Origins | Summer 2014

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Issue 9 | Summer 2014 Š 2012-2014 Origins Scientific Research Society founded by Melanie E Magdalena

Copyright: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 Unported License. Permission of the authors is required for derivative works, compilations, and translations. Disclaimer: The views expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the position or views of Origins. The publisher, editor, contributors, and related parties assume no responsibility for loss, injury or inconvenience of any person, organization, or party that uses the information or resources provided within this publication, website, or related products.

Did you know

Television is one of the primary causes for lower attention spans, whereas reading requires and encourages the reader to maintain a longer attention span.



So turn off all those electronic devices, except for the one you are reading THIS from. and get to reading issue #9 of Origins. ....................................................................


From the editor... Once upon a time, in a far away, land literature was appreciated by all. Wait, hold on... that sounds like an alternate universe. Welcome to our universe, where people on planet Earth occassionally read. What is it they are reading? Well, that depends on their media provider. History here is told by the person of authority, that icon of power, who may (likely) alter the story ever so slightly to suit their needs.

STAFF MELANIE E MAGDALENA Editor-in-Chief & Creative Designer The Founder of Origins Scientific Research Society. MARGARET SMITH Copy Editor Anthropologist specialized in Japanese archaeology and culture.

We are all victims of misinformation. In an Internet-era, facts are jumbled amongst letters that have been processed through so many telephone games, the original message is mostly gone. Non-literary sources pick and choose what order a message should be given in and decide how to word it in order to construct an argument, be it subjective and biased or not.

ETHAN KELLOGG Graphics Great for parties with a wealth of useless knowledge. Parental discretion advised.

From the Old World to the New World, this issue explores the Crusades, the effects of the Inquisition on the Maya people during the conquest, banned books over the years, and how media meddles with our information. Beyond the scope of this issue bounded by text, experience religious warfare across the globe with our Google Earth open access freebie on the Crusades.

ALEX VOSBURGH Marketing & Public Relations Mild mannered man, making the most of middle management monstrosities, but mainly marveling at the magnificence of the many majesties of the multiverse.

A Quick Note from the Staff: We’d like to make some special announcements. First off, thank you all 5 million readers from the past two years! Issue 9, on the burning of history and ashing of scientific advancement, marks the beginning of our third year publishing for you. Secondly, congratulations to our Editor-in-Chief, Melanie E. Magdalena, and copyeditor Margaret Smith on graduating with their B.S. and B.A. in anthropology respectively. And third, thank you Amanda Schlindwein for editing this issue with us as Margaret is off doing archaeological field work in Colorado.

And Back to the Editor... Alright, go on now. Time to flip the page. It is time to rediscover where we came from as history is taught to us (as told by the victor). Go forth, learn, think, analyze, and synthesize what the correct version of history is. Melanie E Magdalena Editor-in-Chief, Origins Scientific Research Society

FIDEL JUNCO Director of Donor Relations Specialist in marine animals and other exotic reptiles, birds, and amphibians.

CONTRIBUTORS MORGAN V COURAGE Word architect and mathmatician. JIM THOMAS Avocational archaeologist & outdoor explorer of prehistory & natural history in northern Arizona.

SPECIAL THANKS AMANDA Schlindwein for editing this issue with us!

Burnt Books and Preserved Pots

The Spanish Inquisition in the Americas


Melanie E Magdalena


People scrambled about the streets of Maní as a pyre was prepped in the main square of the Yucatec town. Codices filled with astronomy, history, math, and religion were piled up among the sculptural “works of the devil.” A lucky discovery by the Spanish…if they had not found the cave, maybe the books wouldn’t have burned. Smoke filled the air on July 12, 1562 as Spanish friar Diego de Landa burned the beliefs of the Maya of Maní, thus ending the final kingdom of the Tutul-Xiu. Diego de Landa (1524-1579) arrived in Yucatán, Mexico in 1549. In Izamal, a previously important religious center prior to the Spanish arrival, a Catholic church was built on top of the old temples to deracinate Maya idolatry. Those who refused to renounce their ancient beliefs and embrace Catholicism faced Inquisition trials and many were killed. The inquisition of Maní lasted three months with over 4,000 natives tortured during conversion trials.

accordion books (or codices). Many pots–including plates, bowls, jars, cups, and more ceramics of that style–were painted in hieroglyphic texts, which archaeologists continue to collect and study today. The Maya wrote on everything. Since pots were not assumed to be in direct competition with the Holy Bible, they managed to avoid destruction better than other hieroglyphic artifacts. De Landa’s writings have assisted in piecing back

“Hallámosles gran número de libros de estas sus letras, y porque no tenían cosa en que no hubiese superstición y falsedades del demonio, se los quemamos todos, lo cual sintieron a maravilla y les dio mucha pena.” - Diego de Landa eRelación de las Cosas de Yucatán (117-8)

Diego de Landa’s inflexible and raucous conduct earned him a trip back to Spain in 1563 after being condemned by the Council of the Indies. By 1566, he completed his book Relación de las Cosas de Yucatán (Relation on the incidents of Yucatan) to explain his inquisition actions in trial. On pages 117 and 118, Diego de Landa states: “We found many books with these letters [hieroglyphs], and because they contained nothing that was free from superstition and the devil’s trickery, we burnt them, which the Indians greatly lamented.” In 1573, de Landa returned to Yucatan as bishop cleared of all accusations. Over 5,000 idols and at least 27 hieroglyphic texts, assumed to be full of witchcraft and evil knowledge against the Catholic church, ashed away into the earth. Luckily, the Spanish destroyed almost exclusively statues, figurines, and the bark-paper

together burnt history, albeit from a biased perspective. He wrote of the calendars, economy, politics, religion, and social organization. He took special interest in the similarity of the cross-shape in Christianity and the Maya world tree, as well as other similarities between the two religious systems. Yuri Knorozov, Russian scholar, deciphered the glyphs de Landa had written from the 1600s (an attempt to match Spanish sounds with Mayan glyphs) in 1952. De Landa had believed each glyph was a single letter like the Latin alphabet; Knorozov figured out they were syllables. Even with advances in hieroglyphic studies from architecture, sculptures, and painted pots: to this day, the Mayan code remains incomplete with undecipherable pieces. The Spanish Inquisition of the Americas is an example of the catastrophic reality of history told by the victor. u Origins Scientific Research Society


Creature Feature Narwhal T o S ta r t O ff , How About Some Facts

Fidel Junco & Ethan Kellogg Mythical unicorn of the sea?

