Posts Tagged ‘history’

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…)

One of the joys of my trip has been our daily drives through the countryside near (and a bit farther away) from my s-i-l’s house.  Here’s a sampling of photos from the trip we took the same day we saw the travail.  The roof of this church’s steeple show the classic colorful Burgundian tile.  Even the smallest villages often have a large church.  I imagine it was a place where people who were often far from neighbors could get together at least once a week.

photo 1(130)

One of the things I like about France is that they remember history.  Everywhere you go, you see monuments to the soldiers killed in WWI and WWII.  Sometimes there are only one or two names, sometimes many; sometimes the surnames are, sadly, all from the same family.  These are men killed by Germans in WWI.

photo 2(130) (more…)

tra·vail

noun \trə-ˈvāl, ˈtra-ˌvāl\

: a difficult experience or situation

: painful or difficult work or effort

In the past in the Vosges, oxen were often used as work animals.  Oxen, like horses, must be shod to protect their hooves.  A recalcitrant ox, however, is much more difficult to handle than a horse.  According to the Rural Heritage site, an ox might weigh, depending on breed, between 1600 and 2400 pounds!  Imagine an ox of  that weight, at best, leaning on you and trying to avoid raising its hoof and, at worst, fighting you!  As someone who’s tried to look at a horse’s hoof when the horse doesn’t want to lift said foot and chooses instead to lean on me, I can appreciate the need for something to make shoeing easier.

To avoid problems, a structure aptly dubbed a travail was used.  The sturdy wooden structure and stiff, heavy rope webbing allowed the ox to lifted and the hoof kept in the air.  The head was kept from moving and the shoeing could then be accomplished relatively simply.  Without it, shoeing could easily have been a time of travail for the farrier!

  On one of our drives, we came upon this travail, beautifully decorated and in excellent condition.  Even without the accompanying picture, it’s easy to see how the travail made a potentially difficult, even dangerous bit of work much easier.

photo 1(124)

photo 2(126)

photo 5(45)

photo 3(96)

photo 4(61)

photo(385)

(more…)