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  • Science on the Cutting Edge
  • How to identify a sword using the oldswords website
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  • Sword Swallower Matty Blade Dies

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    Safe Special Containment Procedures: SCP is stored in a climate controlled secure locker in Site in order to prevent additional deterioration. At this time, no additional testing is required, but may be approved by Dr. Sources of electricity are to be kept away from SCP's locker at all times. If testing with SCP is required, insulated gloves are to be worn to prevent accidental discharge in to the hilt.

    SCP's remains are to be kept in storage until further notice. Research requests for SCP can be routed to Dr. Zartion and are restricted to Level 4 Personnel, or Level 2 Personnel from the exobiology department. SCP is a Viking arming sword, measuring 78cm from pommel to tip and weighing g. SCP is in a state of significant decay due to exposure to outside elements for anywhere from to years.

    See Discovery Log SCP is comprised primarily of iron, with several potentially anomalous components incorporated into its structure. Samples of exo-planetary metals and materials have proven to be more difficult to date, and analysis is on-going. An example of materials found with SCP SCP's anomalous effect can be observed when an electrical current is applied through the metallic portions of the hilt exposed just below the guard.

    These exposed elements are in a noticeably better state than the iron portions of SCP SCP's internal components will begin to emit several frequencies of EM radiation and varying sounds invariably described as distressing by research staff and test subjects.

    Radiation produced by SCP causes all humans who are exposed to it to experience acute audio-visual hallucinations and severe headaches. SCP's specific hallucination takes the form of translucent human-like figures in the immediate vicinity, invariably outfitted as members of an armed force. The armament and armor worn by SCP's hallucinations varies by subject, with a general trend towards the individual's perception of what they consider to be modern armament.

    Testing with animals as well as non-anomalous EM fields and sounds of the exact same frequencies do not produce the same effect in any combination of cases. Further testing was deemed unnecessary. The exact origin of SCP is unknown at this time. A full report on SCP can be found in document R See Addendum B for a partial report. The current working hypothesis for SCP is that it was intended as some form of escape pod from a larger vessel.

    See Addendum A for details. The remains found within the tomb proved to be non-human, and the Foundation took custody of SCP and the remains were designated SCP SCP's remains are skeletal, and are humanoid, though significantly different from human skeletal structure.

    Additionally, several written sources were found within the tomb, and acquired by the Foundation. A recent storm had struck the burial mound containing SCP, conducting current into SCP through a crude lightning rod made of iron.

    The hallucinations created by SCP affected an amateur film crew. The crew informed local authorities, and Foundation information gathering subroutines flagged these reports as potentially anomalous. Ghost, Specter, Crazy, Kids, Hallucination with a double-correlation factor of Gamma-6] Class A amnestics were administered to all witnessing parties, and the burial site was declared a "Heritage Dig Site" through a Foundation shell corporation.

    A transcription was created by Dr. Unintelligible sections are most likely proper nouns with no direct translation. In the depths of winter, the year after the great raid, we saw a fiery meteor in the sky. It landed deep in the heart of the northern wastes, and we followed it.

    A wondrous thing it was, gleaming, and covered in ghost-lights. We approached, and found a man standing in a heavy cloak, examining the meteor. The ghost-lights went dark, and the figure pressed his hand to the outside of the star. A wondrous light filled our eyes, as the star opened. He disappeared into the meteor, and emerged to look at us with such fiery determination in his eyes, we knew he could only be a king, sent to us from Odin himself.

    He would protect us from the raids, and we would know prosperity again. Our prayers had been answered. Daily did the elders of our village come to his resting site, but his own tongue was blessed only to speak the language of the Aesir.

    Weeks passed, as he learned our language. When he learned of our plight, he appeared to grow angry, and charged back to the meteor, to fashion himself a mighty weapon, with which to defend the village. Weeks later, he emerged, with a sword in his hand, gleaming and mighty. He held it aloft, and his power was made manifest.

