Archive for the 'Ancient Wonders' Category

Poison Garments of the Victorian Age

…But would you have worn them anyway?

 

V0042226 Two skeletons dressed as lady and gentleman. Etching, 1862.

Two skeletons dressed as lady and gentleman in “the Arsenic Waltz,” Etching (1862) (courtesy Wellcome Library, London)

 

 

Fatal Victorian Fashion and the Allure of the Poison Garment

 

by Allison Meier

 

“Staying stylish in the Victorian period could be a dance of death. While industrialization and mass production made more beautiful fashions widely available, the green dresses were dyed with arsenic-based pigments, the mercury necessary to make shiny beaver top hats drove the hatters insane, and all that tulle and cinched corsets contorting women into airy nymphs would not infrequently cause them to tumble into gas lamps and go up in flames.

 

Opened this week at the Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto, Fashion Victims: The Pleasures and Perils of Dress in the 19th Century explores the dangers of style not just for the wearers, but for the people who made the clothing as well. The exhibition of over 90 artifacts was organized by Bata Shoe Museum Senior Curator Elizabeth Semmelhack, and Alison Matthews David, an associate professor at the School of Fashion at Ryerson University who is publishing a book next year focusing on deadly fashion. Together the curators explored medical archives and collections in France and England, and delved into the museums’ extensive assortment of 19th century shoes and private collections searching for examples of the “poison garment,” hauling green shoes and shoeboxes to a physics lab to test for their lethal secrets…”

 

For the complete piece click here.

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‘Dracula’s tomb’ discovered…

Meet Count Vlad of the Order of The Dragon: The man on whom the legend of Dracula is based.

 

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‘Dracula’s tomb’ discovered in Italy

 

Esma ÇAKIR – ROME / Do?an News Agency

 

Estonian researchers believe they may have finally discovered the whereabouts of “Dracula’s” grave, which is in Italy and not the Romanian Transylvanian Alps as first thought.

 

The inspiration behind Bram Stoker’s 1897 gothic novel “Dracula” is thought to be Vlad III, the 15th century Prince of Wallachia in Eastern Europe. Known posthumously as Vlad the Impaler, the ruler was known for his brand of cruelty across Europe, which included impaling his enemies.

 

Vlad’s ultimate enemy were the Ottomans. Depictions of his endless cruelty made history books, securing his reputation as one of the biggest villains in Turkey’s collective consciousness, as written by Emrah Güler of the Hürriyet Daily News in 2012. Vlad’s story was also converted into a ballet last year in Turkey.

 

Born in 1431, Count Vlad Tepes was part of a noble family who belonged to the Order of the Dragon, a group that was founded as a means of protecting Christianity in Eastern Europe from Ottoman expansion. His father was nicknamed Dracul, meaning “Dragon,” so the young Vlad became known as Dracula, or “son of Dragon.”…

 

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Who were the unknown people our ancient ancestors bred with?

Our imaginations soared when we read this line: “What it begins to suggest is that we’re looking at a ‘Lord of the Rings’-type world”…

 

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Ancient Humans Bred with Completely Unknown Species (Ancient Origins)

 

“A new study presented to the Royal Society meeting on ancient DNA in London last week has revealed a dramatic finding – the genome of one of our ancient ancestors, the Denisovans, contains a segment of DNA that seems to have come from another species that is currently unknown to science. The discovery suggests that there was rampant interbreeding between ancient human species in Europe and Asia more than 30,000 years ago. But, far more significant was the finding that they also mated with a mystery species from Asia – one that is neither human nor Neanderthal.

 

Scientists launched into a flurry of discussion and debate upon hearing the study results and immediately began speculating about what this unknown species could be. Some have suggested that a group may have branched off to Asia from the Homo heidelbernensis, who resided in Africa about half a million years ago. They are believed to be the ancestors of Europe’s Neanderthals.

 

However others, such as Chris Stringer, a paleoanthropologist at the London Natural History Museum, admitted that they “don’t have the faintest idea” what the mystery species could be…”

 

See more here.

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