Thursday, January 31, 2008

Surprise Egypt Tombs Yield Ornate Coffins, Dog Mummies

Four ancient tombs containing well-preserved mummies, ornate painted coffins, and mummified dogs have been unearthed in El Faiyum, an oasis about 50 miles (80 kilometers) southwest of Cairo.

A female mummy was found wearing a gold mask, a rare treasure on the site known as the necropolis of Deir el-Banat. The funeral complex is a frequent target for the current grave robbers and had been thought plundered its riches.

"An important point is that these mummies are almost unaffected," said Galina A. Belova, a Russian Egyptologist, led the excavation.

"There are not so many [good condition] mummies in El Faiyum at this moment. They are very rare."

In a separate grave, discovered the first excavator completely intact mummy ever found in the necropolis.

The team of American and Russian archaeologists stumbled upon the burials as part of the routine work in a section of the cemetery, which was used from the early fourth century BC In the seventh century AD

Some 150 other tombs from different eras and dozens of poorly-preserved mummies have been excavated, although most of the tombs were plundered during a rash of robberies in the 20th Century.

Zahi Hawass, Secretary General of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities, that some of the newly discovered ruins are still the best, from the Ptolemaic period, the range of Greek domination began shortly after the conquest of Egypt by Alexander the Great in 332 BC

"A mummy was beautiful gold, and another is in very good condition," said Hawass, which is also a National Geographic Explorer-in-residence. "They show some of the best examples of mummies from that time." (The National Geographic Society has National Geographic News.)

Archaeologists also found a strange funeral at the edge of the area with the nonmummified remains of a child and a group of mummified dogs, a grave unlike any other so far in Egypt.

The four best preserved and largest of the newfound tombs contained human-shaped coffins that were mostly intact.

Some showed slight damage near the feet, probably the result of ancient robbers rummaging for riches, experts said.

The coffins' exteriors were inscribed with verses and pictures from the old Egytpian Book of the Dead, the Salima Ikram, an Egyptologist at the American University in Cairo (AUC), said that was standard decoration "to help you get out of this world in the next. "

Three of the coffins were made of wood and were parallel. A smaller fourth coffin probability of a child-was made of papyrus or a similar material, and was at a slightly different angle.

The joint funeral have belonged to a single family, experts said, adding that it is rare to find coffins at different orientations in the region.

Inside two of the coffins, mummies were in the head and legs with colorful papier-cardboard material as often plastered mummified body and decorated.

One of the mummies bore a painted cartonnage mask in gold, as a symbol of eternity.

"It was a very sweet little mask," said Ikram, the X-ray mummies after the discovery.

In a grave nearby, archaeologists found a completely intact mummified woman-the first ever major generations of treasure hunters here.

The archaeologists that they plan to do more research, including facial reconstructions of the mummies to determine their origin.


Thievery has damaged almost all the tombs in Deir el-Banat, making it hard for experts to know what the graves looked like in antiquity.

"The robbers come in regularly, so it is quite unusual to get intact burials," said Ikram of AUC.

As a measure of how widespread the crime is, the excavations even turned up some contemporary digging tools, which were probably stashed away by frightened thieves who left hastily.

The shallowness of the tombs—some of which are no more than a meter below the surface—makes them particularly attractive for looters.

"Robbers have always investigated cemeteries since the ancient times," Belova, the Russian archaeologist, said. "We have a lot of robbers who want to have a lot of gold."

The newly unearthed tombs may have been spared because of their relatively simple exteriors. Belova said her team had to rapidly document and remove the items because of security concerns.

She also said she hoped the discovery would change Deir el-Banat's reputation as a site that has been looted clean.

"It looks like a robbed area, but robbers cannot do a systematic study of a cemetery," she said. "That's why we still have a lot of chances to find something new here."

Mummified Dogs

One of the strangest discoveries made at the site was the nonmummified body of a child buried with several mummified dogs.

The human remains, which were naturally mummified by the arid climate, were partially covered in a sack, its lower half surrounded by crudely mummified canines ranging from puppies to fully mature animals.

"They are put in any which way, with no real sense of orientation," said AUC's Ikram, an animal mummy expert.

Ancient Egyptians were known to keep domesticated pets and sometimes were buried with them.

Other animals were included in burials as part of a religious ritual, but this find is unlike any that has been documented, he said.

"The kind of deposit [of animals] you have here is neither like a sacred deposit [nor] like a pet deposit," Ikram said.

"It really is a very interesting new page in the archaeology of humans and animals in Egypt."

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Spirit, Mind & Body : No Self

A key component of the New Age which many people prescribe to is the belief that our planet and its population are literally moving into a New Age. This New Age is one of awakened consciousness where people give up their limited third-dimensional survival mode of existence and awaken to a higher, more enlightened world.
This coming New Age is an era of harmony, progress, knowing, and enlightenment.

