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Stonehenge has flummoxed archeologists, poets, historians, educators, and religious leaders for centuries.

The mysterious ring of stones is clearly far more than just the subject of hilarious Norwegian comedy songs. Photo by Velvet/Wikimedia Commons.


Was it an ancient observatory? A concert venue? A sort of holistic hospital? Who built it? Early Britons? Druids? Merlin? Aliens?

Stonehenge was probably not built by balloon aliens, but it wasn't definitely not built by balloon aliens. Photo by Lewis Francis/Flickr.

While the jury is, largely, still out, many archeologists believe the ring of stones functioned, at least in part, as a a cemetery for notable people.

Photo by Christina Rutz/Flickr.

Though archeologists have known there were human remains under Stonehenge for around 100 years, no one thought much about them at first.

That all changed in 2013, when researchers discovered the remnants of dozens of individuals buried under and around the stone ring.

Artifacts discovered near the cremated bone fragments suggest these people were high status individuals in ancient society. Basically, they were "capital-b" Bigwigs. Celebrities. One-percenters.

For decades, archeologists assumed only men were buried at site, which would seem to jibe with the notion that those entombed at Stonehenge were prominent people in the neolithic world.

DNA evidence proved them wrong.

Roughly half of the (presumed) ancient leaders and celebrities buried under Stonehenge appear to be women.

Women! Photo by The White House/Flickr.

And now, there's even more evidence. Several weeks ago, the remains of 14 more women (and nine men) were excavated by researchers, according to Jennifer Viegas of Discovery News.

Like the rest of the remains found at Stonehenge, all of these women were buried between 3100 and 2140 B.C.

What, exactly, does this mean about women in the Stone Age?

No one really knows 100% for sure. Perhaps the women buried at Stonehenge were leaders in society. Perhaps they were family members of high status men. They might have had equal social standing in society, or not quite.

The one thing that seems pretty clear to researchers, though?

"The archaeology now shows that as far as the burials go, women were as prominent there as men. This contrasts with the earlier burial mounds, where men seem to be more prominent," archeologist Mike Pitts told Discovery News.

While it's still impossible to draw too many specific conclusions about the structure of ancient Briton society, the discovery is a reminder that progress toward gender equality hasn't been a straight line. In reality, it's been more like a wave.

According to Pitts, "Historical evidence has shown that women’s status has gone up and down quite noticeably at different times in the past."

Gloria Gaynor, chief architect of the latest upswing in gender equality. Dominique Aubert/Getty Images.

While men dominated most early agricultural societies, some studies suggest that gender equality was common in hunter-gatherer communities prior to the advent of farming. In Western culture, "traditional" gender roles were somewhat less clearly defined and enforced prior to the Victorian period when they were codified and entrenched, remaining rigid until the early 20th century, when they began to relax again.

"As the burials go, women were as prominent there as men."

It's unclear whether women in third millennium B.C. England had anything resembling actual equality while they were alive, but the evidence at least suggests their lives were equally honored after death.

Perhaps once we learn more about the women and men buried under Stonehenge, we'll have to stop describing regressive cultural attitudes as "Stone Age" like it's a bad thing.

At the very least, this latest discovery means the mystery of Stonehenge is slightly less mysterious now. More and more, it appears that the ancient wonder is a monument to men and women, living side-by-side and working together.

That deserves a hoorah.

GIF via Ylvis, TV Norge/YouTube.

All images provided by Bombas

We can all be part of the giving movement

True

We all know that small acts of kindness can turn into something big, but does that apply to something as small as a pair of socks?

Yes, it turns out. More than you might think.

