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Monthly Archives: May 2013


Pythagoras, best know today for the Pythagorean theorem, was an Ionian Greek philosopher and mathematician from the island of Samos. He also founded a religious movement called Pythagoreanism, a system of belief that was highly mystical, dominated by mathematics, and asserted as a central belief the transmigration of souls. While Pythagoras himself never wrote about his … Continue reading »

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Word of the Day: Archaeomalacology

Word of the Day: Archaeomalacology Archaeomalacology is, according to Wiki Archaeology is ” the branch of zooarchaeology concerned with the remains of molluscs from archaeological sites” (Source). This field of study is particularly pertinent in my own research on purple dye production in the ancient world. According to Pliny the Elder, the color worn by royalty … Continue reading »

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Part Neanderthal

A few months ago, Mark and I submitted our DNA to the personal genomics and biotechnology company, 23 And Me, and according to the results, 3.0% of my genetic makeup comes from Neanderthals, slightly higher than the average 2.7%. My results: 23 And Me’s website has an excellent explanation of who the Neanderthals were and how we know about … Continue reading »

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Word of the Day: Garum (Greek: γάρον)

Garum was a fermented fish sauce used as a condiment in the ancient Mediterranean. The Latin word garum comes from the Greek garos or garon (γάρον), as the sauce was first used by the Greeks and reached its greatest popularity under the Romans. The sauce was made from the fermented intestines of fish. Producers would macerate the fish with salt and then lay the mixture on the shore to … Continue reading »

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Remains of Anglo-Saxon Church Found Under Lincoln Castle

According to Archaeology Magazine Online, “Traces of a Christian church thought to be at least 1,000 years old have been found underneath England’s Lincoln Castle, constructed in the late eleventh century. The church is thought to have been built by the Anglo Saxons after the Romans left Britain, but before the arrival of William the Conqueror … Continue reading »

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Archaeobotany: Herbal Remedies of the Ancient World

Here is a fun list of medicinal herbs and ailments known from Crete, compiled by George W.M. Harrison in his book, The Romans and Crete (1993). I’ve included pictures where I could find them, but some herbs, like “Pseudobunion,” are difficult to identify, although they might be mentioned by multiple ancient sources.   Medicine Ailment/Use Source … Continue reading »

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Moles unearth Roman artefacts at Epiacum’s ancient fort

I just love this article from BBC news. Since the Roman fort at Epiacum has been declared a monument, archaeologists have been unable to excavate and recover the treasure known to be buried there. However, as BBC news reports, “Moles, however, pay no heed to the land’s protected status. The velvety creatures have not only been digging … Continue reading »

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The Ugly Truth: Ultraviolet Light Reveals Paint on Greek Statues

Ultraviolet light shows that Greek statues and architecture were originally brightly painted, sometimes hideously so…    

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