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This Temple Was Carved Out Of A Single Rock – Nobody Knows How ‘The Builders’ Made It

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In what could be the next wonder of the world, archaeologists have recently unearthed a temple that ancients have carved out of a mountain rock. Located in Elora, Maharashtra, India, the temple is known as The Kailasa Temple. Some name it the Kailash. The Kailasa temple is dedicated to the Hindu faith and was ordered to be built by King Krishna I of the Rashtrakuta dynasty in ancient India.

Archaeologists Baffled By The Kailasa Temple

It forms part of a temple complex of 34 cave temples which were of similar construct.

The Construction

What has boggled and amazed scientists is the construction of the temple. Unlike many temples that were built from ground up, the Kailasa temple was carved out straight from the rock of a mountain. To add further amazement, a staggering 400,000 tonnes of rock were excavated and hauled out. During the construction of the temple.

The temple originated around 8th century A.D, and it is intriguing that technology of the period could have contributed to such a momentous construction task. One may wonder at the scope of the construction and estimate the temple to be completed after many decades or centuries. However, the temple only took less than 18 years to finish, according to scientific estimates.

It was estimated that 60 tonnes of rock were being removed every day during temple’s construction phase. The temple workers laboured for 12 hours a day hauling at least 5 tonnes of rock out from the mountain per hour. Scientists still have not fully figured out the constructions methods used in conjunction with the tools available during the period and were left baffled at the scope of the operation.

Architecture

The Kailasa temple is part of a complex of 34 monasteries and temples which span over an area of 2 kilometres. As they were all cut out of the mountainside, they are collectively known as the Elora caves, carved out from a basalt cliff.

The temple has a height of 98 feet, was 109 feet wide, and had a depth of 164 feet. This makes it possibly one of the biggest known structures of its kind on the planet. The entrance of the temple faces the west. What is remarkable about the entrance is the degree of accuracy of its facing, giving it a 270-275 degree on a compass.

A 2 storey gateway adorns the entrance to the temple, which further leads to a U-shaped courtyard. The temple is dedicated to the worship of Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva, and deities of both lords align the interior of the temple. Three storey arcades line the perimeter of the courtyard and showcase many sculptures and panels of marvellous beauty and design.

Complex and majestic staircases and bridges link the many different areas of the temple together, adding to the splendour of the place.

Built By Extraterrestrials?

As mentioned before, the time when the temple was built and the available technology of the period coupled with the time it took to build and the momentous scope of the construction had left many baffled. The entire feat would be extremely difficult if not impossible to achieve at that time.

However, the video below reveals a theory which may offer an explanation, that extraterrestrials gave a hand in the construction of this temple.

Thank you for watching!

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Ancient

Malapa skeletons are the same hominin species

Image Credit: CC BY-SA 4.0 Brett Eloff

Australopithecus lived two million years ago.

Anthropologists have published the results of a new study in to two fossil skeletons found in South Africa.

The skeletons, which were unearthed in 2008 at the fossil site of Malapa within the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site near Johannesburg, belong to an early hominin known as Australopithecus sediba.

More complete than the famous ‘Lucy’ specimen from Ethiopia, the skeletons were of a young male and adult female – both believed to be somewhere around two million years old.

For a time, it wasn’t even clear that the two belonged to the same species, but now, following a decade of research in to the finds, researchers have concluded that they are indeed the same.

The study has also revealed more about what these early hominins may have been like.

“Our interpretations in the papers suggest that A. sediba was adapted to terrestrial bipedalism, but also spent significant time climbing in trees, perhaps for foraging and protection from predators,” wrote New York University anthropologist Scott Williams.

“This larger picture sheds light on the lifeways of A. sediba and also on a major transition in hominin evolution, that of the largely ape-like species included broadly in the genus Australopithecus to the earliest members of our own genus, Homo.”

Source: Heritage Daily

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Ancient

Ancient Roman Cemetery is Full of Mysterious Headless Skeletons

(Archaeological Solutions)

In England, excavations for developments of the housing kind often lead to developments of the archeological kind. While digging holes for foundations in the tiny old town of Great Whelnetham, Suffolk, in eastern England, construction workers found a Roman-era cemetery with a macabre mystery … many of the skeletons were headless, with the skull placed either between the knees, between the feet or even under a knee. Criminals? Vampires? Anti-development zombies? Something worse?

“The incisions through the neck were post-mortem and were neatly placed just behind the jaw. An execution would cut lower through the neck and with violent force, and this is not present anywhere.”

Archeologist Andrew Peachey of Archaeological Solutions, an independent archaeological contractor providing archaeological monitoring and research for urban excavations, was called in by developer Havebury Housing Partnership to investigate the cemetery, which contained 52 skeletons of which 17 had their heads removed and placed elsewhere. Seventeen more were “deviant” burials where the skeleton was face down or in a fetal position. There were also 4 skulls with no bodies. (Photos of the remains can be seen here.) The rest of the bodies were placed with heads intact in the usual face-up burial position. Peachey’s initial analysis determined that the cemetery was from the 4th century CE and that the headless bodies were not the result of executions.

