This Week In History News, Apr. 24 – 30

Published April 29, 2022

Crusades-era hand grenades discovered, protohuman hominids of Indonesia reportedly sighted, ancient Roman sandal unearthed.

Mysterious 12th-Century “Jars” Unearthed In Jerusalem Turn Out To Be Hand Grenades Used In The Crusades

Primitive Grenade Found In Jerusalem

Robert Mason/Royal Ontario MuseumThough the true recipe for these primitive hand grenades is a secret lost to history, experts have detected traces of sulfur, mercury, and magnesium.

Researchers in Canada recently analyzed four 900-year-old containers that had been found in Jerusalem in the 1960s. Long believed to be receptacles for oil, medicine, or perhaps even beer, these simple “jars” sat in a Canadian museum and were scarcely given a second thought until now. And when archaeologists analyzed the first three jars, they indeed proved to be nothing more than storage containers. But then the researchers noticed that the fourth had no decoration, thicker walls — and traces of possible explosives inside.

Experts believe that this “jar” and others like it found across the Middle East was actually one of the West’s earliest-known hand grenades, first used during the Crusades. Researchers now say that there are many more such grenades still scattered throughout the region, just waiting to be found.

Read on here.

An Anthropologist Believes This Hobbit-Like Early Human Isn’t Extinct — And Is Hiding Out In Indonesia

Homo Floresiensis Reconstruction

Wikimedia CommonsA digital reconstruction of Homo floresiensis.

When researchers discovered the bones of Homo floresiensis in Indonesia in 2003, scientists stood in awe. The remains on Flores Island indicated that this newfound hominin species had been three-and-a-half feet tall and used stone tools to hunt. Experts long believed it had gone extinct 50,000 years ago — until now.

While tangible evidence that the “Hobbit-like” species is still alive has yet to be found, retired anthropologist Gregory Forth has amassed more than 30 eyewitness accounts from the local Lio population who claimed to have spotted the hominin around Flores.

Dig deeper in this report.

A Roman-Style Sandal From 300 C.E. Was Just Found Under The Ice In The Mountains Of Norway

Roman Sandal

Secrets of the Ice/TwitterThe Roman attributes of the sandal seem to suggest that the ancient people of what is now Norway had more contact with the outside world than previously thought, according to archaeologists.

In the fall of 2019, a hiker notified archaeologists in Norway about a curious find in the Jotunheim Mountains — a raggedy shoe. Well aware that the melting ice often revealed ancient treasures, a team from Secrets of the Ice went to investigate and found a 1,700-year-old sandal.

See more here.

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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.