October 27, 2014

Göbekli Tepe, Python Rock, and Primitive Spirituality

Göbekli Tepe

For years, the consensus has been that religion arose to promote social cooperation only after people began settling in villages and farming. The theory goes, that religion was needed in order to ease tensions that occurred after hunter-gatherers settled into an agrarian life. This agrarian lifestyle produced food surpluses and a need for labor, which promoted the subsequent development of large societies.

Göbekli Tepe, flips this script, so to speak. The massive structure supports the idea that early people came to worship. There is no evidence of settlement, which has been seen by some researchers as one of the many mysteries surrounding the site. However, archaeologists have excavated stone basins that may have held beer made by nomadic foragers or even early farmers, and then brought to the site during pilgrimage. There is also evidence which shows that at the mountain settlement about 20 miles away from Göbekli Tepe, called Nevah Cori, plants were first domesticated. Perhaps they were farmed to supply religious ceremonies. Nevertheless, Nevah Cori has T-shaped pillars with animal images, like Göbekli Tepe. Similar pillars and images have also been found at settlements up to 100 miles away from Göbekli Tepe. Clearly, there was a significance placed on Göbekli Tepe, so much so that it influenced settlement and even behavioral patterns of people on a massive scale. Perhaps even more interesting, is that the archaeological record shows that there was not only a shift in settlement patterns, but there was also a spiritual, or religious shift.

What significant event may have occurred to bring about such a shift? 

Archaeological evidence suggests not only a possible physiological event in human history, but also a spiritual one. We have evidence to support this spiritual shift, dating as far back as at least 70,000 years. It can be found in the hills of the remote Ngamiland region of Botswana.

It is here that archaeologists discovered what appeared to be remains of what some believe to be the world's earliest religious worship sites. In the shelter of these rocks, early man performed advanced rituals to worship the python. According to a report published by the University of Oslo (Norway), these rock paintings show that early man practiced some form of religious ritual some 30,000 years earlier than the oldest findings in Europe.

Tsodilo Hills, in Northwestern Botswana.

Until this discovery, archaeologists believed that man’s first religious rituals were practiced over 40,000 years ago in Europe. Associate Professor Sheila Coulson, from the Oslo University, is convinced she has discovered mankind's oldest known ritual in Botswana while searching for Middle Stone Age artifacts in the Tsodilo Hills. The Tsodilo Hills are listed as a Unesco World Heritage Site and are known for having the largest concentration of rock paintings in the world.

To this day, the Tsodilo Hills are sacred to the local San people, who call them the "Mountains of the Gods." The San people also still consider the python as their most sacred animals.  According to their creation myth, man descended from the python in the sky. The streambeds around the hills are believed to have been created by the python as it circled the hills looking for water. In order to get a San guide into the hills, one must first gain permission from the ancient serpent.

Even after permission has been “granted” by the python god, reaching the cave is no easy feat. It is extremely difficult to access and so secluded, that it was not even discovered by archaeologists until the 1990s. At the site, there are two rock paintings on one side of the cave and a rock with a three-to-four hundred man-made indentations in it. This strange rock resembled the head of a large python, measuring six meters in length and two meters in height. With the sunlight glistening on the indentations, it gives the appearance of snake skin. An even more stunning site is at night, when the radiant glow of firelight bounces and flickers on the “scales” of the python, giving the feeling that the snake is undulating through the darkness.

Python shaped rock in the Tsodilo Hills, Northwestern Botswana, believed to be at least 70,000 years old. 

To find out more about what specific rituals may have been performed at the site, archaeologists dug a test pit in front of the python stone. There, they uncovered a number of the stones that were likely used in the making of the indentations. These stones, as well as ancient tools, dating to at least 70,000 years ago, were found with more than 13,000 artifacts.

An even more interesting detail, is that the spearheads were made from material not from the Tsodilo region, but from areas much further away, indicating these were indeed, special. Additionally, the spearheads found were of better quality and more colorful than other spearheads from the same region and era.

Spearheads found under and around python rock. 

Archaeologist found that only the red colored spearheads had been burned. They theorized that the early inhabitants of this site took an assortment of colored spearheads to the cave where they would finish carving them. Then, they would perform a ritual burning of the red ones. Given the absence of any other artifact type at the site, it is believed that no one lived here. Much like Göbekli Tepe, there are no signs of cooking hearths or other evidence of domestic life at the site. Rather, it points to the site as serving a special ritual purpose. All of this points to the idea that early humans were capable of abstract thinking, much earlier than previously accepted.

