History

October 15, 2018

Fascinating Map From 1942 Features Oceans as the Main Focus of the World

When you imagine a world map, what do you see? Most likely, you picture the Mercator Projection, a rendering rooted in the 16th century. While this visual remains the most widely-used and universally accepted view, its proportions and overall orientation are not accurate. To remedy this, contemporary cartographers and designers alike have created new maps of the world, from an origami-inspired plan to a “true size” version.

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October 3, 2018

Europe’s Oldest Intact Book Is Discovered Inside the Coffin of a Saint

Europe’s oldest intact book has been discovered after being closed inside a hermit monk’s coffin for over 400 years. It will go on display at the British Library as part of an exhibition featuring prized manuscripts like the Lindisfarne Gospels and Beowulf. The show is a once in a lifetime opportunity to see how medieval Anglo-Saxons depicted their own culture through early writings.

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August 21, 2018

This 4,000-Year-Old Tablet Could Be the World’s Oldest Customer Service Complaint

This Babylonian tablet from 1750 BC goes to show that customer service and client/vendor disputes were happening well before shopping malls and Amazon. The clay tablet comes from the ancient city of Ur, now part of southern Iraq, and is part of the British Museum‘s collection. Though it’s just 4.5 inches (11.6 cm) tall and about 2 inches (5 cm) wide, the complaint is rather detailed.

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August 12, 2018

How a Volcanic Eruption Preserved the Ancient Roman City of Pompeii

The ancient city of Pompeii is one of the most fascinating archaeological sites in the world. Located just outside of Naples in southern Italy, Pompeii is renowned for its well-preserved Roman ruins—and the disaster that ironically left them intact. Following a cataclysmic volcanic eruption, the entire city was covered by a blanket of volcanic ash. Until the 18th century, the city remained buried by this dust, leaving it untouched—and unseen—for nearly 1,700 years.

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