Discovery of the Greater Angkor, Cambodia Saturday, Jan 10 2009 

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This computer reconstruction of Angkor Wat is based in part on a new map of the site and the vast urban landscape that surrounded it.

The capital of a Khmer state that flourished between the ninth and fifteenth centuries, Cambodia’s Angkor is one of the most intensively studied sites in the world. But it continues to inspire more questions than answers, the most fundamental being why the sophisticated Khmer Empire collapsed. In 2007, research into the mysteries of the world’s largest preindustrial city reached a milestone with the completion of a 10-year mapping project, which yielded clues suggesting that the sprawling metropolis may have collapsed under self-induced environmental pressures related to overpopulation and deforestation.

“Angkor was a vast inhabited landscape…larger than anything previously known,” says Damian Evans, deputy director of the Greater Angkor Project (GAP) and lead author of the group’s findings. Their map covers more than 1,100 square miles, detailing thousands of features that were part of an elaborate irrigation system.

The GAP team combined previously existing ground surveys, aerial photos, and radar remote-sensing data provided by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab to create the comprehensive map. It shows an urban center surrounded by dispersed agricultural villages, local temples, and small reservoirs. The team found evidence of silted canals and breached waterworks that suggest the people of Angkor were eventually unable to maintain the vast irrigation system because of erosion and increased flooding. The map also shows the metropolis extended miles beyond the ruins within today’s Angkor Archaeological Park. “Extremely valuable archaeological material stretches far beyond the World Heritage zone,” Evans says.

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Archaeology Discovery of Polynesian Chickens in Chile Thursday, Dec 4 2008 

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Scholars have long assumed the Spaniards first introduced chickens to the New World along with horses, pigs, and cattle. But now radiocarbon dating and DNA analysis of a chicken bone excavated from a site in Chile suggest Polynesians in oceangoing canoes brought chickens to the west coast of South America well before Europe’s “Age of Discovery.”

An international team, including bioarchaeologist Alice Storey of the University of Auckland, made the startling discovery after analyzing a recently excavated chicken bone from the Chilean site of El Arenal, a settlement of the Mapuche, a people who lived on the southern fringe of the Inca empire from about A.D. 1000 to 1500.

The team found that the chicken’s DNA sequence was related to that of chickens whose remains were unearthed from archaeological sites on the Polynesian islands of Tonga and American Samoa. Radiocarbon dating shows the El Arenal chicken lived sometime between a.d. 1321 and 1407, well after Polynesians first settled Easter Island and the other easternmost islands of the Pacific.

In 1532, Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro recorded the presence of chickens in Peru, where the Inca used them in religious ceremonies. “That suggests chickens had already been there for a while,” says Storey. “It’s possible there are stylized chickens in the iconography that we have not recognized because we did not know they were there. I’m fascinated to see what [archaeologists] are going to do with this information.”

Discovery of the Early Squash Seeds from Peru Tuesday, Oct 21 2008 

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New research favors the idea that agriculture began in the New World shortly after it first appeared in the Old World. Tom Dillehay of Vanderbilt University has the squash seeds to prove it.

Found in buried house floors in the northern Andean Ñanchoc Valley, the seeds were discovered near other floral remains, including peanut shells, quinoa grains, and cotton bolls, as well as stone hoes, grinding stones, plots for planting, and small-scale canals for irrigation. With accelerated mass spectrometry, Dillehay’s team dated the remains to between 6,000 and 10,000 years ago, with the 10,000-year-old cultivated squash seeds being the oldest. Similarly old evidence of other species of squash has also been found in Mexico and Ecuador.

Across the world, in the Fertile Crescent, the domestication of rye, wheat, and barley between 12,000 and 10,000 years ago helped mark the transition from nomadic lifestyles to sedentary agricultural communities that would lead to more complex societies. Plant cultivation appears to have played a similarly central role in the tropical dry forest of the Ñanchoc Valley. Over several thousand years, the people settled down, planted more, managed their water supply, and built ritual mounds–steps toward the more advanced Andean cultures to come. According to Dillehay, “Not only do people domesticate plants, but the plants in some ways domesticate people.”

