Ancient Celtic Turnip Carvings Paved the Way for Jack-O’-Lanterns

Samhain (which means “summer’s end” in Gaelic) is the ancient pagan festival that ushered in the beginning of winter and the Celtic new year. It also evolved into All Hallow’s Eve, and then Halloween. Centuries ago, it was believed that the veil between life and death was at its thinnest during the transition from October to November, allowing visits from spirits. To ward off unwelcome …

Link About It: This Week’s Picks

Underwater art, discoveries in Spanish caves, Black architects' impact on NOLA and much more

Black Architects’ History of “Immeasurable Impact” on New Orleans “Before the Civil War,” Architectural Digest reports, “New Orleans had the largest group of free people of color in the United States.” Though they have largely been omitted from history books, this persevering, prosperous group of citizens contributed substantially to the architectural development and present-day identity of the city—influencing stucco Creole cottages and larger town houses, which …

Spanish Cave Reveals More Evidence Neanderthals Made Art

Following a recent discovery in Germany, more evidence that Neanderthals created art, something that had long been rebuffed, has been revealed in Spain. These archaic humans—who existed 2.6 million to 11,700 years ago—were believed to be “unsophisticated and brutish,” but painted stalagmites in Ardales have been newly analyzed and the “composition and placement of the pigments were not consistent with natural processes—rather, the pigments were …