Ten Odd and Mysterious Historical Finds of 2015
A Triceratops brow horn discovered in Dawson County, Montana, was controversially dated to around 33,500 years, challenging the view that dinosaurs died out around 65 million years ago. According to the researchers involved, the finding radically suggests that early humans may have once walked the earth with the fearsome reptiles thousands of years ago.
The Triceratops brow horn was excavated in May 2012 and stored at the Glendive Dinosaur and Fossil Museum. The Museum, which has since 2005 been in cooperation with the Paleochronology Group, a team of consultants in geology, paleontology, chemistry, engineering, and education, sent a sample of the outer portion of the Triceratops brow horn to Head of the Paleochronology Group Hugh Miller, at his request, in order to carry out Carbon-14 dating. Mr Miller sent the sample to the University of Georgia, Center for Applied Isotope Studies, for this purpose. The sample was divided at the lab into two fractions with the “bulk” or collagen break down products yielding an age of 33,570 ± 120 years and the carbonate fraction of bone bioapatite yielding an age of 41,010 ± 220 years [UGAMS-11752 & 11752a].
The group has urged any and all scientists to replicate their results by carrying out rigorous C-14 testing on any dinosaur sample.
A mummified hand found in Castleton, North Yorkshire, England is the only known ‘Hand of Glory’ still in existence. This mummified hand is a grotesque artifact meant to aid thieves in their work during the night, and supposedly has the power to “entrance humans”.
The process to make a Hand of Glory was very specific, according to Sabine Baring-Gould (1873) in his work Curious Myths of the Middle Ages:
“The Hand of Glory... is the hand of a man who has been hung, and it is prepared in the following manner: Wrap the hand in a piece of winding-sheet, drawing it tight, so as to squeeze out the little blood which may remain; then place it in an earthenware vessel with saltpeter, salt, and long pepper, all carefully and thoroughly powdered. Let it remain a fortnight in this pickle till it is well dried, then expose it to the sun in the dog-days, till it is completely parched, or, if the sun be not powerful enough, dry it in an oven heated with vervai and fern. Next make a candle with the fat of a hung man, virgin-wax, and Lapland sesame.”
The numerous stories and legends behind the Hand of Glory mean that if this really is the last of its kind, the preservation of the artifact is very important for history.
Bad luck is sure to befall a US company if it builds a new factory over a fairyfort in Ireland, warned a traditional Irish lore keeper. West Pharmaceutical Services is building a new factory in Waterford, Ireland, with plans on employing more than 150 people at completion in 2018. However, the construction site is situated over an ancient ringfort (rath, or fairyfort) which dates back thousands of years.
The Knockhouse fairyfort, for years believed to be of special archaeological interest, is thought to date to 800 AD, with most Irish ringforts dating from the late Iron Age. Ringforts were ancient circular settlements which were surrounded and enclosed by one or more earthen or stone banks and ditches. Sometimes wooden palisades would be erected on one of the high banks, serving as extra protection from wolves, foxes, boars or human invaders. However, while these simple constructions are called forts, they were not military structures, but mainly agricultural settlements or farmsteads, and were not designed for warfare.
As the ringforts fell out of use after centuries, locals did not know what the remaining ruins were originally for, and explained the strange, circular, built-up sites as the homes of fairies. It is believed that to disturb these sites is to provoke fairies. It is often said that leprechauns, notorious trickster fairies, keep their gold in the forts.
Eddie Lenihan, famed Irish author, storyteller and broadcaster, warned West Pharmaceutical that destruction or removal of the fairyfort would spell dire consequences and bad luck for all those involved in construction or clearing the ancient dwelling.