When Does A Goat Ride A Tiger?

When the tiger is a Shang Dynasty drinking vessel, of course! Circa 1600 BCE - 1046 BCE.

Venus Figurine or Abstract Art?

This 15,000-year-old bone pendant was found in Vlakno Cave, in Croatia. It may be a late type of Venus figurine, such as the famous Venus of Willendorf, which dates to more than 24,000 years ago. Venus figurines might have evolved over those 9,000 years, become more abstract and less realistic.

The geometric pattern on the bone is similar to patterns on other pieces of art from the Epigravettian period, a late Paleolithic culture on the European side of the Mediterranean. And similar examples of Epigravettian female figurines have been found in Dolni Vestovice in the Czech Republic and Mal'ta in Russia.

Where In The World Is California?

In 1927, Paramount Studios had this funny map, detailing which parts of California could substitute for which global locations. It was too expensive to fly around the world to film their movies. So they made California into the world.

What Animal Is This Supposed To Be?

According to the Ashmolean Museum, it is a hedgehog! Those black circles are its ears. It was found in Tomb DII in Abydos, Egypt.

Caribou (top) live in North America, and reindeer (bottom) live in Europe and Siberia. Taxonomists initially classified them as two distinct species due to their morphological differences. Today, we know they are really the same species.     During the last ice age, the ancestor of modern caribou could have walked between Eurasia and North America. But when the glaciers melted, and the land bridges ended up underwater, the species got separated between the two continents that emerged.

Women Scribes: The Technologists of the Middle Ages

Today, most popular representations of manuscript production and scriptoria depict exclusively male spaces. The image that “scriptorium” conjures up is that of robed men laboring over texts. Yet, women had a very real place in developing, maintaining, and innovating this arduously crafted technology, using it to share visions, communicate with each other, and create works of staggering beauty and insight. Read the full article on medieval women's importance as scribes and writers  

Carved jade deer. The artistry is amazing, isn't it? Somehow they are soft and delicate, even though the pair are, of course, made of jade. Liao Dynasty (907 - 1125 CE).

What Did Roman Trade with India and China Look Like?

This map, based on geographical data recorded by a Greek writer in the early years of the Roman Empire, shows the trade route from Rome to India. Elites in India and China prized Roman-made glass and rugs. Elites in Rome enjoyed wearing silks made in the Far East -- so much that the Senate got worried about how much gold was leaving the empire, and tried to ban silk clothing. It did not work.

You will notice that most of the goods traded were for elites -- silk, glass, ivory, carnelian. Given the long distances to travel between the Mediterranean, the Ganges, and the Yangtze, only expensive items to wealthy aristocrats made the journey. Basics like grain or iron were traded in more localized networks.

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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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