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Ancient Egyptian Blue Pigment Boosts Energy Efficiency

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Ancient Egyptian Blue Pigment Boosts Energy Efficiency
Photo Credit www.ancient-origins.net

Thousands of years ago, in ancient Egypt, a very special shade of blue was created. The Egyptians had used it in their depictions of God’s and royalty because of its radiance and beauty. Scientists today have found another use for it. This ancient blue’s new purpose now is to boost energy efficiency and generate clean renewable power.

Cuprorivaite, also known as Egyptian Blue, is a man-made pigment made up of calcium, strontium, and barium copper silicate. When it absorbs visible light, it then emits light in the near-infrared range. A study was conducted by a team of researchers at the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) where they measured the temperature of surfaces coated in Egyptian Blue (and related compounds) while they were exposed to sunlight. They discovered that the fluorescent blues can emit nearly 100% as many photons as they absorb. The energy efficiency of the emission process is up to 70% (the infrared photons carry less energy than visible photons).

This unique quality makes Egyptian Blue an ideal candidate for the use in energy efficiency boosting color choices on buildings. Roofs and walls painted with this color will be cooler and therefore save on electricity consumption (and cost) by reducing the energy use for air conditioning. Due to these qualities, the pigment can enable solar generation of electricity via windows. If the window is tinted with this blue, photovoltaic cells on the edges can convert the fluoresced near-infrared energy to electricity.

“Berkeley Lab scientists measured the temperature rise above air temperature observed in full sun for five pigment-coated samples, each 75 millimeters square. The white and black samples show low and high temperatures.” (Credit: Berkeley Lab)

These findings contribute to the current knowledge about which color are most effective for cooling rooftops and facades in sunny climates. White is still the most effective and conventional color choice for keeping a building cool by reflecting sunlight but it is not the ideal choice aesthetically as it can get dirty easily and is difficult to maintain. Because of that, there is a constant lookout for other viable color options. Previously, Berkeley Lab researchers found that fluorescent ruby-red pigments can be an effective alternative to white. Further, they found that fluorescent green and black color can be produced with yellow and orange co-pigments (the new findings were recently published in the Journal of Applied Physics); and now this insight on Egyptian blue adds to the menu of cooling color choices.

This work was led by Paul Berdahl of the Heat Island Group as part of the Cool Walls project supported by the Electric Program Investment Charge program of the California Energy Commission. Their research has led to information that benefits our planet and the people’s pocket. Because of it, we know that reflective roofs and walls can cool buildings and cars and color is an important factor of this. On the human-scale, using color to reflect light reduces the need for air conditioning (benefiting our pockets) and mitigates the urban heat island effect (benefiting our environment). On a global scale, by reflecting the sun’s rays back to space, these cool materials also release less heat into the atmosphere, thus cooling the planet and offsetting the warming effects of substantial amounts of greenhouse gas emissions (benefiting our planet).

If you enjoyed reading this article and want to see more like this one, we’d be humbled if you would help us spread the word and share it with your friends and family. Join us in our quest to promote free, useful information to all!

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Esoteric/Occult

The Legendary Emerald Tablet And Its Secrets Of The Universe

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The Legendary Emerald Tablet And Its Secrets Of The Universe
Photo Credit: Ancient Origins

The origins of Western alchemy can be traced back to Hellenistic Egypt, in particular to the city of Alexandria. One of the most important characters in the mythology of alchemy is Hermes Trismegistus (Hermes the Thrice-Great). The name of this figure is derived from the Egyptian god of wisdom, Thoth, and his Greek counterpart, Hermes. The Hermetica, which is said to be written by Hermes Trismegistus, is generally regarded as the basis of Western alchemical philosophy and practice. In addition, Hermes Trismegistus is also believed to be the author of the Emerald Tablet.

Legends Of The Emerald Tablet

The Emerald Tablet is said to be a tablet of emerald or green stone inscribed with the secrets of the universe. The source of the original Emerald Tablet is unclear; hence it is surrounded by legends. The most common story claims that the tablet was found in a caved tomb under the statue of Hermes in Tyana, clutched in the hands of the corpse of Hermes Trismegistus himself.

