The e-book describes the breathtaking adventures of a young woman traveling through space and time. She is a strikingly beautiful, blonde and above all, an intelligent woman from Sweden, who has successfully studied medicine in Munich. Her blind love for a man plunges her into the adventure of her life. Her experiences in this novel and in its sequels describe in an alarmingly realistic manner what women have endured for many thousands of years, some of them even today. Maria Lindstroem is the only one who survives a flight to Pluto and lands safely back on earth - but 150 years before the birth of Christ. As Aphrodite, she joins nomads on their way to Carthage, a city in present-day Tunisia. In the still undestroyed ancient city, she finds herself in chains and must serve her master as a coveted whore. Not only does Aphrodite suffer the wretched slave life, but she is even more worried that she won‘t survive the 3rd Punic War and the destruction of Carthage. But this very knowledge about the future of the city is her salvation. Will she succeed to leave Carthage in time to send a message to the 22nd century from which she started as Maria? The book describes very exciting and addictive events leading to her continuing storyline. The author has greatly revised his first work with the 2nd edition and taken into account the critical, yet nevertheless enthusiastic references.
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Two weeks later
Findings on detours
The bike tour
At the round table
Maria and the interview
A son of a bitch
The pitfalls of the law
Maria and a new love
Island dreams and illusions
The Family Council is meeting!
Wedding or disaster?
The morning after
Farewell to Munich
At home with grandma
The big day
Everyday life on board
Extraordinary service consulting
A normal service
The date of birth
A new day, new questions and still no current time
The first day on Earth
Second day on Earth
The third day and the first visual contact
What's the next step?
The slave traders
The joys of a Master
The endless long way
The first punters
A new master?
The victor, the new master
Playful at Eclasteos!
Weeks later, the Great World of Politics
All parts of the “time travelers”
The Time Traveler, Part 1
The Time Traveler, 2nd part
The Time Traveler, 3rd part
The Time Traveler, Part 4
The Time Traveler, Part 5
The Time Traveler, part 6
The Time Traveler, Part 7
The Time Traveler, Part 8
The Time Traveler, part 9
The Time Traveler, part 10
The Time Traveler, 11th part
The Time Traveler, 12th part
The Time Traveler, 13th part
The Time Traveler, 14th part
The Time Traveler, Part 15
The Time Traveler, Part 1
From the 22nd century back to ancient Carthage
2nd, heavily revised edition
ISBN 978-3-95655-973-0 (e-book)
Translation: Allen and Elgin Haggerty, Melbourne
Cover picture: Ernst Franta using a reproduction of the oil painting “Der Sklavenmarkt” (The Slave Market) by Jean-Léon Gérome
I dedicate this book to my wife, who encouraged me to publish my personal works and for her understanding in this time-consuming hobby of mine.
© 2011, 2015 EDITION digital®
Pekrul & Sohn GbR
Alte Dorfstr. 2 b
Phone: 0049 3860 505788
E-mail: [email protected]
Before this story begins, the reader should know the origin of this exciting time traveling tale. The reason for my book is no less adventurous than the story I will tell you in my novel.
The story behind the story all began in 2004, atop the Great Pyramid of Giza. Until then, I considered myself a relatively normal man, who liked to read exciting novels with an interest in history. My penchant for the past not only brought me a small library, but also led me on numerous journeys to many places full of history. I have tried to take a rational, scientific approach when attempting to understand history and its dramatic events. I studied religions and myths of antiquity, mainly because of their influence on culture and for understanding peoples’ perspectives, rationale, and self-justification during the period.
The idea of writing my own stories, or even novels, had never occurred to me- at least not until that fateful day in 2004…
I found myself standing in awe at the Great Pyramid of Giza, overwhelmed by my first visit to this wonder of the world. I touched one of its many blocks, and felt a tingling sensation in my hands, as if they had fallen asleep. I shook my hands, the tingling faded, and I continued my exploration of the pyramids. I didn’t think much of the moment at first, until a woman’s voice began to speak to my inner soul, telling me that I now have a duty. My immediate reaction was, “Of course, everyone always has their own mission to fulfil”, and simply ignored that fading voice.
The journey back to Hurghada, a small town off the Red Sea, took over seven hours. During that time, I fell half asleep, and that is when a woman of stunning beauty appeared to me. She was the same woman who spoke to my very being at the pyramid. She boldly told me that my mission was to bring her story to the world. She would not let me refuse, and immediately began to tell me her story.
Suddenly, our vehicle had to make an emergency stop. It woke me, hurling me back into reality. At first, I had dismissed this as just a dream, but it was unlike any other. Instead of remembering just shreds of vague memories, I could clearly remember every detail. Unlike every other dream before, which would fade with time, this stayed with me, with a feeling of conviction.
I remained awake for quite some time, reflecting on my experience, questioning its correlation from earlier, and surmising the connection as coincidence. When the day’s light finally faded, and the night owned the desert sky, fatigue won again. As soon as I closed my eyes, the woman returned, and continued to tell her story. I protested, telling her that I could not write about a woman as a man. “You can write about it, and you must”, she replied. She wanted me precisely because I was a man. A man would have the necessary distance required for her truly adventurous, and at times brutal story. She wanted to avoid emotion and have a more realistic picture of her experience portrayed. I then committed myself to her cause, and almost became one with her. That was when I was convinced this was more than just a dream.
This unique relationship did not end there. It still continues to this day. All I need is a little concentration when I write now, and then her experiences, her thoughts, and her emotions are transcribed on the page. Through her, I have traveled to distant worlds, breaking through space and time. Seventeen thick books have thus been written to date. Where this will end, I do not know. Perhaps one day she will leave me, but until that time comes, I will continue her mission to share her stories with readers like you.
I have often wondered why this time traveler had to be a woman. Why not a man? Why not a super hero, a gladiator through the ages, enduring trials that the period presents? Heaven knows I may have been able to relate more easily, even picture myself in this role.
What can a woman do better than a man? What makes a woman’s experiences different from that of a man’s? In many situations, man’s nature simply does not allow him to submit without a fight. It is incredibly difficult for any man to resign themselves as our heroine does. That is not to say she is weak. To prostitute oneself like our protagonist under duress is one of the most brutal forms of self-abandonment for survival. Even modern weapons couldn’t protect a male hero from the dangers for long. Even a knight needs sleep. If the main character were to remain credible, they would have to be sacrificed far too soon. Too bad, but unfortunately true.
