The Rest Is History

A digitally unwrapped mummy, unsought divinity, and historic true crime.

By Jaime Fuller

Friday, December 31, 2021

Two Entertainers Strolling on the New Year, attributed to Katsushika Hokusai, c. 1798. Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Asian Art, gift of Charles Lang Freer.

• “Unsought divinity was a remarkably widespread phenomenon that spanned centuries and continents.” (The New York Review of Books)

• Dostoevsky and true crime. (The New Republic)

• “Researchers studying the wreckage of the last U.S. slave ship, buried in mud on the Alabama coast since it was scuttled in 1860, have made the surprising discovery that most of the wooden schooner remains intact, including the pen that was used to imprison African captives during the brutal journey across the Atlantic Ocean.” (Associated Press)

• A team at Cairo University digitally unwrapped a mummy: “CT scanning showed that Amenhotep I had good teeth, unlike many royal mummies.” (The Guardian)

• Found: a time capsule under the deposed Robert E. Lee statue in Richmond. (NPR)

• “Whitehorse’s historic Martha Black Mayday tree is dying—but its seedlings may help it live on.” (Maclean’s)

• “To commemorate the 125th anniversary of the tragedy that was the Tervuren exhibition, the museum that King Leopold built in that same park—which recently rebranded as the Africa Museum—has put on a show titled Human Zoo: The Age of Colonial Exhibitions, running through March 6.” (New York Times)

• This week in obituaries: Betty WhiteJohn Madden, Desmond Tutu, Jean-Marc Vallée, Harry Reid, Sarah Weddington, Keri Hulme, E.O. Wilson, Thomas Lovejoy, Wanda Young, James F. Fries, Oriol Bohigas, J.D. Crowe, Jonathan Spence, H. Jackson Brown Jr., Janice Long, Grace Mirabella, Wayne Thiebaud, Thomas Kinsella, Richard Marcinko, and Dave Draper.