Hermes Trismegistus. ( Public Domain )
Hermes Trismegistus. ( Public Domain )

And the creator of the Emerald Tablet has been provided in myth as the Egyptian god Thoth, who Armando Mei writes divided his knowledge into 42 plates of emerald, codifying the great scientific principles ruling the Universe. The legend tells that after the gods’ fall, the Hermetic tablets were cleverly hidden so that no human being might find them. Only Thoth, on his return to that dimension, was able to recover the mysterious book.”

Thoth. ( Brooklyn Museum )
Thoth. ( Brooklyn Museum )

Another legend suggests that it was the third son of Adam and Eve , Seth, who originally wrote it. Others believed that the tablet was once held within the Ark of the Covenant . Some even claim that the original source of the Emerald Tablet is none other than the fabled city of Atlantis.

Spreading Stories Of The Emerald Tablet

While various claims have been made regarding the origins of the Emerald Tablet, as yet no verifiable evidence has been found to support them. The oldest documentable source of the Emerald Tablet’s text is the Kitab sirr al-haliqi (Book of the Secret of Creation and the Art of Nature), which was itself a composite of earlier works.

This was an Arabic work written in the 8th century AD and attributed to ‘Balinas’ or Pseudo-Apollonius of Tyana. It is Balinas who provides us with the story of how he discovered the Emerald Tablet in the caved tomb. Based on this Arabic work, some believe that the Emerald Tablet was also an Arabic text and written between the 6th and 8th centuries AD, rather than a piece of work from Antiquity, as many have claimed.

While Balinas claimed that the Emerald Tablet was written originally in Greek, the original document that he purportedly possessed no longer exists, if indeed it existed at all. Some say the text burned up in the Library of Alexandria . Nevertheless, Balinas’ version of the text itself quickly became well-known, and has been translated by various people over the centuries. For instance, an early version of the Emerald Tablet also appeared in a work called the Kitab Ustuqus al-Uss al-Thani (Second Book of the Elements of the Foundation), which is attributed to Jabir ibn Hayyan. It would, however, take several more centuries before the text was accessible to Europeans. In the 12th century AD, the Emerald Tablet was translated into Latin by Hugo von Santalla

A reconstruction of what the Emerald Tablet is believed to have looked like. ( Crystalinks)
A reconstruction of what the Emerald Tablet is believed to have looked like. ( Crystalinks)
What’s Written On The Emerald Tablet?

The Emerald Tablet would become one of the pillars of Western alchemy. It was a highly influential text in medieval and Renaissance alchemy, and probably still is today. In addition to translations of the Emerald Tablet, numerous commentaries have also been written regarding its contents.

For instance, a translation by Isaac Newton was discovered among his alchemical papers. This translation is currently being held in King’s College Library in Cambridge University. Other notable researchers of the Emerald Tablet include Roger Bacon , Albertus Magnus, John Dee , and Aleister Crowley . And today knowledge of the legendary Emerald Tablet (at least one interpretation of it ) is reaching new audiences with its presence in the surreal German-language series Dark.

An imaginative 17th century depiction of the Emerald Tablet from the work of Heinrich Khunrath, 1606. ( Public Domain )
An imaginative 17th century depiction of the Emerald Tablet from the work of Heinrich Khunrath, 1606. ( Public Domain )

The interpretation of the Emerald Text is not a straightforward matter, as it is after all a piece of esoteric text . One interpretation, for instance, suggests that the text describes seven stages of alchemical transformation – calcination, dissolution, separation, conjunction, fermentation, distillation and coagulation. Yet, despite the various interpretations available, it seems that none of their authors claim to possess knowledge of the whole truth. Furthermore, readers are encouraged to read the text and try to interpret and find the hidden truths themselves.

Top Image: Representation of what the Emerald Tablet may have looked like. Source: info consapevole

This article (The Legendary Emerald Tablet And Its Secrets Of The Universe) was originally featured at Ancient Origins and is re-posted here under Creative Commons.