Our heroine, on the other hand, has made many mistakes, but never really fought at all costs. Honor, fame or even power have never been important to her. Only for love and for her children did she fight to exhaustion. That is the secret of their success to this day, I believe. The greatest miracle of nature is women! So follow this woman on her many adventures through time and space.
I hope you find her stories as compelling as I have.
Completely restless from the thunderstorm which raged all night long, Giorgio Marotti stands under the cold shower, still only halfway awake. For this time of year, the storm was unusually intense. After donning his clothes, he moves to the kitchen, where he attempts to greet the day, albeit begrudgingly. Nibbling on an apple, he flicks on the television, following the news casually.
It is the 28th of August 2107, 07.35 AM. The news reports severe damage to roads and bridges all over Sicily. Still absent in his thoughts, he listens to the news. It's already the third morning without his wife Messina. With Messina’s recent success as an author, breakfast together has been a rare event. As such, his mood is at its lowest today.
Beethoven's Ninth suddenly starts to play – it’s his in-house ring tone for colleagues. Marotti turns to the wall screen, showing him the caller.
His Dutch assistant Peter van der Delft appears almost life-size on the screen and is sopping wet. With his naturally curly brown locks of hair, he looks like a drenched poodle. “Professor Marotti, good morning, you must come at once! Incredible! It's unbelievable. The storm has unearthed remains of an ancient temple complex along the new bypass. Leave everything behind- please come at once! Prepare to be astounded!”, Peter van der Delft fades out.
As if struck by lightning, Marotti drops his apple and doesn’t even touch the cappuccino he has just finished making. He reaches for his old straw hat and dashes out of his apartment.
Leaving his apartment, he is greeted with a warm wind. He does not even notice the brilliant colors and contrasts that the morning sun brings with the remains of the thunderstorm front on the sea.
Marotti’s first thought is to call one of the driverless, automatic taxis, but then he thinks of his wife's admonishing words: “Do something for your health!”
He nervously unlocks the lock on his bicycle. Almost elegantly, he jumps onto the bike and pedals. The bike was a wedding anniversary gift from his wife and was her gentle reminder to live healthier. On the same day, on their first wedding anniversary, he made the archaeological discovery of his life. During a dive here in the bay he found a well-preserved, life-size marble statue. He believes it is most likely the goddess Aphrodite or the glorification of Venus. He dated the statue back then to the time around two hundred years before our era. It was the sensation that made him famous in one fell swoop.
There was a lot of conflict with his colleagues later on, because nobody could wholly support his thesis of a blonde Aphrodite. Laboratory tests had shown that the hairs of the statue were gilded. The experts protested loudly at that time in this daring thesis. The woman had also been portrayed very freely for ancient circumstances. Other experts assumed that the statue was completely gilded, although paint remains proved otherwise.
After that, there was not much excitement in the archaeological sector, at least in the way of historical finds. Since then, he has only been able to dig out small pieces of pottery and coins here in Syracuse.
Extensive archaeological excavations were carried out in connection with the reconstruction of housing and the rehabilitation of the inner city, which was generously supported by Europe, but mostly the early Middle Ages were what had been found. In order to reach more ancient relics, the more recent settlement remains would have had to be destroyed or relocated, much to the disappointment of Marotti. Now, however, the storm’s gift of this revealed ancient temple could give new momentum to his work.
Marotti is becoming short of breath as he cycles up the mountain, but his anticipation continues to drive him forward. He can already see the mud avalanche, and in some cases, strata from a distance. Even marble slabs can be seen from where he is. He cannot arrive soon enough.
Marotti arrives, dropping the bike into the dirt. He quickly shows his credentials to the security at the border of the site. Just after a few steps in, he is already on the exposed foundations of this unknown ancient building. There is no doubt that this will surely be quite the project, but something immediately catches his eye. The foundation has massive sandstone cuboids, much more in line with Egyptian temples, and unheard of in Greek styles. There are exposed stones, showing symbols and figures carved in the sides. They appear to be motifs of possibly the goddess Venus or Aphrodite.
A hearty pat on the back brings him out of his deep thoughts of temple structure possibilities, of what significance these stones could have on the understanding of history, and of what lay ahead for himself. It is his assistant, Peter van der Delft, pointing to the street with his hand.
Marotti recognizes the crowd of press, and frustratedly says, “Peter, you deal with them. Just tell them something to get rid of them. I can’t stand these people. Then call everyone from the team. We need to begin this excavation now!”. Reluctantly, Peter leaves to complete his impromptu press meeting.
At the barricade, Peter loudly exclaims: “Ladies and gentlemen, we are certain you are as excited as we are about this unexpected find. After first impressions, we are speculating that this is possibly a temple either dedicated to Aphrodite or Venus. That is quite surprising, as we have never even suspected either had much influence here. So far only temples that worship Zeus, Jupiter, Hera or Athena are known in Syracuse. But only extensive excavation work will provide a clear answer. Thank you for your understanding. Good afternoon.”
Peter van der Delft quickly turns away, ignoring the questions of the journalists, who now curse out loud.
Peter knows that he has possibly gone out on a limb with this explanation, but the symbols on the blocks surely indicate such. What other conclusion to be drawn from these initial findings? That's the only way he thinks he's going to satisfy the press. Perhaps he has said too much, but only time will tell. The press swallows the bait and after a few photos they leave again scolding.
Professor Marotti is still investigating around the exposed stones when van der Delft notices a stone weighing several tons slipping away on the slope.
Hastily he cries out: “Professor, get off the stones! The first stone has already slipped away!”
Panicked, Marotti jumps off the stones and looks at the disaster from afar. One of the huge blocks has clearly moved.
That's a good start, Marotti thinks. Now I've got to have the whole area fenced off. The excavation is otherwise too dangerous for everyone. This costs money and, above all, time.
