November 29, 2017 Newsletter
C.S. Lewis, author, b. 1878
Louisa May Alcott, author, b. 1832
1989: Czechoslovakia ends Communist rule.
Also on this day, in 1929, American explorer Richard Byrd and three companions make the first flight over the South Pole, flying from their base on the Ross Ice Shelf to the pole and back in 18 hours and 41 minutes.
The True Story Behind Turkey’s Ancient ‘Underwater Castle’
-By Owen Jarus, Live Science Contributor | November 28, 2017
Last week, a story about a 3,000-year-old castle discovered beneath the waters of Lake Van, in Turkey, went viral. But what’s the real story behind this Atlantis-like discovery?
It turns out that the story is more complicated and mysterious than recent news reports suggest, Live Science found after speaking with several archaeologists as well as the leader of the photography team who discovered the castle.
Parts of the “castle,” a term that the discoverers use to describe it, likely date to the Middle Ages, which lasted from about A.D. 476 to 1450, and it may not be an entirely new discovery: Reports from surveys of the Lake Van area conducted in the 1950s and 1960s noted the existence of the structure. It’s not clear when the castle was washed underwater. [See Photos of the Remains of the Underwater Castle in Turkey]
For instance, some of those reports indicated that medieval castle builders at Lake Van actually reused ancient material dating back to about 1000 B.C. to create the castle walls. The reports also mention a wall that plunges into the lake that has inscriptions on it that discuss an ancient king named “Rusa” and his interactions with a god named “Haldi.”
What has really been found?
For the past 10 years, a team led by Tahsin Ceylan, an underwater photographer, has been exploring the waters beneath Lake Van, documenting natural features like microbialites (living, organic rock structures that are similar in some ways to coral) as well as archaeological sites, such as a Russian ship that dates to 1915.
In 2016, this team, which does not include an archaeologist, found a structure outside the harbor of Adilcevaz, a town in Turkey that has been inhabited for thousands of years. We “came across some sort of wall outside the harbor in one of our dives. Later [we] found out that it is a castle’s wall that starts within the harbor and continues outside,” Ceylan told Live Science. [Image Gallery: Stone Structure Hidden Under Sea of Galilee]
“The castle is approximately 1 kilometer [less than a mile] long and has a solid structure.”
The castle is made primarily of cut stones, Ceylan said, adding that the team had found a lion drawing on one of them, supporting the idea that Urartians — a people who flourished in Turkey about 3,000 years ago — may have built the structure. Lions were a popular motif among the people of Urartu.
Media reports suggested that an archaeologist was part of the team. “Our team of divers does not include an archaeologist — that is something the press added on their own,” Ceylan said. “In our statement that we’ve sent to the press, we indicated that [given] the fact it was built with cut stones and one of the stones has a lion figure carved on it, the castle might belong to [the] Urartian civilization that lived here 3,200 years ago. But we specifically stated that archaeologists are the sole deciders on the matter. But the press made their own assumptions from this statement,” Ceylan said.
Archaeologists weigh in
The archaeologists that Live Science talked to thought that many of the remains the team found likely date to the Middle Ages. The underwater remains seem to consist of “Medieval castle walls and probably an Urartian site,” said Geoffrey Summers, an archaeological research associate at the University of Chicago’s Oriental Institute. The remains have been “known for a long time” from survey reports, Summers said.
Summers looked at a high-resolution image of the lion drawing, saying he thinks it looks more medieval than something from the Urartian kingdom.
Kemalettin Köroğlu, an archaeology professor at Marmara Üniversitesi, agreed that much of the underwater remains are actually medieval. He noted that some of the images show masonry between the ashlar wall stones (which are a type of stone that is square cut). “The walls [seem] medieval or late antique period rather than Urartu. Urartian never used any material between ashlar wall stones to connect each other,” Köroğlu said.
It’s possible that some of the 3,000-year-old Urartian remains seen in the photos were actually reused by castle builders during the Middle Ages, said Paul Zimansky, a history professor at Stony Brook University in New York. He also said that he needs to conduct more research.
