Category: Ancient Cilvilizations and Giants

May 04

New evidence Shroud dates to 1st century

Roman numismatist identifies coins covering eyes

Published: 17 hours ago

An expert on ancient Roman coins say he has identified those that cover the eyes of the Man of the Shroud, providing more evidence that the ancient burial cloth could have been used to cover the body of Jesus.

Agostino Sferrazza, a numismatist, concludes in an interview with the French-language RCF Liège, the coins were minted in in the days of Pontius Pilate in the year A.D. 29.

Images of the coins were first observed in the eye sockets of the Man of the Shroud in 1976, when 3-D projection techniques were used to evaluate it. Researchers noted the presence of small bulges on the ocular orbit bones which wouldn’t match any possible morphological particularities. The hypothesis states these might have been leptons: small coins of low value that were common in Israel during the Roman occupation.

Using advanced technologies, researchers have tried to identify drawings and inscriptions on the coins. On the disc covering the right eye, apparently a “lituus” (a curved Roman-style augural staff) can be observed. On the disc over the left eye, there is what appears to be a sacrificial cup.

Besides the drawings, researchers have managed to read the letters YKAI in the coins. This is thought to be the visible part of the word “TIBERIOY KAICAPOC,” Greek for Tiberius Caesar. This would be a strong indication that these coins are comparable with other currencies from the Roman era, and might indeed be pieces that were being used at the time of Jesus’ Passion.

In his interview with RCF Liège, Agostino Sferrazza supports the theory of the authenticity of the pieces and dates them to the time of Pontius Pilate. This theory is based on the images produced by computer scientist Nello Balossino, an associate professor at the Turin Faculty of Sciences, who succeeded in bringing out an image of the sacrificial cup on the right eye of the Man of the Shroud. According to Agostino Sferazza, there is no doubt: these pieces were indeed coined in 29 A.D

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=8520

May 01

Ancient stone carvings confirm how comet struck Earth in 10,950BC, sparking the rise of civilisations

The Vulture Stone from Gobekli Tepe (left) which recorded a devastating comet strike (right) Credit: Alistair Coombs

Sarah Knapton, Science Editor

21 April 2017 • 11:25am

Ancient stone carvings confirm that a comet struck the Earth around 11,000BC, a devastating event which wiped out woolly mammoths and sparked the rise of civilisations.

Experts at the University of Edinburgh analysed mysterious symbols carved onto stone pillars at Gobekli Tepe in southern Turkey, to find out if they could be linked to constellations.

The markings suggest that a swarm of comet fragments hit Earth at the exact same time that a mini-ice age struck, changing the entire course of human history.

Scientists have speculated for decades that a comet could be behind the sudden fall in temperature during a period known as the Younger Dryas. But recently the theory appeared to have been debunked by new dating of meteor craters in North America where the comet is thought to have struck.

However, when engineers studied animal carvings made on a pillar – known as the vulture stone – at Gobekli Tepe they discovered that the creatures were actually astronomical symbols which represented constellations and the comet.

The idea had been originally put forward by author Graham Hancock in his book Magicians of the Gods.

The Vulture Stone, at Gobekli Tepe Credit: Alistair Coombs

Using a computer programme to show where the constellations would have appeared above Turkey thousands of years ago, they were able to pinpoint the comet strike to 10,950BC, the exact time the Younger Dryas begins according to ice core data from Greenland.

The Younger Dryas is viewed as a crucial period for humanity, as it roughly coincides with the emergence of agriculture and the first Neolithic civilisations.

Before the strike, vast areas of wild wheat and barley had allowed nomadic hunters in the Middle East to establish permanent base camps. But the difficult climate conditions following the impact forced communities to come together and work out new ways of maintaining the crops, through watering and selective breeding. Thus farming began, allowing the rise of the first towns.

Edinburgh researchers said the carvings appear to have remained important to the people of Gobekli Tepe for millennia, suggesting that the event and cold climate that followed likely had a very serious impact.

Dr Martin Sweatman, of the University of Edinburgh’s School of Engineering, who led the research, said: “I think this research, along with the recent finding of a widespread platinum anomaly across the North American continent virtually seal the case in favour of (a Younger Dryas comet impact).

“Our work serves to reinforce that physical evidence. What is happening here is the process of paradigm change.

“It appears Göbekli Tepe was, among other things, an observatory for monitoring the night sky.

“One of its pillars seems to have served as a memorial to this devastating event – probably the worst day in history since the end of the ice age.”

Gobekli Tepe, is thought to be the world’s oldest temple site, which dates from around 9,000BC, predating Stonehenge by around 6,000 years.

Researchers believe the images were intended as a record of the cataclysmic event, and that a further carving showing a headless man may indicate human disaster and extensive loss of life.

Symbolism on the pillars also indicates that the long-term changes in Earth’s rotational axis was recorded at this time using an early form of writing, and that Gobekli Tepe was an observatory for meteors and comets.

The finding also supports a theory that Earth is likely to experience periods when comet strikes are more likely, owing to the planet’s orbit intersecting orbiting rings of comet fragments in space.

But despite the ancient age of the pillars, Dr Sweatman does not believe it is the earliest example of astronomy in the archaeological record.

“Many paleolithic cave paintings and artefacts with similar animal symbols and other repeated symbols suggest astronomy could be very ancient indeed,” he said.

“If you consider that, according to astronomers, this giant comet probably arrived in the inner solar system some 20 to 30 thousand years ago, and it would have been a very visible and dominant feature of the night sky, it is hard to see how ancient people could have ignored this given the likely consequences.”

The research is published in Mediterranean Archaeology and Archaeometry.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=8505

Apr 02

More Evidence Emerges ‘Planet Nine’ Is Really ‘Planet X’ aka ‘Nibiru’ And If That ‘Conspiracy Theory’ Is True, None Of The Others May Really Matter

Will The Truth About One Of The Most Censored Stories In History Soon Be Revealed?

By Stefan Stanford – All News Pipeline – Live Free Or Die

December 30th, 1983 Washington Post story claimed ‘mysterious heavenly body’ found in the direction of the Constellation Orion. December 30th, 2016 story from NASA claims: “at aphelion, Planet Nine would be in the general location of the Orion and Taurus constellations.”

