Secrets Lurk Beneath Stonehenge


A four year project named Stonehenge Hidden Landscapes, revealed hundreds of unseen structures beneath the sod of Salisbury Plain. We’ve always thought of Stonehenge as a singular entity – standing defiant and alone, daring us to ponder ancient secrets. Archeology can’t agree precisely when Bronze Age people erected this iconic monolith – all agree it is very, very old. Textbooks hold fast to a middle ground of 2000 to 3000 BC. A massive dirt bank surrounding the area has been carbon dated to 3100 BC.

Image credit: University of Birmingham

Ground penetrating radar and geophysical survey techniques were used by the Hidden Landscapes project to illuminate incredible buried structures. Seventeen of which flabbergast an already puzzled gaggle of ancient history sleuths.

Underground “peeping” without excruciatingly slow excavation presents astounding Stone Age ponders. Radar imaging suggest Durrington Walls ( a super massive earth “henge” surrounding the familiar monoliths) once stood between polite rows of stone pillars – tidy rows up to 3 meters tall stretching for one and a half Kilometers. Evidence now points to long forgotten “pits” with astronomical alignments, and speculation Stonehenge evolved over a period of 11,000 years. Burial mounds predating Stonehenge, ring after buried temple ring of civilization lost, sleeping under Salisbury’s pillow.

Stonehenge is hardly my favorite ancient structure – Puma Punku or Gobekli Tepe take that honor. It is however one of the most recognizable and best known testaments to ancient kick ass. Learning further evidence of engineering wizardry rests beneath a few meters of British sod, explains the silly grin on my face. Slowly, but wielding scientific surety, evidence mounts to dispel notions of the history we memorize in school. Pondering civilization lost never grows old.

http://earthsky.org/earth/new-scans-reveal-hidden-monuments-of-stonehenge?utm_source=EarthSky+News&utm_campaign=2792fdb6c9-EarthSky_News&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_c643945d79-2792fdb6c9-393970565

Petra


If you wanted my eyes to light up, a whisper of ancient history would suffice.Ancient history makes me goofy, I swoon at the mention of Bolivia’s Puma Punku or Gobekli Tepe in Turkey. Take a moment to read the link below “Why Puma Punku Makes me Smile”

https://notestoponder.wordpress.com/2012/11/03/why-puma-punku-makes-me-smile/

Jordan’s ancient treasure Petra, established around 300 BCE as the hub of Nabataean culture – a ponder equally mind blowing.  UNESCO added it to the list of World Heritage Sites in 1985, saying “one of the most precious cultural properties of man’s cultural heritage”, Smithsonian Magazine named it one of the 28 places to see before you die.

To understand what all the fuss is about, ponder this – Forget computers, engineers, core samples and heavy machinery. Forget frames of reference or standardized construction techniques. Walk into a valley enclosed by steep limestone cliffs – announce you’ve found the perfect home. Don’t quarry those cliffs, use basic stone cutting tools to carve structures into them. Water? No problem, sure it’s a desert but you know of a spring – channel that water into the city, create cisterns to catch rainwater, and above all a massive pool for bathing with a pretty garden. How was this even possible?

The “Monastery” at Petra stands almost 150 feet tall. The magnitude of a feat flawlessly executed over 2000 years ago with nothing but hand tools is astounding. As if my knees weren’t weak enough, learning how they tackled cliffs epitomizes ancient wonder. Petra was built from the top down – before any semblance of structure took place, stairs were carved into the rock face. Starting at the top, workers cut away stairs as they made their way down, from one side to the other, less than half an inch difference.

I don’t care if we have all the answers, we have Petra. Stoic fragments of civilization lost dot the planet – places fantastic enough to spawn a sub culture of alien conspiracy theorists. Ancient history is like that. Staggering accomplishments, unimaginable by today’s standards are difficult to process. When ancient mysteries confound to the point alien intervention trumps humanity, I practically purr with delight.

A satisfying ancient wonder – we know who built it, approximately when, how they transformed landscapes, without  having to sacrifice brain freezes associated with Petra’s enormity or physical execution. Petra serves wonder just the way I like it – sitting politely for all the world to see, tossing occasional clues, not caring if we ever solve the riddle.

A link to UNESCO and Petra…..

http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/326

 

 

Varosha, Cyprus


Our world is littered with abandoned “sites’, for the most part archeological treasures worthy of scientific scrutiny. Ancient riddles, often without reference points or defined origins – physical evidence void of mainstream historical pigeon holing, Stonehenge, the Great Pyramids – well known tourist meccas, not entirely understood yet duly noted on historical timelines. Puma Punku, Gobekli Tepe – never so much as whispered in classrooms, despite irrefutable scientific proof they blast historical timelines to smithereens.