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Ancient

Suppressed Scientific Evidence Proves Free Energy Source Dating Back 25,000 Years

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Suppressed Scientific Evidence Proves Free Energy Source Dating Back 25,000 Years
Photo Credit: Getty

Michael Forrester, Prevent Disease

A monumental discovery with four years of comprehensive geo-archaeological research has failed to reach mainstream audiences for some reason. The most active pyramid site in the world dating the pyramid complex back 25,000 years has also released scientific evidence supporting the theory that the pyramids were used as an energy source. The recent study reveals energy beams transmitting electromagnetic signals unexplainable by our science in what is now documented as the largest Pyramid complex in the world. Overwhelming evidence, supported by scientific research from all over the archaeological community proves that our recorded history is wrong concerning ancient cultures, which in turn changes religion, science and academics.

Dr. Osmanagich has investigated pyramids all over the world, however his recent discovery of the Bosnian pyramids in Visoko, are nothing more than remarkable. What may be more remarkable is how he has been attacked in the media, by scientists and researchers for his incredible find.

The very first thing world powers do when their control systems are threatened (and they can’t elimate the idea) is they create a misinformation system to make people believe that powerful new or ancient technologies are a hoax. Prominent archaeologists have attempted smear campaigns on Dr. Osmanagich’s work out of fear of how the impact of his discoveries will make on their own work.

It’s more than time to rewrite our history books, however there are such vast divisions between the old paradigm thinking and the new, that conflicts between the two camps have continued to cause the regression in the understanding of ancient technology rather than its advancement.

Take note of the following facts Dr. Osmanagich details.

1) These are the first pyramids in Europe
2) They are the biggest and largest on the planet
3) The cardinal sides have the most precise orientation on the planet
4) The concrete found is better than the best available concrete today
5) They are the oldest pyramids on the planet
6) Underneath the pyramids is the most extensive, prehistorical network of tunnels and chambers ever found
7) In these tunnels they have discovered huge cermaric blocks weighing in excess of 18,000 pounds

The discovery of the Bosnian Valley of the Pyramids changes the understanding of European and world history forever. This also goes for the oldest and strongest concrete dated and the largest network of underground tunnels and chambers.

Radiocarbon dating that proves the Bosnian Pyramid Complex dates back at least 25,000 years has been revealed by an international team of scientists led by Dr. Sam Osmanagich. Discovered in 2005, the Bosnian Pyramid of the Sun Archaeological Park, which houses the largest pyramid in the world, is now the most active archaeological site on the planet. The team’s findings also reveal an energy beam, 13 feet in radius that transmits an unexplainable electromagnetic signal measuring 28 kilohertz coming from the center of the Pyramid of the Sun. This phenomenon has been independently confirmed by physicist Dr. Slobodan Mizdrak, Ph.D. from Croatia, professor Paolo Debertolis, anthropologist from University of Trieste in Italy, sound engineer Heikki Savolainen from Finland and electrical engineer GoranMarjanovic from Serbia.

The energy beam is theorized by Dr. Osmanagich as the reason the pyramids were built; to provide ancient civilizations a powerful source of clean energy. This is already a widely supported theory set forth by the book “The Giza Power Plant” by Christopher Dunn published in 1998. The Bosnian Pyramid of the Sun is 30% larger than the largest pyramid at Giza and recent excavation has uncovered an extensive pre-historical underground labyrinth system, further evidence supporting the power plant theory.

Is it possible that the fossil fuel based energy system we now rely on could have been prevented if inventor Nicola Tesla’s work on free energy hadn’t been suppressed? Tesla’s (1856-1943) patented free energy methods were rejected due to their inability to be metered and monetized. “We urgently need to change our mistaken point of view that our ancestors were stupid and accept that they had an advanced understanding of the fabric of nature and the universe, just like Nikola Tesla, whose ideas were suppressed as they did not and do not fit in the reigning economic model,” states Phillip Coppens, author and investigative journalist. “The pyramids are proof that our ancestors knew and worked with an energy technology that we are now finally able to measure, but are still short of fully understanding. ”Coppens along with Klaus Dona of Austria and dozens of speakers attended the International Conference Bosnia Pyramid in Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina which is held annually to release findings to the public.

