100,000 Year Old Ruins of South Africa

This article first appeared on grahamhancock.com and is written by Micheal Tellinger.

The history of southern Africa is one of the great untold stories of the world. It has remained a guarded mystery by traditional knowledge keepers and African shaman for thousands of years. But in 2003 everything changed with the accidental and serendipitous discovery of an ancient stone calendar that caused a chain reaction of events, which led us to decoding one of the greatest missing pieces regarding our human origins and the activity of the Anunnaki on planet Earth.

Many history books and scholars have told us that the first civilisation on Earth emerged in a land called Sumer, some 6000 years ago. This Sumerian civilisation left behind a detailed account of human activity in millions of clay tablets that continue to reveal critical human behaviour and outlines the relationship between the Anunna gods and the people of Sumer.

But our archaeological discoveries that began in 2003 suggest that the Sumerians may have inherited much of their knowledge from a civilisation that emerged many thousands of years earlier in southern Africa, already thought to be the cradle of humankind. These discoveries also suggest that the same deities, who have become known as the Anunnaki through the works of Zecharia Sitchin and many others, were also very active in the lives of the people of southern Africa, more than 200,000 years ago.

In 2003, a strange arrangement of large stones that were neatly planted at the edge of a cliff near the town of Kaapschehoop, South Africa, was spotted by Johan Heine from his aeroplane. After returning to the spot the next day to see the site on the ground, he instantly realised that this was no ordinary, nor natural arrangement of monoliths, and so began a process of measurements and calculations that lasted several years. His meticulous analysis clearly shows that this was an ancient calendar that is aligned with the movements of the sun, solstices and equinoxes, and that we can still mark every day of the year by the movement of the shadows cast on the flat surface of the calendar stone at the centre of the site.

But as it is with many ancient sites, including Stonehenge, the calendar aspect is not the main purpose of this structure, but merely a crucial feature built into the site. We have discovered deeper and more mysterious functions that only became apparent after many electronic and scientific measurements several years later.

Through its alignment with the stars and the movement of the sun, this African Stonehenge that I named ‘Adam’s Calendar’ has for the first time created a link to the countless other stone ruins in southern Africa, and suggests that these ruins are much older than we initially thought and forces us to start rethinking the activity by early humans in the so-called “Cradle of Humankind”.

The discovery of this calendar site was nothing new to Johan Heine, who had already spent at least 15 years photographing mysterious circular stone structures scattered throughout the mountains and valleys of southern Africa. These circular stone ruins have become affectionately known as the “stone circles” and they lie scattered in large clusters throughout the entire sub-continent that includes South Africa, Zimbabwe, Botswana and parts of Mozambique. The complex that links Nelspruit, Waterval Boven, Machadodorp, Carolina, Badplaas, Dullstroom and Lydenburg, and has a radius of approximately 60 kilometres, covering an area larger then modern-day Los Angeles, has emerged as the largest and most mysterious ancient city on Earth.

The discovery of a bird statue that resembles Horus carved out of dolerite, a small sphinx about 1,5 metres long carved out of the same dolerite rock, a petroglyph of a winged disk, many carvings of Sumerian crosses in circles and an ankh in a radiating circle suggest that the prototype Sumerian and Egyptian civilisations had their origins in southern Africa thousands of years before they emerged in the north.

After meeting Johan Heine in early 2007, he invited me, along with a large group of the most senior scholars in the field of archaeology, history and geology from several South African universities, to experience the spectacular vista of the ruins from a helicopter, an event that spanned an entire weekend. Though this was an incredible opportunity of a birds-eye-view of the stone circles, on the day of the event, I was the only one to arrive. And so, I alone gained new perspective and became the one that carried the torch of future research and investigation.

Six years of research by a group of independent scientists and explorers has delivered what may be the crucial missing elements in our understanding of the lives and development of early modern humans. Our discoveries have been noted in two books – Adam’s Calendar and African Temples of The Anunnaki and will be updated in the soon to be released The Lost City of ENKI. But the research has also shown that these stone settlements represent the most mysterious and misunderstood structures found to date. It points to a civilisation that lived at the southern tip of Africa, mining gold for more than 200,000 years, and then completely and suddenly vanished from the radar. We may be looking at the activities of the oldest civilisation on Earth.

Little did I know that when I named the newly discovered stone calendar “Adam’s Calendar” how close to the truth I would be. This was only revealed to me by the preeminent Zulu Shaman Credo Mutwa some 2 years later, when he told me that he was initiated at the site in 1937 as a young shaman, and that this site is known to African knowledge keepers as Inzalo Ye Langa, or “Birthplace of The Sun”, where “heaven mated with mother earth” and where humanity was created by the gods.

But Credo went even further in his detailed explanation of the deep significance of the site when he explained that it was not just any god of the ancient times that created humanity, but specifically a deity that is know in Zulu as “Enkai”, the same deity know as ENKI in the Sumerian texts. This throws a whole new spin on our understanding of the Anunnaki on Earth and the “fingerprints” they left not only on ancient stone ruins but also the genetic manipulation and creation of the human race. These fingerprints have now been very clearly exposed in our genetic makeup by the brilliant work of William Brown, a molecular biologist and geneticist of the highest order who is part of the research team of Nassim Haramein’s Resonance Project Research Foundation, on the island of Kauai.

Out of Synch Alignments

After surveying Adam’s Calendar, it turned out that the north, south, east, west alignment is out by 3 degrees – 17 minutes – 43 sec in an anti-clockwise direction. This may be a critical discovery regarding turbulent times in antiquity because it irrefutably proves that the earth’s north-south alignment today, is not where it was when the calendar was constructed. It irrefutably proves that our planet has undergone a crustal displacement, or something along those lines, taking the north-south pole alignment with it. The theory of Crustal Shift or Crustal Displacement was proposed by scientist Charles Hapgood and strongly supported by Albert Einstein. Adam’s Calendar gives us the geophysical proof that such events did actually occur. What we do not know however at this stage, is when this shift happened.

