A pair of centuries-old Nandi statues, carved out of monolithic soapstone, have been unearthed from a dried lake bed in Arasinakere, about 20 km from Mysuru.
The locals, particularly the senior citizens of the village, had earlier been aware of the presence of the Nandis, whose heads appeared to peep out partially whenever the water level in the lake dipped. The complete drying up of the waterbody during summer presented the curious residents an opportunity to dig deeper.
The locals, who dug up the area and even deployed an earth mover during a three-to-four-day exercise, managed to unearth two giant Nandi statues facing each other.
A team of officials from the Department of Archaeology, Museums and Heritage, including archaeologist M.L. Gowda and engineer Satish, visited the spot on Monday. Speaking to The Hindu, Mr. Gowda said the statues appeared to belong to the 16th or 17th century, dating back to the post-Vijayanagar period. He said they resembled most of the sculptures carved out of the smooth soapstone during that period.
The statues are carved out of a single rock. “The statues are incomplete. While one appears to be 60% completed, the other is at about 85%,” Mr. Gowda said. He added that the statues were also not identical in size.
While one Nandi statue measures 15 ft in length and 12 ft in height, the other statue is smaller. the smaller one is more compact, according to locals.
The horns of the Nandis were observed by the villagers and following this, villagers started offering pujas to them. The statues were excavated on Sunday using earthmovers in a four-day-long operation.
Villagers said that more than ten idols of Gods too were found at this spot but they did not have a specific identity of them. Although these idols are said to be dated to the Mysore Maharaja rule, there is no clarity about this, they said
A report on the excavation has been sent to the Commissioner of the Department Archaeology, Museums and Heritage, T. Venkatesh. For the time being, further excavation has been stopped and the department officials is awaiting instructions from seniors on the measures to be taken for the statues’ conservation. Mr. Gowda said the department had been aware of the presence of the statues. “We conducted a spot inspection during 2016, but the area was covered with shrubs and submerged,” he said.
Meanwhile, citing locals, Jyothi S., Panchayat Development Officer of Marballi Gram Panchayat, under whose purview Arasinakere falls, said the village adjoining the waterbody is named after the Maharaja. Arasinakere, when translated into English, means ‘the king’s lake’, she said.
Locals also claim that the late Maharaja of Mysore, Sri Jayachamarajendra Wadiyar, had visited the lake several decades ago and tried to unearth the statues by deploying men and material. However, the labourers had to be abandon the task because of the rising water level in the lake.
While the locals suggest there could be an ancient temple beneath the lake, archaeologists say it is plausible that the Nandi statues had been carved out of the rock found at the spot for transportation to a different destination.
Stargazers tonight will be able to witness a special event, as the Half-Blood Thunder Moon takes place. Eagle-eyed viewers will also be able to see two planets this evening. These are Saturn and Jupiter and will be visible just to the right of the Moon as it rises.
What is a Half-Blood Thunder Moon?
A Half-Blood Thunder Moon combines two factors, a partial lunar eclipse, also known as a Half-Blood Moon and July’s Thunder Moon.
Each full Moon has different names according to the month it falls in, and the name for the Moon in July is Thunder Moon
The event can also be called Hay, Buck or Mead Moon.
The Old Farmer’s Almanac explained on their website: “This full Moon [is] known as the Thunder Moon because thunderstorms are so frequent during this month.”
The name Buck Moon also comes from nature, as July is around the time when new antlers begin to grow on bucks’ heads.
A partial lunar eclipse, also known as a half-blood Moon will take place this evening – when part of the Moon will be obscured.
During a partial lunar eclipse, only a section of the moon passes through Earth’s inner shadow or umbra.
A BEAUTIFUL eclipse of the Moon tonight promises to dazzle seasoned astronomers and amateur stargazers alike. Find out how you can watch the lunar eclipse live online today.
Tonight’s eclipse is the second and last lunar eclipse of the Moon this year. The eclipse comes hot on the heels of a total solar eclipse over South America on July 2 and a total lunar eclipse on January 21. Today’s eclipse, however, will be a partial eclipse of the Moon, meaning only a part of the glowing orb will vanish from sight. But with the eclipse coinciding with the 50th anniversary of NASA’s Apollo 11 mission, the spectacle promises to be all the more exciting.
How to watch the lunar eclipse live online tonight?
The lunar eclipse is the breathtaking result of the Sun, the Earth and the Moon forming an almost perfect line.
As a result of this alignment, the Moon will enter the Earth’s shadow cast by the Sun’s warm glow.
When this happens later tonight, one side of the Moon will slowly darken until it vanishes
The eclipse will peak tonight around 10.30pm BST (9.30pm UTC) when the Moon is closest to the centre of Earth’s shadow.
Courtesy of the Virtual Telescope Project in Italy, the lunar eclipse will be broadcast online free of charge for all to enjoy.
Gianluca Masi, an astrophysicist and head of the Virtual Telescope Project, told Express.co.uk the live stream will kick off tonight at 9.30pm UK time (8.30pm UTC).
Dr Masi said: “Next July 16, 2019, the Virtual Telescope will share live the upcoming partial lunar eclipse, showing the eclipse Moon above the legendary skyline of Rome as reported by Express.co.Uk
Over 700,000 have pledged to find out. A Facebook event named Storm Area 51, They Can’t Stop All of Us has become an internet sensation. At the time of writing, 750,000 users have signed up to attend the event, located in the deserts of Nevada, and another 677,000 are “interested” in attending
Fun and games on Facebook may have serious consequences for the foolish. That was the message delivered by the US Air Force, who have responded to a Facebook’s group’s efforts to have 450,000 people storm a top secret military base.
Conspiracy theorists have always believed that Area 51 in Nevada holds information about extra-terrestrial activities on our planet, possibly including actual alien remains and aircraft. That belief spawned a Facebook group suggesting that a wave of humanity could overwhelm the defenses at the base and discover the truth.
ok event page calling for storming Area 51, with many more indicating interest. The proposed event is scheduled for Sept. 20.
“We will all meet up at the Area 51 Alien Center tourist attraction and coordinate our entry,” the event description reads. “If we naruto run, we can move faster than their bullets. Lets see them aliens.”
Naruto Run refers to the unique running style of the protagonist Naruto Ozumaki in the Japanese anime series Naruto, where he is often depicted sprinting with his hands behind him to decrease wind resistance.
The Washington Post on Friday asked how officials will deal with anyone showing up for the event. Air Force spokeswoman Laura McAndrews declined to elaborate on specific details of the military’s plans.
However, she did issue a warning.
“[Area 51] is an open training range for the US Air Force, and we would discourage anyone from trying to come into the area where we train American armed forces,” McAndrews said. “The US Air Force always stands ready to protect America and its assets.”
Here’s What Would Happen If Thousands of People Really Did “Storm Area 51”?