Osmanagich has had a host of experts in various fields come to see his Bosnian pyramids, and measure anomalies associated with them. They have included the noted British scientist and inventor Harry Oldfield, who used a special camera system to photograph alleged electromagnetic (EM) waves in the vicinity of Visocica Hill.

The pyramid structures that were built in Bosnia and across the globe over 10,000 years ago cannot be duplicated by modern science and machinery in the 21st century and there is no explanation for who could have built them in our recorded history.

We realize that this site changes our knowledge of history and as such the findings will need to withstand harsh scrutiny. Our inter-disciplinary scientific team carefully utilizes legitimate scientific research methodology, often having tests done from two or more separate laboratories,” explained Dr. Osmanagich, PhD. “Despite some initial scepticism, we now have a world-wide team of hundreds of thought leaders from numerous scientific disciplines including archaeologists, geophysicists, chemical engineers, physicists, electrical engineers, and mathematicians gathering scientific evidence to find the answers.”

Geometric Features Of The Pyramids

Based on numerous airborne and space-borne images of the Bosnian Pyramid of the Sun, it becomes evident that the geometric features present with three sides that exhibit geometrical shape of a triangle. Even though such elements occur in nature, it is rarely, if ever, a precise shape and rarely replicated on opposite sides of a mound. In this case, two sides are equilateral triangles, with well- defined sides. Satellite imaging of the local area in the central part of Bosnia and Herzegovina (Landsat, Radarsat, Hyperion, Ikonos, courtesy of Dr. Amer Smailbegovic), indicated that there are five hills which show apparent geospatial anomalies where two or more sides are triangular. All of the aforementioned hills exhibit triangular sides and some have elements of stairs and step features on the sides with flat plateaus on the top. In the case of the Bosnian Pyramid of the Sun, three out of four sides exhibit evidence of geometric features. Geologic evidence is not indicative of any significant faulting or the processes of the glaciations in the area that would otherwise affect the existence, geometry and texture of these sides.

Perfect Orientation — Cardinal Sides Of The World

The measurements made by the Geodetic Institute of Bosnia and Herzegovina indicate that the sides of the Bosnian Pyramid of the Sun (BPS) are exactly aligned with the cardinal sides of the world (North-South, East-West), which is one of the characteristics often noted with the existing pyramids in Egypt, Peru, Guatemala or China. The North side of the BPS is oriented towards stellar North (like the Great Pyramid of Egypt), in parallel with the position of the North Star.

Geological-Sedimentary Analyses

The results of core drilling, test-well sinking and limited trenching in August and October 2005, with a follow-up in 2006 and 2007, have confirmed prior observations and, revealed that the surface of the pyramids is comprised of layered sandstone and breccia blocks, which have been manually processed and/or cut to fit the required dimensions. The binding agent found between the sandstone blocks suggest the presence of a “clastic breccia,” a multicolored conglomerate comprised out of gravel, sandstone and shale with a connective matrix or cement composed of sandy carbon particles of quartz, feldspar and flakes of mica. The flat sides of the blocks, the contact zone, and the binding agent are clearly visible. Further detailed cleaning of the contact line between the two sandstone blocks revealed that the blocks were manually processed beneath and that the surface was flat and smooth, with binding agent applied afterwards to the surface.

Equilateral Triangle Of Three Main Pyramids

Three main pyramids in the Bosnian Pyramid Valley form an equilateral triangle. The Kadastral Office from the County of Visoko performed GPS measurements of the hilltops and determined that all angles are symmetric (60 degrees). Their measurements showed that the distances among all three hilltops are the same (approx. 2,2 km) with less than 2% error, verifying the artificial structures.

Geometry, shape, orientation, constructive material — they all prove the perfect planning and execution of the complex.