    Ghostly warriors, heroes from Valhalla stood around him, brandishing weapons. We threw ourselves on the ground, our heads aching with the glory of these Valhalla warriors, and this pleased the Meteor Lord. For years, when the raids came, we ran in supplication to the Meteor Lord. He emerged, and all fled from his flashing blade and burning eyes. We marked the way to the Meteor Lord's home with the cairn stones. During the battle of [unintelligible], the Meteor Lord's fall came.

    His powers failed him, and Odin recalled him to Valhalla. We buried him with all the honor we could muster, and fashioned a conduit for the great storms from Thor. On stormy nights, the heroes still come and watch over our village, their glory splitting the head of any man who dare look upon them. Excavating the object in question led to an almond-shaped craft made of an unknown material. Research regarding this craft can be found in Document R Within the craft, several records were found, written in an unknown language upon crude paper.

    It is hypothesized that this is some kind of journal of SCP Must find a way back, too many counting on me. They won't see me. Must learn their language. Must keep them away from me. Tuned to alien brain chemistry. Hope it scares them off. I use the weapon, scares them. I scared them again.
    Over the last 40 years, there has been a discernible increase in the number of scholars who have focused their research on early industrial organizations, a field of study that has come to be known as Archaeotechnology.

    Archaeologists have conducted fieldwork geared to the study of ancient technologies in a cultural context and have drawn on the laboratory analyses developed by materials scientists as one portion of their interpretive program. Corroded iron from the Java Sea Wreck.

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    Chinese Warring States arrowhead dating to about — B. A wrought-iron Roman cleaver. Large spear from Burkino Faso, Africa. Paperweight made by reworking iron from the Himeji Castle in Japan. In this article, an overview is presented of the status of the radiocarbon dating of iron-based materials. Recent advances include simplification in sample preparation and reduction in sample size for accelerator mass spectrometry measurements, and the potential use of rust as a viable source of material for radiocarbon dating.

    Additionally, a summary is presented of all 63 previously published results for iron-based materials and 29 new results that have not been published previously. These materials range from low-carbon wrought irons to medium to very high-carbon steels and cast irons.

    Artifact dates range from several hundred years ago to several thousand years ago. Brief descriptions are given of some of these examined samples to illustrate issues and complexities that can arise in determining the age of iron-based carbon materials using radiocarbon dating.

    A recent summary has been published 1 of techniques for dating that range from astronomical methods to cover time scales from the age of the universe e. One well-known method for dating is based on the use of isotopic techniques. Included are reactions such as the uranium-to-lead transformation utilized for dates that range from 1 billion years to 4. Perhaps the best-known isotopic technique, however, is that of radiocarbon [e. The present paper deals with an issue of great interest to materials scientists and archeologists—the dating of iron-based materials that contain carbon.

    In addition, however, the corrosion products or rust from these materials is included since they can also be used for dating in some cases. For the case of iron-based materials, the time span of interest is from the start of the Iron Age in the regions of interest about B.

    The most appropriate method for this time span and group of materials is 14C dating. It is key to point out that the usefulness of the method of dating carbon in iron-based materials relies on the source of the carbon found in the materials see sidebar.

    For the case of iron-based materials, van der Merwe and Stuiver 2 first demonstrated that it was feasible to extract the carbon from different iron-based materials and use it to establish their age using radiocarbon dating. A total of 15 samples of iron-based materials were dated by beta counting at Yale University 23 using a dependable method to extract carbon from iron utilizing flow-through combustion in oxygen with cryogenic trapping of CO2.

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    These studies showed that in a wide range of cases, the carbon in iron-based materials could be extracted and reliably radiocarbon dated. The Yale beta counter, however, required significant amounts of carbon compared to the amounts that were usually available from artifacts without consuming or damaging them.

    The amount of carbon required was 1g, equivalent to 50 g of a 2. In the late s, radiocarbon dating by accelerator mass spectrometry AMS became common. This new methodology required only 1 mg instead of 1 g of carbon. Inthe present authors published 9 a new carbon-extraction method for iron based on a sealed-tube combustion with CuO in quartz. This greatly simplified the previous technique and required only materials readily available in the standard AMS graphite-preparation laboratory: Unlike the previous techniques, no exotic gas-trapping equipment is required.