A vast collection of surveys and documents published by archaeologists who surveyed the Lake Van area in the 1950s and 1960s includes mentions of both Urartu and medieval remains in the area.
One intriguing paper, by archaeologists Charles Allen Burney and G.R.J. Lawson, published in 1958 in the journal Anatolian Studies, discusses a “medieval castle at Adilcevaz, on the north shore of Lake Van,” whose builders had reused blocks that had been constructed by the Urartians 3,000 years ago.
Another intriguing report published in 1959 in the journal Anatolian Studies by a scholar named P. Hulin reports on a “lofty wall of later than Urartian times” that runs “into the lake.” While investigating the wall, Hulin apparently discovered inscriptions dating back about 2,700 years that mention an Urartian king named Rusa. The inscriptions are fragmentary, and Hulin could make out only a small amount of the writing. The inscriptions discuss Rusa, who appears to be interacting with Haldi, an Urartian god.
The archaeologists and divers that Live Science spoke to all agree that more research is needed to determine what exactly these underwater remains consist of. “The area needs to be thoroughly researched by [an] archaeologist,” Ceylan said. “For the time being, there is no team here to conduct dives and researches on the castle.”
Originally published on Live Science.
PHOTOS OF THE DAY
A shaman implores the spirits on the eve of the start of the 1st edition of the Marathon des Sables Peru in Cahuachi, the Ica desert. Runners compete in the race of approximately 250km dividend into 6 stages in self-sufficiency conditions.
CREDIT: JEAN PHILLIPE KSIAZEK/AFP/GETTY IMAGES
The new spokeless Bailang River Bridge Ferris Wheel in Weifang, Shandong Province of China. The wheel measures 145 metres tall, ten metres taller than the London Eye.
Organ Tuner Chris Wintle at work in the organ loft of Canterbury Cathedral in Kent, as he tunes one of over 3000 pipes in the loft which make up the organ in time for the Christmas services.
Market Closes for November 29th, 2017
|Bonds||% Yield||Previous % Yield|
10 Year Bond
10 Year Bond
30 Year Bond
|WTI Crude Future||57.30||57.99|
Number of the Day
The S&P 500’s technology sector is on pace to post 20% earnings growth in the third quarter, far outpacing the broader index’s expected earnings growth rate of 6.4%.
By Kristine Owram
(Bloomberg) — Canadian stocks fell to a two-week low as weaker commodity prices and a rotation out of the year’s best- performing sectors weighed on most indexes.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index fell 62 points or 0.4 percent to 15,967.72. Technology shares tumbled 2.7 percent amid a broader global decline in tech stocks.
The materials index lost 1.3 percent as both precious and base metal prices fell. Guyana Goldfields Inc. tumbled 8.1 percent and Hudbay Minerals Inc. fell 4.9 percent.
Financials were among the few gainers, adding 0.4 percent as a record annual profit from Royal Bank of Canada boosted its shares 0.9 percent.
In other moves:
* Restaurant Brands International Inc. fell 2.1 percent as the U.S. tax debate continued, weighing on companies with lower tax rates
* Dollarama Inc. lost 2.3 percent after a BMO downgrade, saying it sees no reason for recent gains
* Aurora Cannabis Inc. tumbled 14 percent after CanniMed Therapeutics Inc. adopted a shareholder rights plan
* Western Canada Select crude oil widened to a $17.25 discount to WTI after regulators said the Keystone pipeline will have to operate at a 20% pressure reduction
* Aeco natural gas traded at a $1.38 discount to Henry Hub
* Gold fell 1 percent to $1,282.10 an ounce, the lowest in more than a week.
* The Canadian dollar weakened 0.4 percent to C$1.2863 per U.S. dollar, the lowest since Nov. 1
* The Canada 10-year government bond yield rose four basis points to 1.88 percent
By Robert Brand and Sarah Ponczek
(Bloomberg) — U.S. stocks gave up early gains as a selloff in technology shares from Apple Inc. to Amazon.com Inc. dragged down major indexes. Treasuries dropped after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen called economic growth “increasingly broad based.”