Bosnian Pyramid Of The Sun

The Bosnian Pyramid of the Sun is the world’s largest 220 meters high and completely covered by soil and vegetation. During the 1950s and 1960s, local government organized tree planting activities. Trees managed to grow only on the bottom half of the Pyramid. Thickness of the soil on Western, Northern and Eastern side of the Pyramid varies from the top (20cm) to the bottom (1.5 meter). This is due to the erosion. The Southern side, which seems to be damaged, has a soil layer of 3-6 meters. That is the reason why this side has lost its regularity. Physical material evidence of shaped and well preserved stone monoliths were unearthed during the ongoing geo-archaeological campaign in 2006-2008.

Satellite radar has penetrated the surface of Northern side of the Bosnian Pyramid of the Sun of four meters. Straight black lines show underground passageways — pyramidal substructure. Some of them intersect at 90 degrees.

Bosnian Pyramid Of The Moon

With its height of 190 meters, Bosnian Pyramid of the Moon is the world’s second largest: next to the Bosnian Pyramid of the Sun (220 meters) and higher than Khufu’s Great Pyramid of Egypt (148 meters). It is a three-sided pyramid with the plateau coming from the East, leading to the top of the structure. Other sides (North, West, South) match the cardinal points. For the construction of this pyramid, sandstone plates and tiles were used together with the clay as a constructive material.

Archaeological field work on the Bosnian Pyramid of the Moon shows that under layers of soil and wood. There exists a huge stone/clay structure, three-sided “terraced” pyramid with paved causeway coming from East.

A Network Of Underground Tunnels

Examples of the main pyramidal complexes worldwide show that under the pyramids, underground passageways and chambers had been built. It’s the case of pyramids in Giza (tunnels connect the pyramids, sphinx, Nile), Teotihuacan (underground enlarged 4-chamber cave with passageways), Step pyramid in Saqqara (underground “labyrinth”), China (underground tunnels built from sandstone, bricks and clay), Tenerife (cave-tunnels in Guimar). Numerous field findings suggest that an extensive tunnel network exists in the Bosnian Valley of the Pyramids. It is hypothesized (Principal investigator Semir Sam Osmanagich) that the tunnel system connects all of the colossal objects, water wells and other structures of importance. The current excavations in progress have already presented with findings of several shaped monoliths in the tunnels. Hundreds of meters of tunnels have been secured by wooden support. The tunnels were definitively not the mining shafts as no tools, coal, silver, gold or any other worthy material were found and they appear much older than Middle Age or Roman times.

Physicist Dr. Anna Pazdur of Poland’s Silesian University announced the news at the Press Conference in Sarajevo in August of 2008- Great number of archaeological artifacts has been found during the four years of excavations. Further cleaning in the underground tunnels confirmed huge artificial network from the pre-historical times. Samples of core drilling from the Bosnian Pyramid of the Sun and Vratnica tumulus have shown properties of the best quality concrete (analysis by Institute for Materials of the University of Zenica, Bosnia and Institute for Civil Engineering of the University of Sarajevo, Bosnia) First International Scientific Conference about the Bosnian Valley of the Pyramids was held in Sarajevo on August 25-30, 2008. More than 50 experts from Egypt (20 leading archaeologists, geologists and Egyptologists,), China, Saudi Arabia, Russia, Poland, Croatia, UK, Austria, Bosnia and Montenegro concluded/recommended:

(1) that the Bosnian Valley of the Pyramids is “very important archaeological locations which require further multidisciplinary research,”

(2) that “Second Scientific Conference is to be held in two years that should getter pyramid specialists from all over the world,”

(3) “Center for Pyramid Studies is to be established in Sarajevo” and recommended

(4) that “archaeological course at the graduate level is to be established in Bosnian universities as a support for the Bosnian Valley of the Pyramids project.”- Professor of classical archaeology from the University of Alexandria Dr. Mona Haggag called this discovery “writing new pages in European and World history.”

Sources:

gizaforhumanity.org
piramidasunca.ba/bs
prweb.com
bosnianpyramid.com

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Mythology

Walpurgis Night: A Saint, Witches, And Pagan Beliefs In A Springtime Halloween For Scandinavia

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Walpurgis Night: A Saint, Witches, And Pagan Beliefs In A Springtime Halloween For Scandinavia
Photo Credit: www. sciencesource.com

Wu Mingren, Ancient Origins

Walpurgis Night is the eve of the feast day of Saint Walpurgis, a saint of the Roman Catholic Church. Walpurgis Night falls on April 30th and is a traditional holiday celebrated in northern Europe and Scandinavia. It may surprise you to know this festival has nothing to do with the saint, instead, it is a spring celebration with striking similarities to Halloween.

