must have infuriated someone in power to have met their end in chains.

2The Neolithic Genocide In Austria

2-Asparn-Schletz-genocide-victims

Photo credit: combatarchaeology.org

At a grave in Asparn-Schletz, Austria, a team of archaeologists found the remains of 67 people that told a horrible story. They had died in 5200 BC, running for their lives in what appears to have been the systematic genocide of an entire tribe.

The people were killed running, most beaten in the back of the head, though some were shot down with arrows. Some had their legs smashed and broken to keep them from getting away before their heads were crushed in.Even the children were killed. The bodies of 27 infants lay among the men.

Almost every body, though, was male. Only two women had been laid in the ground. The rest of the women, it’s believed, most likely had to watch as their husbands and children were killed. Then they were dragged off[9] and forced to serve the men who had murdered their families.

1The Pits Of Severed Hands

1-severed-hand-Hyksos

Photo credit: Live Science

In a Hyksos palace in Avaris, Egypt, an archaeologist found four places where pits had been dug and filled with severed hands. There were 16 in all, chopped off of their victims before being brought to a palace and buried underground. Every hand was from a different person.

The biggest pit was right in front of the throne room, dug in a place where the hands would be closest to the king. They had been buried there 3,600 years ago when the palace was ruled by King Khayan. It seems he liked to keep a collection of his enemies’ severed hands.[10]

The discovery wasn’t entirely a surprise. Archaeologists had already found pictures across the area that showed soldiers trading the severed hands of their enemies for a package of gold. This, it seems, was how bounties were collected by the Hyksos. The king would reward these killers with gold—and he would keep the hands in his own home.

MARK OLIVERMark Oliver is a regular contributor to Listverse. His writing also appears on a number of other sites, including The Onion’s StarWipe and Cracked.com. His website is regularly updated with everything he writes.

Read More: Personal Site

Ancient Tomb with ‘Blue Monster’ Mural Discovered in China


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Ancient Tomb with ‘Blue Monster’ Mural Discovered in China

Ancient Tomb with 'Blue Monster' Mural Discovered in China

This monster-like creature, as archaeologists call it, was found on the vaulted ceiling of the tomb’s corridor.

Credit: Photo courtesy Chinese Archaeology

A blue monster, a winged horse and a nude deity known as the master of wind are just a few examples of fantastic images that archaeologists recently discovered in a 1,400-year-old tomb in China.

“The murals of this tomb had diversified motifs and rich connotations, many of which cannot be found in other tombs of the same period,” a team of archaeologists wrote in an article recently published in the journal Chinese Archaeology.

Marvelous critters

The meaning of some of the imagery is not fully understood. The archaeologists did not speculate on why the master of wind is shown nearly naked while running in the general direction of a burial chamber, or what the vivid-blue, monster-like creature (as archaeologists call it) represents. [See Photos of the Fantastical Murals and Ancient Tomb]

Archaeologists first learned of the tomb in the spring of 2013, finding that “the tomb had been recently looted,” the archaeologists wrote. A team from Shaanxi Provincial Institute of Archaeology excavated the tomb, which is located in modern-day Xinzhou city, in 2013 and 2014.

Unashamed

The archaeologists found that the tomb’s burial chamber had been heavily looted, with the bodies of the tomb occupants missing and only a few coffin fragments remaining. However, the team found that parts of a passageway and corridor had not been robbed and a number of artifacts, as well as many well-preserved murals, remained untouched.

The murals the team found included not only fantastic mythical imagery but also more grounded scenes, such as people trading horses, hunting and working in a gatehouse.

Mythical beasts

“Themes on ascending to heaven, horse trading, hunting, [a] grand gatehouse and the rich styles of costumes all provide valuable information for the [research] on the social life, history, culture and military practices,” the archaeologists wrote.

Going for a ride

Numerous archaeologists have noted that China’s hot antiquities market, in which artifacts fetch prices sometimes reaching into the millions (in USD), has fuelled an increase in the looting of ancient tombs.

To give but a few examples, in 2015 archaeologists reported finding the remains of a game board and 14-sided die in a heavily robbed 2,300-year-old tomb, while in 2013, police found a 1,500-year-old tomb just beforerobbers had finished stealing its murals.

A royal setup

Law-enforcement officers and archaeologists in China have often found themselves in a race against time to discover and excavate ancient tombs before thieves take the artifacts and sell them on the antiquities market, many archaeologists and media outlets have reported. Large law-enforcement operations have also taken place to try to retrieve stolen artifacts. In 2015, the Xinhua News Agency reportedthat one massive law-enforcement operation resulted in the recovery of more than 1,100 artifacts and the arrest of more than 170 people allegedly involved in the looting of ancient tombs.

