Posts Tagged ‘history’

All that glitters is, in this case, gold. During our Thanksgiving visit to our daughter’s in Philadelphia, we spent time at the Penn Museum, a jewel of a museum. If I lived in Philadelphia, I’d have a membership so that I could take time in each gallery individually and then go home and read more about that era. I love history and this museum brings it alive. Let’s look at just a few items from the ancient city of Ur.

Ur, modern Tall al-Muqayyar or Tell el-Muqayyar, Iraq, important city of ancient southern Mesopotamia (Sumer), situated about 140 miles (225 km) southeast of the site of Babylon and about 10 miles (16 km) west of the present bed of the Euphrates River. In antiquity the river ran much closer to the city; the change in its course has left the ruins in a desert that once was irrigated and fertile land. The first serious excavations at Ur were made after World War I by H.R. Hall of the British Museum, and as a result a joint expedition was formed by the British Museum and the University of Pennsylvania that carried on the excavations under Leonard Woolley’s directorship from 1922 until 1934.

Encyclopedia Britannica

Queen Puabi obviously rocked the jewelry! But who was she? The Penn Museum site tells us:

The forensic examination of her remains, undertaken by London’s Natural History Museum, indicates that she was roughly 40 years old when she died. She stood just under five feet tall. Her name and title are known from the short inscription on one of three cylinder seals found on her person. The two cuneiform signs that compose her name were initially read as “Shub-ad” in Sumerian. Today, we think they should be read in Akkadian as “Pu-abi” (or, more correctly, “Pu-abum,” meaning “word of the Father”). Her title is “eresh” (sometimes mistakenly read as “nin”), and means “queen.”

You can read more by clicking here.

(more…)

For Wednesday’s Photo Challenge, I mentioned a funny story about the photo of a church.  My s-i-l was driving my husband and me around the roads of rural France, seeing sights and generally having fun.  We were walking through a small village, when my s-i-l said, “Look. This is the first Lutheran church in  France!”

As we’re Lutheran, of course we thought we should go in and see it (besides the fact that it was very old.)  But the door was locked and there were no people to be seen anywhere.  After walking around the outside, we headed for the car.  Suddenly a man came out from the building across the street and asked if we wanted to see the church.  He took us into the entryway and told us that the key was hidden behind a painting.  He moved the painting to the side, gave us the key, and asked us to put the key back when we were done!  His kindness and trust had us smiling and shaking our heads.

The unusual thing about this church was the wood-burning stove partway down on the left side.  I can imagine that side of the church had the most parishioners sitting there in winter!!

© janet m. webb 2014

(more…)

You say you’ve heard that before?  ‘Tis true.  I cannot tell a lie.  (You say you’ve heard that before as well?) You did know he had to sleep somewhere, right?  A number of somewheres!  Well, this is one of the somewheres!

During the time the Continental Army bivouacked at Valley Forge, most of the men slept in wooden huts that they’d made laboriously by hand (and axe.)  I always had the impression that they nearly froze in tents, but during our recent trip to Valley Forge, I found out that wasn’t true, at least the tent part.  Many of them probably felt as though they were freezing, dressed inadequately and without, in many cases, proper shoes or boots, and for much too long, food supplies were inadequate.

(more…)

Perhaps the Queen herself isn’t that resilient (after all, if she were alive, she’d be over 4,600 years old), but her jewelry certainly is!  The University of Penn Museum displays this magnificent jewelry from the first Dynasty of Ur, about 2600 BC.  We don’t know for sure that Puabi was a queen, but she certainly was of high status, and when wearing all this, she’d be ready to party in the new year!

© janet m. webb 2016

img_4148-5

Not far from our house is Naper Settlement.

“Naper Settlement is an outdoor 19th century living history museum that serves northeastern Illinois as a unique educational and cultural resource. The village tells the story of how life changed throughout the 19th century for the people of northern Illinois in towns such as Naperville.

During this era, Naper’s Settlement was transformed from a pioneer outpost in 1831 to a bustling turn-of-the century community. Through its costumed interpreters and 30 historic buildings located on the 12-acre grounds, history is brought to life with educational and hands-on activities for 150,000 visitors each year.”

(more…)

About the end of the 7th century BC, Phyrgia was conquered by the Lydians and after them, the Persians captured Gordion.  The massive walls and gates built by the Phyrgians were overcome by a giant earthen siege ramp pushed against one fort, which provided a launching place for arrows and firebrands.  No one knows where Midas himself is buried.

Today the excavation of Gordion continues. Most of the over-250 acres and burial mounds remain to be explored, even though excavation has gone on for more than 60 years.  Who knows what other treasures will be discovered as work continues?

© janet m. webb 2016

Jug

© janet m. webb 2016

Cauldron detail; siren and demon attachments

(more…)

You think your spouse’s writing is hard to read?  How about this writing?  And just try writing on stone!  Of course, if you were Assyrian, interpretation might not be written in stone. Phyrgian language is linguistically similar to Greek.  The inscriptions are usually very short and mostly personal names.  Gordion is a rich site of early Phyrgian writing: 11 inscriptions on stone and 245 graffiti, mostly on vases.

© janet m. webb 2016 (more…)