Facts And Theories of Nebo-Sarsekim Cuneiform Tablet Tuesday, Oct 14 2008 

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Last June, Austrian Assyriologist Michael Jursa was doing what he has done since 1991, poring over the more than 100,000 undeciphered cuneiform tablets in the British Museum. But while analyzing records from the Babylonian city of Sippar, he made a startling discovery with Biblical implications. It came in the unlikely form of a tablet noting a one-and-a-half pound gold donation to a temple made by an official, or “chief eunuch,” Nebo-Sarsekim.

“At first I was just pleased to have found a reference to the title ‘chief eunuch,’ as these officials are mentioned very rarely in the sources,” says Jursa. “Then it suddenly came to me that this text was very close chronologically to an episode narrated in Jeremiah 39 in which Nebo-Sarsekim is mentioned, and that I might actually have found the very man. So then I got quite excited and instantly went and checked (and double-checked) the exact spelling of the name in the Hebrew Bible and saw that it matched what I had found in the Babylonian text!”

The tablet is dated 595 B.C., the ninth year of Nebuchadnezzar II’s reign. The Book of Jeremiah relates that after Nebuchadnezzar took Jerusalem in 587 B.C., he committed the prophet Jeremiah to Nebo-Sarsekim’s care.

“It is so incredibly rare to find people appearing in the Bible, who are not kings, mentioned elsewhere,” says Jursa. “Something like this tablet, where we see a person mentioned in the Bible making an everyday payment to the temple in Babylon and quoting the exact date, is quite extraordinary.”

Discovery of Solar Observatory at Peru Friday, Oct 10 2008 

Solar Observatory at Peru

Travelers have noticed the 13 stone towers rising over Peru’s coastal desert since at least the nineteenth century. But researchers only last year discovered the structures’ purpose: they make up a sophisticated solar observatory, one of the earliest known in the Americas.

Iván Ghezzi of Peru’s National Institute of Culture and Clive Ruggles of the University of Leicester showed that the arc of the 13 Towers of Chankillo, built by a still unnamed culture, corresponds almost exactly to the rising and setting sun’s range of movement over a year. On the December 15 solstice, for example, the sun would have risen directly over the southernmost tower, when viewed from the west. Wooden lintels embedded in the towers date to about 300 B.C.

Tracking the sun’s progress would have helped Chankillo’s builders time the planting of their crops. But the towers were probably also meant to express rulers’ mystical kinship with the sun, and their ability to influence its movement. “If you were just measuring seasons, there would be no need to make such great structures,” says Ghezzi. “The idea was to transmit a political and ideological message about a ruler’s close relationship with the sun.” An enormous, circular “fortress” near the towers may have played a role in the display.

Archaeology Facts of Bible Prophecy Thursday, Oct 9 2008 

Calls have recently been made for a predictions registry, a means by which we might hold modern-day prognosticators accountable for their predictions. Those who build a strong track record of specific and correct predictions concerning the future would establish greater credibility than those who maintain a poor record. Over time, the world would be able to identify which voices should be given the most weight when making decisions concerning the future. This is a great idea, and if we are objective in setting up our predictions registry, the source which ranks as the #1 most reliable repository of information concerning the future is clear. That source is the Bible.

Although billions of people quote, read, and study the Bible every year, most of the world remains ignorant of the staggering number of specific prophecies found in the Bible. More than 25% of the Bible is prophecy. And every prophecy except those concerning the “last days” and the millennial kingdom that will follow have been precisely fulfilled with 100% accuracy. Some of these prophecies, such as Jeremiah’s claim that Israel would be taken into captivity for a period of 70 years by the Babylonians, were written decades before fulfillment. Others, such as Ezekiel’s forecast of the exact year in which Israel would be re-established as a nation, were written 2,500 years before fulfillment.

