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The Engrossing tale of Hampi, a city of incredible wealth

The Engrossing tale of Hampi, a city of incredible wealth

The original capital of the Vijayanagara Empire in India was Hampi. A site of incredible wealth. The apparently invincible palace with seven gates, surrounded by streets filled with gold, rubies, pearls, emeralds, Chinese porcelain and Arabian perfumes.

One of the most culturally prosperous place is Hampi, a village and temple town in Karnataka. Listed as a group of monuments in Hampi under the UNESCO World Heritage Sites, this city had been at some time one of the wealthiest cities in the world when it was at its best.

Virupaksha Temple in Hampi Built by Sri Krishna Devaraya Dedicated to Lord Shiva ( image source )

HAMPI- a tourist destination

Hampi, situated within the town of Vijayanagar, was among the most popular tourist destinations. Tourists visit Hampi from all around the world for its magnificent temples and heritage.

Vitthala Temple, Hampi ( Image source )

Hampi has a popular mythological tales associated with that as well. And if there is anything to go along with these beliefs, the Kishkinda Vanara Kingdom is said to be where Ram and Lakshman stayed when they headed out to search after Sita, who was abducted by Ravana. You can also find some spectacular mountains where Ram, Hanuman, Sugreeva, and Vali stayed.

Hampi was once the most searched places on the internet in Karnataka, as per stats from the year 2014. People visiting Hampi are mainly people who enjoy architecture and history. No wonder Hampi is such a popular destination for visitors from all around the world to explore. At any period of the year, one can Hampi and you can see the place crowding with people.

HISTORY

Hampi has traditionally been referred to as Pampa-kshetra and many other names in different regions.

Hampi has traditionally been referred to as Pampa-kshetra and many other names in different regions.
The term derives from Pampa, in Hindu mythology, another name of the goddess Parvati. Her parents hear and prevent her from her desire, however, she continues to pursue her desire. Shiva eventually marries Parvati after so many hardships. On Hemakuta Hill, Parvati later pursued her austere, yogini lifestyle to win and revert ascetic Shiva to householder living. Shiva was hereafter named as Pampapati.

Stone Chariot View ( Image source )

You will get a peek of the magnificent architectural style of those times as you pass through the ruins of Hampi’s elegant forts, palaces, and gateways. The temples reveal stories about the history of Hampi, which in the 14th century was a wealthy and prosperous kingdom, eventually ruined by the attacks of the Moghuls.

Hampi’s history goes back to the Neolithic and the Chalcolithic period of the 2nd as well as the 3rd century. This reality has been identified from the ceramic potteries from all those decades which have been discovered around.

At one time, Hampi had been one of the world’s largest commercial centers. Vijayanagar provided Hampi a huge amount of wealth, prestige, and grandeur. In those days, the majority of Hampi markets were still crowded and rampaging with customers and traders as well.

Not just Indians, but also people from different regions of the world, were these traders. The market grew enormously in no time and goods were exchanged for spices and cotton. The currencies were silver and gold in ancient times.

In architectural style, Hampi was indeed rich. The kings who ruled the country were great lovers of religion and architecture, and so most of the Kings put so much effort into establishing magnificent kingdoms and use one of the finest architectural designs that you can see now. During the reign of Krishna Deva Raya, who ruled this town between 1509 and 1529, Hampi had reached his pinnacle.

NARASIMHA VIGRAHA LOCATED IN HAMPI ( Image source )

It was the same time when, under the fair trade policies and many international agreements that were carried out, international trade had expanded and reached new heights. The Vijayanagara Empire nearly took up much of South India and even beyond during this era. Hampi, however, succumbed to the attacks of the Deccan Sultans in 1565 and was looted for a long period of about 6 months.

Hampi’s temples were destroyed and most of the markets were looted. It was one of Hampi’s biggest attacks, and with this, their golden era came to an abrupt end. The empire was ruled by several kings after the attacks; however, nobody could really bring recover the lost glory.

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The city worked fine, but it had lacked its strategic value. Even till date, in several parts of the city, the loss and deterioration of the 1565 attacks can be seen. Hampi had sparked some interest in the minds of archaeologists from abroad during the colonial era.

Chronicles of Ajanta Caves from the 2nd century BCE to about 480 CE in Maharashtra

Chronicles of Ajanta Caves from the 2nd century BCE to about 480 CE in Maharashtra.

