charisstoma: (Default)
I've read that the Minoan culture might have been the same culture as was on what is now present day Santorini, a site that many think was the basis for Atlantis.

Phaistos Disc

Phaistos - also Phaestos and Phaestus - was an ancient city on the island of Crete. Map of Minoan CretePhaistos was located in the south-central portion of the island, about 3 1/2 miles from the sea. It was inhabited from about 4000 BC. A palace, dating from the Middle Bronze Age, was destroyed by an earthquake during the Late Bronze Age. Knossos and other Minoan sites were also destroyed at that time. The palace was later rebuilt toward the end of the Late Bronze Age. The area upon which Phaistos stood was the site where, in 1908, a curious clay disk, dating to about 1700 BC, and containing a sophisticated pictographic writing, was discovered. Its purpose and meaning, and even its original geographical place of manufacture, remain disputed.

The Phaistos Disk was discovered in the basement of room XL-101 of the Minoan palace-site of Phaistos, near Hagia Triada, on the south coast of Crete. Italian archaeologist Luigi Pernier recovered this remarkably intact "dish", about 15 cm in diameter and uniformly just over 1 cm thick, on July 3, 1908.

Luigi Pernier discovered the disc during his excavation of the first Minoan palace. It was found in the main cell of an underground "temple depository". These basement cells, only accessible from above, were neatly covered with a layer of fine plaster. Their context was poor in precious artifacts but rich in black earth and ashes, mixed with burnt bovine bones. In the northern part of the main cell, a few inches south-east of the disk, and about twenty inches above the floor, linear A tablet PH-1 was also found. The site apparently collapsed as a result of an earthquake, possibly linked with the explosive eruption of the Santorini volcano that affected large parts of the Mediterranean region ca. 1628 BC.

The inscription was made by pressing pre-formed hieroglyphic "seals" into the soft clay, in a clockwise sequence spiraling towards the disc's center. It was then baked at high temperature. There are a total of 241 figures on the disc. Many of the 45 different glyphs represent easily identifiable every-day things, including human figures, fish, birds, insects, plants, a boat, a shield, a staff, etc. In addition to these, there is a small diagonal line that occurs underneath the final sign in a group a total of 18 times. The disk shows traces of corrections made by the scribe in several places.

A fired-clay disk from the Second Millenium B.C. may finally have had some of its markings decoded. The mysterious "Phaistos disk," found in 1908 in a palace called Phaistos on the island of Crete, contains symbols on both sides, in a spiral configuration meant to be read from the outside toward the center. It is estimated to date from about 1,700 B.C. For better than a century, scientists have been trying to decode the meaning behind the symbols, and now Dr. Gareth Owens, of the Technological Educational Institute of Crete, says he has figured out some of its keywords and the general message it conveys. Using specific groups of symbols Owens says one side of the disk contains the translated wording "great lady of importance" while the other uses the expression "pregnant mother." One side, Owens says, is dedicated to a pregnant woman and the other to a woman giving birth.

There are a number of glyphs marked with an oblique stroke, the strokes are not imprinted but carved by hand and are attached to the first or last sign of a "word", depending on the direction of reading chosen. Their meaning is a matter of discussion. One hypothesis, supported by Evans, Duhoux, Ohlenroth and others, is that they were used to subdivide the text into paragraphs, but alternative meanings have been offered by other scholars.

From the diverse epigraphical facts (overcuts, angulous points of the spirals, corrections, etc.), it can be shown that the text has been written from the exterior to the center. The fact that most of the corrections were done on the spot, and other epigraphical facts, are showing that the scribe was "composing" his text in proportion as he was printing it. There is therefore no way to dissociate the direction of printing from the direction of reading.

Some of the symbols were pictographs which means they represented the object depicted. Others functioned as ideograms in which the picture of, say, a boat, no longer means "boat" but expresses an idea like "travel". However, such associations of the object with its main qualities, uses, or features were usually direct, quite obvious, and widely recognized. Pictographs and ideograms are also usually much easier to understand intuitively than the syllabic and/or phonetic systems of writing which evolve from them as a means of expressing more abstract ideas in a particular language.

