How Old Are Sea Turtles?

The earliest known sea turtle fossils are about 120 million years old. That means they just make it into the Cretaceous Period (which began about 145 million years ago). Sea turtles co-existed with tyrannosauruses and triceratops!

All the Earthquakes in the World (Since 1898)

Each is colored by magnitude. Can you decipher the outlines of the continents? Africa was the hardest, for me

Ancient Empire Had Inflatable Life Vests?

Sort of! The Assyrian Empire, famous for its military prowess, apparently used inflatable sheep or goatskins to help its soldiers cross rivers. A different interpretation is that he is using a sort-of scuba device -- see the piece of the inflated skin that reaches up to the soldier's lips. Circa 700s - 600s BCE.

High-Status Celtic Woman's Burial Demonstrates Horses' Importance During Iron Age

The Bettelbühl necropolis, found in southern Germany, probably served a nearby, well-known Iron Age Celtic settlement on the Heuneburg. About 1.5 miles (2.5 km) away from the settlement, the name is a hint as to why the site was chosen as a resting place for the dead: "bettel" means "bad soil." Ironically, six of the seven hills of the necropolis have been flattened over time for agriculture. The necropolis was rediscovered in 2000.

A 2010 archaeological dig uncovered a four-by-five-meter chamber funeral grave, dating to the 500s BCE, the final resting place of a very high-status woman. Two female skeletons were found within, one very richly decorated, the other with only a bronze arm ring. It is still unclear whether it is a companion of the princess/priestess/queen or a later burial. The higher-status woman died somewhere between age 30 and 40. She was accompanied in her journey into the afterlife by a wealth of wonderfully crafted jewelry of gold, bronze, amber, glass and other materials.

She was also buried with an amazing example of horse armor: a beautifully crafted and preserved bronze mask. The image is a reconstruction of the mask, pre-burial. The horse mask is a demonstration of the level of artistic sophistication achieved by Celts during the Iron Age.

Can You See The Cutouts?

If not, click on the image gallery to see the second picture -- the cutaways are much easier to see. This is a beautiful incense burner, showing chrysanthemums growing on a trellis, made by the master artist Ando Jubei. Circa 1915, Japan.

Lost Indian Civilization Potentially Found

Recently documented images carved into rocky hilltops in the Konkan region of western India are suggestive of a previously unknown civilization. And these aren't just a handful of rock carvings. There are at least 200, dating to around 10,000 BCE, and featuring a range of designs. Animals, birds, geometric shapes, and human figures have all been found. Most of the rock carvings were hidden by centuries of soil and water. Others are well-known to locals and even considered holy. It will be exciting to hear what researchers discover about them!

Between 300 BCE and 300 CE, prehistoric Japanese people buried their dead in jars. The pottery jars would vary in size, and the quality of grave goods placed in or around the jars would denote upper- from lower-class citizens. Older burials are deeper (which makes sense) and newer burials are closer to the surface.

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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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