This Week In History News, Jan. 7 – 13

Published January 12, 2018
Updated January 31, 2018

Researchers find Thomas Jefferson's kitchen, an ancient Roman board game, and a 1,700-year-old musical instrument that still works.

Archaeologists Discover Thomas Jefferson’s Kitchen – Home Of Some Of America’s First Mac And Cheese

Jefferson Kitchen

The Thomas Jefferson FundationThe remains of a fireplace in Thomas Jefferson’s kitchen.

After venturing down into the cellar of Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello plantation in Virginia, archaeologists have uncovered one of the biggest culinary finds in history.

There, they discovered the 250-year old kitchen belonging to Thomas Jefferson and his enslaved chef, James Hemings, according to Live Science.

“[Hemings’] trajectory was pretty extraordinary,” said Fraser Neiman, the Director of Archaeology at Monticello, saying it’s one of the “really rare instances where we can associate a workspace and artifact with a particular enslaved individual whose name we know.”

Read more here.

Researchers Unearth 1,700-Year-Old Musical Instrument — And It Still Works

Old Musical Instrument

Andrey Borodovsky/The Siberian Times/National Geographic

Archaeologists digging in the Altai Republic region of Russia recently uncovered five mouth harps believed to date back to the era of the Huns some 1,700 years ago. And, shockingly, one of these harps can still make sounds.

The small instruments produces tones not unlike those of a flute, said one of the researchers who worked on the dig.

Learn more in this report.

Experts Not Sure How To Play Ancient Roman Board Game They Dug Up

Roman Board Game

Slovak Academy of Sciences/Smithsonian

Researchers in Slovakia are now attempting to understand how to play an ancient Roman board game found in a tomb that dates to 375 A.D. Although it was first dug up in 2006, experts still haven’t unlocked its mysteries.

What they do know is that the board is divided into squares, sort of like those found on a chess board, and that glass objects believed to be playing pieces were found along with it.

The board itself is a piece of wood divided into squares, similar to a chess board. Found along with it were green-and-white glass objects that may have been playing pieces.

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.