"I am what time, circumstance, history, have made of me, certainly, but I am also, much more than that. So are we all."
These two maps are from the 1920s series by George Philip & Son. Note that by this point, no land was in indigenous control.
In 1795, a French Revolutionary Hussar regiment charged and surrounded a Dutch fleet and forced the fleet to surrender. Yes, you read that correctly! The fourteen Dutch ships were frozen in between the Dutch mainland and the island of Texel. The night of January 23rd, each horse had their hooves wrapped in fabric to muffle their approach. On each horses' back was a hussar and an infantryman of the 15th Line Infantry Regiment. After a careful approach across the frozen water, the hussars and infantrymen launched an assault on the ships. The ice did not break and the Frenchmen were able to board the ships. Neither side had casualties. And the Battle of Texel went down in history as a rare moment when cavalry successfully engaged and beat a fleet.
What do you think this person is doing? If you guessed pooping -- congrats, you guessed wrong! This piece is titled "Sorrowing Adam." He is sitting on something (it is not explained), grieving, after getting kicked out of paradise by God. The panel once decorated the side of a Byzantine casket or box. Ivory, circa 900s - 1000 CE (courtesy of the Walters Art Museum)
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.
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.
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.
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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