Inuit lance made from narwhal tusk with a meteorite iron blade. geni | cc by-sa 3.0

Narwhals are related to the beluga whale, both species being from the family Monodontidae. The word narwhal comes from Old Norse which means “corpse whale,” named after the creature’s pale body color. The prominent tusk-like feature on their heads influenced the classification of the species, Monodon monoceros, meaning “onetooth one-horn.” Found in the coastal Arctic waters, the narwhal is a medium-sized whale with two vestigial teeth. In males, the tusk is actually the canine tooth on the left side of the jaw which spirals out in a helix shape through the upper lip. The hollow tooth of ivory grows throughout the narwhal’s entire life reaching anywhere from 5 to 10 feet (1.5 to 3 m) in length. In male narwhals, 1 out of 500 grow a second tusk with their right side canine protruding as well. Some females also have visible tusk-teeth but they are much less prominent than males’. Origins Scientific Research Society


Side and bottom view of the “narwhal” or “unicorn whale” from An Account of the Arctic Regions with a history and description of the Northern Whale-Fishery by W. Scoresby, 1820. Narwhals primarily live in the Atlantic sector of the Arctic, from central Canadian Arctic eastward to Greenland and into the eastern Russian Arctic (though rarely sighted here). They tend to spend two months of summer in ice-free shallow bays and migrate to deep, offshore, ice-covered regions by the continental slope. Narwhals annually migrate between the two seasonal areas over two month movement periods. Sometimes narwhals die from drowning when the strong Arctic winds freeze the surface of the water, blocking narwhals from surfacing to breathe. Being mammals, they still need to breathe air, and when they can’t crack the ice, it becomes a fatal event for the creature.


Due to many factors, including man-made climate change, little-to-no hunting regulations, and ocean pollution, narwhals are considered Near Threatened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Data from 2011 states narwhal population is over 80,000. To help protect the status of these creatures, the Canadian government instituted Narwhal Protection Regulations under the Fisheries Act in 1971. This made hunting narwhals illegal for anyone other than the Inuits. There is a catch limit of 5 narwhals a year per subsistence hunter and hunters are required to utilize every part of the narwhal. Narwhals In Fiction The following is an artistic retelling of an Inuit legend of how the narwhal got its tusk. There once was a little Inuit boy. His mother was wicked and had stolen his eyesight. She took the boy’s eyes and threw them into the frigid water when he was born. From then on, the boy couldn’t see anything, but a friendly loon had taught him to use his sense of smell to get around. One day, the boy smelled the scent of a polar bear approaching his home. Using his nose, the boy was able to sneak up on the polar bear and kill it before it was able to attack his family. However, instead of being happy for the boy’s success, the mother simply took the meat and blubber for herself. She cooked the meat in front of the boy, but wouldn’t let him eat any of it. She took the blubber and put it into her hair, forming a twisted, braided knot that came out the top of her head. The mother was very proud of her new hair style, showing it off to the people around the village whenever she could. The boy never got praised, and were it not for the friendly loon that would occasionally come and drop food for the boy, he might have starved to death.


One day the friendly loon came to visit the boy, but it didn’t bring any food. Instead it picked up the boy and flew off to its nest, where the boy and loon laughed and played all day. When they were finished, the loon picked up the boy again to take him home. However, the boy slipped from the loon’s grasp and fell into the frigid water below. The water was cold and the boy couldn’t breathe to smell which way was up from down. He struggled for a while, but couldn’t swim the right direction. He slowly closed his eyes and fell asleep. When he awoke later, he was back in the loon’s nest. The friendly loon had dived into water after the boy and retrieved him. The boy opened his eyes and was shocked to be able to see the loon in front of him. The water had turned into ice inside his eyes, restoring his vision. Better yet, his vision was vastly superior, allowing him to see great distances, spotting his home all the way from the loon’s nest. When he returned home to tell his mother about his vision, she was only happy that the boy could now hunt for narwhal in the water for her. On their first outing to go narwhal hunting, the boy was tasked with harpooning small narwhals so that she could use the blubber for her hair. The harpoon was tied to a rope which was tied to his mother’s waist, so she could pull them in. The boy spotted his first narwhal, but thought that it was too big for the mother to pull. The mother chastised the boy and told him to throw the harpoon. The harpoon struck deep, but the narwhal wouldn’t let the mother reel it in. It pulled and struggled so much that the mother fell into the water. Before the boy could do anything, the mother was dragged deep below, never to be seen again. Her long, twisted, braided knot was the last thing to go under the water. Narwhals back then didn’t have horns, but ever since that day people have seen narwhals with twisted spiraled horns coming out the top of their heads. u

Now that you know the facts and the legendary fiction, if you dare, check out this video for a glimpse of narwhals in pop culture. Origins Scientific Research Society

A Sols

Discovering Prehistoric stice Marker This is an interpretive series of notes and captions taken from my personal journal. For over 35 years I have hiked, explored, and photographed the limestone and basalt canyons of northern Arizona. As a result I have recorded several scientific “firsts� in archaeology regarding the activities of the ancient people we now call Sinagua, Cohonino, and Anasazi. I also have acquired some basic knowledge of local geology, the native plants, and the wildlife. It is a pleasure to present some of these observations in this format. Sincerely, Jim Thomas Jim Thomas is an avocational archaeologist and outdoor explorer of prehistory and natural history in northern Arizona.


