Ancient Roman Artifacts of the Day: These carved bone phalluses with finely detailed wings — dating back 1,600 to 2,000 years — were dug up in Britain and recently published in the journal Britannia.
The Death Mask of King Tutankhamun, made of solid gold and inlaid with colored glass and precious stones. The mask comes from the innermost mummy case in the pharaoh’s tomb, and stands 54 cm (21 in) high.
Lost for 1,600 years, the royal quarters of Cleopatra were discovered off the shores of Alexandria. A team of marine archaeologists, led by Frenchman, Franck Goddio, began excavating the ancient city in 1998. Historians believe the site was submerged by earthquakes and tidal waves, yet, astonishingly, several artifacts remained largely intact. Amongst the discoveries were the foundations of the palace, shipwrecks, red granite columns, and statues of the goddess Isis and a sphinx. The Egyptian Government plans to create an underwater museum and hold tours of the site.
Helicoprion, aka the Whorl Tooth
The scariest fucking thing I’ve ever seen.
Pro-Tip: Fantasy authors, if you need inspiration, look no further than Earth’s history. There are some fascinating and freaky fucking creatures in our past. Yes, you can get about a million dragon models from the dragons, but seriously, look at this fucking shit. Look at some early whales, they were like weird aquatic dogs, and marsupial carnivores and fucking everything, man. Way cooler shit than anything mankind’s ever dreamt up in myths and fairy tales.
I love this thing! I remember first learning about it and its equally weird friends at the Field Museum. Early prehistoric life was insane. <3
I actually have a photo that I took from when I went to the Field Museum! Here it is:
From: 6 Things From History Everyone Pictures Incorrectly
Greek Statues Were Brightly Painted and Kind of Stupid Looking
Quick, what do you picture in your head when we say, “Ancient Greece”? If you’re like most people you either picture lots of dudes standing around in togas, or white marble statues with no pupils in their eyes:
“Colorful clothes are for gangbangers and homosexuals.”
Those ornate statues made of pure white marble, depicting the austere beauty and power of epic gods and heroes, have made quite an impression on history. Renaissance sculptors carved their own marble statues based on the belief that that’s how the ever wise Greeks did things.
Ancient Greece looked more like someone crashed their LGBT pride parade into a Mardi Gras Festival.
Recent studies using the awesome powers of lasers and shit (no, seriously!) have found that once completing the iconic marble statues and buildings we know today, the Greeks covered them head to toe in bright primary colors. Greek sculptors worked together with painters to come up with psychedelic patterns and colors to make their statues and buildings pop.
So in the midst of all that theorizing and philosophizing, the Greeks were also really focused on making sure their day to day life looked like the album cover of Magical Mystery Tour. Oh, and you know the iconic Parthenon? Based on the way buildings were painted back then, it was most likely an eye-searing mash of bright yellow, red and blue.
Why We Picture it Wrong:
As years passed, like with the Pyramids, the primitive paint used on the statues chipped and wore off, so when they were rediscovered by later civilizations, they appeared in their all white form. And frankly people just liked the idea of the all white marble look.
Even so, archaeologists knew that the statues used to be painted, since there were ancient records showing people painting the damned things. However, people simply preferred to display the plain white statues, since they looked more like something made by the founders of Western civilization should look like, in the minds of many scholars. Pure, clean, capturing the shape and essence of scientific accuracy and artistic beauty—whereas the painted versions kinda looked like something you might have made during middle school art class.
The remains of five chariots and 12 horses have been excavated at an archaeological site in Luoyang, China. The finds are dated from the Eastern Zhou Dynasty (770BC-221BC) and are suspected to belong to a minister of that time
Researchers working in the Dikika region of Ethiopia have recently uncovered bones dating to between 3.2 and 3.4 million years ago that show all the hallmarks of butchering. The cut marks and percussion marks are suggestive of defleshing and the removal of bone marrow. From a behavioural aspect, it is unclear whether this represents hunting or the scavenging of recently dead animals.
Bone trauma can be an incredible tricky thing to interpret. Trampling, tooth marks from scavenging, direct contact with rocks, among other agents can leave pseudo-cut marks on a bone. The bones were analysed under scanning electron microscope, with the researchers concluding that stone tools were most likely responsible for the cut marks and fracture patterns.
Australopithecus afarensis is the only known hominin to date from this time period and is, for the time being, the best candidate for making these marks. Tool use is seen in both our ape and monkey cousins and it seems likely that A. afarensis also utilised tools. Researchers have shown that A. afarensis would have been capable of the manual dexterity needed to manipulate tools. What is less clear is whether these cut marks were made by stone tools specifically fashioned for butchering or whether these hominins used sharp-edged natural stones. Whether these were fabricated or natural they were still used as tools. However, the dentition of A. afarensis suggests that meat constituted a negligible part of their diet. The large molars and thick enamel of this hominin point to a diet rich in tubers and other vegetation.
posted in adhominin
The Violin Sonata in G minor, more famously known as the Devil’s Trill Sonata is a famous work for solo violin by Giuseppe Tartini (1692–1770), famous for being extremely technically demanding, even today.
The story behind “Devil’s Trill” starts with a dream. Tartini allegedly told the French astronomer Jérôme Lalande that he dreamed that The Devil appeared to him and asked to be his servant. At the end of their lessons Tartini handed the devil his violin to test his skill—the devil immediately began to play with such virtuosity that Tartini felt his breath taken away.