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Where is East?

 
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 26 Mar, 2020 01:57 pm
@livinglava,
That is highly unlikely. The mummy of Ramses II was flown to France in 1976, and one of the French scientists found tobacco in the cerements of the mummy while examining it under scientifically rigorous conditions. I don't recall the evidence for the so-called cocaine mummies.

This thread does not really need your obsessive compulsion to argue with everyone and everything. RR/the Cobbler is confused enough without your interference.
TheCobbler
 
  1  
Reply Thu 26 Mar, 2020 01:58 pm
@livinglava,
Not if the cocaine was found within the hair follicles.

The documentary did not reveal those test results...
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 26 Mar, 2020 01:59 pm
@TheCobbler,
How can that be inferred? Are you alleging that the only two significant human activities are eating and praying? What can easily be inferred is that you are obsessed with religion.
livinglava
 
  0  
Reply Thu 26 Mar, 2020 02:00 pm
@Setanta,
Setanta wrote:

That is highly unlikely. The mummy of Ramses II was flown to France in 1976, and one of the French scientists found tobacco in the cerements of the mummy while examining it under scientifically rigorous conditions. I don't recall the evidence for the so-called cocaine mummies.

This thread does not really need your obsessive compulsion to argue with everyone and everything. RR/the Cobbler is confused enough without your interference.

I'm sorry to interrupt your rigorous discussion. It just caught my eye as a claim and it seems like something that would be caused by careless tobacco/cocaine use around the artifact(s).
TheCobbler
 
  1  
Reply Thu 26 Mar, 2020 02:02 pm
@Setanta,
I actually detest most religion, but I think humans have a genetic predilection for religion, be that what it may.
I am not going to allow my dislike for most religion to color my objectivity.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 26 Mar, 2020 02:03 pm
@TheCobbler,
What objectivity is that? I hadn't noticed it.
livinglava
 
  0  
Reply Thu 26 Mar, 2020 02:06 pm
@Setanta,
Setanta wrote:

How can that be inferred? Are you alleging that the only two significant human activities are eating and praying? What can easily be inferred is that you are obsessed with religion.

All culture was religion before the emergence of secularism. I.e. there was no distinction between religion and other cultural institutions the way there is now, such as literature/media, academia/education, government, etc.

Projecting secularism into the past is like projecting the history/fiction distinction onto something like Homer's epic poetry. Ancient culture mixed realism and magical symbolism to convey meaning. It's a fundamental aspect of human culture.
TheCobbler
 
  1  
Reply Thu 26 Mar, 2020 07:34 pm
@Setanta,
You seem to not notice a lot of things that go against your preconceived opinions.
TheCobbler
 
  2  
Reply Thu 26 Mar, 2020 07:42 pm
@livinglava,
Oh, there was surely secularism the past, certain individuals (like Socrates) with more of a sway towards scientific, rational and logical approaches to phenomenon but they were ostracized and murdered by overly religious zealots...

Thus, imposing the idea that there was not a significant secular objection to religion in the past is like murdering the secular objectors afresh...

Religious people are so certain of their invisible Gods that they will go to any length to sustain the power they derive from hoodwinking others with the same God delusion.

Religion may have gathered people into the first cities but, for thousands of years even up to today, it is a huge impediment towards "civilization".
TheCobbler
 
  1  
Reply Thu 26 Mar, 2020 07:54 pm
@livinglava,
Balabanova went on to test 134 additional mummies and bodies, including ones from Sudan, China, and Austria. One-third of them tested positive for nicotine and cocaine.

Even the mummy of Ramses was examined. Not only were tobacco and cocaine found in his body, but the nicotine was 35x that of an average cigarette smoker.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 26 Mar, 2020 07:54 pm
@TheCobbler,
You must have been looking in the mirror when you posted that.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 26 Mar, 2020 08:03 pm
@TheCobbler,
We have positive evidence of that from many sources. After Socrates, Plato and Aristotle, the Roman Cicero wrote:

Quote:
When you see a sundial or a water-clock, you see that it tells the time by design and not by chance. How then can you imagine that the universe as a whole is devoid of purpose and intelligence, when it embraces everything, including these artifacts themselves and their artificers?


The comments of Socrates imply a widely expressed skepticism about the existence of gods. Cicero's remark, which is one version of the teleological argument, or the argument from design, shows that that that skepticism had not died.
0 Replies
 
TheCobbler
 
  1  
Reply Thu 26 Mar, 2020 08:05 pm
@TheCobbler,
Why didn't the Egyptians import their own coca and tobacco seeds?

Perhaps the same reason why the Egyptians continued to go to India for spices rather than just cultivate their own.

There is a process to growing coca and tobacco.

The botanist in the documentary pretty much said there was not any possible plant of antiquities that would have existed without them knowing of it.

This is simply one more clue in a long line of clues suggesting intercontinental trade and exchange of ideas between the ancient Americas and the ancient Middle and Far East.

Does this prove trade and cultural exchange?

Well, it certainly does not disprove it either.