Moreover, behind the python rock is a secret chamber, believed to be accessed only by a shaman. It is there, that he may very well have hidden and spoke to pilgrims from his hiding place. From his vantage point, he would have had keen view of the comings and goings of people around him. He would also be in complete control, as the illusion would have been mesmerizing to an early human ancestor, having never before seen our experienced such a thing.

Just imagine for a moment you are an early human ancestor, approaching the summit after a long journey. Here, you catch a glint of light jutting off of what appears to be one of the most universally dreaded creatures in natural human history; the serpent. Although trembling in fear, you proceed. After all, this is what you came here for. Perhaps you are bringing your spearheads to be blessed so that you have luck in the hunt. Maybe you seek healing; a common association with serpent symbolism. As you stand in awe and reverence at the serpent, a low, cavernous voice bellows out to you. You would be in a highly suggestible state, having been scared and manipulated into submission to the will of the great serpent.

Had you been a cleverer fellow, you may have had some suspicion. Maybe you are brave and decide to go directly into the belly of the beast to see from where this voice was emanating. Alas, you would have likely been tricked, as the shaman would have disappeared from the chamber by way of the small shaft leading out onto the hillside!

There is so much yet to learn about early man and his religions. Sites like Göbekli Tepe are still being researched and many more have yet to be discovered. In time, I believe we will find evidence of an even earlier, advanced civilization in the region. On a recent radio interview, I was asked about the idea of a “Civilization X,” an idea sometimes proposed by Graham Hancock and others. I am not an adherent to any one Atlantis-like lost civilization theory, as I feel that it is too Reductionist in nature.

I would hedge my bets on there being more than an X, but perhaps Civilizations A, B, and C; all of which having their own derivative sub-civilizations. I think the desire to find a Civilization X is no different than that of the Evolutionist’s desire to find a “missing link.” It is so alluring because of its simplicity. It is as if there is a promise that if you search far enough, you will find the one puzzle piece that can provide us with the complete picture of human origins. I happen to think that there are more than just one puzzle piece. In fact, I would go so far as to say there is more than one puzzle completely.

If you think you have compelling evidence to support the idea of a Civilization X, please email me. I would genuinely love to take a look. Like most of you, I am just a humble truth-seeker, lover of knowledge, and explorer on this mystery quest.

Join Me Tonight for a Scary Good Time!

Join me at 11:00PM EDT, Oct. 27th, for the 2nd half of the show, where I will speak with Maverick about my current project, Evil Archaeology.

October 18, 2014

Nazca Lines, Ancient Aliens, and Recent Appearance on Earth Ancients

I would like to address some of the emails I have received after my guest appearance on Earth Ancients Radio. Apparently, I ruffled a few feathers when I gave my opinion on both Ancient Aliens, the program, and the Nazca lines.

On the show, I expressed my view that the Nazca lines were not extraterrestrial runways. I stand behind this statement. Here is the thing. We, in the alternative field (yes, I include myself), cannot be hypocrites. We cannot do to each other what the mainstream does to itself.

In the mainstream, if a professor has an alternative point of view on a subject and refuses to march in lockstep with his colleagues, it is not unusual for him/her to get flak. At worse, it can mean a loss of tenure or even total ostracization and humiliation. We look at that and think, “How unfair and impetuous!” Academia should foster free and critical thinking, as well as discourse.

If we want to legitimize our claims, as independent or alternative researchers, we must not fall into the same groupthink tendencies as the mainstream. We cannot espouse open-minded inquiry while keeping a closed mind and a tight grip on our own beliefs. Belief is in the dominion of religion while knowledge is in the dominion of science. We need to be guided with open hearts and minds while keeping a firm grip onto the tools that can bring us closer to truth; tools such as the scientific method, fact-checking, discourse, debate, technology, first-person accounts, and so on.

Personally, I believe in the existence of extraterrestrial life, even intelligent life. I also believe in the possibility of interstellar travel. I am even open to ideas about visitation. I know that there have been things in life I would have never believed but since embarking on my quest to uncover the truth about ancient mysteries, my eyes have been opened to truths that I never thought possible. I have had to rethink everything I thought I knew about human history. That being said, it is unfair to lable someone “pseudo” for supporting alternative theories, such as ancient technology. It is equally unfair to label someone “mainstream,” simply because they do not believe that the Nazca lines are runways for extraterrestrial craft.

