Tag Archives: Turkey

The Menu at the First Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is the quintessential American Holiday that we all learned about as school children – perhaps even acted in the play! However, it is also a controversial holiday for many reasons, not only the political implications but the historical ones. What exactly happened during the first celebration?

Today, Smithsonian Magazine highlights the first Thanksgiving and what exactly was on the menu:

“Wildfowl was there. Corn, in grain form for bread or for porridge, was there. Venison was there. These are absolutes.” – Kathleen Wall

Still, additional ingredients present at the meal are more of an ‘educated guess’ based on the available foodstuffs at the time. Historians have based their assessments on primary sources as well as archaeological remands – specifically using palynology.

To learn more about the meal at the first Thanksgiving, see the Smithsonian Magazine Article: “Ask An Expert: What was on the Menu at the First Thanksgiving?

Archaeologists Uncover 3,000-year-old Lion Adorning Citadel Gate Complex in Turkey

Archaeologists uncover 3,000-year-old lion adorning citadel gate complex in Turkey.



Archaeologists leading the University of Toronto’s Tayinat Archaeological Project in southeastern Turkey have unearthed the remains of a monumental gate complex adorned with stone sculptures, including a magnificently carved lion. The gate complex provided access to the citadel of Kunulua, capital of the Neo-Hittite Kingdom of Patina (ca. 950-725 BCE), and is reminiscent of the citadel gate excavated by British archaeologist Sir Leonard Woolley in 1911 at the royal Hittite city of Carchemish…

Read more at Science Daily

Panoramic, 3D Interactive Tour of the Hagia Sophia

The Hagia Sophia (in Greek Ἁγία Σοφία) is one of the most famous churches in all of Christendom. Prior to the building of Saint Peters in Rome, it was the Christian church. The current iteration built by the Emperor Justinian in the 7th century served as the center for Christendom until its fall to the Muslim Turks in the 15th century. For 500 years, it served as a mosque until Atatürk turned it into a state museum.

The Hagia Sophia  is one of the greatest landmarks in history and merits an extensive visit. In fact, I spent 24 hours on a train from Romania to Istanbul just for the opportunity to walk through its halls and visit its famed dome. However, travel is a bit extensive. Here is an exceptional 3D, interactive tour of the Hagia Sophia. Don’t worry about the Greek on the website (unless you happen to know modern Greek). The information in the tour itself is actually english. You can pan, zoom, turn, examine close-ups, etc. It takes a minute to load, so be patient! If you really enjoy Byzantine history, I highly recommend that you follow @Byzantinephil on Twitter

If you’re interested in other interactive museum exhibits, check out my earlier post: “The Best Online & Interactive Museum Exhibits