There were dozens of language families, each the equivalent of the Indo-European family, before 1492. This map is a "simplified" one. In today's California, for instance, languages that are spoken by neighboring tribes are as different as French and Chinese.
Why did the Americas develop such linguistic diversity? Many linguists suspect that at least some of these separate families date back to separate migrations of different tribes from Asia who originally spoke unrelated languages. Linguistic and archaeological data hint at more than one migration from Asia into the Americas, all of them through Alaska.
Extra Fun Fact: see “Eskimo-Aleut” in northern North America? It is not colored because there is no evidence those languages are related to any other indigenous American languages!
Italian Man Loses His Arm, Replaces It With A Knife!
About 1,500 years ago, a man in his late forties lost his arm. It was often a death sentence at the time. People died from amputations quickly, from bloodloss, or slowly, from infection. We do not know how or why, but this lucky man survived the injury and lived one-armed for years and perhaps decades. Well, not completely one-armed. He replaced his lost right forearm with a knife, buckled to his arm with leather straps. When he died the knife was buried with him. Leaving a very interesting find for modern archaeologists! He was found at a necropolis near Verona in northern Italy. The necropolis was in use between the 500s and 700s CE, and has so far yielded 164 tombs holding 222 individuals (plus a burial pit containing two greyhound dogs and a horse).
To answer my own question, yes! It's a whistle! Not sure if it still works though.... According to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), this is a Mayan whistle in the form of a sitting woman. Discovered on Jaina Island, off the coast of the Yucatan Peninsula, it is believed have been crafted between 600 and 900 CE. Pretty neat!
This snapshot shows the greatest territorial extent of the Sasanians, circa 620 to 627 CE.
It was the last great empire in the Middle East before Islam. The Sasanians were locked into a struggle with the Byzantine Empire, which made both weaker when the Islamic army swept out of the Arabian peninsula.
Hawaii Has A Protected Valley, Where Its Ancient Plants Are Preserved
For the past 1,500 years, Limahuli Valley on Kauai has been a green haven, a wilderness preserved to exist just as the native Hawaiians experienced it. It is home to plant life unlike anything found in the rest of the world, with many endangered plants thriving in the valley.
The Qur'an wasn’t officially formed until 20 years after the death of Muhammad, when all of his revelations were gathered together. When the Qur'an was first printed, the first caliph Abu Bakr gathered a committee to decide on the final form. The committee included Muslims who had memorized the entire Qur'an during the prophet’s lifetime, so they could compare what was collected with what they had memorized.
The Qur'an consists of 114 chapters called surahs. The chapters are not arranged in the order in which they were first recited by Muhammad, over a period of 23 years. Instead, the Qur'an's surahs are in the re-arranged order that Muhammad placed them in after they were all revealed to Muhammad.
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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!