Badger Digs Up Graves of Slavic Warlords

Badger Digs Up Graves of Slavic Warlords

A badger living in the countryside near the town of Stolpe in Germany has uncovered a remarkable site: the 12th-century burial ground of eight people, two of whom were Slavic warlords.

Archaeologists sometimes spend years planning digs, studying historical references, maps and manuscripts, and carefully excavating an area to uncover treasures. But the latest discovery was made by a common mammal which often infuriates gardeners by digging up a prized vegie patch.

Two sculptors who live in the area had been watching a badger digging a large den. Upon closer examination, they noticed a pelvic bone inside the sett (den). "We pushed a camera into the badger's sett and took photos by remote control," Hendrikje Ring, one of the sculptors said. "We found pieces of jewellery, retrieved them and contacted the authorities."

The area was then excavated by archaeologists who found the graves of eight people. One warlord was buried with a two-edged sword and a large bronze bowl at his feet. Such bowls were used for washing hands before a meal and its presence in the grave indicates the individual belonged to the upper class. The same warrior also wore an elegant bronze belt buckle in the shape of an omega, with the head of a stylized snake at each end. Scars and bone breaks suggest that he had sustained war injuries and had also fallen from a horse.

Another grave held the skeleton of a woman with a coin in her mouth. According to ancient religious beliefs, people were often buried with coins to pay a ferryman to transport them across the river that separated the living world from the realm of the dead.

The finding of the medieval graves relate to a place and time of conflict between heathen Slavic tribes and Christians. The pre-Christian Slavs believed in a hierarchy of gods and spirits, some benevolent and others malevolent, which governed every aspect of their lives and required the expenditure of much effort through private and public worship and ritual. The ancient Slavic religion was quite naturalistic and, in contrast to Christianity, contained no doctrine, creeds, or scriptures and did not require any system of specific conduct. As elsewhere when paganism encountered Christianity it fiercely resisted but was eventually overtaken.


    Early life and career Edit

    Zhang was born in 1881 [2] in Yi County (now Laizhou) in Shandong. [3] His family was poor. Zhang's father worked as head shaver and trumpeter, [4] and was an alcoholic. [5] His mother was an exorcist [4] and "practicing witch". [5] His parents eventually separated. Zhang stayed with his mother who had taken a new lover. [5] In his teens, Zhang's family moved to Manchuria, where Zhang became involved in petty crime in Harbin. [2] He successively worked as a pickpocket, bouncer, and prospector. At some point, he worked in Siberia, learning Russian. [5] According to researcher Larry Weirather, Zhang was "raised" in Vladivostok, and spoke Russian fluently. [6] Zhang eventually became a bandit in the Chinese countryside, though served as auxiliary for the Imperial Russian Army during the Russo-Japanese War in 1904–1905. Following the conflict, he returned to crime and rose to lead his own bandit gang. [7]

    His activities during the Xinhai Revolution of 1911 are unclear, [7] though he reportedly led a group of "revolutionary desperados" at the time. [5] At first, he ended up in Jiangsu, where he joined an army regiment. He impressed his commanding officer Cheng Dechuan so much that he appointed Zhang his successor. Afterwards, Zhang and his regiment operated under Division Commander Leng Yuqin, battling bandit groups. [8] When the Second Revolution broke out in 1913, Leng sided with the revolutionaries and was killed, resulting in Zhang becoming the division's commander. [7] [8] However, the division's connection with the revolutionaries caused General Feng Guozhang to disband the entire unit, reducing Zhang to a merely symbolic role. He responded by murdering the revolutionary Chen Qimei in Shanghai in 1916, proving himself loyal and reliable to Feng. When the latter became Vice President of the Republic of China, he appointed Zhang the commander of his personal guard. [8]

    Zhang returned to Manchuria in 1922, and joined the Fengtian clique of warlord Zhang Zuolin. [7] He made a good impression, with one story being that he rose in popularity one year at Zhang Zuolin's birthday party: in contrast to other guests who showered the warlord with expensive gifts, Zhang Zongchang sent him two empty coolie baskets and failed to turn up himself. Zhang Zuolin was baffled until the purpose of the gift was ascertained: Zhang Zongchang's empty basket implied he was a man willing to shoulder whatever heavy responsibilities the warlord entrusted him with. He was subsequently rewarded with a command position in his army, though only after proving himself in battle did Zhang Zongchang visit his superior in person.

    Zhang Zongchang proved to be one of the more capable warlord generals, making effective use of armoured trains. [9] [10] Aided by his knowledge of the Russian language, [11] [6] he recruited thousands of White Russian refugees from the Russian Civil War [9] [10] he organised the men into specialised units, including a unit of Cossack bodyguards, [9] and crews for his armored trains. [12] He even outfitted some White Russians with pseudo-Tsarist uniforms and regalia. [ citation needed ] He was also one of the first Chinese generals to incorporate women into the military on a large scale, including using a regiment of nurses consisting entirely of White Russian women. They trained their Chinese counterparts, resulting in greater efficiency in taking care of Zhang's wounded troops, a significant boost for morale and combat capability. [9] He also organized his own small air force, including at least one Caudron C.59 bomber. [13]

    Rise to prominence and rule of Shandong Edit

    In 1924, he took part in the Second Zhili–Fengtian War, capturing the crucial Lengkouguan Pass after the Zhili clique's defenses were thrown into chaos due to Feng Yü-hsiang's betrayal. This boosted Zhang's reputation within the Fengtian clique. [14] He later helped partition Shanghai between the opposing forces. In April 1925 he conquered Shanghai proper and then seized Nanjing, both for the glory of Zhang Zuolin's Fengtian clique. From then on, Zhang was very active in Shanghai for both work and pleasure. [14] He often caroused in the city with Zhang Zuolin's son, Gen. Zhang Xueliang. Both men enjoyed opium, [ citation needed ] for which Shanghai was a key site in the smuggling trade, and the Fengtian economy became increasingly reliant on the drug. Zhang became closely connected the Shanghai's criminal gangs and the drug trade. Later in 1925, Zhang and his forces were ousted from Shanghai. [14] He was subsequently appointed military governor of Shandong, which he ruled as warlord until May 1928. [7]

    Zhang's rule of Shandong was notoriously poor, dominated by graft and mismanagement. He implemented excessive taxes, printed so much provincial currency that it became worthless, and starved public institutions of funds. By 1927, the provincial educational system had collapsed and the local economy was in tatters. Any opposition was brutally suppressed. Peasants banded together as part of the Red Spear Society, revolting against Zhang's reign in the countryside. Although poorly armed, these insurgents proved to be a major threat to smaller units belonging to Zhang's army. [15] At the same time, Zhang set up his headquarters in Jinan like a "medieval court" with lavish entertainment and grand feasts. [15] [6] He also acted as benefactor for artists, writers, entertainers, arms dealers, drug kingpins, diplomats, and Western journalists. [15]

