Archive for December, 2013

From the Archives: How Greenland Got Its Name

By: The Scribe on December, 2013

In December 2010, our Scribe revealed some history about the island of Greenland. How did it get its name? And why call Greenland “green,” when it’s clearly full of ice?

Naturally, the story involves Vikings—and a possible misunderstanding between languages!

Follow this link to read How Greenland Got Its Name.


Fun Bonus Fact: Scientists have estimated that the ice sheet that covers Greenland is between 400,000-800,000 years old! It covers approximately 80% of the island, and is about 3 kilometers thick in places… so the ancient settlers to the island probably didn’t see much difference in appearance or terrain from what we see today.

From the Archives: The Mayan Military

By: The Scribe on December, 2013

In March 2007, we very briefly introduced readers to the basics of the Mayan military, or at least what was known at the time.

New archaeological discoveries are always being made and challenging previous assumptions—for example, just last year, archaeologists discovered the tomb of a Mayan warrior queen: Lady K’abel, a 7th-century Maya Holy Snake Lord.

Today, here’s the link to revisit The Mayan Military (ca. 300-900 AD)!

maya military

Fun Bonus Fact: Sometimes, the Mayans timed certain military campaigns to coincide with celestial events!

From the Archives: A Brief History of Toilet Paper

By: The Scribe on December, 2013

In 2007, the Ancient Standard put together a brief history of an important household item we take for granted… toilet paper!

The funny thing is, toilet paper isn’t a daily item everywhere in the world – it’s really something that’s more common to “First World” countries, instead of simply washing up after “doing one’s business.”

Which is more sanitary? We’ll leave that up to you!

Follow this link to revisit The Dirty Truth — A Brief History of Toilet Paper (6th-Century AD and onward… hopefully)!

ancient toilet paper


Fun bonus fact: In Japan, a handmade paper called washi is often used in disposable paper products. It’s made up of water and paper-mulberry, and is a softening agent for Japanese toilet paper. The papermaking technique for washi was introduced into Japan in the Kamakura Period (1192-1333)!