Archeology and History News ArticlesExcerpts of Key Archeology and History News Articles in Media
Six miles from Urfa, an ancient city in southeastern Turkey, Klaus Schmidt has made one of the most startling archaeological discoveries of our time: massive carved stones about 11,000 years old, crafted and arranged by prehistoric people who had not yet developed metal tools or even pottery. The megaliths predate Stonehenge by some 6,000 years. The place is called Gobekli Tepe, and Schmidt, a German archaeologist who has been working here more than a decade, is convinced it's the site of the world's oldest temple. In the [excavation] pits, standing stones, or pillars, are arranged in circles. Beyond, on the hillside, are four other rings of partially excavated pillars. Each ring has a roughly similar layout: in the center are two large stone T-shaped pillars encircled by slightly smaller stones facing inward. The tallest pillars tower 16 feet and, Schmidt says, weigh between seven and ten tons. Some are blank, while others are elaborately carved: foxes, lions, scorpions and vultures abound, twisting and crawling on the pillars' broad sides. Schmidt points to the great stone rings, one of them 65 feet across. "This is the first human-built holy place," he says. Prehistoric people would have gazed upon herds of gazelle and other wild animals; gently flowing rivers, which attracted migrating geese and ducks; fruit and nut trees; and rippling fields of wild barley and wild wheat varieties such as emmer and einkorn. "This area was like a paradise," says Schmidt, a member of the German Archaeological Institute. He believes this was a place of worship on an unprecedented scale—humanity's first "cathedral on a hill."
Note: For more on this fascinating find, see the Daily Mail article available here.
Mary Schweitzer sits at a microscope in a dim lab, her face lit only by a glowing computer screen. After 68 million years in the ground, a Tyrannosaurus rex found in Montana was dug up, its leg bone was broken in pieces, and fragments were dissolved in acid in Schweitzer’s laboratory at North Carolina State University. Last year ... Schweitzer announced she had discovered blood vessels and structures that looked like whole cells inside that T. rex bone - the first observation of its kind. The finding amazed colleagues, who had never imagined that even a trace of still-soft dinosaur tissue could survive. The observations could shed new light on how dinosaurs evolved and how their muscles and blood vessels worked. And the new findings might help settle a long-running debate about whether dinosaurs were warmblooded, coldblooded - or both. In the lab, Wittmeyer now takes out a dish with six compartments, each holding a little brown dab of tissue in clear liquid, and puts it under the microscope lens. Inside each specimen is a fine network of almost-clear branching vessels—the tissue of a female Tyrannosaurus rex that strode through the forests 68 million years ago, preparing to lay eggs. Of course, what everyone wants to know is whether DNA might be lurking in that tissue. Wittmeyer, from much experience with the press since the discovery, calls this “the awful question” - whether Schweitzer’s work is paving the road to a real-life version of science fiction’s Jurassic Park, where dinosaurs were regenerated from DNA preserved in amber.
Note: Watch a CBS 60-minutes report on this unusual discovery. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing archeology and history news articles from reliable major media sources.
Archaeologists in Cambodia have found multiple, previously undocumented medieval cities not far from the ancient temple city of Angkor Wat. The Australian archaeologist Dr Damian Evans ... will announce that cutting-edge airborne laser scanning technology has revealed multiple cities between 900 and 1,400 years old beneath the tropical forest floor, some of which rival the size of Cambodia’s capital, Phnom Penh. Some experts believe that the recently analysed data - captured in 2015 during the most extensive airborne study ever undertaken by an archaeological project, covering 734 sq miles (1,901 sq km) – shows that the colossal, densely populated cities would have constituted the largest empire on earth at the time of its peak in the 12th century. Evans said: “We have entire cities discovered beneath the forest that no one knew were there.” [A prior] survey uncovered an array of discoveries, including elaborate water systems that were built hundreds of years before historians believed the technology existed. The [latest] findings are expected to challenge theories on how the Khmer empire developed, dominated the region, and declined around the 15th century. “Our coverage of the post-Angkorian capitals also provides ... new insights on the ‘collapse’ of Angkor,” Evans said. “There’s an idea that somehow the Thais invaded and everyone fled down south – that didn’t happen. It calls into question the whole notion of an Angkorian collapse.”
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing archeology news articles from reliable major media sources.
