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Bilingual Seal of a Hittite King

In the center of this silver seal, an inscription in hieroglyphs (i.e., logograms) bears the name of Tarkummuwa, King of Mera, and the inscription is repeated in Hittite cuneiform along the rim. Discovered at the Turkish site of Smyrna, this bilingual seal provided one of the first clues to deciphering the hieroglyphic script native to ancient Anatolia. The language encoded in these hieroglyphs is, in fact, not Hittite, but Luwian. Both were Indo-European languages in use in ancient Anatolia during the second and first millennia BCE. (Source 1, 2)

Hittite, 1400 BCE.

The Walters Art Museum. Photo courtesy of CDLI.


A false door on one of the Preah Ko towers, Cambodia. Writing is chiseled into the tower doorways, and some of it appears to have been unfinished (photo 3).

Erected by Indravarman I in the 9th century, Preah Ko was dedicated to his deified ancestors: the front towers relate to male gods or ancestors, and the rear towers, female goddesses or ancestors. These towers of Preah Ko (‘Sacred Ox’) display three nandis (sacred oxen), and lions, which guard the steps leading up to the temple.

Each tower has one real, and three false doors. These false doors are exceptionally decorated in carving; the columns which frame the doors are “incontestably the most beautiful of Khmer art” (Rooney 1994). These doors also contain elaborate inscriptions, which are written in the ancient Hindu language of Sanskrit. The inscriptions of each tower correspond to the subject they’re devoted to.

Recommended reading: Michael Vickery’s publication The Khmer Inscriptions of Roluos (Preah Ko and Lolei): Documents from a Transitional Period in Cambodian History, which translates the inscriptions discussed above, as well as others from the period, and can be read for free here.

Photos courtesy of & taken by Buzz Hoffman.


Bronze statuette of a veiled and masked dancer. Greek, 3rd–2nd century B.C.

The complex motion of this dancer is conveyed exclusively through the interaction of the body with several layers of dress.

Over an undergarment that falls in deep folds and trails heavily, the figure wears a lightweight mantle, drawn tautly over her head and body by the pressure applied to it by her right arm, left hand, and right leg. Its substance is conveyed by the alternation of the tubular folds pushing through from below and the freely curling softness of the fringe.The woman’s face is covered by the sheerest of veils, discernible at its edge below her hairline and at the cutouts for the eyes. Her extended right foot shows a laced slipper. This dancer has been convincingly identified as one of the professional entertainers, a combination of mime and dancer, for which the cosmopolitan city of Alexandria was famous in antiquity. (MET)

Courtesy of & currently located at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, via their online collections1972.118.95.


Shift and decline of the Cornish Language, extinct in the 1800s, now revived has 500 speakers.

"In the reign of Henry VIII, an account was given by Andrew Boorde in his 1542 Boke of the Introduction of Knowledge. He states, "In Cornwall is two speches, the one is naughty Englysshe, and the other is Cornysshe speche. And there be many men and women the which cannot speake one worde of Englysshe, but all Cornyshe."

Chemistry experiments in the year 1797


James Woodhouse (1770-1809) is credited with the first published lab manual: Young Chemist’s pocket companion (1797) containing chemistry experiments with an optional purchase of a “portable laboratory” — can we say chemistry set.



Curious what is contained in the portable laboratory? Here is what you’ll get!





BTW there are exactly 100 experiments contained in this 56 page manual.  


Jahangir Watching an Elephant Fight

by Farrukh Chela

India, Mughal, c. 1605

Ink, opaque watercolors, and gold on paper

Elephants were prized for their strength and power in Mughal India, where they were used for hunting, military campaigns, and sport. In this work painted by Farrukh Chela, two mounted men control the elephants, which are adorned with gold chains, as they fight before an audience. Servants standing to the right watch as one of the riders drops his ankush (a metal rod used to control elephants). They hold fireworks on poles, prepared to help direct the elephant if necessary. Wearing rich gold and deep colors, Emperor Jahangir appears on horseback in the foreground. The margins of this page were added later, when the painting was inserted into an album shortly after Nadir Shah took control of Delhi in 1739.

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