The first real obstacle anyone faces trying to enter the restricted area surrounding the Nevada Test Range is distance. If you start your trip to Area 51’s outer perimeter from Las Vegas and head toward Creech AFB in Clark County, Nevada, you drive about 45 miles on US 95. The last place you’ll be able to buy gas along the route before skirting the massive southwestern perimeter of the Nevada Test and Training Range is across from Creech AFB in Indian Springs. From here, the drive gets serious. Interstate 95 between Indian Springs and the next town, Beatty, is 73 miles of the worst driving in the world. The area is remarkably desolate, with no cell service during most of the trip. Daytime temperatures in the summer are almost always above 100-degrees. There is little traffic on the road and nothing on either side of the road but empty desert.
The second obstacle is the terrain. The area is remarkably unforgiving. With loose sand, rock, cactus, venomous snakes and a series of desert mountains surrounding the Nevada Test and Training Range, only a well trained and equipped person experienced in desert travel could cover the distance from the outer perimeter to get anywhere near Groom Lake where Area 51 is located. Most people untrained in desert travel would have difficulty crossing even a single mile on foot during the day in the open desert, let alone the 26 miles from Highway 95 near Goldfield to the classified airfield at Area 51.
Finally, there is the issue of logistics. Every town surrounding the Nevada Test and Training Range is very small, most with either one or two small stores stocking water and food with public bathroom facilities. There are very few hotels in the area since there is little to see and such oppressive security. The few convenience stores around the outer perimeter of the area likely only have a few hundred bottles of water in stock, nowhere near enough food and water to support a crowd of more than 50 people at a time. So, if you plan to be one of the several hundred thousand people “storming Area 51”, be sure to bring your own snacks and a cooler. And ice. Plenty of ice.
The ancient towers of Ghazni have stood through centuries of war and upheaval — until last month.
An ancient tower in the Afghan city of Ghazni has collapsed, raising questions over the government’s ability to protect the country’s artefacts.
Footage uploaded to social media shows a fort in the old city crumbling.
The tower was one of dozens already destroyed in the city. Officials blamed heavy rain, but some critics accuse the government of negligence.
Ghazni’s Islamic and pre-Islamic architecture is widely admired although war has taken its toll.
Mohammad Saber Mohmand, a spokesman for the ministry of information and culture, told Tolo News the fort was “vulnerable to rainfall and mostly damaged by rain”.
“The main highway is located near the fort, which affects the towers,” he added. As reported by BBC.
Mahbubullah Rahmani, acting director of culture and information in Ghazni, said heavy rain and recent fighting had contributed to the tower’s collapse but said the government was working on a plan to protect the site from complete destruction.
He said a German archaeologist had worked at the site as recently as 2013.
Ghazni was a thriving Buddhist centre up until the 7th Century. But in 683 AD, Arab armies brought Islam to the region. In the 13th Century it was destroyed by the Mongol armies of Genghis Khan, led by his son Ogedei Khan.
In video posted to social media, dust is seen billowing from beneath the tower in the ancient fort, before the structure starts to crumble, sending bystanders fleeing.
The old citadel known as Ghaznain Fort originally had 36 towers, but 14 of the towers had collapsed in recent years due to decades of war, heavy rain and neglect.
The fort is one of dozens of unique historic sites in Afghanistan — ranging from the pre-Islamic Buddhist center in the Bamyan valley to the 12th-century minaret of Jam in a remote area of Ghor province — in urgent need of protection.
Officials in Ghazni, which nearly fell to the Taliban last year in some of the heaviest fighting seen in the war, said the tower collapsed on Tuesday following heavy rain. A short video posted on social media shows it crumbling but local residents say negligence also contributed to its collapse.
The province and its cultural heritage was officially declared as Asian Capital of Islamic Culture in 2013 by the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, a Morocco-based body created in 1981, supported by UNESCO.
The collapse of the tower in Ghazni follows concern over the condition of the 900-year-old Minaret of Jam, in Ghor, which has been on the UNESCO List of World Heritage Properties in Danger since 2002.
The Taliban during their austere regime from 1996-2001, before they were toppled by the U.S. and coalition force in late 2001, blew up two giant Buddha statues in central Bamiyan province, calling them idols.
The ancient city has been designated an Asian city of Islamic Culture by the Organisation of Islamic Co-operation.
However, many of the city’s ancient buildings have been difficult for outsiders to visit due to the Taliban insurgency.
This article explains the war of currents which have had a great impact over the entire human civilization. It expose the truth and the struggle of the man, Tesla who sacrificed his entire life for the technology and the benefit of humanity. Second part will discuss about The Mystery of Nikola Tesla’s Missing Files.
Nikola Tesla and Thomas Edison are two giants of electrical engineering whose inventions changed history. But the electricity between the two is no secret to the world.
Nikola Tesla contributed to the development of the alternating-current (AC) electrical system which is widely used today and to the rotating magnetic field, which is the basis of most AC machinery.
Born on July 10, 1856, Nikola Tesla went to the United States in 1884 and briefly worked with Thomas Edison before the two parted ways.
Edison, the iconic inventor of the light bulb, the phonograph and the moving picture and Tesla, whose inventions have enabled modern-day power and mass communication systems, waged a ‘War of Currents’ in the 1880s over whose electrical system would power the world. Edison’s direct-current (DC) electric power or Tesla’s alternating-current (AC) system.
A brief history of Nikola Tesla and Thomas Edison
In 1884 Tesla arrived in the United States with little other than the clothes on him and a letter of introduction to the famed inventor and business tycoon Thomas Edison. Edison’s DC-electrical works were fast becoming the country standard. Edison hired Tesla and the two were soon working vigorously alongside each other, making improvements in Edison’s inventions.
However, several months later, Tesla and Edison parted ways because of a conflicting business-scientific relationship, which historians attributed to their incredibly different personalities. While Edison was a power figure who focused on marketing and financial success, Tesla was not business minded and was somewhat vulnerable.
After parting ways with Edison in 1885, Tesla received funding for the Tesla Electric Light Company. His task, as given by his investors, was to develop improved arc lighting. After successful completion of the project, Tesla was forced out of venture and for a time had to work as a manual labourer in order to survive.
His luck changed in 1887 when he gained public interest in his AC electrical system and funding for his new Tesla Electric Company. By the end of the year Tesla had successfully filed several patents for his AC-based inventions.
Here’s how the two rivaling inventors stack up:
Tesla had an eidetic memory. He could very precisely recall images and objects, which enabled him to accurately visualize intricate 3D objects and therefore, he could build working prototypes using few preliminary drawings.
In contrast, Edison was more of a sketcher and a repairer.
In the end, Edison held 1,093 patents and Tesla held less than 300 worldwide. Of course, Edison had a bunch of assistants helping him devise inventions, and had also bought some of this patents.
2. Forward thinking
Edison had dispelled Tesla’s AC system of electric power transmission, calling it ‘impractical’, instead promoting his simpler yet less efficient DC system.
By contrast, Tesla’s ideas were often more disorderly technologies that didn’t have existing market demand. His alternating-current motor and hydroelectric plant at Niagara Falls- a first of its kind plant- truly electrified the world.
Tesla spent years working on a system that could wirelessly transmit voices, images and moving pictures. His ideas made him futurist. He later invented and patented Tesla Coil, which is till date used in radio, telephones, cell phones and television.