It is lunchtime and still very warm, even for this time of year. Marotti sits in the shade of the shed, chewing on a piece of cold pizza. Satisfied, he looks at the exposed remains of this ancient temple and thinks back on the last days of his work. The press statement that van der Delft made at the beginning of the discovery was actually confirmed. Although the massive foundation cannot be explained yet, the pillars and other parts of the structure indicate that the building dates back to around one hundred or one hundred and fifty years before our current era. The type of lettering, representations of groups of figures and texts in Latin reconfirm the team’s suspicions. The characters tell us that Aphrodite lived and ruled here in this temple. Even for the lively and omnipresent legends of the Greeks and Romans, this is a very unusual statement. Gods were inaccessible even in the ancient world. Although scientists recognize Athena’s presence in Syracuse, they will now need to accept Venus or Aphrodite’s presence as well. An ancient temple of such immense proportions, dedicated to the goddesses Aphrodite or Venus, has never been discovered, or even indicated, in the entire Mediterranean region. Temples in honor of Zeus, the father of the gods here in Sicily, on the other hand, are modest buildings. If this is confirmed, experts will have to rewrite history. Anyway, the first findings gave him more questions than answers.
Marotti looks at his beloved antique pocket watch. It's 12:55. He waits impatiently for Werner Brand. His long-standing friend is a German architect who appreciates punctuality. If Werner is on time as usual, his car has to be right around the corner. Werner Brand got stuck here in Syracuse like Marotti because of a beautiful woman. Marotti and Brand have been good friends for over ten years, even though the architect and structural engineer Brand does not always agree with the archaeologist Marotti. Today Marotti is expecting his friend to make a serious decision with him. The storm not only exposed the temple, but also dangerously attacked parts of the foundation. Since the excavation, two cuboids have already slipped off slightly.
Marotti is getting restless. Is Werner Brand on time? Because of the appointment, his wife Messina had to take a taxi to the airport on her own. That's why they had another fight. As usual, he didn't listen properly when his wife told him of her plans and appointments. Today Messina was leaving on another trip. She is attending one of those idiotic esoteric conferences held somewhere in the United States tomorrow. That being said, when his wife had visited the uncovered remains of the temple with him, she showed an astonishing interest. In her opinion, the temple was spiritually significant. The stones were breathtaking. She firmly believes that this facility hides an incredible secret. That's what Messina said when she touched those stones herself. Of course, Marotti, being a scientist, finds his wife speculations a bit empty, with no evidence or substance. He finds her felt spiritual presence dubious at best and dismisses it.
Right on time, just as usual, Werner Brand arrives in his small sports car. It’s one of the last cars which has been allowed to drive with a special permit in Syracuse.
After a short but warm greeting, Werner Brand walks to the excavation site. A lot had happened since the storm. Werner Brand quickly recognizes that the entire right-hand side of the foundation is dangerously damaged by flooding.
Brand reflects: “My dear friend, this really doesn't look good. Your idea of filling the damaged areas with quick drying concrete won't do you any good here. On the right, at least the first two rows of the nearly one-ton blocks must be removed. Everything can then be repaired on a new foundation. I know it's going to cost a lot of money. Unfortunately, I see no alternative for you.”
The worst fears have now been confirmed. Pale and weakened by the devastating decision of his friend, Marotti says quietly: “This week doesn’t start with good news at all. That might be it. The recovery will cost more than five hundred thousand Euros. Does the excavation site have to be closed or possibly filled up now?”
Werner Brand nods guiltily: “Yes, unfortunately, my friend. For you, there's only one option. You need to inform the hated press and get suitable sponsors for the recovery.”
“Call the press? Are you out of your mind? They will try to crucify me. I've already been mocked by the press because of the statue and my idea of the blonde goddess. I get very upset just thinking about them even now.”
“Your story is already water under the bridge and long forgotten. Sell them the story of this temple with a lot of imagination and you will get your money. Don't be afraid to overdo it. The press rarely questions a story. Believe me, it's the only way to get anywhere!”
Marotti grumbles: “You might be right. I will have to think about it. I can’t wait until I receive the money from the European Union. If I do, I might be retired, or even dead, by then. And the city council has already scheduled its funds for the next five years.”
Werner Brand takes off. Marotti is trying hard to come up with an interesting story for the press. Perhaps his media-experienced assistant Peter van der Delft can help again? As if he would have called him, Peter van der Delft shows up right in that moment. He is very excited and calls out: “Professor, this is a crazy story.”
Marotti asks: “What’s happened now?”
He seems unsure how to tell him, but after a short time he says: “Don't raise the alarm, Professor! I studied art for two semesters a few years ago. I wanted to be a sculptor, so I worked in a quarry during the summer holidays, up in Tuscany. The blocks show the same traces on the exposed inner sides as on modern stone blocks.”
Marotti shrugs his shoulders, doesn't seem to understand him and says: “Well, they already knew a lot on how to process and modify broken stones.”
“You don't understand, professor, these blocks were broken out of the rock with explosives. Do you understand, Professor? Explosives! The traces can't be overlooked.”, says van der Delft almost menacingly, but ever softer to him. He seems afraid that someone else might be listening.
Marotti looks at his assistant in disbelief: “You should have put something on your head. The sun of Sicily is not to be underestimated. I'll give you the day off for tomorrow. Get some rest! You need to be fit for the next few weeks. When's our new intern coming?”
“I don't know exactly. It's possible that the trainee is already in Syracuse. I'm going to take off. See you tomorrow, Professor. Ciao!”, van der Delft buzzes disappointedly and gets into the waiting taxi. He didn't expect that much ignorance from Marotti.
Marotti turns back to the stones. With his hand he strokes over one of the blocks and thinks: “Explosives… that's bullshit! Imagine explosives two thousand years ago. The Romans worked with explosives? The man is just… he can only be sick.”, Marotti calms down and climbs on his bike to ride home.
Just a month later, a huge rotary crane piled up the road to the excavation site, which had been widened especially for this vehicle. Marotti looks with satisfaction at the spectacle from above. It's crawling with builders and the press. He's still surprised how easy it was to find sponsors. Van der Delft has once again proved to be a man with a knack for the press.
A local construction company has found this recovery operation to be an ideal promotion. At least on a pro-rata basis, the company participates in the horrendous costs of the campaign. Celebrities from all over the world have donated. Eight hundred thousand euros have been collected. Marotti's and Peter van der Delft’s relationship with the press has improved considerably since the beginning of this project. That's why Marotti has long forgiven van der Delft for the idiotic assumption that explosives had been used.
In addition to local political celebrities, even a commissioner from the European Union has made an appeal. As a consequence, the temple was included in the European Union’s funding program. Marotti believes that it is only with modest means, but certainly has opportunities for growth.
The wife of the building contractor, the main sponsor, gives the starting signal. The recovery of the temple can begin. The first cuboids are set down about twenty meters further on a specially prepared space.
