The Rest Is History

Cuneiform, Regency romances, and an archaeologist tiff.

By Jaime Fuller

Friday, January 22, 2021

Winged genius, c. 883 bc. Minneapolis Institute of Art, Ethel Morrison Van Derlip Fund.

• How to write cuneiform. (The British Museum Blog)

• Found: the oldest known abrading tool. (Science News)

• “Why Are So Many Romances Set in the Regency Period?” (JSTOR Daily)

• Two archaeologists are fighting over the age of the Nebra sky disk. It’s an “unhappy situation.” (New York Times)

• “The story of [Father] Coughlin, the demagogic radio priest who dominated American airwaves during the Great Depression, offers an intriguing analog-age precedent to the digital-age debates over the limits of free expression.” (Slate)

• “The Uffizi Galleries in Florence have launched a new online exhibition to commemorate the seven hundredth anniversary of the death of Dante Alighieri.” (

• “The ancient Orkney site where Picts and Vikings settled now under threat from pandemic.” (The Scotsman)

• Questioning a myth: “Part of the mythology surrounding Newton’s magnificent thesis has been the notion that neither very many copies were printed for its first edition, nor was it at first very well read, or used.” (Nautilus)

• This week in obituaries: Mary Catherine Bateson, Phil Spector, Margo St. James, Alan Canfora, Grace Robertson, Sylvain Sylvain, Nikolai Antoshkin, Marsha Zazula, Charles Campion, Deborah Rhode, Harry Brant, Tom Lankford, John Heilpern, Mahmood Jamal, Michael Land, Martinus Veltman, Joseph Scheidler, and Margaret Weston.