Posted in Day Trip, Education, History, life, Travel

Have you met Dippy?

Meet Dippy the Diplodocus. He’s on tour around the UK having left the Natural History Museum in London for the first time since 1905. His show is on the road until 2020 and is next heading to Newcastle on 18th May, having just wrapped up a several month stint in Glasgow’s Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum.

Dippy is a beautiful big beastie who originally roamed the earth 150 million years ago, munching on leaves and hanging out with his dino friends. I can’t help but be reminded of The Land Before Time and Disney’s Dinosaur, so excuse me while I wipe away my tears.

If you are a paleo purist (ancient bones, not the diet) then maybe Dippy wasn’t your thing, he is a replica – plaster cast of the original Dippy in residence in Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Museum of Natural History. However, I don’t care, because it’s thanks to Andrew Carnegie, a Scottish-American industrialist and philanthropist, that we over here have a Dippy to look at! Carnegie financed the excavation of Dippy in Wyoming in 1899 and they later discovered it was a new species, thus named the
Diplodocus carnegii. As a favour to King Edward VII, Carnegie faithfully reproduced the bones of the original at the cost of $2000 back in 1902 and gifted them to the Natural History museum in London.

Most people know how much Kelvingrove means to me, it’s my hang out place when I can get there; where my interests in art, history and old buildings converges so for that to be the temporary home of Dippy’s Scottish visit, I couldn’t have asked for more. Picture it, me in all my 30 years turning up with my pater and the two of us nerding out worse than the kids swarming around.

Dippy is 70ft long, no wonder it’s hard to get him in one shot!

Even though the photos show other people as scale, it still doesn’t do justice to how massive Dippy actually is. He towered over the adults, nevermind the kids and weighs in at a hefty 20,000kg (alive, I’m sure).

Smile for the camera

I had to zoom in to get his wee face, and felt so small and insignificant. Really makes me wonder about people who deny the existence of dinosaurs – we might mostly be top of the food chain these days, but we’re all fairly tiny and annoying.

Colossus at rest

It was a great day out to visit Dippy and I can only hope that there have been countless children inspired by seeing him. I may have ended up at the merch shop and may have acquired a Dippy soft toy for a small fortune…

Kelvingrove is a free-entry museum and is open nearly all year-round from 10/11-5pm everyday. There are accessible entry points from both the Argyle Street and car park entrance. There are two cafés serving hot and cold drinks and light foods, the basement café serving meals as well. The basement features different installations and the two gift shops sell the permanent and temporary merchandise. There is artwork from Dalí and the Dutch Masters to the exhibits of Ancient Egypt and Scottish Wildlife, so there is definitely something for all to see.

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Posted in History, Travel

Etruscan Settlement in Sardegna!

Back in 2017, archaeologists had come across a wealth of Etruscan-based discoveries, including an Etruscan temple on the ‘Mountain Of Jupiter’ and possibly the best-preserved Etruscan site in Italy. Well, this time around the scope beyond the confines of the Italian peninsula, to account for the Sardinian island which also seems to flaunt its Etruscan…

via For the first time ever, archaeologists discover an Etruscan settlement in Sardinia — Realm of History

Posted in History

3700-year old Babylonian tablet may contain the world’s oldest known trigonometric table — Realm of History

When it comes to the history of incredible inventions, advanced mathematics was one of the major developments that came out of Mesopotamia. Pertaining to this ancient scope, the Babylonians had been in the forefront of devising fascinating new mathematical systems, including what we know today as the sexagesimal (base-60) numeral system. And now, as it…

via 3700-year old Babylonian tablet may contain the world’s oldest known trigonometric table — Realm of History

Please have a read of this if you are at all interested in history like I am! I’ve been reading a lot about Babylon and Near-East civilisations and the script the tablet was written in is Cuneiform. It was written using a wedge shaped reed and consisted of angled markings pressed into wet clay, the text followed guidelines much like our modern day lined paper!

Yes, I have a book on this, check out Irving Finkel’s guide to writing Cuneiform. I bought clay and tools from Hobbycraft.

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