As a result of many, many hikes around the Flagstaff area, I’ve come across this wonderful stone alcove with rock art. Throughout the year, in all kinds of weather, I find that this is the perfect place to rest, have lunch, and contemplate my discoveries. The real value of this place wasn’t obvious at first, however. It just served as a nice place to visit in the midst of all of these ancient treasures. One day it all changed. If you look at the basalt alcove you’ll notice that the large center stone panel is covered with some very old petroglyphs (archaeological artifacts). An interview with the chief archaeologist at Coconino National Forest provided me with an interpretation: these figures are probably from the Cohonino culture which is much older than the predominately Sinagua place.

Basalt Alcove


Petrogylphs on basalt

All images in this article are Š Jim Thomas and used with his persmission.

On the stone surfaces above these glyphs are three polished depressions (see above), used hundreds or thousands of years ago by the people who lived here as grinding slicks, for tool making, etc. They’re all part of this “place.” There is also an oversized petroglyph appearing to be a footprint of a large bird. Since I’ve sat here eating lunch on so may occasions, I’ve become familiar with the details of this enclosed environment. I began to notice vertical alignments (see right) and details between the glyph panel and the natural rock formations above. They were created when the basalt was hot lava filled with gas bubbles, causing it to cool with these interesting tube-like voids. The Sinagua must have found them very interesting and meaningful, particularly since they are near this large vertical crack in the rocks. Deep openings like this were often revered as sacred openings or connections with the spirit world within the earth, I’m told. This could explain the presence of pecked images. Then, one day in January, I observed this! The shadow of the noon sun was crossing directly over the center of the double concentric circle petroglyph. Was this a coincidence? What does it do on the summer solstice and on the shortest day in December? Was this really a seasonal solar marker? It would take a whole year of observation to know. The challenge was ON!

Sure enough, on June 21st, at 11:45 exactly (middle of the day to the Sinagua), the shadow of the sun created this vertical shadow across the circle glyph. That it was vertical instead of horizontal was the first surprise. This glyph had been so cleverly positioned that it used the horizontal edge of the stone overhang in winter and the vertical edge in summer. With photographic evidence in hand, I reported all of this to the local professional archaeologists.


At the same moment the summer solstice occurs, the shadow (see above) also forms an interesting “ground line� just beneath several of the little figures carved on the major panel. It also cuts through the heart of the anthropomorphic figure. I waited patiently for December to witness my expectation on December 21st, the winter solstice. I arrived early at this place and watched the remarkably different shadow pattern approach. I could taste the suspense. Taken about five minutes before mid-day (see below), the botches of shadow in the scene are the result of a presently growing young ponderosa pine, NOW in the path of the noon sunlight. It lessens the effect but not the accuracy. Notice, in contrast to the summer pattern, the triangle shadow shape that is approaching the concentric circle petroglyph. This is a completely different experience.

Origins Scientific Research Society


THEN, the greatest surprise of all! A heretofore unobserved indentation in the overhanging escarpment formed an arc in the line of the shadow. This occurred at the last minute and, to my amazement, it actually matched the curve of the outer glyph circle. It fit. I had goosebumps the first time I saw this. Now, the size and placement of the glyph was justified. None of this is coincidence!

Inital curve of shadow on the winter solstice.

It could be construed that the author of the glyph based the size of the outer circle on this nest, a “perfect fit.” It must be the result of thoughtful observation. Curiously, in the next two minutes this shadow arc then “hugs” the inner circle. It is about two minutes from “mid-day.”

THEN... it forms the completed image. This moment is at 11:20 AM our time. I acknowledge that this is a few minutes before twelve Inner shadow hug two minutes prior to solstice time. noon, our time. The winter event is also a few minutes before our twelve noon exactly. For a people with no concept of minutes, the middle of the day is good enough for me. I submit this as visual evidence of a true and very unique seasonal marker that faces the winter sunrise and overlooks what once was happening on the forest slope we now call east Flagstaff. This archaeological site has been observed and recorded several times by professionals, including Harold Colton, the founder of Northern Arizona Museum. But none of them spent enough time here, apparently, to observe this event, as no reference to it being a solstice indicator exists in their notes. I apparently discovered an ancient solar marker indicating the longest and the shortest day of the year, in a uniquely horizontal and vertical way. This has all been documented now and reported to Coconino National Forest’s archaeological office. u

Winter Solstice Marker near Flagstaff, Arizona completed at 11:20 AM





In 2011, seven different surveys were published regarding the social awareness of citizens who watched certain popular cable news outlets. The results were consistent: on average, Fox News viewers were misinformed more often than those who watched other popular news outlets, and scored worse on knowledge of select topics than people who didn’t watch any major news outlets at all. The topics included in these studies ranged from knowledge about the political landscapes of Egypt and Syria, healthcare reform, election candidates, and man-made climate change.


o write history is to attempt to record important events, lifestyles, and situations. But it is said that history is written by the victors. How does a historian decide what is objectively relevant and worth recording? This has always been an issue for historians of the past, but in many ways, people who report news today are still faced with this dilemma.

The eye-opening surveys became popular enough that almost every outlet that dabbles in news seemed to publish articles about the ordeal–from reputable sources like Forbes and Huffy lex ington Post to the popuThe communication of notelar parody news show The worthy information concernosburgh Daily Show with John Stewing recent and important art. The issue sparked many deevents is reported to be the core bates, both into the misinforconcept of news. It’s what drives mation perported by Fox News and the entire industry. Many people other journalistic outlets, and have made careers by discovering into the nature of news itself. and discerning what exactly counts as news. However, the industry is Though a story like this may be fun not without its hiccups. What hapto joke about for those who don’t pens when some of those choices support Fox News or other mainare made poorly? What happens when stream media, the reality is that personal gain starts to overcome incidents like this aren’t isolatjournalistic integrity? The harm ed, nor is it the only questionable that could possibly come from not practice going on in news outlets. publishing a particular story, or giving coverage to one story over If you paid any sort of attenanother, is not often considered. tion to the media about a year But the fallout may be more severe ago in 2013, you’ve most certainthan one would first realize.



















