When Does A Goat Ride A Tiger?

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

A Stone-Age Venice

Natural disasters were a constant threat to the people living in the ancient Neolithic city of Liangzhu in China's Yangtze Delta. Annual monsoons could easily flood the city. So the city constructed an extensive network of dams and reservoirs and an enormous levee, in and around the 740-acre city. There were 51 canals, 11 dams, and 2 reservoirs. The waterworks likely also irrigated rice paddies and helped transport stone and timber from the nearby mountains.

To have built it all, Liangzhu must have used massive amounts of labor and resources. And they did so between 5,000 and 4,800 years ago -- about 1,000 years before state-level societies capable of such large public works were thought to have developed. That makes Liangzhu either an outlier, or proof that complex ancient societies developed earlier than we thought.

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.

What Happened To The Passenger Pigeon?

What was once the most populous bird in North America -- and maybe the world -- was extinct a century later. What happened?

Excellent Universal Character

When George Washington died in 1799, the British Royal Navy’s Channel Fleet lowered its flags to half mast. The London Courier wrote, “The whole range of history does not present to our view a character upon which we can dwell with such entire and unmixed admiration.”

The title of this post, by the way, comes from something John Adams said about George Washington in 1775.

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.


"Throughout history, it has been the inaction of those who could have acted; the indifference of those who should have known better; the silence of the voice of justice when it mattered most; that has made it possible for evil to triumph."

Haile Selassie

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.

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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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