News Briefs 17-10-2005

I can smell burning plastic …

  • A circular temple is being excavated at the Sechin Bajo complex in Peru. Here’s a picture.
  • Early monumental architecture of the Peruvian coast, by James Q Jacobs.
  • Here are some great photographs of Inca Peru’s Cerro Sechin complex.
  • Larry Coben’s archaeology of performance website has interesting information about the Inca. I like the word ushnu.
  • Experts believe they have solved the mystery of the abandoned Mayan city known as Site Q.
  • Parapegmata are among the oldest calendar instruments from the ancient world.
  • Here’s a fantastic slideshow of ancient artifacts from Pater Crespi’s collection, a Salesian monk who lived in Ecuador. Ancient wonders or modern art?
  • Skeletons missing their heads, hands and feet were found buried with daggers and arrowheads in Iran’s 3000-year-old cemetery Tul Talesh. I love the website’s name, Iran Mania
  • Also in Iran was the discovery of a unique bas-relief of four winged-goddesses at the 3,000-year-old site of Rabat in West Azarbaijan. Graham Hancock will be interested to know that the goddesses are part human, part deer or cow.
  • Did Jimmie Mellaart, the celebrated digger who helped find what many consider the world’s oldest urban civilization at Catalhoyuk, fake the Dorak treasures? Suzan Mazur thinks so.
  • An 82-year-old Austrian man nicknamed Mozart has been arrested for stealing and smuggling Italian antiquities.
  • Reports in the Egyptian press suggest that a statue of Khafre (2576-2551 B.C.) was damaged in the basement of the Egyptian Museum. Secretary-general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities Zahi Hawass denies the claims, but culture minister Farouk Hosni has ordered an investigation. We all know Zahi Hawass knocked it over in his rush to be photographed at the latest discovery.
  • In going high-tech, do archaeologists need to stop thinking like jacks-of-all-trades, and trust the specialists? I emailed this link to Zahi.
  • Here’s a fantastic site analysing the Vinland Map. We’ve got to get one of those little “your conclusion” counters, Greg.
  • NASA exobiology researchers have revealed organic chemicals that play a crucial role in the chemistry of life are common in space.
  • One-celled organisms capture algae, perhaps taking an evolutionary leap.
  • A grisly disease afflicting Tasmanian Devils is a new form of cancer never seen before.
  • Susan Clancy thinks that interviewing people who answered a newspaper ad asking for alien abductees represents everyone who claims to have had otherworldly encounters. Someone should tell Clancy that John Mack didn’t just advertise in the local paper. Here’s another condescending article with Susan Clancy debunking people’s experiences.
  • An opinion piece for Times Online by Sir Martin Rees, Astronomer Royal, pondering the existence or not of extraterrestrials.
  • Researcher Robert Hastings claims there is a government cover-up of evidence proving extraterrestrials are visiting our planet.
  • What do kids think about aliens? I like Rey from Australia’s comment. And who said this Science of Aliens exhibition in London is just for kids?
  • Dr Gregory Little thinks there are connections between alien abductions and fairy tales. Laura Knight-Jadczyk also thinks alien abductions are a modern form of an age-old phenomena. Dr Karla Turner disagrees with Jacques Vallee in her article, Alien Abductions in the Gingerbread House. I might sleep with the light on tonight …
  • Here’s an interview with one of UFOlogy’s most original thinkers, Dr Jacques Vallee. Passport to Magonia by Dr Jacques Vallee (Amazon US or UK) is a book I highly recommend.

Quote of the Day:

Sometimes I think we’re alone in the universe, and sometimes I think we’re not. In either case the idea is quite staggering.

Arthur C. Clarke