A stone knife and other artifacts found deep underwater in a Florida sinkhole show people lived in that area some 14,500 years ago. That makes the ancient sinkhole the earliest well-documented site for human presence in the southeastern U.S., and important for understanding the settling of the Americas, experts said. The findings confirm claims made more than a decade ago about the site. At that time, researchers reported evidence that humans were there some 14,400 years ago. But in an era when such an old date was widely considered impossible, other experts disputed the evidence, said Mike Waters of Texas A&M University. The sinkhole was "just politely ignored," he said. Waters was among a new team of scientists who excavated there from 2012 to 2014. They report finding the knife and stone flakes in a paper released Friday by the journal Science Advances. The new work offers "far better" evidence for early humans than the earlier research did, he said. In American archaeology, sites showing signs of human presence more than about 13,000 years are called "pre-Clovis," since they predate the Clovis era of widespread human occupation. Dennis Stanford of the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History said that he ranked the sinkhole with two locations in Pennsylvania and Virginia as "the best-dated and oldest pre-Clovis sites yet found in North America."
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing suppressed archaeology news articles from reliable major media sources.
In his new book, 63 Documents the Government Doesn't Want You to Read, former wrestler turned governor of Minnesota Jesse Ventura takes a close and at times disturbing look at major historical events. Ventura draws on public but often overlooked information about such events as John F. Kennedy's assassination and the 9/11 attacks, offering fresh, often intriguing insights. Here is an excerpt: "There is little value in ensuring the survival of our nation if our traditions do not survive with it. And there is very grave danger that an announced need for increased security will be seized upon by those anxious to expand its meaning to the very limits of official censorship and concealment." – John F. Kennedy This book is titled 63 Documents the Government Doesn't Want You to Read, lest we forget that 1963 was the year that claimed the life of our 35th President. The conspiracy that killed JFK, and the cover-up that followed, is the forerunner for a lot of what you're going to read about in these pages. In fact, the idea behind this book came out of writing my last one, American Conspiracies. In poring through numerous documents, many of them available through the Freedom-of-Information Act, I came to realize the importance of the public's right to know. Let me begin by saying how concerned I am that we're moving rapidly in the direction President Kennedy tried to warn us about.
Note: Jesse Ventura reveals amazing information in this powerful interview. You might appreciate the video and all 10 pages available at the ABC News link above. For key reports from major media sources that shed light on the unsolved assassination of JFK and other major US political leaders, click here.
Fifty years ago, American scientists were in a frantic race to counter what they saw as the Soviet threat from germ warfare. Biological pathogens they developed were tested on volunteers from a pacifist church and were also released in public places. In the 1950s, the Seventh-day Adventist Church struck an extraordinary deal with the US Army. It would provide test subjects for experiments on biological weapons at the Fort Detrick research centre near Washington DC. The volunteers were conscientious objectors who agreed to be infected with debilitating pathogens. In return, they were exempted from frontline warfare. The research involved anthrax, other lethal bacteria and biological poisons. But it wasn't just the white coat volunteers and sailors who were subject to experiments. The scientists also conducted tests on an unsuspecting American public. Scientists used what they thought was a harmless simulant in major bio-weapon tests across US cities and on public transport. It was a bacteria which they believed was harmless but which would mimic the dispersal of deadly biological agents such as anthrax. But later research showed that the strain of Bacillus globigii, or BG, did pose a risk to people who were ill or whose immune system was failing. In a damning report, [a U.S. Senate committee] concluded that the Department of Defense (DoD) repeatedly failed to comply with required ethical standards when using human subjects in military research - and that the DoD demonstrated a pattern of misrepresenting the danger of various exposures and continued to do so.
Note: For other well documented instances of governments using humans as guinea pigs in order to forward a military agenda, click here.
[In] 1944, British air force bombers hammered ... the Bavarian Academy of Science. Among the treasures lost, later lamented Anton Spitaler, an Arabic scholar at the academy, was a unique photo archive of ancient manuscripts of the Quran. The 450 rolls of film had been assembled before the war for a bold venture: a study of the evolution of the Quran. The wartime destruction made the project "outright impossible," Mr. Spitaler wrote in the 1970s. Mr. Spitaler was lying. The cache of photos survived, and he was sitting on it all along. "He pretended it disappeared," says Angelika Neuwirth, a former pupil and protégée of the late Mr. Spitaler. Ms. Neuwirth, a professor of Arabic studies ... now is overseeing a revival of the research. The Quran is viewed by most Muslims as the unchanging word of God as transmitted to the Prophet Muhammad in the 7th century. The text, they believe, didn't evolve or get edited. The earliest manuscripts of the Quran date from around 700 and use a skeletal version of the Arabic script that is difficult to decipher and can be open to divergent readings. Mystery and misfortune bedeviled the Munich archive from the start. The scholar who launched it perished in an odd climbing accident in 1933. An experienced climber ... his body was never given an autopsy; rumors spread of suicide or foul play. His successor died in a 1941 plane crash. Mr. Spitaler, who inherited the Quran collection and then hid it, fared better. He lived to age 93. The photos of the old manuscripts will form the foundation of a computer data base that Ms. Neuwirth's team believes will help tease out the history of Islam's founding text.