The archaeologists who recently excavated the 1,400-year-old tomb in Xinzhou reported their findings, in Chinese, in 2015 in the journal Kaogu. That report was translated into English and was recently published in the journal Chinese Archaeology.

Original article on Live Science.

Humans Mastered Advanced Weapon-Making Technique 77,000 Years Ago


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Humans Mastered Advanced Weapon-Making Technique 77,000 Years Ago

Tomb Full of Mummies Unearthed at Luxor


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Tomb Full of Mummies Unearthed at Luxor

Tomb Full of Mummies Unearthed at Luxor

The tomb complex contains the remains of numerous coffins, skeletons and assorted artifacts.

Credit: Photo courtesy Egypt’s Ministry of Antiquities

Several mummies and more than 1,000 figurines have been discovered at an ancient cemetery located at Luxor in Egypt, archaeologists reported.

A team of archaeologists with the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities uncovered the funerary complex during the ministry’s ongoing excavations at the site. The funerary complex contains multiple tombs that were originally built for a man named Userhat, who was a judge in Luxor sometime during what modern-day archaeologists call Egypt’s New Kingdom (1550–1070 B.C.) period, the ministry said in a statement.

During the New Kingdom period, Egypt was unified, and it often controlled a large amount of territory in the Middle East and modern-day Sudan. After the New Kingdom ended, the complex was re-opened and more mummies and burials were put into the structure, the ministry said.

Researchers discovered a labyrinth of tunnels and chambers containing the remains of mummies and assorted human remains, as shown in photos released by the ministry. In some cases, the colors on the mummy coffins are well preserved, despite the passage of millennia.

The tomb complex is part of a larger ancient cemetery at Luxor that today is often called Dra' Abu el-Naga.

The tomb complex is part of a larger ancient cemetery at Luxor that today is often called Dra’ Abu el-Naga.

Credit: Photo by Roland Unger, CC 1.0 Generic

Additionally, a “collection of ushabti figurines carved in faience, terracotta and wood was also unearthed,” in the tomb complex, the ministry said in the statement. Ushabti figurines were frequently buried with the dead in ancient Egypt, and Egyptologists generally believe that ushabtis were buried with the dead so that the figurines could work for the deceased in the afterlife.

“We found a large number of ushabti, more than 1,000 of them,” Egypt Antiquities Minister Khaled el-Enany told the Agence France-Presse.

Archaeologists also discovered the remains of clay pots in the cemetery.

The ministry’s team is led by Mostafa Waziri, the head of the ministry’s Luxor department. Excavations are underway that the ministry said will lead to the entire complex being uncovered. The complex is part of a larger ancient cemetery that today is often called Dra’ Abu el-Naga.

Original article on Live Science.

10 Mysterious Discoveries That Could Completely Rewrite History


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10 Mysterious Discoveries That Could Completely Rewrite History

MARK OLIVER APRIL 25, 2017

http://listverse.com/2017/04/25/10-mysterious-discoveries-that-could-completely-rewrite-history/

Most of history comes from what gets written down. But what we know of our past is only a sliver of everything that happened. A great deal of where we came from was never etched into a stone and, today, has been lost.

We don’t know what’s missing from the patchwork of history. But every now and then, archaeologists find things that don’t quite fit with what’s been written down. We find relics from a society left in a place that should have been a world away from its owners.

Nobody knows for sure how these things got there, but they suggest some incredible events that might never have been recorded. Some of the greatest adventures may have happened to people who never made it home to tell the tale—and they might completely change the history of our world.

Featured image credit: baroodyperu.blogspot.com

 

10A Roman Sword In Canada

10-roman-sword

Photo credit: theepochtimes.com

On Oak Island, Nova Scotia, a TV crew accidentally stumbled upon the last thing they ever expected to find: an ancient Roman sword that seems to have been there since AD 200.

The sword alone is shocking—it suggests that a Roman might have made it to North America 800 years before the Vikings. But it’s not even the only thing they found. Other people have stumbled upon other strange things that shouldn’t be in Canada: a crossbow bolt wedged into a tree, a Roman-style burial mound, Carthaginian coins, and even a stone with what appears to be Roman writing on it—all made about 1,800 years ago.

It’s theorized that a group of Roman and Carthaginian explorers might have traveled out West about 1,800 years ago. They may never have made it home and may have buried their dead on the island—explaining why there are Roman graves in Canada and no record of their trip in Rome.

None of this has been proven yet—and the fact that the sword was found by a TV crew instead of archaeologists makes it easy to be a little suspicious. Still, it’s a lot of evidence. If expert testing backs it up, it could change the history of the first Europeans to visit the Americas.

NOTE: According to this source (thanks Fuzzybunny), the sword is a fake.