ANP recently received an interesting email from a reader which began: ALL news is just a distraction from your real problem, Planet X. Still officially ‘undiscovered’, as we see outlined in the stories and videos below, new evidence has emerged that ‘Planet X’ is indeed out there lurking, rebranded ‘Planet Nine’, and confirming some very old news stories.

With ‘Planet X’ or ‘Nibiru’ still called ‘conspiracy theory’ or ‘fake news’ by the mainstream media, we asked on ANP back on December 2nd of 2016 “Is The Biggest Cover-Up Of All-Time About To Come Crashing Down?” while reminding you of two 1983 stories, one each from the Washington Post and the New York Times. Well the search for ‘Planet X’ goes on, rebranded in this new BBC News story as the search for ‘Planet Nine’.

As ANP reported then, back on January 30th of 1983, the NY Times published a story called “Clues Get Warm In The Search For Planet X” in which they reported: SOMETHING out there beyond the farthest reaches of the known solar system seems to be tugging at Uranus and Neptune. Some gravitational force keeps perturbing the two giant planets, causing irregularities in their orbits. The force suggests a presence far away and unseen, a large object that may be the long-sought Planet X.

Reporting then upon the launching of the ‘Infrared Astronomical Satellite’ that would conduct a wide-ranging survey of nearly all of the sky over the following 6 to 8 months, detecting sources of not only ordinary light but of infrared radiation invisible to the human eye and absorbed by the atmosphere, scientists hoped they’d be able to chart thousands of previously undetected objects in the sky – with a dim hope of finding ‘Planet X’.

Less than a year later on December 30th of 1983, the Washington Post published a story called “Possibly As Large As Jupiter” within which they reported in their first paragraph: A heavenly body possibly as large as the giant planet Jupiter and possibly so close to Earth that it would be part of this solar system has been found in the direction of the constellation Orion by an orbiting telescope aboard the U.S. infrared astronomical satellite.

The same US ‘Infrared Astronomical Satellite’ the NY Times story had mentioned would be ‘searching for Planet X’ had found ‘a heavenly body’ scientists described then as:

So mysterious is the object that astronomers do not know if it is a planet, a giant comet, a nearby “protostar” that never got hot enough to become a star, a distant galaxy so young that it is still in the process of forming its first stars or a galaxy so shrouded in dust that none of the light cast by its stars ever gets through.

“All I can tell you is that we don’t know what it is,” Dr. Gerry Neugebauer, IRAS chief scientist for California’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and director of the Palomar Observatory for the California Institute of Technology, said in an interview.

Found in the direction of the constellation Orion according to the 1983 Washington Post story, talk of ‘Planet X’ soon vanished from the mainstream media and for many, many years until this very day, those who speak of ‘Nibiru’ or ‘Planet X’ online are ridiculed, called ‘tinfoil hat wearing conspiracy theorists’ and worse by those unable to grasp that there may be another planet out there in our solar system and it just may be ‘Biblical’.

While many years passed without much mention of ‘Planet X’ in the mainstream media, 2016 brought us the hypothetical ‘Planet Nine’, a massive yet still officially undiscovered ‘heavenly body’ that the mainstream media had no choice but to cover after Cal Tech University scientists Konstantin Batygin and Michael E. Brown explained how a massive outer planet would be the likeliest explanation for the similarities in orbits of six distant objects. 


Dubbed ‘Planet Nine’ after the ‘death of Pluto’, scientists explained how ‘Planet Nine’ could be responsible for many of the mysteries our solar system still poses. Space.com published a story on October 19th of 2016 called “Did The Mysterious ‘Planet Nine’ Tilt The Solar System” while Astronomy.com published a story the same day called “Planet Nine May Be Responsible For Tilting The Sun”. On October 23rd of 2016 Forbes ran a story called “Mysterious ‘Planet Nine’ May Be Pulling Our Solar System Out Of Whack”. Were all of those just ‘fake news’ stories?

Interestingly enough, ‘Planet 9’ is also believed to be located in the constellation Orion. Is it just a coincidence that ‘Planet 9’ is in the same general location that the Washington Post reported ‘a mysterious heavenly body’ was in all the way back in 1983, what the NY Times had referred to as ‘Planet X’ before they ALL went silent? Is ‘Planet Nine’ the ‘same beast’ as ‘Planet X’? With a 10,000 to 20,000 year orbit, it would still be in the same general vicinity of the sky now that it was way back in 1983.

In the first video below, videographer Path to Ascension shares with us this new story from ABC in Australia which reports that scientists have invited amateur or professional astronomers within the public to help search the skies for ‘the elusive Planet Nine’. Our videographer points out to us why they call it ‘Planet Nine’ for if they called it ‘Nibiru’ or ‘Planet X’, the unaware masses would get a much different picture of this Biblical planet than if they’re merely searching for information on ‘Planet Nine’.

With an orbit astronomers believe takes 10,000 to 20,000 years to make one trip around the sun, the curious might ask what happened here on our little speck of dust in the universe the last time this beast came around 10,000+ years ago? Putting us back to prior to the floods of Noah, what might a planet that scientists claim may be responsible for tilting our sun or solar system be able to do to the axial tilt of our own planet Earth should it come for a return pass?

As Susan Duclos reported on ANP back on April 7th of 2016, according to Daniel Whitmire, a retired professor astrophysics at the University of Arkansas, ‘Planet Nine’ aka ‘X’ could be responsible for a series of mass extinctions that have already happened upon planet Earth by casting Kuiper Belt objects into the inner solar system. Called ‘perturbing’ by the previously mentioned 1983 Washington Post story, one of the nicknames for ‘Planet Nine’ given by the Cal Tech astronomers who ‘discovered’ it is, quite appropriately, ‘the perturber’.

As we hear in the 2nd video below from Higher Truth Channel, a ‘mysterious phenomenon’ is now creating solar winds so dense, even NASA is unable to censor them. Claiming we’re witnessing a signature of ‘planet X’ that he shows us include abnormalities of the magnetosphere and extra radiation from the sun, the very interesting race to discover ‘Planet Nine’ as outlined in the first video below proves to us NASA scientists know something we don’t know…yet. Investment Watch Blog also recently reported upon this powerful wave of energy that recently struck our planet Earth.

