10 Unusual Art And Writing Discoveries From The Ancient World

Once something is gone, it is gone. Past cultures, cities, and individuals included. So researchers often turn to art and inscriptions to learn more about ancient lives.In particular, unusual cases can change the “facts” and even throw light on difficult questions. The most noteworthy discoveries are often accidental, and then the results can be mind-bending—from enigmatic paintings to entire lost civilizations.

In 2012, Chinese archaeologists made a find that only recently spread to the rest of the scientific community. It was a tomb in the shape of an octagon, topped with a pyramid-shaped roof.Found in Yangquan, the structure was built 700 years ago and seven of the walls were decorated with murals. One showed a husband and wife, the missing owners of the grave.Two other scenes depicted morbid stories. Both involved poor families facing the harrowing choice of killing somebody to ensure their own survival. Each time, the focus fell on an elderly family member.In the story where the parents decided to save the grandmother by burying their young son alive, they were rewarded by finding treasure while digging the hole. Nobody had to be sacrificed.In the second story, the grandfather was only spared a cruel death because the young son of the house threatened to do the same to his father once he was old. (The father was going to let the old man starve.) The tales seem dark, but they demonstrated a value the ancient Chinese once held in high regard—the protection of the elderly.[1]9 New Nazca Lines
Photo credit: sciencealert.com
Recently, over 50 new designs turned up in Peru’s Nazca Desert. The vast region is famous for ancient drawings that can only be seen from the air. The massive designs include recognizable birds and other animals as well as geometric designs. Most were created by the Nazca culture (AD 200–700).However, some were also made by earlier cultures called the Paracas and Topara (500 BC–AD 200). The newly discovered images are believed to have been crafted by either the Paracas or Topara.They “drew” by removing the topsoil and exposing lines of lighter earth underneath. This technique was later adopted by the Nazca culture. Most of the new arrivals showed warriors, which could signal a Paracas origin because they often created human figures.[2]Ever since the first images stunned the world decades ago, researchers have scoured the desert. This makes 50 new ones all the more surprising. They may possibly add a better understanding about why Nazca has geoglyphs, a task that spanned three cultures and more than a thousand years.

8 First Jesus In Trapesitsa
Photo credit: archaeologyinbulgaria.com
Trapesitsa Fortress in Bulgaria was once an ancient citadel and the capital of the Second Bulgarian Empire. When a medieval church was unearthed in Trapesitsa in 2018, it was doomed to join a crowd of others already found at the site. However, the 13th-century building was unique in a long-expected way.One would assume that the churches, numbering over 20, would show an image of Jesus. Instead, there was a complete lack of art showing human figures, divine or otherwise. Except at the new building.It revealed murals so exquisite that it became the church with the best paintings at Trapesitsa Fortress. Among the pictures were three humans with halos, and one of them depicted Jesus.Another unique feature was that the church was attached to the inside wall of the fortress. It remains a mystery as to why this building got Jesus. The church was small by today’s standards, measuring 4 meters (13 ft) wide and 10 meters (33 ft) long. Archaeologists also believed that it was a parish for laborers and was not used by the fortress society’s elite.[3]7 The Retro Grave
Photo credit: Live Science
In 2018, archaeologists broke into a tomb located in Cumae, the oldest ancient Greek city in the Western world. The chamber itself was 2,200 years old and plundered by tomb robbers. The thieves left behind a strange fresco. It ran across several walls and showed people attending a banquet. One of them was a naked male servant.The painting itself was a remarkable find. All the other tombs in the area contained murals done only in white or red. The vast tomb’s scenery contained many colors.However, the mural was oddly outdated. By the time it was painted, the art’s “look” had been out of style for over a century. Archaeologists do not understand why the wealthy owners chose an unfashionable retro style instead of something trendy. The crumbling fresco was removed from the chamber, together with fragments found on the ground, to be reassembled and preserved for posterity.[4]6 Roman Literacy Link
Photo credit: Live Science
The Romans failed to invade Scotland, and one reason was the Picts. These fierce local tribes drove the Roman army out every time that soldiers attempted to grab Scotland.Not a lot is known about the Picts, but they were famous for elaborate body art as well as the symbols they carved on surfaces like rock and bones. Researchers generally agreed that it was some kind of written language but had no clue how it began. Many scholars believed that it evolved long after the Romans left Britain.However, new evidence suggested that the invaders were the source of the Pictish desire to start writing. Recent excavations at tribal sites showed the locals developed their written language about 1,700 years ago, likely due to being exposed to Roman script. The Picts never adopted Latin, and for this reason, their writing remain undeciphered.[5]Rome also failed to conquer Ireland, Germany, and Scandinavia. Interestingly, around the same time that Pictish symbols developed, other writing systems blossomed, likely also in response to encountering Roman literacy. Runes emerged in Scandinavia and Germany, and Ogham in Ireland.