Van der Delft supervises and documents the removal of the blocks.
The first block floats gently onto the parking space. Marotti can't detect any abnormalities on the stone, only the typical processing traces and signs that were common two thousand years ago. Nothing special, no traces of explosives. Van der Delft suddenly makes strange signals to him. Marotti is annoyed that the fool might have discovered traces of explosives again.
New blocks follow. Already a bit bored, he supervises the setting down of the new stone and compulsorily walks around it.
A little irritated, Marotti discovers something metal on the inside of one cuboid. He goes closer and actually sees a plate of metal on one side of the ashlar block. When the block is finally dropped off, Marotti runs right away. Disappointedly, he looks more closely at the side with the metal plate. It is a plate of lead and, apart from a few scratches, it is completely smooth. No inscription, no symbol, just nothing. There are no plates on the second and third cuboids. With the fourth cuboid freestanding, Marotti recognizes another metal plate mounted on the inside. What function should such a plate fulfil? These plates certainly do not have static tasks. What is the purpose of these plates? Simple signs in the stone would have been enough to indicate the direction of construction.
By the evening all 20 cuboids were installed. Five cuboids had metal plates on the inside. To everyone's surprise, a new row of foundations appeared in the second row of cubes.
The temple was probably built on an even older temple, “Marotti explained this discovery to the press and viewers.
Marotti immediately realized that his statement didn't necessarily have to be correct, but with this explanation he had peace of mind in front of the curious spectators. The cuboids were different and smaller in size, but the way of processing did not differ. The spectacle was now over. All cuboids at risk and the row behind them were removed. Finally, the hype had an end.
Peter van der Delft seems relieved, too. He comes towards Marotti: “Congratulations, Professor, we have done it. Did you see those strange metal plates? I think they're silly bells and whistles. But the traces of explosives are now also clearly visible. There’s no denying it!”
Marotti laughs cynically: “Oh, my dear colleague, I admit that the visible processing traces are somewhat unusual. But it is surely thanks to an unknown technique than the use of explosives. But let's not argue.”
In the light of the setting sun, the parked cuboids look like a skyscraper town from the past centuries. Marotti goes to a cuboid with a metal plate and looks at it more closely. He pulls his old Swiss knife out of his pocket and tries to get between the plate and the stone. It's almost impossible. There's no crevice to leave room for his knife. The tablet sits firmly in the stone like a single piece. There's something wrong with it.
“What do you think of that, Peter?”, Marotti asks his assistant unusually private.
Peter van der Delft is surprised by so much confidentiality and openly says: “Even if I run the risk of repeating myself, I don't know, Professor. These metal plates don't make any sense to me. They do not contain any message and have absolutely no static purpose. Unusually a lot of effort for something nonsensical, don't you think? Just as pointless as the massive cuboids. A pyramid could have stood on these stones. Or how do you see it in this case, Professor Marotti?”
“Yes, damn it, the whole thing is quite mysterious. But I do not share your opinion. The large effort will be justified. The same applies to the metal plates. But we should not be arguing about it. A night's sleep over it should clear our minds for new thoughts and a fresh perspective. Let's call it a day. There's a lot of work to do tomorrow. Buona Sera!”, Marotti begrudgingly leaves.
“Buona Sera, Professor!”, replies van der Delft and goes unsettled to the waiting taxi.
Marotti jumps onto his bike and rides home. “Why this effort? Why this care for a blank metal plate without any discernible function?”, Marotti asks again and again.
Even the light, the music and the cheerful people in the tavern on the way to the house can't lure him today. The good drop in the social round with the winegrowers and tourists will not be able to distract him from his questions. Nor does he want to be. He wants to concentrate on his problem. But like the dog that bites its tail, his thoughts circulate without any result in his mind. Again, and again he concludes that nothing makes sense.
Throughout the night, Marotti cannot stop thinking about the metal plates. It is only late in the night that he finally finds some sleep. As a distraction, he turned on early TV this morning, contrary to his habit. Marotti finally wants to separate himself from the plates. Just think of something else!
A cook is demonstrating how to prepare a fruitcake. The man is just about to pour a glassy mass over the fruit layer, explaining in a verbosely wordy way that with the solidification of the icing, the cake is given its final shape for a versatile design.
Suddenly Marotti screams out loud and formally releases himself: “I have it, the plates, the lead layer- they only seal something! The lead is just the glaze. No more and no less. The low melting temperature of lead allows the sealing of a possible message with little effort. No metal cannot be joined with stone more easily than this. This must be the solution, this will be the solution to the mystery. …Somebody here tried to keep the secret of the plates from coming out immediately.”
He hastily leaves everything behind. What he needs to solve the mystery with, he thinks he'll find in the basement.
From there, he picks up the old Bunsen burner with a small propane gas bottle. He estimates that the small gas cylinder is still half full. He believes that it will certainly be enough to uncover a metal plate for the first time.
Marotti keeps everything in an old rucksack. With the backpack on his back he climbs onto his bike. With difficulty, panting, he balances this cargo by bicycle up to the top of the mountain. His insecure ride creates confusion for passers-by and cars, and sometimes even cheerfulness. More than once he threatens to fall with his cargo. A taxi would have been better now, thinks Marotti angrily to himself. But without an accident he reaches his destination exhausted.
His young assistant Peter van der Delft approaches him from a taxi with a young woman. Unintentionally and rather absent, Marotti greets both a bit moodily, without even looking up at them. The rusty hose connections on the Bunsen burner cause him a lot of trouble. So, he only half-listens when his assistant van der Delft explains: “Hello Professor, the woman next to me is the assistant we've been expecting for a long time. She has replaced our sick trainee at short notice.”
“Fine, fine, fine!”, Marotti looks up briefly.
The young, beautiful woman shines with pleasure on the professor: “Buona Sera, Signor Marotti. I'm Svetlana Sukova. I'm from Germany, from Munich, and I'm looking forward to a practical year in beautiful Italy.”
“We are here in Sicily, esteemed Signorina.”, he grumbles to Marotti and gazes unashamedly at the good figure of the woman. The airy summer dress, slightly transparent, leaves little to the imagination. The young woman seems to have noticed this now.
Visibly embarrassed, she answers: “Of course, excuse me! We're in Sicily, of course.”