Who Was Saint Walpurga?

Walpurgis Night is known alternatively as Saint Walpurga’s Eve, Walpurgisnacht, and Vappu. Saint Walpurga (known also as Valborg, Wealdburg, or Valderburger) was born around 710 AD, probably in the English Kingdom of Wessex. She became a member of the community at the Wimborne Abbey, Dorset, and was later summoned by Winebald, her brother, to serve as abbess at his double monastery of monks and nuns at Heidenheim, in modern day Germany. She died in 779 AD and was buried in Heidenheim. Around 870 AD, her remains were transferred to the Church of the Holy Cross at Eichstätt. As this occurred on May 1st , this date has become associated with the saint.

Saint Walpurga. (1535/1540) by Master of Messkrich. ( Public Domain )
Saint Walpurga. (1535/1540) by Master of Messkrich. ( Public Domain )

The celebration of Walpurgis Night has little to do with either Christianity, or Saint Walpurga. Instead, the origins of this festival may be found in the period before the arrival of Christianity in northern Europe. As the festival falls during the period when spring arrived, the pagans conducted rituals to welcome spring and ensure the fertility of the land.

Witches & Walpurgis Night

For some reason, Walpurgis Night is also associated with witches . In German folklore, for instance, it is said that witches from all over the land would gather for a great sabbath on top of the Brocken (also known as the Blocksberg), the highest peak of the Harz mountain range. This notion was first recorded during the 17th century in Johannes Präetorius’, The Blocksberg Performance , a tome about the history and geography of the mountain and the region. It was, however, during the 19th and 20th century that the witches’ sabbath on the Brocken became popular in art and literature, most notably in Goethe’s well-known play Faust.

Lewis Morrison as "Mephistopheles" in Faust! – "The Brocken". Poster for a theatrical performance of Goethe's play showing Mephistopheles conjuring supernatural creatures on the German mountain, the Brocken (or Blocksberg), which according to the tale is the scenery for the Walpurgis night, from 30 April to 1 May. ( Public Domain )
Lewis Morrison as “Mephistopheles” in Faust! – “The Brocken”. Poster for a theatrical performance of Goethe’s play showing Mephistopheles conjuring supernatural creatures on the German mountain, the Brocken (or Blocksberg), which according to the tale is the scenery for the Walpurgis night, from 30 April to 1 May. ( Public Domain )
Walpurgisnacht Traditions

In line with the belief that Walpurgis Night was a night when witches and other evil entities were roaming freely around the land, certain practices were developed to keep them at bay. Thus, in Germany, on Walpurgis Night, people would dress up in costumes, and make loud noises. Additionally, to ward off these malevolent forces, people would also hang blessed sprigs of foliage from houses or barns, or leave offerings of bread with butter and honey (known as ‘ankenschnitt’) for phantom hounds .

“Walpurgisnacht. Der Aufbruch der Hexen” (Walpurgis Night. The Departure of the Witches) (1878) by Luis Ricardo Falero. ( Public Domain )
“Walpurgisnacht. Der Aufbruch der Hexen” (Walpurgis Night. The Departure of the Witches) (1878) by Luis Ricardo Falero. ( Public Domain )

Another typical activity carried out on Walpurgis Night is the lighting of bonfires, which, according to one tradition, was also a means of warding off witches. Another tradition states that the lighting of bonfires dates back to pre-Christian times. During that period, the pagan Germans would leave their livestock to graze around the spring equinox . In order to scare away wild animals, they would light bonfires, dance around them, and make much noise. When Christianity arrived, the bishops found that these activities were a little too pagan. Instead of banning it, however, the bishops decided to shift it to Walpurgis Night, so that it could be associated with the Christian saint.

A Walpurgis Night bonfire. ( CC0)
A Walpurgis Night bonfire. ( CC0)
Happy Walpurgisnacht! Happy Vappu!

