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The Mysterious Appeal Of Mercury To The Ancients

Beneath the Temple of Feathered Serpent in Teotihuacan, Mexico, and in the Chinese First Emperor’s tomb, archaeologists discovered enormous amount of mercury. It is suggested that ancient people thought that mercury could bestow immortality, but is there some other meaning for the use of mercury in ancient times?

The Tomb of the First Emperor

Centuries and centuries ago, there was a Chinese courtier named Sima Qian, who was sentenced to castration because he had spoken up in favor of a defeated general. In those times, that was a death sentence because men of his class were expected to commit suicide rather than let that happen. However, Sima Qian accepted his castration so that he could complete the histories that had been started by his father, which he wound end passing on to his daughter and then his grandson until the time came when it could be published.

The Mysterious Appeal Of Mercury To The Ancients

A burial site of the Tomb of the First Emperor Qin Shi Huang Di, Xi’an, China. Photo © Aaron Zhu

As a result, we have what are now called The Records of the Grand Historian, which offers incredible insight into ancient Chinese history with remarkable accuracy. One example is Sima Qian’s statement that the tomb of the First Emperor of China had included flowing mercury for the purpose of simulating the rivers as well as the sea, which is supported by the fact that the local soil contains levels of mercury that are much higher than normal. Likewise, one of Sima Qian’s other statements has been interpreted to mean that the construction of the tomb broke groundwater, which is supported by the existence of a dam as well as a drainage system that has saved it from being flooded by said phenomenon. So far, archaeologists have not excavated the tomb of the First Emperor because they don’t have the capability to perfectly preserve its contents, meaning that no more than cursory studies are possible for the time being. Simply put, no one wants a repeat of the situation with the famous Terracotta Warriors, which had coats of paint that started flaking off as soon as they were exposed to the elements.

The Ruins of Teotihuacan

With that said, the tomb of the First Emperor of China wasn’t the only place built by ancient peoples belonging to ancient civilizations to have significant amounts of mercury. For example, archaeologists discovered huge pools of mercury beneath one of the pyramids in the ruined city of Teotihuacan called the Temple of the Feathered Serpent in 2015, which are something that has been found at other sites situated throughout Central America by other researchers. For the time being, the purpose of these mercury pools remain a mystery, but there has been speculation about them serving as representations of underworld rivers, which would have been an impression enhanced by the material’s strong association with the supernatural. Considering the expense of constructing entire pools of mercury as well as the other precious items found nearby, it is no wonder that one of the researchers involved in the effort speculated about them being a sign that a royal burial was near.

The Mysterious Appeal Of Mercury To The Ancients

Teotihuacan – Temple of the Feathered Serpent – view from the top of the Adosada platform (Image Source)

What Made Mercury So Special to Our Predecessors?

Based on these two examples, it should be clear that a lot of ancient people from early civilizations ascribed considerable value to the element of mercury. In part, this would have been because mercury was a rare substance that had to be extracted via hazardous processes from cinnabar and other ores. However, it should also be noted that the curious nature of mercury created various beliefs about its magical potential, with examples ranging from the ancient Chinese belief that mercury could be used to promote health to the medieval European belief that mercury could be used to turn baser metals into gold. As a result, mercury often took on spiritual significance, which in turn, made them that much more suitable for use in ancient tombs.

featured image: Reconstruction of the facade of the Temple of the Feathered Serpent (Teotihuacán)

Now located in the National Museum of Anthropology (Source)

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Ancient ritual site found three times larger than Stonehenge’s Sarsen circle

Stonehenge Credit: Ko / Unsplash Kit

A huge ancient ritual site dating back over 6,800 years has been discovered in Poland. It is believed to have been used by neolithic people for between 200 and 250 years, with new features added every few dozen years, archaeologists have said

The circular structure is 109 meters in diameter, has three times the size of the inner Sarsen Circle in Stonehenge and about the same size as the exterior ditch of the monument.

The structure, which has been called “roundel” due to its circular shape, was first seen in 2017. Since then, archaeologists have been working on the site to understand its importance. Researchers have announced that radiocarbon dating indicates that the site was built before 4,800 BC.

Ancient ritual site found three times larger than Stonehenge's circle
Nowe Objezierze

The roundel is located in the town of Nowe Objezierze, about 80 kilometers east of Berlin, Germany. It consists of a central area surrounded by three gates that lead to the interior. It then has four ditches circling it. Each ditch is larger and deeper than the last, and it appears they were dug at relatively regular intervals, with a new one being added every few dozen years. The ditches were about 4 to 6.5 feet deep.

Other similar circular enclosures dating to between 4,850 B.C. and 4,600 B.C. are found in a fairly limited area of Europe, including around the River Danube. These are generally thought to have had a ritual purpose and served as some sort of astronomical calendar.

Speaking about the new roundel in Poland, the project leader, Lech Czerniak, from the University of Gdańsk, said in a statement:

This is quite sensational, given the fact that it coincides with the dating of structures located on the Danube, considered the oldest. It seems equally important that the four ditches surrounding the central area of the structure probably did not function simultaneously, but every few dozen years, a new ditch with an ever larger diameter was dug.

