Armour attributed to Henry II of France, 1540 [detail]
Musée de l’Armée
Judging from one of the symbols on the chestplate, this armor appears to be a biohazard.
Hey guys, I’ve started a new tumblr called F Yeah Material Culture. If you like art history/history/archaeology/pretty stuff it might just be the blog for you! It’s a little low on the content right now, but I’m building up a queue.
ETA: I fixed the link >.>
New forensic techniques in archaeology reveal existence of high status Africans living in 4th Century AD York
“A picture of multi-cultural Britain in 4th Century AD has been revealed using the latest forensic techniques in archaeology. The new research, published in the March issue of the journal Antiquity, demonstrates that Roman York of the period had individuals of North African descent moving in the highest social circles.
Dr Hella Eckardt, Senior Lecturer at the University of Reading, said: “Multi-cultural Britain is not just a phenomenon of more modern times. Analysis of the ‘Ivory Bangle Lady’ and others like her, contradicts common popular assumptions about the make up of Roman-British populations as well as the view that African immigrants in Roman Britain were of low status, male and likely to have been slaves.”
“To date, we have had to rely on evidence of such foreigners in Roman Britain from inscriptions. However, by analysing the facial features of the Ivory Bangle Lady and measuring her skull compared to reference populations, analysing the chemical signature of the food and drink she consumed, as well as evaluating the evidence from the burial site, we are now able to establish a clear profile of her ancestry and social status.
“It helps paint a picture of a Roman York that was hugely diverse and which included among its population, men, women and children of high status from Romanised North Africa and elsewhere in the Mediterranean.”
The ancestry assessment suggests a mixture of ‘black’ and ‘white’ ancestral traits, and the isotope signature indicates that she may have come from somewhere slightly warmer than the UK. Taken together with the evidence of an unusual burial rite and grave goods, the evidence all points to a high status incomer to Roman York. It seems likely that she is of North African descent, and may have migrated to York from somewhere warmer, possibly the Mediterranean.
The Ivory Bangle Lady was a high status young woman who was buried in Roman York (Sycamore Terrace). Dated to the second half of the fourth century, her grave contains jet and elephant ivory bracelets, earrings, pendants, beads, a blue glass jug and a glass mirror. The most famous object from this burial is a rectangular openwork mount of bone, possibly from an unrecorded wooden casket, which reads ‘Hail, sister, may you live in God’, indicating Christian beliefs.”
16 March 2012
It’s been interesting to read some of the comments as a result of this post. The understandings regarding Africans in ‘European History’ are, in the mainstream, void. Under the Roman Empire, race was - for the most part - not a liability. Africans as Roman soldiers were in Britain, and most likely everywhere else Roman soldiers were stationed in the empire. If I recall my studies correctly, it was an African Roman general that led soldiers against the Jews (but I can’t remember if it was the the first that Josephus wrote about or the later revolt of Bar Kochba). There’s a story of a Christian woman in the time of Origen (184-253) who gave birth to a black baby. And in terms of genetics, it is said that Italians are closer related to North Africa than to Northern Europe. And, this note can go on and on, like there is evidence that there were Germans born white with ‘negroid’ features, or African Americans (a book was written on this) that were so light skinned that they moved out of the South, taken as ‘White’ married a ‘White’, had children, and never said a thing.
What is of particular interest, to me, is this, however: if you are Welsh, Irish, Scot, or Normand, you are genetically related to the Basque in Spain! True : )
In this period it’s been a bit of a pain. The history of the American Revolution is the history of men.
There are a few people, like John Adams’ wife. They tried very hard in the TV series to not make it look like a bunch of dudes, but it really is a bunch of dudes.
It felt like, if you had all these men in every scene and [a female assassin is] secretly, stealthily in crowds of dudes, it starts to feel kind of wrong. People would stop believing it." —
Ubisoft Montreal creative director Alex Hutchinson (Assassin’s Creed III’s setting “a bit of a pain” for female characters)
Oh, yes. Because reliving your ancestors’ memories, leaping from tall buildings, and surprise mystical beings aren’t unrealistic at all. Nor is blending in with a crowd while wearing a bright white and red outfit, or avoiding guards by sitting down on a bench. But doing that while being a woman? Now, that’s just going too far.
GOD FORBID they stop believing that myth that women didn’t do anything in history. GOTTA KEEP THAT ONE GOING GUYS
Ever heard the maxim that history is written by the victors? It’s fucking true. Historiography, bitches. Sources from the era are notorious for undervaluing the contributions of women and PoC, and just because you bought their story Ubisoft, doesn’t mean that it’s true.
Also, last time I checked, women have made up about half of the human population throughout history. Hence some random chick hanging out in a crowd wouldn’t be unusual, it’d be statistics. Most of the “poor fragile womenfolk” stuff really only took off in the Victorian era.
Also, have you heard of all those ladies caught pretending to be dudes? I bet there were lots more who didn’t get caught. Why couldn’t female assassins pass as men while they needed to?
STFU RACISTS CELEBRATES BLACK HISTORY MONTH
I freed a thousand slaves. I could have freed a thousand more if only they knew they were slaves.
Araminta “Minty” Ross, daughter of Ben and Harriet, was born a slave in Maryland in the early 1820s. The Brodess family were the masters of Minty and her family, and Minty saw her sisters sold away to other owners, though Minty’s mother threatened to split anyone’s head open if they tried to sell away Minty’s brother Moses. After Mr. Brodess’ death, and Mrs. Brodess’ remarriage to Anthony Thompson, Minty and her family were overseen by Mrs. Brodess’ son Edward, and Minty’s father was overseen by Mr. Thompson.
