The chariot survived ancient eruptions and modern-day looters to become a part of the world heritage site.
- Archeologists recently discovered a first-of-its-kind chariot in Pompeii.
- The ceremonial chariot is decorated with bronze and tin medallions, while the sides sport bronzesheets and red-and-black paintings.
- Given looting activity in the area, it's lucky the 2,000-year-old treasure wasn't lost to the world heritage site.
One dope Pompeian whip<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNTc5ODk0Ni9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY3NTk5NTc0OH0.SyjKTnqDO6XGbGqecHArg5jLoRbPhJm8KLCQDYNKVVw/img.jpg?width=980" id="8c0df" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="538759b05d27098f3100e366d363193d" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="Chariot found at Pompeii" data-width="986" data-height="1024" />
Researchers carefully extract the chariot from the sedimentary rock encasing it.
Credit: Luigi Spina, Archaeological Park of Pompeii<p>In a recent discovery, researchers unearthed a first-of-its-kind chariot at Civita Giuliana, an excavation site north of Pompeii's ancient walls. In Roman times, the site served as a getaway for Rome's elite and wealthy citizens, a serene countryside brimming with villas and Mediterranean farms. So, it's understandable why such an exquisite chariot was found here.<br></p><p>"I was astounded," Eric Poehler, a professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, who specializes in Pompeii traffic, <a href="https://www.npr.org/2021/02/27/972118983/a-lamborghini-of-chariots-is-discovered-at-pompeii-archaeologists-are-wowed?ft=nprml&f=1001" target="_blank">told <em>NPR</em></a>. "Many of the vehicles I'd written about before ... are your standard station wagon or vehicle for taking the kids to soccer. This is a Lamborghini. This is an outright fancy, fancy car."</p><p>Located in a double-level portico, the chariot is a far cry from anything Ben-Hur would have been seen cruising around in. It sports four iron wheels and a high seat complete with arm- and backrest. The sides are adorned with engraved bronze and wooden panels painted with red-and-black figures. And the rear bumps with a register of bronze and tin medallion depicting Eros-inspired scenes of satyrs, nymphs, and cupids. In short, this chariot is slab.</p><p>"It is an extraordinary discovery for the advancement of our knowledge of the ancient world," Massimo Osanna, the director of the archaeological park, <a href="http://pompeiisites.org/en/comunicati/the-four-wheeled-processional-chariot-the-last-discovery-of-pompeii/" target="_blank">said in a statement</a>. "At Pompeii vehicles used for transport have been found in the past, […] but nothing like the Civita Giuliana chariot."</p><p>But unlike a Lamborghini—which serves only to show the owner has more money than sense—this chariot served a social and cultural role. Likely a <em>pilentum</em>, it would have been rolled out in times of ceremony, potentially during festivals, processions, or weddings.</p><p>While similar chariots have been uncovered in northern Greece, this is the first such chariot to be discovered in Italy. Its presence in Pompeii will further help historians understand the people who called the city home, as well as their relation to the Mediterranean world.</p><p>As Poehler added, "This is precisely the kind of find that one wants to find at Pompeii, the really well-articulated, very well-preserved moments in time. And it happens to be in this case an object that is relatively rare despite its ubiquity in the past."</p>
It belongs in a museum (not the black market)<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNTc5ODk2NC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY3NTUzMTE4NH0.spa-Hrt91eKZBpnYfk1H6MDYduDl4auXSZ89EWM64wU/img.jpg?width=980" id="d2e80" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="be9f69758cdcb6969b247602e4d97e4a" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" data-width="1024" data-height="683" />
Bronze and tin medallions depict satyrs, nymphs and cupids.