The final video below is a classic for those who haven’t heard it yet as Steve Quayle interviews ‘Planet X’ investigator Bob Fletcher. Fletcher shares with us many different aspects of ‘elite preparation’ for a huge event that he had witnessed in his lifetime including the movement of massive amounts of long term survival food to highly secretive underground locations. Fletcher also discusses millions and millions of dollars of missing money and the many reasons why he believes the 1% have long been preparing for a ‘Biblical’ event.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=8418

Mar 20

Did ISIS inadvertently uncover the secret to the “lost” Hanging Gardens of Babylon?

ISIS destroyed an ancient shrine — and archeologists may have discovered a wonder of the ancient world underneath

Last week, a group of concerned archaeologists, mapping out the extent of the damage wrought by ISIS when it occupied the Iraqi city of Mosul, announced a shocking discovery. In 2014, the terrorist group had gleefully announced its destruction of the Nebi Yunus shrine, traditionally believed to be the tomb of the Prophet Jonah and a part of the ancient ruins of the city of Nineveh.

In February the Iraqi army drove ISIS from Mosul, giving archaeologists their first chance to inspect the devastation. ISIS’ funding of its activities through the sale of illicit antiquities has been well-documented. Anything ISIS might find, in the course of plowing through ancient sites, would be gathered for sale abroad, while the militants would destroy as much as they could along the way, documenting the harm in order to upset their ideological enemies.

At first there was little concern that Nineveh would yield salable artifacts. It had been carefully excavated by waves of archaeologists since at least 1842. The only chance of finding new treasures would be to search where no one has looked before. And the only place that no one has looked, where archaeologists would not try to look, would be places that can be accessed only by blowing up or bulldozing the already-revealed parts of the ancient city.

To the surprise of the archaeologists, upon examining the reconquered city, they found evidence that when ISIS blew up parts of the Nebi Yunus shrine, the militants unveiled a major discovery: a palace that predated the Tomb of Jonah and had been buried beneath it — unseen for thousands of years.

In terms of exposing history, this is a major find. But ISIS arrived there first and, as archaeologist Layla Salih said, “I can only imagine how much [ISIS] discovered down there before we got here.” On the other hand, optimism was re-injected when she and her team found some items of great interest (and value) that had not been taken. For example, there is an inscribed piece of marble with cuneiform that includes turns of phrase used elsewhere exclusively to describe a specific king, Esarhaddon, who was a ruler of Assyria circa 672 B.C.

This suggests that the newly discovered palace from the 7th century B.C. is one that historians knew about but had thought long lost — one begun by King Sennacherib and completed by his son, Esarhaddon. This palace was so badly damaged during the 612 B.C. sack of Nineveh, amid a loss at the hands of an allied army that ended the Neo-Assyrian Empire, that it was never occupied again. Components of it were reused in other, new structures (buildings like the Tomb of Jonah), once the city was reconstructed.

But the story doesn’t end there. It is, in fact a poetically linked component in a chain of lost monuments and ancient kings, dating back to one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the only one that historians have wondered if it ever existed at all.

You can still visit the Great Pyramid at Giza today. But all the other Seven Wonders are known to have been destroyed — except for the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. The presence and loss of the others — The Tomb of Mausolus, the Lighthouse of Alexandria, the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus, the Colossus of Rhodes, the Statue of Zeus at Olympia — have been accounted for in archaeological and historical documentation.

The gardens were meant to have been a series of tiers, a sort of ziggurat-like step pyramid planted with all manner of greenery at each level, but also lined with colonnades. Because there are no known Babylonian texts that refer to the gardens (which is odd considering how magnificent and noteworthy they were), some have thought they might be just a legend.

The idea of seeing the Seven Wonders was popularized by ancient Greek and Roman travel writers. But they were describing wonders that were ancient to them, centuries old, and writing circa 100 B.C. to 100 AD. Thus their own knowledge was based on hearsay, rather than firsthand examination.

The story of the Hanging Gardens has been pieced together through fractious accounts of these various ancient historians. It goes something like this: A king, possibly Nebuchadnezzar II (who ruled 605 B.C. to 562 B.C.), built the gardens for his wife, Queen Amytis, who missed the green landscape of her home in Media (in northern Iran). While classical writers described the gardens, it is unlikely that any of them actually saw them.

The most specific description comes from Diodorus of Sicily (who was active 60 B.C. to 30 B.C.). He wrote that the garden was about 400 feet on each side and “sloped like a hillside and the several parts of the structure rose from one another, tier on tier, the appearance of the whole resembling a theater.” The highest tier stood 20 meters high, “level with the circuit wall of the battlements of the city.” The walls were 22 feet thick, with walkways 10 feet wide. Diodorus described the structure of the gardens as made of brick bonded with cement, but then topped with bitumen (an ancient version of asphalt), with a layer of lead “to the end that the moisture from the soil might not penetrate beneath,” and then piled with soil and “thickly planted with trees of every kind that, by their great size or other charm, could give pleasure to the beholder.”

The detail offered suggests the description of a real place, though Diodorus wrote that a Syrian king built it, not a Babylonian one — which just confuses matters. A Roman writer, Quintus Curtius Rufus, in the 1st century A.D. described a similar structure, further lending credence to its onetime existence.

But recent scholars, like Stephanie Daley, suggest that this garden of Babylon might have been conflated with a garden that did indeed exist, for which archaeological evidence is available: a famous garden built not in Babylon but by the destroyer of Babylon, Assyrian King Sennacherib, for his capital in Nineveh. That’s right, the same king who started the palace that was just discovered thanks to ISIS’ iconoclasm.

Some ancient sources also seem to enforce this hypothesis, through exclusion rather than inclusion. It’s weird, for instance, that Herodotus, when describing Babylon, does not mention the Hanging Gardens. This suggests that this wonder was never in that city to begin with.

