Most recent update:4/1/2004; 5:05:21 AM

 Friday, March 05, 2004

CHATTER: Prodigy du jour

From This Is London:

Wildlife experts have been stunned by the apparent discovery of a three-headed frog hopping around the garden of a children's nursery.

Children could not believe their eyes when they saw the strange, multi-faced creature, which also has six legs.

Staff at the Green Umbrella nursery in Weston-super-Mare believed the mutant amphibian was three frogs huddled together at first.

But they soon realised it was just one animal with three croaking heads.
Animal experts were today trying to capture the frog to carry out further tests to investigate its biological make-up.

This looks like a job for the (quin)decimviri sacris faciundis ...


7:14:02 PM    Click here to send an email to the editor of this weblog.


ante diem iii nonas martias

  • Festival of Mars (day 5)
  • 399 B.C. -- death of Socrates (perhaps)
  • 51 A.D. -- the future emperor Nero is coopted into all the priestly colleges
  • 308 A.D. -- martyrdom of Adrian and Eubulus in Caesarea

5:39:57 AM    Click here to send an email to the editor of this weblog.

NUNTII: India - Roman Empire Trade

This is actually a somewhat 'old' discovery, but it gives far more details than we've seen before and despite coming from a source (Travel Video TV) which has had some really odd things in the past, ecce:

Archaeologists from UCLA and the University of Delaware have unearthed the most extensive remains to date from sea trade between India and Egypt during the Roman Empire, adding to mounting evidence that spices and other exotic cargo traveled into Europe over sea as well as land.

"The Silk Road gets a lot of attention as a trade route, but we've found a wealth of evidence indicating that sea trade between Egypt and India was also important for transporting exotic cargo, and it may have even served as a link with the Far East," says co-director Steven E. Sidebotham, a history professor at the University of Delaware.

For the past eight years, the researchers have led an international team of archaeologists who have excavated Berenike, a long-abandoned Egyptian port on the Red Sea near the border with Sudan.

Among the buried ruins of buildings that date back to Roman rule, the team discovered vast quantities of teak, a wood indigenous to India and today's Myanmar, but not capable of growing in Egypt, Africa or Europe. Researchers believe the teak, which dates to the first century, came to the desert port as hulls of shipping vessels. When the ships became worn out or damaged beyond repair, Berenike residents recycled the wood for building materials, the researchers said. The team also found materials consistent with ship-patching activities, including copper nails and metal sheeting.

In addition to this evidence of seafaring activities between India and Egypt, the archaeologists uncovered the largest array of ancient Indian goods ever found along the Red Sea, including the largest single cache of black pepper from antiquity - 16 pounds - ever excavated in the former Roman Empire. The team dates these peppercorns, which were grown only in South India during antiquity, to the first century. Peppercorns of the same vintage have been excavated as far away as Germany.

In some cases, Egypt's dry climate even preserved organic material from India that has never been found in the more humid subcontinent, including sailcloth dated to between A.D. 30 and 70, as well as basketry and matting from the first and second centuries.

In a dump that dates back to Roman times, the team also found Indian coconuts and batik cloth from the first century, as well as an array of exotic gems, including sapphires and glass beads that appear to come from Sri Lanka, and carnelian beads that appear to come from India. [more]

5:07:24 AM    Click here to send an email to the editor of this weblog.


Eleni Kotjabopoulou et al. (ed.), Zooarchaeology in Greece. Recent Advances.

J. Michael Padgett et al., The Centaur's Smile: The Human Animal in Early Greek Art.

Walter Emil Kaegi, Heraclius: Emperor of Byzantium.

Seán McGrail, Boats of the World: From the Stone Age to Medieval Times.

Pierre Briant, Darius dans l'ombre d'Alexandre.

Robert Hariman (ed.), Prudence. Classical Virtue, Postmodern Practice.

4:52:44 AM    Click here to send an email to the editor of this weblog.

AWOTV: On TV Today

6.00 p.m. |HINT| The Colosseum
Nothing symbolizes the Roman Empire at its height or Rome in
magnificent ruins more than the Colosseum. Built in 70 AD, it seated
80,000 people, boasted a retractable roof, underground staging
devices, marble seating, and lavish decorations. It still serves as
the prototype for the modern stadium. The complexity of its
construction, the beauty of its architecture, and the functionality
of its design made it the perfect place for massive crowds to
congregate for the bloody spectacles it contained.

7.00 p.m. |HINT| Constantine: The Christian Emperor
Portrait of the ruler who overcame civil war and barbarian invasions
to bring Rome a long period of peace. Nevertheless, the city of Rome
itself was facing disaster. In response, Constantine founded the new
Roman capital, Constantinople, and also converted his empire to

8.00 p.m. |DTC| Secrets of the Colosseum
Visit the ruins of this massive triumph of Roman building and
engineering for clues to its ingenious design. Built in a remarkably
short span of 10 years, the structure combined travertine stone,
iron, concrete, brick and lava rocks from nearby Vesuvius.

8.00 p.m. |DCIVC| Moments in Time: Letter from the Roman Front

HINT = History International

DTC = Discovery Times  (US)

DCIVC = Discovery Civilization (Canada)

4:21:19 AM    Click here to send an email to the editor of this weblog.

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