5 Tattooed Woman’s Identity
Photo credit: sciencealert.com
An Egyptian tomb in Luxor yielded a mummified torso of a woman in 2014. Looking for her identity, researchers turned their attention to an amazing work of art—her skin. Over 30 elaborate and unique tattoos swirled around the woman’s neck, shoulders, arms, and back.This caused a sensation when she was found. But it also challenged an old notion in Egyptology about female religious figures. Some believed that women were banned from leadership positions, but this changed things.The 3,000-year-old tattoos were powerful symbols connected to magic and healing. They were positioned to be very visible, most notably sacred eyes that seemed to look at the beholder no matter from which angle the woman was viewed.Her body art was also an early version of sacred Egyptian tattoos, supporting another theory that the female body was used as a divine or magical object during rituals. Incredibly, it took the Egyptian authorities four years to decide whether she was a holy figure. During an announcement in 2018, it was confirmed that the young woman was indeed a highly respected religious individual.[6] 4 Speech Bubbles
Photo credit: Live Science
Jordan’s town of Beyt Ras produced a remarkable tomb in 2016. It was constructed by the Romans, with two chambers spanning about 52 square meters (560 ft2). Highly notable for its artwork, the well-preserved site was a prize find.Painted across the ceiling and walls of one room were almost 260 people. The theme was the clearing of the ancient city of Capitolias, an effort undertaken by both humans and several gods. The many details bordered on the chaotic, exquisitely packed to depict life in Capitolias millennia ago.The mural contained a feature so unexpected that it stunned archaeologists. Around 60 speech bubbles, just like those found in comic books, described actions of builders, farmers, and even a corpse who said, “Alas for me! I am dead!”[7]Another highly unusual touch was the chosen language. The bubbles contained Aramaic text, written in Greek letters. Aramaic is very scarce in descriptive murals from this period.3 Pompeii’s Real Destruction DateThese days, better research techniques are behind a slew of new discoveries at Pompeii. As the ancient city continues to horrify and amaze, one thing researchers thought needed no further investigation was the day Pompeii died.The Roman city lost against the volcanic outburst of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79. The day was August 24. This date was decided upon after considering archaeological evidence as well as ancient historical accounts.In 2018, a humbling moment came when archaeologists found an inscription on a house in Pompeii.[8] It had been written by a laborer who carved something along the lines of “the 16th day before the calends of November”—or, in plain English, October 17.Historically, nobody was left alive by then, let alone working on houses. This clearly proves that the city and its neighbor Herculaneum were destroyed almost a month later than previously believed. In fact, the very day it happened is now unknown.2 The Painted Lararium
Photo credit: Smithsonian Magazine
In 2018, one of the best discoveries to come out of Pompeii was that of a painted shrine. Called a lararium, nearly every ancient Roman home had one. The shrine from the ruined city was exceptionally stunning.It measured 4.9 meters (16 ft) by 3.7 meters (12 ft) and contained a pool as well as a garden. There were also the remains of an altar and offerings. The murals were truly luxurious, with remarkably fresh colors and great detail showing Roman gods, animals involved in battle, and snakes. A painted peacock was even positioned to “browse” the real garden inside the shrine.[9]The homeowners were among Pompeii’s elite. The paintings revealed that they likely shared most Romans’ fascination with Egypt. One figure resembled the dogheaded Egyptian god Anubis.There was also a fertility element to the shrine. The altar was painted with fertility symbols, and it contained the burned residues of foods linked to fertility—figs, nuts, and eggs.1 Lost Civilization
Photo credit: BBC
In India’s western state of Maharashtra, five villages had always been aware of the mysterious drawings around them. The ancient pictographs soon came to the attention of archaeologists. Intrigued, they searched more villages. The result was mind-blowing.Thousands of prehistoric images turned up. Obscured by soil, most had gone unnoticed for millennia. The stunning art included birds, animals, people, marine life, and intriguing geometric designs.The pictographs are the last remnants of a lost civilization nobody knew existed. This makes them the only information source for archaeologists wishing to learn more about the mysterious culture.[10]Thus far, it is known that the civilization existed around 10,000 BC because that was when they drew on nearly every hill. A lack of farming art and the presence of images depicting hunted animals suggested that they were hunter-gatherers with no agricultural inclination.There was also a riddle to these artists, who carved hippos and rhinoceroses. Neither species ever existed in the region. The civilization’s awareness of them hints that the people came from elsewhere or that western India once had rhinos and hippos.