Mysterious ancient ruins of southern Africa.

Until I started my research in 2007, it was generally accepted by scholars that there are about 20,000 ancient stone ruins scattered throughout the mountains of southern Africa. Modern historians have been speculating about the origins of these ruins, often calling them “cattle kraal of little historic importance”. The truth of the matter is that closer scientific inspection paints a completely different and astonishing new picture about the ancient history of these stone ruins. The scientific reality is that we actually know very little about these spectacular ancient ruins and it is a great tragedy that thousands have already been destroyed, and continue to be destroyed through sheer ignorance by power lines, forestry, municipalities, farmers and new housing developments.

After my personal explorations on foot and by air over the ruins, I confidently estimated the number of ancient stone ruins to be well over 100,000. This figure was confirmed by Prof. Revil Mason in January 2009. But after doing an extensive count on Google Earth and other aerial photographs I concluded that there are at least a staggering 10 million of these circular ruins. The mystery deepened when I found out that they have no doors or entrances in their original form and therefore could not have been dwellings. They were all originally connected by what we now call channels – (which our history books call roads that tribes drove their cattle on) – and are also surrounded and connected to an ongoing grid of agricultural terraces that cover more than 450,000 square kilometres. This clearly points to a vast vanished civilisation who grew crops on a gigantic scale.

Population Problem

This immediately poses a huge problem for archaeologists, anthropologists and historians because the accepted history of this part of the planet does not at any time in our past place anywhere nearly enough people here to have built this number of structures. It gets even more complex when you realise that these were not just isolated structures left behind by migrating hunter-gatherers, but a giant complex of circular structures all connected by the strange channels and suspended in a never-ending web of agricultural terraces. If we were to assume that these were dwellings, it would suggest a population of at least 10 million people – which is unimaginable to most of us today.

Ancient Gold Fields

It is important to note that the mysterious ruins of southern Africa, which include Great Zimbabwe and millions of similar ruins in that country, also extend into neighbouring areas like Botswana, Namibia, Zambia, Kenya and Mozambique. But why were these ancient people here in the first place? What were they doing?

The past 200 years has seen a number of explorers write in great detail about these ruins, but their findings have been largely forgotten and their books are out of print. Most of these early explorers write about thousands of ancient mine shafts found in close proximity to these ruins. In fact, most of these mines have been described as gold mines, copper, tin and iron mines. In my personal experience and research I have found at least 25 ancient mine shafts in gold-rich areas and been told about dozens more by farmers all over South Africa. Ancient mines covered by 30 metres of soil have been reported by at least 2 miners in the ‘30’s in the province of Limpopo and more than 75,000 mines have been reported by geological companies in Mpumalanga. It seems that gold mining has been going on here for a lot longer than most of us ever imagined.

Ann Kritzinger, a geologist from University of Zimbabwe has shown in several papers that many of the ruins in Zimbabwe were most likely for the purpose of extracting and purifying gold – and were not slave pits, animal pits or grain pits as is often suggested by ignorant scholars.

The presence of Dravidian gold miners is shown in great detail by Dr Cyril Hromnik in his astonishing book “Indo Africa” 1981 – showing in great detail the exploits of the MaKomati people – Hindu Dravidians – who were here in southern Africa mining gold as far back as 2000 years ago and probably even further back in time.

Sumeria and Abantu

The links to the Sumerian civilisation in southern Africa simply cannot be ignored or erased. They can even be traced with etymology in the names and origins of indigenous people. The most obvious evidence are the mysterious origins of the word “Abantu”, the name commonly used to describe black South Africans. According to Credo Mutwa, the name is derived from the Sumerian goddess Antu. “Abantu” simply means the children or people of Antu.

Energy Generation – Ancient knowledge

Extensive electronic measurements in 2011 have shown that the circular stone ruins are in fact energy generating devices, using the natural sound that emanates from the surface of the Earth, creating electromagnetic fields as a result of the sound amplification. The shape of the circular ruins are all very specific and unique because each circle represents the cymatic pattern of the sound energy as it appears on the surface of the earth at that point. This energy was amplified by a simple understanding of harmonics and utilised in the same way that we generate LASER and SASER beam technology today. Giant magnetron-shaped structures suggest that this was well understood by the ancients. I have measured these spectacular energies and electromagnetic waves and therefore do not hesitate to make these claims. Some of the sound frequencies go into the extremely high Giga hertz levels (over 380 Giga hertz) which are unheard of on Earth today in any normal application.

The fact that these circles are all connected by the stone channels makes it very clear to any scientist who works with electricity or energy that the stone circle complex is a giant energy generating grid that was most likely used in the mining and processing of gold on a scale unimaginable to us today.

Dating of The Ruins And Artefacts

This is a critical aspect of my research and there are several methods that I have had to resort to because we cannot use carbon dating to establish the age of stone. Neither can we assume that pottery or other artefacts found in the ruins were left behind by the architects. The many tools and artefacts that I have collected for my small museum in Waterval Boven are very unique and very mysterious – all made out of stone. They all seem to display strong acoustic properties and I call them “stones that ring like bells”. This was the realisation that led me to discover that sound played a critical role in the building of the ruins and the use of the energies that they create. One of the most obvious techniques I use in determining the possible age of the tools, is the patina growth that forms on the rock. The kind of patina or skin that grows on these artefacts, grows at a very slow rate that is estimated to be about one thousand years per microscopic layer. In other words, by the time that the patina is visible to the naked eye, it is already a few thousand years old. Most of the artefacts in my collection are completely covered in patina several millimetres thick, suggesting that these ancient tools must be well over 100,000 years old or even substantially older.

