Name of source: Discovery News
Archaeologists believe they have found the first physical evidence of the spot where Julius Caesar died, according to a new Spanish National Research Council report.
Caesar, the head of the Roman Republic, was stabbed to death by a group of rival Roman senators on March 14, 44 B.C, the Ides of March. The assassination is well-covered in classical texts, but until now, researchers had no archaeological evidence of the place where it happened....
Friday, October 12, 2012 - 17:23
Spanish archaeologists have discovered an impressive structure with 4,200-year-old outer walls and six pyramid-shaped towers, representing the most architecturally advanced Bronze Age fortress.
Called La Bastida, the Spanish fortification system stood in the sierras of Totana, in the southeastern Murcia region. It was built with large stones and lime mortar and consisted of 10-foot-thick walls that were once 22 feet high and imposing pyramid-based towers.
So far the archaeologists led by Vicente Lull, professor of prehistory of the Autonomous University of Barcelona, have unearthed six towers along a length of 230 feet, although the full perimeter of the fortification measured about 1,000 feet.
The entrance to the enclosure consisted of a passageway built with strong walls and large doors at the end, held shut with thick wooden beams....
Friday, October 12, 2012 - 17:22
Name of source: Telegraph (UK)
Drafts of wartime speeches are among almost a million archived documents relating to former British prime minister Winston Churchill that have been digitised.
Other documents that have been made available online for university libraries, public libraries and schools to access include school reports and personal correspondence with family members and other leaders.
Receipts of purchases and cigar invoices are also available. Within the documents, there are references to Churchill's love of brandy, and warnings from MI5 that gifts of Cuban cigars could contain poison or explosives. Churchill also makes reference to coalition governments, suggesting that they may be required in "exceptional times"....
Friday, October 12, 2012 - 17:19
A pornographic movie was filmed at an historic 18th century fort just weeks after a £50,000 Lottery grant helped pay for it to re-open.
Playboy TV filmed a movie called 'Tight Rider' - a spoof of 80s hit series Knight Rider - starring 'Michael Tight' and Slovakian porn star Natali D'Angelo....
But trustees at Fort Amherst in Chatham, Kent - Britain's best surviving Napoleonic fortress - are furious that the filming was allowed to go ahead.
The film was shot in just 10 hours amongst the many tunnels at the historic fort - which only re-opened fully in May this year after a £50,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
The fort is also part of Medway Council's bid to get the area listed as a World Heritage Site....
Friday, October 12, 2012 - 10:19
The very last combat veteran of the First World War, Claude “Chuckles” Choules of the Royal Navy, died in an Australian nursing home last year, aged 110. The last non-combat veteran, Florence Green, an RAF steward, died this February in King’s Lynn, also aged 110.
So the First World War has almost entirely deserted living memory. And yet its memory stays strong – and grows ever stronger – among those born decades after it ended. More than 300,000 people still visit the battlefields in northern France every year. First World War dramas come thick and fast: Parade’s End, Downton Abbey, that revered, much-repeated last scene in Blackadder.
Literature, too, goes back and back to the trenches. Pat Barker has just published Toby’s Room, a First World War novel, 21 years after Regeneration, the first book in her war trilogy. Yesterday, David Cameron talked of how Michael Morpurgo’s War Horse and the novels of Sebastian Faulks have kept the First World War vivid for new generations....
Friday, October 12, 2012 - 10:17
Mr Cameron will say Government is throwing its weight behind the commemorations of the beginning of the Great War in 1914.
The announcement comes amid claims that Britain has been dragging its feet about the commemorations plans, compared with other countries, because of a row in Whitehall over which department will pick up the bill.
Britain’s marking of the anniversary of the beginning of the “war to end all wars” is likely to focus on a new £4.5million permanent exhibition at the Imperial War Museum in south London.
In keeping with the Government’s localism agenda, communities across the country will be encouraged to find their own ways of marking the centenary....
Thursday, October 11, 2012 - 08:14
Ironbridge Gorge, regarded by historians as the cradle of the industrial revolution, has been saved for the nation with a multi-million pound government grant.
The gorge – which was described by writer Charles Hulbert in 1837 as “the most extraordinary district in the world” – has been under threat from landslides.
However, Communities secretary Eric Pickles will announce today [thurs] that the Government has committed £12million to “save” the gorge.
The cash will go to restoring and protecting the gorge and its bridge so that generations can enjoy the landscape that sparked a new age of modernity in Britain.