“The primary focus of the project are questions about the social aspects of the functioning operation of roundels, including what prompted the inhabitants of a given region to make a huge effort in building and maintaining the roundel, where the idea and knowledge necessary to build this object came from, and how often and for how long the object was used

Ancient ritual site found three times larger than Stonehenge's circle

In addition to dating the roundel, archaeologists also excavated the area and found hundreds of bones, ceramics, stone and flint artifacts, shells and dyes. The bones are now being analyzed by experts and the team hopes to get more information about the communities that used the structure for worship. It is believed that, like the other circular enclosures, the Roundel was used as a “ritual calendar.”

Czerniak said:

It is worth realizing that many so-called pre-literate communities celebrated the most important holidays once in a few, or even a dozen or so years, but very intensely

This is undoubtedly a great find that will help you understand much more of the history surrounding this site.

Source: Newsweek

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Egypt hints at ‘mummified lion’ discovery

Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 Daniel Mayer

The Pyramid of Djoser complex at Saqqara. 

Archaeologists in Egypt have discovered the mummy of a very large animal, most likely a lion or lioness.

The Ministry of Antiquities reported on Monday that the mummy, which is much larger than most, was unearthed in Saqqara – a vast ancient burial ground south of Cairo that once served as the necropolis for the ancient Egyptian capital of Memphis.

It is home to numerous structures including the world-famous Step Pyramid of Djoser.

According to the ministry, it is still not completely clear that the mummy is that of a lion however all should be revealed when radar scans are undertaken over the next few days.

A press conference is expected next week with the full details of the discovery.

While cat mummies were very common in ancient Egypt, lion mummies were much rarer. The people of the time worshipped domestic cats as the living incarnation of the half-feline, half-woman Goddess Bastet, so it is likely that lions and other large cat species would have been especially revered.

The first example of a lion mummy – which was preserved as a skeleton – was found back in 2004.

It turned out to be one of the largest lions known to science.

Source: Washington Post

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“14 million years” old vehicle tracks discovered(Video)

Even if we have not found their tracks, there is an indeterminate number of civilizations scattered throughout the galaxy and the universe, and it would be feasible that, in the vicinity of our Earth there are some.

These civilizations could be in different phases of scientific, technological and social progress. Some just beginning their process, and others that have a breakthrough so spectacular that they have become travelers of the cosmos.

This is a controversial claim, since human civilization is only intended by conventional archaeologists to extend several thousand years, not millions of years. Not to mention the idea of ​​a prehistoric civilization advanced enough to have space vehicles.

There are petrified wheel tracks found in several places, including parts of Turkey and Spain, and were supposedly left by heavy all-terrain vehicles dating back 12 to 14 million years ago.

The wheel tracks cross the faults formed in the middle and late Miocene period (approximately 12 to 14 million years ago), suggesting that they are older than those failures, Koltypin said on his website.

At that time, the soil would have been moist and soft, like a malleable clay. Large vehicles sank into the mud as they passed over it. Tire grooves at various depths suggest that the area eventually dried up.

Koltypin said the vehicles still drove over while drying, and did not sink so deeply.

The vehicles were similar in length to modern cars, but the tires were about 9 inches (23 centimeters) wide.

He said that the geological and archaeological works that contain information about these grooves are few and far between. Such references generally say that the tracks were left by cars pulled by donkeys or camels.

“I will never accept it,” he wrote of these explanations. “I myself will always remember … many other inhabitants of our planet wiped from our history.”

Koltypin argues that the tracks could not have been left by lightweight trucks or chariots, since the vehicles would have been much heavier to leave these deep impressions.

He has conducted many field studies in several places and extensively reviewed published studies on local geology. He hypothesizes that a road network extended over much of the Mediterranean more than 12 million years ago.

These complete roads would have been used by people who built underground cities like that in Cappadocia, Turkey, which, according to him, are also much older than those of conventional archeology.

Petrified wheel grooves have been found in Malta, Italy, Kazakhstan, France and even in North America, Koltypin said.

One of the main clusters is located in Sofca, Turkey, with tracks covering an area of ​​approximately 45 by 10 miles (75 by 15 kilometers). Another is in Cappadocia, Turkey, where there are several pockets, one of which is 25 miles by 15 miles.

Conventional archaeologists attribute many of the clues to various civilizations in different periods of time. But Koltypin said it is not right to attribute identical roads, ruts and underground complexes to different eras and cultures.

Instead, he attributes them to a unique and widespread civilization in a distant era. Multiple tumultuous natural events, such as tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, floods and tectonic disturbances that have left large fractures in Earth, have removed much of the remains of this advanced prehistoric civilization, he said.

The surrounding underground cities, irrigation systems, wells and more, also show signs of being millions of years old, he said.

But, “without significant additional studies by large groups of archaeologists, geologists and folklore experts, it is impossible to answer the question… What do you think?

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