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News: THE SEARCH FOR ATLANTIS IN CUBA
A Report by Andrew Collins
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Uncanny Archaeology of Halloween

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Vlad the Impaler
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« Reply #180 on: October 31, 2009, 02:12:32 am »

Recent work at Hierakonpolis has, however, revealed compelling evidence that zombies may have been problematic already in Predynastic Egypt (ca. 3500 B.C.). Because this work has been undertaken with the most modern techniques, there is also the potential to uncover the hard scientific facts to illuminate the matter fully.
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Vlad the Impaler
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« Reply #181 on: October 31, 2009, 02:13:34 am »

From the very beginning of Predynastic research, Sir W.M. Flinders Petrie reported several headless, but seemingly intact, burials during his famous excavations at Naqada in 1895. Further excavations at Gerzeh and other sites revealed more of these curious burials, but no satisfactory explanation could be proposed at the time. More recently, excavations in the non-elite cemetery at Hierakonpolis (HK43), undertaken from 1996 to 2004, have uncovered more of these strange headless burials in addition to 21 individuals whose cervical vertebrae bear cut marks indicative of complete decapitation. The individuals include men and women ranging in age from 16 to 65. The number and the standard position of the cut marks (usually on the second-fourth cervical vertebrae; always from the front) indicate an effort far greater than that needed simply to cause the death of a normal (uninfected) person. The standard position also indicates these are not injuries sustained during normal warfare.
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Vlad the Impaler
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« Reply #182 on: October 31, 2009, 02:14:33 am »

Overall, those with cut marks represent less than 4% of the cemetery's population. Thus, one might suggest that the threat of zombification was relatively low, and those manifesting the disease were dealt with swiftly (though in some cemeteries evidence for cannibalism has also been found suggesting that one or two got a good meal first). Of course, if left unchecked, the virus could rage fiercely and it may have been the need for decisive and brave action that was the impetus that led to the development of early kingship in Egypt and at Hierakonpolis in the first place. (Perhaps a careful review of excavation records and skeletal remains from early Mesopotamian city-states is in order.)
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Vlad the Impaler
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« Reply #183 on: October 31, 2009, 02:14:52 am »

While currently this might seem a speculative theory for state formation, the fine preservation of the brains rattling around in the skulls of some of the cut folks does provide the potential for scientific verification. We are currently seeking funding for a major research project to determine if remnants of the virus can be distilled from the preserved brain matter and, of course, more importantly, whether this virus is still viable. If so, it may allow for a vaccination to be developed so that this scourge, which seems to have threatened mankind for even longer than we previously imagined, can finally be put to rest.
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Vlad the Impaler
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« Reply #184 on: October 31, 2009, 02:15:15 am »

Little is known about how long the virus can lay dormant, thus it is possible that another outbreak could occur at any time--given its history, especially at Hierakonpolis. With this potential in mind, we asked Tom Flanigan, zombie eradication expert for the U.S. Forestry Service, to draw up a contingency plan for us--see his report below. However, we stress that nothing amiss has been observed during any of our recent excavations (though the number of missing heads is a bit curious).
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Vlad the Impaler
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« Reply #185 on: October 31, 2009, 02:16:10 am »



Headless at Hierakonpolis. Left is one of several Predynastic graves from cemetery HK43 where the head is missing but the rest of the burial is intact including several lovely grave goods. (Burial 165)
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Vlad the Impaler
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« Reply #186 on: October 31, 2009, 02:17:09 am »



These beads were found around the neck, but the head was gone. (Courtesy of the Hierakonpolis Expedition)
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Vlad the Impaler
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« Reply #187 on: October 31, 2009, 02:18:14 am »



Left, first to third cervical vertebrae with cut marks, ventral aspect. Lower arrows point to complete removal of the left and right uncinate processes of the third cervical vertebrae suggestive of complete severance of the spinal column leading to full decapitation (HK43 Burial 350).
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Vlad the Impaler
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« Reply #188 on: October 31, 2009, 02:19:00 am »



Right, inferior aspect of axis vertebrae showing cuts going all the way through. This head definitely came off. (Courtesy of the Hierakonpolis Expedition)
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Vlad the Impaler
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« Reply #189 on: October 31, 2009, 02:19:49 am »



Brain preserved in the skull of Burial 350. Analysis may provide the answer to the history of the virus and ultimately leads to its cure!
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Vlad the Impaler
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« Reply #190 on: October 31, 2009, 02:20:43 am »



Close up of Predynastic brain--our best hope! (Courtesy of the Hierakonpolis Expedition)
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Vlad the Impaler
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« Reply #191 on: October 31, 2009, 02:21:36 am »



Do not panic. We stress that nothing unusual has been observed during recent excavations. (Courtesy of the Hierakonpolis Expedition)
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Vlad the Impaler
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« Reply #192 on: October 31, 2009, 02:22:01 am »

Renée Friedman is director of the Hierakonpolis Expedition.
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Vlad the Impaler
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« Reply #193 on: October 31, 2009, 02:22:36 am »

Solanum Outbreak Contingency Plan
by Tom Flanigan

A contingency plan for a Solanum outbreak at Hierakonpolis

When we think of zombies, our thoughts turn to the ghouls from Hollywood movies. Some of us with a background in anthropology may first think of Wade Davis' groundbreaking work in Haiti. Davis purported to discover that zombies were indeed real, and were the work of "Bokor" Voodoo sorcerers using a powder derived from fish toxins called poud zombie (Davis 1988: 1715). Davis' zombies were not truly reanimated dead bodies, but people put into a death-like coma. When the person regained consciousness they were made to be slaves in remote villages.
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Vlad the Impaler
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« Reply #194 on: October 31, 2009, 02:23:05 am »

However here we are concerned with real zombies, reanimated bodies of the recent dead who are driven by an urge to consume living people, in turn, creating more zombies. The idea that zombies are supernatural beings needs to be discarded. They are not the Spawn of Hell, although, they certainly look the part. They are, or were, people who were infected by the Solanum virus. The virus creates a zombie by eating away the frontal lobe of the brain for replication, thus destroying it. The virus mutates the brain and allows the brain to remain alive but dormant and without the need for oxygen. Once the mutation is complete, approximately 23 hours from infection to fully functioning zombie, the ghoul will be on the unending search for living human flesh, thus spreading the infection (Brooks 2003: 2).
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