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History in the news round up

Here's your spot to post and discuss history-related news items.
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fljustice
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Location: Brooklyn, NY
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History in the news round up

Postby fljustice » Thu August 26th, 2010, 4:47 pm

I post a "History in the News" round up article on my blog about once a month. It's primarily Roman, Greek, Egyptian related, but anything that catches my fancy will be included. I have summaries of articles and links back to the original stories. This month has a heavy science component, as well, from what really killed people at Pompeii to discovering a “lost” Roman city from aerial photographs to where the Dead Sea Scrolls were manufactured. For those interested, the post can be found here:

http://faithljustice.wordpress.com/2010/08/18/history-news-2/
Faith L. Justice, Author Website
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M.M. Bennetts

Postby M.M. Bennetts » Thu August 26th, 2010, 6:18 pm

Well, I think here in the UK we're all kind of reeling--in a laughing way--over the archaeological evidence they've found that the Roman legions wore socks with their sandals. There's thread evidence on the nails of the sandals I guess that they've found on this dig apparently.

Having been in the North--and at Hadrian's Wall--many times in the winter--I can't think why we didn't think they wore something to keep them warmer than sandals and short skirts. Of course they must have done. But I don't see it showing up in a Hollywood film, somehow.

Equally exciting, though more controversial, is the claim by Greek archaeologists that they believe they may have found Odysseus' palace in Ithaca.

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fljustice
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Postby fljustice » Fri August 27th, 2010, 6:12 pm

"M.M. Bennetts" wrote:Well, I think here in the UK we're all kind of reeling--in a laughing way--over the archaeological evidence they've found that the Roman legions wore socks with their sandals. There's thread evidence on the nails of the sandals I guess that they've found on this dig apparently.

Having been in the North--and at Hadrian's Wall--many times in the winter--I can't think why we didn't think they wore something to keep them warmer than sandals and short skirts. Of course they must have done. But I don't see it showing up in a Hollywood film, somehow.

Equally exciting, though more controversial, is the claim by Greek archaeologists that they believe they may have found Odysseus' palace in Ithaca.


I love the letters from the Romans at Vindolanda: "Mom, send socks!" Of course the Romans wore socks and leggings in Italy, it gets quite cold in winter, but you're right, that rarely shows up in Hollywood films. If I remember correctly, HBO's Rome series did a pretty good job of costuming with the soldiers wearing leggings in the German forests, but I might be misremembering. :o

As to Odysseus' palace - that was a shoddy piece of reporting. There's nothing to link the palace they found with Odysseus. Archaeology.org says, "Palace? Yes, and that is neat. Odysseus? Don’t think so." It's not even the right time period. The palace is dated from the 8th C and the likely sack of Troy from Homer's poem is generally believed to be in the 11th or 12th C. Trying to glam up the story by tacking on the Odysseus angle was just silly. The find is significant without all the fluff. The comments on the original story put it in context: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/greece/7962445/Greeks-discover-Odysseus-palace-in-Ithaca-proving-Homers-hero-was-real.html
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Michy
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Location: California

Postby Michy » Sat August 28th, 2010, 2:01 am

"M.M. Bennetts" wrote:Well, I think here in the UK we're all kind of reeling--in a laughing way--over the archaeological evidence they've found that the Roman legions wore socks with their sandals. There's thread evidence on the nails of the sandals I guess that they've found on this dig apparently.

Having been in the North--and at Hadrian's Wall--many times in the winter--I can't think why we didn't think they wore something to keep them warmer than sandals and short skirts. Of course they must have done. But I don't see it showing up in a Hollywood film, somehow.



This is particularly funny to me, because for many years I was the person at my church in charge of costumes for our annual passion play. And I was an absolute Nazi about it -- because the perfectionist in me can't stand for things to not look as absolutely correct as possible. So when I think of how I harped and nagged the men who played Roman soldiers to wear their sandals WITHOUT SOCKS!!!!! :p :eek: And now to find out I was wrong... :( Oh, well, none of them will probably ever know and I'm certainly not going to tell!!! :p

I'm not in charge of costumes anymore -- I finally found a way to give it up and have managed to elude being given the responsibility again. Being a Nazi is exhausting, and after many years I was soooo tired of it.........

annis
Bibliomaniac

Postby annis » Sun August 29th, 2010, 4:35 am

The news about the socks shouldn't come as a surprise, as there is a letter among the Vindolanda tablets (discovered in the 1970s) written to a Roman soldier serving at Chesterholm from a relative at home promising him more pairs of socks, presumably in response to a letter begging,"send more socks"! I wouldn't be surprised if the soldiers sneaked on the odd pair of "barbarian" trousers sometimes either, when the northern wind was whistling about under their tunics, though I think the Roman soldiers serving in the north were issued with leather breeches.

Some things don't change. I remember my youngest son leaving home to go and live in chilly Dunedin, and on arriving promptly ringing home with the plea, "send more jerseys"!
Last edited by annis on Sun August 29th, 2010, 7:09 am, edited 8 times in total.

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fljustice
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September post is up

Postby fljustice » Tue September 21st, 2010, 5:37 pm

I've posted my monthly "history in the news" article on my blog. For those interested in threatened archaeological sites, the fate of looted artifacts and national kerfuffles over politics and history, you can check it out here.

Comments welcome!
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Ash
Bibliomaniac
Location: Arizona, USA

Postby Ash » Wed September 22nd, 2010, 12:43 am

I cringe at hearing someone or a group called Nazi because of their strict adherence to something. I prefer to keep that label to mean the murderous monsters who killed millions. But thats just me.

I find the info on that new dig fascinating. Did that guy get any compensation? I mean geesh usually those metal detector folk are lucky to find some spare change...

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fljustice
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Postby fljustice » Wed September 22nd, 2010, 4:15 pm

"Ash" wrote:I find the info on that new dig fascinating. Did that guy get any compensation? I mean geesh usually those metal detector folk are lucky to find some spare change...


If you're talking about the Roman cavalry helmet found at Crosby Garrett, it looks like the metal detector guy will get the money--estimated to go for over 300,000 pounds. Because the helmet was an individual bronze artifact it doesn't fall within the British Treasure Act (finds must be gold, silver or multiple bronze objects to be considered "treasure.") The helmet will go up for auction at Christie's, but the British government might still ban the sale if a British museum can match the purchase price. In any case the finder gets the proceeds of the sale (minus the Christie's fees, of course!)
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annis
Bibliomaniac

Postby annis » Wed September 22nd, 2010, 8:35 pm

Reminds me of Roald Dahl's story The Mildenhall Treasure, a biting tale about an honest but naive farm labourer done out of his finder's fee for discovering the Mildenhall silver in the early 1940s. It was squirrelled away by an acquisitive neighbour, who when outed claimed he'd thought the goods were made of pewter, thereby exempting him from the obligation of having to declare it as Treasure Trove as per the Treasure Act which only applied to gold and silver items.

http://www.roalddahlfans.com/books/mild.php

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fljustice
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New post is up

Postby fljustice » Fri December 3rd, 2010, 4:46 pm

I skipped a couple of months due to family crisis and vacation, but the newest compilation is up. Read about the problems Italy is having in keeping Pompeii from disintegrating, forensic studies on "headless" Romans, and Britain's rethinking the Treasure Act. Comments welcome!

http://faithljustice.wordpress.com/2010/12/01/history-in-the-news-4/
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