This Week In History News, Apr. 2 – 8

Published April 7, 2023

Lost 17th-century painting discovered in French family's home, evidence of prehistoric humans eating giant snails found in South Africa, 6,000-year-old shark hunting hook unearthed in Israel.

This 400-Year-Old Brueghel Masterpiece Found Gathering Dust In A French Family’s TV Room Just Sold For $850,000

Brueghel Painting Discovered In France

Wikimedia CommonsEntitled The People’s Lawyer and created between 1615 and 1617, this lost masterpiece was created by Flemish artist Pieter Brueghel the Younger.

For decades, a family in northern France kept this painting tucked away behind the door of their dimly-lit TV room. Certain that it was a cheap imitation of The People’s Lawyer by Pieter Brueghel the Younger, they would always joke about “the Brueghel” hanging on their wall. So when they recently had an appraiser come to their house, they never suspected that their knockoff would catch his eye.

But as appraiser Malo de Lussac was going through the TV room, he saw two-thirds of the painting peeking out from behind the door and went in for a closer look. Quickly, he determined that the piece needed further study. And when experts soon told the family that the painting was a real 400-year-old Brueghel, they asked de Lussac to take a photo of them in front of this artwork that they had lived with their whole lives in a scene that he described as “both funny and touching.”

Read more about this astounding discovery that just sold for $850,000 here.

Ancient People Cooked And Ate Giant Snails As Big As An Adult Human Hand 170,000 Years Ago, New Study Reveals

Giant Land Snail On A Plate

Peter Meade/Getty ImagesA Giant African Land Snail on a dinner plate.

Broken shell pieces found in a South African cave just provided researchers with the earliest evidence of humans eating snails.

An analysis of the shell fragments excavated at South Africa’s Border Cave showed signs that the shells had been heated, possibly in cooking, leading researchers to conclude that ancient humans had been roasting and eating snails longer ago than previously thought.

Dig deeper in this report.

This 6,000-Year-Old Hook Found In Israel Was Likely Used To Catch Sharks

Ancient Shark Hunting Hook

Emil Aladjem/Israel Antiquities AuthorityResearchers found the copper hook in an ancient village in modern-day Israel.

Archaeologists believe a 6,000-year-old fishhook they found in an ancient village on the coast of Israel was once used to catch sharks in the Mediterranean — and it may be one of the earliest copper hooks ever created.

In 2018, researchers found the hook in an agricultural village from the Chalcolithic period, or Copper Age, which began 6,500 years ago in the Levant and lasted for roughly 1,000 years. The team was excavating the land in preparation for the construction of a new neighborhood when they made the discovery.

Read on 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.