ETHAN’S USELESS KNOWLEDGE (THAT WILL HELP YOU IN YOUR LIFE IN NO WAY WHATSOEVER) ly heard about Miley Cyrus and her performance at the MTV Video Music Awards. Even if you didn’t, chances are you still know about it. For weeks, it seemed like that was the most popular topic most news outlets wanted to discuss, and even now she is the butt of many a joke, all thanks to one performance. At the same time, however, reports confirmed that the Syrian government had been using chemical weapons in its civil war against Syrian rebels.

pop star than it is to pay attention to violence and political debates, but is it truly the aim of major news outlets to be fun? If actions dictate intention, many outlets seem to think so. It feels as if many news sources are paying more attention to providing entertainment rather than providing the public service of well-informed news. The implications of such phenomenon coming to light are grim.

Have you ever seen this symbol before?

It’s called an ampersand and it’s kind of silly looking. You’ve probably seen this used in fancy titles at the movies, or on handmade signs to save space. Most people know it means “and,” although it’s actually a ligature of the word et, which is Latin for “and.” A

Despite this shocking piece of news that many proclaimed may lead to a new World War, in the United States, more consistent coverage was still given to the young singer. Now sure, it is a lot more fun to pay attention to a sexy young









The evidence suggests that people tuning into specific sources for news may not be getting an unbiased, or even wholly truthful, story. How could something like this happen? The only reasonable explanations would be that either the reporters are consistently wrong, which would certainly mean sweeping staff changes and policy revisions, or that the stories in question were broadcast as they were on purpose. Perhaps these practices are so broad because around 90% of all American media is directly or indirectly owned by one of 6 companies: Comcast, NewsCorp, Disney, Viacom, Time Warner and CBS. This is in stark contrast to just 30 years ago when more than 50 different corporations had a share in mainstream media. The landscape is apparently very different now, and it allows for vastly different methods of news broadcasting. It translates into a shockingly small amount of people who dictate what

MORE OF ETHAN’S USELESS KNOWLEDGE ligature is a symbol that combines two or more symbols together to form one idea. If you look closely, you can see the e and the t represented within the symbol.

Basically, fancy people “back then” were really lazy and didn’t want to write the word “and” every single time. Instead, they borrowed the Latin symbol and just pronounced it and (presumably so when they wrote their run-on sentences it didn’t hurt their wrists so much with all that swishy feathered quill writing everyone did back then).

‘Twas Wednesday & ye sky was blue & my cat hadst thrown up on ye carpet & ‘twas most gross. People would use the ampersand to shorten words already shortened, further solidifying the laziness of humanity. The Latin phrase et cetera (which means “and so forth”) is commonly abbreviated etc. How-





ever, you can abbreviate it further by shortening it to &c.

People liked using the ampersand so much, it was basically the unofficial 27th letter and was taught as such in schools. Back then, when the teacher would make you recite the alphabet, whenever you came to a letter that was also a word by itself (the letters A, I, &, and originally O) you would say “per se” (Latin for “by itself”) before the letter. Near the end of the alphabet, you would say, “X, Y, Z, and per se & (and).” Years of bored children hastily trying to get through their alphabet would slur the words “and per se and” together until we get ampersand. This odd-looking glyph was stolen from a dead language because we were too lazy to write three characters, and was named after people hastily reciting it in grade school. Go forth and share all of this useless knowledge with the world.■ SINCE




Guilty of Word Crimes? a large majority of the population see. Now, obviously, I’m not privy to the intentions or desired outcomes of any of these companies or their practices, so I can only inform you readers based on the information available to me.

You probably are & need to learn why, so watch this great music video of "Word Crimes" by "Wierd Al" Yankovic.

The news is easily the best way to be able to gather information about the world around us, but one should always be careful with any information that comes his or her way. You can’t believe everything you hear, because you never know who is trying



to profit off of you.


hich begs a question about journalistic integrity: Is it an urban legend? An oxymoron? A myth? The world may never know. Or at the very least, you apparently won’t see the answer on the news. ■






Banned Books Karen Meza Cherit World events shape the future of individuals and nations, but known events become written history (taught to developing minds). One event in particular marked the future of literature and thus changed history: the Holy Inquisition. Before the secularisation of nations, people lived under the authority of the Roman Catholic Church, which decided what the world could and could not know. In Spain, heracy had zero tolerance. Around the fifteenth century, the Holy Inquisition banned all books that were believed to go against religion or may have encouraged society to practice witchcraft. Though centuries have passed, the idea of banning books continues. If a book’s content is seen as detrimental to the regime in power, it is banned. If a book expresses a socially or culturally unaccepted thought, it is banned. Different ideologies, political views, and religious beliefs continue to remove books from the eager eyes of the learned and ignorant alike. Many of the books listed here were published at a point in time when, or in a place where they were not appreciated or understood for their social and cultural significance. But the banning of literature, through history, both past and present, has had unexpected effects: the wetting of the intellectual appetite. Each year, more people take interest in those books that are kept from them, to learn, and to access their forbidden secrets. u

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll When: 1931 Where: China Why: Contradicted natural laws and children could regard humans and animals on the same level.

Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov When: 1950s - 1960s Where: Argentina, Canada, France, New Zealand, South Africa, United Kingdom Why: Corruption of minors with erotic content.

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley When: 1932; 1967 Where: Ireland; India Why: First in Ireland followed by India for taboo subjects including contraception, drugs, pornography, sexuality, and suicide.


Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler When: 1947 to present Where: Austria Why: Extremist glorification and advertising of the Nazi Party punishable by imprisonment.

Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell When: 1950 to 1990 Where: USSR/Russia Why: Understood as a satire of Stalin’s political leadership.

Adventures of Huckelberry Finn by Mark Twain When: 1982; 2009 Where: Virginia, USA; Washington, USA Why: Offensive language by using the word “nigger” abundantly.

De Rerun Natura by Lucretius When: First century Where: Europe Why: A scientific vision describing atoms, celestial and terrestrial phenomena, and an infinite universe. Denied the powers of Roman deities.

Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe When: Civil War; 1982 Where: USA; Russia Why: In the USA for anti-slavery content; in Russia for presenting equality and undermined religious ideals.