Initial DNA analysis of one of the 3,000-year-old elongated skulls found in Paracas, Peru, has revealed that they may not have been come from humans but from a completely new species, according to Paracas Museum assistant director Brien Foerster. A geneticist who tested skull samples has found that they contain mutated DNA that does not match any known genetic DNA information in GenBank, an open-access sequence database of all the known genetic data in the world. The unidentified geneticist told Foerster: "It had mtDNA (mitochondrial DNA) with mutations unknown in any human, primate, or animal known so far. But a few fragments I was able to sequence from this sample indicate that if these mutations will hold we are dealing with a new human-like creature, very distant from Homo sapiens, Neanderthals and Denisovans. I am not sure it will even fit into the known evolutionary tree." According to Foerster, the geneticist in question, who apparently does contract work for the US government, is willing to go public, but does not want to come forward until the tests prove the theory conclusively. Peruvian archaeologist Julio Tello discovered the skulls in 1928 ... on the south coast of Peru. There are still many more tests that need to be carried out to verify what the DNA is. With the help of interested individuals over the last two years, Foerster has so far raised $7,000 (Ł4,260, €5,120) to do the initial DNA testing, but a full genome study to completely verify the theory would cost at least $100,000,
The ancient Mayans had contact with alien visitors who left behind evidence of their existence, according to a new Mexican documentary. Sundance winner Juan Carlos Rulfo's Revelations of the Mayans 2012 and Beyond is currently in production for release next year to coincide with the end of the Mayan calendar. So far, the minister of tourism for the Mexican state of Campeche, Luis Augusto García Rosado, appears to be the highest-ranking government official to go on record confirming the discovery of extraterrestrial life, but he's not holding back. In a statement, Rosado spoke of contact "between the Mayans and extraterrestrials, supported by translations of certain codices, which the government has kept secure in underground vaults for some time". He also spoke of "landing pads in the jungle that are 3,000 years old". The documentary is believed to focus in part on previously unexplored sections of a Mayan site at Calakmul, Mexico, as well as a number of sites in Guatemala, where officials are also backing the documentary. "Guatemala, like Mexico, home to the ancient-yet-advanced Mayan civilisation … has also kept certain provocative archeological discoveries classified, and now believes that it is time to bring forth this information in the new documentary," Guatemala's minister of tourism, Guillermo Novielli Quezada, said in a statement.
Note: An earlier Chicago Tribune article on this fascinating documentary was strangely removed from their website.
For nearly seven decades, the American public has accepted one version of the events that led to Japan’s surrender. Aug. 6 [is] the anniversary of the Hiroshima bombing’s mixed legacy. The leader of our democracy purposefully executed civilians on a mass scale. Yet the bombing also ended the deadliest conflict in human history. In recent years, however, a new interpretation of events has emerged. Tsuyoshi Hasegawa - a highly respected historian at the University of California, Santa Barbara - has marshaled compelling evidence that it was the Soviet entry into the Pacific conflict, not Hiroshima and Nagasaki, that forced Japan’s surrender. According to his close examination of the evidence, Japan was not poised to surrender before Hiroshima, ... nor was it ready to give in immediately after the atomic bomb. Instead, it took the Soviet declaration of war on Japan, several days after Hiroshima, to bring the capitulation. Both the American and Japanese public have clung to the idea that the mushroom clouds ended the war. That may help explain why Hasegawa’s thesis, which he first detailed in an award-winning 2005 book and has continued to bolster with new material, is still little known outside of academic circles.
Note: The atomic bombs almost certainly played a role in the decision to end the war, yet this new thesis shows that there were other factors of key importance which may have been downplayed.
