El Bagawat is an ancient Christian cemetery, one of the oldest in the world, which functioned at Kharga Oasis in southern Egypt from the 3rd-7th century AD. It’s one of the earliest, best preserved Christian cemeteries from the ancient world. Before Christianity was introduced into Egypt, it was already a burial ground. The chapels here are said to belong to both eras. Coptic frescoes of the 3rd-7th century are found on the walls. They’re made of mud bricks and have etchings of biblical stories, saints, and “personifications of virtues”. There are paintings showing Noah’s ark in form of an “Egyptian barque”. Also notable are carved representations of Old Testament scriptures, incl. Adam and Eve, Daniel in the lion’s den, the sacrifice of Abraham, and Jonah swallowed by a fish.
Merlin’s Cave & Tintagel Castle. Tintagel is the legendary birthplace of King Arthur of Camalot. It is said that King Uther Pendragon met with the beautiful Igraine and conceived Arthur.
The site of Tintagel Castle has been inhabited at least since the late Roman period, and probably earlier. Between the 5th and 7th centuries AD a prosperous community was based there. After a period of obscurity, in the 12th century Tintagel gained international literary fame when it was named by Geoffrey of Monmouth as the place where the legendary King Arthur was conceived. This may have been what inspired Richard, Earl of Cornwall, younger brother of Henry III, to site his castle at Tintagel in the 1230s.
It is a gorgeous place with the most stunning scenery. Whether the legends are true or not its certainly has a certain magic about it.
The Björketorp Runestone is one of many standing stones (menhir) located in Bleking, Sweden and is one of the world’s tallest runestones, measuring 13.7 feet (4.2 m) high. It is part of a stone circle with two other blank standing stones, with several other solitary stones in the surrounding regions. Most scholars date the runestone’s inscription to the 7th century AD. It’s carved with a type of runes that form an intermediate version between the Elder Futhark and the Younger Futhark. The runestone is inscribed on both sides, the shorter message appears to say “I foresee perdition” or “prediction of perdition” and the longer side’s inscription (pictured) translates as:
“I, master of the runes(?) conceal here runes of power. Incessantly (plagued by) maleficence, (doomed to) insidious death (is) he who breaks this (monument). I prophesy destruction / prophecy of destruction.”
Local lore says that the curse came true at one point. Long ago, a man wanted to move the runestone so that he could have more room to farm, so he piled wood around it to attempt to heat the stone and then crack it with water. The weather was calm with no wind at the time, but as soon as he lit the fire a sudden gust came and lit the man’s hair aflame. He dropped to the ground to put it out but his clothes caught fire and the poor man died in agony. The flame around the runestone, however, was miraculously extinguished, as if someone had smothered the fire.
Egyptian history as a “united” place is said to have begun in 3200 BC when King Menes (also called Narmer) united the Upper & Lower Kingdoms. The last native dynasty fell to the Persians (now Iran) in 341 BC and was then replaced by Greeks, Romans, and Byzantines. Arabs only brought Islam and Arabic as a language into Egypt in the 7th century AD, which is relatively “new” in Egypt’s long history.
The 7th Century dramatically changed the Middle East
No matter what your beliefs are, studying history reveals that, had the Persian Zoroastrian Sassanian Empire or the Christian Byzantine Empire defeated the Arab Muslim armies back in the 7th century, the Middle East would have looked a whole lot more different right now.
Persian Zoroastrians vs. Arab Muslims (633-654), also known as the Arab or Muslim conquest of Iran, led to the eventual decline of the Zoroastrian religion in Iran. Conversion to Islam was gradual. In the process, many acts of violence took place, Zoroastrian scriptures were burnt and many priests executed. Once conquered politically, the Persians began to reassert themselves by maintaining Persian language and culture. Regardless, Islam was adopted by many, for political, socio-cultural or spiritual reasons, or simply by persuasion, and became the dominant religion.
Byzantine Christians vs. Arab Muslims (629-11th century), also known as the Arab-Byzantine wars took a much longer period of time. These were a series of wars between the 7th and 11th centuries AD. The Christians initially lost the southern provinces (Syria and Egypt) to the Muslims. Muslim raids reached a peak in the 9th and early 10th centuries, after their conquest of Malta and parts of modern-day Greece, Italy, Spain, and Portugal, with their fleets reaching the coasts of France.
To think, just a single change in these battles could have drastically changed so much about the Middle East today. The “what ifs?” are endless, and the impact of these conquests and wars has shaped many people’s religious beliefs in the 21st century. As I said, no matter what your beliefs are, these are interesting historical facts to ponder upon
Pre-Viking Scandinavian Gilt Pelta Pendant with Bird, 7th Century AD
The profile bird with hooked claw and divided tail is a motif used in England and Scandinavia in the 6th-7th century AD. It appears on the shield of the king in Mound 1 at Sutton Hoo (photo) and on the equipment of the contemporary burials at Vendel, Valsgärde and elsewhere in central Sweden.
Anglo-Saxon inscribed gold strip from the Staffordshire Hoard, 7th-8th century
This gold strip carries the Latin inscription: “Rise up O Lord, and may thy enemies be dispersed and those who hate thee be driven from thy face.” It has two sources, the Book of Numbers or Psalm 67, taken from the Vulgate, the Bible used by the Saxons.
