The TerraMar Project and Terramare Culture: Ghislaine Maxwell's Creepy Connection to a Child Sacrifice Culture
The Etruscans are Known for Child Sacrifice. What Was Ghislaine Doing with TerraMar?
The Terramare Culture, Etruscan Child Sacrifice, and Epstein Intimate Ghislaine Maxwell’s Almost Unnoticed “TerraMar” Project
A red-hot fire belches from the hole in the chest of a bronze idol’s bull chest. The menacing eyes of its head glare at the cowed worshipers as steam and smoke fill the air. Outstretched are the brazen arms of a man. They extend from a bull’s body. Toward the fiery maw of the reverse Minotaur, along its raised arms, rolls a baby. As that baby falls into the hissing flames, the priest and priestess engage in sexual intercourse while the worshippers whose firstborn children have been rolled into the flames join in an orgy.
Such was the horrific spectacle of Ba’al worship and human sacrifice, common in all those lands blighted by a Phoenician presence: Canaan, Phoenician Carthage, and Phoenician Tyre. Greek author Kleitarchos describes the process as such (Greeks and Romans often conflated Ba’al with the Titan god Kronos): “Out of reverence for Kronos [Ba’al], the Phoenicians, and especially the Carthaginians, whenever they seek to obtain some great favor, vow one of their children, burning it as a sacrifice to the deity, if they are especially eager to gain success. There stands in their midst a bronze statue of Kronos [Ba’al], its hands extended over a bronze brazier, the flames of which engulf the child. When the flames fall on the body, the limbs contract and the open mouth seems almost to be laughing, until the contracted body slips quietly into the brazier.”
But not just the Phoenicians and their colonies practiced such evil. They were joined in the horrible spectacle by the Etruscans, a people now believed to have developed out of the Terramare culture.1
In this article, we’ll unpack the Terramare people, the progenitors of the Etruscans, their development into the child-sacrificing Etruscans, and Ghislaine Maxwell’s potential connection to child sacrifice culture through the TerraMar Project and her attendance at a Marina Abramovic party.
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The Terramare People, The Pelasgians, and The Etruscans
This section will cite extensively from modern archaeology and Classical sources to show that the Terramare people were also known as the Pelasgians, which is important as the Pelasgians developed into the Etruscans, a child sacrifice culture. It will then use those same sources to show how the Etruscan culture, particularly the child sacrifice aspect of it, resulted from the crisis the Terramare/Pelasgian culture faced in the late Bronze Age. Though lengthy, it’s important to understand because it sheds light on how odd it is to have an organization with a near-identical name.
The Terramare and Pelasgians
Who were the Terramare people? They were a culture that arrived in Italy sometime during the Middle Bronze Age and proceeded to colonize the Po Plain in Northern Italy.2 Little is known about them other than that they focused mainly on farming cereal crops, lived in so-called “pile dwellings” around lakes, and might have worshiped anthropomorphic idols.3
Originally, it was thought that Terramare culture moved into Italy from Cisalpine Gaul and developed out of the Proto-Villanovan culture, which colonized Northern Italy, and then developed into a separate culture in the Po Plain.4 That long-held theory was undone by Andrea Cardarelli in a ground-breaking 2009 paper, "The Collapse of the Terramare Culture and growth of new economic and social System during the late Bronze Age in Italy." In the paper, Cardarelli showed that the Terramare people did not develop from the Proto-Villanovans but were the Pelasgians, who ancient sources recognized as being related to the Etruscans.
Cardarelli relied on the accounts of Ancient and Classical Greek historians, such as Dionysius of Halicarnassus, to make the case for the Terramare being the Pelasgians. Dionysius wrote that the Pelasgians settled the area the Terramare people were known to have settled, indicating that the Pelasgians and Terramare peoples were the same.5
Cardarelli then turns from Dionysius of Halicarnuss to Hellanicus of Lesbos. Hellanicus contended that the Pellasgians were the Tyrrhenians,6 which is to say, Etruscans. “Hellanicus also claims that the Pelasgi are the same people as the Tyrrhenians, a name they acquired after conquering territories in Italy,” Cardarelli writes.7
Evidence that Hellanicus, who was writing in the mid-Fifth Century BC, meant “Etruscan” when he said “Tyrrhenians” comes from a contemporaneous author, Pindar, and a Classical author, Strabo.
