Ozymandias Arises from the Mud

Massive Ancient Statue Discovered Submerged In Mud In Cairo

A quartzite colossus possibly of Ramses II and limestone bust of Seti II have been discovered at the ancient Heliopolis archaeological site in the Matariya area of Cairo.

Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Archaeologists working under difficult conditions in Cairo have discovered an ancient statue submerged in mud.

A joint German-Egyptian research team found the 8-meter (26-foot) quartzite statue beneath the water level in a Cairo slum and suggests that it depicts Ramses II, according to Reuters.

The team was working at what was once Heliopolis, one of the oldest cities in ancient Egypt and the cult center for the sun god.

Khaled al-Anani, Egypt’s antiquities minister, posted on Facebook that one of the researchers who found the statue called it “one of the most important archaeological discoveries.”

Anani also spoke to Reuters at the site of the statue’s unveiling. Here’s more from the wire service:

“The most powerful and celebrated ruler of ancient Egypt, the pharaoh also known as Ramses the Great was the third of the Nineteenth Dynasty of Egypt and ruled from 1279 to 1213 BCE. … His successors called him the ‘Great Ancestor.’

” ‘We found the bust of the statue and the lower part of the head and now we removed the head and we found the crown and the right ear and a fragment of the right eye,’ Anani said.

“On Thursday, archaeologists, officials, local residents, and members of the news media looked on as a massive forklift pulled the statue’s head out of the water.”

In addition to the massive statue, researchers also found part of a life-size limestone statue of Ramses II’s grandson, Pharaoh Seti II, Reuters says.

Egyptian workers look at the site of a new discovery by a team of German-Egyptian archaeologists in Cairo’s Matariya District on Thursday.

Khaled Desouki /AFP/Getty Images

The identification of the newly discovered colossus as the famous Ramses II is not yet confirmed, as Anani explained on Facebook:

“Dr. Ayman Ashmawy, the head of the Egyptian team, indicated that they are going now to complete the research and excavation work of the remaining sections of the statue to confirm the identity of its owner. On the discovered portions there is no inscription found that would make it possible to determine which king it is. But its discovery in front of the gate of the temple of Pharaoh Ramses II suggests that it is likely him.”

Ashmawy and Dietrich Raue, of the University of Leipzig, have been working in ancient Heliopolis for more than a decade under trying conditions, as the American Research Center in Egypt explained in 2015:

“Heliopolis once stood at the centre of the ancient Egyptian sun-cult, a core element of ancient Egyptian religion for more than three millennia. Today the site is seriously threatened by new construction and a rapidly rising water table. Eight meters of domestic and industrial waste as well as building rubble have been dumped on the site in the past four years. Added to this bleak scenario is the fact that the level of the water table on the site has risen alarmingly, and continues to do so.”

As of 2015, ARCE explained, the archaeological items in Heliopolis were submerged in 1 1/2 to 3 feet of water — a “most challenging environment” for archaeologists to work in, ARCE writes.

The discovery of a forgotten, submerged statue of Ramses II brings to mind one of the most famous poems in English literature — albeit substituting muck for desert sands.

An Egyptian worker stands next to the head of a statue at the site of a new discovery by a team of German-Egyptian archaeologists in Cairo’s Matariya District.

Khaled Desouki/AFP/Getty Images

Ramses II was known to the Greeks as Ozymandias. Today, that name is most familiar thanks to a sonnet on hubris and the implacable passage of time, by Romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley:

I met a traveller from an antique land,
Who said—”Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. . . . Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed;
And on the pedestal, these words appear:
My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings;
Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

That poem is widely believed to have been inspired by a broken statue of Ramses II that is now, like many priceless Egyptian artifacts, in the possession of the British Museum.

The newly discovered statue won’t be traveling nearly so far. Once restored and its identity confirmed, it may be placed at the entrance of the Grand Egyptian Museum, which is expected to open in Cairo in 2018.

NPR’s Merrit Kennedy contributed to this report.

from:    http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/03/09/519488251/massive-ancient-statue-discovered-submerged-in-mud-in-cairo

Powerful Women Pre-Columbian

Ancient remains discovered at ‘America’s first city’ reveal women held high-power positions

  • Cahokia is an ancient Native American city just outside modern St. Louis 
  • Earlier analyses suggested the city ran under ‘male dominated hierarchy’
  • It was thought that remains in a ‘beaded burial’ were high status men
  • But new analysis reveals there were women and even a child in the burial 

Almost 50 years ago, archaeologists excavating an ancient city just outside of St. Louis discovered a mass burial site with an unusual central feature – two bodies arranged atop a bed of beads, with several other bodies encircling them.

It was once thought that the elaborate ‘beaded burial’ structure at Cahokia was built as a monument to male power – but now, researchers suggest this is not the case.

A new analysis of the remains reveals that one of these central bodies is actually female, and researchers say the discovery of similar male-female pairs and the remains of a child indicates that women played an important role in society.

It was once thought that the elaborate ¿beaded burial¿ structure at Cahokia was built as a monument to male power ¿ but now, researchers suggest this is not the case. In a new study, they discovered female remains in this central structure. The ancient city is pictured above

It was once thought that the elaborate ‘beaded burial’ structure at Cahokia was built as a monument to male power – but now, researchers suggest this is not the case. In a new study, they discovered female remains in this central structure. The ancient city is pictured above

WHAT THEY FOUND

While earlier studies reported that there had been six bodies at the beaded burial, the researchers found there were actually 12, with one of the central figures being a woman.

According to physical anthropologist Kristin Hedman, the discovery of females in this structure was ‘unexpected.’

And, they found other similar pairs on top of and near the beaded area, with some laid out as fully articulated bodies, and others among bundles of bones gathered for burial.

Along with this, the team found the remains of a child.

In the new study, published to the journal American Antiquity, researchers with the Illinois State Archaeological Survey at the University of Illinois and colleagues found that there are both male and female remains buried at the site of the Native American city, Cahokia.

