History In Space

The asteroids sharing Jupiter’s orbit around the sun fall into two large groups. When working to correctly calculate their orbits, astronomer Johann Palisa started the convention to call one group of asteroids “Trojan” and the other “Greek.” And asteroids in each group are given names from their respective groups -- Achilles for a Greek asteroid, for instance.

However, the asteroids 617 Patroclus and 624 Hektor were named before the Greek/Trojan rule was suggested, resulting in a Greek spy in the Trojan camp and a Trojan spy in the Greek camp.

Ancient Roman House Excavation Reveals Swords and Puppy Paws

Five Roman-style longswords were discovered in a house located in central Sardis, western Turkey’s ancient capital of the kingdom of Lydia. Only three swords had previously been found in the city. Buckles and a lead seal also recovered from the house suggest the residents may have been connected to the military or the city’s civil authorities. The longswords have been dated to about 500 CE. The house they were found in had been furnished with wall paintings that mimic draped curtains and multicolored marble, and terracotta floor tiles that were playfully imprinted before firing with a dog’s paw prints and finger-drawn outlines of birds resembling chickens or ducks. The house appears to have been occupied for approximately 200 years before it was destroyed by an earthquake in the early 600s CE.

Flying from Casablanca to Dakar in 1925, French military photographer Marcelin Flandrin captured this photo in the Atlas Mountains. This is the last known image of a wild Barbary Lion. The species massively declined in the mid-1800s due to human settlement in northern Africa pushing them out of coastal areas and depriving them of food sources. Then bounties for lion's heads finished them off by the 1880s, except for in small pockets of remote wilderness.

Nothing Is Certain But Death And Taxes

According to one historian, plane geometry was not invented by Euclid but by ancient tax collectors who wanted to determine land size to calculate how much taxes farmers owed on their fields' produce.

A 2,000-year-old Egyptian mummy has been found with a golden tongue. It is speculated that the tongue was added so the deceased could speak in the afterlife. To the ancient Egyptians, everlasting life could begin after death, which was very similar to life. But the deceased could only get there if they passed a series of tests, such as swearing before judges that they behaved well during their lifetime. And swearing requires a tongue.

The burial was one of 16 burials at Taposiris Magna, which has temples dedicated to the gods Osiris and Isis. Previously, archaeologists found a hoard of coins decorated with the face of Cleopatra VII, suggesting the temples were in use during the queen's reign, or shortly afterwards when Egypt was incorporated into the Roman Empire.

This giant bull sculpture (nandi in Hindu) was carved from a single boulder as part of the lead-up to a major Hindu temple at the top of the Chamundi Hills. The nandi was constructed in 1659 during the time of Dodda Devaraja Wodeyar (1659 - 1673) the Maharaja of the Kingdom of Mysore.

The photograph with the man standing near for size was taken in 1895.

Bali's Unique Mourning Ritual

Bali is the only place that has been observed to consistently have funerals with no tears. In Bali, funerals are held two years after the person has died.

More Evidence of Human-Neanderthal Intermarriage Found

A new study of teeth recovered in the early 1900s from La Cotte de St. Brelade, a cave on the English Channel island of Jersey, suggests that the teeth came from two individuals whose ancestry was made up of a mix of Neanderthals and homo sapiens. The teeth date to 48,000 years ago. At the time, lower sea levels meant that the island was connected to today's mainland France. The teeth's owners could have walked there. “The roots look very Neanderthal, whereas the neck and crowns of the teeth look much more like those of modern humans,” said research team member Chris Stringer of London’s Natural History Museum.

The First Female Iranian Ruler

Musa (also spelled Mousa) was a ruling queen of the Parthian Empire from 2 BCE to 4 CE. She began life as an Italian slave-girl whose beauty meant she as gifted to the Parthian monarch Phraates IV (ruled 37 BCE – 2 BCE) by the Roman Emperor Augustus. Musa was wily and quickly became a favorite and then the queen. She ensured her position by giving birth to a son and heir Phraates. But she had her eyes set higher. In 2 BCE, Musa had Phraates IV poisoned and made herself and her son (now Phraates V) co-rulers of the Parthian Empire. Their reign was short. The pair were forced to flee to her Italian homeland after being deposed by the Parthian nobility.

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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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