Similarly, Pindar, in Pythian Odes, conflated the Phoenician Carthaginians with the Tyrrhenians, writing, “I entreat you, son of Cronus, grant that the battle-shouts of the Carthaginians and Tyrrhenians stay quietly at home, now that they have seen their arrogance bring lamentation to their ships off Cumae.”9
In addition to their early history being similar, Cardarelli notes that the demise of the Pelasgians was the same as that of the Terramare, writing:
“It is evident that if the achievements of the alliance between Aborigines and Pelasgians, as a result of which the Sicels were forced to take refuge in Sicily, are to be dated to the ﬁrst half of the XIII century BC, then the Pelasgian crisis must have begun shortly thereafter. According to Dionysius’s hypothesis this period is approximately datable to between 1240 and 1180 BC and beyond, a time span that substantially coincides with the mature and advanced phase of the RB, the period in which it is possible to situate the crisis and end of the Terramare system.”
That is to say, the purported crisis of the Pelasgians and Terramare people occurred at the same time, which is more evidence that the two groups were the same.
So, if the Terramare and Pelasigians were the same, and the Pelasgians were the Etruscans, what is important about their society? Who were the Etruscans?
The Etruscans Developed When the Pelasgians/Terramare Turned to Child Sacrifice During an Environmental Crisis
The Etruscans were located in Northern Italy and were a longtime enemy of the Romans. More importantly to this piece, they were known for child sacrifice.
The Etruscan culture’s child sacrifice trait was long alleged in writings from Antiquity and recently proven by archaeologists, who found slain children and the trappings of idolatrous worship in the Northern Italian area inhabited by the Etruscans:
“Although early historians were not confident that Etruscans engaged in human sacrifice, recent excavations revealed multiple sites of human sacrifice. In particular, the bodies of multiple individuals including adults, children, and infants were found surrounded by religious items including an altar, ritualistic weapons, and other religious objects. In one discovery, the body of a young child was found decapitated, with his feet being used as a foundation deposit under a wall. In addition to these discoveries, ancient texts describing the practice of human sacrifice, as well as artwork depicting human sacrifice, have been found in this region.”10
And from where did that cultural trait of child sacrifice, one traditionally connected with the horrors of Ba’al worship, come? Dionysius of Halicarnassus provides an answer: the aforementioned crisis of the Pelasgians, or Terramare, turned them into a child sacrifice culture. As drought struck, crops withered in their fields, and society seemed to collapse around them, the soon-to-be Etruscans believed the gods were telling them to offer human sacrifices. Here’s what he wrote:
“And like misfortunes attended the offspring both of cattle and of women. For they were either abortive or died at birth, some by their death destroying also those that bore them… The rest of the people, also, particularly those in the prime of life, were afflicted with many unusual diseases and uncommon deaths.”11
“But when they asked the oracle what god or divinity they had offended to be thus afflicted and by what means they might hope for relief, the god answered that, although they had obtained what they desired, they had neglected to pay what they had promised, and that the things of greatest value were still due from them.”12
“Of material things they had indeed rendered to the gods all the ﬁrst-fruits in the right and proper manner, but human offspring, a thing of all others the most precious in the sight of the gods, the promised portion still remained due; if, however, the gods received their just share of this also, the oracle would be satisﬁed."13
“There were, indeed, some who thought that he spoke aright, but others felt that there was treachery behind his words. And when some one proposed to ask the god whether it was acceptable to him to receive tithes of human beings, they sent their messengers a second time, and the god ordered them so to do.”14
Then the Terramare/Pelasgian/Etruscan society had a choice. Should it accept the will of the gods and sacrifice children, or should it refuse? Many refused and left. But many stayed and slayed their children on the altar of the pagan gods. Dionysius of Halicarnassus, describing the turn to child sacrifice, says: “For the rulers in the cities ceased not to select the ﬁrst-fruits of the youth as soon as they arrived at manhood, both because they desired to render what was due to the god.”15
So, in short, those that remained devoted themselves to child sacrifice. Year after year, “the first-fruits of the youth” were slain to appease cruel gods in the hope of the crops growing again as those who refused to submit to such evil practices left. What remained was a culture forged by that environmental crucible into one that sacrificed children to make the crops grow. Evidence for the centrality of sacrifice to appease the gods and make the crops grow comes from the Etruscan pantheon: “The national Etruscan god seems to have been Veltha (aka Veltune or Voltumna) who was closely associated with vegetation.”16
Further evidence of that continuity comes from Giovanna Bagnasco Gianni. He, in 2012, found that excavations of Etruscan cities indicated the culture had been there from the later part of the Bronze Age, 13th–11th centuries.17 That is when the Terramare/Pelasgian crisis occurred, which appears to have led to the culture’s penchant for child sacrifice.18
In conclusion, the evidence presented by modern archaeologists and Greco-Roman sources indicates that the Terramare culture was also called Pelasgian culture, and it, as the Bronze Age ended and Iron Age began with a flood of sacrificed blood, turned into the Etruscan child sacrifice culture.
