Prior to its recent discovery the baris was a ship best known through "the father of history," Herodotus' description. There were other references in literature but no physical sign this type of craft ever truly existed. A recent discovery shows Herodotus was no liar.
In fragment 2.96 of Herodotus' Histories, published around 450 BCE, the Ancient Greek historian - who was writing about his trip to Egypt - describes a type of Nile cargo boat called a baris.
According to his portrayal, it was constructed like brickwork, lined with papyrus, and with a rudder that passed through a hole in the keel.
This steering system had been seen in representations and models through the Pharaonic period - but we had no firm archaeological evidence of its existence until now.
Enter Ship 17, of the now-sunken port city Thonis-Heracleion near the Canopic Mouth of the Nile, dated to the Late Period, 664-332 BCE. Here, researchers have been exploring over 70 shipwrecks, discovering countless artefacts that reveal stunning details about the ancient trade hub and its culture.
Although it's been in the water for at least 2,000 years, the preservation of Ship 17 has been exceptional. Archaeologists were able to uncover 70 percent of the hull.
"It wasn't until we discovered this wreck that we realised Herodotus was right," archaeologist Damian Robinson of The Oxford Centre for Maritime Archaeology told The Guardian.
[[Generations of propaganda about the instability of "the commons" and the desirability of assigning property rights in everything has led the human race into a very dark place: now, two scholars, David Bollier and Silke Helfrich, have published Free, Fair and Alive, which offers a critique of the "Tragedy," case studies of working commons, and a path to a better world based on shared resources and commons-based production. -Cory]]
Could we please, finally, lay to rest the tendentious "tragedy of the commons" fairy tale that has poisoned the minds of at least two generations? The accurate story about the commons deals with its ability to address the intractable problems of our time -- wasteful economic growth, predatory markets, the climate emergency, savage inequality. The commons offers practical ways to develop non-capitalist social systems that meet needs while helping rebuild our ecosystems and create a sense of belonging.
This was a key reason why we wrote Free, Fair and Alive: The Insurgent Power of the Commons. At some point, Big Deceptions such as the "tragedy" fable become so deeply rooted they need to be confronted and debunked. One way to do this is to recognize the social realities and political potential of actual commons.
The Sound Archive posted a 1930s-era recording of a conversation in a British pharmacy. The received-pronunciation chatter isn’t quite reality–it was recorded to teach English as a foreign language–but it’s a stark and amusing insight into English as she was spoke. Madam. Would you like a hard brush, or a medium one? The recording also […]
Pack rats, aka woodrats, build their nests, called middens, from plant debris, rocks, animal parts, paper, and almost any other bits of detritus nearby. Frequently, they urinate on their middens. The urine crystalizes and encases the nest material, preserving it for as long as 50,000 years by some estimates. For paleobotanists, middens are a great […]
We’re living in the age of Big Data. As the driving force behind everything from Google’s famed algorithms to self-driving cars, massive sets of complex data can be found at the heart of some of today’s most exciting and important technologies. The Ultimate SQL Bootcamp Certification Bundle will give you the skills and tools you […]
So you missed Black Friday and Cyber Monday? Well, there’s one more holiday milestone coming up: Green Monday, on Dec. 16. It’s one of the busiest online shopping days for the simple reason that it will be 10 days before Christmas, which is when last-minute shoppers start to stress. Our advice? Don’t wait for that […]
Weighted blankets are officially a thing. And if you’ve ever tried one, you know there’s a reason for the fuss. Parents have known for generations that swaddling a baby has a profound calming effect, and the gentle pressure that blanket weights provide can have the same effect on restless sleepers. Pretty much all parts of […]