Shield of the Sun God Radiant

Mayan panel, showing in stunning relief Upakal K'inich Janaab Pakal of the city of Palenque. His name means "shield of the sun god radiant," and honors an earlier king of Palenque, K'inich Janaab Pakal.   The panel was crafted around 700 - 800 CE.

The Mathematician Who Found A Planet

Neptune was originally going to be called "Le Verrier's Planet," after French mathematician Urbain Le Verrier. He was the first to hypothesize that a planet may lay beyond Uranus. He hypothesized, but did not see. Le Verrier did not noticed Neptune in a telescope. Instead, he used mathematical and astronomical calculations to show that a planet beyond Uranus should exist, and to calculate where it would be.

He Must Have Been Some Guy

In the 1946 Californian governor's election, incumbent governor Earl Warren was nominated as the candidate of the Republican, Democratic, and Progressive parties. Unsurprisingly, he was reelected. He got 91.64% of the vote.

Emperor Augustus, The Eternal Teenager

Although he died at age 76, Emperor Augustus was always portrayed as a 19-year-old. That was the age he first became consul, and First Citizen of Rome. His portraits are recognizable by the "swallow tail" or "lobster claw" of two locks of hair on his forehead.     Photograph courtesy of the Walters Art Museum

These Are The Oldest Footprints On Earth

Found on a prehistoric sea floor, the oldest footprints ever found were left between 551 million and 541 million years ago during the Ediacaran period. That is hundreds of millions of years before the dinosaurs.     The trackways tell scientists it was left by a bilaterian animal — that is, a creature with bilateral symmetry that has a head at one end, a back end at the other, and a symmetrical right and left side. Its paired appendages, scientists did not call them legs, were used to raise the animal off the sea floor as it moved.

Was the Persian Army so Big Its Arrows Really Blocked out the Sun?

The army of the Persian Empire had enough archers that they were said to be able to "block out the sun." You might remember the Spartan's famous answer to that: great, we "can fight in the shade."

Were those ancient chroniclers exaggerating? We do not know, but conservative estimates of the Persian army's capabilities was that they had 50,000 men in their army. Yes, that's a conservative estimate. Previous armies in the region are believed to have fought with mainly infantry, with archers being a supporting group; we know the Persians innovated by increasing the numbers of archers. Let’s crunch some numbers.

As a conservative estimate, let's say there are about 20,000 archers in the Persian battle line. Each archer can fire about 5 arrows a minute. And their quivers held 120 arrows, but let's assume they had to go hunting for dinner the last few nights, and give them 100 arrows. When you do the math, that means the Persian Army could fire 100,000 arrows a minute. And they could do that for as long as their arms held out, or until their arrows run out, so about 20 minutes.

The Persian army could fire 100,000 arrows a minute, for 20 minutes. As a conservative estimate. Now, I've never been on an ancient battle field, but that sounds like it could block out the sun.

Groundbreaking Bronze-Copper Age Chariots Found In Northern India

Three chariots dating to between 2000 and 1800 BCE have been unearthed in northern India. Swords with copper-covered hilts, shields, daggers, a helmet, beads, and combs were also recovered. The coffins in the burial pits were decorated with copper-plated figures with horns and leafy crowns, suggesting those buried in them may have been royalty. The site where they were found had eight burials. All, potentially, royal.
These chariots are the first found from this period in the Indian subcontinent. It was known that Mesopotamian states had swords, helmets, and horse-drawn chariots around this time. This is the first evidence that the Indian subcontinent had them by this point, too.  Although which civilization had them is unclear. So far, we know only that the artifacts are not from the Harrappan Civilization, also known as the Mohenjo-Daro Civilization.

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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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