Δευτέρα, 28 Μαρτίου 2016

Inside A WW2 Submarine Wreck: Aldo Ferrucci’s Stunning Photos!

Located around Cap Camarat, between Cavalaire and Saint Tropez, the wreck of the Rubis is a ‘must dive’ in the Mediterranean Sea.
It is a mine launcher submarine that left Toulon in 1931

Medieval Jesters

Medieval Jesters

Medieval Jester
Step back into history get Medieval facts and information about life for people who lived in Medieval Times

Researchers puzzled by shackled skeletons inside an ancient Greek grave near Athens

Shackled_Skeletons_Ancient_Greek_Grave_Faliro_Athens_1Shackled skeletons comprising a group of 12 individuals.
Palaio Faliro (Paleon Faliron or Παλαιόν Φάληρον) can be roughly translated to ‘Old Phalerum’, and as such this coastal suburb served as the ancient port of Athens before the development of the port of Piraeus in 5th century BC. However other than seas and trades, Faliro is also known for its extensive network of ancient graves that are estimated to contain around 1,500 skeletons. Their dates pertain to the period between 8th-5th century BC, and thus hold direct archaeological value that could mirror the rise of Athens as a powerful Greek city-state. But this time around beyond identifying cultural developments, researchers (from the Faliro Bioarchaeological Project) have also come across grisly evidences inside the cemetery compound – with the discovery of skeletons being shackled and deposited in mass graves.

Archaeologists have possibly identified the ‘actual’ food items served during the Last Supper

The Last Supper painting certainly had its fair share of limelight in our recent times, with most of the attention being showered because of its seemingly ‘cryptic’ nature as opposed to pure history. However, this time around, things have moved beyond the ambit of the mural, to account for what actually was on the menu for the last supper of Jesus Christ. To that end, two Italian archaeologists – Generoso Urciuoli and Marta Berogno have painstakingly went through a myriad sources, including Biblical verses, ancient Jewish texts and even Roman authored works to determine the then-contemporary cuisine of Palestine/Levant, and how it might have featured in the ‘last supper’. And as a result, they have found that the most likely items on the menu would have pertained to – a bean stew, a lamb preparation, olives, bitter herbs, a special fish sauce, unleavened bread, dates and a variety of aromatic wine.

Interestingly but rather unsurprisingly, the details provided in the Last Supper painting by da Vinci didn’t actually help the historian duo. According to Urciuoli –

Πέθανε ο συγγραφέας, βιογράφος και ακαδημαϊκός Αλέν Ντεκό

Πέθανε ο συγγραφέας, βιογράφος και ακαδημαϊκός Αλέν Ντεκό

«Η φωνή της ιστορίας»

Ο Γάλλος συγγραφέας, βιογράφος και ακαδημαϊκός Αλέν Ντεκό, το «πρόσωπο και η φωνή της ιστορίας», πέθανε την Κυριακή στο Νοσοκομείο Πομπιντού του Παρισιού σε ηλικία 90 ετών, όπως ανακοίνωσε η σύζυγός του, Μισελίν Πελετιέ-Ντεκό. Ο Ντεκό εξελέγη μέλος της Γαλλικής Ακαδημίας το 1979 και ήταν υπουργός Γαλλοφωνίας μεταξύ 1998-91, επί προεδρίας του Φρανσουά Μιτεράν. Έγραψε περισσότερα από 60 ιστορικά βιβλία και βιογραφίες ενώ από τη δεκαετία του 1950 δημιούργησε πολλές ραδιοφωνικές και τηλεοπτικές εκπομπές με θέμα την ιστορία.

Βρυξέλλες, η τζιχάντ πρωτεύουσα της Ευρώπης…

Όσο συνεχίζονται οι βομβαρδισμοί στη Μ. Ανατολή, όσο ληστεύονται οι αδύναμες χώρες, όσο βαθαίνει η φτώχεια, η εξαθλίωση των ανθρώπων και η περιθωριοποίηση τους, τόσο θα αυξάνονται οι τρομοκρατικές ενέργειες
«Το τελικό στάδιο μίας μεγάλης παγκόσμιας οικονομικής κρίσης είναι οι γεωπολιτικές ανακατατάξεις, καθώς επίσης οι εγχώριοι και παγκόσμιοι θρησκευτικοί πόλεμοι» (πηγή).

Does an ancient Hebrew treatise reveal the ‘doom’ of the Ark of the Covenant?