Thursday, October 4, 2012 - 10:07
The English-language book, published in 1942, paints Adolf Hitler as a man of peace and dwells at length on Britain’s class inequalities and “atrocities” committed in Ireland and India.
However, it also celebrates British landscape and culture, in particular the works of Shakespeare.
A rare copy of the work, entitled “Hirt’s Englandkundliches Lesebuch fur die Oberstufe an Oberschulen” (“Hirt’s English textbook theory for colleges and high schools”), will go on sale at auction this week.
The book’s front cover is illustrated with an idyllic picture of the River Avon and Holy Trinity Church in Stratford-Upon-Avon, Warwick, where Shakespeare was baptised and buried....
Wednesday, October 3, 2012 - 14:22
Name of source: Fox
Archaeologists have unearthed gruesome evidence of brutal Aztec rituals by uncovering 50 skulls and over 250 jaw bones at the Templo Mayor in Tenochtitlan (modern Mexico City).
Found at one sacrificial stone below a ceremonial platform called the "cuauhxicalco," the human remains date back more than 500 years and represent the largest number of skulls ever found in one offering.
Used in rituals associated with the worship of Mictlantecuhtli, god of death, the skulls were unearthed in different locations: 45 appeared to have just been dumped on top of the stone, while the remaining five were buried under it....
Friday, October 12, 2012 - 17:16
Name of source: LoHud.com
YORKTOWN — Momentum is building for a Revolutionary War memorial depicting three soldiers from a unit known as “the Black Regiment” who fought to the death in a surprise attack for the cause of freedom.
A $50,000 state grant and a new fundraising sign at Downing Park are moving the project closer to completion, and a conceptual design by an Oregon sculptor is winning positive reviews in the community and beyond.
“We wanted to make sure we were getting quality art, something that would work for a hundred years or more,” said lead organizer Michael Kahn. The winning design was chosen from more than 25 submissions. The monument depicts three soldiers, one black, one white and one of Indian ancestry, preparing for a final encounter with the enemy....
Friday, October 12, 2012 - 14:35
Name of source: NYT
Rabbi Menachem Youlus, who was called a Jewish Indiana Jones and provided Torahs through a charity while fraudulently claiming they had been rescued after being hidden or lost during the Holocaust, was sentenced to just over four years in prison on Thursday by a judge who called his scheme sad and incomprehensible.
“As nearly as I can tell,” Judge Colleen McMahon of Federal District Court in Manhattan said, “the reason is that Mr. Youlus had a screw loose, that Mr. Youlus has this desire to be something he’s not, which is an adventurer, a hero.”
Rabbi Youlus, 51, had pleaded guilty to two counts of fraud; prosecutors said that he had fabricated accounts of finding Torahs at concentration camps like Auschwitz. The Torahs were then provided to others by a charity he had co-founded and which, prosecutors said, he defrauded by seeking reimbursement for doctored or inflated expenses or by diverting donations to himself....
Thursday, October 11, 2012 - 23:24
A doctoral student at Baruch College is studying the luminescent proteins of Bermuda fireworms, glowing green creatures that may have caught Christopher Columbus’s eye 520 years ago.
At 10 p.m. on Oct. 11, 1492, Christopher Columbus saw a glimmer in the distance as he stood on the deck of the Santa María. The faraway flash was “so small a body that he could not affirm it to be land,” Columbus wrote, referring to himself in the third person.
He called over two of his crew members, but the light was so faint that only one man could discern it. Staring harder, Columbus wrote, he “again perceived it once or twice, appearing like the light of a wax candle moving up and down, which some thought an indication of land.”...
Monday, October 8, 2012 - 09:32
Early in the summer of 1952, after his first year of dental school at Emory University in Atlanta, Perry Brickman received a letter from the dean. It informed him that he had flunked out.
Mr. Brickman was mystified. He had been a B-plus student in biology as an Emory undergraduate and had earned early admission to dental school. He had never failed a course in his life.
Over the next few weeks of that summer, Mr. Brickman found out that three of his classmates had also been failed. All of them happened to be Jewish. Yet instead of fighting back, Mr. Brickman and his friends searched for other dental schools and swallowed a shame that lasted decades....
Monday, October 8, 2012 - 08:31
As the New York Film Festival slides into its final weekend on Friday, the fall’s other major cinematic event opens on Thursday, just a few blocks away. Celebrating its 10th anniversary, “To Save and Project,” the Museum of Modern Art’s international celebration of film preservation, offers a dense and varied collection of films that feels like a festival in itself — one that, unlike most, isn’t subject to the tyranny of the present.
