On This Day
1900 – Sir Arthur Evans purchased the land around the ruins of Knossos, the largest Bronze Age archaeological site on Crete.
Knossos (also Cnossos, both pronounced /(kə)ˈnɒsɒs, -səs/; Greek: Κνωσός, Knōsós [knoˈsos]), is the largest Bronze Age archaeological site on Crete and has been called Europe’s oldest city.
Settled as early as the Neolithic period, the name Knossos survives from ancient Greek references to the major city of Crete. The palace of Knossos eventually became the ceremonial and political centre of the Minoan civilization and culture. The palace was abandoned at some unknown time at the end of the Late Bronze Age, c. 1,380–1,100 BC. The reason why is unknown, but one of the many disasters that befell the palace is generally put forward.
In the First Palace Period (around 2,000 BC), the urban area reached a size of as many as 18,000 people. In its peak, the palace and surrounding city boasted a population of 100,000 people shortly after 1,700 BC.
Born On This Day
1750 – Caroline Herschel, German-English astronomer (d. 1848)
Caroline Lucretia Herschel (/ˈhɜːrʃəl, ˈhɛər-/; 16 March 1750 – 9 January 1848) was a German astronomer, whose most significant contributions to astronomy were the discoveries of several comets, including the periodic comet 35P/Herschel–Rigollet, which bears her name. She was the younger sister of astronomer William Herschel, with whom she worked throughout her career.
She was the first woman to receive a salary as a scientist. She was the first woman in England to hold a government position. She was the first woman to be awarded a Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society (1828), and to be named an Honorary Member of the Royal Astronomical Society (1835, with Mary Somerville). She was also named an honorary member of the Royal Irish Academy (1838). The King of Prussia presented her with a Gold Medal for Science on the occasion of her 96th birthday (1846).
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