Ancient_Text_Hebrew_Ark_Of_The_Covenant_1Carrying the Ark of the Covenant: gilded bas-relief at the Auch Cathedral.
Last month we showcased the (what if) 3D reconstruction of the Solomon’s Temple in accordance to its Biblical measurements. Now beyond its religious status as the grand First Jewish Temple built on the Temple Mount, Solomon’s Temple is also known for its housing of the fabled Ark of the Covenant. This naturally brings us the million-dollar question – what exactly was the Ark of the Covenant? Well as literary sources mention, the legendary artifact was possibly a gold-plated chest that stored the sacred tablets containing the original Ten Commandments. But as every Indiana Jones fan worth his salt would know, the Ark is elusive (or perhaps even ‘illusory’) – and as such is still lost to the researchers of our modern age. But an ancient Hebrew text translated in 2013, might provide some (possibly fancy) insights into the whereabouts and status of this puzzling artifact, along with the other treasures of King Solomon – who was said to be the richest man of his time in Biblical sources.

The ancient treatise in question here is known as the Massekhet Kelim (‘Treatise of the Vessels’), and one of its very first ‘modern’ reproductions was found in the Hebrew book Emek Halchah, a tome published in Amsterdam in way back in 1648 AD. It was followed by another almost-identical publishing endeavor in 1876. But it was only in 2013 that James Davila, a professor at the University of St. Andrews, translated the ancient text for the first time in English.

The use of cannabis preserved the ancient walls of man-made Ellora Caves in India

Cannabis_Preserved_Ancient Walls_Ellora_Caves_1
In a ‘groovy’ turn of events, archaeologists have identified how cannabis might have played a crucial role in supporting the antediluvian walls of a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We are talking about the Ellora Caves, a fascinating 1,500-year old archaeological site comprising both Brahmanical and Buddhist group of caves (consisting of rock-cut temples and viharas), situated in the Indian state of Maharashtra. According to a recent collaborative study conducted by researchers from the Archaeological Survey of India and Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University, the painted walls and ceilings of these man-made caves were composed of a definitive mixture of cannabis, clay and lime. To that end, by chemical analysis, it was found that the cannabis component played quite interesting role in preserving the architectural unis by intrinsically strengthening the plaster.

For the research, the experts utilized a scanning electron microscope, infrared spectroscopy and stereomicroscopic studies. They were successful in isolating the cannabis from a ‘micro’ part of the plaster, thus suggesting its inherent role in the composite clay used for the supporting structures of the caves. From the chemical perspective, cannabis (known as ganja in India, and used for the bhang concoction) was probably utilized in the plaster for its insulating quality. Furthermore, the cannabis fibers apparently showcased higher degree of durability when compared to other fibers, and thus its ‘sticky‘ nature might have helped to form a strong binder with the clay and lime.
Cannabis_Preserved_Ancient Walls_Ellora_Caves_2
Inside Cave 5 – made by Buddhist monks.
When translated to practicality, the binding composite transforms into what is called hemp-crete, a durable concrete-like plaster that was conducive to heavy-duty nature of these ancient walls and ceilings. The researchers made it clear –
[Hemp-crete plaster allowed for] a healthy, comfortable and aesthetically pleasing living environment to the Buddhist monks to stay. As the hemp plaster has the ability to store heat, is fire-resistant and absorbs about 90 percent of airborne sound, a peaceful living environment for the monks has been created at Ellora Caves.

Βαρουφάκης: Αν το ’21 υπήρχε τρόικα εσωτερικού, η Επανάσταση, θα χαρακτηριζόταν Επιχείρηση-Καμικάζι

Νέες αιχμηρές αναρτήσεις στο Twitter από τον πρώην υπουργό Οικονομικών, Γιάνη Βαρουφάκη, ο οποίος συνεχίζει αυτό το διάστημα την πολιτική του καμπάνια στην Ευρώπη, για την πολιτική κίνηση της οποίας ηγείται, το DiEM25.
Με τις νέες αναρτήσεις του, στέλνει το δικό του μήνυμα για την 25η Μαρτίου.
“Αν το 1821 υπήρχαν η τρόικα εσωτερικού & ΜΜΕ, η Επανάσταση, θα χαρακτηριζόταν Επιχείρηση-Καμικάζι και οι επαναστάτες καταστροφείς του γένους”, έγραψε στα ελληνικά, για να ακολουθήσει και ανάρτηση στα αγγλικά.

