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A Cornucopia of Eclectic Delights

Posts tagged Ancient:

Relic of the tooth of the Buddha
The Relic of the tooth of Buddha is venerated in Sri Lanka as a relic of the founder of Buddhism having come to be regarded as a symbolic representation of the living Buddha. According to legend, when Buddha died in BC 543, his body was cremated in India and his left canine tooth was retrieved from the pyre and given to King Brahmadatte for veneration.
A belief grew that whoever possessed the Tooth had a divine right to rule. Wars were fought to take possession of it and 800 years after Buddha’s death it came into the possession of King Guhaseeva of Kalinga, who began to worship it. This caused discontent among his citizens who told King Paandu that Guhaseeva had stopped believing in god and had started worshipping a tooth. Paandu decided to destroy the relic, and ordered it to be brought to the city. It is said that, as the tooth arrived at the city Paandu miraculously converted to Buddhism.
When King Ksheeradara heard of this, he went with his army to attack Paandu. The invaders were defeated, and Ksheeradara died. Prince Dantha from the city of Udeni came to worship the sacred tooth. Guhaseeva was pleased with him, and let him marry his daughter, Hemamala. When Ksheeradara’s sons heard their father had died in war, they raised a large army to attack Guhaseeva and destroy the relic. They entered the city, but King Guhaseeva secretly sent away Dantha and Hemamala with the relic.
Hemamala hid the relic in her hair ornament and the couple disguised themselves to avoid discovery. They set sail for Sri Lanka as it is said that Sri Lanka was chosen as the new home for the tooth relic because the Lord Buddha had declared that his religion would be safe in Sri Lanka for 5000 years.
At the time, King Kithsirimevan ruled and was overjoyed when he heard the news and warmly welcomed the couple and received the Sacred Tooth Relic with great veneration. He built a beautiful palace within the royal palace itself and enshrined the relic in it. As time went on the land was threatened with invasions and the capital was moved numerous times, and with change a new palace was built to enshrine the relic. Finally, it was brought to Kandy where it is at present, in the Temple of the Tooth.

Relic of the tooth of the Buddha

The Relic of the tooth of Buddha is venerated in Sri Lanka as a relic of the founder of Buddhism having come to be regarded as a symbolic representation of the living Buddha. According to legend, when Buddha died in BC 543, his body was cremated in India and his left canine tooth was retrieved from the pyre and given to King Brahmadatte for veneration.

A belief grew that whoever possessed the Tooth had a divine right to rule. Wars were fought to take possession of it and 800 years after Buddha’s death it came into the possession of King Guhaseeva of Kalinga, who began to worship it. This caused discontent among his citizens who told King Paandu that Guhaseeva had stopped believing in god and had started worshipping a tooth. Paandu decided to destroy the relic, and ordered it to be brought to the city. It is said that, as the tooth arrived at the city Paandu miraculously converted to Buddhism.

When King Ksheeradara heard of this, he went with his army to attack Paandu. The invaders were defeated, and Ksheeradara died. Prince Dantha from the city of Udeni came to worship the sacred tooth. Guhaseeva was pleased with him, and let him marry his daughter, Hemamala. When Ksheeradara’s sons heard their father had died in war, they raised a large army to attack Guhaseeva and destroy the relic. They entered the city, but King Guhaseeva secretly sent away Dantha and Hemamala with the relic.

Hemamala hid the relic in her hair ornament and the couple disguised themselves to avoid discovery. They set sail for Sri Lanka as it is said that Sri Lanka was chosen as the new home for the tooth relic because the Lord Buddha had declared that his religion would be safe in Sri Lanka for 5000 years.

At the time, King Kithsirimevan ruled and was overjoyed when he heard the news and warmly welcomed the couple and received the Sacred Tooth Relic with great veneration. He built a beautiful palace within the royal palace itself and enshrined the relic in it. As time went on the land was threatened with invasions and the capital was moved numerous times, and with change a new palace was built to enshrine the relic. Finally, it was brought to Kandy where it is at present, in the Temple of the Tooth.

(Source: Wikipedia)

Ancient North Korean Unicorn Lair
North Korea[n] historians have allegedly announced that they have unearthed a unicorn lair. A report released by the History Institute of the DPRK Academy of Social Sciences claims that archaeologists discovered the lair of the mythical animal just outside a temple in the capital Pyongyang.
In what appears to be a suggestion of superiority over nearby enemies South Korea, the report says:

The discovery of the unicorn lair, associated with legend about King Tongmyong, proves that Pyongyang was a capital city of Ancient Korea as well as Koguryo Kingdom. A rectangular rock carved with words “Unicorn Lair” stands in front of the lair. The carved words are believed to date back to the period of Koryo Kingdom (918-1392). The temple served as a relief palace for King Tongmyong, in which there is the lair of his unicorn.

Jo Hui Sung, director of the Institute, told KCNA, the state news agency, that the findings is in keeping with the country’s history.

Ancient North Korean Unicorn Lair

North Korea[n] historians have allegedly announced that they have unearthed a unicorn lair. A report released by the History Institute of the DPRK Academy of Social Sciences claims that archaeologists discovered the lair of the mythical animal just outside a temple in the capital Pyongyang.

In what appears to be a suggestion of superiority over nearby enemies South Korea, the report says:

The discovery of the unicorn lair, associated with legend about King Tongmyong, proves that Pyongyang was a capital city of Ancient Korea as well as Koguryo Kingdom. A rectangular rock carved with words “Unicorn Lair” stands in front of the lair. The carved words are believed to date back to the period of Koryo Kingdom (918-1392). The temple served as a relief palace for King Tongmyong, in which there is the lair of his unicorn.

