This Week In History News, May 26 – June 1

Published May 31, 2019
Updated July 1, 2019

LSD-laced 1960s radio equipment found, ancient Japanese woman reconstructed, Roman town unearthed.

San Francisco Sound Engineer Accidentally Dosed With LSD While Cleaning 1960s Radio Equipment

Eliot Curtis Closeup

KPIX5Eliot Curtis was merely trying to fix an old discarded synthesizer — when the drugs began to take hold.

When the great wave of 1960s optimism finally broke and hippiedom gave way to Vietnam and Richard Nixon, the end of an era had never been clearer. Nonetheless, counterculture remnants are still alive and well as a radio operator found out after accidentally getting dosed with 50-year-old LSD.

KPIX Channel 5 Broadcast Operations Manager Eliot Curtis was merely trying to fix an old synthesizer he found in a cold dark closet in San Francisco Cal State University East Bay when he started feeling…different.

There had been rumors that 1960s radio operators would dip their fingers in liquid LSD and touch their devices for inspiration, but this had been just that — rumors. That is until Curtis started to tinker with a Buchla Model 100 literally covered in the drug.

After he removed a module to clean “a crust or a crystalline residue” that bothered him, however, the substance seemed to dissolve in his hand and began to alter his perspective.

“It was…felt like I was tripping on LSD,” said Curtis, who began noticing a “weird tingling sensation” 45 minutes later. Little did Curtis know that the damp, lightless, conditions had provided the perfect environment for the lysergic acid to retain its potency, even half a century later.

Read more here.

Researchers Successfully Reconstruct The Face Of A 3,600-Year-Old Woman From Ancient Japan Using Her Molar

Jomon Woman Reconstruction

The National Museum of Nature and Science, TokyoThe ‘Jōmon woman,’ as she’s come to be known, was excavated in 1998, but technology had to catch up in order to extract the wealth of information hidden in her DNA.

When researchers unearthed a woman in 1998 belonging to the now-extinct Jōmon people of ancient Japan, DNA analysis wasn’t quite advanced enough to put this discovery to full use. Over two decades later, however, the genetic sequence from this ancient woman has been processed using one of her molars and used to reconstruct her face, as well as to reveal more intimate details about the society from which she came.

The woman lived some 3,550 to 3,960 years ago during the Jōmon period in ancient Japan, which can be considered the country’s equivalent of the Neolithic period. She was excavated on Rebun Island off the Hokkaido coast and has since proven herself to be a wealth of information on this time period.

Dig deeper in this report.

Entire Ancient Roman Town Discovered Off A Highway In England

Ancient Roman Town In Newington

KMG/SWNSThe site was found during the development of 124 new homes on an 18-acre plot near the A2 in Newington, Kent.

The remains of an entire ancient Roman town have been discovered close to a highway in southeast England. Construction workers were preparing to build more than a hundred new houses when they came upon the nearly 2000-year-old ruins.

A team of 30 archaeologists has spent eight months excavating the site. They’ve found rare coins, pottery, and jewelry dating back to as early as 30 B.C., as well as the remains of an ancient temple. The discovery of the 18-acre site off the A2 highway in Newington, Kent has proven to be a “massive” win in terms of contextualizing the region’s past.

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.