Remains Of American Colonial Leader Found Buried With Catholic Artifact

Archaeologists have uncovered an unlikely find at the site of America’s oldest Protestant church: a small silver box researchers believe is a Catholic reliquary.

The box, found in Jamestown, Virginia, contains seven fragments of bone and pieces of a lead ampulla, a type of flask used to hold holy water, CT scans revealed.

The discovery raises questions about the roots of Catholicism in the U.S. — especially at a time in history when anti-Catholic sentiment was high among the majority-Anglican colonists.

Researchers from the Jamestown Rediscovery Foundation and the National Museum of Natural History on Tuesday announced that the reliquary, along with the remains of four of Jamestown’s earliest leaders, had been discovered in ruins of the first American Protestant church.

Remains of the four men — the Rev. Robert Hunt, Capt. Gabriel Archer, Sir Ferdinando Wainman, and Capt. William West — were discovered in the church’s chancel, an area near the altar typically reserved for clergy. The church was built in 1608, a year after the Jamestown colony was founded.

Hunt was Jamestown’s first Anglican minister and is known to have been a peacemaker among rival colony leaders. Archer may have been hiding his Catholic faith as he sought to overthrow one-time colony leader John Smith.

Archaeologists uncovered the church ruins during an excavation in Jamestown in 2010. The discovery was remarkable for several reasons, including its substantial size for the time — 64 feet by 24 feet — and its history as the site where Powhatan Pocahontas married colonist John Rolfe in 1614.

“This church would be a place for Christians from all over the country to see where their roots are,” H. Wade Trump III, a Williamsburg pastor, told The New York Times in 2011. —> Read More

Scientists discover link between common medications and serious falls in older men

A significant link between serious falls causing injury in older men and a particular group of commonly used medicines has been identified by a group of researchers. Many medicines which are commonly prescribed for older people for bladder problems, depression, psychosis, insomnia, and respiratory problems, have anti-cholinergic effects. The medications affect the brain by blocking a key chemical called acetylcholine which is involved in passing messages between nerve cells. This can lead to side effects including blurred vision, increased heart rate, sedation and confusion. —> Read More

Obama Visits Ethiopia, Reminds Us We’re Part Of ‘Same Human Family, The Same Chain’

During President Obama’s historic trip to Africa, he had the opportunity to view one of our “ancestors” whose discovery was of huge significance to humankind.

While at Ethiopia’s National Palace on Monday, POTUS met “Lucy,” the 3.2-million-year-old partial skeleton of a hominid — an early ancestor to humans, Reuters reported. While Obama observed the skeleton, Zeresenay Alemseged, senior curator of anthropology at the California Academy of Sciences informed the president that Lucy, whose species human beings evolved from, shows that all human beings are connected.

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For the president, the fact spoke to a deeper meaning.

“We honor Ethiopia as the birthplace of humankind. In fact, I just met Lucy, our oldest ancestor,” Obama said at a state dinner later that day, reflecting on the experience, according to Reuters. “When you see our ancestor … we are reminded that Ethiopians, Americans, all the people of the world are part of the same human family, the same chain.”

Lucy, whose name is inspired by the Beatles song “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds” (which was playing during celebrations following the skeleton discovery), is from the Australopithecus afarensis species. The skeleton, which was discovered back in 1974 in Ethiopia, is usually kept at the country’s National Museum but was transported to the palace for Obama’s viewing, the Guardian reported. During the experience, POTUS learned about the skeleton and was even allowed to touch a vertebra from Lucy’s torso — a rare privelege, typically only designated for scientists.

The president said that there’s a lesson to be learned from humankind’s connection to Lucy.

“As one of the professors who was describing the artifacts correctly pointed out, so much of the hardship and conflict and sadness and violence that occurs around the world is because … <a target="_blank" —> Read More

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