Yet despite the millions of people who attend church and synagogue every week and the existence of countless books on the subject, most people are simply unaware of these prophecies. They feverishly search through the writings of Nostradamus, Edgar Cayce, the Koran, and countless other sources in hopes of finding a profound truth or revelation concerning the future, only to be disappointed. Yet, the most credible source of information on future events, the Bible, somehow escapes notice. In addition, I remain boggled by the number of educated and intelligent people who, without investigation, dismiss the validity of these amazing biblical prophecies, despite mountains of historical data, archaeological evidence, and the staggering mathematical probability of their occurrence merely being the result of chance.

Biblical prophecies can be divided into the following three categories:

Fulfilled Bible Prophecies

A number of prophecies found in the Bible have already been fulfilled. For instance, in the Book of Daniel, the prophet Daniel identifies the ascendance and succession of world empires that would be established throughout history, from the time he spoke until the end of the age. He even identifies the breakup of the Greek Empire into four separate kingdoms following the death of Alexander the Great. These prophecies are so detailed, that until recently, many historians were convinced the Book of Daniel was written after these events occurred. However, recent archaeological discoveries have unearthed copies of the Book of Daniel that pre-date the aforementioned events. Examples of other Bible prophecies fulfilled include:

1) The Babylonian captivity

2) The exact length of the Babylonian captivity

3) The end of the Babylonian captivity at the hands of a Persian king named Cyrus

4) The prophecies of the “suffering Messiah”

5) The destruction of the Temple in A.D. 70

6) The disbursement of Israel among the nations (the Diaspora)

7) The gradual re-gathering of Israel as a nation

8) The re-establishment of Israel as a nation in a single day

9) Israel as a “burdensome stone” among the nations during the last days

Messianic Bible Prophecies

The Old Testament contained dozens of specific prophecies concerning the coming of a great Messiah, the Savior of Israel. Each prophecy, with the exception of those which allude to the Second Coming, were fulfilled by one historical figure, Jesus of Nazareth. The prophecies include such details as the Messiah’s birthplace, his family lineage, and the exact year in which he would arrive at the Temple and “appear to be killed.” The majority of the Old Testament pointed toward the coming of the Messiah, and this site maintains a comprehensive list of prophecies concerning the first coming of a “suffering Messiah”. Each and every one of those prophecies was fulfilled by the life of Jesus.

Unfulfilled Bible Prophecies

Only those Bible prophecies concerning the end times, the Second Coming, and the subsequent millennial kingdom of Christ have yet to be fulfilled. According to the Bible, several events will signal the “end times” or the “last days,” a period of time which immediately precedes the Second Coming of Christ. The key events to look for are:

1) General Signs of the Times

2) The Re-establishment of Israel as an Independent Nation

3) The War of Gog/Magog

4) The Rapture

5) Revival of the Roman Empire

6) The Rise of a Global Dictator

7) The Revival of Babylon as a Great City

8) The Appearance of Two Supernatural Witnesses

9) A Great Rebellion Against God

It’s my hope that this site will raise awareness of the existence of Bible prophecy so that others may investigate the evidence for themselves. This is important because if one acknowledges the accuracy of Bible prophecy, then as yet unfulfilled prophecies take on a much more significant meaning.

The Bible clearly tells us what will happen in the end times. In so doing, the Bible clearly tells us what will happen in your future. How can I be so sure? Because Jesus Christ tells us the generation which witnesses the re-establishment of Israel as an independent nation will not pass away until “all these things are fulfilled” (a reference to the “end of days” and the Second Coming). The exact dates on which they will be fulfilled are not yet known, but given the Bible’s track record, it’s reasonable to assume each and every prophecy will be fulfilled to the letter. This is a good thing, because when Christ returns, all the evils of this world will melt away in his presence. So if you see the aforementioned events taking place, remember this invitation from Jesus, the invitation he extends to all, when he says, “stand straight and look up, for your salvation is near!” Luke 21:28 (NLT)

Discovery of the Underwater City of Egypt Tuesday, Oct 7 2008 

The scientists have found the proofs that on the place of the city Alexandria founded by Alexander Macedonian, even 700 years before that existed a large city. Before this moment it was considered that on the place of Alexandria was located a small fishermen village Rakotis. But the archaeological dig, held on the bottom of the Alexandria port, have shown that the size of the city was way bigger than the scientists have assumed.

