Archive for the ‘Ancient Civilizations’ Category

Human Sacrifice: Ancient Chinese Secret, Huh?

Monday, June 21st, 2010

Photos_ Human Sacrifices Found at Ancient China Complex.jpg

New archeological evidence proves that the China’s Western Zhou dynasty dabbled in human sacrifice roughly 2,700 years ago.

“In general, there’s been a tendency to describe Western Zhou as a more humanistic period, when the practice of human sacrifices”—which were commonplace during the preceding Shang Dynasty—”were waning,” Sena said.

“But I think the archaeological evidence shows quite clearly that human sacrifices persisted throughout the Zhou period as well.”

So now we know.

[National Geographic]

Were Legendary Japanese Race Dwarves, Pygmies Or Hobbits?

Wednesday, June 9th, 2010


Legend tells of an intensely insular, physically tiny race that lived in the north of Japan thousands of years ago before humans settled there. Brent Swancer of Cryptomundo takes a fascinating look at who they were and why they might be closer to hobbits than modern day dwarves.


Were The Earliest Human Species Cannibals?

Thursday, May 27th, 2010

A new finding suggests the earliest known human species swung from trees had the tools to make fire and was likely fond of eating other hominins.


The H. gautengensis fossils were found alongside basic stone tools and evidence of the use of fire. The most complete human ancestor skull from the sediments associated with H. gautengensis is a widely studied mid-1970s discovery labeled Stw 53.

The stone tools would have been used for “‘de-fleshing’ and cutting open bones to access marrow, and probably also for digging and [preparing] plant foods,” he said. “They might also have been used for processing animal hides.”

Cut marks on the Stw 53 skull hint at darker practices—”that it was de-fleshed, either for ritual burial or cannibalistic consumption.”

There is some really fascinating stuff (including more detail on how primitive tools were used to de-flesh things) in the this article so please read it.

[National Geographic]

Remains Of Human Sacrifices Opens Window Into Lost Civilization

Thursday, May 20th, 2010

Pictures_ Pyramid Tomb With Human Sacrifices Found.jpg

As it turns out, rolling with the Zoque over 2,700 years ago was pretty touch and go. On the upside, you were an off-shoot of the Olmec and were therefore among the first modern civilizations in recorded history. On the downside, you might end up in a Mexican pyramid with a mouth full of jewels and a face smeared with pigment as you complete your roll as a human sacrifice only be be discovered in 2010 by a Brigham Young University archeologist.

The remains of an elite child and adult were recently excavated, giving researchers a look at how the culture operated.

[National Geographic]

Silver Lining To Recent Flood Victims, It Could Have Been A Megaflood

Thursday, May 6th, 2010


With all the talk of flooding in Tennessee, it helps to look back into history to gain perspective. After all, at least it wasn’t the megaflood that completely redefined that Alaskan landscape 15,000 years ago.

One of at least four megafloods from ancient Glacial Lake Atna, the deluge breached ice dams and covered more than 3,500 square miles (9,065 square kilometers) of land of what is today the Copper River Basin northeast of Anchorage. (The lake would’ve covered Rhode Island three times.)

Megafloods by definition have a flow of at least 264 million gallons of water per second (1,000 million liters of water per second). The largest known freshwater megaflood released about 4,500 million gallons of water per second (17,000 million liters of water per second) and originated out of Glacial Lake Missoula in Montana.

The megaflood from Atna likely had a flow of about 792 million gallons of water per second (3,000 million liters of water per second), and released a total of as much as 336 cubic miles (1,400 cubic kilometers) of water – enough to cover an area the size of Washington, D.C., to a depth of 5 miles (8 km).

So, at least they have that going for them.

In all seriousness, if you’d like to help by donating money or time to the relief effort in Tennessee, head here for more information.

[Live Science]

A Worldwide Hunt For Oddities Summarized In One Video

Friday, April 23rd, 2010

Pretty self-explanatory. Big ups to Atlas Obscura!

Is this what’s left of the Lost City of El Dorado?

Wednesday, February 10th, 2010

Deep in the Amazon researchers are exploring the remnants of a city that dates back to 200 AD. Little is known about the inhabitants and some speculate that this could have been the source of the rumors of El Dorado. Click through for the video. Scientific American

Explore a Haunted Necropolis Right Now!

Sunday, October 25th, 2009

Thanks to the wonder of Microsoft’s Synth technology, we can explore haunted cities of the dead from the safety of your own home and avoid any avenging mummy unpleasantness.

Check out this Synth of the Necropolis of Saqqara, an Egyptian burial site dating back to the First Dynasty. (Microsoft Silverlight plugin required.)

link Photosynth – Necropolis of Saqqara

Skeleton Lake

Monday, October 19th, 2009 has this fun tourist destination known as Rookund in the Himalayas. It’s a lake filled with skeletons:

Roopkund is better off known as “The skeleton lake” due to the presence of an enormous grave that holds about 300 to 600 skeletons. This discovery has revolutionized the world of ancient history ever since 1942, when a park ranger came across this mass deposition of bones. It probably is an in-accessible frozen lake that requires about four day travel to reach from the nearest locality. Recently, it has become an important spot for the visitors as they learn and conjecture this advent of science.

link: Roopkund – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
link: Roopkund The Mysterious Skeleton Lake | Travelet

Ancient Monument and Golf Course

Sunday, October 18th, 2009

Newsweek has an interesting article about an ancient monument located in the middle of a golf course in Southern Ohio. Before you get upset about this suburbification of a historic site, it’s important to remember that if they hadn’t put a golf course there, there would be a subdivision there and nothing to see. Newsweek

In fact, the Earthworks have become something of a dwarf star within the golf course’s universe. Carts zip over sacred embankments. A cherished mound doubles as the ninth tee. The Earthworks are a National Historic Landmark, and they are under consideration for the UNESCO World Heritage list of cultural and natural wonders.

