PhD candidate in Ancient Near Eastern Studies, mediocre violinist, and chronic procrastinator. Here, you'll find posts about books, the ancient world, Mesopotamia, history, art, science, landscapes, and other stuff that I happen to find and want to remember.
Life on the Moon
In 1836, Richard E. Locke, writing for the New York Sun, claimed that the noted British astronomer Sir John Herschel had discovered life on the moon. Flora and fauna included bat-men, moon maidens (with luna-moth wings), moon bison, and other extravagant life forms.
These lithographs by Leopoldo Galluzzo’s Altre scoverte fatte nella luna dal Sigr. Herschel depict Herschel’s “discoveries”.
It just so happens there is a fan-freaking-tastic podcast about this. The Memory Palace Episode 24: The Moon in the Sun
Banqueter and musician, tondo from an Attic red-figure cup, c. 490 BC.
Ishtar seal, with her lion, star, wings, and the me
Having a soft heart in a cruel world is courage not weakness.
— Katherine Henson (via acrylicalchemy)
Earthenware painted under glaze
H: 11.2 W: 39.3 D: 39.3 cm
It’s not my responsibility to be beautiful. I’m not alive for that purpose. My existence is not about how desirable you find me.
— Warsan Shire (via quotes-shape-us)
A pair of Egyptian glass eye inlays, Late Period, Circa 664-332 BC
Each eye rim of opaque blue glass, with extended cosmetic line, the white glass sclera fused with cloudy iridescent black oval irises, probably from a sarcophagus.
Thank God for books and music and things I can think about.
— Flowers for Algernon, Daniel Keyes (via fuckyeahliteraryquotes)
Exactly 45 years ago today, after months of preparation, Apollo 11 embarked on its now-legendary mission to the moon. But what exactly does it take to send three men into the great, vacuous unknown? See for yourself.
This 353-page document is the entire Apollo 11 flight plan in all its scientific glory. And if it gets a little confusing it’s because this is one of those rare cases where, yes, it actually is rocket science.
- CSM = Command Service Module
- CMP = Command Module Pilot (Mike Collins)
- LM = Lunar Module
- CDR = Commander of the Mission (Neil Armstrong)
- LMP = Lunar Module Pilot (Buzz Aldrin)
- MCC-H = Mission Control Center-Houston.
- LLM = Lunar Landing Mision
- S/C = Spacecraft
And as an added bonus, NASA has also kindly made available the entire Apollo 11 onboard voice transcription. Yep—you get to be privy to every last word uttered between our three space heroes as they were making history happen.
Hektor and Menelaos fighting - 7th century BCE
If you only walk on sunny days, you’ll never reach your destination.
— Paulo Coelho (via somelittlejoy)
Do I dare
Disturb the universe?
In a minute there is time
For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse.
— T.S. Eliot (via observando)
The Princesses of Bactria (chlorite, limestone) and Scarface (chlorite, limestone, iron), late 3rd - early 2nd millenium BC, Louvre museum
These composite statuettes are commonly attached to the region of Bactria, situated in northern Afghanistan. This region is known for producing in the late third and early second millenium BC a series of small female statuettes, called the “Bactrian princesses”. Generally dressed in the kaunakes, a Sumerian garment which can also be seen on other statuettes from the third millenium BC like the Superintendent of Mari Ebih-Il, showing Bactria’s important relations with Mesopotamia at that time, the figures are still subjects to various hypotheses nowadays about their depiction. The so-called princesses could represent real ladies of rank, but another interpretation is that they depict a deity, a goddess who controls the nature world and pacifies the elemental forces, represented by the statuette of the scarred anthropomorphic dragon-snake, also called “Scarface”. The use of the same bicolor materials, but reversed, for the dragon, could explain the link between the two figures; his scar could also be a proof of the domination exerted by the goddess over the hostile forces of the underworld.