Weird Things Regarding King Tut’s Burial & The Missing Pharaoh

I’ve mentioned I almost got an archaeology degree before deciding archaeology and I weren’t a good match.  More specifically, I wanted to get a degree in Egyptology.

I’ve had people tell me I was born in the wrong century, which isn’t true.  I like modern toilets, modern showers, and I’m really glad computers and computer games exist as well as modern medicine.  I’m not hot on the idea of trepanning to solve migraines, although that was a cure for migraines in Ancient Egypt.  I don’t know how often they went wrong or how often they pulled it off.  Since Nadine has my luck, it would be a semi-successful.  I’d live, I’d probably retain my facilities, but having a whole in my skull would cause me more migraines not fewer.  That’s just how the universe treats me.

I’m not talking about the Curse of Tutankhamen.  I don’t believe in it.  The deaths connected with opening Tut’s tomb weren’t all that prolific, they were just noteworthy because of who they happened to.  Dozens of people have died from gangrene as a result of infected shaving wounds and etc.  I’m talking about the burial of King Tut himself.

We have always believed Tutankhamen died unexpectedly.  The strongest evidence is his age and the evidence on his mummy that indicates injury close to the time of his death.  Then there’s the burial itself.  The outer sarcophagus has a much different face than the inner sarcophagus.  Mismatched sarcophagi is a faux pas in Ancient Egypt. And for the burial as someone as important as the Pharaoh, it wasn’t an accident that just wasn’t caught… It was done like this for a reason and the most likely reason, his sarcophagus wasn’t ready.  Oh and neither sarcophagus matches the bone structure of King Tut.  This means that gold mask image everyone associates with Tut is probably not Tut.

Sadly for Tut, he wasn’t nearly so attractive as the person in the gold mask.  We are fairly sure that Tut had a cleft palate and was moderately deformed.  We also know he had an elongated skull of the type popular with Ancient Alien theorists.

Tut like a fair number of Ancient Egyptian royalty was probably fairly inbred. There is some debate on this since we aren’t entirely sure that Akhenaten was Tutankhamen’s father and we know that Nefertiti is not his mother.  Anyway, he was buried in sarcophagi that weren’t his.  Modern research on both sarcophagi have revealed that Tut’s name was put over a different name, which just adds more proof that they weren’t designed for him.

Parentage issues: Tut has been DNA tested and he is the son of the body found in KV55 (Valley of the Kings Tomb 55).  Only, the body in KV55 is almost definitely not Akhenaten.  I’ve mentioned before that history hates to change itself based on anything as inconvenient as evidence that doesn’t fit the accepted theories…  XRays of Tut show he has an elongated skull, most likely a genetic defect as opposed to head binding, which is the most common cause of it.  Reliefs of Akhenaten shows he also has an elongated skull.  So placing him as Tut’s father makes sense, except we can’t find Akhenaten’s body and the body in KV55 does not have an elongated skull like depicted on Akhenaten.

That means either Akhenaten was given the elongated skull in pictures after his death because people hated him and wanted him more closely associated with Tut or what?  There’s no reason to draw Akhenaten with a misshapen head unless he had a misshapen head.

Tut was buried in KV62.  Since the numbers are the order in which the tombs were discovered, not the order they were put into the ground, 62 and 55 may be connected.  Interestingly, a second tomb KV56 is thought to originally have been destined for Tut, but the death of Ay as a child necessitated Ay getting a tomb already in progress and a new one being built for Tut.  Ay was theoretically supposed to be Tut’s successor, which meant Ay dying first was most inconvenient for the necropolis keepers in the Valley of the Kings.  More confusing, occasionally tombs were reused.  Which makes the burial of Akhenaten more interesting.

Recently high resolution scans of Tutankhamen’s tomb has revealed a possible doorway in the main chamber that has yet to be opened.  Some suspect that Akhenaten was buried in their to keep his mummy safe after death.  It wouldn’t be the first time someone had dug up a Pharaoh’s mummy for the sole purpose of desecrating it.

