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Ispectrum magazine #03


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The third issue of Ispectrum Magazine arrives full of interesting content, starting with an interview with neurosurgeon Dr. Eben Alexander, who after years of being a skeptic of NDEs (Near Death Experiences) changed his mind due to meningitis that kept him in a coma for seven days. Do you want to know what he has to tell the readers of ISPECTRUM MAGAZINE?

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Ispectrum magazine #03

  2. 2. CONTENTS Features 11 17 03 Interview with dr. Eben alexander THE SKEPTIC NEUROSURGEON WHO WENT TO HEAVEN AND COME BACK 06 NDEs in the Laboratory 08‘Proof of Heaven’ 09 Who is Dr. Eben Alexander 11 Amoebas to protect us from the flu 12 Protection from bird flu possible 13 Amoebas work much faster than chickens 15 No antibiotics, mercury or formaldehyde contained in this vaccine 17 COGNITIVE DISSONANCE 19 Festinger & Carlsmith research 23 How active is cognitive dissonance in our everyday experiences? 26 Alan Turing: A Brilliant Unknown 30 The Turing Machine 32 The Breaking of the ENIGMA Code 34 Apple’s Logo 3 26 37 1 37 WORLD ARCHAEOLOGICAL TREASURES 50 Lost Archaeology
  3. 3. editorial The third issue of Ispectrum Magazine arrives full of interesting content, starting with an interview with neurosurgeon Dr. Eben Alexander, who after years of being a skeptic of NDEs (Near Death Experiences) changed his mind due to meningitis that kept him in a coma for seven days. Do you want to know what he has to tell the readers of ISPECTRUM MAGAZINE? I am sure you do. Don’t miss the special article by Markus Markus Köller who brings us, directly from a German laboratory, interesting research about amoebas that protect us from flu. No antibiotics, mercury or formaldehyde contained in this vaccine. Feel curious? We do! Our psychology section, with Rob Hutchinson, is about cognitive dissonance. What happens to our private opinions if we are forced to do or think something that contradicts the way we think? We want to know. How about you? We have the telecommunications enginer Manolo Barea, who revitalizes for us the figure of Alan Turing, one of the fathers of computer science.Do you know what apples have to do with Alan Turing, and what Alan Turing has to do with the Apple Computer Company? Finally, this issue comes with an extraordinary journey through the most amazing of the world’s archaeological treasures. John Sims, a former field archaeologist from Wales, unveils for us some things about our ancestors through what they left behind. Enjoy reading, leave us your comments and share with us your ideas. 2 Mado Martinez Editorial Director Ispectrum magazine Editorial Director Mado Martinez, Art Director Rayna Petrova Copy Editing and Proofreading Matt Loveday John Sims Daniel Hallam Contributing Writers Rob Hutchinson Markus Köller Manuel Barea John Sims Images Cover Photo : ©DEBORAH FEINGOLD,, public domain photos, +44 7517864 167 / +44 7938707 164 (UK) Follow Us
  4. 4. INTERVIEW WITH DR. EBEN ALEXANDER THE SKEPTIC NEUROSURGEON WHO WENT TO HEAVEN AND CAME BACK by Mado Martinez website F ferent man. Now he truly thinks, he truly knows that there is life beyond death. rom a skeptic to a believer. What makes an atheist neurosurgeon who didn’t believe in Near-Death Experiences (NDEs), change his mind to the point of affirming that Heaven is real? For many years, Dr. Eben Alexander thought that everything finished when you die. Near-Death Experiences? What were they? Surely a result of a lack of oxygen in the brain but nothing else, and he was so sure about it that he even manifested it. But today Dr. Eben Alexander is a dif- 3 What happened? Well, it’s easy. Dr. Alexander almost died. His brain was attacked by a bacteria that kept him in a coma for seven days and turned off his synapses. While his physical body was in the bed of a hospital surrounded by his family, this neurosurgeon was in another place; a Heaven where he learnt important lessons… Do you want to know which ones?
  5. 5. M.M. You are a famous neurosurgeon that in the past, didn’t believe in NDEs. You even wrote papers against any remote possibility of life after death. What was your theory in this period of your past? E.A. As a surgeon, I was used to believing in what I could see, feel, and measure. At the time, NDEs and consciousness independent of the brain seemed like wishful thinking to me, and I never really looked for proof of what happens after death. But after my experience, when I started really looking for scientific papers— not necessarily papers that had made it into the news, but papers and research with rigorous 4 science behind them—I found a wealth of information that revealed a firm grounding in science and belief in NDEs are not mutually exclusive.
  6. 6. M.M. So today you defend NDEs as real experiences, more real than the reality in which we live. Can you affirm that consciousness exists? E.A. Consciousness might be defined as awareness of things outside oneself. So while philosophers have been debating more precise definitions for millennia, and the finer points are quite complicated, the core of the thing is easy; if you’re reading this, if you’re aware of this newspaper, you’re conscious. The tougher question, and one that I have learned a lot about since my experience, is whether consciousness is essentially mechanical—that is, arising solely from physical processes in the brain—or holistic, in that it transcends the brain. As a neurosurgeon, I was used to a one-to-one correlation between the physical brain and how the mind appeared to work. For example, if I had a patient with a tumor that affected a part of the brain associated with language, he would have trouble communicating. But I’ve since learned that it’s a lot more complicated than that. M.M. Do you affirm it from the personal point of view or from a scientific point of view? Е.A. While the science has been emerging throughout the last few decades, I refused to seriously consider it until my own personal experience. Since then, I have learned a lot, and based on my experience, a wealth of anecdotal evidence, and emerging research in medicine and physics, I have come 5 to accept the hypothesis that consciousness exists beyond the physical brain.
