ISIS Is Destroying Ancient Palmyra

palmyra-god-lion

This is the Lion of Al-Lat: It stood at the entrance the Temple of Bel in Palmyra, Syria, and dated to the First or Second Century. It was a product of the great Palmyran civilization, which had a brief but prosperous glory while the Roman Empire was beginning its decline. It was built in honor of [Read More...]

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An Ancient Fetal Mummy

There’s a popular misconception that high mortality rates made life cheap in the ancient world, particularly where children, infants, and the unborn were concerned. The evidence, however, doesn’t support this. Mummified fetuses have been discovered before, most notably in the tomb of Tutankhamen. Ancient Egyptians clearly regarded the unborn as human life to be mourned, [Read More...]

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Pikmin in Ancient Greece

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Well, not quite, but Okhlos from Coffee Powered Machine certainly suggests what you might get if those yellow and red and blue Pikmin were actually old philosophers and angry soldiers and powerful heroes like Asclepius.  The goal is to rally a mob of these good citizens of ancient Greece and then use them to defeat [Read More...]

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A 2,000-Year-Old Eggshell

Eggs are very important at Casa McD, so I was tickled to see this amazing discovery from Turkey: a nearly-intact eggshell from about 17 AD. The town of Sardis had been hit by an earthquake, and when residents rebuilt, they buried a pierced egg in a pot to ward off further dangers. The intact egg [Read More...]

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The Mysterious Lycurgus Cup

Here’s another entry in our “lost technology” file.  The 1,600-year-old Lycurgus Cup–which bears an image of Lycurgus trapped in the vines he tried to destroy*–has a strange property: it’s green until illuminated from a certain angle, whereupon it turns red. The secret has to do with nanotechnology: the Romans who crafted the cup ground down silver [Read More...]

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