stone basin

Mayan History (Part 50): Calakmul

Calakmul was a major Classic Period city, deep in the jungle in Mexico’s Campeche state.  It is 35km from the Guatemalan border, and was one of the largest & most powerful Mayan lowland cities.

Its original name was Ox Te’ Tuun (”Three Stones”).

The Petén Basin is a geographical region of Central America, mostly in northern Guatemala, but also including part of south-east Mexico.  Calakmul was a major power in the northern Petén Basin.

There is a large seasonal swamp to the west, and Calakmul is on a rise about 35m above it.  The swamp, which is about 34x8km, was an important water source during the rainy season.  The soil around the edges of the swamp was fertile, so this was another benefit.

During the Preclassic & Classic Periods, settlement was concentrated around the edge of the swamp.  During the Classic Period, buildings were also built on high ground, and also on small islands in the swamp, where flint nodules were worked.

Calakmul was the seat of the Snake Kingdom, which reigned during most of the Classic Period.  Their emblem glyph was the snake-head sign, and it has been found distributed extensively in the area.  It can be read as “Kaan”. At times, it ruled over places 150km away.

Calakmul’s emblem glyph.

During the Classic Period, it had a major rivalry with Tikal, and the two superpowers struggled against each other politically and in war.

At its height in the Late Classic Period, it covered over 70 square km, and had a population of about 50,000.  Calakmul was the capital of a large regional state, which covered about 13,000 square km.

During the Terminal Classic, its population declined sharply, and its rural population ended up only 10% of what it had been.

There are 6,750 ancient structures at Calakmul.  The largest is Structure 2, which is one of the largest Mayan pyramids, at over 45m tall.  There are four tombs in it.  Calakmul has 117 stelae, the most of any centre in that region.

Structure 2.

The central monumental architecture covers an area of about 2 square km; the whole site is about 20 square km (mostly covered with dense residential structures).

Calakmul has many murals depicting market scenes, with glyphs describing the actions occurring in them.  The most prominent figure in these murals is Lady Nine Stone, who appears in many of them.

Calakmul was an actual urban city, not just an elite centre surrounded by commoner residences.


Sometimes Rain Falls

A BTS Fanfiction

Type: AU/Alternative Universe

Summary: Sometimes a normal life is a good one to lead; its nice…its easy…
But sometimes, normal isn’t the way that things were meant to be. And when you’re chosen as a possible candidate for one of the kingdom’s 7 princes, life isn’t as nice and easy as you always presumed it to be…especially when you catch the eye of more than one of them…



Chapter 12

She looked peaceful.

Her dress floated around her as though caressing her limbs with the lightest of touches, her pale cheeks almost seeming to make her glow and the way her hair curled in loops and waves around her face perfectly framed the cherubic expression mimicking calm.

But it’s the way she stares blankly up at the stars that tells you she was anything but at peace.

A quiet sobbing interrupts you as you stare at the Princess floating in the fountain, the husky, deeper coos of despair calling to you from the grey, blue and black tones of the dream, and forcing you to quietly walk around the stone basin, frowning when you catch sight of the back of someone curled in on themselves behind the fountain, the mop of hair all too familiar to you.


Calling his name has him lifting his head to look cluelessly up at you, his unfocused gaze slowly zeroing in on you until he seems to realize it was indeed you stood before him.


‘Tae, what happened?’ you ask quietly, hurrying over and dropping to your knees beside him, reaching your hand out immediately to pull him towards you and cradling him against your chest as he continues to cry.

‘I-I couldn’t stop him…I couldn’t-I tried to save her-‘ he cries, his voice breaking repeatedly as he sniffles, attempting to get himself under control, and you continue to hold him tightly to you, widening your eyes as you understand what he’s saying, lifting your head quickly to scan the area around you immediately in search of Namjoon.

‘Tae, we should go. If he’s still here-‘

‘I wont let him hurt you, Y/N.’ he cuts you off quickly, a steely resolve entering his eye as he looks up at you, appearing so determined despite the tear tracks on his cheeks, that for a moment you’re taken aback…

…but that’s before you hear the sound of gravel crunching under foot, and you look over to the opposite side of the fountain-

-and you see Namjoon’s blazing purple gaze staring right back at you.

‘I wont let him hurt you, Y/N…’

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Watch Out Below (10)

*So after losing chapters of this story, I finally returned to it and rewrote what I had. Hopefully you all enjoy and I’ll be able to finally finish this series. Thanks all of you for your patience.*

Previously: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9

Running had never been your strength and the last few days had only reminded you of that fact. With a pack of orcs in close pursuit, there had barely been a moment to walk, let alone to sit down, and your lungs were permanently burning from the excess. Thus it was that as you came in sight of the lone wooden home it seemed a wondrous haven from those at your heels. The wargs were only part of your problem now as a humongous bear had appeared and Gandalf ushered the Company towards the towering oaken gates.

