Why is Nikola Tesla obsessed with Egyptian pyramids?

Why is Nikola Tesla obsessed with Egyptian pyramids?

Nikola Tesla died somewhat unappreciated but his fame and the myth around him has continued to grow tremendously into our times. He is now perceived as the ultimate mad scientist, the one who essentially invented our times, credited with key ideas leading to smartphones, wi-fi, AC electrical supply system, and more.

Besides ideas that Tesla implemented and patented, he also had many other interests in different fields of research, some quite esoteric.

One of the most unusual was his preoccupation with Egyptian pyramids, one of humanity’s most mysterious and magnificent constructions.

Tesla believed they served a higher purpose and was investigating them throughout his life. What did he find so alluring about the pyramids? He wondered if they weren’t giant transmitters of energy – a thought that coincided with his investigation into how to send energy wirelessly.

In 1905, Tesla filed a patent in the U.S. titled “The art of transmitting electrical energy through the natural medium,” outlining designs for a series of generators around the world that would tap the ionosphere for energy collections.

He saw planet Earth itself, with its two poles, as a giant electrical generator of limitless energy. His triangle-shaped design became known as Tesla’s electromagnetic pyramid.

Tesla sitting in his Colorado Springs laboratory…1899

“The day science begins to study non-physical phenomena, it will make more progress in one decade than in all the previous centuries of its existence,” said Tesla.

It wasn’t just the shape of the Egyptian pyramids but their location that created their power, according to Tesla. He built a tower facility known as the Tesla Experimental Station in Colorado Springs and Wardenclyffe Tower or Tesla Tower on the East Coast that sought to take advantage of the Earth’s energy field.

The locations were chosen according to the laws of where the Pyramids of Giza were built, related to the relationship between the elliptical orbit of the planet and the equator. The design was intended for wireless transmission of energy.

Wardenclyffe Tower. 1904.

Were the Great Pyramids essentially ancient Tesla Towers? How the Pyramids were made:


Another aspect of Tesla’s thinking is reportedly related to numerology.

Tesla was, by many accounts, an unusual individual, with obsessive qualities. One such obsession was the numbers “3,6,9”, which he believed were the key to the universe.

He would drive around buildings 3 times before going in or staying in hotels with numbers divisible by 3.

He made other choices in sets of 3. Some belief Tesla’s obsession with these numbers connected to his preference for pyramidal shapes and the belief that there was some fundamental mathematical law and ratios that are part of a universal math language. 

As we don’t know precisely how the pyramids were built and why they are looked at by some as creations that may be either generating energy or be serving as deliberately installed messengers or even code from an ancient civilization.

It’s easy to get into “ancient aliens” type of theories by extending such thinking. If you’re up for such an approach, check out this video:

Nikola Tesla – Limitless Energy & the Pyramids of Egypt

Giant 7 – 8 Foot Skeletons Uncovered In Ecuador Sent For Scientific Testing

Giant 7 – 8 Foot Skeletons Uncovered In Ecuador Sent For Scientific Testing

Strikingly tall skeletons uncovered in the Ecuador and Peru Amazon region are undergoing examination in Germany, according to a research team headed by British anthropologist Russell Dement. Will these remains prove that a race of tall people existed hundreds of years ago deep in the Amazonian rainforest?

According to a Cuenca news site, since 2013, the team has found half a dozen human skeletons dating to the early 1400s and the mid-1500s, which measure between seven and eight feet (213 to 243 centimetres) in height.

Dement said, “We are very early in our research, and I am only able to provide a general overview of what we have found. I don’t want to make claims based on speculation since our work is ongoing. Because of the size of the skeletons, “this has both anthropological and medical implications,” reports Cuenca Highlife.

Skeletal Remains in Ecuador and Peru

In late 2013 Dement received word that a skeleton had been uncovered by a Shuar local, approximately 70 miles (112 kilometres) from Cuenca, in Loja Province, Ecuador. Dement travelled to the site and recovered a rib cage and skull of a female exposed by flooding. The bones were thought to date to 600 years ago. The rest of the skeleton was located and, once assembled, reportedly measured seven feet, four inches (223.5 centimetres) in height.

