CAIRO (Reuters) – As Islamic State loses ground in Iraq and Syria, the Sunni militant group which once held territory amounting to a third of those countries is turning to sabotage to ensure its enemies cannot benefit from its losses.
As the Syrian army and allied militias advanced under heavy Russian air cover on the ancient city of Palmyra three weeks ago, Islamic State leaders ordered fighters to destroy oil and gas fields.”It is the duty of mujahideen today to expand operations targeting economic assets of the infidel regimes in order to deprive crusader and apostate governments of resources,” an article in the group’s online weekly magazine al-Nabaa said.
The strategy poses a double challenge to Baghdad and Damascus, depriving their governments of income and making it harder to provide services and gain popular support in devastated areas recaptured from the militants.The March 2 article said operations by Islamic State in the area around Palmyra “prove the massive effect that strikes aimed at the infidels’ economy have, confusing them and drawing them … into battles they are not ready for.”It’s not just oil wells the group has targeted.
Twice in the last two years it has taken over Palmyra, about 200 km (130 miles) northeast of Damascus, and both times destroyed priceless antiquities before being driven out.
The picture may look like a photograph, but it’s actually the digital facial reconstruction of a male skeleton buried in the 13th century.The remains of the man — dubbed Context 958 by researchers — were uncovered when one of the largest medieval hospital graveyards in Britain was discovered and later excavated between 2010 and 2012.
To hear the Romans tell it, the arrival of Huns at the empire’s border was an unmitigated catastrophe.“The Huns in multitude break forth with might and wrath … spreading dismay and loss,” read a poem engraved on a wall in ancient Constantinople.
“And naught but loss of life and breath their course shall ever stay.”The nomadic Huns, who ranged across Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia, were called “treacherous,” “scarcely human,” “the scourge of all lands.” Historical accounts, many of them written long after the wars with the Huns were over, blamed them for the fall of Rome and the Dark Ages that followed.It’s certainly true that the Huns’ military campaign cut the Roman Empire to its core.
But Susanne Hakenbeck, an archaeologist at the University of Cambridge, was suspicious of accounts by the bitter losers. “The way they write about them is really cliched,” she said. “They say, ‘they look like animals,’ ‘none of what they do is civilized,’ ‘they’re all terrible.’
And I just thought, how can this be true? There’s so much obvious bias in these sources. What was really going on?”To answer that question, Hakenbeck went straight to the source: She examined the bones of the Huns themselves.
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If you’d like to be mummified when you die, you can contact an organization in Salt Lake City, Utah, to arrange the procedure for around $70,000. Pets are cheaper, around $4,000 for an animal under 15 pounds.
It’s expensive partially because mummification is pretty rare these days. But for thousands of years, people preserved the remains of their dead as mummies. This was especially true in places with hot and dry climates, like parts of ancient Peru and Egypt.
Now, a special exhibit that’s on display at the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) in New York allows people to see 18 of those mummies in person, some of which have not been seen since Chicago’s World Fair over 100 years ago.
In the exhibit, on tour from the collections of Chicago’s Field Museum, technology like computerized tomography (CT) scans allows visitors to see what the insides of these mummies are like for the first time. This technology allows visitors to see “who they were, what their lives were like, and even what they may have looked like,” Ellen Futter, President of AMNH, told reporters at a preview event.
MORE PHOTOS AND STORY AT Source: Ancient mummy exhibit at Natural History Museum shows what’s inside mummies – Business Insider
Deep in the heart of the Iraqi desert, near the town of Mosel, the allied forces spotted this unusual piece of metal upturning the sand. The experienced officers approached the suspicious object with caution. However, after inspecting the metal sheet, they decided it was safe enough to move. Then, when they finally lifted the strange sheet, they found a hole that would lead to a discovery 2,600 years in the making.
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