News Briefs 23-10-2006

I can’t think of an opening line.

  • Symbols carved into 8600-year-old tortoise shells and other bones found in a Neolithic grave in central China may edit the history of writing.
  • A translation of the 2400-year-old Derveni Papyrus, a mystical text discussing the fate of the soul and other philosophies, has finally been completed. My novels might take a bit longer.
  • Heritage Malta has begun efforts to preserve 5000-year-old graffiti carved into megaliths at the Tarxien Temples.
  • An eminent 92-year-old Turkish archaeologist is to be tried for inciting religious hatred because she suggested in her book that the use of headscarves by women dated back to pre-Islamic sexual rites. Unfortunately the article doesn’t explain how the headscarves were used.
  • Mosaics from the late Roman period have been uncovered at the ancient city of Hadrianoupolis on the coast of the Turkish Black Sea, decorated with a myriad of animals and birds.
  • A travel piece (with a stunning photo) about the 5000-year-old ruins of Caral, Peru.
  • Archaeologists found the remains of a Viking-era ship within a burial mound on a Norwegian farm. It’s not every day I get news from Norway!
  • Been a while since we heard from Zahi Hawass too, who has just announced the first-ever discovery of a tomb belonging to a Pharaoh’s dentist. Click “next photo” for more pics and info.
  • The US State Department has delayed a decision to restrict the imports of Chinese antiquities to the United States, making museum directors and art dealers happy, but dismaying archaeologists and angering China.
  • A report in New Scientist says that if people were to become extinct today, all traces of humankind would be eradicated in 200’000 years. I’m sure plastic bags and six-pack rings will be floating around somewhere.
  • Science teachers say the demotion of Pluto brings new opportunities to teach kids about the solar system, and perhaps inspire future space pioneers. I bet it was the Taylor kids who taught their dad how to use Celestia.
  • A new study suggests life can exist deep underground for millions of years without any energy input from the sun, boosting hopes for subterranean life on Mars.
  • NASA scientists say the hole in the ozone layer above Antarctica has grown to the biggest size ever recorded — larger than the North American continent.
  • Folk in the UK will get a stunningly clear night to watch the Orionid meteor shower this Sunday. Bring your own soap and shower-cap.
  • A dozen space elevator prototypes are competing for US$150’000 in the X Prize Cup. Wouldn’t you be annoyed if someone hit all the buttons?
  • A new study from Stanford University says one in eight web-surfing adults are addicted to the internet. Don’t look at me, Kat, they refused to accept TDG volunteers for fears it’d make their statistic-machines explode.
  • A major exhibition at London’s Science Museum ponders the history of video games, and asks if they’re a blessing or a curse? When I pwn noobs and ninja l33t loot, it’s a blessing, but when I get pwned by noobs and have my l33t loot ninja’d, it’s a curse.
  • From Pravda, tales of people suffering from cranial injuries developing extraordinary abilities.
  • A Russian woman claims to eavesdrop on dolphins, and she can also communicate with ants.
  • Maybe she can talk to Narwhal whales, who have distinctive voices, according to researchers who have recorded individuals for the first time.

Quote of the Day:

It doesn’t have to be a big fire, a small blaze, candelight perhaps…

Ray Bradbury

  1. Pre-Islamic Sexual Rites
    From the article:

    In a book published last year, Cig said that the headscarf – a controversial issue in Turkey – was first worn by Sumerian priestesses initiating young people into sex, but without prostituting themselves.

    I’m with you on this one, Rick. So how were the headscarves used?


  2. Turkish Author…
    After doing a google search I turned up a delicious piece of irony, the Author wrote an email to the Nobel Prize comittee about a Turkish Author who won, but is now being prosecuted in Turkey for “insulting Turkishness”.

    From: MUAZZEZ ILMIYE CIG [***]
    To: Esteemed Members of NOBEL PRIZE JURY
    Istanbul, 12.10.2006

    Dear Sir,
    I was born in the days of WWI, and shared the most painful days of our war of Independence (when the whole world tried to destroy us), . . . . . . and could see our victory under the leadership of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, and witnessed in great happiness the foundation of a contemporary state . My age is 92 and I write books for general public, about the history of Hittites and Sumerians.

    The award of the Nobel prize to one among us, makes me very happy, because our generation knew to be joyful, and not jealous, for anything done for our country. Particularly, the winning of the Nobel Prize by a young writer like Orhan Pamuk, is a great success.

