Pair of Amateur Metal Detector Enthusiasts Find Royal Treasure
A medieval treasure trove that belonged to the legendary King Harald Bluetooth was recently unearthed on a German island by a 13-year-old and an amateur archaeologist. The pair were using metal detectors to hunt treasure on Rügen, Germany's largest island, in the Baltic Sea. And wonder of wonders, they found some real treasure! Archaeologists who were called in found remarkable artifacts, including braided necklaces, pearls, brooches, a Thor's hammer (a representation of a mythical weapon forged by dwarves), rings and up to 600 chipped coins, including more than 100 that date to Bluetooth's era.
Based on their finds, archaeologists believe the hoard belonged to the Danish king Harald Gormsson, more commonly known as "Bluetooth," who ruled from about 958 to 986 CE. He is famous for bringing Christianity to Denmark, and uniting swathes of modern-day Norway, Germany, Sweden and Denmark under his rule. And yes, that's the guy that Bluetooth Technology is named after. The oldest coin uncovered at Rügen dates to 714 CE, while the youngest is a penny from 983 CE. These dates suggest the treasure was buried in the late 980s. That matches up with when Bluetooth lost a battle against his rebellious son, Sweyn Forkbeard, and then “retired” to northwestern Germany for a year before his death.
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, "OntheFallofStates" argues that the key to a country's fortunes is to assess and employ people wisely.
To answer my own question, yes! It's a whistle! Not sure if it still works though.... According to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), this is a Mayan whistle in the form of a sitting woman. Discovered on Jaina Island, off the coast of the Yucatan Peninsula, it is believed have been crafted between 600 and 900 CE. Pretty neat!
Hawaii Has A Protected Valley, Where Its Ancient Plants Are Preserved
For the past 1,500 years, Limahuli Valley on Kauai has been a green haven, a wilderness preserved to exist just as the native Hawaiians experienced it. It is home to plant life unlike anything found in the rest of the world, with many endangered plants thriving in the valley.
You may be surprised to learn that this terracotta vase is from the Umayyad or Abbasid Caliphates, between 700 and 900 CE!
Its style is distinctly Islamic in nature, with incised lines and an elegant shape. What I noticed first, though, was the odd glazing which leaves the bottom looking unfinished and looks very modern. Known as “two-thirds” glaze, this is actually typical of early Islamic art.
Rare Song Dynasty Bowl Sells For Record-Breaking Amount
This simple blue bowl, about 1,000 years old, sold at auction in late 2017 for $37.7 million dollars. That breaks the previous record for Chinese porcelain, $36.05 million, set in 2014 for a Ming dynasty wine cup which was sold to a Shanghai tycoon. This unassuming ru-ware bowl with a blue-green glaze and complex ‘ice crackle’ pattern was used for washing brushes. It was originally created for the imperial court during the Northern Song Dynasty, sometime between 960 to 1127 CE.
What makes the bowl so special is its rarity: ru-ware was made during only a short period, not exceeding twenty years, and few pieces survive today. This bowl is one of only four ru-ware pieces held in private hands.
Iceland has a population of 332,529 that for hundreds of years has been largely isolated from the rest of the world. Inbreeding is a constant concern due to the country’s small size, and the migration of most of the population into the capital city. Luckily, the country has been literate since its founding, and because of its small population and isolation, we have marriage and birth records pretty much since the founding of the island. Everyone's family tree is known. It is pretty neat -- every Icelander today can trace their heritage back to which founding settlers they come from.
And to help prevent inbreeding today, an app was developed: Islendiga-App (English: App of Icelanders). The whole giant Icelandic family tree is on the app, and people can check to see if they are related. Its slogan is “Bump the app before you bump in bed.”
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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!