Friday, June 23, 2017

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4,000–year-old Mesopotamian city discovered in Kurdistan

The site where Xarab I Kilashin lies.

Archaeologists have discovered an ancient city, roughly 4,000 years old, on the banks of the Great Zab River in the Kurdistan Region.
The city known as Xarab-I Kilashin was unearthed as part of a major archaeological investigation of a 3,000 square kilometer area in the Region which began in 2012 and is expected to conclude this year.
The region had been off-limits to archaeologists for many years, first because of political instability in the area and later due to the presence of the Islamic State (IS).
"What is surprising is the size of this settlement," one of the expedition leaders, Rafał Koliński of Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, told IBTimes UK.
"All the earlier settlements evidenced in the area are very small in size, rarely exceeding 1 hectare. The same can be said of settlements contemporary to Xarab-i Kilashin, our urban site, which were mere villages."
Xarab-i Kilashin is arranged in a semi-circle around the northern river bank, stretching for a diameter of about 300 meters. Settlements of this size were not thought to have existed in the region before the Middle Ages.
The major research project on the settlement history of the Kurdistan Region led by the Institute of Archeology at the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań is to be based on the result of an extensive archaeological reconnaissance carried out on both banks of the Great Zab River, 50 km north of Erbil
Some 12,000 artifacts were discovered in the area, including pottery and terracotta stamps used mainly for decorating tissues.
The ancient Mesopotamian city is thought to have been an independent administrative seat for a dignitary who ruled prior to the rise of the Assyrian empire.
The archaeologists plan on releasing a series of maps of the area by 2018.



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Friday, June 9, 2017

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Ape-like creature filmed in La Crescenta woodland


Wildlife authorities have been investigating the recent sighting of an ape-like creature in California.

Jake Gardiner had been walking along a woodland hiking trail in the La Crescenta foothills last week when he encountered a peculiar uneasiness and the feeling that something was watching him.

Taking out his cellphone, he recorded footage of the surrounding area in the hope of picking something up. To his surprise, when he watched the video back afterwards he noticed what appeared to be a large ape swinging through the trees above.

"It's a little startling, too, you know? Because you're not really expecting to see an ape up in the trees out there. You're looking for more like deer or mountain lions, stuff like that," he said.

"You can definitely see a torso and four limbs moving around and swinging around," he said.

The video has caught the attention of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. Andrew Hughan, with the department, said the video is being investigated with help from Los Angeles animal control.

"We think that it's a pretty good possibility that it is some kind of ape," said spokesman Andrew Hughan. "These animals are incredibly strong and they can very easily kill or seriously injure a person because - if it turns out to be an ape - this animal is scared, hungry, out of its element."

Gardiner said he's been back to the scene a couple of times, trying to get another crack at the possible ape. But wildlife officials said that's a bad idea because if it is an ape, it won't be cute or cuddly.

"It's going to be scared and it's going to be disoriented. Therefore, it's going to be potentially really, really dangerous. They can kill you very easily," Hughan said.

He added if it does turn out to be a chimp, it most likely was someone's illegal pet that either escaped or was dumped. His advice is to stay away from the area and head to the zoo if you're looking for that kind of nature experience.

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Wednesday, May 31, 2017

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Batsquatch



Batsquatch is an elusive flying cryptid reportedly sighted near Mount Saint Helens from 1980s.It resembles a flying creature, similar to the Ahool and the Orang Bati of Southeast Asia, and its name is  derived from the words "bat" and "Sasquatch." 

Appearance:

This creature was said to have yellow eyes, a wolf-like muzzle, blue tinted fur, sharp teeth, bird-like feet and leathery bat-like wings that span up to fifty feet. In addition, Batsquatch is said to be 9 feet tall and has the ability to affect car engines. This is possibly a misunderstood sighting of Mothman considering it also affected man-made things, like Mothman can.

Chronology:

It is widely reported that on  May 1980 was the first time the creature was supposed to have been seen as it showed itself in the shadow of the clouds during the Mount Saint Helens eruption. 

On April 1994, Brian Canfield was driving in Washington's Pierce County when his truck suddenly died. Canfield said a large creature landed in front of him. He said it was human-like, 9 ft tall with batlike wings and also sported a coat of blue fur. Ever since then it has not been seen and skeptics dismiss it as a hoax.


A possible second sighting was reported in 2009 near Mt. Shasta in California. Several hikers witnessed a "huge" creature with leathery wings (spanning 50 ft.) fly out of a crevice in the mountain. At first, an eye-witness described the creature as having a head similar to a pterodactyl, however upon reconsideration the witness claimed it was more akin to a bat or a fox. 