9Chinese Oracle Bone Writing In The United States

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Photo credit: theepochtimes.com

According to John Ruskamp, another group made it to the Americas thousands of years before the Vikings: the Chinese.

Ruskamp found strange symbols etched into old stones in 82 places around the southern United States. Every etching follows the same style, and none of them match anything made by the local cultures. Ruskamp, however, is convinced that they’re not just random squiggles. He believes that they are messages written in Chinese oracle bone script.

Oracle bone is one of the oldest forms of Chinese writing, which nearly faded out of use entirely around 1046 BC. If Ruskamp’s theory is right, this would mean that these Chinese settlers reached North America about 3,000 years ago.

The etchings match up to oracle bone eerily well. One in Arizona appears to read: “Set apart (for) 10 years together; declaring (to) return, (the) journey completed, (to the) house of the Sun; (the) journey completed together.” It seems to be a message left behind by explorers in a new world.

 

8Ancient Ape Bones In Ireland

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Photo credit: Poleary91

At the Hill of Tara in Ireland, a body has been carefully laid to rest. Its bones were given a full royal treatment, but they don’t look like the bones of a normal king. Instead, the bones look an awful lot like those of an ape.

It’s not even the only set of ape bones found in Ireland. Another ape skull has been found in County Armagh that appears to have been there for about 2,300 years. Nobody knows how these apes got there. Someone in the ancient world, for some reason, was taking apes up to Ireland and burying them there.

The apes might have been traded along early routes, but there’s a fringe theory that takes it in a very different direction. An ancient Irish legend claims that a group of strangers with magical powers came to Ireland on a massive ship and ruled the people from the Hill of Tara. Some think that legend was based on a real event and that the people they thought were magic were really a group of Egyptians with advanced technology.

That’s a big leap to make just because of some ape bones—but there’s more evidence than just that. DNA testing on ancient Irish bodies suggests that they have an ancestor from the Middle East. And, not too far from the Hill of Tara, the 3,800-year-old remains of a boy have been found, wearing what appears to be an Egyptian necklace.

7Native American Legends Of White Giants

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Photo credit: ancient-code.com

In 1857, a Native American of the Comanche tribe stood in front of a crowd and told them a story. “Innumerable moons ago, a race of white men, [305 centimeters (10′) high], and far more rich and powerful than any white people now living here, inhabited a large range of country,” he said. “They drove the Indians from their homes, putting them to the sword, and occupying the valleys in which their fathers had dwelt.”

It seemed like a parable of what was happening now. But all that changed when what appeared to be a Greek medallion and two coins was found in Oklahoma. After that, genealogist Donald Yates started piecing together the evidence and realized that this wasn’t an isolated story.

The Choctaws also had a story about “a race of giants” with white skin who lived in what is now the state of Tennessee—and other tribes had some stories that were oddly similar. The Greek writer Strabo wrote about a “Western Continent,” suggesting that he might have had some knowledge of the Americas.

Yates believes that these native stories might not be entirely made up. Greek explorers may have actually made it to the Americas and fought with the people there, leaving behind a legacy that grew bigger every time the story was told.

6Mayan Murals Showing White-Skinned Warriors

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Photo credit: Ancient Origins

Inside the Temple of the Warriors in Chichen Itza, there are murals depicting a scene that doesn’t seem to fit the Maya’s surroundings. The murals show brutal battles fought between a very diverse group of people for pre-Columbian Mexico. Some have pale white skin, some are pitch-black, and others are brown.

On its own, that could just be an artistic choice. But other evidence supports the theory that different races of people might have fought around modern Mexico. For one, when Hernan Cortes reached Mexico, he claimed that the people there hailed him as a returning “white lord”—suggesting that another white person had been there before.

And the Maya left behind a story called the “Dance of the Giants.” In it, a white giant pairs up with the Maya and helps them fight off a black giant who’s harassing them. According to one controversial theory, all this really happened. The black-skinned giants, it’s believed, were Aztecs moving in from the North. And the white-skinned giants might be Vikings.

As early as 1789, there was speculation about Viking explorers reaching modern Mexico. One in particular, Ari Marson, was sent off course by a storm while trying to make it to Greenland. According to the theory, Marson may have ended up in Mayan territory a little after the Aztecs and he might have left his mark on their history.

 

5A Temple To An Egyptian Goddess In India

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On the western coast of India, there are the ruins of a temple to the goddess Pattini. It’s not a particularly strange thing to find in India—except that there’s a secret chamber underneath that’s rumored to hold an underground shrine to the Egyptian goddess Isis.