After the distiller has finally been assembled, Marotti is in a slightly better mood: “Now I'll show you what applied archaeology means. Come with me. Peter, take the gas bottle and the burner to the front cube, please! You know, the one with the metal plate.”
As asked, van der Delft grabs the Bunsen burner and asks, “What are you doing, Professor?”
Marotti shakes his head with a smile and informs: “My dear colleague. I'll show you in a second!”
Surprised, they both follow the professor to the blocks. Marotti builds the Bunsen burner in front of the first plate. He fumbles about for his lighter in his pockets in vain. Damn- that thing is probably still on the kitchen table. Asking the question with body language, he looks at the two of them. Van der Delft gives the professor his lighter with a smile. Without thanks Marotti pulls it out of his assistant's hand. As he holds the flame of the Bunsen burner in the lower right side of the plate, the two assistants scream out loud and horrified.
Like in a chorus, they both scream, “What are you doing, Professor? You're destroying the record!”
Marotti replies with a smile and patiently holds the burner on the plate. But after a short time, it turns out that the lead only covered a second metal layer, the two quickly calm down again. It shows that the lead layer is perhaps two to three millimeters thick. Behind it is a metal layer that now reveals clear engravings.
Peter van der Delft and Svetlana Sukowa are overwhelmed.
Marotti can no longer hide his joy and calls euphorically: “This is it! This is the sensation of a century!”
After twenty minutes the plate is completely free of lead. If the lines and strokes exposed at the beginning were still incomprehensible, the final result is all the more astounding.
Svetlana Sukova says snarkily: “This is just a geographical map of our earth. So, what?!”
Marotti shakes his head and turns with a devastating look towards her: “Uh, Mrs. Sukowa, that's right. Well detected. But what kind of map? Take a closer look!”
The young woman nods friendly but does not understand his demeaning gaze and undertone.
Marotti glances deep into the woman's eyes, pointing at the slate and exclaims: “Mrs. Sukowa, think about it! The representation of the earth is at least 2500 years old. Just look, America, Australia and the Antarctic are represented here in a precision that was only commonly known at the end of the nineteenth century. 300 years ago, at the earliest. This is pure madness. This completely turns known historical research upside down. What did the ancient Greeks really know about the big, wide world? One thing is now evidently clear, the ancient Greeks have given up their faith in the earth disk of the Hekataios of Miletus, who invented his world view of the earth around 600 BCE. Even the image of the earth of Claudius Ptolemy from Alexandria around 150 AD thus does not reflect the real secret knowledge of the ancient Greek seafarers. Were the ancient Greek seafarers in America and even further afield in Australia more than 2000 years ago? The world map definitely doesn't allow anything else. All previous theories of ancient knowledge are thus no longer valid. Do you think it's so easy to put up with the accepted science? We must now be particularly careful with all the trivial publications about the temple. Oh, what am I saying? We must hold ourselves back with allusions. Does my dear young colleague and intern understand that?”
Svetlana Sukova and Peter van der Delft nod uncertainly, but then hesitantly agree with him. No one knows how to proceed.
Van der Delft has finally taken hold of himself and suggests: “Professor, I suspect that the other panels offer similarly explosive information. It can only get worse. Because whoever planted those blackboards wanted to hide their knowledge. No, they hid and sealed this knowledge behind these stones in the temple. He or perhaps she did not intend to announce his or her knowledge to a broad mass of people. On the contrary. The message may have been hidden behind the blocks for a later time. A message that was definitely meant as a message for a much later time! It is a fact that these metal plates only became accessible when the heavy foundations were removed. Perhaps we discovered the news way too soon… Here's what I suggest: First of all, we're going to free every blackboard from the lead and then take pictures. We must not miss the smallest detail on the plates. Secondly, after that we will seal everything clean with lead again. This will restore it to its original form. Everything must be sealed again today. Within two weeks at the latest, the cuboids will be back at their predetermined place. Everything is then again as if nothing dramatic had happened. We can evaluate the photos we have taken in a relaxed and hidden way from curious glances in the institute.”
The professor pats van der Delft on the shoulder and enthusiastically says: “The same goes for the three of us. Svetlana, can't I say Svetlana? You're all for that, aren't you?”
Svetlana's face is all red with excitement, nods thoughtlessly and answers hesitantly: “It's all so exciting. I was prepared for tedious puzzle work, small pieces of clay and coins. I was thinking about boring archival works. Now at the beginning of my internship, on the first day, in the first minutes of my work, I stumble upon such a discovery! I'll keep quiet like a grave and do everything in my power to make our action a complete success.”
Despite his great excitement, Marotti suggests that she tries to be calm: “Svetlana, you are the most athletic of the three of us- therefore, run and get the camera! I'll guard our secret. Peter, you better get some lead and a second gas cylinder. Because the lead that falls into the sand here has become useless to us. The small gas cylinder is also almost empty.”
Now they're all in a hurry. Svetlana drives to the museum as agreed and fetches the special camera with all its accessories.
Peter van der Delft has to get lead and gas.
Marotti is guarding the table as if he had found the Holy Grail. His jacket hangs in front of the blackboard as if by chance. He doesn't want anyone to know about the secret findings.
Marotti thinks: “This discovery could turn history on its head. History will have to be rewritten!” He's already convinced of that.
It's just before midnight when the last board is sealed again. None of the three do not allow anything seen to be rated. Only so much is clear, the message came from a woman who called herself Aphrodite and knew about the people of the future. Depending on the tablet, word and writing had been written in pure Oxford English alongside Latin and Greek script. All three know that the evaluation and analysis of the panels will forever change the archaeological world view. They have done it, but are happy to part. Marotti gets into the taxi he called. He leaves the bike behind the stones. Quietly, everyone is processing the unbelievable for themselves. No one dares to make a judgement at this moment. What the plates released is too outrageous.
Only laboriously Marotti hums an “Arrivederci” and gets out of the taxi. Without turning back to the vehicle, Marotti trots into his house with his hands in his trouser pockets. He goes up to his bedroom with a bottle of red wine and some ham. He knows that only wine will help him fall asleep today.
Marotti woke up early from the noise of the traffic. His wife is still fast asleep. She arrived home only around midnight. The plane from London was four hours late due to an air traffic controller strike. Downstairs in the kitchen he starts to prepare breakfast for them both. The fresh milk and the rolls have been delivered, just as ordered, in a small container at the door. Back in the kitchen, his wife, his beloved Messina, is already sitting at the table. He greets her with a kiss on the forehead.