Edison’s enduring legacy is a result of his invention factories where tasks and inventions were carried out by legions of workers. After getting an idea, Edison would leave most of the experimentation on his assistants. By having multiple patents and inventions developing in parallel, Edison ensured a consistent, hefty financial supply to his assistants to continue running experiments and fleshing out more designs.
Tesla’s inventions are the backbone of modern power and communication systems, but he faded into anonymity later in the 20th century. Despite his many inventions and patents, he died an eccentric, destitute man in 1943.
Tesla’s AC systems eventually caught the attention of American engineer and businessman George Westinghouse, who was looking for a solution to supply the nation with long-distance power. Convinced that Tesla’s inventions will help him achieve this, he purchased his patents for 60,000 USD in cash and stock in the Westinghouse Corporation in 1888.
As the public interest in alternating current system grew, Tesla and Westinghouse stood in direct competition with Thomas Edison, who was intent on selling his direct-current system to the nation.
Edison also launched a negative press-campaign in an attempt to undermine the interest in AC power. All this while, Tesla continued his work and patented several more inventions during this period, including the ‘Tesla Coil’, which laid the foundation for wireless technology that is still in use in radio technology today.
Unfortunately for Edison, the Westinghouse Corporation was chosen to supply the lighting at the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago, and Tesla conducted demonstrations of his AC system there. Two years later, in 1895, Tesla designed one of the first AC hydroelectric power plants in the United States at Niagara Falls. The next year, it was used to power the city of Buffalo, New York. This feat was widely publicized throughout the world.
With its repeated success and favourable press, the alternating-current system became the leading power system of the 20th century and it has remained the worldwide standard since.
The disgraceful fall
Tesla became obsessed with the wireless transmission of energy. In around 1900, he started work on his boldest project, to build a global, wireless communication system to be transmitted through a large electrical tower for sharing information and providing free electricity throughout the world.
With funding from a group of investors that included financial giant J. P. Morgan, in 1901 Tesla began work on the project in earnest, designing and building a lab with a power plant and a massive transmission tower on a site on Long Island, New York, that became known as Wardenclyffe.
However, investors started doubting the plausibility of Tesla’s system his rival, Guglielmo Marconi-with the financial support of Andrew Carnegie and Thomas Edison-continued to make great advances with his own radio technologies, Tesla had no choice but to abandon the project.
The Wardenclyffe staff was laid off in 1906 and in 1915 the site fell into foreclosure. Two years later Tesla declared bankruptcy and the tower was dismantled and sold for scrap to recover the debts he had accrued.
Edison’s Campaign to Discredit the AC Current ; Electrocuting Topsy , A female elephant to death
On January 4, 1903, Thomas Edison, inventor of the incandescent lightbulb, helped electrocute an elephant to death.
Topsy, a cranky female elephant at the Luna Park Zoo, had squashed three of her trainers in the past three years. Desiring to just be rid of her, the Luna Park Zoo decided to kill her, initially choosing to try to hang the elephant.
Edison had established direct current (electricity flowing only one way) as the standard for distributing electricity and was very wealthy from the patent royalties, royalties he could lose when George Westinghouse and Nicola Tesla showed up with the idea of alternating current (electricity flowing in either direction).
Eager to prove his point and seek redemption as he had lost to Tesla almost a decade before in the War of Currents, he launched a campaign to discredit the new theory in which he would electrocute animals (usually cats and dogs, but sometimes horses and cattle). When zoo officials heard of Edison’s work they sought his help with Topsy. While he was not there, his company was more than willing to assist the zoo officials and prove the “dangers” of the AC. An Edison film crew even made a video of the procedure!
When the day arrived, Edison’s team attached copper electrodes to Topsy’s feet and ran a copper wire back to the group. To make sure that Topsy died and was not just made angry by the electricity, cyanide-laced carrots were fed to the elephant moments before she was electrocuted. Officials didn’t even need to worry. The 6,600 volts of AC killed Topsy immediately, and Edison’s point had been proven.
Death and legacy
Tesla suffered a nervous breakdown and eventually returned to work as a consultant primarily. But as time passed, his ideas progressively became more unusual and impractical. He also grew increasingly eccentric and devoted much of his time in caring for wold pigeons in New York City’s parks.
The Mystery of Nikola Tesla’s Missing Files
After Nikola Tesla was found dead in January 1943 in his hotel room in New York City, representatives of the U.S. government’s Office of Alien Property seized many documents relating to the brilliant and prolific 86-year-old inventor’s work.
It was the height of World War II, and Tesla had claimed to have invented a powerful particle-beam weapon, known as the “Death Ray,” that could have proved invaluable in the ongoing conflict. So rather than risk Tesla’s technology falling into the hands of America’s enemies, the government swooped in and took possession of all the property and documents from his room at the New Yorker Hotel.
What happened to Tesla’s files from there, as well as what exactly was in those files, remains shrouded in mystery—and ripe for conspiracy theories. After years of fielding questions about possible cover-ups, the FBI finally declassified some 250 pages of Tesla-related documents under the Freedom of Information Act in 2016. The bureau followed up with two additional releases, the latest in March 2018. But even with the publication of these documents, many questions still remain unanswered—and some of Tesla’s files are still missing.
Three weeks after the Serbian-American inventor’s death, an electrical engineer from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) was tasked with evaluating his papers to determine whether they contained “any ideas of significant value.” According to the declassified files, Dr. John G. Trump reported that his analysis showed Tesla’s efforts to be “primarily of a speculative, philosophical and promotional character” and said the papers did “not include new sound, workable principles or methods for realizing such results.”
The scientist’s name undoubtedly rings a bell, as John G. Trump was the uncle of the 45th U.S. president, Donald J. Trump. The younger brother of Trump’s father, Fred, he helped design X-ray machines that greatly helped cancer patients and worked on radar research for the Allies during World War II. Donald Trump himself cited his uncle’s credentials often during his presidential campaign. “My uncle used to tell me about nuclear before nuclear was nuclear,” he once told an interviewer.
At the time, the FBI pointed to Dr. Trump’s report as evidence that Tesla’s vaunted “Death Ray” particle beam weapon didn’t exist, outside of rumors and speculation. But in fact, the U.S. government itself was split in its response to Tesla’s technology. Marc Seifer, author of the biography Wizard: The Life & Times of Nikola Tesla, says a group of military personnel at Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio, including Brigadier General L.C. Craigee, had a very different opinion of Tesla’s ideas.
“Craigee was the first person to ever fly a jet plane for the military, so he was like the John Glenn of the day,” Seifer says. “He said, ‘there’s something to this—the particle beam weapon is real.’ So you have two different groups, one group dismissing Tesla’s invention, and another group saying there’s really something to it.”
Then there’s the nagging question of the missing files. When Tesla died, his estate was to go to his nephew, Sava Kosanovic, who at the time was the Yugoslav ambassador to the U.S. (thanks to his familial connection with Serbia’s most celebrated inventor). According to the recently declassified documents, some in the FBI feared Kosanovic was trying to wrest control of Tesla’s technology in order to “make such information available to the enemy,” and even considered arresting him to prevent this.