Credit: Luigi Spina, Archaeological Park of Pompeii<p>Beyond its gilded appeal, the chariot is also special because it survived so we could learn from it. The area where the vehicle was found has been favored in recent years by looters, and illicit tunnels had been dug precariously close to the chariot's resting place. For this reason, the archeological park has teamed up with the Public Prosecutor's Office of Torre Annunziata to protect Pompeii's history and excavate its treasures before they become lost or stolen.</p><p>"The collaboration between the Public Prosecutor's Office of Torre Annunziata and the Archaeological Park of Pompeii has proved itself to be a formidable instrument, not only for bringing finds of exceptional historical and artistic value to light, but also for halting the criminal actions of individuals who for years have been the protagonists in a systematic looting of the priceless archaeological heritage preserved in the vast area of the Civita Giuliana villa, which is still largely buried and to which the recent exceptional findings bear witness," Nunzio Fragliasso, chief prosecutor of Torre Annunziata, said in his joint statement with Osanna.</p><p>Nor is everything that glitters historic gold. Even Pompeii's everyday ephemera can have an outsized impact on history. Pompeian citizens, for example, viewed street walls as a type of "<a href="https://www.thegreatcoursesdaily.com/how-pompeii-graffiti-preserved-the-ordinary-voices-of-ancient-rome/" target="_blank">public advertisement space</a>" and so painted them thick with graffiti. As historians must often rely on the written works of the literate elite, this graffiti gives the ordinary Pompeians their voice back. <a href="https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2018/10/ancient-graffiti-shifts-date-pompeii-s-destruction-back-2-months" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">One such charcoal tag</a> even corrected the record of Vesuvius's eruption by two months, from August to October, contradicting the traditionally accepted date set by Pliny the Younger.</p><p>"Today, archaeologists try to understand ancient societies by studying the entire material record -- not just the beautiful or luxurious objects, but also the broken bits of cooking pottery, the animal bones thrown into the trash, the microscopic grains of pollen in the soil, and much more," Caitlín Barrett, associate professor at Cornell University, <a href="https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/pompeii-new-excavations-looting/index.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">told <em>CNN</em></a>.</p><p>This ephemera is also at risk. Looters looking for eye-catching treasure and artwork will often destroy everyday objects in their pursuit. And after centuries encased in protective sedimentary rock, the city has again been exposed to the rains, winds, and human blunders that erode. The goal now isn't just to excavate fantastic treasures, but to preserve the world heritage site and learn from it for as long as time (<a href="http://volcano.oregonstate.edu/what%E2%80%99s-most-recent-eruption-vesuvius-and-will-it-erupt-again" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">and maybe Vesuvius</a>) will allow.</p>
"The Expanse" is the best vision I've ever seen of a space-faring future that may be just a few generations away.
- Want three reasons why that headline is justified? Characters and acting, universe building, and science.
- For those who don't know, "The Expanse" is a series that's run on SyFy and Amazon Prime set about 200 years in the future in a mostly settled solar system with three waring factions: Earth, Mars, and Belters.
- No other show I know of manages to use real science so adeptly in the service of its story and its grand universe building.
Credit: "The Expanse" / Syfy<p>Now, I get it if you don't agree with me. I love "Star Trek" and I thought "Battlestar Galactica" (the new one) was amazing and I do adore "The Mandalorian". They are all fun and important and worth watching and thinking about. And maybe you love them more than anything else. But when you sum up the acting, the universe building, and the use of real science where it matters, I think nothing can beat "The Expanse". And with a <a href="https://www.rottentomatoes.com/tv/the_expanse" target="_blank">Rotten Tomato</a> average rating of 93%, I'm clearly not the only one who feels this way.</p><p>Best.</p><p>Show.</p><p>Ever. </p>
MIT professor Azra Akšamija creates works of cultural resilience in the face of social conflict.
Words of wisdom from H.P. Lovecraft, Sir Anthony Hopkins, Dr. Temple Grandin, Hannah Gadsby and more.
- Autism (commonly referred to as ASD, autism spectrum disorder) refers to a broad range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech, and nonverbal communication.
- The effects of ASD and the severity of symptoms can be very different in each person. Additionally, these things can also change over time. This is why it's considered a spectrum.
- Many people with ASD gift the world with inventions or new ways of thinking. Judy Singer, for example, is the woman who coined the term "neurodiversity" in the 1990s.
