History News Thread

Discuss historical events and information concerning any culture, time, or location in our world (or even the frontier beyond).

History News Thread

Unread postby Rhiannon » Sun Mar 09, 2003 4:05 pm

This thread is for any news relating to history. Please post all news items in this thread, and also feel free to discuss those news items in this thread as well.

I encourage you to be on the look out always for news items relating to history. One site that I use is the History News Network.

If a news item generates enough discussion, I will split it from this thread into a new topic. Typically news items don't though, and will likely end up pruned by myself later on (because I'm so evil...heh). This thread assures us that we'll have all our history news in one place, instead of scattered around in the forum. :)
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Unread postby Kül Tigin » Tue Mar 11, 2003 6:48 pm

Bilge Khaghan's tomb was found in Central Mongolia; check my thread regarding this issue 8-)
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Unread postby Rhiannon » Sun Mar 30, 2003 5:31 am

On 19 March 2003 FBI agents conducted a sting operation in Philadelphia and reclaimed North Carolina's original copy of the Bill of Rights from individuals who were trying to sell it to a Philadelphia-based museum. The document was one of fourteen handwritten original copies of the Bill of Rights known to exist. The copies were penned by the clerks to the First House of Representatives and the Senate and signed by Senate Secretary Samuel A. Otis, House Clerk John Beckley, House Speaker Frederick Augustus Muhlenberg, and Vice-President John Adams.

The document has an interesting history. In 1789, the first federal Congress meeting in New York considered adoption of the first ten amendments to the Constitution, known collectively as the Bill of Rights. As a condition of ratifying the proposed new federal Constitution, several states demanded copies of the proposed amendments. Congress authorized each of the original thirteen states to be sent a copy of the Bill of Rights; the federal government also retained one copy.

For 76 years, the North Carolina copy was retained in the statehouse. In 1865, during the American Civil War, a Union soldier marching south through North Carolina with General William T. Sherman's army is believed to have stolen it and taken it home to Tippecanoe, Ohio. The soldier apparently sold it in 1866. For the next 135 years the document was in the hands of private collectors and periodically offered for sale, with one owner or another often trying to sell it back to North Carolina, but always through intermediaries. It most recently turned up in 2000 when individuals, accompanied by armed body guards, visited the offices of the George Washington University's First Federal Congress Project to authenticate the document.

Though initially it was unclear which state copy was being presented for authentication, the First Federal Congress Project research staff determined that it was the missing North Carolina copy. The Project staff found that six of the original states no longer had their copies -- two had been burned, two were in the possession of the Library of Congress, and one was held by the New York Public Library. Through the process of elimination and through docketing information and handwriting analysis there was little doubt that the document being offered for sale to the National Constitution Center (a soon-to-be opened museum in center-city Philadelphia) for $4 million (probably a tenth of its true value) was the North Carolina copy. Federal authorities become involved and replevin laws kicked in once the National Constitution Center officials contacted state officials and the FBI.

With the document now in federal hands, it is slotted be returned to the state of North Carolina. An elated, North Carolina governor Mike Easely (D-NC) told the Associated Press, "It is a historic document, and its return is a historic occasion." The FBI has yet to make any arrests in the ongoing investigation.
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Unread postby robbyjo » Tue Dec 07, 2004 8:06 pm

Ancient Chinese Consume Fermented Drinks

Chinese Were Consuming Fermented Beverages As Long As 9,000 Years Ago, Scientists Say


Associated Press (AP)

WASHINGTON Dec 6, 2004 — The Chinese were consuming fermented beverages possibly wine as long as 9,000 years ago, according to scientists who used modern techniques to peer back through the mists of time.

Early evidence of beer and wine had been traced to the ancient Middle East. But the new discovery indicates that the Chinese may have been making their drinks even earlier.

"Fermented beverages are central to a lot of our religions, social relations, medicine, in many cultures around the world," said Patrick E. McGovern of the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology.

These drinks "have played key roles in the development of human culture and technology, contributing to the advance and intensification of agriculture, horticulture and food-processing technologies," he reported.

