Ancient History News Roundup: Feb 14 – 20

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It’s been another busy week in history news. This post is a little Roman-heavy! Here’s the highlights:

How to build a Roman catapult in your backyard (link here)

Now, I don’t know too much about ancient warfare technology myself, but this seems pretty awesome! Over on Popular science this week you get a history lesson and a DIY project to create a little catapult for taking over tiny nations in your backyard. Looks like fun!

Roman cement (link here)

Now this is a topic I find interesting and have heard lectures on before, and this article seems to give a good peek in at the world of ancient construction. However, the author has a BA in chemistry, not classics, and doesn’t give any sources for his work, so I would advise readers to be skeptical, and if you are interested, do some research on this topic on your own!

Wroxeter Cookery Workshop. Photo by English Heritage.
Wroxeter Cookery Workshop. Photo by English Heritage.

Roman cookery workshop in Shropshire (link here)

A workshop is being run in the city of Wroxeter this spring to explore the world of Roman cooking. I love ancient food and this sounds like a great way to learn – interactive with snacks! The city itself has lots of Roman history, so I suspect would be worth exploring in addition to this program. Workshops are on the 25th of February and the 18th of March. If any readers are in the area, definitely consider checking this out!

Management tips from Roman slave owners (link here)

Now this is something I’d love to see some debate over. This article aims to find some common ground between the business practices of today and the structure of society in ancient Rome. It’s an interesting idea, and draws on a discussion from Jerry Toner, the director of classical studies at Churchill College, Cambridge.

Immigration: What the Romans can teach us (link here)

Along the same vein as the last article, this one looks at the issue of immigration. Written by a classics professor, this is a quick read that I think is quite interesting and worth a look. Also a good introduction to Roman citizenship, if that isn’t your forté.

Ancient glass collection + other antiquities donated to Israel Museum (link here)

An awesome collection of artifacts from the Late Bronze Age upward has been donated to the Israel Museum by New York collectors Robert and Renee Belfer. This collection includes glass pieces, vessels, mosaics, and tons of other cool pieces. It’s going on display in an exhibit called “A Roman Villa – The Belfer Collection” running from June 5th to November 21st.

11 Greco-Roman Papyri make their debut in the Egyptian Museum (link here)

Karanis Papyrus, from the University of Michigan

An exhibit of 33 Egyptian artifacts are going on display at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, including 11 Greco-Roman Papyri. From the article, the writing on these papyri seem really interesting and cast a look into everyday correspondences from the period. There are also a number of statues on exhibit. Would be great to see these!

The Fascinating World of Alcohol Archaeology (link here)

Archaeobotanists – love that title – are looking at the pollen spores left behind in ancient alcohol containers to determine the ingredients and origins of the drinks once stored in them. This obviously takes us outside of the Roman empire, as they were not partial to their grain-based alcohol, but an interesting brew has been made from a container found in a casket in Denmark!

Greek Double Burial (link here)

DNA analysis of a couple found back in 2013 has revealed that they are the skeletons of a man and a woman from approximately 6000 years ago. This makes them the oldest burial of their kind! They are said to appear in their mid-20s and died holding each other. No word on the cause of death for now.

That’s it for now! If you have anything to add, let me know in the comments!


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