If you missed the live (as I did), it’s not to late to watch it now!
It’s been only one year since John A. Ruskamp Jr., Ed.D., reported that he identified an outstanding Chinese petroglyphs, hidden in plain sight, above a walking path in Albuquerque’s Petroglyph National Monument.
Now, the growing list of seemingly out-of-place Chinese artefacts can count on a new votive sword. Actually, the 30cm object was found in July 2014 by an avocational surface collector, behind roots in an eroded bank of a small stream in Georgia, but it is only now being made public due to the fact that still little is known about it.
Yet, even if we don’t know much about its origin, the shape and the many symbols it shows are clearly related to the jade objects from the Xia (2070-1600 BC), Shang (1600-1046 BC) and Zhou Dynasty (1046-256 BC). The feathered crown, as well as the dragon figure spanning a portion of the top of the blade, are typical to the Shang Dynasty. And a grotesque face mask, on the guard and handle of the sword, called Taotie, originates to the Liangzhu culture (3400-2250 BC).
Now, there is clear similarity between the Taotie symbol and a symbol used by the Mesoamerican Olmec culture (actually, the Chinese-Olmec mythologies and symbolisms, have been the subject of debate for over one hundred years, because of their similarities), which begins during the Shang Dynasty, around 1500 BC. Thus, according some scientist, the Chinese culture could have had a direct influence over the Olmec civilisation and later Mesoamerican culture, including the Mayans. For instance, Chinese may have shown the Olmec the mastery of working jade. Hypothesis leading to the possibility that the votive object might have reached Georgia due to the travelling habits of the Olmecs and other cultures around the Gulf of Mexico, as Haskell suggest…
Despite the many indications of authenticity, it is unlikely that these discovery convince any archaeologists who have dogmatically rejected evidence of an ancient Chinese presence in the Americas.
For the first time, the Lidar* amazing technology has been used to scan the site of Angkor in Cambodia. A group of archaeologists from Sydney has discovered a network of temples that was completely unknown, and an entire city, hidden by the lush forest of Cambodia.
From the four billion laser measurements of Angkor, processed by a high-performance computer, researchers have looked with emotion, the map of entire cities identified, for the first time, from the jungle north-west of Cambodia.
Not only, the extension of the city is even much larger than we thought: “We have found that these structures extend over an area of about 35 square km, rather, of the 9 that had previously been mapped,” said Evans. The city was designed with a very precise urban plan: the streets ran in a grid, precise east/west and north/south, similar to the scheme of the great roads of New York.
The dwellings, elevated on earthen mounds, were higher than the surrounding rice fields, presumably so they wouldn’t flood during the rainy season. The roads were likewise elevated.
Scientists have long wondered who were the people who built these marvelous buildings, where did they live, how were they so successful in the unforgiving environment of monsoon Asia, and perhaps most importantly, what happened to them?
“At least half a dozen previously undocumented temples have been uncovered in the immediate vicinity of Angkor Wat, which more than two million tourists visit every year, along with a previously unknown urban layout within the very confines of the temple’s moat.
In the remote Kulen mountains, in the north of Angkor, where dense forest and extensive mine fields have traditionally frustrated mapping efforts, an entire urban layout has emerged from beneath the vegetation. It corresponds to a previously undiscovered city referred to in thousand-year-old inscriptions as Mahendraparvata.
“The newly discovered cities clearly extend beyond the limited lidar coverage that has so far been achieved, and we are currently fundraising for a second lidar mission to extend that coverage and take a first look at a couple of other temple complexes in the region where, we suspect, entire cities also lie undiscovered on the forest floor”, Evan said.
Lidar can reveal much more. This is just the beginning. Soon archaeologists will unlock the secrets of ancient civilizations!
The National Geographic just published the discovery of a gigantic monument, basically hidden in plain sight, at the World Heritage site of Petra. The news is based according to a study recently published in the Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research.
Once again the site was uncovered thanks to high-resolution satellite imagery, which enabled archaeologists Sarah Parcak and Christopher Tuttle to locate and document the structure about half a mile (800 meters) south of the center of the ancient city.
The enormous platform, about the size of an Olympic swimming pool, has no known parallels to any other structure in Petra.
While the monument has not been excavated, the presence of surface pottery dating from the mid-second century B.C. suggests that construction of the structure began during the Nabataeans’ initial public building program.
“I’m sure that over the course of two centuries of research [in Petra], someone had to know [this site] was there, but it’s never been systematically studied or written up,” says Tuttle. “I’ve worked in Petra for 20 years, and I knew that something was there, but it’s certainly legitimate to call this a discovery…”
It can be easily considered as one of the greatest discoveries of Ancient Egypt. It was named ‘Labyrinth’ by the Greeks after the complex maze of corridors designed by Daedalus for King Minos of Crete, where the legendary Minotaur dwelt. Yet today, nothing remains of this supposedly grand temple complex – at least not on the surface. And yet only few know about the existence of the incredible underground Labyrinth of ancient Egypt.