  7. 7. M.M. Is it possible to experiment with NDEs in a laboratory? Е.A. Absolutely. However, as a doctor, I hold the Hippocratic oath—do no harm—in the highest regard. Doctors and scientists cannot in good conscience perform experiments that could harm their patients. Our lives are infinite- ly precious, and while research in this area interests me, the health and well being of other people far outweighs anything we might learn using that method. I’m in contact with teams of researchers all over the world doing some very exciting research in this area, and all of them have found creative ways to learn about consciousness—from neuroscience to theoretical physics—without risking patients health in any way. M.M. Can Science explain everything, or does it need to open up to other disciplines of knowledge to explain the mysteries of life, physics and the universe? Е.A. Ultimately, science is the study of the observable universe. I think science can explain everything—if we can find ways to observe a broader range of the universe. tally ill were assumed to be possessed. Now we have the right vocabulary and conceptual framework to talk about viruses and bacteria, and the right tools, like microscopes, to observe Just a few hundred years and measure them. theory and proven fact ago, illness seemed like But the differences a curse, and the men- between “magic” and aren’t always clear 6
  8. 8. until much later. And while we’ve learned a lot, we’re nowhere near 100%. Witch hunts continue even today in countries like Papua New Guinea, where a woman was burned alive in 2013. It would be incredibly arrogant of us to assume that we have discovered every way to see the world and every tool to measure it. Scientists are at their best when they are open to all possibilities, and arrive at a study without assumptions or preconceptions. from neuroscience to theoretical physics— without risking patients health in any way. M.M. When a person says that she/he has had an NDE, a scientist doesn’t believe her/him. When people like Louis Hay, Gregg Braden, etc, say that they have cured themselves from a cancer with positive thinking, what do you - a doctor - have to say? Е.A. As a doctor, I’ve seen people recover who every medical test indicated should have died. And I’ve seen people deteriorate who should have responded to treatment. We just don’t know everything about how the human body heals itself. py and radiation therapy, works better than anything else. But it doesn’t work in every case, and there’s often no clear reason why it works for one person and doesn’t for another. I would never advise a patient to forgo chemo in favor of meditation or other mental efforts, but I don’t dismiss the Some studies show that show people in a We know that modern power of positive thinkcoma do better when treatment for cancer, ing. they hear positive talk including chemotheraat their bedside from doctors and loved ones—even people who “shouldn’t” be able to hear or process audio. Clearly, we still have a lot to learn about how the brain works, and how we interact with our environment when the brain is severely injured. 7
  9. 9. M.M. During your experience you met other beings, and you knew about other worlds, other universes, other existences. Do these experiences prove that “aliens” exist? Е.A. I believe that there are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in most peoples’ philosophies. We know now that there are other planets capable of sustaining life. Statistically speaking, it seems likely that at least some of those that can, do. Humanity is a miraculous thing, but I am not so egotistical or naive as to think we have a monopoly on consciousness. M.M. In “Proof of Heaven” we find the testimonial of a person that is a neurosurgeon; but it is not a scientific book. Are you only interested in ‘spreading the word’ or have you thought about conducting scientific research in order to publish papers and books for the scientific community? Е.A. how what I learned can change their lives for the better. While I don’t feel a calling to do laboratory work with NDEs, I do continue to follow current research about consciousness and NDEs, and support the researchers doing that work. There is some Right now, I’m focused really exciting research on continuing to share out there right now, and my story and help- I feel very blessed to be ing people understand here at a time when we I wanted Proof of Heaven to be accessible to people without a medical background. While there are lots of studies about near-death experiences, research jargon can be daunting for many people. 8
  10. 10. are constantly learning new things about who we are, where we are, where we’re going, and what it all means. WHO IS DR. ALEXANDER? Eben Alexander is an American neurosurgeon and the author of the best-selling Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon’s Journey into the Afterlife, in which he describes his 2008 near death experience and asserts that Science will determine that Heaven really does exist. If you want to know more about him, check out PROOF OF HEAVEN: THE EXCERPTS any words, she spoke to me. The message went through me like a wind, and I instantly understood that it was true. I knew so in the same way that I knew that the world around us was real […] The message had three parts, [A girl] Without using and if I had to transA beautiful, incredible dream world… Except it wasn’t a dream. Though I didn’t know where I was or even what I was, I was absolutely sure of one thing: this place I’d suddenly found myself in was completely real. 9
  11. 11. not one universe but many –in fact, more than I could conceivebut that love lay at the center of them all. Evil was present in all the other universes as well, but only in the tiniest trace amounts. Evil Through the Orb, Om was necessary because told me that there is without it free will was late them into earthly language, I’d say they ran something like this: “You are loved and cherished, dearly, forever. You have nothing to fear. There is nothing you can do wrong”. 10 impossible, and without free will could be no growth –no forward movement, no chance for us to become what God longed for us to be.
  12. 12. Amoebas to protect us from the flu Innovative flu vaccine takes first hurdle at Regulatory Agency by Markus Köller website M ünster, July 29, 2013. We may still know from biology class that amoebas (or scientifically called Tetrahymena) are microscopic sandal shaped single cell organisms and can be found in any lake or water puddle. They will now help to produce the flu vaccine named Ciflu, the production of which is twice as fast as and safer than current technology. Risks and supply shortages for vaccines against seasonal or pandemic flu will most 11 likely become a thing of the past. The vaccine was developed by Cilian AG, a biotech company based in Münster, Germany, and is currently in advanced testing phase. The German Paul Ehrlich Institute, more precisely the Federal Institute for Vaccines and Biomedical Products has now granted permission for next steps in the vaccine’s development.
  13. 13. By rendering scientific advice, the Paul Ehrlich Institute helped the amoeba based vaccine to take its first big official hurdle in the first attempt. Since animal tests of Ciflu were positive and, in fact, superior in efficacy to the standard vaccine, the regulatory agency has authorized additional in vivo testing: A first official signal for the large potential of this new product. Protection from bird flu possible What is it, in fact, that makes Tetrahymena so much better than other vaccine production? “I have been following research at Cilian AG very closely for years now“, explains Professor Tiedtke who is cell biologist and biotechnologist at the University of Münster in Germany. “Tetrahymena cells offer a lot of advantages. As eukaryotes, they possess similar features to human cells – meaning that compounds can be produced naturally the same way (as in the human body) and are therefore harmless for us humans and animals. In addition, such vaccine production would by far be a lot faster than conventional methods. It is very flexible – and one day it could protect us from the bird flu.” 12
  14. 14. Speed in the production of vaccines is often the decisive factor: the German Federal Ministry of Health recommends that individuals should get vaccination against influenza, commonly referred to as flu, every year between the months of September and November. This is particularly relevant in children and the elderly. However, what happens if shortages occur in conjunction with the manufacturing and supply of vaccine, as was the case last year in Bavaria and Northern Germany? The time window for production is extremely narrow. Because of constant mutation, the WHO determines the relevant virus types each February for the upcoming flu season. Through conventional production in Germany, the standard vaccine is produced in chicken embryos in a very tedious process. The chicken embryos get infected with the live virus which multiplies in their bodies. This process alone takes more than 2 months. Recombinant vaccine Ciflu, meaning produced through biotechnology, could offer relief in the near term. 13 Current vaccine production in chicken eggs “Our process is a lot more efficient and cleaner” says Dr. Marcus Hartmann, Chief Scientific Officer of Cilian AG. “In comparison with the current standard vaccine we could produce large quantities almost twice as fast. This applies for seasonal flu but also for a pandemic which tend to spread in the general population very quickly.” Another advantage: More safety The outer membrane of the flu virus consists in most part of a protein, called hemagglutinin. Hartmann and (Sources: Bild links: CDC / Laura R. Zambuto. Bild rechts: Amoebas work much faster than chickens
  15. 15. Dr. Marcus Hartmann of Cilian AG demonstrating how much safer his process is (Sources: Bild links: CDC / Laura R. Zambuto. Bild rechts: his team can program Tetrahymena DNA in a complex high-tech process so that they will only produce the protein. Through vaccination with hemagglutinin, a person produces antibodies that recognize the flu virus and remember the structure of the protein long term. This helps to identify the virus a lot quicker and then effectively fight it. Besides production speed, manufacturing of hemagglutinin offers another advantage: Conventional vaccines may contain immobilized viruses or virus like particles. Ciflu on the other hand features only the protein. Growing viruses in chicken eggs or in some other production systems always carries a risk of contamination since they involve 14 the handling of pathogens or particles thereof. ”Such risk can only be lowered through expensive additional safeguards”, explains Hartmann, while standing in plain attire in the lab. “Unprotected as I stand in our vaccine production is not possible in conventional production, there they have to wear protective safety suits. Here, however, I can reach into the vessel with my bare hands and nothing would really happen to me”.