In The First Circle by Aleksander Solzhenitsyn When: 1968 to 1978 Where: Russia Why: Detailed the lives of scientists forced to work in a Stalinist research center; presented reactionary nationalism.

Origins Scientific Research Society

By the Blood of the

Sword and the Moon

Religious Conquest of the Old World Morgan V Courage

2010 winter solstice blood moon | nikkorz | cc by 2.0


Th e E arly Ye ar s C h ri stianit y vs Isl am Orthodox Christianity, under the Roman Empire, existed in Asia Minor, Egypt, France, Italy, North Africa, Palestine, Spain, Syria, and the islands of Corsica, Sardinia, and Sicily by 632 CE. Christian communities outside of the empire in Arabia and Persia were destroyed, resulting in the expulsion of Christians and Jews. Within a hundred years, Muslims ruled Asia Minor, Egypt, southern France, Palestine, and Syria. Italy and its associated islands also fell under Muslim rule a century later. By the late 800s, Muslims ruled two-thirds of the Roman Christian world by bloodshed and force. In 1095, Byzantine Emperor Alexis I Komnenos requested Western aide to prevent the Turkish invasion of Anatolia. Byzantium considered Constantinople the second Jerusalem and the centre of Christianity. However, Pope Urban’s speech in 1095 at the Council of Clermont fueled the First Crusade. Hundreds of crusades on various levels of scale plagued the world for 200 years since. The largest wars, Crusades I to VIII, were centered on taking Jerusalem and preserving Christianity from the Muslim dominance. Other smaller European battles were fought against pagans and heretics. Far from being unprovoked, the crusades represent a Christian counterattack against Muslim aggressive attacks since the beginning of Islam. According to documented history, the main focus appears to be Jerusalem. Je rus ale m Jerusalem is one of the oldest cities on Earth, first built around 4000 BCE. The name comes from yeru, meaning “foundation,” and shalem (shalom in Hebrew) meaning “peace”: foundation of peace. Jerusalem fell under Babylonian, Macedonian, Roman, Byzantine, and Sassanid Imperial control up until 638 CE when the Islamic Caliphate extended dominion into Jerusalem, naming it the third holiest city after Mecca and Medina. Until the Crusades, the Jews were under Arab control.

1738 BC Abraham receives a blessing from King Melchizedek of Salem. Pictured here: Abraham and Melchisedek [Dieric Bouts ca. 1465]


People In History - Abraham First Jew and founder of Judaism, the physical and spiritual ancestor of the Jewish people and one of the three patriarchs of Judaism. Pictured here: Abraham and the Angels [Aert de Gelder ca. 1680] currently at Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam, Netherlands.

By the end of the 11th century, chants of “Deus le volt” (God wills it), announced the first Crusade under way to fight Asia Minor, Egypt, and Syria. The First C ru sa de 1095 to 1099 At the Clermont Council, Pope Urban II began the Cluniac Reform movement and excommunicated King Phillip of France for adultery. On November 27, 1095, Pope Urban II’s local speech drew such a large crowd of commoners and local nobility that the papal throne was moved from the cathedral to a field outside of town. At this gathering, the Pope asked all to gather arms and take the Holy Land out of Muslim control, a request initially made by Alexius I. Receiving tremendous response from the military, lords, and ordinary citizens, an armed pilgrimage began wearing a cross to symbolize the Church. Peter the Hermit led a band of knights and commoners before the four armies and destroyed everything in their path fighting through the Byzantine empire before the Turks at Cibotus crushed them. Count Emicho led a group of crusaders that murdered Jews in many towns of Rhineland. The four main armies arrived in Constantinople, swore allegiance to Alexius I and conquered Anatolia, followed by Antioch.

130 AD Rome has conquered Jerusalem and Hadrian renames the city Aelia Capitolina, establishing it as a Roman Colony completed with a temple to the deity Jupiter, as pictured here by a scale model. [hiro-o | cc by-sa 3.0]

866 BC King David of Israel establishes

Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Later it serves as the capital of the Kigdom of Judea.

423 BC King Nebuchadnezar II destroyed

Solomon’s Temple and enslaved many Jews. Later to be rebuilt under King Cyrus the Great of Persia. Pictured here: model of the second temple of Jerusalem at the Israel Museum. [Ariely | CC BY 3..0]

In 1099, the armies reached Jerusalem and camped outside the city, forcing the governor to surrender. Hundreds of men, women and children were slaughtered as they made the victory march into the city. Both Muslims and Jews were banished from Jerusalem. The war was short and many Crusaders returned home. Four large western settlements were established: Jerusalem, Edessa, Antioch and Tripoli. The Sec ond C rusa de 1144 to 1155 Around 1130, the Muslims began a jihad against the Christians. Edessa was captured in 1144 by General Zangi leading to the Second Crusade. King Louis VII of France and King Conrad III of Germany assembled an army of 50,000 in Jerusalem to take the Syrian stronghold Damascus. Nur Origins Scientific Research Society


al-Din, the successor to Zangi, sent aid and the combined Muslim force defeated the Crusaders, adding Damascus to his empire. The Crusaders of Jerusalem started fighting for Cairo. Nur al-Din sent an army led by general Shirkuh to take Cairo. After Cairo fell to the Muslims, Saladin, the nephew of general Shirkuh, campaigned against the Christians. After Nur alDin’s death, Saladin led a major campaign against the Kingdom of Jerusalem. The Crusaders fell at the battle of Hattin and lost Jerusalem. Th e Third C rus ade 11 8 7 to 1 1 9 2 The Third Crusade was born in response to the battle of Hattin with forces led by Emperor Frederick Barbarossa, King Philip II of Spain, and King Richard I of England. Richard I, known as Richard the Lionheart, seized Jaffa and won the battle of Arsuf. Richard I and Saladin signed a peace treaty that re-established the Kingdom of Jerusalem, but not the city. Th e Fourth C rus ade 12 02 to 1 204 Pope Innocent III called the Fourth Crusade against the Byzantine emperor, Alexius III. Alexius IV’s attempt to bring the Byzantine church under Rome failed and ended in his death by strangulation during a palace coup. The Crusaders declared war on Constantinople after Alexius IV’s death. The city, with a thousand years of collected wealth, was ransacked and conquered. Considered a great victory, many returned home to Europe with their plunder. Th e Fifth C rus ade 12 17 to 1 221 Pope Honorius III shared the same Crusade passion as his predecessor Pope Innocent III. He sent letters calling for armies throughout Europe for the Fifth Crusade. Few responded, but a small army gathered and made a way to Acre. King John of Jerusalem knew that attacking the city