Cahokia is said to be North America’s first city, and is the largest pre-Columbian settlement north of Mexico.

Now known as ‘Mound 72,’ the massive burial site discovered by archaeologist Melvin Fowler in 1967 contains 270 bodies, with five mass graves each containing at least 20 bodies, and some exceeding 50.

Later analysis revealed that the burials occurred between the years 1000 and 1200 during the rise and peak of Cahokia.

Some of the bodies were laid on cedar litters, suggesting these individuals were of high-status in their lives.

‘Mound 72 burials are some of the most significant burials ever excavated in North America from this time period,’ said ISAS director Thomas Emerson.

‘Fowler’s and others’ interpretation of these mounds became the model that everybody across the east was looking at in terms of understanding status and gender roles and symbolism among Native American groups in this time.’

It was thought that the beaded burial involved two high-status males, with their servants surrounding.

And, the beads were thought to be the remains of a cape or blanket in the shape of a bird, which is associated with warriors and supernatural beings in some Native American traditions.

While earlier studies reported that there had been six bodies at the beaded burial, the researchers found there were actually 12, with one of the central figures being a woman. Along with this, the team found the remains of a child

While earlier studies reported that there had been six bodies at the beaded burial, the researchers found there were actually 12, with one of the central figures being a woman. Along with this, the team found the remains of a child

Almost 50 years ago, archaeologists excavating the pre-Columbian Native American city, Cahokia discovered a mass burial site with an unusual central feature. The city sits just outside of what is now St. Louis 

Almost 50 years ago, archaeologists excavating the pre-Columbian Native American city, Cahokia discovered a mass burial site with an unusual central feature. The city sits just outside of what is now St. Louis

THE BEADED BURIAL

The central feature of Mound 72 is a ‘beaded burial.’

In this structure, two bodies are arranged atop a bed of beads, with several other bodies encircling them.

It was thought that the beaded burial involved two high-status males, with their servants surrounding.

And, the beads were thought to be the remains of a cape or blanket in the shape of a bird, which is associated with warriors and supernatural beings in some Native American traditions.

According to the new study, however, one of these central bodies is actually female.

‘One of the things that promoted the concept of the male warrior mythology was the bird image,’ Emerson said.

Because of this, Cahokia was thought to be a ‘male-dominated hierarchy,’ the researcher explained.

In the new study, the researchers analyzed early maps, notes, reports, and skeletal remains.

While earlier studies reported that there had been six bodies at the beaded burial, the researchers found there were actually 12, with one of the central figures being a woman.

According to physical anthropologist Kristin Hedman, the discovery of females in this structure was ‘unexpected.’

And, they found other similar pairs on top of and near the beaded area, with some laid out as fully articulated bodies, and others among bundles of bones gathered for burial.

Along with this, the team found the remains of a child.

According to the researchers, the materials often symbolized life renewal, fertility, and agriculture. Artifacts discovered at the ancient site are pictured above

According to the researchers, the materials often symbolized life renewal, fertility, and agriculture. Artifacts discovered at the ancient site are pictured above

‘The fact that these high-status burials included women changes the meaning of the beaded burial feature,’ Emerson said.

‘Now, we realize, we don’t have a system in which males are these dominant figures and females are playing bit parts.

‘And so, what we have at Cahokia is very much a nobility. It’s not a male nobility. It’s males and females, and their relationships are very important.’

The researcher explains that these findings are more in line with other materials from Cahokia than the scenarios presented by earlier studies.

‘For me, having dug temples at Cahokia and analyzed a lot of that material, the symbolism is all about life renewal, fertility, agriculture,’ Emerson said.

Now known as ¿Mound 72,¿ the massive burial site discovered by archaeologist Melvin Fowler in 1967 contains 270 bodies, with five mass graves each containing at least 20 bodies, and some exceeding 50

Now known as ‘Mound 72,’ the massive burial site discovered by archaeologist Melvin Fowler in 1967 contains 270 bodies, with five mass graves each containing at least 20 bodies, and some exceeding 50

‘Most of the stone figurines found there are female. The symbols showing up on the pots have to do with water and the underworld. And so now Mound 72 fits into a more consistent story with what we know about the rest of the symbolism and religion at Cahokia.’

By focusing on warrior symbolism, Emerson explains that previous studies have misinterpreted the culture of Cahokia, and this time period.

‘When the Spanish and the French came into the southeast as early as the 1500s, they identified these kinds of societies in which both males and females have rank,’ says Emerson.

‘Really, the division here is not gender; it’s class.’

‘People who saw the warrior symbolism in the beaded burial were actually looking at societies hundreds of years later in the southeast, where warrior symbolism dominated, and projecting it back to Cahokia and saying: ‘well, that’s what this must be. And we’re saying: ‘No, it’s not.’’

Gunug Padang Pyramid

The Mysterious Ancient Pyramid In Indonesia That Is Rewriting History


The archaeological establishment is scrambling to find some reason to reject and pour scorn on the extraordinary consequences of the excavations now taking place at Gunung Padang in Indonesia.

Since its first exploration by archaeologists in 1914 the site was thought to be a natural hill with 2500 year-old megalithic structures on top of it. But in 2010 geologist Dr Danny Hilman Natawidjaja (who earned his doctorate at Cal Tech) recognized this “hill” as a possible man-made pyramid and began to explore it using ground penetrating radar, seismic tomography, resistivity survey and other remote sensing techniques, as well as some direct excavations and deep core drilling.

The results were immediately intriguing (see this article I wrote in January for background) producing evidence of deeply buried man-made chambers and yielding carbon dates going back as far as 26,000 years. This was the last Ice Age when our ancestors are supposed (according to the orthodox archaeological model) to be have been nothing more than primitive hunter gatherers incapable of large-scale construction and engineering feats. Was it possible that geologist Natawidjaja was unearthing the proof of a lost advanced civilization of prehistoric antiquity? Such ideas are heresy to mainstream archaeologists and sure enough the archaeological establishment in Indonesia banded together against Dr Natawidjaja and his team, lobbied the political authorities, agitated locally and succeeded in slowing down, though not completely stopping, the further exploration of Gunung Padang.

