This weblog is kind of my sandbox in my head. I have a lot of interests. Items regarding history, archeaology, GPS/GIS, ham radio, Grail Legends, geneaology, animals, books, .... Anything is fair game in this weblog.
This weblog is kind of my sandbox in my head. I have a lot of interests. Items regarding history, archeaology, GPS/GIS, ham radio, Grail Legends, geneaology, animals, books, .... Anything is fair game in this weblog.
Montsegur Castle, France. Also in the Languedoc area. The Cathars lived in the Languedoc until they were wiped out.
from the editorial review on Amazon.com of the book 'Montsegur and the Mystery of the Cathars' by Jean Markale, Jon Graham
"On March 16, 1244, over 200 Cathars were captured in their fortress stronghold of Montsegur and were burned alive by troops of the Inquisition. While some Cathar enclaves survived into the next century, this was the death blow to a religion that had been a powerful symbol of Occitain sovereignty against the designs of the French monarchy and the papacy. History has recorded that four high-ranking Cathar perfecti carried a great treasure out of Montsegur the night before its fall, a fact that led rebel Huguenots of the 17th century and members of Hitler's S.S. to believe that an enormous treasure or weapon of awesome spiritual power lay hidden somewhere nearby the ruins of the former Cathar stronghold. "
This GPS location is right next to the castle wall. 300 m from the parking lot.
Coordinates on this site are shown in WGS84 datum.
N 42° 52.535 E 001° 50.014
UTM: 31T E 404733 N 4747658
or convert to NAD27 at Jeeep.com
|DMS||42°52'32.09" N||1°50'0.84" E|
|Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM)|
|Zone||Easting (meters)||Northing (meters)|
Coordinates are not inside conterminous 48 States, no NAD-27 data provided
A photo from the parking lot.
The cache at the wall of the castle.
Book Review of Shimon Gibson's 'The Cave of John the Baptist' from Archeaology Magazine, November/December 2004.
Suba Cave is west of Jerusalem just outside the village of Ein Kerem, possibly John's birthplace. The cave was excavated in 1999 and 2000. Earliest occupation was probably between 800 and 500 B.C. Inside there is a reservoir proposed to have been used for baptism rituals.
Primitive drawings indicate that the cave was periodically used by early Byzantine monks who may have associated with John. There is an early Byzantine depiction of the saint, probably dating to before the sixth century and could be the earliest ever discovered.
-Article by Sandra Scham, editor of Near Eastern Archaeology
more info: http://www.tfba.org/projects.php?projectid=3
I've been perusing the EarthWatch website at http://www.earthwatch.org and found some expeditions that look like they would be very exciting to work on.
One called 'England's Hidden Kingdom' is in Yorkshire, England. Yorkshire is full of sheep pastures that have never been plowed or greatly disturbed. Underneath these pristine pasture lands are remnants of an unseen world that flourished during the age of King Arthur. The 5th through 7th centuries AD, when the Romans left, an unknown political void was created. One thought is that an independent kingdom, called Craven, thrived in this area.
The site's record includes the transition from Iron Age to Roman Empire and the invastions of the Angles and Vikings. This project is in the fourth year (2004) of exploration into the neglected archaeology of upland Craven. The plans: Survey work, including topographic mapping and geophysical measurements of underground features.
Tools: Theodolites, tape measures, resistivity meters, and grandiometers to help create above-ground and underground maps of the settlement site at Chapel House Wood.
Cost for non-members (2005): $2,195.
Expedition dates June 17-July 1 and July 8- July 22
Boy, what a price for having fun in the dirt.
Location: Roc de Marsal, Campagne-du Bugue, Dordogne, France.
Description: Southwest France, cave paintings and other evidence of Stone Age humans. Roc-de-marsal, a small cave where the remains of a Neanderthal child was buried. (intentionally)
Periogord Noir is one of Frances most scenic regions, also know for its chateaux, Medieval villages, and good food.
The Work: Just south of the small village of Les Eyzies. Cliff bound cave overlooking a tributary of the Vezere River, volunteers will excavate, run a total station to accurately map objects, and draw profiles of finds. In the lab, you'll wash and label artifacts, wet screen and sort small finds, take photographs, enter data, and scan old field notebooks.
Cost: non-members (2005) - $2395
Dates: May 30-June 13, June 13-27, June 27-July 11, July 11-25
Team size 10 duration 15 days
I ran across this link while checking traffic to my pages. Very interesting. Here is a map of ROSLIN, Scotland area from streetmap.co.uk.