The program reaches back to 1907 for a hand-colored short, “En Avant la Musique,” by the Spanish-born Segundo de Chomón, Georges Méliès’s great rival in the early cinema of special effects, to be shown as part of a group of films from the National Film Museum in Turin, Italy, on Nov. 3. And it approaches the current day for “Uprising,” a 2012 compilation that Human Rights Watch assembled from images of the Arab Spring demonstrations (showing as part of a program observing Unesco’s World Day for Audiovisual Heritage, on Oct. 27).
In between are about 75 films from 15 countries, a vast assortment of work in practically every conceivable format, from Hollywood features to home movies. And yet, as hefty as the program may be, it represents a small fraction of the films rescued each year from physical deterioration or commercial neglect by the world’s archives, museums and those studios enlightened enough to take responsibility for, and pride in, the films on which their business was built....
Monday, October 8, 2012 - 08:28
[Vladimir Putin turns 60 this week.]
...For leaders of the Kremlin, turning 60 is no small matter. It is a milestone heavy with history and symbolism, sometimes marked by elaborate ceremony and sometimes not, but one that inevitably reminds the public that a clock is ticking, that even the most powerful, larger-than-life figures eventually yield to the grip of time....
Stalin’s 60th birthday in December 1939 was such a big deal that it overshadowed news of the war between Germany and the Allies, and the Soviet Union’s own war with Finland. A new official biography was released, with an initial print run of one million copies, and Stalin was given the Order of Lenin, then the country’s highest honor.
When Khrushchev received the same award on his 60th birthday in 1954, it was part of a growing body of evidence that he was gaining the upper hand in a power struggle. On his 60th birthday in 1966, Brezhnev was given an even higher award, Hero of the Soviet Union. He died in office in 1982.
Monday, October 8, 2012 - 08:26
DUNVEGAN, Ontario — Although it produced “The Star-Spangled Banner,” the War of 1812 does not get much attention in the United States. In Canada, however, the federal government is devoting surprising attention to the bicentennial of the conflict, which it describes bluntly in a new television commercial as an act of American aggression against Canada.
Much about the war is fiercely debated by historians but one thing is clear: Canada was not yet a country at the time of the war, which pitted the United States against the British.
As sweeping government budget cuts affect historic sites and national parks, the government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper has set aside about $28 million for events, advertising and exhibitions to commemorate the war. The government’s enthusiasm has puzzled and angered many people here, where flag-waving forms of patriotism are more subdued than they are south of the border....
Monday, October 8, 2012 - 08:24
His name was Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, but you wouldn’t have known it from the speakers who paid tribute to him on Friday for his forceful, yet genial, guidance of The New York Times through more than three decades of turbulence and growth.
From start to finish he was Punch, just Punch. It is how everyone knew him during his years as chairman and chief executive of The New York Times Company and publisher of its flagship newspaper.
That boyhood nickname traveled with him throughout a life that ended last Saturday when he died at 86 after years of illness. And it was how he was referred to by relatives and former colleagues at a remembrance that was true to a man who prized orderliness and who, by all accounts, had scant interest in having people go on and on about him....
Saturday, October 6, 2012 - 11:21
A former manager at the National September 11 Memorial and Museum in Manhattan was fired for raising health and security concerns at one of the most security-conscious places in the world, he claimed in a lawsuit filed on Friday.
The former manager, Thomas Cancelliere, who was facilities director of the memorial, alerted his bosses that he believed that the water in the memorial’s signature fountains carried illness-causing bacteria, that exit gates were too narrow and could hinder an evacuation and that there were no security checks at a public garage directly below the off-site room where the memorial’s millions of visitors are screened, the lawsuit said....
Saturday, October 6, 2012 - 11:20
FORT WORTH — Millions of Texans have read the “Victory or Death” letter written at the Alamo more than 170 years ago. But only a small number of them have ever laid eyes on the original — a brief plea for reinforcements written by Lt. Col. William Barret Travis on Feb. 24, 1836, as he and his outnumbered men faced the Mexican Army.
Whether it ever returns to the Alamo is now a hotly debated issue.
The letter has become one of the most revered documents in Texas history, and one of its phrases — “Victory or Death,” which Colonel Travis underlined three times — has endured as an unofficial Texas slogan, turning up on flags and, occasionally, in the speeches of politicians, including one that Gov. Rick Perry gave last year as he campaigned for president....