Judy Singer<blockquote><em>"I think the concept of Neurodiversity has been world-changing, by giving us a new perspective on humanity, but it needs to mature to the point where we see that human nature is complex, and nature is beautiful but not benign."</em> <br>- <strong>Judy Singer to </strong><a href="https://www.autismawareness.com.au/news-events/aupdate/in-conversation-with-judy-singer/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"><strong>Autism Awareness</strong></a></blockquote>
Hannah Gadsby<blockquote><em>"There is nothing stronger than a broken woman who has rebuilt herself."</em> <br><strong>-</strong> <strong>Hannah Gadsby, </strong><a href="https://www.marieclaire.com/culture/a22502991/hannah-gadsby-nanette-quotes/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"><strong>Marie Claire</strong></a></blockquote>
Daryl Hannah<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNTYyOTUyMy9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY2NTk2NzI1MH0.3Nsw6M_Vlh17Uzd7XypVE2iR8eyps3lEu5UjU8xgh2E/img.jpg?width=980" id="75b00" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="f9b64a7d23222a9f2318ce305e2314db" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" data-width="1024" data-height="1448" />
Credit: World Travel & Tourism Council / Flickr<blockquote><em>"And I know that the younger generation is doing things that are so ingenious. And for them it's not a matter of a political belief or an environmental stance. It's really just common sense."</em> <br><strong>- </strong><strong>Daryl Hannah, </strong><a href="https://www.nbcnews.com/id/wbna12853873" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"><strong>NBC News</strong> </a></blockquote>
Susan Boyle<blockquote><em>"There are enough people in the world who are going to write you off. You don't need to do that to yourself." <br></em><strong>- Susan Boyle, "<a href="https://www.amazon.com/Woman-Was-Born-Be-Story/dp/1451609264" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">The Woman I Was Born to Be: My Story</a>"</strong></blockquote>
Dan Harmon<blockquote><em>"We float around and we run across each other and we learn about ourselves, and we make mistakes and we do great things. We hurt others, we hurt ourselves, we make others happy and we please ourselves. We can and should forgive ourselves and each other for that."</em> <br><strong>- </strong><a href="https://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/6890515.Dan_Harmon" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"><strong>Dan Harmon</strong></a></blockquote>
Dr. Temple Grandin<blockquote><em>"When I was younger I was looking for this magic meaning of life. It's very simple now. Making the lives of others better, doing something of lasting value. That's the meaning of life, it's that simple."</em> <br><strong>- Dr. Temple Grandin, </strong><a href="https://wecapable.com/famous-people-with-autism/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"><strong>WECapable</strong></a></blockquote>
Kim Peek<blockquote>"Recognizing and respecting differences in others, and treating everyone like you want them to treat you, will help make our world a better place for everyone."<br><strong>- Kim Peek, </strong><a href="https://allthatsinteresting.com/famous-people-with-autism#6" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"><strong>All That's Interesting</strong></a></blockquote>
H.P Lovecraft<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNTYyOTUyOS9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY1Mjg0NjgzNX0.Wma0Tq3lpRCTQWb8rhO31w5HVkgkaKer5gA4kuHAjdE/img.jpg?width=980" id="7de42" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="49d8f4e4b93d01b616f11e6acac1c213" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" data-width="512" data-height="628" />
Public domain<blockquote><em>"What a man does for pay is of little significance. What he is, as a sensitive instrument responsive to the world's beauty, is everything!"</em> <br><strong>- </strong><a href="https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/7263148-what-a-man-does-for-pay-is-of-little-significance#:~:text=%E2%80%9CWhat%20a%20man%20does%20for%20pay%20is%20of%20little%20significance,world's%20beauty%2C%20is%20everything!%E2%80%9D" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"><strong>H.P. Lovecraft</strong></a></blockquote>
Daniel Tammet<blockquote><em>"I would play with numbers in a way that other kids would play with their friends."</em> <br><strong>- </strong><a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daniel_Tammet" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"><strong>Daniel Tammet</strong></a> </blockquote>
Sir Anthony Hopkins<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNTYzNzk4Mi9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY1MjAyNTg3NH0.17d6hwAXAzXR3bXw-h25d-OzFFkWpxNmLHJG335Fp8g/img.jpg?width=980" id="da773" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="fce54fbea9fb9cb5e332aec9d8edc4c3" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" data-width="727" data-height="900" />
Credit: gdcgraphics on Flickr<blockquote><em>"My philosophy is: It's none of my business what people say of me and think of me. I am what I am, and I do what I do. I expect nothing and accept everything. And it makes life so much easier."</em> <br><strong>- </strong><a href="https://www.psycom.net/autism-famous-people" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"><strong>Sir Anthony Hopkins</strong></a></blockquote>
John Elder Robinson<blockquote><em>"It does not matter what sixty-six percent of people do in any particular situation. All that matters is what you do."</em> <br><strong>- John Elder Robinson, "<a href="https://www.amazon.com/Different-Adventures-Free-Range-Aspergian-Aspergians-ebook/dp/B004J4WKNI" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Be Different: Adventures of a Free-Range Aspergian with Practical Advice for Aspergians, Misfits, Families & Teachers</a>"</strong></blockquote>
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