Letters Evidence Deadly Meteorite

Documents found in Turkey's state archives have now been identified as the first recorded evidence of a meteorite killing a human. The evening of August 22, in 1888, an Ottoman village in what is now Iraq was neighbor to a cosmic attack. Letters written by local authorities describe how a nearby city witnessed a fireball in the sky. Then a shower of meteorite pieces plunged to Earth, falling "like rain." One man was killed, as well as another man getting paralyzed, and a nearby field's crops were badly damaged.

Dirk Graham, a Canadian hockey player, was the first NHL player of known African descent to become a team's captain. After retiring as a player, he went into coaching. Eventually he reached the position of Head Coach for the Chicago Blackhawks. That made him the first NHL head coach of known African descent, too.

Who Do You Think Crafted This?

It is an Asante knife and sheath, from what is today Ghana. Crafted from iron, leather, wood, and (surprise!) gold. Circa 1700s - 1800s.

What's A King To A Mob

In 1862, a popular revolt in Greece deposed their King Otto (a long other story) and the country held a rеferendum to ask the people who should be their new ruler. In total 241,202 vоtes were cast. Of those the vast majority, 230,016 votes, went to the British Prince Alfred. He was unable to take the position as he was the heir to the British throne. Another 1,763 votes went to "A King", 482 votes went to "Long Live the Three Powers", and only 6 votes went to Prince William of Denmark, who was eventually appointed.

Images of the Sulawesi warty pig (Sus celebensis) found at Leang Tedongnge Cave in Indonesia have been dated to at least 45,500 years ago with uranium-series dating of calcite minerals deposited on the artwork. The largest of the drawings in the cave measures about 4.5 feet long and 1.8 feet tall. Two human hands were painted over the pig’s rump. Less well preserved are two or three pig faces placed near the main pig. Another pig illustration measuring more than six feet long was found on the ceiling of a nearby cave known as Leang Balangajia 1. Humans in Indonesia have apparently been interacting with pigs for millennia! Now we just need evidence of prehistoric bacon...

The grave of Kilij Arslan I, a Seljuk sultan of Rum who reigned from 1092 to 1107 CE, was discovered during investigations ahead of construction work in eastern Turkey by a team of researchers from Dicle University. The team members also found the grave of the sultan’s daughter, Saide Hatun.

Kilij Arslan I was the re-founder of the Anatolian state the Sultanate of Rum (the Turkish pronunciation of Rome) after a period of disorder in the Seljuk Empire. Technically his grandfather had founded the Sultanate of Rum but it was Kilij Arslan I that re-established its independence after his father lost the sultanate. Although Kilij Arslan I always swore loyalty to the Seljuks he was effectively an independent ruler of an independent state on the border between the Seljuk Empire and the (deeply declining) Byzantine Empire. Kilij Arslan I also has the distinction of being the first Muslim ruler to fight the crusaders. He harrassed, then ambushed and crushed the undisciplined People's Crusade in 1096, as it attempted to make its way from Europe to Jerusalem.

Expect more information to come out about these tombs as further excavations and analyses are carried out. It is not every day that a new and historically active monarch's tomb is found!

Palmanova, Italy

The city's historic center is enclosed in a late-Renaissance star fort which is still visible and preserved. The fort has nine points plus a moat and three gates. The settlement, and the fort around it, was built by the Venetian Republic in 1593. At the time it was the height of military defensive technology. Which was needed because being located on the eastern edge of Venetian territory, it was expected to be attacked by the Ottoman Empire.

The Long Life of East German Currency

After the reunification of Germany in 1990, the now-defunct East German marks were phased out. East Germans had eight months to convert their East German marks held in cash to West Germany’s deutsche mark on a one to one basis. The traded-in East German marks were dumped in two sandstone caves and left to rot.

Except that's not the end of their story. Those marks were defunct but not valueless. Collectors were quite happy to pay well for rarer East German currency such as 200- and 500-mark notes, and unused, pristine versions of those notes had been dumped in the caves. Relatively quickly the demand on the market prompted thieves to locate and spelunk (that's the verb for exploring caves) resulting in unused 200- and 500-marks showing up on the collector market in the mid-1990s to late-1990s. Rather suspicious since the marks were no longer being made all of them had been supposedly exchanged to the government.

In 2002, the sandstone caves were cleared out and the East German marks were taken to an incinerator.

As of 2021, India has the highest worldwide percentage of women pilots: about 12% of all Indian pilots are women. This is due to India's aviation sector intentionally investing in training women pilots for decades. The long-term investment has paid off, though of course, this is still a low percentage considering women make up 51% of the population.

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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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