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
A New York-based publisher established in 2010, All That's Interesting brings together subject-level experts in history, true crime, and science to share stories that illuminate our world.