Meanwhile, in Nineveh, archaeologists found an 50-mile network of waterways (aqueducts, canals and dams) that carried water to the desert city, where a series of water-raising screws brought the water uphill to irrigate the gardens. If the famous Hanging Gardens of Babylon had never been in Babylon, but were in Nineveh, then they do not qualify as lost at all; the remnants can be visited today. If similar such gardens once existed in Babylon, then they might have been damaged, destroyed or their materials reused over millennia of invaders overtaking the ancient city (including during an Assyrian period, when engineers might have been inspired to create the gardens of Nineveh).

The picture grows more intriguing, as it was King Sennacherib, the man who commissioned the Nineveh gardens and ruled Assyria from 705 B.C. to 681 B.C., who ordered the destruction of all the defensive walls, palaces and temples of Babylon, as a deterrent to the regular uprising of the population against the Assyrian conquerors. If they were there at all, it was then, in 689 B.C., that the gardens met their fate —possibly only to be “rebuilt” in Nineveh, maybe even with elements dismantled and transferred to the Assyrian capital. But it remains entirely possible that they were never in Babylon at all and that instead they should have been called the Hanging Gardens of Nineveh, built by the king who razed Babylon and raised a palace there that was just discovered, thanks to the iconoclastic hands of ISIS.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=8398

Mar 16

Christian Physicist Says New Evidence of Africa’s Wet Past Points to Biblical Great Flood

By Garrett Haley on March 6, 201746 Comments

New research has confirmed that the dry, desolate climate of the Sahara Desert was once a lush tropical climate—an observation that correlates well with the predictions of biblical creationists, a physicist with the Institute for Creation Research says.

A team of international researchers collected and analyzed marine sediments from off the coast of west Africa, looking for clues into Africa’s climatological past. Their findings, published in the journal “Science Advances,” show that northern Africa was at one time much wetter than it is today.

“It was 10 times as wet as today,” said the study’s lead author, Jessica Tierney, in a press release from The University of Arizona.

Tierney and her colleagues found ancient leaf wax samples that reveal what the African climate was like several thousand years ago. The evidence suggests that the Sahara Desert, where annual rainfall now is usually less than five inches, was once lush and green.

“Our precipitation rate estimates confirm the interpretation that a seasonal tropical climate dominated most regions of North Africa during the Green Sahara time,” the researchers wrote in their paper.

“It is therefore feasible that, at the peak of the Green Sahara, monsoonal moisture inundated the entire western Saharan region,” they added.

Although scientists already knew that rainfall rates in ancient Africa were once higher than they are today, most climate model simulations underestimated how widespread the tropical conditions were.

“With some notable exceptions, climate model simulations do not predict these high rainfall rates, nor do they indicate that the Green Sahara extended as far as 31°N,” the team wrote in their journal article.

As scientists struggle to make sense of the new data and adjust their climate models accordingly, biblical creationists say that these findings point to the global flood described in Genesis. Dr. Jake Hebert, a physicist with the Institute for Creation Research, says scientific models based on the Bible predict an extremely wet period following the Great Flood.

“Rapid seafloor spreading and volcanic activity during the Genesis Flood would have significantly warmed the world’s oceans,” he wrote in a online article published late last month. “This would have greatly increased evaporation, putting much more moisture into the atmosphere. This increased moisture would have resulted in much more precipitation, in the form of snow, in the higher latitudes and on mountaintops, and rain at lower latitudes and elevations.”

North Africa is not the only dry region that was once wet and tropical, Hebert pointed out. However, secular models, based primarily on uniformitarianism, struggle to explain the drastic climate changes that the earth experienced several millennia ago.

“This past climate change is difficult for secular scientists to explain,” he wrote. “Some uniformitarian scientists claim the wet Green Sahara was caused by changes in Earth’s orbital motions (the astronomical or Milankovitch theory of climate change), which caused a small increase in solar radiation some 9,000 years ago. This extra solar radiation supposedly warmed the continents, intensifying summer monsoons over Europe and Africa. But there are serious problems with attributing past climate change to astronomical motions.”

The Biblical model accounts for the evidence much better than secular theories, Hebert concluded.

“The conclusion of increased Saharan rainfall in the recent past is in perfect agreement with the history recorded in Genesis,” he said

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=8389

Mar 16

Mammoth pharaonic statues unearthed from muddy Cairo pit

26-foot-tall colossus believed to be Ramses II and massive bust of Seti II, over 3,000 years old, found in vacant area between apartment blocks

By AFP March 10, 2017, 3:26 am

Egyptians pose for pictures next to the head of a statue at the site of a new discovery by a team of German-Egyptian archeologists in Cairo’s Mattarya district on March 9, 2017. (AFP/Khaled Desouki)

CAIRO — Archaeologists in a muddy pit in a Cairo suburb on Thursday uncovered two pharaonic statues dating back more than 3,000 years.

The relics were found in Mattarya district, site of the ancient Pharaonic capital of Heliopolis and today a sprawl of working and middle class districts in northeastern Cairo.

The statues, discovered on wasteland between crumbling apartment blocks, are thought to represent Pharaohs from the 19th dynasty, which ruled from 1314 to 1200 BC.

One statue stands eight meters (26 feet) tall and is carved out of quartzite, a tough stone composed mostly of quartz grains.

Egyptian workers look at a statue, possible of Ramses II, partially submerged in mud, at the site of a new discovery by a team of German-Egyptian archeologists in Cairo’s Mattarya district on March 9, 2017. (AFP/Khaled Desouki)

It could not be identified from its engravings but it was found at the entrance to the temple of King Ramses II — also known as Ramses the Great — suggesting it represents him.

The other relic is a limestone bust of 12th century BC ruler King Seti II.

They were discovered by a joint German-Egyptian archaeological mission.

An Egyptian woman walks past the head of a statue at the site of a new discovery by a team of German-Egyptian archeologists in Cairo’s Mattarya district on March 9, 2017. (AFP/Khaled Desouki)

“The discovery of the two statues shows the importance of the city of Heliopolis, which was dedicated to the worship of Ra,” the sun god, said Aymen Ashmawy, head of the Egyptian team on the dig.

He said the discovery was “very important” because it indicated the Oun Sun temple was a “magnificent structure.”

