Eat Like An Egyptian

This fun video discusses ancient Egyptian cuisine, dining etiquette, and basically anything related to food and eating!

The earliest known alternative history was written by the Roman historian Livy. In his grand history of the world, Livy makes a digression in book 9, and imagines that if Alexander the Great had lived longer, he may have turned west and attacked Italy. Livy wrote that the Romans would have defeated him. Of course.

Yams Were Independently Domesticated In Three Places

Here is a map of average region yam production today. Can you guess the three places where yams were first domesticated?

Answer: South America, West Africa, and Papua New Guinea!

The Great Diamond Decoy

The Cullinan Diamond is the largest gem-quality rough diamond ever found, weighing 3,106.75 carats. Found in South Africa in 1905, it was put on sale in London, and bought as a present for King Edward VII of England's 66th birthday. It was cut into various smaller stones on the king's orders.

The problem was this: the best jewel cutters were in the Netherlands, and everyone knew that. So everyone knew the largest diamond yet found was going to be transported from London to Amsterdam. It was the perfect time for a thief to strike. So to much fanfare, a Royal Navy ship carried an empty box across the North Sea. It was such a secret that even the ship's captain did not know he was protecting a decoy. Meanwhile the gem's cutter, Abraham Asscher, collected the Cullinan in London and took a train and a ship back to Amsterdam with the stone tucked in his coat pocket.

The earliest depiction of quilting was discovered in Egypt! It was an ivory figurine of a First Dynasty pharaoh wearing quilted clothing, from about 3400 BCE.

Where Was The Seven Years' War Fought?

Known by various names -- the Pomeranian War (Sweden), the Third Carnatic War (India), the French and Indian War (USA), La guerre de la Conquête (Quebec) -- it involved all the major European powers and spanned five continent. Which is why the conflict is sometimes called "World War Zero."

The First Planned Town Was Older Than You'd Expect

The ancient Egyptian city of Kahun was the first planned city in the world. It was erected for the overseers and workmen employed in constructing the nearby pyramid of Al-Lāhūn, built by Sesostris II (reigned 1844–37 BCE), and it was abandoned when the pyramid was completed.

It was excavated by the English archaeologist Sir Flinders Petrie (1888–90), revealing a crisscross of streets laid out in a regular pattern. Houses were built of mud brick covered by beamed, flat mud roofs, with open courts and porticoes, and the earliest examples of a supporting wooden column.

Savanna Ecosystem May Have Been Assisted By Early Humanity

Africa’s savannas, such as the Serengeti, are renowned for their biodiversity. Defined as a tropical grassland with warm temperatures year-round and with its highest seasonal rainfall in the summer, trees are small or dispersed allowing sunlight to reach the ground a grasses to grow. A new study proposes that human intervention may have been instrumental in creating these ecosystems 3,000 years ago. Soil analysis from Neolithic sites associated with nomadic herders in southern Kenya shows that dung from corralled livestock created nutrient-rich “hotspots” across the prehistoric landscape. This led to an increase in fertile grasses thousands of years ago that, even today, attract a diverse array of wildlife.

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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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