Chinese Archaeologist Examines 2,400 Year-Old Soup Cauldron
Imagine the world around 400 BCE. The Phonecians in Carthage were the dominant power in North Africa; Socrates had just been condemed to death; in Mesoamerica, the Olmec civilization entered a period of terminal decline; and a Chinese nobleman was laid to rest in his tomb in Xian with enough ancient soup and wine to see him through to the afterlife.
After 2,400 years the couldron or ting containing the soup has been opened and it was found to contain an oxidized liquid and a few stock bones. 2,400 year-old soup. I cannot help to wonder what it was made of. but I won’t have to wonder long, because tests are being done to determine the ingredients inside the pot. In the larger, unopened vessel in the photograph, a substance thought to be wine was also found.
I’m betting its a thin, salty, beef-based broth with a souring agent like vinegar to dissolve the calcium from the bones. Perhaps some daikon and mushroom or cabbage could have adorned the broth and Sichuan pepper or star anise was added for flavor along with a bit of ginger or garlic. Only time will tell what food/medicine this man brought with him to the grave. (Words by Laura Kelley, Photo borrowed from the internet alternatively seen with AFP and Xinhua credits.)
Oldest Share Certificate
A share of stock issued in 1606 by the sea trading firm Dutch East India Company has recently been discovered in the Netherlands.
Locked away in forgotten city archives, the share was made out to Pieter Harmensz, from the Dutch East India Company has recently been found in the northwestern city Hoorn.
As the Netherlands’ largest trading company in the 17th and 18 centuries, the Dutch East India Company (VOC) was also the world’s first company to issue stock. Dutch research has shown the VOC faced early financial difficulties and shareholders were not initially paid dividends.
The company finally started paying dividends in 1610, partly in money and spices, following strong shareholder pressure. The share is on display at the Westfries Museum. (Words by Laura Kelley).
Levantine Daggerhandle from Chinese Ship
The contents of a Chinese shipwreck estimated to be more than 1000 years old will be coming to auction soon according to a spokesman from the Government of Indonesia. The contents of the ancient ship has been salvaged and curated over the last few years will soon be available for public sale. The bulk of the material salvaged was fine Chinese white or green ware, but the hull also contained Egyptian artifacts and Lebanese glass. The wooden ship sank in the Java Sea and provides importance evidence of the Silk Road maritime trade from over a millennium ago.
Although precious, sunken Chinese ships laden with goods from around the globe are common enough to warrant their own museum as witnessed by the opening of the Guangdong Maritime Silk Road Museum, in Yangjiang City, China. (Words by Laura Kelley).