A horseshoe-shaped group of rock-cut ancient temples, the Ajanta Caves, lies across the Wangorah River in Maharashtra’s Aurangabad district.

The Ajanta Caves, found by accident in 1819 by a British soldier, have been in the country’s archaeological and historical forefront ever since.

Ajanta Caves ( image source )

DISCRETION

This marvelous piece of craft, architecture, and solitude, unidentified for more than 1,000 years other than wild animals, bugs, flash floods, phenomenal flora, and maybe the local Bhil people, was forgotten by those who built it as long ago as AD 500.

It was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983.

The caves have been explored and examined by many researchers. Buddhist ideologies and traditions are filled with exquisite sculptures, carefully positioned designs, and paintings.

An integral part of the Ajanta Caves is the lifestyle of the monks and the specifics of the lives of Buddha and Buddhist tales.

Cave No. 26, Ajanta Caves ( image source )

A total of 30 caves are found, and each one has been numbered. However the numbering is not chronological, and a suffix has been applied to some caves that were later found, such as 15A.

HISTORY

There is a rather fascinating story of the caves. In a series of two stages, the caves were built centuries apart from each other. The first collection belongs to the 1st century CE in the 2nd century BCE, while the second set of caves was constructed in the 5th century.

The apsidal hall with plain hemispherical stupa at apse’s center, Cave 10 ( image source )

FIRST PERIOD CAVES:

The earliest built caves were numbered and few with a number succeeded by an alphabet, for example, Cave No. 9, and 15A. Many researchers and scholars believe that the caves of the Hinayana or Theravada group of Buddhism show a strong influence. There is still a debate as to know the exact construction time.

The construction time is estimated to be about 100 BCE to 100 CE by a team of researchers, including Walter Spink. This group of researchers believes that the caves were constructed under the Satavahana Dynasty’s jurisdiction. However, others claim the building era as back as the Mauryan Empire.

Entrance and inside hall, Cave 26 ( image source )

The main characteristic of the caves of the previous times is their emphasis on the design of the pagoda rather than on sculptures. Both caves 9 and 10 are stupa-based with the worship hall, and caves 12, 13, and 15A are based on the building style of the vihara (in which monks inhabit). Even in Buddhism, the Hinayana period did not serve Buddha as a Hindu Deity.

Buddha himself banned the painting and sculpting of his pictures, according to several records. In the later years, however, this changed as the Mahayana period of Buddhism began. The Hindu style of worship and monks strongly influenced the community to spread the message and teachings of Buddhism, succumbing to visual images of Buddha, his life, and stories.

SECOND PERIOD CAVES:

A large number of caves numbered 1-8, 11, and 14-29, were constructed between 400 CE and 500 CE during the Vakataka era under the supervision of Emperor Harishena.

It was accepted that the caves were constructed between the fourth and seventh hundreds of years more than quite a long while.

By then, Buddhism’s Mahayana sect, which loved and admired Buddha as a Deity, had emerged into portraiture. Therefore the caves of this century have Buddha’s life and tales sculpted and painted on the walls for the purpose of worship.

This period also began to accept women as missionaries, unlike the Hinayana tradition that excluded gratification, the form of Mahayana was open to the wishes of a man and a woman. These ideas were replicated by the paintings, sculptures, and works of art.

It is interesting to remember that not all caves are complete. The unfinished caves were abandoned after Harishena’s death, as per the study. Even though there is proof that perhaps the caves have been in usage, most likely by the monks who resided there, their numbers may have reduced with time.

According to Spink, for more than three centuries before the rule of Harishena, the caves of the first era were abandoned. The king commissioned the excavation of the new caves along with his Minister Varahadeva and Sub-King Upendragupta.

DISCOVERY

A British Born military officer, John Smith, was on a tiger search when he discovered the entrance of a cave high above the river Waghora (Tiger) which could just have been man-made.

Fumbling uphill with his team, Smith reached the cave and stumbled upon an incredible vaulted and sequences of column spaces, its walls canvassed in fading away art works. A eternal praying Buddha was facing a mound-like temple, or stupa, under a dome.

Smith engraved his name on a sculpture of a Bodhisattva, a figure speaking to one of the previous existences of the Buddha before he accomplished Nirvana. From that point forward, a large number of individuals have added their names as the Ajanta caves – a display of the most established and the absolute best of all Buddhist craftsmanship – has picked up popularity and became a convincing tourist spot.

