The Ancient History of Damascus Steel

Damascus-steel-swordDamascus, Syria, the birthplace of Damascus steel was prized in the ancient world for its durability but unbeknownst to the craftspeople who forged Damascus steel, the region from which the iron ore was taken had naturally occurring nickel which meant that Damascus metalsmiths had composite steel 3000 years before the rest of the world as the idea to mix different kinds of metals had not yet been invented. Damascus steel was shatter resistant and could be sharpened to become sharper than any other type of steel. Having first encountered it during the Crusades of the 11th century, European forgers attempted for centuries to recreate what their Middle Eastern counterparts had already perfected

World Renowned Porcelain of Jingdezhen, China

Jingdezhen-China-porcelain

The city of Jingdezhen, China had for centuries been the ceramic capital of China, but it was the manufacturing of porcelain which gave China it’s first world recognized brand, built off of the back of the Ming vase. If the emperor requested a piece of pottery from Jingdezhen, 10 identical pieces would be manufactured, with only 2 being sent to the emperor. The remaining 8 pieces could not be touched by human hands and subsequently were destroyed in the imperial kiln

The Freemasonic Society

freemason

As of 2012, there are an estimated 6,000,000 (6 million) Freemasons worldwide. It is believed by some experts that the Freemason fraternity was established during the building of Solomon’s Temple, which occurred in 1000 B.C.. The original universal symbol of the Freemason society has a geometric compass at the top, letter “G” in the middle, and a squared ruler at the bottom. The compass is considered the main tool of the Freemason and stands for the perfect circle it draws in which a Freemason can stand. It is believed by the Freemasons that when having gone outside of this circle, a Freemason will find trouble and lose control. The only way to enlarge the circle is to seek knowledge. The square is iconography designed to represent wisdom and virtue. The letter “G” represents the “grand architect of the universe” but also can be interpreted as God or geometry, as it is believed by some experts that God is a grand architect and that geometry, specifically sacred geometry is the language of the universe. The goal of the Freemason organization is to promote free thinking, as it is believed that doing so is the only way to inoculate oneself from any tyrannical person or organization set out to enslave civilization

Ancient Stained Glass Manufacturing

ancient-stained-glass

The manufacturing of stained glass is an ancient technology which dates back so far that the ancient Egyptians knew how to do it 2000 years before the birth of Jesus Christ. Medieval Europe inherited this form of technology but did not invent it as is common belief. Deep, rich blue glass was very difficult to make and therefore needed to be imported from southern Italy. The deep blues which the Chartres Cathedral in Chartres, France is so famous for can historically be traced through documentation to fragments coming from the Byzantine Empire as well as the Roman Empire. These imports were melted down and used to create new glass. Most colors and dyes came from the natural world in the forms of roots, berries, barks, leaves, minerals, and crushed insects, but the most prized colors were imported into Europe from the east, specifically India and China using Ottoman trade routes. The simple luck of geography made Venice, Italy an incredibly wealthy city as it acted as a nexus between the east and west. The blue hue referred to as “ultramarine” was the most expensive color to acquire and therefore it was almost always saved for depictions of the Virgin Mary, typically in her cloak or some other form of clothing, as Mary was depicted as the focal point of every painting she appeared within. Ultra Marine came from the mineral of lapis lazuli and when it was ground up into powder, some parts would inevitably become smaller than others which allowed these particles to reflect more light and provide a deeper, richer color to work with and appreciate. Vermillion Red was almost as precious as ultramarine, and has been used in Europe for hundreds of years in various illuminated manuscripts. Made from the mineral cinnabar, vermillion was adopted in places outside of Europe like meso-America for painting, India for bindi dots, and China to create lacquerware