Have you ever wondered why we use the heart shape as a symbol of love? Anyone who has ever seen a real heart can tell you that this doesn't really look like this ♥.
So what is the history behind this iconic Valentine's Day symbol?
It all started in the ancient Greek city of Cyrene which is now part of modern-day Libya.
Cyrene was a beautiful and wealthy city; whose prosperity came from the cultivation of the medicinal herb silphium. The seeds of this plant had the shape of what we know as a heart, like, but not related to, that of the lamprocapnos spectabilis plant depicted below. Lamprocapnos spectabilis is not extinct, and can be seen in gardens today.
Below are dried silphium perfoliatum seeds, photographed by K.R. Robertson, Illinois Natural History Survey.
The plant had many uses, the most popular of which was as one of the earliest forms of birth control and abortion induction. It was one of the first known "morning after pills," referred to by the Roman poet Catullus as the cure for "the madness of love."
The popularity of and demand for the silphium made Cyrene wealthy. It was so important to their local economy, that they began printing it on their money. Archaeologists have found silver coins from the 6th century B.C.E. like these, which depict the heart-shaped seed:
There are also various depictions of happy Greek women holding what appears to be little hearts, but they were really the silphium seeds that allowed them to control their own fertility. With the export of silphium, the “free love” movement spread to other cultures who would later associate the heart symbol with sex and romantic love. The plant, which is related to fennel, became extinct due to over cultivation.
Don’t you just ♥ history?
For more on the origin of Valentine’s Day, check out this post.
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.
I hope everyone is having a good spring so far! I've not been very active on online lately because I have been busy working with a local historical society and museum. Sadly, they have found themselves deep in debt and on the verge of closing, so I'm doing what I can to help them stay open and protect their collection. I also have a dig scheduled for this July, so my summer looks to be pretty packed with some "mainstream" day job stuff. Rest assured, I'm still here researching behind the scenes and responding to emails when I can. If you need to reach me, email is best:
I'll be speaking with Solaris Blueraven LIVE tonight at 12 Midnight EST/09:00 P.M. PST on Hyperspace at KCOR Digital Radio Network. Be sure to tune in! We'll be talking about a range of topics from the dark history beneath Pizzagate, to the latest string of NASA annoucements. Can't wait to spend my Friday night with you! :)
NASA announces exoplanets, 3 of which are in the “Goldilocks zone,” the region around a star that has just the right conditions to for extraterrestrial life.
“If one of these planets hosts life and the adjacent one doesn't, why not?” asks Sarah Ballard, an astronomer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge.
Seven Earth-sized worlds have been located just 12 parsecs (39 light years) from Earth. According to NASA, astronomers have found other seven-planet systems before, but this is the first to have so many potentially habitable Earth-sized worlds. All of them orbit at the right distance to possibly have liquid water somewhere on their surfaces.
“This is a Rosetta stone with seven different languages — seven different planets that can provide us with completely different perspectives on planet formation,” adds team member Julien de Wit, a data scientist at MIT.
You can read more in the journal Nature.
NASA has put out a public call for help in locating "mysterious and as-yet undiscovered Planet 9," which astronomers think may be "the most distant planet in our solar system." The new website, Backyard Worlds: Planet 9, lets people search footage captured by the agency's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) mission a few years ago. The footage shows objects gradually moving across the sky. "There are too many images for us to search through by ourselves," NASA said. They have even offered to share credit for the discovery.
Astronomers believe that the planet exists because of strange orbits of other distant objects that spin beyond Neptune. If Planet 9, also known as Planet X, is there and is as bright as some predictions, they believe it could show up in the WISE movies taken in 2010 and 2011. Pluto used to be the ninth planet before its demotion to dwarf planet status 10 years ago. This is why they are looking for what is now referred to as "Planet 9."
"There are just over four light-years between Neptune and Proxima Centauri, the nearest star, and much of this vast territory is unexplored," said lead researcher Marc Kuchner, an astrophysicist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. Planet 9 could have a mass about 10 times that of Earth and an orbit about 20 times farther from the sun, on average, than Neptune, NASA said. It may take between 10,000 and 20,000 Earth years to make one full orbit around the sun, NASA suspects.
So how about it? Are you in? Would you want to be credited by NASA as "finding" Planet X? Is this a legitimate plea for help from a new populous focused NASA, a PR stunt, conditioning, or a psyop?
As most of you know, there are a lot of wild things going on in the world right now. Years ago, when I started my quest for truth about ancient mysteries, I was in a very different mindset. My fascination with these topics started when I was young but in a way so seemed the rest of the world. It was a simpler time; a time when Time Life’s Mysteries of the Unknown series could still beguile and provoke the curious of all ages. Stemming from the fascination of my youth, I’ve spent my studies trying to locate any credible or new information about these so-called mysteries of the unknown. Sadly, while trying to find El Dorado, uncover the secrets of Stonehenge, or the mysteries beneath the Sphinx and Giza Pyramids, (of which there are many and soon they will be revealed), I have lost some level of innocence. The more I research and the more I speak to people around the world, I have found that these mysteries are not necessarily all still unsolved because someone hasn’t simply “discovered” some new data or missing piece of the puzzle. No. The truth is, some of humanity’s greatest mysteries have either already been solved then hidden from the public, or are currently being researched by an elite few chosen people, usually backed by multi-national corporations.
