Home, Sweet What the Hell?
Archaeologists just knew the ancient Greeks of the 475 to 323 B.C time period had kapeleia (taverns) because of their prominent place in classic plays, but they could never locate any evidence of them. When Clare Kelly Blazeby, from the University of Leeds, U.K., went back over a bunch of stuff that had been found in private homes across the Greek Mainland, she noticed some of those homes had held hundreds of drinking cups.
Those same homes also sported numerous entrances, oikemata (little rooms), and a whole lot of cisterns and wells. Bathing after sex was customary for the Greeks, so the cisterns and wells, in combination with all those cups and doors, led Blazeby to strongly suspect these buildings were used as pubs and brothels, as well as familial residences.
Those kinds of goings-on would prove pretty taxing for modern day zoning officials and departments of social services, but family therapists might enjoy a boon in business.
Can You Dig It? Somebody Did
When I was 17-years-old, I may have indulged in the occasional bit of marijuana. There might have been a time when someone I was related to owed another relative of mine money for marijuana and was lax about paying. For a percentage, I may have helped the owed relative search the owing relative’s bedroom to include his king-sized bed. Upon said search, we may have stepped onto the bed to check behind the headboard, at which point the owed relative might have said, “Stop! I heard a bag crackle.”
We lifted the mattress to find a small, plastic bag of marijuana that had apparently been there for quite some time. The weed was moldy. Who knew pot was a perishable?
It’s not so quick to rot, as has been proven by the find of a perfectly good 2,700-year-old stash of almost two pounds of goods found in a grave in the Gobi Desert. To properly store your pot, don’t do as my relative did (er, might have done). Instead, take a cue from the Gushi people who buried a bunch of blunt with a 45-year-old, blue-eyed, Caucasian shaman:
Carefully pick out all of the male plant parts, lightly pound it into a wooden bowl, and place it in a leather basket. Burying it with a middle-aged man is probably not part of the preservation process, so don’t go bothering your local mortician.
We Texted Long Before Cell Phones
Remember when Ralphie from Christmas Story decoded Orphan Annie’s secret message only to discover it was “just a crummy commercial”? The Iwate Prefectural Buried Cultural Properties Center in Japan announced a similar disappointment (actually, archaeological types are pretty excited about stuff like this) when translating the text of the oldest wooden tablet, or mokkan, ever found in Japan.
They knew they weren’t on to any profound, ancient secrets when they saw the Chinese character for “aza,” a word that related to the way land was subdivided way, way, way back in the day. By “day,” I mean the mid-Heian Period. (Why a Chinese character was doing on a tablet found in Japan is a question for the people who found it, not me. I’m just the messenger.)
The text revealed that a guy named Kimiko no Hiromorimaro had banned outsiders from tilling a noble’s field without permission. Now we know that at least since the 10th century, men have been chiding others to, “Get the hell off my lawn!”