This prompted the formation of a research team including four researchers from Freie Universität in Germany and the assistance of Shuar locals. The university provided funding for excavation and investigation.

Recognizing it is a controversial area of research, Dement noted, “Even though I had been working with Freie for many years, I was concerned that they might not give a grant for someone looking for giants. To outsiders, especially scientists, I understand this sounds a little hair-brained. 

“Because of the sensational nature of this, we have to be extremely diligent in our research since it will be met with a great deal of scepticism,” he said.

Within six months of excavations and mapping at two sites: the one outside of Cuenca, and another settlement dating to about 1550, approximately 20 miles (32 kilometres) away on the Ecuadorian-Peruvian border, the team had found five more tall skeletons, as well as artefacts. Dement and colleagues believe that the tribe at the second site had been at the settlement for at least 150 years.

The three complete skeletons and two partial skeletons had no disfiguration and suggested they were relatively healthy.

Dement said, “The skeletons show no signs of diseases such as the hormonal growth problems that are common in most cases of gigantism. In all the skeletons, the joints seemed healthy, and the lung cavity appeared large. One of the skeletons that we have dated was of a female who was about 60 when she died, much older than typical cases of gigantism,” reports Cuenca Highlife.

The burials were elaborate. Bodies were wrapped in leaves and buried in thick clay. This sealed the skeletons and protected them against water intrusion, leaving the remains in reasonably good condition.

Legends Come to Life

It is reported that Dement had previously studied Amazon indigenous communities for more than two decades and had heard the legends of “very tall, pale-skinned people who used to live nearby,” he said. Community elders described Dement as a race of giant, peaceful Amazonians who were welcomed by the indigenous Shuar and Achuar people. However, the locals believed these people belonged to the ‘spirit world’ and were purely mythical.

Real-Life Giants

Since the announcement of this discovery, several reports have vastly exaggerated the dimensions of the finds, with seven feet being reported as seven meters (making them 23 feet tall). The bones have also been erroneously connected with hoax photos and a reconstruction of an “Ecuador Giant,” which was a fake skeleton for a now-closed theme park in Switzerland.

These false reports should not detract from the actual discovery of seven-to-eight-feet skeletal remains in the Ecuadorian and Peruvian rainforest, which are being scientifically studied. While seeming to fit the ancient legends of a mythical race, such skeletons are not unheard of or unproven in scientific literature.

Other such cases of highly tall humans (or “giants”) can easily be referenced, such as Robert Wadlow, known as the “Alton Giant,” cited as the tallest person in recorded history. Wadlow was born in Alton, Illinois, the USA, in 1918, and at his death was eight feet, eleven inches (2.72 meters) tall.

Another of the many cases of modern gigantism include that of Charles Byrne (1761-1783), known as “The Irish Giant,” whose skeleton is now on display at the Royal College of Surgeons of England in London. Measurements of his skeleton measured him at approximately seven feet, seven inches (2.31 meters) tall.

Earlier this year, archaeologists in Bulgaria discovered the remains of what they have described as a “huge skeleton” in downtown Varna, a city on the shores of the Black Sea whose rich culture and civilizations span some 7,000 years. The size of the bones was said to be “impressive” and that they belonged to “a very tall man.”

As such cases exist in history, it stands to reason there were cases of individuals or even communities of people who were seen as “giants” to the ancients.

Results of the reported Freie University research are to be published a year from now, according to Dement, who is said to be examining DNA samples from the Shuar communities near the excavation site to see if they connect with the skeletal remains from the ancient settlement.

Hopefully, the published information will shed light on the people who lived in the Amazonian rainforest hundreds of years ago and how they might have interacted with the Shuar and Achuar peoples, possibly sparking myths and beliefs passed down for generations, resulting in the legend of the Ecuadorian giants.

240,000-year-old ‘Child of Darkness’ human ancestor discovered in narrow cave passageway

240,000-year-old ‘Child of Darkness’ human ancestor discovered in narrow cave passageway

Deep within South Africa’s Rising Star cave system, in a dark passageway barely 6 inches (15 centimeters) wide, scientists have discovered the fragmented skull of a Homo naledi child they’re calling “Leti.” How the little skull ended up in such a remote part of the cave is a mystery, though the discoverers suspect it could be evidence of an intentional burial.