Also, the tombs in the Valley of the Kings all share some features, like magical books pointed towards the cardinal directions that protect the pharaoh… four per tomb.  Makes sense really.  Except there was a fifth in Tut’s tomb that did not face any special direction.  It was just kind of sitting on the floor of the treasury when the door was opened, facing the door.  We haven’t found a single tomb that has a magic book facing the door of the treasury, except Tut’s and contrary to popular opinion, while Tut’s tomb was the most intact yet found, it was visited by grave robbers or possibly Roman vandals.  There was evidence that his tomb had been disturbed before Carter and his crew opened it, the door had been resealed at least once in the past when Carter opened it.

Chances are good, I’ll be in my 50s before they release any verified information on the Mummy inside the Black Sarcophagus.  This does assume that the sarcophagus does contain a mummy.  Some have been discovered that contained cat mummies, dog mummies, bird mummies, and gold.  Which means the black sarcophagus might not contain Alexander Helios or Akhenaten or anything human.  While we wait, it will become a talking point for Ancient Alien theorists.

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The Black Sarcophagus

Ancient Egypt isn’t done divulging it’s secrets.   With as many excavations as have taken place there over the last two centuries, a large number of Egyptologists have speculated that we have found the majority of the interesting stuff in the ground of Egypt…

Until they uncovered a 6 feet long black sarcophagus buried in Alexandria.  When my friend sent me the article, two things immediately came to mind; Ahknaten the Heretic King whose body was lost to history, but as a Pharaoh, he still should have been mummified and put somewhere.  And the son of Cleopatra and one of the Roman leaders.  I forget if it was Cesar or Mark Antony, but she had a son with both of them.  Anyway, we don’t have a record of him living or dying.  He was literally lost to History.

Six feet doesn’t sound very big for a sarcophagus, but it’s the longest ever found in Egypt.  Egyptians were short in the days of the Pharaohs.  It’s only been in the 20th century that men routinely grew to 6 feet tall or taller.  Before then, men like Peter the Great who was well over 6 feet tall were a bit freakish.

Sarcophagi(?) are supposed to be rather form fitting.  You don’t put a mummy that’s only 4 feet tall in a 6 feet long sarcophagus.  Meaning the mummy has to be close to six feet tall.  He was probably around 5’8″ which would still have been tall for an Ancient Egyptian.

As I said, my first instinct was Ahknaten the Heretic Pharoah… We don’t know where he’s buried or if his mummy even exists.  Most Egyptian texts about Ahknaten were destroyed upon his death.  What we do know is that his son Tutankhamen had an elongated skull and reliefs of Ahknaten that survive show him with an elongated skull (enter the Ancient Alien conspirators here).  Along with the black sarcophagus, there is a bust of a head and shoulders in the grave.  If the mummy is Ahknaten, the bust isn’t his.  The bust does not have the elongated deformed skull we associate with Ahknaten and Tutankhamen.  (Side note: Spell Check would like me to change Aknaten to Alienate, which is rather fitting since Aknaten’s desion to make Ancient Egypt a monotheistic religion that worshiped Amen is the reason he is called Aknaten the Heretic King, his alienation of the Egyptian priesthood and the Egyptian people are the reason there aren’t a lot of things left related to Ahknaten and why we don’t know where he was buried or if he was given a proper burial).

So if the black sarcophagus belongs to Ahknaten, we don’t know who the bust is of, but it solves a mystery.  Recent study of Tutankhamen’s tomb reveals that there is a secret chamber that hasn’t been opened and we suspect it may be the final resting place of Ahknaten.  I think tomorrow’s post will be about Ahknaten and Tut, because there are some interesting things about these father/son pharaoh’s stories that most people don’t know.

But there is another Pharaoh option for the black sarcophagus.  Cleopatra was one of the last rulers of Egypt and despite being an Egyptian Pharaoh she was Greek or rather Macedonian to be exact.  Cleopatra returned to Egypt after the death of Caesar.  Where she hooked up with General Mark Antony.  Antony and Cleopatra had three children, possibly: Alexander Helios and Ptolemy Philadelphus.  Alexander Helios had a twin sister named Cleopatra Selene.  When the Roman general Octavius invaded Rome, he killed Caesarion (Cleopatra and Julius Caesar’s son) and imprisoned Alexander Helios, Cleopatra Selene, and Ptolemy Philadelphus.  Selene II married Juba II, some non-Roman ruler in a Roman controlled state and the lives of Ptolemy and Alexander Helios were spared as a wedding gift to Selene II and Juba II.  And that is the last history hears of Alexander Helios or Ptolemy Philadelphus.  Historians general speculate that both boys died before reaching maturity and thereby removing themselves from being able to do anything great in their lives.

