Mystery has long surrounded the strange and protracted death of one of history's greatest ng built one of the ancient world's largest empires, Alexander the Great's death at the age of just 32 has perplexed scholars for centuries. Some believe that members of his inner circle may have plotted to murder him while others believe he died of natural ng been approached by the team behind a new BBC documentary, toxicologist Dr Leo Sche recently conducted his own investigation in to the mystery in an effort to find out if the Macedonian leader had indeed been poisoned by his rding to historical records Alexander had taken an agonizing 12 days to die, a fact that ruled out several types of poison such as hemlock and aconite that would have killed him much ead, Dr Sche believes that a poisonous plant, Veratrum album, could have been fermented as a wine and given to Alexander during a banquet. Despite the bitter taste, the drink could have been sweetened with other ingredients and given to the leader while he was already intoxicated.
The ritualistic killing of animals and humans to appease the gods had played an integral role in many societies through the centuries. A recent controversial study hypothesizes that these religious rituals may have encouraged the development of complex civilizations, taking society from small, egalitarian groups to the large, stratified societies of n sacrifice was often carried out by chiefs or priests on powerless people like slaves, who were treated royally prior to their brutal death. They were beaten, crushed or had their heads cut off in order to appease the gods upon the death of a chief, the blessing of a new home or boat. The act was also used for taboo violations, to demoralize the underclass, to mark class boundaries, to instill fear on social elites and/or to maintain social control (obedience to authority and a stable government). Taking a life was the ultimate display of authority.
This is an example of the “social control hypothesis,” where the elite may have used sacrifice to preserve their power and status by claiming supernatural approval of their ph Watts, psychologist and doctoral student who studies cultural evolution at the University of Aukland in New Zealand led the study. He and his colleagues analyzed 93 Austronesian (those with a common ancestry based in Taiwan and migrating across the Indian and Pacific oceans) societies. They used historical and ethnographic accounts to identify which cultures practiced human sacrifice prior to cSkoele123ontact with industrialized nations. From this data, they built family trees using linguistic coded showing how these cultures evolved. The research suggests that a belief in supernatural punishment promotes political complexity and considers whether human sacrifice and social stratification (status/social mobility) evolved together. They found that two-thirds of highly stratified (with strict, restricted social mobility with inherited status) practiced human sacrifice while one-fourth of egalitarian (rank and power not inherited) practiced the theory has not been without its doubters. Joseph Henrich, a human evolutionary anthropologist at Harvard University urges skepticism when using language trees to interpret cultural practices.
Richard Sosis of The University of Connecticut states,The conversation also extends to modern society with discussions about separation of church and state, the morality of the death penalty, abortion and even war.
A river near Yellowstone National Park suddenly changed colors and began to boil and emit yellowish noxious gases. Some witnesses wondered if “we’re all about to die.” Is this just another volcanic vent or a sign of bad things to come?The Shoshone River runs through Cody, Wyoming, just east of Yellowstone National Park. It’s close enough to be a ‘canary in a coal mine’ for unusual geothermic events and that’s precisely what happened on March 25th when photographer Dewey Vanderhoff spotted the Shoshone River mysteriously boiling … and , it’s most likely a volcanic vent, but it’s in the Shoshone River, which was once known as the Stinkingwater and not because of buffalos bathing in it. Explorer John Colter, who was a key member of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, visited the area in the winter of 1807 and wrote about the many geysers and hot springs and an unusual sulfur-smelling river. Geyser cones, sinkholes and abandoned sulfur mines are evidence that others found them too.
However, that was two centuries ago and the geothermal activities have all but disappeared, says Wyoming Game and Fish Department biologist Jason l now. While this particular event ended after four days, Burkhardt says recent other activity has released enough hydrogen sulfide into the river that there’s a 1.5 mile sulfur-smelling dead zone that is completely void of fish. Burkhardt calls it a “chemical barrier” blocking live fish from entering. That can’t be a good boiling river has cooled down … for now. It’s just a few miles from the Yellowstone supervolcano where earthquake activity is increasing.
Should Vanderhoff put down his camera, grab his friend who is worried about dying and run?