Jo Hui Sung, director of the Institute, told KCNA, the state news agency, that the findings is in keeping with the country’s history.

Some day I will go to Aarhus
To see his peat-brown head,
The mild pods of his eye-lids,
His pointed skin cap.

In the flat country near by
Where they dug him out,
His last gruel of winter seeds
Caked in his stomach,

Naked except for
The cap, noose and girdle,
I will stand a long time. - From ‘The Tollund Man' by Seamus Heaney.

Bog Bodies

Image One: Hanged with a leather cord and cast into a Danish bog 2,300 years ago, Tollund Man was probably a sacrifice. Like other bodies found preserved in Europe’s peat bogs, he poses haunting questions. How was he chosen? Who closed his eyes after death? And what god demanded his life?

Image Two: Oldcroghan Man was found without a head or legs at the foot of a hill that has marked a border in Ireland since ancient times. Today two townlands come together at that spot, west of Dublin. Two thousand years ago it served as the boundary of two kingdoms—the territories of Tuath Cruachain and Tuagh na Cille. Eamonn Kelly, keeper of Irish antiquities at the National Museum of Ireland, believes Oldcroghan Man was sacrificed to a fertility goddess at the inauguration of a new king, then dismembered and sown in pieces along the kingdom’s border to bring protection and prosperity. 

Image Three: Some 1,600 years after his death, “Red Franz” still has much of his hair and beard, though the bog waters have dyed it red. From deformities in his bones, it appears that he spent much of his life on horseback. Recent studies of his body, found a century ago in Germany, have determined that he survived an arrow wound and a broken shoulder and was killed when someone slit his throat.

Image Four: Mutilated by the iron rods of workers dredging peat from a Dutch bog, Yde Girl’s body offers clues to her death. The band of fabric around the 16-year-old’s throat suggests she was strangled. She may have been chosen for sacrifice because of a deformity revealed by a CT scan: a curvature in her spine.

(Source: National Geographic)

Did you know that there’s a branch of science devoted to the study of poop? Scatology is the study of feces or poop. Scientists can learn about the animal’s diet, health, DNA and behavior by studying their poop. The scientific word for poop that has been fossilized is “Coprolites.”

The oldest known human poop or “coprolite” in North America was discovered in Oregon’s Paisley Cave. The fossilized poop is about 14,000 years old and contains squirrel bones, bison hair, fish scales, sunflowers and protein from birds and dogs. This means that the person probably ate squirrel, bison, fish, sunflowers, birds and dogs.

Did you know that there’s a branch of science devoted to the study of poop? Scatology is the study of feces or poop. Scientists can learn about the animal’s diet, health, DNA and behavior by studying their poop. The scientific word for poop that has been fossilized is “Coprolites.”

The oldest known human poop or “coprolite” in North America was discovered in Oregon’s Paisley Cave. The fossilized poop is about 14,000 years old and contains squirrel bones, bison hair, fish scales, sunflowers and protein from birds and dogs. This means that the person probably ate squirrel, bison, fish, sunflowers, birds and dogs.

Chinese puzzle balls are ornate decorative items that consist of several concentric spheres, each of which rotates freely, carved from the same piece of material. Although the master carvers of old used ivory, in modern times you can find puzzle balls made of synthetic ivory, resin, wood, jade, and other materials. These detailed works of art are usually made up of at least 3 to 7 layers, but the world’s largest puzzle ball is actually made of 42 concentric balls all enclosed one within the other.

Chinese masters rotate a solid ball on a lathe and start by drilling holes toward the center of the objects. Then, using special “L”-shaped tools, they begin to separate the innermost balls. The tool with the longest upright has the shortest cutter, and the one with the shortest upright has the longest cutter. The craftsman lowers the longest tool to the narrow bottom of each hole in turn and rotates it to cut the innermost ball free. Then, using the second longest, which doesn’t reach as far down, but cuts a wider arc, he separates the second ball, and so on, from the innermost to the outermost shell. Because it is easier to work with, the exterior shell is the most elaborately carved, usually featuring an intertwined dragon and a phoenix.

They are solved by aligning all the holes.

(Source: odditycentral.com)

The earliest known examples of tattoos were the Egyptians, having being present on numerous female mummies that date as far back as 2000 B.C. It was only until “Iceman”, a frozen body found at the Italian-Austrian border in 1991, was discovered with patterns adorned across various parts of his body that presented evidence of tattoos existing much earlier. Scientists have carbon dated “Iceman” to around 5,200 years old. 

The earliest known examples of tattoos were the Egyptians, having being present on numerous female mummies that date as far back as 2000 B.C. It was only until “Iceman”, a frozen body found at the Italian-Austrian border in 1991, was discovered with patterns adorned across various parts of his body that presented evidence of tattoos existing much earlier. Scientists have carbon dated “Iceman” to around 5,200 years old. 

"The Wheel of Fortune" by Edward Burne-Jones, 1875-83.
The Wheel of Fortune, or Rota Fortunae, is a concept in medieval and ancient philosophy referring to the capricious nature of Fate. The wheel belongs to the goddess Fortuna, who spins it at random, changing the positions of those on the wheel - some suffer great misfortune, others gain windfalls. Fortune appears on all paintings as a woman, sometimes blindfolded, “puppeteering” a wheel.

"The Wheel of Fortune" by Edward Burne-Jones, 1875-83.

The Wheel of Fortune, or Rota Fortunae, is a concept in medieval and ancient philosophy referring to the capricious nature of Fate. The wheel belongs to the goddess Fortuna, who spins it at random, changing the positions of those on the wheel - some suffer great misfortune, others gain windfalls. Fortune appears on all paintings as a woman, sometimes blindfolded, “puppeteering” a wheel.