|How 'OK' Took Over the World|
February 18, 2011, BBC (UK) by Allan Metcalf
"OK" is one of the most frequently used and recognised words in the world.
It is also one of the oddest expressions ever invented. But this oddity may in large measure account for its popularity.
...On 23 March 1839, OK was introduced to the world on the second page of the Boston Morning Post, in the midst of a long paragraph, as "o.k. (all correct)".
|Caravaggio's Crimes Exposed in Rome's Police Files|
February 18, 2011, BBC (UK) by David Willey
An exhibition of documents at Rome's State Archives throws vivid light on his tumultuous life here at the end of the 16th and the beginning of the 17th centuries.
Caravaggio's friendships, daily life and frequent brawls - including the one which brought him a death sentence from Pope Paul V - are described in handwritten police logs, legal and court parchments all bound together in heavy tomes - and carefully preserved in this unique repository of Rome's history during the Renaissance and after.
|The Greatest Massacre in Irish And British History: The Truth Comes Out|
February 18, 2011, ArchNews (UK) by Staff
The stories behind the eye witness accounts of one of the bloodiest episodes in Ireland’s history he 1641 massacre of Protestant settlers by Catholics have been brought to life through a major research project employing new technology and advanced techniques in forensic linguistics.
Some time during the winter of 1641 duing the Irish revolt , Anne Butler a protestant settler in Co. Carlow, found her house and family under attacked by groups of armed men. During the raid in which the house was ransacked and robbed, she was told that they had been targeted because her family “were rank puritan Protestants”.
|Public Weighs in on Battle of Camden Park|
February 17, 2011, The State (SC) by Joey Holleman
The long process for deciding whether the Battle of Camden Site and Historic Camden Revolutionary War Site are worthy of becoming a National Park Service unit took a step forward with public meetings on Wednesday.
About 75 people packed the afternoon meeting room at the Historic Robert Mills Courthouse, and a second meeting was planned in the evening.
The enthusiastic turnout in favor of the proposal prompted Tom Thomas, who is coordinating the Battle of Camden Special Resource Study, to say he feels confident Camden will meet one of the criteria — local public support.
|The New East India Company|
February 16, 2011, Global Post by Jason Overdorf
Once upon a time, the East India Company toppled governments, enslaved peoples and staffed a private army and navy to rule the world of commerce — then dominated by tea, coffee and exotic spices.
Now Sanjiv Mehta, a 48-year-old British Indian businessman, believes it's time for the ultimate symbol of colonial oppression to make a comeback — you guessed it, as a luxury brand.
|Mary Rose Anniversary Marked by New £2 Coin|
February 16, 2011, BBC (UK) by Staff
A special £2 coin is being issued to mark the 500th anniversary of the launch of Henry VIII's flagship, the Mary Rose.
The limited edition coin will enter circulation later this year. Special commemorative versions will be struck in gold and silver.
The ship sank while leading an attack on a French invasion fleet in 1545, and was raised from the sea bed in 1982.
|Excavations may Bring Old Sacramento's Long-Lost History Alive|
February 16, 2011, The Sacramento Bee by Tony Bizjak
Buried beneath a grassy slope in Old Sacramento, picks and shovels lie frozen in time in the ruins of a hardware store, as if waiting to be grabbed by gold miners headed to the hills in search of fortune.
...Despite Sacramento's well-chronicled role as the epicenter of the California Gold Rush, the Old Sacramento park and historic district today displays little of authentic nature from the boom days between 1848 and 1855.
|Archeologists Uncover Large Slave Village Near Washington DC|
February 15, 2011, Voice of America by Kavitha Cardoza
Archeologists in Frederick, Maryland are digging up the past, trying to piece together what the lives of slaves might have been like. French refugee farmers from Haiti kept slaves there in the early 1800s, and the National Park Service says the largest slave village in the Washington region is buried on the grounds.
Archeologist Joy Beasley walks across the land now known as Best Farm. But approximately 200 years ago, it was a 300-hectare plantation called L'Hermitage, owned by the Vincendieres, French farmers from Haiti. Their stone home and outbuildings still stand. The National Park Service archeologist says her team discovered evidence of six other homes on the property where slaves were kept. The Vincendieres owned 90 slaves.
|Restored Machu Picchu Terraces will Open for Tourists in June|
February 15, 2011, Living in Peru by Staff
Several ancient terraces have been recently restored at Machu Picchu, El Comercio reports. The terraces are located in the eastern part of the archaeological complex over an area encompassing four hectares, and have been divided into five groups for the purposes of restoration. To date, work has been completed on the first four groups.
...Piedad Champi, archaeologist in charge of the restorations, reported that the terraces were constructed between 1470 and 1530. Their presence means that construction of the complex was still ongoing at the time of its abandonment.
|Evidence of Slave Life Found at Eastern Shore Estate|
February 14, 2011, The Washington Post by Michael E. Ruane
One day more than two centuries ago, a Maryland slave of West African descent took a smooth stone he had probably found in a plowed field and slid it between the bricks of a furnace he was building.
The slave might have believed, as West Africa's Yoruba culture held, that such stones had connections to Eshu-Elegba, the deity of fortune, and were left behind like mystical calling cards after a lightning strike.
The bond servant sealed the stone into the brickwork, where it would stay for generations, an artifact of the enslaved man as much as the god whose favor he sought.
|Slaves Hid Charms in Colonial Greenhouse|
February 14, 2011, Discovery News by Emily Sohn
In his eloquent autobiographies, abolitionist leader Frederick Douglass described the cruelty he experienced as an African-American slave in Maryland during the early 19th century. But Douglass' descriptions may have been missing some important details about the richness of slave culture at the time.
In a greenhouse on a centuries-old estate where Douglass lived as a young boy, archaeologists have dug up a variety of both mundane objects and strategically placed symbols of spirituality. These artifacts show for the first time that slaves lived in the greenhouse and that they sustained African religious traditions, even as they probably outwardly practiced Christianity.
|A Nationwide Day for Honoring Charles Darwin, but Handled With Caution|
February 14, 2011, The New York Times by Amy Harmon
There was trepidation on both sides when a squadron of biologists set out to celebrate Darwin Day in rural America during the weekend.
The National Evolutionary Synthesis Center in Durham, N.C., which instigated the road trip in the name of scientific outreach, first held a workshop where seven of its Ph.D.’s staged role-playing games and practiced debunking misconceptions about evolution without sounding confrontational.
The group’s small-town hosts took their own precautions. A high school principal in Ringgold, Va., sent out permission slips so parents could opt out of sending their children to the event (two did). A museum vice president in Putnam, Iowa, publicized the festivities only to teachers, rather than risk riling members of her conservative Christian community.
Darwin Day, conceived as a way to promote science on the 202nd anniversary of Charles Darwin’s birth — he was born Feb. 12, 1809 — had until this time been commemorated mostly by those inclined to science, at natural history museums, by secular humanist groups and in university biology departments.
|Jewish Ritual Bath Found in Baltimore may be Oldest in U.S.|
February 13, 2011, The Baltimore Sun (MD) by Frank D. Roylance
Archaeologists peeling back layers of history beneath the historic Lloyd Street Synagogue in East Baltimore have uncovered what is believed to be the oldest Jewish ritual bath complex in the United States.
Hints of the presence of the 1845 bath, or "mikveh," were first detected during excavations in 2001. But further digging this winter has revealed about a quarter of a five-foot-deep wooden tub, and linked it to a related cistern found in 2008, and to remains of a brick hearth once used to warm the bath's water.
|Church Authorities and ASI Tussle over Heritage Complex|
February 12, 2011, Indo-Asian News Service by Staff
It houses the remains of Spanish missionary St Francis Xavier and attracts lakhs of tourists and the faithful. But the 16th century Old Goa Church complex is at the centre of a war of words between the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and church authorities over allegations of irregularities and vandalism.
A senior ASI official has accused the church in Goa of tampering with protected structures housed in the Old Goa Church complex, a Unesco recognised world heritage site. The ASI official has also blamed the state chief secretary of not acting against the vandalism committed by a priest and a mob that ransacked their premises on January 24 despite complaints.
|No ‘Moby-Dick’: A Real Captain, Twice Doomed|
February 11, 2011, The New York Times by Jesse Mckinley
In the annals of the sea, there were few sailors whose luck was worse than George Pollard Jr.’s.
Pollard, you see, was the captain of the Essex, the doomed Nantucket whaler whose demise, in 1820, came in a most unbelievable fashion: it was attacked and sunk by an angry sperm whale, an event that inspired Herman Melville to write “Moby-Dick.”
Unlike the tale of Ahab and Ishmael, however, Pollard’s story didn’t end there: After the Essex sank, Pollard and his crew floated through the Pacific for three months, a journey punctuated by death, starvation, madness and, in the end, cannibalism. (Pollard, alas, ate his cousin.)
|Researchers Find Whaling Ship from 1823 Wreck|
February 11, 2011, The Associated Press by Audrey McAvoy
A fierce sperm whale sank the first whaling ship under George Pollard's command and inspired the classic American novel "Moby-Dick". A mere two years later, a second whaler captained by Pollard struck a coral reef during a night storm and sank in shallow water.
Marine archaeologists scouring remote atolls 600 miles northwest of Honolulu have found the wreck site of Pollard's second vessel — the Two Brothers — which went down in 1823.
|High Tea and the Opium War|
February 11, 2011, The China Beat by Staff
ave you ever wondered how you might have fared as an opium trader in the early decades of the nineteenth century? Maybe not . . . but now you can try your hand at the trade nevertheless. UC Irvine grad student Christopher Heselton alerted us to this opportunity by sending along a link to High Tea, available free online from Armor Games. Players are given a tea order that they have to meet by a certain deadline, but must first raise capital to buy the tea by joining the ranks of opium smugglers operating around the Pearl River Delta. Watch out for the Qing authorities!
|Official Holy Site Near Green Bay|
February 11, 2011, WTMJ AM (WI) by Susan Kim
It has never happened in the entire United States, but now the Catholic Church makes a bold move right here in Wisconsin.
A site near Green Bay where a woman saw the Virgin Mary is declared official by the Catholic Church itself.
To the casual traveler, blink and you'll miss Champion, a town just outside Green Bay. Now it's getting worldwide attention for 'Our Lady of Good Help'--home to a tiny shrine where big miracles are happening.
It all started in 1859, when Belgium immigrant Adele Brise says the Virgin Mary visited her 3 times at that very site.
|Oh, Ship! Vessel Found at theBottom of the Gowanus|
February 10, 2011, The Brooklyn Paper (NY) by Gary Buiso
The Gowanus Canal is filthy — filthy with a rare archeological trove, that is.
Environmental Protection Agency sonar readings have revealed several sunken vessels — including the 60-foot -long hull of a wooden vessel near Fifth Street that may date back to its glory days as an industrial highway of the 17th century.
“It looks like it might have been a working boat,” said archeologist John Vetter who found the craft.
|Portsmouth Plans Dickens Statue, Despite Will Request|
February 10, 2011, BBC (UK) by Staff
A memorial statue of Charles Dickens could be erected in Portsmouth despite the Victorian author requesting that none should be built.
Plans are in place as part of the bicentenary of the Oliver Twist creator's birth in April 2012.
However in his will he wrote: "I conjure to my friends on no account to make me the subject of any monument, memorial or testimonial whatsoever."
|Researchers Think Old Grave Belongs to Ranger|
February 10, 2011, The Associated Press by Michael Graczyk
The restoration of a cemetery for plantation slaves may have led to the discovery of the grave of a pioneering Texas Ranger who died 174 years ago after an attack by Native Americans.
Anthropologists from the Smithsonian Institution joined researchers from the Texas Historical Commission on Thursday to excavate the grave and retrieve remains that will be tested to see if they belong to James Coryell, one of the earliest members of the iconic law enforcement group.
|Turf Roof Plan Hatched for Smailholm Tower|
February 10, 2011, BBC (UK) by Staff
A 15th century landmark in the Borders could be given a roof made from local turf in a bid to keep it watertight.
Smailholm Tower, between St Boswells and Kelso, has suffered damage to its upper floor with rain leaking through its stone flag roof.
|Stanford Libraries Share a Treasure Trove of American History|
February 10, 2011, Stanford University Press Release by Christina Farr
In a room filled with antiquarian books of all sizes, Stanford Library Exhibition Designer Elizabeth Fischbach selects an unassuming brown book and carefully opens it. She points out two signatures scrawled on the title page of the Dublin 1751 edition John Milton’s Paradise Lost. In faded ink, Thomas Jefferson's signature is clearly legible; nearby on the page, the traces of James Madison's signature are barely visible, as if it's been partially erased. Fischbach turns the page to reveal an additional four James Madison signatures.
This book, the only book known to have been signed by both Jefferson and Madison, does not reside in the National Archives in Washington, D.C., or in the Library of Congress. In fact, it’s clear across the country, one of many national treasures in Stanford University’s growing collection of rare books and historic manuscripts pertaining to early American history.
|Salem Details Revealed|
February 10, 2011, IncGamers by Peter Parrish
Developer Seatribe has revealed more details about its recently-announced MMO, Salem. The game will take the bold move of combining "a charming and cute art-style" with, err, "permanent death." That's the sort of mismatched combination of features I can really admire. Salem will be free to play and will let people take the role of New England colonists, trying to survive in the New World. To help out with this, there will be a "unique crafting, farming and building system inspired by 17th century alchemy."
|Lighthouse Home Discovered on Sapelo Island|
February 09, 2011, Georgia Public Broadcasting by Orlando Montoya
A team of volunteer and professional archaeologists have discovered the site of the original lightkeeper's house on Georgia's Sapelo Island.
The structure housed generations of lightkeepers and their families starting in 1820 until its collapse in a hurricane in 1898.
Since the collapse of the ruins, probably in the early 1900s, its location had been lost.