In conclusion, we are standing at the threshold of a brand new discovery that will expose great surprises and unveil a great hidden part of human history. My  book UBUNTU Contributionism – A Blueprint For Human Prosperity was released in September 2013 and I am completing the follow up to African Temples of The Anunnaki that will contain all the latest discoveries and conclusions I have reached regarding the vanished civilisations of southern Africa to date.

calendar site
An aerial view of the calendar site perched on the edge of the Transvaal escarpment consisting of black reef quartzite. The tree on the right is the north marker – the tree on the left marks south. All the monoliths that make up the circular calendar structure are dolerite. We do not know where the dolerite comes from. Note the sculptured pointed monolith closest to the edge. This is one of the 3 fallen monoliths that aligns with the rise of Orion’s belt.
calendar stone
Johan Heine shows us the shadow that moves from left to right of the calendar stone, allowing us to mark the days of the year, from the summer solstice on the left edge, to the winter solstice on the right edge.
Adam's Calendar
A close-up view of the Adam’s Calendar, showing that the north-south line dissects the two central calendar stones. The tree in the centre is where the north marker stone is located.
Adam's Calendar
This monolith at Adam’s Calendar was removed from its original position in 1994 where it stood looking at the sunrise on the equinox over the large central monoliths. It now serves as a plaque stand at the entrance to the nature reserve.
calendar site
Although it is badly eroded, the original circular form of the calendar site can still be seen on this satellite image, with the 2 main monoliths at its centre. The north-south deviation can also be immediately seen as the north marker slants slightly to the left of 12 o’clock. It was measure do be 3 degrees, 17 minutes and 43 sec.
mysterious ancient stone ruins
One of the many mysterious ancient stone ruins that seems to have a greater purpose in its design. The Phi factor of 1,618 seems to be well used in this and other structures’ dimensions.
ancient energy grid
A small section of the ancient energy grid that stretches more than 450,000 km square linked by the ancient channels that can be clearly seen from the air. This kind detail is not at all visible to observers on the ground.
Ancient terraces
Ancient terraces surround large complex structures and cover more than 450,000 km square.

For more information about my research and presentations please see my website

www.michaeltellinger.com


Biography

Michael Tellinger is a scientist, researcher, and regular guest on more than 200 radio shows in the United States, United Kingdom, and Europe, such as Coast to Coast AM with George Noory and the Shirley Maclaine Show. In March 2011 he hosted the Megalithomania Conference in Johannesburg, South Africa, featuring Graham Hancock, Andrew Collins, and Robert Temple. He lives in South Africa.

www.michaeltellinger.com

www.slavespecies.com

Youtube Videos with Michael Tellinger




Lost City Found Off Tanzanian Island

Tanzania Underwater RuinsDIVER FINDS LOST CITY DURING EXTREMELY LOW TIDE

 

Alan Sutton is a free diver in Tanzania.  He frequently dives near Mafia Island, the least known, southernmost island, off the Tanzanian coast.  While out diving one day he spotted what appeared to be a reef and approached it.  He thought it looked like a wall and decided to return to further investigate.

Flying over by helicopter Alan could see what appeared to be large blocks of rock, and a wall that stretched approximately four kilometers.  This was highly unusual as the geology of the islands of the area is all sand.  There are no natural rock or reef formations nearby.

Could this be the legendary lost city of Rhapta?  Rhapta is mentioned in chapter 16 of the Periplus of the Erythraean Sea; dated to 50 AD; which describes Rhapta as the southern most trading post of Azania.

Or might it be something else entirely?

Sutton returned to the site during a low spring tide, which is the only time the ruins are partially above water.  What they found was astonishing.  Thousands of rectangular and oblong cut stone blocks, forming foundations and a wall, stretching into the distance.

 

Stone Blocks. Photo Credit: Allen Sutton

Stone Blocks. Photo credit: Alan Sutton and Hannah Jane

The blocks are completely encrusted in sea life and Sutton believes that they must be hundreds of years old.  The city appears to have been extremely well constructed and unlike any other archaeological ruins in Tanzania.  The topmost part of the ruins lie under five meters of water during high tide.  Some of the foundations are ten meters underwater. It must have been built when sea level was lower.  Local fisherman who fish around the area every day say that long ago, before the sea came in, people used to live there.  While there are accounts of a lost Portuguese fort in these waters, this site does not logically fit that description.

We are more inclined to postulate the site may be thousands of years old and was built by an antediluvian civilization.  The wall itself is made of gigantic megalithic stone blocks from an unknown quarry that could be at least 37 kilometers away on the mainland.

It will be amazing to find out the measurements of the blocks and what type of rock they are.

IMG_5398

Photo credit: Alan Sutton and Hannah Jane

MG_1388

Photo credit: Alan Sutton and Hannah Jane

MG_1666-1

Photo Credit: Allan Sutton

underwater-city-mafia-island (1)

Photo Credit: Alan Sutton

underwater-city-mafia-island (2)

Photo credit: Alan Sutton and Hannah Jane

Archaeologists have yet to visit the site.  Ancient Explorers will keep you updated as we learn more.

Written by Camara Cassin.



All photo and video credits to Alan Sutton and Hannah Jane.

 

Sources:

Alan’s Blog http://seaunseen.com/underwater-city-off-mafia-island-tanzania/

IBT Times: http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/diver-discovers-african-atlantis-off-tanzanias-mafia-island-1560000

Is Egypt Blocking The Discovery Of Nefertiti’s Tomb?

 

statue of Nefertiti

A well known Egyptologist named Nicholas Reeves may have found Nefertiti’s resting place in two hidden chambers in King Tut’s tomb.  His preliminary radar scans of the monument have found “two open spaces, with signs of metal and organic matter” behind the tombs western and northern walls.