This almost works, except it is probable that Alexander Helios was an adult by the time his sister marries Juba II.  Octavian gave the child captives to his sister Octavia (who was Antony’s wife) to raise and she raised them alongside her own children, even providing for a royal education in Rome.  But to some degree Helios and his sister Selene II had already received some education in Egypt before being sent to Rome as royal captives.

But Helios still never gets mentioned again.  This has lead to some wild guesses about what happened to him… people have gone so far as to put him in North America at the time of Christ’s birth.  Maybe he designed Oak Island or is responsible for some of the stuff found among Native American tribes (Totem Poles are basically just carved wooden obelisks after all).  I have always figured he found his way back to Egypt, realized his family had been dethroned and basically lived the rest of his life in relative obscurity.  It makes sense.  The death of Helios would have been important, even to Romans, so if he had died, it seems like someone would have noticed.  Same for Ptolemy Philadelphus.  Perhaps one of them is buried in the black Sarcophagus.  That would explain the Roman Style marble bust in the grave and the lack of an ornate tomb as well as it’s location in Alexandria, Egypt, not an area known for being a final resting place of Pharaohs.  Helios spent most of his life in Alexandria as a child, his family had made Alexandria the most important city in Egypt after all.

The Dropa Stones

Archaeology is not a glamorous profession, and there is no amount of Tomb Raider and Indiana Jones films can change that.  It is basically a treasure hunt without a map and most of the time without treasure.  It’s dirty.  It’s often hot because areas that are hot and arid preserve things better than places that are wet and cool.  Or it’s fumbling around in dark caves and hoping not to break a leg on bat guano.

If you are into archaeology, the dirt and heat can be worth it, because every so often someone finds something amazing, like the city of Troy.  Or Gobekli Tepe.  Or that Stone Henge is surrounded by lots of little Henges that have fallen into ruin.

Or you find Dropa stones while trying not to slip on bat guano and break a leg in a cave.  The Dropa stones are a set of stones that were found in a cave in China.  Oddly, they have disappeared, which is possibly the most fascinating part of the Dropa stones.

The Dropa stones reportedly look like stone records, the kind you put on a turn table to play music.  There are a few pictures of them, proving they exist that were taken by the archaeological team that found them.  Since the stones were found in the People’s Republic of China, they were turned over to the government, because that’s the way it works especially in a country that has State controlled media and research.

We don’t know much about the Dropa stones.  Supposedly, a few of them were sent to Moscow in the 1980s for study by communist researchers and scientists.  However, while the Soviet Union claimed to have received 2 of them, their whereabouts are currently unknown.

The stones are said to be 1,200 years old and made with a similar technique as what was used to make the Terracotta Army.  Unfortunately, this information was released by the People’s Republic of China at the same time they admitted they had no clue what had happened to the 76 Dropa stones.

This is where the history of the Dropa stones goes from interesting to UFO Conspiracy Theory material.  Theoretically, the stones are covered in tiny hieroglyphs that have never been decoded.  And the stones have never been displayed to the public.  This could be because it’s the People’s Republic of China, but conspiracy theorists say it’s because world governments don’t want us regular folks to see the obvious alien origin of the Dropa Stones.

Although, I do agree that it seems hard to lose 76 stones, most of them measuring more than 30 centimeters in diameter and weighing a couple of pounds each.  These aren’t exactly easy to lose in say a drawer.  But having some museum experience, I can see where they could be misplaced in an archive full of stuff.  On the flip side, I see why there is a conspiracy around them.  It isn’t just that they were lost, it’s that they were never displayed.  Compare that to the Terracotta Army, which has continuously been on display since the 1970s.  The stones were an amazing find, even in the late 1940s when they were discovered, so it does seem strange that even in the People’s Republic of China they were never put on display.  And researchers have discovered that the original photographs of the Dropa stones have also gone missing, which just adds more fuel to the conspiracy surrounding the stones.

However, until the People’s Republic decides to release them for research and viewing, we will probably not have a better understanding of the Dropa stones, because if the USSR discovered anything about the 2 stones they once held, their research and findings are also missing.  Then again, as one historian said, is possible that the Soviet Union never received the stones and that the Stones were intentionally lost not because of their connection with aliens, but because The People’s Republic decided they were detrimental to the narrative of their superiority.