Απίθανοι φίλοι

Απίθανοι φίλοι
Απίθανοι φίλοι

Γιατί μειώνονται οι μισθοί στη Δύση

/ Διεθνή / Γιατί μειώνονται οι μισθοί στη Δύση
Γιατί μειώνονται οι μισθοί στη Δύση

Τέσσερις ειδικοί εξηγούν

Είναι αλήθεια ότι από τον Β’ Παγκόσμιο Πόλεμο και μετά στις ΗΠΑ, στην Ιαπωνία, στη Γερμανία και στις χώρες της Δύσης εν γένει ο ρυθμός συσσώρευσης του πλούτου στις επιχειρήσεις ήταν υψηλότερος από τον ρυθμό συσσώρευσής του στα νοικοκυριά. Παρά ταύτα, η βελτίωση της αγοραστικής δύναμης και του βιοτικού επιπέδου των εργαζομένων ήταν εμφανής. Τις τελευταίες δεκαετίες, ωστόσο, και δη μετά την πρόσφατη παγκόσμια κρίση και ύφεση του 2008, η έννοια της «ευημερούσας Δύσης» μοιάζει να χάνει το περιεχόμενό της. Και στον πυρήνα της αλλαγής αυτής βρίσκονται, όπως παρατηρούν οι ειδικοί, τα εισοδήματα των εργαζομένων.
Τέσσερις ειδικοί που μετείχαν σε έρευνα του BBC διαπιστώνουν ότι, ενώ σε γενικές γραμμές μεταπολεμικά οι μισθοί αυξάνονταν με τον διόλου ευκαταφρόνητο ρυθμό 2% ετησίως, «από την παγκόσμια χρηματοοικονομική κρίση του 2008 και εντεύθεν οι μισθοί υποχώρησαν αισθητά στις πιο πλούσιες χώρες, ενώ στις φτωχές χώρες είτε πάγωσαν είτε σημείωσαν μικρότερη πτώση». Και οι λόγοι για το φαινόμενο αυτό είναι διαρθρωτικοί, όπως παρατηρεί ο Τζον Βαν Ρίινεν, διευθυντής του Κέντρου Οικονομικών Επιδόσεων του London School of Economics.

Επίδομα αντί σύνταξης σε ανάπηρους

Επίδομα αντί σύνταξης σε ανάπηρους

Μείωση της τάξης του 25%

Tο κυβερνητικό σχέδιο για το νέο Ασφαλιστικό βάζει μαχαίρι ακόμη και στις αναπηρικές συντάξεις. Σύμφωνα με ρεπορτάζ της εφημερίδας Τα Νέα, η μείωση θα είναι της τάξης του 25%. Αυτό σημαίνει ότι αν κάποιος μείνει ανάπηρος ύστερα από 15 χρόνια δουλειάς θα λάβει επίδομα αντί σύνταξης.
Η μείωση (που προκαλεί την έντονη αντίδραση του αναπηρικού κινήματος) θα γίνεται – όπως προβλέπεται στο νομοσχέδιο – με τους παρακάτω δύο τρόπους:

B-29 Superfortress ‘Doc’ Almost Ready For Takeoff – Engine Test Successfully!

doc_night-5871-1024x683B-29 ‘Doc’ – Courtesy of b-29doc.com
Volunteers have brought back to life an aging World War Two Boeing B-29 Superfortress bomber known as ‘Doc’.
The bomber hasn’t been started up again since it was last flown in 1956. Now volunteers have spent the past 15 years working on the bomber so that it can be flown again and has been fitted with four new radial engines.

Special Forces Fight Isis in Iraq – With The Aid of Vintage Vietnam War Plane!

An air-to-air right side view of an OV-10 Bronco aircraft firing a white phosphorous smoke rocket to mark a ground target. The aircraft is used by forward air controllers in support of ground troops. Photo from November 84 Airman Magazine.
War is not a game – nor is it usually fought by retirees, especially those who have been in retirement for more than 30 years. These particular retirees however, are not people – they are aircraft
Two OV–10 Broncos, came out of ‘retirement” to support the Special Forces in Iraq. The planes were previously used in the Vietnam War and had proved to be “a flying and fighting do-all sport utility vehicle. It could loiter for hours, direct fire onto the enemy, pack paratroopers and cargo, or attack with its own weapons. Many think it was retired right when it could have become most useful and that it would have been the perfect light air support aircraft for Afghanistan.” (Tyler Rogoway)
The two Broncos that have just been on missions in Iraq and Syria, are thought to have come from NASA, which had originally snapped up the retired planes in order to carry out airborne tests, or perhaps from the State Department, which had sent Broncos to Columbia in a bid to crackdown on drug trafficking.

25 incredible Ancient Roman quotes you should know

  But beyond impressive architecture and grand military traditions, some eminent Romans also boasted fascinating philosophical notions. So without further ado, let us take a gander at 25 incredible Ancient Roman quotes you should know – uttered by the crème de la crème of ‘friends, Romans and countrymen’.
*Note – While these quotes were selected from a large pool, in NO WAY do we claim that they are the ‘best’ of all the quotes Romans had to offer. So please view this list as a subjective topic.

