Category Archives: WORLD

Haunting chalkboard drawings, frozen in time for 100 years, discovered in Oklahoma school

Haunting chalkboard drawings, frozen in time for 100 years, discovered in Oklahoma school

Sherry Read Math teacher Classroom is a total mess. The students are gone for the summer, and light fixtures dangle from the ceiling.

There is a dust layer on the floor. The worker’s rackets down the corridor during the refurbishment of the school, which dates back to the 1890s. They’re working in what has become an archaeological site.

Another discovery was made earlier this month by a construction crew from Oklahoma City School.

They found old chalkboards with class lessons that were written almost a century ago, and chalk drawings still in remarkably good condition. So Read doesn’t mind the mess. In fact, she’s amazed.

“It’s like touching history, like being a part of what was going on during the day,” she says. “It’s just remarkable and mysterious, trying to figure out what some of this was.”

The “multiplication wheel” was found behind a wall at Emerson High School.

The biggest mystery is an old multiplication wheel. It’s a circle with factors on the inside and other numbers on the outside. No one can figure it out.

But there’s no mystery about when the lessons were written. It was 1917, right after Thanksgiving. There is a turkey and pilgrim theme in every room.

One picture shows a little girl feeding a turkey. She’s in a pink and white knee-length dress and stockings; bright yellow curls frame her face. The picture is intricate, so detailed it must have been drawn by a teacher’s hand.

Haunting chalkboard drawings, frozen in time for 100 years, discovered in Oklahoma school
An untouched chalkboard from 1917 was found behind a classroom wall at Emerson High School in Oklahoma City.

There’s also music and civics lessons, and rules for keeping clean. A vocabulary list highlights words like “blunder” and “choke” written in smooth cursive. Even the word “whoa” is listed because many people got around on horse and buggy back then.

Also on the board, a list of student names frozen in time.

“We’re not sure if that meant they were good students for the day, or they accomplished that,” Read says. “Or were their names up there because they were bad for the day?”

These snapshots are fragile. A simple, misplaced elbow can wipe them away. So school officials are now trying to figure out the best way to preserve these illuminating bits of the past.

Jeff Briley of the Oklahoma Historical Society says it’s important to secure the rooms by protecting chalkboards with acrylic glass and then controlling the temperature and light.

“They’re meant to be fleeting,” he says. “Chalk on a blackboard is not meant as a permanent media at all.”

He said everyone wants to preserve the blackboards, but they’re too fragile to move. So the old lessons may become part of the modern classrooms.

“If you make it secure, you make it to where there are no physical problems, you give it a stable environment, well then you’ll be good perhaps for another 100 years,” Briley says. Sherry Read says she gets a nice vibe from the chalkboards. She thinks the teachers of 1917 left the lessons for a reason.

“You would have cleaned off your board so you could be ready the next day to come back and teach,” she says. “So I think they left them on there on purpose to send a message to us, to say, ‘This is what was going on in our time.'”

Blackboard drawings are the fruit flies of art. They have short lifespans. That’s why the folks at Emerson High are scrambling. They want to preserve these snapshots from a century ago for future generations of Oklahoma students.

Prehistoric humans ate bone marrow like canned soup 400,000 years ago

Prehistoric humans ate bone marrow like canned soup 400,000 years ago

A new study has found that prehistoric humans have preserved bone marrow in their caves for up to nine weeks as a soup pot.

Researchers previously thought that Paleolithic people lived a hand-to-mouth existence but this research shows they were sophisticated enough to preserve meat using bones like we use modern-day cans. 

The research shows this took place in Qesem cave in what is now Tel Aviv between 420,000 and 200,000 years ago. According to the study published in Science Advances, it is the earliest evidence of delayed food consumption in the world.

The earliest evidence of delayed food consumption

Professor Ran Barkai of the university in Tel Aviv, who was involved in research, said, “The bones were used as ‘ cans ‘ that preserved the bone marrow for a long time until it was time to take off the dry skin, shatter the bone and eat the marrow.

“Bone marrow constitutes a significant source of nutrition and as such was long featured in the prehistoric diet.

“Until now, evidence has pointed to the immediate consumption of marrow following the procurement and removal of soft tissues. In our paper, we present evidence of storage and delayed consumption of bone marrow at Qesem Cave.”

Inhabitants of the cave brought in selected body parts of hunted animal carcasses. 

“The most common prey was fallow deer, and limbs and skulls were brought to the cave while the rest of the carcass was stripped of meat and fat at the hunting scene and left there,” said Professor Jordi Rosell from the Catalan Institute of Human Paleoecology and Social Evolution (IPHES).

Researchers found deer leg bones had specific chopping marks on them which do not look like marks left from stripping fresh skin.

They believe the bones were left covered in the skin to help preserve them until they needed the meat. 

Scientists have also found people regularly used fire, cooked and roasted meat in Qesem Cave. 

“We assume that all this was because elephants, previously a major source of food for humans, were no longer available, so the prehistoric humans in our region had to develop and invent new ways of living,” said Professor Barkai. 

“This kind of behavior allowed humans to evolve and enter into a far more sophisticated kind of socio-economic existence.”

The cave was discovered 15 years ago during the construction of a road to Tel Aviv. 

A 2010 study into the traces caused controversy in the archaeology world as it questioned the theory of Homo sapiens originating in Africa, but the archaeologists were unable to draw a concrete conclusion from the evidence.

Vandals destroy 3,000-year-old rock carvings in Northern Greece

Vandals destroy 3,000-year-old rock carvings in Northern Greece

Three outrageous acts of vandalism in the first week of January the stupid vandals are accused of lacking education knowledge of history on ancient monuments in Greece England and Wales.

The Athens-Macedonia News Agency (ANA-MPA) notes on Greece’s High Definition, telling how archaeologists and historians in Greece are assessing the level of destruction caused on several 3,000-year-old rock carvings on the Pangaion Hills near Kavala in northern Greece.

In 1966 the ancient art was discovered by Nikolaos Moutsopoulos, a professor at Aristotle University, the ancient art was not yet listed for preservation, and therefore they were vulnerable, if not to vandalism, to the elements, but unfortunately the former got there first.

The rock carvings at Pangaion Hills before the vandalism.

Some of the ancient rock carvings are thought to have been executed in the prehistoric era by the Hedones, a Thracian tribe that lived in the region in ancient times, and the site was added to until the Middle Ages.

The gang of yet unknown vandals defaced several carvings, including human figures doing day-to-day things, animals and plants, using a wire brush. While the archaeologists have not specified how many individual carvings were destroyed, or how many remain intact, they are calling for the immediate protection of the surviving works of ancient art.

Theodoros Lymberakis, a local lawyer and historian, told the ANA-MPA that the rock carvings are a part of “our rich and significant cultural heritage” and inform us about how people lived 3,000 years ago. Angered, the historian added: “culture is not just the Acropolis and other famous monuments, it is also these drawings,” and he insists they need to be safeguarded now.

Another shot of the vandalism to the ancient rock carvings at Pangaion Hills.

Attempting to draw a criminal profile of the criminals, Mr. Lymberakismay thinks the artworks might have been destroyed by gold prospectors trying to confuse their competition, as many people believe ancient settlers made the carvings to identify gold deposits on what he calls ore-rich hills.

According to the lawyer, it is sad that these petroglyphs are being destroyed by “unscrupulous and ignorant people at the altar of what is usually non-existent treasure” and that the perpetrators lack “education, knowledge, and understanding of history.”

Also, this week another person or group suffering from lowered levels of education, knowledge, and understanding of history painted “aliens” on the ancient stones at Mulfra Quoit, a megalithic tomb, near the town of Penzance in southwest England.

A Coast to Coast article says that the Cornish Ancient Sites Protection Network posted a photo of the vandalism on their  Facebook group writing “one wonders at the mentality of people who will disrespect an ancient site in this way!”

The vandalism caused the ancient Mulfra Quoit tomb shown with alien graffiti.

It is believed that the stereotypically alien figures painted on the rock at Mulfra Quoit were inspired by the fringe theory that the ancient structures were built by extraterrestrials, or by humans honoring visiting aliens in prehistory.

Because indigenous people couldn’t have done it themselves? Right? And while the gray painted “aliens” can be removed with little effort, because it is a protected location cleaning work will have to be done by government-approved professionals, which takes time and costs money.

The Greek treasure hunters and the ancient alienists in England come in second and third this week, for the trophy of ‘Biggest Prat 2020, So far…’ must go to the vandals reported by the BBC after they caused “appalling damage” to a Bronze Age burial mound dating back 3,000-4,000 years, sometime between Christmas Day and 6 January.

Wentwood represents the largest section of ancient woodland in Wales and several Bronze Age burial mounds encrust its ridges, and the Gwent Police Rural Crime Team said the destruction was caused by off-road vehicles repeatedly driving over the ancient mound.

The vandalism of the Bronze Age burial mound, which was churned up with tire tracks shown in Wales, UK.

Site manager Rob Davies said this type of vandalism has been “an ongoing problem with damage to this and similar features within Wentwood” and the police tweeted: “investigating appalling damage caused to a Bronze Age burial mound by off-road vehicles. Immediate intervention measures being introduced to prevent further damage.”

Tons of Giant Nephrite Jade Discovered in Canada

Tons of Giant Nephrite Jade Discovered in Canada

In many colors jade is found in black, blue, orange, brown, cream, gold, white and lavender. The different types of jade include jadeite and nephrite.

Nephrite is tougher and harder to break than jadeite material. The Polar Pride boulder was called the find of the millennium by trade experts and was discovered in Canada. The 18-ton boulder was split in half to be used for carving.

Jade was first identified in Canada by the Chinese settlers in 1886 in British Columbia, Canada. At this time jade was considered to be worthless as they were searching for gold.

Jade was not a commercialized stone in Canada until the 1970s. Commercial mining of Canadian jade began in 1972, by two Californians who started the mining business Loex James Ltd.

There are over fifty known nephrite occurrences found in British Columbia. These occurrences are located in Southern British Columbia, the Cassiar, Cry and Dease Lake, and Mount Ogden areas.

These nephrite occurrences consist of individual blocks, talus blocks, boulder fields, and in situ occurrences. Most of the nephrite in situ occurrences are lens-shaped or cigar-shaped.

Nephrite in British Columbia.

Until the 1960s, almost all of the nephrite that was produced in British Columbia came from secondary deposits. With the rapid expansion of the amateur lapidary activity after World War II, production in the jade fields of British Columbia’s picked up, and they became the most important suppliers.

Around the same time, markets opened up in the Orient and Germany. Mining activity for Nephrite gradually depleted the secondary deposits, but increasing the values of the stone led to further exploration.

These efforts uncovered primary deposits of jade adjacent to the Fraser River in southern British Columbia, the Mount Ogden area of central British Columbia and the Cassiar jade fields in the far north of the province. Today, British Columbia is the main supplier for the Chinese market of Nephrite.

Nephrite mining in the province of British Columbia is very challenging. Winters are typically long and extremely cold, and deposits of Nephrite are remote, so mining can only happen during the shorter summer season, which is only about 60 days a year.

Nephrite Mined In British Columbia Canada

Almost all of the secondary deposits of jade are exhausted, so current mining is almost always from primary deposits. Transporting the heavy equipment to the jade mining sites is backbreaking work.

Jade West uses its diamond-coated circular, wire saws and modern high-pressure hydraulic splitters to remove the nephrite boulders from the mountain and saw them into pieces of a manageable size.

Nephrite’s toughness makes it an extremely difficult stone to break out of the rock. While blasting the Nephrite had been used in the past, Jade West no longer uses explosives.

Nephrite deposits range in size from 12 inches to 12 feet wide. The wider deposits of jade are very challenging to the quarry.

Nephrite boulders on the surface can sometimes reach weights of about 200 tons and are rarely under 100 pounds, but Jade West tries to limit the overall weight of its jade Nephrite boulders to five tons, which is a good size for them to mine, handle, and then transport on trucks to the nearest town, which is about 100 miles away.

The average weight of Nephrite is two tons, a size that satisfies most of the carving factories in China.

Sixteenth-Century Wall Unearthed at Japan’s Gifu Castle

Stonewall points to Japan’s oldest castle keep built by Nobunaga

This seems like another pile of rocks to the uninitiated. But stones unearthed here apparently constitute part of the oldest castle keeps ever built in Japan. The stones form part of the top section of the base of a Gifu Castle keep likely built by legendary warlord Oda Nobunaga (1534-1582).

The Gifu Castle keep is seen in the background of a statue of Oda Nobunaga in Gifu Park.
Gifu Castle 

The discovery was made last October and is regarded as significant in the study of castle building in Japan.

City officials, revealing the discovery on Jan. 7, said it is the first time researchers have identified what they believe was part of the original keep.

The hilltop castle was captured by Nobunaga during the Warring States period (late 15th to late 16th centuries).

The castle was renamed from Inabayama Castle after Nobunaga defeated its lord, Saito Tatsuoki, in 1567. He also renamed the region, then called Inokuchi, Gifu.

Luis Frois, a Portuguese missionary who visited the site two years after the takeover, wrote, “There was a gorgeous Japanese-style guest room (at the castle on the mountain),” according to the city’s education board.

A detailed image of the stone wall, including the base of the keep, is depicted in a drawing dating to the Genroku Era (1688-1704).

Stone walls of a keep are depicted in a drawing of the castle made during the Genroku Era (1688-1704) of the Edo Period (1603-1867).

However, it had been believed that most of the original wall was long gone, as the structure was torn down during reconstruction work in 1910.

The excavation work covers an area of about 1,410 square meters atop Mount Kinkasan.

Team members decided to excavate around a stone sticking diagonally out of the ground near a wall where the rebuilt structure stands. After digging out about five square meters, the members found what is believed to be the original stone wall.

An excavated stone wall in Gifu believed to have been built under Oda Nobunaga. The excavation team started digging around a stone, center, sticking diagonally out of the ground.

The section, about 1.8 meters long and 70 centimeters high, has three levels and is located above a layer at the northwestern corner that was created during the Warring States period.

The team also found a piece of stone that supports the bottom of the corner as well as areas where the stones were joined with mazumeishi pebbles to fill the gaps, matching the characteristics of walls built under Nobunaga.

In the castle drawing, a four-meter-high stone wall is depicted above the three layers of stone walls in the vicinity of the one recently discovered.

“We will continue our research to uncover all of the details,” said Mayor Masanao Shibahashi.

Hitoshi Nakai, a professor of history of castle building in Japan at the University of Shiga Prefecture, said the discovery will shed light on the history of castle building, particularly how feudal-era keeps originated.

Nakai added that similar techniques were used for building stone walls at Azuchi Castle, and noted that the same might be true for Sakamoto Castle, where a subordinate of Nobunaga, warlord Akechi Mitsuhide (1528-1582), resided.