    When the National Revolutionary Army (NRA) loyal to the Kuomintang (KMT) launched the Northern Expedition, Zhang remained firmly loyal to the Fengtian clique, briefly retaking Shanghai before his army was driven north. [15] As his position in Shandong was threatened to be overrun, Zhang requested a resident German technician named Franz Oster to build more aircraft for his air force to counter the advancing KMT. Oster constructed a plane, but when it was shipped to Zhang's headquarters, it was found to be so badly designed that it could not even get off the ground. [16] In 1928, NRA troops led by Bai Chongxi defeated and destroyed Zhang Zongchang's army, capturing 20,000 of his 50,000 troops and almost capturing Zhang himself, who escaped beyond the Great Wall to Manchuria. [17] Regardless, he and the remnants of his army were able to escape northward with much loot from Shandong. The province was left in chaos following his flight. [15] Even after the loss of Shandong and the murder of Fengtian leader Zhang Zuolin, Zhang Zongchang wanted to resist the NRA. When the succeeding Fengtian commander Zhang Xueliang intended to make peace with the KMT, Zhang and his follower Chu Yupu revolted and attempted to overthrow him. However, the combined NRA-Zhang Xueliang forces crushed Zhang Zongchang's army. In the end, even his Russian mercenaries betrayed him. [18]

    Exile activities Edit

    As his army disintegrated, Zhang fled to Japanese protection in Dalian, though remained unwilling to accept his reduced status. From Dalian, [19] he hatched several plots to regain his former territories. [15] Possibly enjoying covert support by Japan, Zhang, his long-time follower Chu Yupu and another warlord, Huang Feng-chi, returned to Shandong in 1929 and launched a major rebellion against Liu Zhennian, the Nationalist-aligned de facto ruler of eastern Shandong at the time. Gathering tens of thousands of demobilized soldiers who were still loyal to them, the three warlords fought for several months against Liu's followers, thereby causing great destruction and many casualties among the civilian population. [19] Zhang also instigated a parallel revolt in Beijing that was quickly suppressed. [20] In the end, the Shandong rebellion was defeated, but Zhang managed to escape back to Dalian. [19] This time, the Japanese authorities of the Kwantung Leased Territory did not allow Zhang to reenter Dalian. As a result, he travelled to Moji-ku in Japan instead. [21]

    Later that year, he was living quietly in Beppu, Japan, with his mother, though he was thrown into the spotlight again when he "accidentally" shot Prince Xiankai (憲開), a cousin of the deposed emperor Puyi. According to Zhang the gun he was holding while standing at his hotel window happened to go off and shoot the young prince in the back, killing him instantly, though it was more likely he killed the playboy prince for dallying with one of Zhang's many concubines. He was charged, found guilty by a Japanese court and given the choice between 15 days' imprisonment or a $150 (US) fine. He chose the fine. [22]

    Declaring his intention to assist the Chinese resistance against the Japanese invasion of Manchuria, Zhang visited some of his former comrades in Jinan on 3 September 1932. When he returned to the city's train station to travel to Beijing, Zhang was assassinated by the nephew of an officer whom he had executed. His last words were reportedly "No good!" [15] The assassin was granted clemency and pardoned by the Kuomintang government. Contemporary claims were made that the "filial murder" might have been part of a plan set up by a local governor to remove Zhang as a political rival. [23] [24] It was also suspected that ex-warlord Feng Yü-hsiang was involved in the murder. [15]

    Legacy Edit

    Zhang was buried in the Western Hills near Beijing. His funeral attracted family members, ex-retainers, paid mourners, and "the curious" the funeral procession stretched for 2 miles (3.2 km). [15] After his death, a shop clerk named Liang Zuoyou claimed to have found a $30 million check belonging to the Nanjing government on Zhang's body. Finance Minister T. V. Soong provided Liang with a first-class train ticket to personally return the check to the state treasury in Nanjing. However, Liang had "misread" the number, as the check was only worth $300,000. The government was ridiculed by the press for the event, while the clerk greatly profited, as he had exchanged the first-class ticket for a third-class one and pocketed the difference. [25]

    As a result of rumours of his great wealth, Zhang's tomb was repeatedly targeted and raided by grave robbers. It was also opened by Red Guards during the Cultural Revolution, but the communists only found a single tablet. [15] In modern China, Zhang is still mainly remembered as a "wicked warlord" representing the violent excesses of his era. [26]

    Nicknames and titles Edit

    In course of his career, Zhang gained a great number of nicknames, most of them derogatory: [27]

    • "Dogmeat General": [27][28] Some write that the name was based on his preference for or a Chinese brand of tonic known as "dogmeat". [29] Others state that it derived from his addiction to the high stakes gambling game paijiu, popularly known as "eating dog meat." [14][6][30]
    • "Monster" [27]
    • "Lanky General" [28]
    • "Old Eighty-Six": The origin of this nickname is unclear. According to rumours it either referred to his height or to the length of his penis, [31] which was said to measure up to a pile of 86 Mexican silver dollars when erect. [32][33][a]
    • "Three Don't Knows": Based on Zhang's alleged lack of knowledge about how much money he had, how many soldiers, and how many women in his harem. [32][14]
    • "72-Cannon Chang": [35] This nickname might also have been connected to the alleged length of his penis. [36]
    • "Chang of Shantung" by the foreign press [1]
    • "Great General of Justice and Might": A title he had awarded to himself. [37]
    • "The General with three longs legs" by Shanghai's prostitutes in reference to his penis' length. [36]

    Character Edit

    "Poem about bastards" by Zhang Zongchang [b]

    Zhang Zongchang was one of the most infamous and well-known Chinese warlords, [2] and is difficult to differentiate truth from slander and legends in regards to his life. [5] Being of impressive height [c] and physically strong, he was often regarded as a brute and loathed by his victims. [7] According to researchers Matthew R. Portwood and John P. Dunn, his opponents portrayed him as "a poster boy for evil and avarice". [5] In contrast to this negative reputation, Zhang was known to also be very sociable, charming and commanded the respect of his troops as well as superiors. [39] [10]

    Zhang Zongchang was described as personally very brave, [8] and as a "warmonger". [40] His opponents stated that he behaved "mindlessly brutal" during his military campaigns [7] and having "the physique of an elephant, the brain of a pig and the temperament of a tiger". [32] Writer Lin Yutang called Zhang "the most colorful, legendary, medieval, and unashamed ruler of modern China". [15] Former Emperor Puyi remembered Zhang as "a universally detested monster" whose ugly, bloated face was "tinged with the livid hue induced by heavy opium smoking". [ citation needed ] Zhang was notorious for his hobby of splitting the skulls of prisoners with his sword, and for hanging dissidents from telephone poles. [28] [8]