Saint Walpurga was never associated with Scandinavia and Walpurgis Night originated in Germany, where she served as abbess for about half her life. Nevertheless, this festival spread to the north, and is today also celebrated in such countries as Sweden and Finland. Moreover, Walpurgis Night is an important holiday in these countries.

A large Walpurgis Night celebration in Heidelberg. (Andreas Fink/ CC BY SA 2.0 )

In Finland, for example, Walpurgis Night is known also as Vappu, and is one of the country’s most important holidays. Although it was initially celebrated by the upper class, during the late 19th century it became popular amongst university students. Today, Walpurgis Night is celebrated by all segments of both Finnish and Swedish societies.

People at a Vappu picnic in Kaivopuisto, Helsinki, on 1 May 2008. (JIP/ CC BY SA 3.0 )
People at a Vappu picnic in Kaivopuisto, Helsinki, on 1 May 2008. (JIP/ CC BY SA 3.0 )

This article (Walpurgis Night: A Saint, Witches, And Pagan Beliefs In A Springtime Halloween For Scandinavia) was originally featured at Ancient Origins and is re-posted here under Creative Commons.

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History

The Sacred Ghost Town Of Ani, City Of 1001 Churches: Deserted By Man, Destroyed By Nature

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The Sacred Ghost Town Of Ani, City Of 1001 Churches: Deserted By Man, Destroyed By Nature
Photo Credit: Ancient Origins

Veronica Parkes, Ancient Origins

First mentioned in the 5th century by Armenian chroniclers, the “Ghost City” of Ani was described as a strong fortress on a hilltop that was a possession of the Armenian Kamsarakan dynasty. From this point on and throughout its occupation, the site had a turbulent history: changing hands multiple times, withstanding sieges, massacres, earthquakes, and looting – which led to its eventual abandonment. Despite this, the site has been seen as a place of extreme beauty, architectural marvel, and rich history for both the Turks and Armenians. While it remains a point of contention between these two nationalities, it is currently being restored, and conserved as an important piece of world history which may lead to it being named a Unesco World Heritage Site.

Ruins of the Cathedral of Ani and the church of Redeemer in Ani, an ancient capital of Armenia in the 10th century. ( CC BY 2.0 )
Ruins of the Cathedral of Ani and the church of Redeemer in Ani, an ancient capital of Armenia in the 10th century. ( CC BY 2.0 )
The Growth Of An Armenian Capital

In the 9th century, Ani had been incorporated in the territories of the Armenian Bagratuni dynasty. At this time, the capital of the territory moved from Bagaran to Shirakavan, and then Kars. Finally, the capital was moved to Ani in 961. It was during this time that Ani began its rapid expansion, and in 992 the Armenian Catholicosate, the hierarchical see of the apostolic church, moved its seat to Ani. By the start of the 11th century the population of Ani was well over 100,000 and it gained renown as the “city of forty gates” and the “city of a thousand and one churches.” Ani also became the site of the royal mausoleum of the Bagratuni kings of Armenia. In the middle of the 11th century, King Gagik II opposed several Byzantine armies and was able to fend them off for a time. However, in 1046, Ani surrendered to the Byzantines and a Byzantine governor was installed in the city.

Church of Saint Gregory (King Gagik) ( CC BY SA 3.0 )
Captured & Contested City

In 1064, a large Seljuk army attacked Ani, and after a 25 day siege the city was captured decimating its population. In 1072, the Seljuks sold Ani to the Shaddadids, a Muslim Kurdish dynasty. At this time, the Shaddadids employed a conciliatory policy towards the city’s predominantly Armenian and Christian populace. However, the people found their new rulers too intolerant and they appealed to the Christian kingdom of Georgia. Between 1124 and 1209, the city moved back and forth between the Georgians and the Shaddadids numerous times until it was finally captured by the Georgians. In 1236, the Mongols captured the city and massacred much of the population. By the 14 th century, the city was under the control of local Turkish dynasties and soon became part of the Ottoman Empire. An earthquake devastated the site in 1319, reducing the city to a mere village. In 1735 the site was completely abandoned when the last monks left the monastery.

