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Declaring War in WW2: National Styles March 23, 2014

Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary
Declaring War in WW2: National Styles

The characters of countries are reflected in their cuisines, their clothes, and their soap operas, so why not in their declarations of war? Thought it might be fun to see whether this notion stands up and so this morning ran through every WW2 declaration of war that I could find from 1 September 1939 through […]

A Fourteen Thousand Year Old Legend from Australia? March 20, 2014

Author: Beach Combing | in : Ancient, Prehistoric
A Fourteen Thousand Year Old Legend from Australia?

This morning ran across one of the most incredible examples of oral transmission or perhaps it would be better to say apparent oral transmission, I’ve ever stubbed my toe upon. First, some generally established facts depending, thank God, on geologists and geographers (not historians). Tasmania is today an island off the southern coast of Australia […]

ROLFUDRETUS and Last Country Standing January 11, 2014

Author: Beach Combing | in : Actualite
ROLFUDRETUS and Last Country Standing

This is a bad period in Italy. The self-employed, a quarter of the population, are presently being taxed at about 50%. The public sector is inefficient and weighs the country down. The law – always a relative concept in Italy – has become a simultaneously braying and defecating ass. And the Euro is crushing Italian manufacturing. […]

The Wessel Coins 5#: Ian McIntosh Interview December 12, 2013

Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary, Medieval, Modern
The Wessel Coins 5#: Ian McIntosh Interview

Huge thanks to Dr Ian McIntosh who agreed to this interview about the Wessel Coins, about progress in last summer’s expedition and about hopes for next year. Previous posts on the medieval African coins that ended up in Australia are gathered together in this link. All readers please note that there is also a relevant […]

Men Wearing Mirrors: Portuguese Conquistador in Northern Australia? December 8, 2013

Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
Men Wearing Mirrors: Portuguese Conquistador in Northern Australia?

The Portuguese ‘discovery’ of Australia is one that has excited Australians and Europeans for most of the last century, since, in fact, it was first realized that there was a very real chance that Portuguese ships could very easily have headed south from their base at Timor and have run smack-bang into ‘the lost continent’. […]

The Wessel Coins #4: The Article November 18, 2013

Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary, Modern
The Wessel Coins #4: The Article

The Wessel Coins, for those who did not read earlier posts, were a series of medieval Kilwan coins (Kilwa = the east coast of Africa) and modern Dutch India Company coins that were found in 1944 on a beach on the Wessel Islands off the coast of northern Australia. Their presence in Australian sand, particularly […]

In Search of Allied Atrocity Photographs July 30, 2013

Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary
In Search of Allied Atrocity Photographs

A provocative and very difficult question from CS in a post two days ago about an infamous Holocaust photograph: are there WW2 Allied attrocity pictures? Beach spent an hour thinking about the question this evening and as the quality of his thought is not always top notch he’s going to try and lay his logic […]

The Wessel Coins #3: Kilwa and its Sultanate July 27, 2013

Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary, Medieval, Modern
The Wessel Coins #3: Kilwa and its Sultanate

  Kilwa (or Quiloa as it was often called in European sources) was a small almost-tidal island off the coast of Tanzania. ‘Almost tidal’ because in its early history there was allegedly a causeway and even in later centuries it was possible to wade to Kilwa at low tide. The city of Kilwa was a […]

The Wessel Coins #2: The Coins July 23, 2013

Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary, Medieval
The Wessel Coins #2: The Coins

In a previous post we examined the background to the discovery of the Wessel Coins. Today, instead, it is time to look at why the coins are so exciting. It will be remembered that Morrie Isenberg came across nine coins on the beach in Jensen Bay. These coins break down into two classes, and this […]

The Wessel Coins #1: Morry Isenberg’s Discovery July 14, 2013

Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary, Medieval, Modern
The Wessel Coins #1: Morry Isenberg’s Discovery

28 February 2013 the Indiana-University-Purdue-University sent out a press release announcing modestly: ‘IUPUI led expedition seeks source of thousand-year-old coins in Aboriginal Australia’. Nothing to see, move on? Well, it took the world’s press some time to catch on, the real interest only came in May. But, of course, ‘thousand’ year old coins in Australia […]

Crowds #7: Fleeing July 4, 2013

Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary, Modern
Crowds #7: Fleeing

Beach greatly enjoyed, last year, writing a series of posts on crowds: i.e ransacking the web for likely images with the philosophy that groups, particularly ecstatic, tense or ‘altered’ groups make for interesting studies. There was crowds as art, those silly men with straw hats from August 1914, listening crowds, religion and crowds, prisoner crowds […]

Turning Back the Years in Oz July 3, 2013

Author: Beach Combing | in : Medieval, Modern
Turning Back the Years in Oz

***With thanks to Invisible and Wade*** Consider a curious thing. Australian prehistory is far easier to rewrite than American prehistory. If you begin to question the route by which the Aborigines arrived in Australia, or posit an early Indian influx onto the continent or even begin to speculate about mahogany boats and seventeenth-century Caucasoid skulls […]

Indians in Australia, c. 2000 B.C.? May 28, 2013

Author: Beach Combing | in : Prehistoric
Indians in Australia, c. 2000 B.C.?

 ***Beach dedicates this to an old friend of the blog, Wade, presently recuperating in hospital: the New York Changeling needs you, Wade!*** There is a case to be made for not writing about bizarre history research when it first comes out, but waiting six months for the shouting to die down. In six months new […]

Forgotten Kingdom: The Bird-Shit Island January 20, 2013

Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary, Modern
Forgotten Kingdom: The Bird-Shit Island

Nauru is a small island (about eight square miles) half way between Hawaii and New Zealand made largely of bird droppings. If that does not sound particularly promising consider two further points. First, that its European discoverer named it Pleasant Island in 1798: it was once extraordinarily beautiful. And second that the bird droppings can […]

Men and Women Out of Balance September 17, 2011

Author: Beach Combing | in : Ancient, Contemporary, Modern
Men and Women Out of Balance

A bit of a cookie-dough post today as Beachcombing tries to make sense of something that has being going around and around in his head. Last week, during the infamous hacker attack of Sept 2011, Beach noted the extraordinary gender imbalance in modern China where perhaps – the numbers are much contested – 119 boys […]

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