    Thus, over the years, the sample-size requirement has been greatly reduced and the carbon-extraction procedure has been simplified.

    However, as has been mentioned, for a radiocarbon date on iron to be meaningful, the carbon extracted from the iron-based material must be from biomass contemporaneous with original manufacture.

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    In addition to fossil fuels such as coal and coke, other carbon sources such as geological carbonates e. Complications arising from the recycling of artifacts must also be considered. These limitations of the dating technique have been well summarized by van der Merwe 3 and Cresswell.

    If rust can be dated reliably, it opens up a large number of possibilities for dating iron artifacts. Investigators will not need to cut into valuable artifacts for clean metal, but will be able to use surface corrosion products.

    This potentially opens the way for dating precious samples such as the iron plate found in the Great Pyramid at Gizeh, 1011 now at the British Museum. It may also be possible to date completely rusted artifacts, commonly found in waterlogged early Iron-Age sites in Europe and in underwater shipwrecks.


    Previous investigators had been careful to remove rust from iron prior to dating for fear that it adds contamination. A key issue though, is whether any of the original carbon remains within the matrix of rust and other corrosion products.

    If not, rust and similar materials are clearly of no interest for radiocarbon dating and should probably be removed since, at best, they can do no good. However, if original carbon is present, the corrosion products themselves may be appropriate targets for dating, subject to solving the potential contamination problems. Most of the carbon in iron-based materials is in the form of the orthorhombic, crystalline iron carbide Fe3C known as cementite.

    Morphologically, cementite appears either as spheroidized particles or as pearlite. For compositions exceeding the eutectoid level of about 0. The thickness and sizes of all of these carbides can vary enormously, depending upon composition and heat-treatment history. For steels that have been quenched to form martensite body-centered tetragonal structurethe carbon is essentially in solid solution in the iron up to the eutectoid composition, beyond which it too will usually be in the form of carbides.

    Despite the complex range of possible amounts and morphologies of the cementite, the thermodynamic stability of iron carbide is significantly greater than that of iron. So, as iron rusts, the carbide phase will be more stable than the matrix and will remain behind. The question then becomes one of kinetics: How long will it take for the carbide to oxidize compared to the iron matrix? As long as the carbon remains in the rust, in whatever form, it will potentially be available for radiocarbon dating.

    Although little appears to have been published on this subject, Knox 12 reported the detection of iron carbide in the remaining oxide from a corroded 2,year-old Iranian steel dagger.

    The present authors and van der Merwe 14 have recently completed a study in this area. This work provides some evidence for the reliability of dating corrosion products from artifacts that have rusted in the air, in the ground, and under water, although it does not prove that all such samples can be successfully dated.

    Nonetheless, iron samples that had completely rusted produced plausible radiocarbon dates, but issues of contamination and post-depositional carbon exchange must be thoroughly tested in a variety of field settings before rust dating can be considered a validated technique. What the study does show, then, is that there is no a priori reason why the method should not work on rust. The work suggests that accurate radiocarbon dates may be obtainable with minimal material and with minimal risk to artifacts.

    Artifacts are designated as follows: Weight percent carbon vs. This table provides sample identification, radiocarbon years Before Present [B.


    This nomenclature is used in radiocarbon dating to avoid the variation introduced by calibration charts that convert radiocarbon years B. Sincea wide range of iron-based materials have been investigated Figures abcdand e. The determined ages range from relatively recent materials B.

    Sample sizes range from less than 0. Sample conditions range from clean metal to rusty metal to very corroded metal. The nuances of radiocarbon dating of iron-based materials will be explained by way of example in this paper.
    Southeast Asia[ edit ] In Indonesiathe images of Indian style swords can be found in Hindu gods statues from ancient Java circa 8th to 10th century.

