This Week In History News, Mar. 31 – Apr. 6

Published April 5, 2019

Mystery of noseless Egyptian statues solved, rare portrait of Harriet Tubman found, America's largest mass lynching to finally get an apology.

New Study Finds That So Many Egyptian Statues Have Broken Noses Because Of Intentional Defacement

Sphinx Of Giza

Wikimedia CommonsThe Great Sphinx of Giza, perhaps the most famous Egyptian statue with a glaringly missing nose.

As curator of the Brooklyn Museum’s Egyptian art galleries, Edward Bleiberg fields a lot of questions from curious visitors. The most common one is a mystery many museum-goers and history obsessives have pondered for years — why are the statues’ noses so often broken?

According to CNN, Bleiberg’s commonly held belief was that the wear and tear of millennia would naturally affect the small, protruding parts of a statue before the larger components. After hearing this question so often, however, Bleiberg began doing some investigative research.

Bleiberg’s research posited that ancient Egyptian artifacts were deliberately defaced as they served as political and religious totems and that mutilating them could affect the symbolic power and dominance the gods held over people.

See more here.

Never-Before-Seen Photo Of A Young Harriet Tubman Uncovered Inside Abolitionist’s Album

Harriet Tubman Rescued Slaves

Wikimedia CommonsHarriet Tubman poses with former slaves.

There is an exciting new addition on display at the National Museum of African-American History and Culture in Washington, D.C. The museum unveiled a never-before-seen portrait of American icon Harriet Tubman as a younger woman, which was discovered in a photo album owned by fellow abolitionist Emily Howland.

According to the museum, the photo dates back to the late 1860s when Tubman is estimated to have been in her early 40s.

Dig deeper in this report.

New Orleans Mayor To Apologize For Largest Italian-American Lynching In U.S. History

New Orleans French Quarter

Pedro Szekely/FlickrThe French Quarters in New Orleans.

The city of New Orleans announced that it will be giving an official apology to the 11 Italian-Americans who were wrongfully attacked by a public mob in 1891. The group of immigrants were beaten and lynched by residents after they had been acquitted for the murder of a local police chief.

“This has been a longstanding wound,” Michael Santo of the Order Sons and Daughters of Italy told NOLA. The campaign for a formal apology from the city was led by Italian-American community organizations like Sons Of Italy, which approached the mayor’s office about the idea.

Read on here.

All That's Interesting
All That's Interesting is a Brooklyn-based digital publisher that seeks out stories that illuminate the past, present, and future.