Romano-Celtic mirror dating to between 50 BCE and 50 CE. One side has lovely spiral and trumpet decoration, the other was highly polished to make a mirror. Decorated mirrors of this type are uniquely British and very few are found on the continent. This particular example was found in Desborough, Northamptonshire, England.

This is the Mesha Stele. Written around 850 BCE, it was commissioned by King Mesha of Moab, a small nation around what is today Jordan. The basalt stele describes how Chemosh, the god of Moab, had previously been angry with his people and had allowed them to be subjugated to Israel but he eventually returned to his people and helped them gain their freedom from Israel. The stone then details King Mesha's building projects.

The Mesha Stele roughly agrees with the Israelites version of events in the Books of Kings (2 Kings 3:4–8). Which makes it really, really important historically. The stele is also the most extensive inscription ever recovered that refers to the kingdom of Israel and it bears the earliest certain reference to the Israelite god Yahweh outside of the Bible itself.

What Is This Used For?

It's not just pretty -- its for drinking out of! Known as a rhyton, this particular example is in the form of a goat's head. It was found at Ecbatana, the one-time capital of Iran's Achaemenid Empire.

Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is the longest-reigning English monarch at 68 years on the throne. But she needs to reign for four more years to catch up with Louis XIV of France, the Sun King, who reigned for 72 years! The other two monarchs who have reigned longer, by the way, are Rama IX of Thailand (1946 - 2016) and Johann II of Liechtenstein (1858 - 1929).

Ziploc Was Once High Tech

Ziploc's technology was initially extremely expensive. So in the 1950s, ziploc was used on briefcases and binder inserts!

Local people discovered a collection of rock carvings on top of the Cerro de Peña, a mountain in central Mexico. In total archaeologists found two etched stone panels and a number of smaller carved stones. The carvings cover 87 glyphs, a male human figure with horns and a loincloth, a female figure resembling a bat, an iguana, and an eagle. The carvings are thought to be Zapotec who lived in the area starting 2,500 years ago. They were known to use glyphs and had a sophisticated architectural style.

The Two Ancient Mass Suicides of Xanthos

Xanthos was an important city in Lydia, a region of eastern Turkey, in ancient times. The Lydians were known for their fierce independence. Xanthos' people demonstrated this by committing mass suicide rather than being captured -- twice in recorded history! The first time was to avoid capture by the Persian Empire. The second time, 500 years later, was to avoid capture by the Roman Empire.

In 42 BCE, Brutus (yes, the famous one) attacked the city during the Roman civil wars that came after Caesar's assassination. Brutus wanted to recruit troops and raise money. But the Lydians responded by killing themselves and setting fire to the city. Brutus was apparently shocked, and offered rewards for his soldiers if they could save a Lydian; only 150 were saved from themselves.

Large New Study Shows Genetic Legacies of TransAtlantic Slave Trade

The study used DNA samples from 50,000 people in North America, Latin America, and Africa to trace where people were enslaved and what happened to their descendants. The scientists also examined how their results compared to slave ship manifests. Read the full article on the results

Black July

On July 24th 1983, anti-Tamil rioting started in Sri Lanka's capital of Colombo. The riots started in response to a deadly ambush of Sri Lankan soldiers by the Tamil militant group "Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam." The rioting quickly spread to other parts of the country. In seven days, mainly Sinhalese mobs killed between 400 and 3,000, and made about 150,000 homeless by burning neighborhoods and shops. It became known as "Black July" and is still seen as the starting point for Sri Lanka's long civil war.

In 1963, the Moscow-Washington hotline was installed to let the two countries talk quickly without the usual delay of diplomatic channels. To test the line, the first message sent was "THE QUICK BROWN FOX JUMPED OVER THE LAZY DOG'S BACK 1234567890." It quite confused the English translators in Moscow!

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    HISTORICAL NON-FICTION

    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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