Many of you have been on this journey with me and may remember in older interviews I seemed skeptical of many of the theories presented by either the host or their callers. I can now say with great certainty that I have seen behind the veil. As a result, I’ve had to take a step back and gather myself. Finding out how deep the rabbit hole actually goes was jarring. While I am still fascinated by ancient sites and civilizations, I now see them through what academia refers to as a different “lens.” This new lens is both a blessing and a curse. It is like eating from the tree of knowledge, only to realize you can never go back to the innocence lost. The more your research “alternative” history and alt-arch, the more you realize that we are indeed living in a simulated universe. Who are the engineers?
This has been a roller-coaster ride, but no one ever said “waking up” was easy. Now, with all of the geopolitical changes we are facing, I feel it is more important than ever before to ramp up research into some of the most pressing issues today. What significant role can a historian play in the analysis of topics such as the Mandela Effect, Aliens, Moon Landings, Underground Bases, Geoengineering, etc.? Let’s just say, you are about to find out. As the French poet Jacques Yonnet once said, “A historian is a kind detective in search of the fact — remote or otherwise - that brings to a set of events apparently unconnected with each other, the link that unites them, their justification, their logic."1
1 Jacques Yonnet, Rue des Maléfices: Chronique Secrète d'une Ville (Paris: Libretto, 2012).
Hello everyone! Wow...2017 is off to an interesting start, isn’t it? There is a lot to do this year. The world is on fire and so many things are happening. Now, more than ever, we need to secure the history of our world and its peoples. We need to prevent our true past from becoming “alternative facts.” In order to do this, we must first uncover the hidden truth about human origins. This will be my primary focus in 2017. Over most of 2016, I have been on a bit of a sabbatical. I postponed the release of my new book, Evil Archaeology, for reasons I will explain in more detail in an upcoming blog post. Aside from that, I have been working on a book that I felt needed to come first, The Anunnaki Connection: From Human Origins to Armageddon.
Throughout 2016, I uncovered information about the Anunnaki that has, for lack of better term, ‘blown my mind.’ As many of you know, I have been a bit reluctant to fully embrace the idea of Anunnaki. I have been open to the idea, but pretty skeptical. The longer I have been on this quest for truth about who we are and why the elites are hell-bent on hiding and revising our history, the more I have seen evidence to support that there is more to these ideas than simply mythologies. In my research, I have found that the story of the Anunnaki is not limited to the Near East. There are connections throughout all of the ancient civilizations of the world, especially in Mesoamerica. This is why I will be travelling to Mexico in November. Anyone interested in joining me on this expedition is more than welcome. I will post more about this later, as well.
These ancient Anunnaki connections are like a system of cryptography which will reveal an ancient message. Once understood, this message has the power to either liberate or enslave humanity, depending on the intentions of those who decipher this ancient code. The elites believe they know the secrets of antiquity, but they only have bits and pieces of the story. There are many gaps, and in these gaps it is easy for opportunists to exploit and peddle disinformation. Hence, I will be working double-time to uncover everything I can and bring it to light. Remember: The secret of freedom lies in educating people, whereas the secret of tyranny is in keeping them ignorant. (Maximilien Robespierre)
Yours in the Quest,
Hi everyone! I am in the process of updating my website and with that comes a new blog. Check back for more! In the meantime, check out the new Archaeology Newsfeed.
As with many modern holidays, it is widely theorized by scholars that the true origins of Valentine’s Day is actually steeped in a very ancient Roman pastoral fertility festival, observed on February 13 through 15. The festival was called Lupercalia.
The belief was that the goddess Juno Februata (where the name February comes from) inflicted her "love fever" on the youth. Lupercalia “festivities” involved an orgy and sexual excesses, the sacrifice of goats and dogs, and the burning of salt meal-cakes prepared by the Vestal Virgins. Young men would randomly pick love notes of eligible young women from a container, after which they would try to guess who wrote the notes. Another practice was to smear the foreheads of youths with the blood of a sacrificed dog and goat and send them off with a priest around the perimeter of the city, whipping women along the way with strips of the goat’s skin. This act was to protect the women from infertility.
For years the Christian church tried to suppress the festival of Lupercalia. Pope Gelasius changed Lupercalia from the 15th to the 14th and renamed it after the legendary St. Valentine in an attempt to redefine the pagan celebration. Even after the church replaced Lupercus with St. Valentine, the Lupercalia festival continued relatively unchanged except for the sexual excesses.
Though much has changed since the days of Lupercalia, in elementary schools across the country, children still put concealed notes in a box much as the ancient Romans did. Some traditions are well worth keeping!
*Originally posted on Blogger. For more 2013-2015 blog archives, click here.