Eskimo Girl Wearing Clothes of All Fur

Taken in 1915, this photograph and its title comes from an American cultural anthropologist's collection of photographs and negatives. Eskimos today are known by their own word for themselves, Inuit, which means 'people.' The Inuit are the main indigenous people of the Arctic and sub-Arctic regions of Alaska, Canada, Greenland, and Siberia.

American Rock Art May Record Ancient Solar Eclipse

A pair of astronomers say that an obscure piece of rock art in New Mexico’s Chaco Canyon may depict a solar eclipse event that took place 920 years ago. The glyph shows a a circle bursting with curved tendrils and curlicues. Just like the curls and whorls that appear to come from the sun, when it is hidden behind the moon in a full eclipse. Furthermore, we know a solar eclipse did happen on July 11, 1097, and the path of the eclipse would have crossed directly over the Chaco Canyon area. At the time, a people we know as the Ancestral Pueblo was emerging. They lived in Chaco Canyon at the right time to have seen the solar eclipse, and wanted to record it.

The Quick History Of A South Korean Staple

  Tteok-bokki is a common South Korean food, easily bought at a street vendor. The first record on tteok-bokki appears in Siuijeonseo, a late-1800s Korean cookbook, where the dish was listed using the archaic spelling steokbokgi. In this early version, tteok-bokki was made with a savory sauce based on soy sauce. Today, that version is often called "royal court" tteok-bokki. Today the more popular version is spicy, made with gochujang (chili paste). This version first appeared as a street food in Seoul in the 1950s.

Italian Man Loses His Arm, Replaces It With A Knife!

About 1,500 years ago, a man in his late forties lost his arm. It was often a death sentence at the time. People died from amputations quickly, from bloodloss, or slowly, from infection. We do not know how or why, but this lucky man survived the injury and lived one-armed for years and perhaps decades. Well, not completely one-armed. He replaced his lost right forearm with a knife, buckled to his arm with leather straps. When he died the knife was buried with him. Leaving a very interesting find for modern archaeologists! He was found at a necropolis near Verona in northern Italy. The necropolis was in use between the 500s and 700s CE, and has so far yielded 164 tombs holding 222 individuals (plus a burial pit containing two greyhound dogs and a horse).  

In 1866, The First Working TransAtlantic Cable Was Laid

This was actually the fourth attempt -- the previous three had failed. When the 1866 attempt worked, it was hailed as the "eighth wonder of the world." Suddenly news could travel from England to Canada in hours, not weeks. The world shrunk in a single instant.

Pair of Amateur Metal Detector Enthusiasts Find Royal Treasure

A medieval treasure trove that belonged to the legendary King Harald Bluetooth was recently unearthed on a German island by a 13-year-old and an amateur archaeologist. The pair were using metal detectors to hunt treasure on Rügen, Germany's largest island, in the Baltic Sea. And wonder of wonders, they found some real treasure! Archaeologists who were called in found remarkable artifacts, including braided necklaces, pearls, brooches, a Thor's hammer (a representation of a mythical weapon forged by dwarves), rings and up to 600 chipped coins, including more than 100 that date to Bluetooth's era.       Based on their finds, archaeologists believe the hoard belonged to the Danish king Harald Gormsson, more commonly known as "Bluetooth," who ruled from about 958 to 986 CE. He is famous for bringing Christianity to Denmark, and uniting swathes of modern-day Norway, Germany, Sweden and Denmark under his rule. And yes, that's the guy that Bluetooth Technology is named after. The oldest coin uncovered at Rügen dates to 714 CE, while the youngest is a penny from 983 CE. These dates suggest the treasure was buried in the late 980s. That matches up with when Bluetooth lost a battle against his rebellious son, Sweyn Forkbeard, and then “retired” to northwestern Germany for a year before his death.

Naked Mole Rats Help Archaeologist Make Major Find

  A researcher, Prof. Avraham Faust, was studying naked mole rats at Tel 'Eton, near the Hebron hills in the central Israeli lowlands. The little burrowing rodents are endemic to the region. They burrow everywhere, and whatever is in the way when they burrow, they deposit topside. If the rodent piles contain lots of pottery sherds, the area had been settled. If not, not. At Tel 'Eton there were a lot of artifacts in the naked mole rat piles, for a place that supposedly had never been inhabited.       With the rodents' help, Faust accidentally found the second-ever monumental structure which can be dated to the united Judah Kingdom ruled by King David and his son, King Solomon, in the 900s BCE.       Any claim for Davidic finds are -- to put it mildly -- controversial. There are ongoing debates about the first monumental structure dated to the Davidic era. And this new, second find is also debated. The vast majority of the findings in the house date to the 700s B.C.E, a couple of hundred years after the united Judah Kingdom. But Faust suspects its foundations date from the Davidic period of the united kingdom. The big house, which they dubbed the “governor’s residency” (though it could have been something entirely different) may exemplify what they call the "old-house effect": a building or settlement that existed for generations, but only left significant remains from its final form.

Tang Dynasty Scroll Describes How Not To Destroy A Kingdom

This one page from a manuscript dating to the Tang dynasty and found complete in a cave in Dunhuang, China. It is a Tang dynasty copy of "On the Fall of States," by Lu Ji (261-303), a writer of the Western Jin dynasty. "On The Fall of States" describes the rise and fall of the Eastern Wu in the Three Kingdoms period, as well as the meritorious contributions of the Lu family. Famous among ancient works on administration, "On the Fall of States" argues that the key to a country's fortunes is to assess and employ people wisely.

In 1287 CE, China's great Mongol emperor Kublai Khan received word that his navy had been crushed in Vietnam. Nearly 400 of the emperor's prized ships, part of a massive invasion force, had become trapped in the Bach Dang River, where Vietnamese soldiers set them afire with flaming arrows and burning bamboo rafts. But how did Tran Hung Dao, king of Vietnam’s Tran Dynasty, do it?     According to texts from the period, Vietnamese forces cut down hundreds of trees, sharpened their ends, and placed them in a "stakeyard" across the Bach Dang River. Then, small ships lured Kublai Khan's fleet into the area just before the tides turned. As the water ebbed, long lines of stakes emerged several feet out of the water, barricading the river and preventing escape.     Today archaeologists are mapping the surviving remnants of the stakeyard. At least some of the stakeyard lies in local rice paddies, whose mud helps preserve the wooden stakes. They archaeologists also found that stakes weren't the only barriers -- the Vietnamese forces cleverly used existing islands and other natural obstacles in their barrier.

Eerily Perfect Ancient Egyptian Bowl

This little round granite bowl has a secret. Just 9 inches wide, it balances perfectly on 0.15 square inches! The top rests horizontally when the bowl is placed on a glass shelf. That’s only possible because the entire bowl has a symmetrical wall thickness, no part thicker or thinner than the rest. Any asymmetry would cause a lean. This amount of precision is difficult in today’s machine age -- how were they able to do it in ancient Egypt? Click through the image gallery to see more pictures of this little wonder.

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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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