Ajanta Caves entrance reliefs and artwork ( image source )

Headlines of Smith’s discovery quickly spread. In 1844, the Royal Asiatic Society appointed Major Robert Gill to develop recreations of wall paintings on canvas.

This was the beginning of measures to uncover and capture the religious halls (chaityagrihas) and shrines (viharas) that have been, after all, sculpted in 2 stages from solid rock, the first-five prayer halls-between the 1st and 2nd centuries BC, and the second-25 monasteries, or the lodgings of monks-in the 5th century AD.

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Gill was working amid truly daunting circumstances. It was not only sometimes blisteringly hot, however, but it was also a tiger land, and the furious Bhil people, whether Hindu or Mogul emperors or British military men of the 19th century, had never come to peace with intruders.

Kailash Temple, a 1200 years old Hindu temple, carved from a single rock in Ellora

Kailash Temple is the world’s largest monolithic masterpiece in Ellora, Maharashtra, India.

The magnificent structure was carved by skilled craftsmen from a single piece of solid rock in a cave on a mountainside. It took more than two decades to construct the entire building.

Kailash Temple
The Kailasa Temple in Ellora, India( image source )

ABOUT THE TEMPLE

Generation after generation of people is always fascinated by the architecture of the Ancient world.

Whether it’s the Pyramids of Egypt, the magnificent examples of Roman architecture, or the splendor of the Oriental Temples, these structures tend to marvel at the dynamism of nature and construction. The Kailasa Temple in Ellora, India, is one such example.

Kailasa is one of the Caves of Ellora in Maharashtra, India. In Marathi tradition, it is said that the temple was established by an architect known as Kokasa for the Rashtrakuta Queen Manikeshwara, known for its spectacular size and exquisite artwork.

The temple was worked as a commemoration of Mount Kailash, which is the epitome of the God Shiva, as per Hindu scriptures.

Ellora’s Kailasa temple is known to be amongst the world’s most spectacular rock-cut landmarks.

Carved from a single, colossal rock face, the sheer size and architectural design of the temple are breathtaking.

But there is another explanation of why this temple is a world-class marvel. More than 1,200 years ago, it was vertically cut into the rugged basalt of the Sahyadri Hills with minimal more than hammers and chisels.

ORIGIN

The nearest we have to an understanding is the 10th century legend of Katha Kalpa Taru, which relates to the Rashtrakuta ruler’s wife of the 8th century, Elu.

The king got sick, according to folklore, and his wife prayed for a cure. She vowed to refrain from eating until a magnificent temple was established for Lord Shiva if her wish was granted.

Her wish was granted and the king instructed the best architects in the world to submit their designs to build a great temple dedicated to Lord Shiva.

ARCHITECTURE

The temple has a U-shape and is around 150 feet down. Kailasa Temple is three floors up.

Huge stone carvings along the outer walls portray different Hindu gods. Two inward flagstaff pillars show tales from the saga of Lord Shiva.

There are also massive carvings praising Lord Vishnu, another Hindu god of greatest significance.


Pretty much every last trace of the inside structure contains an elaborate carving.

Towards the top, you see carvings of elephants that point your way down.

The construction is estimated to have included the excavation of more than 200,000 tons of rock over a twenty-year time span.

Architects began from the highest point of the mountain and worked downwards to cut the structure.

The meticulous process destroyed as much as 200,000 tons of rock formations somewhere in the range of 757 and 783 A.D., as per archeologists. Kailasa Temple is one of 34 carves in the city carved from solid rock.

In current terms, it would require around 200 days, to excavate the whole site using modern technologies, operating 24 hours a day except for the intricate carvings over the monolithic structure.


As carvings, columns, and sculptures, each inch of the temple is embellished with splendid craftsmanship, chiseled out from the very stone that shapes the temple’s architectural base.

Various stories from Hindu mythology are reflected in the carvings. In the temple, you can also discover a sculpture of Nandi, the sacred bull which is a tradition seen in all temples devoted to Lord Shiva, and a Shiva Linga, the emblematic picture of Lord Shiva.

Both this structure and the structure comprising the primary deity are 7 meters high and is built on two floors.

There are 16 pillars supporting the key mandapa (hall). A mandapa for Shiva’s vehicle, Nandi, the bull, is in front of it and linked by a bridge. A pillar or dwajastambams, 45 feet tall, stands on either side.