Dr Natawidjaja fought back, doing some high-level lobbying of his own, taking the matter to the President of Indonesia himself. There were further delays to do with elections in Indonesia but just a couple of months ago, in mid-August 2014, the final obstacles were lifted and Dr Natawidjaja and his team moved back onto the Gunung Padang site with full approval to go ahead with their work, including permission to excavate the concealed chambers.

Archaeologists were furious and immediately began lobbying to get the work stopped – fortunately to no avail as preliminary excavations have produced results that prove beyond doubt that Gunung Padang in indeed a man-made pyramid of great antiquity as Dr Natawidjaja had long ago proposed. Even the relatively young layer so far excavated (the second artificial columnar rock-layer beneath the megalithic site visible on the surface) has yielded dates of 5200 BC (nearly 3000 years older than the orthodox dating for the Pyramids of Giza in Egypt) and there are firm indications from the original remote sensing and core drilling work of much older layers below. In short, it is now evident to all that the site is vastly older than the 2500 years that archaeologists had insisted upon for decades. Even the most hostile amongst them are therefore now reframing their assessment of the site and referring to it as “a gigantic terraced tomb, which was part of the biggest megalithic culture in the archipelago.”

For a flavor of the sour grapes the archaeological establishment feel towards Dr Natawidjaja and his team see this recent article from the Jakarta Post.

I asked Dr Natawidjaja for his response to the Jakarta Post article and he replied as follows:

“The article has got the story all wrong.  All excavations were supervised by archeologists from Agency for Conservation and Management of Archaeological Sites (BPCB) and University of Indonesia.  The excavation sites have also recently been inspected by the Director for Conservation of Archeological Sites (who is the boss of Miss Desril Shanti ), by the head of the BPCB, and by the Minister of Education and Culture himself.  Afterward, they gave a press conference confirming that all excavations are good and proper.  For information, the head of the National Archeological Center, which is the main office above local Archeological Centers including Bandung Archeological Center, is also a member of the National Team for Gunung Padang. The Jakarta Post article is also wrong about the funding.  The Minister of Education and Culture did indeed announce in the press conference that he would allocate about Rp 3 billion for the research but it has not begun to be disbursed yet.  So far, I and my team are still working willingly on our own funding with the help of the soldiers (TNI) who have been working alongside us.  Of course the TNI have their own funding – but not from that Endowment Fund.”

As to the progress of the work at Gunung Padang, Dr Natawidjaja writes as follows:

“The research progress has been being great.  We have excavated three more spots right on top of the megalithic site in the past couple weeks, which give more evidence and details about the buried structures.  We have uncovered lots more stone artifacts from the excavations.  The existence of the pyramid-like structure beneath the megalithic site is now loud and clear; even for non-specialists, it is not too difficult  to understand if they come and see for themselves.    We have found some kind of open hall buried by soil 5-7 meters thick; however we have not yet got into the main chamber.  We are now drilling to the suspected location of the chamber (based on subsurface geophysic) in the middle of the megalithic site.”

from:    http://realitysandwich.com/223675/the-mysterious-ancient-pyramid-in-indonesia-that-is-rewriting-history/

Tomb of Mayan Queen K’abel Found

Mayan Tomb May Belong to Warrior Queen

Megan Gannon, News Editor
Date: 03 October 2012
The carved alabaster vessel (shown from two sides) found in the burial chamber caused the archaeologists to conclude the tomb was that of Lady K’abel.
CREDIT: El Peru Waka Regional Archaeological Project

Archaeologists say they’ve discovered what could be the tomb of one of the greatest Mayan rulers, the seventh-century warrior queen Lady K’abel.

The tomb was revealed during digging at the ancient Maya city of El Perú-Waka’ in the rain forest of northern Guatemala. Alongside the body, excavators found a white jar shaped like a conch shell with the head and arm of a woman carved at the opening. The artifact had four hieroglyphs that suggest it belonged to K’abel.

“Nothing is ever proven in archaeology because we’re working with circumstantial evidence. But in our case we have a carved stone alabaster jar that is named K’abel’s possession,” David Freidel, an archaeologist working on the site, explained in a video. Freidel, of Washington University in St. Louis, said the find is “as close to a smoking gun” as you get in archaeology.

The plazas, palaces, temple pyramids and residences of El Perú-Waka’ belong to the Classic Maya civilization (A.D. 200-900). K’abel was part of a royal family and carried the title “Kaloomte’,” which translates to “Supreme Warrior,” meaning she had even higher in authority than her king husband, K’inich Bahlam, according to Freidel and his excavation team. K’abel is believed to have reigned with him from about A.D. 672-692. [Top 12 Warrior Moms in History]

Ceramic vessels found in the burial chamber and carvings on a stela (stone slab) outside of it also indicate the tomb belongs to K’abel, as does a large red spiny oyster shell found on the lower torso of the remains, the researchers said.

“Late Classic queens at Waka’, including K’abel, regularly wore such a shell as a girdle ornament in their stela portraits while kings did not,” the researchers wrote in a report on the finds.

An examination of the remains indicated the buried person was a “mature individual,” the researchers wrote. But the bones were too deteriorated for scientists to determine whether they belonged to a male or female.

Excavations have been underway at El Perú-Waka’ since 2003. The K’abel find has not yet appeared in a peer-reviewed scientific journal.

from:    http://www.livescience.com/23680-tomb-mayan-queen.html

Chris Dunn on Lost Technologies of Ancient Egypt

Adaptation

from

Lost Technologies of Ancient Egypt:

Advanced Engineering in the Temples of the Pharaohs

The landscape of the ancient world is dotted with fabulous structures that are breathtaking in their complexity. The Egyptians and Mayans had their pyramids and temples. The Hindus crafted elaborate temples throughout Asia. The Greeks built the Parthenon, and the Babylonians constructed the Jupiter Temple and the fabled Hanging Gardens. The Romans made their mark all over their world, with engineering geniuses guiding the construction of their famous roads, the Coliseum, and numerous temples and viaducts, while Roman sculptors guided their chisels over marble and alabaster, giving it physical presence and beauty.

