wesleyhill
noahtoly:

Swords into plowshares, literally
Given the state of world affairs, I can’t think of anything more appropriate to post than my favorite photo from our recent road trip. During the trip, we stopped by the Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park, the site of some of the US Civil War’s fiercest fighting and a turning point in the war.
The battles played out not just over days or weeks, but over months, as Union and Confederate forces traded losses (yes, that seems the right way to put it) in an effort to control Chattanooga, “The Gateway to the Deep South,” a city of strategic importance because of the convergence of railroads and waterways.
Two decisive battles, one at the Chickamauga Battlefield Site and one at the Lookout Mountain Battlefield Site, bracketed a months-long siege of Union troops that had retreated to the city after losing in their initial confrontations with Confederate troops. The town was apparently decimated by the siege, during which the Union forces eventually resorted to dismantling homes to use their lumber for firewood.
Sometime after the fighting was over, a woman found a bayonet in a field, and someone in the Roark family “bent and flattened” the blade to make it into a sugar cane knife, which you can see in the photo. The Roark family beat this “sword” into a “plowshare.” As we consider the unrest and violence around the world, this is a symbol of what we hope for. Let us pray for the day when, like the Roark family, we can beat our swords into plowshares.

noahtoly:

Swords into plowshares, literally

Given the state of world affairs, I can’t think of anything more appropriate to post than my favorite photo from our recent road trip. During the trip, we stopped by the Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park, the site of some of the US Civil War’s fiercest fighting and a turning point in the war.

The battles played out not just over days or weeks, but over months, as Union and Confederate forces traded losses (yes, that seems the right way to put it) in an effort to control Chattanooga, “The Gateway to the Deep South,” a city of strategic importance because of the convergence of railroads and waterways.

Two decisive battles, one at the Chickamauga Battlefield Site and one at the Lookout Mountain Battlefield Site, bracketed a months-long siege of Union troops that had retreated to the city after losing in their initial confrontations with Confederate troops. The town was apparently decimated by the siege, during which the Union forces eventually resorted to dismantling homes to use their lumber for firewood.

Sometime after the fighting was over, a woman found a bayonet in a field, and someone in the Roark family “bent and flattened” the blade to make it into a sugar cane knife, which you can see in the photo. The Roark family beat this “sword” into a “plowshare.” As we consider the unrest and violence around the world, this is a symbol of what we hope for. Let us pray for the day when, like the Roark family, we can beat our swords into plowshares.

naminganimals

artofthedarkages:

These are two illuminated gospel books were made between 300-700 AD at Abba Garima Monastery in Ethiopia.

The Garima Gospels contain twenty eight full-page illuminations; each one bursting with color. The remarkably extant book covers are decorated with gold, silver, and holes where gems had been placed.

According to the oral history of the monastery, the manuscripts were scribed and illustrated by Abba Garima himself in the 490s AD. Thus, the Garima Gospels were acknowledged by the monks as being extremely old and religiously valuable.

The handful of Western scholars who managed to venture to Abba Garima Monastery upon their inspection of the manuscripts suspected some Mediterranean influence, but concluded that the illuminations were within a firmly conventional and uninteresting style of 12th-14th century Ethiopian painting.

It was not until 2000, when the French scholar Jaques Mercier brought fragments of the manuscripts’ parchment to Oxford University for radiocarbon dating, that the Garima Gospels were pushed into the international spotlight as one of the oldest (and most well preserved) illuminated gospel books.

Now, the Garima Gospels are considered one of the artistic wonders of the world: a priceless treasure from the ancient world preserved in the most unlikely of places.

The difficulty of actually seeing these extraordinary manuscripts—many of them are hoarded away in the mountain monasteries of Ethiopia—has kept the art historical community from bringing to light what could be a vast and beautiful strain of Late Antique painted religious books.

Additionally, it was not until scholars found a possible connection that the manuscripts from Africa shared with the “Western tradition” that they decided it was worthy of actually being looked at!

The Garima Gospels are both heartening and frustrating in this regard…

archaeologicalnews

Hidden Beached Whale Revealed in 17th-Century Dutch Painting

archaeologicalnews:

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When art conservators in the United Kingdom were cleaning a 17th-century Dutch seascape, they found a surprise: an image of a beached whale that had been hidden for at least 150 years.

