Teeth Plaque Tells Us About Food During The Irish Famine

A recent analysis of dental plaque obtained from the teeth of 42 people buried in mass graves at Ireland’s Kilkenny Union Workhouse in the mid-1800s has shown that the individuals' diet was consistent with historical records of what people ate during the Great Famine, which resulted in the deaths of more than 1 million people. Irish laborers were thought to have subsisted on a diet of potatoes and milk, supplemented with eggs and wheat when possible. Researchers found evidence of a diet based on corn, with some oats, wheat, and milk, in the calcified plaque from the teeth of most of the individuals buried at the workhouse. Traces of egg protein were detected in the plaque of just three people. It has been known that Ireland imported corn, known as Indian meal, from the United States as a relief food for the starving. And if the individuals were living in a workhouse, they were starving.

Russian Cavalry Officer’s Helmet, circa 1855-1914.

Part of the uniform of Her Majesty Empress Maria Fyodorovna's Cavalry Guards Regiment. With a three-headed eagle on top, almost the size of the helmet itself! Must have been ceremonial. Because only a fool would wear that unwieldy thing into battle

While spinning is the oldest fiber craft (20,000 BCE), the earliest known written reference to crochet is from 1812. It was likely invented late because crochet requires a large amount of thread compared to other weaving techniques.

The Shameful History of How France Abolished Slavery

In 1315, Louis X, king of France, published a decree proclaiming that "France signifies freedom" and that any slave setting foot on the French ground should be freed. And France maintained that law, even after it began allowing slavery in its New World colonies in the 1600s. Any enslaved person who as brought to France became free. Born into slavery in Saint Domingue, Thomas-Alexandre Dumas became free when his father brought him to France in 1776.

Slavery in the French colonies was another story. The French crown regulated the slave trade and institution in the colonies, starting with Louis XIV's Code Noir in 1685. The royal government had over 100 years of profiting from plantation-based slavery and particularly sugar production before the French Revolution killed the royal family and attempted to end slavery in the colonies. The first elected Assembly of the First Republic abolished slavery in France (since the royal law was no longer recognized) and more importantly in France's colonies. However, Napoleon restored slavery and the slave trade in 1802. This was mainly because of lobbying by planters in the West Indies, and to benefit from taxing the planter's slavery-produced profits. In 1848, under the Second Republic, slavery was totally abolished in the French colonies. And this time it stuck.

A Historical Look At Today's Bosnia and Herzegovina

Looking at this map, you can see the impact of the region's long Ottoman rule, then the Austro-Hungarian Empire for twenty years before this map's snapshot.


"Art is the stored honey of the human soul, gathered on wings of misery and travail."

Theodore Herman Albert Dreiser (1871-1945), and American novelist and journalist of the naturalist school. His novels often featured main characters who succeeded at their objectives despite a lack of a firm moral code, and literary situations that more closely resemble studies of nature than tales of choice and agency. Dreiser's best known novels include Sister Carrie (1900) and An American Tragedy (1925).

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    HISTORICAL NON-FICTION

    By Lillian Audette

    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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