At the moment the scientists are trying to find out the size of the discovered city. The dating by the radioactive carbon has helped to ascertain the approximate age of the ancient city: 1000 years BC.

“Such a thing often happens in science. The most interesting thing is that we weren’t searching for an ancient city”,- said Jean-Daniel Stanley from the Washington museum of natural history. Making the archaeological digs, the scientists were trying to find the answer to the question why have the Greek and Roman buildings sunk and in the end they have found the objects which refer to the earlier period.

J-D Stanley hopes that the research of Rakotis will be as much exciting as the discovery of the ruins of such ancient cities like Heraclion, Kanopus and Menotice near Alexandria in 1996.

Muhammed Abdel-Maksud, the expert on Alexandria from the Council on the antiquity of Egypt has reported that the discovery of Rakotis is only the beginning. “There are proofs that already in times of Pharaohs at this place was located a flourishing city, but for the moment it is early to talk about this. We are working on it”, – added M. Abdel-Maksud.

Solved Mysteries of Seneca Archaeological Research Friday, Oct 3 2008 

The Seneca nation, the largest tribe in the Iroquois Confederacy, has deep historical roots that have been the subject of many archaeological discoveries in the last century. The movement of the tribe followed the geographical pattern running from Canada into New York as many factions of the nation set up camps throughout New York in the seventeenth century. This tribe, though, is one shrouded in mystery. Perhaps these three are the most commonly addressed:

    1. Why have more Seneca cemeteries been found than any other tribe of the Five Nations?
    2. How did the Iroquois become known for their entrepreneurial spirit?
    3. Why did the Iroquois choose the longhouse structure as the most suitable for their living arrangements?

Why have more Seneca cemeteries been found than any other tribe of the Five Nations?

The Seneca tribe, unlike the other tribes in the Five, and then Six, Nations (also called the Iroquois League or Iroquois Confederacy) was found to have at least one cemetery at each living site. While other tribes of the nation (Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, and later the sixth, Tuscarora) have a few known cemeteries scattered throughout the region, none are more numerous or resemble the highly structured and complex burial traditions that have been found within the Seneca tribal practices.

The Seneca tribe had a more elaborate burial ritual than the other tribes in the Iroquois Confederacy; they buried their dead in precise positions with the body flexed. Artifacts and belongings were buried with the dead within the grave. These relics were often scissors, gun flints, gun parts, pottery, and glass and shell beads. This ceremonial practice could also have factored in the cemeteries being located closer to the community center.

The Seneca communities were located farther geographically than the other tribal villages from any European settlements. All the tribes, having an innate fear of catching a disease, or an Evil Spirit, from outsiders, wanted to be as far as possible from any foreign elements. They wanted to trade with the Europeans, but they didn’t want to live with them. Most tribes tended to locate their cemeteries far from the central living areas as well, but the Seneca cemeteries were located closer to the community. This fact could also lead to the reason why Seneca cemeteries were more accessible to archaeologists and easier to find.

The Cayuga, as did many of the other tribes, it must be noted, have had some possible burial sites destroyed by vandalism; therefore, it is not possible to reconstruct them in their entirety to more closely scrutinize the Iroquois burial tradition. The New York Rochester Museum is currently analyzing excavation findings to continue learning about the burial habits of the Seneca tribe. The Rochester Museum and some of its top archaeologists, including Charles Wray and Harry Schoff, are also credited with saving many Seneca burial artifacts and gathering written history to document the Seneca burial customs and patterns.

How did the Iroquois become known for their entrepreneurial spirit?

