A leading anthropologist suggests that protohumans' decrease in reactive aggression, alongside developing greater intelligence, cooperation, and social learning abilities, were key to homo sapiens becoming what we are today. These just happen to be the characteristics that increase when humans domesticate animals. In an article reviewing the new theory is is suggested that, perhaps, we domesticated ourselves too.
Today is apparently a food day! Here is your second food-related post of the day: a 1736 recipe for fried chicken.
An excavation team has found evidence of an 11,800-year-old sewer system at the ancient settlement of Boncuklu Tarla East in southeastern Turkey. It has been confirmed to be in a public use area, making this the oldest known sewer system in the world. It was surrounded by buildings thought to have stood about 23 feet tall and reached up to 8 stories. With that much space comes plenty of people -- and their waste.
BBC did a fascinating article on the oldest known written recipes, written in cuneiform in the Mesopotamian region. They are pretty short, some just 4 lines long, and date to as far back as 1730 BCE.
Drone-mounted lasers appear to have detected details of the architecture of an ancient island settlement off Florida’s Gulf coast, using 3D mapping technology. Archaeological remains were first noted on Raleigh Island in 1990. In-person exploration of the area in 2010 revealed the presence of a settlement dating from 900 to 1200 CE.
Unfortunately, the island’s dense foliage impeded traditional land-based surveys of what remained. That’s why this drone-based laser survey, almost ten years later, is so important.
Among other details we now can see 37 residential areas “enclosed by ridges of oyster shell” that are up to 12ft (4m) tall. Archaeological digs at 10 identified residential areas found evidence that beads made from large marine mollusks were produced in these settlements. Stone tools, used to make the beads, were also found. The beads were likely for import among inland chiefdoms. In areas that were far from the coast, such as the lower midwest of the US, mollusk beads and even sizable sea mollusks were imported, where they were used as social capital in economic and social interactions between groups.
Iron Age Scots made the unusual vessel with the bone of a fin whale, Earth's second largest whale species. The 3rd-century CE find may help archaeologists answer whether Scots actively hunted the massive fin whales, or opportunistically utilized their remains when they happened to wash ashore. The vessel and its contents were propped near the entrance of a broch, or type of roundhouse. Archaeologists speculate that the bowl was part of a ritual to "close" the house it was placed in front of. Read full article here.
November 9th is a momentous day to Germans. Many major events in German history occurred on that day: Robert Blum's death in 1848, Kaiser Wilhelm's abdication in 1918, Einstein's Nobel Prize win in 1922, the failed Munich Putsch/Beer Hall Putsch in 1923, Kristallnacht in 1938, and the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. Since shortly after World War II, November 9th was nicknamed Schicksalstag ("Day of Fate") by some media members. But its current widespread use in Germany started after the fall of the Berlin Wall.
"Kaiunbashi Bridge (First National Bank in Snow)" by Kobayashi Kiyochika. It comes from a series of prints "Pictures of Famous Places in Tokyo" (1876–81) where the artist focused on how light, from the new technologies that were being introduced, were transforming Tokyo. The Meiji Restoration had just occurred and industrialization and westernization being rushed in by the new government. The artist’s presentations of dawn, dusk, and night evoked a pensive mood suggesting a personal uncertainty in a moment of major societal change.
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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