A Fatimid Caliphate-era ewer carved from a single piece of rock crystal. The Treasure of Caliph Mostansir-Billah at Cairo, which was destroyed in 1062, was said to have contained 1,800 rock crystal vessels. But the ewer you see here is one of only seven (creatively called the Magnificent Seven) known to have survived til today. Circa 1000 - 1050 CE.
Built more than 3,000 years ago, Abu Simbel contains two temples, carved into a mountainside. The larger of the two temples contains four colossal statues of a seated pharaoh Ramesses II (1303-1213 BCE) at its entrance, each about 69 feet (21 meters) tall. About 3,300 years later, when the Aswan Dam was to be built to control the flooding of the Nile River, the temples were threatened. Their location would be beneath the water of the lake created by the dam. UNESCO stepped in to save Abu Simbel and many more ancient Egyptian sites by disassembling and reassembling them, very carefully, above the waterline. Click through the image gallery to see photographs of the historic move.
After Tutankhamen died age 19, his beloved wife (and half-sister) Ankhesenamun was in a perilous position. There was no clear successor, and the country remembered the turmoil of the previous reign under the heretic Akhenaten. Eventually, the throne was taken by the much-older Ay, who had been Tutankhamen's grand vizier and may have been Ankhesenamun's grandfather. Ay ruled for just four years before being replaced by Horemheb. He was commander of the Egyptian army and well-placed to take over should anything occur.
Under Horemheb, Ankhesenamun disappears from history. We do not know when she died. We do not know where she was buried. Wife of two pharaohs, daughter of another, her fate is a 2,300-year-old mystery.
A new study indicates that modern Africans inherited DNA from migrating Neanderthals. Geneticists conducted a statistical analysis of DNA gathered from 2,504 modern Africans, Europeans, and East Asians, and compared it with records of DNA extracted from Neanderthal remains in Siberia and southeastern Europe. They concluded that modern Africans, on average, indirectly inherited as much as 0.5 percent of their genome from Neanderthals. It is thought that the genes came to Africa via a human population that left the continent between 100,000 and 150,000 years ago, interbred with Neanderthals outside of Africa, and then returned.
That is the voice of a man who has been dead 3,000 years. Nesyamun was an Egyptian priest who lived during the lived during the volatile reign of pharaoh Ramses XI (c.1099–1069 BCE), and worked as a scribe and priest at the state temple of Karnak in Thebes (modern Luxor). When he died, he was mummified so he could live forever.
Enough soft tissue was preserved by the process that scientists could make a 3-D printing of his vocal tract. They hooked it up to a speech synthesizer and...voila! Although all you hear is a single vowel, and it sounds like Nesyamun’s voice if he spoke lying on his back (as he was when the vocal tract was mummified), it still represents a huge step for science.
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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!