    He loved to boast about the size of his penis, which become part of his legend. [28] [33] Zhang was a "well-known womanizer", [41] and kept some 30 to 50 concubines of different nationalities, who were given numbers since he could not remember their names nor speak their language. According to the Time, several of his concubines had been forcibly seized from rich families in Shandong. [1] His concubines included Chinese, Japanese, Russian, and at least one U.S. American woman. [42] Zhang reportedly ate meat of black Chow Chow dogs every day, as it was popularly believed at the time that this meat would boost a man's virility. [36] He was free with his gifts, lavishly squandering money and concubines on superiors and friends. As a result, his commanders were very loyal to him, contributing to his military success. [32] However, his common soldiers were often not well paid, negatively impacting their morale. [14] [43] He often ventured to Beijing to meet with China's high society and go gambling. He repeatedly met and played poker with Oei Hui-lan, a socialite and wife of Chinese statesman Wellington Koo. She later argued that Zhang proved to be a complex character: On one side, he was "so delightfully outrageous that he was disarming", such as when he regularly gambled away tens of thousands of dollars and behaved like a swashbuckler yet he was also highly respectful and friendly towards those whom he respected including Oei. [32] Zhang also funded actress Yang Naimei, helping her to set up the Naimei Film Company in Shanghai. [41]

    Although only semi-literate, [28] Zhang Zongchang was also known for writing poetry, though his works (such as the "Poem about bastards", the "Daming Lake poem", "Visiting Penglai Pavilion" and "Pray for Rain") are generally considered to be quite bad. [38] [44] However, some sources have disputed these poems as being fabrications made by his political opponent Han Fuju to slander Zhang Zongchang. [45] When asked about where he got his education, Zhang liked to say that he went to the " 'College of the Green Forest' (that is, banditry)". [28]

    "Visiting Mount Tai" by Zhang Zongchang [d]

    Though not very pious, Zhang was reportedly superstitious. He was strongly influenced by a Daoist diviner, [46] Tong Huagu, [8] who had allegedly convinced the warlord of his powers by successfully prophesying that a train would derail. It was rumoured that the diviner had ensured this outcome by bribing some peasants to sabotage the tracks. [46] In summer 1927, a famine struck Shandong particularly hard, and Zhang Zongchang was reported to have gone into a temple of the Dragon King to pray for rain. When this failed to improve the situation, Zhang returned to the temple. In his fury, he slapped the Dragon King's statue several times, and ordered his artillery to shoot into the sky for several hours. [43] He also intended to build a shrine devoted to himself, including a large bronze statue, at Daming Lake. The project was not finished before Zhang's flight from Shandong. [47]

    While having a reputation as one of the most brutal and ruthless warlords, [2] he was also one of the most colourful. After defeating the army of general Wu Peifu by making his enemy's forces defect, he rewarded the defectors by allowing them to keep their original ranks. He then promoted his own officers, but since there was not enough metal to make the gold and silver stars for their rank insignia, he ordered the stars to be made from the gold and silver paper foil in cigarette packages. During the mass promotion ceremony, the officers were surprised to find their insignia already torn even before the ceremony had ended. [ citation needed ] He usually travelled with a coffin planted atop a car during his campaigns this was a typical way at the time to signify one's willingness to die in combat. He publicly announced that he would come home in his coffin if he was defeated in battle. When his troops were forced back during one campaign he was true to his word—he was paraded through the streets, sitting in his coffin and smoking a large cigar. It was also a matter of public amusement that he kept his aged mother with him at all times. Even on campaign he often kept her close, providing her with a well-appointed railway car to accompany his army. [42] He also raised a well-armed army of thousands of teenage soldiers for his son to command. [48]


    6 Archaeological Finds Made by Badgers

    When archaeological sites and artifacts are found by accident, it's often by humans stumbling over a skull in the woods or unearthing an artifact while doing some gardening. But we can’t rule out the utility of badgers for finding artifacts and skeletons—or the annoyance of discovering that the little jerks have ruined our stratigraphy with their burrows. Although their penchant for digging holes can help researchers identify previously unknown sites, badgers mix up artifacts from different chronological layers.

    Here are six recent and historic finds from around the world that involved the lowly badger. These are all from Europe and America, each of which boasts its own species of badger, but archaeologists around the world have had to deal with site disturbances by the critters. Asia has the Asian and Chinese badgers, as well as four different kinds of ferret-badgers, whereas Africa, India, and the Middle East are home to the honey badger. In the end, one thing is clear: Archaeology badger don’t care if it's mucking up our knowledge of the ancient past.

    1. THE GRAVE OF A 19TH-CENTURY TEENAGE GIRL // ALBERTA, CANADA

    Last year, a farmer in Viking, Alberta, found a human skull sticking out of a badger hole. The police were called, but it was quickly determined not to be CSI-worthy. The skull seemed to belong to a teenage girl who died and was buried in the early 19th century, complete with European-style clothing, rings, and thousands of beads. Since there was no major Native occupation of that area of Alberta then, archaeologists suspect she died while traveling between European trading posts and was buried in a shallow, hastily dug grave.

    2. MULTIPLE MEDIEVAL WARRIORS // STOLPE, GERMANY

    In 2013, a couple of German artists who were watching a badger build its den saw what they thought were human bones in the hole. Getting closer, they noticed ancient jewelry and called the archaeological authorities. Turns out, this clueless badger had made its home among eight people who died in the 12th century. Based on the artifacts and historical records of Slavic-Christian interaction during this period, archaeologists think two of the dead may have been warriors. Sculptor Hendrikje Ring, who spotted the badger den, was keen to give credit where credit was due, telling Der Spiegel, “This doesn’t make him [the badger] an archaeologist, but he’s the one who discovered it.”

    3. STONEHENGE CREMATION BURIAL // WILTSHIRE, ENGLAND

    In January, a British badger made a remarkable find of a Bronze Age cremation grave just miles from Stonehenge. The animal had uncovered the ceramic cremation urn and scattered bits of it around the hole. When real archaeologists delved into the discovery in Netheravon, Wilshire, with a proper excavation, they found a copper chisel with a bone handle (seen in the image above), an archer’s wrist guard, and shaft straighteners near the human cremains—evidence that the deceased may have made or used archery equipment. Archaeologist Richard Osgood told the BBC that “we would never have known these objects were in there, so there’s a small part of me that is quite pleased the badger did this.”

    The badger made its mark on the site in more ways than one, as you can see from the faint claw marks on this pottery shard.

    4. IRON AGE TO ANGLO-SAXON SETTLEMENT // FRISBY ON THE WREAKE, ENGLAND

    In the early 1980s, a dog disappeared down a rabbit hole in Frisby. Rather than finding Wonderland, the dog led its owner to ancient pottery shards. Fast forward nearly 20 years to the late 1990s, when archaeologists working in the same area were presented with a treasure trove of flints, butchered animal bone, slag metal, and pottery shards badgers had deposited them at the entrance to their many dens. Between the badgers and the eroding sand quarry, archaeologists had to work quickly to recover what they think is a settlement occupied continuously from the Iron Age through Roman times, and possibly during the Anglo-Saxon period. “The whole scenario,” archaeologist Brian Tompson wrote in a 1999 report, “demonstrates what badgers and dog walking can do for fieldwork!”