  16. 16. No antibiotics, mercury or formaldehyde contained in this vaccine certain that the side effects will be a lot less. The next tests will certainly provide the scientific evidence”. “The decision rendered by the Paul Ehrlich Institute resembles the experts’ great interest in this production process”, according to The scientific advice from the Federal Agency confirms that if the amoeba masters the upcoming tests, tests in human subjects will be next. A collaboration partner for clinical trials has already been found. Professor Tiedtke, who has researched and studied the unique features of Tetrahymena for decades. “I believe that Dr. Hartmann found a potentially very good, fast and safe alternative to produce effective vaccines.” (Sources: On top of this, the vaccine from amoeba does not contain any controversial ingredients such as mercury, antibiotics or formaldehyde. Standard vaccines currently contain small amounts of these ingredients, remnants from the purification process. Such ingredients have caused resentment in parts of the population towards vaccination. Only 10% to 15% of Germans will get immunization against seasonal flu partly because they fear side effects and allergic reactions to intolerable vaccine components. “In this regard Ciflu is cleaner”, according to Hartmann. “Since we only produce a harmless protein, we are 15
  17. 17. The vaccine from amoeba does not contain any controversial ingredients such as mercury, antibiotics or formaldehyde “We are pleased at having received the support from the Paul Ehrlich Institute. If all upcoming tests will be as positive as the ones to date, the vaccine will certainly change a few things a bit like the iPhone changed the way we use wireless communication” according to Christian Scheiner, Cilian’s CEO. “We are confident that within the medium term we 16 can get to the market with Ciflu and have prepared strategically to insure production on a large scale with our partners.”
  18. 18. Cognitive dissonance is the area of social psychology which involves the way we deal with two contradicting thoughts, and how we deal with this contradiction. 17
  19. 19. COGNITIVE DISSONANCE by rob hutchinson website W hat happens to our private opinion if we are forced to do or think something that contradicts the way we think? Quite surprisingly evidence suggests that we change our private opinion so that it corresponds more with the opinion we are forced to deliver. For example, if we are told to improvise a speech supporting a point of view that we disagree with, this creates contradicting thoughts in our head. To resolve this contradiction, we shift our opinion so 18 that we actually agree with the content of the speech, in essence convincing ourselves to change our mind and bringing the conflicting thoughts to an end. This also works the other way round, in that if we want to resolve the conflict but err more towards our own opinion we will rationalize or disregard information, filtering it so that it agrees with our present opinion.
  20. 20. sense, but cognitive dissonance is not that easy to predict. His results actually showed that a large reward caused a smaller subsequent change in opinion in participants than a lesser reward. Cognitive dissonance is not that easy to predict The example above is very simple and clear cut, but there are many facets that influence cognitive dissonance. In truth, the concept is as complicated as the execution is cunning. When cognitive dissonance was first being investigated Kelman (1953) postulated that if the contrary information being presented to the participant was supplemented by a reward, then the greater the value of the reward the more the participants opinion should shift towards the new information. Logically this makes 19 It was a few years later when Festinger (1957) and then Festinger & Carlsmith (1959) made real inroads into research on cognitive dissonance theory. They focused more on researching into how a person’s opinion changed if they were presented with information contrary to their opinion and had to reproduce that information in some format. Most of you reading this may be able to look back at times you have rationalized information to fit your opinion, but it’s much
  21. 21. harder to recognize a time when your opinion shifted to align with contradictory information. Arguably this is the most interesting aspect of cognitive dissonance theory and also the aspect Festinger started to investigate in detail in 1957. dissonance is a very devious mechanism, as it operates on a subconscious level and any contributing factors, such as a generous reward, push it into the conscious mind and negates it’s effect. Expanding on Kelman’s 1953 research, Festinger postulated that the effect of cognitive dissonance would be maximized if the reward offered or the punishment threatened was barely enough to prompt Festinger and Carlsmith (1959) put this theory to the test, aiming to discover that if the larger the reward offered the smaller the subsequent private opinion change would be. This experiment, with many cunning deceptions, would the person their private opinion with the opinion presented. The more obvious or greater the reward or punishment was, the less an effect it had. If this were to be true it would demonstrate that cognitive go on to become one of the cornerstones of cognitive dissonance theory. Students at Stanford, as in most psychology departments at universities, were required to spend a certain number of hours 20
  22. 22. hours, so the university administration were using this as a good opportunity to interview the subjects in the spare time after the experiment. Then, the experiment began, with subjects first having to move spools around a tray for half an hour and then, for the next half hour, putting pegs in a board. Obviously, doing such boring tasks for an hour would give the subjects a negative view of the experiment, which is exactly what Festinger and Carlsmith were counting on. After all, who enjoys putting pegs in a board for half an hour? as participants in experiments run by fellow students and professors at the university. At the start of the term it was additionally explained to these students that to monitor the experiments that were being conducted interviews would be held with some students and they would be asked for their honest opinion of the experiment. One particular study, called ‘Measures of Performance’, lasted two hours and 71 male students signed up for it. This is where Festinger and Carlsmith’s deceptions began. The subjects were told that the experiment lasted just over an hour, but they had to schedule it for two At this point subjects were informed that there would be two groups in this experiment and they are in Group A. Group B will do exactly the same thing, but before they start a student who is running the experiment will tell subjects how interesting and entertaining the experiment is. That is the group they are really interested in, and the experiment the subject just did is the control group. The subject then waits for the interviewer from 21
  23. 23. cash and all the subject had to do was tell the other student arriving that the experiment was interesting. The Subjects agreed, and duly informed the arriving student that the experiment was indeed interesting. Surprisingly, this arriving student (an actress), then told the subject that her friend had done the experiment, found it really boring, and encouraged her to get out of doing it. To this, some subjects put the university to arrive and ask about the experiment he just did. However, whilst he is waiting, the experimenter pops his head in at reception and rather embarrassed, informs the subject that the student who is running the experiment for Group B has not turned up, so would he mind doing it for them? It would only take a few minutes and they will pay him a $1. Another set of students having just done exactly the same procedure and, receiving the same explanation about the student not turning up, are offered $20. Remember, it’s 1959 so even a $1 is useful 22