The Army's official history of the battle of Wanat - one of the most intensely scrutinized engagements of the Afghan war - largely absolves top commanders of the deaths of nine U.S. soldiers and instead blames the confusing and unpredictable nature of war. An initial draft of the Wanat history, which was obtained by The Washington Post and other media outlets in the summer of 2009, placed the preponderance of blame for the losses on the higher-level battalion and brigade commanders who oversaw the mission, saying they failed to provide the proper resources to the unit in Wanat. The final history, released in recent weeks, drops many of the earlier conclusions and instead focuses on failures of lower-level commanders. Family members of the deceased at Wanat reacted with anger and disappointment to the final version of the Army history. "They blame the platoon-level leadership for all the mistakes at Wanat," said retired Col. David Brostrom, whose son was killed in the fighting. "It blames my dead son. They really missed the point." The initial investigation, conducted by a three-star Marine Corps general and completed in the spring, found that the company and battalion commanders were "derelict in their duty" to provide proper oversight and resources to the soldiers fighting at Wanat.
Note: For many key reports from reliable sources on the horrific realities of the US wars of aggression in Afghanistan and Iraq, click here.
An enormous system of caves, chambers and tunnels lies hidden beneath the Pyramids of Giza, according to a British explorer who claims to have found the lost underworld of the pharaohs [at] the pyramid field at Giza. British explorer Andrew Collins [has detailed] his findings in the book Beneath the Pyramids, tracked down the entrance to the mysterious underworld after reading the forgotten memoirs of a 19th century diplomat and explorer. "In his memoirs, British consul general Henry Salt recounts how he investigated an underground system of 'catacombs' at Giza in 1817," Collins said. With the help of British Egyptologist Nigel Skinner-Simpson, Collins reconstructed Salt's exploration on the plateau, eventually locating the entrance to the lost catacombs in an apparently unrecorded tomb west of the Great Pyramid. According to Collins, the caves — which are tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of years old — may have both inspired the development of the pyramid field and the ancient Egyptian's belief in an underworld. "Ancient funerary texts clearly allude to the existence of a subterranean world in the vicinity of the Giza pyramids," Collins [said]. Zahi Hawass, chief of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities, has dismissed the discovery. "There are no new discoveries to be made at Giza. We know everything about the plateau," he stated. But Collins remarks that after extensive research, he found no mention of the caves in modern times. "To the best of our knowledge nothing has ever been written or recorded about these caves since Salt's explorations.
Note: For an intriguing documentary showing the incredible extent of these caves, click here.
Marine experts have discovered a clump of archaeological structures deep beneath the sea off India's western coast. Although the discovery has not yet been accurately dated, the structures are said to resemble archeological sites belonging to the Harappan civilisation, dating back more than 4,000 years. This is the first time man-made structures have been found in this part of the Arabian Sea which is known as the Gulf of Cambay. The images gathered over the past six months led to a surprising discovery - a series of well-defined geometric formations were clearly seen, spread irregularly across a nine-kilometre (five-mile) stretch, a little beneath the sea bed. Some of them closely resemble an acropolis - or great bath - known to be characteristic of the Harappan civilisation. A leading marine archaologist says that far more detailed investigations need to be done to confirm the exact date of the structures.
In another sign that Japan is pressing ahead in revising its history of World War II, new high school textbooks will no longer acknowledge that the Imperial Army was responsible for a major atrocity in Okinawa, the government announced late Friday. The Ministry of Education ordered publishers to delete passages stating that the Imperial Army ordered civilians to commit mass suicide during the Battle of Okinawa, as the island was about to fall to American troops in the final months of the war. The decision was announced as part of the ministry’s annual screening of textbooks used in all public schools. The ministry also ordered changes to other delicate issues to dovetail with government assertions, though the screening is supposed to be free of political interference. The decision on the Battle of Okinawa ... came as a surprise because the ministry had never objected to the description in the past. The fresh denial of the military’s responsibility in the Battle of Okinawa and in sexual slavery — long accepted as historical facts — is likely to deepen suspicions in Asia that Tokyo is trying to whitewash its militarist past even as it tries to raise the profile of its current forces. The ministry’s new position appeared to discount overwhelming evidence of coercion, particularly the testimony of victims and survivors themselves.
Note: History many times is written -- or in this case re-written -- by those in power.