Pondering “sites” led to this conclusion – we dismiss anything we haven’t been taught in school (with tendencies to peg the unfamiliar as bat shit dribble), embrace familiar lessons as definitive truth, and never bother to consider modern “sites” as something with historical value. In short – the very old and relatively new – completely overlooked in favor of predictably dusty bedtime stories.

I’ll concede – ancient, ancient history, the history responsible for my passionate enthusiasm towards civilization lost may be hard to swallow. I see the eyes roll, the blank stares as you say “how interesting”, knowing full well it means “she’s run off the rails”. I don’t hold it against you.. We live in a world where absolutes are comforting, skepticism greets new information, and mainstream (textbook history) rules supreme.

All history is relevant – if we can’t wrap our heads around the distant past, how about looking at something easier to fathom. The world is littered with surreal “sites”, created within the last 100 years – places we can explain yet choose to ignore.

Varosha, Cyprus comes to mind. Famagusta was an exotic resort destination on the island of Cyprus. The Varosha district, a playground for the rich and famous until 1974 when Turkey took exception to a Greek coup, invading and dividing the island into a Greek south and Turkish occupied north. Thousands of residents fled the city, they never had a chance to come back. Turkish army enclosed Varosha in barbed wire – 40 years later, uninhabited, utterly forsaken, beyond repair. A “petrified urban museum, enclosed, boarded up, frozen in time”.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/03/world/europe/cyprus-resort-varosha-remains-sealed-off-to-visitors.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

Varosha, Cyprus is is an archeological site, a place of historic importance. Our one advantage – we know who, how and why it became a “site”. We possess absolute, irrefutable knowledge yet it languishes in the realm of inconsequential. The tough work is done – we don’t have to squabble over who built it or why it was abandoned. Places like this fit politely into historical timelines – few outside the immediate region have ever heard of it. Much like the Prora Hotel…

https://notestoponder.wordpress.com/2013/06/03/prora-hotel/

We should alter our thinking to include such places in historical mindsets. Nothing would make me happier than hearing an enlightened educator used them to ignite classroom discussion. Sigh.

 

 

 

Tell Qaramel


History teaches ancient hunter gatherers only began building settlements once farming and domesticated animals were part of the picture. Tell Qaramel, located in the north of modern day Syria, proves again how little we know. Baffling archaeological finds; Gobekli Tepe, Puma Punku, Varna, Derinkuyu, Piri Reis map, Catalhoyuk,Tell Qaramel – blowing conventional thinking out of the water, yet nary a splash.

Tell Qaramel was identified in the 70’s when a survey revealed mounds or “tells” at the site. The tell fit conventional thinking but surrounding area formed the basis of an archaeological head scratcher. Five round stone towers have been carbon dated to between 11,000 and 9650 BC, with no evidence of farming or domesticated animals. The towers at Qaramel pre-date the tower of Jericho by roughly 2000 years – until this discovery, the tower of Jericho was considered the oldest stone tower in the world.

I could ponder till my head hurt and still not come up with reasons why we ignore ancient history. Not so much ignore as omit; leave out references to historical evidence simply because we can’t explain or justify the finds within conventional thinking.

A joint Polish – Syrian investigation continues, professor Ryszard Mazurowski from Warsaw University, has led the dig since 1999. I can’t imagine what more it will take to snap us out of mainstream, textbook historical thinking – I do however have my fingers crossed that he finds something that finally makes history stand up and take notice – carbon dating seems to have little impact.

Image from rarelyknown.org

Gavrinis


Most people have knowledge of Stonehenge; without question the daddy of Neolithic sites. A sprinkling know of Carnac; over 3000 carefully aligned stones – some of monolithic proportions, erected between 3300 – 4500 BC near the village of Carnac in France. Fewer still have uttered the word  Gavrinis.

Gavrinis, a tiny island off the coast of Brittany in France clung to the mainland between 3,500 and 5,000 BC., a time defined by burial tomb construction. Not more than a bumpy  outcropping of rock (750 by 400 meters) uninhabited Gavrinis slept undiscovered until 1835 when French archaeologists started poking about a sunken burial tunnel entrance. Serious excavation began in the 1930s.

Gavrinis defies explanation. Over 50 stone slabs form the entrance tunnel and inner chamber – curiously carved slabs begging for stand at attention while humming the theme from 2001 Space Odyssey reverence. Gut reaction to a mind blowing epic – Gavrinis is no ordinary Neolithic site..

Roughly half the slabs boast intricate carvings resembling fingerprints. Mathematicians  believe it’s a code of sorts. Computer analysis dropped a bombshell – patterns represent the number of days in a year, references to solstice and equinoxes, an exact longitude and latitude of the island, and the “mathematical constant Pi”.