  24. 24. removed for various other reasons. This left a pool of sixty to be analyzed, twenty from each group (a control group who never were asked to talk to the arriving student but were still interviewed, the $1 group and the $20 group). forward a more persuasive argument, that the experiment really was interesting and that her friend was wrong. Having done this, the interviewer from the university arrived and asked subjects a few questions to check up on how The results experiments showed were being that, on conducted With their experiment average, in the uniFestinger and Carlsmith subjects v e r s i t y. laid the foundations of in the Subjects cognitive dissonance $1 group were asked theory. respondfour quesed positions, one tively to the of which was question of in regards to if they thought how interesting the experiment the tasks they had was interesting and to do were. Festinger enjoyable. The $20 dollar and Carlsmith were very group however, showed very little careful, and used the interview as difference in relation to the control an opportunity to weed out any group in their reports of how enjoysubjects who were suspicious at able they found the experiment. having to inform the girl that the To sum up, when subjects were experiment was interesting. The induced via a small reward to say data of five subjects was removed something that conflicted with their after they indicated they were susprivate opinion, this private opinion picious as to the real nature of the changed to correspond more closeexperiment, and additionally the ly with what the subject had been data from six more subjects was 23
  25. 25. told to say. The larger the reward offered the smaller the effect was. We can conclude from this that cognitive dissonance works best when the reward offered is the minimum necessary to cause the change in behaviour. With their experiment Festinger and Carlsmith laid the foundations of cognitive dissonance theory. So just how active is cognitive dissonance in our everyday experiences? The answer is, alarmingly, very active. Let’s look at some situations that maybe you have found yourself in, and after applying the cognitive dissonance theory, can you honestly say that you haven’t duped yourself into changing your own opinion? Let’s say you really want to enjoy a very exclusive gym, or any other type of membership club. You have high expectations, but being a high end club you have to do many arduous things to gain membership, such as produce evidence of your income, go to a couple of interviews and really prove that you are worth being allowed to join. All that effort and eventually you are allowed to join.. 24 only to discover that the club, is in fact, rather dull and boring, hardly worth all the time and effort you put in. However, this creates two contradictory thoughts, your opinion that the club is a waste of time, and the opinion presented to you that the club, with all its prerequisites to join, must be amazing. So, we shift our opinion to be more in line with that of the opinion presented, in effect changing our mind to really believe that the club is a great place to be. The harder it is to join the club, the more you value your membership, no matter how average the club is.
  26. 26. Another example is how people rationalize their behaviour even though society, or others, may deem it as morally or legally wrong. If a person steals from their employer they may rationalize it by thinking that ‘everybody else does it so why shouldn’t I?’ Or, that we feel aggrieved at the pay we receive, 25 so we take a little more on the side, feeling that we deserve more money so its not wrong at all. We may recognize that stealing is wrong but we twist the information to justify our opinion and end the contradiction that we are experiencing.
  27. 27. Cognitive dissonance is a robust theory, with much evidence to support it’s basic principles and more complicated aspects. It is one of the most important yet little known and understudied areas of psychology, especially since it is so common in our everyday lives and subconsciously acts to align our opinions, whether we want to change them or not. 26
  28. 28. Alan Turing: A Brilliant Unknown by Manuel Barea most important aspects of his life, his work and clarify if possible the legend of the Apple logo. When our Director Mado Martínez posted on social networking site Facebook of feeling addicted to the iPhone, I told her of the hypothesis that the Apple logo was a tribute to the British mathematician, Alan Turing. She was very surprised by the exciting story that accompanies his life and invited me to collaborate in this edition of Ispectrum Magazine. In this article, I will try to get the We have all studied in our childhood how Isaac Newton discovered the law of universal gravitation, stoked by an apple falling down from a tree. However, history has overlooked a second apple that changed the world of science… 27
  29. 29. A Brief Review of his Biography T Alan Turing (1912-1954) he name Alan Turing is probably not familiar to most people who read this text, but there are good reasons to consider him one of the most influential and interesting characters of the 20th century. Alan Mathison Turing was born on the 23rd of June 1912, in Paddington, London. Turing spent the first thirteen years of his life traveling between England and India, where his Father was a colonial civil servant. Upon a return to the United Kingdom, he became a student at the boarding school of Sherborne, where he met his first love; Christopher Morcom - a classmate who died of tuberculosis in 1930, a few weeks before graduating. to its simplicity. Turing graduated with honors in Mathematics from Cambridge, and thereafter worked in the then-emerging field of Quantum Mechanics. In April 1936 he published a famous article that introduced the concept of algorithm, and defined a calculating machine of infinite capacity known as the Turing Machine, which operated on the basis of a series of logical instructions. It is considered, therefore, to be the forerunner of modern computing and computing theory. He moved to the United States’ University of Princeton, where he worked with the logician Alonzo Church and received a PhD. in Mathematics. However in 1938 he returned to England to engage in a study of the very foundations of mathematics. This led to him working secretly for He subsequently studied at King’s College (University of Cambridge) where he met Von Neumann whose invention; The Von Neumann machine - is still in use today in studies of concept designs and the architecture of computers, due 28
  30. 30. the British Cryptanalysis Department – a Government school dedicated to encoding and encryption. During the Second World War he was offered the opportunity to apply his theories; as a commander of a division of the British Intelligence. He continued work on both the processes and the machines that were to be known as bombe, which allowed for the deciphering of encrypted Nazi codes and machines. Among these was of course the Nazi Enigma machine which contained messages from the 3rd Reich, and provided information that gained the allies a valuable tactical advantage. tions to other branches of applied mathematics; such as Biology. After the war he developed one of the first electronic computers: The Automatic Computing Engine (ACE), in the National Laboratory of Physics in the United Kingdom. Shortly thereafter he worked on the Manchester Mark I, recognized as one of the first real computers. In these subsequent years Turing’s work with computers deepened greatly, and he established the theoretical template that would define whether a computer had the capability to think like a Human – a forerunner to what is now referred to as Artificial Intelligence. The ‘Turing Test’ also made significant contribu- Turing’s career was emphatically cut-short however when, in 1952, he went to the Police to report a burglary that had taken place at his own home – perpetrated by his own lover and an accomplice. It was then that his homosexuality emerged, and he was prosecuted and sentenced for ‘grave impropriety’ and ‘sexual perversion’. He was told he could choose between jail and chemical castration. Turing chose the second option, which resulted in significant physical and emotional consequences. For a year they injected him with estrogen to “reduce libido” – a process which worked – and dramati- 29 Recently published research that has used Turing’s theory as a template, has offered information into the correlation of a Leopard’s spots or the stripes of a Tiger. An almost mathematical sequence that shows how the parameters - such as the darker markings - are used for ‘producing’ different substances wheras the ochre or opposing colour(s) inhibit or ‘control’ what produces these substances. It sounds like a random process but it is not.