The discovery, by a team of researchers led by McGovern, is being published online in this week's early edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.

McGovern's team collected pieces of 16 pottery vessels at Jiahu, an early new stone age village in China's Henan province. This is the same site where archaeologists have found the earliest evidence of musical instruments, including an ancient flute.

The ceramics were dated to about 7,000 B.C. 9,000 years ago and the scientists analyzed residue that had collected inside the pots.

The results showed chemicals that matched residues from modern rice and rice wine, grape wine, grape tannins and ancient and modern herbs. There were also indications of hawthorn fruit.

"The most straightforward interpretation of these data is that the Jiahu vessels contained a consistently processed beverage made from rice, honey and a fruit," the team concluded.

The team also reported on an analysis of 3,000-year-old liquid found in sealed bronze vessels from the Chinese city of Anyang.

These vessels contained rice and millet wines, they found, flavored with herbs and flowers.

"It's similar to the rice wine that's produced in the area southwest of Shanghai" today, McGovern said in a telephone interview from Philadelphia. "I have never tasted the ancient samples, I've only smelled it, but does remind you of these Shaoxing rice wines with the floral aromatic scents," he said.

In 1990, McGovern was part of a team that found what was then the earliest known chemical evidence of wine, dating to about 3500 B.C., from Godin Tepe in the Zagros Mountains of western Iran. That was followed two years later with the earliest chemically confirmed barley beer, in another vessel from the same room at Godin.

In 1994, chemical testing confirmed resinated wine inside two jars excavated by a University of Pennsylvania archaeological team at the Neolithic site of Hajji Firuz Tepe, Iran, dating to about 5400 B.C.

Sarah Milledge Nelson, a professor in the anthropology department at the University of Denver, said that although no one has discovered such early evidence of fermented beverages in China before, "it's logical."

"People around the world found out how to make themselves drunk quite early," said Nelson, who was not part of the research team.

While it is possible that the newly found pottery contained grape wine, she suggested that rice wine is more likely, possibly flavored with grapes or hawthorn fruit.

Julie Hansen, chair of the archaeology department at Boston University, said the report is "exciting news for (fermented beverages) coming out of China. It's the first evidence we have, that I'm aware of, from that region."

"I think it's probable that people would collect fruits and use the vessels as storage, maybe deliberately fermenting them, or accidentally doing so," she said.

The research was funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China, the Henry Luce Foundation and the U.S. National Science Foundation.

This photo, released by the Zhiqing Zhang, Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology of Henan Province, Zhengzhou, China, shows jars from Jiahu, Henan province, China, ca. 7000-6600 B.C. with high flaring necks and rims, which were well-suited for serving a fermented beverage. Dr. Patrick E. McGovern and his colleagues analyzed similar jar sherds and discovered that they contained a mixed fermented beverage of rice, honey, and fruit (hawthorn fruit and/or grape). (AP Photo, Zhiqing Zhang, Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology of Henan Province, Zhengzhou, China)
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Unread postby Koichi » Sat Feb 19, 2005 4:36 pm


To summarize the article: Beneath the Roman forum there has been found a fortification of early Roman kings. Now we have something besides myths on the foundation of Rome.

This should be very interesting to follow.

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Unread postby Ranbir » Fri Oct 21, 2005 1:57 pm

200 years to this day since the Battle of Trafalgar.
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Unread postby Ranbir » Fri Nov 11, 2005 2:58 pm

Today is Armistice Day. A bit belated, considering 11am was that special time.
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Unread postby Mistelten » Thu Mar 30, 2006 6:11 pm

Archaeologist Links Ancient Palace, Ajax
Associated Press Writer
Wed Mar 29, 9:09 PM ET

ATHENS, Greece - Among the ruins of a 3,200-year-old palace near Athens, researchers are piecing together the story of legendary Greek warrior-king Ajax, hero of the Trojan War.

Archaeologist Yiannis Lolos found remains of the palace while hiking on the island of Salamis in 1999, and has led excavations there for the past six years.

Now, he's confident he's found the site where Ajax ruled, which has also provided evidence to support a theory that residents of the Mycenean island kingdom fled to Cyprus after the king's death.