In 1952, after a U.S. court declared Kosanovic the rightful heir to his uncle’s estate, Tesla’s files and other materials were sent to Belgrade, Serbia, where they now reside in the Nikola Tesla Museum there. But while the FBI originally recorded some 80 trunks among Tesla’s effects, only 60 arrived in Belgrade, Seifer says. “Maybe they packed the 80 into 60, but there is the possibility that…the government did keep the missing trunks.”
For the five-part HISTORY series The Tesla Files, Seifer joined forces with Dr. Travis Taylor, an astrophysicist, and Jason Stapleton, an investigative reporter, to search for these missing files and seek out the truth of the government’s views on the “Death Ray” particle-beam weapon and Tesla’s other ideas.
Despite John G. Trump’s dismissive assessment of Tesla’s ideas immediately after his death, the military did try and incorporate particle-beam weaponry in the decades following World War II, Seifer says. Notably, the inspiration of the “Death Ray” fueled Ronald Reagan’s Strategic Defense Initiative, or “Star Wars” program, in the 1980s. If the government is still using Tesla’s ideas to power its technology, Seifer explains, that could explain why some files related to the inventor still remain classified.
There is evidence that Franklin D. Roosevelt’s vice president, Henry Wallace, discussed “the effects of TESLA, particularly those dealing with the wireless transmission of electrical energy and the ‘death ray’” with his advisors, according to FBI documents released in 2016. Along the same lines, Seifer and his colleagues in The Tesla Files uncovered the role played by Vannevar Bush, whom FDR appointed as head of the Manhattan Project, in the evaluation of Tesla’s papers. They also looked at the possibility that FDR himself may have sought a meeting with the inventor just before he died.
By visiting some of the key places in Tesla’s life—from his laboratory in Colorado Springs to his last living quarters at the Hotel New Yorker to the mysterious wireless tower he built at Wardenclyffe, Long Island—Seifer, Taylor and Stapleton sought to unravel some of the mysteries surrounding the celebrated, enigmatic inventor. They also traveled to California, where some of Tesla’s other groundbreaking ideas —many of which were seen as unrealistic or even crackpot during his own lifetime—now fuel some of the most dominant industries in Silicon Valley.
Although some of his more sensitive innovations may still be hidden, Tesla’s legacy is alive and well, both in the devices we use every day, and the technologies that will undoubtedly play a role in our future. “Tesla is the inventor of wireless technology. He’s the inventor of the ability to create an unlimited number of wireless channels,” Seifer says of the inventor’s lasting impact. “So radio guidance systems, encryption, remote control robots—it’s all based on Tesla’s technology.”
Credits to History Channel for the information on Tesla’s Missing papers.
“The present is theirs; the future, for which I really worked, is mine.The day science begins to study non-physical phenomena, it will make more progress in one decade than in all the previous centuries of its existence.“
Nikola Tesla born in 10 July 1856 Smiljan, Croatia was a Serbian-American inventor, electrical engineer, mechanical engineer, and futurist who is best known for his contributions to the design of the modern alternating current (AC) electricity supply system.
Nikola Tesla was born an ethnic Serb in the village Smiljan, Lika county, in the Austrian Empire (present day Croatia), on 10 July 1856. His father, Milutin Tesla (1819–1879), was an Eastern Orthodox priest. Tesla’s mother, Đuka Tesla (née Mandić; 1822–1892), whose father was also an Orthodox priest, had a talent for making home craft tools and mechanical appliances and the ability to memorize Serbian epic poems.
Đuka had never received a formal education.Tesla credited his eidetic memory and creative abilities to his mother’s genetics and influence.
Tesla’s progenitors were from western Serbia, near Montenegro.Tesla was the fourth of five children. He had three sisters, Milka, Angelina and Marica, and an older brother named Dane, who was killed in a horse riding accident when Tesla was aged five.
In 1861, Tesla attended primary school in Smiljan where he studied German, arithmetic, and religion. In 1862, the Tesla family moved to the nearby Gospić, Lika where Tesla’s father worked as parish priest.Nikola completed primary school, followed by middle school.
In 1870, Tesla moved far north to Karlovac to attend high school at the Higher Real Gymnasium. The classes were held in German, as it was a school within the Austro-Hungarian Military Frontier.
Tesla studied math and physics at the Technical University of Graz and philosophy at the University of Prague. In 1882, while on a walk, he came up with the idea for a brushless AC motor, making the first sketches of its rotating electromagnets in the sand of the path. Later that year he moved to Paris and got a job repairing direct current (DC) power plants with the Continental Edison Company. Two years later he immigrated to the United States.
AC motor, Carbon button lamp, Death ray, Induction motor, Plasma globe, Plasma lamp, Polyphase system, Radio control, Resonant inductive coupling, Rotating magnetic field, Teleforce, Telegeodynamics, Teleoperation, Tesla coil, Tesla’s Egg of Columbus, Tesla Experimental Station, Tesla’s oscillator, Tesla turbine, Tesla valve
, Torpedo, Vacuum variable capacitor, Violet ray, VTOL, Tesla Tower, Wireless power transfer, World Wireless System.
Nikola Tesla and Thomas Edison
Tesla arrived in New York in 1884 and was hired as an engineer at Thomas Edison’s Manhattan headquarters. He worked there for a year, impressing Edison with his diligence and ingenuity. At one point Edison told Tesla he would pay $50,000 for an improved design for his DC dynamos. After months of experimentation, Tesla presented a solution and asked for the money. Edison demurred, saying, “Tesla, you don’t understand our American humor.” Tesla quit soon after.
About Marriage, Relationship and women
Married life was not for Tesla, who once said: “I do not think you can name many great inventions that have been made by married men.”
He reportedly thought that sex would hinder his scientific work.Tesla wrote in a 1935 magazine article:The trend of opinion among eugenists is that we must make marriage more difficult. Certainly no one who is not a desirable parent should be permitted to produce progeny.
A century from now it will no more occur to a normal person to mate with a person eugenically unfit than to marry a habitual criminal.
From Galveston Daily News, Galveston, Texas, page 23. August 10, 1924.
“I had always thought of woman,” says Mr. Tesla, “as possessing those delicate qualities of mind and soul that made her in these respects far superior to man. I had put her on a lofty pedestal, figuratively speaking, and ranked her in certain important attributes considerably higher than man. I worshiped at the feet of the creature I had raised to this height, and, like every true worshiper, I felt myself unworthy of the object of my worship.
“But all this was in the past. Now the soft-voiced gentle woman of my reverent worship has all but vanished.In her place has come the woman who thinks that her chief success in life lies in making herself as much as possible like man–in dress, voice and actions, in sports and achievements of every kind.”
In those words the great electrical genius sums up the reasons for his bachelorhood.
Some who read them will urge that his view of womankind is distorted by the years he has spent in the laboratory, dealing with inanimate things and developing perhaps an abnormal shyness which acts as an insuperable barrier to marriage. Others will say that the very fact of his detachment from the ordinary routine of life makes him all the better qualified to point out its defects and to criticize the change for the worse which he believes new conditions have brought to womankind.
“The world has experienced many tragedies, but to my mind the greatest tragedy of all is the present economic condition wherein women strive against men, and in many cases actually succeed in usurping their places in the professions and in industry. This growing tendency of women to overshadow the masculine is a sign of a deteriorating civilization.