  31. 31. cally altered the hormones in his body which left him with growths similar to a women’s breasts. His public image had been completely ruined. He had been publicly humiliated by the State, and his own body left the marks of his shame. An Apple with a missing bitten piece, could be a kind oftribute to Alan Mathison Turing. On the 8th of June 1954, his assistant found him dead in his bed. At his side, on the bedside table, was an apple with one bite taken from it. He was two weeks shy of his 42nd birthday when he died. It was established that he had been poisoned by cyanide - allegedly injected into the apple. Officially, the death of Alan Turing was considered a suicide, and some argue that this - given the way he died – was his attempt at recreating his favorite tale: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. But his death also suggests that it is not possible to rule out murder; as Turing, due to his homosexuality, would have been 30 considered by British Intelligence as a potential risk to national security. Although the company Apple has never confirmed the theory; it has pointed out that their logo: an Apple with a missing bitten piece, could be a kind of tribute to Alan Mathison Turing.
  32. 32. In 2009, as a result of a public mobilization, Prime Minister Gordon Brown apologized on behalf of the British Government for the harassment suffered by Turing. However, in 2012, the British Parliament refused to pardon the scientist, claiming that homosexuality – at the time the events occurred – was considered a criminal offence. Turing machine The Turing Machine is one of the most beautiful and intriguing intellectual discoveries of the 20th century. A simple and useful abstract model of computation (and digital computers) that is general enough to embody any computer program. It forms the foundation of theoreti- cal computer science. Because of its simple description and behavior, it is amenable to mathematical analysis. This analysis has led to a deeper understanding of digital computers and computation; including the revelation that there are some computational problems that cannot be solved on computers at 31 all, no matter how fast the processor, or how much memory is available. Turing sought to describe the most primitive model of a mechanical device that had the same basic capabilities as a human. The machine consists of the following components:
  33. 33. Turing machine tape The tape head of the Turing machine scans the tape one cell at a time. We refer to the cell being scanned as the active cell and the symbol it contains as the input symbol. At each time step, the tape head reads the input symbol, and leaves it either unchanged or overwrites it with a new symbol. At the end of each time step, the tape head moves one position to the left or right. We highlight the active cell in light yellow. In the example below, the A is replaced with an The ticker-tape X and the tape head stores the input, the moves one cell to the intermediate results, left. and the output. The tape is one arbitrarily machine long strip, divided into Turing cells. Each cell stores tape head one of a finite alphabet of symbols. In the example below, we use The control unit a 4 character alphabet is the analog version consisting of: 0, 1, A, of the CPU in modern day microprocessors. It X, and #. consists of a state tran32 sition diagram, which is a finite table of instructions that specifies exactly what action the machine takes at each step. Each state represents one of the possible configurations of the machine. Depending on its current state and input symbol, the Turing machine overwrites the input symbol with a new symbol and moves to a new state. Each transition connects one state, say ‘s’, to another state, say ‘t’, and is labeled with two symbols, say ‘A’ and ‘X’: this means that if the Turing machine is in state ‘s’ and the input symbol is ‘A’, then it overwrite the ‘A’ with an ‘X’ and transitions to state ‘t’. Each state is labeled with one of five designations: L (left), R (right), Y (yes), N (no), or H (halt). Upon entering a state, the Turing machine either moves its tape head or halts according to the state’s designation.
  34. 34. Some online simulators of Turing’s machine can be found at: html xTuringMachine/ The Breaking of the ENIGMA Code ways. In addition to the permutations of these rotors, the electrical connections on the back of the machine could be changed manually giving rise to more than 150 million million million possible configurations. To increase the security even more, the orientation of the three rotors changed continuously, so much so that each and every entry could contain a different coding spectrum, even though the characters entered on the keyboard were the same. For example: Typing ‘DODO’ might generate the message ‘FGTB’: The ‘D’ and ‘O’ are Enigma machine The Enigma machine consisted of a keyboard connected to a unit of encoding. The encoding unit contained three separate rotors whose positions determined how they would be coded by each letter on the keyboard. What made the Enigma Code so difficult to break was the enormous number of ways in which the machine could be configured. First, the three rotors of the machine could be chosen from a group of five, and could be changed and exchanged to deceive potential code breakers. Second, each rotor could be located in one of twenty different ways. This means that the machine could be configured in more than a million 33
  35. 35. ple, and get the code book with the daily settings for the next month. The alternative method - which was The Enigma machines were deliv- adopted during the greater part of ered to the Army, the Navy and the the war - was to transmit the day’s German Air Force, and operated even configurations as a preamble to in the railways and other depart- the daily messages themselves, but ments of the government. As was coded according to the configurathe case with all the code systems tions of the previous day. that were used during this period When the war started the British of time, a weakness of the Enigma was that the receiver had to know School of Codification was domithe configuration set by the issuer. nated by linguists and scholars of To preserve the security of Enigma, classical languages. But the Ministry settings had to be altered every day. of Foreign Affairs soon realized that One of the ways that the issuers had their theoreticians of numbers had to change the configurations with a higher probability of finding the frequency and keep the receivers key to break the German codes i n f o r m e d and, to begin the operation, nine was the of the most brilliant British theop u b l i c a - rists of numbers were gathered at tion of the the new headquarters of a school daily con- in Bletchley Park; a Victorian manfigurations sion in Bletchley, Buckinghamshire. in a book One of them of course was Turing of secret who had to abandon his hypotheticodes. The cal machines with tape and infirisk of this nite unlimited processing time; to m e t h o d face a practical problem with finite was that resources and a very real time limit. the British In fact, the Enigma had to be brocould capture a ken afresh over and over again. G e r m a n The brilliant pre-war work by Polish submarine, mathematicians, which enabled the for exam- reading of Enigma messages on the sent twice, but are encoded differently each time. 34
  36. 36. simplest key-systems – given to Britain and France in 1939 –, was certainly crucial, but it was not sufficient for the continuation and extension of Enigma code breaking over the next six years. New ideas were essential. In 1939-40, Alan Turing and another Cambridge mathematician: Gordon Welchman, further developed a new machine; the British Bombe. The basic property of the Bombe was that it could break any Enigma-encrypted message, provided that the hardware of the Enigma was known and that a plain-text ‘crib’ of about 20 letters could be guessed accurately. A simulator of the Bombe can be found at the following web address: Apple’s Logo I know of several theories on the origin and creation of the desired ‘apple with bite’ logo, so I’m going to collect the most interesting I’ve found, without forgetting that Apple has had different logos throughout its history. The first logo was designed by Ronald Wayne in 1976, shortly after the founding of the company. Wayne is a perfect stranger in the style of the ‘fifth B e a t l e ’, w h o invited Jobs and Wozniak to participate h t t p : / / w w w. l y s a t o r. in Apple. Wayne’s logo was of an elaborate design to the 35 old-fashioned point of view. It depicts Newton reading under an apple tree, surrounded by the name of Apple Computer Co. and the text: ‘Newton… A Mind Forever Voyaging Through Strange Seas of Thought … alone’.