Let’s Talk Volcanoes

I am occasionally surprised that more people aren’t interested in volcanoes.  They are things of beauty; in the same way a tiger is beautiful.

Part of my fascination stems from the fact that the US has a super volcano nestled in it, a super volcano that if it erupts could be an extinction level event and it’s due.  Of course, volcanoes are notoriously fickle.  This is the Yellowstone Caldera, a caldera is a crateresque volcano, meaning it doesn’t have a mountain peak that readily identifies most volcanoes.  The majority of the world’s super volcanoes are calderas.

Humans have never seen a super volcano erupt, we can only use computer models and archeaologic excavations to give us an understanding of what happens when a super volcano erupts.  The last eruption was Toba, which happened around 70,000 years ago.  Interestingly, the term super volcano is a misnomer.  It refers to the amount of ash forced from the volcano during the eruption.  Volcanoes like Toba (which is another caldera) don’t always erupt at the magnatude that designates it as a super volcano.

And there have been some seriously large eruptions of non-super volcanoes that have come close, like the 1815 eruption of Mount Tambora in Indonesia erupted with enough force that the mountain lost it’s top making it shorter now than it was 200 years ago and it created a nuclear winter.  As a matter of fact 1815 is referred to by historians as the year without a summer because Tambora released so much volcanic material into the sky that the summer was rather cold and dreary, around the world, not just in Indonesia.  There actually hasn’t been another eruption like the one in 1815 since then although there have been some that were close.

Volcanoes threaten humanity is ways we don’t realize.  Lava is slow.  The moment it exits a volcano it begins to cool and harden, animals and people can easily outrun a lava flow.  It is the pyroclastic cloud (the scary black could that races down the volcano) that kills most people.  Or the lahars.  Since most volcanoes are also moutains, they often have glaciers and snow on them.  Lahars are basically mudslides.  The soil is heated up by magma (it only becomes lava once it exits the ground) flowing under it, causing the glacier or snow to melt which mixes with the highly acidic heated soil and creates a mudslide that is very fast moving and slightly more acidic than a regular mud slide.  It isn’t going to eat your skin off, but it can poison water and destroy land used for farming.

Or like Tambora in 1815 and Pinatubo in 1991, a large volcanic eruption can disrupt weather patterns, as can numerous smaller eruptions.  Volcanic eruptions can create cooler weather during the summer by blocking some sunlight from reaching the surface of our planet and creating acid rain.  Tropical fruit crops in the Pacific were devastated by the eruption of Pinatubo and the explosive eruption of Kilauea will again, it isn’t the lava that is the problem, it’s the acid rain that will come now that the explosive eruption has occurred.  Acid rain falling on pineapples creates smaller, more bitter pineapples.

The devastation of tropical fruit may not sound like a big deal, but it is.  The diets of most Americans and Western Europeans contain a large amount of tropical fruits; bananas, pineapples, oranges, mangoes, kiwis, star fruits, and coconuts have become staples; the price of them will go up thanks to the eruption of Kilauea and del Fuego, because let’s face it, Guatemala also has a massive tropical fruit industry. Coupled with a loss of oil imports in the US and suddenly all American grown tropical fruit becomes even more expensive.  It will hit the wallets of Europeans and Americans more than lives, but research has shown that tropical fruit makes people happy and no one is quiet sure why, it appears to be a naturally occurring placebo effect, but the placebo effect is real and it could be that with a decrease in tropical fruits and the increased prices of it, the placebo effect may lead to more depression this summer due to a lack of cheap, readily available tropical fruit.

Everything is connected and I seem to have lost focus on this blog post.  However, it’s still pretty good.  I was going to discuss calderas, but I guess I will make that a different post.

Volcanoes and Climate

In May, Kilauea began erupting.  At first just a increased spew of lava, nothing big and then it began an explosive eruption and on it’s heels, del Fuego in Gautemala had an explosive eruption, and the threat at Nevada del Ruiz in Colombia has increased.

Super volcanoes change climate.  They create something known as nuclear weather; cool summers, frigid winters, flooding, and the shortened growth season means stunted crops.  It’s a world wide event.  Economic panics have been known to ride the backs of these eruptions.