Η πραγματική ζωή του Ιωάννη Βαρβάκη: Όντως ο θεός αγαπούσε το χαβιάρι;

varvakis_or.jpgΟ θεός αγαπάει το χαβιάρι. Με αυτόν τον τίτλο ο Ιωάννης Σμαραγδής, σκηνοθέτης της ταινίας «Ελ Γκρέκο», κάνει τη δεύτερη απόπειρα του να δημιουργήσει μια πολυδάπανη ταινία με πρωταγωνιστή την εμβληματική φιγούρα του Ιωάννη Βαρβάκη. Οι κριτικές που απέσπασε είναι κατά συντριπτική πλειοψηφία αρνητικές. Η ιστορία του ανθρώπου που πλούτισε από το εμπόριο χαβιάρι σε ολόκληρη την Ευρώπη, του ανθρώπου που δρούσε ως πειρατής στις θάλασσες του Αιγαίου είναι αναμφισβήτητα συναρπαστική. Ποιος λοιπόν ήταν ο πραγματικός Βαρβάκης, ο άνθρωπος που κατάφερε ολόκληρη Ρωσία να πίνει νερό στο όνομα του;
Σ’ενα μικρό νησί δίπλα από τη Χίο, γεννήθηκε ο γιος του Ανδρέα Λεοντίδη και της Μαρίας Μάρου, Ιωάννης Λεοντής. Η ημερομηνία γέννησής του δεν είναι πλήρως εξακριβωμένη αλλά οι ιστορικοί θέτουν ως πιθανότερη την 24η Ιουνίου 1745. «Στο νησί που ονομάζεται Ψαρά -γράφουν οι ιστορικές πηγές- κατοικεί ένα είδος γερακιού ονόματι Ιέραξ ο οξύπτερος. Οι κάτοικοι όμως αποκαλούν το αρπακτικό πουλί βαρβάκι. Όταν ο Ιωάννης ήταν μικρός, οι φίλοι του συνηθίζουν να τον αποκαλούν έτσι εξαιτίας των μεγάλων ματιών του και της ορμητικότητας του χαρακτήρα του. Φαίνεται πως αυτό το παρατσούκλι του άρεσε πολύ και έτσι από Λεοντής μετατράπηκε σε Ιωάνης Βαρβάκης.

3D interactive reconstruction of King Richard III is now made accessible for all

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One of the archaeological highlights of last year pertained to the identification of the remains of King Richard III, the English monarch who only ruled from 2 October 1452 – 22 August 1485, and died at a young age of 32 at Battle of Bosworth Field, which marked the last decisive encounter in the War of the Roses. Historically, this made Richard III the last English king to die in battle on home soil. However in spite of his regal credentials, his corpse was buried quite unceremoniously in Leicester. And even his original tomb was possibly ransacked during Reformation, and many then-after believed that his remains were lost forever due to rumors of their disposal along the River Soar. But modern archaeologists were not really convinced of such hearsay, and thus in 2012 they were able to locate the spot where Richard III’s remains were probably buried. And finally researchers from University of Leicester successfully identified Richard III from the excavated remains – with the aid of technologies such as radiocarbon dating and mitochondrial DNA analysis.

Imposing ancient statues of Egyptian goddess Sekhmet galore in Luxor

When it comes to the grandeur of Egyptian mythology, Sekhmet the Goddess is awe-inspiring with her lioness visage and blood-red clothing. In fact, she was presented with the epithet of ‘Sekhmet the Powerful’, and often depicted as the fiercest hunter in all of Egypt whose very breath formed the desert (while her pedigree was also associated with the Solar deity). Given such regal characteristics, it doesn’t really come as a surprise that many Pharaohs regarded her as their protector in battles. Now beyond fables and symbolism, there is always the tangible connection of sculptural artifacts that connect past mythologies to the human scale. To that end, archaeologists from the ‘The Colossi of Memnon and Amenhotep III Temple

Strange! Object 279 The Soviet Heavy Tank Designed To Survive A Nuclear Explosion

Object 279
In 1959, at the height of the cold war era, Soviet Union built this experimental nuclear explosion proof heavy tank called Object 279. It was one of the last Soviet prototypes of heavy tanks before Kruschev banned any tank heavier than 37 tons.