of Jerusalem would be pointless with Egypt controlled by Muslims. The Crusaders left for Cairo prioritizing the capture of Damietta, a town near the Nile that guarded the main water route to Cairo with a small tower controlling the Nile channel. They succeeded capturing Damietta and the tower. They waited for more reinforcements before moving into Cairo. Cardinal Pelagius came with troops and became the leader of this Crusade. After skirmishes and cutting the food supply off from Damietta for several months, they succeeded in its capture through an abandoned tower. When the city fell, 80,000 were already dead. Only 3,000 inhabitants were alive when the Crusaders entered the city. After the victory, squabbles among the troops ensued. Much of Egypt was starving while the Sultan awaited the Crusaders’ advance. It came in July with a march of 40,000 soldiers and 5,000 knights into Sharimshah. The army was trapped by the weather and terrain, left with only the option of forced retreat. The knights set fire to the supplies and the soldiers drank all the wine rather than leaving it behind. Al-Kamil ordered the canals to flood the area occupied by the Crusaders. Many perished, unable to fight in a drunken stupor in the mud under a night sky. A truce was made between King John and the Sultan. Damietta was returned to Egypt, prisoners were exchanged, a feast was held, and the Crusaders boarded a ship back to Europe. The True Cross was part of the truce; however, in the fourth year after the fall of Jerusalem, it was unable to be recovered and returned. Back in Europe, fingers of blame pointed everywhere making this the last general European crusade. The Sixth C ru sa de 1228 to 1229 The Sixth Crusade centered around Frederick II. The Kingdom of Jerusalem was without a King, the reagents 14-year-old daughter Yolanda was


The True Cross “True Cross” is the name given to the physical remains of the cross on which Jesus was crucified. This is accepted as a true artifact by Catholic and Orthodox churches. There are four legends about the finding of the true cross. In Life of Constantine, Eusebius of Caesarea describing the cross as buried beneath the Temple of Venus during Hadrian’s reconstruction of Jerusalem. According to Socrates Scholasticus in his Ecclesiastical History, when the temple was destroyed the cross was discovered. Sozomen, in his book titled the same, claims the same story as true with mention of an eastern-dwelling Hebrew who knew which cross belonged to Jesus from a series of documents in his possesion. Theodoret recounts the same classical version of the story with an addition: president Macarius of the city touched each of the crosses until the one of Jesus healed him from his long suffered disease. The Holy Nails in turn were taken by Helena to Constantinople.

Pictured here: Detail of The Finding of the True Cross by Agnolo Gaddi of Florence ca. 1380, currently in Santa Croce, Florence.

made Queen. Frederick II married her, seduced her cousin, and was excommunicated by Pope Gregory when he fell from favor after a couple of delayed departures to the Holy Land. Yolanda gave him an heir, Conrad, but his son died shortly thereafter. When Frederick II arrived in Acre, he was excommunicated a second time by the Pope for leaving without clearing his first excommunication. Many of his followers left him, the Templars and Hospitallers refused him, the Military Orders were

uncooperative, and the barons feared him. Frederick II was in the Holy Land with no power or support, but he managed a treaty with Al-Kamil for the return of Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Nazareth, the castle Montfort, the castle Toron, and a corridor from Jerusalem to Jaffa. The Muslims kept the mosque al-Aqsa, the Dome of the Rock and access to the city. Frederick was blamed for losing the Fifth Crusade, held accountable for breaking his word and vows, defying the Pope and wasting an army; but he Origins Scientific Research Society

crowned himself King of Jerusalem anyway. His self-coronation was not recognized and he returned home, leaving Jerusalem with no defense. After the end of the peace treaty, Jerusalem again fell under the control of the Muslims.

The weapon of choice

during the Crusades was the sword, an item

capable of slashing,

cutting, and piercing through armor.

Crusaders also had

a dagger as a backup in case the

sword was lost

Søren Niedziella & Mate Marschalko | CC BY 2.0

or broken in


The Sev enth C ru sa de 1248 to 1254 The Seventh Crusade, the last major crusade, was spurred by the Sultan of Egypt seizing Damascus and the loss of Christian control over Jerusalem. Louis IX of France, victorious over the English, decided to lead another crusade to the Holy Land. He entrusted the regency with his mother, but took his wife and children with him on his journey. With 40,000 men, he landed and seized in Damietta. The dying Sultan once again offered Jerusalem for Damietta. Louis IX refused and set on a route towards Cairo. At Mansourah, the Crusaders faced disaster and were captured, including the king. Unable to manage the large captured army, the Egyptians decapitated 2,100 of the weakest soldiers. Queen Margaret gave birth to a son, Jean Tristan, in Damietta before fleeing to Acre. King Louis IX was released after paying a ransom of 400,000 pounds. He set sail for Acre leaving wounded soldiers behind (who eventually were slaughtered). He negotiated the return of about 3,000 Christian prisoners and finally returned home to France with universal respect as a brave and fair king. Towards the end of his life, he raised another army and headed East. He died of fever just after a victory at Tunis. The E i g hth a nd Nin th C rus ades 1270 to 1272 Subsequent smaller crusades, which were not backed by Kings or countries, followed. The Crusader rule in Jerusalem only lasted 90 years and left little mark in the city. They built a temple on Temple Mount, as well as a covered market, a hospital, and many churches. The last European presence in Palestine ended in

