Millions of Egyptian mummified dogs discovered

This video says about itself:

Why ancient Egyptians mummified 8 million dogs found in Anubis ‘God of Death’ mass grave

22 June 2015

In ancient Egypt, so many people worshiped Anubis, the jackal-headed god of death, that the catacombs next to his sacred temple once held nearly 8 million mummified puppies and grown dogs, a new study finds.

By James Gerken:

Millions Of Mummified Dogs Discovered In Ancient Egyptian Catacombs

06/22/2015 3:59 pm EDT

Ancient Egyptians are well-known for having worshipped animals, and archaeologists are used to unearthing nonhuman mummies. But a recent investigation in an ancient tomb south of Cairo led to a find of amazing proportions: an estimated 8 million mummified dogs that have been underground for more than 2,000 years.

Researchers from Cardiff University in Wales chronicle their discovery in a study published this month in the journal Antiquity.

The researchers found the remains within the catacombs of a temple dedicated to the jackal-headed god Anubis, in a burial ground called Saqqara. The center passageway is about 568 feet long and side corridors make the tomb up to 459 feet wide, according to Live Science. Many of the mummified canines have disintegrated or been removed by grave robbers.

“It would be quite difficult to easily find complete, nicely wrapped mummies,” Cardiff University archaeology professor and lead researcher Paul Nicholson told CNN. “What you have got is the decayed remains of the mummies.”

The archaeologists examined the number of mummies in a portion of the catacombs and used that count to estimate how many likely filled the tomb.

The tomb, which was likely built in the fourth century B.C., was first discovered in the 19th century, but archaeologists had no idea how many mummies it housed until this latest discovery. Researchers also found the remains of jackals, foxes and several falcons, The Independent reported.

The surrounding area was quite busy in antiquity, according to the researchers. The temples brought economic activity from visitors, merchants and breeders who raised dogs to be mummified for the Anubis temple.

“It would have been a busy place,” Nicholson told Live Science. “A permanent community of people living there supported by the animal cults.”

British government’s illegal spying on human rights organisations

This video says about itself:

Wire Transfer: NSA paid $150 mln to GCHQ to spy on UK citizens

2 August 2013

Snowden‘s leaks continue to span the Atlantic. The latest revelations published by the Guardian show not only was Britain’s Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) spying extensively on UK citizens – but it was receiving funds from Washington to do so.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Tribunal finds GCHQ spied illegally on rights groups

Tuesday 23rd June 2015

BRITISH intelligence agency GCHQ illegally spied on two human rights organisations, a tribunal found yesterday.

The organisation was found to have acted unlawfully in the way it intercepted private communications of the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights and the Legal Resources Centre in South Africa.

GCHQ even breached is own confidential internal policies on the interception, examination and retention of emails from the two organisations, thereby violating their rights under article eight of the Human Rights Act, the Investigatory Powers Tribunal found.

James Welch, legal director of Liberty, one of several national human rights groups that brought the action against GCHQ, said: “Last year, it was revealed that GCHQ were eavesdropping on sacrosanct lawyer-client conversations.

“Now we learn they’ve been spying on human rights groups.

“What kind of signal are British authorities sending to despotic regimes and those who risk their lives to challenge them all over the world? Who is being casual with human life now?”

German government arrests journalist on behalf of Egyptian dictatorship

This video from Germany says about itself:

Germany: Protesters demand Germany release Al Jazeera reporter Ahmed Mansour

21 June 2015

Protesters gathered outside Berlin’s State Criminal Police Office in Berlin, Sunday, to demonstrate against the detention there of Al Jazeera journalist Ahmed Mansour.

The protesters also demonstrated against incumbent Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and the 2013 Egyptian government coup. Two of Mansour’s lawyers, Patrick Teubner and Fazli Altin, were also present. Teubner said German authorities had arrested Mansour despite Interpol rejecting an international arrest warrant that had been issued by the Egyptian authorities. “In this respect there are still unanswered questions,” the lawyer said.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Germany: Journalist held on Egyptian warrant

Monday 22nd June 2015

PROTESTERS called for the release of al-Jazeera journalist Ahmed Mansour yesterday after German authorities arrested him on an Egyptian warrant.

Egyptian-British Mr Mansour, a senior journalist with the Qatar-based broadcaster’s Arabic service, was detained at Tegel airport in Berlin on Saturday while trying to board a Qatar Airways flight to Doha.

He had previously been sentenced in absentia to 15 years in prison in Egypt for allegedly torturing an unnamed lawyer in Tahrir Square in 2011, a charge both he and al-Jazeera rejected.

“During the course of the day there will be several meetings and of course there can be at any time also a decision to set him free again,” said Berlin Prosecutor’s Office spokesman Martin Steltner.