The religious landscape of the medieval Armenian city of Ani, now in Turkey, as viewed from Armenia. (CC BY SA 3.0 )
Religious Remains

Called the “city of a thousand and once churches”, archaeologists have found at least 40 churches, chapels, and mausoleums, all designed by the greatest architectural and artistic minds of their time. The Cathedral of Ani stands above the city, despite its collapsed dome and destroyed northwest corner it remains imposing in scale. It was completed in 1001 by the Armenian King Gagik I, at the peak of prosperity in the city, and designed by Trdat, the renowned Armenian architect who also served the Byzantines by helping them repair the dome of Hagia Sophia.

Two people sitting inside the Cathedral of Ani just a hundred metres from the border of Armenia. Large parts of the roof have fallen down, allowing daylight to find its way into the building. ( CC BY SA 3.0 )
Two people sitting inside the Cathedral of Ani just a hundred metres from the border of Armenia. Large parts of the roof have fallen down, allowing daylight to find its way into the building. ( CC BY SA 3.0 )

The Church of the Redeemer stands today as half a church propped up by scaffolding. However, in its time it was an architectural marvel featuring 19 archways and a dome, all made from local reddish-brown volcanic basalt. This church also housed a fragment of the true cross, on which Christ was crucified. In the 10 th century, the Church of St. Gregory of the Abughamrentists was built as a 12-sided chapel that has a dome carved with blind arcades. In the early 20 th century, a mausoleum was discovered buried under the church’s north side, likely containing the remains of Prince Grigor Pahlavuni. Unfortunately, like many of the sites at Ani, the prince’s sepulchre has been looted.

The supported ruins of The Church of the Redeemer (CC BY SA 3.0 )
The supported ruins of The Church of the Redeemer (CC BY SA 3.0 )

Under the control of the Shaddadids, buildings such as the mosque of Manuchihr were erected. The minaret still stands, from when the mosque was originally built in the late 11th century, perched on the edge of a cliff. The rest of the mosque’s features are likely later additions. The original purpose of the mosque is contested by the Armenians and Turks. Some believe that the building once served as a palace for the Armenian Bagratid dynasty and was later converted into a mosque. The other side of the argument maintains that the structure was originally built as a mosque, and thus was the first mosque in Anatolia. Both sides hold that the mosque is more important to their nationality.

The ruins of Manucehr Mosque, an 11th century mosque built among the ruins of Ani. ( CC BY SA 3.0 )
The ruins of Manucehr Mosque, an 11th century mosque built among the ruins of Ani. ( CC BY SA 3.0 )
A Struggle For Preservation

In 1892, the first archaeological excavations were conducted at the site of Ani, sponsored by the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences and supervised by Nicholas Marr. From this excavation, numerous buildings were uncovered, documented in academic journals, and presented in guidebooks, and the entire site was surveyed. Emergency repairs were undertaken on the buildings that were most at risk of collapse, and a museum was established in the Minuchihr mosque and a purpose-built building housing thousands of items found during the excavations. In World War I, about 6000 artifacts were moved from the museum to the collection of Yerevan’s State Museum of Armenian History; what remained in Ani was eventually looted or destroyed. Turkey’s surrender at the end of the war lead to the restoration of Ani to Armenian control. But, in 1921 Ani was incorporated into the Republic of Turkey.

Today, Turkish-Armenian tensions leave the site hotly contested. Despite this, there is an ongoing effort by archaeologists and activists to preserve the ruins. Historians have long argued for the historical importance of Ani as a forgotten nexus, as a result Ani is now on a tentative list for recognition as a Unesco World Heritage Site. Restoration efforts began in 2011 by the World Monument Fund in partnership with the Turkish Ministry of Culture, and they may be able to preserve what is left of the ghost city.

Kizkale Church viewed from the citadel ( CC BY SA 3.0 )

This article (The Sacred Ghost Town Of Ani, City Of 1001 Churches: Deserted By Man, Destroyed By Nature) was originally featured at Ancient Origins and is re-posted here under Creative Commons.

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