Trisula (tridents) is mounted on these columns. In the temple complex, there are five detached temples, three of them dedicated to the Ganga, Yamuna, and Saraswati river deities.

An interesting aspect of the temple is that elephant carvings are made in such a way that they give the impression that they are holding the whole temple on their backs.

These were made from the same rock as the temple itself as well.

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It also portrays numerous tales from the two Hindu epics, the Ramayana and the Mahabharata, including a portrayal of Mount Kailash attempting to raise the demon king Ravana. Among the carvings, Lord Vishnu’s numerous avatars are also depicted.

This is a Ramayana manuscript published in 1653 CE from Mewar region (southeast Rajasthan)
image source

Archaeologists discover a sorcerer’s treasure trove of artifacts in Pompeii, dating back to 79 A.D

Archaeologists discover a sorcerer’s treasure trove of artifacts in Pompeii, dating back to 79 A.D

Archaeological discoveries at Pompeii have found a hidden treasure of artifacts in past years, amongst many others dated back to 79 A.D. of Mount Vesuvius Explosion.

The sorcerer’s treasure trove of objects, included charms of good luck, mirrors, glass beads, crystals, ceramics, amethysts, and amber, scarabs, and assorted gems, including a red-semi-precious stone with an engraving of an artist and a glass bead etched with the head of Dionysus, the Roman god of wine, and fertility.

Archaeologists researching in the Garden House recently discovered the hinges of a wooden box with artifacts in the Ancient Roman city of Pompeii. The artifacts probably belonged to a Roman sorceress, say officials at the Pompeii Archaeological Park.

“The artifacts were discovered at Casa del Giardino of the archaeological park in a rotting wooden box with bronze hinges”


It has been revealed that within what remained of a wooden box, some of its contents were still there being concealed by the ash which covered the city after the Mount Vesuvius volcanic eruption in Pompeii that occurred in the summer of A.D. 79, 2,000 years ago.

With time, the catastrophic explosion engulfed the city and its inhabitants, rendering it a rich archaeological site.

Many residents in Pompeii were killed by a massive cloud of gas, dust and debris, called a pyroclastic flow, rather than by slow-moving molten lava.

The clouds erupted over the area, killing its inhabitants wherever they were, burying and preserving them in ash.

The sorcerer’s treasure trove of objects, included charms of good luck, mirrors, glass beads, crystals, ceramics, amethysts, and amber, scarabs, and assorted gems, including a red-semi-precious stone with an engraving of an artist and a glass bead etched with the head of Dionysus, the Roman god of wine, and fertility.

Massimo Osanna, Pompeii's general director
Massimo Osanna, Pompeii’s general director ( image source )

Massimo Osanna, director general of the Archaeological Park of Pompeii, said in a public statement—”These are remarkable things from women’s daily lives as they tell memories of residents who may have evacuated in such a hurry that they left many of their belongings behind trying to flee the volcanic eruption that destroyed the area.” 

On scrutinizing the artifacts, Osanna informed the Italian media outlet Ansa that it was much more likely that perhaps the artifacts belonged to a servant or a slave, instead of just the owner of the property.

Neither of the artifacts was made of gold, which was usually much preferred by the wealthy class of Pompeii.

The fascinating artifacts could have belonged to a female sorcerer who may have used them for fertility and good luck during rituals, Osanna said.

In order to better understand their significance, the scientists said they aim to examine the numerous ornaments, including those shaped like an ear, a clenched fist, a skull, a tiny penis, a scarab, and the one in the figure of Harpocrates, the Greek god of silence, secrets, and confidentiality.

Now, scientists reportedly said they’re still trying to establish the relationship between the items and the corpses of 10 victims, mostly women, and children via DNA analysis, recovered in a room in the very same building.

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The treasures were unearthed in the House of the Garden in Region V of the park and are the same area whereby an inscription was discovered that led historians to conclude that the Mount Vesuvius eruption took place two months later than they originally thought.

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The world oldest unsealed bottle of wine remains sealed since the 4th century

The world oldest unsealed bottle of wine remains sealed since the 4th century

Contemporary historians have been discussing the future of the world’s oldest wine bottle, known as the Speyer wine bottle, or “Römerwein,” for a few years now.

Historians have confused about whether the bottle should be opened or not.  

This exceptionally rare artefact is 1,650 years old and is housed in the Palatinate Historical Museum in Germany.