The Cocaine Mummies; Henut Taui’s Ancient Global Trade Network
https://www.gaia.com/article/the-cocaine-mummies-henut-tauis-ancient-global-trade-network
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 26 Mar, 2020 08:44 pm
It should not be forgotten that in the late 29th century and early 20th century, fake Egyptian antiquities were a cottage industry which was the largest single source of foreign exchange in Egypt. That included fake "mummies." The corpses or recently deceased individuals would be wrapped up in faked cerements and sold to gullible Americans or Europeans, which in those days was just about all of them. The French woman who found tobacco in the cerements of Ramses II was examining those cerements to make sure they were authentic. In the late 19th century and early 20th century there was no scientific study of fabrics, and the market in fake mummies in fact lead to the studies which now make it possible to date fabrics.

I have not read, and I doubt (without reliable evidence) that there were any traces of cocaine found in Ramses' mummy. There is almost no possibility that the remains of Ramses II were faked. There is very good reason to doubt the provenance of the so-called "cocaine mummies" the German woman was studying.
livinglava
 
  0  
Reply Thu 26 Mar, 2020 09:08 pm
@TheCobbler,
TheCobbler wrote:

Oh, there was surely secularism the past, certain individuals (like Socrates) with more of a sway towards scientific, rational and logical approaches to phenomenon but they were ostracized and murdered by overly religious zealots...

Thus, imposing the idea that there was not a significant secular objection to religion in the past is like murdering the secular objectors afresh...

Religious people are so certain of their invisible Gods that they will go to any length to sustain the power they derive from hoodwinking others with the same God delusion.

Religion may have gathered people into the first cities but, for thousands of years even up to today, it is a huge impediment towards "civilization".

My point is that religion and secularism are relative concepts. You could just as easily say that Socrates was religious because he believed in Truth, verses sophists who believed in using rhetorical manipulation to argue in favor or against anything they wanted to.

Religion and theology are just another way of talking about Truth and its opponents. Learn to understand it for what it is, a set of language and cultural traditions that contain/convey meaning; meaning that is valid and useful.
0 Replies
 
TheCobbler
 
  1  
Reply Fri 27 Mar, 2020 02:28 am
@Setanta,
Cocaine and tobacco was found in 1/3 of the mummies tested (hundreds of them), including Ramses II. The historical community is mum about the findings because they do not know how to reconcile this kind of discovery. Partly arrogance and partly pure puzzlement mixed with a bit of egg on their face.

It is preposterous to think with all the Chinese junks that were floating around the Pacific that one could not have blown off course and made it to the Americas and possibly sailed back.

The problem was that the ocean has microbial worms that quickly eat through the wood of the vessels. The ships would have sunk en-route.

But all that this would have required was that the bottoms of the boats be painted with tar or an antimicrobial oil which the Chinese surely knew of.

There a was a huge ancient tar market off the dead sea where chunks of dead sea tar have been found in many countries throughout the ancient world.

One would learn about the microbial worms by simply hugging the coast on a trading journey to India from China or perhaps even Africa.

Much later, boat bottoms were coated with copper which is antimicrobial and surely more ocean worthy.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Fri 27 Mar, 2020 05:41 am
@TheCobbler,
I don't believe your claim that cocaine was found in Ramses II. Can you back that up?

You seem to have a compulsion to demonstrate your ignorance. The threat to wooden sailing vessels came from the teredos, in the words of the OED, "a wormlike marine bivalve mollusk with reduced shells which it uses to drill into wood. It can cause substantial damage to wooden structures and (formerly) ships." It had nothing to do with any bacterium.

In fact, during the Ming Dynasty, the Chinese sent out several huge fleets, south, and then west, rather than east. That was at the end of the 14th and the beginning of the 15th centuries. One such fleet totaled more than 20,000 sailors, officers and supernumeraries. They reached the coast of Somalia. There was really no reason for them to sail east, as they were being sent out to look for trade opportunities and trade routes. There is a good summary description of the Chinese voyages in Latitude Zero: Tales of the Equator, Gianni Guadalupi & Antony Shuraar, Constable and Robertson, London, 2001.

Your knowledge of history is shallow and narrow, and it is always undone by your daydreaming, which leads you to seek confirmation of your speculations, rather than actually doing the hard and sometimes tedious working of reading history and putting the pieces together.

João I (we would call him John) of Portugal was married to Philippa of Lancaster, daughter of John of Gaunt, and named for her paternal grandmother. João and Philippa's son Enrique, known to the English as Prince Henry the Navigator, would never succeed to the throne, so he devoted himself to adventures in Africa. He tried to conquer Morocco, but got his butt kicked, so he switched to exploration and colonization. The Portuguese actually made money from that, so Prince Henry got a lot os support. He died in 1460, long after the Chinese had abandoned voyages to Africa. But in 1498, Vasco da Gama picked up a willing Arab pilot in Malindi, which is on the coast of what is now called Kenya. He arrived at Calicut on the Malabar coast of India, hoping to trade. The local Raj was unimpressed with his gifts, and Arab traders were quick to undercut someone whom they considered a rival. The return voyage was a nightmare, and they did not arrive on the African coast until January, 1499. They saw but did not visit Mogadishu, which the Chinese had visited more than a century earlier. The expedition finally reached Portugal in the late summer of 1499. Although everyone talks up Columbus, da Gama had opened an eastern trade route which made little Portugal as rich as or richer than Spain. The little fleet lost two of its four ships and more than half of its crewmen--but the small cargo of spices and semiprecious stones they brought back was worth more than 60 times what the crown had paid for da Gama's expedition.