With the exception of artifacts such as the mysterious Antikythera Mechanism, an astronomical computer found by fishermen on the sea floor near the island of Antikythera in 1901, the development of technology in the ancient world seems to have clear origins and is fairly well understood.

Going back yet further in time, a deeper mystery lies in the question of how the ancient Egyptian civilization could have flourished for three thousand years without improving the tools used to quarry and shape stone to near perfection. Since 1984, when Analog magazine published my article “Advanced Machining in Ancient Egypt?” controversy on this subject has persisted. The article proposed that the ancient Egyptians were more advanced than previously believed and that they used advanced tools and methods to cut granite, diorite, and other difficult-to-work stone. It does not seem credible that brilliant architects and engineers would continue to use stone tools and copper chisels for three millennia.

The most stunning and convincing artifacts that clearly contradict theories about how hard igneous rock was quarried and worked in prehistory are the incredible granite and basalt boxes in the rock tunnels of the Serapeum at Saqqara. Within these mysterious tunnels that were carved out of the limestone bedrock are over 20 huge granite boxes. These 70 ton boxes with their 20 ton lids were quarried at Aswan over 500 miles away and installed in arched crypts recessed into the walls of the labyrinth of underground tunnels. All of the boxes were finished on the inside and the bottom side of the lid, but not all were finished on the outside. It appears that work stopped suddenly in the Serapeum, for there were boxes in several stages of completion: boxes with lids, boxes that had yet to have the lids placed on them, and the rough box and lid near the entrance. The floor of each crypt was several feet lower than the tunnel floor. Iron railings were installed to prevent visitors from falling.

In 1995 I inspected the inside and outside surfaces of two boxes in the Serapeum with a 6-inch precision straight edge that was accurate to .0002 inch.

In one of the crypts there is a granite box with a broken corner, and this box is accessible by means of steps down to the lower floor. The outside of the box appears to be roughly finished, but the glint of a high polish on the inside surfaces beckoned me to climb inside. Running my hand along the surface of the granite reminded me of the thousands of times I have run my hand along a granite surface plate when I was working as a machinist and later as a tool and die maker. The feel of the stone was no different, though I was not sure of its flatness or accuracy. To check my impression, I placed the edge of my precision-ground parallel against the surface—and I saw that it was dead flat. There was no light showing through the interface of the steel and the stone, as there would be if the surface was concave, and the steel did not rock back and forth, as it would if the surface was convex. To put it mildly, I was astounded. I did not expect to find such exactitude, because this order of precision is not necessary for the sarcophagus of a bull—or any other animal or human.

I slid the parallel along the surface both horizontally and vertically, and there was no deviation from a true, flat surface. The flatness was similar to precision-ground surface plates that are used in manufacturing for the verification of exactly machined parts for tools, gauges, and myriad other products that require extremely accurate surfaces and dimensions. Those familiar with such products and the relationship between gauges and surface plates know that the gauge may show that the stone is flat within the tolerance of the gauge—in this case 0.0002 inch (0.00508 millimeter) flatness. If the gauge is moved 6 inches along the stone surface, however, and the same conditions are found, it cannot be claimed with certainty that the stone is within the same tolerance over 12 inches—unless the plate has been inspected by another means and is calibrated to a known standard.

Nonetheless, moving the steel edge along the granite provided enough information for me to conclude that I needed a longer straight edge—and, preferably, even more sophisticated alignment equipment—to determine the accuracy of the inside surfaces of the box. I was also impressed to find that each corner of the box had a small radius that ran from the top of the box to the bottom, where it blended with the corner radius of the floor of the box.

The artifacts I have measured in Egypt have the marks of careful and remarkable manufacturing methods. They are unmistakable and irrefutable in their precision but origin or intent will always be open to speculation. The following series of photographs were taken inside the Serapeum on August 27, 2001. Those taken of me inside one of these huge boxes show me inspecting the squareness between a 27 ton lid and the inside surface of the granite box on which it sits. The precision square I used was calibrated to .00005 inch (that is 5/100,000 of an inch) using a Jones & Lamson comparitor.

The underside of the lid and the inside wall of the box I found to be square, and finding that the squareness was achieved not just on one side of the box but both, raises the level of difficulty in accomplishing this feat.

Think of it as a geometric reality. In order for the lid to be square with the two inside walls, the inside walls would have to be parallel to one another along the vertical axis. Moreover, the topside of the box would need to establish a plane that is square to the sides. That makes finishing the inside exponentially more difficult. The manufacturers of these boxes in the Serapeum not only created inside surfaces that were flat when measured vertically and horizontally, they also made sure that the surfaces they were creating were square and parallel to each other, with one surface, the top, having sides that are 5 feet and 10 feet apart from each other. But without such parallelism and squareness of the top surface, the squareness noted on both sides would not exist

The flat surfaces of the inside of the boxes exhibited a high degree of accuracy that is comparable to surfaces found on surface plates in modern manufacturing facilities.

Finding such precision from any epoch in human history leads one to conclude that a sophisticated system of precise measure must have been in existence. This is an area of intense interest to engineers—such as myself—who find in Egypt a language with which we are familiar. This is the language of science, engineering, and manufacturing. Our counterparts in that ancient land left future generations of scientists, engineers, architects, and those who take their instructions and shape materials to their specifications, with a difficult challenge. This challenge is to recognize what they created and provide evidence-based, reasonable answers that give the ancient engineers credit for what they achieved.