"This was Ajax' capital," excavation leader Lolos, professor of archaeology at Ioannina University, told The Associated Press on Wednesday.

"It was the seat of the maritime kingdom of Salamis — small compared to other Mycenaean kingdoms — that was involved in trade, warfare and piracy in the eastern Mediterranean."

Ajax was one of the top fighters in the legendary Greek army that besieged Troy to win back the abducted queen of Sparta, Helen. Described in Homer's Iliad as a towering hero protected by a huge shield, Ajax killed himself after a quarrel with other Greek leaders.

On a wooded hill overlooking the sea at Kanakia on Salamis' southwestern coast, Lolos' team has excavated a town surmounted by a fortified palace complex.

The site flourished in the 13th century B.C. — at the same time as the major centers of Mycenae and Pylos in southern Greece — and was abandoned during widespread unrest about 100 years later.

Scholars have long suspected a core of historical truth in the story of Troy, and archaeological evidence from the Kanakia dig appears to agree.

Lolos also believes that, faced by an external threat, part of Salamis' population left for Cyprus, founding a new town named after their homeland.

"There is no other explanation for the creation on Cyprus of a city named Salamis," he said. "We established that there was a population exodus from Salamis, which was completely abandoned shortly after 1200 B.C. ... They must first have gone to Enkomi on Cyprus, which was already an established center."

Salamis was founded around 1100 B.C., when Enkomi — some 2.5 miles away — was abandoned. "It was probably the refugees' children that moved there," Lolos said.

The emigration theory would explain why almost no high-value artifacts were found at the Greek site, which bore no signs of destruction or enemy occupation.

"The emigrants, who would have been the city's ruling class, took a lot with them, including nearly all the valuables," Lolos said.

The rest of the population moved to a new settlement further inland that offered better protection from seaborne raids.

Kanakia, was first inhabited around 3000 B.C. The Mycenaean settlement covers some 12.5 acres, and features houses, workshops and storage areas.

So far, archaeologists have uncovered 33 rooms in the 8,000-square-foot palace, including two central royal residences containing what appear to be two bench-like beds.

"This recalls a reference by Homer to the king of Pylos sleeping at the back of his house," Lolos said.

Finds include pottery, stone tools, a sealstone and copper implements.

Lolos is particularly pleased with a piece of a copper mail shirt stamped with the name of Pharaoh Ramses II, who ruled Egypt from 1279-1213 B.C.

"This is a unique find, which may have belonged to a Mycenaean mercenary soldier serving with the Egyptians," he said. "It could have been a souvenir, a mark of honor or even some kind of a medal."

Excavations will continue in September, while future targets include the settlement's cemetery, which Lolos has located nearby.

Situated just off the coast of Athens, Salamis is best known for the naval battle in 480 B.C., when the Athenians defeated an invading Persian fleet. The ancient playwright Euripides was born there, and a cave excavated by Lolos in 1997 has been identified as a hideout where the poet composed his work.
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Unread postby Lulu » Tue May 16, 2006 4:54 pm

A very interesting article for our forum.
Ancient Chinese city unearthed

May 10 2006

BEIJING (AP) — Archeologists have unearthed the ruins of a 2,000-year-old walled city in a reservoir on China’s northeastern border with North Korea, a news report said Wednesday.
The ruins were exposed when the water level in the Yunfeng Reservoir was lowered for repair work, China’s Xinhua News Agency said, citing government officials.
The reservoir is on a tributary of the Yalu River, which forms the border of the two countries.
The ruins, near the city Ji’an, are believed to date to the Han Dynasty from 202 B.C. to AD 220 and include a burial area with 2,360 tombs from Korea’s ancient Koguryo kingdom, the report said.
The city wall is 1.5 metres high and four metres thick and encloses an area 180 metres by 220 metres, Xinhua said.
It is surrounded by a moat.
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Unread postby Jebusrocks » Fri Apr 06, 2007 10:32 pm

Japan joins Iran and in refusing what had happened in the past. This is pretty old, but what the heck, nobody posted it yet
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