Ghislaine Maxwell Enters the Chat
How does all that relate to Ghislaine Maxwell, the Epstein girlfriend accused of recruiting young girls for Epstein and his friends as “sex slaves?” Among other things, she founded the TerraMar Project in 2012. That was the same year Gianni’s study showed Etruscan society was continuous since the late Bronze Age, and shortly after Cardarelli’s study showed the connections between the Terramare, Pelagsian, and Etruscan cultures.
The TerraMar Project was a non-profit founded in the US in 2012 and expanded to the UK in 2013. It was ostensibly aimed at conserving the world’s seas. Hence “terra,” meaning “goddess of the Earth” or “the earth itself” in Latin, and “mar” which is…not a word in Latin. Rather, it is likely a reference to “mare,” meaning “sea” in Latin. However, that would mean that the project’s name, if spelled correctly, would have been The “Terramare” Project. Ghislaine appears to have used “TerraMar” to mean the world’s sea, as she wanted the oceans thought of as being one united aquatic body.
Ghislaine, announcing the project at the time, said, "People traditionally see individual oceans and seas. The truth is that all the oceans are interconnected and related. It's all one sea. What TerraMar wants to do is give this part of the world an identity." She added, "You can be attached to it. You can participate in in [sic] a deep way. You can also have a say in how it is used.”
The Odd Aspects of the TerraMar Project
With that bland beginning, things quickly got weird with the TerraMar project. For one, a charity that by all accounts did nearly nothing other than spend Ghislaine’s money was promoted by Ghislaine at a UN meeting and highlighted by The Clinton Foundation.
More ominously, the New York Post found that one of the young girls who traveled with Epstein on the Lolita Express was on the charity’s founding board. It reported:
One girl, aged 19 at the time — whose name appears on the manifests of two Epstein flights in February 2005 from JFK Airport to Columbus, Ohio, and Palm Beach — became a member of the founding board of directors of the Maxwell charity seven years later.
She also lived in a three-bedroom, $430,000 home in Teaneck, NJ, that is linked in public documents to Maxwell, although neighbors told The Post they never saw Maxwell at the property.
Making that individual’s involvement in the project creepier is that it seemed focused on attracting kids, as Treehugger suggested in its report on The TerraMar Project’s launch:
The main way TerraMar hopes to engage people is with its interactive website, where visitors can claim a parcel of the ocean, "friend" a marine species like green turtles or sea otters, take a virtual dive, or find educational projects for parents and teachers. "Social engagement is really key," says Samantha Harris, TerraMar's director of development. "That's what we're trying to develop here: a way to engage a large number of people with the ocean by using our site."
Adding to the generally opaque and darkly mysterious nature of The TerraMare Project is that it quickly closed up shop in 2019 when Jeffrey Epstein was arrested on sex trafficking charges. Business Insider reported at the time that “the TerraMar Project, appears to have been swept off by the tide of scrutiny and criticism that sprung up in the wake of Epstein's arrest.” Continuing, that report added:
Attempts to get in touch with anyone at the TerraMar Project were also unsuccessful. The nonprofit's phone number has been disconnected and its website now features a single statement: "The TerraMar Project is sad to announce that it will cease all operations. The website will be closed. TerraMar's mission has always been to connect ocean lovers to positive actions, highlight science, and bring conscious change to how to people from across the globe can live, work and enjoy the ocean. TerraMar wants to thank all its supporters, partners and fellow ocean lovers."