There are many discoveries beneath the surface of our planet which could potentially change the way we look at history itself. One of them is a forgotten world of underground chambers and tunnels that have remained unexplored for centuries. Mentioned in ancient texts and local legends, these mysterious chambers have been considered as a myth up until they were actually discovered.
This labyrinth, I have actually seen, is a work beyond words. Put together the buildings of the Greeks and the display of their labours, they would seem lesser in both effort and expense compare to this labyrinth… Even the pyramids are beyond words, and each was equal to many and mighty works of the Greeks. Yet the labyrinth surpasses even the pyramids. Herodotus (‘Histories’, Book, II, 148).
This mysterious underground complex of caverns and chambers is believed to hold the secrets to mankind’s origin, it is said that there, we could find details about unknown civilizations in history, great empires and rulers that lived on the planet before history as we know it began. It is also thought to hold sacred ancient text from the lost civilization of Atlantis. And was described by authors such as Strabo and even Herodotus who had the opportunity to visit and record the legendary labyrinth before it disappeared into history.
It has twelve courts covered in, with gates facing one another, six upon the North side and six upon the South, joining on one to another, and the same wall surrounds them all outside; and there are in it two kinds of chambers, the one kind below the ground and the other above upon these, three thousand in number, of each kind fifteen hundred. The upper set of chambers we ourselves saw;… but the chambers underground we heard about only… For the passages through the chambers, and the goings this way and that way through the courts, which were admirably adorned, afforded endless matter for marvel, as we went through from a court to the chambers beyond it, and from the chambers to colonnades, and from the colonnades to other rooms, and then from the chambers again to other courts. Over the whole of these is a roof made of stone like the walls; and the walls are covered with figures carved upon them, each court being surrounded with pillars of white stone fitted together most perfectly; and at the end of the labyrinth, by the corner of it, there is a pyramid of forty fathoms, upon which large figures are carved, and to this there is a way made under ground. Such is this labyrinth. Herodotus
There is a high level of consistency between the different descriptions of the labyrinth written over six centuries between the 5 th century BC to the 1 st century AD. All of them, for example, describe a roof made out of a single stone slab, and all of the accounts are in agreement about its immense beauty. Greek historian Diodorus Siculus (1 st century BC) gives one of the most colourful descriptions:
When one had entered the sacred enclosure, one found a temple surrounded by columns, 40 to each side, and this building had a roof made of a single stone, carved with panels and richly adorned with excellent paintings. It contained memorials of the homeland of each of the kings as well as of the temples and sacrifices carried out in it, all skilfully worked in paintings of the greatest beauty.
The detailed and consistent descriptions of the labyrinth indicate that it is a place that did indeed exist in the ancient past. In fact, as we will soon discuss, it appears to have already been found…
The enigmatic underground complex is located less than 100 km from Cairo at Hawara. There, in 2008 a group of researchers from Belgium and Egypt arrived to investigate the enigmatic underground complex, with the aid of ground penetrating technology which was used to study the sand in hopes of finding and solving the mystery behind the mysterious underground complex. The Belgian-Egyptian expedition was able to confirm the presence of the underground temple not far from the Pyramid of Amenemhat III.
Without a doubt, the expedition led by Petrie stumbled upon one of the most incredible discoveries in the history of Egypt, and they did not even need to excavate in order to confirm the finding.
Researchers in Mexico Yucatán have announced that an ancient Mayan temple is not only aligned to the sun, it’s also designed to track the movement of the planet Venus. This advanced observatory is confirming (if it was still necessary) that the ancient central american civilisation had extensive knowledge of astronomy.
The observatory is thought to have been used in the Mayan’s early Classic period, between 300 and 600 AD, a millennia or so before the arrival of the Spanish.
“We believe this building used to be a multifunctional facility that was used exclusively by the Mayan elite, specifically for priests-astronomers,” Beatriz Quintal Suaste, a researcher at the Yucatán National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH), told the Mexico City newspaper Excelsior.
The structure aligns with the rising and setting of the sun during the spring and fall equinoxes, and the semicircular building is set up so that it casts no shadow in the midday sun.
It appears that Venus (represented in the mythology by the god Noh Ek), the third brightest object in the sky after the sun and moon, was so important to the priests-astronomers of Acanceh that they build the southern edge of the observatory to align with the planet’s northernmost position in the night sky.
Quintal Suaste told Excelsior that the Mayans were able to track Venus’ 584-day cycle through the night sky from the observatory, a hypothesis that’s backed up by the text contained in three codexes that were found at the site.