The ancient Egyptians who built the pyramids and temples, who crafted monumental statues out of igneous rock, were thinking with the minds of architects, engineers, and craftspeople. Were ancient archaeologists responsible for the legacy they left us? Without the advice of modern Egyptian architects, engineers, and craftspeople, are today’s Egyptian archaeologists missing something? Are modern interpretations of the awesome feats of the ancient Egyptians irrelevant in providing new and powerful information about this ancient culture? Are the thoughts and conclusions of Western writers and travelers who stood in front of the Great Pyramid one hundred years ago (or some forty-five hundred years after it was built) more intrinsically linked to the ancient Egyptian mind than those who come after them, a century or more later? What can be described as a “modern perspective?” In his time, Herodotus would surely have been considered modern. So were Egyptophiles Petrie, Marriette, Champollion, and Howard Carter—each in possession of a modern mind that was clothed in a fabric of prejudices and stereotypes that existed within their own culture.

When it comes to completely understanding the ancient Egyptians’ level of technological prowess, there can be no final conclusion. What is left to study today is a mere skeleton of what existed at the time of the ancient Egyptians. This skeleton survives as highly sophisticated and precisely crafted sedimentary and igneous rock. It is my belief that the clothes we have placed on this skeleton are mere rags compared to what should be there. I have proposed in the past that higher levels of technology were used by the ancient Egyptians, but for the sake of argument, I have rejected some ideas and cast doubt on my previous assertions as to the level of technology they enjoyed. At the same time, I cast doubt on the methods of manufacture that Egyptologists have asserted were used to build the pyramids and the glorious temples in Egypt. These methods are primitive and include stone and wooden mallets; copper chisels; tube drills and saws; and stone hammers for quarrying, dressing, and sculpting hard igneous rock.

Having knowledge of the incredible precision in the boxes in the Serapeum, we should be reminded of the work of Sir William Flinders Petrie, who measured and recorded for prosperity the marvelous layout of the Giza Plateau, and particularly the accuracy and true alignment of many of the features found in the Great Pyramid. His measurements discovered that the casing stone were cut within .010 inch and the constructed portion of the Descending Passage was accurate to within the thickness of a thumbnail (.020 inch) over a length of 150 feet.

To understand how the ancient Egyptians created these testaments to manufacturing prowess, we need to rely on an examination by scientists and engineers. They would take measurements with modern tools and analyze the full scope of the work and compare them with our own capabilities. The full scope of the work includes the most difficult aspects of the work, which are ignored by Egyptologists when they attempt to explain how the ancient Egyptians created their monuments. For instance, dragging a 25 ton block of granite over wooden rollers, with great difficulty, does not explain how a 500 ton obelisk or monolithic statues weighing 1000 tons were moved by prehistoric people. Bashing out a few cubic centimeters of granite with a dolerite ball does not explain how thousands of tons of granite were extracted from the bedrock and shaped with extreme precision and displayed as monumental pieces of art in the temples of Upper Egypt. To know the true majesty and capability of the ancient Egyptians, one only has to know and appreciate the full extent of their work.

to read the rest of the article and view the images, go to:    http://www.gizapower.com/LoTeAnArticle.htm

Gobekili Tepe — Older than Stonehenge

Gobekli Tepe: Oldest Monumental Architecture of Planet

Predating Stonehenge by 6,000 years, Turkey’s stunning Gobekli Tepe upends the conventional view of the rise of civilization

Located 35 miles north of Turkey’s border with Syria, Gobekli Tepe consists of 20 T-shaped stone towers, carved with drawings of snakes, scorpions, lions, boars, foxes and other animals.

The amazing thing about them is they date back to 9,500 BC, 5,500 years before the first cities of Mesopotamia and 7,000 years before the circle of Stonehenge.

Scientists say that back then humans hadn’t even discovered pottery or domesticated wheat. They lived in villages, had no agriculture and only relied on hunting to survive

Göbekli Tepe had already been located in a survey in 1964, when the American archaeologist Peter Benedict mentioned the site as a possible location of stone age activity, but its importance was not recognised at that time. Excavations have been conducted since 1994 by the German Archaeological Institute (Istanbul branch) and  Sanliurfa Museum, under the direction of the German archaeologist Klaus Schmidt (University of Heidelberg). The title isn’t actually doing Gobekli Tepe justice since the Turkish archaeological site is 7,000 years older than Stonehenge.

Gobekli Tepe changes everything archaeologists discovered so far and it is considered the most important archaeological find in recent history. Klaus Schmidt, the man who first discovered Gobekli Tepe says the carvings might be the first human representation of gods.

Source:  http://forum.xcitefun.net

Göbekli Tepe

Evidence for the existence of extra-terrestrial life?

Unexplained 12,000 year old underground city, in southeastern Turkey, is made of massive carved stones, crafted and arranged by prehistoric people who apparently had not yet developed metal tools or even pottery.

Göbekli Tepe (Turkish for “Potbelly hill”) is a hilltop sanctuary erected on the highest point of an elongated mountain ridge some 15 km northeast of the town of Sanliurfa (formerly Urfa / Edessa) in southeastern Turkey.
The site is currently undergoing excavation by German and Turkish archaeologists.

Until excavations began, a complex on this scale was not thought possible for a community so ancient. The massive sequence of stratification layers suggests several millennia of activity, perhaps reaching back to the Mesolithic. The oldest occupation layer (stratum III) contains monolithic pillars linked by coarsely built walls to form circular or oval structures. Göbekli Tepe has revealed several adjacent rectangular rooms with floors of polished lime, reminiscent of Roman terrazzo floors.

Thus, the structures not only predate pottery, metallurgy, and the invention of writing or the wheel; they were built before the so-called Neolithic Revolution, i.e., the beginning of agriculture and animal husbandry around 9000 BC. But the construction of Göbekli Tepe implies organisation of an order of complexity not hitherto associated with Paleolithic, PPNA, or PPNB societies.