    5. NATIVE AMERICAN BURIALS // NEBRASKA, UNITED STATES

    Badgers are not a new phenomenon on archaeological sites, although it’s been only recently that they’ve worked their way into news items and research articles. In a recent reminiscence piece, archaeologist Ralph Solecki recalls excavating a Native American burial site in Nebraska with archaeologist Gus Kivett in the 1940s. (Such an excavation would be unlikely or even illegal today due to a web of legal protections governing Native American burials, archaeological sites, and artifacts, which were created in response to centuries of pillaging.) It stands out in his memory, he writes, because “the cemetery area had been infested with badgers … Recording the position of the burials was made difficult by the fact that the animals frequently dragged away the long bones into their holes.”

    6. STONE TOOLS IN AN ANCIENT SHELTER // PENNSYLVANIA, UNITED STATES

    One of the most famous—and debated—sites in the U.S. is the Meadowcroft Rockshelter, which has its share of badger activity. Meadowcroft was revealed as an archaeological site with significant history in the 1950s by farmer Albert Miller, but he didn't excavate until 1967. “In that year,” archaeologist James Adovasio and colleagues write, “his enlargement of a badger (?) burrow yielded lithic debitage [shards from stone tool production], shell and faunal remains confirming his suspicions of aboriginal occupation at the shelter.” (Considering the question mark, Adovasio seems unclear whether a badger was responsible or not.)

    Professional excavation has continued on and off for decades because Meadowcroft is key to our understanding of the settlement of North America. Its very early dates—16,000 to 19,000 years ago, based on carbon-14 analysis of organic material—are still somewhat controversial among archaeologists, but have opened up a larger discussion about the geographic spread of America’s earliest settlers.


    Contents

    Pogroms during the Russian Revolution of 1905 Edit

    After the publication of the October Manifesto, which promised citizens of Russia civil rights, many Jews who lived in the cities of the Pale of Settlement, went to the demonstrations against the government. For the local residents acting on the side of the incumbent authorities, this was the pretext to start a new wave of pogroms against Jews.

    In February 1905, a pogrom took place in Feodosia, on April 19 of the same year a pogrom occurred in Melitopol. [1] The pogrom in May in Zhytomyr surpassed the rest of the pogroms in terms of the number of victims. The most serious pogrom occurred in Odessa. 300 Jews were killed and thousands injured. Another serious pogrom occurred in Ekaterinoslav, during which 120 Jews were killed. Pogroms occurred in 64 cities (Odessa, Ekaterinoslav, Kiev, Simferopol, Romny, Kremenchug, Nikolaev, Chernigov, Kamenets-Podolsky and Elisavetgrad) and in 626 villages. Approximately 660 pogroms occurred in Ukraine and in Bessarabia. The pogroms lasted several days. Participants in the pogroms were workers of trains, traders of local shops, artisans and industrialists.

    The pogroms of 1903-1906 marked the beginning of the Jewish unification in Europe. They became the motive for the organization of Jewish self-defense, accelerated emigration to Israel, and initiated the HaShomer organization in Israel.

    The activities of the Union of Russian People and of other Black Hundreds organizations nurtured antisemitism in Ukraine in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

    Russian Civil War Edit

    When the Tsentralna Rada proclaimed the III Universal in November 1917, the Imperial Russian Army initiated a pogrom in Uman in central Ukraine. [ citation needed ] In February 1919 a brigade of UNR troops killed 1500 Jews in Proskurov. [2] In Tetiev on March 25, 1919, Cossack troops under the command of Colonels Cherkovsky, Kurovsky and Shliatoshenko murdered 4000 Jews. [3]

    During the Russian Civil War the Jews of Uman in eastern Podolia were subjected to two pogroms in 1919, as the town changed hands several times. The first pogrom, in spring, claimed 170 victims the second one, in summer, more than 90. This time the Christian inhabitants helped to hide the Jews. The Council for Public Peace, with a Christian majority and a Jewish minority, saved the city from danger several times. In 1920, for example, it stopped the pogrom initiated by the troops of General Denikin. [4]

    During the Russian Civil War, between 1918 and 1921 a total of 1,236 violent incidents against Jews occurred in 524 towns in Ukraine. The estimates of the number of killed range between 30,000 and 60,000. [5] [2] Of the recorded 1,236 pogroms and excesses, 493 were carried out by Ukrainian People's Republic soldiers under command of Symon Petliura, 307 by independent Ukrainian warlords, 213 by Denikin's army, 106 by the Red Army and 32 by the Polish Army. [6] During the dictatorship of Pavlo Skoropadsky (29 April 1918 [7] to December 1918 [8] ), no pogroms were recorded. When the Directorate replaced Skoropadsky's government, pogroms once again erupted. [9]

    Directorate of Ukraine (1918–1920) Edit

    In December 1918 Hetman of the Ukrainian State Hetmanate, Pavlo Skoropadskyi, was deposed and the Directorate (also called the Directoria) was established as the government of the Ukrainian People's Republic (Ukrayins'ka Narodnia Respublika, abbreviated UNR). [7] [8]

    This new Ukrainian government immediately reacted to the acts of violence which happened in January 1919 in Zhytomyr and Berdychiv. The Ukrainian government informed the Jewish leaders and the government of Berdychiv on January 10 that the instigators had been shot, and that the army squadron which took part in the action had been disbanded. The head of the government, Volodymyr Vynnychenko, stated that the pogrom actions were initiated by the Black Hundreds. He also stated: "the Ukrainian government will actively fight anti-Semitism and all occurrences of Bolshevism". [9]

    The pro-Bolshevik delegate of the Bund, Moisei Rafes, who initially stated that “the special detachment that was sent to Zhytomyr and Berdychev to fight the Soviets initiated a pogrom”, later in a speech at the meeting of the Labour Congress of Ukraine on January 16, 1919, changed his mind: "The Directoria states that it is not to blame, that it is not to blame for the pogroms. None of us blames the Directoria for the responsibility of the pogroms." [9]

    Symon Petliura made attempts to stop the occurrence of pogroms among Ukrainian detachments. When he discovered from the Minister of Jewish affairs of the UNR that the transiting squadron at the Yareska station had initiated violent acts against the Jewish population, he immediately sent a telegram to the military commandant of Myrhorod: “I command that the matter be investigated and reported back to me, and to use immediate measures so that similar excesses do not have a place and will be punished – 28 January – Head Otaman S. Petliura. [9]

    When Petliura took charge of the Directoria in 1919, at his initiative the government investigated the Jewish pogroms in Kamianets-Podilskyi and Proskuriv, demanding that the commanders “use decisive actions to totally liquidate the pogromist anti-Jewish actions, and the perpetrators are to be brought before a military tribunal and punished according to the military laws of war”. [9]

    A representative of the Jewish party Poale Zion, Drakhler, told Petliura: “We understand, having enough facts, that the Zhytomyr and Berdichev pogroms took place as acts against the (Ukrainian) government. Immediately after the Zhytomyr pogrom the Russian and Polish Black Hundred members boasted 'The planned pogroms had worked extremely well, and will bring an end to Ukrainian aspirations'”. Drakhler continued: “I am deeply convinced that not only we, but all Jewish democracy in its activities will take active participation in the struggle to free Ukraine. And in the rows of the army the Jewish Cossack hand in hand will fight, carrying its blood and life onto the altar of national and social freedom in Ukraine”. [9]

    Petliura replied to the Jewish delegates that he would use "the strength of all my authority to remove the excesses against the Jews, which are obstacles to our work of establishing our statehood".

