Ancient Egyptian Cosmetic Set

As you probably guessed, the tongs in the middle are a pair of tweezers, and the circle on the right is a mirror. There is also a kohl set on the far left, a razor, and a whetstone for sharpening razors.     The set was found in the cemetery in a rush basket. Analyses show it was buried between 1550–1458 BCE. Someone wanted to look their best in the afterlife!     The cemetery has its own story. It was originally a Middle Kingdom tomb, built around 1900 – 1800 BCE, with a huge courtyard. Sometime in antiquity the original tomb was looted. And the tomb plus its courtyard got reused as a cemetery in the New Kingdom, between late 17th Dynasty and the early joint reign of Hatshepsut and Thutmose III in the 18th Dynasty. The tomb’s original owner probably wasn’t too happy about that.

Owls Are Old!

Owl-like birds, like Berruornis and Ogygoptynx, lived 60 million years ago. Owls are one of the most ancient types of bird, along with chickens, turkeys, and pheasants.

The Mysterious City of the Sanxingdui

Archaeological digs at the site showed evidence of a walled city founded around 1,600 BCE. Shaped like a trapezoid, with the Jiān River forming its northern boundary, the city also had a smaller river, the Mamu, running through it and sophisticated man-made canals on all sides. These canals were used for irrigation, inland navigation, defense, and flood control. While it flourished at the same time as the Shang Dynasty, the Sanxingdui had a distinct culture. A strong theocracy, it had trade links across modern China, as well as a local metal industry that produced beautifully cast bronzes. Sanxingdui art is particularly noted for its unique "bulging" eyes (see the image gallery for some examples).     Everything you just read about the Sanxingdui is based on archaeological evidence they left behind. Unfortunately, they were not literate, and left no written records.

Nuts!

Did you know peanuts are a New World plant? They were first domesticated in northwestern Argentina or southeastern Bolivia; the oldest archaeological evidence for peanuts comes from about 7,600 years ago.

The Biggest Man In The World (Sort Of)

  The largest human figure in the world is the Long Man of Wilmington, at 231 feet 6 inches tall (that’s about 70 meters). It stands on the edge of the downs near Eastbourne, in England, and holds a staff in each of his raised hands. No one knows who made the figure, or why. Even the age is debated. It could have been first cut by a prehistoric tribe, or as late as the 1700s.

The Great Bonneville Flood

Utah’s Great Salt Lake is a remnant of a much larger lake that drained in a single, catastrophic event 14,000 years ago. Called the "Bonneville flood" it inundated southern Idaho and eastern Washington along the course of the Snake River. It is believed to be the second largest flood in geologic history.

Cave in Kenya was Home to Humans for 78,000 Years

Panga ya Saidi is actually a network of caves about a kilometer long, meandering through limestone hills. The main chamber is about 100 square meters (1,076 square feet) and this is where we have the strongest evidence of humans living and working, not just passing through. From about 78,000 years ago till 68,0000 years ago, the first 10,000 years the cave was occupied, some humans lived in the cave but not many. From about 60,000 years ago, the cave seems to have housed bigger populations. The cave could have been home to hundreds of people. An entire society.

Starting 67,000 years ago, the archaeologists see a shift in stone work and symbolism. Stone arrowheads, blades, and backed tools begin appearing in the archaeological record. Backed tools mean that the tool was made up of more than one part, for instance a stone added to the haft of a large stick, to make what we would recognize as a hammer. Smaller, finer tools start being made around this time as well. Interestingly, 67,000 years ago is the only "revolution" in technology at Panga ya Saidi. Although the archaeological record shows tools and artwork continued to evolve, changes were more gradual, and different types of technologies overlapped considerably.
Although the cave had been continuously occupied for tens of thousands of years, today humanity has abandoned it. We have moved out of the caves and return only for burials and rituals.

New Tomb Found of Ancient Egyptian General

  Archaeologists have discovered the sprawling, 3,300-year-old tomb of an army general named Iwrhya at the ancient Egyptian site of Saqqara. Hieroglyphic inscriptions found on the tomb walls say that Iwrhya "is a high army General, and High steward of the domain of Amun [and] High steward of the estates of Ramesses II in the domain of Amun."     According to more inscriptions, Iwrhya's career started during the reign of pharaoh Seti I, who ruled Egypt from 1294 BCE to 1279 BCE, and continued into the reign of pharaoh Ramesses II, which lasted from 1279 BCE to 1213 BCE. The tomb contains a number of rooms, including chapels, a forecourt and a room that excavators call the "statue room." The rooms have beautiful art on the walls, depicting Iwrhya's time in the military and foreign relations with other nations. Iwrhya was a pretty important man. At least, according to the tomb he had built for himself.

Prehistoric Defensive Network Discovered In Northern Syria

Analysis of aerial and satellite imagery has revealed the presence of an extensive 4,000-year old defensive network in northern Syria. This Middle Bronze Age system is composed of as many as 1,000 stone towers, forts, and enclosures, which were erected along the mountainous ridges east of Hamas to protect and watch over the steppes of central Syria. They stretch 150 kilometers, or about 90 miles. The structures were all built within sight of one another so that communication could be maintained using either light or smoke signals.

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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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