A later court filing claimed, “The TerraMar Project was closed after Epstein’s death to spare her partners from invasion of privacy by the press due to their association with her.”
Making the situation surrounding the non-profit yet odder, it was deeply in debt just five years after its founding. Despite ostensibly paying employees very little and mostly spending money on a website and office expenses, it was more than half a million dollars in debt by 2017, as Business Insider reported, saying:
The filings with the Internal Revenue Service make out the TerraMar Project to be a relatively small enterprise, money-wise. The nonprofit reported that its funds were mostly flowing into website development, office expenses, travel, phone and utilities fees, merchant fees, contractor fees, professional fundraising services, and insurance policies. The tax documents note that no employees of the nonprofit were ever paid an annual salary of over $100,000.
By 2017, the organization was $550,546 under water, in terms of revenue. Maxwell herself appears to have been keeping the nonprofit afloat, consistently donating hundreds of thousands dollars year after year to cover "general expenses." As of 2017, the TerraMar Project owed its founder $539,092.
Even the New York Times admitted in a 2019 article on the non-profit that the website it created was “opaque,” saying:
The TerraMar Project was an organization with an opaque website and a founder who happened to be the ex-girlfriend of Jeffrey Epstein, the mysterious money manager who — in addition to being one of the C.F.R.’s “Chairman’s Circle” donors for at least six years — had pleaded guilty in 2008 to state charges of soliciting prostitution from a minor.
Additionally, Mike Crabtree, a tax partner at a CPA firm in Minneapolis, told the NYT, “Over all these returns, not a single dollar [was used for grants or programs]. The returns don’t really show what’s going on, where the money is going and what it’s being used for.” The NYT added:
In 2014, TerraMar’s accounting and legal fees were more than $50,000, an unusually high number given the size and activity of the organization, according to Mr. Crabtree. “I don’t know if ‘suspicious’ is the word I’d use, but to generate those kinds of fees a lot more would have to be going on than this would reflect,” he said.
If the website was so bad that a friendly rag called it “opaque,” it appears to have done little other than develop that website, its tax forms show it gave nearly no money in grants, it used Ghislaine’s house in NYC as an office, and no employee was paid more than $100,000, then to where was the money going?
Further, what was this “do-nothing” charity doing garnering the support of the Clinton Foundation, marketing itself to kids, and having the involvement of a “Lolita Express” passenger?
Well, the FBI wanted to know too. So, it investigated what The TerraMar Project was up to. Unsurprisingly, little has since come out about the investigation despite its finances' “suspicious” nature.
But what was Ghislaine doing? Was The TerraMar Project just a failed scheme to sell shares of the oceans and create a website that happened to be named after the progenitors of one of the most infamous child sacrifice cultures of history? Or was it more than a coincidence that the environmental project’s name, if spelled correctly, was the name of the culture that turned to child sacrifice in the hope of solving environmental problems?
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Ghislaine, Abramovic, and the Child Sacrifice Connection
Well, one of Maxwell’s acquaintances tilts in favor of something darker potentially being meant by the creation of the non-profit: Marina Abramović.
That particularly troubling piece of evidence is that Maxwell attended one of Abramovic’s events in 2013. It took place at the Chateau Marmont in Hollywood, a hotel famous for degenerate sex parties, in 2013. It was in honor of an Austrian royal, Francesca Von Hapsburg, as confirmed at the time by ArtForum.
Little detail about that specific event. However, vague details of what happens during an Abramovic “spirit cooking” event are known. Abramovic positions food on the body of a model or doll, and guests pretend to drink blood and eat a person. Here’s how Darryl Cooper described such an event in IM 1776’s “Anatomy of a Conspiracy Theory” (emphasis ours):
The installation included witchy sayings painted in pig’s blood on white walls including: “Mix fresh breast milk with fresh sperm milk, drink on earthquake nights”, “With a sharp knife, cut deeply into the middle finger of your left hand. Eat the pain”, and “Fresh morning urine, sprinkle over nightmare dreams.” An effigy of a human infant, completely covered in pig’s blood as if a bucket of the stuff had been thrown on it, was placed in the corner of room. In another room small dolls are positioned as if copulating. At one Spirit Cooking event, attended by Lady Gaga, pictures show her with Abramovic, eating something from the belly of a naked model, playing dead in a tub of what looks like blood. Diners drank fluids they were supposed to pretend were blood, human breast milk, and other bodily fluids.
