Monday, December 5, 2011

800-year-old remains of witch discovered in Italian graveyard

These are the 800 year old remains of what archaeologists believe was a witch from the Middle Ages after seven nails were found driven through her jaw bone.

The grim discovery was made during a dig on what is thought to be a 'witches graveyard' after another woman's skeleton was found surrounded by 17 dice - a game which women were forbidden from playing 800 years ago.

Experts say they believe the women are aged around 25 - 30 years old and were found buried in a simple shallow grave in the ground with no coffin or shroud.

The macabre remains were found during a dig close to the sea at Piombino near Lucca in Italy's Tuscany region and the woman had seven nails through her jaw as well as another 13 nails surrounding her skeleton.

Archaeologist Alfonso Forgione, from L'Aquila University, who is leading the dig, is convinced that the women were suspected witches because of the circumstances in which they were buried.

He said: 'It's a very unusual discovery and at the same time fascinating. I have never seen anything like this before. I'm convinced because of the nails found in the jaw and around the skeleton the woman was a witch.
800-year-old remains of witch discovered - with seven nails in jaw

Top 10 Bermuda Triangle Theories

The Bermuda Triangle is a geographic area with it's points being at Miami, Florida, the island of Bermuda, and San Juan Puerto Rico. In this area, over the course of time, many different aircraft and boats have mysteriously disappeared without a trace, leading many to believe that the triangle has something unusual about it that is swallowing up people, planes, and boats.

All of these incidences have relatively similar aspects in that they don't show up later as wreckage, and that in the cases of the aircraft, there was never any oil slicks found on the ocean, which are common indicators of where a crash took place for sea crashes. There are also a number of wrecks that have taken place that have been accounted for, and were the cause of natural calamities or human error. It depends largely on what you're willing to believe.

Here are the top ten theories that attempt to explain the mystery behind the Bermuda Triangle.

1. Attack by Pirates


Although this theory cannot be totally ruled out, it fails to explain the reason for the disappearance of the aircrafts. According to this theory, the reason why so many ships disappeared is because of pirates who are especially active in this part of the Atlantic. Piracy has been the reason behind the destruction and disappearance of many a large vessel in the past, in different parts of the world. Some theorists are of the opinion that in addition to piracy, attack by enemy vessels might also be a reason. This theory might prove to be true for at least some of the disappearances in the past.

2. Strong Magnetic Field


This theory says that the root cause behind the notorious reputation of the Bermuda Triangle is the Earth’s magnetic field in that particular region. It has been frequently observed that compasses begin to spin rapidly near the Bermuda Triangle and navigation equipments stop functioning properly. This is because it is one of the two places on earth where the geographic north and magnetic north coincide. Due to this, electromagnetic storms originating below the earth's surface rise up to the atmosphere and leave a fog behind. The strong magnetic effects in the region is believed to be responsible for so many people vanishing into thin air.

3. Effect of a Comet


The first theory that we'll discuss here is the theory that a comet from outer space crashed into the earth some thousands of years ago, near the area, which is now the Bermuda Triangle. People who believe in this theory also seem to believe that somewhere in the depths of the ocean, there must lie the remains of this comet and it is the electromagnetic attractions of the comet that causes all the havoc, including disruptions of aircraft signals. No traces of a comet or anything similar to it has been found yet and in the absence of a proof, this theory remains nothing but an assumption. 

Top 10 Bermuda Triangle Theories

Ka’aba and its Mysterious Black Stone

The Black Stone is a Muslim relic, which according to Islamic tradition dates back to the time of Adam and Eve. Historical research claims that the Black Stone marked the Kaaba as a place of worship during pre-Islamic pagan times. It is the eastern cornerstone of the Kaaba, the ancient stone building towards which Muslims pray, in the center of the Grand Mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. The Stone is a dark rock, polished smooth by the hands of millions of pilgrims, that has been broken into a number of fragments cemented into a silver frame in the side of the Kaaba. Although it has often been described as a meteorite, this hypothesis is still under consideration.

Muslim pilgrims circle the Kaaba as part of the Tawaf ritual of the Hajj. Many of them try, if possible, to stop and kiss the Black Stone, emulating the kiss that Islamic tradition records that it received from the Islamic Prophet Muhammad. If they cannot reach it, they point to it on each of their seven circuits around the Kaaba.

Physical description

The Black Stone, surrounded by its silver frame and the black cloth kiswah on the Kaaba in Mecca.

The Black Stone consists of a number of fragments held together by a silver frame, which is fastened by silver nails to the Stone. Some of the smaller fragments have been cemented together to form the seven or eight fragments visible today. The Stone's exposed face measures about 20 centimetres (7.9 in) by 16 centimetres (6.3 in). Its original size is unclear; its recorded dimensions have changed considerably over time, as the stone has been remodelled. In the 10th century, an observer described it as being one cubit (slightly over 1.5 feet (0.46 m) long). By the early 17th century, it was recorded as measuring 1.5 yards (1.4 m) by 1.33 yards (1.22 m). According to Ali Bey in the 18th century, it was 42 inches (110 cm) high, and Muhammad Ali reported it as being 2.5 feet (0.76 m) long by 1.5 feet (0.46 m) wide.

The Black Stone was first described in Western literature in the 19th and early 20th centuries by European travelers in Arabia, who visited the Kaaba in the guise of pilgrims. Swiss traveler Johann Ludwig Burckhardt visited Mecca in 1814, and provided a detailed description in his 1829 book Travels in Arabia:

It is an irregular oval, about seven inches in diameter, with an undulated surface, composed of about a dozen smaller stones of different sizes and shapes, well joined together with a small quantity of cement, and perfectly well smoothed; it looks as if the whole had been broken into as many pieces by a violent blow, and then united again. It is very difficult to determine accurately the quality of this stone which has been worn to its present surface by the millions of touches and kisses it has received. It appeared to me like a lava, containing several small extraneous particles of a whitish and of a yellow substance. Its colour is now a deep reddish brown approaching to black. It is surrounded on all sides by a border composed of a substance which I took to be a close cement of pitch and gravel of a similar, but not quite the same, brownish colour. This border serves to support its detached pieces; it is two or three inches in breadth, and rises a little above the surface of the stone. Both the border and the stone itself are encircled by a silver band, broader below than above, and on the two sides, with a considerable swelling below, as if a part of the stone were hidden under it. The lower part of the border is studded with silver nails. 

Ka’aba and its Mysterious Black Stone 


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