Thursday, December 19, 2013

10 Unexplained Discoveries on planet Earth.


  ...Yes, 10 of many unexplained discoveries on Earth. Always interesting to the seekers of ancient mysteries. AND YES!, we are tought false history..  with all this information being held from the public (the people, like you and me) for many, many years..  

by Maria Ballos
   After the video follows some info (..) about every mystery mentioned...

No.10 Damascus steel 
   Damascus steel was a type of steel used in Middle Eastern swordmaking. Damascus steel was created from wootz steel, a steel developed in India around 300 BC. These swords are characterized by distinctive patterns of banding and mottling reminiscent of flowing water. Such blades were reputed to be tough, resistant to shattering and capable of being honed to a sharp, resilient edge.
   The original method of producing Damascus steel is not known. Because of differences in raw materials and manufacturing techniques, modern attempts to duplicate the metal have not been entirely successful. Despite this, several individuals in modern times have claimed that they have rediscovered the methods in which the original Damascus steel was produced.

   The reputation and history of Damascus steel has given rise to many legends, such as the ability to cut through a rifle barrel or to cut a hair falling across the blade, but no evidence exists to support such claims.
   A research team in Germany published a report in 2006 revealing nanowires and carbon nanotubes in a blade forged from Damascus steel. This finding was covered byNational Geographic and the New York Times. Although certain types of modern steel outperform these swords, chemical reactions in the production process made the blades extraordinary for their time, as damascus steel was superplastic and very hard at the same time. Woody biomass and leaves are known to have been used as carburizing additives along with certain specific types of iron (rich in microalloying elements) during the smelting process to obtain Wootz steel ingots which would be further forged and worked into Damascus steel blades, and research now shows that carbon nanotubes can be derived from plant fibers, suggesting how the nanotubes were formed in the steel. Some experts expect to discover such nanotubes in more relics as they are analyzed more closely.

Loss of the technique

   Production of these patterned swords gradually declined, ceasing by around 1750, and the process was lost to metalsmiths. Several modern theories have ventured to explain this decline, including the breakdown of trade routes to supply the needed metals, the lack of trace impurities in the metals, the possible loss of knowledge on the crafting techniques through secrecy and lack of transmission, or a combination of all the above.
   The original Damascus steel or wootz was imported from India to the Middle East. Due to the distance of trade for this steel, a sufficiently lengthy disruption of the trade routes could have ended the production of Damascus steel and eventually led to the loss of the technique in India. As well, the need for key trace impurities of tungsten or vanadium within the materials needed for production of the steel may be absent if this material was acquired from different production regions or smelted from ores lacking these key trace elements. The technique for controlled thermal cycling after the initial forging at a specific temperature could also have been lost, thereby preventing the final damask pattern in the steel from occurring.
   The discovery of carbon nanotubes in the Damascus steel's composition supports this hypothesis, since the precipitation of carbon nanotubes probably resulted from a specific process that may be difficult to replicate should the production technique or raw materials used be significantly altered.

No. 9: Iron pillar of Delhi
   The Iron Pillar located in Delhi, India, is a 7 m (23 ft) column in the Qutb complex, notable for the rust-resistant composition of the metals used in its construction.
   The pillar has attracted the attention of archaeologists and metallurgists and has been called "a testament to the skill of ancient Indian blacksmiths" because of its high resistance to corrosion. The corrosion resistance results from an even layer of crystalline iron hydrogen phosphate forming on the highphosphorus content iron, which serves to protect it from the effects of the local Delhi climate.
   The name of the city of Delhi is thought to be based on a legend associated with the pillar.


The Iron pillar stands within the courtyard of Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque

Text and translation of the inscription in English at the site
The height of the pillar, from the top of its capital to the bottom of its base, is 23 ft 8 in (7.21 m), 3 ft 8 in (1.12 m) of which is below ground. Its bell pattern capital is 3 ft 6 in (1.07 m) in height, and its bulb-shaped base is 2 ft 4 in (0.71 m) high. The base rests on a grid of iron bars soldered with lead into the upper layer of the dressed stone pavement. The pillar's lower diameter is 16.4 in (420 mm), and its upper diameter 12.05 in (306 mm). It is estimated to weigh more than six tons.
A fence was erected around the pillar in 1997 in response to damage caused by visitors. There is a popular tradition that it was considered good luck if one could stand with one's back to the pillar and make one's hands meet behind it. The practice led to significant wear and visible discoloration on the lower portion of the pillar.

Original location

The first location of the pillar has been debated.
While the pillar was certainly used as a trophy in the building the Quwwat-ul-Islam mosque and the Qutb complex, its original location, whether on the site itself or from elsewhere, has frequented discussion. A summary of views on this subject and related matters was collected in volume edited by M. C. Joshi and published in 1989.[5] More recently, opinions have been summarised again by Upinder Singh in her book Delhi: Ancient History.
R. Balasubramaniam explored the metallurgy of the pillar and the iconography based on analysis of archer-type Gupta gold coins. In his view, the pillar, with a wheel or discus at the top, was originally located at the Udayagiri caves, situated near Vidisha in Madhya Pradesh.[8] This conclusion was partly based on the fact that the inscription mentions Viṣṇupadagiri (meaning "hill with footprint of Viṣṇu"). This conclusion was endorsed and elaborated by Michael Willis in his Archaeology of Hindu Ritual, published in 2009. The key point in favour of placing the iron pillar at Udayagiri is that this site was closely associated with Chandragupta and the worship of Viṣṇu in the Gupta period. In addition, there are well-established traditions of mining and working iron in central India, documented particularly by the iron pillar at Dhar and local place names like Lohapura and Lohangī Pīr (see Vidisha). The king of Delhi, Iltutmish, is known to have attacked and sacked Vidisha in the thirteenth century and this would have given him an opportunity to remove the pillar as a trophy to Delhi, just as the Tughluq rulers brought Asokan pillars to Delhi in the 1300s.