    One document states in reference to the Kiev pogroms of June–October 1919: "When General Dragomirov, known for his liberalism, had to leave Kiev because of the Bolshevik offensive, turned to his officers (recorded in a stenogram) with the following words: 'My friends, you know, as much as I do, the reasons for our temporary failures on the Kievan front. When you, my heroic and never dying eagles, retake Kiev, I grant you the possibility to take revenge on the grubby Jews.'" [9]

    When Denikin's Volunteer army occupied Kiev [ru] ( 31 August [O.S. 18 August] 1919) it inflicted robbery and murder on the civilian population. Over 20,000 people died in two days of violence. After these events, the representative of the Kharkiv Jewish Community, Mr. Suprasskin, spoke to General Shkuro, who stated to him bluntly: "Jews will not receive any mercy because they are all Bolsheviks." [9]

    In 1921 Ze'ev (Vladimir) Jabotinsky, the father of Revisionist Zionism, signed an agreement with Maxim Slavinsky, Petliura's representative in Prague, regarding the formation of a Jewish gendarmerie which would accompany Petliura's putative invasion of Ukraine and protect the Jewish population from pogroms. The agreement did not materialize and most Zionist groups heavily criticized Jabotinsky. Nevertheless, he stood by the agreement and took pride in it. [10] [11] [12]

    World War II Edit

    Operation Barbarossa of 1941 brought together native Ukrainian populations of both, Soviet Ukraine and the territories of Poland annexed by the Soviet Union, under the German administrative control of the Reichskommissariat Ukraine to the north-east, and the General Government to the south-west. Many historians argue that the destruction of the Jewish population of Ukraine, reduced from 870,000 to 17,000, could not have been accomplished without the aid of the local population, because the Germans lacked the manpower to reach all of the communities that were annihilated, especially in the remote villages. [13]

    The nationalist OUN-Bandera faction of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army "openly advocated violence against Jews", wrote Jeffrey Burds. [14] In August 1941 at its Second Congress in Kraków OUN-B embraced anti-Semitism. "Twenty so-called 'foreign' nationalities were listed as enemies of Ukraine: Jews were first, Poles were second." The resolution stated: "OUN combats the Jews as the prop of the Muscovite-Bolshevik regime." [13] On September 1, 1941, Ukrainian language newspaper Volhyn wrote: "The element that settled our cities (Jews). must disappear completely from our cities. The Jewish problem is already in the process of being solved." [15] The Lviv pogroms were two massacres of Jews that took place from 30 June to 2 July and 25–29 July 1941 during Operation Barbarossa. According to Yad Vashem six thousand Jews were killed primarily by rioting Ukrainian nationalists and a newly formed Ukrainian militia. The pretext for the pogrom was a rumor that the Jews were responsible for the execution of prisoners by the Soviets before their withdrawal from Lviv. [16] Ukrainian nationalists assisted German Security Police and the Einsatzgruppen. [17] They compiled lists of targets for the branch offices of the KdS and assisted with the roundups (as in Stanisławów, Włodzimierz Wołyński, Łuck), as well as in Zhytomyr, Rivne and Kiev among other locations. [18] [19] [20] In Korosten, the nationalists carried out the killings by themselves, [21] same as inn Sokal. Other locations followed. [22]

    There were a number of right-wing nationalist and antisemitic groups in Ukraine in the 1990s. Among the most conspicuous was the MAUP, a private university with extensive financial ties to Islamic regimes. In the March 2006 issue (No. 9/160) of the Personnel Plus magazine by MAUP, an article "Murder Is Unveiled, the Murderer Is Unknown?" revives false accusations from the Beilis Trial, stating that the jury recognized the case as ritual murder by persons unknown, even though it found Beilis himself not guilty. [23]

    A 2014 report published by Vyacheslav Likhachev of the National Minority Rights Monitoring Group revealed that the antisemitic vandalism and violence peaked in 2005–2006, and declined since then. [24]

    In the early 2010s Jewish organizations in and outside of Ukraine have accused the political party All-Ukrainian Union "Svoboda" of open Nazi sympathies and being antisemitic. [25] In May 2013 the World Jewish Congress listed the party as neo-Nazi. [26] "Svoboda" itself has denied being antisemitic. [27] In the 2012 Ukrainian parliamentary elections "Svoboda" won its first seats in the Ukrainian Parliament, [28] garnering 10.44% of the popular vote and the 4th most seats among national political parties. [29] In the 2014 Ukrainian parliamentary elections the party got 6 parliamentary seats (it won 4.71% of the popular vote in this election). [30] In the 2019 Ukrainian parliamentary election other parties joined Svoboda to form a united party list, these were the Governmental Initiative of Yarosh, Right Sector and National Corps. [31] But in the election this combination won 2.15% of the votes, less than half of the 5% election threshold, and thus no parliamentary seats via the national party list. [32] Svoboda itself did win one constituency seat, in Ivano-Frankivsk. [32] [33]

    According to the Euro-Asian Jewish Congress Jews supported the 2013–2014 Euromaidan revolution which ousted Viktor Yanukovych from the presidency of Ukraine. The organisation claims few antisemitic incidents were recorded during this period. [34] [35] According to Eduard Dolinsky, executive director of the Kiev-based Ukrainian Jewish Committee, Ukrainian Jews overwhelmly supported the 2014 Euromaidan, however, its aftermath led to the raise of anti-semitism and social acceptance of previously marginal far-right groups, together with government's policy of historical negationism in regard to the WWII ethnic cleansing committed by the Ukrainian nationalist movement against the country's minorities. [36] [37] After the revolution Ukrainian Jews making aliyah from Ukraine reached 142% higher during the first four months of 2014 compared to the previous year. [38] 800 people arrived in Israel over January–April, and over 200 signed up for May 2014. [38] Also at least 100 Jews left the country and went to Israel assisted by the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews. [39]