The Nasdaq 100 Index fell as much as 2.2 percent as signs of a rotation from the year’s leaders emerged anew. As tax legislation proceeded through the Senate, the FANG block of megacap tech shares that paced gains throughout the year fell the most in 22 months. All 15 members of the S&P 500 Semiconductor Index retreated, led by Micron Technology, Lam Research Corp. and Applied Materials Inc.
“The large tech companies already have low effective tax rates because they were gaming the system,” Michael O’Rourke, chief market strategist at JonesTrading Institutional Services LLC, said by phone. “Any reform would have to close the loopholes, which obviously they’re trying to do, so they don’t benefit.”
Stocks started the day higher on speculation the Senate would pass cuts to corporate taxes, with banks pacing gains on bets that industry will benefit most. Yellen’s comments added to optimism that growth is poised to accelerate. The dollar fluctuated, while 10-year Treasury yields rose.
In testimony prepared for her appearance Wednesday before the congressional Joint Economic Committee, Yellen repeated that she anticipates the Fed will continue gradually raising interest rates and trimming its balance sheet. The Fed’s Beige Book economic report said the U.S. economy grew at a modest to moderate pace through mid-November as price pressures strengthened and the labor market tightened.
The Stoxx Europe 600 Index advanced with banks outperforming after Yellen’s proposed replacement, Jerome Powell, signaled that he won’t add to financial regulations. Retailers got a leg up after the strongest euro-zone confidence data since 2000 underscored the region’s economic resilience. Core European bonds fell and the euro gained as data showed German inflation accelerated in November.
In the U.K., gilts dropped and sterling jumped as investors brought forward their expectations for the next interest-rate increase by the Bank of England after Brexit negotiators agreed to an outline divorce deal. The FTSE 100 stock index fell the most in five weeks.
Elsewhere, oil declined before OPEC meets to decide on prolonging supply cuts past the end of March. Industrial metals extended a slide.
Here are some key events coming up this week:
* In China later this week, the official and Caixin manufacturing PMIs are expected to show mostly steady momentum.
* Japan industrial production is forecast to have rebounded in October, but CPI may show a sharp divergence between headline and core inflation, Bloomberg Intelligence said.
* OPEC meets in Vienna on Thursday.
These are the main moves in markets:
* The S&P 500 fell less than 0.05 percent as of 4:02 p.m. New York time, the biggest decline in a week.
* The Stoxx Europe 600 Index climbed 0.2 percent.
* The U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index sank 0.9 percent.
* Germany’s DAX Index gained less than 0.05 percent.
* The Nasdaq Composite Index sank 1.3 percent, the biggest decline in almost 15 weeks.
* The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index gained less than 0.05 percent.
* The euro rose 0.1 percent to $1.1854.
* The British pound advanced 0.5 percent to $1.3412, the strongest in two months.
* The Japanese yen sank 0.3 percent to 111.86 per dollar.
* The yield on 10-year Treasuries climbed five basis points to 2.38 percent.
* Germany’s 10-year yield gained five basis points to 0.39 percent, the highest in two weeks.
* Britain’s 10-year yield climbed nine basis points to 1.338 percent.
* West Texas Intermediate crude fell 1.1 percent to $57.38 a barrel.
* Gold dipped 0.7 percent to $1,285.24 an ounce, the weakest in more than a week.
* Copper fell 0.7 percent to $6,760 a ton.
Have a wonderful evening everyone.
It is quite proper to resist and attack a system but,
to resist and attack its author is tantamount to resisting and attacking oneself.
For we are all tarred with the same brush.
Nobody got anywhere in the world by simply being content.
-Louis L’Amour, 1908-1988
Carolann Steinhoff, B.Sc., CFP®, CIM, CIWM
Portfolio Manager &
Queensbury Securities Inc.,
St. Andrew’s Square,
Suite 340A, 730 View St.,
Victoria, B.C. V8W 3Y7
Toll Free: 1.877.430.5895