In a video posted on Facebook, Mr Mansour criticised German authorities for detaining him on behalf of Egypt.

This video says about itself:

Germany: arrested Al Jazeera journalist expecting to face extradition judge

21 June 2015

A high-profile Al Jazeera journalist, arrested in Germany at the request of Egypt, says he is surprised about his detention.

Ahmed Mansour, who is a leading talk show host on the channel’s Arabic service, is expecting to face a judge who will decide on whether he should be extradited.

Cairo’s criminal court sentenced the journalist to 15 years in prison in absentia last year.

By Alex Lantier:

Germany arrests Al Jazeera journalist on warrant issued by Egyptian junta

22 June 2015

In an unprecedented move, the German government on Saturday detained senior Al Jazeera journalist Ahmed Mansour on the basis of an arrest warrant issued by the bloody regime of Egyptian military strongman Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

Mansour was arrested at Tegel airport in Berlin. He was taken from court to prison in the Moabit district on Sunday, according to Berlin court spokesman Martin Steltner. “Today’s meeting was about formalities,” Steltner said, adding that “next week there will be an assessment regarding the validity of the warrant.”

On Monday, German courts will begin examining a request from the Sisi regime to extradite Mansour to Cairo, according to Mansour’s lawyer, Fazli Altin. Mansour, a dual British-Egyptian national, is receiving consular advice from British authorities.

“This case has clearly taken on a political dimension, and there are currently lots of background talks and various consulates are also involved,” said Patrick Teubner, a second lawyer for Mansour.

By honoring an arrest warrant issued by the Sisi junta, which has shot thousands in the streets of Egypt after launching a coup two years ago against Islamist President Mohamed Mursi, Berlin is endorsing the Egyptian junta and its frame-ups of journalists. It is a naked assault on freedom of the press and fundamental democratic rights.

This persecution of a journalist at the behest of a blood-soaked regime comes only months after German Chancellor Angela Merkel marched with other European leaders in Paris and proclaimed their devotion to freedom of the press and the rights of journalists following the attack on the anti-Islamic, racist French magazine Charlie Hebdo.

Dozens of protesters, including many Egyptians, gathered outside the Berlin court yesterday to protest Mansour’s arrest.

Last year, Egyptian courts imprisoned three journalists from Al Jazeera, a news channel based in Qatar, whose government is aligned with Mursi’s Muslim Brotherhood (MB). The journalists were jailed on charges of acting to discredit the Sisi junta.

Correspondent Peter Greste, Cairo Bureau Chief Mohamed Fahmy, and news producer Baher Mohamed received prison terms of seven to ten years, though prosecutors provided no probative evidence against them. Prosecution witnesses contradicted prosecutors’ claims and suggested they had tampered with evidence. The trial attracted international condemnation and Cairo ultimately released Greste in February.

So noxious is the stench of criminality and blood that hangs over the Sisi junta, the international police agency Interpol refused to honor its request last year for a warrant against Mansour. In October, Interpol declared that the Sisi junta’s warrant request against Mansour “did not meet Interpol’s rules.”

In a statement issued Saturday, Mansour declared, “I informed [the German police] that the global police organization has rejected Egypt’s request and that I have this document from Interpol to prove that I am not wanted in any charge. I also told them that all the cases that were filed against me in Egypt were fabricated. They, however, insisted on holding me in their detention center for investigation. They told me that they will transfer me to face an investigating judge, who will determine my case.”

The accusations against Mansour are manifestly as baseless as those against Greste, Fahmy and Mohamed. Egyptian Foreign Minister Badr Abdelattie told the Associated Press that Egyptian judicial authorities, including the chief prosecutor in Cairo, were in contact with German authorities and are still trying to decide what charges to bring against Mansour. However, they apparently include claims that Mansour “harmed the reputation of Egypt massively” by his coverage, and that he tortured an unidentified lawyer during mass protests in 2011.

“It’s unacceptable for freedom of the press and embarrassing for Germany that Mansour is being held here on these clearly political allegations,” said Mansour’s lawyer, Altin.

The German government’s decision to act on politically-tainted allegations is an infamous act. Its arrest of a journalist—based on accusations of harming the reputation of a junta that massacres unarmed protesters and tortures thousands of political prisoners—amounts to outright censorship. If Mansour is deported to Egypt, he will undoubtedly face a long a prison term, or even a death sentence.

Media organizations denounced the jailing of Mansour. Reporters Without Borders issued a statement calling the detention “Egypt’s terrible revenge against journalists that cross the regime,” and warning that if Berlin decides to extradite Mansour, “it will be putting itself at the service of a dictatorial regime and will dishonor itself.”