The Staffordshire Hoard is the largest hoard of Anglo-Saxon gold and silver ever found. It was discovered in a field near the village of Hammerwich, in Staffordshire on July 5, 2009. The items total over 3,500 in all and date from the time of the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Mercia.
The Milton Jewel is one of the finest examples of Anglo-Saxon brooches of the period, with a sophisticated design carried out in a combination of materials.The use of cloisons inlaid with garnet, filigree knot work decoration on gold sheet and shell bosses are typical of this type. The brooch was found in 1832 in a cemetery at Milton, west of Dorchester-on-Thames. There is another similar brooch in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, which was found nearby.
Carved head thought to represent Quetzalcoatl found at Teotihuacan, similar to the type seen at the Temple of Quetzalcoatl. Such sculptures adorned the doorways and patios of temples and dwelling units, as well as the facades of the latter.
Teotihuacan (‘the place where the gods were created’) is about 50 km north-east of Mexico City, and was built between the 1st and 7th centuries AD. A prominent feature at this archaeological site is the Temple of Quetzalcoatl (sometimes also referred to as the Temple of the Plumed Serpent), which is where this carved head likely came from.
One of the most important gods of the Aztec pantheon, Quetzalcoatl is a creator god, and the patron of merchants, knowledge, and crafts.
Quetzalcoatl, the Feathered Serpent, is a very complex god, with many aspects and spheres of influence.
According to an Aztec myth of creation there were four suns (or worlds) before the present one. Each sun was created and destroyed in a different way, and inhabited by a different race of people. Each sun was also presided over by a different deity.
After the destruction of the Fourth Sun, Quetzalcoatl and Tezcatlipoca created the earth and the heavens by tearing apart the earth monster, Tlaltecuhtli.
-Clara Bezanilla, A Pocket Dictionary of Aztec and Mayan Gods and Goddesses.
Artifact courtesy & currently located at the Teotihuacan Museum, Mexico. Photo taken by Travis S.
Royal palace discovered in area believed to be birthplace of King Arthur
A royal palace has been discovered in the area believed to be the birthplace of Britain’s most famous Knight.
Archaeologists believe they have found a Dark Age palace at Tintagel in Cornwall which scholars have long argued is the birthplace of King Arthur.
The palace is believed to date from the 6th century around the same period as the legend of King Arthur.
They believe the one-metre thick walls being unearthed are from a 6th century palace belonging to the rulers of an ancient south-west British kingdom, known as Dumnonia.
Excavations have been taking place at the site as part of a five year research project being run by English Heritage at the 13th century Tintagel Castle in Cornwall to find out more about the historic site from the 5th to the 7th centuries AD. Read more.
• The Egyptians of the Bible were Negroid. • The Bible says both Egyptians and Ethiopians are descendants of Ham. • Arabs invaded Egypt in the 7th Century AD; Remember, Egypt wasn’t invaded by Rome until 300 BC. The Bible dates 4000 BC. • Therefore, Arabs have no more connection to Ancient Egypt than Europeans have to Ancient America. • Egyptian is an Afro-Asiatic language. (AFRO, AFRO) • The national language of modern day Egypt is Egyptian Arabic, which gradually replaced Coptic. (Coptic–Ethiopia) • Black Egyptians were eventually mixed with invading Libyans, Persians, Greeks, Romans, Turks, Arabs and Western Europeans. That is where the mixed people of the modern-day Arabs come from.
The following is supporting evidence from The African Origin of Civilization: by: Cheikh Anta Diop
Evidence from Physical Anthropology The skeletons and skulls of the Ancient Egyptians clearly reflect they were Negroid people with features very similar to those of modern Black Nubians and other people of the Upper Nile and of East Africa.
Melanin Dosage Test Egyptologist Cheikh Anta Diop invented a method for determining the level of melanin in the skin of human beings. When conducted on Egyptian mummies in the Museum of Man in Paris, this test indicated these remains were of Black people.
Osteological Evidence “Lepsius canon,” which distinguishes the bodily proportions of various racial groups categories the “ideal Egyptian” as “short-armed and of Negroid or Negrito physical type." Evidence From Blood Types Diop notes that even after hundreds of years of inter-mixture with foreign invaders, the blood type of modern Egyptians is the "same group B as the populations of western Africa on the Atlantic seaboard and not the A2 Group characteristic of the white race prior to any crossbreeding.”
Cult statues of Hera and Zeus (Roman Imperial times). The statue of Hera was found built in the Early Christian walls*. From the sanctuary of Zeus Hypsistos.
*Statues, reliefs, funerary monuments have been found multiple times in the walls of cities. Most of them were placed there from the 3rd to the 5th century AD, after a series of invasions in Greek space, an event that caused a profound need for new fortifications and readily available building materials. In some cases, like in that of the painted funerary stelai of Demetrias, this helped preserve the antiquities. From the 4th to the 7th century AD Christianity, now endorsed by the newly formed Byzantine Empire began to really take hold in Greece, hostilities against the old religion and its believers have been documented, but the use of these statues as building materials was not exactly an act of vandalism. A lot of artifacts had already been damaged, and old sanctuaries had already fallen to disrepair due to earthquakes, floods, invasions, or plagues.