This Week In History News, Nov. 13 – 19

Published November 18, 2022

Ancient temple to Demeter found in Crete, Etruscan statues uncovered in Italy, millennia-old branding irons used on slaves unearthed in Egypt.

Archaeologists Just Found Offerings To The Goddess Demeter Inside An Ancient Temple In Crete

Ancient Temple To Demeter In Crete

Hellenic Ministry of Culture and SportsThe sister of Zeus, Demeter was worshipped by the ancient Greeks as the goddess of fertility, agriculture, and the life-giving power of water.

A bustling enclave on the western end of Crete that was first established by the Dorian people in the 7th century B.C.E., the city-state of Phalasarna was a major economic and military powerhouse in the region for hundreds of years. But although the city boasted enormous fortifications and naval resources, it nevertheless fell to the Romans in the first century B.C.E., at which point it faded into mere myth — until British explorers finally found it in the 1800s.

Now, archaeologists digging among the ruins of the lost city of Phalasarna have uncovered a 2,300-year-old temple to Demeter. The sister of Zeus, Demeter was worshipped by the ancient Greeks as the goddess of fertility, agriculture, and the life-giving power of water. Though Demeter was worshipped as the goddess of fertility and agriculture across the Greek Islands, this is the only temple of its kind ever unearthed in Crete.

Dig deeper into this astounding find here.

24 Perfectly-Preserved Bronze Statues Discovered In An Ancient Etruscan Spa

Ancient Etruscan Statue

Jacopo Tabolli/Universita per Stranieri di SienaThe trove of statues is considered one of the most “significant discoveries” of bronzes in Italian history.

While excavating the site of an ancient spa in San Casciano dei Bagni near Siena, Italy, archaeologists uncovered two dozen well-preserved bronze statues. Experts rave that the bronzes are an impressive discovery and illuminate a tumultuous time in Italian history.

The excavations at the ancient Etruscan spa unearthed 24 large statues, a handful of small figurines, and around 5,000 bronze, silver, and gold coins.

Dig deeper in this report.

New Study Suggests Ancient Egyptians Likely Branded Their Slaves

Ancient Egyptian Branding Iron

The British MuseumA bronze branding iron from ancient Egypt.

Historians have long known that ancient Egyptians branded their cattle. But a new study suggests that they may have also used branding irons to mark enslaved people.

The study examined ancient texts as well as 10 branding irons made of bronze. The researchers concluded that the branding irons, which date from between 1292 and 656 B.C.E., were likely too small to be used on livestock.

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.