This Week In History News, May 14 – 20

Published May 19, 2023

History's earliest-known kisses uncovered in Mesopotamia, Qing Dynasty jars found in London thrift store, world's oldest megastructure blueprints unearthed in Jordan.

Archaeologists May Have Just Uncovered History’s First Evidence Of Humans Kissing

Ancient Kiss Tablet From Mesopotamia

British MuseumThis Babylonian tablet from 1800 B.C.E. may be one of history’s oldest surviving depictions of humans kissing.

Researchers have long been grappling with the question of when human beings started kissing. Archaeologists have uncovered tooth plaque on Neanderthal remains that could suggest our ancestors were kissing a whopping 48,000 years ago. Meanwhile, experts have long known of an 11,000-year-old sculpture uncovered in a cave near Bethlehem that’s believed to be history’s first depiction of two people having sex, but experts have never been able to make out whether or not the lovers are kissing.

Now, researchers analyzing 4,500-year-old cuneiform tablets from Mesopotamia believe they’ve discovered the first descriptions and depictions of kissing in history.

Learn about the steamy evidence they found here.

Qing Dynasty Jars Purchased For $25 At A London Thrift Store Just Sold For $75,000 At Auction

Qing Dynasty Jars

Roseberys LondonThe 18th-century Qing Dynasty jars found in a London thrift store.

A passionate ceramics collector was browsing a London thrift store when they came across two porcelain jars. These colorful jars immediately stood out, and the collector had to have them.

Later, they would discover that the jars were 18th-century Qing Dynasty porcelain and that the pair could be worth more than $60,000 — eventually selling for over $74,000.

Dig deeper in this report.

These Ancient Rock Carvings On The Arabian Peninsula Might Be The Oldest Megastructure Blueprints In The World

Monolithic Blueprint Near Desert Kites

SEBAP & Crassard et al., PLOS ONE 2023; O. Barge/CNRSA “blueprint” of a nearby desert kite found on a standing monolith in Jordan.

Roughly 100 years ago, aerial photography captured pictures of large stone structures on the Arabian Peninsula that captivated archaeologists. Known as desert kites, these megastructures stretch for miles, are made up of driving lines and star-shaped enclosures, and loosely resemble their namesake in shape.

Now, researchers have uncovered a pair of engraved stones that appear to depict some of these kites to scale, suggesting that ancient humans had a deep understanding of dimensional space — and may have even drawn up scaled blueprints to help construct the structures.

Read on 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.