She looks up at him and says kindly: “Hello, my dear. Thinking all night long about your tablets again? You were constantly in and out of bed. If you carry on like this, you'll destroy your positive karma completely.”
Marotti just nods and hums.
She continues: “Your theory of extraterrestrial powers using this Aphrodite as a camouflage is the greatest nonsense. “What you told me about the Latin, Greek, and English texts, I see very differently.”
Marotti shakes his head and says irritably, “Your theory? Hmph!”
She continues steadfastly: “Everything is so clear. There's actually a woman behind all this. She may have really been a slave, and for quite a long time. Because it's just that simple, nobody admits to being a slave. At that time as well as today, the social status was and is important for each of us. Slavery was and is a stigma, as was prostitution or the porn business. Everyone has tried and still tries to cover up such a flaw. Here the woman must have come to great influence and indisputable power. She must have had abilities beyond the normal framework. In my opinion, she was more or less above things. She didn't have to cover up her origins.”
Marotti fends off with both hands and says angrily: “Only a woman can believe this feminist nonsense. No, only my wife can believe that. For example, where did the woman get this geographical knowledge from? You women have never been able to read maps before. As they say, “Exceptions confirm the rule.”
His wife throws a jam knife at him, but misses him, likely deliberately.
Marotti ducks instinctively, but laughs as the knife smashes a vase behind him on the shelf.
Now he says triumphantly pointing at her with his fingers: “Here we are again, Messina. Look at your new blouse! Already, in the early morning, she is covered with jam from top to bottom.”
Messina angrily tries to remove the marmalade stain on the blouse with her finger. But she doesn't succeed. So she takes off her blouse and rinses the stain under running water.
“In the transparent bra my wife is still an appetizing bite.”, Marotti thinks to himself. He now finds himself in a good mood.
She doesn't feel any of his feelings and growls back when she rinses the blouse: “With your huge glasses in front of your tomato eyes, you've long since lost sight of what's really important. You'll see, that I am right!”
Marotti counters: “My dearest, where is this woman supposed to have acquired this superior knowledge? Don't say now, “Telepathy with people of the future.”
Messina once again threatens with the knife: “Don't say anything against telepathy. The fact that there have been messages from the dead is virtually proven. Why not messages from the future?”
Marotti blasphemes: “It's great, a slave of all people is the medium for messages from the future. Who is supposed to have sent these messages into the past? Don't say, “You!”
“Jackass, I can't reasonably talk to you today.”, Messina hisses back and leaves the kitchen angrily.
She comes back from the bathroom a little bit more relaxed: “I admit, your tablets are quite mysterious. We both don't have to fight because of it. Take a break! Ride your bike again, it's healthy and makes you think differently! I have to go to class.”
Marotti gets up, walks towards his wife and kisses her. Long after she has left the house, he begins to clean up the kitchen, and is lost in his thoughts. He doesn't have to be at the university for another hour.
Marotti has been cycling since nine o' clock. It's a beautiful day. Today should not be as hot as the last few days, so it is ideal for a small bike tour. In the rucksack he has a bottle of water, a bottle of Chianti vintage 2100, bread, sausage and cheese. The most important part of the luggage, however, is the transcribed text of the Latin tablets from the temple.
As in the days before, he dealt with photocopies of the plates until late at night.
The results of his studies, or rather the conclusions drawn from them, are rather meagre. That's why he now wants to use fresh air, sunshine and the impressions of nature to help his thoughts come to life. He's been on the road for almost two hours. An almost bare open space next to the path with a magnificent view of Syracuse and the wide, bright blue sea invites him to rest.
When the bike is parked, he sits down in the dry grass and grabs a bottle of wine.
After a hearty sip, he says loudly: “It may be that this Aphrodite enjoyed the view of Syracuse and the sea here over 2,000 years ago, just as much as I do. She may have thought, “What will it look like in a thousand or two thousand years?” Quietly he says to himself: “You idiot, now your thoughts wander. Stick to the facts! Stick to what can be scientifically proven!” After another strong sip from the wine bottle, he digs up the carefully folded note from his rucksack and reads it out in the wind:
“I'm called Aphrodite and I believe I've been a good friend to the people here. After many years of slavery, a period of sometimes unimaginable cruelty, I have been able to win people over through my skills efforts. Those skills and efforts gave me my freedom. Life here has shown me what really matters and what gives meaning to life. I have come to appreciate the modest gifts and pleasures of the gods. Men, remember your own powers, do not surrender to the greed for gold and power if you want a future worth living in!”
Marotti looks at the beautiful blue sea and thinks: “Well, it's true that for most people everything in life revolves around money, power and glory, that the constant consumerism eats at us and poisons people.” But sending that message to the people of the future, even as a secret message, at such an enormous cost, does not seem to make sense to him. That's almost absurd for him. Such a profane text is hidden behind meter-thick and many tons of rock? This was true throughout the ages. This could have been visible to everyone as a message on the outside of every temple. That much seems to be clear: If Messina was right, it was a woman, worse still, she was a slave. However, women normally played no role in the public and political life of antiquity. An exception were only the whores or, more noble called the hetaera. However, these women only had an influence on men in the background and thus were able to assert their own interests. When they were called Aphrodite, their beauty must have been legendary. The lot of beautiful slaves was inevitably the brothel or the temple. A whore, a hetaera 2,000 years ago, therefore, knew the world as man at that time did not. Any detail such as that under the slate would not have been created or known until the end of the nineteenth century at the earliest. Because before, the world as a whole was unknown. It all fits together like fire and water. Either this slave Aphrodite, who was later mercifully granted freedom, is a camouflaged being with extraterrestrial powers or, even crazier, this woman was a time traveler. A woman a time traveler? Impossible! In addition, a time traveler who successfully asserted herself with her knowledge in an extremely hostile world for women. These considerations turn the known world order upside down. Worse still, the world is falling apart like a house of cards. No serious scientist thinks time travel is possible! So then, there's only an alien intelligence left? Of course, he completely rules out his wife's telepathy.
Marotti gets on his bike. He's on his way to the water. A bath in the sea could do him good. Before crossing the coastal road, he must bring the bike to a standstill with an emergency stop. At least twenty, maybe even thirty motorcycles are rolling towards the city. One of the riders has a Roman helmet on. Immediately he remembers this alleged Aphrodite. How may this woman have found her way to Syracuse? A spaceship wouldn't have landed unobserved on Sicily two thousand years ago. Neither written reports nor the old myths tell us about flying saucers or other unusual flying objects, at least from this time.