“Woman’s determined competition with man in the business world is breaking down some of the best traditions–things which have proved the moving factors in the world’s slow but substantial progress.
“Practically all the great achievements of man until now have been inspired by his love and devotion to woman. Man has aspired to great things because some woman believed in him, because he wished to command her admiration and respect. For these reasons he has fought for her and risked his life and his all for her time and time again.
“Perhaps the male in human society is useless. I am frank to admit that I don’t know. If women are beginning to feel this way about it–and there is striking evidence at hand that they do–then we are entering upon the cruelest period of the world’s history.
“Our civilization will sink to a state like that which is found among the bees, ants and other insects–a state wherein the male is ruthlessly killed off. In this matriarchal empire which will be established the female rules. As the female predominates, the males are at her mercy. The male is considered important only as a factor in the general scheme of the continuity of life.
“The tendency of women to push aside man, supplanting the old spirit of cooperation with him in all the affairs of life, is very disappointing to me.
“Woman’s independence and her cleverness in obtaining what she wants in the business world is breaking down man’s spirit of independence. The old fire he once experienced at being able to achieve something that would compel and hold a woman’s devotion is turning to ashes.
“Women don’t seem to want that sort of thing to-day. They appear to want to control and govern. They want man to look up to them, instead of their looking up to him.
“In voicing his gloomy views of modern life Mr. Tesla says his observations are not confined to the women of this country. Conditions abroad, he says, suggest that the same tendency is world-wide. Having always regarded woman as a super-being, he expresses great sadness over the change he thinks the last few years have brought in her.
“I am considering this question not merely from the standpoint of a man,” he points out. “I am thinking of the woman’s side of it.”
As we contemplate any change, we naturally take into consideration the results that may follow such an innovation. One of the results to my mind is quite a pathetic one. Woman, herself, is really the victim instead of, as she thinks, the victor. Contentment is absent from her life. She is ambitious, often far beyond her natural equipment, to attain the thing she wants. She too frequently forgets that all women cannot be prima donnas and motion picture stars.
“Woman’s discontent makes the life of the present day still more overstressed. The high pitch given to existence by people who are restless and dissatisfied because they fail to achieve things wholly out of proportion to the health and talent with which Nature has endowed them is a bad thing for the world.
“It seems to me that women are not particularly happy in this newly found freedom, in this new competition which they are waging so persistently against men in business and the professions and even in sport. The question that naturally arises is, whether the women themselves are the gainers or the losers.
“Discontent makes for cranks and unnatural people. There seems to be an uncommon number of them about to-day. This is one of the reasons I remain apart from the crowds. The public, or semi-public, character is the target for all sorts of attacks and unpleasant communications.Mr. Tesla is not given to making statements that he cannot prove. His life’s work has been based on logic, not on guesses.For example, I used to receive all sorts of strange notes, many of them letters from cranks threatening my life, because they had read about my experiments in manufacturing lightning bolts. They wrote that they believed I was using these lightning flashes to kill them!
“It seems to me that anything which adds to the great discontent which we observe on every side to-day must be a bad influence on our life. Women who keep themselves agitated by their tremendous ambition to beat man at his game are losing at the same time something that counts for more in the end, it seems to me, than the empty honors that success in business or one of the professions can ever give.
“The power of the true woman is so great that I believe if a beautiful woman–that is to say, one beautiful in spirit, in manner and in thought, in fact, beautiful in every respect, a sort of goddess–were to appear suddenly on earth, she could command the whole world. Her leadership, I believe, would be universally recognized.
“History has given us many examples of the wonderful influence exerted by unusual women. Among these have been the mothers of great men. But their influence lay not in their determination to outdo man, or even to compete with him.
“Perhaps because woman is a finer and more highly sensitized instrument she knows by instinct her power and understands that the extent of it lies in the high position she takes for herself. But the superior never descends to the level of the commonplace.
“These views of Nikola Tesla will be received with great interest, whether one agrees or not with his idea that woman in her new role is a sinister force that is going to pull down to ruin our whole social structure. He is generally recognized as one of the greatest mentalities of the present day.
Caption:“In place of the soft voiced, gentle woman of my reverent worship,” says Mr. Tesla, “has come the woman who thinks that her chief success in life lies in making herself as much as possible like man–in dress, voice and actions, in sports and achievements of every kind”
Tesla, Philosophy and Swami Vivekananda
Swami Vivekananda, late in the year l895 wrote in a letter to an English friend, “Mr. Tesla thinks he can demonstrate mathematically that force and matter are reducible to potential energy. I am to go and see him next week to get this new mathematical demonstration. In that case the Vedantic cosmoloqy will be placed on the surest of foundations.I am working a good deal now upon the cosmology and eschatology of the Vedanta. I clearly see their perfect union with modern science, and the elucidation of the one will be followed by that of the other.” (Complete Works, Vol. V, Fifth Edition, 1347, p. 77).
Here Swamiji uses the terms force and matter for the Sanskrit terms Prana and Akasha. Tesla used the Sanskrit terms and apparently understood them as energy and mass. (In Swamiji’s day, as in many dictionaries published in the first half of the present century, force and energy were not alwavys clearly differentiated.
Energy is a more proper translation of the Sanskrit term Prana.)Tesla apparently failed in his effort to show the identity of mass and energy.
Apparently he understood that when speed increases, mass must decrease. He seems to have thought that mass might be “converted” to energy and vice versa, rather than that they were identical in some way, as is pointed out in Einstein’s equations.
At any rate, Swamiji seems to have sensed where the difficulty lay in joining the maps of European science and Advaita Vedanta and set Tesla to solve the problem.
It is apparently in the hope that Tesla would succeed in this that Swamiji says “In that case the Vedantic cosmology will be placed on the surest of foundations.” Unfortunately Tesla failed and the solution did not come till ten years later, in a paper by Albert Einstein. But by then Swamiji was gone and the connecting of the maps was delayed.The Influence of Vedic Philosophy on Nikola Tesla’s Understanding of Free Energy
An Article by Toby GrotzWeb Publication by Mountain Man Graphics, Australia – Southern Autumn of 1997Nikola Tesla used ancient Sanskrit terminology in his descriptions of natural phenomena.
As early as 1891 Tesla described the universe as a kinetic system filled with energy which could be harnessed at any location. His concepts during the following years were greatly influenced by the teachings of Swami Vivekananda.
Swami Vivekananda was the first of a succession of eastern yogi’s who brought Vedic philosophy and religion to the west. After meeting the Swami and after continued study of the Eastern view of the mechanisms driving the material world, Tesla began using the Sanskrit words Akasha, Prana, and the concept of a luminiferous ether to describe the source, existence and construction of matter.
This paper will trace the development of Tesla’s understanding of Vedic Science, his correspondence with Lord Kelvin concerning these matters, and the relation between Tesla and Walter Russell and other turn of the century scientists concerning advanced understanding of physics. Finally, after being obscured for many years, the author will give a description of what he believes is the the pre-requisite for the free energy systems envisioned by Tesla.
