Sunday, 24 December 2017

St Nicholas burial site

The church in the small coastal town of Demre is one of Christianity's most legendary sites. St Nicholas' body is believed to have laid in a tomb inside the church before being stolen by Italian thieves.

But using radar technology, Turkish archaeologists preparing for restoration work detected another tomb 5ft beneath the marble slabs which make the church's floor. One theory is that the tomb shifted underground during an earthquake and has remained undiscovered.

A well-worn church behind a scruffy shopping square in a small Turkish town has been described as the original Santa's grotto.
St Nicholas is believed to have been born 270 years after Jesus and lived in Demre for most of his life. Inspired by the message of Jesus, he sold all his possessions and gave out the cash to the poor. His legend for gift-giving gave rise was the inspiration behind Santa Claus.

Saturday, 23 December 2017

Christmas: The meaning behind the word


Brain being pulled out of the nose with a hook.
When you wish someone a Merry Christmas, you are really wishing them a merry burial, a historian claims. The word Christmas has its origins in ancient Egypt, deriving from the word ‘krst’ meaning ‘at rest’ in the sense of a burial or dead, according to Malcolm Hutton. The word ‘krst’ appears on most coffins which contain Egyptian bodies. Egyptians often referred to mummified bodies as ‘The Anointed’ because the body had been anointed with embalming fluid and natron - a salt mixture blended with oil and used for cleaning the body.

The connection between Christ and anointed was made explicit in both Hebrew and Greek. In Hebrew, anointed translates as ‘Masiah’ (or ‘Messiah’) while in Greek it means ‘Christós’.

Monstrance, a vessel in which the consecrated Host is exposed.
Traditionally, "Christmas" is thought to be a shortened form of "Christ's mass". Some Roman Catholic monstrances - used in the Benediction blessing - still have the image of Ra with a bull’s head below it.

“It was the Church that did the hijacking, taking from the Ancient Egyptians.”

Saturday, 9 December 2017

Royal Mint Unleashes The Red Dragon of Wales


Dragons are found in legends all over the world, and are associated with strength, wisdom and power.
The coin for The Red Dragon of Wales, struck at The Royal Mint’s home in South Wales, captures the spirit of the Welsh nation.

The Red Dragon was an emblem of Owen Tudor, the grandfather of Henry VII. Henry’s troops carried a fiery red dragon standard at the Battle of Bosworth.
The Red Dragon emerged from heroic traditions of King Arthur and his father Uther Pendragon, to become a Royal Beast of the Tudor monarchs. From there it has become the emblem of the modern Welsh nation.

Friday, 8 December 2017

245m year old 'Darth Vader' horseshoe crab fossil found

An uncanny resemblance to an evil villain has earned a fossilized crab the honour of being named after Darth Vader. The unusual shape of the extinct horseshoe crab species bears a striking similarity to the famous helmet of the Star Wars character.

The 245-million-year-old species, whose remains date from the Triassic period, have been dubbed Vaderlimulus tricki, after the Dark Lord of the Sith.
It is the first fossil of its kind from the Triassic Period to be found in North America. When this creature was alive, it would have lived on the supercontinent of Pangea.

Already ancient at that time, horseshoe crabs date back nearly 500 million years and surviving fossils are extremely rare. Today only four similar species remain alive and their numbers continue to dwindle.

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Scientists unveil skeleton of ancient human ancestor

Researchers in South Africa have unveiled what they call "by far the most complete skeleton of a human ancestor older than 1.5 million years ever found." The skeleton dates back 3.6 million years. Researchers say it has taken 20 years to excavate, clean, reconstruct and analyze the fragile skeleton.
The skeleton, dubbed Little Foot, was discovered in the Sterkfontein caves, about 40 kilometres (25 miles) northwest of Johannesburg when small foot bones were found in rock blasted by miners.