At present, Göbekli Tepe raises more questions for archaeology and prehistory than it answers. We do not know how a force large enough to construct, augment, and maintain such a substantial complex was mobilized and paid or fed in the conditions of pre-Neolithic society. We cannot “read” the pictograms, and do not know for certain what meaning the animal reliefs had for visitors to the site; the variety of fauna depicted, from lions and boars to birds and insects, makes any single explanation problematic.

The reason the complex was eventually buried remains unexplained. Until more evidence is gathered, it is difficult to deduce anything certain about the originating culture.

Source: http://grasptheuniverse.com/ancient-artifacts/gobekli-tepe/

Andrew Collins – Finding Eden: Mystery of Gobekli Tepe & Giza’s Cave Underworld

Description: In southeast Turkey stands the oldest temple in the world. At nearly 12,000 years old, Gobekli Tepe is an enigma to archaeology. Consisting of a series of stone circles, made up of T-shaped pillars bearing exquisite carvings of animals, birds, insects and abstract human figures, this ritual complex was constructed at the end of the last Ice Age by faceless individuals, who rose far beyond the conventional understanding of the hunter-gatherers who occupied the Eurasian continent at this time. Why were these amazing stone circles buried overnight, sometime around 10,000 year ago? It is an enigma that seems to start in Africa some 17,000 years ago, and ends with not only the creation of civilization down in the fertile crescent of Mesopotamia, but also in the sudden emergence of the ancient Egyptian civilization, where the story continues with the discovery in 2008 of a cave underworld beneath the plateau at Giza. Powerful evidence suggests that this underground complex existed ever before even the Pyramid Age, and might well reflect an African origin to the roots of ancient Egyptian religion. It might also hold the key to answering claims that in the vicinity of the Sphinx is a lost Hall of Records.

Biog: History and science writer Andrew Collins is a leading expert on Gobekli Tepe, and provides a powerful insight into the strange worlds both at Gobekli Tepe in Turkey and beneath the Pyramids at Giza. His books include From the Ashes of Angels (1996), Gods of Eden (1998), The Cygnus Mystery (2006), and Beneath the Pyramids (2009), in which he discovers and explores the lost underworld that exists beneath the Pyramids of Giza. Andrew, born in 1957, lives with his wife Sue in Marlborough, UK.

Filmed at the Megalithomania Conference in Glastonbury on 9th May 2010 by Nautilus AV Productions.
http://www.megalithomania.co.uk/dvd.html

for more information, including interview with Graham Hancock, information on the unar-solar calendar, etc. go to the source:    http://blog.world-mysteries.com/strange-artifacts/gobekli-tepe-6000-years-older-than-stonehenge/

Syrian Desert Ancient Rock Structures

Desert mystery

June 25, 2012

Desert mystery

Enlarge

Archaeologist Robert Mason spoke at the Semitic Museum about the discovery of mysterious rock formations near the Syrian monastery Deir Mar Musa (above), and the need for further exploration. Photos by Jon Chase/Harvard Staff Photographer

There’s a mystery in the Syrian desert shielded by the conflict tearing apart the Middle Eastern nation.

 

In 2009, archaeologist Robert Mason of the Royal Ontario Museum was at work at an ancient monastery when, walking nearby, he came across a series of rock formations: lines of stone, stone circles, and what appeared to be tombs.

Mason, who talked about the finds and about archaeology at the monastery on Wednesday at Harvard’s Semitic Museum, said that much more detailed examinations are needed to understand the structures, but that he isn’t sure when he will be able to return to Syria, if ever.

Analysis of fragments of stone tools found in the area suggests the rock formations are much older than the monastery, perhaps dating to the Neolithic Period or early Bronze Age, 6,000 to 10,000 years ago. Mason also saw corral-like stone formations called “desert kites,” which would have been used to trap gazelles and other animals. The region is dry today (“very scenic, if you like rocks,” Mason said), but was probably greener millennia ago.

It was clear, Mason said, that the purpose of the stone formations was entirely different from that of the stone-walled desert kites. The kites were arranged to take advantage of the landscape and direct the animals to a single place, while the more linear stone formations were made to stand out from the landscape. In addition, he said, there was no sign of habitats.

“What it looked like was a landscape for the dead and not for the living,” Mason said. “It’s something that needs more work and I don’t know if that’s ever going to happen.”

In a talk in 2010, Mason said he felt like he’d stumbled onto England’s Salisbury Plain, where Stonehenge is located, leading to the formations being dubbed “Syria’s Stonehenge.”

Mason also talked about the monastery, Deir Mar Musa. Early work on the building likely began in the late 4th or early 5th century. It was occupied until the 1800s, though damaged repeatedly by earthquakes. Following refurbishment in the 1980s and 1990s, it became active again.

Mason thinks the monastery was originally a Roman watchtower that was partially destroyed by an earthquake and then rebuilt. The compound was enlarged, with new structures added until it reached the size of the modern complex, clinging to a dry cliff face in the desert about 50 miles north of Damascus.

Mason was searching Roman watchtowers when he came across the stone lines, circles, and possible tombs.

The monastery is the home to many frescoes — some badly damaged — depicting Christian scenes, female saints, and Judgment Day. Mason also explored a series of small caves that he believes were excavated and lived in by the monks, who returned to the monastery for church services.

Mason said that if he’s able to return, he’d like to excavate the area under the church’s main altar, where he thinks there might be an entrance to underground tombs. He’s already received the permission of the monastery’s superior, who was recently ejected from the country.

from:    http://phys.org/news/2012-06-mystery.html

New Theory About Stonehenge

Stonehenge a Monument to Unity, New Theory Suggests

Stephanie Pappas, LiveScience Senior Writer
Date: 22 June 2012
Stonehenge in Great Britain.
The reason for Stonehenge’s construction is unknown.
CREDIT: Albo, Shutterstock

The mysterious structure of Stonehenge may have been built as a symbol of peace and unity, according to a new theory by British researchers.

