Today we are going to look at one of the strangest ancient sites in India – this is the Thousand Pillar Temple which is at least 750 years old. On first sight, it looks like a regular temple, but there is something fundamentally different about this temple, because there are no visible joints at all between the stone blocks in the walls of this temple.
This is a large temple, but look carefully as I go from the ground to the top, do you see any joints? This makes people wonder if this entire temple is made of one solid rock, like the Kailasa Temple, but archeologists confirm that it is in fact made of many many blocks of stone.
In 1300 A.D , an army of the Muslim King Allauddin Khalji tried to demolish this temple, and they took out many of the stone blocks from the ground and the ceiling, because it was easier to dismantle them, but they could not dismantle the blocks on the walls. If you look at the floor, these are newer stone slabs placed by the Archeology department, and you can see how these blocks are loosely connected.
If you compare the modern day stone masonry with the ancient technique, modern technology appears quite primitive, because you can clearly see the joints. The archeology department has been trying to restore the temple from the destruction and graffiti by Allauddin Khalji’s army.
Now, why is this temple called ‘The thousand pillar temple’? Most visitors wonder why this is known as the thousand pillar temple because it doesn’t have a thousand pillars. It is called so because it is made of one thousand blocks of stone, this is the actual reason why this name is used. But even in most sophisticated temples like the Lepakshi temple, we can see clear evidence of joints between the blocks, but in this temple, the joints are not visible.
What is fascinating is that there was no cement, mortar, or glue used to join these blocks. How did ancient builders achieve such an extraordinary level of jointing, many centuries ago? What kind of technology existed and how was such a temple built?
The underlying technology is this:
Ancient builders created a complex interlocking system with at least a dozen different cuts in each stone block. These complex cuts maximize the amount of surface area shared by the connecting blocks, and will create an extremely tight fit.
This is hard enough to do between 2 stone blocks, but imagine using several stone blocks on all sides and how many cuts would have been needed to connect 4 or 5 blocks together. I mean, this is just an extraordinary technology. This can be done on wood, but how did they manage to make these cuts on large stone blocks many centuries ago? Making these cuts is one thing, but the level of precision, to make these joints invisible can be achieved only with advanced machines.
We can clearly see that building a massive temple with no visible joints is impossible with primitive tools. Did ancient builders use cutting, drilling and polishing tools, just like today? If so, do we have any evidence of these tools in the temple itself?
How about these carvings which resemble modern drilling and polishing tools? In most temples, we usually see carvings of Gods, but in this temple, we can see these tool like carvings, with a conical, striated top with a long shaft, which is remarkably similar to modern day tool bits.
Just compare these carvings with today’s tool bits side by side. You have to admit there is an uncanny similarity. Is this a coincidence, or did ancient builders use tool bits just like us, to make these precise interlocking system?
The pillars in the temple confirm that drilling machines were in fact used. There are very tiny holes drilled on these pillars. My friend is struggling to send a thread through the small holes, but these holes are too small even for a thread. The priest is happy to help us, he picks up something thinner than a thread and inserts it successfully through these holes.
If you think these carvings are not drill bits, how do you explain such tiny holes carved on the pillars? How do you explain the construction of an entire temple with no visible joints? Were they created with advanced machines, or with simple tools like chisels and hammers?
Burial Site of Anglo-Saxon Prince May Be Greatest Discovery Ever in UK
When the discovery of a well-preserved royal gravesite is being compared to finding the tomb of King Tutankhamun, it’s obviously a big deal. When it’s in the UK and the remains may be from a 6th century Anglo-Saxon prince, it’s definitely a significant find. When the richly-appointed ancient royal tomb is discovered between an Aldi’s and a pub, it’s the height of irony. The tomb was once believed to belong to Sæberht of Essex, the first East Saxon king to have been converted to Christianity, but new evidence points to it belonging to his brother, Saexa.
“In 2003 archaeologists from MOLA (Museum of London Archaeology) excavated a small plot of land in Prittlewell, Essex, for Southend-on-Sea Borough Council. They were astounded to discover an intact Anglo-Saxon burial chamber.”
According to its website, when the team from MOLA opened what would have been a 13-foot (4 meters) square timber tomb about five feet high Prittlewell, near Southend, Essex, they found over 40 well-preserved artifacts, including a lyre (a harp-like instrument), gold coins, a gold belt buckle, drinking vessels, a sword trimmed with gold, a flagon from Syria and decorative glass beakers, all placed carefully in such a way that they knew it was the tomb of royalty. Unfortunately, what they didn’t find was the royalty – the only human remains in the tomb were tooth enamel fragments. (Photos of the artifacts here.)
“The team left no stone unturned, using a range of techniques – from soil micromorphology and CT scans to Raman spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy and mass spectrometry – in their quest to reconstruct and understand the chamber as it would have been on the day of the funeral.”