You crashed into Ori’s back as you clawed at the wooden door which would not budge. Your exhaustion had stripped what was left of your nerves and all you could think to do was pathetically join the struggle to flee the enemies closing in behind you. The sound of heavy wood against iron groaned and the doors suddenly fell inward, the dwarves streamed through frantically as you found yourself bowled over in the crush and once more upon the ground, barely rolling clear of the boots of the others.

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Woodfall and the Southern Swamp

“This swamp you are in has lost its guardian deity. But it was destined to fade anyway … and that destiny is not solely limited to this swamp.”  

– The Soaring One, Majora’s Mask

Echoing the mechanistic precision of Time within Termina, the four regions of this land are arranged with navigational certainty in each primary direction, with Clock Town as their center. The plot of this game unfolds first in the south, across a brief expanse of Termina Field covered in long grass and dead trees. Each cardinal exit of Clock Town is an architectural appreciation to the people that live in that region, and as the Southern Swamp is home to the Deku Civilization, the southern gate reflects the architectural heritage of that people. Every fundamental element of Deku design is present in this gate, and in the posts that mark the route to the Southern Swamp. The base material of Deku construction appears to be a light-brown wood, which is felled and shaped into simple boards and posts; from there, they are lashed together, painted, and covered with thatch. Much of the wood is left uncolored, but the colorful geometric designs that grace the upper and lower portions of each board or post are done in stark green, red, and white. With those chief elements in place, it is subsequently easier to analyze the simplicity and straightforward architecture of the Deku people. The gate itself is composed of a line of boards around the rectangular gate out of Clock Town; the uppermost portions of these posts are painted white, with a brief splash of red below. A small awning overhangs this entrance, and is thatch but for a row of alternating white, green, and red stripes, done vertically. The entire gate, held between two small walls of similarly-embellished wood, stands upon a raised platform and is visually framed by two freestanding square pillars, each of which has a carved apex of green and red. One small step leads downward from the platform, and the only route to the Southern Swamp is a path of grass bound only by pairs of these same painted, wooden pillars. The grass changes drastically in shade between the third and fourth pairs of posts, from a light green to a dark jade with spots of tan coloration. The trees in this area are dead, and some lie fallen, while others have been carved into tunnels, or chopped up for use in construction. Patches of long grass appear outside the bounds of the post-lined pathway, and one last pair of pillars frames the southern exit from Termina Field into the swamp beyond.

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🌛Paper treatments and my Grimoire🌜

I already went over gem elixirs in my paints, but I wanted to touch base on a few other ways to put more of yourself into your Grimoire. So this post will be about hand ground inks.

This is an ink making kit a friend got me for my birthday. I’ve used it many times for general calligraphy but have also used it to decorated pages with designs and treat the pages themselves. You fill the stone basin with water and grind the color pigment sticks into the water to create a light or dark ink.

From the water you use to the color of ink you make, there are endless ways to customize your ink for whatever need you have. The direction in which you swirl the ink stick can imbue banishing or attracting energies. You can write sigils on the stone basin that will carry into the ink. The list of things you can do goes on and on.

Do you treat or stain the pages of your Grimoire? 💜

The Hangover

Hiccup finally tells Astrid how he feels…sort of.

Chapter Two: Astrid

Toothless and Stormfly adore each other, which is the only reason Hiccup is eventually able to track Astrid down. Granted it is pretty late in the afternoon by the time he finally gets his act together enough to even start looking for her. He stops in for a quick soak at the bath house first, since honestly he smells like something someone would scrape off the bottom of their shoe. He briefly toys with the idea of burning his clothes as well, but his dad assures him that the wash house will be dealing with far worse over the next few days in the aftermath of Hiccup’s birthday celebration.

The sun is already hanging low in the sky by the time he arrives at Astrid’s house, freshly cleaned and clothed. Her dad Erik answers the door, looking a bit frayed around the edges. He stands at the door blinking red-rimmed eyes in the bleak light of the late day sun as Hiccup apologises for disturbing him and asks after Astrid.

“Astrid,” her dad blinks blearily, as if he’s having trouble recalling her face, “oh, she left early this morning with that dragon of her’s, uh…”

“Stormfly,” Hiccup supplies helpfully.

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I know this burning is my penance. 
I know you will never forgive me.
I know that stars do not often change their position in the sky.
I know I will try to anyway.

A cup scrapes the bottom of a stone basin.
A throat blisters from the touch of a
A body dies on an island, a battered soul escaping into the air. 

We were all scared.
(Except the ones who were excited)
We were all snapping off the arrows still in our wounds.
I refused to bleed again for him.
Too many have bled for him already.

Would you like to know what I saw, Sirius, as I died? 
What visions erupted in front of me?
What memories lay themselves before me, in sickening, rotting life?

I saw blood on our father’s ring, shining and red.
You, on our polished marble tiles.
Me, standing by, idle, as you paid for transgressions in flesh wounds.
I never said a word.
And you said so many.