None of the aforementioned volcanoes fall into the super volcano designation.  They are just regular volcanoes that occasionally erupt.  The Nevada del Ruiz is similar to Kilauea.  It has been active and making noise since 1985 when a small eruption caused massive mud slides that devastated an entire town, killing most of the population there.  It doesn’t have the consistent lava flow that Kilauea has, but it does send up regular plumes of ash and has been doing so with frequency for the last two years, now it is increasing as is the number of earthquakes centered around it.  Signs that an eruption is imminent.

For the record, volcanoes are notoriously unreliable.  Just because it appears that Nevada del Ruiz is in the mood to have a massive eruption and every thing we use to measure and predict such things says it is ready to blow, doesn’t mean it will.  It could just quietly go back to rumbling in a few months.  Or it could suddenly decide to dump millions of tons of ash into the sky while lava and mud scream down the mountain eliminating everything in it’s path.

However, the power of a volcanic eruption is another blog post, this one is about volcanoes and climate because nothing on Earth affects weather quite like a volcano. Climate change after an eruption of a super volcano is fast.  We can feel the effects almost immediately.  But little volcanic eruptions also affect weather.

When you get multiple volcanic eruptions close together in both time and location like we have this year, it takes a few months for our weather to be changed by them, but it does change them.  This summer was predicted to be hotter than normal with little rain by the Farmer’s Almanac.  And that is exactly how it started, above average temperatures for most of the US, no real spring, and no real rain, even in Missouri.

However, the Almanac can’t predict volcanic eruptions and the effect they will have on our weather.  There are dozens of volcanoes world wide that do things similar to Kilauea and Nevada del Ruiz, constantly releasing pressure in the form of consistent lava flows or in the form of ash being sent into the sky.

Those smaller, none explosive volcanic actions are usually just a blip.  They are just there.  They only start to matter when we have a large number of volcanic eruptions, like we have had this year.  Kilauea’s explosive eruptions released several million tons of volcanic ash into the sky.  Del Fuego had an even larger eruption.

Volcanologists and climatologists are beginning to talk about a shift in our weather pattern for this year, probably around the end of July or first part of August due to Kilauea and del Fuego erupting.  A cooling off is likely along with more rain than predicted.  It happens every time we have massive volcanic eruptions.  The ash particles get trapped in the atmosphere causing less sun to reach the surface of the Earth, even if we don’t notice it, and the atmosphere tries to remove them by creating rain, it’s technically acid rain, but it’s still rain.  Most of the US was already dealing with a 10-year climate cycle of drought and extreme temperatures.  It began last year… It may not be 10 years long though if Nevada del Ruiz or another large volcano has an explosive eruption…

Volcanoes are the only known force on Earth that can cause extreme climate effects.  Historical eruptions have created cool summers, bitterly cold winters, and short growing seasons for crops and have lead to economic panics, droughts, flooding, and nuclear winters.  Usually a large eruption is required for humans to see significant climate changes due to volcanic eruptions, but accumulation goes into effect when multiple small eruptions take place like they did in May with Kilauea having a rare explosive eruption immediately followed by the explosive eruption of del Fuego in Guatemala.  Adding a third, larger volcanic eruption like Nevada del Ruiz is capable of producing would definitely impact the weather world wide especially going into winter.

I got to thinking about this because over the next seven days, my area which is experiencing a drought and record highs for June is supposed to cool down and get an abundance of rain.  While it is unlikely this short burst of relief is related to the volcanic activity experienced so far this year, if the volcanologists are correct, then this could be the trend for July and August, which would lead to damaging flooding and poor crop growth in my area.  Just something to think about.

The Legend of Jesse James

As a Missourian, I have always wondered why Missourians seem enamored on the legend of the Outlaw Jesse James.  If you ask a Missourian about Jesse James you will learn that he was a Missourian and that begins and ends the factual information.  Because for some reasons Missourians appear to be taught that Jesse James was a man of the people.

Even I was given this sanitized heroic portrait of the outlaw when I went to junior high.  I remember thinking that if he was such a good guy, then why did everyone think they were better off with him dead… And the answer is; because the world was better off with him dead.

Oh the blasphemy!  However, Jesse James is more legend than reality in this state and he was definitely not heroic or a man of the people, unless the people were willing to hand over their hard earned cash to him.