The ruins are now owned by a Hindu temple, so nobody’s been able to actually check what’s underneath them. But according to writer Chris Morgan, the idea that it was a secret shrine to an Egyptian goddess fits. He believes that an Egyptian traveler may have come to India and started a cult dedicated to his own goddess.

Morgan believes that the idea of the goddess Pattini came from this cult. He points out some major similarities in the two legends, both of which are about women defined by the brutal murder and dismemberment of their husbands. He thinks that Pattini might be an Indian evolution of the concept of Isis spread through that shrine—a little in the way that Egyptian culture influenced Hinduism.

4The Giant Village Of Peru

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Photo credit: blog.rainbowasi.com

When the Spanish first came to Peru, conquistador Pedro Cieza de Leon recorded everything he could in a book called The Chronicles of Peru. It’s full of incredibly detailed and accurate descriptions of the cultures of the natives, the conquests by the Spanish, the details of the environment—and strangely, a village built by giants.

Cieza de Leon recorded a native legend about giants who arrived “in boats made of reeds, as big as large ships.” He said, “From the knee downward, their height was as great as the entire height of an ordinary man.” According to the legend, the giants built wells that were beyond the native technology as well as massive villages to accommodate their size. Later, a great fire came down and consumed the giants.

Oddly, though, Cieza de Leon claimed to have seen the village and the well built by the giants. He said that they were big enough to fit the story. He even claimed to have seen a giant’s skull and a femur and attested that other Spaniards saw teeth that must have weighed 0.2 kilograms (0.5 lb).

We don’t have these artifacts anymore, so we can’t confirm it. But it’s hard to understand why Cieza de Leon would make up lies to support a native legend.

It’s not clear what he saw. Was he deceived? Did he make it up? Or did the Spanish conquistadors really find something in Peru that suggested they weren’t the first foreign visitors to arrive?

3The Marcahuasi Ruins

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Photo credit: andestao.com

In the Andes Mountains, there are strange rocks known as the Marcahuasi Ruins. They appear to be rocks carved by human beings, sculpted to beshaped like human heads. One, in particular, looks almost exactly like a crude copy of the Egyptian Sphinx.

It’s possible that these rocks took their shape by pure, random erosion. But there are some people who don’t think it’s possible. The theory that the rocks were deliberately sculpted by an unknown people is out there—although it’s mostly supported by some pretty off-the-wall theories, including stories about aliens and mystical healing powers.

One of the more popular theories comes from an archaeologist who claims that the site was built by a biblical civilization called the Masma, who traveled to Peru and carved crude imitations of the wonders they’d seen in Egypt. His theory, though, comes from having seen it in a dream, which is a slightly less-than-scientific approach to history.

Still, even if they weren’t built by aliens or by biblical tribes, it’s not out of the question that someone carved these rocks—making them an incredible work of art still without a name for its creator.

2The Three Handbags Of Heaven

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Photo credit: lost-origins.com

There’s a strange design that keeps popping up all around the world. It shows something that looks like a little handbag, usually drawn in groups of three and usually up in the sky. And nobody really knows what they mean.

The oldest one in Turkey shows three handbags floating over all of creation. It’s far from the only one, though. The same handbags have been seen in art from all around the world, including India, Egypt, and even Central America. It seems to be something that’s been passed on from an ancient Middle Eastern culture—which might make it a way to trace where groups of people came from.

That’s why it’s interesting that the Maori of New Zealand used the three handbags, too. They have a myth about a hero named Tane who went up to Heaven to get three baskets of knowledge—an image that seems strangely similar to the one carved in a rock in Turkey.

It could just be a coincidence. But this might be a strong sign that the Maori have ancestors who once lived in the Middle East, long before they moved to New Zealand.

1The Redheaded Giants Of Lovelock Cave

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Photo credit: Ken Lund

In 1911, miners working in Nevada’s Lovelock Cave were digging through piles of guano when they stumbled upon a massive wealth of ancient Indian relics. The miners started searching through the relics and found something even more incredible—the mummified remains of a 198-centimeter (6’6″) man with red hair.

The cave soon turned into an archaeological dig site, and some incredibly strange things were found. Inside, there were 38-centimeter (15 in) sandals, which appeared to have been used by a very large person, and a giant handprint that was twice the size of that of a normal man.

Some believed that this backed up the Paiute legend about redheaded, “freckle-faced” cannibals called the Si-Te-Cahs coming onto their land. The giants, they said, came by boats and preyed on them until the Paiute managed to chase the giants into a cave and set it on fire.

The original redheaded mummy has been destroyed, making the story impossible to prove, and some alternative explanations have been created. Several people, though, insist that they saw it firsthand. If they’re telling the truth, it might just mean that the Si-Te-Cahs were a real group of violent European explorers—people who tormented the Native Americans and met their end in Nevada.