    In April 2014, a leaflet was handed out to the Jewish community in the city Donetsk as if by the pro-Russian separatists who had taken over control of the city. The leaflet contained an order to every Jew over the age of 16 to register as a Jew, and also to declare all the property they own, or else have their citizenship revoked, face deportation and see their assets confiscated, ostensibly as retribution for being Ukrainian loyalists. [40] Denis Pushilin, head of the pro-Russian separatist Donetsk People's Republic, said it was a fake that was meant to discredit his movement. Donetsk Chief Rabbi Pinchas Vishedski also claims it was a hoax, and said that "Anti-Semitic incidents in the Russian-speaking east were rare, unlike in Kiev and western Ukraine". [41] An April 2014 listing of anti-Jewish violence in Ukraine in Haaretz no incidents outside this "Russian-speaking east" were mentioned. [42]

    There were also cases of exploitation of anti-Semitism and “the Jewish question” in propaganda campaigns, such as speculations used by the administration of President Viktor Yanukovych in the first (November 2013) days of the Euromaidan mass protests. [24] The conclusion of the (earlier mentioned) National Minority Rights Monitoring Group report describes a peak of antisemitic incidents in 2014, probably due to the instabilily in Ukraine. [24] In March 2014, Yaakov Bleich, the Chief Rabbi of Ukraine, accused Russian sympathizers and nationalists of staging antisemitic provocations to be blamed on Ukrainians. He claimed that these provocations were used by the Russian Federation to justify its 2014 invasion of Crimea. [43]

    According to a 2016 report by Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group, there was a significant drop in xenophobic violence in Ukraine, with the exception of the Russian-occupied areas in Eastern Ukraine. [44]

    In January 2017, thousands of Ukrainian nationalists marched in Kiev while celebrating the birthday of Stepan Bandera, of these many participants chanted "Jews out" in German . [45]


    17 ancient warriors who were certified badasses (17 Photos)

    Marcus Cassius Scaeva is probably the toughest Roman ever. He was a decorated centurion in Caesar’s army, who in his spare time, put his life at risk training with professional gladiators. During the Battle of Dyrrhachium, fought between Julius Caesar and the army led by Gnaeus Pompey, with the backing of the majority of the Roman Senate, Scaeva was fighting in the front ranks as usual when he was shot in the eye.

    The injury was severe, and would leave him permanently blind. Yet, despite having a pretty bad case of arrow-shot-through-the-eye syndrome, Marcus yelled a battle-cry, removed the arrow, and kept on fighting and killing even more intensely. During the same battle, he was struck by two more arrows (sources differ, but it is believed that one pierced his throat and the other his knee), while hundreds of arrows bristled from his shield. Marcus managed even under these conditions to hold the line and keep fighting.


    6 Resurrectionists


    There was a grave problem in 19th-century England: There were simply not enough cadavers. In the 19th century, there was an unexpected upsurge in the study of anatomy which required thousands more cadavers to dissect and study. However, cadavers were hard to legally come by since only a criminal&rsquos body could be used. And there weren&rsquot nearly enough executions to keep up with the demand. This created resurrectionists.

    These were grave robbers with a very different agenda than stealing Grandma Wilson&rsquos diamond pendant. Instead, these grave robbers would specifically not steal any money or riches from the casket. Rather, they were hired by doctors to deliver fresh young corpses to the anatomy schools in exchange for large sums of money.

    The resurrectionists were careful to only steal corpses because that was only a misdemeanor. If they stole any valuables, their crime became a felony&mdashwith a possible penalty of execution&mdashwhere they would become a new cadaver. So, resurrectionists just stole bodies and left thousands of empty caskets filled with valuables all over Great Britain.

    Doctors sometimes cut out the middleman and stole the bodies themselves&mdasha very undistinguished job for those tasked with saving lives. However, the lucrative resurrectionist practice ended in 1832 when Great Britain passed the Anatomy Act which made it much easier to legally obtain cadavers. Now, you are just creepy and probably into necrophilia if you are digging up graves.


    Badger in Germany digs up medieval tombs and uncovers 12th century heathen burial ground

    A BADGER has discovered medieval chieftain tombs that have been hailed as a &quotsignificant find&quot by archaeologists.

    Cert, a honey badger is pictured in the zoo in Prague, Czech Republic, Thursday, Sept. 9, 2010. Cert is a partner of Kaca who escaped from the Zoo earlier this week. Zoo spokeswoman Jana Ptacinska Jiratova said the female honey badger named Kaca escaped earlier in the week, when she probably climbed over a fence around two meters (six feet) high. Pavel Brandl, in charge of mammals at the Prague zoo, said the honey badger is considered the most fearless animal in the world. He said the small, furry creature which weighs about 17 pounds (eight kilograms) and loves honey is unlikely to survive in the wild. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek) Source:AP

    A BADGER has discovered medieval chieftain tombs that have been hailed as a &quotsignificant find&quot by archaeologists.

    The badger unearthed human bones while digging its underground dean on a farm near Stolpe, Germany, the Spiegel reports.

    Hendrikje Ring and Lars Wilhelm, sculptors and amateur archaeologists who live on the farm, stumbled across the bones when they decided to exhibit their work on the badger&aposs den.

    "We spotted a pelvic bone that had been dug up, it was clearly human," Mr Ring told the Speigel.

    "It wasn’t exactly surprising to us because a whole field of ancient graves had been found on the other side of the road in the 1960s."

    Curious, the men pushed a camera into the badger&aposs den and discovered jewellery inside.

    "This doesn’t make him (the badger) and archaeologist but he’s the one who discovered it," said Mr Ring, who notified authorities of the find.

    Archaeologists have since uncovered eight graves from the 12th century on the property, including two burial sites of Slavic chieftains. Researchers have discovered swords, bronze bowls, an arrow head and a belt with a snake head buckle, and say the site is significant because it is a rare heathen burial ground.

    A woman&aposs body with a coin over her mouth - to buy passage into the afterlife - was also discovered.

    Mr Wilhelm was given an archaeology award in honour of the find, and the badger is "one of our honorary members too," said Brandenburg Department for Monument protection Thomas Kersting.


    The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not responsible for them in any way.

    Oblig ( Score: 5, Funny)

    Badger badger badger ( Score: 5, Funny)

    Badger badger badger badger. Leg bone! Leg bone! Ohhhhh, Grave!

    Re: ( Score: 2)

    Re: ( Score: 2)

    Re: ( Score: 2)

    It could become a follow-up/mod/clone of Plants vs Zombies.
    Graves vs Badgers:)

    Re: ( Score: 2)

    Also oblig: "Badgers? BADGERS. " Someone please finish that one correctly.

    Re: ( Score: 2)

    Burying Bodies ( Score: 5, Insightful)

    Is it me or is the tradition of being buried becoming more and more ridiculous the further we venture into the reality that is the future.

    Frankly cremation is the current preference, that doesn't end in a badger exhumation.

