This was once worn in someone's ear! It is an early Classic Maya ceramic ear flare, with the painted image of a deity. Circa 300 - 600 CE.

A Classroom In The Sand

Students following a lesson written in the Sahara sand. Taken in Tunisia, this appeared in National Geographic in 1914.

The World's Largest Pearl

Discovered by a Filipino diver in the Palawan Sea in 1934, the world's largest pearl is known as the “Pearl of Lao Tzu,” or “Pearl of Allah.” The pearl is believed to be 600 years old. It weighs 14 pounds (6.35 kg) and measures 9.5 inches (24 cm) long and 5.5 inches (0.4 cm) in diameter. Formed by a giant clam, it is not an iridescent pearl, like one would see on a piece of jewelry.

A grandfather and his granddaughter in Hohhot, Inner Mongolia, People's Republic of China, 1932. The grandfather is smiling broadly, the granddaughter looks... a little less excited.

Unique Roman Washing Bowl Found In Netherlands

This bowl’s shape is what makes it such a special find. The bronze bowl is decorated in the shape of an eagle’s wings, with a head on the rim.

Found in a grave with three cremated remains, it likely dates to the 300s CE. It’s a very fancy bowl. The only known Roman bowl with this particular shape, in fact. So researchers think it likely belonged to a high-status individual, perhaps an important member of the Roman army staff.

This fresco was found in Pompeii, with its colors amazingly preserved. It survived a volcanic eruption by almost two thousand years. But it was destroyed by the recent fire at Brazil’s National Museum in Rio de Janeiro.

New Pre-Incan Mummy Found In Peru

Archaeologists working at Pachacamac, a pre-Columbian pilgrimage site and ceremonial center on the coast of Peru, have uncovered a well-preserved mummy buried sometime between 1000 and 1200 CE. They discovered the mummy bundle while excavating remains of a structure once devoted to local ancestors. When the Incan Empire later took over the area, Pachacamac was converted from a building devoted to the ancestors to a ritual healing facility. They apparently built right over the mummy, which was found perfectly undisturbed.

Saïd Abdullah

This bust was entitled "Saïd Abdullah of the Mayac, Kingdom of the Darfur" by the sculptor Charles Henri Joseph Cordier in 1848. It was modeled on an African visitor to Paris. That same year, slavery was abolished in all French colonies. Yes, in 1848. The sculpture, and its later companion piece "African Venus," were hailed as expressions of human pride and dignity in the face of grave injustice. They also lent an exotic interest to "the other" which was a hallmark of romanticism.

Men’s Hair In The 1970s Was Something Else

The 1980s gets too much attention for being a horrible, no-good, very bad time for hair. But we ignore the atrocity that was men’s hair in the 1970s! Click through the image gallery for some more egregious examples

Is This Right-Side Up?

That's Le Bateau ("The Boat") by Henri Matisse. In 1961, the Museum of Modern Art in New York hung it upside down for 47 days! The mistake was noticed by Genevieve Habert, a stockbroker, and she notified a guard. But nothing was done. So Habert got in touch with the New York Times who in turn notified Monroe Wheeler, the Museum's art director. Wheeler had the piece flipped, and it has hung right-side up ever since. Or has it?

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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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