The world oldest unsealed bottle of wine remains sealed since the 4th century
The world’s oldest known bottle of wine, 325 AD, Historical Museum of the Palatinate, Speyer, Germany. ( image source )

The glass amphora has dolphin-shaped handles and  is sealed with wax. The content of the bottle is around one-third of the olive oil used in the past as a preservative to avoid oxidation of the wine.

In 1867, in the Rhineland-Palatine region of Germany, the Speyer bottle was found in the grave of a Roman nobleman and created a real stir among historians and archaeologists at the time.

It is said that the noble owner, assumed to be a high-ranking Legionnaire, was buried with the wine bottle, an ancient tradition that describes the beliefs of the Romans in the after-life, that is, sending precious items with the body of the deceased so that in the “hereafter” she or he can use them.

Reportedly, The tomb near the town of Speyer also contained the sarcophagi of his two spouses.

The antique bottle is named after the town of Speyer, indicating thousands of years of human history and customs.

In the glory days of Ancient Rome, the wine and wine cult was observed diligently.

A delightful party centrepiece that seemingly turned one liquid into another was one of the inventions of the Hero of Alexandria, an inventor who was centuries ahead of his time.

To make it appear that water added to the vessel was dispensed as wine, his trick jug incorporated two separate, sealed compartments and some clever pneumatics.

This is one of a number of similar devices that Hero mentioned in his  Pneumatica.

A chemist examined the Speyer bottle during WWI, but never opened it, so the wine was given to the Palatinate Historical Museum collection in Speyer.

The world oldest unsealed bottle of wine remains sealed since the 4th century
The Speyer wine bottle. ( image source )

Over time, many scientists have hoped to get permission to thoroughly examine the contents of the bottle, but nobody has been granted one yet.

Some scientists and microbiologists, including Ludger Tekampe, the curator of the Folklore Wine Museum collection, are adamant that the bottle shouldn’t be opened.

On this matter Tekampe said —” We are not sure whather or not it could survive the shock to the air. It’s still liquid, and some who consider it should be submitted to new scientific analysis, but we’re not sure,” 

This rare artefact of the ancient world was produced during the early days of the wine production and consumption tradition, which was started by the ancient Greeks.

The ancient Romans has later adopted the tradition, who also took Dionysus, the Greek god of agriculture, wine, and fertility, and called him Bacchus.

Unlike the general notion and assumption that the older the wine is, the better, The Speyer wine is believed to be undrinkable.

Professor Monika Christmann said in a statemant—While the Speyer wine may not be microbiologically spoiled, it would not bring joy to the palate.

Petrified Opal Tree Trunk, located in Arizona, around 225 million years old

Petrified Opal Tree Trunk, located in Arizona, around 225 million years old

Arizona is one of the American states that we appear to associate with warm, high winds and desert, the type of landscape that shrivels the skin and makes it a risky idea to stand in the sun.

It’s been the backdrop of a lot of western Hollywood, when people went west long ago to try their hand at silver mining and other entrepreneurial efforts. The independent high-rolling lifestyle of past and present American individualism is symbolic of Arizona.

It does not have a landscape that we associate with woods and wooded stretches, but Arizona was just that once many millions of years ago, and today is home to Petrified Forest National Park, in the north-eastern part of the state.

It is one of the world’s largest natural tourist attractions and a rich source of research materials for researcher. The park contains about 150 square miles of land and is more than 5,00 feet in elevation. Today, its vegetation consists mostly of desert plants, such as grasses and cacti.

It is hard to believe, however, that around 225 million years ago, Arizona abutted a sea on its western edge and was affected by ash spewing volcanoes.

Many of the trees that made up its forest became mired in soggy soil as the water receded, and remain there, buried deep down, out of the reach of air and microscopic creatures that could destroy it and cause it to rot.

For researchers, archaeologists and other specialists tried to analyse what the landscape once looked like, and how it evolved. Nowadays these trees, which are now petrified – practically dried up – are a great source of research material for scientists.

And it’s not just ancient, fossilised trees that scientists study; dinosaurs, lizards, and all types of other creatures that once roamed there are still found in the park’s earth. E ven crocodiles and snails were common there many centuries ago.