    However the native types of blade known as krisparangklewang and golok were more popular as weapons. These daggers are shorter than sword but longer than common dagger. Kampilan from the Philippines. In The Philippinestraditional large swords known as the Kampilan and the Panabas were used in combat by the natives. A notable wielder of the kampilan was Lapu-Laputhe king of Mactan and his warriors who defeated the Spaniards and killed Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan at the Battle of Mactan on 27 April But because of the banning, Filipinos were forced to use swords that were disguised as farm tools.

    Bolos and baliswords were used during the revolutions against the colonialists not only because ammunition for guns was scarce, but also for concealability while walking in crowded streets and homes. Bolos were also used by young boys who joined their parents in the revolution and by young girls and their mothers in defending the town while the men were on the battlefields. During the Philippine—American War in events such as the Balangiga Massacremost of an American company was hacked to death or seriously injured by bolo -wielding guerillas in Balangiga, Samar.

    The main transition was the lengthening of the grip, allowing two-handed use, and a longer blade. Another variant was the specialized armour -piercing swords of the estoc type. The longsword became popular due to its extreme reach and its cutting and thrusting abilities. Many of these are now readily available online. The katzbalger's S-shaped guard and 2-foot-long 0. The side-sword was a type of war sword used by infantry during the Renaissance of Europe.

    This sword was a direct descendant of the arming sword. Quite popular between the 16th and 17th centuries, they were ideal for handling the mix of armoured and unarmoured opponents of that time.

    A new technique of placing one's finger on the ricasso to improve the grip a practice that would continue in the rapier led to the production of hilts with a guard for the finger.

    This sword design eventually led to the development of the civilian rapierbut it was not replaced by it, and the side-sword continued to be used during the rapier's lifetime.

    As it could be used for both cutting and thrusting, the term cut and thrust sword is sometimes used interchangeably with side-sword. These are still considered side-swords and are sometimes labeled sword rapier or cutting rapier by modern collectors. Also of note, side-swords used in conjunction with bucklers became so popular that it caused the term swashbuckler to be coined.

    This word stems from the new fighting style of the side-sword and buckler which was filled with much "swashing and making a noise on the buckler". It would become the weapon of choice for many in Turkey and the Balkans. However, it maintained a key role in civilian self-defence.

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    Later in the 17th century, the swords used by cavalry became predominantly single-edged. Rapier and Smallsword The rapier is believed to have evolved either from the Spanish espada ropera or from the swords of the Italian nobility somewhere in the later part of the 16th century. Both the rapier and the Italian schiavona developed the crossguard into a basket-shaped guard for hand protection.

    Both the smallsword and the rapier remained popular dueling swords well into the 18th century. This developed to the gentlemen in the Victorian era to use the umbrella. Some examples of canes—those known as sword canes or swordsticks —incorporate a concealed blade. The French martial art la canne developed to fight with canes and swordsticks and has now evolved into a sport.

    The English martial art singlestick is very similar. With the rise of the pistol duelthe duelling sword fell out of fashion long before the practice of duelling itself. By aboutEnglish duelists enthusiastically adopted the pistol, and sword duels dwindled.

    Such modern duels were not fought to the death, the duellists' aim was instead merely to draw blood from the opponent's sword arm. Even as a personal sidearm, the sword began to lose its preeminence in the early 19th century, reflecting the development of reliable handguns. For example, during the Aceh War the Acehnese Klewangsa sword similar to the macheteproved very effective in close quarters combat with Dutch troops, leading the Royal Netherlands East Indies Army to adopt a heavy cutlassalso called klewang very similar in appearance to the US Navy Model Cutlass to counter it.

    Mobile troops armed with carbines and klewangs succeeded in suppressing Aceh resistance where traditional infantry with rifle and bayonet had failed. Swords continued in general peacetime use by cavalry of most armies during the years prior to World War I. For example, the British Army formally adopted a completely new design of cavalry sword inalmost the last change in British Army weapons before the outbreak of the war.

