Last month, archaeologists announced a stunning find: a completely sealed tomb cut into the rock in Tuscany, Italy.
The untouched tomb held what looked like the body of an Etruscan prince holding a spear, along with the ashes of his wife. Several news outlets reported on the discovery of the 2,600-year-old warrior prince.
But the grave held one more surprise.
A bone analysis has revealed the warrior prince was actually a princess, as Judith Weingarten, an alumna of the British School at Athens noted on her blog, Zenobia: Empress of the East.
Historians know relatively little about the Etruscan culture that flourished in what is now Italy until its absorption into the Roman civilization around 400 B.C. Unlike their better-known counterparts, the ancient Greeks and the Romans, the Etruscans left no historical documents, so their graves provide a unique insight into their culture.
The new tomb, unsealed by archaeologists in Tuscany, was found in the Etruscan necropolis of Tarquinia, a UNESCO World Heritage site where more than 6,000 graves have been cut into the rock.
"The underground chamber dates back to the beginning of the sixth century B.C. Inside, there are two funerary beds carved into the rock," Alessandro Mandolesi, the University of Turin archaeologist who excavated the site, wrote in an email.
When the team removed the sealed slab blocking the tomb, they saw two large platforms. On one platform lay a skeleton bearing a lance. On another lay a partially incinerated skeleton. The team also found several pieces of jewelry and a bronze-plated box, which may have belonged to a woman, according to the researchers.
"On the inner wall, still hanging from a nail, was an aryballos [a type of flask] oil-painted in the Greek-Corinthian style," Mandolesi said.
Initially, the lance suggested the skeleton on the biggest platform was a male warrior, possibly an Etruscan prince. The jewelry likely belonged to the second body, the warrior prince’s wife.
But bone analysis revealed the prince holding the lance was actually a 35- to 40-year-old woman, whereas the second skeleton belonged to a man.
Given that, what do archaeologists make of the spear?
"The spear, most likely, was placed as a symbol of union between the two deceased," Mandolesi told Viterbo News 24 on Sept. 26.
Weingarten doesn’t believe the symbol of unity explanation. Instead, she thinks the spear shows the woman’s high status.
Their explanation is “highly unlikely,” Weingarten told LiveScience. “She was buried with it next to her, not him.”
The mix-up highlights just how easily both modern and old biases can color the interpretation of ancient graves.
In this instance, the lifestyles of the ancient Greeks and Romans may have skewed the view of the tomb. Whereas Greek women were cloistered away, Etruscan women, according to Greek historian Theopompus, were more carefree, working out, lounging nude, drinking freely, consorting with many men and raising children who did not know their fathers’ identities.
Instead of using objects found in a grave to interpret the sites, archaeologists should first rely on bone analysis or other sophisticated techniques before rushing to conclusions, Weingarten said.
For those of you seeking to have a very refined gentleman’s boner today.
*wanks with pinkie finger sticking out*
that is the most dignified walk I’ve ever seen
Oh heck yeah. I’d sit jauntily perched on that dude any time.
WOW THIS WAS NOT WHAT I EXPECTED AT ALL
|—||and other conversations outside of bars (via fishingforlittlegods)|
how do cats even work
- A cat can jump up to five times its own height in a single bound.
- The little tufts of hair in a cat’s ear that help keep out dirt direct sounds into the ear, and insulate the ears are called “ear furnishings.”
- The ability of a cat to find its way home is called “psi-traveling.” Experts think cats either use the angle of the sunlight to find their way or that cats have magnetized cells in their brains that act as compasses.
- One reason that kittens sleep so much is because a growth hormone is released only during sleep.
- A cat has 230 bones in its body. A human has 206. A cat has no collarbone, so it can fit through any opening the size of its head.
- A cat’s nose pad is ridged with a unique pattern, just like the fingerprint of a human.
- If they have ample water, cats can tolerate temperatures up to 133 °F.
- A cat’s heart beats nearly twice as fast as a human heart, at 110 to 140 beats a minute.
- Cats don’t have sweat glands over their bodies like humans do. Instead, they sweat only through their paws.
- The claws on the cat’s back paws aren’t as sharp as the claws on the front paws because the claws in the back don’t retract and, consequently, become worn.
- Cats make about 100 different sounds. Dogs make only about 10.
- Researchers are unsure exactly how a cat purrs. Most veterinarians believe that a cat purrs by vibrating vocal folds deep in the throat. To do this, a muscle in the larynx opens and closes the air passage about 25 times per second.
- A cat almost never meows at another cat, mostly just humans. Cats typically will spit, purr, and hiss at other cats.
- A cat’s back is extremely flexible because it has up to 53 loosely fitting vertebrae. Humans only have 34.
- Some cats have survived falls of over 65 feet (20 meters), due largely to their “righting reflex.” The eyes and balance organs in the inner ear tell it where it is in space so the cat can land on its feet. Even cats without a tail have this ability.
- A cat can travel at a top speed of approximately 31 mph (49 km) over a short distance.
- A cat’s hearing is better than a dog’s. And a cat can hear high-frequency sounds up to two octaves higher than a human.
- A cat’s brain is biologically more similar to a human brain than it is to a dog’s. Both humans and cats have identical regions in their brains that are responsible for emotions.
And that’s how cats work.
Plus, here’s an article explaining how cats use a special ‘solicitation purr’ to get their owners to feed them or give them attention, which has a sonic quality similar to a baby’s cry, so it’s very hard to ignore. Cats are complex and fascinating. They have extremely flexible spines, as noted above, and very loose skins, which helps them to twist and turn in ways that look extraordinarily uncomfortable or acrobatic to us. You know how hairless cats look all wrinkly and baggy? Furry cats are all wrinkly and baggy too, you just can’t see it, and that’s part of how they do some of the things they do.
As for the cat in the gif, it was bitten by a special spider.
Super Mario World - Overworld Theme Acapella
oh my goodness what a hottie and what a voice
Largest selection of world globes for the home, office or classroom. Also features Old World Globes and Sundials. Fine selection of gemstone globes.
if i had a million dollars….
Reblogging for the Hedgehog.
WHY CAN’T STUFF LIKE THIS GO VIRAL? Morehouse Whiz Kid is Causing a Stir: 13-Year-Old Dominates College. LOVE THIS STORY PLEASE READ MORE…
PLEASE SHARE! SHARE! SHARE!!!!!!
At thirteen years of age, Stephen Stafford is causing quite a stir at Morehouse College. Stafford has a triple major in pre-med, math and computer science. Though he loves playing video games and playing his drum set, he is no typical teenager. He is exactly the kind of student I had in mind when I wrote the book, “Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about College,” because he shows the power of the black male mind when we put our energy into things that matter most. Over the 17-years I’ve spent teaching at the college level, I have never seen anything more impressive, nor more reflective of what black men represent.
“I’ve never taught a student as young as Stephen, and it’s been amazing,” said computer science professor Sonya Dennis. “He’s motivating other students to do better and makes them want to step up their game.”
Stafford began his college career at the age of 11, after being home-schooled by his mother. Stafford’s mother said that when Stafford began to teach her instead of being taught by her, she knew he needed to be in a college environment. Since that time, he has excelled in his classes and continues to grow intellectually.
you know why this stuff isn’t viral
regardless, this is an amazing story
Officially jealous of a 13-year-old boy. Kudos, kid.