An astonishing late Bronze Age collection of swords, axes, spearheads and bracelets were found in Havering, in East London, in 2018. With 453 items it is the 3rd-largest hoard ever found in England! And the largest ever found in London. The Havering Hoard was uncovered as part of routine archaeological excavations before the land was opened up for gravel extraction. The bronze axe heads and spear heads are shown here; they date to between 800 and 900 BCE.

An 8,000-year-old pearl has been unearthed during excavations near the capital of the United Arab Emirates. Archaeologists employed radiocarbon dating to determine that the pearl was harvested sometime between 5800 and 5600 BCE, which they say proves that pearls have been traded in the region for millennia. The team working at Marawah Island, which is primarily investigating a series of collapsed Neolithic stone structures, has also uncovered a number of ceramics, beads made of shell and stone, and flint arrowheads. It is also the earliest architecture ever recorded in the UAE.

The World's Oldest Writing - A Special-Edition Podcast by Archeology Magazine

You guys know I do not post podcasts very often. It may be my second, ever. I decided to share this podcast as it is a special edition by one of my favorite magazines, Archaeology Magazine. The podcast discusses cuneiform and some of the most impressive knowledge that was recorded in this ancient Mesopotamia writing.

Thirty-one objects thought to have belonged to one warrior have been found in a cache in northeastern Germany’s Tollense Valley, where an intense battle was fought by as many as 2,000 warriors around 1,300 BCE. The warrior’s kit included a bronze awl with a birch handle, a knife, a chisel, a decorated belt box, three dress pins, arrowheads, and fragments of bronze that may have been used as currency. Three thin bronze metal cylinders pierced with bronze nails found with the kit may have been fittings for a cloth bag or wooden storage box which degraded, leaving only its metal fittings.

The bronze items in the warrior’s kit are similar to those found in southern Germany and the Czech Republic, and combined with the chemical analyses of multiple warriors' bones suggesting they did not grow up locally, it is thought that perhaps warriors from multiple regions came together in this valley to fight over trade routes along the Tollense River.

Ancient Greek pre-hoplites would attach throwing loops to their spears, so that they could either throw the spear or use it for hand-to-hand combat. Around the mid-500s BCE, however, the soldiers became close-range fighters only ("hoplites" as we know them today) and the throwing loops disappeared.

Proof Positive: Inside the Interdisciplinary Effort to Recreate Ancient Bread Using Ancient Yeast

[gallery columns="1" size="full" ids="16236"] Nothing lives forever—except maybe yeast, which can go dormant and hibernate, perhaps indefinitely. An archaeologist, a biologist, and a baking enthusiast have recently embarked on a collaborative project to revive and reuse millennia-old yeast. Specifically, they have attempted to extract and cultivate yeast strains from ceramics dating to Egypt's Middle Kingdom. Read about their technique and their initial bread results (above) in the full article by archaeology.org.

Ancient Mesopotamian Musical Facts

Sumerians made drums with animal skins and fashioned wind instruments from horns and bones. They also played string instruments, and a Sumerian lyre is the oldest example ever found from this family of instruments. Perhaps even more exciting for the music nerds out there, recent discoveries have revealed they used the oldest known system of musical notation based around a seven-note scale. This came two-thousand years before the Ancient Greeks developed the eight-note musical scale that is the foundation of Western music today.

The Oldest Ruler In The World

This is the cubit rod (aka ruler) of Maya, "treasurer of king Tutankhamun." He also served under Tutankamun's two successors, Ay and Horemheb. The cubit rod was an important part of being a treasurer because the Egyptian government was built on land management, and taxes were mainly agricultural products. To know how much to tax, you had to know how to measure the field, and the unit of measurement was the cubit. This rod measures the royal cubit of seven palm-lengths (52.3 cm) and the common cubit of 6 palm-lengths. There are also a number of gradations shown including "digits," palm-lengths, and fractions of digits from halves to sixteenths. Just in case Maya needed to measure really small distances.

Obscure engravings on animal bones from the site of Lingjing in Henan Province suggest that early hominins who lived there 125,000 years ago may have had more advanced cognitive abilities than once believed. The mysterious markings proved to have been etched into the bone. The bone was then rubbed with red ochre powder to make the markings more visible. It is unknown why they made these marks, or what they represent.

Minoan Purple Dye Workshop Discovered On Greek Island

A large quantity of Hexaplex trunculus shells, which were used in the production of valuable purple dye, have been found at a Minoan settlement dating to between 1800 and 1500 BCE on the now uninhabited Greek island of Chryssi. One large, two-room building in the settlement was equipped with built-in buckets, terraces, work desks, stoves, and a staircase made of stone slabs. Pottery and stone tools were also found in the building, although it lacked the dye-producing shells found in other structures in the settlement. One of the rooms contained treasures including a gold ring, a gold bracelet, gold beads, a silver bead, bronze beads, glass beads in various colors, an amethyst bead, ten lapis beads, an agate seal carved with an image of a ship, and three copper vases. Researchers speculate that the building may have managed the production and trade of valuable purple dye for the entire settlement.

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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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