Israeli archeologists are stumped by a golden tool; Ancient Romans in N.America?; Puritans, booze, tea, and Christmas


A bit slim today, but some interesting stuff nevertheless:

Here’s a good mystery: a gold artifact was found in a Jerusalem cemetery and appears to be some sort of tool. However, Israel’s Antiquities Authority is stumped as to what it is, and they are taking to the internet to see if anyone has any ideas. Take a look, what do you think? ***UPDATE: the mystery has been solved by a Facebook user, and it turns out it isn’t an artifact at all! Check it out.

And while we are on archeology and mysteries: some researchers have found artifacts that they are convinced provide proof that Ancient Romans were the first Europeans to land in North America, not Columbus. These guys are pretty insistent that they have proof that will “re-write history.”

This one slipped by me last week: the Journal of the Civil War Era has started a new pop culture blog!! Pretty cool! It’ll be interesting to see who they get to contribute as time goes on.

And for my holiday season postings: Did you know that Christmas used to be considered a pretty boozy event. “I guess [the way] Christmas used to be celebrated, you’d just get drunk,” says University of California, Santa Barbara historian Erica Rappaport.  In fact, it was so boozy, the pious Puritans loathed and banned it (and because they felt there was no scriptural basis for commemorating it)! So what caused the change? The Antebellum temperance movement, . . . and tea. 


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