    On mobilization in August all serving British Army officers were required to have their swords sharpened as the only peacetime use of the weapon had been for saluting on parade. It was not until the late s and early s that this historic weapon was finally discarded for all but ceremonial purposes by most remaining horse mounted regiments of Europe and the Americas. The last units of British heavy cavalry switched to using armoured vehicles as late as Swords and other dedicated melee weapons were used occasionally by many countries during World War IIbut typically as a secondary weapon as they were outclassed by coexisting firearms.

    Sword of State Swords are commonly worn as a ceremonial item by officers in many military and naval services throughout the world. Occasions to wear swords include any event in dress uniforms where the rank-and-file carry arms: They are also commonly worn for officers' weddings, and when wearing dress uniforms to church—although they are rarely actually worn in the church itself.

    In the British forces they are also worn for any appearance at Court. In the United Statesevery Naval officer at or above the rank of Lieutenant Commander is required to own a sword, which can be prescribed for any formal outdoor ceremonial occasion; they are normally worn for changes of command and parades.

    Marine Corps every officer must own a sword, which is prescribed for formal parades and other ceremonies where dress uniforms are worn and the rank-and-file are under arms.

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    On these occasions depending on their billet, Marine Non-Commissioned Officers E-6 and above may also be required to carry swords, which have hilts of a pattern similar to U. Naval officers' swords but are actually sabres. Sword replica The production of replicas of historical swords originates with 19th-century historicism. Some kinds of swords are still commonly used today as weapons, often as a side arm for military infantry. The Japanese katana, wakizashi and tanto are carried by some infantry and officers in Japan and other parts of Asia and the kukri is the official melee weapon for Nepal.

    Other swords in use today are the sabrethe scimitarthe shortsword and the machete. This style is often referred to as a "narrow" or "hidden" tang. Modern, less traditional, replicas often feature a threaded pommel or a pommel nut which holds the hilt together and allows dismantling.
    So suggests new research that tracked changes in two genes thought to help regulate brain growth, changes that appeared well after the rise of modern humansyears ago. That the defining feature of humans — our large brains — continued to evolve as recently as 5, years ago, and may be doing so today, promises to surprise the average person, if not biologists.

    Lahn and colleagues examined two genes, named microcephalin and ASPM, that are connected to brain size. If those genes don't work, babies are born with severely small brains, called microcephaly. Using DNA samples from ethnically diverse populations, they identified a collection of variations in each gene that occurred with unusually high frequency.

    In fact, the variations were so common they couldn't be accidental mutations but instead were probably due to natural selection, where genetic changes that are favorable to a species quickly gain a foothold and begin to spread, the researchers report. Lahn offers an analogy: Medieval monks would copy manuscripts and each copy would inevitably contain errors — accidental mutations. Years later, a ruler declares one of those copies the definitive manuscript, and a rush is on to make many copies of that version — so whatever changes from the original are in this presumed important copy become widely disseminated.

    Scientists attempt to date genetic changes by tracing back to such spread, using a statistical model that assumes genes have a certain mutation rate over time. For the microcephalin gene, the variation arose about 37, years ago, about the time period when art, music and tool-making were emerging, Lahn said. For ASPM, the variation arose about 5, years ago, roughly correlating with the development of written language, spread of agriculture and development of cities, he said.

    Other scientists urge great caution in interpreting the research. That the genetic changes have anything to do with brain size or intelligence "is totally unproven and potentially dangerous territory to get into with such sketchy data," stressed Dr. Aside from not knowing what the gene variants actually do, no one knows how precise the model Lahn used to date them is, Collins added.

    Lahn's own calculations acknowledge that the microcephalin variant could have arisen anywhere from 14, to 60, years ago, and that the uncertainty about the ASPM variant ranged from to 14, years ago.

    Those criticisms are particularly important, Collins said, because Lahn's testing did find geographic differences in populations harboring the gene variants today. They were less common in sub-Saharan African populations, for example. That does not mean one population is smarter than another, Lahn and other scientists stressed, noting that numerous other genes are key to brain development.

