A Stunning Soviet Map of NYC

The USSR military had extremely accurate maps of almost the entire world. This is their 1982 map of New York City, with Lower Manhattan in the upper right-hand corner, and Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty in the mid-left side. The map even includes the dimensions, and building materials, of the bridges.

This is the "Tamil Bell," a bronze bell found in New Zealand in approximately 1836. It was being used as a pot to boil potatoes by Māori women near Whangarei. It has an inscription running around the rim in Old Tamil. Translated, it says "Muhayideen Baksh’s ship’s bell." Some argue that it is proof that Indians (from India) had contact with Polynesians before Europeans. But others argue it is evidence of widespread Polynesian trading networks, or it was simply discarded by a visiting Portuguese ship, as the Portuguese had trade relationships with, and colonies in, India.

Chupícuaro Female Figure

The distinctive Chupícuaro style was recovered from a site covered by a reservoir in 1948 to supply water for Mexico City, where later salvage operations found a number of Chupícuaro style artifacts. The Chupícuaro region is northwest of Mexico City, about a four hour drive. It had longstanding cultural and trade connections with the Valley of Mexico beginning as early as 200 BCE, indicated by similarities in ceramic figural art traditions from both regions.

This ceramic female figure is a beautiful example of Chupícuaro mortuary figures dating to between 300 BCE and 100 CE. Burials of members of the Chupícuaro elite typically included a large number of female figures. Their worldview linked death with fertility, as a central precept of the Mesoamerican ideology of death, transformation, and regeneration. Death was not the end, but part of the cycle. This sculpture's striking body paint is typical of Chupícuaro figures. Her short pants (or possibly body painting) feature a combined vertical and horizontal patterning that suggests a highly developed weaving tradition. Sadly, actual examples of the region's weaving have sadly has not survived.

Pathologic mandibular prognathism, or "Habsburg jaw" is a deformity where the lower jaw outgrows the upper jaw. In other words the person has a big chin. It most famously appeared in the Habsburg family, but it exists in the bloodlines of many other royal families of Europe, perhaps first appearing in Vlad the Impaler!

Not Sure What This Octopus’ Expression Is

While mostly an octopus, each of its legs ends in a catfish head, and it also has two claw-like feet. Meaning it has ten legs total? I think?

This Moche frontlet would have been worn on a headdress, to scare all who saw the wearer. Circa 300 - 600 CE.

The national symbol of the Philippines is the Philippine, or monkey-eating, eagle. It is the largest of all eagles and was declared the national bird of the Philippines in 1995. It was almost too late: the eagle is critically endangered and there may be just 180 to 500 eagles remaining.

A Cute Accident

https://www.britishmuseum.org/research/collection_online/collection_object_details.aspx?objectId=1344536&partId=1

Frederick Branch was the first African-American to become an officer in the US Marine Corps. After being drafted in 1943, he applied for Officer Candidate School, but was turned down, even though President Roosevelt signed Executive Order 8802 in 1941, which prohibited racial discrimination by any government agency. So Branch served in the Marines in a supply unit in the Pacific, where his performance earned him the recommendation of his commanding officer. Branch then attended officer's training in the Navy V-12 program at Purdue University. He was the only African-American in a class of 250. After graduating he was commissioned as a second lieutenant on November 10, 1945 -- but as the officer for a segregated unit.

The photograph is Branch with his wife.

A (Possible) Prehistoric Prosthetic

A hand made of bronze was crafted sometime around 1500 - 1400 BCE in Europe. More than a pound of bronze went into it, plus gold for a socket at the bottom. Why it was made is unknown. It may have been attached to another object, like a staff or a statue, or used as a prosthetic. Whatever it was used for, the hand eventually ended up in the ground near Switzerland's Lake Biel. Nearby were a bronze dagger and a rib bone. All three artifacts were uncovered by metal detectorists in October 2017.

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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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