Tesla’s Earler Description of the Physical UniverseBy the year 1891, Nikola Tesla had invented many useful devices.These included a system of arc lighting (1886), the alternating current motor, power generation and transmission systems (1888), systems of electrical conversion and distribution by oscillatory discharges (1889), and a generator of high frequency currents (1890), to name a few. The most well known patent centers around an inspiration that occurred while walking with a friend in a park in Budapest, Hungry. It was while observing the sunset that Tesla had a vision of how rotating electromagnetic fields could be used in a new form of electric motor. his led to the well known system of alternating current power distribution. In 1891 however, Tesla patented what one day may become his most famous invention. It is the basis for the wireless transmission of electrical power and is know as the Tesla Coil Transformer. It was during this year that Tesla made the following comments during a speech before the American Institute of Electrical Engineers: “Ere many generations pass, our machinery will be driven by a power obtainable at any point in the universe. This idea is not novel… We find it in the delightful myth of Antheus, who derives power from the earth; we find it among the subtle speculations of one of your splendid mathematicians… Throughout space there is energy. Is this energy static or kinetic.? If static our hopes are in vain; if kinetic – and this we know it is, for certain – then it is a mere question of time when men will succeed in attaching their machinery to the very wheelwork of nature.” 
This description of the physical mechanisms of the universe was given before Tesla became familiar with the Vedic science of the eastern Nations of India, Tibet, and Nepal. This science was first popualized in the United States and the west during the three year visit of Swami Vivekananda.Vedic Science and Swami VivekanandaThe Vedas are a collection of writings consisting of hymns, prayers, myths, historical accounting, dissertations on science, and the nature of reality, which date back at least 5,000 years.The nature of matter, antimatter, and the make up of atomic structure are described in the Vedas. The language of the Vedas is known as Sanskrit. The origin of Sanskrit is not fully understood. Western scholars suggest that it was brought into the Himalayas and thence south into India by the southward migrations of the Aryan culture. Paramahansa Yogananda and other historians however do not subscribe to that theory, pointing out that there is no evidence within India to substantiate such claims. 
There are words in Sanskrit that describe concepts totally foreign to the western mind. Single words may require a full paragraph for translation into english. Having studied Sanskrit for a brief period during the late 70’s, it finally occurred to this writer that Tesla’s use of Vedic terminology could provide a key to understanding his view of electromagnetism and the nature of the universe.
But where did Tesla learn Vedic concepts and Sanskrit terminology? A review of the well known biographies by Cheney, Hunt and Draper, and O’Neil , , , reveal no mention of Tesla’s knowledge of Sanskrit. O’Neal however includes the following excerpt from an unpublished article called Man’s Greatest Achievement: “There manifests itself in the fully developed being , Man, a desire mysterious, inscrutable and irresistible: to imitate nature, to create, to work himself the wonders he perceives…. Long ago he recognized that all perceptible matter comes from a primary substance, or tenuity beyond conception, filling all space, the Akasha or luminiferous ether, which is acted upon by the life giving Prana or creative force, calling into existence, in never ending cycles all things and phenomena.
The primary substance, thrown into infinitesimal whirls of prodigious velocity, becomes gross matter; the force subsiding, the motion ceases and matter disappears, reverting to the primary substance.”According to Leland Anderson the article was written May 13th, 1907.Anderson also suggested that it was through association with Swami Vivekananda that Tesla may have come into contact with Sanskrit terminology and that John Dobson of the San Francisco Sidewalk Astronomers Association had researched that association. 
Swami Vivekananda was born in Calcutta, India in 1863. He was inspired by his teacher, Ramakrishna to serve men as visible manifestations of God. In 1893 Swami Vivekananda began a tour of the west by attending the Parliament of Religions held in Chicago. During the three years that he toured the United States and Europe, Vivekananda met with many of the well known scientists of the time including Lord Kelvin and Nikola Tesla. 
According to Swami Nikhilananda: Nikola Tesla, the great scientist who specialized in the field of electricity, was much impressed to hear from the Swami his explanation of the Samkhya cosmogony and the theory of cycles given by the Hindus. He was particularly struck by the resemblance between the Samkhya theory of matter and energy and that of modern physics.
The Swami also met in New York Sir William Thompson, afterwards Lord Kelvin, and Professor Helmholtz, two leading representatives of western science. Sarah Bernhardt, the famous French actress had an interview with the Swami and greatly admired his teachings. It was at a party given by Sarah Bernhardt that Nikola Tesla probably first met Swami Vivekananda. 
Sarah Bernhardt was playing the part of ‘Iziel’ in a play of the same name. It was a French version about the life of Bhudda. The actress upon seeing Swami Vivekananda in the audience, arranged a meeting which was also attended by Nikola Tesla. In a letter to a friend, dated February 13th, 1896, Swami Vivekananda noted the following: …Mr. Tesla was charmed to hear about the Vedantic Prana and Akasha and the Kalpas, which according to him are the only theories modern science can entertain…..Mr Tesla thinks he can demonstrate that mathematically that force and matter are reducible to potential energy. I am to go see him next week to get this mathematical demonstration. 
Swami Vivekananda was hopeful that Tesla would be able to show that what we call matter is simply potential energy because that would reconcile the teachings of the Vedas with modern science. The Swami realized that “In that case, the Vedantic cosmology [would] be placed on the surest of foundations”Tesla understood the Sanskrit terminology and philosophy and found that it was a good means to describe the physical mechanisms of the universe as seen through his eyes.
It would behoove those who would attempt to understand the science behind the inventions of Nikola Tesla to study Sanskrit and Vedic philosophy.Tesla apparently failed to show the identity of energy and matter. If he had, certainly Swami Vivekananda would have recorded that occasion. The mathematical proof of the principle did come until about ten years later when Albert Einstein published his paper on relativity.
What had been known in the East for the last 5,000 years was then known to the West. Brahman is defined as the one self existent impersonal spirit; the Divine Essence, from which all things emanate, by which they are sustained, and to which they return. Notice that this is very similar to the concept of the Great Spirit as understood by Native American cultures. Ishvara is the Supreme Ruler; the highest possible conception of the Absolute, which is beyond all thought. Mahat means literally the Great One, and is also interpreted as meaning universal mind or cosmic intelligence.
Prana means energy (usually translated as life force) and Akasha means matter (usually translated as ether). Dobson points out that the more common translations for Akasha and Prana are not quite correct, but that Tesla did understand their true meanings.
The meeting with Swami Vivekananda greatly stimulated Nikola Tesla’s interest in Eastern Science. The Swami later remarked during a lecture in India, “I myself have been told by some of the best scientific minds of the day, how wonderfully rational the conclusions of the Vedanta are. I know of one of them personally, who scarcely has time to eat his meal, or go out of his laboratory, but who would stand by the hour to attend my lectures on the Vedanta; for, as he expresses it, they are so scientific, they so exactly harmonize with the aspirations of the age and with the conclusions to which modern science is coming at the present time”. 
Failures, Death and Legacy
In 1895 Tesla’s New York lab burned, destroying years’ worth of notes and equipment.
Tesla relocated to Colorado Springs for two years, returning to New York in 1900. He secured backing from financier J.P. Morgan and began building a global communications network centered on a giant tower at Wardenclyffe, on Long Island.
