The ancient Greeks and Romans thought giraffes were an unnatural offspring of a camel and a leopard. Due to the animal's camel-like shape and leopard-like spots. The camel's Latin name is pretty simple: "camelopardalis." Which is how the camel's scientific name came to be "Giraffa camelopardalis."
In 1915, American archaeologists working at the ancient Egyptian necropolis of Deir el-Bersha were surprised to blast into a limestone tomb, and be greeted by a mummy's head perched on a cedar coffin. The room, labeled Tomb 10A, turned out to be the final resting place for a governor named Djehutynakht and his wife. At some point in their 4,000 years of slumber, graverobbers broke in and ransacked the tomb. All their precious objects and jewelry were taken. But the heavy coffin, the head, and its limbless torso were left for the surprised archaeologists to find thousands of years later.
A recent DNA analysis of the head, with help from the FBI, revealed the head belonged to Djehutynakht himself. The analysis was done based on DNA extracted from a molar. Besides solving a hundred-year-old mystery, this is one of the first times viable DNA has been recovered from an ancient Egyptian mummy!
The earliest known sea turtle fossils are about 120 million years old. That means they just make it into the Cretaceous Period (which began about 145 million years ago). Sea turtles co-existed with tyrannosauruses and triceratops!
Gold sandals, with gold finger covers and gold toe covers. Found at the tomb of the three wives of Thutmoses III, Menhet, Menwi and Merti, all of them apparently Syrian-born, in Wady Gabbanat el-Qurud. Circa 1479 to 1425 BCE
"It never ceases to amaze me: we all love ourselves more than other people, but care more about their opinion than our own."
Marcus Aurelius, Roman emperor from 161 to 180 CE. His nickname is "the Philosopher"
Each is colored by magnitude. Can you decipher the outlines of the continents? Africa was the hardest, for me
Swaziland's King Mswati II (ruled 1840 to 1868) is considered the greatest fighting king in Swaziland's history. He fought competing Zulu tribes and some of his own brothers for the throne. Under his reign, the country's boundaries were greatly increased, beyond its present-day borders. "Swazi" is the anglicized version of Mswati II's name.
The First Agricultural Revolution occurred around 10,000 years ago when humans first domesticated plants. In the early 1700s the Industrial Revolution led to faster and more efficient farming technology, which helped usher in the Second Agricultural Revolution from 1700 to 1900 in developed countries. Many less developed countries are considered to be still experiencing the Second Agricultural Revolution.
It's an earring! Weird, right? Roman, made of gold and blue glass, circa 100s to 200s CE.
Lake Turkana, which is mostly in Kenya, is the largest permanent desert lake in the world. It has sheltered humanity since the first homonids learned to walk. A female australopithecus anamensis fossil found here in 1994 lived around 4.2 and 3.9 million years ago. Researchers were surprised to realize she had walked on two feet. It was a huge discovery at the time, because it meant hominids developed bipedalism earlier than previously thought.
And near the lake, in 1984, a homo erectus fossil who lived 1.5 to 1.6 million years ago was found. Examinations suggested he had been a boy, just 8 or 9 years old, when he died. He remains the most complete hominid skeleton found to date.