His theory is that undiscovered chambers lie behind the tomb and likely contain the tomb of Queen Nefertiti, one of  Egypt’s most famous figures. The theory has prompted new exploration and it has been extensively scanned by radar.

When he presented his theory at the the Egyptian conference May 8-9, 2016 he was met with disdain and denial.

“In all my career… I have never come across any discoveries in Egypt due to radar scans.” Zahi Hawass said.  He further suggested the team should go take their radar somewhere else, and practice on other monuments known to have hidden chambers.

But what Hawass said isn’t accurate.  In 2000 Reeves’ team found an undisturbed funerary chamber (KV63) using ground-penetrating radar in the Valley of the Kings.

GPR study valley of kings

Tomb found in GPR study in 2000.

The Antiquities Minister Khaled el-Anani, said he would continue to allow scans of the tomb but that they wouldn’t be allowed to do any physical exploration until he was “100 percent sure there is a cavity behind the wall.”

reevesThe thing is that Nicholas Reeves isn’t just some archaeologist off the street. He is the Director of the Amarna Royal Tombs Project and the Senior Egyptologist with the University of Arizona Egyptian Expedition.  He graduated with honors and received his PhD 31 years ago for his thesis on tomb robbery and mummy caching.  He has previously been the Curator of the Department of Egyptian Antiquities at The British Museum.

In other words – Reeves is highly qualified and yet the Egyptian Antiquities department is blocking him.

Why?nefertiti 2

Could it be because Egypt doesn’t want anyone to know what is behind that wall?  Nefertiti and her entire family are known for their elongated skulls.

A new discovery, one so public, would be impossible to cover up.  DNA evidence taken from a mummy carries a lot of weight.  Many have theorized that both Tutankhamun parents, Akhenaten and Nefertiti, are ancient aliens, or a lost human species.

akhenaten-nefertiti-daughters-rays-of-the-aten

Akhenaten and Nefertiti shown with daughters. All have elongated skulls.

Nefertiti ruled alongside her husband during the 18th dynasty. Following Akhenaten’s death around 1336 BC Nefertiti ruled independently for 14 years.  She was known to be a shrewd military commander as well as a beautiful, graceful woman.  She became Tutankhamen’s guardian and gained further power by marrying him to one of her daughters.

Mystery and intrigue surround her disappearance, because the queen simply vanished from the world scene after the 14th year.  While her tomb has never been found she is said to have been buried with military weapons of gold that lay beside her mirror, fan, and jewels.

In closing Nicholas Reeves said “I was looking for the evidence that would tell me that my initial reading was wrong, but I didn’t find any evidence to suggest that. I just found more and more indicators that there is something extra going on in Tutankhamun’s tomb.”

We can only hope that enough pressure is put on Egypt to allow him to find out.

Written by: Camara Cassin

References:

Fox News: http://www.foxnews.com/science/2016/05/09/archaeologists-clash-in-egypt-over-king-tut-tomb-theory.html

Nicholas Reeves: http://www.nicholasreeves.com/

Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nefertiti

 

 

The New Atlantis: Ancient and modern cities aren’t so different

The-New-Atlantis.jpg

The underlying organizational ingredients of modern cities were present in ancient settlements in the Basin of Mexico.

Despite notable differences in appearance and governance, ancient human settlements function in much the same way as modern cities, according to new findings by researchers at the Santa Fe Institute and the University of Colorado Boulder.

Previous research has shown that as modern cities grow in population, so do their efficiencies and productivity. A city’s population outpaces its development of urban infrastructure, for example, and its production of goods and services outpaces its population. What’s more, these patterns exhibit a surprising degree of mathematical regularity and predictability, a phenomenon called “urban scaling.”

But has this always been the case?

SFI Professor Luis Bettencourt researches urban dynamics as a lead investigator of SFI’s Cities, Scaling, and Sustainability research program. When he gave a talk in 2013 on urban scaling theory, Scott Ortman, now an assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology at CU Boulder and a former Institute Omidyar Fellow, noted that the trends Bettencourt described were not particular to modern times. Their discussion prompted a research project on the effects of city size through history.

To test their ideas, the team examined archaeological data from the Basin of Mexico (what is now Mexico City and nearby regions). In the 1960s — before Mexico City’s population exploded — surveyors examined all its ancient settlements, spanning 2000 years and four cultural eras in pre-contact Mesoamerica.

Using this data, the research team analyzed the dimensions of hundreds of ancient temples and thousands of ancient houses to estimate populations and densities, size and construction rates of monuments and buildings, and intensity of site use.

Their results, published in the new AAAS open-access journal Science Advances this month, indicate that the bigger the ancient settlement, the more productive it was.

“It was shocking and unbelievable,” says Ortman. “We were raised on a steady diet telling us that, thanks to capitalism, industrialization, and democracy, the modern world is radically different from worlds of the past. What we found here is that the fundamental drivers of robust socioeconomic patterns in modern cities precede all that.”

Bettencourt adds: “Our results suggest that the general ingredients of productivity and population density in human societies run much deeper and have everything to do with the challenges and opportunities of organizing human social networks.”

Though excited by the results, the researchers see the discovery as just one step in a long process. The team plans to examine settlement patterns from ancient sites in Peru, China, and Europe and study the factors that lead urban systems to emerge, grow, or collapse.

Read Full Research Paper Here

The Sumerians and the Supernova

Some 6,000 years ago, not far from Earth, a dim and unremarkable star suddenly exploded in the violent fireball that modern astronomers call a supernova.

On Earth it would have looked like a new star, brighter than the moon and visible even in the daytime for months.

supernova

Among the early peoples who saw it were the Sumerians – Persian Gulf farmers and fisherman poised at the brink of civilization. They recorded the event in their myths and gods.

Now the scholar who first identified their record says the legend linking the star to the origins of civilization has turned up in Egyptian hieroglyphs, written thousands of years later.