But funds ran out and Morgan balked at Tesla’s grandiose schemes.
Tesla lived his last decades in a New York hotel, working on new inventions even as his energy and mental health faded.
His obsession with the number three and fastidious washing were dismissed as the eccentricities of genius.
He spent his final years feeding—and, he claimed, communicating with—the city’s pigeons.
Tesla died in his room on January 7, 1943. Later that year the U.S. Supreme Court voided four of Marconi’s key patents, belatedly acknowledging Tesla’s innovations in radio.
The AC system he championed and improved remains the global standard for power transmission.
Awards & Recognition
Order of St. Sava, II Class, Government of Serbia (1892), Elliott Cresson Medal (1894), Order of Prince Danilo I (1895), Edison Medal (1916), Order of St. Sava, I Class, Government of Yugoslavia (1926), Order of the Yugoslav Crown (1931), John Scott Medal (1934), Order of the White Eagle, I Class, Government of Yugoslavia (1936), Order of the White Lion, I Class, Government of Czechoslovakia (1937), University of Paris Medal (1937), The Medal of the University St Clement of Ochrida, Sofia, Bulgaria (1939).
1. Ratzlaff, John, Tesla Said, Tesla Book Company, PO Box 1649, Greenville, TX 75401, 1984.
2. Yogananda, Paramahansa, Autobiography of a Yogi, Self Realization Fellowship,, 3880 San Rafael Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90065, 1985.
3. Cheney, Margaret, Man Out of Time, Prentice Hall, 1981.
4. Hunt, Inez and Draper. Wanetta, W., Lightning In His Hand, The Life Story Of Nikola Tesla, Omni Publications, Hawthorne, CA, 1981.
5. O’Neal, John, J., Prodigal Genius, The Life Of Nikola Tesla, Ives Washington, Inc., 1944.
6. Anderson, Leland, personal communication. See also Anderson, L.I., and Ratzlaff, J.T., Dr. Nikola Tesla Bibliography, Ragusan Press, 936 Industrial Avenue, Palo Alto, CA 94303, 1979.
7. Nikhilananda, Swami, Vivekananda, The Yogas and Other Works, Ramakrishna-Vivekananda Center, New York, 1973.
8. Nikhilananda, Swami.
9. Dobson, John, personal communication.
10. Dobson, John, Advaita Vedanta and Modern Science, Vedanta Book Center, 5423 S. Hyde Park, Chicago, IL 60615, 1979.
11. Burke, Marie Louise, Swami Vivekananda in the West, New Discoveries, The World Teacher, Advaita Ashrama, Mayavati, India, 1985, p. 500
12. Tesla Society’s Website
13. ‘Nikola Tesla’ by HISTORY.COM EDITORS.
14. ‘Nikola Tesla Fell In Love With A Pigeon–And Six More Freaky Facts About The Iconic Inventor’ by David Freeman.
A 3,300-year-old sculpture of Tutankhamun’s head has been auctioned off at Christie’s for $6 Million, despite claims from the Egyptian government that the relic was stolen.
The 11-inch-tall bust, made from brown quartzite, has damage to the nose, ears, and chin, but is in otherwise excellent condition, according to Christie’s, a London-based auction house. The sculpture is a depiction of the ancient Egyptian god Amen, and fashioned to look like the pharaoh Tutankhamun. An unnamed collector purchased the stunning 3,300-year-old relic for £4,746,250 ($5,936,372) at an auction on July 4.
“This face is recognizable among a thousand Egyptian royal faces,” noted Laetitia Delaloye, London Head of Ancient Art & Antiquities, at the Christie’s website, pointing to the pharaoh’s almond-shaped eyes, high cheekbones, and prominent top lip. “We are honoured to present this head to auction for the first time in its history. It has been very well known on the market, and has been published and exhibited many times over the past 35 years,” she said.
Christie’s went ahead with the auction despite protests from Cairo and appeals to the British government by Egypt’s ambassador in London.
The north African country claims rightful ownership of the piece, saying it holds the rights under its laws, according to ABC News. Prior to the auction, the Egyptian foreign ministry demanded that Christie’s disclose documentation detailing the statue’s ownership.
“They never tell us about the origin, about how they bought it from Egypt, who has ownership of this piece,” said Zahi Hawass, the former Egyptian antiquities minister, as reported by CBS news. “They have no evidence of that but we do think that this is a part of our heritage.”
Indeed, the history of this relic is shrouded in mystery. Since the discovery of King Tut’s tomb in the 1920s, the bust has passed through several owners, finally landing in a private German collection in 1985. The relic has now moved on to yet another owner, despite claims from Egypt that the relic was stolen.
Christie’s disagreed, saying it carried out “extensive due diligence” to prove the ownership of the statue, and that it went “beyond what is required to assure legal title,” according to the Associated Press. A U.K. government official said “they expect all sales to go in accordance with the law and that this is a matter for Christie’s,” reported CBS.
This is not the first time Egypt has demanded the return of an artifact, nor is it likely to be the last. The Rosetta Stone kept at the British Museum, for example, is one such item. This latest incident is part of a growing trend, in which nations are demanding the return of ancient artifacts taken from their territory by foreign archaeologists and collectors.
Indeed, a strong case can be made that ancient relics, human remains, and other items of archaeological, historical, and cultural significance, if taken without consent, should be repatriated when a country asks for their return. Sadly, too many countries are finding it hard to shake their imperialistic habits.
“Just inscribed as @UNESCO #WorldHeritage Site: Jaipur City in Rajasthan, #India. Bravo,” UNESCO tweeted Saturday afternoon. The announcement was made after the 43rd Session of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, underway at Baku (Azerbaijan) from June 30 to July 10, examined the nomination of the Walled City of Jaipur for inclusion in the World Heritage list as reported by Hindustan Times.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed happiness that the city has been recognised as a World Heritage Site. “Jaipur is a city associated with culture and valour. Elegant and energetic, Jaipur’s hospitality draws people from all over. Glad that this city has been inscribed as a World Heritage Site by @UNESCO,” Modi tweeted.
Jaipur is a city associated with culture and valour. Elegant and energetic, Jaipur’s hospitality draws people from all over.
A senior official said, ICOMOS (The International Council on Monuments and Sites) had inspected the city in 2018, post its nomination, adding, the WHC in Baku examined the nomination and inscribed it in UNESCO World Heritage Site list.
The historic walled city of Jaipur in Rajasthan, was founded in 1727 AD under the patronage of Sawai Jai Singh II. It serves as the capital city of the culturally-rich state of Rajasthan.
“The city was proposed to be nominated for its value of being an exemplary development in town planning and architecture that demonstrates an amalgamation and important exchange of ideas in the late medieval period.
“In town planning, it shows an interchange of ancient Hindu, Mughal and contemporary Western ideas that resulted in the form of the city,” UNESCO Office in New Delhi had earlier said.
In addition, Jaipur City is an exceptional example of a late medieval trade town in South Asia and defined new concepts for a thriving trade and commercial hub.
In addition, the city is associated with living traditions in the form of crafts that have national and international recognition, it said.