Wednesday, October 3, 2012 - 20:28
Name of source: Michael Dobbs for Foreign Policy
There’s nothing like a big anniversary to galvanize the gatekeepers of history into action. Fifty years after the Cuban missile crisis, we are finally going to get to see the personal notes and records of Robert F. Kennedy, which have been held hostage to a long-running ownership dispute between RFK’s family and the National Archives.
Bobby Kennedy served as his brother Jack’s closest adviser and alter ego during the crisis, which brought the world the closest we have ever come to nuclear destruction. His contemporaneous notes will examined closely by historians as a unique window into the thinking of the late president as he sought to avoid nuclear war and negotiate a diplomatic solution with his Soviet opposite number, Nikita Khrushchev.
JFK Library officials in Boston plan to put hundreds of previously withheld documents online Thursday morning, prior to a conference of missile crisis experts that the library is hosting on Sunday. The new documents include memos between the two brothers written during the so-called “thirteen days” that marked the peak of the crisis between October 16 and October 28 1962, when Khrushchev finally agreed to withdraw his missiles....
Thursday, October 11, 2012 - 15:14
Name of source: Independent (UK)
A Georgian woman who claimed to be 132-years-old - making her the world’s oldest human being ever - has died.
Antisa Khvichava claimed to have been born on 8 July 1880, and had a Soviet-era passport and documentation to that effect, but her age was contested and never officially proven.
She lived in the remote village of Sachino, in north-west Georgia, with her 42-year-old grandson and claimed to have retired from her job as a tea and corn picker in 1965 when she was 85.
Mrs Khvichava claimed to be just 10-years younger than Russia’s first communist leader Vladimir Lenin, and to have been born a year before the death of the celebrated Russian writer Fyodor Dostoyevsky....
Thursday, October 11, 2012 - 14:54
Name of source: Smithsonian Magazine
The earliest known instance of cannibalism among hominids occurred roughly 800,000 years ago. The victims, mainly children, may have been eaten as part of a strategy to defend territories against neighbors, researchers report online in the Journal of Human Evolution. The new study shows how anthropologists use the behavior of modern humans and primates to make inferences about what hominids did in the past—and demonstrates the limitations of such comparisons....
Thursday, October 11, 2012 - 08:16
Name of source: Archaeo News
2,500 years ago the Steppes of Kazakhstan were the home to nomadic tribes, but one part of nomadic their lives were a little more permanent - where they were buried. Theses burial mounds, or 'kurgans' were anything up to 35 metres in diameter. Because the Steppes were subject to permafrost, the kurgans perfectly preserved all that was buried within them, although this later proved problematic when excavating and removing artefacts. Now an exhibition has been mounted at the Smithsonian in Washington DC (USA) to display some of the artefacts which have been uncovered in the past few decades.
Because of their nomadic nature the tribes obviously revered the horse, which was vital to their lifestyle, and in one very interesting find an obviously wealthy and important man had been interred with 13 sacrificial horses. The horses were decorated in death, as in life, as extravagantly as their owner, with golden ornaments and expensive textiles. But even with these rich pickings very little is still known about their way of life and religion.
The curator of the exhibition, archaeologist Alexander Nagel, is quoted as saying "Scholars are just beginning to learn more about the rituals practiced by these nomadic tribes. We do know that, later on, shamanism was practised and that it continued into the modern 19th. Century".
Wednesday, October 10, 2012 - 17:26
A team of social and earth science researchers, led by Dr Ellery Frahm, Marie Curie Experienced Research Fellow at the University of Sheffield (UK) Department of archaeology, have been making some remarkable discoveries in war torn Syria.
The research has centred around a study of samples of volcanic glass (commonly known as obsidian). By using modern scientific methods, in particular X-ray analysis, the team has been able to accurately identify the point of origin of several artefacts made from the obsidian. The level of accuracy has been such that the precise location on a specific volcano can be determined. The techniques employed also included measuring the weak magnetic signals of each piece and comparing it to a known and recorded site....
Wednesday, October 10, 2012 - 17:25
A contract to build three life-sized Neolithic homes at Stonehenge in Wiltshire (England) has been put out to tender. English Heritage is inviting contractors to bid for the £60,000 project, which is part of a £27m scheme to improve the setting of the monument. Using authentic materials, the prehistoric homes will be based on those excavated at Durrington Walls. English Heritage said the buildings will provide a "real and tangible link for visitors to the distant past".
