Thursday, March 24, 2016

The king of the deck

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The king of the deck
Alexander is depicted as the king of clubs in the French deck. In the late sixteenth century with the mass production of cards, the French printers elected four iconic characters in history and added their names to letters of kings. Alexander the Great was one of the selected to illustrate the deck faces. Considered one of the best military of all history, he was chosen to appear in the letter of the king of clubs.

For the king of spades, the king was chosen Jewish David, it is believed that the king was more just that humanity might have. Similarly, they have much to do swords in justice and devotion to God. The letter from the king of hearts belongs to Charlemagne, as it is recognized that was one of the rulers with the noblest heart; besides having great intelligence, he struggled to keep his people safe.

The representation of the king of diamonds corresponds to the Roman Julius Caesar. He was awarded this letter because of the greed and avarice attributed to this ruler of the Roman Empire. The curious uniqueness of the figures of the French deck is that they have proper names, although they have not always been the same, since they have varied according to the taste of society and the vagaries of history. For example, during the French Revolution, the kings became citizens, represented by classic characters: Solon, Plato, Cato and Brutus.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

The curious manchego village of the Bronze Age

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The curious manchego village of the Bronze Age
Motilla del Azuer is a unique archaeological site: has the oldest hydraulic structure of the Iberian Peninsula. Undoubtedly, Motilla of Azuer is the most important site of the Bronze Age in Castilla La Mancha (2200-1300 BC). A bird 's eye view looks like a spiky circular maze, and scientific view, due to a unique typology and little unless unusual in prehistoric times: the motillas, an artificial lift in the middle of a plain surrounding space. In the trapezoidal courtyard is the waterhole.

The fortified town of La Motilla del Azuer, with stone walls over eight meters high and a circular tower with a maze in the center, has the oldest discovery well so far in our territory. Water, then as now, rarely falling from the sky in the area and the men of the Bronze Age had to dig 14 meters to find.

The inhabitants of the area at the time suffered a prolonged drought 4,000 years ago that made ​​surface waters practically disappeared from the rivers and streams. This led them to build in this region a network of wells to obtain the stored water in the shallow aquifers. The archaeological work done in the  field delimiting two different spaces in this prehistoric construction. On the one hand, inside the fortified enclosure concentric walls around the tower were protected, were managing and controlling the economic activities of the town.

Outside of that core walls homes were located, different cabins, homes and waste pits. Vestiges of burials were also found in the vicinity of the Motilla that matches the area of ​​the village. Which means that while the wells barrows, aimed at the stars monuments were built, in which complex rituals were performed, offerings deposited or buried the dead.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

A Roman villa for billionaires

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A Roman villa for billionaires
The discovery of a mansion for magnates just outside the center of Rome was surprising because of the bathing complex was found inside. The site of the Villa delle Vignacce, next to the Ciampino airport south of Rome, was first explored in 1780 by a group of archaeologists who found statues that today can be seen in the Vatican museum. According to the American archaeologist who directed the excavations at present, the villa could have belonged to Quintus Servilius Pudens, a billionaire friend of Emperor Hadrian.

In the excavation archaeological  they have proved not only foreseeable walls, floors and doorways of the town of multiple plants but also the surprising finding of the luxurious bathrooms. Ivory soil 'caldarium' of the town, similar to the sauna room was heated by hot air introduced between the walls from a furnace fed by slaves of the owner of the land, it is impressive.

The room also provided a hot tub, although the bronze cauldron used to keep water bath at an elevated temperature was removed long ago by looters. They have also appeared ivory fragments left after the valuable stone is apparent from the walls when the town fell into disuse.

The last time it was used was probably in the sixth century, it converted into a fortress by the Goths who sacked Rome. Near the 'caldarium' are common latrines, where a dozen guests could make their physiological needs while enjoying company and conversation.