New Tombs Once Covered In Gold Leaf Found From Bronze-Age Greece

In Bronze Age Greece, about 3,500 years ago, two people lived and died near Pylos. They must have been important when they were alive because they were buried in two lavish tombs. So lavish, in fact, that they were once lined with gold leaf! Sadly they were looted long ago. Still, the tombs remain evidence of its inhabitants' prestige and wealth. Archaeologists found thousands of fragments of gold leaf, as well as beads, jewellery and a carved sealstone. There were also treasures that had to have been imported - red carnelian, Baltic amber and Egyptian amethyst.

The two tombs were found near the unlooted Griffin Warrior's tomb. Their beehive-like domes collapsed long ago and were covered over with vegetation, making finding the remaining underground rooms difficult. But their collapse also protected the tombs from further looting so there was still something for modern archaeologists to find.

Every evening since 1959, the armed forces of Pakistan and India have performed a joint military ceremony at the Attari-Wagah border. There are is a highly-choreographed set of moves, including high leg raises, kicksteps, and a handshake, before the gates are opened. The flags are folded, two soldiers shake hands, and the gates close again. The event is attended by crowds and occasional celebrity guests. The ceremony is known as “Beating Retreat.” It symbolizes the cooperation and the competition between Pakistan and India.

Trinity College, one of Cambridge University's colleges, has more Nobel laureates than most countries! It has 34 Nobel laureates. Only four countries (the USA, France, Germany, and the UK excluding Trinity College) have more. By the way, of those 34 laureates, none are women.

Historian’s Mix-Up Mis-Named The First Female Doctor

Merit Ptah, the ancient Egyptian often cited as the “first woman doctor,” was likely made-up in the 1930s. A historian confused some names, and their mistake ended up in a book that has gone on to be widely cited.

The good news? The doctor who was mistakenly called Merit Ptah does exist! Her name was Peseshet, she was an “Overseer of Healer Women,” and there is strong evidence thanks to the 2400 BCE tomb of her son.

The Successful Daylighting Of A Once-Covered Stream

The photograph shows Seoul's CheongGyeCheon stream in 1904. There were attempts to cover up the stream during the Japanese occupation of Korea but financial difficulties stopped the plans. After Seoul's rapid post-war growth the little stream was finally covered with concrete over 20 years starting in 1958. It disappeared under an elevated highway. Then in 2003, Seoul's mayor initiated a removal of the highway and a restoration of the stream. The development of Seoul and the neglect of CheongGyeCheon meant it was nearly dry and water had to be pumped in. In addition, two historic bridges were restored, and walkways were built along both sides of the stream. When it opened in 2005, CheonGyeCheon was an instant success with the public -- and developers. Land near the stream is now some of the most expensive in Seoul.

The Fall of Babylon

Cyrus the Great, the founder of the first Persian Empire, conquered the millennia-old city of Babylon on October 12th, 539 BCE. Local inscriptions tell us it was without a fight, or even a siege. This was probably because local rulers recognized all was lost and decided to give in and hope for a good settlement.

But Greek historian Herodotus tells a more exciting version. According to him, the city’s walls crossed the river Euphrates. Unable to get past the walls, Cyrus had sappers drain the river upstream into a nearby lake, until the river’s level fell “about to the middle of a man’s thigh.” As the Babylonians celebrated a religious festival the Persians simply walked -- dripping -- into a dancing city.

Whether it was surrendered or it was captured, Babylon would belong to the Persian Empire and Cyrus’ descendants for the next 200 years.

The Unknown Russian War

The Russian Civil War was an ideological conflict between competing groups in Russia from 1918 to 1921. It is most famously a conflict between the “Whites” and the “Reds.” The Reds were Bolshevik Communists, and the Whites were those who opposed them. With over 825,000 combat fatalities and 2 million more war-related casualties, the Russian Civil War is considered the most costly civil war in modern times.

Nothing Says Romance Like Shooting A Bow-And-Arrow From Bed

Miniature folio from Bundi, Rajasthan, India, around 1680. It illustrates a scene from the Ragamalas, a series of musical modes that combined poetry, classical music, and art.

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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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