  37. 37. Source: Photo-Matt Yohe Apart from the artistic value, Wayne’s logo was a disaster, technically speaking. The apple of ‘Apple’ was barely visible, and even the name of ‘Apple Computer’ was hard to read. Hence it was discarded quickly and the group decided that they needed something more professional. Jobs commissioned the Regis McKenna Agency to take care of the image of Apple, and there worked Rob Janoff, one of the designers who has created some of the most recognizable corporate identities of world industry, such as IBM; Intel; FedEx; Volkswagen and CNBC. After receiving the order, Janoff went to a grocery store and bought all kinds of apples for inspiration. He cut each of the apples in different ways and, after a long meditation; he submitted to Jobs a monochrome Steve Jobs holding a MacBook Air (at MacWorld Conference & Expo 2008Moscone Center - San Francisco, CA) design that represented an apple with a bite at one side. Jobs thought the work was good, but he requested Janoff make it more colorful to ‘humanize the company’. And so were added the famous six bands of colors. This is the official history of one of the most famous logos of all time, but 36 a great number of legends still circulate around it – despite continuous rebuttals from Jobs, Apple, Janoff and McKenna… There are those who say that the apple is a tribute to Alan Turing, to his life, his work, how he died and the fact that he was gay.
  38. 38. Some think that the rainbow of colors was a reference to the flag of the gay community, but this theory has also been denied by its designer, who states that it simply symbolized the evolution from monochrome to color computers. More recently others have found Aureos numbers and Fibonacci sequences in their proportions, although a more detailed analysis - and a comparison with other logos – allows one to see that through certain sequences you can achieve any value and bring it closer to look like what in reality it is not. After the return of Steve Jobs to Apple in the middle of the 90s, the company had suffered many changes and one of them was again in its logo. The rainbow design had become a little outdated and the experts realized that the shape of the Apple more difficult to answer. It may be possible that Jobs simply liked to eat them – particularly the McIntosh variety! Why an apple? This remains more difficult to answer. But regardless, whether the roots of the logo are simple or indeed an urban legend, it remains that it could be a subliminal tribute to one of the greatest Despite the numerous minds of the last centheories, some posed tury. questions do have simple answers, such as the choice taken for the apple to have a missing bite was just to portray a sense of scale; or to show that it is an apple as opposed to a cherry. But, ultimately, the question remains: Why an apple? This remains logo is more recognizable. They began to use variants in black and white or shades of gray to replace the colored spectrum. 37
  39. 39. by John Sims website WORLD ARCHAEOLOGICAL TREASURES F There are of course all the usual names, pyramids, Stonehenge, Avebury, Machu Pichu, Nazca, Angkor Wat, Wall of China, Forbidden City, Pompeii et al. Those are so well known that you can hardly turn on the telly without at least one of them being in a documentary, so I won’t be listing any of them. irst let’s clear up that I’m not writing about treasure as in gold doubloons or buried loot. Archaeological treasures are discoveries that advance our knowledge. The searching for treasure is treasure-hunting, not archaeology. Treasurehunters tend to destroy the archaeology to get at the gold. That doesn’t mean that there’s nothing on my list that has a value in monetary terms.lessons… 38
  40. 40. Carnac, in France Carnac stones been there since Neolithic times and were taken from the local rock. By comparison, Stonehenge originally had 60. The Carnac stones, when viewed from the air, seem to be laid out in geometric shapes, fuelling the ancient alien theorists to claim they must have been put there by aliens to navigate by. I fail to see why aliens need stones to navigate, they got all It’s my goal to highlight the less well the way to Earth without them. known but more interesting sites of the world, not only in the UK. First In monetary terms therefore, apart among them being the stones at from their value if cut up to make Carnac, France, not only because blocks to build with, they are of no they’re amazing but because they’re value, but what they tell us about being slowly destroyed, with the Neolithic France is huge. With these stones being removed to make way enormous stone features, Avebury for roads and even buildings. What also has many stones, it always are the French thinking to let this makes me wonder how they, the people who erected them, ever found happen? These stones, all 3000 of them, have the time or got organised enough to Also I don’t propose to list these in any numerical order. That would suggest that one is more important than another, and I feel that they are all of equal importance, albeit for many different reasons. By all means place them in any order you wish. 39
  41. 41. Antikythera mechanism When it comes to it being a treasure, I shall quote Professor Michael Edmunds of Cardiff University who led a 2006 study of the mechanism: do it. Life back then was a struggle just to survive, without lugging massive rocks about. I love the Carnac myth that the reason the stones are in such straight lines is because they’re a Roman legion turned to stone by Merlin. If only archaeologists could prove it. Source: Centre des monuments nationaux. Next must feature the world’s first computer. No, not the Apple, the Antikythera Mechanism. Made to calculate astronomical positions. It has been dated to the early first century BCE (BC for Christians, political correctness gone mad). Technological artifacts approaching its complexity and workmanship didn’t appear again until the 14th century when mechanical astronomical clocks began to be built in Western Europe. 40 “This device is extraordinary, the only thing of its kind. The design is beautiful, the astronomy is exactly right. The way the mechanics are designed makes your jaw terms of historic and scarcity value, I have to regard this mechanism as being more valuable than the Mona Lisa”.
  42. 42. The mechanism was in a wooden box and is approximately 340×180x90mm in size, having 30 bronze gears (although some others could have been lost). The mechanism’s remains were found as 82 separate fragments of which only seven contain any gears or significant inscriptions. So, an object that was made 13 centuries ahead of its time. Now that’s what I call a treasure. Source: BBC News, May 10 2012. Göbekli Tepe and weighs up to 20 tons. They are fitted into sockets carved out of the bedrock. We’d find it hard to do that today with cranes and The carving is in aston- modern tools. ishing detail, not least considering they were The site had in recent done with primitive years been used for tools, but what’s caused farming, and indeed a problem with the dates some of the archaeis that it was made ology had been disa couple of thousand turbed by them while years before there was clearing the area, but agriculture in the area, and archaeologists have always said that agriculture came before monument building. Now they have to think again and it may have a huge impact on the way we think about the evolution of civilization. Way older than Stonehenge or Carnac and it has turned archaeological thinking on its head. Gobekli Tepe in Turkey. This one is quite new (discovered in 1994) so some of you may not have heard of it. It’s a group of rings of stone Each of the pillars carved with animals, dating to the the stones is about 6 metres high 10th millennium BC. 41
  43. 43. Treasure of Villena.Spain it was one such farmer who first realised the stones weren’t just random. However, it is the German archaeologist Klaus Schmidt who is credited with realising what the stones were in 1994 and excavated them. Source: Smithsonian. com. A brief sidestep into the less serious side of archaeology. In 2005 a metal detectorist in East Riding (UK) found a Roman copper alloy coin die for a denarius of Marcus Aurelius, Roman Emperor in the first century AD, which had been used to make counterfeit coins. Not a world treasure, but for the owner it probably was worth a small fortune. Who said archaeology isn’t fun? Source: wikipedia. Treasure Villena of We now go to Spain for some proper treasure. Tesoro de Villena (the Treasure of Villena). Probably the best hoard 42 of gold found from the European Bronze Age. Almost 10 kilos in weight and made up of gold, silver, iron and amber. Some are 23.5 carat gold. That’s pretty rich stuff. It’s the most important find of prehistoric gold in the Iberian Peninsular. The iron objects are the oldest found in the Iberian Peninsular and are highly interesting in that they are from a time when iron was considered to be a precious metal, it being still the Bronze Age and all.