The Iroquois traded with Dutch settlers from the beginning of their cohabitation. This fact was pieced together through archaeological evidence. The Iroquois, utilizing the Three Sisters successful method of agriculture, growing corn, beans, and squash together, used fertile land in the best possible manner. They would trade or sell extra crops to supplement their economy and lifestyle. Archaeological evidence tells a story of how far ranging their trade networks were.

Successful entrepreneurs, the Iroquois busied about trading furs (raccoon and beaver) and selling off pieces of their land. From these trades, the Native Americans received beads, ribbon, brass kettles, and men’s ruffled shirts. When they ran out of land to sell, they needed to come up with something else to sell in the market place as a means of support. Iroquois tribal members, beginning in the mid-1800s, began making and selling different kinds of craft items such as beadwork, paintings and baskets to tourists who were beginning to visit the areas of Niagara Falls, New York and Montreal, Canada. Yet others saw the benefit in performing Native American dances at some of the festivals and gatherings as they would occur.

Why did the Iroquois choose the longhouse structure as the most suitable for their living arrangements?

The longhouse, whose very name is part of the Iroquois language, Haudenosaunee, which means People of the Longhouse, tells us much about the social organization of the Seneca people. From archaeological finds, we know that the longhouse could be built from 25 to 400 feet long but typically were built between 180 and 220 feet long. Longhouses are long, as their name implies, narrow, and rectangular in shape. The longhouse was built as a home with extended families in mind. This lends itself to the sense of community this nation shared. Each family had a personal interior space of about six feet by nine feet, divided as compartments, with a general “hall” running the length of the structure.

This mode of housing was designed to hold not only parents and their children, but grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins as well. In the Iroquois tribe, 20 or more families could reside in a longhouse, typically all the relatives from the mother’s side of the clan. Women were important in Iroquois society and each member of a “clan” was a descendant from one person, following the mother’s bloodline. Each clan had its own longhouse and was named after an animal or a bird. The animal or bird was inscribed as a logo on the longhouse and it was depicted on many decorative items contained within the longhouse. The longhouse, however, was more than a home to each clan to the Iroquois; the Five Nations considered each branch a part of their overall society’s home.

History and Facts of the Ancient Maya Site Wednesday, Oct 1 2008 

One of the few remaining original ancient Maya city names designated by the Maya that still exists today is Lamanai. This site itself is located in northern Belize on the west bank of the New River Lagoon. The ancient name of Lamanai was recorded by the Spanish in the 16th century and brought to light again by historian Grant Jones through his work in the archives in Seville, Spain. The name Lamanai is loosely translated as “Submerged Crocodile”. Knowing these two facts tells us two very important things, one, the ancient Maya were still residing at Lamanai when the Spanish arrived. And two, the site name indicates the importance of the Morelets’ Crocodile whose remains are rarely found in midden deposits indicating they were rarely consumed due to their important status within the community. As one visits this site it becomes apparent that this translation is fitting because there are numerous representations of crocodiles that appear on ceramics, stone, architecture and accompanying stucco facades.

An estimated 30 – 60,000 Maya may have resided at Lamanai during the height of the civilization and the occupational history well exceeds many other Maya cities with 3,000 years of unbroken human history. This history of occupation carries right through to contact period, and it certainly is the case that the Spanish would not have constructed two churches at this Maya site if there were not a population residing at Lamanai to convert. The first Spanish church, Structure N12-13, dates to approximately AD 1570; it was constructed some time after Lamanai became part of the Spanish encomienda system (royal grant to a Spaniard for the right to labor and tribute a native population, who is also responsible for christianizing the natives). This first church was built over an existing Tulum-style Postclassic building that contained painted murals; in this case it appears the Spanish were attempting to convert the Maya to Catholicism by substituting one religious practice for another. Conversion was difficult and the archaeological evidence for this exists in the form of a burned and destroyed first church and the caching of various figurines around and near the churches in traditional Maya fashion. Although a second Spanish church was constructed, Structure N12-11, ultimately the Spanish were never able to establish a strong hold in this area. It was in AD 1638 that there was a widespread revolt by the Maya that ended in the retreat of the Spanish at least for the time being.

