Female Artist Discovered In Ancient Greece

Eleutherna, a fortified city-state in Crete that reached its height around 800 BCE, was home to the only known female master ceramicist in the ancient Greek world. The remains of a woman who was discovered at Eleutherna in 2009 have recently been analyzed, and the results were surprising.

In comparison to the other females at the site, the muscles on the right side of her body were notably developed, while the cartilage on her knee and hip joints was worn away, leaving the bones smooth and ivory-like. This pattern suggests she spent her lifetime working clay on a kick-wheel-operated turntable. Eleutherna has been associated with women in powerful positions, in general. Four women related to each other, and thought to have been priestesses, were found in an ornate burial near the master artiste.

Gold Mine Found In Late Medieval Latrines

Wine barrels, which were used as latrines in the late 1680s, have been discovered in central Copenhagen. Analyzing them can provide detailed insights into what Danes at the time were eating and drinking, as well as evidence about health problems they may have been experiencing.

Using a variety of modern techniques, archaeologists have identified a number of local foods including fish, meats, a number of grains, cherries, coriander, lettuce, mustard, and hazelnuts. Put together, the scientific evidence suggests that Danes were eating a varied and healthy diet of local products. And the owners of the latrines were likely wealthy, able to take advantage of of a global trading network, as evidenced by their cloves from India's Moluccan islands, and figs, grapes, and bitter orange or lemon from the Mediterranean.

Unfortunately, their hygiene could have been better. The latrines contained evidence of whipworm, roundworm, and tapeworm, and specifically of varieties that are known to infect people. Either the owners did not wash their hands often enough, or they did not cook their food properly. The natural result was parasites.

Gross - But Cool

The oldest known repair surgery dates back to 49 BCE, when the Hindu surgeon Susruta carried out an operation to treat intestinal perforations and obstructions. He joined together the damaged parts of the intestine after cutting into the abdomen. And when Susruta sutured the segments, he placed the freshly-cut heads of giant black ants on the edges of the opposing sections, demonstrating knowledge of the antiseptic properties of the formic acid that is secreted by the ant heads.

Did you know Leonardo da Vinci was illegitimate?

His father was Piero da Vinci, a respected Florentine notary. His mother was likely a young peasant woman named Catarina. Leonardo was raised by his father's family, although due to his illegitimacy, he could never join the family profession and become a notary (bastards were barred from joining the notarys' guild). Which is just as well -- the world is richer for Leonardo getting the chance to try everything he wished, advancing so many fields in the process.

Richard the Lionheart Was A Master Of Intimidation

Richard...threw himself once more into the fray. By midday both he and one of the stallions were splattered in blood, and it appeared as though an entire quiver of arrows was lodged in his armor and shield. As the battle wore on, fewer and fewer of Saladin’s men dared challenge the seemingly invincible Melech Ric. For one emir, however, the prospect of felling the English king proved too tempting, and he spurred his battle horse forward. With one mighty swing of his sword Richard sliced the foolish man in two, taking off not only his head but also his right shoulder and arm. At this horrific sight Saladin’s troops began to retreat, even as Richard rode up and down their lines, goading any man to face him. When Saladin’s son motioned to answer the challenge, his father abruptly ordered him to stay put, clearly not wishing to add a dead heir to the day’s woes. When no one else stepped forward, some sources claim Richard called for food and, in full view of the enemy, sat down to eat. Seeing that his men would not budge, a despondent Saladin once again withdrew to Yazur.



Quoted from HistoryNet.com

Sh*t Is An Old, Old Word

It can be traced back to Middle English, around the year 1000 CE, along with turd and arse. Making it one of the true Anglo-Saxon words left in English.

The word probably originated much earlier than it can be traced. Because, well, swear words tend not to get written down. They are spoken, slang words. Another piece of evidence that sh*t is older than 1000 CE is that similar words exist in other languages in the Germanic family including Dutch, Icelandic, and of course German. Which suggests that sh*t was born not in Middle English, but descended from a common ancestor in the original proto-Germanic language.

Sh*t was not always a taboo word. It initially meant, very specifically, diarrhea in cattle.

The Cruel Chinese Emperor Who Became A Cannibal When Drunk

Sun Hao ruled as emperor of Eastern Wu from 264-280 CE as “the number one tyrant of that era.” The last Eastern Wu emperor during the Three Kingdoms period, his reign ended the kingdom. Sun Hao was poor at administration, cruel, and generally unfit to rule a village. Among other vices he was often drunk and, like many heavy drinkers, liked others to get drunk with him too.

At one banquet, Sun Hao became angry because one of his counselors pretended to be drunker than he was. Sun Hao became so angry that had the poor man beheaded on the spot. Sun Hao then ordered his guards to toss the head from one man to the next, each taking a bite until the flesh was stripped down to the skull.

First Reference To Drinking Tea Found In England

A shopping list dating back to the 1600s has been found in a West Yorkshire archive. It was made to be given to an apothecary, who would collect the requested items and deliver them to Temple Newsam house near Leeds. Written December 8th, 1644, the list includes a request for 13 bottles of "china drink." Before this discovery the earliest reference to drinking tea in England was an entry in Samuel Pepys' diary from 1660.

The Biggest Mushroom Ever

Mt. Pinatubo on the Philippine island of Luzon erupted on June 15, 1991, and created the largest mushroom cloud in history. That we humans know about. Mt. Pinatubo's eruption ejected 10 billion metric tons of magma and 20 million tons of sulphur dioxide into the stratosphere.

The Boston Socialite Who Helped Shape The American Art World

American socialite Isabella Stewart first visited Europe as a teenager in 1857. While she was there, she was exposed to Italian Renaissance art, and she fell in love. (With the art, in case that wasn't clear.) Shortly after returning to the States, her former classmate Julia Gardner invited Isabella to Boston, where she met Julia's brother John Lowell "Jack" Gardner, 3 years her senior and one of Boston's most eligible bachelors. He was also rather wealthy.

Now named Isabella Steward Gardner, she became a provocative figure in Boston high society, partially owed to her taste in fashion and eccentric behavior. The Boston society pages called her by many names, including "Belle," "Donna Isabella," "Isabella of Boston," and "Mrs. Jack". Isabella and her husband Jack were avid travelers, and from the mid-1870s visited the Middle East, Europe, and Asia for long stretches. It was while in Europe they began amassing a large art collection, though Gardner also purchased work in Egypt and the Far East. They were interested not only in paintings, but also ceramics, silver, stained glass, and architectural elements like doors. By 1896, Isabella and Jack Gardner recognized that their house on Beacon Street in Boston’s Back Bay, although enlarged once, was not sufficient to house their growing collection of art, which by now included works by Botticelli, Vermeer, and Rembrandt. When Jack died in 1898, Isabella set out to build a museum for their vast collection.

She purchased land in what was then a marshy area next to Boston, and hired an architect to build a museum modeled on the Renaissance palaces of Venice that she had loved to stay in with Jack. The museum opened in 1903. And it is still hung to Gardner’s specification. You may know the museum because it was the target of a high-value and never-solved robbery in 1990.

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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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