The uniqueness of this archaeological object is contested by at least two other apparently related specimens - a votive double axe found by Spyridon Marinatos in the Arkalohori Cave, Crete, and a fragment of a smaller clay disk, found at Vladikavkaz, North Ossetia. But both inscriptions were engraved, not made with stamps. Moreover, the first contains only superficially similar hieroglyphics, and the second, interesting as it might prove, disappeared mysteriously. So far, the Phaistos Disc remains a hapax.

This unique object is now on display at the archaeological museum of Heraklion in Crete, Greece.

Reference: Thomas Balistier The Phaistos Disc - An Account of its Unsolved Mystery
Phaistos disc
phaistos disc3

The Phaistos Disk was found 3rd of July in 1908 at the ruins of the First Minoan Palace of Phaistos in Crete, Greece. The exact date of the disk is uncertain, but it probably dates from the MM IIB period (17th century B.C.). It was made of clay, its average diameter is 16 cm and it is 2.1 cm thick. Its mysterious inscription constitute 242 signs, 123 on side A and 119 on side B, in spiral order. There appear 45 distinct signs (with repetitions). The 45 different signs were actually impressed on wet clay and then the disk was fire-hardened. The signs probably belong to a Cretan syllabic script, which has not yet been deciphered despite the numerous attempts over the years, using the most diverse methods of study. Researchers have proposed widely diverse speculations about the purpose, the contents of its inscription and its creators.

This has made the Phaistos Disk a real challenge for archaeologists and this is the reason why this certain Disk has been chosen by the Foundation for Research and Technology - Hellas (FORTH) as its symbol, because it expresses exactly the same challenges that the scientists encounter every day during their research. And this is the essence of science.
charisstoma: (Default)

Secrets Hidden in Ancient Teeth
Astonishing new research shows that fossil teeth, like trees, contain detailed records of the environments in which they grew.

Handful of teeth

Increasing variation in the climate has been implicated as a possible factor in the evolution of our species (Homo sapiens) 300,000 years ago, as well as the more recent demise of our enigmatic evolutionary cousins, the Neanderthals.

But knowing the impact of that change on a year-by-year basis has always been a challenge.

Most prehistoric climate models are derived from large-scale records such as deep-sea cores or terrestrial sediment layers. These methods yield information on the scale of thousands of years, making it impossible to understand how seasonal climate patterns directly impacted ancient humans and their evolutionary kin.

My colleagues and I have found a solution using clues from our own mouths, as we detailed recently in an article in Science Advances. We used teeth to reveal climate records formed during the development of ancient hominins.Read more... )
charisstoma: (Default)
yaupon holly leavesyaupon tea

Cassina Yaupon Holly Tea
Ilex Cassine vera Floridanorum “Ilex vomitoria” Yaupon Holly

Cassina does not make you vomit. Both modern scientific analysis and centuries of regular use by Southerners confirms this. Used ritually by Native Americans, perhaps with an emetic added, Europeans observed it used in elaborate purification rituals where men sat in a circle, sung or chanted, and took turns chugging and then throwing up hot cassina.

Important Note: Eric Toensmeier has some good advice in his book PerennialVegetables about trying new foods: “Some caution is in order when trying new food for the first time. You can never be entirely certain how your body is going to react. … You can never know if you are going to be allergic to a new food. Even such ordinary foods such as corn, soybeans, and peanuts can cause serious allergies in some people. When trying a new food plant it is prudent to proceed slowly, particularly if you are prone to food allergies.”

Only cut new, lighter green growth, not mature growth.
Mash the leaves in a mortar and pestle prior to roasting.
Roast the leaves for 8 minutes at 300 F instead of 8 minutes at 400F.

After roasting the crushed leaves and allowing them to cool for a few minutes, crumble enough of them to fill one TBS.
Steep the leaves in one cup of boiling water for five minutes.

The resulting beverage had a light green color, much like green tea with a grassy aroma. The infusion did not have as much body as a green tea but was not weak either.