The Late Postclassic and historic/colonial periods at Lamanai are certainly fascinating and are what the majority of current research is focusing on. But the fact that Lamanai has one of the tallest securely dated Preclassic structures in the Maya world, Structure N10-43, indicates that it certainly had a strong foundation upon which to build and thrive. This Preclassic stronghold may have been one of the reasons why Lamanai survived what many other major city-states suffered during the 9th century.

It was during the Late Classic period that there was a decline or collapse of the Maya civilization that consisted of a political and/or economic breakdown, a possible drought, and possibly a population increase that severely stressed the food supply. This decline affected numerous Classic period city-states such as Tikal, Copan, Palenque, and Caracol. During this time these city-states were almost completely abandoned and monumental architecture was no longer constructed, production of pottery declined, and carved stone monuments no longer told the stories of the elite ruling class of the Maya. Lamanai survived this decline or collapse and there are several theories why, one already mentioned is the strong Preclassic foundation, and a second being the construction of the city on a large body of fresh water today called the New River Lagoon. During ancient times, as well as modern, this lagoon provided food, a means of transportation, drinking and bathing water, a sacred haven for the revered crocodile, and a suitable setting to carry out sacred rituals.

Due to Lamanai’s close proximity to the New River Lagoon the ancient Maya residing there may have escaped the possible environmental degradation seen elsewhere. It has also been suggested that Lamanai was fairly isolated from other major cities, we know the Maya never had a central, capital city, and that there were constant conflicts during the Classic period. It may have been the case that Lamanai’s somewhat isolated location, to some extent still the case today, again protected it from this decline or collapse.

Ancient and more recent history of Lamanai (see Belize History: The Maya, Spanish, and British Occupation, by L. Howard) mirrors the development of the young nation of Belize with occupation by the Maya, Spanish, and British. The British commercial pursuits during the colonial period at Lamanai included production of 200 acres of sugar cane by the British who constructed a mill whose success was really never seen during the 15 years of operation from 1860 – 1875. The extensive iron works that were once one of the only steam-operated mills in Belize is located in the western portion of the Lamanai Archaeological Reserve.

The Holy Grail Discovery and Archaeology facts Tuesday, Sep 30 2008 

In a profound and provocative work of scholarly detection, best-selling UK author Philip Gardiner shakes the foundations of modern belief by at last revealing the true origins of The Holy Grail, Elixir of Life and Philosopher’s Stone. Shrouded in mystery, these highly enigmatic symbols have long been revered and The Serpent Grail proves, without doubt, that all three are inextricably linked, originating from the same ancient source.

For many of us, these three mysterious objects derive from Arthurian legend, or the curious work of the medieval alchemists, but this book reveals that they date back from a much earlier period – from the dawn of human history itself.

Basing his findings on a wealth of detailed research and his own unique marketing and propaganda based background, Gardiner’s own quest has been something of an adventure and his book presents plausible and fascinating new evidence about the foundations of religious belief and how over the centuries information has been deliberately and systematically distorted.

In an argument with enormous implications, Gardiner identifies key facts which link all three symbols to the same ancient cult – a cult which believed that the mythical serpent was, a ‘beneficent life force’ and its physical counterpart, the snake, an irreverent provider of the ‘elixir of life’. In The Serpent Grail Gardiner proves that modern science and ancient wisdom can and have come together to finally prove that snake venom and blood was used thousands of years ago as the Elixir of Life and was brought together in the arcane “mixing bowl” which became known as the Holy Grail.

The Serpent Grail is a gripping read, a work based on a lifetime of research that provides the indisputable fact that, The Holy Grail, Elixir of Life and Philosopher’s Stone are one and the same, in that they are all metaphors for spiritual enlightenment. This book takes the reader on a fascinating exploration of ancient myth, archaeology, etymology, religion, science, and much, much more.

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