In March 2014, the Vatican Library announced it was beginning its efforts to digitize a portion of its extensive collection in coordination with the Bodleian Libraries at the University of Oxford. In the past year, they've made good progress, as documented on the project's blog, which provide some good insight into the process and the documents that have been digitized to date. [more inside]
Ancient musical reconstruction has led to the discovery of the sounds made by Aztec "death whistles".
A Saint for Lost Souls. "The barrio of Tepito, where it's said that everything is for sale except dignity, has been one of Mexico City's roughest neighborhoods since Aztec times. Famous for its black market and its boxing champions, Tepito is a place where residents learn to fight early and fight hard. These days it has also become the epicenter of Mexico's fastest-growing faith: Santa Muerte, or Holy Death, a hybrid religion that merges Catholic symbolism with pre-Hispanic worship of the skeletal Mictlantecuhtli and Mictlancihuatl, Lord and Lady of the Dead."
Everything you wanted to know about pre-Columbian Central America but were afraid to ask lest your heart get ripped out and offered to Quetzalcoatl
The Foundation for the Advancement of Mesoamerican Studies is your one-stop shop for pre-Columbian Central America awesomeness. There are so, so many wondrous things on that site, I don't quite know where to begin. I suppose John Pohl's scholarly introduction is a natural place to start. But maybe you just don't have time to read anything and just want to dive into pretty, pretty pictures. Perhaps the most user-friendly databases are Justin Kerr's photographs Maya Vases (e.g. 1, 2, 3) and Pre-Columbian Portfolio (e.g. 1, 2a, 2b, 3). From there you can delve into the collection of Linda Schele's photographs (e.g. 1, 2) and drawings (e.g. 1, 2, 3). There are more image databases but let me direct you to the collection of old Maya, Aztec and Mixtec books which are simply stunning (e.g. 1, 2, 3, 4 [last link pdf]). You can read more about Mayan and Mixtec codices and download high resolution versions of the entire books. There are also Maya dictionaries, glyph guides, linguistic maps and a who's who. There is also classic Mayan and Aztec poetry in translation. I'm telling you, that's not even half of what this amazing site has to offer.
Six feet long, eight feet wide, bicycle tires all around, and 0 to 60 in four-and-a-half hours. Have any MeFites the courage to admit they owned one of these horrors of engineering?
You Wouldn't Want To Be ... an Eqyptian Mummy, a Slave in Ancient Greece, or even an Aztec Sacrifice ... would you? The "You Wouldn't Want To" series of children's educational books is written by various experts and viscerally illustrated by David Antram. Conveniently enough, "You Wouldn't" contributor and former Cambridge professor Fiona Macdonald has also written a series of "How To Be" books. (via JessicaHarbour)