Here is my position on the Nazca lines. They are amazing, beautiful, and damned mysterious! However, there are a number of interesting and plausible explanations for them, of which we will likely not prove, as is the case in archaeology since it is still a social science. My personal favorite theory, the one I mentioned on air, was proposed by a researcher named, Henri Stierlin. Stierlin believes that the Nazca people used the line-system as loom. In the Paracas culture textiles were made using a single, unbroken string. However, the natives did not have wheels and looms (so we believe), so they may have organized hundreds of men to hold the string. Their individual positions were defined by the lines. They would walk up and down the lines not only to make giant textiles, but also as offerings to what they believed to be mountain gods. All though Stierlin is an educated man and arguably part of the mainstream, his theory is also seen as fringe. In his case, would it be better for him to deny his theory in order to fit in with the mainstream, or claim that only aliens could have been responsible for the Nazca lines to fit in better with the alternative crowd? I do not want to be part of a system where we only have one of two choices. This is why, even politically, I am an independent, There are more than only two ways!

Incidentally, there is an interesting artifact that supports this loom theory. It is sometimes referred to as the "Great Cloth," an enormous Nazca burial cloth that measured about 100 feet long. It is likely that no ancient loom could have made this, however, it is known that the Nazca culture had walked the Nazca lines in ceremonies and, to this day, work in enormous groups activities to reach a common goal.

Another myth about the Nazca Lines, is that they can only be seen from the sky. This, is not true, as they were discovered before the advent of flight by people on foot. They can still be viewed from the mountains. You do not need to fly over them to see the lines. Now, it is true that some of the lines may be less visible from the mountains, but those less visible designs have also been found in smaller form on ancient women textiles, meaning, the Nazca people had the patterns and could have easily scaled it up to a much larger proportion. This would mean that the Nazca people were pretty advanced and would have had an understanding of math in order to scale these designs. The Nazca people were intelligent. They were not animals incapable of functioning without the aid of paternal extraterrestrial beings. In fact, there are ancient complex aqueducts and well systems in almost perfect condition which are still used to supply the city today. This is indicative of a once great society.

Sometimes, in searching for the unknown, people forget to give credit to the ancients. I believe that we have much wisdom to learn from studying the ancients.

Now, as for the program Ancient Aliens, let me just say that the production company behind the show is filled with amazing people. They were wonderful to work with. However, the show is entertainment. I support Ancient Aliens, in that they spur the imaginations of people and expose them to important questions and ancient mysteries. Nevertheless, it is irresponsible to watch the show and believe that you are being educated with facts. I like to refer to this type of programming as “edutainment.” It is fun, and if it ignites a spark of curiosity in someone which leads them to learn more through further research, then I think it is awesome! To judge the show on its scholarly merits is foolish because it is not a scholarly endeavor. This is not to suggest that the production teams do not do their research, because I know first-hand that they do, but at the end of the day, it is a for-profit television show. It is the responsibility of the viewer to decide what to think. 

My only real problem with the program is that, as the seasons have passed, the content has become more and more outlandish and repetitive. It has come to a point where many people see it as a joke and now associate all forms of alternative inquiry with the general thesis, “If we cannot explain it, then it must have been aliens.” This is dangerous. It is dangerous to all of the hard working independent research whom are not profiting, rather, they are losing money, trying to fund their own research into ancient history. By essentially branding all alternative archeology as just “Ancient Aliens Stuff” (a phrase I have encountered more than once), it is causing a lot of amazing research to be left by the wayside.

Watch, enjoy, and even benefit from Ancient Aliens, just as you would a nice glass of Merlot. Just don’t kid yourself into believing it is water or else you will find yourself drunk and still desperate to quench you thirst.  

To those who wrote me emails about the Nazca lines, thank you, and please send me what you feel is the most convincing evidence that the Nazca lines were U.F.O. runways because I want to believe. I promise to look at the evidence with an open mind and email you back. Maybe you can teach me something. I love it when my mind is blown! It wouldn'e be the first time a listener or reader has contacted me with mind-blowing information that has redirected my research. I believe we are all here to learn from each other. 

To those that tuned in to Earth Ancients Radio today, thank you for listening. I look forward to the next opportunity I get to spend time with all of you, which will be Monday, October 27th on EPIC Voyages for their Halloween show, where I will be discussing Evil Archaeology. I will be posting more details soon. 

Until then, keep digging!

October 15, 2014

Pazuzu: Mesopotamian Demon from 'The Exorcist' and NC Couple Arrested for Cannibalistic Murders

The man in khaki prowled the ruins, The Temple of Nabu. The Temple of Ishtar. He sifted vibrations. At the palace of Ashurbanipal he paused; then shifted a sidelong glance to a limestone statue hulking in situ: ragged wings; taloned feet; bulbous, jutting, stubby penis and a mouth stretched taught in feral grin. The demon Pazuzu.1.

In my current project, Evil Archaeology, the demon Pazuzu is featured prominently on the cover. Some may recognize this demon from the novel and film, The Exorcist, both of which open in Iraq at an archaeological excavation. At the site, (which is currently at risk from ISIS), a priest feels strong southwesterly wind blowing, foreshadowing the arrival of Pazuzu, demon of the southwestern wind and bearer of storms and drought in Assyrian and Babylonian mythology.