People didn't pay for risky voyages just to sail around and see the sights. They want profitable trade routes, and that was the real legacy of Prince Henry the Navigator.
izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Fri 27 Mar, 2020 06:09 am
@Setanta,
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henut_Taui

It’s inconclusive.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Fri 27 Mar, 2020 07:05 am
@izzythepush,
I knew about that, but that did not include the mummy of Ramses. Moreover, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, taking corpses out to the desert to let the dry out, and then wrapping them up, mummy-like, for sale to the Americans and Europeans was a cottage industry in Egypt.
TheCobbler
 
  1  
Reply Fri 27 Mar, 2020 11:35 pm
@Setanta,
Now look who is name calling my knowledge of history is "shallow and narrow".

And you are an arrogant asshole.

Your knowledge of history is so arrogant, closed minded and therefore "warped" that you resemble a Trump voter.

Three theories came to prominence. The first suggested that modern-day humans had smoked the substances in the vicinity of the mummies since they had been unearthed, causing contamination that was picked up by the tests. The second was that these plants could actually have been grown in Ancient Egypt - after all, these were a people known for making the most of the plants around them. Lotus plants and poppy seeds, for example, are documented to have been used as stimulants during those times.

The third theory was that the Ancient Egyptians had actually discovered the Americas long before Christopher Columbus, and had brought back tobacco and cocaine for their own consumption. But while an attractive theory, and one with more romance and excitement than the others, it was widely derided. There's no doubt of Ancient Egypt's ship-building prowess, with the Nile having been used as a major shipping channel from the earliest recorded times. But if they had discovered South America, surely there would be written records of this fact?

It was clear that more testing was needed, to sort the fact from the fiction. But things got weirder...

Fast forward to the 1990s
In 1992, German scientist Svetla Balabanova and her team were involved in a programme that aimed to uncover how ancient societies used hallucinogenic drugs. Mummified ancient priestess Henut Taui - along with eight other mummified bodies - produced results that astounded the team.

Every single one of the nine mummies tested positive for cocaine and hashish, while eight also revealed traces of nicotine. And again, the world reacted with incredulity. There were too many “what ifs”, too many obstacles to believe that the results were true… weren't there?

Balabanova repeated the tests in the wake of the controversy, using radioimmunoassay and gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) - testing methods which are regularly used in modern day drug testing - and got the same results. The bones, soft tissue and hair of the mummies all contained traces of the drug, ruling out the possibility of external contamination.

Further research by Parsche and Nerlich in 1995 - which included samples from the intestines and liver - revealed that the nicotine and cocaine were most likely ingested, while the hashish was probably inhaled. And later, new research from Balabanova showed that 79% of the 71 additional mummies that were tested (using bone and hair samples) were positive for cocaine. Interestingly, the highest concentrations of the drug were found in the mummies that were youngest when they died.

The proof is in the hair testing
It wasn’t just Balabanova’s hair tests that revealed unexpected traces of these substances: multiple tests by other scientists over the subsequent years confirmed the result. But just how accurate were these test results likely to be?

While, at the time, it was still early days for hair drug testing, that’s not to say that the methods were unreliable. The scientists used both radioimmunoassay and GC/MS testing of the hair samples, carefully washing the samples beforehand, to avoid the risk of false positives through contamination.

But the test results alone are not enough. In order to be truly useful, hair test results must be expertly interpreted.

Interpretation involves working to rule out any extenuating circumstances that may affect test results. In the case of the cocaine mummies, there were plenty of circumstances that were suggested to have affected the results. Were the traces a result of contamination by modern day people smoking around the mummies? Did the mummies genuinely date from Ancient Egypt? Could these substances have been a byproduct of decomposition? Were the results themselves fabricated?

Every Cansford Labs test report will include the toxicologist’s interpretation of the test results, along with a detailed breakdown of the chain of custody, from sample collection right through to analysis. This ensures that the validity of the sample and the testing process are confirmed from start to finish, removing any doubt about the results.

It may be hard to believe that the Ancient Egyptians were using THC, cocaine and nicotine some 3,000 years ago, but of the three theories, it has the most validating evidence. The combination of a highly accurate testing method and careful, expert interpretation of the results suggests that, while their use may have been medical or even accidental as a result of the use of indigenous plants for other purposes, these addictive substances have been used for centuries longer than we once thought.

With no way of knowing for sure, the case of the cocaine mummies highlights just how vital interpretation can be in drawing the most valid conclusion from a hair drug test.
0 Replies
 
 

 
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