Monday, February 20, 2012

Lost Technologies, Including Greek Fire
Fun article about "lost" technologies, such as the Byzantine napalm known as "Greek fire," and Damascus steel. Brings the concept all the way forward to modern times, when things can be "lost" by being stored on obsolete computer systems. (The digital version of my dissertation has suffered such a fate.)

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

When did the Guinea Pig become a popular pet in Europe?
Along with chocolate and some diseases, the Spanish explorers seem to have brought guinea pigs back to Europe from the New World, Peru in the case of the GP, which is also known as a "cavy." Thus endeth the vocabulary lesson for today. (Article is about a dig in Belguim where it is found that 16th-century people were keeping GPs in their house.)

No Viking Axe in Gloucestershire
The alleged Viking axe found in a garden in Gloucestershire now seems not to be. Not Viking, that is. What it is, no one agrees. Perhaps a woodworking tool from the 18th century. Kind of a different thing.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Mary Beard Discovers Cicero in Hungary
This is Mary Beard's blog, "A Don's Life," where today she observes that Cicero's indignant opening words of the First Catilinarian continue to be used in political situations around the world. She has found a recent example from Hungary, where a protester is shown on the news holding up a banner reading "Quousque tandem." How long, indeed?

Saturday, February 4, 2012

"Aphrodite knot"

You should look at the YouTube channel of this woman, Janet Stephens, who is a professional hairstylist. She has researched how Greek and Roman women got that amazing hairstyles. She has several other videos, including a recreation of a hairstyle of Cleopatra and TWO on the amazing hair of Julia Domna. You can read an article she published in Journal of Roman Archaeology 2008. I also hear that she presented at AIA this year to great enthusiasm. Too cool.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Viking Axe head found in Gloucestershire
A man in Gloucestershire with the real name of Ian Hunter Darling has found an iron axe head "under a hedge in the garden." The axe seems to have dropped by invading Vikings in 894, when they sailed up the Severn and fought the Anglo-Saxons. Mr. Hunter Darling was quite surprised to learn what was lurking under his hedge.