240,000-year-old ‘Child of Darkness’ human ancestor discovered in narrow cave passageway
The reconstructed skull of “Leti,” a young Homo naledi. The skull was found inside a tiny passageway deep within a South African cave, and probably dates back more than 241,000 years.

“Leti,” short for “Letimela,” or “Lost One” in the Setswana language of South Africa, probably lived between 335,000 and 241,000 years ago, based on the ages of other remains found in the enigmatic cave.

Fossil fragments belonging to about 24 Homo naledi individuals have been found in the cave system since 2013, when the first fossils from this human ancestor were discovered in what’s now known as the Dinaledi Chamber. 

The presence of so many individuals from a single species in the cave is mysterious. The only way in is a 39-foot (12 meters) vertical fracture known as “The Chute,” and geologists and spelunkers have so far found no evidence of alternative entrances into the passageways.

Leti’s small skull was found scattered in pieces on a limestone shelf about 2.6 feet (80 cm) above the cave floor. The spot sits in “a spiderweb of cramped passages,” Maropeng Ramalepa, a member of the exploration team, said in a statement. 

Research team members exploring the cave had to squeeze through spaces barely 6 inches (15 cm) wide when exploring the labyrinth of passages where Leti was found.
Teeth from the Homo naledi child “Leti.” The teeth indicate that Leti died around the time of the eruption of the first permanent molars, which would be between the ages of 4 and 6 in modern humans.

A complicated ancestor

The area is barely navigable for experienced spelunkers with modern equipment, according to a new paper published Thursday (Nov. 4) in the journal PaleoAnthropology. There is no evidence that animals carried the H. naledi bones into the cave — there are no gnaw marks or evidence of predation. The bones also appear to have been placed in the cave, not washed in, as they were not found mixed with sediment or other debris. 

That leaves open the possibility that more than 240,000 years ago, human ancestors with orange-size brains deliberately entered a dark, maze-like cave, perhaps through a vertical chute that narrows to 7 inches (18 cm) in places, and placed their dead inside. 

No tools or artifacts have been found alongside the Rising Star cave system fossils. There are few signs of other animals entering the caves, beyond two specimens of juvenile baboons, at least one of which may be much older than the Homo naledi remains. 

This human ancestor lived at the same time as early Homo sapiens, John Hawks, an anthropologist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison who studies the remains, told Live Science in 2017. Their apparent forays into the cave suggest that they were among modern humans’ smarter ancestors, and that they had mastered the use of fire to light their explorations, Hawks said. According to the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, H. naledi walked upright, stood about 4 feet, 9 inches (1.44 m) tall and weighed between 88 and 123 pounds (about 40 and 56 kilograms). 

The new skull — which fits into the palm of a modern human hand — should reveal more about H. naledi’s growth and development. While a few jaw fragments from juveniles have been found in the cave, this is the first time researchers have discovered bones from the skull case, or cranium. They also discovered six teeth.

Bones and teeth

The bones and teeth were found during an exploration of the narrow, twisting passageways around Dinaledi Chamber. Researchers mapped 1,037 feet (316 m) of these passageways, looking for evidence of another way into that chamber and several others nearby where remains have been found. They saw no evidence of another route. 

“Exploration of the narrow passages within the Dinaledi Subsystem involves considerable effort, navigating areas with irregular floors and walls, numerous obstructions and fissures less than 30 cm [11.8 inches] wide,” archaeologist Marina Elliott of Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, Canada, wrote in the PaleoAnthropology paper. 

The researchers did, however, find more fossils in this subterranean maze. These included the second-ever piece of evidence of a juvenile baboon in the cave; a single arm bone probably belonging to H. naledi; a trove of 33 bone fragments that also likely belonged to an H. naledi individual or individuals; and Leti. Details on Leti’s skull were also published Nov. 4 in the journal PaleoAnthropology. 

The partially preserved skull was broken into 28 fragments. When reconstructed, these fragments revealed much of the child’s forehead and some of the top of the head. The teeth consisted of four unworn permanent teeth and two worn baby teeth. Their development and wear indicate that the child was at the age where the first permanent molars were breaking through the gum. In a human child, this would correspond to about 4 to 6 years of age. It’s not known if H. naledi developed faster; if so, Leti may have been younger than 4 when he or she died.