  44. 44. Sveshtari tomb We can thank the archaeologist José María Soler for digging them up in 1963. The collection is now on display (in a locked, armoured showcase) in Villena’s Archaeological Museum while copies are shown in To Bulgaria. Not the vampire skeleton, the Thracian treasure from exhibitions around the world. the world famous Sveshtari tomb. That collection makes it to this list Important enough that the Louvre because it’s one of the few examples are trying to get their hands on of treasure in monetary terms being it. The items found are awesome. simultaneously an important archae- Aside from their obvious monetary ological find in that it’s an example value, the workmanship is perfect. of the relative value of iron in the Someone very skilled spent a very Bronze Age and a step towards the long time making these items, and that may be because of their contransition to the Iron Age. Source: El Tesoro de Villena, José nection to some seriously important world figures. María Soler. Thracian gold treasure from the village of Sveshtari ,BULGARIA 43
  45. 45. It’s thought that the items are part of a ritual burial, probably connected to possibly a huge burial ground, probably related to the funeral of the Gath ruler Kotela, one of the fathersin-law of Philip II of Macedon. Like I said, some important people, so only the best workmanship. Told you they’re well connected, didn’t I? You’ll notice that we archaeologists say ‘maybe’ and ‘probably’ a lot. That’s so that we can’t be proved wrong. They are from the late 4th to early 3rd century BC. The find is unique. In charge of this most exciting dig is the prominent Bulgarian Thracian expert Professor Diana Gergova from the National Archaeological Institute, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, who discovered the items when excavating the Omurtag mount. The importance of this find is that it’s only a small part of a much bigger archaeological site that has still to be excavated. There’s no telling what else we’ll be able to learn about the 3rd century BC from this site, possibly showing the connection of the Gath influence on the western tribes like the Celts. Source: (Sofia News Agency) 44 Winchester Hoard To Britain. The Winchester Hoard. I include this one because it was described as the most important discovery of Iron Age gold objects from Britain since 1950 and because there’s a mystery element about it. It’s from the time of Julius Caesar. As gold hoards go it’s not vast, some 1160 grams of very pure gold. It includes two sets of jewellery, two torcs, one smaller than the other, probably for a woman, two brooches and two gold bracelets. The torcs however weren’t made in the usual way for an Iron Age torc from Britain, Ireland or France. This find is also quite new, discovered in 2000 by a metal detectorist named Kevan Halls who fortunately reported his find so that the site could be investigated and recorded. What’s interesting, for a hoard, is that the items weren’t found in a grave or even a settlement, rather they were found simply buried at the top of a hill. Probably covered by
  46. 46. trees at the time, sug- the Romans didn’t get gesting that they were them. hidden for safekeeping. What makes these Rather sad, really, isn’t items interesting in an it? Imagine you have archaeological sense this couple, probably a is that they are from local king and queen, a time of transition in who probably had some Britain from the Iron wealth, as even back Age to the Roman perithen gold was only for od, and these items the wealthy, and the showed some of the Romans came so they mixed influences of the carefully hid their trea- time. sures because they’d Source: British Museum. heard that the Romans Another pause for a were big on robbing gold from those they subju- lighter moment. The Nose. gated. Then for what- Beddingham ever reason – prob- Found in 2009 by a ably they were killed metal detectorist in – they were unable to East Sussex. Dated retrieve them. At least to between around 45 15-1700 AD, so ancient treasure it ain’t. It’s made of bronze, rather interestingly. Thought by the finder to be maybe a Roman nose protector worn by soldiers under a helmet, but after a somewhat tortuous route between various experts it was declared to be a postmedieaval prosthetic nose that probably belonged to a gentleman of means who may have lost his original hooter to syphilis, which was rather common at the time among the middle classes. Photo by Portable Antiquities Scheme from London, England (The Winchester Hoard Uploaded Victuallers) [CC-BY-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons Winchester Hoard,UK
  47. 47. That the item wasn’t found in a grave but on a sunken path makes me wonder just how it got there. Not something that you’d drop without noticing, surely? It’s somewhat important however, in terms of archaeology. To quote Stephanie Smith of the PAS (Portable Antiques Scheme) “This was a very exciting find because while it doesn’t have huge monetary value, it is such a rare, interesting and bizarre object that tells a funny story about life during that period. Dallying with prostitutes became a socially accepted aspect of a gentleman’s life, but unfortunately disfigurement from syphilis, for which there was then no cure, was one of the side-effects and a metal prosthetic was deemed a better alternative to a large hole in one’s face. Although it has a dark- ROSETTA STONE er and green tinge now, then it would have looked rathWithout it we’d still be er more fleshy and been much more sub- scratching our heads hieroglyphics. tle when worn. We get over so used to seeing old The French found it in coins, but something as 1799 and it was libunusual as a false nose erated from them by keeps us excited about the British in 1801. It currently lives in the the job.” British Museum, just to I love her style and annoy the French. It’s enthusiasm. By the often blamed for beginway, the good news ning Egyptology but it’s is that the finder will just a bit of stone. We be allowed to keep his can blame the treasurehunters for Egyptology. treasure. Source. The Telegraph. We can’t do a list of great archaeological treasures without including Egypt, surely? OK, they have the pyramids, the mummies and the sphinx. So well known that they don’t need covering yet again here. Moving on, we have the Rosetta Stone. 46
  48. 48. Terracotta Army The Terracotta Army of Qin Shi Huang. My favourite. Qin Shi Huang was the first Emperor of China who had the army buried with him in about 210 BC. The object being for them to be his bodyguard in the afterlife, apparently. They were originally painted and held weapons but the paint faded and many of the weapons were either looted or rotted away over time. Many of the figures are still not excavated. Some weapons were found and were still sharp. The swords were covered with chromium oxide which has kept them in perfect condition even after 2000 years of being buried. Source: He must have been a worrier, there are reckoned to be over 8,000 soldiers, 130 chariots with 520 horses and 150 cavalry horses. Then there were the nonmilitary figures, including musicians. They are of course all life size. It’s widely reputed that each figure has a different face. This isn’t entirely accurate. In fact some eight moulds were used, then bits of clay were added to them to make them a bit different. They were also manufactured in pieces and later assembled on a sort of production line style. 47 A terracotta soldier with his horse,CHINA
