Tuesday, July 14, 2015

The Flesh Eating Tombs...!

Many of the old tombs and structures have secrets that we have never found the answers to.

The Old Ones found ways to do certain things that we have yet to equal. You might say that some knowledge has not been shared with us, in spite of our technical advances.

The Mysterious Turkish Tombs That Quickly Dissolve Bodies

Assos in Turkey has suffered from botched excavations, extended neglect, and people carting away remnants of the ruins for personal use. In the late 1800s, written accounts of the first dig reveal that the archaeological team, many of whom were amateurs, dug too quickly and damaged some of the site. In addition, Francis Bacon, an architect who was second in command of the excavation, complained about all the different people, including those in government, who simply took what they wanted from the site without regard to preserving its history.

“It makes one’s blood boil to think how this grand old city has been devastated within the last 50 years! The Turkish government has been carting away cut stones, and every little village in the neighborhood comes here for building material,” said Bacon. “The gypsy smiths steal all the iron clamps as fast as we expose them, and next year a new magazine [storeroom] will be built here at the port all of ancient blocks. In 10 years it won’t be much use coming here to see Greek ruins; better go to Athens!”

In the 1980s, a new Turkish team not only excavated the site, they attempted to reconstruct some of the ruins. However, instead of using exceptionally durable andesite like the ancient builders did, this Turkish team substituted concrete blocks in areas where the original stones were missing. The concrete crumbled more in just 20 years than the ancient stones did in 2,500 years. The rest of the reconstructions were botched, too.

Nevertheless, Assos has a feature that has intrigued scientists for a long time. The city is known for its flesh-eating tombs that cause bodies to decompose completely in just 40 days instead of the normal 50–200 years needed elsewhere. In fact, it’s believed that the word “sarcophagusA” derives from the Greek sarkophagos, which literally means “flesh-eating stone.”

Some scientists believe that the tombs contain a large amount of aluminum to accelerate decomposition of the bodies. Their theory is that the ancient inhabitants of Assos discovered that aluminum would burn skin, so they placed aluminum inside the sarcophagi to make the bodies decompose more quickly. Other researchers are studying andesite, the type of stone used in the Assos sarcophagi, to see if it contains a special property that hastens decomposition. In the ancient world, these sarcophagi were highly valued and were traded as far away as Egypt and Rome.

Isn't it a shame that in trying to unwrap a mystery, we often end up destroying it instead? I think it happens more than we will ever know.

We better have our coffee in the kitchen this morning. The heat out on the patio isn't good for our health. 100 degrees aqt 9:00 PM last night.


Sixbears said...

I shudder to think how much knowledge was lost through short sighted thinking.

linda m said...

When I think of how much history has been lost due to thieves,inept excavators,etc it makes me so sad. Coffee in the kitchen is just fine this morning. Very hot and very humid here this morning. Don't know if I will be going for my daily walk as I don't want to pass out or anything worse. I'll bring a fresh Kringle to share.

JO said...

This is so very sad to read. Could have been such a treasure to explore and know more about what it was like 2,500 yrs ago there.

Coffee in the kitchen it is. to chilly and damp here 56 degrees this morning.

HermitJim said...

Hey Sixbears...
Boy, isn't that the truth? I'm sure the same thing happens here in the states, but at least it's illegal.
Thanks for stopping by today!

Hey Linda...
I guess that human nature hasn't changed much over the years.
Take care in the heat. It can be very bad for the body!
Thanks for coming over today!

Hey Jo...
This weather is crazy all over! Strange everywhere!
Thanks for dropping in today!

Mamahen said...

Hind sight is 2/)0/20..but then most folks are nust out for them selves.

Dizzy-Dick said...

Maybe we need to build the White House and Congress out of those stones (grin). OH, that's right, most of the occupants of those places are already slimy.

HermitJim said...

Hey Mamahen...
I'm afraid you're right about that!
Thanks for the visit today!

Hey Dizzy...
I don't think it would help a lot.
Thanks for stopping by today!