On June 2011 Pheonix Tieraz (pseudonym) was in his yard walking his dog. He went to pick up the dog when he saw something in the sky. He said the following:

"I saw something flying the the sky. It had bat wings, blue fur and had a face similar to eyes glowing red. It was about 9 feet tall at the least, after I watched it just flew away. "

On April 14, 2014 at Archbishop Hoban High School in Akron OH, a second period Spanish class spotted a giant black mass zip by the window of the classroom at incredible speed. The class claims it was about 9 feet tall with a 20-30 foot wingspan.
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Friday, May 26, 2017

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Dragon's Breath Chilli Pepper


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Thursday, May 18, 2017

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Fachen



In both Scottish and Irish folklore, the Fachen (aka Fachan, Fachin or Peg Leg Jack) is a malevolent fairy with an appearance so frightening that it reportedly induced heart attacks in anyone who saw it. It wields a spiked club, and uses it to chase away (and kill, if it can) anything that comes near it. It hates all other life, and will destroy whole farms and orchards in a single day. It is active all year, but you can recognize its lair quite easily, due to there being no trees, animals or grass, just barren ground. It only has one arm and leg, so it compensates for being extremely strong in those limbs.

Appearance:


Descriptions tend to vary and include such physical features as a single eye, a rooster like crest, a mane of black feathers tufted at the top and a very wide mouth. The Fachen also was reported to have a single foot and in some cases is said to have only half a body.One of the strangest physical features of the Fachen was its mangled, arm like appendage which is said to have jutted out of its torso. It was said that with this strong, singular, mangled arm, the Fachen could destroy an entire orchard with a chain in one night.

Legend:


A story in John Francis Campbell's Popular Tales of the West Highlands features a Fachen by the name of Nesnas Mhiccallain who was defeated in a race by the story's hero, Murachadh Mac Brian, who would later become king of Ireland. In Campbell's book the Fachen was also referred to as Direach Ghlinn Eitich, or the Dwarf of Glen Etive.

The Fachen is Monster in My Pocket #114, and resembles a strange, feathery insectile creature.

In a story written by John Francis Campbell the Fachan is described....

"Ugly was the make of the Fachin; there was one hand out of the ridge of his chest, and one tuft out of the top of his head, it were easier to take a mountain from the root than to bend that tuft."

The tale, written in Popular Tales of the West Highlands, tells of a Fachan by the name of Nesnas Mhiccallain being defeated in a race by the Irish hero Murachadh Mac Brian. Through this deed he subsequently becomes the king of Ireland.

The lore of this solitary faery, the Fachan, says that he is madly jealous of the gift of flight and those who have it. He spends all his time brooding on it, bitter that he does not possess it, bitter at such a oversight by the deities! He hates all living things, not just those who fly, and will not tolerate them in his lands. Thus he is rather a lonely figure though it is doubtful that this bothers him.
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Saturday, May 13, 2017

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4000-Year-Old Funeral Garden Unearthed In Egypt


The Djehuty Project, led by research professor, José Manuel Galán, from the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), has discovered a 4,000-year-old funerary garden- the first such garden ever to be found- on the Dra Abu el-Naga hill in Luxor, Egypt. The discovery comes during the 16th year of archaeological excavations which are sponsored this year by Técnicas Reunidas and Indra.
The discoveries made by this project shed light on a key epoch when, for the first time, Thebes (now Luxor) became the capital of the unified kingdom of Upper and Lower Egypt about 4,000 years ago.
Dr. Jose Galán explains, "We knew of the possible existence of these gardens since they appear in illustrations both at the entrances to tombs as well as on tomb walls, where Egyptians would depict how they wanted their funerals to be. The garden itself consisted of a small rectangular area, raised half a meter off the ground and divided into 30 cm2 beds. In addition, next to the garden, two trees were planted. This is the first time that a physical garden has ever been found, and it is therefore the first time that archaeology can confirm what had been deduced from iconography. The discovery and thorough analysis of the garden will provide valuable information about both the botany and the environmental conditions of ancient Thebes, of Luxor 4,000 years ago."


Galán continues, "The plants grown there would have had a symbolic meaning and may have played a role in funerary rituals. Therefore, the garden will also provide information about religious beliefs and practices as well as the culture and society at the time of the Twelfth Dynasty when Thebes became the capital of the unified kingdom of Upper and Lower Egypt for the first time. We know that palm, sycamore and Persea trees were associated with the deceased's power of resurrection. Similarly, plants such as the lettuce had connotations with fertility and therefore a return to life. Now we must wait to see what plants we can identify by analysing the seeds we have collected. It is a spectacular and quite unique find which opens up multiple avenues of research."
"Digging in a necropolis not only allows us to discover details about the world of funerals, religious beliefs and funerary practices, it also helps us discover details about daily life, about society and about the physical environment, both plant and animal. The necropolis thus becomes, as the ancient Egyptians themselves believed, the best way to understand and embrace life," concludes the CSIC researcher.
The garden, or funeral garden, was unearthed in an open courtyard at the entrance of a Middle Kingdom rock-cut tomb very probably from the Twelfth Dynasty, circa 2000 BCE. The garden, measuring 3m x 2m, is raised and is divided into a grid arrangement of 30 cm2 beds distributed in rows of five or seven beds.
According to experts, these small beds may have contained different types of plants and flowers. In addition, at the centre of the raised garden there two beds which are set higher than the others where small trees or shrubs probably grew.