What’s inside them is especially curious about the fossilised, or petrified trees.  There is opal in one trunk, a stone that we consider semi-precious, which makes beautiful jewellery and rings. Experts found this trunk loaded with lines of opal and this past spring, in March 2020, a striking and rare discovery even in this strangely bleak but beautiful place.

Wood petrifies when it sinks and remains in soggy ground. Minerals may penetrate through the sediment, but otherwise, there is a barrier to common causes of decay. Minerals access the wood because they are present in the groundwater in which it’s resting.

Eventually, all plant substances are replaced by minerals such as pyrite (commonly known as ‘Fools’ Gold,’) and silica. This latter material crystallised and eventually morphed into quartz. Over time, and with the addition of other minerals, the interiors of the wood have become a rainbow of colours that are strikingly beautiful.

Experts say—This national park is probably the world’s largest and most-visited petrified forest. It continues to deliver the same amazing collection of visual delights to experts and casual tourists, and is a perfect place to see, near and personal, what the landscape of Arizona once looked like and what its vegetation was like.

It is also an amazing reminder of how nature constantly works to continually change the environment, the forests and waters that we all assume have always been around us.

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If you visit the park as a visitor or as an expert, to work or to tour its natural attractions, It provides a satisfying insight into how landscapes grow and change, how plants become fossils and the power of minerals to carve wood and turn it into something entirely new.

Image of Petrified Opal Tree Trunk

Researchers have found liquid blood in the carcass of an extinct foal in Siberian permafrost, which dates back to 42,000 years.

Researchers in Yakutsk, Siberia has been able to retrieve specimens of liquid blood from a 42,000-year-old foal found in the frozen ground called ‘permafrost’ back in 2018.

Researchers in Yakutsk, Siberia has been able to retrieve specimens of liquid blood from a 42,000-year-old foal found in the frozen ground called ‘permafrost’ back in 2018.

It is considered to be the oldest blood ever to be found in the world.
Researchers are aimed at gathering viable cells to clone extinct horse species.

Researchers at the Mammoth Museum at Northeastern Federal University discovered extinct foal preserved in the permafrost of the Batagaika basin on 11 August 2018.

Dr. Grigoriev, head of the mammoth museum in Yakutsk, said that the forensic reports on the foal reveal perfectly preserved internal organs.

The autopsy showed that the Permafrost left the remains in surprisingly good condition, leading to speculation that the cells and genes could be extracted.

And after keenly scrutinizing the specimen, it was considered to belong to an extinct horse species known as the Lenskaya breed.

The foal carcass was extremely well preserved with it’s body without being deformed, yet most parts of the carcass, particularly the head and legs, were also preserved by the hair cover.

“That’s another scientific phenomenon to have “preserved fur” since all existing prehistoric animals were discovered without hair,” Grigoriev said.

As per the reports, the foal was in between one or two weeks old at the time of death.

“The extinct newborn horse died from drowning into the mud since, inside its intestinal system, a lot of mud was found that the foal slurped in the last moments of its life survival”, he added later on.

The detailed examination revealed that soon after the drowning of the foal in mud, it hardened and became permafrost, providing perfect conditions for sustained preservation.

Of all archaeological discoveries, this seems to be particularly remarkable, since most of them are either incomplete, broken, with significant body deformations.

As per the reports, the specimens are currently being studied by a collaboration between North-Eastern Federal University in Yakutsk and the South Korean Sooam Biotech Research Foundation with the clear objective of cloning the prehistoric horse.

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The research is supposedly too sophisticated that the team wants a surrogate animal for the key role of giving birth to the resurrection species.

However, to do so, scientists will have to obtain and produce active genetic material, which they’ve never yet been able to do.

More than 20 attempts to grow animal tissue cells have all failed.

As per the Siberian Times (2019), Grigoriev said that the researchers have now succeeded in obtaining liquid blood samples from the blood vessels of the organism, which were very well preserved due to favorable permafrost and environmental conditions.


Melting glacier sheds light upon hidden Viking era artifacts in Norway dated back to 300 AD

Melting glacier sheds light upon hidden Viking era artifacts in Norway dated back to 300 AD

The tremendous melting of the glaciers resulted in some recent archaeological discoveries revealing several well preserved historical objects, and one of these remarkable finds is the discoveries of artifacts from the Viking era on the hills that were once used for transportation purposes dated back to 300 A.D. as per the study.

More glacial melt, although a disturbing factor of a much larger global warming effect, has provided ample shreds of evidence and remains of the age-old objects for today’s generation advantageously.