Andrew Lutts

Introduction: basic concepts

* Spirit
Animation or a key principle kept to life physical organisms, or the intangible intelligent sentient part of a person

The intangible nature, animating principle, or cause the exercise of an individual life, the spiritual principle embodied in human beings, all rational and spiritual beings, or the universe

The element or complex elements in the view that an individual perceives, thinks, wants, and above all, for reasons the conscious mental events and functions in the organism, which organized conscious and unconscious mental activity an adaptive organism

About or complexes or with complete systems rather than with the analysis, treatment, or cutting into parts (holistic medicine attempts to both the mind and the body)

The New Age Movement

The New Age movement means different things for different people.
But almost all the New Age topics have a basic underlying theme:
Personal spiritual development. Every day there are thousands and thousands of people around the world who are waking up to the knowledge, understanding and recognition of who they really are, where they came from and why they are here. This collective transformation of individuals can be described as the New Age movement. As a whole, the New Age movement is dynamic, fast growing and gaining momentum. The New Age movement is the framework and the tools to help people with their own personal growth and spiritual development.

The New Age movement itself is a little paradoxical, because the organization in a kind of "movement" could serve as contrary to the principles of individual spiritual development. Therefore, there is some confusion about the meaning of the New Age, because it may mean that different things to people. But that's okay. It is important that each individual starting gun for their own way of learning, adventure and discovery.

New Age and metaphysics

The New Age is closely linked with some of the concepts defined in the branch of philosophy commonly known as metaphysics. Although the academic branch of metaphysics is very concerned about the nature of ultimate reality, popular themes often metaphysical discussion and analysis of issues beyond the physical third dimension. Some examples of the metaphysical topics include: energy, the experience of the body, UFOs, psychic phenomenon, alternative healing, and other issues that our conventional science find difficult to explain.
New Age and religion

While it may be spiritual, the New Age is far from a formal religion. In fact, many New Agers rather shy away from the structure and traditional religious practices. But at the same time, the New Age and can be intensely spiritual. The New Age person often prefer a direct spiritual experience and not as an organized religion.

All religions are essentially cultural institutions, which the cultures, which are manifest. This growth in the number of people exploring New Age topics would suggest that as individuals and as a society, we are prepared to alternative explanations of who we are. The New Age is simply a way to choose the path of spiritual growth. It plays a role that small label, we are on the way, because at the end of all paths eventually converge at the same location. Everyone is in search of the eternal truths of life on some of the most difficult issues, it is simply the way that people will choose to have their own search, which is different. One reason the New Age Trail is popular is that there is more to the ultimate truth itself, rather than the process, as they come.

Common New Age beliefs

Here is an unofficial list of the conviction that some people in New Age May have in common:

1 Create your own reality and destiny. This is a planet of free choice, and you have your own free will.

2 They have some challenges to face in this life to be overcome. If you do not learn your lessons, this time, you'll get them again.

3 There is no such thing as coincidence.

4 There is more to life than meets the eye, much more.

5 Nothing really counts in this life, unless it is done for the benefit of others.

6 We are not alone.

7 We are multidimensional beings with a human experience.

8 We are all more help, as we know, angels, spirit guides, rose masters, and others.

9 We can heal ourselves, our society and our world.

10 The ultimate transformation for humanity is Ascension.

New Age Tools

A study of the instruments of the New Ager can help to the task in hand. A person may also crystals, candles, incense, tarot, runes, spherical, body work, meditation, muscle building and chants, drums and more. These tools can help a person on whom in various states of consciousness, and ultimately help a person in itself to watch for in the understanding and awareness. One reason that there are so many different tools to support the New Ager is that different people have different values in each instrument. For many, the tarot works well. Others, such as crystals. Others meditate or channel. It plays a role in how to achieve something greater understanding and wisdom. What is the most important thing is that an attempt is made to overcome our limitations and try to a higher good.

Free will versus Destiny

This philosophical question is one of the more curious contradictions in the study of metaphysics and free will:

Metaphysicians Some would argue that a rational universe is always based on cause and effect. This means that any effect is a cause, all the way back to the first cause, namely God or the Divine.

On the other hand, the act of pure, genuine and free will not cause is somehow to deny the divine rational order and make the universe appear irrational.

My interpretation: Although some things may occur in one's life that may destiny, we have free will. This is important. And as time goes by, our ability to things and situations manifest will be accelerated so fast that we see that we can create and manifest results quickly and easily. For me, if we can make such changes, which means that we have, in fact, the free will.

New Age and science

Many people feel that the new era is simply not thinking rationally. Traditional models often include scientific observation, analysis, test and measurement technology. Often, these things are not easy to metaphysical and paranormal phenomena. So how can anyone believe in something they can not even see, measure, quantify and analyze?

It is a question of faith, and often a deep inner knowledge. It is intuition and trust. They are listening. It is a whole series of things that are not currently within the scope of accepted scientific thought.

The important thing to remember is that the new era of faith not reject science. Modern science has tremendous good to our society in many ways. New age beliefs extend beyond simply accepted thinking in the exploration and search for life's eternal truths.

Source: Andrew Lutts

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Evidence of Huge Planetary Collision Found

Astronomers may have discovered the aftermath of a collision between a Saturn-size planet and a smaller world, perhaps the size of Uranus, some 170 light-years away.

Scientists made the find while studying the larger planet, which orbits a small, dim star in the constellation Centaurus.

