Gold Head from the Oxus Treasure
5th-4th Centuries BC
This head is part of the Oxus treasure, the most important collection of gold and silver to have survived from the Achaemenid period. The treasure was found on the banks of the River Oxus and probably comes from a temple there. Most of the treasure dates from the fifth or fourth centuries BC, and many of the items are representative of what is described as Achaemenid court style, found throughout the empire and considered typical of the period. This head, though, is rather different, and may be of local manufacture.
The head is made of beaten gold and shows a beardless youth with pierced ears. It may have been part of a statue, perhaps in another material such as wood.
(Source: The British Museum)
Général De Gaulle en Iran 1963 (part 1)
Cylinder of Nebuchadnezzar II
Neo-Babylonian dynasty, about 604-562 BC
From Babylon, southern Iraq
This clay cylinder was found in the ruins of the city of Babylon. The cuneiform text describes the three palaces which Nebuchadnezzar II (reigned 604-562 BC) built for himself in Babylon. The first palace was a rebuilding of the palace used by his father Nabopolassar (reigned 625-605 BC), which Nebuchadnezzar says had become dilapidated. When he had finished, he decided that it was not grand enough, so he built himself a new palace on the northern edge of Babylon. This palace had a blue parapet and was surrounded by massive fortification walls.
Later Nebuchadnezzar erected new city walls around the east side of Babylon, and built himself a third palace next to the River Euphrates. This is known today as his ‘summer’ palace, as it had ventilation shafts of a type still used today for cooling houses in the Near East. All three palaces were built of baked brick and bitumen, with roofs and doors constructed from fine imported timbers, cedar, cypress and fir.
Cylinders of this type were buried in the corners of all large buildings by Nebuchadnezzar and his successors. They were meant to be found and read by future kings whenever the buildings had to be repaired.
(Source: The British Museum)
The Roman Empire at its greatest extent. Looking at all the provinces, you will recognize many modern countries’ names, but sometimes not where they are today.
14th century (ca. 1300-1340) Switzerland - Zürich
Cod. Pal. germ. 848: Große Heidelberger Liederhandschrift (Codex Manesse)
fol. 149v - Herr Wolfram von Eschenbach
The Sikh Empire began from 1799 and lasted till 1849.The Sikh Empire forged upon the basic origins of the Khalsa. It was headed by Maharaja Ranjit Singh, who used a number of autonomous Punjabi Misls. In the 19th century, the Sikh empire was seeing its peak time and so it focused on its expansion. Hence it extended from the Khyber Pass in the west, to Kashmir in the north, to Sindh in the south and Tibet in the east.
The Sikh Empire can be traced from as early as 1707 when the last Mughal ruler Aurangzeb died and the Mughal Empire began to decline. The Khalsa Army, known as the Dal Khalsa took opportunity of the Mughal fall and Guru Gobind Singh inaugurated a rearrangement of the Khalsa in order to launch expeditions against the Mughals and the Afghans. Hence the army grew in and gradually split into semi-independent “Misls” (sects or groups). Different individual Misls had different areas and cities under their control.
When these “Misls” merged under Ranjit Singh, the Sikh Empire is believed to have started then. It was on 12 April 1801 (the date was to coincide with Baisakhi intentionally) that Ranjit Singh was crowned. The coronation was conducted by a descendant of Guru Nanak Dev, Sahib Singh Bedi. From a mere leader of a Sikh Misl, Ranjit Singh had become the Maharaja of Punjab, in a short span of time. Under his rule the army began to modernize, with the implementation of the latest training as well as weapons and artillery. The Sikh empire weakened way too much after the death of Ranjit Singh, the main causes being internal divisions and political mismanagement. It was in 1849 that the state, after their defeat in the Anglo-Sikh wars, dissolved. For about 50 years (from 1799 to 1849) the whole of the Sikh Empire was divided into four main parts, which are: Lahore, Multan, Peshawar and Kashmir.
A Hindu ascetic namely, Banda Singh Bahadur on meeting Guru Gobind Singh at Nanded converted to Sikhism. Guru Gobind Singh just a few years before his death had sent a letter to him ordering to re-conquer Punjab and commanded the Sikhs to join him. After Banda Singh Bahadur gained support he initiated an agrarian uprising which broke the large properties, lands and estates of the Zamindar families into small parts and distributed this segmented land to the poor Sikh, Hindu and Muslim peasants who used the land for agriculture.With the defeat of the Mughals at Samana and Sadhaura, the rebellions of Banda Singh Bahadur had started. He had his territory between the Sutlej River and the Yamuna River where he had established a capital. His army got defeated in 1716 by the Mughals while he was attempting to protect his fort at Gurdas Nangal. He was captured and tortured to convert to Islam which he refused. Also his son was executed brutally. Punjab saw a highly turbulent time both politically and militarily from 1719 to 1799. The main cause of which can be stated as the fall of the Mughal Empire. (via)
The Surrender of General Burgoyne at Saratoga, October 1777 by John Trumbull in 1820. It is one of a series at the National Archives depicting America’s early history. I love this painting because it was painted almost forty-three years after the battle, and does not even try to be historically accurate. Like, yes, we just fought a really hard battle, in what was then a bunch of forest. But when it comes time for you to surrender, we all get dressed up and stand around prettily for posterity.