The author of the article: found it refreshing and without the bitterness of yerba mate. It had just a hint of roasted flavor; not too much to overpower the other flavors. About twenty minutes after drinking it, an almost euphoric caffeine effect began.

1. Pick some new leaves and stems.
2. Lightly toast in the oven at 300F until the leaves begin to brown.
3. Take 1 tablespoon of leaves and stems and add to 2 cups boiling water.
4. Steep for 3 minutes and enjoy.

If you’re a tea drinker, then it’s time to determine the genders of the yaupon bushes in your neighborhood. Like many of you, I prefer to brew our tea solely from females even if recent research at UF failed to detect many differences in the chemical constituents of male and female leaves.

Per Francis E. “Jack” Putz: Yaupon tea has a bad name
If you’re a tea drinker, then it’s time to determine the genders of the yaupon bushes in your neighborhood. Like many of you, I prefer to brew our tea solely from females even if recent research at UF failed to detect many differences in the chemical constituents of male and female leaves.
What UF researchers did find is that yaupon leaves contain about as much caffeine as Asian tea, with which it once competed for a global market share. Not only was yaupon tea consumed daily throughout the Southeast, it was exported in barques and sloops to be marketed as cassina in England and Appalachina in France. Note that the “asi” in “cassina” is the Muskogee name for the plant, as in “Asi Yahola,” which means “Black Drink Singer” and comes to us in the familiar name “Osceola,” the famous Seminole leader.
Even more remarkable than all that caffeine, UF researchers found that yaupon leaves have the anti-oxidation potential of blueberries. The leaves are chock full of various isomers of chlorogenic acid, coumaric acid, and a cocktail of flavonoids. Concentrations of these compounds, as well as the psychoactives caffeine and theobromine, are especially high in leaves from nitrogen-fertilized female plants.
To make a cup of yaupon tea, strip the leaves off a branch, blanch them black in a skillet, and then dry them in a cool oven. Crunch up the crispy leaves and brew them as you would any other tea.

yaupon hollyyaupon holly female

yaupon holly
charisstoma: (Default)

A book on needlework with samples. Dublin, Ireland. 1833-1837.
charisstoma: (Default)
19 Customs Ancient People Had That Would Be Completely Bizarre Today

Society has come a long way over the millennia. Yes, no longer do we have to use stones as toilet paper or drink blood to cure diseases.

Ancient Egypt. ...Your doctor won’t be prescribing you a mixture of donkey and gazelle dung for whatever ails you. ...Animal feces were a go-to remedy thanks to their supposed healing properties. But while antibiotic substances have since been discovered in some types of dung, that doesn’t make the use of feces in medication any more hygienic.

Garlic was used as a pregnancy test. ... Greeks’ solution for determining pregnancy involved a raw clove of garlic, placed near a woman’s cervix before bed. If she woke up to find she could taste the distinctive flavor on her tongue, the test was deemed positive.

Ancient Egyptians shaved off their eyebrows to mourn cats. ,,,Worshipped alongside the many gods and goddesses that the Egyptians prayed to. When a feline died, ... one way people mourned these catastrophic events was by shaving off their eyebrows.

Urine was used as laundry detergent. ...urine is full of a useful compound called ammonia, which you’ve probably seen on the ingredients lists of household cleaning substances. ... ammonia is a very good base for getting rid of tough stains. ancient Rome,... people would collect urine and use it to wash their clothes, stomping on them to aid the process.

Stones were used instead of toilet paper. ...ancient Greece. ...the Greeks had a saying, “Three stones are enough to wipe” – “Stones” actually refers more specifically to small ceramic pebbles....

public toilets
Public toilets were a place to socialize. Back in the days of the Roman empire, though, public latrines were one of the most popular places to chat, hang out and even conduct business.
charisstoma: (Default)
These Prehistoric Carvings Have Baffled Experts, But The Mystery Could Soon Be Unravelled more... )
charisstoma: (Default)
Hemp History Timeline
Through the Years

1606: French Botanist Louis Hebert planted the first hemp crop in North America in Port Royal, Acadia (present-day Nova Scotia).