The coordinates of ROSLIN are shown as Location is at 328443E 663318N (N55:51:28 W3:08:41)
When you find the place of interest you want you can buy a copy of the map.
Lost notes of Isaac Newton found
Notes on alchemy disappeared after 1936 auction
Updated: 2:36 p.m. ET July 1, 2005
LONDON - A collection of notes by the 17th century English
mathematician and physicist Sir Isaac Newton, that scientists
thought had been lost forever, have been found.
The notes on alchemy were originally discovered after Newton's death
in 1727 but were lost after they were sold at auction in July 1936
for 15 pounds ($27).
They were found while researchers were cataloguing manuscripts at
the Royal Society, Britain's academy of leading scientists.
"This is a hugely exciting find for Newton scholars and for
historians of science in general," Dr John Young, of London's
Imperial College Newton Project, said in a statement on Friday.
Newton's celebrated work "Philosophiae Naturalis Principia
Mathematica" (or Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy) is
considered one of the most important works in the history of modern
In it he formulates the three laws of motion and that of gravity.
Some scientists in Newton's time believed alchemy held the secret of
how to transform base metals into silver or gold. Newton's notes
were written in English in his own handwriting.
"It provides vital evidence about the alchemical authors Newton was
reading, and the alchemical theories he was investigating in the
last decades of the 17th century," Young added.
The notes will be on display at the Royal Society's annual Summer
Science Exhibition in London which begins on July 4.
Einstein manuscript found in Netherlands
Leiden archives yield original draft of 1925 paper on 'mono-atoms'
Updated: 8:52 p.m. ET Aug. 20, 2005
AMSTERDAM, Netherlands - The original manuscript of a paper Albert
Einstein published in 1925 has been found in the archives of Leiden
University's Lorentz Institute for Theoretical Physics, scholars
The handwritten manuscript titled "Quantum theory of the monatomic
ideal gas" was dated December 1924. Considered one of Einstein's
last great breakthroughs, it was published in the proceedings of the
Prussian Academy of Sciences in Berlin in January 1925.
High-resolution photographs of the 16-page, German-language
manuscript and an account of its discovery were posted on the
institute's Web site.
"It was quite exciting" when a student working on his master's
thesis uncovered the delicate manuscript written in Einstein's
distinctive scrawl, said professor Carlo Beenakker. "You can even
see Einstein's fingerprints in some places, and it's full of notes
and markups from his editor."
"We're going to keep it as a reminder of his visits here, which is
quite a fond memory for us," Beenakker said.
The German-born physicist, who was Jewish, taught in Berlin between
1914 and 1933, fleeing to the United States after Adolf Hitler came
Einstein, whose name is now synonymous with genius was a frequent
guest lecturer at Leiden in the 1920s due to his friendship with
physicist Paul Ehrenfest, among whose papers the manuscript was
The paper predicted that at temperatures near absolute zero - around
460 degrees below zero - particles in a gas can reach a state of
such low energy that they clump together in one larger "mono-atom."
The idea was developed in collaboration with Indian physicist
Satyendra Nath Bose and the then-theoretical state of matter was
dubbed a Bose-Einstein condensation.
In 1995, University of Colorado at Boulder scientists Eric Cornell
and Carl Wiemann created such a condensation using a gas of the
element rubidium and were awarded the Nobel prize for physics in
2001, together with Wolfgang Ketterle of the Massachusetts Institute
Beenakker said the student who found the manuscript, Rowdy Boeyink,
was painstakingly reviewing documents in the archive for a thesis on
Ehrenfest when he came across the Einstein manuscript and
immediately recognized its importance.
He said Boeyink had found other interesting documents during his
search, including a letter from Danish physicist Niels Bohr, and was
all but certain to receive top marks on his thesis.
TITLE: Turin Papyrus
DATE: 1,300 B.C.
DESCRIPTION: In so far as cartography is concerned, perhaps the greatest extant Egyptian achievement is represented by the Turin Papyrus, collected by Bernardino Drovetti before 1824 and now preserved in the Egizio Museum of Turin, Italy. The papyrus scroll artifact probably dates from 3,100 B.C. with the map apparently prepared around the reign of Ramses IV (1,150 B.C.), who initiated a systematic land survey of his entire empire. The enormous expenditures of the Pharaohs and the priesthood were met principally by taxes on the land, payable usually in the form of grain crops. For purposes of such taxation, the land was carefully measured and registered, and the boundaries marked. There is reason to believe that this type of data was put down on maps. Centuries later, the Greek scientist Eratosthenes made use of these early Egyptian measurements in his treatises.