National Bittersweet Chocolate with Almonds Day! Happy Diwali

Did you know…

… that today is National Bittersweet Chocolate with Almonds Day? Chocolate is a vegetable, made from cocoa beans, which means it’s good for you. Almonds are good for you, as they help to improve your cholesterol levels. So… that must mean that bittersweet chocolate with almonds has to be good for you, right? Celebrate by diving into your favorite chocolate guilty pleasure! 😉


Today’s Inspirational Quote:

“As with most fine things, chocolate has its season. There is a simple memory aid that you can use to determine whether it is the correct time to order chocolate dishes: any month whose name contains the letter A, E, or U is the proper time for chocolate.”

— Sandra Boynton

Check this out from The Times of India

US midterms: Democrats retake control of House of Representatives, Republicans retain Senate


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Why the number 137 is one of the greatest mysteries in physics – Big Think

Why the number 137 is one of the greatest mysteries in physics
Famous physicists like Richard Feynman think 137 holds the answers to the Universe.
31 October, 2018
The fine structure constant has mystified scientists since the 1800s.
The number 1/137 might hold the clues to the Grand Unified Theory.
Relativity, electromagnetism and quantum mechanics are unified by the number.
Does the Universe around us have a fundamental structure that can be glimpsed through special numbers?

The brilliant physicist Richard Feynman (1918-1988) famously thought so, saying there is a number that all theoretical physicists of worth should “worry about”. He called it “one of the greatest damn mysteries of physics: a magic number that comes to us with no understanding by man”.

That magic number, called the fine structure constant, is a fundamental constant, with a value which nearly equals 1/137. Or 1/137.03599913, to be precise. It is denoted by the Greek letter alpha – α.

What’s special about alpha is that it’s regarded as the best example of a pure number, one that doesn’t need units. It actually combines three of nature’s fundamental constants – the speed of light, the electric charge carried by one electron, and the Planck’s constant, as explains physicist and astrobiologist Paul Davies to Cosmos magazine. Appearing at the intersection of such key areas of physics as relativity, electromagnetism and quantum mechanics is what gives 1/137 its allure.

Physicist Laurence Eaves, a professor at the University of Nottingham, thinks the number 137 would be the one you’d signal to the aliens to indicate that we have some measure of mastery over our planet and understand quantum mechanics. The aliens would know the number as well, especially if they developed advanced sciences.

The number preoccupied other great physicists as well, including the Nobel Prize winning Wolfgang Pauli (1900-1958) who was obsessed with it his whole life.

“When I die my first question to the Devil will be: What is the meaning of the fine structure constant?” Pauli joked.
Pauli also referred to the fine structure constant during his Nobel lecture on December 13th, 1946 in Stockholm, saying a theory was necessary that would determine the constant’s value and “thus explain the atomistic structure of electricity, which is such an essential quality of all atomic sources of electric fields actually occurring in nature.”

One use of this curious number is to measure the interaction of charged particles like electrons with electromagnetic fields. Alpha determines how fast an excited atom can emit a photon. It also affects the details of the light emitted by atoms. Scientists have been able to observe a pattern of shifts of light coming from atoms called “fine structure” (giving the constant its name). This “fine structure” has been seen in sunlight and the light coming from other stars.

The constant figures in other situations, making physicists wonder why. Why does nature insist on this number? It has appeared in various calculations in physics since the 1880s, spurring numerous attempts to come up with a Grand Unified Theory that would incorporate the constant since. So far no single explanation took hold. Recent research also introduced the possibility that the constant has actually increased over the last six billion years, even though slightly.