“The World Heritage Committee is composed of representatives of 21 States Parties to the World Heritage Convention who meet annually. The Committee is in charge of implementing the Convention. To date, 1,092 sites in 167 countries have been inscribed on the World Heritage List,” it said.
UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee has voted to list the sprawling Mesopotamian metropolis of Babylon as a World Heritage Site after three decades of lobbying efforts by Iraq.Iraq had been trying since 1983 to have the site – a massive 10sq-km complex of which just 18 percent has been excavated thus far – recognised by UNESCO.
The Ishtar Gate at the ancient archaeological site of Babylon, south of the Iraqi capital Baghdad [Hussein Faleh/AFP]
Straddling Iraq’s Euphrates River, about 100 kilometres south of Baghdad, the city was the centre of the ancient Babylonian empire more than 4,000 years ago.”What is the world heritage list without Babylon? How to tell the history of humanity without the earliest of old chapters, Babylon?” said Iraq’s representative to UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee before the vote as reported by Al-Jazeera.
The committee met in Azerbaijan’s capital of Baku to consider Babylon and another 34 sites, including in Brazil and Burkina Faso, for the World Heritage List.After the successful vote, Iraq’s delegation clasped hands and invited all delegates “to visit Babylon, the cradle of civilisation”.
Babylon developed as a walled city of mudbrick temples and towers, known internationally for its hanging gardens, the Tower of Babel, and the Ishtar Gate.Excavation began in the early 1800s and artefacts were sent abroad, including parts of the Ishtar Gate which remain in museums across Europe.
“Babylon is the largest populated city in ancient history,” said Qahtan al-Abeed, who heads the Basra Antiquities Department and led efforts to get the site listed.”The Babylonians were the civilisation of writing, administration and science,” he told the AFP news agency.
Putting Babylon on the World Heritage List “will encourage research and development of the site”, and would “be free publicity for tourists”, he added excitedly.
Babel’s Lion at the ancient archaeological site of Babylon [File: Hussein Faleh/AFP]
Eleven ‘tentative’ sites
Babylon is one of 7,000 archaeological sites across Iraq, many of which were destroyed by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant group (ISIS or ISIL) or ravaged by lucrative artefact smuggling.Several Iraqi antiquities were also looted after the US invasion in 2003, and according to a report by the British Museum, the invasion caused widespread damage and severe contamination to the remains of the ancient city.
Other sites in Iraq have also been listed by UNESCO, including the Erbil citadel in northern Iraq and the southern Mesopotamian marshes.After decades of back-to-back conflict, the country declared victory against ISIL in 2017 and is now basking in a period of relative calm.It has sought to attract both international investors and tourists, and hopes its prominence on UNESCO’s lists can do both.
Mesopotamia, Where Civilization Began 4000 B.C.E– 1750 B.C.E
By 4000 B.C.E, many different groups of people were working out their lives in a variety of ways. In a great arc from the eastern coast of the Mediterranean, across the Turkish plains and through the highlands of Iraq and Iran, groups of peoples had settled and were farming, tending animals, making pottery and building towns, markets and forts. In the deserts, mountains and steppes, nomadic tribesmen lived by herding animals and by hunting and raiding.
As all these populations grew, they began to compete for land, food and supplies.One of the areas that was to become most sought after was a stretch of land almost at the very centre of these various peoples. It was only about 150 miles wide and 600 miles long and extended from the foothills of northwester Iraq to the Persian Gulf. Two rivers, the Tigris and the Euphrates, drained the area and gave it its name, Mesopotamia – “the land between the rivers”.For the next 3,500 years, Mesopotamia was to witness the rise and fall of many cities and cultures.
Sumerians, Akkadians, Babylonians, Assyrians, Chaldaeans – these were only some of the people who took root and flourished in this land. Finally the Persians came and reduced Mesopotamia to a mere province but from the first unknown settlers to the mighty Nebuchadnezzar, this land gave rise to much that would affect all civilization.
The first settlers in Mesopotamia set up their villages and farmed in the upper reaches of the Tigris. These were among the earliest farming communities anywhere in the world, but they gradually declined and it was many years later before this region came to be known as Assyria.Mesopotamia’s southern region, which was later called Babylonia, was especially hot and dry and did not seem to attract early man. Between the rivers were broad plains, ideal for farming if they could be watered. Along the lower reaches and in the delta, were marshlands with fish and wild fowl and reeds that could be made into boats and huts. What was needed to develop this territory were men willing to settle and work the land.
Raise and fall of Hammurabi
Finally, out of all this turmoil, one of the Amorite kings emerged as a true ruler. He was Hammurabi of Babylon, an old Sumerian city that had never been of much importance. But when Hammurabi came to its throne about 1790 BC.E, Babylon was becoming one of the stronger cities. Hammurabi took firm control, defeated various warring groups and gradually brought the cities and lands of Sumer and Akkad into a kingdom of Babylonia.Hammurabi was more than a military chieftain. He ran a true government, undertaking everything from new canals to a revised calendar. He personally supervised the affairs of his kingdom and was constantly sending letters and documents to his officials. Nothing was too small for his attention.
If an official neglected to clear out an irrigation canal, Hammurabi ordered him to do the job and report back. If there was a charge of bribery, Hammurabi ordered an investigation and had everyone involved brought before him. Hammurabi’s great achievement was restoring law and order in the land. He was following tradition when he did this, for the settles peoples of Mesopotamia had always respected law, whether in the conduct of their business or in the worship of their gods. Justice was “the straight thing” that kept people on the right path.Hammurabi issued many laws and regulations.
They dealt with everything from prices, wages and debts to broken contracts and the conduct of lawsuits. Then, when his reign was drawing to an end, he decided that the laws needed improving. Some had to be completely revised; others needed to be explained. With the inspiration from Shamash, god of the sun and of justice, he drew up the new laws. He had them engraved on stone and sent them forth throughout the kingdom.
“Hammurabi the reverent god-fearing prince”, began the inscription, was called by the gods “to make justice appear in the land, to destroy the evil and wicked that the strong might not oppress the weak”.
The laws that followed dealt with many matters: the administration of justice, property, marriage, assault, agriculture, wages and slaves. Many of them were based on the ancient idea of “an eye for an eye” – that is, a man who had put out someone’s eye would be punished by having his own eye put out. “If a man accuses another man of murder and it proves to be false, the accuser shall be put to death,” said one of Hammurabi’s laws. Another said, “if a builder makes a house for a man and the house falls down and causes the death of the owner, the builder shall be put to death”. It was harsh justice but atleast the laws were written down for all men to appeal to and behind them was the power of the king of Babylon.
When Hammurabi died, he was succeeded by his son, but the dynasty soon ended. Kassites tribesman from the Zagros Mountains to the east, began to raid Babylonia and in time they captured the cities of Ur and Uruk. The people in the southern marshes known as the “sea lands” revolted and set up their own kingdom. Then out of the north came a new brand of marauders, the Hittities.
They took Babylon, plundered and burnt it and then withdrew, but the damage was done. The irrigation systems, writing, the ziggurats, the laws – such things survived for centuries, but the first great age of Mesopotamia was at an end.