Τετάρτη, 21 Σεπτεμβρίου 2011

Sumerians Look On In Confusion As God Creates World

Lord God, Creator of All, caught thousands of Sumerian farmers and mathematicians somewhat off guard.
Members of the earth's earliest known civilization, the Sumerians, looked on in shock and confusion some 6,000 years ago as God, the Lord Almighty, created Heaven and Earth.

According to recently excavated clay tablets inscribed with cuneiform script, thousands of Sumerians—the first humans to establish systems of writing, agriculture, and government—were working on their sophisticated irrigation systems when the Father of All Creation reached down from the ether and blew the divine spirit of life into their thriving civilization.
"I do not understand," reads an ancient line of pictographs depicting the sun, the moon, water, and a Sumerian who appears to be scratching his head. "A booming voice is saying, 'Let there be light,' but there is already light. It is saying, 'Let the earth bring forth grass,' but I am already standing on grass."
"Everything is here already," the pictograph continues. "We do not need more stars."
Historians believe that, immediately following the biblical event, Sumerian witnesses returned to the city of Eridu, a bustling metropolis built 1,500 years before God called for the appearance of dry land, to discuss the new development. According to records, Sumerian farmers, priests, and civic administrators were not only befuddled, but also took issue with the face of God moving across the water, saying that He scared away those who were traveling to Mesopotamia to participate in their vast and intricate trade system.
Moreover, the Sumerians were taken aback by the creation of the same animals and herb-yielding seeds that they had been domesticating and cultivating for hundreds of generations.
"The Sumerian people must have found God's making of heaven and earth in the middle of their well-established society to be more of an annoyance than anything else," said Paul Helund, ancient history professor at Cornell University. "If what the pictographs indicate are true, His loud voice interrupted their ancient prayer rituals for an entire week."
According to the cuneiform tablets, Sumerians found God's most puzzling act to be the creation from dust of the first two human beings.
"These two people made in his image do not know how to communicate, lack skills in both mathematics and farming, and have the intellectual capacity of an infant," one Sumerian philosopher wrote. "They must be the creation of a complete idiot."


Παρασκευή, 8 Ιουλίου 2011

Is this the world's oldest shoe? 5,000-year-old leather-laced size 4 found in cave in Armenia

by David Derbyshire

For lovers of fashion, it's the ultimate vintage shoe.
Created more than 5,500 years ago at the dawn of civilisation this perfectly preserved brown leather lace-up is the oldest shoe in the world.
It was created from a piece of cow hide 1,000 years before the Great Pyramid of Giza and stitched together with leather thread.
The size 4 shoe - discovered buried in a cave in Armenia - is so well preserved that its lace is still intact.

Archaeologists say it probably belonged to a woman who deliberately buried it in the cave during a mysterious ritual. The cave also contained three pots, each containing a child's skull, along with containers of barley, wheat and apricot.
For Dr Ron Pinhasi, University College Cork, the shoe is a discovery of a lifetime.
'We thought initially that the shoe and other objects were about 600-700 years old because they were in such good condition,' said Dr Pinhasi.
'When we discovered that the shoe dated back to 3,500 BC and that it was the oldest leather shoe, we were very excited.'
The shoe was worn by an early farmer living in the mountains of Vayotz Dzor province of Armenia close to the border of modern-day Turkey and Iran.

The region was on the edge of the Fertile Crescent - the great sweep of land that gave birth to the first towns, cities and farms.
It was made from a single piece of leather, tanned using vegetable oil, and shaped to fit the wearer's foot. It contained grass, although archaeologists are unsure whether this was to keep out the cold, or maintain the shape of the shoe .
It was laced using a strip of leather threatened through slits. At some point in its life, one of the slits tore - forcing the wearer to make repairs by recutting another gash for the lace.
'It is not known whether the shoe belonged to a man or a woman,' said Dr Pinhasi, who reports the findings in the journal PLoS One.

