The bees were so prized that Mayans treated them as sacred. They handled the bees with great care, and if one became honey-soaked, they dried it and set it free. The happiest part of this symbiotic relationship was that if any bees died during the honey gathering process, they were wrapped in a leaf and given a tiny individual bee burial. Remember: This is the same culture that practiced human sacrifice via disembowelment and Indiana Jones-style heart extraction. After they watched the life fade out of a virgin girl's eyes, they gently kissed a bee goodnight.
We Have Comprehensive Records Of A Medieval Russian Child's Silly Doodles
Veliky Novgorod is a city in western Russia. Founded around 859 CE, it still exists today. Buried under the streets of Novgorod are thousands of artifacts from its long history, most notable of which are the birch bark documents that medieval Russians used in place of paper. These documents are well-preserved, due to the "magical mud" of the city. Officials say "Novgorod for Russia is like Pompeii for Italy."
One of the reasons these birch bark documents are so special is that they offer a charming insight into mundane medieval life. One 14th-century record is simply a shopping list. It ends with the author signing off "If I am alive, I will pay for it." It might have been a joke. It might have just been Russia.
What really steals the show in this collection? Doodles from a schoolchild named Onfim. Historians date his works to around 1260, and he's believed to have been around six or seven years old at the time. Here's a picture Onfim drew of himself as a heroic knight, slaying an enemy:
Onfim of Novgorod
Hey, it's better than your stupid kid could do. S-sorry we called your kid stupid. We just really love Onfim.
Onfim originals span from Bible verses to portraits of himself and his dad. This collection of ancient doodles, buried in the mud for almost 800 years, shows that kids have always been kids, even during some of the worst eras in human history. Knights, fire-breathing monsters, and hands that look like big forks are all quintessential childhood experiences, no matter the century.
Onfim of Novgorod
Is that ... an Easter Island head ... screwing a ram? We still love you, Onfim. We're just asking.
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