If you’d like to know the math behind fine structure constant more specifically, the way you arrive at alpha is by putting the 3 constants h,c, and e together in the equation —

As the units c, e, and h cancel each other out, the “pure” number of 137.03599913 is left behind. For historical reasons, says Professor Davies, the inverse of the equation is used 2πe2/hc = 1/137.03599913. If you’re wondering what is the precise value of that fraction – it’s 0.007297351.

via Why the number 137 is one of the greatest mysteries in physics – Big Think

RAK Movement – Random Acts of Kindness

  1. Send flowers to a friend or a family member!
  2. Save water – take a shorter shower today
  3. It can get lonely when you are old, pay your grandparents a visit
  4. Share something interesting you’ve learnt today
  5. Say good morning/afternoon/evening to a stranger
  6. Send a thank you card to someone who has made a difference in your life (a friend, family member, teacher etc.)
  7. Help someone struggling with heavy bags
  8. Feeling brave? Give blood
  9. Buy someone a coffee
  10. Leave a kind message anywhere (in a library book, on a computer etc.)

Twisted Poetry

Love note in the zoo
Drunk in a different planet
Super villain in paradise
Chosen one in a natural sanctuary
Pollution of a police station
Mysterious door in a video game universe
Contest in the abandoned tunnel
Romantic encounter in an underground pit
Bag of money in a spa
Power outages in a waterfall

Corruption of a parrot
Leaving earth with the in-laws
Corruption of a rogue
Held hostage with your mother-in-law
Snowed in with an elephant
Superpowers of the girl scouts
Murder mystery with the ghost of somebody famous
Dream of a hitch-hiker
Remodelling your room with an orc
Long train ride with five students






And all things like that.

All these a few years ago were seemingly more real than now.

Life wasn’t this fast-paced. The routines were much simpler. Being social was more ‘in’ person rather than ‘in’ media (digital). And in this evolution of our human race, we somehow are losing out on our sense of gratitude. It is not always a one person’s journey to get where they are, when they are. It is more often than not, a sum total of many visible and invisible hands coming in together.

It is time to pause, think, smile and say ‘thank you’ to those people.

It is not referring to a simple thank you where the expression is based on some ‘to-do’ or some ‘required politeness’. The body language gives away and I have experienced this many a times and in fact pointed it out (at times being pointed out as well). A genuine thank you where the person helping us, serving us, assisting us, mentoring us, coaching us, doing anything that makes our lives better.

Yes, our attention span has taken a toll on this basic human expression called gratitude. We resist truly expressing ourselves in even our emails or texts or tweets.  We end up just writing. and sometimes very much to the point. We somehow just stop at that habitual thank you, and other times even forget that.


In my experience, the moment the sense of entitlement goes away, gratitude emerges. In my lifespan and career span, in my personal and professional life (yes, they are actually two different!) my friends have often asked me for past 30 years on phrases I have often used. Phrases such as – ‘life is good’, ‘luck has favored’, ‘am a product of India’s liberalization in 1991’, ‘My success belongs 99% to others’, ‘the rising wave has lifted many, but sustained the ones who have thanked those invisible hands’ (not referring to Adam smith here) or ‘I am here because of the team and the society’.  No self-glory here but these are the questions where I have engaged with folks for long debates.

I had myself almost forgotten to keep the expressive thank you, the real Gratitude, in the forefront until last year when one of our leaders made it into the organization charter.  Such was the effect that not only did I start thinking about it again, but it started percolating down to our teams and we actively started talking about it.

A realization that something as basic as this which is inherent to the human nature needs reminders.

Yes, it is now being spoken in the larger realm of expressing gratitude in the form of helping others, socially weaker section, people who are less fortunate than us, helping the needy – a sense of gratitude towards the society. And not just in the form of money, but in a currency of spreading awareness, giving our time and activity engaging with people. The gratitude that we are part of the society that makes us more fortunate ones than the millions around. It is not complicated. I would urge you to pause. And start. Once Again.



Bali Kamalendu has 25 years of experience across operations, technology start up, BPO, Government Relationship and Business Development with an ability to lead & execute on broader strategy, work with globally connected teams enabled by a strong appreciation of cultural nuances across multiple Geo’s.



Miracles do not consist of bringing dead to life, but in the living dead to the ego.

Power to perform miracles is no sign of spiritual advancement. Yogi and tantric develop occult powers as a result of certain extreme exercises and can perform miracles but hardly gain any spiritual advancement. 



[Copyright © Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust Ahmednagar (M.S.) India]

What is your Motto?

We breathe, we live.
Born in freedom, live in freedom, die in freedom.
Pride, honor, justice.
People of the land.
Conquerors of darkness.
God is with the people.
We will persevere.
Spirits guide us, spirits watch over us.
God, life, death.
Spirits guide us, spirits watch over us.