Detail showing the inscription of KingCandragupta II

Iron pillar seen with Qutub minar in background
The pillar carries a number of inscriptions and graffiti of different dates which have not been studied systematically despite the pillar's prominent location and easy access. The oldest inscription on the pillar is in Sanskrit, written in Gupta-period Brahmi script. This states that the pillar was erected as a standard in honour of Viṣṇu. It also praises the valor and qualities of a king referred to simply as Candra, now generally identified with the Gupta KingCandragupta II. Some authors attempted to identify Candra with Chandragupta Maurya and yet others have claimed the pillar dates as early as 912 BCE. These views are no longer accepted.
   The dating of the inscription is supported by the nature of the script and the Sanskrit poetics, both of which reflect the conventions of Gupta times. Thanks to the tablets installed on the building in 1903 by Pandit Banke Rai, the reading provided by him enjoys wide currency. His interpretation has, however, been overtaken by more recent scholarship. The 1903 tablets read as follows:
   "He, on whose arm fame was inscribed by the sword, when, in battle in the Vanga countries (Bengal), he kneaded (and turned) back with (his) breast the enemies who, uniting together, came against (him);-he, by whom, having crossed in warfare the seven mouths of the (river) Sindhu, the Vahlikaswere conquered;-he, by the breezes of whose prowess the southern ocean is even still perfumed;-
(Line 3.)-He, the remnant of the great zeal of whose energy, which utterly destroyed (his) enemies, like (the remnant of the great glowing heat) of a burned-out fire in a great forest, even now leaves not the earth; though he, the king, as if wearied, has quit this earth, and has gone to the other world, moving in (bodily) from to the land (of paradise) won by (the merit of his) actions, (but) remaining on (this) earth by (the memory of his) fame;- (L. 5.)-By him, the king,-who attained sole supreme sovereignty in the world, acquired by his own arm and (enjoyed) for a very long time; (and) who, having the name of Chandra, carried a beauty of countenance like (the beauty of) the full-moon,-having in faith fixed his mind upon (the god) Vishnu, this lofty standard of the divine Vishnu was set up on the hill (called) Vishnupada".
   The inscription has been revisited by Michael Willis in his book Archaeology of Hindu Ritual, his special concern being the nature of the king's spiritual identity after death. His reading and translation is as follows:
  [khi]nnasyeva visṛjya gāṃ narapater ggām āśritasyetarāṃ mūrtyā
   karrmajitāvaniṃ gatavataḥ kīrtyā sthitasya kṣitau
   śāntasyeva mahāvane hutabhujo yasya pratāpo mahān nādyāpy
   utsṛjati praṇāśitaripor yyatnasya śeṣaḥ kṣitim 
   The residue of the king's effort – a burning splendour which utterly destroyed his enemies – leaves not the earth even now, just like (the residual heat of) a burned-out conflagration in a great forest. He, as if wearied, has abandoned this world, and resorted in actual form to the other world – a place won by the merit of his deeds – (and although) he has departed, he remains on earth through (the memory of his) fame (kīrti).
  He concludes: "Candragupta may have passed away but the legacy of his achievement is so great that he seems to remain on earth by virtue of his fame. Emphasis is placed on Candragupta’s conquest of enemies and the merit of his deeds, ideas which are also found in coin legends: kṣitim avajitya sucaritair divaṃ jayati vikramādityaḥ, i.e. ‘Having conquered the earth with good conduct, Vikramāditya conquered heaven’. The king’s conquest of heaven combined with the description of him resorting to the other world in bodily form (gām āśritasyetarāṃ mūrtyā), confirms our understanding of the worthy dead as autonomous theomorphic entities."
  One of the later inscriptions dates to A.D. 1052 mentions Tomara king Anangpal II. This has suggested by some, without any substantial basis, that the pillar was installed in its current location by Vigraha Rāja, the ruling Tomar king.

Scientific analysis

Details of the top of iron pillar, Qutub Minar, Delhi.
  The pillar was manufactured by the forge welding of pieces of wrought iron. In a report published in the journal Current Science, R. Balasubramaniam of the IIT Kanpur explains how the pillar's resistance to corrosion is due to a passive protective film at the iron-rust interface. The presence of second-phase particles (slag and unreduced iron oxides) in the microstructure of the iron, that of high amounts of phosphorus in the metal, and the alternate wetting and drying existing under atmospheric conditions are the three main factors in the three-stage formation of that protective passive film.
   Lepidocrocite and goethite are the first amorphous iron oxyhydroxides that appear upon oxidation of iron. High corrosion rates are initially observed. Then, an essential chemical reaction intervenes: slag and unreduced iron oxides (second phase particles) in the iron microstructure alter the polarization characteristics and enrich the metal–scale interface with phosphorus, thus indirectly promoting passivation of the iron (cessation of rusting activity). The second-phase particles act as a cathode, and the metal itself serves as anode, for a mini-galvanic corrosion reaction during environment exposure. Part of the initial iron oxyhydroxides is also transformed into magnetite, which somewhat slows down the process of corrosion. The ongoing reduction of lepidocrocite and the diffusion of oxygen and complementary corrosion through the cracks and pores in the rust still contribute to the corrosion mechanism from atmospheric conditions.

The Iron Pillar in Qutub Minar, c. 1905
   The next main agent to intervene in protection from oxidation is phosphorus, enhanced at the metal–scale interface by the same chemical interaction previously described between the slags and the metal. The ancient Indian smiths did not add lime to their furnaces. The use of limestone as in modern blast furnaces yields pig iron that is later converted into steel; in the process, most phosphorus is carried away by the slag. The absence of lime in the slag and the deliberate use of specific quantities of wood with high phosphorus content (for example, Cassia auriculata) during the smelting induces a higher phosphorus content (> 0.1%, average 0.25%) than in modern iron produced in blast furnaces (usually less than 0.05%). One analysis gives 0.10% in the slags for 0.18% in the iron itself. This high phosphorus content and particular repartition are essential catalysts in the formation of a passive protective film of misawite (d-FeOOH), an amorphous iron oxyhydroxide that forms a barrier by adhering next to the interface between metal and rust. Misawite, the initial corrosion-resistance agent, was thus named because of the pioneering studies of Misawa and co-workers on the effects of phosphorus and copper and those of alternating atmospheric conditions in rust formation.
   The most critical corrosion-resistance agent is iron hydrogen phosphate hydrate (FePO4-H3PO4-4H2O) under its crystalline form and building up as a thin layer next to the interface between metal and rust. Rust initially contains iron oxide/oxyhydroxides in their amorphous forms. Due to the initial corrosion of metal, there is more phosphorus at the metal–scale interface than in the bulk of the metal. Alternate environmental wetting and drying cycles provide the moisture for phosphoric-acid formation. Over time, the amorphous phosphate is precipitated into its crystalline form (the latter being therefore an indicator of old age, as this precipitation is a rather slow happening). The crystalline phosphate eventually forms a continuous layer next to the metal, which results in an excellent corrosion resistance layer. In 1,600 years, the film has grown just one-twentieth of a millimetre thick.
  Balasubramaniam states that the pillar is "a living testimony to the skill of metallurgists of ancient India". An interview with Balasubramaniam and his work can be seen in the 2005 article by Veazy. Further research published in 2009 showed that corrosion has developed evenly over the surface of the pillar.
   It was claimed in the 1920s that iron manufactured in Mirjati near Jamshedpur is similar to the iron of the Delhi pillar. Further work on Adivasi (tribal) iron by the National Metallurgical Laboratory in the 1960s did not verify this claim.

No. 8:  Stone spheres of Costa Rica

   The stone spheres (or stone ballsof Costa Rica are an assortment of over three hundred petrospheres in Costa Rica, located on the Diquís Delta and on Isla del Caño. Locally, they are known as Las Bolas. The spheres are commonly attributed to the extinct Diquís culture and are sometimes referred to as the Diquís Spheres. They are the best-known stone sculptures of the Isthmo-Colombian area.

   The spheres range in size from a few centimetres to over 2 metres (6.6 ft) in diameter, and weigh up to 15 tons. Most are sculpted from gabbro, the coarse-grained equivalent of basalt. There are a dozen or so made from shell-rich limestone, and another dozen made from a sandstone.

Pre-Columbian history

    The stones are believed to have been carved between 200 BCE and 1500 CE. However the only method available for dating the carved stones isstratigraphy, and most stones are no longer in their original locations. The culture of the people who made them disappeared after the Spanish conquest.
Spheres have been found with pottery from the Aguas Buenas culture (dating 200 BCE – 600 CE) and also they have been discovered with Buenos Aires Polychrome type sculpture (dating 1000 – CE 1500). They have been uncovered in a number of locations, including the Isla del Caño, and over 300 kilometres (190 mi) north of the Diquís Delta in Papagayo on the Nicoya Peninsula.

Post-contact history

   The spheres were discovered in the 1930s as the United Fruit Company was clearing the jungle for banana plantations. Workmen pushed them aside with bulldozers and heavy equipment, damaging some spheres. Additionally, inspired by stories of hidden gold workmen began to drill holes into the spheres and blow them open with sticks of dynamite. Several of the spheres were destroyed before authorities intervened. Some of the dynamited spheres have been reassembled and are currently on display at the National Museum of Costa Rica in San José.
   The first scientific investigation of the spheres was undertaken shortly after their discovery by Doris Stone, a daughter of a United Fruit Co. executive. These were published in 1943 in American Antiquity, attracting the attention of Samuel Kirkland Lothrop of the Peabody Museum at Harvard University. In 1948, he and his wife attempted to excavate an unrelated archaeological site in the northern region of Costa Rica. The government had just disbanded its professional army, and the resulting civil unrest threatened the security of Lothrop's team.
   In San José he met Doris Stone, who directed the group toward the Diquís Delta region in the southwest ("Valle de Diquís" refers to the valley of the lower Río Grande de Térraba, including the Osa Canton towns of Puerto CortésPalmar Norte, and Sierpe) and provided them with valuable dig sites and personal contacts. Lothrop's findings were published in Archaeology of the Diquís Delta, Costa Rica 1963.
   In 2010 University of Kansas researcher John Hoopes visited the site of the Stone Spheres to evaluate their eligibility for protection as a Unesco World Heritage Site.


   Numerous myths surround the stones, such as they came from Atlantis, or that they were made as such by nature. Some local legends state that the native inhabitants had access to a potion able to soften the rock.          Research led by Joseph Davidovits of the Geopolymer Institute in France has been offered in support of this hypothesis, but it is not supported by geological or archaeological evidence. (No one has been able to demonstrate thatgabbro, the material from which most of the balls are sculpted, can be worked this way.)
   In the cosmogony of the Bribri, which is shared by the Cabecares and other American ancestral groups, the stone spheres are “Tara’s cannon balls”. Tara or Tlatchque, the god of thunder, used a giant blowpipe to shoot the balls at the Serkes, gods of winds and hurricanes, in order to drive them out of these lands.
  It has been claimed that the spheres are perfect, or very near perfect in roundness, although some spheres are known to vary by 5 centimetres (2.0 in) in diameter until 257 centimetres (104 in). Also the stones have been damaged and eroded over the years, and so it is impossible to know exactly their original shape. A review of the way that the stones were measured by Lothrop reveals that claims of precision are due to misinterpretations of the methods used in their measurement. Although Lothrop published tables of ball diameters with figures to three decimal places, these figures were actually averages of measurements taken with tapes that were nowhere near that precise.

No. 7 :Baigong Pipes

   The Baigong Pipes are a series of pipe-like features found on and near Mount Baigong, about 40 km southwest of the city of Delingha, in the Haixi Mongol and Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture,Qinghai Province, China. According to unconfirmed news reports, they were found by unnamed scientists allegedly searching for dinosaur fossils.

Baigong Pipes

   Two Baigong Pipes have been reported from the largest cave. One of these is described as being 40 cm (16 in) in diameter and preserved as a reddish-brown "half-pipe". Within the same cave, another pipe-like feature of similar diameter was also found. "Dozens" of upright pipe-like features, about 10 to 40 cm (4 to 16 inches) in diameter, were also found protruding from Mount Baigong above the largest cave.[1][2]
   Additional Baigong Pipes were found on shore and within Toson Lake, which lies 80 meters (260 feet) from the mouth of the largest cave. On the beach of Lake Toson, about 40 meters (130 feet) from the mouth of the largest cave, apparently flat-lying, hollow, pipe-like features were found. These reddish-brown pipe-like features range in diameter from 2 to 4.5 cm (0.8 to 1.8 inch) and have an east-west orientation. Another group of pipe-like features, presumably vertical, either protrude from or lie just below the surface of the lake.
   Associated with these pipe-like features are "rusty scraps" and "strangely shaped stones". Analysis of the "rusty scraps" by Liu Shaolin at a "local smeltery" reportedly found that they consist of 30 percent ferric oxide and large amounts of silicon dioxide and calcium oxide.[2] Because any metallurgical analysis reports the composition of a material analyzed, not in terms of the actual minerals comprising it, but only in terms of percentages of the oxides of the specific elements present, the calcium present in the "pipes" could have been in the form of calcite, a mineral that naturally forms concretions.


   According to news stories, the pipes were first discovered by a group of scientists from the United States who were seeking dinosaur fossils. Allegedly, these still unidentified and anonymous scientists reported the pipes to local authorities in Delingha. However, the pipes were ignored until a report, possibly one of six made, by Ye Zhou, appeared in the "Henan Dahe Bao" (河南大河报 Henan Great River News) in June 2002. Quin Jianwen, a local official, discussed the pipe-like features with journalists of the Xinhua News Agency on June 16, 2002. The local government now promotes the pipe-like features as a tourist attraction, with road signs and tourist guides.[3]
   According to an 2003 article in the Xinmin Weekly, Chinese scientists using atomic emission spectroscopy found the Baigong Pipes to contain organic matter of plant origin. In addition, the news article also stated that tree rings were found in sections of these rock formations and, as a result, they were judged to be fossil trees or tree roots. However, like many other aspects of the Baigong Pipes, this news report remains unsupported by either any scientific publication or other reliable primary or secondary source that discusses and documents these findings in any detail.
The state run newspaper Peoples Daily reported on a 2007 investigation; where a research fellow from the Chinese Earthquake Administration reported they had found some of the pipes to be highly radioactive. 

No 6. Antikythera mechanism

The Antikythera mechanism (Fragment A – front)
The Antikythera mechanism (Fragment A – back)
   The Antikythera mechanism (/ˌæntɨkɨˈθɪərə/ ant-i-ki-theer or /ˌæntɨˈkɪθərə/ ant-i-kith-ə-rə) is an ancient analog computer designed to calculate astronomical positions. It was recovered in 1900–1901 from the Antikythera wreck, but its significance and complexity were not understood until a century later. Jacques Cousteau visited the wreck in 1978 but, although he found new dating evidence, he did not find any additional remains of the Antikythera mechanism. The construction has been dated to the early 1st century BC. Technological artifacts approaching its complexity and workmanship did not appear again until the 14th century AD, when mechanical astronomical clocks began to be built in Western Europe.
   Professor Michael Edmunds of Cardiff University, who led a 2006 study of the mechanism, said:
"This device is just extraordinary, the only thing of its kind. The design is beautiful, the astronomy is exactly right. The way the mechanics are designed just makes your jaw drop. Whoever has done this has done it extremely carefully ... in terms of historic and scarcity value, I have to regard this mechanism as being more valuable than the Mona Lisa."
—30 November 2006
   The Antikythera mechanism is kept at the National Archaeological Museum of Athens. It is now displayed at the temporary exhibition about the Antikythera Shipwreck, accompanied by reconstructions made by Ioannis Theofanidis, Derek de Solla Price, Michael Wright, the Thessaloniki University and Dionysios Kriaris. Other reconstructions are on display at the American Computer Museum inBozeman, Montana, the Children's Museum of Manhattan in New York, in Kassel, Germany, and at the Musée des Arts et Métiers inParis.
   The mechanism was housed in a wooden box approximately 340 × 180 × 90 mm in size and comprised 30 bronze gears (although more could have been lost). The largest gear, clearly visible in fragment A, was approximately 140 mm in diameter and had 223 teeth. The mechanism's remains were found as 82 separate fragments of which only seven contain any gears or significant inscriptions.
Computer-generated front panel of the Freeth model.
Origins and discovery
   This machine has the oldest known complex gear mechanism and is sometimes called the first known analog computer, although the quality of its manufacture suggests that it may have had undiscovered predecessors during the Hellenistic Period. It appears to be constructed upon theories of astronomy and mathematics developed by Greek astronomers and is estimated to have been made around 100 BC. In 1974, British science historian and Yale University Professor Derek de Solla Price concluded from gear settings and inscriptions on the mechanism's faces that the mechanism was made about 87 BC and was lost only a few years later. It is believed the mechanism was made of a low-tin bronze alloy (95% copper, 5% tin), but the device's advanced state of corrosion has made it impossible to perform an accurate compositional analysis. All of the mechanism's instructions are written in Common Greek, and the consensus among scholars is that the mechanism was made in the Greek-speaking world.
   Recent findings of The Antikythera Mechanism Research Project suggest the concept for the mechanism originated in the colonies of Corinth, since some of the astronomical calculations seem to indicate observations that can be made only in Corinth area of ancient Greece. Syracuse was a colony of Corinth and the home of Archimedes, which might imply a connection with the school of Archimedes. Another theory states that coins found by Jacques Cousteau in the 1970s at the wreck site and dated to the time of the construction of the device, suggest that its origin may have been from the ancient Greek city of Pergamon. Pergamon was also the site of the famous Library of Pergamum which housed many scrolls of art and science. The Library of Pergamum was only second in importance to the Library of Alexandria during the Hellenistic period. The ship carrying the device also contained vases that were in the Rhodian style. One hypothesis is that the device was constructed at an academy founded by the Stoic philosopher Posidonius on the Greek island of Rhodes, which at the time was known as a center of astronomy and mechanical engineering; this hypothesis further suggests that the mechanism may have been designed by the astronomer Hipparchus, since it contains a lunar mechanism which uses Hipparchus's theory for the motion of the Moon. Hipparchus was thought to have worked from about 140 BC to 120 BC. Rhodes was a trading port at that time.
   The mechanism was discovered in a shipwreck off Point Glyphadia on the Greek island of Antikythera. The wreck had been found in October 1900 by a group of Greek sponge divers. They retrieved numerous artifacts, including bronze and marble statues, pottery, glassware, jewelry, coins, and the mechanism itself, which were transferred to the National Museum of Archaeology in Athens for storage and analysis. The mechanism itself went unnoticed for 2 years: it was a lump of corroded bronze and wood and the museum staff had many other pieces with which to busy themselves. On 17 May 1902, archaeologist Valerios Stais was examining the finds and noticed that one of the pieces of rock had a gear wheel embedded in it. Stais initially believed it was an astronomical clock, but most scholars considered the device to be prochronistic, too complex to have been constructed during the same period as the other pieces that had been discovered. Investigations into the object were soon dropped until Derek J. de Solla Price became interested in it in 1951. In 1971, both Price and a Greek nuclear physicist named Charalampos Karakalos made X-ray and gamma-ray images of the 82 fragments. Price published an extensive 70-page paper on their findings in 1974. It is not known how it came to be on the cargo ship, but it has been suggested that it was being taken to Rome, together with other treasure looted from the island, to support a triumphal parade being staged by Julius Caesar.
Computer-generated back panel

Front panel of a 2007 reproduction.
   The mechanism was operated by turning a small hand crank (now lost) which was linked via a crown gear to the largest gear (the 4 spoked gear visible on the front of fragment A (named b1)). This allowed setting of the date on the front dial. The action of turning the hand crank would also cause all interlocked gears within the mechanism to rotate, resulting in the calculation of the position of the Sun and Moon and other astronomical information, such as moon phaseseclipse cycles, and theoretically the locations of planets.

No 5: The Voynich manuscript

   The Voynich manuscript is an illustrated codex hand-written in an unknown writing system. The book has been carbon-dated to the early 15th century (1404–1438), and may have been composed in Northern Italy during the Italian Renaissance. The manuscript is named after Wilfrid Voynich, a book dealer who purchased it in 1912.

   The pages of the codex are vellum. Some of the pages are missing, but about 240 remain. The text is written from left to right, and most of the pages have illustrations or diagrams. Many people have speculated that the writing might be nonsense. However, in 2013, Marcelo Montemurro of the University of Manchester and Damian Zanette of the Bariloche Atomic Centre published a paper documenting their identification of a semantic pattern in the writing; this suggests that the Voynich manuscript is a ciphertext with a message.

   The Voynich manuscript has been studied by many professional and amateur cryptographers, including American and British codebreakers from both World War I and World War II. No one has yet succeeded in deciphering the text, and it has become a famous case in the history of cryptography. The mystery of the meaning and origin of the manuscript has excited the popular imagination, making the manuscript the subject of novels and speculation. None of the many hypotheses proposed over the last hundred years has yet been independently verified.

   The Voynich manuscript was donated by Hans P. Kraus to Yale University's Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library in 1969, where it is catalogued under call number MS 408..
A detail from the "biological" section of the manuscript


   The manuscript measures 23.5 by 16.2 by 5 centimetres (9.3 by 6.4 by 2.0 in), with hundreds of vellum pages collected into eighteen quires; depending on how some of its unusual fold-out multi-part pages are counted, approximately 240 pages in total. The top righthand corner of each recto (righthand) page has been numbered from 1 to 116, probably by one of the manuscript's later owners. From the various numbering gaps, it seems likely that in the past the manuscript had at least 272 pages, some of which were already missing when Wilfrid Voynich acquired the manuscript in 1912. There is strong evidence that many of the book's bifolios were reordered at various points in its history, and that the original page order may well have been quite different from what it is today.

   Based on modern analysis, it has been determined that a quill pen and iron gall ink were used for the text and figure outlines; the colored paint was applied (somewhat crudely) to the figures, possibly at a later date.


A page showing characteristics of the text
   The text was clearly written from left to right, with a slightly ragged right margin. Longer sections are broken into paragraphs, sometimes with star- or flower-like "bullets" in the left margin. There is no obvious punctuation, and no indications of any errors or corrections made at any place in the document. The ductus flows smoothly, giving the impression that the symbols were not enciphered, as there is no delay between characters as would normally be expected in written encoded text.
  The text consists of over 170,000 glyphs, usually separated from each other by narrow gaps. Most of the glyphs are written with one or two simple pen strokes. While there is some dispute as to whether certain glyphs are distinct or not, an alphabet with 20–30 glyphs would account for virtually all of the text; the exceptions are a few dozen rarer characters that occur only once or twice each. Various transcription alphabets have been created, to equate the Voynich glyphs with Latin characters in order to help with cryptanalysis, such as the European Voynich Alphabet. The first major one was created by cryptographer William F. Friedman in the 1940s, where each line of the manuscript was transcribed to an IBM punch card to make it machine-readable.
A floral illustration on page 32. The colors are still vibrant.

   Wider gaps divide the text into about 35,000 "words" of varying length. These seem to follow phonological or orthographic laws of some sort, e.g., certain characters must appear in each word (like English vowels), some characters never follow others, some may be doubled or tripled but others may not, etc..
   Statistical analysis of the text reveals patterns similar to those of natural languages. For instance, the word entropy (about 10 bits per word) is similar to that of English or Latin texts. Some words occur only in certain sections, or in only a few pages; others occur throughout the manuscript. There are very few repetitions among the thousand or so "labels" attached to the illustrations.
   On the other hand, the Voynich manuscript's "language" is quite unlike European languages in several aspects. There are practically no words with fewer than two letters or more than ten. The distribution of letters within words is also rather peculiar: some characters occur only at the beginning of a word, some only at the end, and some always in the middle section. While Semitic alphabets have many letters that are written differently depending on whether they occur at the beginning, in the middle or at the end of a word, letters of the LatinCyrillic, and Greek alphabets are generally written the same way regardless of their position within a word (with the Greek letter sigma and the obsolete long s being notable exceptions).
   The text seems to be more repetitive than typical European languages; there are instances where the same common word appears up to three times in a row. Words that differ by only one letter also repeat with unusual frequency, causing single-substitution alphabet decipherings to yield babble-like text. Elizebeth Friedman in 1962 described such attempts as "doomed to utter frustration".
The Voynich manuscript is written in an unknown language...
   There are only a few words in the manuscript written in a seemingly Latin script. On the last page, there are four lines of writing written in rather distorted Latin letters, except for two words in the main script. The lettering resembles European alphabets of the late 14th and 15th centuries, but the words do not seem to make sense in any language. Also, a series of diagrams in the "astronomical" section has the names of ten of the months (from March to December) written in Latin script, with spelling suggestive of the medieval languages of France, northwest Italy or the Iberian Peninsula. However, it is not known whether these bits of Latin script were part of the original text or were added later.

No. 4 Egyptian mummies

   Many people are unaware that researchers have found evidence of substances derived from tobacco and coca in tests conducted on ancient Egyptian mummies. Children being taught conventional views of mankind's ancient history in school are rarely if ever given all the evidence and encouraged (or even permitted) to form their own conclusion based on their analysis of the preponderance of evidence. The presence of substances such as tobacco and coca is ignored, suppressed, or dismissed as "pseudoarchaeology" because such substances present a very difficult problem for the reigning academic theories.

    It is generally agreed that tobacco and coca are New World plants, unknown to Old World civilizations prior to 1492. Detection of tobacco and coca in ancient Egyptian mummies implies extremely ancient contact across the oceans, and not mere chance contact either. It is one thing to admit the possibility that a random Mediterranean ship was somehow blown off course and made it to the New World, and then somehow returned, but the detection of tobacco derivatives and coca derivatives in the hair follicles of ancient mummies indicates familiarity and ongoing use -- evidence for deliberate, ongoing, long-term trans-ocean contact and a "logistics chain" for obtaining such plants.