The extant papyrus consists of two principal sections, earlier thought to belong to two different documents. The more important section is a fragment, measuring approximately forty centimeters high, generally called the "map of the gold mines". It depicts two broad roads, running parallel to each other through pinkish-red mountainous regions. They are drawn horizontally across the papyrus, the lower with indications of a rocky bed or sparse vegetation, characteristic of the larger dried-up watercourses or wadis that form the natural routes across the eastern desert from the Nile to the Red Sea. Legends written in hieratic, the cursive hierogliphic everyday hand of the time, explain where these routes to the left are leading. A broad, winding crossway wadi connects the two routes, from which an alternative route is indicated and labeled, also leading to the left. Running vertically from the upper route is yet another road with hieratic text that gives its destination. The significance of the area painted red is explained by another legend that reads, "the mountains where gold is washed: they are colored in red." The Egyptian term used here for red, dsr, is that most generally employed for all shades of red, the color used to depict red granite, sandstone, and the tawny hue of the desert. The term "mountains of gold" is repeated elsewhere in the area colored red, as well as apparently the phase "mountains of silver and gold." In places the red area is brought to a point and given a distinctive name such as "the peak" or "the peak on which Amun is." The intention was apparently to render the basic outlines of the mountains laid down flat on either side of the valley route rather than to delineate precisely and accurately the area of auriferous rocks.
There are other distinctive features outlined, colored, and labeled in hieratic. Near the junction of the cross valley with the upper route a circular, dark-colored image is marked, with a second partially overlapping design in a darker black line. The figure is probably intended to represent a well, though no text identifies it. A little below and to the right of the design is another, more oblong in shape, colored green with the zigzag lines by which the ancient Egyptians conventionally represented water. Within the design there are traces of a hieratic group, apparently to be read as "cistern", "water-place," or the like. In the same central section of the map a round-topped stela is also indicated in white, with a legend dating it to the reign of Sethos l of the Nineteenth Dynasty. The feature is presumably to be identified with one of the rock-cut stelae executed by that king, depicting Amun or another deity, preserved on the mountain face flanking the wadi. There are also two man-made features on the upper side of the upper route. One is clearly a large building containing several courts or rooms with connecting doors, described as the "shrine", "resting place" or "abode" of "Amun of the Pure Mountain." There are also three small rectangular forms labeled "the houses of the gold working settlement."
The second section of the papyrus comprises a number of fragments for which the final placement, based on careful study of the fibers of the papyrus, has yet to be made. Its principal feature is the continuation of the wide, winding route of the wadi interspersed with stones. This constitutes the lower route of the other section. In contrast with the gold-mine section, the area on each side of the road is colored black, and the legend indicates that in this area the stone known to the ancient Egyptians is bekhen is to be found. This black or dark green stone, generally called schist by Egyptian archaeologists, is more properly identified as graywacke. The surviving fragments give no indication of precise locations comparable to those found on the section depicting the gold mining region and its settlements.