In my upcoming book, I am investigating the archaeological record for artifacts and evidence of evil entities. I am examining the history and lore behind real relics, believed to be haunted or possessed. I am also looking at demonology and document how many of the ancient Mesopotamian demons and deities, like Pazuzu, have influenced Christian beliefs in demonic entities. I feature interviews and accounts from real exorcists.

As I have been putting the book together, one question keeps coming up. Are there ancient malevolent entities at work in our world today? This question was recently addressed in the form of a disturbing news report out of North Carolina.

Authorities say, a self-described Satanist, who legally changed his name to Pazuzu, allegedly told friends he had been eating parts of his victims’ bodies before burning and burying them in his backyard. Pazuzu Illah Algarad, born as John Alexander Lawson, told psychiatrists that he practiced a Sumerian religion that involved monthly ritual sacrifice of a small animal. Every month during what he called the “black moon,” he would make animal sacrifices to Pazuzu.

Pazuzu Illah Algarad, 35, (left) and his 'wife' Amber Nicole Burch, 24, were arrested and charged with murder after the skeletal remains of two men were discovered in shallow graves behind their home.
So far, two skeletons have been exhumed from the backyard of Pazuzu Illah Algarad and Amber Nicole Burch, whom he called his wife on Facebook. The couple have been held without bail while the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office investigates whether more human remains are buried in the property.

Tonight, as I type this post, there is a very windy front coming in from the southwest. In the dark with only the light from a candle and my computer, I can’t help but feel a chill as I notice the wind whistle through the trees. Pazuzu, demon of the southwest wind, is he working in our world today? Certainly, this couple from North Carolina were 100% to blame for their heinous acts, but what or who was their professed inspiration? Pazuzu.

Inspiration, from Latin inspirare, meaning to breathe or blow into, the word was originally used to describe when a supernatural being imparts an idea to someone. What is possession but an evil spiritual entity, inhabiting a willing person, encouraging them to do evil things in the name of that demon? Although demons may not be tangible, or arguably even real, this recent criminal case leaves me questioning the criteria for demonic possession. Were these criminals simply suffering from psychological disturbances, or had the Pazuzu spirit found willing avatars to carry out his horrendous deeds? 

I will be considering this as I look into what it really means to be possessed in my research for Evil Archaeology. I am scheduled to meet with an exorcist for an interview in a few weeks. Maybe he will be able to shed some more light on this for me.


1. Blatty, William Peter. The exorcist. New York: Harper & Row, 1971.

October 2, 2014

Analysis of Strange Sumerian Dance Performed in the Louvre Museum

Warning: This video contains adult content. Viewer discretion is advised. 

Last year, the Louvre Museum in Paris featured this performance at one of its special evening events. The performance repeated continuously into the wee hours of the night. This dance was performed by les étudiants du conservatoire d'Anvers (students from the ARTESIS Royal Dance Conservatory of Belgium in Antwerp). It was designed by French choreographer Damien Jalet. With the help of Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Jalet created this strange dance repertoire of short performances, each of about fifteen minutes.

A few of the pieces really stuck out to me, like the first sequence called “Above head.” It was performed amid decapitated sculptures the Sumerian ruler Gudea. During the dance, someone brings back the spirit of a king who lost his head. He does this by having a Sumerian face drawn on his bald head. The intent was to make us feel that we were watching the decapitated head dance before our eyes.

Another was ,"The Evocation.” This dance was said to be inspired by a Sufi ritual based on the repetition of the word challah and the rhythm of the breath. It is a quite fitting title, as the very definition of evocation is the act of calling or summoning a spirit, demon, god or other supernatural agent. More often a term used in the Western mystery tradition, although not exclusive.

These strange scenes left some of the audience perplexed, one member saying that a particular sequence called, “Venus in Furs,” left her confused. Venus in Furs featured an intense mysterious veiled woman and the animal hybrid from which it originated.

In "Sin,” we see a somewhat erotic dance inspired by the myth of the primordial couple, or rebis; very esoteric.

"Venari,"was an interesting sort of primitive piece that seemed to imply hunting or sympathetic magic, perhaps a reference to Artemis, as well.

Yet another sequence, called "Daedalus,” was likened to the labyrinth created by Daedalus to enclose the Minotaur. This combination eluded to the loss of self in the other and suggests the inseparability of man from his animal side, which guides or dominates.

In addition to the video, here are some interesting stills, courtesy of the Louvre. What are your thoughts? Is this beautiful, intriguing, or just downright creepy?