The £27m scheme to build a new visitor centre and close the road alongside the ancient monument, was begun in July. But a 'key aim' for the new centre is to create "a sense of prehistoric people using, working and living in the landscape", an English Heritage spokesperson said.
The recreated Neolithic buildings will form part of an interactive and experiential external exhibition at the 3,500-year-old World Heritage site which receives more than one million visitors a year. The prehistoric homes will be based on the foundations of dwellings discovered at Durrington Walls in 2007. The large settlement, dating back to 2600-2500 BC, was discovered under earthworks 3km (2 miles) from the stone circle....
Wednesday, October 10, 2012 - 17:24
According to archaeology Professor Vassil Nikolov, citing evidence from work done at the Provadia-Solnitsata archaeological site (Bulgaria) in summer 2012, Europe's oldest urban settlement is near Provadia, a town located about 40km inland from Bulgarian city of Varna.
The team of archaeologists headed by Nikolov excavated stone walls estimated to date from 4700 to 4200 BCE. The walls are two metres thick and three metres high, and according to Nikolov are the earliest and most massive fortifications from European prehistory. Probably there were about 300 to 350 people living at the site in those times, living in two-storey houses and earning their living by salt mining.
Today Provadia is an important salt centre. Estimates are that salt has been extracted in the area for about 7500 years. Nikolov said that salt was the currency of ancient times, both in terms of value and prestige....
Wednesday, October 10, 2012 - 17:24
Remains of a Bronze Age pathway have been discovered in Plumstead (South London, England) as part of the construction of Crossrail, a major new railway.
The find was made near the rail project's Plumstead tunnel, close to Belmarsh prison where archaeologists discovered Britain's oldest known timber structure back in 2009. This new find includes two wooden stakes cut by early London hunters with an axe, and which may have been used to build a timber pathway, along with a stone hammer tool.
But the discovery is not a surprise, as the Crossrail line - which will eventually link Abbey Wood to central London - follows the same route as a 3,500-year-old transport network. Made up of timber pathways, archaeologists think the route would have allowed hunters easier access to rich wildlife that lived on the lush wetlands.
Crossrail's lead archaeologist Jay Carver said: "This is a very significant find and the first Bronze Age find on the Crossrail project. We know from other sites nearby that this area was probably crisscrossed by a network of pathways. As excavation works for the Plumstead tunnel portal got underway our archaeologists uncovered several wooden stakes and at least two that appear to have cut marks from a metal axe."...
Wednesday, October 10, 2012 - 17:23
Name of source: Think Progress
After Arkansas Republicans disavowed a book by state representative Jon Hubbard (R-AR) claiming slavery was “a blessing in disguise” for African Americans, Hubbard’s colleague, state Rep. Loy Mauch (R-AR) has been outed by the Arkansas Times for his pro-slavery, pro-Confederacy letters to the editor over the past decade. Mauch’s run for reelection this year is backed by the Arkansas Republican Party.
In letters to the Democrat-Gazette, Mauch vehemently defended slavery and repeatedly suggested Jesus condoned it:
If slavery were so God-awful, why didn’t Jesus or Paul condemn it, why was it in the Constitution and why wasn’t there a war before 1861?
The South has always stood by the Constitution and limited government. When one attacks the Confederate Battle Flag, he is certainly denouncing these principles of government as well as Christianity....
Wednesday, October 10, 2012 - 10:50
Name of source: WaPo
WASHINGTON — 1859. 1910. 1924. 1937. 1948. 1961. 1971.
The stroll up the gentle slope to the Home Plate Gate outside Nationals Park offers a concrete history of baseball in Washington, D.C., with the landmark years embedded into the sidewalk in huge red numerals.
After 1971, understandably, there is a gap. It takes a few extra steps to get to the marker for 2005.
If only those 34 years were that simple to traverse for the city’s long-suffering fans, specifically those who fought, lobbied and practically begged for the sport to return after the Senators left for Texas after the ‘71 season....
Wednesday, October 10, 2012 - 10:11
WASHINGTON — One of the most popular items at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in Washington is being taken off display for a special loan to a London museum.
Dorothy’s ruby slippers from “The Wizard of Oz” will have a special departure ceremony Tuesday. They are being sent on their first international trip to be part of an exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London....
Wednesday, October 10, 2012 - 10:10
DALLAS — Growing up the son of sharecroppers in Mississippi, Charley Pride developed a love of country music that propelled him into a legendary career as one of its biggest stars.