  49. 49. Olduvai handaxe, Lower Palaeolithic, about 1.2 million years old, Olduvai Gorge The Leakeys proved that it was. Sharpened stone tools are sort of hard to argue with when it comes to archaeology. Probably the most important discovery of all, Olduvai Gorge was instrumental in our understanding of early human evolution. It’s a palaeoanthropological site. Not only really That these old but really hard to spell. The site tools were made was the home of Homo habilis about from material 1.9 million years ago, then at 1.8 that came from home to Paranthropus boisei, and Homo erectus 1.2 million years ago, some nine miles away is thought to prove an increase in the abilso it’s a bit lived in. ity to think ahead and plan things. If you want to see it, head down However, there is some doubt that to the Great Rift Valley in Eastern they were in fact the makers of the Africa. Hard to miss, it’s also the tools. It all gets very complicated. Source: Listverse (Jamie Frater) biggest site in this list, it’s huge. Significantly this site shows the development of hominins and the use and production of stone tools, hunting etc. as shown by gnaw marks leading on to cut marks on animal bones. The fact that such bones and evidence of tool making in localised areas indicate that they were starting to become more communal. Where this site becomes most important is that until the Leakeys (Mary and Louis) found such early tools, it was doubted by many that Africa really was where humans started. 48 Australophithecus boisei
  50. 50. L’Anse aux Meadows It was later abandoned by the Vikings. It is howAnd to America. ever now recognised as L’Anse aux Meadows. the oldest settlement Included because rath- of Europeans in North er than holding any- America. thing of much value, it The excavated remains corrects history. It’s a of peat turf buildings Viking settlement found with wooden frames are at the tip of the Great Northern Peninsula, Newfoundland, in North America and excavated from the ‘60s to the ‘70s, that dates back to the 11th century. That’s some four hundred years before Columbus stumbled across America. 49 similar to those in Norse Greenland and Iceland. Also found were a workshop, a forge and a furnace, along with iron items like nails and buckles typical of Viking manufacture.
  51. 51. Red Lady Paviland Of Goat’s Hole cave, Paviland 33,000 years old. It is therefore the oldest ceremonial burial of a human anywhere in Western Europe. Awesome! Along with the bones were also discovered a mammoth’s skull and several ornamental items. The mammoth’s skull was later lost. Just how do you lose a mammoth’s skull? It’s not like it could drop behind the sofa cushions, it’s the size of a small car. The Red Lady Of Paviland. Actually a misnomer as the remains are of a young man, but that doesn’t prevent the discovery, in my opinion, being the most important find in Wales, and unless Atlantis is found here it’s probably always going to be so. As some idea of how It’s a fairly complete Upper Paleolithic-era long ago this young man human male skeleton lived, while the cave he was found in is now on dyed in red ochre. the coast, at the time He was discovered in it was some 70 miles 1823 by Rev. William inland and overlooked Buckland in a cave on a plain. the Gower Peninsular Source: Archaeology in South Wales. It British Stephen was later radio carbon (CBA) dated and found to be Aldhouse-Green. 50 Sardinian stone warriors If you thought the Terracotta Army was old and cool, check out the Sardinian stone warriors. They were carved from solid stone. They were discovered smashed but are now being reassembled by experts. Astonishingly
  52. 52. they are life size and come with weapons and shields. They are 500 years older than the terracotta warriors. It took 8 years to repair 25 of the 33 warriors. They were smashed to bits by invading Carthaginians. It’s not unusual for invaders to destroy anything they think is a symbol of power, religion or rank from those they defeat. They were exceptionally thorough though, the diggers found some 5000 bits. That’s a hell of a jigsaw puzzle. At that time only two of the warriors were repaired, with the rest being stored at a museum locally. Finally work began by conservators in ‘04 to fix the rest. They will be on display at Sardinia’s Cagliari Museum. That’s in Central Sardinia, if you’re planning to go there. Source: The Independent, Feb 17 2012. Lost Archaeology A couple of example of archaeology that has been destroyed due to building before excavation. First, Istanbul, Turkey. Workers bulldozed ancient ruins at Ïnönü Stadium to make way for a new football stadium. Lost treasures include a vaultFragments were found in the 70s ed ceiling. The site was supposed to but the site wasn’t properly exca- have been recorded but the buildvated until the early 80s by the ers got in first and destroyed the Italian archaeologist Carlo Troncheti. lot. Such action is of course illegal 51
  53. 53. but the fines are much less than the money lost by delaying the building. ed by archaeologists. Archaeologist Marco Guillén Hugo, Archaeologists from the Istanbul who led research and excavation Archaeology Museum report that at the site, said it was not the first archaeological features, including time the firms had tried to take over the vaulted ceiling, were illegally the land. “They say they are the destroyed when the old Ïnönü Stadium owners, even though this land is was demolished. Construction work- untouchable. The damaged caused ers had been instructed to stop if was irreparable”. any artifacts were found. A new sta- Source: The Huffington Post. dium will be built in the area. Source: Archaeology (Arch. Institute Can you see a pattern yet? of America). In 2007, construction workers in Lima. A 5000-year-old pyramid was Nanjing, China, uncovered 10 intribulldozed by builders. The ancient cately embroidered family tombs temple in the El Paraiso archae- dating back to the third century. ological complex in central Peru They then bulldozed it all to make was demolished. Fortunately it had way for an IKEA shop. already been excavated and record52
  54. 54. There are of course, even in china, laws to prevent this sort of thing from happening but they get in the way of profits and, again, the fines are meaninglessly small compared to the money to be made by pressing on with the building. Yeah, like the Chinese need to bring in foreigners to make cheap furniture. Source: Radio Australia, July ‘07. The past is full of stories of the incompetent destroying archaeology list of sites of interest I should point out that anyone finding historical items in the ground ought to check out the guidelines on a Council For British Archaeology website at It goes on and on. It’s for what to do. nothing new, the past is full of stories of the incompetent destroyDigging up finds and ing archaeology, from selling them or putting the pyramid-robbers to the destruction of all the cities above Troy, removed unrecorded in order to get at the treasure. The chronology of the lost layers gone forever. Sad, isn’t it? As a former field archaeologist, I feel that before launching into a 53 in your private collection should be illegal but strangely isn’t. The loss to our national knowledge is huge. Metal detectors are excellent when used correctly and these days many site directors work with detectorists. That way the finds can be recorded.
  55. 55. “Newton…A mind forever voyaging through strange seas of thought…alone” - William Wordsworth ( The Prelude ) www . ispectrummagazine . com 54