The size of the skull indicates that Leti’s brain had a volume of between 29 and 37 cubic inches (480 and 610 cubic cm) — about 90% to 95% of the brain volume of adults of her species.

“[T]his begins to give us insight into all stages of life of this remarkable species,” Louisiana State University anthropologist Juliet Brophy, who led the study on Leti’s skull, said in the statement.

8,000-year-old female figurine uncovered in central Turkey

8,000-year-old female figurine uncovered in central Turkey

An 8,000-year-old statuette of what could be a fertility goddess has been unearthed at a Neolithic site in Turkey, according to archaeologists.

July 10, 2016 file photo shows a woman figurine uncovered in Konya, Turkey. Scientists have uncovered a rare stone figurine of a woman dating back 8,000 years at an archaeological dig in Turkey's central province of Konya that an expert says is one of only handful of statuettes of the era ever found in one piece. Stanford University Professor Ian Hodder told the AP in an email that the 17 cm (7 inch) figurine, found at the Catalhoyuk site, is unique because it is carved from stone, unlike most which are made from clay.
July 10, 2016 file photo shows a woman figurine uncovered in Konya, Turkey. Scientists have uncovered a rare stone figurine of a woman dating back 8,000 years at an archaeological dig in Turkey’s central province of Konya that an expert says is one of only a handful of statuettes of the era ever found in one piece. Stanford University Professor Ian Hodder told the AP in an email that the 17 cm (7 inches) figurine, found at the Catalhoyuk site, is unique because it is carved from stone, unlike most which are made from clay.

The figurine, discovered at Çatalhöyük in central Turkey, was wrought from recrystallized limestone between 6300 and 6000 B.C. That material is rare for an area where most previously discovered pieces were sculpted from clay, the researchers said.

The archaeologists think this figurine, which is conventionally associated with fertility goddesses, is also representative of an elderly woman who had risen to prominence in Çatalhöyük’s famously egalitarian society.

Goddess figurines were common in the Neolithic period, with those found at Çatalhöyük usually depicting a plump woman with her hair tied in a bun, sagging breasts and a pronounced belly, they said.

The newfound figurine differentiates itself from similar statuettes not only in its material and quality but also in its craftsmanship, according to Ian Hodder, a professor of anthropology at Stanford University who is overseeing the Çatalhöyük site. Hodder said that he “realized immediately that it was a very special find.”

At 6.7 inches tall (17 centimetres) and 4.3 inches (11 cm) wide, the figurine has fine details such as elaborate fat rolls on the limbs and neck.

Unlike other goddess statuettes, the limestone figurine also depicts the woman with her arms separated from her torso and an undercut below the belly to separate it from the rest of the body.

These finer details would have only been possible with thin tools, like flint or obsidian, the researchers said, which suggests that the carving could only have been made by a practised artisan.

With its fine artistry and its discovery in the newer, shallower parts of the site (meaning that it was likely buried later), Hodder said that the figurine might signal a shift from a sharing economy to an exchange economy, where resources could be accumulated unevenly.

“We think society was changing at this time, becoming relatively less egalitarian, with houses being more independent and more based on agricultural production,” Hodder said in a statement.


The archaeologists think that the figurine was made after Neolithic Çatalhöyük, where resources were often pooled, changed toward a more stratified society.

The fatness of the goddess statue could represent high status rather than an elevated place in a society of equals, Hodder said.

Whatever the shift, it did not happen overnight. Humans first settled in Çatalhöyük around 7500 B.C., with the society reaching its peak around 7000 B.C., according to archaeologists. The ancient settlement was abandoned around 5700 BC.

In Germany, a rare hoard of 2000-year-old Curved Celtic gold coins was discovered

In Germany, a rare hoard of 2000-year-old Curved Celtic gold coins was discovered

A volunteer archaeologist has discovered an ancient stash of Celtic coins, whose “value must have been immense,” in Brandenburg, a state in northeastern Germany. The 41 gold coins were minted more than 2,000 years ago, and are the first known Celtic gold treasure in Brandenburg,  Manja Schüle, the Minister of Culture in Brandenburg announced in December 2021.