Now, items donated by Pride from throughout his life will become part of the Smithsonian’s upcoming National Museum of African American History and Culture, set to open in 2015. A gala reception will be held Wednesday in Pride’s hometown of Dallas to celebrate the museum gift, which includes a pair of Pride’s boots, one of his guitars and his Country Music Association male vocalist of the year award from 1971....
Monday, October 8, 2012 - 09:48
GREENSBORO, Ga. — The last surviving Navy doctor who landed on Omaha Beach in Normandy during the D-Day invasion of World War II has died, according to a funeral director and a researcher.
Dr. Joseph Lee Parker Jr., of Greensboro, Ga., died Sept. 27 at St. Mary’s Good Samaritan Hospital in Greensboro. He was 95.
Kenneth Davey, who has done extensive research of military records associated with the Allied invasion, said the Waycross, Ga., native was the last surviving Navy physician who served on Omaha Beach....
Monday, October 8, 2012 - 09:47
ANCHORAGE, Alaska — The $5 bill displayed for decades on Charles Fairbanks IV’s wall was long a treasured family heirloom from Alaska. Now, to the surprise of the grandson of a turn-of-a-century vice president, it’s also become a likely treasure trove.
The rare find is expected to fetch as much as $300,000 at auction this month when a Texas auctioneer plans to put it up for bids in Dallas and online as part of the American Numismatic Association National Money Show....
Monday, October 8, 2012 - 09:46
There’s a sour note in the legacy of bluegrass music legend Bill Monroe, as the man who runs an annual festival in Monroe’s honor is locked in a legal battle with the county over who gets to use Monroe’s name.
Campbell “Doc” Mercer can’t use Monroe’s likeness or name to promote The Jerusalem Ridge Bluegrass Music Festival, which he puts on annually to honor the “Father of Bluegrass.”
Ohio County and the county industrial foundation lay legal claim to Monroe’s name and image, having bought the usage rights from the musician’s son 13 years ago....
Monday, October 8, 2012 - 09:45
LOS ANGELES — A film dramatizing the death of Osama bin Laden is set to debut next month on the National Geographic Channel, two days before the presidential election.
“Seal Team Six: The Raid on Osama bin Laden,” from The Weinstein Co. and Voltage Pictures, will air Sunday, Nov. 4, the channel said Thursday. President Barack Obama faces Republican challenger Mitt Romney at the polls two days later.
Weinstein co-chairman Harvey Weinstein is a prominent fundraiser for Obama’s re-election campaign, which has touted bin Laden’s death as an example of the president’s leadership....
Monday, October 8, 2012 - 09:44
NEW YORK — Muhammad Ali owned the night without saying a word.
The boxing great was the guest of honor Thursday night at the 4th annual Norman Mailer Center benefit gala, which benefited the Norman Mailer Writers Colony, named for the late author. An old friend of Mailer, whose classic “The Fight” was an account of Ali’s stunning defeat of then-heavyweight champion George Foreman in 1974, Ali was in attendance to watch the first ever presentation of the Muhammad Ali Ethics Award. The $10,000 writing prize for college students is co-sponsored by the Mailer center and the Muhammad Ali center....
Monday, October 8, 2012 - 09:43
When it comes to historic preservation, every generation is dismissive of buildings from the recent past in favor of those that go further back in time.
As Rice University architectural historian Stephen Fox put it, “Each generation has its own ignorance of recent stuff.”
In the early 20th century, preservationists referred to the Victorian era as “the dark ages” and eschewed its buildings for colonial and federalist-styled ones that predated them, Fox said. Twenty-five years later in the 1950s and 1960s, the preservationists deemed all things Victorian to be the “cutting edge of taste,” but derided 30- to 40-year-old Art Deco-styled buildings as “too decorative.” In the 1970s and ’80s, this style was embraced for the same reason it was once dismissed....
Monday, October 8, 2012 - 09:42
Name of source: AFP
SOFIA, Oct 06, 2012 (AFP) - Bulgaria, which has prided itself as being the only ally of Nazi Germany to save its 48,000 Jews from death camps, must now admit it allowed the killing of 11,000 Jews from territories under its control, researchers say.
“You are a hero rescuer but also a brutal murderer and a cool persecutor. You cannot say the one without saying the other too,” Michael Berenbaum, founder of the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, told a conference Friday in Sofia aimed at shedding light on this sombre page of Bulgaria's history.
“Evil has no nationality. The elucidation of this subject will contribute to reconciliation in the Balkans,” Bulgarian political analyst Antony Todorov added.