During the monument’s construction around 3000 B.C. to 2500 B.C., Britain’s Neolithic people were becoming increasingly unified, said study leader Mike Parker Pearson of the University of Sheffield.

“There was a growing islandwide culture — the same styles of houses, pottery and other material forms were used from Orkney to the south coast,” Parker Pearson said in a statement, referring to the Orkney Islands of northern Scotland. “This was very different to the regionalism of previous centuries.”

By definition, Stonehenge would have required cooperation, Parker Pearson added.

“Stonehenge itself was a massive undertaking, requiring the labor of thousands to move stones from as far away as west Wales, shaping them and erecting them. Just the work itself, requiring everything literally to pull together, would have been an act of unification,” he said.

The new theory, detailed in a new book by Parker Pearson, “Stonehenge: Exploring the Greatest Stone Age Mystery” (Simon & Schuster, 2012), is one of many hypotheses about the mysterious monument. Theories range from completely far-fetched (space aliens or the wizard Merlin built it!) to far more evidence-based (the monument may have been an astronomical calendar, a burial site, or both).

The Culture of Stonehenge

Along with fellow researchers on the Stonehenge riverside Project, Parker Pearson worked to put Stonehenge in context, studying not just the monument but also the culture that created it.

What they found was evidence of a civilization transitioning from regionalism to a more integrated culture. Nevertheless, Britain’s Stone Age people were isolated from the rest of Europe and didn’t interact with anyone across the English Channel, Parker Pearson said.

“Stonehenge appears to have been the last gasp of this Stone Age culture, which was isolated from Europe and from the new technologies of metal tools and the wheel,” Parker Pearson said.

Stonehenge’s site may have been chosen because it was already significant to Stone-Age Britons, the researchers suggest. The natural land undulations at the site seem to form a line between the place where the sun rises on the summer solstice and where it sets in midwinter, they found. Neolithic people may have seen this as more than a coincidence, Parker Pearson said.

“This might explain why there are eight monuments in the Stonehenge area with solstitial alignments, a number unmatched anywhere else,” he said. “Perhaps they saw this place as the center of the world.”

Theories and mystery

These days, Stonehenge is nothing if not the center of speculation and mystery. The monument has inspired its fair share of myths, including that the wizard Merlin transported the stones from Ireland and that UFOs use the circle as a landing site.

Archaeologists have built some theories on firmer ground. Stonehenge’s astronomical alignments suggest that it may have been a place for sun worship, or an ancient calendar. A nearby ancient settlement, Durrington Walls, shows evidence of more pork consumption during the midwinter, suggesting that perhaps ancient people made pilgrimages to Stonehenge for the winter solstice, Parker Pearson and his colleagues have found.

Stonehenge may have also been a burial ground, or a place of healing. Tombs and burials surround the site, and some skeletons found nearby hail from distant lands. For example, archaeologists reported in 2010 that they’d found the skeleton of a teenage boy wearing an amber necklace near Stonehenge. The boy died around 1550 B.C. An analysis of his teeth suggest he came from the Mediterranean. It’s possible that ill or wounded people traveled to Stonehenge in search of healing, some archaeologists believe.

Other researchers have focused on the sounds of Stonehenge. The place seems to have “lecture-hall” acoustics, according to research released in May. One archaeologist even suggests that the setup of the stones was inspired by an acoustical effect in which two sounds from different sources seem to cancel each other out.

from:    http://www.livescience.com/21125-stonehenge-theory-unity.html

Statue of Siddhartha Found

Ancient Statue Reveals Prince Who Would Become Buddha

Owen Jarus, LiveScience Contributor
Date: 06 June 2012 Time:
A newly discovered stele from Mes Aynak, in Afghanistan, reveals a depiction of a prince and monk.
A newly discovered stele from Mes Aynak, in Afghanistan, reveals a depiction of a prince and monk. The prince is likely the founder of Buddhism.
CREDIT: Jaroslav Poncar

In the ruins of a Buddhist monastery in Afghanistan, archaeologists have uncovered a stone statue that seems to depict the prince Siddhartha before he founded Buddhism.

The stone statue, or stele, was discovered at the Mes Aynak site in a ruined monastery in 2010, but it wasn’t until now that it was analyzed and described. Gérard Fussman, a professor at the Collège de France in Paris, details his study in “The Early Iconography of Avalokitesvara” (Collège de France, 2012).

Standing 11 inches (28 centimeters) high and carved from schist — a stone not found in the area — the stele depicts a prince alongside a monk. Based on a bronze coin found nearby, Fussman estimates the statue dates back at least 1,600 years. Siddhartha lived 25 centuries ago

A newly discovered stele from Mes Aynak, in Afghanistan, reveals a depiction of a prince and monk.

A newly discovered stele from Mes Aynak, in Afghanistan, reveals a depiction of a prince and monk. The prince is likely the founder of Buddhism.
CREDIT: Jaroslav Poncar

In the ruins of a Buddhist monastery in Afghanistan, archaeologists have uncovered a stone statue that seems to depict the prince Siddhartha before he founded Buddhism.

The stone statue, or stele, was discovered at the Mes Aynak site in a ruined monastery in 2010, but it wasn’t until now that it was analyzed and described. Gérard Fussman, a professor at the Collège de France in Paris, details his study in “The Early Iconography of Avalokitesvara” (Collège de France, 2012).

Standing 11 inches (28 centimeters) high and carved from schist — a stone not found in the area — the stele depicts a prince alongside a monk. Based on a bronze coin found nearby, Fussman estimates the statue dates back at least 1,600 years. Siddhartha lived 25 centuries ago.

 

The prince is shown sitting on a round wicker stool, his eyes looking down and  with his right foot against his left knee. He is “clad in a dhoti (a garment), with a turban, wearing necklaces, earrings and bracelets, sitting under a pipal tree foliage. On the back of the turban, two large rubans [are] flowing from the head to the shoulders,” writes Fussman in his new book. “The turban is decorated by a rich front-ornament, without any human figure in it.” [Photos of the statue and ancient Buddhist monastery]

Mes Aynak is located about 25 miles (40 km) east of Kabul and contains an ancient Buddhist monastic complex.

