In about 250 BCE, a Celtic tribe known as the Parisii first settled Paris on the Île de la Cité. In 52 BCE, the Parisii settlement was conquered by the Romans and their general, Julius Caesar. The Romans named the city Lutetia, from an earlier Greek name Lukotokía, whose origin is unknown. But the renaming did not stick. So the city of lights is known today as Paris, the name of its first founders, from over 2,200 years ago.
The coin is a Parisii gold coin, by the way. It dates to the 200s BCE.
Diglossia is when a single community uses two languages or dialects. It is only diglossia if this is a stable situation -- not a transition from one language to another. In diglossia, one language is for everyday use (the low language), and one language is for specific situations (the high language) such as literature, formal education, or religious activities. The high language usually has no native speakers. Examples are Latin, used by scholars in the European Middle Ages, Mandarin for official communications and local dialects for everyday use in China, and literary Tamil versus spoken Tamil.
The earliest known diglossia is Middle Egyptian, the language in everyday use in Ancient Egypt during the Middle Kingdom (2000 - 1650 BCE). By the New Kingdom (1550 -1050 BCE) the language had evolved into Late Egyptian. And by the Persians, then Ptolemies, then Roman Empire, the language had evolved into Demotic (700 BCE - 400 CE). But Middle Egyptian remained the standard written, prestigious form, the high language, and was still in use until the 300s CE. That means it was used, unchanged, for over 1,900 years after people had stopped speaking it!
Two gilded silver dragon figurines featuring detailed horns, eyes, teeth, and feathers have been discovered in a Xiongnu elite tomb in north-central Mongolia. The dragons bear obvious characteristics of the Western Han Dynasty (206 BCE to 9 CE). They are evidence of the cultural exchange and interaction between the prairie in the north and central China, as well as the high status of the Xiongu buried in the tomb. Of course, the silver dragons were not the only rich items they were buried with: a trove of gold, silver, bronze, jade and wood artifacts have also been found.
First isolated and named as an element at the end of the 1700s, uranium had actually been used in pigments since at least the first century CE. A piece of glass from a Roman villa was found to be yellow because it was one-percent uranium oxide. And history repeats itself: after its discovery as an element, it was used extensively to make glass, enamel, and ceramics of a range of colors. The most famous use of uranium was in uranium glass, which has a distinct, and slightly unsettling, green tint under UV light.
There are a number of theories as to what this statuette depicts. But wouldn't it be neat if this were a female gladiator?
A team of archaeologists excavating a Bronze Age cemetery in the region of Karaganda, in central Kazakhstan, has unearthed the remains of a man and a woman who were buried facing one another. Their exact relationship is unclear, and the archaeologists did not speculate on whether they were a romantic couple or held some other relationship, such as siblings. The two were buried with varied, high-quality grave goods including beads, large ceramic pots, knives, and gold jewelry. Together the grave goods suggest the two came from wealthy families. The couple are believed to have been buried sometime around 2000 BCE. In this part of Kazakhstan, that time was marked by increasing conflict, as well as the introduction of the chariot.
This blog is a collection of the interesting, the weird, and sometimes the need-to-know about history, culled from around the internet. It has pictures, it has quotes, it occasionally has my own opinions on things. If you want to know more about anything posted, follow the link at the "source" on the bottom of each post. And if you really like my work, buy me a coffee or become a patron!
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