Category Archives: WORLD

An Underground City Full Of Giant Skeletons Discovered In The Grand Canyon

An Underground City Full Of Giant Skeletons Discovered In The Grand Canyon

In the early 20th century, chance led us to the gates of the underground city of giants best known in those days. It was an amazing discovery in the Grand Canyon and the press soon echoed.

The Grand Canyon was the birthplace of a culture in which people of Cyclopean proportions existed according to an article published in the Gazeta de Arizona on April 5, 1909.  A civilization that only left us some structures as a testimony of its existence. 

The article mentions the discovery of a huge subterranean citadel by an explorer named GE Kinkaid, who accidentally found it while rafting on the Colorado River. It is worth mentioning that Kinkaid was a recognized archaeologist and had the financial support of the Smithsonian Institution.

According to their descriptions, the entrance to this mysterious city was at the end of a tunnel that extended for something more than 1600 meters underground.

Kinkaid was impressed that the cavern was almost inaccessible. The entrance was about 450 meters under the wall of the steep canyon. The place was in a zone protected by the government and the access was penalized under fine.

“Above a shelf that could not be seen from the river was the entrance to the cave. When I saw the chisel marks on the wall inside the entrance, I got interested, I got my gun and I went in. “Kinkaid said.

The architecture found suggested that the builders of that subterranean city possessed advanced engineering skills.

The central axis of the underground city made it a gigantic camera from which radiated passages similar to the radii of a wheel. The walls of the main chamber were adorned with copper weapons and tablets covered with symbols and hieroglyphic characters very similar to those we know in Egypt.

Another interesting finding was the discovery of mummified bodies inside the citadel. None of the mummies found were less than 2.74 meters and all were wrapped in dark linen. Kinkaid said he had taken photographs of one of them with a flashlight, however, none of those photos were found.

Further explorations revealed interesting data on the beliefs of these alleged giants of the city.

More than 30 meters from the entrance is a room with a cross-shaped plant several tens of meters long and where an idol was found that could have been the main god of his religious system.

He was sitting cross-legged and with a lotus or lily flower in each hand. His face had oriental features as well as the carving of the cave. This idol had a certain resemblance to Buddha, although the scientists of the time did not finish assuring that it represented that religious cult.

The article also talks about the discovery of ceramics and other artifacts with trademarks having been manufactured in other parts of the world. Perhaps a rare mixture of cultures that scarcely occurs in archaeological finds, so this discovery would be of unprecedented importance.

The last camera they found on the exploration was what Kinkaid and his partner, Professor SA Jordan, a ceremonial crypt, believed to be at the end of the great hall where they found the mummies.

Unfortunately, the article does not give many more details about this discovery. Nor are there any official versions or references to this enigmatic subterranean city. The Smithsonian Institute denies having knowledge of the existence of this underground city.

Newgrange: The Massive Irish Tomb That’s Older Than The Pyramids

Newgrange: The Massive Irish Tomb That’s Older Than The Pyramids

Yep, 5,000 years. That’s older than Stonehenge. It’s older than the great Egyptian pyramids, too. And five millennia later, it hasn’t lost any of its wonders.

Newgrange was built around 3200 B.C. — hundreds of years before the Great Pyramid of Giza (2500 B.C.) and Stonehenge (3000 B.C.).

The massive hemispherical tomb is located in the Brú na Bóinne – Gaelic for the “palace” or “mansion” of the River Boyne. This 3-square mile area contains nearly a hundred ancient monuments, including two other large tombs, in addition, Newgrange, Knowth and Dowth.

A map of megalithic monuments in the Brú na Bóinne

Arriving at the iconic tomb is a wow-moment, to say the least. Standing outside the 80-meter mound, shored up with spiral-engraved kerbstones and topped with white Wicklow quartzite, a guide reveals the myths and history behind the monument. Newgrange could have been designed as a tomb or a temple – in reality, nobody knows which. The truth will be shrouded in mystery forever.

Let there be light…

Once the scene has been set for you as a visitor, you’ll step inside the passage tomb itself, squeezing through standing stones carved with spiraling rock art and graffiti dating back to the 1800s (before Newgrange was taken into State care).

Ducking under beams of wood, you’ll emerge into the cool confines of a cruciform-shaped chamber like a stony igloo squirreled away within a hill.

The engraved stone at the entrance to Newgrange.