Mes Aynak is located about 25 miles (40 km) east of Kabul and contains an ancient Buddhist monastic complex.
CREDIT: Jerome Starkey CC Attribution Share-Alike 2.0 Generic

The monk stands at the prince’s right side, his right forearm shown upright. In his right hand the monk holds a lotus flower or palm (now broken), and in his left is a round object of some kind.

Based on the iconography of the stele, particularly the pipal leaves, Fussman believes the prince is Gautama Siddhartha Sakyamuni, who is said to have achieved enlightenment, become a Buddha — someone of divine wisdom and virtue — and founded the religion of Buddhism. This stele shows him at an early moment in his life, when he has yet to start his fateful journey of enlightenment.

Siddhartha’s story

According to the story, Siddhartha’s father wanted him to follow a worldly path and tried to keep his son cloistered in a palace.

“Lotus pools were made for me at my father’s house solely for my use; in one, blue lotuses flowered, in another white, and in another red,” says Siddharthain ancient writings attributed to him. “A white sunshade was held over me day and night so that I would not be troubled by cold or heat, dust or grit or dew.” (This translation is from Rupert Gethin’s “The Foundations of Buddhism,” Oxford University Press, 1998.)

The prince’s life would change when he ventured outside the palace and saw the real world. “As soon as he left the palace he became pessimistic,” Fussman told LiveScience, “because by meeting these people, he knew that everybody is to work, everybody may become ill, everybody is to die.”

He grew disenchanted with palace life and left, becoming a poor ascetic.

Tibetan clues

Fussman said that this stele supports the idea that there was a monastic cult, in antiquity, dedicated to  Siddhartha’s pre-enlightenment life. This idea was first proposed in a 2005 article inthe journalEast and West by UCLA professor Gregory Schopen. Schopen found evidence for the cult when studying the Tibetan version of the monastic code, Mulasarvastivada vinaya.

It’s a “cult focused on his image that involved taking it in procession through the region and into town,” Schopen wrote. “A cult tied to a cycle of festivals celebrating four moments, not in the biography of the Buddha but in the pre-enlightenment period of the life of Siddhartha.”

One section of the code authorizes carrying the image of Siddhartha (referred to as a Bodhisattva) on a wagon.

Whether or not the newly discovered stele went on a wagon ride, Fussman said the depiction of Gautama Siddhartha Sakyamuni before he became a Buddha provides further evidence of the existence of this cult. “Here also you have an instance of it,” he said in the interview, “the Buddha before he became a Buddha.”

Excavations continue at the Mes Aynak site as scientists explore the complex in an effort to save the artifacts before the area is disturbed by copper mining.

from:    http://www.livescience.com/20799-ancient-statue-reveals-prince-buddha.html

 

Acoustics at Stonehenge

The Stones Speak: Stonehenge Had Lecture Hall Acoustics

Wynne Parry, LiveScience Senior Writer
Date: 02 May 2012
No one knows why ancient people built Stonehenge.
No one knows why ancient people built Stonehenge.
CREDIT: Pete Strasser | nasa.gov

The stone slabs of England’s Stonehenge may have been more than just a spectacular sight to the ancient people who built the structure; they likely created an acoustic environment unlike anything they normally experienced, new research hints.

“As they walk inside they would have perceived the sound environment around them had changed in some way,”said researcher Bruno Fazenda, a professor at the University of Salford in the United Kingdom. “They would have been stricken by it, they would say, ‘This is different.'”

These Neolithic people might have felt as modern people do upon entering a cathedral, Fazenda told LiveScience.

Fazenda and colleagues have been studying the roughly 5,000-year-old-structure’sacoustic properties. Their work at the Stonehenge site in Wiltshire, England, and at a concrete replica built as a memorial to soldiers in World War I in Maryhill, Wash., indicates Stonehenge had the sort of acoustics desirable in a lecture hall

Stonehenge itself is no longer complete, so Fazenda and colleagues used the replica in Maryhill as a stand-in for the original structure. At both locations, they generated sounds and recorded them from different positions to see how the structure influenced the behavior of the sound.

At the replica, they found a reverberation time of just less than one second, the amount of time optimal for a lecture hall. Unlike an echo, which is a single response created when sound waves reflect off something, reverberation occurs when a sound is sustained by a quick succession of reflections arriving at different times.

Modern cathedrals can have reverberation times of about 10 seconds or more, while concert halls are designed so reverberation in them will last between two and five seconds, Fazenda said.

About one second of reverberation is “just enough for us to start becoming aware of it,” he said.

Based on their work at Maryhill, the researchers believe the many stones within Stonehenge would have diffracted and diffused sound waves, creating reverberation. The large amount of diffusion and diffraction would have also lead to good sound quality regardless of where the listener was standing in relation the source of sound within the structure.

“What we found in Maryhill as a model for Stonehenge was you could almost stand behind a stone and keep talking with a good level of voice, and people would be able to hear you somewhere else,” he said.

For the Neolithic people who built this structure, this sort of acoustic environment was likely quite unusual. They appear to have lived in smaller, thatched-roof homes made of wood, which would not have reflected sound as effectively. And the region around Stonehenge has no significant geographical features, like high cliffs, which are associated with echoes, or large caves, which are associated with reverberation, Fazenda said.

While some have suggested that Stonehenge was designed to create certain acoustic effects, Fazenda said he sees no evidence for this.

Rather than search for an acoustic motivation behind the construction of this mysterious structure, this research is intended to help better understand how the ancient people might have used the structure, he said.

Fazenda collaborated with Rupert Till of the University of Huddersfield in the UK and with archaeologist Simon Wyatt on this project.

from:   http://www.livescience.com/20044-stonehenge-acoustics.html