In one corner, the researchers recovered a still upright tamarisk shrub complete with its roots and 30cm-long trunk, beside which was a bowl containing dates and other fruit which may have been given as an offering.
In addition, attached to the facade of the tomb, which the garden is related to for the time being, a small mud-brick chapel (46cm high x 70cm wide x 55cm deep) with three stelae, or stone tombstones, in its interior was also uncovered. These are dated later than the tomb and the garden, coming from the Thirteenth Dynasty, around the year 1800 BCE. One of them belongs to Renef-seneb, and the other to "the soldier ("citizen") Khememi, the son of the lady of the house, Satidenu." On each, reference is made to Montu, a local god from ancient Thebes, and to the funerary gods Ptah, Sokar and Osiris.
"These finds highlight the importance of the area around the Dra Abu el-Naga hill as a sacred centre for a wide range of worship activities during the Middle Kingdom. This helps us understand the high density of tombs in later times as well as the religious symbolism that this area of the necropolis holds," concludes the CSIC researcher.
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Saturday, April 29, 2017

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Alan (Phllippine Folklore)



The Alan are deformed spirits from the folklore of the Tinguian tribe of the Philippines. They have wings and can fly, and their fingers and toes point backward.
These weird creatures have been known to shelter human children who have been left to their own devices in the harsh, jungle terrain of the Philippine Islands. 

Supposedly hailing from the dense jungles of the Philippine Islands, this mysterious race of small, deformed half-human, half-avian creatures, are known for their mischievous antics. Locals claim that these beasts dwell in the deep shadow ridden abyss of the Philippine rain forests, where they spend the better part of their days hanging upside down from trees in a bat-like fashion.

Appearance:


The skin on the face of a " wizened old alan” is described in a Tinguian tale as having been tough like carabao hide. The alan’s long arms had fingers pointing back from the wrist, “horrible to look at.” Elsewhere, the alan are said to be: “. . . as large as people but have wings and can fly. Their toes are at the back of their feet and their fingers point backward from their wrists.”



Legend:

The Alan and the Hunters:

Two men once went to hunt wild pig in the mountains, and after some time they speared and killed one, but they had no fire over which to singe it.
One man climbed a tree to see if there was a fire near by, and discovering smoke at some distance, he started toward it. When he reached the place, he found that the fire was in the house of an Alan,  and he was very much afraid; but creeping up into the house, he found that the Alan and her baby were fast asleep.
He stepped on tip-toe, but nevertheless the Alan was awakened and called out:
“Epogow,  what do you want?”
“I should like to get some fire,” said the man, “for we have killed a wild pig.”
The Alan gave him the fire, and then taking her basket she went with him to the place where the pig was.
After they had singed the animal, the Alan cut it up with her long nails and handed the liver to the man, telling him to take it to her house to feed the baby.
The man started, and on the way he ate the liver. When he reached the Alan’s house he did not know what to do. For some time he looked around, and then seeing a large cauldron of hot water on the fire, he threw the baby into it and went back.
“Did the baby eat well?” asked the Alan.
“Very well,” said the man.
Then she put most of the meat into her basket and started home. As soon as she had gone, the man told his companion what he had done, and they were so frightened that they ran to hide.
When the Alan reached home and found the baby dead in the hot water, she was very angry and started back immediately to find the men, who, in the meantime, had climbed a high tree that stood near the water.
The Alan looked down into the water, and seeing the reflection of the men, she reached in her long hand with the fingers that pointed backward, but when she could not touch them, she looked up and saw them in the tall tree.
“How did you get up there?” she cried angrily.
“We climbed up feet first,” called down the men.
The Alan, determined to get them, caught hold of a vine and started up the tree feet first, but before she quite reached them, they cut the vine and she fell to the ground and was killed.
Then the men came down and went to the Alan’s house, where they found a jar full of beads and another of gold, and these they brought with them when they returned home.

The Man and the Alan:

Tinguian was once walking along a trail in the woods when he heard a strange sound in a large tree near him, and looking up he was startled to see that it was the home of the Alan-spirits who live in the wood.
He stopped and gazed for a moment at the horrible creatures, large as people, hanging from the limbs of the tree with their heads down like bats. They had wings to fly, and their toes were at the back of their feet, while their long fingers, which pointed backward, were fastened at the wrist.
"Surely," thought the man, "these terrible beings will eat me if they can catch me. I will run away as fast as I can while they are asleep." He tried to run but he was too frightened, and after a few steps he fell face down on the ground.
At this the Alan began to wail loudly, for they saw him fall and believed him dead. They came down out of the tree with gold and beads which they laid on him.
After a while the man gathered courage and, jumping up, he cried as loudly as he could, "Go away!"
The Alan did not move, but they looked at him and said: "Give us the one bead nagaba [a peculiar bead of double effect], and you may have the rest." When the man refused to do this, they were angry and turned away, crying, "Then we are going to burn your house, for you are a bad man."
Thereupon the man went home as fast as he could go, but very soon after that his house burned, for the Alan kept their word.
And then...This Alan creature passed his legacy on to those that came forth and were worthy creatures of the gift. So, from generation to generation the Alan creatures can be seen.


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