The Turin Papyrus fragments were long considered the earliest surviving topographical map from Egypt to have come to light. The papyrus clearly has a character distinct from the cosmological drawings of the universe or of the routes to or depiction of the after-life found within the formal context of religious art. The draftsman has distributed distinctive features in accordance with the reality of a particular area, adding clarity by the use of legends and contrasting colors. The texts indicate that the area depicted must be along the natural route from Coptos (Qift) on the Nile through the eastern desert via Wadi al-Hammamat to the port of Quseir on the Red Sea. This route was used in ancient times in the course of expeditions to the Red Sea for trading voyages south to the land known to the Egyptians as Punt [Somaliland]. The central area, between Bir Al-Hammamat and Bir Umm Fawakhir, was visited as a source of ornamental stone and of gold, and it is rich in rock tables recording quarrying expeditions and in archaeological evidence of ancient gold mining. More precise location rests on the interpretation of the orientation of the map. This requires the resolution of questions concerning the placement of fragments in the second section and the identification of the places to which the roads to the left of the viewer are said to lead. In descriptions of property in the later period of the points of the compass are given in the order south, north, east, west, suggesting that Egyptians oriented themselves facing south, with north behind them, the west to their right and the east to their left. It would be natural, then, for them to designate the top of papyrus as South. Such a view seems to be supported by the legend designating the upper route of the gold map leading off to the left as "the road that leads to the ym," that is, to the [Red] sea," taking ym in its most common meaning. The route marked as leading off from the cross valley to the left is likewise described as "another road that leads to the ym." The placement of the second section to the right of the map of the gold region seems correct, since it would then constitute the beginning of a papyrus roll, which would normally suffer greater damage. The map would then show on the right (that is, the west) the darker "schist" areas of the main part of Wadi al-Hammamat, with the gold mines of the region of Bir Umm Fawakhir some twenty-five kilometers to the east. A more recent comparison of the features shown on the map with the ground matches the various features specifically mentioned in the gold map with the central area of Wadi al-Hammamat and with the upper part of the papyrus constituting the North. If this placement were correct and the fragments of the second portion were to be placed to the right, it would require the ym to which the road now leads westward, that is, back to the Nile, to be taken in some sense other than Red Sea. It would likewise place the area of bekhen stone to the east of the location of the main quarry inscriptions in Wadi al-Hammamat.
The difficulties in matching features depicted and labeled on the papyrus with those on the ground are compounded by the absence of any indications of scale. The map seems to be a freehand drawing. The only indication of its purpose seems to be given in the series of hieratic notations written on those areas left blank above and below the route and the black areas depicted on the fragments of the second section. In contrast with the hieratic texts on the gold map identifying geographical features, these texts refer to the transport of a statute. A text of five lines, of which the first four lack their beginnings, seems to reflect a situation in which a king sent an expedition to the Wadi al-Hammamat to bring a statue back to Thebes. It was, we are informed, deposited in a workshop beside the mortuary temple of Ramesses II (Ramesseum) on the west bank of the Nile of Thebes and subsequently taken, half-worked, to the Valley of the Kings in a regnal year 6. Such a docket must have been written at Thebes, the papyrus obviously having been at some time in the possession of one of the scribes attached to the work gang responsible for constructing and decorating the royal tombs in the Valley of the Kings. Jottings on the back of the papyrus include a reference to the statute of Ramesses IV of the Twentieth Dynasty, suggesting that year 6 should refer to the reign of that king. The purpose of the map is still obscure. Annotations on the second portion of the papyrus suggest that the document was drawn up in connection with work on the extraction and transport of stone, ultimately destined perhaps for a royal tomb in the Valley of the Kings. Some of these notes seem to give measurements of blocks; one seems to provide measurements of actual distances separating points on the map. The papyrus may be the result of calculations of distances for logistical purposes. To judge from instructions contained in a model letter copied by a pupil as part of his scribal training (instructions that seem to refer to the same general area as the Turin Map ), calculations of distance are the kind of work a scribe might be expected to do. What is unusual is that a rough sketch map is included. Surveying rarely resulted in graphic maps, and in this respect ancient Egypt is very similar to medieval Europe until well into the 14th and 15th centuries.
In summary then, the orientation of this particular map places South at the top. The geographical content depicts three roads leading from unidentified Egyptian gob mines to the sea. A prominent feature of the plan is what seems to be a winding wadi, or ravine, about the same width as the roads, in the mountains of Egypt's eastern desert between Qift on the Nile, down from Thebes, and Quseir on the Red Sea. The map was drawn in connection with a statue of a pharaoh which had never been completed. It is believed that this map also displays the gold-bearing basin to the east of Coptos (shown in pink on the original map) in the mountainous region of Nubia [part of modem Sudan] located at Bir Umm Fawakhir in the Wadi Hammamat. The scroll notes the locations of the mine and quarry, the gold and silver content of surrounding mountains and the destination of the roadways. The mapmaker has tried to show how the two main east-west roads lie in valleys that are linked by a road that curves through a mountain pass. One of the roads runs from Pelusium to Heroopolis. On either side of the main roads the map outlines sawtooth mountain ranges in an early attempt at rendering topographical detail. The nature of the country, the houses, buildings and entrances to galleries are also illustrated. The map is thought by some scholars to commemorate the triumphal return of Seti I from Syria (1366-1333 B.C.).