To be fair, part of Jesse James’ legacy comes from our being a border state during the Civil War.  We didn’t officially succeed with the rest of the Confederacy, but we were mostly sympathetic state to the Confederate cause.  James fought for the Confederacy which earned him leeway with the general public of Missouri.

Both Jesse and his brother Frank joined a guerrilla force known as Bushwhackers.  The Bushwackers raided Union depots and plundered houses of Union Sympathizers.  And they killed a lot of Union troops and Union Sympathizers.  I live in Columbia, Missouri and about 15 miles north of me is a small town (maybe 3,000 people) called Centralia.  There is a notable Civil Monument in Centralia commemorating a massacre that happened there.

Twenty-Four unarmed Union soldiers were captured executed there which lead to a battle and things just got bloodier as it went.  The Bushwackers were involved in both the massacre and the ensuing battle, which the Union army lost… However, more importantly for this post, Jesse and Frank James were among the Bushwackers there for both the massacre and the battle.

As a Missourian with a history degree one of the things we are taught is that the Bushwackers weren’t picky about who they killed.  They were just as likely to kill a Union Sympathizer as a Union Soldier.  A harsh and cruel stance considering we remained part of the Union and Mid-Missouri where I live is and has been predominately a liberal area for most of its life.

After the Civil War, Jesse James would begin his life as an outlaw, robbing banks, stage coaches, and occasionally rich houses.  He went where the money was.  He originally joined another group of thieves and murderers.  After a failed bank robbery in the northern plains (possibly one of the Dakotas – I don’t remember right off the top of my head), most of the gang was rounded up and hanged.  After the deaths of most of the gang Jesse and Frank James were part of, they formed their own band of outlaws to continue the pillaging…

And they could be incredibly brutal when they wanted to be.  Both Jesse and Frank were wanted men by the 1960s for murder as well as robbery.  It was this that resulted in his death.  He was talking to a member of  his gang when he was shot and killed because the bounty for him was hefty and the law basically wanted Jesse James dead more than alive.

Morbidly, after hearing that Jesse had been killed, a group of townspeople muscled their way into the family home to gawk at the dead outlaw.  The men responsible for the death of Jesse James actually did re-enactments of the murder and death of Jesse James all across the country in theaters.

I have always wondered how an outlaw managed to become a heroic figure in a state where he shed so much blood.  The world works in strange ways…

No Light

One of my migraine triggers is a lack of natural light.  I had a lot of problems with that when I worked in a cube farm.  My cube was tucked away in a corner where there were no windows.  Most days I felt a little off.  It took me a long time to figure it out, but essentially, a lack of natural light screws with my brain and it’s ability to tell time and will trigger a migraine.

If I spend all day downstairs at my house, I have a similar problem.  Which got me thinking, how many problems would exist for people like me if they were living in an underground city?  A city like Derinkuyu…

Derinkuyu is not the only subterranean city we have discovered, just the largest.  Located in Turkey, Derinkuyu is an architectural wonder.  It has five levels; a wine press, an oil press, areas for livestock, and can hold about 20,000 people.  There is a five mile tunnel that connects it to another underground city, Kaymakli.

Interestingly, the province of Turkey where Derinkuyu was built contains around 300 subterranean cities of varying sizes.  It was basically a sunken fortress.  There are doors on each of the five levels that can only be opened or closed from the outside, and the same door system is found at the main entrance to the city.  No one really knows when or why or how Derinkuyu was built.

The working theory is that they were built by the Phrygians during early Roman times to protect the Greek Phrygians from Romans and Asian raiding parties.  Phrygians were Greeks that had moved into Turkey during the days of Greek conquest in the 10th century BCE and intermarried with the Turkish natives already there.  History has largely ignored the Phrygians because the ancient peoples didn’t contribute much to early civilizations in the way that the Egyptians, Romans, or Sumerians did.

However, while Derinkuyu may not be the hanging Gardens of Babylon or the Great Pyramid, it is a wonder of the ancient world and the Phrygians got shafted for their contributions to early civilization simply because their masterpieces weren’t pointing skyward.

If you find yourself in Turkey, Gobekli Tepe is only 300 miles from Derinkuyu, and a large number of the underground cities including Derinkuyu and Kaymakli are open to the public for viewing.

