Sure, the Amazon Kindle might have dynamic font adjustments, and it can hold thousands of books, but can it do this? Printed in the late 16th century this small book from the National Library of Sweden is an example of sixfold dos-à-dos binding, where six books are conjoined into a single publication but can be read individually with the help of six perfectly placed clasps. This particular book was printed in Germany and like almost all books at the time is a religious devotional text. The National Library of Sweden has a fantastic photo collection of historical and rare books where you can find many more gems like this, and this, and this.
Update: And if you really like amazing old book discoveries, you should be following Erik Kwakkel, the Medieval book historian at Leiden University in the Netherlands, who originally unearthed this story. (via Neatorama)
Elisabeth Okasha’s book Women’s Names in Old English details close to 300 female names from Anglo-Saxon England. Most names were chosen from two words, such as bregu (ruler), wif (woman) and cynn (family).We’ve come up with our ten favourite girls’ names – if you are considering a different type of baby name, perhaps you will pick one of these!
A vast coastal plateau covering around twenty hectares and dominating the village of Port-en-Besson (northwestern France), this archaeological site had never been subject to archaeological field investigation. It is thought that Mont Castel may be the port of the Baiocasses tribal group, in charge of overseeing the flow of merchandise between southern England and Normandy.
Mont Castel is part of a larger network of fortified sites that formed a protection system for this area, and unique in the Protohistory of western France.
While there is evidence that Mont Castel was occupied during Protohistory, the nature and chronology of this occupation remained to be defined. The topography and pieces of information available seem to indicate that it was a fortified site during the Final La Tene period (150-30 BC), of the oppidum type, situated in a remarkable and highly strategic location since the end of the Bronze Age (1350-800 BC).
Test-pits were undertaken in 2010 following the discovery that the site had been extensively looted. These tests confirmed the first hypotheses: the site was occupied during the Final Bronze Age, followed by the construction of fortifications at the very end of the Iron Age. These test-pits also yielded Roman armaments, including a sword scabbard, ballista or scorpio darts, and lead sling-shot bullets.
An obscure period
The period between the end of Gallic independence and the beginning of Romanisation – from 52 to 24 BC – is an obscure period for historians and archaeologists because the historical records provide only vague or indirect information on the political and social situation. The year 52 and the defeat of Alésia marked neither the end of the war against Rome, nor the immediate Romanisation of the Celtic society. The foundation of the material and spiritual culture of Gaul remained essentially indigenous until the Augustinian period. After the final battle of the Gallic Wars at Uxellodunum, the situation was not entirely under Roman control. Caesar had distributed all of his legions throughout Gaul and himself spent the winter of 51-50 at Nemetocena (Arras?). Gaul was exhausted, unstable and probably unsettled by internal conflicts, requiring the presence of an occupying army.
The discovery of late-républicain militaria on Mont Castel is new for western France, but it reflects archaeological discoveries on the grand oppida of northern and central-eastern Gaul. It supports the hypothesis that the first Roman military camps were installed on the oppida at the end of the conquest before being moved away from these urban centres during the Augustinian period.
Being an amateur linguist and philologist this kind of thing fascinates me. Also I have long studied Indo-European root terms and words. As a poet and song-writer, as a writer, as a man who loves languages, and simply for my own enjoyment.
Enjoy this Archaeology article.
Be sure to listen to and read the Fable on the main site. I’ve listened to it three times already.
By the 19th century, linguists knew that all modern Indo-European languages descended from a single tongue. Called Proto-Indo-European, or PIE, it was spoken by a people who lived from roughly 4500 to 2500 B.C., and left no written texts. The question became, what did PIE sound like? In 1868, German linguist August Schleicher used reconstructed Proto-Indo-European vocabulary to create a fable in order to hear some approximation of PIE.
Called “The Sheep and the Horses,” and also known today as Schleicher’s Fable, the short parable tells the story of a shorn sheep who encounters a group of unpleasant horses. As linguists have continued to discover more about PIE (and archaeologists have learned more about the Bronze Age cultures that would have spoken it), this sonic experiment continues and the fable is periodically updated to reflect the most current understanding of how this extinct language would have sounded when it was spoken some six thousand years ago. Since there is considerable disagreement among scholars about PIE, no one version can be considered definitive. Here, University of Kentucky linguist Andrew Byrd recites his version of the fable, as well as a second story, called “The King and the God,” using pronunciation informed by the latest insights into reconstructed PIE…