Historians say 11,000 Jews from Bulgarian-administered territories in what are now modern Macedonia and Greece did end up in Nazi death camps.
But Bulgaria has used its reputation as an honourable exception and a Jewish saviour as the basis for building up ties with Israel, and both countries are preparing to mark next March the 70th anniversary of Sofia's refusal to send its Jews to be slaughtered by the Nazis.
“This subject has been strongly exploited for political ends,” Bulgarian historian Nikolay Poppetrov said....
Monday, October 8, 2012 - 14:52
Archaeologists this week returned to Antikythera, the Aegean Sea island where sponge divers in 1900-1901 found the so-called Antikythera Mechanism, a remarkable 2nd-century BCE device that tracked the cycles of the solar system. "These are unexplored sea depths beneath a trade route known since antiquity," said Angeliki Simosi, head of Greece's ephorate of underwater antiquities.
"This is virgin territory," she told AFP. Believed to operate by crank and containing inter-meshing gears, the mechanism could be used to calculate eclipses and moon cycles. The technology was comparable to astronomical clocks that only appeared some 1,600 years later. It was found in the wreck of a cargo ship apparently carrying booty to Rome...
this week returned to Antikythera
, the Aegean Sea island where sponge divers in 1900-1901 found the so-called Antikythera
Mechanism, a remarkable 2nd-century
BCE device that tracked the cycles of the solar system. "These are unexplored sea depths beneath a trade route known since antiquity," said Angeliki Simosi
, head of Greece's ephorate
of underwater antiquities. "This is virgin territory," she told AFP. Believed to operate by crank and containing inter-meshing gears, the mechanism could be used to calculate eclipses and moon cycles. The technology was comparable to astronomical clocks that only appeared some 1,600 years later. It was found in the wreck of a cargo ship apparently carrying booty to Rome.
Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2012-10-archaeologists-ancient-greek-site.html#jCp
Saturday, October 6, 2012 - 00:21
Name of source: AP
When the metal claw of a Bobcat tractor crashed into a human skull during a home improvement project in Georgetown last month, all work stopped. D.C. police were called, then the medical examiner.
But shortly after officials analyzed the remains, found in an octagonal wooden coffin with rusted nails that was four to five feet below ground, it became clear that this was no crime scene. The dead simply had started to rise in Georgetown — again.
For the second time in seven years, human remains have been unearthed in the 3300 block of Q Street NW. In 2005, masonry workers removing part of a Q Street rowhouse’s brick foundation found a jaw, some ribs and several joints. Experts later determined that they had been there at least 100 years, most likely placed in a grave lost to history....
Monday, October 8, 2012 - 09:48
he discovery of a tomb that experts believe might be that of a great Maya queen could redefine the understanding of women's political roles during the Classic Maya period, experts said Thursday.
A team of U.S. and Guatemalan experts led by anthropologist David Freidel found a stone jar at a burial chamber in northern Guatemala that led them to believe it is the burial site of Lady K'abel, considered the military governor of an ancient Maya city during the 7th century...
Saturday, October 6, 2012 - 00:34
Mexican archaeologists say they have determined that the ancient Mayas built watchtower-style structures atop the ceremonial ball court at the temples of Chichen Itza to observe the equinoxes and solstices, and they said Friday that the discovery adds to understanding of the many layers of ritual significance that the ball game had for the culture.
The structures sit atop the low walls of the court, where the Mayas played a game that consisted, as far as experts can tell, of knocking a heavy, latex ball with their elbows, knees or hips, through a stone ring set in the walls...
Friday, October 5, 2012 - 23:54
Hundreds of people gathered in the tiny Mississippi Delta town of Ruleville to dedicate a statue of civil rights icon Fannie Lou Hamer.
Hamer died in 1977. She was known for saying she was "sick and tired of being sick and tired."...
Friday, October 5, 2012 - 23:51
Mexican archaeologists said Friday they uncovered the largest number of skulls ever found in one offering at the most sacred temple of the Aztec empire dating back more than 500 years.
The finding reveals new ways the pre-Colombian civilization used skulls in rituals at Mexico City's Templo Mayor, experts said. That's where the most important Aztec ceremonies took place between 1325 until the Spanish conquest in 1521.
The 50 skulls were found at one sacrificial stone. Five were buried under the stone, and each had holes on both sides - signaling they were hung on a skull rack....
