Prior to the late Middle Ages, “death masks” were simply sculpted forms that were supposed to resemble a person in life - for example, the Pharaohs of Ancient Egypt.
From the late Middle Ages to the early 1900s, death masks were a true-form wax or plaster impression of a face after death. Some famous people had plaster forms created of their faces prior to death.
Because of this postmortem (and occasionally antemortem - “around death”) process, many death masks do not appear especially akin to the faces they represent - a good example of this is Abraham Lincoln’s death mask; he appears nearly bald, but this was simply due to his hair being slicked back with grease prior to plastering.
two livings work on one death
A creepy X-ray image taken of a statue of Jesus in Mexico has revealed that the 300-year-old figure contains real human teeth - and they are all in perfect condition. The eight teeth were discovered when researchers took the X-ray as part of restoration work on the ‘Lord of Patience’ statue, believed to have been constructed in the 18th century. The teeth, which are perfectly formed all the way to the root, are believed to have been donated by worshipers out of gratitude, or as a way to get closer to the religious figure.
Here’s one of the most widely-believed myths about the medieval ages: the majority of Europeans thought the world was flat. They did not. Almost all medieval scholars believed the world was round. But it makes the “Dark Ages” sound more backwards and ignorant, and since most people today do not know or care much about the time period, the myth persists.
Nurses working at sterilizing equipment.
The excavation inside the Inner City Parish Church of Budapest has finally begun this month. It was the first parish of the medieval city of Pest and it is functioning ever since. Medieval graves are indeed excepted to be found.
Artificial fog against air raids in NYC. In: Tolnai Világlapja, 1931. november 4.
Tabán, a village inside the heart of a capital city.
In the Middle Ages, the Tabán was a village right under the Buda Castle. The Turks developed the thermal medicinal baths in the area and brought immigrants from the Balkans.
In the 19th Century, it became known as a Bohemian quarter of Budapest with many restaurants, bars and bordellos.
The so called Ördög-árok (the Devil’s ditch), the bed of a stream flowing into the river Danube, often caused floods, destroying and damaging many houses.
The city management, the poor denizens and the bohemian visitors from other city-parts neglected the Tabán’s worsening conditions alike.
After the 1930 urban planning, only a few old houses were left standing in the district; one of them was the school, which was destroyed in January 1945, during the battle of Budapest.
The Last Japanese Mermaids
For nearly two thousand years, Japanese women living in coastal fishing villages made a remarkable livelihood hunting the ocean for oysters and abalone, a sea snail that produces pearls. They are known as Ama. The few women left still make their living by filling their lungs with air and diving for long periods of time deep into the Pacific ocean, with nothing more than a mask and flippers.
In the mid 20th century, Iwase Yoshiyuki returned to the fishing village where he grew up and photographed these women when the unusual profession was still very much alive. After graduating from law school, Yoshiyuki had been given an early Kodak camera and found himself drawn to the ancient tradition of the ama divers in his hometown. His photographs are thought to be the only comprehensive documentation of the near-extinct tradition in existence
We’ve found eight 16th century gold coins in the mass grave that we’re excavating for almost a month now. They were so clean that all the kings’ names and all of the dates (ranging between 1549 and ‘89) could be read without restoration!
I’m definitely buying a metal detector.
As we were doing a rescue dig on the future track of a sewage pipe in Eger Castle’s courtyard we found several early modern age skeletons likely related to the castle’s siege in 1596. Among the many finds (by that I mean a tremendous amount, these dead were tossed into a massive pit of trash composed by ceramics, wooden structures and animal remains) my favorite is this bone dice. It adds to the flavour that gambling was forbidden in Hungary at the time.