History Learning

Podcast on Ancient Peoples

Bookmarked Peopling the Past Podcast by Peopling the Past (

Real People in the Ancient World and the People who Study Them

Website also has videos, blog posts, and resources.

History Music

The oldest written music

Listened “Hurrian Hymn No. 6” (c.1400 B.C.E.) Ancient Mesopotamian Music Fragment from YouTube()

The Oldest Known Melody, which is known as “Hurrian Hymn No. 6,” that dates all the way back to 1400 B.C.E., performed by the very talented Michael Levy on s…

Written in cuneiform 3500 years ago in Syria by the Hittites. It’s not necessarily to my taste but it’s music not that foreign to my ear, I wouldn’t be shocked to hear it in a new agey hippie shop. If this is one of the origins of modern music, it makes sense that ours, growing even over so much time from theirs, feels in the same family.


History Society

Enduring Tradition as Satisfaction

Bookmarked The Convivial Society, No. 23 by L.M. Sacasas (TinyLetter)

A few years back, in a post that is no longer available as far as I can tell, Ross Andersen addressed the question of the pace of technological change. “I used to think this rapid pace of change was uncontroversially a good thing,” Andersen wrote, “but a few years ago, I read a long New Yorker piece about Paleolithic cave art that made me think twice.” He went on to explain how paleoanthropologists had concluded that cave paintings discovered in the mid-1990s, which closely resembled the most famous cave paintings found at Lascaux, in fact dated from nearly 15,000 years earlier.

Paleolithic cave art

“What emerged with that revelation was an image of Paleolithic artists transmitting their techniques from generation to generation for twenty-five millennia with almost no innovation or revolt. A profound conservatism in art, Curtis notes, is one of the hallmarks of a ‘classical civilization.’ For the conventions of cave painting to have endured four times as long as recorded history, the culture it served, he concludes, must have been ‘deeply satisfying’—and stable to a degree it is hard for modern humans to imagine.” — New Yorker

This is an interesting new perspective for me, with my fear of stagnation and lack of progress and growth. That things lasting without change isn’t a bad thing persay, that a consistency in culture could indicate satisfaction rather than incuriosity or repression. And, that “progress” is inherently rooted in dissatisfaction.

It is useful to consider how often it is the case that we turn to technology out of a sense of dissatisfaction… With what exactly are we dissatisfied? What precisely is the character of the discontent that we seek to overcome? …Even if our dissatisfaction is justified, are we justified in seeking to alleviate it by technical means?

Cool Future Building History

Persian Desert Ice Storage Structure

Liked Yakhchāl (
Yakhchal of Yazd province

“A yakhchāl is an ancient type of evaporative cooler. Above ground, the structure had a domed shape, but had a subterranean storage space. It was often used to store ice, but sometimes was used to store food as well. The subterranean space coupled with the thick heat-resistant construction material insulated the storage space year round.” Wikipedia

“In most yakhchāls, the ice is created by itself during the cold seasons of the year; the water is channeled from the qanat (Iranian aqueduct) to the yakhchāl and it freezes upon resting inside the structure.”

“Sometimes equipped with a system of bâdgirs (ancient design of windcatchers or wind towers) that could easily bring temperatures inside the space down to frigid levels even in summer days… Bâdgirs catch the slightest breeze by the vents at the top and funnel the cooling air down through internal, vertically-placed wooded slats to the water or structure below. Alternately, the bâdgir can function as a chimney, expelling warm air upward to pull cool air in from a base opening…”