Israeli archaeologists have uncovered dramatic evidence of what they believe are the earliest known attempts at agriculture, 11,000 years before the generally recognised advent of organised cultivation. Previously, scientists had believed that organised agriculture in the Middle East ... had begun around 12,000 BC and later spread west through Europe. The new research is based on excavations at a site known as Ohalo II, which was discovered in 1989. Occupied by a community of hunter-gatherers at the height of the last ice age 23,000 years ago, it revealed evidence of six brush huts with hearths as well as stone tools and animal and plant remains. According to the researchers, the community at Ohalo II was already exploiting the precursors to domesticated plant types that would become a staple in early agriculture, including emmer wheat, barley, pea, lentil, almond, fig, grape and olive. Significantly, however, they discovered the presence of two types of weeds in current crop fields: corn cleavers and darnel. Microscopic examination of the edges of stone blades from the site also found material that may have been transferred during the cutting and harvesting of cereal plants. Prof Ehud Weiss, head of the archaeological botany lab at the Department of Land of Israel Studies, told the Guardian [that] the mixture of “proto-weeds” and grains that would become domesticated mirrors plant findings from later agricultural communities. The site also revealed evidence of rudimentary breadmaking.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing archaeology news articles from reliable major media sources.
The Pentagon's $50 million Minerva Research Initiative, named after the Roman goddess of wisdom and warriors, will fund social science research deemed crucial to national security. Initial proposals were due July 25, and the first grants are expected to be awarded by year's end. But the Network of Concerned Anthropologists ... said dependence on Pentagon funding could make universities an "instrument rather than a critic of war-making." In a May 28 letter to federal officials, the American Anthropological Association said that ... its members are "deeply concerned that funding such research through the Pentagon may pose a potential conflict of interest." David Price, an anthropologist at St. Martin's University in Lacey, Wash., and the author of a book on anthropological intelligence in World War II, [said] the Pentagon effort is flawed. "It sets up sort of a Soviet system, or top-down system," Price said. "If you look at the big picture, this will not make us smarter -- this will make us much more narrow. It will only look at problems Defense wants us to in a narrow way." Recently, the Army's Human Terrain System has embedded social scientists in military units in Iraq and Afghanistan with the aim of helping commanders understand local culture and customs. The project has drawn criticism from many academics. Two scholars have been killed. The Network of Concerned Anthropologists, which describes itself as an advocate for ethical anthropology, said the research topics could "contribute to creating more national and human insecurity by trafficking in the construction of . . . a connection between Islam and violence."
Note: For many revealing reports on government corruption from reliable sources, click here.
Archaeologists say they have discovered some stone remains from the coast close to India's famous beachfront Mahabalipuram temple in Tamil Nadu state following the 26 December tsunami. They believe that the "structures" could be the remains of an ancient and once-flourishing port city in the area housing the famous 1200-year-old rock-hewn temple. Archaeologists say they had done underwater surveys 1 km into the sea from the temple and found some undersea remains. "They could be part of the small seaport city which existed here before water engulfed them." says T Sathiamoorthy of Archaeological Survey of India. Archaeologists say that the stone remains date back to 7th Century AD. They have elaborate engravings of the kind that are found in the Mahabalipuram temple. The temple, which is a World Heritage site, represents some of the earliest-known examples of Dravidian architecture dating back to 7th Century AD. The myths of Mahabalipuram were first set down in writing by British traveller J Goldingham ... in 1798, at which time it was known to sailors as the Seven Pagodas. The myths speak of six temples submerged beneath the waves with the seventh temple still standing on the seashore. The myths also state that a large city which once stood on the site was so beautiful the gods became jealous and sent a flood that swallowed it up entirely in a single day.
Two strange deaths dramatically changed the balance of power in U.S. government for two recent years. Democratic Senate candidate Mel Carnahan died in a private plane crash on Oct. 16, 2000, just three weeks before the 2000 elections. Mr. Carnahan went on to win the race as a dead man against his rival John Ashcroft. Carnahan's wife was appointed to fill his position, but as she was appointed rather than elected, her Senate term was limited to two years rather than the normal six. She lost her 2002 race to her Republican opponent. On Oct. 24, 2002, just two weeks before the 2002 elections, Democratic Senate candidate Paul Wellstone was killed in a plane crash. His wife died with him. Wellstone had been projected to win the election. There are many suspicious circumstances surrounding Wellstone's death. Isn't it quite a coincidence that these two Democratic candidates both died in plane crashes only two years apart, both just weeks before the elections? It's even more of a coincidence that both were very progressive Democrats. Wellstone was often labeled the most progressive member of Senate.
Important Note: Explore our full index to revealing excerpts of key major media news articles on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.