The latest edition (#186) of the Stone Pages Archaeo News Podcast carries an abridged version of my Mzora article.

Link: Stone Pages Archaeo News Podcast - Released Feb 14, 2011

The 3 minute long news item is adapted from the article I wrote for the Heritage Journal in January.
 
 
The Heritage Journal have kindly published an article by me on their website regarding the Moroccan stone circle of Mzora.

The article is available here:
http://heritageaction.wordpress.com/2011/01/27/the-mysterious-moroccan-megalithic-menhirs-of-mzora/
 
 
My previous post on the stone circle at Mzora in Morocco has attracted quite a bit of attention. Most recently it has been given a flattering write up on the Google Earth Blog which is "dedicated to sharing the best news, interesting sights, technology, and happenings for Google Earth". 

The post can be viewed at the following address and contains a KML file to allow you to 'fly' to the location in Google Earth: 
http://www.gearthblog.com/blog/archives/2011/01/hunting_for_the_megalithic_stone_ci.html

I'm grateful to Mickey Mellen for his kind words.


 
 
“They are mystical stones, and of medicinal virtue. The giants of old brought them from the farthest coasts of Africa, and placed them in Ireland, while they inhabited that country.”
Geoffrey of Monmouth, The British History of, translated from the Latin by A. Thompson and J. A. Giles, James Bohn, London, 1842, p.158 (Bk 8, Ch. 11).

Picture
Image from http://www.egyptiandawn.info/chapter8.html
Following on from my previous post regarding the actual location of the Stone Circle of Mzora (also Msoura/Mezorah) I thought I’d write a brief entry about the monument itself and why it is so interesting.

I am indebted to Robert Temple for the bulk of the information contained in this post and the majority of the illustrations used appear on his website at http://www.egyptiandawn.info.

 
 
It is not often that one makes an original discovery, but I believe that by a careful application of logic and a bit of luck of I may have achieved just that.

I was amazed discover on various enthusiast sites that the megalithic stone circle of Mzora (also spelt variously Msoura/Mezorah) in Morocco is listed as location unknown. This large Neolithic ellipse consisting of 168 surviving stones with a major diameter of nearly 60 metres cannot, apparently, be located on any map and reliable latitude and longitude co-ordinates for it are entirely absent. The website Megalithic Portal confirm that although the GPS co-ordinates provided are only approximate the site can be reached by car from the nearest town (Asilah) with the reluctant help of locals (kengelma. (2007). Msoura - Stone Circle in Morocco. Available: http://www.megalithic.co.uk/article.php?sid=16110. Last accessed 13th January 2011).

If those that have visited the monument more recently have taken a GPS reading, they don't appear to have made it publicly available. Indeed the Panaromio (photograph) layer of Google Earth was of no use when I started hunting because there are multiple sites in that area of Morocco that users had identified as the correct one which added to the confusion (for example http://www.panoramio.com/photo/14736610).

The uncertainty as to its actual location is echoed in Robert Temple’s new book Egyptian Dawn:

“It has always been extraordinarily difficult to find Mezorah […] Maps are of limited use. No road approaches the site nearer than several miles’ distance.”  Temple, Robert (2010). Egyptian Dawn. London: Century. p384

And also

I have not been there since GPS devices became available. I have tried to find it on Google Earth, but the name is not given on the maps, and when searching the terrain visually, one gets the information that ‘that zoom level’ of satellite photography is not available for that area, so Mezorah (M’Zora) appears impossible to find by this means also. One would have to have access to a military satellite to find it.” Temple, Robert (2010). Egyptian Dawn. London: Century. p385

However I believe I have located this 'lost' Moroccan stone circle using available public domain information and Google Earth. 

The information on Megalithic Portal gave the location of the site as 25km south of Asilah. However if this were true the nearest town to the site would be Larache not Asilah. I therefore rejected this information as erroneous.

Having established that the site was near the town of Asilah and seen that the co-ordinates given at both Megalithic Portal and on Google earth Community (http://bbs.keyhole.com/ubb/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showthreaded&Number=175102 ) indicated a similar area, although didn’t locate the circle itself, they gave me a ‘ballpark’ area to search. So, using an old aerial photo of the site from a travel website (http://lexicorient.com/morocco/mzoura.htm), I fired up Google Earth and hunted for a match.
 
 

The Man Eating Tree of Madagascar and Other Flesh Eating Flora

The recent discovery of the remarkable self-destructing palm tree of Madagascar (1) (Tahina spectabilis)
has highlighted the potential for large and distinctly unique plant species to lurk in the less densely populated parts of the world. Of all the crypto-botanical mysteries remaining to be resolved, perhaps the most intriguing is the possible existence of plants that are capable of trapping and consuming large animals. Reports have emerged from several remote regions of the world concerning large carnivorous plants that can capture and devour creatures as large as birds, dogs, monkeys and, perhaps, even humans.


 

Graham Salisbury