Here’s a view from Google Maps:

Getting a little weirder, in 1860 explorers claimed to have found an artifact there with the following Hebrew inscription:

Remarkable Archaeological Discovery in Ohio. – Article Preview – The New York Times

Archeologists Explore 5,000 Year-Old Submerged City

Friday, October 16th, 2009

50 meters off the coast of Laconia in Greece archeologists are mapping the oldest submerged city in the world.

From ScienceDaily:

Possibly one of the most important discoveries has been the identification of what could be a megaron — a large rectangular great hall — from the Early Bronze Age period. They have also found over 150 metres of new buildings including what could be the first example of a pillar crypt ever discovered on the Greek mainland. Two new stone built cist graves were also discovered alongside what appears to be a Middle Bronze Age pithos burial.

The University of Nottingham’s video on the expedition:

Pavlopetri – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
World’s Oldest Submerged Town Dates Back 5,000 Years

The Lost Civilization of Mirador

Thursday, October 15th, 2009

In this video, CNN investigate Mirador, the cradle of the Mayan civilization and home to the largest pyramid (by volume) in the world. Mostly covered by jungle, it’s in the middle of a threatened region rampant with grave robbers and drug traffickers. Because of it’s remote location it’s not as explored and well understood as other ancient cities.

From Wikipedia:

The civic center of the site covers some 10 square miles (26 km²) with several thousand structures, including monumental architecture from 10 to 30 meters high. There are a number of “triadic” structures (around 35 structures), consisting of large artificial platforms topped with a set of 3 summit pyramids. The most notable such structures are three huge complexes; one is nicknamed “El Tigre“, with height 55 metres (180 ft); the other is called “La Danta” (or Danta) temple. Depending on calculation techniques, the Danta temple is considered as tall as 72 meters, and considering its total volume (2,800,000 cubic meters) is one of the largest pyramids in the world1.

According to Carlos Morales-Aguilar, a Guatemalan archaeologist, the city appears to have been planned from its foundation, as extraordinary alignments have been found between the architectural groups and main temples, which were possibly related to solar. The study reflects an importance of urban planning and sacred spaces since the first settlers.

The photo below shows a pyramid covered in vegetation.

link: El Mirador – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
link: Video – Breaking News Videos from

Mayan Elder: Enough with this 2012 Nonsense

Sunday, October 11th, 2009

As the Hollywood and occult hype machines spin into overdrive about the proposed end of the world on December 21st, 2012, at least one person who may or may not know something about it says it’s all bunk. According to an AP story, Chile Pixtun, a Guatemalan Indian Elder had this to say:

Definitely not, the Mayan Indian elder insists. “I came back from England last year and, man, they had me fed up with this stuff.”

Another person who should know points out:

“If I went to some Mayan-speaking communities and asked people what is going to happen in 2012, they wouldn’t have any idea,” said Jose Huchim, a Yucatan Mayan archaeologist. “That the world is going to end? They wouldn’t believe you. We have real concerns these days, like rain.”

He goes onto suggest this doomsday thing is a Western concept we’re projecting onto the Maya. So if the Maya say it’s bunk, who should we believe? Them or the folks who remade Godzilla?

link: Mayan Year 2012 Stirs Doomsday Theories – International News | News of the World | Middle East News | Europe News –

Is this Atlantis and Did its Demise Cause a Massive Tsunami?

Friday, October 9th, 2009

Researchers now speculate that an island chain once inhabited by the Minoan’s may have been a much larger island that was wiped out in a volcanic eruption that sent tidal waves as far as Israel.

Speculation has abounded as to whether the Santorini eruption inspired the legend of Atlantis, which Plato said drowned in the ocean. Although the isle is often regarded as just an invention, the explosion might have given rise to the story of a lost empire by helping to wipe out the real-life Minoan civilization that once dominated the Mediterranean, from which the myth of the bull-headed ‘minotaur’ comes.

link: Real Tsunami May Have Inspired Legend of Atlantis – Yahoo! News

link: Google Maps

Was Blue Stonehenge a crematorium?

Friday, October 9th, 2009

The recent discovery of another megalithic site near Stonehenge has added yet another layer to the mystery.

The presence of “Blue Stonehenge” approximately a mile away suggests that it was part of a larger scheme. What these stone age land developers had in mind is still a matter of debate.

Sheffield University’s Professor Mike Parker Pearson, Director of the project, said: “It could be that Blue Stonehenge was where the dead began their final journey to Stonehenge. “Not many people know that Stonehenge was Britain’s largest burial ground at that time. Maybe the bluestone circle is where people were cremated before their ashes were buried at Stonehenge itself.”

link: ‘Blue Stonehenge’ Discovered By UK Archaeologists

More Loch Ness Strangeness

Monday, March 30th, 2009


For years enthusiasts of the weird have dredged and searched Loch Ness for a monster and come up empty handed. Little did they know that a real ancient oddity was standing right behind them. Archaeologists in Scotland believe that a boulder on a hill overlooking Loch Ness was carved and used as a marker by ancient farmers to track the spring and autumn equinoxes and thus know when to plant their crops. This civilization has long since vanished, apparently their knowledge of astronomy did little to save them from being devoured by Nessy.