Much as this makes me grin from ear to ear, I have to admit not everyone is on board.  Many mysteries of the ancient world find themselves living on book shelves in “wing nut” land. Irrefutable archaeological evidence hasn’t taken Gobekli Tepe or Puma Punku off the crazy shelf and into mainstream consciousness. If 16th century Turkish admiral Piri Reis could produce a map of Antarctica, precisely as it would appear without ice, yet wallow in conspiracy land – it’s doubtful Neolithic people at Gavrinis coding “Pi” into fingerprint carvings will make a ripple.

Call me a pondering fool, I don’t care.Not for a second do I entertain the notion “alien” or otherworldly intervention had anything to do with ancient head scratchers. I’m going to fall asleep with a silly little grin; content in the knowledge that ancient civilizations kicked ass.

http://www.ancient-code.com/earths-hidden-code/#

http://www.culture.gouv.fr/fr/arcnat/megalithes/en/mega/megagav_en.htm

Baghdad Battery


Please be patient as I ponder a few things on the way to my point.

I wonder how many people are prepared to step outside the generally accepted box, suspend conventional thinking, and look at our history with fresh eyes. What would it take to snap people out of the notion that the history taught in school is final and absolute. I often write about ancient history; a subject that fuels my imagination, lifts my spirit, and is guaranteed to leave me asking for more. The crushing reality is – nobody cares. Friends for the most part indulge my enthusiasm for a minute or two, then the eyes start to wander as they muster a dismissive “that’s really cool”. One friend teases that I have a “tin foil hat” ready to ward off alien invasions. Beyond perplexing is the idea that any thought outside a dusty old textbook,  immediately places the thinker in the “wing nut” category.Why is it that those who ponder lost civilizations or knowledge find themselves lumped in with the ancient alien crowd? Fortunately I have a thick skin, laughing it off as I fret over their stilted imaginations.

One obvious possibility; the unknown or unexplained can be terrifying. Creation myth has existed since the dawn of time. Worship, religion, whatever you want to call it provided “a place for everything, and everything in its place” . Suddenly there was an answer for everything. For centuries comfort was found in your God; questions not only unnecessary, but frowned upon. I pity the first men of science whose heresy sealed a gruesome fate.

We live in an age of science, devour technology, yet won’t allow unexplained truths unearthed by that science, coax us out of our safe warm place. Irrefutable scientific evidence tells us our accepted historical timeline is hogwash. Look at my posts under “Ancient History” as I fear my family will scream if I explain Piri Reis, Puma Punku, or Gobekli Tepe again.

Now the Baghdad Battery, something to ponder within the parameters of our perceived history. In 1938 German archaeologist Wilhelm Konig dug up five clay jars. These vessels found at Khujut Rabu outside Baghdad, were dated to around 250 BC.Each one had an iron rod down the middle, held in place by an asphalt stopper. Surrounding this, the inside of the jar was copper. tests showed evidence of an acidic residue such as vinegar. His conclusion – it was a battery. Capable of producing up to 4 volts, it is widely accepted to have been used to electroplate gold or silver.

Ponder the 2000 year old battery. Imagine what else waits to be discovered, wrap your head around possibilities that defy explanation. Take comfort in the knowledge that unanswered questions might just be what your soul is missing.

Baghdad Battery

Why Puma Punku Makes Me Smile


I see history as fluid. A never ending story, twists and turns dictated by centuries of set in stone religious or political bias. A few hundred years ago science got its foot in the door. Released from religious restraint and political white wash, science is turning historical stone to dust.

Gobekli Tepe, discovered in Turkey during the 90s, turns accepted historical timelines on their head. We cling to cradle of civilization Mesopotamia, yet science proves Gobekli Tepe is thousands of years older. Most people haven’t heard of it. Educators rely on unimaginative textbooks, unwilling to introduce irrefutable science because facts are few. Science believes Gobekli Tepe a place for religious gatherings. Circle after perfect circle, with reliefs of animals carved into surrounding pillars. Each pillar the exact same height, many of the animals not thought to be indigenous to the area. By all appearances it was purposely buried.

Then there’s Puma Punku. My pulse races pondering this place. Located in Bolivia no one knows who built it. By some estimates – 17,000 years old. At an elevation of 12,000 feet, granite slabs of stone weighing hundreds of tons were somehow moved from a quarry miles away. If that doesn’t make you smile; ponder the precise stone work and intricate carvings. Science deals in facts of which there are few.

Puma Punku makes me smile because it obliterates “set in stone” history with more questions than answers. I smile because we can ask those questions and hopefully expand our shallow textbook minds.

http://www.ancient-wisdom.co.uk/boliviapumapunka.htm

http://247facts.blogspot.ca/2012/09/puma-punku-acient-mystery.html