Photochrome of a glacier, Grindelwald, Switzerland, c. 1890. © Rijksmuseum


Volume X, Number 2 | spring 2017


Archaeologists in France discovered in 1865 a Stone Age human skull with a hole sawed in it. They believed it had served as a drinking vessel; one wrote the hole was “expressly made for the application of the lips.” But later study by an anatomist proved this to be incorrect: the skull was actually evidence of ancient brain surgery.

New things are always ugly.

—Willa Cather, 1921

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The Colosseum, attributed to Robert Eaton, c. 1855.
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Monumental Mistakes


Fitness instructor carves his girlfriend’s name into the Colosseum.

c. 1850:

Thompson of Sunderland makes his mark on Pompey’s pillar.