The copper mines in Israel's Timna Valley may or may not have been "King Solomon's Mines" (a phrase that never appears in the Bible), but archaeology done there raises all sorts of interesting questions about the societies and governments of Canaan in 1000 BC. (Smithsonian)
A Cambodian looter, facing death from cancer, is now identifying the objects he stole in museums and private collections around the world, helping Cambodia to recover them. (NY Times)
The Aerial Archaeology Mapping Explorer, which allows you to view archaeological features that have been documented across a fair percentage of England. Extraordinary.
Dezeen's architecture awards for 2021. A few are ghastly but some are interesting.
There is a woman on tiktok who has gotten kind of famous by arguing that ancient Rome didn't exist but was invented in the Renaissance, and Pompeii is a Victorian theme park. Of course I have not seen any of her videos but I always wonder in these cases who believes it and why. Is it all just trolling? Sometimes I feel bad that I have never had more success as a blogger but then I read about the people who have and have no desire to be them.
Wild turkeys were rare a hundred years ago, but as hunting has declined and suburbs have spread, they have surged back. Now they have become pests in many areas and are taking over college campuses across the Midwest and Northeast; most people find this cute, but they can be aggressive and some people are not amused by their thievery. (NY Times)
Magdalena Andersson was Prime Minister of Sweden for seven hours. I foresee a long future for her as the answer to a trivia question.
Large trial finds that psilocybin is an effective treatment for depression. On the other hand the study seems to show that psilocybin works about as well as Lexapro, which I find discouraging; if you can get the same effect from a much less dangerous drug, why would you take psilocybin? Ok, I can think of one reason why, but this doesn't seem like great medical progress to me. This is nothing like as promising as the results some trials are finding for ketamine.
The killers of Ahmaud Arbery were convicted after a trial in which the prosecutors never mentioned race or racism. I feel like there is a lesson in that about how progressives can make progress on a whole range of issues. (NY Times)
The current course of the pandemic doesn't look good. It seems clear that everyone is going to need at least one booster, and that we need a new vaccine better formulated to fight the Delta variant. New variants keep emerging, and one spotted in South Africa may be even more resistant to the existing vaccines. I suspect that we are in for another bad wave over the winter. I suppose the bright side is that improvements in treatments mean that fewer people will die.
The grim toll of air pollution, especially in the cities of India and China. The rich nations have shown that cleaning up particulate pollution can be done, but they have also shown how much it costs to do so.
Glossary of new dating terms. I love "breadcrumbing."
Shaun Tan, wonderful sculptural illustrations to Grimm's Fairy Tales.
The ancient songs used to soothe cattle.