Minty was often lent out to other families and suffered not only from homesickness, but frequent illnesses and severe whippings. During her travels one day, she crossed paths with an enraged slavemaster and his escaped slave. The white man asked Minty to restrain the slave, but she refused. The white man threw a weight intending to hit his slave, but it hit Minty in the head. She suffered from seizures and headaches for the rest of her life. The head trauma invoked vivid dreams and hallucinations, which she attributed to God talking to her.
Minty’s father Ben was freed, as dictated by a deceased previous owner’s will, at age 45. Later in life, Minty investigated the legality of her family’s slave status, and found that her mother was supposed to be free after turning 45, and any children born after the parents turned 45 were also supposed to be considered free. In her mid-20s, Minty married John Tubman, a free black man, putting her and any future children’s status in even more question. She grew ill again, and Edward Brodess was working on selling her when he suddenly died. Despite the threat of the Ross family being broken up and sold to different owners, John did not want to move North, where his wife would be free.
At this point, Minty decided to use her mother’s first name instead of her own, and took on John’s surname. So in 1849, after a failed escaped with her two brothers (who had second thoughts and turned themselves and their reluctant sister in), the woman now known as “Harriet Tubman” left her husband (who threatened to turn her in) and escaped slavery, traveling through woods and marshes, and making use of a network of abolitionists and free blacks (including former slaves) known as The Underground Railroad.
She evaded slave catchers, who made their living tracking fugitive slaves, and arrived safely in Philadelphia in 1850, where she joined The Underground Railroad as a Conductor, sworn to an oath of silence. She was given the nickname “Moses,” and for the next several years, aided slaves in escaping from the South to the North, including her parents, brothers, sisters-in-law, and nieces and nephews. Harriet tried to rescue her estranged husband, but he had taken a new wife, raising a new family until his murder by a white man years later.
Harriet was good friends with John Brown, who called her “General Tubman,” and she was involved in the plot to steal arms from Harper’s Ferry. There are questions as to her lack of involvement on the day of the raid - she may have been ill, working on a mission for the Underground Railroad, or even avoiding it altogether, having decided (along with her and Brown’s mutual friend Frederick Douglass) that Brown’s plan was unviable. They spoke well of each other in life, and Harriet spoke well of Brown after his execution.
The end of Harriet’s stint with the Underground Railroad coincided with Lincoln’s election as President, the secession of the South, and the start of the Civil War. She was living in Canada, but returned to the States to serve as a Union army nurse, taking care of starved, injured, recently freed blacks as the Union advanced into Southern territory. Shortly after the Emancipation Proclamation, Harriet became the ringleader of a network of Union spies, with the purpose of freeing slaves and recruiting them for the Union army. Her most high profile mission was a raid along the Combahee River, which freed hundreds of slaves, and where Harriet was the first woman to lead an armed assault in the Civil War.
After the conclusion of the war and the surrender of the Confederacy, Harriet filed with the government for compensation for her services - they refused to reimburse her. On her way to Auburn, New York to take care of her parents in their home, she was assaulted by a train conductor and passengers after refusing to move to a smoking car. Years later, hard up for money, she was the victim of a cash-for-gold swindle, borrowing two grand from a friend and meeting with two men who claimed to have a $5,000 gold cache. They assaulted and chloroformed her, bound and gagged her, and took the money.
Despite her fame and being celebrated in popular biographies that were published after the Civil War, Harriet continued to struggle financially. Receiving little compensation for her humanitarian work, and no compensation for her government work, Harriet took in boarders to her and her parents’ home to help stay afloat. One of them was a black Union veteran and bricklayer named Nelson Davis. Harriet and Nelson fell for each other, marrying in 1869, adopting a baby daughter and staying together until Nelson’s death in 1888. (Nelson was 22 years younger, making Harriet one of the first cougars in American history).
Harriet campaigned for women’s suffrage into the 20th century, was finally compensated by the government in 1899, and became involved with the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church. She deeded 25 acres to the church for the Harriet Tubman Home for the Aged, though she fought with the church when they tried to charge residents $100 for entry- she meant for the home to house people without money.
One of her final acts of badassery before her death from pneumonia in 1913 was a surgery in the late 1890s. Still feeling the effects of her lifelong head trauma, Harriet had a doctor saw open her skull and adjust her brain.
Let me put that out there again.
Sawed-open skull. No anasthesia. Biting a bullet, like the soldiers she’d seen have limbs amputated during the Civil War.
Araminta Ross. aka Minty. aka Moses. aka Harriet Tubman. aka General Tubman. Fugitive slave. Underground Railroad Conductor. Abolitionist. Suffragist. Spy. Cougar. Fucking tougher than you. My hero.
This so much.
You’d think as a history nerd I’d share this sentiment, but I think I know enough about the downsides of my favourite historical periods (sexism, poverty, classism, incompetent doctors, maternal and infant mortality rates, average life expectancy of 35, illiteracy, and so on) that I struggle to romanticize it. Would I enjoy visiting Tudor England for a little while? Hell yes. Live in the era? No. There’s a higher chance that I’d not have been born as one of the elite, who (unless the OP is referring to the exciting nature of 16th century farming techniques) where the only ones who really got to experience the unique and awesome bits of the period anyway.
Because I can.
Also, them 18th century ladies were stylin’.
Fun Fact: I taught myself to do a (sort-of) passable copy of Elizabeth I’s signature instead of paying attention in high school. I just need an interesting way to use it.
Intentionally inserting bias into a textbook? That is not how history/education works, GOP.