After the site was excavated and the artifacts taken to MOLA, 15 years of research at first pointed to the tomb belonging to Sæberht, who ruled over the Kingdom of Essex from 604 to 616 CE. Sæberht was the first East Saxon king to have been converted to Christianity and gold crosses found in the tomb which would have been placed over the eyes confirmed this was a Christian burial, making this the earliest known Christian tomb ever found in the UK. However, further study showed the tomb being built somewhere between 575 and 605 – too soon for Sæberht.
The artifacts have been stored and displayed at the Museum of London Archaeology, but now a number of them are being moved back to Southend to go on permanent display for the first time at the Central Museum. In conjunction with the move, MOLA archeologists are now stating that the tomb most likely belonged to Saexa, Sæberht’s brother who died earlier and never ruled Essex. Not much else is known about Saexa or how he died, according to Sophie Jackson, MOLA’s director of research and engagement.
“There’s a lot of debate about whether he was a fully-fledged hairy beast Saxon warrior, or younger. Had he died before he could really prove himself?”
Nonetheless, Jackson joins in with those who call the discovery between a pub and an Aldi’s “our equivalent of Tutankhamun’s tomb.” If you can’t make it to the museum, MOLA has an outstanding recreation of the tomb on its website.
“A fully-fledged hairy beast Saxon warrior”? That doesn’t sound much like Tut.
Source: Mysterious Universe
Chunk of Stonehenge returned after 60 years
A piece of the enigmatic monument that has been missing for six decades has finally been returned.
The cylindrical fragment, which measures just over one meter long, was obtained by Robert Phillips of diamond cutting firm Van Moppes in 1958 when some of the cracked stones at the world-famous heritage site were being re-enforced with metal rods.
Phillips would end up taking the stone core with him when he emigrated to the United States but now, on the eve of his 90th birthday, he has finally asked for it to be returned to where it belongs.
“The last thing we ever expected was to get a call from someone in America telling us they had a piece of Stonehenge,” said Heather Sebire of English Heritage.
Given that it was taken from the middle of one of the stones, the missing piece is not as weathered as the monolith itself, making it ideal for study. Scientists hope that a detailed analysis could help to reveal more about precisely where the stones that make up Stonehenge originally came from.
“Studying the Stonehenge core’s ‘DNA’ could tell us more about where those enormous sarsen stones originated,” said Sebire.
Intriguingly, a total of three such cores were removed from the monument during the 1950s, meaning that two more of them are still out there in the hands of private owners.
Determining their whereabouts however is likely to prove a considerable challenge.
They find remains of a mysterious Mayan queen of 1,500 years old
The complete skeleton of a 1,500-year-old Mayan queen has been discovered in a hidden pyramid in the Guatemalan jungle. Archaeologists believe that the remains of her husband, the king, are very close.
Little is known about the identity of this monarch found in an underground chamber inside a pyramid in the Holmul area – a Mayan archaeological site near the border with modern Belize.
According to the archaeologists, the technique called LIDAR was the one that allowed to find pyramids, entire cities, walls, among other Mayan treasures, that until now had gone unnoticed in the north of Guatemala.
Among these structures identified by laser technology, there is a complex of three pyramids on the outskirts of the city of Witzna. The bones of the queen, discovered under one of these pyramids, denote that she was already an old woman at the time of death, and the trousseau that accompanies her clearly evidences her position within royalty.
This finding means that at least one “king” is buried nearby, so archaeologists will continue to explore the site in search of their remains. The hypothesis is sustained, in addition, in a vase to drink chocolate found there, whose inscriptions name a monarch.(Mayan queen)
“Nobody but a king or queen would have possession of this type of item,” explained archaeologist Francisco Estrada-Belli. “We know from many references elsewhere that, on certain important occasions, a king would invite his allies and his lords and make some of these vases made for him and then donate them to his closest allies. We believe that this is the reason why this individual, who is definitely not the person named in the vase, must have it. “
The excavation in the Witzna complex also revealed an old military building: a watchtower. At his feet, inside a deep well, a skull and teeth belonging to a sacrificed child were unearthed.(Mayan queen)
Also, more ritual activity in the area includes a large number of fragments of vessels that would have been offerings deposited on the top of the queen’s pyramid.
Other stone monuments have signs of having suffered the effects of fire and destruction of their inscriptions; something that scholars believe represents more evidence of rituals or of some military attack.
“What happened at the base and at the top of the pyramid – burned by fire – can be two different things, but in the case of a broken stone monument, we are sure that this was basically an attack on the city . Many of the most important buildings were destroyed, burned, and the monuments with the images of the disfigured kings, “said Estrada-Belli.
More details about this discovery are released in “Lost Treasures of the Mayans”, a documentary broadcast in National Geographic. What do you think? Leave your comment below.
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