A "retronym" is something that is renamed in the future, to make  more sense. Analog clocks were just "clocks" until digital clocks were invented. World War I was just "the Great War" until World War II happened.

How To Live Well At The Red Sea

Humans migrating from Africa to Arabia some 5,000 years ago may have traveled along a now-submerged Red Sea coastline, and despite the desert conditions, lived well off marine mollusks. It had been previously thought that drought conditions would have slowed down or stopped hunter-gatherers from moving through this region. But researchers found millions of marine shells at Saudi Arabia’s Farasan Islands, and calculations suggest that Conomurex fasciatus (lined conchs) were plentiful and gathered year-round by prehistoric fishers, meaning they had a stable source of food despite the drought.

The Panic of 1873 was once known as "The Great Depression." It became known by a different term after the stock market crash of 1929 and the global economic depression that followed.

One of the staples of Mongolian cuisine is "boortsog," a deep-fried dough. The flour to make this staple comes from trading with settled peoples south and west of Mongolia. Boortsog's very existence as a common food among nomadic herding tribes is evidence of how long Mongolians have been connected to greater Asian trading networks.

Museum’s Dead Sea Scrolls All Forgeries

The Museum of the Bible (pet project of the owners of Hobby Lobby, who were previously found guilty of buying looted Iraqi artifacts from ISIS) has once again been in the news. The museum’s prized collection of Dead Sea Scroll fragments have been found to be fakes by a team of art fraud investigators. Potentially made from old shoe leather, too! The items were purchased from a larger set that appeared on the market in 2002, more than 50 years after the genuine Israelite artifacts were found in a cave in the West Bank.

Mysterious "Thing" Found in Antarctica Finally Identified

The football-shaped fossil has been sitting in a Chilean museum waiting for identification. Now, it appears scientists have the answers: it is the largest soft-shell egg ever found. Likely laid by a marine reptile, it is the second-largest egg ever, the only one bigger was laid by the now-extinct elephant bird from Madagascar.

The Sidney Harbor Bridge, completed in 1938, remains the world's tallest and widest steel arch bridge (though not the longest). Pretty good for a bridge that is over eighty years old!

Canada Repatriates 5,000-Year-Old Artifacts to Ecuador

Researchers from Canada’s University of Calgary have given to Ecuador 166 crates of human remains and artifacts belonging to the Valdivia culture. The returned items include five human skeletons, a type of well-known ceramic figurine known as the “Venus of Valdivia," and all of the information on Valdivia the Canadians had gotten from studying the artifacts. The objects were excavated in southwestern Ecuador during the early 1980s and removed to Canada. They date to between 3800 and 1500 BCE, and have changed perceptions of Ecuador's development pre-contact. It had been previously thought that the first populations to settle and develop pottery were people who lived along the coast. But studying the Valdivia artifacts suggest that pottery -- and thus settlements -- were developed first inland. In other words it was farmers, not fishermen, who developed pottery first.

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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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