Artifacts from ancient time have been uncovered by ice patches which melted off the slopes of a rugged mountain pass in Norway.

Archaeologists said that it provided a new perspective further into the livelihoods of hunters, merchants, and travelers along with a trail thousands of years old.

At higher altitudes, ice deposits are found, and they’re not the same as their larger counterparts, glaciers. Inside the moving mass of ice, artifacts frozen in ice are gradually crushed.

Yet ice blocks, that do not move, hold objects in place until the ice melts, and in great condition.

Young student Per Dagsgard from Skjåk visited the ice patch to look for remains of ancient reindeer hunting in September 1974.

Little did he know that on this day- a find still surrounded by mystery-he would make the archaeological discovery of a lifetime.

In about two hours, Dagsgard trekked from the mountains to an ice patch. As he reached the lake next to the ice, he could see that in the past years the ice patch had melted back considerably.

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He walked across the ice and soon returned to the ice patch’s bottom part. He saw a long wooden stick sitting abruptly among all the stones. Located at one end of the stick was a huge metal object.

It became obvious to him as he got closer that it was a real spear, with both the spearhead and the shaft intact.

In 2014, Archaeologist Lars Holger Pilø, study author and co-director of the glacier archaeology program had watched his peers discover the ancient wool tunic that had emerged from a melting ice patch on Lomseggen, a mountain in southern Norway, following the path that Dagsgard took in 1974.

Pilø was now curious again about what was still out there. He and another archaeologist walked away from the group while the rest of the team packed up the precious discovery, tracing the edge of the melting ice veiled in mountain fog.

The Lendbreen ice patch is much smaller than it was when the spear was found in 1974.

When he gazed into the silence, Pilø soon noticed that he was staring at a range of artifacts that had not seen the sunlight of day for centuries.

Worn sleds, tools, and other fragments of everyday life dating back almost two thousand years remained scattered around the surface of the Lendbreen ice patch, which was gradually melting due to global warming.

The artifacts convey a mountain range that provided a crucial transport route for people moving around perpetual snow settlements and high-altitude summer farms farther south, radiocarbon dating from around 300 to 1500 A.D.

Furthermore, as they traversed the rugged terrain, these past voyagers gave up everything from horseshoes to kitchen instruments to things of attire/clothing.

As snow gathered throughout the long term, those lost artifacts were frozen in what in the end turned into the Lendbreen ice patch.

Few discoveries are artifacts abandoned by tourists from daily life, including a knife with a preserved wooden strap, a wooden spindle, and a wooden blender.

A Roman Iron Age tunic, a Viking Age glove, and boots too were identified to be pieces of clothes.

In the archaeological record, other artifacts have no parallels and their role has yet to be determined.

Some of the other dozens of Lendbreen discoveries, such as horseshoes, fossils from packhorses, remains of snowmobiles and even a walking stick with runic carvings, are derived from the original transportation through the route.

Discovery of the ruined temple in the ancient sunken city of Heracleion, Egypt

Discovery of the ruined temple in the ancient sunken city of Heracleion, Egypt

Archaeologists researching on an underwater diving project, stumbled over an ancient underwater temple claimed as Heracleion’s ‘Egyptian Atlantis’ and probably have found a destroyed ancient Greek temple and treasure-laden vessels which might have sunken into the sea due to floods and tsunami 1,200 years back.

Heracleion-a city in Egypt & it’s downfall:

Heracleion was an ancient Egyptian town situated about 32 kilometers north-east of Alexandria on the surrounding islands in the River Nile, also known as Thonis or Thonis-Heracleion.

The town was indeed a commercial center and was the nation’s largest port for international trade and taxation in the latter times of ancient Egypt.

Alexandria replaced Heracleion as the principal port of Egypt during the 2nd century BC.

A confluence of seismic events, tsunamis, and ocean acidification have deteriorated the area over time.

The land on which the central island of Heracleion was founded plummeted to erosion at the end of the 2nd century BC, possibly following a major flood.

The hard clay quickly turned into a liquid and the water poured into and destroyed the houses.

It was estimated that the town was established approximately 2,700 years ago depending on artifacts and radiocarbon dates. About 1,500 years ago, it flooded and sunk.

