Weekly Roundup of History, Archaeology and Writing Wisdom Sept 5-11

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Reminder to Arizona Historical Novel Society members. Our September 19th meeting, 2-4 pm. Our topic is the Scrivener writing program presented by Yuvi Zalkow. Email Judith for directions!

Here are some posts I enjoyed this week. I must confess I wasn’t around online much this week and I’m grateful for people bringing these gems to my attention. At the end of June I turned my virtually done manuscript on its metaphorical head. I held my breath for several weeks as I rewrote. It was worth it. Now I just have some smoothing out and will get some critique on this version to make sure there are no clunkers hiding in there! Given that I thought I was at this point in the middle of June, this has a certain deja vu feeling, but it is a much better book. Writing takes some serious courage at times.

image Elizabethan Girl in Red Velvet

Ever wonder how much education girls received before the modern era? Here’s a look by three authors (Anna Castle, Libi Astaire, Suzanne Adair) on that question in Tudor, Regency and American Revolutionary times. Click here for Historical Fiction ebooks “Back to School: A Girl’s Education during Tudor, Regency and American Revolutionary Times”



image of Stonehenge



Huge ritual monument found hidden near Stonehenge. Giant standing stones had been toppled and buried. Historians speculating what the purpose was or who were the builders of this dramatic arena-like monument. Amazing that something so gigantic could be hidden in this well trod region. A total rethink of Stonehenge and environs is underway. This should be fun! Click here for The Telegraph “Huge Ritual Monument Found Hidden Near Stonehenge” 



Book cover image Sword of the Gladiatrix

Sword of the Gladiatrix


The reality of gladiator fights is pretty far from the image most of us have. Here’s a post by Faith Justice (author of Sword of the Gladiatrix) that sorts historical fact from myth. It’s still depressing than violence based entertainment is so immensely appealing, but we haven’t improved on that front from the Roman period, so let’s at least get our history right! Click here for Historian’s Notebook “Busting Gladiator Myths” 




Image of My own culinary "reconstruction": Hittite Figs and sausage.

My own culinary “reconstruction”: Hittite Figs and sausage

A couple of you have brought this post about cooking Hittite foods to my attention. Sounds like some archaeologists had a very fun time recreating ancient foods. This is an activity I love, also. I will point out about the accompanying write up that they mention how sanitary the Hittites were about bathing before cooking and preventing hair getting in food and that not following these rules brought the death penalty: these were cleanliness laws that applied only to the kitchen feeding the Great King. And the rules have to do with protecting from curses more than hygiene as we think of it. It’s not like every Hittite cook had to bathe before cooking anything. I enjoyed the list of foods they give. Mashed food with cucmbers–now that’s appetizing! The variety of breads and cakes on the tablets goes way farther than those listed here, but grain was a primary food, so that makes sense. Click here for the Daily Sabah “Archaeological Team Prepares 4000 year old Hittite Meals   I will add that I have a couple delicious reconstructions of my own on my webiste. Figs and Sausage here  and Lamb and Lentils with Cumin and Raisins here



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