Dietrich Raue, head of the German team, said the archaeologists were working hard to lift the statues so they can be transported to another site for restoration.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=8387

Mar 10

Mosul offensive: Assyrian artifacts discovered in abandoned ISIS tunnels

By Euan McKirdy, Ben Wedeman and Kareem Khadder, CNN

Updated 10:38 AM ET, Wed March 8, 2017

 

An Iraqi troop member examines ancient artifacts found in an underground ISIS tunnel in eastern Mosul.

Story highlights

  • Iraqis uncover antiquities in ISIS tunnels in eastern Mosul in offensive to retake city
  • Authorities want to remove the artifacts, but tunnels are dangerous and could collapse

Irbil, Iraq (CNN)ISIS extremists have reveled in destroying ancient shrines and antiquities, posting videos on social media of their vandalism. In an odd twist, however, they’ve inadvertently uncovered a treasure-trove of ancient statues and inscriptions dating back to the days of the Assyrian Empire.

Iraqi government officials have confirmed the discovery of the ancient artifacts in tunnels dug by ISIS fighters in eastern Mosul. Iraqi forces have been battling ISIS to reclaim Mosul — Iraq’s second-largest city — since October.

 

Faleh al-Shumari, head of the Antiquities Authority in Mosul, told CNN that the Iraqi government found the antiquities by chance in the tunnels dug under the shrine of Nabi Yunis, Arabic for the Prophet Jonah, but they haven’t extracted them yet.

“We knew about these antiquities and artifacts situated under the Shrine of Nabi Yunis in eastern Mosul that date back to the eighth century B.C, the Assyrian period,” Shumari said.

The authority had done excavations there in the 1990s and also in 2004 and 2005, but the site was covered “as a result of lack of resources and as a result of the security situation,” he said.

“The immediate solution is to have these artifacts and antiquities excavated, pulled from underneath the ground and moved to a secure place like the Baghdad Museum or Mosul Museum, when it gets secured in the future — when the security situation permits that.”

However, the tunnels are prone to cave-ins and collapse, making removal of the artifacts dangerous.

ISIS took control of Mosul in June 2014, Its museum’s artifacts and antiquities were completely destroyed and looted by the group in February 2015, but the building remains standing, Shumari says, and was used by the militants’ police force, known as the Hasba.

According to ISIS’ warped interpretation of Islam, all idols must be destroyed. Its destruction of priceless antiquities and a series of ancient sites and religious shrines is highly offensive to many Iraqis, who are deeply proud of the country’s rich history. Iraq is considered one of the cradles of civilization.

Recent gains by the Iraqis in western Mosul have left pockets of ISIS militants isolated, and the city is largely surrounded by Iraqi security forces.

Treasure-trove

The objects were discovered under the shrine of Nabi Yunis, also believed to be the Tomb of the Prophet Jonah, said Layla Salih, head of heritage building in Mosul and a member of the State Board of Antiquities and Heritage of Iraq.

The site also includes the remains of the palace of King Esarhaddon, who ruled what is known as the neo-Assyrian Empire in seventh century B.C. Salih said the remains of the palace were found under the shrine of Nabi Yunis.

“Inside these tunnels we found two sculptures of the Winged Bulls of Nineveh and another two sculptures that had faces of four women, including 5 meters of bas-relief of one side of the tunnel walls with cuneiform inscriptions,” Salih told CNN.

She said the teams that explored the tunnels found fragments of pottery and parts of the winged bulls, known as lammasu.

Vandalism and profits

Two years ago ISIS militants posted video of men using sledgehammers to destroy statues and other ancient artwork in the Mosul Museum. Later Iraqi officials with the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities said many of the statues were replicas, that the originals had been sent to Baghdad for safekeeping.

In the ISIS footage, men shove statues off pedestals and use hammers and drills to destroy what’s left.

An unnamed militant offers the following explanation: “These antiquities and idols behind me were from people in past centuries and were worshipped instead of God.

“When God almighty orders us to destroy these statues, idols and antiquities, we must do it, even if they’re worth billions of dollars,” he says.

ISIS militants haven’t always taken such a principled approach, however.

Two years ago the FBI asked art collectors and dealers to be on the lookout for antiquities that the terrorist group could have put on the market as it plundered and destroyed archaeological sites across Syria and Iraq.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=8382

Mar 10

The Ark of the Covenant, which supposedly has contained the tablets with the Ten Commandments, is the subject of a new search

Mar 6, 2017

 

The fabled Ark of the Covenant is a wooden and gold box that is believed to hold the two stone tablets called the Ten Commandments.

It was lost to history and has never been re-discovered, but archaeologists suspect that it could be at the ancient site of Kiriath-Jearim in West Jerusalem.

Kiryat Ye’arim is located in Jerusalem, Israel Photo Credit

Researchers from France and Israel are getting together to search for this historical artifact.  They believe the Ark rests in a Biblical site that has not yet been extensively explored.  Kiriath-Jearim in West Jerusalem will be opened for research between August 7th and September 1st.  According to the Book of Samuel, the box was stored there for only two decades.

But the ancient site is mentioned many times in the Bible as a place of worship; it is also known as Ba’alah, Ba’ale Judah, and Kiryat Ba’al.  The site has not undergone any archaeological excavation; researchers are excited about being the first to explore this vast central site nestled in the Jerusalem hills.

Another place where the sacred Ark is rumored to be is in Ethiopia, where the Orthodox Church claims to have the Ark in the Church of Our Lady Mary of Zion in the city of Aksum.

It is also thought to be in a cave on Mount Nebo in Jordan – the basis for this claim comes from an ancient text which states that the prophet Jeremiah buried it there.  Mount Nebo is believed to be the area where Moses saw the Promised Land.

Moses and Joshua are bowing before the Ark, painting by James Tissot, c. 1900

The Ark is thought to have been built a year after the Israelites had left Egypt. The Book of Exodus contains a description of how it was built.  It was large and had to be carried on poles. Linked to miracles in the Old Testament, it seems to have vanished from history around 597-586 BC, when the Babylonian Empire conquered the Israelites.

Scientists believe that even if something which resembles the Ark is found, its authenticity can hardly be proved or disproved through a scientific study. They consider it a Biblical artifact which rests on the border of myth and reality, Mail Online reported. The search for the Ark of the Covenant inspired the plot of The Raiders of the Lost Ark movie in 1981, one of the popular Indiana Jones series.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=8380

Mar 02

The Rome of America: What Lies Under Teotihuacan? – The Real City of the Gods

At its peak, around 200 AD, Teotihuacan counted a population of well over 125,000, boasted hundreds of temples and palaces, and three massive pyramids named after the Sun, the Moon, and the Feathered Serpent (itself a symbol of the planet Venus). The ruins of what is often called the Rome of America, Teotihuacan, lie a mere 50 km (31 miles) North-East of modern day Mexico City.

A view of Teotihuacan, Mexico. (CC BY-SA 2.0)

City of the Gods

By the time the Aztecs came onto the scene, at the beginning of the 14th century AD, the ancient metropolis already lay in ruins, its great pyramids covered in shrubs and vegetation. No doubt the Aztecs were left with the same questions that every modern visitor to the site is confronted with today. Who were the mysterious builders of Teotihuacan, and where had they come from? To the Aztecs, the answer to this question could be no other than the Gods themselves.

Their legends told of the arrival of wise men from a land beyond the Sea: “They say they came to this land to rule over it”; wrote Spanish chronicler Bernardino of Sahagún:

“They came from the sea on ships, a multitude of them, and landed on the shore of the sea, to the North…from there they went on, seeking the white mountains, the smoky mountains…led by their priests and by the voice of their gods. Finally they came to the place that they called Tamoanchan…and there they settled for some time…but it was not for long, for their wise masters left, took again to their boats…bringing back with them all their holy books and their sacred images.”

The identity of Teotihuacan with the Tamoanchan, Tollan, or Tlapallan of the Aztec and Nahua legends, has been a source of constant debate among historians: The great city of Teotihuacan literally emerged from the mists of the Mesoamerican pre-classic period as a perfectly planned city, with a fully developed architecture, and an advanced astronomy, mathematics, and calendar.

The ruins that survive today make it abundantly clear, however, that in the long sequence of construction of the site, the earliest layers almost invariably show the greatest complexity and sophistication.

Megalithic Builders and the Avenue of the Dead

The modern visitor to Teotihuacan will hardly find any evidence of the original “City of the Gods”, as it would have stood, according to Aztec myths, at the beginning of the present World Age, in 3,114 BC. (This is the date of the beginning of the Fifth Sun according to the Codex Vaticanus 3739, Codex Ríos). It lies buried under layers upon layers of subsequent occupations, and rather imaginative modern reconstructions (a large part of which resulting from the early 1900s restorations of Leopoldo Batres). Yet, one needs to walk not much further than the tourist-beaten path along the 4-km (2.5-mile) -long Avenue of the Dead to find evidence of a much more mysterious and still largely unexplored past: Almost all the construction that is visible in Teotihuacan today consists of loose lava stones, roughly cemented together, mixed with adobe and a filling of rubble.

Megalithic stone blocks scattered in the vicinity of the pyramid of the Feathered Serpents at Teotihuacan. (Photos by Author Marco M. Vigato)

Megalithic stone blocks scattered in the vicinity of the pyramid of the Feathered Serpents at Teotihuacan. (Photos by Author Marco M. Vigato)

It is true that some of the façades were originally stuccoed and painted, but these have mostly faded or disappeared, so that the impression of monumentality of even the largest pyramids immediately disappears once one examines these structures from a closer distance.

Megalithic stone head from the earlier layer of construction. (Photo by Author Marco M. Vigato)

It is therefore even more surprising to find evidence among the earliest layers of construction of an entirely different style of architecture employing enormous, finely cut and polished blocks of stone, which could very well be called megalithic.

A portion of these earlier megalithic structures can be appreciated on the western face of the pyramid of the Feathered Serpents. Here, a monumental façade of finely sculptured stone was uncovered under a later period “adosada” platform, which was added to the pyramid at some point during the 4th century AD. Even more puzzling are a number of enormous blocks of stone that lie scattered in a small esplanade towards the back of the pyramid. These stones appear to be of an entirely different kind, even relative to the ones that cover the western façade of the pyramid.

Monumental sculptured façade on the Western side of the pyramid of the Feathered Serpents. (Photo by Author Marco M. Vigato)

Not only are we here confronted with some truly gigantic monoliths, but also the type of stone and workmanship appear to be entirely different and far superior to any of the other exposed sections of the pyramid’s stone casing.

South-West corner of the pyramid of the Feathered Serpents, where the older construction phase and several megalithic stone blocks are visible under the later “adosada” platform. (Photo by Author Marco M. Vigato)

Silence From Academia

For their location in an area which is normally off-limits to visitors, these monoliths have been, so far, seldom published or considered in guides or publications on Teotihuacan. There seems, moreover, to be a general academic silence concerning their age, stylistic differences, and original collocation.

Curious Monoliths

The megalithic stone blocks, many of which are covered in sculptures, appear to have been thrown in no particular order as filling material for the construction of the main pyramid body, which is believed to date to the 2nd century AD. Among these are some colossal serpent heads, over two meters (6.5 feet) in length and weighting an estimate of 4 tons, and also some curious U-shaped monoliths, with a weight probably in excess of 10 tons. Their general workmanship is extremely accurate, with complex concave and convex surfaces and perfectly planar sides.

The rock in which the larger megalithic stone blocks were carved is a kind of highly compact gray andesite. A petrographic study of similar colossal andesite sculptures from Teotihuacan by Robert Heizer and Howell Williams pointed to the most likely source of the andesite employed at Teotihuacan as Mount Tlaloc, in the vicinity of the Pueblo of San Miguel Coatlinchan— a distance of 25 kilometers (15.5  miles) from the ceremonial site. This is certainly the source of the stone used for the largest monolith found in situ at Teotihuacan, the colossal Diosa del Agua or “Water Goddess”, which is estimated to weigh over 25 tons.

Based on stylistic analogies with the other Teotihuacan monoliths, Heizer and Williams also concluded that an immense, unfinished sculpture found in the quarry near Coatlinchan was meant to be transported to Teotihuacan. The statue, known as the monolith of Coatlinchan, is one of the largest in the Americas, with an estimated weight of over 200 tons. It is 7.1 meters (23.2 feet) long, 3.8 meters (12.4 feet) wide and four meters (13.1 feet) thick. Its transportation to Mexico City (where it now stands in front of the National Museum of Anthropology) in 1964 required a specially designed 112-wheeled tractor. If finished, the sculpture would have been carried on rafts across the lake of Texcoco, and then on rollers or sledges until its final destination.

The great monolith of Coatlinchan still in the quarries, before its removal and transportation to Mexico City. (Source: Robert F. Heizer, Howell Williams, Stones used for colossal sculpture at or near Teotihuacan, Contributions of the University of California Archaeological Research Facility, 1965)

The unfinished state of the monolith of Coatlinchan and of the countless megalithic stone blocks that lie scattered around the site of Teotihuacan are suggestive of the sudden arrival and departure of a very technically advanced elite: Over the following centuries, construction resumed and continued at Teotihuacan, although in much cruder form, recycling many of the megalithic stones and structures left behind by the original builders.

Megalithic stone blocks scattered in the vicinity of the pyramid of the Feathered Serpents at Teotihuacan. (Photos by Author Marco M. Vigato)

A Hidden Underworld?

Megaliths and colossal sculptures may be not the only remains left behind by the original builders of Teotihuacan, for a vast network of tunnels extends under much of the ancient site. The reality of this vast and still largely unexplored network has only recently come to light. In a following article, we will explore a portion of these tunnels in search of traces left behind by its still mysterious builders.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=8367

Feb 28

Evidence of Ancient Megalithic Culture in Massachusetts Revealed For the First Time

In the gorgeously rustic country hills of Northern Ireland, about an hour north of Derry, is the tiny hamlet of Laraghirril. In the distant southwestern fields of this town sits an ancient cairn with beautifully placed megalithic stones. The cairn is perhaps 4000 to 6000 years old, with crafted slabs protruding in dramatic symmetry out of the ground.  If you want to learn more about this ancient cairn at Laraghirril, interestingly enough, it will not be from this article.  Amazingly, the ancient Celtic altar in the image above is found in Heath, Massachusetts, on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean in the northeastern United States, otherwise known as New England.

Mysterious Megalithic Works in New England

New England is a small set of states about the size of Ireland, in terms of square kilometers. It stretches from Connecticut, northward along the Atlantic coast of Rhode Island, into the mountainous forests of upstate New York, Massachusetts, Vermont, and Maine. The old-growth forests and rocky mountain ridges of this area contain the same megalithic wonders that Celtic countries endear as part of their ancient mystical past. The images below are of Celtic megalithic works all within the region of New England. This includes: eloquent stone-chambers, ancient stone-linings of massive proportion at high elevations, cairns in practically every forest, altars on high rocky elevations, and beautiful standing-stones of a unique style specific to New England.

 

A stone chamber found in New England

 

High elevation stone lining in New England

This standing stone (image/above) is located several miles into Tully Lake Forest Reserve, Massachusetts, which is only about 15 miles from the Heath Altar, which I will soon describe. It has never been documented before now. Standing at 6 feet in height, and roughly 2 tons in weight, it is clearly an intended fixture, with incremental indents on its side culminating at an apex. This stone has stood elegantly as an amazing example of the megaliths in Massachusetts for, most likely, thousands of years, and may have been placed in this spot before the forest surrounded it. There is so much more to understand about stones like this. The questions emerge: what culture during the antiquity period of New England had the technical ability to cut and craft megalithic stones as if they were wooden blocks? How could they place them on mountaintops, or in deep forests so easily?  And who did this? In Ireland, these incremental markings can be found on white-granite stones in the heights of places like the Pass at Mount Bearnagh in the Mourne Range (image/below). There are literally thousands of other crafted megalithic stones in the forests and mountain ranges of Celtic and New England ranges.

 

If this type of standing stone at Tully Lake Forest is not compelling enough for those who embrace a more “classic” stylization of “the standing stone”, take a look at this monument just twenty-five miles east of Tully Lake Forest. Looming at the top of a rocky hill in the Lynn Woods Reserve is a 10-foot high, 20-ton standing-stone. This megalith could easily be mistaken for a standing-stone at the top of any Irish, Welsh, English or Scottish valley. This stone, however, is in Massachusetts.

 

20-ton standing stone in Lynn Woods Reserve

Advanced Ancient Culture in New England – Could it be the Celts?

And this is just the beginning. In every forest in New England there are megaliths waiting to be deciphered and appreciated. It seems clear now that a megalithic culture, nearly identical to the Celtic style, once existed in New England. One of the very finest examples of this, in all of New England, is located in the country-town of Heath, Massachusetts, known simply as The Heath Altar Stones.

The Heath Altar sits on a gorgeous rocky plateau surrounded by pristine old-growth forest. This rocky elevation in north-central Massachusetts is only seven miles from the boarder of Vermont, where Green Mountain National Forest rolls dramatically into the northwest. Strategically, this vista is an intelligent place for an altar, with an elevated vantage harnessing the sun’s rays from dawn to dusk. Simultaneously, this altar is not far from a rolling stream in the small valley below, just over a mile to the east.

This water runs in a narrow channel cutting through the hills into several streams that merge and eventually rush as waterfalls through the town of Savoy, south of Heath. At certain points of the stream there is ancient stonework directing the flow of the water. These beautiful stones are an indicator of an extremely intelligent culture capable of harnessing and directing resources to certain focal points in the landscape. The stonework is perfectly leveled with corbel placement.

 

Rock wall in New England

Identifying this particular style is a challenge to those unfamiliar with Celtic fixtures. The masons of the colonial period generally utilized brick or cut-cobble stone with mixed cement. Native Americans were seasonally nomadic in their lifestyle, and generally did not work with megalithic stones in the northeastern part of the continent. Additionally, native tribes simply did not take credit for the existing stonework. Local stories from remaining Native American peoples in places like Upton, Massachusetts, say that the megalithic stones were there before the ancestral tribes arrived.  This would coincide with the testimony of Peruvian and Mexican native peoples of South America, who say that the megaliths of their region were not made by their ancestors, but by “the gods”, and again, were there before their ancestors arrived.

Quartz Used to Harness Energy?

Returning to the Altar at Heath, there are several thought-provoking stone features before reaching the hilltop. Massive quartz stones have been placed all around the area.

 

A large quartz block sits atop a stone lining

Beautiful small ridges made entirely of quartz are fixed into the landscape. Quartz blocks have clearly been quarried and inserted above the granite stone linings surrounding the area. These white transluscent blocks stand in stark contrast against the rusty colored fauna of the field and grey granite stone-linings surrounding the hill. The question arises: why would the builders of this altar choose to extract and set quartz blocks around the area?

The answer is in the properties of the stone. Quartz has the ability to harness and store energy. In the present era we utilize quartz in our computers to transfer and store digital energy within the tiny landscapes of switchboards. Placing quartz all around the hill creates a type of “energy zone”.  It is clear that this culture was well aware of the unique properties of the natural elements in the landscape, and made a serious effort to utilize them. This culture recognized the sun’s value as the ultimate energy source, as well as elements in the landscapes that have the reciprocal ability to harness that energy. Furthermore, streams carry subtle electrical currents through the friction of the waters continual motion against the stones. There are stones that indicate that this ancient culture was aware of the subtle energies produced by the water as well.

Long stone-linings that look to our modern eyes like “walls” run directly from the river up to the Altar at Heath. The granite stones might actually be a type of “cable system” connecting the subtle electrical energy of the stream to the quartz stones on the hill.  The entire periphery of the hill is circled with these stone-linings. They branch off in dozens of varying directions. On a sunny day, this place would be absolutely charged with subtle energies.

Ancient Alignments

Continuing towards the pinnacle of the hill where the altar sits, are smaller standing-stones. From the crafting and positioning of these stones, it is clear that they have a directional purpose rather than the utility function of the quartz. Perhaps they are marking the cardinal directions, or Solar and Lunar patterns in the sky. They certainly look to be pointing at something.

 

A standing stone near the main altar

The stone in the image above stands at about 3 feet, with specifically cut dimensions that point cardinal-south. This small standing stone is about 50 yards from the main Altar. The angles are of a particular type in New England that exists at many other sites in the mountains. The image below is of a larger, but dimensionally identical, standing-stone which sits near Squaw Peak of Monument Mountain Reserve in Massachusetts, about 60 miles southwest of Heath. This larger stone stands at about 6 feet, and points to the Sun at exactly mid-day, as seen in the image below.

 

Standing stone near Squaw Peak of Monument Mountain Reserve

The similarity between these two standing-stones, in terms of specific geometry, is remarkable, not to mention difficult. Two parallel sides lead to a 45-degree pinnacle which points, like an arrowhead, to the sky.  Remember also, this is cut out of solid granite, and isn’t exactly a simple process. This is an iconic statement that requires serious skill and understanding, cutting through granite to form exacted parallel lines and points. More questions emerge, similar to those asked in Celtic places: how could this be done with granite slabs some 4000 to 6000 years ago, and at an elevation of about 2000 feet? With what tools did this culture cut and move these massive stones? Where are those tools? And why is there so little acknowledgement of this megalithic culture in New England, as opposed to Ireland where it is revered?

Continuing on to the western extreme of the hill at Heath there is an entirely quartz standing stone that looks to be a marker of some kind, or perhaps a warning for those passing by. This stone is similar in scale to the other peripheral standing stones around the Altar, only about 3 feet in height, but brilliant in contrast to the fauna of the area.

Quartz standing stone at Heath

At the northern face of the hill is a deeply lodged granite stone facing cardinal- north, where the forests of Vermont roll into Canada. This stone is also protruding about 3 feet out of the ground. As you can see, each stone points to a stellar scene beyond.

Standing stone at Heath

A Celtic Altar in Massachusetts?

After acknowledging the amount of stonework around the Altar, the feeling that this is hallowed ground is inevitable. This is an anthropologically sacred place where the stones have been placed in specific orientations. The meaning of the chosen stones, as well as their positions, is yet to be deciphered. It is obvious that this place is not the whimsical machinations of some bored colonial farmer, which would be totally out of context with colonial work ethic. Colonials did not waste the planting or harvesting seasons, not to mention the strength of their cattle or horses, moving megalithic size rocks around for pleasure. With that in mind, everything about this area says: “Celtic altar”.  It is with this understanding that you finally approach the main Altar at Heath.

On the highest ground of the hill sits an 8-by-5-foot square granite slab, guarded at each corner by a massive standing stone.

 

The Altar at Heath

These stones that stand in the corners of the central slab look to weigh at least 2 tons each, if not more. They are notched into the ground like fitted posts, each standing at relatively the same height at 6 feet. There is definitely a type of intended symmetry to this scene. A smaller standing stone centers the entire scene like an emblem, creating a pinnacle just above the main square slab (image/below).

A short distance away, to the west, is another standing stone which is roughly the same size as the corner stones. It looks to be an entry point to the Altar, the final marker and warning to anyone approaching the central scene from just beyond.

The Altar at Heath

Many things could have taken place on this altar. It is the focal point of all the various stones surrounding the hill. Perhaps sleeping here was beneficial in certain ways, or burning a fire for cooking and general warmth with a full vantage on the hill. This would be a perfect place to center an existence, with all the harnessed subtle energies culminating here. The view from the central granite table is incredible. (Image below)

Celtic and northeast-American landscapes have an incredible similarity in scale and style. It makes complete sense that a Celtic altar was built on the hill at Heath, when the hill itself is so similar to native Celtic hills in places like Kinnitty, Ireland. The rolling hills beyond are of the same height and scale.  It becomes impossible to ignore the Celtic aspects of New England, and how attractive a place like Heath must have been to a megalithic culture. The megaliths, the landscapes, the enduring similarity and beauty of both Irish and New England ancient sites continues to compel us towards understanding what this similarity means. Is it one Celtic megalithic culture producing stone-works in several different places? It certainly looks that way.

The Heath Altar Stones remains one of the most beautiful and blatant anthropological connections to the Celtic world that New England has to offer, but it is only a fraction of the overall picture emerging.  There is an incredible megalithic culture within the forests and mountains of northeastern America just waiting to be understood, and many New Englanders are excited to continue this research!

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