How much of your time do you spend thinking about daggers? Probably not much, but not the same can be said of the researchers who have been studying copper-alloy daggers. While they knew these were common during the Bronze Age in Europe, they were not sure what they were actually used for.
After all, there is so much that a human can do with a sharp object — hunt, slice, chop, shave — you name it! After developing a new method of extraction of organic residues, the researchers got their answer. The daggers were used as butchering knives, helping Bronze Age people turn livestock into delicious dishes.
This Is the Earliest Proof of Maize Being Used
You probably haven't spent too much time thinking about Maize. Unless you are an aficionado of polenta or popcorn, that is. But maybe you should have thought about it a little more since this domesticated cereal grain pretty much rules our lives.
Recently, a new study found the earliest evidence of this grain being a dietary staple. Basically, about 5600 years ago, migrants from South America brought with them unique types of corn, and these, in turn, were used to help sustain the ancient Maya civilization. How was discovery actually made? The dental remains of the new migrants were analyzed! That's so cool.
The Origins of the Avars Warriors Confirmed
Around 1500 years ago, after the Western Roman Empire collapsed, there was a group of warriors in Europe called The Avars. Not to be confused with Avatars, the people we're talking about here did not come from a different planet nor can they bend the elements to their will. This group was ultimately overpowered in the 8th century, and although we've always known how they were defeated, their origins were unclear.
But, lately, we learned that they most likely came to Europe from Mongolia. This was confirmed using the DNA of an Avar warrior's remains. It's amazing what we can learn and confirm by using DNA.
These Baths that Belonged to Herod the Great
Does Herod the Great need an introduction? Well, just in case you're rushing to Wikipedia, let's give you a quick one. He was the king of Judea right around the time that Jesus was born. The king was wildly known for his love of luxury, and honestly, we can't blame him. He had himself calcite-alabaster baths, which were believed to have been brought to him from Egypt.
In 2022 it was discovered that the calcite-alabaster actually originated in the Te’omim cave in Israel. This means that there was probably a booming calcite-alabaster industry in Judea during the time of the first century BC.
This Mayan Tooth With Gemstones
Wait, what? Gemstones in teeth? And here we were thinking that the dental grills were a modern-day invention! Who thought that Mayan people had so much in common with today's rappers? We certainly did not expect that. A new study sheds some light on the fact that Mayans would glue gemstones to their teeth.
Most likely, they used plant resins as adhesives for this ancient form of bling. What were these adhesives actually made out of? Samples taken from the teeth prove that they were made out of pine trees, which incredibly also had qualities that fight tooth decay. Two for one!