The beach is now directly in front of him. He just takes off his sandals and goes into the water with his pants pulled up. The water is pleasantly warm. Marotti looks over the water and thinks: “It is quite possible that slave traders have taken this Aphrodite to Syracuse. With the spaceship she landed somewhere and got caught by the traffickers. Alone the way here can have been hell for her. But maybe everything was different. It is believed that slaves as forced prostitutes had to earn a lot of money for the temples and the money-hungry priesthood. Perhaps this Aphrodite, through the priests, has been proclaimed as a sign of the divine and has come to power and influence… Exactly, it is the priesthood who had knowledge and was behind all the messages. This slave only had to be used as a front. The priests could in reality have been representatives of an extraterrestrial power who had brought the necessary knowledge about the geography of the earth with them. They knew only too well that the world view of antiquity was still very limited. That's why this deliberate secrecy is important. Well, that alien thesis sounds banal. The extraterrestrials must always serve when science cannot explain an archaeological find, when something does not seem to fit into the known world view of the archaeologists. Erich von Däniken, the forefather of the theory of the influence of extraterrestrials on human history and culture would be confirmed a thousand times over and triumph along the line. At least this is a possible alternative. As crazy as she is, the tablets make her a reality. Of course, he is not allowed to discuss such absurdities with his assistant Peter van der Delft and the intern Svetlana Sukowa. They would disregard him for his grotesque fantasies. They would secretly call him a senile fool.”
Marotti gets out of the water and sits in the warm sand. As if the view of the wide, calm sea would give him an answer, he remains lost in thoughts and sits like that for a while.
Like a dog just coming out of the water, he shook himself and said loudly to the sea: “I think a short break is better than this constant theorizing. Every tree, every stone now reminds me of the world over two thousand years ago. I must change my way of thinking. Only a good wine can help me!” Immediately he jumps up and climbs onto his bike.
On his way home, he believes he will find the necessary distraction in the bars of Syracuse this evening. An evening with lots of wine and friends and perhaps without Messina, that's a done deal!
Svetlana Sukova sits on her small backyard balcony of her apartment in Syracuse and enjoys the late morning sun. It's nice and quiet here. Once again, she is thinking about the discoveries and the strange tablets. It's sheer horror to her. It couldn't possibly get any worse. Everything she has learned is turned upside down with the tablets. The well-known knowledge about world history is now being questioned. Although her thesis, which was still fresh from the press, was approved by the college of professors, this work is no longer worth the paper it was printed on. Svetlana knows that her diploma thesis on the linear upward development of the sciences of humanity is simply wrong due to recent discoveries. Worse still, the goddamn tablets literally destroyed her work. How beautifully clean was their evidence of the linear development of science a few weeks ago? Using hundreds of examples, she was able to prove the constantly upward development of human knowledge. It was simply clear that everything evolved from the lower to the higher. All the theories of the advanced technology of the Egyptians or Maya she could scientifically prove. Since some Danish man revolted against serious science with his fantasies in the twentieth century, there have always been skeptics who have taken up his theories. With a lot of hard work she had cemented the foundations of modern science and supported them convincingly with case studies. She definitely won’t tell anyone about these tablets. But these plates are so devastating, so destructive for the scientific archaeology known to her. It's almost as if an all-dominant religion is destroyed. The tablets from this over two-thousand-year-old temple have completely shattered the world’s view of archaeology.
What doesn't make sense at all is this damned exact topographical distribution of the earth. Yes, the era knew of the equator, the northern and southern hemisphere and what eclipses were. This was assuming the earth is as a sphere. A theory that had its followers even in ancient times.
Much worse is the division of longitude with the enigmatic zero meridian. The zero-meridian runs like today over the observatory in Greenwich. Just as shown on our modern maps! It's actually a thing of absolute impossibility! At that time, the English city of Greenwich was only a dense jungle, swamp and perhaps a few earthworks with primitive barbarians on the British Isles. Unless the cartographer came from at least the nineteenth century.
On top of that, a woman with the melodious ancient name Aphrodite wants to have caused this mess. It's almost unforgivable that a woman, of all people, should stab her in the back. What kind of woman is she? A symbol that conceals one or more time travelers? Or is that a giant con? A criminal activity staged by the still-acting mafia here in Sicily? A mafia trying to attract thousands of tourists by cheating like that? Is Professor Marotti the head of this mob? Or was he very skillfully lured into this trap? Yesterday's visit showed that these huge stones are situated in ancient cultural layers. The rubble above the temple is full of antique rubbish. From small coins to thousands of clay fragments, everything is available. The place must have been a garbage dump later in the Middle Ages.
Thousands of years ago, a natural disaster buried this temple. We have now rediscovered it through another storm, another natural disaster. The layers have remained untouched for centuries. No one can unnoticedly bury such stones with the tablets and connect them with ancient and medieval cultural layers.
She finds herself dumbfounded again.
She wants to sleep for another hour or so before professor Giorgio Marotti and Peter van der Delft arrive. It might be a long night this time. Svetlana sets her alarm clock. She has already bought everything beforehand and her father's favorite dish - Borscht - has been cooking for an hour in the roman pot. If you don't like this dish of fresh cabbage, red beetroot and ham, you must be sick, Svetlana believes firmly. She also provided her guests with plenty to drink, although the professor hadn't said anything about it. There's always talk afterwards. Then it is always said that the woman is stingy and does not know the unwritten law of hospitality. Her father, a native Russian from Moscow, always attached great importance to hospitality. Even if the housekeeping budget was small, for any guest food was served up so that the table nearly bowed in the middle. That's how she'll keep it here. She didn't even make her debut in the team due to the rushing events. It's the perfect opportunity today. Hospitality is also sacred to the Sicilian people.
Marotti is riding his bike as usual. He had agreed with Svetlana and Peter weeks ago that everyone would receive the complete photo set of the plates. Everyone should give their own rating on the boards. Today at 5:00 p. m. is the secret rendezvous in Svetlana's apartment.
The next intersection left, then I'm there - Marotti thinks. He is currently being overtaken by a taxi, from which Peter van der Delft kindly beckons him.
The young man does what is proper- he is waiting for the professor at the front door.