Two geologists from the University of Toledo in Ohio examined the map and recognized topographical features from the map, a roadway still in use and the mountains on both sides, shown as cones. The colors pink, brown, black and white were used to illustrate mountains and other features; however, the geologists James Harrell and Max Brown believe that these colors were not used for aesthetics, but that they "correspond with the actual appearance of the rocks making up the mountains". One region's sedimentary rocks, which range from purplish to dark gray and dark green, are mapped in black. Pink granitic rocks correspond with the scroll's pink and brown-streaked mountain. According to these geologists, this is probably one of the oldest surviving geological maps and the earliest evidence of geological thought. According to the geologist Harrell, "In order for it to be a geological map, it must show distribution of different rock types. Secondarily, it should indicate the location of geological features like mountains and valleys. In both regards the scroll qualifies and reminds us of modern geological mapping." The English surveyor William Smith is credited with initiating modern geologic mapmaking in 1815.
LOCATION: Egizio Museum, Turin, Italy
*Bagrow, L., The History of Cartography, p. 32.
*Ball, Egypt in the Classical Geographers
*Bricker, C., Landmarks in Mapmaking, p. 147.
*Brown, L., The Story of Maps, p. 33.
*Dilke, O.A.W., Greek and Roman Maps, pp. 14-15.
*Harley, J.B., The History of Cartography, Volume One, pp. 117, 121-125.
*Raisz, E., General Cartography, p. 6.
NEW YORK - Nearly all of today's Native Americans in North, Central and South America can trace their ancestry to just six women whose descendants immigrated around 20,000 years ago, a DNA study suggests.
The result doesn't mean that only six women gave rise to the migrants who crossed into North America from Asia in the initial populating of the continent.
Rather, it suggests that only six left a particular DNA legacy that persists to today in about about 95 percent of Native Americans, said study co-author Ugo Perego in Utah.
The women didn't necessarily arrive together, nor even all live at the same time, he said. Results indicate the women arrived sometime between 18,000 and 21,000 years ago.
The work was published this week by the journal PLoS One. Perego is from the Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation in Salt Lake City and the University of Pavia in Italy.
The work confirms previous indications of just six maternal lineages, as well as a date of around 20,000 years ago for when the first people in North America arrived after crossing a land bridge from Asia, Perego said.
The researchers studied mitochondrial DNA, which is passed only from mother to daughter. They created a "family tree" that traces the different DNA lineages found in today's Native Americans. By noting mutations in each branch and applying a formula for how often such mutations arise, they calculated how old each branch was. That indicated when each branch arose in a single woman.
The six "founding mothers" apparently did not live in Asia because the DNA signatures they left behind aren't found there, Perego said. So they probably lived in Beringia, the now-submerged land bridge that stetched to North America, he said.
JERUSALEM - Scientists in Israel are taking digital photographs of the Dead Sea Scrolls with the aim of making the 2,000-year-old documents available to the public and researchers on the Internet.
Israel Antiquities Authority, the custodian of the scrolls that shed light on the life of Jews and early Christians at the time of Jesus, said on Wednesday it would take more than two years to complete the project.
For many years after Bedouin shepherds first came upon the scrolls in caves near the Dead Sea in 1947, only a small number of scholars were allowed to view the fragments.
But access has since been widened and they were published in their entirety seven years ago.
Using powerful cameras and lights that emit no damaging heat or ultraviolet beams, scientists in Israel have been able to decipher sections and letters in the scrolls invisible to the naked eye.
The scrolls, most of them on parchment, are the oldest copies of the Hebrew Bible and include secular text dating from the third century BC to the first century AD.
A team of specialists has taken 4,000 pictures of some 9,000 fragments that make up the scrolls, which number 900 in total. A few large pieces of scroll are on permanent display at the Israel Museum.
"We are able to see the scrolls in such detail that no one has before," said Simon Tanner, a digital expert from King's College London, who is in charge of data collection.
Scientists hope the advanced imaging technology will also help them better preserve the scrolls by detecting any deterioration caused by humidity and heat.
In this undated two picture combo made of photographs released by Israel's Antiquities Authority on Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2008, fragments of the Dead Sea scrolls before infrared imaging, right, and after, left, are seen. Israeli and American scientists are bringing the oldest known version of the Hebrew Bible into the 21th century. They're digitally reproducing the Dead Sea Scrolls online. (AP Photo/Israel Antiquities Authority, HO)
11:17 a.m. ET, 8/27/08