Friday, September 24, 2010

Some Old News and Some New News

I have returned from the wild west! Unfortunately, I did not find the most excellent bucking bronco Wyoming sweatshirt that I have lusted after since I first laid eyes upon it YEARS ago, but I did get a nice magnet and got to see the Badlands for the first time since age 3. That is to say, this time I may actually REMEMBER it for the foreseeable future.

(Oh, did you want to see a picture? Of the badlands? El Husbando is currently holding our personal photography--such as it is--hostage. But it was definitely cool to look at. Like someone had taken a paint brush to the hills and the stone and turned them all into sunsets. You will have to make do with this image from wiki commons* for now! It kind of washes out a lot of the color, but it gives you an idea I guess.)

Badlands, South Dakota, USA. From :
As far as the old news goes, while I was away a fabulous twitter-friend sent me an awesome link to an article of ANOTHER facial reconstruction from a found skull. This time, a young Athenian girl from ~430 BCE. It takes forever to load the page but the image is fascinating, I'm particularly interested by the fact that they chose to give her red hair. 

In a similar vein, I stumbled across a series of pictures of facial reconstructions from our ancient apish ancestors to the present day a while back, which I found to be COMPLETELY THE MOST AWESOME THING EVER. Or at least a really fascinating look at the evolution of the human face. And apparently I am a sucker for putting faces on the long dead. (Still hoping for the Headless Vikings to get their faces back!)

And speaking of Neanderthals (kind of), did you know the majority of the human race is part neanderthal? 1-4% of our genes! Interbreeding! The Stuff Stories Are Made Of! 

While searching for those links, I also found this one which is from an article dated way back in 2007 claiming that some Neanderthals were red-heads, which brings us back to the red-headed Athenian girl. I wish they explained why they thought she had red hair! Apparently they're going to do facial reconstructions of another couple of skulls for a museum exhibit. I'm dying to see the results, personally. 

Putting a face on these people seems to me to be a strong parallel to what we do as writers, giving stories to characters, historical, mythical, and imaginary. Or maybe it's the fact that when I create characters of my own, or even find characters from mythology attaching themselves to my writing, I don't SEE faces myself. I know I would recognize my characters on the street, if I saw them, but imagining the face in my mind just doesn't work out at all. Either way, facial reconstructions of ancient people is just one of the coolest things ever, in my opinion! 

So there you have it! The official return to hiatus post! Now with MORE Links!


  1. Yay! I'm glad you're back and that you had a great time. I've never been to the Badlands, but you know Theodore Roosevelt loved them so they must be cool.

    I'm always entranced by facial reconstructions too. The one a few years ago on King Tut was particularly interesting.

  2. Welcome back! Great photo even if it is a Wiki borrow. :)

    I find facial reconstruction fascinating, too, not just the ancient but the modern forensic reconstructions.

  3. On the subject of Neanderthals, I was linked to an article this morning, on a distinct prehistoric culture in Italy:

  4. Stephanie: they are VERY cool. Even cooler when you look out and realize that what you're seeing is all buried under your feet too!

    VR: The modern doesn't really do so much for me. I also tend to ignore recent history altogether :)

    Anassa: Thanks! You find the best links! The more we learn about Neanderthals, the more interesting they become, I think!

  5. *huggles* Welcome back!

    Wow, that picture is so COOL. That place looks AMAZING. Also I'm loading the facial reconstruction thingy now. I LOVE these kind of things. It's cool to be able to look at ancient ancestors etc.


  6. One of these days I will have more badlands pictures to post and share. It is a really neat place, for sure! :) Maybe I will email you some higher res ones when I get them.


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