This inner sanctum is where a lucky few (chosen by lottery from thousands of applicants annually) huddle together to witness the annual winter solstice illumination.

The illuminated inner corridor of Newgrange.

At this moment, when megalithic engineering and nature lock sensationally into sync, a shaft of light can be seen snaking 19 meters up the passageway, ultimately bathing the chamber in light. There are goosebumps, to say the least…

If you’re not one of the lucky ones, don’t fret. All visitors are treated to a simulated solstice, with an orange beam of light artificially showcasing the effect. It’s a tantalizing little taster – little wonder legend suggests that this was the site where mythological hero Cú Chulainn was Born.

Subterranean secrets…

A young girl stands in front of the entrance to Newgrange in about 1905

Newgrange isn’t the only passage tomb in Ireland, of course. In fact, it’s not the only passage tomb at Brú na Bóinne. Together with nearby Knowth and Dowth, Newgrange has declared a Unesco World Heritage Site in 1993. Not bad for a site that once looked destined to become a quarry!

Not far away, near Oldcastle, County Meath, you’ll find a lesser-known cluster of passage tombs. Spotted around a handful of hills at Loughcrew are several cairns also dating from around 3,200BC. Because they’re more obscure and harder to get to, the Indiana Jones effect is all the more titillating.

If you get the sense that you’re being watched here, you may well be right. Some 60km away, atop of Slieve Gillian in County Armagh, the passage of another tomb points directly back towards Loughcrew.

Slieve Gillian’s two cairns lie on either side of a summit lake, with the southern tomb said to have a winter solstice alignment at sunset. On a good day, the views stretch as far as Dublin Bay.

Petrified Opal Tree Trunk Situated In Arizona Its About 225 Million Years Old

Petrified Opal Tree Trunk Situated In Arizona Its About 225 Million Years Old

What happened to the wood that made it that way in the beautiful petrified trees in the forests of Arizona? They believe that petrified wood is so old that in the prehistoric period it has emerged. But do you know how petrified wood was made? This guide will show you how. What is petrified wood and how is it formed?

Fossil wood is considered to have grown when the material of the plant is buried by sediment. When the wood is buried deep in the muck, it is protected from decay caused by exposure to oxygen and organisms.

Because the wood is stored in deep water, the minerals in the groundwater flow through the sediment, replacing the original plant material such as silica, calcite, and pyrite.

Even very expensive minerals can infiltrate wood-like opal. The result is a fossil made from the original woody material, which often shows preserved details of tree bark, wood, and cellular structures.

This is probably the most popular petrified park in the world. The Petrified Forest National Park near Holbrook in northeastern Arizona has established millions of years ago. About 225 million years ago, this was simply a lowland with a tropical climate with a dense forest.

Rivers made by tropical rainstorms washed mud and other sediments. This was where you would find giant coniferous trees 9 feet in diameter and towering 200 feet lived and died.

Fallen trees and broken branches from these trees were buried by rich river sediments. Meanwhile, volcanoes nearby erupted numerous times and the ash and silica from these eruptions buried the area.

Eruptions caused large dense clouds of ash that buried the area and this quick cover prevented anything from escaping and of course, nothing can also move in, even oxygen and insects. In time, the soluble ash was dissolved by groundwater through the sediments. The dissolved ash became the source of silica that replaced the plant debris.

This silication process creates petrified wood. Aside from silica, trace amounts of iron, manganese and other minerals also penetrated the wood and this gave petrified wood a variety of colors. This is how the lovely Chinle Formation was made.

So how was this area discovered? Millions of years after the Chinle Formation were created, the entire area was dug and the rocks found on top of Chinle have eroded away.

What was discovered was wood here was much harder and resistant to weathering compared to the mudrocks and ash deposits in Chinle. Wood that was taken from the ground surface as nearby mudrocks and ash layers washed away.

Petrified Forest National Park is another world-class tourist site in the area, straddling Interstate 10 about 70 or 80 miles east of Meteor Crater.

The park covers 146 square miles.   It’s dry and often windy, but the elevation of 5400 feet means that it’s not as hot as desert areas at lower altitudes, and it’s mostly covered in the grass rather than cacti and other desert plants.

Of course, the big attraction here is the petrified trees, which grew here about 225 million years ago when this part of Arizona was at a much lower elevation near the shores of a large sea to the west.