Friday, October 5, 2012 - 23:49
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Doris Spates was a baby when her father died inexplicably in 1955. She has watched four siblings die of cancer, and she survived cervical cancer.
After learning that the Army conducted secret chemical testing in her impoverished St. Louis neighborhood at the height of the Cold War, she wonders if her own government is to blame.
In the mid-1950s, and again a decade later, the Army used motorized blowers atop a low-income housing high-rise, at schools and from the backs of station wagons to send a potentially dangerous compound into the already-hazy air in predominantly black areas of St. Louis....
Thursday, October 4, 2012 - 10:08
BERLIN (AP) — Prosecutors in Germany said Monday they have shelved their investigation of 17 former German SS soldiers who were part of a unit involved in a Nazi wartime massacre of more than 500 civilians in Italy, because of a lack of evidence.
The decision brings to a close a decade-long investigation of the former members of the 16th SS-Panzergrenadier Division "Reichsfuehrer SS," eight of whom are still alive, on allegations they were involved in the Aug. 12, 1944, killings in the Tuscan village of Sant'Anna di Stazzema.
The SS unit descended upon the village that morning ostensibly to hunt for partisans, but instead rounded up and shot villagers, according to survivors. Others were herded into basements and other enclosed spaces and killed with hand grenades....
Wednesday, October 3, 2012 - 14:21
Name of source: LiveScience
Ambivalence over the name of the third season of the year reflects its status as a relatively new concept. As natural as it seems today, people haven't always thought of the year in terms of four seasons.
Fifteen hundred years ago, the Anglo-Saxons marked the passage of time with just one season: winter, a concept considered equivalent to hardship or adversity that metaphorically represented the year in its entirety. For example, in the Old English epic poem "Beowulf," the title character rescues a kingdom that had been terrorized by a monster for "12 winters."
According to "Folk Taxonomies in Early English" (Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 2003) by Earl R. Anderson, the importance of winter in marking the passage of time is evidenced by the constancy of its name over time and across many languages. "Winter" probably derives from a root word meaning "wet" that traces back more than 5,000 years....
Saturday, October 6, 2012 - 11:32
Ancient scraps of fabric found in a grave in Denmark are not made of cultivated flax as once believed, but instead are woven from imported wild nettles, suggesting the grave's inhabitant may have traveled far for burial.
This discovery, announced today (Sept. 28) in the journal Scientific Reports, casts a new light on the textile trade in Bronze Age Europe, said study researcher Ulla Mannering, an archaeologist at the University of Copenhagen.
"Since the Stone Age, they had very well-developed agriculture and technology for producing linen textiles," Mannering told LiveScience. "So it's really unusual that a society which has established agriculture would also take in material from things that are not of the normal standardized agricultural production" — in other words, wild plants....
Wednesday, October 3, 2012 - 14:24
A scrap of papyrus from the early Christian era that refers to Jesus having a wife has met with extreme skepticism since its unveiling 11 days ago. Many scholars have declared the so-called "Gospel of Jesus' Wife" a modern forgery — one that probably postdates Dan Brown's 2003 novel, "The Da Vinci Code." Others say that conclusion is too hasty.
What are the experts' arguments for and against its authenticity? And will the world ever know for sure whether this dogma-defying artifact is real?
The torn, business card-size fragment found instant fame when Harvard historian Karen King announced its discovery last Tuesday (Sept. 18), because it bears the startling line: "Jesus said to them, 'My wife …'" The manuscript is written in Coptic, the language of early Christians living in Egypt. Although the beginning and end of each line of the manuscript are missing, it could be interpreted as a record of a conversation between Jesus and his disciples, in which the disciples tell Jesus: "Mary [Magdalene] is not worthy of it," and Jesus responds that his wife — presumably Mary — "will be able to be his disciple."...
Wednesday, October 3, 2012 - 14:23
Name of source: Huffington Post
HARTFORD, Conn. (RNS) At age 82, Bernice Mable Graham Telian doubts she'll live long enough to see the name of her great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandmother and 10 others hanged in colonial Connecticut for witchcraft cleared.
Telian was researching her family tree when she discovered that her seventh grandmother, Mary Barnes of Farmington, Conn., was sent to the gallows at the site of the old State House in Hartford in 1663.
"You won't find Mary's grave. She and all these people who were hanged were dumped in a hole. Their graves aren't marked. They wanted them to be forgotten," said Telian, a retired university administrator who now lives in Delhi, N.Y....
Wednesday, October 3, 2012 - 14:13