CAIRO (Reuters) – Statues weighing up to five tonnes and thought to be of one of ancient Egypt’s greatest pharaohs, Ramses II, have been found northeast of Cairo, Egypt’s Supreme Antiquities Council said in a statement on Sunday.

Ramses II ruled Egypt from 1304 to 1237 BC, and presided over an era of great military expansion, erecting statues and temples to himself all over Egypt. He is traditionally believed to be the pharaoh mentioned in the biblical story of Moses.

“Many parts of red granite statues were found, the most important of which had features close to Ramses II … The statue needs some restoration and weighs between four and five tonnes,” the statement quoted the Council’s Zahi Hawass as saying.

A royal head weighing two to three tonnes and a seated 5.1 meter (16.7 foot) statue were also found, with cartouches, or royal name signs, of Ramses II on the side of the seated statue.

The discoveries were made at a sun temple northeast of Cairo in ancient Heliopolis, a region known in ancient times for sun worship and where the Council says a calendar based on the solar year was invented. Source: Yahoo

It was a time when giants roamed the earth. Giants like the palaeeudyptes, a 1.5m-high penguin – the 40 million-year-old remains of which have been found near Kawhia, an hour’s drive south of Hamilton.

The remains of this giant bird were found last month by Tony Lorimer who stumbled across the find while on a trip escorting the Hamilton junior naturalists club.

Dwarfing the huge emperor penguin, the palaeeudyptes would have cut an imposing figure across the Waikato landscape.

It seems to have died on the foreshore and sunk into the mud at a time when much of the area was just small low-lying islands.

“Two of us were walking along when we almost banged heads going for a look and realised they were bones,” Mr Lorimer said.

Ewan Fordyce, associate professor of paleontology at Otago University, said the find was extremely significant.

The bones may now become the showpiece of a small museum run by the Hamilton junior naturalists club. But Alan Tennyson, curator of fossils at Te Papa, said the fossil was a national treasure and should be somewhere where it could be appreciated by everyone. NZ Herald

The British revisionist historian and Nazi apologist David Irving was today sentenced to three years in prison after he admitted denying the Holocaust.

An eight-member jury at a court in Vienna convicted Irving, 68, a few hours after it began its deliberations on the first day of his trial.

Irving had pleaded guilty to denying the Holocaust in two speeches on a visit to Austria in 1989, but said at the trial that he had later changed his views.

The speeches included a call for an end to the “gas chambers fairy tale”, and claims that Adolf Hitler had helped Europe’s Jews and that the Holocaust was a myth. Read the rest of this entry »