George Michanowsky, a New York linguist, author and historian, believes the legend was passed along in Sumerian symbols borrowed by the Egyptians.

If so, it would force a reinterpretation of such familiar hieroglyphs as the “ankh” – or symbol of life – and King Tut’s royal emblem.

Some other scholars of the ancient near East disagree with the theory. But Michanowsky, a self-described “lone wolf” who works without support form institutions or foundations, counters that his critics do not understand astronomy. Astronomers believe the supernova may have been the most cataclysmic sky event ever witnessed by men.

The Vela supernova remnant is a supernova remnant in the southern constellation Vela. Its source type II supernova exploded approximately 11,000-12,300 years ago (and was about 800 light years away).

2560px-267641main_allsky_labeled_HI

A radio telescope has detected remnants of the explosion. It is a fast spinning dense star called a “pulsar” in the constellation Vela of the southern hemisphere. By timing radio pulses coming from the object, astronomers estimate that it erupted between 8,000 and 4,000 BC. It was toward the end of that period that the Sumerians living on the northern shore of the Persian Gulf developed the world’s first astronomy, mathematics and writing.

The Sumerians had a legend which held that they were taught these arts by a god called Ea, linked to a special star in the constellation Vela.

Copia_de_Enki

The reference has puzzled scholars because there are no bright stars today in that part of the sky.

But Michanowsky believes the reference was to the Vela supernova, a theory he propounds in a 1978 book, “the Once and Future Star”. The Vela star was two or three times closer to the earth than the famous supernova seen by Chinese astronomers in 1054.

Chinese_report_of_guest_star_identified_as_the_supernova_of_1054_(SN_1054)_in_the_Lidai_mingchen_zouyi_(历代名臣奏议)

The Sumerians would have seen it rise and set each day low over the watery southern horizon, and Michanowsky believes the sight so impressed them that it was anthropomorphisized into Ea and supporting legends and deities.

The symbolic record of the Vela star, he says, can be traced from its Sumerian origin to Egyptian hieroglyphs by “one unified train of imagery.”

For example, the Egyptian ankh, or looped cross, is usually thought to represent a sandle thong. But Michanowsky suggests its loop could represent the star, its cross bar the horizon of the Persian Gulf, and its descending bar the reflection of the star on the water.

And he says, the Egyptian goddess Seshat patronness of scribes, may derive from a Sumerian goddess called Nidaba who was patroness of mathematics, writing and astronomy.

af1f9e9dfcff1a81c41ace90e4dca260

Seshat is pictured with a seven pointed headdress often interpreted as a flower. But Michanowsky thinks the headdress comes from a sevenfold Sumerian palm-tree symbol linked both to Ea and to the Vela star, and may represent the star itself rather than the flower.

He also believes the Vela star figures in one hieroglyphic symbol from Tut’s cartouche or royal emblem.

The symbol, a pillar, is among the last three in the cartouche. It usually is taken to refer a southern Egyptian city, and the three symbols together are translated “Ruler of Southern Egypt.” But the translation has troubled Egyptologists since it seems to slight the northern part of Tut’s kingdom.

The supernova explosion that formed the Vela Supernova Remnant most likely occurred 10,000–20,000 years ago. In 1976, NASA astronomers suggested that inhabitants of the southern hemisphere may have witnessed this explosion and recorded it symbolically. A year later, Michanowsky recalled some incomprehensible ancient markings in Bolivia that were left by Native Americans. The carvings showed four small circles flanked by two larger circles. The smaller circles resemble stellar groupings in the constellations Vela and Carina. One of the larger circles may represent the star Capella. Another circle is located near the position of the supernova remnant, George Michanowsky suggested this may represent the supernova explosion as witnessed by the indigenous residents.

Archaeologists Find Sunken Egyptian City

In an article written by ABC News back in June of 2001, they make mention of an ancient Egyptian city that was discovered 6.5 km off of modern Egypt’s coastline which revealed fascinating relics of Heracleion, also known as Thonis. Lets review…

The city’s ruins are located in Abu Qir Bay, originally existing near Alexandria, 2.5 km off the coast and only 10 metres underwater. According to the classical tale of Heracleion, in the fading days of the pharaohs, the city of Heracleion was the gateway to Egypt. In the 4th century BC, this was an opulent and prosperous place adorned with statues and sphinxes. It was a city of religious significance and home to the temple of Amun. It was engulfed by the sea around 1,500 years ago.

Herakleion-Egypt-engulfed

Using magnetic wave technology, the divers found the basin of what used to be the city’s harbor and electronically surveyed and charted it, finding palaces and temples. Next to the harbor, they found 10 antique shipwrecks.

A coliseum, houses, temples and several other artifacts lay amazingly intact at the bottom of the sea, the archaeologists said. They said they found the statues on the site of what used to be the Great Temple of Herakleion.

underwater-city10

The cities had been known only through ancient writings, such as travelogues and comedies, until Goddio’s team announced its discovery about a year ago. They say they discovered the ruins in 1996. The writings recounted the city’s splendor and decadence, and also referred to a temple dedicated to Heracles — or, in Latin, Hercules — the legendary son of the supreme god Zeus, from whose name the city appears to have taken its name.

The writings put the founding of the city more than 2,300 years ago, before ancient Alexandria was founded in 331 B.C.

What could have caused this sacred city to plunge into the sea? Could this be another example of an antediluvian city wiped out by an ancient cataclysm?

Read Full Article Here

What lies beneath?

A tantalising clue to the location of a long-sought pharaonic tomb

20150808_bkp002

NOTHING has inspired generations of archaeologists like the discovery in 1922 of the treasure-packed tomb of Tutankhamun. What if another untouched Egyptian trove lies buried, not in a distant patch of desert, nor even nearby amid the overlapping tomb-shafts of Luxor’s Valley of the Kings, but instead just a millimetre’s distance from plain view?