    The work was funded by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. The information contained in the AP News report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press.

    Language tree rooted in Turkey Evolutionary ideas give farmers credit for Indo-European tongues. The finding hints that farmers in what is now Turkey drove the language boom - and not later Siberian horsemen, as some linguists reckon. Russell Gray and Quentin Atkinson, of the University of Auckland in New Zealand use the rate at which words change to gauge the age of the tree's roots - just as biologists estimate a species' age from the rate of gene mutations.

    The differences between words, or DNA sequences, are a measure of how closely languages, or species, are related. Gray and Atkinson analysed 87 languages from Irish to Afghan. Rather than compare entire dictionaries, they used a list of words that are found in all cultures, such as 'I', 'hunt' and 'sky'. Words are better understood than grammar as a guide to language history; the same sentence structure can arise independently in different tongues. The resulting tree matches many existing ideas about language development.

    Spanish and Portuguese come out as sisters, for example - both are cousins to German, and Hindi is a more distant relation to all three. All other Indo-European languages split off from Hittite, the oldest recorded member of the group, between 8, and 10, years ago, the pair calculates 1. Around this time, farming techniques began to spread out of Anatolia - now Turkey - across Europe and Asia, archaeological evidence shows. The farmers themselves may have moved, or natives may have adopted words along with agricultural technology.

    The conclusion will be controversial, as there is no consensus on where Indo-European languages came from. Some linguists believe that Kurgan horsemen carried them out of central Asia 6, years ago.

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    It shows how ideas about language evolution can be tested, she says: There is lots of word-swapping within language groups. English took 'skirt' from the Vikings, for example, but 'shirt' is original. Linguists must separate the shared from the swapped, as any error will affect later studies.

    The Kurgan might not be out of the picture entirely, says McMahon - they may have triggered a later wave of languages. Language-tree divergence times support the Anatolian theory of Indo-European origin. Nature,-doi: Earlier that morning I had set out on a pilgrimage to the Exalted Throne of Yahweh where Adam's god dwelt. Within an hour the noise and chaos of Tabriz had been left far behind, as our four-wheel drive ascended out of the alpine valley of the Adji Chay onto the plateau of the Sahand massif, with imposing volcano at its heart.

    Now I found myself at the entrance to one of our world's most extraordinary places - the troglodyte village of Kandovan. Ambling down the cobbled street - only just wide enough to take a donkey and cart - I turned up a steep side alley, all the time stalked by a clutch of free-roaming chickens. The alley soon morphed into a roughly sculpted flight of steps which twisted and turned between huge canine teeth of lava. Each was a home - a dwelling from a bygone age with rickety wooden door and tiny mullioned windows.

    In this Dysneyesque landscape of cave-dwellers, I almost expected Pinocchio to appear around the next bend. Kandovan - 'The Honeycombe'. My long journey, starting in the research libraries of London University, had led me to the Mesopotamian flood plain and on up into the mountains of Kurdistan, finally to reach the place the Book of Genesis calls the Garden of Eden. There is no straightforward way to explain how an Egyptologist, used to working in the dry heat of the north African deserts, should end up traversing the Zagros mountains of western Iran in search of the earthly paradise.

    I had begun my studies in the Departments of Egyptology and Ancient History at University College, London, with a major interest in the complex chronology of Egyptian civilisation. My PhD work to radically revise that chronology had inevitably drawn me into the world of biblical history - so closely bound up with the land of the pharaohs. Years of research had led me to the conclusion that many of the stories in the Old Testament were based on real historical events: But why was I now delving into the Book of Genesis - that most mythological and hoary of the biblical texts?

    Surely it would have been better to leave well alone? But that is not my way. The simple fact is that ancient stories and legends have always fascinated me and the chance to uncover the historical reality behind the greatest legend of them all was just too tempting an opportunity to pass by.

    The 'Temptation Seal' on display in the British Museum. Back in I had been sent a short, privately published paper by amateur historian, Reginald Walkerwhich proposed a location for the Garden of Eden in north-western Iran.

