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Archive for the ‘History’ Category

The face you’re looking at above belongs to Tollund Man who would be ~300 years older than Jesus, if Jesus ever existed that is. Although, amazingly enough it looks like it could belong to someone who died within the last week…

Tollund Man lived in the 4th century BC Denmark, during the Rre-Roman Iron Age. His body was found in a peat bog in the 1950s and funnily enough was first assumed to be a recent murder victim due to the incredibly preservation of his body. You can see the rough stubble on his chin for God’s sake… Just amazing!

Underneath the body was a thin layer of moss. Scientists know that this moss was formed in Danish peat bogs in the early Iron Age, therefore, the body was suspected to have been placed in the bog more than 2,000 years ago during the early Iron Age.[3] Subsequent C14 radiocarbon dating of Tollund Man indicated that he died in approximately 375-210 BC.[5] The acid in the peat, along with the lack of oxygen underneath the surface, had preserved the soft tissues of his body.

Examinations and X-rays showed that the man’s head was undamaged, and his heart, lungs and liver were well preserved. Although not elderly, Tollund Man must have been over 20 years old because his wisdom teeth had grown in. The Silkeborg Museum estimated his age as approximately 40 years and height at 1.61 m (5 ft 3 in), relatively short stature even for the time period. It is likely that the body had shrunk in the bog.

On the initial autopsy report in 1950, doctors concluded that Tollund Man died by hanging rather than strangulation.[6] The rope left visible furrows in the skin beneath his chin and at the sides of his neck. There was no mark, however, at the back of the neck where the knot of the noose would have been located. After a re-examination in 2002, forensic scientists found further evidence to support these initial findings.[7] Although the cervical vertebrae were undamaged (as they often are in hanging victims), radiography showed that the tongue was distended—an indication of death by hanging.[8]

The stomach and intestines were examined and tests carried out on their contents.[3] The scientists discovered that the man’s last meal had been a kind of porridge made from vegetables and seeds, both cultivated and wild: Barleylinseed, gold of pleasure (Camelina sativa),knotweed, bristlegrass, and chamomile.

There were no traces of meat in the man’s digestive system, and from the stage of digestion it was apparent that the man had lived for 12 to 24 hours after this last meal. In other words, he may not have eaten for up to a day before his death. Although similar vegetable soups were not unusual for people of this time, two interesting things were noted:[3]

  • The soup contained many different kinds of wild and cultivated seeds. Because these seeds were not readily available, it is likely that some of them were gathered deliberately for a special occasion.
  • The soup was made from seeds only available near the spring where he was found.

Preserved corpse of the Tollund Man on display at the Silkeborg Museum

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I thought I’d post this photo. It’s a beautiful photo that really encapsulates the worth of freedom. This photo was taken of Jewish prisoners moments after they were freed from one of Hitler’s death trains near Elbe. For full resolution.

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I’ve just finished watching a 7-part documentary series called The First Australians, which is on exactly that. It recounts our history here in Australia and how the first settlers all the way through to ‘white’ Australians’ in the mid 1900s treatment of aborigines in Australia.

It’s a pretty eye opening documentary I found, that almost brought me to tears at times when you hear stories from indigenous Australians about their parents and other ancestors who suffered at the hands of the Europeans during the 1700s, 1800s, 1900s and even today.

There were originally 250+ tribes covering every part of Australia. It’s believed Australia has been home to 1.6 billion human lives in the time following the arrival of the first Australians maybe more than 60 000 years ago. Within a few short decades of the first settlers arriving most were killed off either actively being shot to death like wild animals, or passively from European diseases contracted from the first settlers and passed on to countless other aborigines when they were corralled together in jails, camps and Christian missions.

Victoria was home to 60 000 or more aborigines when the first settlers arrived in the late 1700s. Within decades they numbered no more than 2000. Today, every single aboriginal with Victoria heritage can trace their ancestry to one or more of only ~350 aborigines. Tasmanian aborigines numbered less than 30 in the early 1800s after they were killed off by disease, shot by farmers worried about the price of their land and their livestock’s safety from inhabiting aborigines.

The 1800s saw the worst treatment of aborigines in our history, in my opinion, where they were systematically moved off their land, hunted, tortured, raped, hanged, shot, murdered, jailed, had their wives and children stolen, their lands poisoned, deforested and stolen, and worse. After white initially aimed to try moving them off their land, and when they refused to simply shoot them, they later tried breeding them out or ‘merging’ them into white society in the hope that the future Australians would forget the existence of the country’s original owners.

“Half-casts” were banned from living with their parents on reservations because they were part white. Whilst “full bloods” weren’t allowed to leave the reservations without legal documents having been signed and given to them. Even until the mid 1900s they were banned from pubs, ex-military members were banned from joining RSLs, they weren’t allowed to go into hotels, pubs or bars, giving birth in hospitals, they weren’t allowed to be served at stores unless no single white person was waiting to be served, they had no vote and no land rights.

For those who rose up initially in protest of their treatment, they were banned from reservations, had their rations restricted or completely taken from them so that they and their children would starve and hopefully die from the state’s point of view.

There were a few ‘white’ heroes along the way, don’t get me wrong, who stepped in where they could to do the right thing and learn from, protect, and fight for the safety and rights of the aborigines. Two brilliant examples are Sir Walter Baldwin Spencer and Francis James Gillen. But most ‘heroes’, or those trying to ‘do the right thing’ were Christian missionaries who stripped the aborigines of their culture and heritage, and in the worst cases their children. They often also forced or conned large numbers of aborigines off their land and into missions to be ‘educated’ by in school and church, which quite often to the subsequent deaths of 100s of individuals from diseases to which they had no prior exposure or immunity to.

Anyway, I thoroughly recommend watching the full series. It’s about 6 hours in length through the 7 episodes, but it covers a sizeable portion of the first Australian’s history. A lot of which is either denied, hidden or lied about by past and present Australians.

Although I never had anything to do with what happened to the first Australians, nor did any of my Australian ancestors (at least to my knowledge) who only arrived in more recent years, as a ‘white’ European Australian I feel a great deal of disgust, shame and sorrow for what was done (and is still done to a lesser extent today) to these people by Europeans.

You can watch it all free here online, and find information on it there too.

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