This Week In History New, March 3 – 9

Published March 8, 2019

Roman-era penis carving uncovered, mass grave for Jews killed by Nazis found, fossils of giant prehistoric sloth unearthed.

1,800-Year-Old Penis Carving Found Etched Into Hadrian’s Wall In England

Hadrians Wall Penis Carving

Newcastle UniversityThe phallus was a symbol of good luck to Ancient Romans.

Hadrian’s Wall was a barrier constructed by the Romans to protect them from enemy hordes of barbarians. What remains of the structure is millennia old, and the fact it remains to this day is a testament to its structural integrity.

Repairs were often required, of course, for which loyal soldiers dutifully lugged sandstone materials around and patched up areas threatening to crumble. When these Romans got bored enough, however, it seems they left their mark in more ways than one.

Archaeologists from Newcastle University and Historic England have partnered up to record the newly discovered inscriptions — which include caricatures, phrases, and even a rendering of a penis.

Read more here.

Jewish Mass Grave With 730 Sets Of Human Remains Found In Belarus Construction Dig

Brest Mass Grave

SERGEI GAPON/AFP/Getty ImagesThe excavation site in Brest, Belarus.

Remnants of the atrocities committed during World War II continue to be uncovered nearly 80 years later.

From Nazi-era documents detailing Jewish populations in North America to mass graves in Eastern Europe being dug up in modern-day apartment buildings, the Holocaust still casts a wide shadow on those living in affected regions.

In the Belarusian city of Brest, it was a routine construction dig for the foundation of an apartment building that confronted citizens with the Jewish genocide of the 20th century, when workers encountered 730 sets of human remains of Jews killed by the Nazis.

Dig deeper in this report.

Divers Find 27,000-Year-Old Fossils Of 13-Foot Sloth In Belizean Sinkhole

Human Giant Sloth Comparison 2

Julie McMahon, University of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignA size comparison depicting an average adult man with the giant, 13-foot sloth.

The 2014 discovery of 27,000-year-old fossils of a giant ground sloth was purely coincidental. Divers were searching for ancient Maya artifacts when they chanced upon the animal’s tooth fragment, humerus, and femur fossils in a sinkhole in Clara Blanca, Belize.

Now, the animal’s 4-inch tooth fragment is providing the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s team with significant insight into the animal’s sustenance and the conditions in which it lived. The sloth is believed to have weighed 14,400 pounds, stood 13 feet tall, and was up to 20 feet long.

See 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.