I saw the path laid out for me by a hat and useless silver
The right one
The pure
I never knew that sweetness of our name could corrupt.
Could you blame me?
Black hides so many stains.

I saw something like a snake
A figure nothing like a man.
I saw the bodies I had created with youthful foolishness.
I saw the ashes of the damage.
I saw what a tattoo could do to the world.
(It wasn’t my first time seeing the consequences of what I had done, but it was the first time I had tasted them, a knife  twist, a final hurrah of my sins-)

I knew I was damned when I couldn’t remember
the warmth of your hands
from when we were children.

I couldn’t remember I had been good

All I remembered?
A locket.
A house elf.

—  You couldn’t guide me home. 
Regulus Black. 

Archaeological Museum of Ancient Messene:

A stone Hekataio with representations of Artemis in three forms. It was found at a crossroad northeast of the Asclepieion. It was used as a support for a stone basin.

(3rd-2nd century B.C)

Theology for Beginners, Chapter 20: Epiphany

My God, the last chapter! If someone had told me a year and a half ago that this story was going to be so long, I’d have laughed.

I wanted to get this out of my system before the Easter holidays, so I’ve been writing and editing all day. Because I have no measure whatsoever, this is 8000 words long (sorry!), and I think I’ve made my characters speak about practically all their issues, although I’m leaving some bits for the future one shots.

It’s a bit late here and I’m quite sleepy, so I’m sure that as soon as I hit the ‘publish’  button I will realize there are a thousand typos on this thing. Sorry in advance.

Please see this post if you want to know more about what the Hell I was thinking while I wrote this story. Remember that your feedback is very important to me, even more now that the story has finally ended!

Thanks to all of you for reading. You’re the best.

Link to previous chapter

Link to the whole fic

“Welcome home.”

‘Home’. What a fastidious word.

In Leah’s mind, she’d never had a real home. Not like those from the TV commercials and the Christmas movies, anyway. She had gone from her mother’s house, full of scream matches, booze and bitterness, to the relative freedom of one of the Columbia residences, and then to several impersonal, company-owned apartments in Boston and London. Even her own Stuttgart flat, when she finally decided to buy one, was more functional than cozy. She never gave much thought to the matter… but every now and then, in her subconscious, there was this little voice telling her that some day she would have a real home.

The little voice had no way of knowing that she would end up in an Asgardian cell.

Not that it wasn’t well furnished, for a cell. Of course, it had the standard open floor plan one could expect from institutional buildings, but someone had taken a lot of care in decorating it, in making it look like a decent room instead of a prison cubicle.

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Aaaaand Fujiyoshida again (^o^)

I took these photos at Arakura Fuji Sengen Jinja :)

I liked this place very much :3
There are only few people visiting it but it offers a very nice view of the landscape and sometimes even Fuji-san (Fuji-san is a very shy mountain :D

I enjoy seeing the Shide and Shimenawa on old trees :3 It is a very nice combination between a manmade things and nature :)

I also liked the Temizuya (water fountain/purification basin :)
It features a very nice stone basin and a very detailed dragon water spout :3

This Pagoda is quite famous and features in many photos of Fuji-san (^o^)
I was surprised when I found it because I never researched where it stood (^-^;)

I went there because I saw another Udon restaurant on the map and decided that I want to eat lunch there and on my way I stumbled across some signs and spotted the Torii so I decided to take a detour and ignore my grumbling tummy for a while :D 
I was happy that I went there although I reached the restaurant just as it closed and had to walk around searching for food (^-^;) <=I went to another Udon restaurant :D

A short update on the current state of affairs :)
I still couldn’t find a flat in Hamburg and I’m preparing for exams.
I’m working on a lot of paperwork for my internship as well.
I finished preparing the blank for my second attempt on the reel for the Sumitsubo :)
I wish I could do more work in the workshop and wouldn’t have to think about my studies all the time :(

Anyway I’m also working on another project :)

I wish everyone a great week and sweet dreams (^-^)/


Boulders, Waddell Creek by zh3nya
Via Flickr:

This started out with the desire to draw Miasma in one of those bathrobes akin to Rarity’s and evolved into a complete scene from there…

Miasma, always willing to watch the Manehattan Elite to find out what elevates them above the common folk, has found out that quite a few noble ladies like to spend whole afternoons relaxing in luxurious bathrooms or private spas, getting hooficures and generally letting themselves be pampered. So Miasma decided to do something like that herself, throwing various flowers into a stone basin filled with water and then spent a few hours just splashing around. She actually felt relaxed afterwards. Of course she didn’t consider that what she bathed in still amounted to sewer water filled with dead flowers, so her smell isn’t exactly getting better, but it’s the thought that counts…or something. Plus she couldn’t bring herself to use sea water…nasty associations (with Myxine - and itchy salt water).