Together they go up the stairs to Svetlana's loft. Upstairs they are already eagerly awaited by Svetlana. Her apartment smells enticingly like an unknown spicy dish. A classic Russian samovar, a bottle of vodka and glasses are waiting for them on the table. Plates with cutlery are lying on a sideboard next to the kitchen door. Svetlana fetches the plates and puts them on the table with the remark: “It could take a little longer today! It is better for all of us if we strengthen ourselves beforehand. I would like to cordially invite you in Russian style.” The guests nod approvingly.
Svetlana gets up, fetches the Roman pot with the finished Borscht and places it in the middle of the table. Svetlana fills the plates with a menacingly large spoon. The men are amazed by the colorful and good-smelling soup. It wasn't the one plate the men spooned up.
It’s good that she obviously succeeded in the Borscht, as she refills several times.
After a digestive schnapps Peter van der Delft says relieved: “Now that we’ve gained our strength, we can start, right?”
The professor nods approvingly.
“Professor, please begin your evaluation of the classified photos first. We will then take a position on the individual panels from our own point of view. Do you agree? “asks van der Delft and grabs a glass of water at the same time.
Marotti nods, in a good mood he replies: “Good, my friends! Let’s do it.”
Marotti makes himself comfortable and declares: “Tablet no. 1, I have preferred rating scores because tablets no. 2,3 and 4 differ only in writing and language, but not in content”.
Svetlana and Peter nod in agreement.
Professor Marotti continues: “All panels have a uniform dimension of precisely 5000 x 4000 millimeters. This measure alone indicates that the European metric system was undoubtedly used here, which, as we know, was only established 2000 years later. I am also shocked by the material the panels themselves are made of. All plates are made of very pure and high quality titanium. It cannot be completely ruled out that titanium was known as an element in antiquity! But to produce it in this purity, it is impossible for this time before Christ.”
Total silence embraces him.
“Now to the tablets. Tablet 1 clearly shows the geography of the earth. Even if the representation of the continents and oceans was done without small islands, this map is almost a current world map. But just almost. I didn't immediately come across it. I considered certain deviations to be processing errors or simply a lack of knowledge of the cartographers. A lecture by my esteemed colleague Professor Meinhard on the ice ages gave me the idea of taking a closer look at reconstructed coastal landscapes of past centuries. You know, I mean, for example, coastline, sea level elevation and the like. The worst suspicions of sleepless nights were confirmed to my dismay. The alleged deviations on the secret map coincide with reconstructed coastal landscapes of that time period in a frightening way. No, these reconstructed coastal landscapes almost always correspond to the map on Tablet 1. To a friend and expert, I showed parts of the map for reassurance. He said that this map could represent the time two to five thousand years ago. He pointed out some shifts in the polar region and especially in the North Sea. Don't worry, he didn't see the map as a whole. I told him they were old, photographed prints and were supposed to be reused for a book!”
Svetlana says: “I didn't look at the map like that! I only noticed that the equator and the northern and southern turning hemispheres were drawn! The longitude grading with the null meridian is worse. The null meridian is aligned exactly with the position of the observatory in Greenwich. Just as it is shown on our modern maps! It's actually a thing of absolute impossibility! Unless the cartographer came from at least the nineteenth century. So this is a glaring contradiction to a card produced two thousand years ago. There are only two possibilities for this map:
Firstly, the map is a modern product with smart corrections that make it an antique map. Just a good forgery. The forger didn't think of the degrees that couldn't exist yet.
Or secondly, the creators were time travelers. They actually came from the earth and from a future unknown to us! From a future that makes time travel possible, i.e. those who knew about the geography of the earth according to the state of modern science and at the same time wanted to present a current map of this ancient time “.
Both men jump up and Marotti now even threatens with his fist towards Svetlana.
But he slowly calms down, thinks about it, but still says: “I’m a moron, something so serious didn’t cross my mind. You're right, girl. This discovery alone raises questions that are incompatible with the existing doctrine of archaeology. Clarifying that would totally break the current framework. Your two theories are very daring, no, they're even dangerous. Discussing them alone would take days. That is why I suggest that we go further in the analysis of tablets two, three and four. Agreed?”
Svetlana and Peter nod in agreement.
The professor deliberately continues to speak calmly: “First of all, it is undisputed that the contents of all three panels are indistinguishable. Tablets two and three are written in classical Greek or Latin. I think you will accept that without hesitation. But I have a stomachache with the English text on table number four. I consulted a linguist in London and confronted him with fragments of the text from tablet number four. He assured me that this English language style is a development from the 19th century and comes very close to today's common school English. Let me turn now to the content.
I think the author may be trying to disguise his true identity with the name Aphrodite. I justify this with the second sentence:
– After many years of slavery, a time of sometimes unimaginable cruelty, I have been able to win people over through my efforts and skills. –
If you don't mind my saying so. Someone who builds a mighty temple can never have been a slave. Or the sentence:
– I have come to appreciate the modest gifts and pleasures of the gods. –
As a message for future generations, that's a little too thin for me.
Also the last sentence:
– Men remember your own powers - do not surrender to the greed for gold and power if you want a future worth living in! –
It doesn't strike me as a secret piece of information to future generations.”
The professor leans back and looks at his two fellow combatants in a provocative way. Only for himself Marotti decides not to tell any of the less scientific theories of his wife Messina, which he considers ridiculous, to even give an indication to his co-workers. He therefore gives van der Delft a sign that he should explain his discoveries.
Peter van der Delft breathes deeply: Professor Marotti, excuse me, I've come to that point myself and I didn't have much to gain except for the prophetic sayings of the whole thing. Also, the name “Aphrodite” seems to me to be a camouflage to survive the centuries as a Greek-roman goddess. That's why I took a closer look at the scripture. I have noticed that the pattern of the border of the texts consists of Roman numerals. Among other things, the pattern was decorated with symbols of mythology. On the upper right you can see, for example, the well-known Neptune. At one point, however, the trident of Neptune is not pointing upwards as usual, but the trident is pointing to the right. So far, so good. Behind it begins a Roman number, then the next number and so on, only sometimes interrupted by small figures or plants. I then copied the numbers and interpreted the symbols as blanks. First I thought that the numbers could correspond to the letters of the alphabets we know. That was a mistake. In every language tried, it only came out with incomprehensible gibberish.
Then I tried the reverse variant and other gimmicks. Nothing!
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