1770s: In Virginia (and some other colonies), farmers are required by law to grow hemp.

1776: The U.S. Declaration of Independence is drafted on hemp paper.

1797: The U.S.S. Constitution is outfitted with hemp sails and rigging.

1790s: U.S. founding fathers George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and John Adams grow hemp.

1800s: Upper Canada’s Lieutenant Governor, on behalf of the King of England, distributed free hemp seed to Canadian farmers.

1840s: Abraham Lincoln uses hemp oil to fuel his household lamps.

1890s: USDA Chief Botanist begins growing hemp varieties at the current site of the Pentagon and continues until the 1940s.

1916: USDA (Bulletin No. 404) shows that hemp produces four times more paper per acres than trees!

1928: The Canadian House of Commons encourages Canadian farmers to grow hemp.

1937: Hemp was strictly regulated by the Marijuana Tax Act, largely due to confusion with other kinds of cannabis. Hemp could only be grown through specially issued government tax stamps, making any type of possession/transfer without a tax stamp illegal.

1938: Popular Mechanics Magazine determines that over 25,000 different products could be made from hemp and declares hemp as the “New Billion Dollar Crop.”

1942: Henry Ford builds an experimental car with panels partially made from hemp fibre. That same year, without any changes to the Marijuana Tax Act, the United States Army used their Hemp for Victory campaign to urge farmers to grow hemp to support them in World War II. Between 1942 and 1945, the U.S. cultivated 400,000 acres of hemp for their war effort.

1957: Once World War II had ended, demand for hemp decreased and so did hemp production. The last commercial hemp fields were planted in 1957 in Wisconsin.

1970: The Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act went into effect abolishing the taxation approach of the Marijuana Tax Act, effectively making all cultivation of cannabis illegal by setting a zero tolerance for THC.

1992: Manitoba Harvest Hemp Foods’ Co-Founder Martin begins importing and manufacturing handmade hemp items.

1993: Martin conducts research and establishes important relationships with farmers and government leaders.

1994: Martin organizes industrial hemp events and helps establish the University of Manitoba Hemp Awareness Committee (UMHAC).

1995: UMHAC becomes the Manitoba Hemp Alliance and lobbies the Government of Manitoba for assistance in advancing hemp agriculture. Harry Enns, Manitoba’s Agriculture Minister at the time, approves a funding grant and offers the services of a New Crops Agronomist. In less than nine months, the first hemp crops are harvested.

1996: Hemp trial results indicate that hemp can be grown with undetectable amounts (less than 0.003%) of THC.

1998: Industrial hemp is legalized in Canada! Hemp foods begin exporting to the U.S.
Read more... )
charisstoma: (Default)

Many people—native-speakers and learners alike—decry English as being illogical, and they point to pairs like flammable and inflammable as examples. But there are other words that are just as frustrating: Janus words.

JanusPhoto: The British Library

A 'Janus word' is a word that is its own opposite—like 'fast', which can refer both to moving very quickly and to staying put.

Frequently described as "words that are their own opposites," Janus words are also known as contronyms, antagonyms, or auto-antonyms. These are words that have developed contradictory meanings. Cleave is often cited as the go-to contronym: it can refer to splitting something apart and uniting two things. But it's not the only one out there, and there is usually some sort of logic behind most auto-antonyms.

Many auto-antonyms developed their contradictory meanings through a process of semantic broadening; that is, a word that has a more specific meaning gains a broader and more general meaning later on in its life. Peruse is a good example of this.

The inverse also happens: a word that begins life with a broad meaning gains a number of more specific meanings that develop in parallel to each other, but in a way that results in two contradictory and later meanings. Sanction is one such word. When it entered English, it referred to an oath. Over time, it came to refer to something that would compel someone or something to moral behavior (as an oath might); later, it gained the two contradictory senses that refer to approval and economic disapproval—both of which might compel a person or a country to behave better.

The same thing happened with oversight. It originally referred to watchful care or supervision, but through an extension of meaning, people also began to use it to refer to the thing that watchful care or supervision gets rid of: errors of omission. As with sanction, both meanings are still in use today, leading to plenty of jokes about what exactly "Congressional oversight" is describing.