Watch the preparation of the display below, with the part beginning at the 3:18 minute mark showing the infant effigy covered in blood:
And here are some pictures from such an event, provided by Darryl Cooper’s excellent Substack article on the topic:
Oh, and to add more fuel to the fire, here’s the sort of “art” that Tony Podesta, who swam in the same circles as Maxwell, had hanging in his house, also according to Darryl Cooper:
Many of his walls were covered in large paintings created as a series by the Serbian artist Biljana Djurdjevic. One of them shows a young girl in a short skirt sitting on a barstool against a tile background. The girl has two black eyes and a dead – or perhaps drugged – look on her face. Another work consists of a huge painting that dominates an entire wall in Podesta’s house, called “Synchronized Swimming“, which portrays a group of young girls lying in a circle at the bottom of a dilapidated, drained swimming pool. The girls are drawn with the same black doll’s eyes, and dead or trancelike look on their faces as they stare up into oblivion. In the same room hangs another large Djurdjevic painting unmistakably depicting two dead young girls, lying on their backs among lily pads in a river or a pond. Djurdjevic admitted in an interview that the series was inspired by stories of child sexual abuse that she had read in the press, and other paintings are much more explicit in their handling of the theme. A few of them show children in their underwear, tied up, bondage-style, against the same tile background. Another shows two young girls in their panties hanging by a strap under their arms. Another shows a lone girl lying unconscious or dead in a river or pond.
A friend who is a butcher remarked that the tile backgrounds used by Djurdjevic in her works reminded him not of swimming pools or bathrooms, but of slaughterhouses in which he had worked. Kill rooms at meat processing plants are almost always tiled, he said, and he sent me several pictures of ones in which he had been employed. Indeed, Djurdjevic’s tiled settings did resemble a slaughterhouse. The revelation also shined a light on one painting among Djurdjevic’s series that did not seem to belong with the others. Four hooded men wearing butchers’ aprons and the long rubber boots and gloves favored by slaughterers sit around a stainless steel butcher’s block and stare out at the viewer. One of the butchers is grabbing his groin, while another is holding what appears to be a rosary. A third is covered in a St. George’s Cross, and blood runs from one edge of the flag onto the floor.
Butchering children? Eating pretend dead bodies? That sure sounds like what someone interested in a child sacrifice cult would be up to.
There’s no direct evidence linking the non-profit to any such thing, nor did Maxwell once mention the Etruscans or their Terramare progenitors. But she was involved with people to whom the idea of child sacrifice, of killing kids, wasn’t foreign. She attended one of their parties, and her non-profit, which appears to have done nothing other than spend money on mysterious ends and was investigated by the FBI, has nearly the same name as the culture that turned to child sacrifice to seek a way out of environmental damnation.
See generally, Cardarelli, Andrea (2009). "The Collapse of the Terramare Culture and growth of new economic and social System during the late Bronze Age in Italy". Scienze dell'antichità: Storia Archeologia Antropologia. Retrieved 22 June 2023.
“Luigi Pigorini regards the Terramare people as a lake-dwelling people who invaded the north of Italy in two waves from Central Europe (the Danube valley) at the end of the Stone Age and the beginning of the Bronze Age, bringing with them the building tradition which led them to erect pile dwellings on dry land, as well as Indo-European languages. These people he calls the Italici, to whom he attributes to the Villanovan culture.” From: https://historum.com/t/tyrrhenian-etruscii.140079/
Strabo, Geography, 5.2.2.
Pindar, Pythian Odes, 1.72.
Dion. Hal., 1, 23, 3.
Dion. Hal.,1, 23, 4.
Dion. Hal.,1, 24, 1.
Dion. Hal., 1, 24, 2.
Dion.Hal.,1, 24, 3
Bagnasco Gianni, Giovanna. "Origine degli Etruschi". In Bartoloni, Gilda (ed.). Introduzione all'Etruscologia (in Italian). Milan: Ulrico Hoepli Editore. pp. 47–81.