Ancient Bread Revisited

Earlier this month, I blogged about the re-engineering of a 2000-year-old loaf of Pompeiian Bread.  Last weekend, I decided to try baking one of my own.  I watched the openculture.com video showing Giorgio Locatelli bring his recipe theories to life, but the recipe didn’t appeal to me.  Dry yeast? Gluten?  These ingredients didn’t exist in ancient Pompeii.

I found a link to another recipe at www.thefreshloaf.com that satisfied both my intent to use ingredients and techniques available at the time and my desire for a tasty, well-sprung loaf.  The recipe is for a Miche – a very large round loaf weighing 1.5 kg.  I cut the recipe roughly in half and made a 2 lb loaf.  My banneton nearly overflowed, but the resulting loaf was excellent.

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Revelations via an etched Mesolithic pendant found in Yorkshire.

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The pendant dates to 11,o00 years ago.  When I first read the article’s title, I was skeptical about “secret codes”, and I still think it’s a bit on the sensationalist side.

This pendant has connections.  The lines are similar to those drawn on batons found in Asia, related to societies with shamanic, animist based religions.  If the usage was as similar as the marks themselves, then the long lines may represent hunts, and the small lines that make tick marks along the longer ones may represent the number of animals taken in the hunt.

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Feminism in 1918

1918 Court

 

This article was published on Page 8 of the El Paso Herald in 1918.  So much about it is fascinating.   Mary Schmidt, aka Mr Schmidt, was married her cousin, Anna Assade.  She wore trousers and posed as a man because she could earn more money.  The judge was apparently quite taken by her appearance, and felt that “If a woman can earn $4 a day by reason of wearing trousers, I say wear ’em”.

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Haute Couture in the Old Kingdom, Dynasty 4, reign of Khufu 2551–2528 B.C.

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This beautiful beadnet dress was last worn over 4500 years ago.  The dress was discovered in a tomb in Giza, Egypt in 1927.  The strings had almost entirely rotted away, but the beads were well preserved, and enough of the pattern had survived for the dress to be reconstructed with new string.  This is the oldest known beadnet dress example.

It’s on view at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts in the Egypt: Old Kingdom Funerary Arts Gallery (Gallery 105B)

More here.