The expedition that led to the discovery of the sunken city:

Dr. Franck Goddio, a French underwater archaeologist who uncovered the settlement of Thonis-Heracleion 7 km off the Egyptian coast in Aboukir Bay in 2000 was searching the Egyptian coastline for French warships from the battle of the Nile (in the 18th century), but instead unearthed the riches of the lost settlement.

The detailed examination:

To discover new areas of the ancient cities, the team of underwater explorers used a high-tech scanning system to study the sea-floor.

Remarkably, tiny objects have survived as well, amid the passing of thousands of years and the sinking of the entire city. Divers found traces of exceptional riches after scraping deposits of sediments. The experts even picturized how life in Heracleion might have been in the ancient trading hub following more than a decade of exploration

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Researchers spent two months studying the site, situated in the gulf of Abi Qir in Alexandria, according to Egypt’s ministry of antiquities.

At the location of the sunken city of Heracleion, accompanied by a quick inspection of the coastline of Alexandria, three divers stumbled upon the legendary gigantic statue of Hapi, the deity of the annual Nile flood in Egyptian Mythology.

Traces of a smaller, ruined Greek temple (hidden inside the southern canal of the sunken city of Heracleion) were found after a thorough analysis of the seafloor, along with pottery from the third and fourth centuries B.C.E., with huge ancient columns.

Remains of previously undiscovered structures and other items such as gold, bronze coils, and jewels from King Ptolemy II’s reign were unearthed by this archaeological project.

Later, archaeologists have expanded their survey of Canopus (some other submerged city), near Heracleion.

During the year 2000, Divers initially explored the remains to know more about this and have led to many more discoveries.

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Nazi Operated Enigma Machine Retrieved In Baltic Sea

Nazi Operated Enigma Machine Retrieved In Baltic Sea

Century’s long lost-quintessential mechanical encryption machine-the Enigma code machine was recovered in the cold Baltic Sea in Europe nearly 75 years after its drastic beneficial purpose had been served during the second world war.

Having been said that during the ending period of World War II, the machine was abandoned deep into the sea by German to keep it out of reach of the allies.

WHAT IS AN ENIGMA CODE?

The Enigma code machine. ( image source )

Enigma machines also used a form of substitution encryption. Substitution encryption is a simple way to decipher messages, but these codes are very easy to crack. The Caesar cipher is a good example of a substitution encryption scheme. The Caesar cipher transfers several positions for each letter of the alphabet.

For example, A Caesar cipher with a shift of 1 would encode P as a Q, and Z as an A, and many more. Similarly with a shift of 5 would encode A as F, M as R, and so on.

HOW ENIGMA CODE WAS USED DURING WORLD WAR-II?

The Enigma machine is an authentication device evolved and utilized in the mid-20th century to safeguard industrial, political, armed, and economic information. It was commonly used by Nazi Germany during the Second World War, in all divisions of the German Army.

The machine allowed gazillions of ways to encrypt a data/statement, making it extremely tricky for other European countries during the war to decode German codes, thus securing themselves from foreign invasion and prevent attacks.

RETRIEVAL OF THE MACHINE DEEPER INTO THE BALTIC SEA :

 When a team of divers was given a task, based on the nature conservancy of the World Wildlife Fund unexpectedly found a mysterious object in northern Germany’s Bay of Gelting while trying to collect old fishing nets. They obtained what was supposedly deemed to be a typical typewriter.

The team immediately grasped and contacted the authorities that they had uncovered a historic artifact. Allied troops fought tooth and nail during the war to decode the codes generated by the Enigma machine, which were constantly updated, to obtain crucial information about the activities of German soldiers.

But it was suggested to be what was long lost enigma code machine used during world war-II on extensive research being carried out by marine archaeologist Florian Huber at Bletchley Park.

“As per the Imperial War Museums, English mathematician Alan Turing was vital to the efforts to crack the German Navy’s Enigma messages in 1941, which were much more complicated”

The achievement assisted the Allies in decoding crucial radio communications regarding German military activities.

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The milestone assisted the Allies in decrypting important coded messages concerning German military activities, setting a war to an end and saving the lives of millions of people; Turing and his team’s story was rendered into a 2014 movie titled The Imitation Game, starring Benedict Cumberbatch, an Oscar-nominated UK actor.

The divers pledged to fund the machine in a museum where it could be preserved and exhibited.

Surviving Enigma machines are rare in 2020, but specimens can be found in museums spread all over the world. The reconstruction process for the discovery is expected to take around a year.