Al Jazeera Acting Director General Mostefa Souag declared, “The crackdown on journalists by Egyptian authorities is well known. Our network, as the Arab world’s most watched, has taken the brunt of this. Other countries must not allow themselves to be tools of this media oppression, least of all those that respect freedom of the media as does Germany.”

Like Washington, the European financial aristocracy supports the Sisi junta, which they see as the only force capable of suppressing the revolutionary struggles of the Egyptian working class that broke out in 2011. Earlier this month, Sisi traveled to Berlin, where he was showered with honors and tens of billions of euros in defense contracts and business deals. (See: Al-Sisi in Berlin: Red carpet for the hangman of Cairo) He was similarly received in earlier visits to Paris and Rome.

The arrest of Mansour marks, nonetheless, an escalation in the brazenness of the European Union (EU) powers’ support for the Sisi regime.

It is a calculated signal sent by Berlin that it is ready to publicly collaborate with repressive measures by military dictatorships taken, as in Egypt, to muzzle the press and crush opposition in the working class—despite popular opposition in Europe itself.

One of the intended recipients of this message is doubtless the Greek premier, Alexis Tsipras. He is currently seeking to renegotiate austerity measures demanded by Berlin and the EU, which are threatening to cut off credit to Greece and drive it into bankruptcy, though at the risk of provoking a new global financial meltdown and the possible disintegration of the EU itself.

Greece was ruled from 1967 to 1974 by the junta of the colonels, which came to power in a CIA-backed coup and employed mass torture and murder to suppress popular opposition.

If Berlin is capable of working so openly with the Egyptian junta, it will have no difficulty making arrangements with a new Greek military junta imposed to enforce austerity on the working class. Tsipras can see what his intended fate would be in such a scenario by looking south across the Mediterranean to Egypt, where Mursi is in jail on trumped-up charges, facing multiple death sentences.

AL-JAZEERA journalist Ahmed Mansour who was detained in Germany on Saturday on an Egyptian arrest warrant, was released from custody yesterday. Berlin prosecutors’ office spokesman Stefan Stoehr confirmed that Mr Mansour “is free,” but he was unable to provide any more details: here.

The German elites are electrified by the “effectiveness” of the Egyptian military dictatorship, which drowned the Egyptian revolution in blood and is now striving to create “attractive” conditions of exploitation for international finance capital: here.

Neglected Egyptian influences on ancient Rome

Roman obelisque, showing a pharaoh with a Roman helmetTranslated from Leiden university in the Netherlands:

Ancient Roman culture more multicultural than thought

The ancient Roman material culture appears to be influenced more by other cultures than was previously assumed. In Rome plenty of elements such as images of Egyptian pharaohs were integrated, says archaeologist Marike van Aerde. PhD ceremony April 23rd.

Multiculturalism was normal

From the Romans from the period of Emperor Augustus (27 BC -14 AD) it was already known that they took elements of Greek and Hellenistic culture. They did this for instance in pottery, jewelry and buildings. The study by Marike van Aerde show that they did this also with aspects of Egyptian culture.

Van Aerde: “They did not only take these elements, they really integrated them.” Eg, Van Aerde found a picture of a pharaoh with a Roman helmet on an obelisk made in Rome. “This integration demonstrates that multiculturalism in Augustan Rome was normal. Egypt was from 30 BC on a Roman province, but the Roman material culture did not treat the Egyptian culture as inferior.”

Illegible hieroglyphics

Van Aerde analyzed nearly two hundred objects unearthed in Rome like pottery and jewelry. Much of this came from museums, including the British Museum. The archaeologist also participated in excavations. She also looked at public monuments and murals. She found many Egyptian figurative scenes and architectural and decorative elements. She found at the Sallustiano obelisk previously undiscovered illegible hieroglyphics. “This was actually a strange multicultural mix, but it did not surprise the Romans probably. They used Egyptian influences as a way to enhance their status. It improved one’s status to be multicultural.”

Terracotta panel depicting the Egyptian goddess Isis and two sphinxes, in a Roman-Hellenistic style

Museums move objects

Roman glass depicting an Egyptian head. Copyright the Trustees of The British MuseumSome Roman objects looked at first sight so Egyptian that people thought that the Romans had taken them from Egypt, Van Aerde says. She included an analysis of a number of fragments of Roman cameo glass, which consist of two or more layers in contrasting colors. They proved to be of Roman manufacture and date from the Augustan period. Van Aerde “Some museums have on these insights moved these objects from the Egyptian to the Roman departments. A perspective shift is needed. We are used to stick a label on everything: this is Greek, this is Roman, this is Egyptian. My research shows that one cannot always make such a distinction.”

(April 23, 2015 – CR)