1291 when Acre fell to the Egyptian force, Mamluks, who campaigned up the Levantine coast until all Crusader possessions were captured. The Crusades were enormously expensive and failed to keep Jerusalem, both city and kingdom, under Christian control. The sword for Jerusalem did not end with the last Crusade. Jerusalem stayed under Egyptian rule until the Ottoman Empire took the city in 1516, holding it until 1917. The British occupied the city during World War I until 1923 when it became the capital of Palestine. In 1948, the United Nations called for the internationalization of the city. Refused by the Arabs, the city was divided into an Israeli sector and Jordanian sector. In 1967, after the six day war, the city of Jerusalem was united and remains so today. On whose land does Jerusalem sit? Has the final sword determined peace and ownership? Benjamin Netanyahu says it is Israeli land, due to the continuous Jewsish presence for 3,300 years. In 1312 BCE, Israel became a nation 2,000 years before the rise of Islam, and had dominion over the land for 1,000 years. Jerusalem has always been the capital for the Jews and never for the Arab nations. Mohammed never came to the city and it is not mentioned in the Koran. The Tenuch refers to Jerusalem 700 times. When Jordan ruled, Jewish holy sites were desecrated and the Jews were denied access to places of worship. However, when Israeli rules, all Muslim and Christian sites are preserved and accessible to all. The Israeli government guarantees religious freedom and protection of all holy places. The Palestine Liberation Organization Charter calls for the destruction of the State of Israel, yet Israel gave the Palestinians most of the West Bank and autonomy under Palestinian Authority of Jordan. Sadly, the United Nations (UN) sat silent while 58 Jerusalem Synagogues were destroyed; the ancient Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives

Between one and

three million


are estimated to

have died during the

Crusades, making the religious conquest the

25th most deadliest war of all time during the

11th and 13th centuries.


was systematically desecrated when tombstones were used to build the walls of public latrines; the Jordanians enforced a policy preventing Jews from visiting the Temple Mount and the Western Wall; and the Palestinian Authority or Jordan is not condemned for executing any Arab that sells property to a Jew. Je r us a le m To d ay Jerusalem is the holiest city on Earth, sacred to 15 million Jews, 2.1 billion Christians and 1.5 billion Muslims-nearly half the world’s population. After 118 conflicts, 44 conquers, 23 besieges and 11 religious transfers, it has only changed hands peacefully twice in 4000 years (equal to the amount of times it was destroyed).

What is the future? The Holy Bible, referred to by believers as love letters from God to His children on Earth, speak of signs and wonders. Usually manifestations of signs and wonders are on Earth, but some signs light up the heavens with messages. In the Old Testament, Joel 2:30-31 says: “I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and billows of smoke. The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.” Acts 2:19-20, in the New Testament, says: “And I will show wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and notable day of the Lord come.”

First Blood Moon of the year during the total lunar eclipse, 15-16 April 2014. Photo by Linda Tanner | CC BY 2.0


Significant signs in relation to Jewish holidays have occurred with pronounced historical events. A pattern of four blood moons over Jewish holidays passed with life changing events in history. A blood moon is created by a partial lunar eclipse. When the Earth’s shadow covers the moon partially, the earth’s atmosphere bends light around its edge scattering out shorter-wavelength light (green through violet), leaving longer-wavelength light (red, orange, and yellow) in the Earth’s shadow. The colour is a shade of red giving the term blood moon. Comparing NASA data with blood moons on Jewish holidays, a tetrad (four) of blood moons have occurred seven times since 1 CE. Four occurrences are connected with significant days in Jewish history. They are: 1492, 1948, 1967 and 2014. In 1492, Spain’s King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella’s Edict of Expulsion gave the Jews 14 days to convert to Catholicism or leave Spain. Those that did not leave or convert were killed and all their property was seized by the church. Those that did flee gave Christopher Columbus, an Italian Jew, money to find them a new home: America.

1st Blood Moon: Passover Apr. 2, 1493 2nd Blood Moon: Sukkoth, Sep. 25, 1493 3rd Blood Mood: Passover Mar. 22, 1494 4th Blood Moon: Sukkoth Sep. 15, 1494 After the horror of Germany’s holocaust in 1948, the War of Independence established the State of Israel as declared by David Ben-Gurion. Eleven minutes later, it was recognized by US President Harry S. Truman. Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, and Iraq invaded shortly after, claiming over 6,000 Israeli lives. On May, 11, 1949, Israel took its seat as the 59th member of the United Nations.

1st Blood Moon: Passover Apr. 13, 1949 2nd Blood Moon: Sukkoth Oct. 7, 1949 3rd Blood Mood: Passover Apr. 2, 1950 4th Blood Moon: Sukkoth Sep. 26, 1950 In 1967, The Six Day War started when six Arab armies attacked Israel on Yom Kappur. Israel had

miracle victory after victory, ultimately bringing the unification of Jerusalem and uniting with Israel.

1st Blood Moon: Passover Apr. 24, 1967 2nd Blood Moon: Sukkoth Oct. 18, 1967 3rd Blood Mood: Passover Apr. 13, 1968 4th Blood Moon: Sukkoth Oct. 6, 1968 According to the Jews, an eclipse of the moon is a bad omen for the Jewish people, but a solar eclipse is a bad omen for the Gentile nations. This tetrad pattern starts in tears and ends in victory for the Jews. The other four dates with the tetrad pattern of lunar eclipses over Jewish holidays are 162/163, coinciding with the Roman Empire’s worst persecution of Jews and Christians when Antonine Plague killed eight million people within 3 years; 795/796, King Charlemagne of the Holy Roman Empire established a demilitarized zone between France and Spain, ending the Arab invasions into Western Europe; 842/843 CE, the Vatican was attacked and looted by an Islamic invasion from Africa shortly after this tetrad; and 860/861, the Byzantine Empire defeated Arab armies at the Battle of Lalakaon in Turkey and permanently stopped the Islamic invasion of Eastern Europe. The pattern for 2014 is:

1st Blood Moon: Passover Apr. 15, 2014 2nd Blood Moon: Sukkot Oct. 8, 2014 Eclipse Sun: Nisan 1 on Mar. 20, 2015 3rd Blood Mood: Passover Apr. 4, 2015 4th Blood Moon: Sukkot Sep. 28, 2015 Pastor John Hagee and Pastor Mark Blitz believe these are signs that signify a warning to the whole world something devastating will happen. The Jewish Talmud says: “When the moon is in eclipse, it is a bad omen for Israel. If its face is as red as blood, the sword is coming to the world.” A Lunar Eclipse is bad omen for the Jewish people and Israel; a Blood Moon is a sword coming; and a Solar Eclipse is a bad omen for the world. The pattern is not coincidence. While the UN sits in silence over Jerusalem and the Jews, does the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob? u Origins Scientific Research Society

Hermann Gรถll, 1876. | PD-US

The Fate of the Library of Alexandria - Margaret Smith -


The famous Library of Alexandria (located in Alexandria, Egypt) has captured the interest of people for hundreds of years across the world. The Library was said to be home to thousands of scrolls and books; a center of learning unlike any other in the world. It was thought to be a library filled with knowledge from various Old World cultures which were translated over time to Greek. Unfortunately the library faced destruction hundreds of years after it was built. The Library and the knowledge within were burned, leaving only ashes as a distant memory. How did such a great library meet this catastrophic fate? In Agora Hollywood, of course, has tried to answer this question for us. According to the movie Agora (2009; Alejandro Amenábar), the Library was sacked and burned down by a mob of Christians. In the movie, a group of Christians gathered within the agora to mock the Pagans’ gods. In order to answer this insult, a group of pagans marched into the agora and killed any Christian found. Bloodshed ensued, but the pagans were soon outnumbered and driven back to the Library of Alexandria, where they barred the gates to wait for the Roman troops to come and restore order. Emperor Theodosius was a Christian, and under his decree the pagans would be forgiven as long as they turned the Library over to the Christians at their will. The pagans were to be banned henceforth from entering the Library. As the pagans fled out the back gate of the Library with whatever they could carry, the Christians began flooding into the library and destroying whatever was left in their path. Once the mob settled down, almost all the scrolls within the library had been burned and the statues vandalized. In order to make use of the now empty library, the Christians set up a place of worship and stored livestock within the now vacant rooms. Although this makes for a very entertaining movie, is this truly what happened to the Library of Alexandria? I n H i s to ry Truthfully, Hollywood could possibly be right on this one. Unfortunately, no one really knows.

torically, there are multiple accounts of the series of events that lead up to burning of the Library of Alexandria. To make matters even more confusing, there are actually two libraries of Alexandria. The first library was built sometime between 300290 BCE by Ptolemy I and was referred to as the “Mother.” Later, sometime before 200 BCE, another library was built in Alexandria and was referred to as the “Daughter” library. Modern literature rarely distinguishes the two. If that is not already an indication as to how convoluted the history is...these multiple accounts do not even have a defined time frame. Not only is it unclear when the Library burned down, but which library, the location of the library, and who did the burning are mysteries (if a library called Alexandria ever burned down at all). Due to a series of earthquakes and floods in the North East section of the city of Alexandria, the Library may also have been destroyed by nature, obscuring any possible archaeology. This makes it difficult for researchers and archaeologists to discover new information, and limits what evidence can be compared to the various historic accounts. Three hypotheses on who burned down the Library of Alexandria include Julius Caesar, Theodosius, and Caliph Omar. We know that Julius Caesar visited the city in 48 BCE while at war. The area managed to separate his fleet of ships and in order to win a battle, Julius had to burn down the Egyptian fleet which was blocking him from continuing. The fire managed to win Julius the battle, but it had unexpectedly spread, burning down parts of the city (including, possibly, the Library). In another story, Theophilus the Great was in the process of converting all of the Roman Empire to Christianity. In 391 CE, he burned down and sacked the Library of Alexandria. Knowing that the Library contained works from cultures and religions which would oppose his faith, he had the Pagan temple within the Daughter Library converted into a Christian Church. According to different accounts, Theophilus, who was the patriarch of the city of Alexandria, appealed to the Emperor Theodosius to lend his support in driving out the


Screen capture of Hypatia holding scrolls from the Library in the 2009 film Agora.

“The Burning of the Library at Alexandria in 391 AD” Illustration of the lithograph from Hutchinsons History of the Nations ca. 1910 by Robert Ambrose Dudley (1867-1951) | The Bridgeman Art Library (Object 357910). Origins Scientific Research Society


Pagans from the Library. Caliph Omar, another possible culprit, was one of the generals leading a Muslim army through Egypt during the seventh century in order to expand their empire. While marching through Egypt, Caliph Omar heard of a great library which contained knowledge and books from all over the world. Omar became concerned and decided to have all of it burned because any books which had different information from what was in the Koran would be wrong. W h at R e a l ly H a p p e n e d

to t h e


No one really knows what happened to the Library of Alexandria. Scholars are split between which story truly happened. Historic literary sources are vague, biased, and possibly false, making it difficult to determine which ones hold the right information. Unfortunately, archaeology has not been able to render new information as of yet. It could be Hollywood is right on this one. Within the movie Agora, they stick to the story of Theophilus and Theodosius being responsible for burning the library. However, as presented here, there are two other stories which are also plausible. Some scholars even think the Library never really burned, or that the Library may have experienced multiple sackings and burnings over time. Since none of these accounts can be confirmed completely, due to conflicting literary sources and in part to a lack of archaeological evidence, it is up to the individual to form their own opinion based on the data. u Pictured: ISS025-E-009858 (28 Oct. 2010) --From 220 miles above Earth, one of the Expedition 25 crew members on the International Space Station took this night time photo featuring the bright lights of Cairo and Alexandria, Egypt on the Mediterranean coast. The Nile River and its delta stand out clearly as well. On the horizon, the airglow of the atmosphere is seen across the Mediterranean. The Sinai Peninsula, at right, is outlined with lights highlighting the Gulf of Suez and Gulf of Aqaba.


NASA/JSC PAO Web Team/Amiko Kauderer

Origins Scientific Research Society

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