Crete started to become a trading power around 3000 BCE. By the middle of the 2000s BCE, it was the heart of a large trading network, with connections to Syria, Egypt, the many Aegean islands, and mainland Greece.
The Minoan people followed their ships, and established settlements throughout the Mediterranean world. When the Greeks did the same in the 700s and 500s BCE, their settlements were called “colonies.” And just like the later Greek colonies, these Minoan settlements spread Minoan language, arts, and textiles. Even urban planning: far-flung Minoan settlements were laid out just like Minoan towns back home.
This is just such a cool image. An Olmec priest is sitting in the lap of a snake larger than he is. Monument 19, from La Venta, Mexico (1200–400 BCE).
A tophet means a sacred precinct outside a city used for burials of sacrifices. In English it also means hell. Which is fitting, because recent evidence from Carthage's tophets contained tiny cremated human bones packed into urns and buried underneath tombstones with inscriptions that gave thanks to the gods. A recent study found that these burials were evidence that Carthage practiced infant sacrifice. As evidence, the researchers cited the inscriptions on the tombstones, which recorded that the gods had “heard my voice and blessed me." Some urns contained animal remains which have definitely been sacrificed and were buried in the exact same way as the children. Finally, the discovered skeletons were far too few to represent all the stillbirths and infant deaths that would occur in a city the size of Carthage 2,000 years ago. The evidence points towards elite Carthaginians engaging in child sacrifice to give thanks for blessings they have received from the gods.
Roman historian Diodorus claimed that in the city of Carthage there was a bronze statue of Cronus with his hands extended, palm up. All babies placed within would roll down into a pit of fire. The historian even made mention of rich families who bought poor children and raised them specifically for sacrifice. Romans and Greeks dismissed Diodorus' claims as anti-Carthaginian propaganda. But modern archaeology may have vindicated him -- though frankly this is something that he probably would have been happy to be wrong about.
Quetzalcoatlus, the largest known flying animal ever, was as tall as a giraffe. It flew over North America during the Late Cretaceous, about 100.5–66 million years ago. The name comes from the Mesoamerican feathered serpent god Quetzalcoatl.
The Book of Joshua offers what many historians believe to be one of the first recorded instances of a solar eclipse, which occurred on October 30, 1207 BCE.
From Jaina Island's cemetary, where archaeologists have found figurines cradled in the arms of the deceased. This figurine is special because rather than depicting the deceased as a robust young adult, it shows a proud elderly warrior. He is definitely a warrior because he holds a flexible, rectangular shield in his right hand and wears a quilted armor tunic, both being requisite for Maya warriors during this period.
Earthenware figure, crafted sometime between 550 CE and 850 CE.
A six-inch-long (10 cm) fragment of a ceramic figurine, apparently a woman’s torso, has been unearthed at the site of a workshop in northeastern Bulgaria near the coast of the Black Sea. The torso is decorated with stamped lines criss-cross the front and the back. There are also encrusted geometric motifs which might have been depicting clothing. The complete statue is thought to have stood about 12 inches tall when it was created sometime in the brief Middle Chalcolithic period, between 4700 and 4600 BCE.
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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