The Mystery of the Clotilda, the last ship to bring slaves to the United States

A storm reveals evidence of an illegal deed and immense cruelty…

 

 

From The Washington Post,

 

The last U.S. slave ship was burned to hide its horrors. A storm may have unearthed it.

By Cleve R. Wootson Jr.

 

“In the summer of 1860, half a century after the United States banned the trans-Atlantic slave trade, Capt. William Foster sneaked 110 African slaves into Mobile, Ala. — and knew that the floating evidence of the illegal deed could get him killed.

 

The trip was more part of an obscene bet than any sort of profit-making scheme, but the Clotilda, the ship that made the months-long journey, held the telltale signs that it was an illegal slaver: containers for water and food, and the lingering stench of urine and feces and vomit and blood.

 

If caught, Foster and his crew could be imprisoned or executed, so they found a remote section of the Mobile-Tensaw Delta and torched the ship, igniting a mystery that would endure for a century and a half.

 

What happened to the Clotilda, the last ship to bring slaves to the United States?…”

 

For the rest, and a video, click here.

 

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The Aftel Archive of Curious Scents

As you know, we love scents. Perhaps this little one-of-a-kind spot is worth a field trip?

 

The perfume organ holds hundreds of natural perfume oils. (Bianca Taylor/KQED)

 

From KQED,

 

New Museum in Berkeley Worships the Art of Smell

By Bianca Taylor

 

“The first thing I notice about the Aftel Archive of Curious Scents is that it doesn’t smell.

 

Mandy Aftel, the museum’s founder and the author of “Essence & Alchemy: A Natural History of Perfume,” says this is not an accident.

 

“I think people are worried that it will be very smelly like a department store,” she says.

 

Aftel tells me that the natural oils in her perfumes are not as pungent and long-lasting as the synthetic oils that you’d find at a makeup counter.

 

The Aftel Archive of Curious Scents was founded as a way to share her love of natural fragrance with the world. The small museum is in a garage behind her house in Berkeley, just over the fence from Chez Panisse…”

 

For the rest, and a video, click here.

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Rome’s new subway unearths artifacts from the Paleolithic

“With its subway lines traveling at nearly 100 feet below ground, Line C has given archaeologists access to artifacts dating as far back as the Paleolithic era.”

 

 

From the New York Times,

 

Unearthed in Rome’s New Subway: Extinct Elephants and Persian Peach Pits

By Elisabetta Povoledo

 

“ROME — The ancient Romans were celebrated for their engineering feats: roads that helped expand an empire; aqueducts that quenched throngs and supplied lavish fountains; monumental bridges, some of which are still in use today.

 

So it seems apt that a modern engineering achievement — the construction of a new subway line in the city — has given archaeologists a unique opportunity to study this ancient world in extraordinary detail.

 

“This subway has provided a wealth of knowledge about the city that no other operation could have duplicated,” said Rossella Rea, the archaeologist who has overseen the project since planning for the subway line began in the 1990s.

 

The new route, Line C, will link the city center to an area to the east of Rome, beyond the city limits, connecting a series of fairly recently developed and heavily populated suburbs. The hope is that the line, whose first 13 stations were opened in 2014, will alleviate some of Rome’s famously chronic traffic chaos.

 

In living cities, archaeologists typically get to muck around underground during the construction of parking lots, with digs up to 26 feet below ground. With its subway lines traveling at nearly 100 feet below ground, Line C has given archaeologists access to artifacts dating as far back as the Paleolithic era.

 

“We haven’t done anything so extensive or gone so deeply” for years, Ms. Rea said.

 

As tens of thousands of cubic meters of earth has been moved during the line’s decade-long construction, each unearthed artifact — marble capitals and mosaics, and even remains of long-ago leftover meals and the ruins of 19th-century villas — has been painstakingly documented, cataloged and extracted. Some will go on show once a proper exhibition space is found. Some more monumental finds will be recomposed to be admired in situ…”

 

For the rest, click here.

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