“This appears to be a careful funeral rite that may be associated with a particular group within the local population, possibly associated with a belief system (cult) or a practice that came with a group moved into the area.”

But what kind of cult? Peachey tells the East Anglian Daily Times that headless burials such as these are extremely rare in Britain. He also pointed out a second mystery – the deceased appeared to be healthy when they died. Most were middle-aged or older (with a few children under 10) and in good shape.

“They were well nourished, and several had very robust upper arms/bodies consistent with a working agricultural population.”

Peachey proposes that they could have been slaves or a labor force brought in to work the fields, but the care used in the removal of the heads and their placement suggests these were members of the community and buried with respect. He has no explanation for why they died so healthy – although many had dental problems, most had healed, and evidence of tuberculosis was common in 4th century agrarian communities, so they weren’t killed by the disease nor beheaded postmortem to prevent them from rising and spreading the disease again.

The people of the Pacific island of Kiribati exhume their dead and remove their skulls to be displayed as sign of reverence in hopes the spirit will protect them. Could a similar culture or cult in 4th century England had a similar practice?

Not surprisingly, the remains have been removed to a local museum and the development is expected to be completed in July. While the skeletons and detached skulls are being analyzed for more information on the who’s and why’s of the strange burial practice, people will soon be living where they laid undisturbed for centuries. Would you want to move right in or wait for the explanation?

SOURCE:

Mysterious Universe

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Ancient

Mexico Unearths Ancient Flayed God Temple Where Priests Wore Skins Of Dead

Mexican experts have found the first temple of the Flayed god, a pre-Hispanic fertility deity depicted as a skinned human corpse.

What is Flayed god?

The great god Xipe Totec, otherwise known as Our Lord the Flayed One/ Flayed God, was one of the oldest Aztec deities. Also known as Red Tezcatlipoca, guardian of the east, Xipe Totec was often depicted as a man wearing the flayed skin of another.

Xipe Totec’s name was derived from the myth by which the god flayed—peeled and cut off—his own skin to feed humans. For the Aztecs, Xipe Totec’s removing his layer of skin symbolized the events that must happen to produce renewed growth that covers the earth each spring. More specifically, flaying is associated with the cycle of American corn (maize) as it sheds its external seed covering when it is ready to germinate.

Discovery of the temple

Mexico‘s National Institute of Anthropology and History said the find was made during recent excavations of Popoloca Indian ruins in the central state of Puebla.

The institute said experts found two skull-like stone carvings and a stone trunk depicting the god, Xipe Totec. It had an extra hand dangling off one arm, suggesting the god was wearing the skin of a sacrificial victim. The Popolocas built the temple at a complex known as Ndachjian-Tehuacan between A.D. 1000 and 1260 and were later conquered by the Aztecs.

Sacrifice and the Flaying of Skin

Priests worshipped Xipe Totec by skinning human victims and then donning their skins. The ritual was seen as a way to ensure fertility and regeneration.  The victims of this sacrifice would be killed and then flayed—their skins removed in large pieces. Those skins were painted and then worn by others during a ceremony and in this manner, they would be transformed into the living image (“teotl ixiptla”) of Xipe Totec.

Mexico Unearths Ancient Flayed God Temple Where Priests Wore Skins Of Deaddetail from Ritual Impersonator of the Deity Xipe Totec, Aztec, possibly central Veracruz, Mexico, 1450-1500 – Art Institute of Chicago (Image Source)

Rituals performed during the early spring month of Tlacaxipeualiztli included the “Feast of the Flaying of Men,” for which the month was named. The entire city and rulers or nobles of enemy tribes would witness this ceremony. In this ritual, slaves or captive warriors from surrounding tribes were dressed in as the “living image” of Xipe Totec. Transformed into the god, the victims were led through a series of rituals performing as Xipe Totec, then they were sacrificed and their body parts distributed among the community.

Ancient accounts of the rituals suggested victims were killed in gladiator-style combat or by arrows on one platform, then skinned on another platform. The layout of the temple at Tehuacan seems to match that description.

Other depictions of the Flayed god

Depictions of the god had been found before in other cultures, including the Aztecs, but not a whole temple.

University of Florida archaeologist Susan Gillespie, who was not involved in the project, wrote that “finding the torso fragment of a human wearing the flayed skin of a sacrificial victim in situ is perhaps the most compelling evidence of the association of this practice and related deity to a particular temple, more so to me than the two sculpted skeletal crania.”

“If the Aztec sources could be relied upon, a singular temple to this deity (whatever his name in Popoloca) does not necessarily indicate that this was the place of sacrifice,” Gillespie wrote. “The Aztec practice was to perform the sacrificial death in one or more places, but to ritually store the skins in another, after they had been worn by living humans for some days. So it could be that this is the temple where they were kept, making it all the more sacred.”

Featured image: Omar Eduardo

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