Sometimes, a contronym develops because we conflate two homographs which are not actually related. This is the case with cleave, which is actually two separate verbs: one which means "to split" (from the Old English verb cleōfan, which means "to split"), and one which means "to adhere firmly or loyally" (from the Old English verb clifian, which means "to adhere"). The same goes for clip, whose contronymous meanings are actually from two discrete verbs that mean "to attach something" and "to cut off."

Occasionally, we can't be sure why exactly a word develops auto-antonymous meanings. Take fast, which can refer both to moving very quickly ("a car moving really fast") and to staying put ("he was held fast by the ropes"). The "firmly fixed" meaning is the earliest meaning we have for the adverb fast. It later developed other meanings, including "close"—and this meaning, which has now fallen out of use, somehow inspired English speakers to use fast to refer to speed. Fast has been its own antonym since the 13th century, which goes to show that Janus words have been with us—and will continue to be with us—for a long time.
charisstoma: (Default)
green man

Unraveling the Nature and Identity of the Green Man

An enigma spanning thousands of years, the Green Man is a symbol of mysterious origin and history. Permeating various religious faiths and cultures, the Green Man has survived countless transformations and cultural diversities, enduring in the same relative physical form to this day. Although specifics about his beginnings and his worship are not fully known, due in large part to how far back and to what initial cultures he can be traced to, it is a testament to the widespread reach of his character that he is still remembered and worshipped to this day.

The Green Man is most highly believed to have begun as a pre-Christian entity, a spirit of nature personified as a man. His earliest images have been dated long before the coming of the Christian religion, depictions dating back before the days of the Roman Empire. However, it is with the coming of the empire that his images are noted as spanning religions, as he has been found both within the empire and at its borders, and then similar versions in other far reaching cultures such as India. Despite the range in locations of artifacts of the Green Man, he is most often associated with the society of the Celts, sequestered particularly in today's Britain and France, because of the high number of images found in these regions and the stylized way in which he has been portrayed. Read more... )
charisstoma: (Default)
The Serpent Priestesses and Ancient Sexual Rites

Innana, the Goddess of Love, Fertility and War.

The Priestesses wore robes of scarlet, the color signifying the source of their power, and were titled ‘Hor’ (or in Greek Hierodulai), or ‘beloved ones’, having influence on the Kings and dignitaries in the lands they chose to settle. They did not enter into marriage for life, but rather would have children with different Kings and powerful men, securing alliances and protection for their children. It was perhaps this attitude towards marriage that resulted in the meaning of ‘Hor’ becoming what we know today (Whore) and the association of the color scarlet being associated with sexual licentiousness and sin, as exemplified in the book ‘The Scarlet Letter’.
charisstoma: (Default)
Unravelling The Mystery Of Ice Ages Using Ancient Molecules

Researchers from Cardiff University have revealed how sea ice has been contributing to the waxing and waning of ice sheets over the last million years.

ice sheetsCredit: Cardiff University Read more... )

Lasting impressions: Ice Age echoes affect present-day sea level

A new NASA study has, for the first time, cut a clear path through a nettlesome problem: accurately measuring a powerful effect on global sea level that lingers from the last ice age.Read more... )
charisstoma: (Default)
Stonehenge in a different manner

Utroba Cave ~
in the Rhodope mountains, Bulgaria. Carved by hand more than 3000 years ago (?), it was rediscovered in 2001.

Archeologists hypothesize that an altar built at the end of the cave, which is about 22 m deep, represents either the cervix or the uterus.
At midday, light seeps into the temple through an opening in the ceiling, projecting an image of a phallus on to the floor.

