Category Archives: history

Jack The Ripper Identified?

Thanks to some DNA found on a shawl by the body of one of Jack the Ripper’s victims, British police think that they may have finally identified the real identity of Jack the Ripper.  It’s not 100% verified but it’s still pretty cool.

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Cool Stuff in the News

There’s been some fun stuff in the news lately so here we go…

 

1. The bones of King Richard III have been discovered under a parking lot in England. They’ve been confirmed via DNA comparison to a living descendant of Richard’s sister Anne – how cool is that? Also, the bones reveal that Richard was in fact “hunchbacked” as he had scoliosis.

 

2. There’s an interesting article about how it’s harder to make good friends once you’re out of college and are in your 30s.

 

and finally

 

3. To all my Niners friends, Jello has got you covered – they’re giving away free pudding in the city to “mask the taste of defeat.”

 

 

Archaeology Continues To Be Cool

So there’s a new ancient piece of paper decoded recently that seems to indicate that Jesus was in fact married. Dan Brown totally called it!

(CNN) – A newly revealed, centuries-old papyrus fragment suggests that some early Christians might have believed Jesus was married. The fragment, written in Coptic, a language used by Egyptian Christians, says in part, “Jesus said to them, ‘My wife …”

Harvard Divinity School Professor Karen King announced the findings of the 1 1/2- by 3-inch honey-colored fragment on Tuesday in Rome at the International Association for Coptic Studies.

King has been quick to add this discovered text “does not, however, provide evidence that the historical Jesus was married,” she wrote in a draft of her analysis of the fragment set to appear in the January edition of Harvard Theological Review. The divinity school has posted a draft of King’s article to which AnneMarie Luijendijk, an associate professor of religion at Princeton University, contributed.

“This fragment, this new piece of papyrus evidence, does not prove that (Jesus) was married, nor does it prove that he was not married. The earliest reliable historical tradition is completely silent on that. So we’re in the same position we were before it was found. We don’t know if he was married or not,” King said in a conference call with reporters.

 

 

Richard III Found?

Because I’m both a history and Shakespeare geek, I think this is awesome. Archaeologists think it’s possible they might have uncovered the bones of King Richard III.

A dig under a council car park in Leicester has found remains with spinal abnormalities and a “cleaved-in skull” that suggest it could be Richard III.

The University of Leicester will now test the bones for DNA against descendants of Richard’s family.

Professor Lin Foxhall, head of the university’s School of Archaeology, said: “Archaeology almost never finds named individuals – this is absolutely extraordinary.

“Although we are far from certain yet, it is already astonishing.”

After the battle of Bosworth Henry VII didn’t want anyone claiming that they were Richard III and had survived the battle.

Richard’s body was taken to Leicester, slung naked over the back of a horse, and publicly displayed so people could see he was dead.

But there was the problem of how and where to bury him – what seems likely is that they wanted to avoid anything that would generate a posthumous cult.

There was a tradition in medieval England that people who were political victims then became popular saints. They wouldn’t have wanted to bury him in York, where he was very popular.

Greyfriars was convenient and safe. Henry VII put steps in action for a tomb to be built, and the inscription was to be ambivalent, and in some ways rude about Richard III, talking about his nephews and indicating that he wasn’t a very good king. There is evidence that people talked about him being buried there.

A university spokesperson said the evidence included signs of a peri-mortem (near-death) trauma to the skull and a barbed iron arrow head in the area of the spine.

Richard is recorded by some sources as having been pulled from his horse and killed with a blow to the head.

The skeleton also showed severe scoliosis – a curvature of the spine.

I’ll be really curious to see what the DNA reveals.