A)Superb high-resolution short video shows the forging of a Roman Gladius with Damascus Steel
Last week, we touched upon the impressive yet mysterious status of the so-called Ulfberht swords. Wielded by the Vikings, these extremely rare swords comprised high-carbon content that could be compared to the ‘advanced’ crucible steel variety of the later 1800’s. Now historically, beyond the boundaries of Europe, there had been manufacturing processes that facilitated the production of high-quality steel for ‘elite’ blade weapons. One good example would obviously pertain to the famed Damascus Steel produced in the the Near East. This steel variety was characterized by its distinctive patterns of banding and mottling that sort of evoked the delicateness of flowing water, and was crafted from the wootz steel imported from Southern India. And now master bladesmith Tony Swatton had taken up the task of forging a Roman Gladius entirely with the ‘damascus’ technique. Cinematographer Phil Holland has brilliantly captured the painstaking procedure in 8K resolution, and compiled it into a short video with all the expressive sights-and-sounds.

The particular technique used by Swatton for the crafting of this sword entails the 93-layer damascus process. Now it should be noted that as opposed to a conventional Gladius there are some ‘fantastical’ elements taken in lieu of historical accuracy, like the series of holes along the blade’s center, and also the actual blade’s length. But nevertheless the precise nature of this procedure is awe-inspiring, thus aptly alluding to the sheer concentration and hard work that master blacksmiths had to put into their craft for many ages through mankind’s history.
And since we brought up the historicity of Gladius, for the Romans the very term ‘gladius’ literally meant a sword (or rather any kind of sword). In fact, for almost 200 years from the Second Punic War to 20 BC, the Romans actually employed a longer variant of Gladius, also known as gladius Hispaniensis, the renowned blade used by the contemporary Spaniards. By Augustus’ time, the sword design had morphed into a shorter and broader variant (from 64-69 cm to around 40-56 cm). And finally by the middle of 1st century AD, the Roman Empire sword evolved into the so-called Pompeii-style Gladius that showcased a parallel-edged blade and a conspicuous triangular short point. This design progression further mirrored the cut-and-thrust fighting techniques adopted by the Roman legionaries.
In any case, if you crave for more insights into this fascinating video-making process, do take a gander at Phil Holland’s website.
Via: Sploid / Book Reference: Roman Legionary 58 BC – AD 69 (By Ross Cowan)
B)Beautiful Viking gold artifact might just be the oldest crucifix found in Denmark
Viking-Gold_Oldest_Crucifix_Denmark_2Credit: VIKING MUSEUM LADBY
A crucifix discovered from the early middle ages is a rare enough find as it is. But even rarer is the scenario where the crucifix is of Viking make, and even predates the runic symbols of Harald Bluetooth who is often credited with turning the “Danes to Christianity”. Pertaining to the latter part, an amateur metal detectorist (as is often the case nowadays) discovered the above picture specimen in a field in Denmark. The exquisite gold artifact (called the Aunslev cross) flaunts its impressive form and craftsmanship by showcasing Christ with his outstretched arms encompassing the familiar shape of the crucifix. And date wise, the gold object is believed to be crafted in early 10th century AD (thus still corresponding to the Viking Age), and as such is probably the oldest complete crucifix (depiction) found from Denmark.
Now in case you are wondering, previously the historians thought that the oldest complete crucifix depiction was found among the massive rune-stones erected by Harald Bluetooth in 965 AD. But this new discovery predates the so-called Jelling stones by decades, thus suggesting that Christianity was adopted in Denmark earlier than conventionally conjectured. Interestingly, the potentially ‘history changing’ Aunslev cross is only 0.6-inches in height and weighs a bantam 0.45 ounces. In spite of such tiny credentials, the craftsmanship is intricate with embellished gold-threads and incorporation of filigree balls.
Now it should be noted that similar crucifix designs have been found in female graves in Birka, Sweden. Intriguingly enough, Birka (near Stockholm) is the very same site that also yielded the famed Allah-inscribed ring, thus suggesting the importance of this Viking Age trading settlement that connected Scandinavia with the far-flung realms like the Eastern Roman Empire and the Abbasid Caliphate via routes like Ladoga and Novgorod. To that end, the crucifix designs (like their Islamic counterpart) could also pertain to the Viking penchant for gold and precious metals, as opposed to any specific religious affiliation.
However Swedish archaeologist Martin Rundkvist has hypothesized that the aforementioned gold crucifix was locally made, probably near Hedeby in Denmark. His hypothesis is fueled by the fact that in spite of the trading pedigree of towns like Hedeby and Birka, many of the townsfolk were also active artisans. So in terms of date, the Aunslev cross in question here might just be the oldest crucifix found in Danish lands. In any case, the incredible Viking artifact will be displayed at the Viking Museum in Ladby till the Easter holiday (and then sent away for preservation and further analysis).
Reconstruction of Hedeby, in Denmark.