When the sun is at the right angle, in late February or early March, the phallus grows longer and reaches the alter, symbolically fertilizing the womb before the sowing of the spring crops.
charisstoma: (Default)
Saw a blurb for a book
Sam Spade meets Blade Runner in the new lesfic series, The Cassie Tam Files! When PI Cassie Tam is hired to investigate the death of a Virtual Reality junkie, she thinks it’ll be easy money. But the more she digs, the more things don’t seem to add up, and soon, she finds herself knee deep in a murder investigation. And that’s just the start of her problems …

Because my mind is 'different' I read Reality and Realty as the same word.... Well it used to be the same spelling back in the 1500s.
Word Origin and History for realty
1660s, "real estate," from earlier meaning (1540s) "real possession," earlier "reality" (mid-15c.), from real (adj.) + -ty (2). Cf. reality.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Soooooo.... how was real estate done in the 1500s for the regular non-noble population?
I found this:
Read more... )


Feb. 18th, 2018 08:11 pm
charisstoma: (Default)
doggerlandThe landmass once connected Britain with Europe, and is believed to have been inhabited by Mesolithic tribes. Artificats recovered from the North Sea provide evidence as to the land's habitation. The tsunami is thought to have wiped out the last people to occupy the area, who were by then restricted to an island.
Europe’s Lost World: The Rediscovery of Doggerland by Vincent Gaffney

Need to read more.
charisstoma: (Default)
The Age of the Bed Changed the Way We Sleep

A night without electric lights—not to mention glowing screens—is almost unimaginable for modern residents of wealthy nations. Looking at writings from the British Isles in the early modern era, A. Roger Ekirch reconstructs what it was like, and how the darkness affected people’s sleep patterns.

Ekirch notes that only the wealthiest families of the era would have had candles to keep their homes bright. Heading out of the house on moonless nights meant navigating by hearing, smell, and touch, and using charms to ward off evil spirits. Children learned early to be aware of the landscape around their houses “as a rabbit knows his burrow.”

Still, people found things to do after dark. Families might gather around the hearth to mend clothes and chat, or join a small crowd at a neighbor’s house to listen to a storyteller. Men might frequent the local tavern, or, in a larger town or city, the brothel.

The environment for sleep itself changed dramatically between the fifteenth and seventeenth centuries, Ekirch writes, going from straw pallets on the floor to wooden frames with pillows, sheets, blankets, and mattresses filled with rags and wool. Sixteenth-century clergyman William Harrison recalled a people in his childhood sleeping with “a good round log under their heads, instead of a bolster” and wrote that pillows “were thought meet only for women in childebed.”

Still, when beds were introduced people took to them eagerly. Quoting historian Carole Shammas, Ekrich writes that we might think of the early modern era as “The Age of the Bed.” Beds were the first and most valuable piece of furniture families acquired, accounting for a quarter of the value of a modest household. They were also often infested with bugs and shared by several people.

Still, this was far preferable to sleeping in public streets, as the urban poor might have to do, or in straw-filled barns with a dozen or more other people—the fate of some rural vagabonds.

To post-industrial people, the weirdest part of early modern sleep might be the habit of waking in the middle of the night. Ekrich argues that Europeans in this era commonly divided the nights into “first sleep” and “second sleep.” Some people used the time of wakefulness in the night to do chores or commit petty theft. But many found it a good time for contemplation, quiet conversation, or sex.

Ekrich suggests that this general sleeping pattern wasn’t unique to one time and place. He writes that ancient Romans and twentieth-century Nigerians in villages without electricity slept in similar ways. Even modern westerners revert to a pattern including a few hours of nighttime wakefulness when deprived of artificial light for several weeks. A researcher studying this phenomenon found that people’s hormonal balance during that nighttime waking period produced “something approaching an altered state of consciousness not unlike meditation.”

Perhaps, the foreignness of the pre-electric past goes deeper than daily habits and social conventions, reflecting biological processes that work differently in our era of unlimited light.

Sleep We Have Lost: Pre-Industrial Slumber in the British Isles

The American Historical Review, Vol. 106, No. 2 (Apr., 2001), pp. 343-386

Oxford University Press on behalf of the American Historical Association


charisstoma: (Default)

April 2019

  12 34 5 6
7 8 9 1011 1213
14 15 16 17 18 19 20


RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Apr. 21st, 2019 04:45 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios