Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Only dairy products for Gods – offered by Stonehenge builders.

The following article published by the researchers of University of York made an interesting finding that the Stonehenge builders of 25th century BCE offered only milk products to Gods in their ceremonies while their usual food was mainly non-vegetarian. Though there is no evidence so far of them having consumed vegetarian food, the evidence on only- dairy products indicates an evolved Thought (borrowed?) on non-violence as a virtue which is needed to connect with Gods or higher realms.  

The research has revealed that the inhabitants seemed to possess knowledge of how to prepare foods thereby indicating that they were either immigrants or have had a long previous history. This is to mean that they were not primitive but already developed ones. For such people to use only dairy products such as milk and yoghurt in religious offerings, it also means that they have learned or inherited that habit from someone. Who they could be?



The culinary habits of the Stonehenge builders.
Posted by TANN

A team of archaeologists at the University of York have revealed new insights into cuisine choices and eating habits at Durrington Walls -- a Late Neolithic monument and settlement site thought to be the residence for the builders of nearby Stonehenge during the 25th century BC. Stonehenge.

[Credit: WikiCommons]

Together with researchers at the University of Sheffield, detailed analysis of pottery and animal bones has uncovered evidence of organised feasts featuring barbeque-style roasting, and an unexpected pattern in how foods were distributed and shared across the site.

Chemically analysing food residues remaining on several hundred fragments of pottery, the York team found differences in the way pots were used. Pots deposited in residential areas were found to be used for cooking animal products including pork, beef and dairy, whereas pottery from the ceremonial spaces was used predominantly for dairy.

Such spatial patterning could mean that milk, yoghurts and cheeses were perceived as fairly exclusive foods only consumed by a select few, or that milk products -- today often regarded as a symbol of purity -- were used in public ceremonies.

Unusually, there was very little evidence of plant food preparation at any part of the site. The main evidence points to mass animal consumption, particularly of pigs. Further analysis of animal bones, conducted at the University of Sheffield, found that many pigs were killed before reaching their maximum weight. This is strong evidence of planned autumn and winter slaughtering and feasting-like consumption.

The main methods of cooking meat are thought to be boiling and roasting in pots probably around indoor hearths, and larger barbeque-style roasting outdoors -- the latter evidenced by distinctive burn patterns on animal bones. A reconstruction drawing of how the prehistoric village of Durrington Walls  might have looked in 2500BC

[Credit: English Heritage]

Bones from all parts of the animal skeleton were found, indicating that livestock was walked to the site rather than introduced as joints of meat. Isotopic analysis indicates that cattle originated from many different locations, some far away from the site. This is significant as it would require orchestration of a large number of volunteers likely drawn from far and wide.

The observed patterns of feasting do not fit with a slave-based society where labour was forced and coerced, as some have suggested. Dr Oliver Craig, Reader in Archaeological Science at the University of York and lead author on the paper, said: "Evidence of food-sharing and activity-zoning at Durrington Walls shows a greater degree of culinary organisation than was expected for this period of British prehistory.

The inhabitants and many visitors to this site possessed a shared understanding of how foods should be prepared, consumed and disposed. This, together with evidence of feasting, suggests Durrington Walls was a well-organised working community." Professor Mike Parker Pearson, Professor at University College London and Director of the Feeding Stonehenge project who also led the excavations at Durrington Walls, said: "This new research has given us a fantastic insight into the organisation of large-scale feasting among the people who built Stonehenge.

Animals were brought from all over Britain to be barbecued and cooked in open-air mass gatherings and also to be eaten in more privately organized meals within the many houses at Durrington Walls. "The special placing of milk pots at the larger ceremonial buildings reveals that certain products had a ritual significance beyond that of nutrition alone. The sharing of food had religious as well as social connotations for promoting unity among Britain's scattered farming communities in prehistory. " Dr Lisa-Marie Shillito, who analysed the pottery samples and recently joined Newcastle University, added: "The combination of pottery analysis with the study of animal bones is really effective, and shows how these different types of evidence can be brought together to provide a detailed picture of food and cuisine in the past."

The study has been published in the Antiquity Journal.
Source: University of York [October 12, 2015]

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Rama in the rock carvings of Iraq.

The image of a man with a bow in his hand and a short figure bowing in front of him is found carved in the cliff of Darbadi Belula in Sulaymaniya, in Iraq near Iranian border. This image has created interest (reproduced at the end of this article) as it reminds of Sri Rama of Ramayana.

(Click on the image to enlarge)

The location of this image on the side of the mountain can be seen in the picture below.

The location shows that this image was not part of any worship but only a glorification or a show of admiration of the hero in that image. A carving at this height and on the side of a mountain can be the work of a sculptor who wanted to recreate the memory of a hero or chisel out that memory permanently in stone. As such, this is not a work done at the behest of the hero (in the carving) himself or something done by the order of a king (hero of the carving).

A closer look at the mountain side shows something else – a graffiti on the right side of the image. Let’s take a look at it.

A closer look at the grafitti is like this:

This image gives amazing resemblance of Hindu God with multiple hands and a crown – similar to Vishnu or Surya Narayana!
{The images of this relief from different angles can be seen in this link.}

Is this only a coincidence or a case of a sculptor having tried to create some images of a Hindu God and finally decided to make the image of Rama?

The close-up of this image shows cuneiform writing on the left side of the image which is yet to be deciphered. The decipherment would give a better idea of who this figure refers to. Until then we will be making guesses. However there are other features that are unique to this figure pointing out to a link to Rama.

The standing image has a bow in the hand with a head gear that does not look like those of the well documented figures of Akkad or Assyrian kings that ruled this part of Mesopotamia. The most common feature of those kings and his men are the beard which is also missing in this figure.
On the other hand, the ornament around the neck with a pendant and the dress around the waist look more Indian.

The bow looks unique as it is not common to see it in the figures of Mesopotamia. There are only a few exceptions – the one exception being that of Naram-Sin (whose name sounds like Narasimha) of the Akkadian empire who ruled between 2261-2224 BCE. Naram-Sin had a beard and he sported a head gear with horns in his moments of stamping victory as seen in the image of his Victory stele below.

One striking resemblance with the cliff-carving of Darbadi Belula is that Naram-Sin of Akkad also holds a bow in his hand!

There is yet another Vicory Stele of Naram-Sin in war mode, showing him with a drawn-bow in his hand. The image below shows Naram-Sin in war, with a bow in hand. But his appearance is different from the Cliff image. This is stressed here to show that Naram Sin and the cliff image are not the same.

The other exception comes from the Assyrian kings who came 1000 years later than Naram Sin of Akkad. The Assyrians were archers and used bows for hunting and in wars. The Assyrian king Ashurbanipal (668 BC – c. 627 BC) on a horseback with his bow on a hunting expedition can be seen in the relief from Nineveh. (below)

Another image of Ashurbanipal with a bow and riding a horse chariot is reproduced below:

But his attire, headgear and beard are very much characteristic of the Assyrians which is missing in the cliff-relief that is the focus of this article.

The Assyrian foot soldiers also used bows in the battles. See the image below.

Once again their attire and beard are very much same of the people of that region of Mesopotamia, irrespective of their dynasties.

There were warriors with bows riding in the horse drawn carriages. (Image below)

Once again what makes them out to be the people of this region is their beard and head gear. They wore conical cap on their head. Naram Sin had a conical cap though he sported two horns like a bull or a ram.

(Naram Sin of Akkad)

Ashurbanipal of Assyrian dynasty also sported a conical cap.

The beard is a common feature of these kings and of any male in their societies.

This is in contrast to the cliff relief of Sulaymaniya. The conical head gear is missing and the hero in that image was not clad in the kind of attire that is commonly found in the kings and soldiers of Akkadian or Assyrian people who ruled that part of present day Iraq.

But an amazing resemblance is found in a carving unearthed in Ur by Sir Leonard Woolley. He dated the findings of Ur to 4000 years BP. Ur which is about 650 Kilometers south of the Cliff of Sulaymaniya is found to have housed a huge block showing a man with a drawn bow in his hand travelling in a horse driven cart. No other details of this carving are available – perhaps not yet analyzed by researchers.  

The image of the warrior in this carving is different from the rest of the people of this region as the beard is missing and the headgear is normal and not similar to that of Naram Sin or Assyrian rulers or the other of kings of the region. There is a likelihood that the image of the cliff is the same as the person of the above block. The above image belonged to 4000 years ago as per Woolley’s account.
The excavation at the same place (of Ur) throws some light on the weapons, the dress and the head gear of the warriors and the king. While this figure (in the above image) is seen with a bow in warring mode, the figures seen in the Standard of Ur (excavated from the same place) are seen with swords and not bows. 

(The “Standard of Ur” is a small trapezoidal box (8.5 Inches high by 19.5 Inches long) whose two sides and end panels are covered with figurative and geometric mosaics made of pieces of shell, lapis lazuli, and red limestone set into bitumen. It was found in PG779 near a soldier whom Woolley thought had carried it on a long pole as the royal emblem of a king.)

The Standard of Ur shows both the war time and peace time on its two sides. The war time shows men with swords as seen in the image below.

The headgear, dress and weapon of these men are different from the man with the bow in the horse drawn carrier.

The War side of the Standard of Ur also shows carriages, but drawn by what looks like donkeys and not horses.

The other side of the Standard of Ur showing peace times depicts different cultural traits in terms of dress codes and objects. (Image below)

The seated figure looks like a king and is without a beard or a hair dress. The clothing is different.
Comparing all these excavated objects from the same region of Ur, the block showing man with a bow in the horse drawn carriage definitely stands out as someone different from the then  existing people. (Reproduced below)

The bowman of Ur and the one on the cliff relief are of similar genre but alien to the society where they are found. This makes a good ground for thinking that he must have been a well known archer of the neighboring eastern country that is Bharat. In this context it is worth recalling from my earlier article on what became Ur.

Quoting from that article,

 The term Ur is derived from Uru, the Sanskrit word for ‘thigh’. Mahabharata says that when Parashurama caused a massive devastation to the warrior class, there happened a sinking of the earth. This is conveyed as though the earth has sunk due to the misdeeds of the people as there were no kings to bring out orderliness. Seeing the Goddess Earth sinking, sage Kashyapa lifted her up in his thigh, i.e., uru. It is because of this the Earth came to be known as ‘Urvi’. { Mahabharata, Shanti parva – 49 }

….Even in the Tamil culture explained above, Ur is connected with some waterway nearby. In a surprising connection, the people living in the artificially created floating islands of Lake Titicaca in South America are known as Uru People! This name Uru with its relevance in a faraway place like South America is an example of the prevalence of same ideas related to same words prevailing over a vast part of the globe with its genesis in Vedic culture.

Similar kind of lifting from water had happened in Ur of Mesopotamia (in present-day Iraq). Ur was originally a coastal city on the mouth of Euphrates in the Persian Gulf but due to shift in coastline it is inland today. The Persian Gulf was a high land before Holocene and it started getting flooded in course of time. Any difference in the water level in Arabian Sea had an effect on the level of Persian Gulf too. If during Parashurama’s times, west coast of India had risen up (due to a fall in the Arabian Sea level), similar trends could have been experienced in the coasts of Persian Gulf. Therefore the Ur had come up there.

Location of Ur near the mouth of Euphrates is shown below. Today it is inland, but the coast was closer to it in the past when the water level was high. By its name, it is known that it was a raised land from near water.

This place Ur of Iraq was spelled as ‘Urim’ in Sumerian language that resembles Urvi, the name that Earth came to get for being lifted on the Uru of Kashyapa. (symbolism for earth- rising). In the Sumerian legend, Goddess Nanna is said to be the Goddess of Ur. In a surprising similarity, the raised (or extended) west coast of India was ruled by king Nannan and his descendants (before the Kadamaba dynasty), according to Tamil Sangam texts. Sumerian Nanna has no etymological explanation. Tamil Nannan means “good person”.

Similarly only in the context of Lake Urmia, the name Parasuwash is mentioned. Lake Urmia is in the border between Iran and Turkey. The 9th century BCE Assyrian records mention about “Parasuwash” in the context of Lake Urmia.  Does it show that Parashurama’s followers went on to occupy the raised regions of Lake Urmia? In a surprising similarity, Urmia in Syriac language means “City of water”! This is further proof of connection between Ur and water which is explained only in Indian texts (Mahabharata).

The following figure shows Lake Urmia and Ur in red circles.

(End quote)

Near the Upper circle (Urmia), the cliff relief of a bowman is found.
This memory of Vedic kings and Vedic living has been brought here by the people who came for trade or for other reasons like exile.  

The Ashurs were exiled Maruttas which I have discussed in an article in this link.

King Ushpia the early king of the Assyrians who lived in tenets and who founded the temple of Ashur bears resemblance to Maruttas who went into hiding in Parashurama’s times and whose kin were engaged in iron smelting even as early as Rama’s times.

(Image from my article where the details on Marutta connection to Ashur can be read).

King Ushpia (around 2030 BCE) belonged to the period of Ur block of bowman in the chariot. Though this period comes close after Mahabharata times (read my article here), there is every possibility that they carried the memory of Rama. Rama was 2000 years previous to Mahabharata period. The name of Rama was chanted everywhere according to Valmiki. I would even call it as “Raman Effect” in west Asia in those times. (Read my Tamil article here.) Or how else so many names of places with Rama- naama can be found in that part of the globe?

The characters of Jewish, Biblical and Islamic stories were associated with Ram as names of people and also as names of places that were established long before these religions emerged. As I was preparing this article I came across denouncements from Hindu hating Aryan invasion theorists questioning the rationality of equating the Cliff image with Rama. Let them answer why so many Rama-s exist in West Asia well before Biblical times.

My questions is if so many Rama- names can exist in West Asia, why not an image of Rama – done by an admirer of those times, which had escaped destruction down the Biblical times, owing to its unique location in a remote mountain-side in an inaccessible area exist in that part of the globe? Let anyone who refuses to accept this Cliff image as Rama explain the genesis of each and every Rama in the following quotes:

(1) Ram, son of the firstborn of Jerahmeel (Chronicles 2:27)

(2) A’ram’ - Son of Hezron and an ancestor of Jesus » Called ARAM (Matthew 1:3,4; Luke 3:33)

(3) 33 the son of Amminadab, the son of Ram, Luke 3:33

(4) RAMATH - A city of the tribe of Simeon (Joshua 19:8)

(5) RAMATH-LEHI - The place where Samson killed one-thousand Philistines with the jawbone of a donkey (Judges 15:17)

(6) RAMATH-MIZPEH - A town in the territory of the tribe of Gad (Joshua 13:26)

(7) RAMESES - The district in Egypt which was inhabited by the Israelites (Genesis 47:11; Exodus 1:11;12:37; Numbers 33:3,5)

(8) (Called also Raamses.) RAMESES - The district in Egypt which was inhabited by the I » City of, built by the Israelites as a treasure city for one of the Pharaohs (Exodus 1:11)

(9)RAMIAH - An Israelite at the time of Ezra - Had taken a non-Israelite wife (Ezra 10:25)

(10)DAVID » King of Israel » Saul attempts to kill him; he escapes to Ramah, and lives at Naioth, where Saul pursues him (1 Samuel 19:9-24)

(11) NAIOTH » A place in Ramah (1 Samuel 19:18,19,22;20:1)

(12) RAMOTH-GILEAD » Also called RAMAH (1 Kings 8:2; 2 Chronicles 22:6

(13)SAMUEL » A judge (leader) of Israel, his judgment seat at Beth-el, Gilgal, Mizpeh, and Ramah (2 Samuel 7:15-17)

(14) ISRAEL » (Usually, in lists, the names of Levi and Joseph, » Journey from Rameses to Succoth (Exodus 12:37-39)

(15) SUCCOTH » The first camping place of the Israelites after leaving the city of Rameses (Exodus 12:37;13:20; Numbers 33:5,6)

(16) JEHOSHAPHAT » King of Judah » Joins Ahab in an invasion of Ramoth-gilead (1 Kings 22; 2 Chronicles 18)

Checked another link on Bible:

The noun RAMAH appears in the following contexts:

1. A city of the territory of the tribe of Asher (Joshua 19:29)

2. A city of the territory of the tribe of Naphthali (Joshua 19:36)

3. Called RAMA (Matthew 2:18)

4. Also called RAMATHAIM-ZOPHIM » A city near Mount Ephraim (Jude 1:4,5; 1 Samuel 1:1)

5. Also called RAMATHAIM-ZOPHIM » Home of Elkanah (1 Samuel 1:1,19;2:11)

6. Also called RAMATHAIM-ZOPHIM » Home of Samuel (1 Samuel 1:19,20;7:17;8:4;15:34;16:13)

7. Also called RAMATHAIM-ZOPHIM » David flees to (1 Samuel 19:18)

8. Also called RAMATHAIM-ZOPHIM » Samuel dies and was buried in (1 Samuel 25:1;28:3)

9. Called RAMA » A city allotted to the tribe of Benjamin (Joshua 18:25; Judges 19:13)

10. Called RAMA » Attempted fortification of, by King Baasha; destruction of, by Asa (1 Kings 15:17-22; 2 Chronicles 16:1-6)

11. Called RAMA » People of, return from the Babylonian captivity (Ezra 2:26; Nehemiah 7:30;11:33)

12. Called RAMA » Jeremiah imprisoned in (Jeremiah 40:1)

13. Called RAMA » Prophecies concerning (Isaiah 10:29; Jeremiah 31:15; Hosea 5:8; Matthew 2:18)



For Ramoth -Gilead, checked

Ramoth - Gilead finds mention in the following:-

{If you click each one of the following in the website, you will find the passages in which it (Ramoth) appears}

(1) Besieged by Israel and Judah; Ahab killed there (1 Kings 22:29-36; 2 Chronicles 18)

(2) In the possession of the Syrians (2 Kings 22:3)
One of Solomon's commissaries there (2 Kings 4:13)

(3) Recovered by Joram; Joram wounded there (2 Kings 8:28,29;9:14,15; 2 Chronicles 22:5,6)

(4) Also called RAMAH (2 Kings 8:2; 2 Chronicles 22:6)

(5)Elisha anoints Jehu to be king there (2 Kings 9:1-6)

(6) A city of the territory of the tribe of Gad, and one of the cities of refuge (Deuteronomy 4:43; Joshua 20:8; 1 Chronicles 6:80)

Mathew 2.18

“A voice is heard in Ramah,
weeping and great mourning,
Rachel weeping for her children
and refusing to be comforted,
because they are no more.”[a]

(End of the article)



6000 year old Lord Rama and Hanuman carvings in Silemania, Iraq


One of the major triumphs of modern archaeology was the hair-raising discoveries of Sir Leonard Woolley at Ur. Amidst the ruins of Ur, he unearthed a Ram-chapel but totally missed its relevance in world history. This crucial finding not only bridges the wide gaps between Indian tradition and archaeology but also unfolds the historic bonds that once united ancient India, Iran and Sumer. Ram-Sin of (Larsa) to whose memory this chapel was dedicated must have been Rama of Valmiki. The name Ararama of Larsa may be an echo of Rama. This Ram-Chapel of Ur is the earliest known memorial to the great Rama and may have been erected by Dilmun merchants who resided nearby. Dilmun was always mentioned in the Sumerian texts together with Magan and Melukkha and it is possible that these three states were somehow allied to each other.


The Cambridge Ancient History[xvi][iii] which is usually not considered as a sourcebook for Indian history by writers like Romila Thapar contains priceless information relevant to Indian ancient history. In the highly authentic Sumerian king list appears such hallowed names as Bharat (Warad) Sin and Ram Sin. As Sin was the Moon god Chandra Ram Sin can be seen to be same as Rama Chandra. Bharat Sin ruled for 12 years (1834-1822 BC), exactly as stated in the Dasaratha Jataka. The Jataka statement, “Years sixty times hundred, and ten thousand more, all told, / Reigned strong-armed Rama”, only means that Rama reigned for sixty years which agrees exactly with the data of Assyriologists. Ram Sin was the longest reigning monarch of Mesopotamia who ruled for 60 years. The mention of the father in the inscriptions of both Warad Sin and Ram Sin is noteworthy and may point to a palace intrigue. Joan Oates is not aware of the Ramayana but writes with great insight (p. 61) that Warad sin was manoeuvred to the throne by his father. In Mesopotamia, a prince normally became king only after the death of his father. Lakshmana, mentioned the Bible as Lakhamar, ruled as a great king.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Fingerprints can tell your ancestry!

A recent article on a research study of the finger prints of the index finger showed that finger prints are reliable as distinct markers for one’s ancestral lineage. The finger prints are analyzed at Level 1, 2 and 3. The study shows that Level 2 is distinct for lineages and different from one another. It showed that Level 2 prints of European Americans were same and distinct from the Level 2 prints of African Americans.

In Level 1 the orientation and general appearance of the ridges are observed. For example, the picture below shows left loop in the middle. The directions of the lines are observed in level 1.

The study says that there are no marked differences in Level 1 among the population and no differences between men and women. But this is observed in the index finger.

The Level 2 observation covers finer details of the lines of the ridges. The following figure shows the Level 2 observation.

(Pic courtesy:

Here the dots, the joints and ridges are analyzed.
The study says that this pattern is similar on certain accounts for lineages making it possible to identify whether one comes in African lineage or European lineage. This is with reference to index finger.

On coming to know of this study I thought that the scope of this study can be expanded to cover Thumb finger comparisons. According to Nadi ideology, there are 108 variations in the thumb finger prints when we combine both Level 1 and some feature of Level 2.  The common features of Level 1 are Chakra (whorl), Shanku (loop) and arch. They are read along with dots or joints at particular ridges of the Level 2 as identification for a person. They are distinct for men and women. It will be worthy to test this in studies of this kind for knowledge-expansion.

Though my knowledge of finger prints is limited, I have some knowledge on the distinct nature of palm lines, thanks to Cheiro’s defense of palmistry. The cells that make the palm lines are unique and not found anywhere else in the body. They have a connection with some energy flow or signal from the brain. Fresh changes in the palm lines occur as and when an event or a calamity or an emotional stress happens to the person.

Another observation is about handedness. The changes happen only in the right hand for right-handed people and in the left hand for the left-handed people. There is no gender difference in this. I have observed this in numerous people. This is in conflict with Nadi ideology of handedness in male and female. Perhaps it applies to finger print impressions. Studies of the kind reported below can give better understanding of this ancient knowledge.


Ancestral background can be determined by fingerprints

Author: Matt Shipman

A proof-of-concept study finds that it is possible to identify an individual's ancestral background based on his or her fingerprint characteristics -- a discovery with significant applications for law enforcement and anthropological research.

{Anthropologists have looked at fingerprints for years, because they are interested  in human variation. But this research has looked at Level 1 details, such as pattern  types and ridge counts. Forensic fingerprint analysis, which is used in criminal  justice contexts, looks at Level 2 details – the more specific variations,  such as bifurcations, where a fingerprint ridge splits  [Credit: North Carolina State University]

"This is the first study to look at this issue at this level of detail, and the findings are extremely promising," says Ann Ross, a professor of anthropology at North Carolina State University and senior author of a paper describing the work. "But more work needs to be done. We need to look at a much larger sample size and evaluate individuals from more diverse ancestral backgrounds."

Anthropologists have looked at fingerprints for years, because they are interested in human variation. But this research has looked at Level 1 details, such as pattern types and ridge counts. Forensic fingerprint analysis, which is used in criminal justice contexts, looks at Level 2 details -- the more specific variations, such as bifurcations, where a fingerprint ridge splits.

For this study, researchers looked at Level 1 and Level 2 details of right index-finger fingerprints for 243 individuals: 61 African American women; 61 African American men; 61 European American women; and 60 European American men. The fingerprints were analyzed to determine whether there were patterns that were specific to either sex or ancestral background.

The researchers found no significant differences between men and women, but did find significant differences in the Level 2 details of fingerprints between people of European American and African American ancestry. "A lot of additional work needs to be done, but this holds promise for helping law enforcement," Ross says. "And it's particularly important given that, in 2009, the National Academy of Sciences called for more scientific rigor in forensic science -- singling out fingerprints in particular as an area that merited additional study.

 "This finding also tells us that there's a level of variation in fingerprints that is of interest to anthropologists, particularly in the area of global population structures -- we just need to start looking at the Level 2 fingerprint details," Ross says. The paper is published in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology.