The First Mass Produced Items of the Ancient World

Ancient-Egyptian-Aquamarine-Shabti

The first mass produced pieces of artwork were the ancient Egyptians shabtis which were essentially miniature mummies that the ancient Egyptians believed had magical powers and were therefore buried with the dead. Shabtis were comprised of Egyptian faience which is a type of glass ceramic material made from sand. Egyptian faience is referred to as such in order to distinguish it from faience, which is a tin glazed pottery associated with Faenza, Italy. The idea of Egyptian faience was to replicate semiprecious stones like turquoise lapis lazuli from Afghanistan, which at the time was more expensive than gold. The recipe for Egyptian faience is 90% crushed silica, crushed fine natron salt to act as a flux, crushed limestone, and then the coloring with blue being the most popular, a color achieved through the use of pure copper oxide. Water was introduced to turn this composition from a granular mix into a dough like substance. Natron salt which is a type of baking soda, is the key ingredient to this recipe as it rises to the surface when baked and lowers the overall temperature at which sand melts and becomes glass. The statues are left to stand for 24 or more hours as this helps the salt grow on the surface through a chemical reaction process as oxygen within the ambient environment mixes with the ingredients inside the Egyptian faience

Photographic Evidence of Lewis Carroll’s Alleged Pedaphilia Involving Alice Liddell, the Protagonist of Alice In Wonderland

Alice-LiddellA photograph linked to Lewis Carroll was found in the Musée Cantini, a French museum in Marseille, France, which depicts what appears to be a pubescent aged Lorina Liddell who was the younger sister of Alice Liddell, the person whom the fictional character of Alice in Alice In Wonderland was based upon. The photograph is problematic as it displays Liddell, fully nude, from a frontal angle. It’s unclear if the photograph was taken by Carroll or only linked to him, and it’s not completely clear as to whether or not the girl in the photograph is actually Liddell. The image isn’t permitted to leave France, so any study upon the subject must be conducted within the borders of the country. In 1993, Carroll expert Edward Wakeling deemed the photo to be not of Liddell after repeated examination and comparison to other images of Liddell. Nicholas Burnett, a picture conservationist with specialized knowledge in 19th century photography technology has stated that he believes the inscription upon the photograph which states “Lorina Liddell, Carroll, Col, MC” is actually a dealers notation which states what the photograph is of, where it came from, and denotes that it’s part of a collection, hence the abbreviation “col”. It’s unclear what “MC” stands for as the Musée Cantini does not use this abbreviation, but it could possibly stand for “Musée Cantini”. Carroll photographed the Liddell girls during the 1860’s which is crucial because the photograph in question has a slow growth mold which is difficult to reproduce fraudulently, beneath a thin layer of egg white albumin used as an outer coating. This photograph is known to have been cropped as the negative is larger than the print which is impossible to achieve unless the photograph itself was cut down. Carrol favored using an Ottawa Walls folding camera which is the same kind of camera which created the photograph in question. Finally, the print was made from a wet collodion negative which is a printing technique which Carroll is known to have used. If the photograph was from a later date, it would have used a paper negative which would have caused it to appear less crisp and clear. The evidence seems to suggest that Carroll did indeed take and develop the photograph. Forensic comparative analysis using modern scientific methods of comparing one photograph to another were used to examine the photograph and experts concluded that the girl in the photograph, is indeed Lorina as the eyes, specifically the epicanthic fold of the eyes, matches that of photographs of Lorina when she is in her adult years, as well as her elder years. The nose provides another example of evidence as the width of the nose at the nasion, meaning the point between the eyes and the bridge of the nose, the width of the alae (pronounced “ail-ee”) which is the spongy part of the side of the nose, and the nostrils are all broadly consistent with later photographs of Lorina. The lips provide further evidence, and perhaps the most interesting of all the compiled evidence as the lips definitively show a Cupid’s bow upon the upper lip, but also a lower lip which is prominent and protruding upon the right side, but not the left. These features forensically demonstrate that there is moderate likelihood that the photograph of the pubescent girl is indeed Lorina. The leader of the forensics team which evaluated the evidence at hand has gone on record to state that because no court case involved, it can confidently be stated that the photograph in question is in fact Lorina, however it should be noted that if a court case were pursuant, the evidence presented may not be enough to garner a conviction as its lacking solid, definitive proof, beyond and to the exclusion of reasonable doubt

South Korean Culture and the Importance of Facial Symmetry and Beauty

South-Korean-gwansang

Facial structure is incredibly important in South Korea and professionals are available who specialize physiognomy, the practice of reading facial features the same way palm readers read the lines of the palm to determine ones supposed fortune (e.g. the forehead supposedly represents luck, up to the age of 30, as well as a person’s parents luck and the nose represents oneself in their entirety and can also be indicative of wealth). The facial reading process is a pseudoscience similar to phrenology of the 19th century. The practice of facial queue reading is actually quite commonplace with top employers like Samsung, LG, and Kia using facial reading experts to help decide who the company should hire for various positions. The body is also accounted for in this reading, but on a much smaller scale. Facial readers claim to be able to predict and decode a persons fortune, career, and wealth, not only for the person being examined, but also of their parents. This process is referred to in Korean as “gwansang”

Maria Gunning; The Woman Who Was Thought to be the Most Beautiful Woman in London, England During the 16th Century

Maria-Gunning

George William Coventry, the 6th Earl of Coventry, married Maria Gunning who was said to be the most beautiful woman in London, England, so beautiful in fact that grown men claim to have fainted when in her presence. Gunning wore a heavy layer of lead and mercury based makeup which caused blood poisoning and began to eat away at her skin. It is reported that Gunning only had the light of a tea kettle in her room, because she was so devastated by the damage done to her face by the makeup she wore. Venetian Ceruse, also referred to as “Spirits of Saturn”, was the 16th century cosmetic skin whitening agent which Gunning used. Venetian Ceruse was in great demand and considered the best available cosmetic during the era. The problem with lead and mercury based cosmetological products is that this compound contains acids which eat away at the skin and cause further blemishes which then in turn require even more concealer be used, causing a vicious cyclical scenario (e.g. further blemishes lead to more makeup, and more makeup, leads to ever further blemishes). It is believed that Queen Elizabeth I also used Venetian Ceruse to achieve her iconic pale beauty standard

Possible Hidden Message Within Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel

Sistine-Chapel

Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel depicts God enthralled in a red cape like textile, but what’s truly interesting is that the outline of this image directly matches that of a bifurcated brain if observed from the side (e.g. either hemisphere of the brain separated from its other half). Whether or not this was intentional is debatable. It has also been suggested that this shape is designed to represent a uterus, that from which all life is sprung