This Week In History, Feb. 26 – Mar. 4

Published March 3, 2017

Remnants Of Ancient Matrilineal Society Discovered In New Mexico

Ruins Sky

George Perry/Penn StateRemains at Pueblo Bonito.

For better or worse, many today assume that ancient civilizations were patrilineal, or governed by descendants of a common male blood line. But a recent discovery challenges that view.

Following a recent dig, archaeologists found that New Mexico’s Chaco Canyon and Pueblo Bonito were home to a matrilineal society — one that saw power descend through maternal family lines — between the 9th to mid-12th centuries.

Discover more about this extraordinary civilization here.

Researchers Uncover Ancient South American Combs Used For A Pretty Disgusting Purpose

Reed Comb Chile

Bernardo Arriaza/Universidad De Tarapacá

Researchers in South America have discovered that the often ornately constructed ancient combs that they keep finding had a fairly unsavory purpose: delousing.

A recent study has found that the double-sided combs unearthed in archaeological digs in northern Chile were indeed used to get rid of lice.

When lead researcher Bernardo Arriaza magnified the combs that his team had found in the graves of women who lived in the Atacama Desert between about 500 to 1500 A.D., they discovered traces of both dead lice and lice eggs on the comb’s reed teeth.

Read more here.

All That's Interesting
Established in 2010, All That's Interesting brings together a dedicated staff of digital publishing veterans and subject-level experts in history, true crime, and science. From the lesser-known byways of human history to the uncharted corners of the world, we seek out stories that bring our past, present, and future to life. Privately-owned since its founding, All That's Interesting maintains a commitment to unbiased reporting while taking great care in fact-checking and research to ensure that we meet the highest standards of accuracy.
John Kuroski
John Kuroski is the editorial director of All That's Interesting. He graduated from New York University with a degree in history, earning a place in the Phi Alpha Theta honor society for history students. An editor at All That's Interesting since 2015, his areas of interest include modern history and true crime.