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23 votes
Accepted

What murals and decor might have been present in the earliest Sumerian temples?

As a quick note on chronology, "5000+ years ago" would put your setting in the Jemdet Nasr period or earlier (Uruk III–V; yes, archeological periods are numbered backwards). This is around ...
Ilmari Karonen's user avatar
15 votes

Were people buried in the 19th century with a cloth around their head if so why?

Since there are several distinct questions within the original query, and other answers/comments seem to be focused on the aspect of funerary practices, this answer will focus on the OPs' question of ...
justCal's user avatar
  • 40.4k
11 votes

When and why did blue become the colour of the British Conservative Party?

Short answer Blue was adopted by some Tories (later to become formally known as Conservatives) from around the middle of the 18th century. Before that (from around 1680) it was used mostly by Whigs. ...
Lars Bosteen's user avatar
11 votes

Has any real-world culture actually included a "Life Debt" tradition?

Medieval Gaels of Ireland In Adomnán of Iona's Life of St. Columba (Book 2, Chapter 39), the author speaks of a man from Derry, Ireland who swore an oath of slavery to a man who saved him from the ...
Robert Columbia's user avatar
  • 3,717
10 votes

How long has British women royals' solemn ceremonial dress included a sword?

Princess Anne, The Princess Royal, wore a Royal Navy uniform to the funeral in virtue of being an Admiral of the Royal Navy (since 2012, having previously been Rear Admiral since 1993 and Vice Admiral ...
Pieter Geerkens's user avatar
9 votes
Accepted

What name was given to this ancient Roman custom involving a broken pot to show a pact between individuals?

Not Roman, but Greek. The term you are seeking is Symbolum. The best description I find is from the book Everything is Sacred: A Complete Introduction to the Sacrament of Baptism By Thomas J. Scirghi....
justCal's user avatar
  • 40.4k
8 votes

Origins of "Still on patrol"

During WW2, submarines on patrol were out of contact with friendly forces for extended periods of time. Even when operating in a Wolf-Pack, they generally couldn't tell exactly where their pack-mates ...
Oot'n'Boot's user avatar
8 votes
Accepted

Was the Kingdom of Nri truly pacifistic?

The Nri were peaceful to the extent that they could, but when forced to the utmost, did engage in warfare as in the end of the 18th century. Meanwhile, their traditions—including the sieges that were ...
gktscrk's user avatar
  • 10.8k
7 votes

Were people buried in the 19th century with a cloth around their head if so why?

"Litten notes that by the early 17th century, for the first time, faces, once shrouded, were now far from concealed. In fact, the norm was for men to be dressed in a cap, shirt and then wrapped ...
MCW's user avatar
  • 33.8k
6 votes

Has any real-world culture actually included a "Life Debt" tradition?

According to this book, in ancient Rome a saviour was treated as a 'second father'. Unfortunately google books cuts you off when you get to the relevant bit. The Wikipedia article about Fabius has the ...
Ne Mo's user avatar
  • 14.1k
5 votes
Accepted

How long has British women royals' solemn ceremonial dress included a sword?

What appears to be missing from both question and answers is the fact that the Princess Royal is breaking ground for (royal) women. If anyone has seen older videos of the Remembrance Day services at ...
TheHonRose's user avatar
  • 7,929
5 votes
Accepted

Flag flying dynamics

A flag is flown at half-mast in memoriam as long as deemed appropriate by the head-of-state of the sovereignty. Note that in U.S. state governors are deemed to be sovereign within their states in ...
Pieter Geerkens's user avatar
5 votes

Since when and why do some academic publishers use, prefer or enforce endnotes instead of footnotes

It is a bit complicated... Since printing exists, its applications created professionals who were creating documents by hand. Books, and in later times magazines, were expensive because of the ...
Thorsten S.'s user avatar
  • 5,126
5 votes

Since when and why do some academic publishers use, prefer or enforce endnotes instead of footnotes

I fairly often have to produce decently formatted printed documents. Endnotes, which I too dislike, are much easier to manage for the publisher. Footnotes on the other hand mess up your page layout ...
Jos's user avatar
  • 22.1k
4 votes

Why did people in some countries start to drive on the right?

Richard F. Weingroff at the US Department of Transportation, in his article On The Right Side of the Road, investigated this in the context of why British colonists in what became the USA chose the ...
Robert Columbia's user avatar
  • 3,717
4 votes

Since when and why do some academic publishers use, prefer or enforce endnotes instead of footnotes

The main reason for publishers preferring endnotes over footnotes is financial: Many university presses now more or less require endnotes, since typesetting notes at the bottom of the page ...
Lars Bosteen's user avatar
3 votes

Origins of "Still on patrol"

Ships in the age of sail (my grandfather rounded the "Horn on 2 square riggers) were on a "voyage" and posted "missing", not on a "Patrol". My late mother-in-laws first husband was Chief Quarter ...
Bob's user avatar
  • 31
3 votes
Accepted

Was there a British Royal tradition associated with the name Elizabeth?

Collating some of the comments into an answer: Over a few days, no answer came forward confirming the existence of such tradition, or of something closely related; while lack of evidence is not ...
Bennet's user avatar
  • 187
3 votes

When and why did blue become the colour of the British Conservative Party?

Lars answer is excellent. Just to add another detail - by the mid-20th century the political colours were fairly well established, but there was a lot of regional variation. What finally enforced ...
Ne Mo's user avatar
  • 14.1k
2 votes

Were people buried in the 19th century with a cloth around their head if so why?

Follow the attached link to see the (slightly ghoulish) exhumed frozen corpses of three of the sailors on the doomed Franklin expedition to find the north west passage. In this case one of the three ...
ConanTheGerbil's user avatar
2 votes

Why do we clink glasses and say cheers?

Snopes According to Snopes both clinking glasses to ward off evil spirits, and to test for poison in the spirits, is false. Snopes Many explanations have been advanced to explain our custom of ...
John Strachan's user avatar
2 votes
Accepted

When was the first sauna on a ship?

Technologically it became not only possible, but easy in the time of cannon ships - when they started to heat the cannon balls to lit the enemy ships. If they could keep hot cannon balls, they could ...
Gangnus's user avatar
  • 7,269
2 votes

Is/was it an Indonesian tradition or custom to drink your victims' blood?

This LA Times article by Richard C. Paddock (currently at the New York Times) attests that the practice was revived around the turn of the Millenium. Dayak tribespeople, upset with their treatment by ...
Pieter Geerkens's user avatar
1 vote

Tradition of Boxing Day

Boxing day was used (in the UK) by many landed gentry to give a gift to their staff and/or suppliers as a thank you or payment for the services supplied during the year, this could be money or goods ...
Solar Mike's user avatar
1 vote

What cultures did, or do, perform human sacrifice on a regular basis?

With spaced regularity, here's another: Vikings sacrificed every 9 years people in honor of Odin. Saxo Grammaticus in his books about the history of Denmark reported it. Check this question for a more ...
user2820579's user avatar

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