In Germany, a rare hoard of 2000-year-old Curved Celtic gold coins was discovered
A selection of the 41 Celtic coins was discovered in Brandenburg, Germany.

The coins are curved, a feature that inspired the German name “regenbogenschüsselchen,” which translates to “rainbow cups.” Just like the legend that there’s a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow, “in popular belief, rainbow cups were found where a rainbow touched the Earth,” Marjanko Pilekić, a numismatist and research assistant at the Coin Cabinet of the Schloss Friedenstein Gotha Foundation in Germany, who studied the hoard, told Live Science in an email. 

Another piece of lore is that rainbow cups “fell directly from the sky and were considered lucky charms and objects with a healing effect,” Pilekić added. It’s likely that peasants often found the ancient gold coins on their fields after rainfall, “freed from dirt and shining,” he said.

The hoard was discovered by Wolfgang Herkt, a volunteer archaeologist with the Brandenburg State Heritage Management and Archaeological State Museum (BLDAM), near the village of Baitz in 2017.

After Herkt got a landowner’s permission to search a local farm, he noticed something gold and shiny. “It reminded him of a lid of a small liquor bottle,” Pilekić said. “However, it was a Celtic gold coin.”

After finding 10 more coins, Herkt reported the discovery to the BLDAM, whose archaeologists brought the hoard’s total to 41 coins.

“This is an exceptional find that you probably only make once in a lifetime,” Herkt said in a statement. “It’s a good feeling to be able to contribute to the research of the country’s history with such a find.”

The first 11 coins were discovered in Brandenburg, Germany.

By comparing the weight and size of the coins with those of other ancient rainbow cups, Pilekić was able to date the hoard’s minting to between 125 B.C. and 30 B.C., during the late Iron Age.

At that time, the core areas of the Celtic archaeological culture of La Tène (about 450 B.C. to the Roman conquest in the first century B.C.) occupied the regions of what is now England, France, Belgium, Switzerland, Austria, southern Germany and the Czech Republic, Pilekić said. In southern Germany, “we find large numbers of rainbow cups of this kind,” he noted.

However, Celts did not live in Brandenburg, so the discovery suggests that Iron Age Europe had extensive trade networks.

A selection of the cup-shaped Celtic gold coins from Brandenburg, Germany.
A 2,000-year-old Celtic gold coin in the field where it was found.

What was in the hoard?

Of the 41 gold coins, 19 are coins known as staters, which have a diameter of 0.7 inches (2 centimetres) and an average weight of 0.2 ounces (7.3 grams), and 22 are 1/4 staters, which have a smaller diameter of 0.5 inches (1.4 cm) and an average weight of 0.06 ounces (1.8 g). The entire stash is imageless, meaning they are “plain rainbow cups,” said Pilekić, who is also a doctoral candidate of the archaeology of coinage, money and the economy in Antiquity at Goethe University, Frankfurt.


Because the coins in the stash are similar, it’s likely that the hoard was deposited all at once, he said. However, it’s a mystery why this collection — the second largest hoard of “plain” rainbow cups of this type ever found — ended up in Brandenburg. 

“It is rare to find gold in Brandenburg, but no one would have expected it to be ‘Celtic’ gold of all things,” Pilekić said. “This find extends the distribution area of these coin types once again, and we will try to find out what this might tell us that we did not yet know or thought we knew.”

Hybrid animal in the 4500-year-old tomb is earliest known bred by humans

Hybrid animal in 4500-year-old tomb is earliest known bred by humans

Mesopotamians were using hybrids of domesticated donkeys and wild asses to pull their war wagons 4,500 years ago — at least 500 years before horses were bred for the purpose, a new study reveals.

Hybrid animal in 4500-year-old tomb is earliest known bred by humans
The animal bones at Umm el-Marra were thought to be from kungas because their teeth had marks from bit harnesses and wear patterns that showed they had been fed, rather than left to graze.

The analysis of ancient DNA from animal bones unearthed in northern Syria resolves a long-standing question of just what type of animals were the “kungas” described in ancient sources as pulling war wagons.