2,718 Drafts

About once a year, I go through WordPress and clean out the draft blog posts.  There are usually about a hundred or so, because sometimes I start them and then get distracted in one way or another, so I save them to be finished for later.

I decided on Sunday to check my drafts and see if there was anything salvageable.  I had nearly 3,000 of them.  Good lord!

Some are drafts that I ended up writing a different post about and haven’t deleted.  Some I started and lost interest in.  Some I started and became befuddled while writing and that happens more than I like to admit.

I kept 9 of the 2,718 drafts.  Then I stared at the drafts and wondered what I was trying to talk about when I started them and realized I couldn’t remember but one of them and I still am not sure where I was going with it.  It had to do with radiocarbon dating and Gobekli Tepe and archaeological site that makes historians scratch their heads, because best guess, it was built around 12,000 years ago and frankly, that shouldn’t be possible.

To put that into perspective, Gobekli Tepe was an ancient wonder when the Great Pyramid was built.  It predates Sumer, the first known civilization by about 8,000 years or so.

The biggest problem with Gobekli Tepe is that it shouldn’t exist.  Massive construction projects like the monolithic site at Gobekli Tepe require some form of civilization, because there has to be a system in place to feed those working on the monoliths and that requires agriculture.  Unfortunately for history, archaeology, and anthropology, Gobekli Tepe predates our understanding of when farming started.  In other words, it would have been built by a hunter gatherer society and that seems like an impossibility.

On top of that, my own personal opinion of Gobekli Tepe is that it might be older, because we dated it using radiocarbon dating of tools found at the site and well, I just don’t put much faith in radiocarbon dating anymore… and with two volcanic eruptions happening in the last month and a half, I read an article about volcanoes emitting radioactive materials into the air.. Which is another blog post, for another day, after I have done more research because I had never heard of volcanoes emitting radioactive materials.

 

 

Voynich Manuscript

Theoretically, the Zodiac Ciphers are the least crackable codes ever written and no one is quite sure why.  If you don’t keep up with serial killer trivia, the serial killer known as Zodiac sent several codes with his missives about his kills to the press as well as his taunts to the police.

Since, most of them have not been solved, a lot of professional code breakers think they are probably just nonsense.  Which might be true.  Unless something happens that allows us to solve them, we will never be sure if they are actually nonsense or just an insanely well made puzzle.

Enter the Voynich Manuscript.

Like the Zodiac ciphers, it might be absolute nonsense.  If so, someone was very, very, very, very, very bored.  The vellum the manuscript is written on dates to about the 15th century, maybe.  It was named after the guy who bought the manuscript before WWII.  The buyer was a book dealer in Poland.

I point out the providence as well as the boredom factor because both of these things are important to know.  The Voynich Manuscript is a massive codex of something, possibly plants.  For the non-historians, a codex is a giant book of considerable age and by giant I don’t just mean it has a lot of pages, they are usually very tall and very wide, at the time it was very practical since all books were handwritten out or copied.  There are several famous codexes still in existence, but I believe the Voynich Manuscript is the most recent one found.

The Voynich Manuscript is filled with illustrations, mostly of plants, and contains a massive amount of text… In a language that no one can decipher.  That’s where the very bored part comes in.  If the Voynich Manuscript is a hoax, it was a very elaborate hoax.  Someone would have had to take the time to invent a fake language and then write an entire codex, complete with amazing illustrations in said fake language.

Based on what we know about other codexes from the 15th century, we can estimate how long the Voynich Manuscript probably took the creator and we are talking a lifetime worth of work.

And Now For Another Word from Mother Nature

As Kilauea continues to increase the size of Hawaii, another volcano has erupted.  On Sunday, Mt. Fuego decided to blow it’s top.  Unlike, Kilauea, Fuego killed several dozen people in it’s explosive eruption.

It’s pretty rare for two volcanoes to suffer explosive eruptions in the same year.  Normally, there’s one big eruption followed by several years of silence from the world’s active volcanoes.

However, it’s going to be a weird year.  There was an EF3/EF4 tornado in Wyoming also over the weekend, which doesn’t happen but about every 30 years.  Also, there’s a geyser eruption going on in Yellowstone that has been happening since Kilauea began belching smoke in early May…  All while Ol’ Faithful is getting less faithful.

More later on those things, I need to do some more research.

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