    The main thrust of Walker's argument was that the four rivers of Eden, described in Chapter Two of Genesis, were to be found in that region. All four had their sources the Bible refers to them as 'heads' around the two great salt lakes of Van and Urmia. Ever since the time of the Jewish historian Josephus, a near contemporary of Christ, scholars have tried to use Genesis 2 to locate Eden. But the problem has always been the identification of the rivers themselves.

    The first two are no problem: The remaining two rivers, however, have always been a mystery. Clearly, in order to locate Eden precisely, we need to find the sources of all four - and that's where Walker's research comes in.

    By checking the writings of the Islamic geographers who accompanied the Arabic invasion of Persia in the 8th century, I was able to confirm that this was indeed the case. Moreover, even as late as the last century, Victorian atlases and encyclopaedias were still naming the river as the Gaihun-Aras. The Gaihun is therefore the missing biblical Gihon. The fourth river - the Pishon - was more difficult to find.

    Walker suggested that this Hebrew West Semitic name derived from the old Iranian Uizhun, where the Iranian vowel 'U' had been converted into the Semitic labial consonant 'P'. Thus we have Uizhun to Pizhun to Pishon. Strange as it may seem, such switches do occur between the two language groups.

    For instance, one archaeological site in Iran is known by its Arabic West Semitic name of Pisdeli whereas its ancient Iranian name was Uishteri. The river Uizhun the modern Qezel Uzun - thus identified as the biblical Pishon - flows down from the mountains of Kurdistan and empties into the southern basin of the Caspian Sea. The four rivers of Eden. Bringing all this together we find that the sources of all four rivers originate in the highland area which Alexander the Great knew as Armenia and we know today as eastern Turkey and western Iran.

    A crucial line in the epic describes the envoy descending from the last of the seven mountain passes the Sumerians called them 'gates' and crossing a broad plain before arriving at the city of Aratta with its red-painted city wall. The envoy, journeying to Aratta, covered his feet with the dust of the road and stirred up the pebbles of the mountains. So, combining Walker's discovery of the four rivers together with the Sumerian location of Eden, it seemed as though the whereabouts of the lost Eden and its fabled garden was near to being resolved.

    I decided to set out for the ancient city of Susa burial place of Daniel of the lions' den in the south-western flood plain of Iran Iraq was off bounds for obvious reasons from where I determined to retrace the Sumerian envoy's route to paradise. Following the ancient track through the seven 'gates', I eventually reached the Miyandoab plain to the south of Lake Urmia.

    The journey had taken four days by car but would have taken the envoy the best part of four months by donkey. The edin remains today one of the lushest regions of the Middle East: This, I am sure, was the original heart of Eden which, over time, became a much wider area, including both the salt lakes and the Garden of Eden itself.

    The Bible describes the latter as being 'east in Eden' - in other words to the east of but still within the wider territory of Eden. My driver and I continued eastwards, between the south-eastern shore of Lake Urmia and the towering volcanic peak of Mount Sahand. An hour's drive along the highway brought us into a long west to east valley, the slopes of which were terraced with 'every kind of tree' smothered in spring blossom God planted a garden in Eden, which is in the east, and there he put the man he had fashioned.

    From the soil, God caused to grow every kind of tree, enticing to look at and good to eat. The nearest mountain to the north glowed bright red in the low evening light - a pile of pure red ochre.

    At its foot sprawled the regional capital of Tabriz, squatting at the centre of the valley where Adam and Eve whoever they were once lived according to biblical tradition. The first thing which came to mind was paradise lost. Nothing of the earthly garden and its settlement could have survived beneath these bustling streets. But then, away from the city, I soon discovered that there was much that remains of Adam's Neolithic culture. Paradise Lost - the sprawling city of Tabriz. This was the region where Man first began to settle down to sedentary life; where he learnt to domesticate animals and plant his crops; and where he began to bury his dead in graves, the bones painted in red-ochre.

    Adam's name means the 'red-earth' man.

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