This is the dramatic hypothesis of a just-published paper by Nicholas Reeves, a British Egyptologist who co-discovered an undisturbed Egyptian tomb in 2000, and who is at the University of Arizona. His key evidence is disarmingly simple, and in fact free to see on the internet in the form of photographs published by Factum Arte, a Madrid- and Bologna-based specialist in art replication that recently created a spectacular, life-sized facsimile of Tutankhamun’s tomb, intended for tourists to visit without endangering the original.

What Mr Reeves found in these ultra-high-resolution images, which reveal the texture of walls beneath layers of paint in the original tomb, was a number of fissures and cracks that suggest the presence of two passages that were blocked and plastered to conceal their existence. (See image, with proposed new areas in yellow.) One of these would probably lead to a storeroom; its position and small size mirror that of an already-uncovered storeroom inside the multi-chambered tomb. The other, bigger possible doorway in the north wall of Tutankhamun’s burial chamber suggests something much more exciting.

There are several oddities about Tutankhamun’s tomb. It is small compared with others in the valley. The objects found in it, while magnificent, seemed hurriedly placed and were found to be largely second-hand; even the boy-king’s famous gilded funerary mask sports the strangely unmanly feature of pierced ears. The tomb’s main axis is angled to the right of the entrance shaft, an arrangement typical of Egyptian queens rather than kings.

Noting that the bigger of the two doorways he may have located aligns perfectly with both sides of the tomb’s entrance chamber, Mr Reeves thinks it could conceal a corridor continuing along the same axis, in the scale and shape of other nearby royal tombs. All this, as well as evidence that the tomb’s decoration and construction were executed at different stages, leads him to conclude that this corridor would lead to the burial chamber of a queen, or perhaps several princesses.

Among the tombs and royal mummies that archaeologists have identified from Tutankhamun’s dynasty, Ancient Egypt’s 18th, there remains one gaping absence. Nefertiti, the wife of Tutankhamun’s father Akhenaten, was not only a famed beauty, as the world knows from her famous bust in Berlin. Her titles indicate that she served as co-regent and possibly also as a pharaoh in her own right after Akhenaten’s death, meaning Nefertiti’s tomb and its contents would be every bit as magnificent as her stepson’s. Indeed, if Mr Reeves is right, what Tutankhamun got was her leftovers; even his face mask might originally have been intended for the queen.

Read Full Article Here

Tut’s gem hints at space impact?

In 1996 in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, Italian mineralogist Vincenzo de Michele spotted an unusual yellow-green gem in the middle of one of Tutankhamun’s necklaces.

11021224_10153076256000900_8892557383211688591_n

The jewel was tested and found to be glass, but intriguingly it is older than the earliest Egyptian civilisation.

Working with Egyptian geologist Aly Barakat, they traced its origins to unexplained chunks of glass found scattered in the sand in a remote region of the Sahara Desert.

But the glass is itself a scientific enigma. How did it get to be there and who or what made it?

The BBC Horizon programme has reported an extraordinary new theory linking Tutankhamun’s gem with a meteor.

Sky of fire

An Austrian astrochemist Christian Koeberl had established that the glass had been formed at a temperature so hot that there could be only one known cause: a meteorite impacting with Earth. And yet there were no signs of a suitable impact crater, even in satellite images.

American geophysicist John Wasson is another scientist interested in the origins of the glass. He suggested a solution that came directly from the forests of Siberia.

“When the thought came to me that it required a hot sky, I thought immediately of the Tunguska event,” he told Horizon.

In 1908, a massive explosion flattened 80 million trees in Tunguska, Siberia.

Although there was no sign of a meteorite impact, scientists now think an extraterrestrial object of some kind must have exploded above Tunguska. Wasson wondered if a similar aerial burst could have produced enough heat to turn the ground to glass in the Egyptian desert.

Jupiter clue

The first atomic bomb detonation, at the Trinity site in New Mexico in 1945, created a thin layer of glass on the sand. But the area of glass in the Egyptian desert is vastly bigger.

Whatever happened in Egypt must have been much more powerful than an atomic bomb.

A natural airburst of that magnitude was unheard of until, in 1994, scientists watched as comet Shoemaker-Levy collided with Jupiter. It exploded in the Jovian atmosphere, and the Hubble telescope recorded the largest incandescent fireball ever witnessed rising over Jupiter’s horizon.

Mark Boslough, who specialises in modelling large impacts on supercomputers, created a simulation of a similar impact on Earth.

The simulation revealed that an impact could indeed generate a blistering atmospheric fireball, creating surface temperatures of 1,800C, and leaving behind a field of glass.

“What I want to emphasise is that it is hugely bigger in energy than the atomic tests,” said Boslough. “Ten thousand times more powerful.”

Defence lessons

The more fragile the incoming object, the more likely these airborne explosions are to happen.

In Southeast Asia, John Wasson has unearthed the remains of an event 800,000 years ago that was even more powerful and damaging than the one in the Egyptian desert; one which produced multiple fireballs and left glass over three hundred thousand square miles, with no sign of a crater.

“Within this region, certainly all of the humans would have been killed. There would be no hope for anything to survive,” he said.

_41907774_hand_bbc_203.jpg
Dr Aly Barakat holds up one of the many, huge chunks of glass in the desert

According to Boslough and Wasson, events similar to Tunguska could happen as frequently as every 100 years, and the effect of even a small airburst would be comparable to many Hiroshima bombs.

Attempting to blow up an incoming asteroid, Hollywood style, could well make things worse by increasing the number of devastating airbursts.

“There are hundreds of times more of these smaller asteroids than there are the big ones the astronomers track,” said Mark Boslough. “There will be another impact on the earth. It’s just a matter of when.”

