4 Historic Things Discovered (So Far) in 2014

We are fifty five days into 2014. Seems like much longer to you? No worries, me too. But alas, 'tis true. Archaeologist and Curators have been hard at work this year and I already have a list of 4 things they have discovered or finally announced that have blown my mind...

Anne Frank's Marbles
Let's take a moment to discuss Anne Frank's Marbles. Oh yes, you did read that correctly. The little girl that hid away in an attic from Hitler and the Third Reich entrusted her favorite childhood toys, including her marbles, to her neighbor and playmate Toosje Kupers. The Kupers also took in the Frank's cat while they were in hiding. Good people these Kupers. As we all know now, Anne never returned to pick up her belongings. The Franks, along with the Van Pels, were betrayed on August 4, 1944.
Anne, along with her sister died at Bergen-Belsen of typhus in March of 1945. The camp was liberated in April of that same year. Mr. Frank returned to Amsterdam after the camps were liberated waiting for his wife and daughters, but no one ever returned. Toosje offered the marbles, along with a tea set and book also in her possession back to him, but he declined to take them. Toosje kept the items until recently when she rediscovered them while moving. She immediately contacted the Anne Frank House, now a museum, and offered them as a donation. The book and tea set have already been placed on display, but they were saving the marbles for a special occasion. The marbles can be seen as part of an exhibition at the Kunsthal Rotterdam titled The Second World War in 100 Objects.
JFK Condolence Mail
The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum is releasing a series of 22,000 telegrams and cards from the personal papers of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. These letters were managed by Mrs. Kennedy's personal secretaries because they required such special attention. Most of them contained requests for mass cards, photographs, or other wishes. Each one of these letters were responded to by her offices and each of the letters displayed contains the outgoing match. Probably the most adorable one is from a 10 year old girl in Louisiana that reads "I think your (sic) the nicest lady in the whole world, I mean it too." She also offered to let Mrs. Kennedy come sleep over if she would like. The letters were donated to the museum by Caroline Kennedy & John F. Kennedy, Jr. and are only accessible by visiting the library in Boston.
Jane Austen's Handwriting
My Maw Maw gave me my first set of Austens when I was in middle school. My Austens and my Brontes are probably my favorite collections of books ever and a few of my most prized possessions. This news sent my inner Austeninte into a tizzy. The scrap of paper was found in another one of the books at the Jane Austen's House Museum. The scrap is thought to be a note taken during one of her brothers sermons and reads "Men may get into a habit of repeating the words of our Prayers by rote, perhaps without thoroughly understanding — certainly without thoroughly feeling their full force & meaning." The date on the scrap is 1814 which corresponds heavily with Mansfield Park which she wrote that same year. That helps explain Chapter 34!


2 New Poems by Ancient Greek Poetess Sappho

Cleis
Sleep, darling
I have a small
daughter called
Cleis, who is
like a golden
flower
I wouldn't
take all Croesus'
kingdom with love
thrown in, for her.

Two fragments poems by the Greek poetess Sappho were discovered on two separate pieces of papyrus from the seventh century B.C. This discovery leads scholars to a greater understanding of the poetess technique, now known as the Sapphic stanza, as well as her as an individual. Only one complete poem by Sappho has ever been found, and the remaining four have been fragmented pieces as well. The article which will include the fragments from the poems will appear in a scholarly journal in the spring. Sappho's primary topics were family and these two new poems seem to be no exception. Both seem to be based on the lives of her brothers Charaxos and Larichos.


As new and amazing things pop up through the year I will keep you guys informed. If you have an appreciation for historical things I would imagine you were as googly-eyed about the announcement of the discovery of Richard III body last year as I was. I just finished The King's Grave by Phillipa Langley and Michael Jones. It was an excellent read! I appreciated that it spoke largely about the excavations as well as incorporating a historical biography of the late kings life. I definitely began to look at him in a different way. The Smithsonian network also just released the rights to their television specials to Netflix so you can check out Secrets: Richard III Revealed. It is awesome and covers a lot of the technical work to confirm that the body was indeed King Richard III. Feel free to email me any exciting new development you may see at exquisitelygeek@gmail.com or drop us a line on our Facebook wall!
-A2-D2

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