Famine in China, two young children dying together in the gutter, unable to get enough food from begging. Photo by George Silk for LIFE. 1946.
This photo should be one of my series.
An American soldier holding a wounded Japanese boy inside his airplane while they’re waiting for a flight to the nearest field hospital in Saipan by Peter Stackpole. 1944
(first century CE) Vietnamese heroines
Trung Trac and Trung Nhi are sisters who led a failed revolt against Chinese rule in northern Vietnam between 40 and 43 CE and are honoured as heroines in Vietnam. The Southern Yue, or Nanyue, people who lived in tribal society and practised slash-and-burn agriculture along the coast of China in present-day Guangdong and Guangxi Provinces and the northern part of present-day Vietnam. The area was conquered during the reign of the first emperor of the Qin dynasty between 220 and 210 BCE and divided into three commanderies. When the Qin dynasty fell in 206 BCE, a man from northern China named Zhao Tuo proclaimed himself king of Nanyue and made his capital in modern Guangzhou (Canton). Gaozu, the first emperor of the Han dynasty, confirmed Zhao as king, and a loose tributary relationship was established between Nanyue and Han. In 113 BCE the queen dowager of Nanyue, who was Chinese and wanted a close relationship with Han China, was murdered by her opponents. This action resulted in war between Han and Nanyue, the destruction of the kingdom, and its annexation by Han, which established nine commanderies in the former kingdom. Chinese rule resulted in economic advancement, with the introduction of irrigation and iron tools for agriculture. It also resulted in the gradual influx of Chinese immigrants to the best new lands, especially in the Red River valley. Friction led to a revolt led by two sisters, surnamed Trung (Zheng or Cheng in Chinese transliteration), daughters of a local chief, in 40 CE One proclaimed herself queen. A number of local tribes from 65 towns and settlements joined their cause. Emperor Guangwu of the Han dynasty reacted slowly, waiting until 42 CE to appoint General Ma Yuan as commanding officer in charge of suppressing the revolt. An experienced general, Ma was given the title “general who calms the waves.” He reached Guangdong in 43, sent his supplies via ships, and led the 10,000 troops overland to the Red River delta. The campaign was quickly over, the sisters were captured and executed (some argue they committed suicide), and the mopping up was completed by the end of the year. Ma returned to capital city Luoyang in 44 and presented the emperor with a huge bronze horse, cast with the bronze melted from Yue drums that symbolized the power of the chiefs. Resistance to sinicisation and Chinese immigration was the likely cause of this revolt and many other similar revolts by native peoples in the southern borderlands of the Han empire during the first and second centuries CE. The primary cause was Chinese immigrants moving deeper into the river valleys and appropriating good land, either assimilating the natives or driving them to less accessible areas. Some natives revolted, and the Han government felt compelled to put down the revolts to protect the Chinese settlements. Whereas Guangdong and Guangxi were eventually fully integrated into the Chinese state, Vietnam (Yuehnan in Chinese transliteration) became a separate state in the 10th century. In light of this the rebellion led by the Trung sisters had nationalistic overtones, and for this reason they were revered as symbols of resistance to Chinese domination. General Ma Yuan became deified in Chinese popular religion and was especially revered in southern China.
The Trung Sisters were often depicted riding on the back of an Elephant leading troops into battle. This picture was painted Bắc Ninh.
Terracotta volute-krater (vase for mixing wine and water)
Attributed to the Capodimonte Painter
President Lincoln drafted an emancipation proclamation in July 1862. He delayed issuing it till the Union had a military victory. On Sept 22, 1862, after the victory at the Battle of Antietam, he signed the Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation. It warned rebel forces that if they did not surrender and rejoin the Union in 100 days, then all slaves in the rebellious states would be freed. Once it was clear that the South would not surrender, Lincoln issued the final Emancipation Proclamation Jan 1, 1863.
A new digital archive of every single minute of American news networks for the last three years. Clips are uploaded 24 hours after they air. Amazing tool for teachers, political bloggers, librarians, the possibilities are endless.
In less than two weeks these banners will be gone! “ATTACHMENTS: Faces and Stories from America’s Gates” closes on September 4.