Read Full Article Here

The Decipherment of Hieroglyphs

A Forgotten Script

Hieroglyphs dominated the landscape of the Egyptian civilisation. These elaborate symbols were ideal for inscriptions on the walls of majestic temples and monuments, and indeed the Greek word hieroglyphica means ‘sacred carvings’, but they were too fussy for day-to-day scribbling, so other scripts were evolved in Egypt in parallel. These were the ‘hieratic’ and ‘demotic’ scripts, which can crudely be thought of as merely different fonts of the hieroglyphic alphabet.

Rosetta-stone-hieroglyphs
The Rosetta Stone (Wikimedia Commons)

Then, towards the end of the fourth century AD, within a generation, the Egyptian scripts vanished. The last datable examples of ancient Egyptian writing are found on the island of Philae, where a hieroglyphic temple inscription was carved in AD 394 and where a piece of demotic graffiti has been dated to 450 AD. The rise of Christianity was responsible for the extinction of Egyptian scripts, outlawing their use in order to eradicate any link with Egypt’s pagan past.

“The rise of Christianity was responsible for the extinction of Egyptian scripts…”

Ancient-Egyptian-Coptic-script
Ancient Egyptian Coptic script

The ancient scripts were replaced with ‘Coptic’, a script consisting of 24 letters from the Greek alphabet supplemented by six demotic characters used for Egyptian sounds not expressed in Greek. The ancient Egyptian language continued to be spoken, and evolved into what became known as the Coptic language, but in due course both the Coptic language and script were displaced by the spread of Arabic in the 11th century. The final linguistic link to Egypt’s ancient kingdoms was then broken, and the knowledge needed to read the history of the pharaohs was lost.

“They assumed that hieroglyphs were nothing more than primitive picture writing…”

In later centuries, scholars who saw the hieroglyphs tried to interpret them, but they were hindered by a false hypothesis. They assumed that hieroglyphs were nothing more than primitive picture writing, and that their decipherment relied on a literal translation of the images they saw. In fact, the hieroglyphic script and its relatives are phonetic, which is to say that the characters largely represent distinct sounds, just like the letters in the English alphabet. It would take a remarkable discovery before this would be appreciated.

The Rosetta Stone

In the summer of 1798, the antiquities of ancient Egypt came under particular scrutiny when Napoleon Bonaparte despatched a team of historians, scientists and draughtsmen to follow in the wake of his invading army. In 1799, these French scholars encountered the single most famous slab of stone in the history of archaeology, found by a troop of French soldiers stationed at Fort Julien in the town of Rosetta in the Nile Delta.

Rosetta-detail-Greek-translation
Detail of the stone showing Greek translation

The soldiers were demolishing an ancient wall to clear the way for an extension to the fort, but built into the wall was a stone bearing a remarkable set of inscriptions. The same piece of text had been inscribed on the stone three times, in Greek, demotic and hieroglyphics. The Rosetta Stone, as it became known, appeared to be the equivalent of a dictionary.

However, before the French could embark on any serious research, they were forced to hand the Rosetta Stone to the British, having signed a Treaty of Capitulation. In 1802, the priceless slab of rock – 118cm (about 46 ½ in) high, 77cm (about 30in) wide and 30cm (about 12in) deep, and weighing three quarters of a tonne – took up residence at the British Museum, where it has remained ever since.

The translation of the Greek soon revealed that the Rosetta Stone contained a decree from the general council of Egyptian priests issued in 196 BC. Assuming that the other two scripts contained the identical text, then it might appear that the Stone could be used to crack hieroglyphs.

left-right-rosetta-stone

“The same piece of text had been inscribed on the stone three times…”

However, a significant hurdle remained. The Greek revealed what the hieroglyphs meant, but nobody had spoken the ancient Egyptian language for at least eight centuries, so it was impossible to establish the sound of the Egyptian words. Unless scholars knew how the Egyptian words were spoken, they could not deduce the phonetics of the hieroglyphs.

The Phenomenon Young

When the English polymath Thomas Young heard about the Rosetta Stone, he considered it an irresistible challenge. In 1814 he went on his annual holiday to Worthing and took with him a copy of the Rosetta Stone inscriptions. Young’s breakthrough came when he focussed on a set of hieroglyphs surrounded by a loop, called a cartouche. He suspected that these highlighted hieroglyphs represented something of significance, possibly the name of the Pharaoh Ptolemy, who was mentioned in the Greek text.

“The decipherment of the Egyptian script was underway.”

If this were the case, it would enable Young to latch on to the phonetics of the corresponding hieroglyphs, because a pharaoh’s name would be pronounced roughly the same regardless of the language.

Young matched up the letters of Ptolemy with the hieroglyphs, and he managed to correlate most of the hieroglyphs with their correct phonetic values. The decipherment of the Egyptian script was underway. He repeated his strategy on another cartouche, which he suspected contained the name of the Ptolemaic queen Berenika, and identified the sound of further hieroglyphs.

Thomas-Young-decipherment

Young was on the right track, but his work suddenly ground to a halt. It seems that he had been brainwashed by the established view that the script was picture writing, and he was not prepared to shatter that paradigm. He excused his own phonetic discoveries by noting that the Ptolemaic dynasty was not of Egyptian descent, and hypothesised that their foreign names would have to be spelt out phonetically because there would not be a symbol within the standard list of hieroglyphs.

Young called his achievements ‘the amusement of a few leisure hours.’ He lost interest in hieroglyphics, and brought his work to a conclusion by summarising it in an article for the 1819 supplement to the Encyclopaedia Britannica.

Jean-François Champollion
Jean-François-Champollion

Jean-François Champollion’s obsession with hieroglyphs began around 1801 when, as a ten-year-old, he saw a collection of Egyptian antiquities, decorated with bizarre inscriptions. He was told that nobody could interpret this cryptic writing, whereupon the boy promised that he would one day solve the mystery.

