You'll Be Surprised Where This Frog Necklace Came From

It's from Egypt's 19th dynasty! Circa 1295–1185 BCE. The orange and blue frogs are made of glass, separated by glass beads.

In ancient Egypt, silver was more valuable than gold. It had not always been available there, and after silver was introduced, it remained rare through the Early Dynastic Period. As a result silver jewelry was almost always thinner than gold jewelry. By the Middle Kingdom, though, new sources of silver seem to have opened up because silver became less valuable than gold.

The Importance of Nabopolassar, The Forgotten Founder of the Neo-Babylonian Empire

Nebuchadrezzar is one of the few Babylonian kings who people remember today -- or can begin to attempt to say. He is famous as a conqueror, the restorer of Babylonia's glory. But he was actually the second re-founder of Babylonia. His father, Nabopolassar, founded the Chaldean Empire, also called the neo-Babylonian Empire.

Governor of the region of Chaldea, Nabopolassar seized the throne of Babylonia around 625 BCE. Until then it had been controlled by the waning Assyrian Empire. Nabopolassar forged a coalition with the Medes, to the east, and fought the Assyrians for the next decade to retain what he had seized. Finally, in 612 BCE, the Chaldeans and Medes sacked Assyria's capital at Nineveh. Babylonia had been in the shadow of the Assyrians for centuries. Now that was flipped, and Babylonia was on the rise.

Although the great Assyrian Empire was no effectively dead, Nabopolassar's new kingdom faced immediate threats from Assyrian remnants and especially from the Assyrian's former ally Egypt. In fact, Egypt took advantage of Assyria's decline to seize Judah in 609 BCE, a small kingdom that would immortalize Nebuchadrezzar's name. But that's a story for the future.

For the first years of Nabopolassar's reign, Egypt and Assyria harassed the new empire's borders. The crown prince rose through the military ranks as the fighting continued, and eventually led armies beside his father. In 605 BCE, Nebuchadrezzar was given solo command and defeated Egypt and the remnants of the Assyrians at Carchemish in Syria. He returned to Babylonia victorious, the future of the new empire secure, only to be informed that his father had died. The stage was set for him to become the emperor history would remember.

Source: National Geographic: History, "The Builder King: Nebuchadrezzar II of Babylon" by Barbara Bock. Pgs 15 - 23.

Victory Was Written In The Moon

In July 1917, during the Arab Revolt against the Ottoman empire, Lawrence of Arabia was making his way across the Sinai desert towards the Turkish stronghold of Aqaba with his Arab army. He had to fight his way past two outpost defenses first. On July 4th they came to the first outpost, called Kethira. The Arabs were fearful, believing the full moon would compromise their chances of a night attack. Lawrence reassured them “for a while there should be no moon”.

Lunar eclipses are when the Earth casts its shadow across the full moon. And in his diary, Lawrence had recorded that a lunar eclipse would happen on the night of 4/5 July. When it arrived right on cue, the moon appearing to drip red, the Ottoman outpost was terrified and distracted. They clanged pots and shot rifles, according to Lawrence, "to rescue the threatened satellite." Kathira fell to the Arab army. And the next day Lawrence took Aqaba, the final outpost connecting the Arabian peninsula to the rest of the Ottoman Empire.

Saadi Tombs of Marrakech

Click through the image gallery to see more photographs. The Saadi were a dynasty which ruled Morocco from 1549 to 1659. Their royal tombs were forgotten and lost after the dynasty declined, until being rediscovered in 1917.

A Historic Name Change

Cape Verde — a nation of 10 islands and a half million people in the central Atlantic Ocean — became “Cabo Verde” in 2013. The new name is actually the original name Portuguese sailors gave the uninhabited islands in 1444. "Cabo Verde" means green cape.

Ancient Egyptians Invented Hyponosis?

There is evidence of hypnosis, or something very close to it, nearly 5,000 years ago in ancient Egypt. People would enter "sleep temples" where they ingested herbs and recited hours of rhythmic prayer in an attempt to be cured of whatever was ailing them.

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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!

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