    However, what really saddens me and citizens who love their country, is the behaviour of the Jury who gave the prize. May be we cannot judge the literary aspect of Orhan Pamuk, as well as you do, because a large group of people do not like his books. However, his being highly appreciated, because he wrongly blamed his own country, is the matter that makes us feel sorry. As he said, if there were no freedom of thought, his last novel β€œKar” could have been forbidden, because it was not telling the truths. The party that opened a court case against him, is not the State, but an Association of Law, which reflects the public opinion. The fact that in his book and conferences, he was not speaking the truth about our country and our great leader Ataturk who made us what we are today, and his speaking that an Armenian genocide was made, exhausted the patience of our people. In reality, this incident should be considered as an exact lesson of democracy. If this prize had been awarded to him, before he had spoken all these, it would have been indeed a great happiness for us. We were going to be happy for the first time, that one of our people, won the greatest prize on earth, with his pen. Now we see that the Jury of a country which we trust that pays high priority to human rights, in our opinion, made the mistake of believing with closed eyes, and without asking or searching the truth, in what one person said or because of politics.

    Hoping that my letter will be read, I express my best regards.

    Dr. Muazzez Ilmiye Cig

    Translation: Sukru S Aya

    1. Cheers for that
      As Cig is an emiment archaeologist, someone should show her the graves where the remains of Armenians were found, mass-murdered by Turks, and let her connect the dots. But I guess it’s nothing new for Turkey to deny the genocide committed against the Armenians. It’s the silent invisible Holocaust that no one wants to know about.

      Nice googling.

      1. Great selection of ancient news stories – yeah for 92 year old
        OH, what wonderful reading. Thank you for your efforts in finding the info. Great stuff.

        I had to come back and edit after reading more it was so interesting on that great link you provided…..

        I just reread that Turkish 92 year old. What a bold piece of writing and honesty, yes, I liked that what you found very much. It is ironic in a way. I praise that elderly gentleman, he seems like a man you would love to sit down and yak with. I bet in his 92 years he has seen a lot. I am interested in his Hittites / Sumerian and historical writings. Does he have a grandson or woman to do a website for him I wonder? Just the fact that he was on the net with that letter was sooooo great……..

        When I was in Bosnia, I saw a lot of old Turkish architecture in old town Sarajevo. I was very glad it was not destoyed during the war. It was marked “Where East Meets West”…..there is a very old Mosque there. There is a lot of Turkish culture there.

        I wonder what that gentleman would have to say about what Semir Osmanagic is doing in Bosnia and all of the political mumbo jumbo going on with the religious tension growing again because of the “Sun” being an old Christian Hill Fort and the brigade of believers and politicians funding the “hoax” are Muslim. There are rumors going on now about a Muslim take over. All very stupid stuff and it started with the pyramids, or you can blame the Maya maybe for inflitrating the mind of Semir by means of cosmic beams…..I do not think it should be so easy to classify a group of people by a few who happen to be of that category. Why can’t religion and nationality just be left out of these things and possiveness of hills and territory. It would be iteresting if this 92 year old gentleman knew about this and to hear his view points. I am sure he would speak out. The hills in Visoko have turned into nationalism. If you do not believe in the pyramids you are anti-Bosnian. A good researcher friend of mine wrote to me about now the students at Tuzla University are writing essays about the pyramids………………problem is, no pyramids. Probably the class has to do with marketing and political science and International economics of sorts. I am not quite sure…..

        Much tension is brewing again……sad…… why can’t anything be nuetral territory? Why does it have to belong to any sect?

        I Iearned a lot from reading that web site you posted with that man’s link, there was much info there in those blogs.
        I didn’t know about that sort of thing going on with the Nobel Prize and the laws being passed about the denial of genacide????

        ALso, well, this might be gross, but, when Robert and I were there in Bosnia, they found some mass graves and were digging up over 2000 bodies in one grave alone…..I HATE WAR and I hate the tension of religious possesions.

        Freedom of speech? Well, it is good in some instances when truths are told, but not when lies are spread, then people can fall back and say it is freedom of speech. It can be abused just like anything else.

        We did not like being censored at that Museum in Wichita, Kansas because we were talking about things older than the Bible. Now, that was dumb to even choose us to open up their new series of lectures and then censor us, and then once again, there were politicians there. That was why we were being censored, the Sate Board of Edcuation and other “beings.” But holy heck, they are exhibiting dino bones as millions of years old, so, I thought that to be contradictory, but we were in the bible belt and hot spot for the Evolution debate. So, here you have freedom of speech, censorship, religion and politics over and over again. Organized Religions to me are just a branch of government. That is my freedon to speak right?

        Another thing, just because you are Muslim does not instantly brand you a a bad person, and a lot of that started happening in the American mind moreso with Bush and 911 and all of that. Bush creates genocide everyday he is in office. Maybe some day some one will have enough evidence put together to write a Nobel Prize winner about the Bush Boys & Administration if they survive and do not get sniped out. You have to watch your back these days in America, especially with that Habeous Corpus (spelling) ruling now…..Bush….phooey……


        Dr. Colette M. Dowell ND
        Circular Times

    2. law suit
      has that law suit against the essentially unTurkish behaviour, not been dropped, or rejected by a high court in Turkey?

      I don’t remember which, but it’s something like that.

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