“From the skeletons, we knew they were equids [horse-like animals], but they did not fit the measurements of donkeys and they did not fit the measurements of Syrian wild asses,” said study co-author Eva-Maria Geigl, a genomicist at the Institut Jacques Monod in Paris. “So they were somehow different, but it was not clear what the difference was.”

The new study shows, however, that kungas were strong, fast and yet sterile hybrids of a female domestic donkey and a male Syrian wild ass, or hemione — an equid species native to the region. Ancient records mentioned kungas as highly prized and very expensive beasts, which could be explained by the rather difficult process of breeding them, Geigl said.

Because each kunga was sterile, like many hybrid animals such as mules, they had to be produced by mating a female domesticated donkey with a male wild ass, which had to be captured, she said.

That was an especially difficult task because wild asses could run faster than donkeys and even kungas, and were impossible to tame, she said. 

“They really bio-engineered these hybrids,” Geigl told Live Science. “There were the earliest hybrids ever, as far as we know, and they had to do that each time for each kunga that was produced — so this explains why they were so valuable.”

War donkeys

The war panel from the “Standard of Ur,” a 4500-year-old Sumerian mosaic now in the British Museum, shows teams of kungas drawing four-wheeled wall wagons.

Kungas is mentioned in several ancient texts in cuneiform on clay tablets from Mesopotamia, and they are portrayed drawing four-wheeled war wagons on the famous “Standard of Ur,” a Sumerian mosaic from about 4,500 years ago that’s now on display at the British Museum in London.

Archaeologists had suspected that they were some sort of hybrid donkey, but they didn’t know the equid it was hybridized with, Geigl said.

Some experts thought Syrian wild asses were much too small — smaller than donkeys — to be bred to produce kungas, she said.

The bones of the kungas were excavated about 10 years ago from a burial mound at Tell Umm el-Marra in northern Syria by University of Pennsylvania archaeologist Jill Weber.

The species is now extinct, and the last Syrian wild ass — not much more than a meter (3 feet) tall — died in 1927 at the world’s oldest zoo, the Tiergarten Schönbrunn in Vienna in Austria; its remains are now preserved in that city’s natural history museum.

In the new study, the researchers compared the genome from the bones of the last Syrian wild ass from Vienna with the genome from the 11,000-year-old bones of a wild ass unearthed at the archaeological site of Göbekli Tepe, in what is now southeastern Turkey.

That comparison showed both animals were the same species, but the ancient wild ass was much larger, Geigl said. That suggested that the Syrian wild ass species had become much smaller in recent times than it had been in antiquity, probably due to environmental pressures such as hunting, she said.

Ancient Mesopotamia

Historians think that the Sumerians were the first to breed kungas from before 2500 B.C. — at least 500 years before the first domesticated horses were introduced from the steppe north of the Caucasus Mountains, according to a 2020 study in the journal Science Advances by many of the same researchers. 

Ancient records show the successor states of the Sumerians — such as the Assyrians — continued to breed and sell kungas for centuries — and a carved stone panel from the Assyrian capital Nineveh, now in the British Museum, shows two men leading a wild ass they had captured.

The kunga bones for the latest study came from a princely burial complex at Tell Umm el-Marra in Northern Syria, which has been dated to around the early Bronze Age between 3000 B.C. and 2000 B.C.; the site is thought to be the ruins of the ancient city of Tuba mentioned in Egyptian inscriptions.

Study co-author Jill Weber, an archaeologist at theUniversity of Pennsylvania, excavated the bones about 10 years ago. Weber had proposed that the animals from Tell Umm el-Marra were kungas because their teeth had marks from bit harnesses and patterns of wear that showed they had been purposefully fed, rather than left to graze like regular donkeys, she said. 

Kungas could run faster than horses, and so the practice of using them to pull war wagons probably continued after the introduction of domesticated horses into Mesopotamia, she said.

But eventually, the last kungas died and no more were bred from donkeys and wild asses, probably because domesticated horses were easier to breed, Geigl said.

Mosaic with slave thanking God for his freedom unearthed in Turkey

Mosaic with slave thanking God for his freedom unearthed in Turkey

A close-up of peacocks depicted in the mosaic at the Church of the Holy Apostles, Hatay, southern Turkey

A mosaic made by a freed slave to thank God for his emancipation was unearthed during the excavation at the 6th-century Church of the Holy Apostles in southern Hatay province.