As well as the trees, many fossilized animals such as clams, freshwater snails, giant amphibians, crocodile-like reptiles, and early dinosaurs have been found here.

At times volcanic ash was deposited on fallen trees in the forest here, and silica in the ash was dissolved by water and entered the trees, fossilizing them.

The silica in the logs crystallized into quartz, but often iron oxide and other minerals were mixed in, producing extraordinarily beautiful kaleidoscopic patterns and colors.

The petrified trees are often so attractive that a whole industry grew up around hauling them out from where they lay and cutting them up to make decorative furniture, wall displays, bookends, and other items. Theft from the park has always been a problem, and it’s estimated that around 12 tons of fossilized wood are stolen each year.

Excavation of Elite’s Tomb in China Reveals Sport of Donkey Polo

Excavation of Elite’s Tomb in China Reveals Sport of Donkey Polo

Legend tells the story of loyal horses, whereas it relegates their equine cousins, the donkeys, to the role of mere pack animals. But a new analysis of bones buried with a ninth-century Chinese noblewoman may help raise the status of the lowly ass: It may have served as her steed during polo matches in the royal court.

Cui Shi’s tomb with animal bones revealing evidence of the ancient Chinese nobles playing donkey polo. Inset: A skull of one of Cui Shi’s donkeys.

Sandra Olsen, an archeologist at the Kansas University of Lawrences, a museum of natural history who was not involved with the work said, “It’s about the time that donkeys get their proper recognition. She calls the new finding of their role in ancient sports “particularly exciting.”

The bricked-in tomb of a woman named Cui Shi, who, according to official records, died at 59 years of age on 6 October 878 C.E, a team of Chinese archaeologists from the ancient capital of the Tang Dynasty, Xi’an, excavated in 2012.

Left: map of the region of China where the tomb was found in Xi’an. Right: The epitaph from the tomb, confirming it is Cui Shi’s.

Murals on her tomb walls of workers preparing a sumptuous feast suggest she was of high status. Although looters had ransacked the tomb, they left behind a bevy of animal bones, including those of at least three donkeys.

Donkeys would have been a common sight in Xi’an in the ninth century. The bustling Tang capital was the eastern terminus of the Silk Road trade route, and donkeys were frequently used as pack animals.

But humble beasts of burden aren’t usually buried alongside elite members of society, says study co-author Fiona Marshall, an anthropologist at Washington University in St. Louis. “Donkeys … are not associated with high-status people,” Marshall says. “They were animals used by ordinary folk.”

A donkey skull was found inside the tomb of a ninth-century noblewoman from present-day Xi’an, China.

One hint to why they were in Cui’s tomb, she says, may lie in the identity of her husband, Bao Gao. Ancient texts reveal that the polo-obsessed Emperor Xizong promoted Bao to the rank of general because of his skills on the polo fields.

Polo was wildly popular during the Tang dynasty—for both women and men—but it was also dangerous; riders thrown from their horses were frequently injured or killed. If a woman like Cui wanted to join a game, then riding a donkey—slower, steadier, and lower to the ground—might have been a safer alternative.

Polo was a popular pastime for women and men in China’s Tang dynasty, as seen by this figure of a woman playing polo on a horse.

When the researchers, led by archaeologist Songmei Hu of the Shaanxi Provincial Institute of Archaeology, analyzed the size of the donkey bones in Cui’s tomb, they found that they were too small to have been good pack animals.

Computerized tomography scans of the leg bones revealed patterns of stress similar to an animal that ran and turned frequently, rather than one that slowly trudged in a single direction. Taken together, the evidence suggests Cui played polo astride a donkey, the researchers report today in Antiquity. The noblewoman’s donkeys may have been ritually sacrificed when she died to allow Cui to continue to play in the afterlife.

“There’s no smoking gun … [but] there’s really no other explanation that makes sense,” Marshall says, adding that the finding suggests Tang dynasty donkeys were held in higher regard than believed.

William Taylor, an anthropologist at the University of Colorado, Boulder, who studies human-animal relationships, agrees the donkeys in the tomb were not simple pack animals.

But although polo-playing is one plausible explanation, he says, the biomechanical stress patterns may also match other activities, such as pulling a cart or milling grain. Still, if the researchers are right, Olsen says, “it is doubly rewarding than another underdog in ancient history, women’s sports, is also [getting credit].”