Let's Talk About Angkor Ceramics!

The Khmer Empire, also known as the Angkor Empire, was a powerful Hindu-Buddhist empire in Southeast Asia. It held more or less power in the region from the early 800s to the mid-1400s when its capital city of Angkor fell. The first evidence by an academic of stoneware ceramic production was the documentation in 1888 by the French explorer Etienne Aymonier of an abandoned kiln site on Phnom Kulen. Not much investigation into Angkor ceramics was made until the 1960s, however, when deforestation and road-building uncovered kiln mounds for ceramics in the fields of Buriram province in northern Thailand. Once the discovery became known, a new interest in the ceramics of Angkor was born. Since then, many more kilns have been found across the former empire.

Angkor ceramics were made either with grayish-white clay bearing green glaze or with dark-colored clay using brown glaze. Occasionally, when a potter was apparently feeling adventurous, a ceramic would be made with both grayish-white and dark clay, and glazed with both green and brown glaze. And of course there were many unglazed ceramics. Angkor ceramics, though just two colors of clay, had a variety of shapes. Click through the image gallery to see some examples.

Wartime Propaganda Tried To Guilt You About Swimming!

Australian recruitment poster during World War I. It was aimed at the Australian value of “mateship” or comradeship. Australian efforts to recruit volunteers, that would serve with the British forces, were quite successful. Over 400,000 men volunteered, out of a population of just 5 million.

The Slightly Gross Tale of the Beresovka Mammoth

A frozen woolly mammoth found in 1900 on the banks of the Beresovka River, in Siberia, was in an almost complete state of preservation. Only its head was not frozen. Some of the explorers' dogs were... undiscriminating ... and even managed to eat some of the animal. According to modern radiocarbon dating it is around 44,000 years old. Talk about aging meat!

Apparently, Spain and France Are Great at Keeping Treaties

In 1659, when Louis XIV of France and Philip IV of Spain met to sign the Treaty of the Pyrenees following the Thirty Years’ War, they did so on Pheasant Island, an uninhabited island in the Bidasoa river between their two nations. Ever since, the island has remained under joint sovereignty. That's been 300 years of keeping this treaty, for those counting at home. Note that only one country has sovereignty at any given time. The island is governed alternately by Spain and France, changing hands every six months.

MPD officer takes a coffee break in DC, 1919

Behind him is the Salvation Army Headquarters at 930 Pennsylvania Ave NW. You can see the words "Jesus is Mighty to Save" painted on the 2nd story. Just to its left at number 926 is the Whipps School of Scientific Boxing. Jack Dempsey trained there with William Whipp before his 1919 fight in Toledo, in which he took the World Heavyweight Title from Jess Willard. Much of the area was purchased by the government for the eventual construction of the Federal Triangle in 1908 and 1928. Both buildings were razed, and construction of the US Department of Justice Building began on the site in 1931.

The Writer That Couldn't Be Silenced

In 2000, Gao Xingjian was the first Chinese author to be awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. His novels and plays have been banned in China since 1989. Gao lives today in France.

Danish biologist, botanist, and geneticist Wilhelm Johannsen (1857 - 1927) coined the term "genes" in 1911. He also coined the term "genotype" and "phenotype" which you may remember from high school biology class!

Why Chef’s Hats Are Pleated

The pleats in a chef's hat not only portray a sense of fashion of professionalism, they have a purpose! Traditionally the pleats represented how many recipes a chef had mastered. So, a chef with a 100 pleats may have known 100 different ways to boil an egg. Or 100 slightly more interesting recipes!

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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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