Unruly History in the News #13
Lucky number 13
Thank you everyone for the well-wishes about my broken rib last week; I seem to be healing up nicely.
This week I published part two of the Catherine de Medici story! I thought I could tell this whole story in two parts, but it turns out it needs three, so we’ll be doing one more part soon. You can also join the chat about Catherine here.
This week, in history acting unruly…
A very cool discovery was made in Egypt when ten mummified crocodiles were found. Crocodiles were culturally and religiously very significant in Egypt, so it wasn’t rare for them to be mummified and buried, but these 2,500-year-old mummies are in remarkably good condition. The discovery may help us understand how the Egyptians mummified animals better, as well as shed more light on their worship of the fertility deity Sobek.
It’s 90 seconds to midnight on the Doomsday Clock. That’s… fun.
This week we’re focusing on history mysteries, because I think that goes well with the number 13.
Photos of clothes from a shipwreck are being released, and they show us how the wealthiest people lived in the early 17th century. The shipwreck was discovered in 2009, and since then some 1500 artifacts have been recovered and cleaned, including the silk dress below. Despite being underwater for nearly 400 years, it remains in remarkably good condition. But while the find answers some questions, it poses many more—like whose dress is this, anyway?
At Sanxingdui, over 13,000 pieces of artwork were meticulously carved and then ritually burned during the Bronze Age. Archaeologists are trying to figure out who these people were and why they burned these items.
Five explorers who disappeared—will we ever really know what happened to them?
What’s hiding in Putin’s family history?
Who really invented the toilet? Not Thomas Crapper.
Researchers think that this mysterious 12-sided Roman object found in Belgium was used for religious or magic purposes. Or maybe DnD is much older than we thought.
A mysterious handprint in a 1000-year-old moat in Jerusalem has archaeologists stumped.
The question is back: Was it rats or not?
Nearly 60 years after this death, the secret archives of Pope Pius XII were opened. What they revealed is damning—and a huge departure from the history the Vatican wanted to spin.
These stunning natural wonders have disappeared. One might just make you believe in Atlantis.
A Q&A with Nikole Hannah-Jones, the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist behind The 1619 Project.
The skull of Anne d’Alégre shows evidence of early dental work! This 17th-century French aristocrat used gold wire to keep her teeth in place. She also ground her teeth apparently—life at court was stressful for this woman.
Italy is celebrating. 60 looted items were returned to the country and unveiled this week. They were stolen over time—a first-century fresco showing the infant Hercules was looted in the 1990s—and ended up on display at the Met.
The ghosts of Indonesia are telling their stories on YouTube.
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