A close-up of the Church of the Holy Apostles, Hatay, southern Turkey

The Church of the Holy Apostles was found in an orange grove in the Arpaçiftlik neighbourhood by Mehmet Keleş in 2007.

After Keleş recognized historical artefacts while planting orange saplings in the grove, archaeological digs were launched in the area.

With the disclosure of mosaics, animal figures, stone graves and bone remains, expert teams, determined that the area was a church and its name was the Church of the Holy Apostles.

While digs continue in the historical church, archaeologists have recently found an area with a mosaic. The mosaic with a peacock figure also features an inscription in which a slave thanked God after being freed.

An aerial view of the mosaic, the Church of the Holy Apostles, Hatay, southern Turkey.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency (AA), Director of Hatay Archaeology Museum Ayşe Ersoy said that Hatay stands out with its history, nature and culture and the Arsuz district has had an important place in history as a port city since the first century A.D.


Noting that the Church of the Holy Apostles and its mosaics are of great importance as they reveal the period between the 6th and 12th centuries in the city, Ersoy continued: “During this year’s excavations at the church, another mosaic area was discovered.

This mosaic made by a slave pictures peacocks and depictions of heaven.”

A close-up of the inscription of the mosaic, the Church of the Holy Apostles, Hatay, southern Turkey.

Rare Roman wooden figure uncovered by HS2 archaeologists in Buckinghamshire

Rare Roman wooden figure uncovered by HS2 archaeologists in Buckinghamshire

A waterlogged ditch in Buckinghamshire has yielded the most unexpected find — a rare, extremely well-preserved wooden figure dating back to Roman times. The discovery — the first of its kind in 100 years — was initially dismissed as a piece of degraded wood when it was found in Twyford during work on HS2 last July.

However, closer analysis revealed that it bears the shape of a human, seemingly dressed in a knee-length tunic tied at the waist and sporting either a hat or hair.

The figure is 26 inches (67 cm) tall — having lost the lowest part of its legs, not to mention its arms below the elbow — and is 7 inches (18 cm) wide.

Archaeologists said that the lack of oxygen in the trench in which the figure was found was what prevented it from rotting — preserving it for some 2,000 years. 

While its exact purpose is unknown, experts believe that the wooden representation may have been carved for the gods as a form of religious offering.

Rare Roman wooden figure uncovered by HS2 archaeologists in Buckinghamshire
A waterlogged ditch in Buckinghamshire has yielded the most unexpected find — a rare, extremely well-preserved wooden figure (pictured) dating back to Roman times
The wooden figure (pictured) is 26 inches (67 cm) tall — having lost the lowest part of its legs, not to mention its arms below the elbow — and is 7 inches (18 cm) wide

‘This is a truly remarkable find that brings us face to face with our past,’ said Historic England’s senior science advisor, Jim Williams.

‘The quality of the carving is exquisite and the figure is all the more exciting because organic objects from this period rarely survive.’

In the same ditch from which the wooden figure was recovered, archaeologists also found shards of pottery dating back to around 43–70 AD.

To provide a precise age for the figure itself, researchers are planning to conduct radiocarbon dating on a small fragment of the wood that was already broken off of the carving before it was unearthed from the ditch.

‘Not only is the survival of a wooden figure like this extremely rare for the Roman period in Britain, but it also raises new questions about this site,’ said archaeologist Iain Williamson of HS2’s Enabling Works Contractor, Fusion JV. 

Outstanding questions, he added include: ‘Who does the wooden figure represent, what was it used for and why was it significant to the people living in this part of Buckinghamshire during the 1st century AD?’

The figure is currently being further examined and conserved in the laboratory by experts from York Archaeology. It is extremely rare for carved wooden figures from Britain’s prehistoric and Roman periods to survive into the present day.

The last such discovery — the ‘Dagenham Idol‘, which has been dated to 2250 BC — was recovered from the north bank of the Thames back in 1922.

In 2019 a Roman-era wooden arm that was thought to have been carved as a religious offering was found at the bottom of a well in Northampton.

The story of the figure’s discovery will feature on the episode of BBC Two’s ‘Digging for Britain’ programme airing on Thursday, January 13th.

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