    Re: ( Score: 2)

    I was thinking the very same the other day, it's a fine example of 'doesn't scale well'. I'm carbon all the way baby. Liking the industrial diamond option (which I suppose technically, also doesn't scale well!) but hoping the price comes down a bit.

    Re: ( Score: 3, Insightful)

    Re: ( Score: 2)

    I'm intrigued by that company that will press your ashes into a playable record.

    Re: ( Score: 2, Funny)

    Have you signed up for their newslestter?

    Re:Burying Bodies ( Score: 4, Insightful)

    It's quite the other way around. "natural" burials scale exceedingly well. Number of people who have ever died is estimated at around 100 billion. Add to that countless other species in the time span of hundreds of millions of years, I don't think cremation of remains (not to mention industrial diamonds) is anywhere near scalable.

    Re: ( Score: 3, Insightful)

    Indeed, the issue is that we still have an emotional attachment to the remains, and care that a badger digs them up. Personally, if nature wants to find a way to use my body after I'm dead, I'm happy.

    Re: ( Score: 2)

    I suggest Sky Burial then.

    Fun for for friends and foes.

    Re: ( Score: 2)

    Reminds me of when my friends were taking out life insurance and the insurance guy starts trying to change my mind about single guys not needing life insurance by saying "What happens if you die? Who will pay for the funeral?"

    I managed to get him to leave me alone with "I'll be dead, they can give me a 21 flush salute for all I care."

    Re: ( Score: 2, Insightful)

    Re: ( Score: 2)

    Re: ( Score: 2)

    Personally, if nature wants to find a way to use my body after I'm dead, I'm happy.

    I'm not particularly Buddhist, but I kind of hate the idea of my mortal remains locked up in an airtight box 'til the end of time, cut off from the rest of the world and the abundant life around me. I'd much rather think of earthworms returning me to the soil so that I can keep being part of the "circle of life" and all that.

    Re: ( Score: 2)

    It's BTW amazing to me how Buddhism appears to, basically, almost manage in making people value. cessation of existence. To long for such outcome, in a way (except "longing" is inappropriate description of course) how it won't include rebirth(*) doesn't change the end result.

    Now, I can't really know how it ends up in the actual folk flavors of buddhism, but it's a start / certainly seems to successfully convey more wisdom about our existence than premises of life everlasting (particularly its folk "we'll

    Re: ( Score: 2)

    You are right I shouldn't have said natural burial doesn't scale. Of course, I didn't though. The parent talked about the tradition of burial, in the UK (where the story is at) that means a graveyard.

    Graveyards don't scale. Sorry for any confusion.

    Re: ( Score: 2)

    And I should have said "can scale", I guess. Yes, many modern implementations of leaving the body to nature are somewhat bizarre, to say the least. But it can work, does work for eons.

    Re: ( Score: 2)

    Agreed, if people could get over the emotional attachment to dead body thing, then some kind of composting solution would be surely the most eco-friendly/responsible course of action.

    Re: ( Score: 2)

    Certainly there are "compromises" possible which would only require a small push in the right direction.

    Many cemeteries are already also quite pleasant inner-city parks, for example [wikipedia.org]. Burying bodies on a side in a way allowing active decomposition / for the plants to sensibly benefit, plus some memorial wall - that should be quite quickly accepted. Some customs are reasonably close already [wikipedia.org] (yeah, we can gather the bones after decomposition like that too, why not)

    Unfortunately, I imagine there would serious p

    Re: ( Score: 2)

    Re: ( Score: 2)

    Re: ( Score: 3, Insightful)

    Donate eyes, liver, kidneys or whichever organs can survive 'death', and cremate the remainder. There will only be a finite number of corpses that medical research can accept.

    On the other hand, if we cease to exist when we die, how can we decide what to do with the corpse after death? It should be left to the family members or community or government to decide how to recycle or treat the waste.

    Next up: flamewars about inheritance and communism

    Re:Burying Bodies ( Score: 5, Funny)

    I totally agree. Only a human being faces the possibility of being badgered in both life and in death.

    Re: ( Score: 2)

    Only a human being faces the possibility of being badgered in both life and in death.

    Badgers also have that problem.

    Re: ( Score: 2)

    Re: ( Score: 3, Insightful)

    Because you can't build on the land for several hundred, if not thousands of years. In some countries that's a problem.

    Re:Burying Bodies ( Score: 5, Insightful)

    All these interstate highways have at least 50 feet of available burial ground between the lanes and small critters often don't have much of a chance at making it over to invade.

    Re:Burying Bodies ( Score: 4, Informative)

    We don't have states or highways, thus we do not have interstate highways. When I say 'some countries' that was for the benefit of the american audience, what I mean is 'not in america'.

    Re:Burying Bodies ( Score: 4, Funny)

    Good lord, so when I take over the Earth I am moving all of humanity to Africa and refurbishing the rest of the planet..

    That is just an astounding perspective. Thank You!

    Re: ( Score: 2)

    Yes, ensuing arguments about europe notwithstanding, it absolutely blew my mind when I saw the US overlay. That mercator chap has a lot to answer for!

    Re: ( Score: 2)

    Are you saying that we should bury our dead in Africa? Have the Africans been consulted on this?

    Re: ( Score: 2)

    Interesting thought! We could pay them per body, they can use them as fertilizer to help with crops. What could possibly go wrong!

    Re: ( Score: 2)

    This graphic is kinda dishonest, though. It excludes most of European Russia (by itself already about 13% the size of Africa and bigger then India) from Europe.

    True, Russia is the biggest country, but in the list of countries ordered by size there are quite a few African countries in the top 40. Sudan, Algeria, and the DRC at 2 million KmSq Libya at 1.7 Chad, Niger, Angola, Mali at 1.2. er just a minute - what the hell is "European Russia"? Surely you don't mean Ukraine, Latvia, and other former Soviet states? Not a particularly popular terminology for that region:)

    Re: ( Score: 2)

    Re: ( Score: 2)

    what the hell is "European Russia"

    The portion of the Russian Federation that is in Europe, as opposed to most of its land area which is in Asia.

    Re: ( Score: 3, Informative)

    This graphic is kinda dishonest, though. It excludes most of European Russia (by itself already about 13% the size of Africa and bigger then India) from Europe.

    It also omits Alaska from the overlay. Alaska is the size of Spain, France, Germany, and the UK combined.

    Hawaii's left out as well, but that's a much, er, smaller problem.

    Re: ( Score: 2)

    Re: ( Score: 2)

    forget about 'between the lanes', how about under the road itself?

    Re:Burying Bodies ( Score: 5, Funny)

    "Here lies Dan.
    He lived his life in the fast lane.
    Now he rests next to it."

    Re: ( Score: 2)

    So when a grave gets reused, is the new body buried on top of the old one? are the old bones moved? what is the process for this?