Until recently, the painting — “View of Scheveningen Sands,” created by Hendrick van Anthonissen around 1641 — simply showed groups of people gathered on a beach in The Hague in the Netherlands.

"It seemed a very unassuming painting depicting a very calm beach scene set in winter," Shan Kuang, a conservation student at the University of Cambridge’s Fitzwilliam Museum, said in a video explaining the strange find. Read more.

Surprise whale!

archaeologicalnews

Battered pot found in Cornish garage unlocks Egypt excavation secrets

archaeologicalnews:

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A battered pot found in a garage in Cornwall, broken in antiquity and broken again and mended with superglue some 5,500 years later, was treasure – but the scruffy little cardboard label it held is now unlocking a lost history of finds from excavations in Egypt scattered across the world in the late 19th century.

The pot came with an odd family legend that back in the 1950s it was accepted in lieu of a fare by a taxi driver in High Wycombe. Alice Stevenson, curator at the Petrie Museum in London, which among its 80,000 objects has the original excavation records and hundreds of pieces from the same Egyptian cemetery, believes the story is true and may even have identified the mysterious passenger. Read more.

letsprocrastinap

bebinn:

Maude Callen delivered hundreds of babies over 60 years as a nurse midwife in South Carolina. She also provided general health care to her poverty-stricken, mostly black Pineville community.

A spread in LIFE magazine by W. Eugene Smith inspired thousands of dollars in donations to support her work, which she used to build a clinic in Pineville. She served there until her retirement in 1971.

archaeologicalnews

archaeologicalnews:

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Mehmet Kuşman, 74, is one of the 38 people in the world who can speak, write and read the Urartian language.

Kuşman has served for 40 years as the watchman of Çavuştepe Castle, an Urartian castle in the eastern province of Van’s Gürpınar district. He still voluntarily keeps watch on the…

asiansnotstudying

fuckyeshuaxia:

the yellow river | 黄河

The Yellow River, so named because of the loess that colours the waters  of the lower river yellow, is one of the most important rivers in China. It has its origins in the Bayan Har Mountains of Qinghai in western China and empties into the Bohai Sea in Shandong, and is known to the Chinese as the (supposed) cradle of the Chinese civilisation, as the Wei River Valley is the location of the earliest Chinese civilisations that prospered. 

It made the soil of North China arid and fertile and farmable, leading to the development of the majority agriculture-based civilisation we have today, and allowed for the food production necessary to a quickly growing population.

Despite this, the Yellow River has a sorrowful history as well. Very prone to flooding (estimates put it as having flooded around 1,600 times in the 2,540 years before 1946), it is also known as “China’s Sorrow” (in conjuncture with “Mother River” and “China’s Pride”) and the “Scourge of the Sons of Han,” and has changed its course 35 times (9 times severely). In part because of the high erosiveness of soil of the Loess Plateau through which it flows, the river is also known for its high level of silt.

The Yellow River has influenced and become a very large part of Chinese culture and the national psyche, and is the subject of many poems and allusions and stories. For example, the Tang Dynasty poet Wang Zhihuan wrote,
白 日 依 山 尽,
黄 河 入 海 流。
欲 穷 千 里 目,
更 上 一 层 楼。

The provinces of Hebei (lit. “north of the river”) and Henan (lit. “south of the river”) are both in reference to their positions to the north and the south of the Yellow River. 

It was once believed that the Yellow River was a continuation of the Milky Way, which we called the 银河, or the Silver River. Legend goes that when the famous explorer Zhang Qian, who made the first extensive voyages outside of China, was commissioned to find the source of the Yellow River, he found instead a cowherd and a beautiful girl, who was spinning something. She made no reply when he asked her where he was, and instead presented him with her shuttle to give to an astrologer at court. The astrologer recognised it as the shuttle of the Weaving Girl, the deity who was separated from her lover by the Milky Way.

The modern river offers a far less romantic view, however, as the overfarming and the factories that spill their sewage and toxic waste in the river are quickly rendering the river unfit for agricultural or industrial use, and it’s likely that the deserts that have already started to reach across North China will spread into the region if measures are not taken. 

Oh, Huang He.

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