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.

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.

The Imperial Tomb of Western Xia Empire Are Surprisingly Un-Imperial

The tomb are called "the pyramids of China" by locals. But anyone who has seen pictures of ancient Egypt's pyramids would be underwhelmed. About 30 kilometers (18.5 miles) to the west of the modern city of Yinchuan, lies the enormous burial complex of the Western Xia dynasty. The burial complex is quite large, with the tombs taking up 40 square kilometers, or 25 square miles. The sheer size of the complex is a testament to the power of its long-ago empire.     The Western Xia dynasty existed from the 1000s to the 1200s. Then it was annihilated by the up-and-coming conqueror, Genghis Khan, because the Western Xia refused to aid Genghis Khan in his conquest of Khwarezm (on the far left of the map in the image gallery). Genghis Khan systematically destroyed Western Xia cities, slaughtering its population, destroying all its written records, and razing its architecture and cultural artifacts for good measure. He did his job well: until the 1900s, historians were unaware that Western Xia had existed! When put into context the imperial tombs become impressive simply for surviving.     When first built, the tombs were more slightly more imposing. They were surrounded by two layers of walls, with watchtowers, pavilions, and halls for sacrifices. The mounds themselves had five or seven stories tall, and each story was covered with colorful glazed tiles. But the buildings are unrecognizable now. And with the tiles lost to time, the tombs' inner earth is exposed to the elements. The last survivors of an empire wiped from the map, slowly fading over the centuries, until they, too, are gone.

The Gateway of India

This monument was originally built to commemorate the landing of King George V of Great Britain and Queen Mary in Mumbai, on their visit to India in 1911. The photograph is of its opening in 1924.You can see the rows and rows of British troops, and decorated boats in the bay.
The arch sits on the southern tip of Mumbai, looking out over the Arabian Sea. In earlier times the Gateway of India would have been the first structure that visitors arriving by boat would have seen. It was used as the symbolic entrance for new British viceroys of India, and the new Governors of Bombay. A magnificent welcome to the British Empire's crown jewel.
      The Gateway of India was not just a symbol of British power and majesty in India, but its end, as well. The last British troops to leave India following the country's independence, the First Battalion of the Somerset Light Infantry, passed through the Gateway on their way out in a ceremony on February 28, 1948. Today, the Gateway of India is the most popular tourist destination in Mumbai.

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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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