A human skull dated to about 2,684 years ago with an “exceptionally preserved” human brain still inside of it was recently discovered in a waterlogged U.K. pit, according to a new Journal of Archaeological Science study.
The brain is the oldest known intact human brain from Europe and Asia, according to the authors, who also believe it’s one of the best-preserved ancient brains in the world.
“The early Iron Age skull belonged to a man, probably in his thirties,” lead author Sonia O’Connor told Discovery News. “Cause of death is rarely possible to determine in archaeological remains, but in this case, damage to the neck vertebrae is consistent with a hanging.”
About 200 people today gathered to watch the Queen arrive at a church service on the 59th anniversary of her accession to the throne.
The Queen chatted to wellwishers and accepted flowers from children after attending the service at the St Peter and St Paul church in West Newton, Norfolk, with the Duke of Edinburgh.
Security was tight, with more than 20 police officers keeping a close eye on crowds gathered outside the church.
The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh have spent Christmas and the new year in the royal residence at nearby Sandringham. They are due to return to Buckingham Palace in London tomorrow.
George VI, the Queen’s father, died in his sleep while staying at Sandringham early on 6 February 1952.
She was crowned at a coronation ceremony in Westminster Abbey on 2 June 1953.
Royal gun salutes are usually fired around the country on accession day. This year, they will be fired at noon tomorrow because accession day has fallen on a Sunday.
Titanic survivors Laura Francatelli (standing, second right) and her employers, Lady Lucy Duff-Gordon (standing, third left) and Sir Cosmo Duff-Gordon (directly behind Lady Lucy), on the Carpathia, following their rescue from the sinking of the Titanic in 1912. (AP Photo/Henry Aldridge and Son)
Francatelli was a maid to Sir Cosmo and Lady Duff-Gordon. Her account tells of how she and her mistress refused to board a lifeboat unless Sir Cosmo joined them, which he at first refused until an officer insisted. She also wrote how she and Lady Duff-Gordon were the only women on deck at the time.
“We were dropped into this boat and lowered into the sea. Just as they were lowering the boat two American gentlemen came along the deck and got in also.
“The Officers gave orders to us to row away from ship.
“There were seven sailors in the boat Lady Duff Gordon myself Sir Cosmo and the two American gentlemen. Twelve in all.
“The boat was not a lifeboat but quite a small ordinary rowing boat and not too safe,” she continued.
“We kept on rowing and stopping and rowing again I heard some talk going on all about the suction if the ship went down. I do not know who joined in the conversation.
“We were a long way off when we saw the Titanic go right up at the back and plunge down. There was an awful rumbling when she went. The [sic] came the screams and cries. I do not know how long they lasted.
“We had hardly any talk. The men spoke about God and prayers and wives. We were all in the darkness. Mr. Hengle kept on shouting Boat ahoy! and some one said There was bound to be help soon. After the ship went down all seemed very quiet for a long while.
“Later on I heard the men speaking about losing their kits and Sir C. Duff Gordon said he would make it all right for them. Sir Cosmo told them not to worry about it. He would give them £5 each.”
Francatelli also wrote of warming the hands and feet of the men who were rowing the boat due to the freezing temperatures.
Following their rescue, stories circulated that Sir Duff-Gordon had bribed crewmembers to get a boat for himself, his wife and employee. Though cleared by an official inquiry, his reputation suffered. He died in 1931.
Lady Duff-Gordon, a noted fashion designer, died in 1935.
Francatelli later married hotelier Max Haering. She died in London in 1967.
- Rare Titanic survivor letter to be auctioned (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- Voices From The Titanic (socyberty.com)
- The truth about the sinking of the Titanic (telegraph.co.uk)
- ‘Titanic’ co-star Gloria Stuart dies at 100 (pbpulse.com)
A milkman makes his deliveries as firemen work in the wreckage around him, October 1940. Click link for more photos.