   Here is an article from the website of Colorado State University discussing the most well-known tests which found evidence of coca- and tobacco-derived substances in Egyptian mummies (namely cocaine and nicotine). It argues that, although the initial reaction to the publication of the results of this study in 1992 was skepticism and disbelief from the academic community, that reaction was based primarily upon firmly-held assumptions about the ancient history of mankind and not upon the evidence itself.
   This article describes the earlier discovery in 1976 of plant fragments within the wrappings of the mummy of the well-known and powerful Pharaoh Ramses II (or Ramesses II). Close examination of the fragments revealed that they were tobacco. The theory that these tobacco fragments were somehow dropped there from the cigar or pipe of a nineteenth-century archaeologist was later weakened by the discovery of further tobacco inside the abdomen of the mummy itself. Nevertheless, many skeptics continue to maintain that any evidence of tobacco products in the Ramses II mummy must have been introduced later.
   The Ramses II mummy also contains evidence of cannabis, which was known in the Old World (although not generally associated with the region and culture of ancient Egypt). Strangely, nobody seems to argue that nineteenth-century archaeologists accidentally dropped cannabis into the mummy.
  The evidence from the Egyptian mummies is sensational, and perhaps more easily dismissed as fringe science because of our own (very strong) cultural perception about drugs and tobacco. However, it is by no means the only evidence of plant species which point to ongoing and regular ancient trans-Atlantic contact. This extensive study by two university professors lists plant after plant, many of them having nothing to do with altered states of consciousness, presenting extremely strong evidence for ancient contact between the "Old World" and the "New World." Species include jimson weed (native to North America, found in Europe and Asia), marigolds (also native to the New World, found in China and India), sarsparilla (native to the Old World, found in Central America), and certain breeds of cotton from the Old World found in South America, all with evidence indicating pre-Columbian transport of these plants.
   Defenders of the prevailing timeline of history can labor mightily to dismiss the presence of coca and tobacco substances in ancient Egyptian mummies, but in the end this evidence is simply one more data point in a huge web of other evidence. In fact, even if it turned out that all the scientific studies which found coca and tobacco among these mummies were mistaken or even fraudulent, it would not really matter. 

No. 3  Baghdad Butteries

   The Baghdad Battery, sometimes refered to as the Parthian Battery, is the common name for a number of artifacts created in Mesopotamia, during the dynasties of Parthian or Sassanid or Persian Empire period (the early centuries AD), and probably discovered in 1936 in the village of Khuyut Rabbou'a, near BaghdadIraq. These artifacts came to wider attention in 1938 when Wilhelm König, the German director of the National Museum of Iraq, found the objects in the museum's collections. In 1940, König published a paper speculating that they may have been galvanic cells, perhaps used for electroplating gold onto silver objects. This interpretation is far from having widespread acceptance, but continues to be considered as at least a hypothetical possibility by some scientists. It is frequently cited by believers in extraterrestrial visitationancient astronaut theories and advocates ofpseudoarchaeology theories, in particular, a chapter on the batteries appeared in Erich von Däniken's discredited book Chariots of the Gods?, leading to the theory being publicly described as a myth, and considered impossible or irrelevant.
   Along with other theories and explanations presented by von Däniken, it is considered by the mainstream archaeological academy as fringe science or even charlatanism (assuming von Däniken knows his presentations are skewed and mostly not true, but still advocating the theories for money or fame. Von Däniken, and other fringe science theorists further claimed that electricity was used in ancient times, for lighting the tower of Alexandria, the tunnels of the Egytian pyramids and for other sites and uses, besides coin plating. If correct, the artifacts would predate Alessandro Volta's 1800 invention of the electrochemical cell by more than a millennium.
In March 2012, Professor Elizabeth Stone, of Stony Brook University, an expert on Iraqi archaeology, returning from the first archaeological expedition in Iraq after 20 years, stated that she does not know a single archaeologist who believed that these were batteries.

Description and dating

   The artifacts consist of terracotta pots approximately 130 mm (5 in) tall (with a one-and-a-half-inch mouth) containing a copper cylinder made of a rolled-up copper sheet, which houses a singleiron rod. At the top, the iron rod is isolated from the copper by bitumen plugs or stoppers, and both rod and cylinder fit snugly inside the opening of the jar, which bulges outward toward the middle. The copper cylinder is not watertight, so if the jar were filled with a liquid, this would surround the iron rod as well. The artifact had been exposed to the weather and had suffered corrosion, although mild given the presence of an electrochemical couple. This has led some to believe that wine, lemon juicegrape juice, or vinegar was used as an acidic electrolyte solution to generate an electric current from the difference between the electrochemical potentials of the copper and iron electrodes.

   Thought the objects might date to the Parthian period (between 250 BC and AD 224). However, according to St John Simpson of the Near Eastern department of the British Museum, their original excavation and context were not well-recorded (see stratigraphy), so evidence for this date range is very weak. Furthermore, the style of the pottery (see typology) is Sassanid (224-640).
   Most of the components of the objects are not particularly amenable to advanced dating methods. The ceramic pots could be analysed by thermoluminescence dating, but this has not yet been done; in any case, it would only date the firing of the pots, which is not necessarily the same as when the complete artifact was assembled.

No. 2  San Pedro Mummy Man

Real Name: Unknown

Case: Unidentified Remains/Mysterious Legends
Date: 1932
Location: Wyoming


Details: In 1932, Cecil Mann and Frank Carr were exploring the San Pedro Mountains in Wyoming when they found an unusual mummified figure within a cave. They believed that the mummy may have been a race of "little people" that were known in American Indian culture. A year later, the mummy was sold to a used car salesman who had a side show for several years.

X-rays of mummy
X-ray of the mummy

Then, he gave it another man who brought it to a scientist who had x-rays done on the figure. The x-rays revealed that the remains were of a species between a mature infant or a under-sized human being. To date, no one is quite sure what the figure is, or what happened to it. In 1950, a scientist was given the mummy and was last seen in 1975 and has never been located.

The Disappearance of the Mummy

   According to a July 7, 1979, article in the Casper Star-Tribune the first mummy started debates over whether it was a hoax, a baby, or one of the legendary "little people". The mummy ended up in Meeteetse, Wyoming, at a local drug store where it was shown as an attraction for several years before it was bought by Ivan T. Goodman, a Casper, Wyoming businessman. The mummy was then passed on to Leonard Wadler, a New York businessman and its present location is unknown. Seeking to prove evolution wrong, an offer of a $10,000 reward was made for the person who finds the missing mummy according to the Casper Star-Tribune(!)

