Does this sound like an Indiana Jones adventure or what!
Two archaeologists deep in the jungles of Guatemala are searching the lost empire of El Zotz, an ancient Maya city-state. First, they discover Diablo’s Pyramid, a 45-foot tall royal palace that is 1600 years old.
Then, they spot another building but it’s buried deep in the jungle. Two years later they have it uncovered (ok, that is not-so adventurous but realistic archaeological work), and find beyond the overgrowth some devilish faces, from the National Geographic article:
The sides of the temple are decorated with 5-foot-tall stucco masks showing the face of the sun god changing as he traverses the sky over the course of a day.
One mask is sharklike, likely a reference to the sun rising from the Caribbean in the east, Houston said.
The noonday sun is depicted as an ancient being with crossed eyes who drank blood, and a final series of masks resemble the local jaguars, which awake from their jungle slumbers at dusk.
The Mayans sure were fascinated with power, death, and the sun.
Sikhism, the world’s fifth most popular religion, emerged more than 500 years ago in Punjab, in what is now India. It was founded by Guru Nanak, a non-practicing Hindu who was against rituals and praying to idols.
It is a monotheistic faith that believes in equality and service to others.
Doing good deeds is important for you to be with God after death, says Raghunandan Johar. Sikhs believe that if you don’t live a life full of good deeds you will be reborn and repeat the circle of life and death.
At a typical gurdwara (temple), the doors open up at 6 a.m. for prayers. A formal service includes the singing of hymns and a team of leaders who have studied the faith reciting from the Guru Granth Sahib, Sikhism’s holy scriptures. That book, more than 1,400 pages long, includes writings from Sikhism’s 10 gurus as well as writers from other religions.
Most Sikh men don’t cut their hair and wear turbans and beards. Many American Sikh women dress like other Westerners or wear the salwar kameez, a traditional north Indian garment of a long shirt and loose-fitting pants.
In 1993, the debut single “What’s My Name?” catapaulted rapper Snoop Dogg to fame. But if you ask him that question now, he’ll have a different answer. Snoop Dogg changed his name to “Snoop Lion” after a spiritual awakening in Jamaica this February, which he described to reporters at a press conference on Monday.
So, no more D-O-double-G. No more Doggfather or Dogghouse or“Woof!” — which, presumably, will be replaced with a roar. Snoop Lion has been working on a reggae album, ”Reincarnated,” the recording of which is being chronicled in a documentary film that premieres at the Toronto International Film Festival in September.
Snoop told reporters that he was rechristened Snoop Lion by a Rastafarian priest.
“I want to bury Snoop Dogg, and become Snoop Lion,” he told reporters, according to news.com.au. “I didn’t know that until I went to the temple, where the High Priest asked me what my name was, and I said, ‘Snoop Dogg.’ And he looked me in my eyes and said, ‘No more. You are the light; you are the lion.’ From that moment on, it’s like I had started to understand why I was there.”
The first single, La La La, from the album Reincarnation:
“No political force, political party, president or government working in a democratic, responsible framework, and therefore accountable to public opinion … could follow policies that harm tourism in Egypt,” he said.
“Four million people work in tourism, while more than 14 million are impacted by it indirectly,” he added, saying Egypt had the potential to achieve, by 2017, tourism revenues of $25 billion, double the figure it earned in 2010, pre-uprising.
Tourism constitutes 11 percent of gross domestic product.
Egypt expects to receive more than 12 million tourists by the end of 2012, a 23 percent rise over the previous year.
Many in the tourism sector fear recovery would be slow if President Mohamed Mursi imposes Islamic strictures on the sector such as banning the skimpy swim wear and alcohol that are a normal part of a beach holiday for many foreign tourists.
The Brotherhood has not indicated it would do either.
For centuries, people have tried in vain to locate and recover the Bible’s most sacred objects. Among the most sought-after of these religious antiquities is the famed Ark of the Covenant.
This legendary artifact is the ornate, gilded case built some 3,000 years ago by the Israelites to house the stone tablets on which the Ten Commandments were written. Biblical accounts describe the Ark as large, about the size of a 19th-century seaman’s chest, made of gold-plated wood, and topped with two large, golden angels. It was carried using poles inserted through rings on its sides.
The Ark has been linked to several of the Old Testament’s miracles. It was carried before the Israelites during the Exodus and is said to have cleared impediments and poisonous animals from their path. When the Israelites crossed the Jordan River into the Promised Land, the Bible says that the river stopped flowing the moment the Ark-bearers set foot in it.
And when the Israelites besieged Jericho, they carried the Ark around the city for a week, blowing trumpets until, on the seventh day, the walls fell down, allowing easy conquest.
But in 597 and 586 B.C., the Babylonian Empire conquered the Israelites, and the Ark, at the time supposedly stored in the Temple in Jerusalem, vanished from history. Destroyed? Captured? Hidden? Nobody knows.