    Re: ( Score: 2)

    Re: ( Score: 2)

    Traditional burial apparently takes place too deep for aerobic decomposition to take place. Embalming fluids, some medication and food additives, various metals in prostheses (e.g. dental fillings) further complicate the matter. Of course, cremation has its own problems with some of these, apart from the huge amounts of (fossil) fuel required.

    Natural burials [wikipedia.org] and ecological burials [wikipedia.org] provide some (partial) alternatives.

    Re: ( Score: 2, Insightful)

    Re: ( Score: 3, Insightful)

    and the living won't be pestered with all those stupid zombie movies anymore.

    Have you ever even seen a zombie movie?

    Hint: Few feature the grave.

    Re: ( Score: 2)

    Re:Burying Bodies ( Score: 4, Insightful)

    Burning wastes resources. and for what? (well, in many places burying does, too - seriously, concrete tombs and metal caskets?)

    A solace for living participants that there will be some reflection about them preferably in an orderly manner. That they will be remembered - but ultimately we ourselves don't treat very old memorials, very old customs, very old faiths as anything more than archeological curiosities.

    ARCHAEOLOGY PRIZE. Astolfo G. Mello Araujo and José Carlos Marcelino of Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil, for measuring how the course of history, or at least the contents of an archaeological dig site, can be scrambled by the actions of a live armadillo.
    REFERENCE: "The Role of Armadillos in the Movement of Archaeological Materials: An Experimental Approach," Astolfo G. Mello Araujo and José Carlos Marcelino, Geoarchaeology, vol. 18, no. 4, April 2003, pp. 433-60.

    Re: ( Score: 2)

    Well that's the point illusions for the living.

    And secondly, certainly "more natural".

    Re: ( Score: 2)

    Which is why I want to be plastinated [wikipedia.org] after I die. My family can keep me in a glass coffin and use me as a coffee table! [snopes.com] Or just stand me up in the corner. If nothing else, I'll make a great hat and coat rack! [instablogsimages.com]

    Re: ( Score: 2)

    does the stone look like you, does it talk, walk, think like you?

    If you saw Serenity, the first two parts are true (well, not the stone itself but the image in the stone).

    Re: ( Score: 2)

    Re: ( Score: 2)

    I want my head wired up and put in a jar Futurama style. My body should be frozen, shattered, and the frozen bits launched into space.

    Still wastefull ( Score: 2)

    Cremation requires a huge amount of fuel.

    I suggest making biodiesel, pet food, and fertilizer.

    We could auction off the corpses for such purposes.
    Imagine them stacked on pallets with plastic straps to
    keep them from falling off and a plastic wrap to keep
    the arms and legs in. Corpse bundles would be rated
    according to estimated meat, fat, and leftover content.

    Buyers would get a chance to request individual
    auction for corpses that they find to be particularly
    desirable. Among other things, this would allow
    museums

    Re: ( Score: 2)

    Monasteries have long faced this problem. In Greek Orthodox monasteries, bodies are buried for three years -- long enough to reduce them to skeletons. The bones are then disinterred, cleaned, and transferred to an "ossuary" or "charnel house", typically sorting the remains by type rather than origin (all the skulls together, all the femurs together). Roman Catholic monasteries took this practice a step further in the 17th and 18th Centuries, using the bones decoratively.

    Am I strange? ( Score: 3, Interesting)

    Re:Am I strange? ( Score: 5, Interesting)

    Am I strange? I quite like the idea oif my remains being eaten by badgers. Its part of the circle of life. I have always thought that the Native American tree burials and Zoroastrian towers of silence [wikipedia.org] are somehow very satisfying and symbolic of our return to nature.

    Well, the badgers aren't so much eating your body as food. Really they're just pulling your remains out of the way of their excavation project. Rather than participating in the circle of life by providing nutrition to critters, your body is just annoying them by getting in the way of their homebuilding.

    Re:Am I strange? ( Score: 5, Funny)

    When they start building their homes WITH human bones, we'll have more of a problem.

    Re: ( Score: 2)

    Oh I don't know. I'm useless as a skeleton in the ground. If my tibia can be used to brace some burrowing mammal's new dinning area, I'm all for it.

    A little macabre, but then again so are a lot of the old religions. Maybe they're catching up.

    Re:Am I strange? ( Score: 4, Informative)

    Re: ( Score: 2)

    Or sky burials [wikipedia.org] (this one with photographs)

    But members of many/most(?) cultures prefer to perceive themselves as not quite succumbing to the forces around them in such "trivial" way as something above them.
    Which, in the end, is part of few certainly still useful adaptations.

    Re:Am I strange? ( Score: 5, Informative)

    Ya know: "native American" is not exactly a monolithic group. Being a descendant of north American aboriginal people, I just decided that I'm allowed to be offended for the entire group called "native American" when the label is misused. Not everybody who was here before the arrival of Europeans practiced "tree burials," so perhaps you ought to be more specific. Sioux tree burials? Nez Perce tree burials? Apache tree burials? Even this list [nanations.com] isn't all-inclusive of the methods used in north America (pre-invasion) to bury the dead. [smaller nit to pick: that should really be native American, no Native American, just as it should be western European, not Western European. It's not necessary to capitalize every adjective.]

    I'm sorry if the above paragraph is offensive I don't mean to be. I do, though, dislike general assumptions or statements about aboriginal American peoples. We weren't (and are not) a monolithic culture.

    Re: ( Score: 2)

    I'm sorry if the above paragraph is offensive I don't mean to be. I do, though, dislike general assumptions or statements about aboriginal American peoples. We weren't (and are not) a monolithic culture.

    Not at all, I'm sorry I offended you. (incidentally Western European" [wikipedia.org] is standard). I was referring to a practice I had heard of and admire but really know little about. I should have at least put "Some" native Americans.

    I should have known better because I do realise how assumptions that you believe and follow a particular practice because it is practised somewhere in your wider culture can be can be upsetting if it is something that your particular group does not follow or recognise or even finds repulsi


    Get A Copy


    1 Koschei the Deathless (Slavic Mythology)


    Here we go&mdashthe number one monster you do not want to meet. Koschei the Deathless is the classic mythological villain, the guy who goes and steals the hero&rsquos wife, tries to woo her but ultimately cannot because he had forgotten he was a kidnapper, a sadist and quite hideous. Since he cannot die, nobody can beat him&hellip right?

    Well, there is a single way to kill him: you must destroy his soul. Unfortunately for you, he&rsquos hidden his soul away in the form of a needle. And the needle is inside of an egg, which is inside of a duck, which in turn is inside of a hare. The hare itself is hidden inside of an iron box, which is buried under an oak tree, which is on the mythical island of Buyan, home of the three winds. Not exactly a trip to grocery store if you ask me.

    Vlad Vekshtein is an eccentric writer and sci-fi geek desperately trying to churn out his first novel. He prays these monsters stay mythological in every sense of the word.


    Watch the video: full crypt open and close