Champollion applied Young’s technique to other cartouches, but the names, such as Alexander and Cleopatra, were still foreign, supporting the theory that phonetics was only invoked for words outside the traditional Egyptian lexicon. Then, in 1822, Champollion received some cartouches that were old enough to contain traditional Egyptian names, and yet they were still spelt out, clear evidence against the theory that spelling was only used for foreign names.

Champollion focussed on a cartouche containing just four hieroglyphs: the first two symbols were unknown, but the repeated pair at the end signified ‘s-s’. This meant that the cartouche represented (‘?-?-s-s’).

cartouche-symbols

At this point, Champollion brought to bear his vast linguistic knowledge. Although Coptic, the descendant of the ancient Egyptian language, had ceased to be a living language, it still existed in a fossilised form in the liturgy of the Christian Coptic Church. Champollion had learnt Coptic as a teenager, and was so fluent that he used it to record entries in his journal. However, he had not previously considered that Coptic might also be the language of hieroglyphs.

Champollion wondered if the first hieroglyph in the cartouche, the disc, might represent the sun, and then he assumed its sound value to be that of the Coptic word for sun, ‘ra’. This gave him the sequence (‘ra-?-s-s’). Only one pharaonic name seemed to fit. Allowing for the omission of vowels and the unknown letter, surely this was Rameses. The spell was broken. Hieroglyphs were phonetic and the underlying language was Egyptian. Champollion dashed into his brother’s office where he proclaimed ‘Je tiens l’affaire!’ (‘I’ve got it!’) and promptly collapsed. He was bedridden for the next five days.

Cracking the code
c07bf36cbda2825ef863b37571055a79ad98245e-1
A model of an Old Kingdom scribe

Although this was just one more cartouche, it clearly demonstrated the fundamental principles of hieroglyphics. It showed that the scribes sometimes exploited the rebus principle, which involves breaking long words into phonetic components, and then using pictures to represent these components. For example, the word belief can be broken down into two syllables, ‘bee-leaf’. Hence, instead of writing the word alphabetically, it could be represented by the image of a bee and a leaf. In the Rameses example, only the first syllable (‘ra’) is represented by a rebus image, a picture of the sun, while the remainder of the word is spelt more conventionally.

“The cartouche only makes sense if the scribes spoke Coptic…”

The significance of the sun in the Rameses cartouche is enormous, because it indicates the language of the scribes. They could not have spoken English, because this would mean that the cartouche would be pronounced ‘Sun-meses’. Similarly, they could not have spoken French, because then the cartouche would be pronounced ‘Soleil-meses’. The cartouche only makes sense if the scribes spoke Coptic, because it would then be pronounced ‘Ra-meses’.

Champollion went on to show that for most of their writing, the scribes relied on using a relatively conventional phonetic alphabet. Indeed, Champollion called phonetics the ‘soul’ of hieroglyphics.

Using his deep knowledge of Coptic, Champollion began a prolific decipherment of hieroglyphs. He identified phonetic values for the majority of hieroglyphs, and discovered that some of them represented combinations of two or even three consonants. This sometimes gave scribes the option of spelling a word using several simple hieroglyphs or with just one multi-consonantal hieroglyph.

“…now Champollion could reinterpret them correctly.”

In July 1828, Champollion embarked on his first expedition to Egypt. Thirty years earlier, Napoleon’s expedition had made wild guesses as to the meaning of the hieroglyphs that adorned the temples, but now Champollion could reinterpret them correctly. His visit came just in time. Three years later, having written up the notes, drawings and translations from his Egyptian expedition, he suffered a severe stroke. He died on 4th March 1832, aged 41, having achieved his childhood dream.

Read Full Story Here

Egyptian pyramids found by infra-red satellite images

The BBC Reports–Seventeen lost pyramids are among the buildings identified in a new satellite survey of Egypt.

Egyptian-Pyramids-Infrared.jpg

More than 1,000 tombs and 3,000 ancient settlements were also revealed by looking at infra-red images which show up underground buildings. Initial excavations have already confirmed some of the findings, including two suspected pyramids. The work has been pioneered at the University of Alabama at Birmingham by US Egyptologist Dr Sarah Parcak. She says she was amazed at how much she and her team has found.

“We were very intensely doing this research for over a year. I could see the data as it was emerging, but for me the “Aha!” moment was when I could step back and look at everything that we’d found and I couldn’t believe we could locate so many sites all over Egypt. “To excavate a pyramid is the dream of every archaeologist,” she said.

The team analysed images from satellites orbiting 700km above the earth, equipped with cameras so powerful they can pin-point objects less than 1m in diameter on the earth’s surface. Infra-red imaging was used to highlight different materials under the surface.

But after being told by Dr Parcak that she had seen two potential pyramids, they made test excavations, and they now believe it is one of the most important archaeological sites in Egypt.

But Dr Parcak said the most exciting moment was visiting the excavations at Tanis.

“They’d excavated a 3,000-year-old house that the satellite imagery had shown and the outline of the structure matched the satellite imagery almost perfectly. That was real validation of the technology.”

The Egyptian authorities plan to use the technology to help – among other things – protect the country’s antiquities in the future.

During the recent revolution, looters accessed some well-known archaeological sites.

“We can tell from the imagery a tomb was looted from a particular period of time and we can alert Interpol to watch out for antiquities from that time that may be offered for sale.”

She also hopes the new technology will help engage young people in science and will be a major help for archaeologists around the world.

“It allows us to be more focused and selective in the work we do. Faced with a massive site, you don’t know where to start.

“It’s an important tool to focus where we’re excavating. It gives us a much bigger perspective on archaeological sites. We have to think bigger and that’s what the satellites allow us to do.”

“Indiana Jones is old school, we’ve moved on from Indy. Sorry, Harrison Ford.”

Read Full Story Here