Terracotta Warriors fresh from the earth, before their colors deteriorate from the exposure. Photograph from a 1974 excavation.      

2,700-year-old Tiny Cosmetic Jar

The bronze jar is only about 5cm across. And inside is a tiny amount of face cream -- or what was once face cream. It was excavated in 2017 at the Liujiawa site in China, which was the capital of Rui, a minor state during the early Spring and Autumn period (circa 700 BCE).

Wyoming's Periodic Spring is well-named. It flows for roughly 15 minutes, then goes dry for 15 minutes, then repeats again. It is the world's largest intermittent spring, or rhythmic spring, or breathing spring. This is likely caused by an oddly-shaped cavern fed by spring water in the rock behind the spring. There's only about 100 known intermittent springs in the world. Another famous one is in Jerusalem! Although it no longer runs intermittently naturally, and a pump is used to imitate it.

Ancient History Fun Fact

In ancient Mesopotamia, cuneiform clay tablets were often so small that reading them was difficult and impractical. But they were not really designed to be read. Instead they were designed to be checked, by someone who already knew the text by heart, and just needed a reminder about what the next section or word started with.

The written clay tablet was to assist in the perfect passing-down of oral information between generations. Students learned by listening and repeating chanting, singing, or reciting -- not by reading.

  These are the people described as Lenin’s inner circle. Four out of thirteen definitely were killed, and two more died of “unknown” causes.

The Wanggongchang Explosion was a mysterious explosion in Beijing, China, on May 30, 1626. It is reported to have killed 20,000 people. The exact cause of the explosion is unclear: while the epicenter was a major production center of gunpowder, what set the gunpowder explosion off remains debated, with the two main theories being negligence or a meteor exploding mid-air at low/medium altitude while entering the Earth's atmosphere.

Ancient Example of How Culture Impacts Our Perceptions of the World

Ancient Egypt was an essentially one-dimensional country strung out along the Nile, which flows from south to north. The winds were conveniently arranged to be predominantly northerly. To go north, a traveler could let his boat drift, while with a sail he could move south against the slow current. For this reason, in the writing of the ancient Egyptians, ‘go downstream (north)’ was represented by a boat without sails, and ‘go upstream (south)’ by a boat with sails. The words (and concepts) or north-south and up-downstream became merged. Since the Nile and its tributaries were the only rivers known to the ancient Egyptians, this caused no difficulties until they reached the Euphrates, which happened to flow from north to south. The resulting confusion in the ancient Egyptian mind is recorded for us to read today in their reference to ‘that inverted water which goes downstream (north) in going upstream (south).’

quote from P.L. Csonka, “Advanced Effects in Particle Physics,” Physical Review, April 1969, 1266-1281

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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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