The planets were puzzled experts because the brightness and temperature not match what is known as the objects to be developed.

"It is either too dark or it is too hot," said Eric Mamajek of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

The planet-star system is only eight million years old, an age at which planets are still in the form, he said.

The world can with the remaining glowing heat of a mammoth collision with another protoplanet, Mamajek.

Such a collision would leave the planet unusually hot for many years, he said.

"We do not see the actual collision right now," said Mamajek.

"We see this long drawn-out period after the collision, about a hundred thousand years in which this thing would be very hot."

Mamajek discussed his findings yesterday at a meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Austin, Texas.

The discovery is exciting, because when our own solar system was young, at least three planets Uranus, Venus, Earth and are believed to have been smacked by large protoplanets.

"This could be the first evidence that this happens to another object in another solar system," said Mamajek.

The theory can not be confirmed, but astronomers can detailed observations of the distant planet atmosphere.

"It's very weak," said Mamajek. "And even the largest telescopes we have now really struggle to collect enough light."

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Large Ancient Settlement Unearthed in Puerto Rico

Bodies, structures, and rock art thought to belong to an indigenous pre-Columbian culture have been unearthed at an ancient settlement in Puerto Rico, officials recently announced.

Archaeologists say the complex—which dates from A.D. 600 to 1500—could be the most significant of its kind in the Caribbean.

"This is a very well-preserved," said Aida Belén Ruiz-Rivera, director of Puerto Rico's State Office of Historic Preservation.

"The site appears to show two professions: a pre-Taino and a Taino settlement."

The Taino are intended as a subgroup of the Arawak Indians, emigrated to the Caribbean from Mexico or South America hundreds of years, say experts.

They were among the first tribes to meet Europeans.

Huge Plaza

The ancient settlement was discovered Taino Puerto Rico in the south (see map).
Archaeologists have known since 1985 that the area contained Indian artifacts.

But the extent of the site became clear only recently, when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers with the construction of a new dam, to protect the region from flooding.

Perhaps the most significant find is a large space with an area of approximately 130 by 160 feet (40 to 50 meters).

Rivera-Ruiz said the plaza appears to be a batey, a rectangular area around which the Taino built their settlements.

The plaza, which contains stones etched with ancient petroglyphs, might have been a court used for ceremonial rituals or ball games.

"If this information is confirmed, it would be the largest known local batey in the Caribbean," said Ruiz-Rivera.

Roberto Mucaro Borrero, a representative of the United Confederation of Taino People, agreed.

The site "could be the largest area of ancient Taino culture not only in Puerto Rico but throughout the Caribbean," said Borrero.

And petroglyphs male figure with a frog leg could prove particularly important for the understanding of cultural roots, he added.

"They were able to show evidence of a direct link between the Taino and the Mayan peoples," he said, although other experts strongly refute that the two cultures are related.

Storm of controversy

Confusion and criticism are already in the middle of swirling excitement over the results.

Initial reports on the number of bodies in graves at the site indicate that the people were buried in a unique position.

The corpses were "buried with the legs bent at the knees-a style never before in the region," the Associated Press reported.

But Miguel Rodriguez, a member of the Puerto Rican government archaeological council, said the burial position is not unknown in the region.

Kit Wesler, a Taino expert at Murray State University in Kentucky, also said that the "position is unusual, but probably not unprecedented."

Rivera-Ruiz of the state preservation office said that any claims about the uniqueness of the burial arrangements must await a full excavation and study of all objects funerary art.

Meanwhile, the US-New South Associates, a private archaeology firm commissioned by the Corps of Engineers to save, the site at the centre of controversy over their excavation methods.

According to AP, the company had originally with a bulldozer, which cause damage to centuries-old bones.

The members of the Taino, on Saturday visited the dig "Witness damage to the site, especially on some human remains and stones", was apparently by a backhoe, Taino representative said Borrero.

Rodriguez was convinced that the company should be drawn from the project.

"This is a perfect example of what they should not do," he said. "They are usually associated with graves and bulldozers, and they must stop."

Rodriguez also accused the company of Puerto Rican law by failing to register artefacts, which he proposed on the island.

"They have not said what about the materials, so that they do not follow the rules," he said.

An official from New South Associates, said the Corps does not allow the press to answer questions.

But Rivera-Ruiz, Puerto Rico's historic preservation office, defended the Corps and its contractors.

"The contractor was originally developed by the Corps of Engineers, a salvage data recovery on a site that primarily to fail," she said by e-mail.

"Once the conservation was an option, the amount and type of invasive project has been postponed in favour of the more low-key, less intrusive hand excavation already suspended functions."

About 80 percent of the site will remain intact, Rivera-Ruiz added, so that, for the long-term preservation of most of the site.

It added that Puerto Rico's State Historic Preservation Office, the company has overlooked the operation, and the parties are complying with the law.

And Corps spokesman said David McCullough National Geographic News by e-mail that his agency stands behind New South Associates and revising their plans based on the new findings.

"If the Corps recognized the extreme importance of this location," he said, "we redesigned the parts of the dam project, the largest negative impact on the site."