Archive for the 'Ancient Wonders' Category

The ancient Maya most likely predicted meteor showers…

On the heels of the eclipse, here’s a timely piece — the Maya may have known even more than we thought about the machinations of the heavens….

 

From EOS, Earth and Space Science News,

 

Ancient Maya May Have Foreseen Meteor Showers
Modern astronomical techniques have uncovered clues to a possible facet of Mayan astronomy from nearly 2 millennia ago not found in surviving records.

 

 

“Using state-of-the-art computer models, an amateur historian and a professional astronomer have found evidence that many important societal events recorded in Mayan hieroglyphic inscriptions may coincide with outbursts of meteor showers related to Halley’s Comet.

 

In newly published research, the two-person research team has found more than a dozen instances of hieroglyphic records from the Mayan Classic Period (250–909 CE) indicating that important events occurred within just a few days of an outburst of Eta Aquariid meteor showers, one of the celestial displays tied to the comet.

 

No Mayan astronomical records from that period survived the Spanish invasion, and the four surviving Mayan codices from later eras do not mention meteor showers. However, the researchers suspect that many significant historical events that coincided with meteor showers, like a ruler’s assumption of power or a declaration of war recorded in the codices and carved in stone monuments, are not chance overlaps.

 

Instead, the Maya most likely predicted meteor showers, the researchers argue in a paper, already available online, that will be published in the 15 September issue of Planetary and Space Science. What’s more, the ancient civilization might have purposefully timed significant occasions to coincide with portentous celestial events…”

 

For the rest, click here.

Share

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.

 

Share

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.

Share

Next Page »