Archive for September, 2017

The Voynich Manuscript Mystery Continues: It’s Still Probably Not Solved

“What could be so scandalous, so dangerous, or so important to be written in such an uncrackable cipher?”


Perhaps NOTHING? Perhaps it is just a bunch of nonsensical drivel? Or, perhaps, according to this new take on the manuscript, it is something relatively mundane (and even rather disappointing) written in a sort of homemade shorthand?


We like to think that the mystery remains unsolved and that this little book is still alive with the possibility of being remarkable. Many critics of this new research agree with us…


Voynich Manuscript Public Domain


From The Atlantic,


Has a Mysterious Medieval Code Really Been Solved?
Experts say no.

by Sarah Zhang


“The Voynich manuscript is not an especially glamorous physical object. It is slightly larger than a modern paperback, bound in “limp vellum” as is the technical term. But its pages are full of astrological charts, strange plants, naked ladies bathing in green liquid, and, most famously, an indecipherable script that has eluded cryptographers to this day.


What could be so scandalous, so dangerous, or so important to be written in such an uncrackable cipher?


This week, the venerable Times Literary Supplement published as its cover story a “solution” for the Voynich manuscript. The article by Nicholas Gibbs suggests the manuscript is a medieval women’s-health manual copied from several older sources. And the cipher is no cipher at all, but simply abbreviations that, once decoded, turn out to be medicinal recipes.


The solution should be seismic news in the Voynich world…”


For the rest, click here.



The myth of the female Viking is not a myth…

This incredible discovery has been all over the net the last few days. We thought we would supplement the news with a link to the scientific abstract published in The American Journal of Physical Anthropology on September 8th…



A female Viking warrior confirmed by genomics


The objective of this study has been to confirm the sex and the affinity of an individual buried in a well-furnished warrior grave (Bj 581) in the Viking Age town of Birka, Sweden. Previously, based on the material and historical records, the male sex has been associated with the gender of the warrior and such was the case with Bj 581. An earlier osteological classification of the individual as female was considered controversial in a historical and archaeological context. A genomic confirmation of the biological sex of the individual was considered necessary to solve the issue.


“Already in the early middle ages, there were narratives about fierce female Vikings fighting alongside men. Although, continuously reoccurring in art as well as in poetry, the women warriors have generally been dismissed as mythological phenomena (Garde?a, 2013; Jesch, 1991; Jochens, 1996).


Archaeological evidence of warrior graves is numerous, especially in the Viking Age of Northern Europe. Situated in Eastern Central Sweden, Birka was a key centre for trade during the 8th–late 10th century (Figure 1) (S1), linked to a social, cultural and economic network that reached beyond the Ural Mountains into the Caliphate in the east and south to the Byzantine Empire (Ambrosiani, 2012). Birka’s population of approximately 700–1000 inhabitants consisted of trading families, artisans and warriors (Hedenstierna-Jonson, 2014). The urban culture in Birka was different from the everyday life and practices of the surrounding region…”


For the rest, click here.


The Truth at Long Last About The lynching of Emmett Till

Let us hope that all such cruel injustices are revealed in the light of the truth…


Emmett Till was 14 when he was killed in 1955. Credit Associated Press


From the NYT,


Woman Linked to 1955 Emmett Till Murder Tells Historian Her Claims Were False


“For six decades, she has been the silent woman linked to one of the most notorious crimes in the nation’s history, the lynching of Emmett Till, a 14-year-old black boy, keeping her thoughts and memories to herself as millions of strangers idealized or vilified her.


But all these years later, a historian says that the woman has broken her silence, and acknowledged that the most incendiary parts of the story she and others told about Emmett — claims that seem tame today but were more than enough to get a black person killed in Jim Crow-era Mississippi — were false.


The woman, Carolyn Bryant Donham, spoke to Timothy B. Tyson, a Duke University professor — possibly the only interview she has given to a historian or journalist since shortly after the episode — who has written a book, “The Blood of Emmett Till,” to be published next week.


In it, he wrote that she said of her long-ago allegations that Emmett grabbed her and was menacing and sexually crude toward her, “that part is not true.”…”


For the rest, click here.


« Previous PageNext Page »