However, the small size makes it most likely that it belonged to a woman, he added.
The cool and dry conditions in the cave helped preserve the shoe which appears to have been buried in the ground on its own. The floor was covered with a thick layer of sheep dung which helped conserve the shoe and other finds.
Three samples of the shoe were carefully radiocarbon-dated at laboratories at Oxford University and the University of California, Irvine.
The shoe was discovered by Armenian PhD student, Diana Zardaryan, of the Institute of Archaeology, Armenia, in a pit that also included a broken pot and sheep's horns.
Researcher Dr Gregory Areshian, of the University of California, Los Angeles, said: 'We couldn't believe the discovery. The crusts had sealed the artefacts and archaeological deposits and artefacts remained fresh dried, just like they were put in a can.'
The previous oldest known footwear were sandals made from plants found in a cave in Missouri. They were made and worn a few hundred years after the Armenian shoe.

The design is similar to the 'pampooties' worn on the Aran Islands in the West of Ireland up to the 1950s.
'We do not know yet what the shoe or other objects were doing in the cave or what the purpose of the cave was,' said Dr Pinhasi.
'We know that there are children's graves at the back of the cave but so little is known about this period that we cannot say with any certainty why all these different objects were found together.'

Armenia's climate 5,500 years ago was similar to today's - hot in the summer, snowy in winter. The owner of the shoe would have worn wool and leather clothes, and relied on the shoes for protection as she walked around the rocky terrain.
The shoe may have been made locally, or traded with the more sophisticated towns and villages in the heart of Mesopotamia, Dr Pinhasi added.

Scientists Finally Admit Parting of the Red Sea Was Possible

by Teresa Neumann

Parting of the Red Sea?"People have always been fascinated by this Exodus story, wondering if it comes from historical facts. What this study shows is that the description of the waters parting indeed has a basis in physical laws."

For years, atheists have dismissed Biblical miracles as myths or outright fabrications. Although Christians and Jews believe these miracles—such as the parting of the Red Sea—truly happened and were orchestrated by God Almighty Himself, it is only recently that researchers have come to admit that, at least scientifically, the Red Sea really could have parted for the fleeing Children of Israel.
A report in The Daily Mail details how U.S. scientists studied ancient maps of the Nile Delta region, pinpointed where the crossing may have occurred, and then studied computer modeling which suggested a powerful wind "could have divided the waters just as depicted in the Biblical story."

According to the report: "Analysis of archaeological records, satellite measurements and maps allowed the researchers to estimate the water flow and depth at the site 3,000 years ago. An ocean computer model was then used to simulate the impact of a strong overnight wind on the six-foot-deep waters. The scientists found that an east wind of 63 mph blowing for 12 hours would have driven the shallow waters back, both into the lake and the river channel. For a period of four hours, this would have created a land bridge about two miles long and three miles wide. The waters really would have been parted, with barriers of water raised on both sides of the newly exposed mud flats. As soon as the winds dropped, the waters would have rushed back, much like a tidal bore. Anyone stranded on the mud flats would have been at risk of drowning."

Lead researcher Carl Drews, from the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado, said: "The simulations match fairly closely with the account in Exodus. The parting of the waters can be understood through fluid dynamics. The wind moves the water in a way that’s in accordance with physical laws, creating a safe passage with water on two sides and then abruptly allowing the water to rush back in. People have always been fascinated by this Exodus story, wondering if it comes from historical facts. What this study shows is that the description of the waters parting indeed has a basis in physical laws."

What the researchers’ conclusions fail to account for, in relation to the Biblical story, is how everything conspired to happen at exactly the right moments to allow the Israelites to cross over, and then immediately turned again to drown the pursuing Egyptians. Nor can it explain how thousands of fleeing refugees could cross over mud. The land had to be dry for that to occur.

Still, such an admission coming from the scientific community is just that: an admission that the event was possible. If nothing else, it is a step away from complete denial.

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