No. 1 Lost City of Nan Madd, Micronesia

   Nan Madol is a ruined city adjacent to the eastern shore of the island of Pohnpei that was the capital of the Saudeleur dynasty until about 1628. It is in the present day Madolenihmw district of Pohnpei state, in the Federated States of Micronesia in the western Pacific Ocean. The city, constructed in a lagoon, consists of a series of small artificial islands linked by a network of canals.[3] The site core with its stone walls encloses an area approximately 1.5 km long by 0.5 km wide and it contains nearly 100 artificial islets—stone and coral fill platforms—bordered by tidal canals.
   The name Nan Madol means "spaces between" and is a reference to the canals that crisscross the ruins. The original name was Soun Nan-leng(Reef of Heaven), according to Gene Ashby in his book Pohnpei, An Island Argosy. It is often called the "Venice of the Pacific"


Central Nan Madol

Nan Madol

Nan Madol

Nan Madol
   Nan Madol was the ceremonial and political seat of the Saudeleur dynasty, which united Pohnpei's estimated 25,000 people until about 1628. Set apart between the main island of Pohnpei and Temwen Island, it was a scene of human activity as early as the first or second century AD. By the 8th or 9th century islet construction had started, but the distinctive megalithic architecture was probably not begun until perhaps the 12th or early 13th century.
  bLittle can be verified about the megalithic construction. Pohnpeian tradition claims that the builders of the Lelu complex on Kosrae (likewise composed of huge stone buildings) migrated to Pohnpei, where they used their skills and experience to build the even more impressive Nan Madol complex. However, this is unlikely: radiocarbon dating indicates that Nan Madol predates Lelu. Like Lelu, one major purpose of constructing a separate city was to insulate the nobility from the common people.
  According to Pohnpeian legend, Nan Madol was constructed by twin sorcerers Olisihpa and Olosohpa from the mythical Western Katau, or Kanamwayso. The brothers arrived in a large canoe seeking a place to build an altar so that they could worship Nahnisohn Sahpw, the god of agriculture. After several false starts, the two brothers successfully built an altar off Temwen Island, where they performed their rituals. In legend, these brothers levitated the huge stones with the aid of a flying dragon. When Olisihpa died of old age, Olosohpa became the first Saudeleur. Olosohpa married a local woman and sired twelve generations, producing sixteen other Saudeleur rulers of the Dipwilap ("Great") clan. The founders of the dynasty ruled kindly, though their successors placed ever increasing demands on their subjects. Their reign ended with the invasion by Isokelekel, who also resided at Nan Madol, though his successors abandoned the site.

Purpose and features

    The elite centre was a special place of residence for the nobility and of mortuary activities presided over by priests. Its population almost certainly did not exceed 1,000, and may have been less than half that. Although many of the residents were chiefs, the majority were commoners. Nan Madol served, in part, as a way for the ruling Saudeleur chiefs to organize and control potential rivals by requiring them to live in the city rather than in their home districts, where their activities were difficult to monitor.
    Madol Powe, the mortuary sector, contains 58 islets in the northeastern area of Nan Madol. Most islets were once occupied by the dwellings of priests. Some islets served special purpose: food preparation, canoe construction on Dapahu, and coconut oil preparation on Peinering. High walls surrounding tombs are located on Peinkitel, Karian, and Lemenkou, but the crowning achievement is the royal mortuary islet of Nandauwas, where walls 18–25 feet (5.5–7.6 m) high surround a central tomb enclosure within the main courtyard.
   Supposedly there was an escape tunnel beginning at the center of Nan Madol and boring down through the reef to exit into the ocean. Scuba divers continue to look for this "secret" route, but so far a complete tunnel has not been discovered.

Food and water

   On Nan Madol there is no fresh water or food; water must be collected and food grown inland. During Saudeleur rule, Pohnpeians brought essential food and water by boat. The Saudeleur received food at a particular islet — first Peiniot, and later the closer Usennamw.
   Around 1628, when Isokelekel overthrew the Saudeleurs and began the Nahnmwarki Era, the Nahnmwarkis lived at Nan Madol, but had to gather their own water and grow their own food. This is thought to have caused them eventually to abandon Nan Madol and move back to their own districts, although there are other explanations for the deserting of the complex, such as a sharp population decline.

Archaeology and tourism

   Today Nan Madol forms an archaeological district covering more than 18 km² and includes the stone architecture built up on a coral reef flat along the shore of Temwen Island, several other artificial islets, and the adjacent Pohnpei main island coastline. The site core with its stone walls encloses an area approximately 1.5 km long by 0.5 km wide and it contains nearly 100 artificial islets—stone and coral fill platforms—bordered by tidal canals.
   Carbon dating indicates that the construction of Nan Madol began around 1200 CE, while excavations show that the area may have been occupied as early as 200 BCE. Some probable quarry sites around the island have been identified, but the exact origin of the stones of Nan Madol is yet undetermined. None of the proposed quarry sites exist in Madolenihmw, meaning that the stones must have been transported to their current location. It has been suggested that they might have been floated via raft from the quarry, and a short dive between the island and the quarries shows a trail of dropped stones. However, no one has successfully demonstrated or explained the process. Some modern Pohnpeians believe the stones were flown to the island by use of black magic.
In 1985 the ruins of Nan Madol were declared a National Historical Landmark. Currently, a greater effort is being made to preserve them.

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