A fresh pair of socks is a simple comfort easily taken for granted for most, but for individuals experiencing homelessness—they are a rare commodity. Currently, more than 500,000 people in the U.S. are experiencing homelessness on any given night. Being unstably housed—whether that’s couch surfing, living on the streets, or somewhere in between—often means rarely taking your shoes off, walking for most if not all of the day, and having little access to laundry facilities. And since shelters are not able to provide pre-worn socks due to hygienic reasons, that very basic need is still not met, even if some help is provided. That’s why socks are the #1 most requested clothing item in shelters.

homelessness, bombasSocks are a simple comfort not everyone has access to

When the founders of Bombas, Dave Heath and Randy Goldberg, discovered this problem, they decided to be part of the solution. Using a One Purchased = One Donated business model, Bombas helps provide not only durable, high-quality socks, but also t-shirts and underwear (the top three most requested clothing items in shelters) to those in need nationwide. These meticulously designed donation products include added features intended to offer comfort, quality, and dignity to those experiencing homelessness.

Over the years, Bombas' mission has grown into an enormous movement, with more than 75 million items donated to date and a focus on providing support and visibility to the organizations and people that empower these donations. These are the incredible individuals who are doing the hard work to support those experiencing —or at risk of—homelessness in their communities every day.

Folks like Shirley Raines, creator of Beauty 2 The Streetz. Every Saturday, Raines and her team help those experiencing homelessness on Skid Row in Los Angeles “feel human” with free makeovers, haircuts, food, gift bags and (thanks to Bombas) fresh socks. 500 pairs, every week.

beauty 2 the streetz, skid row laRaines is out there helping people feel their beautiful best

Or Director of Step Forward David Pinson in Cincinnati, Ohio, who offers Bombas donations to those trying to recover from addiction. Launched in 2009, the Step Forward program encourages participation in community walking/running events in order to build confidence and discipline—two major keys to successful rehabilitation. For each marathon, runners are outfitted with special shirts, shoes—and yes, socks—to help make their goals more achievable.

step forward, helping homelessness, homeless non profitsRunning helps instill a sense of confidence and discipline—two key components of successful recovery

Help even reaches the Front Street Clinic of Juneau, Alaska, where Casey Ploof, APRN, and David Norris, RN give out free healthcare to those experiencing homelessness. Because it rains nearly 200 days a year there, it can be very common for people to get trench foot—a very serious condition that, when left untreated, can require amputation. Casey and Dave can help treat trench foot, but without fresh, clean socks, the condition returns. Luckily, their supply is abundant thanks to Bombas. As Casey shared, “people will walk across town and then walk from the valley just to come here to get more socks.”

step forward clinic, step forward alaska, homelessness alaskaWelcome to wild, beautiful and wet Alaska!

The Bombas Impact Report provides details on Bombas’s mission and is full of similar inspiring stories that show how the biggest acts of kindness can come from even the smallest packages. Since its inception in 2013, the company has built a network of over 3,500 Giving Partners in all 50 states, including shelters, nonprofits and community organizations dedicated to supporting our neighbors who are experiencing- or at risk- of homelessness.

Their success has proven that, yes, a simple pair of socks can be a helping hand, an important conversation starter and a link to humanity.

You can also be a part of the solution. Learn more and find the complete Bombas Impact Report by clicking here.

via UNSW

This article originally appeared on 07.10.21


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This article originally appeared on 07.10.21


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14 things that will remain fun no matter how old you get

Your inner child will thank you for doing at least one of these.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Swings can turn 80-year-olds into 8-year-olds in less that two seconds.

When we’re kids, fun comes so easily. You have coloring books and team sports and daily recess … so many opportunities to laugh, play and explore. As we get older, these activities get replaced by routine and responsibility (and yes, at times, survival). Adulthood, yuck.

Many of us want to have more fun, but making time for it still doesn’t come as easily as it did when we were kids—whether that’s because of guilt, a long list of other priorities or because we don’t feel it’s an age-appropriate thing to long for.

Luckily, we’ve come to realize that fun isn’t just a luxury of childhood, but really a vital aspect of living well—like reducing stress, balancing hormone levels and even improving relationships.

More and more people of all ages are letting their inner kids out to play, and the feelings are delightfully infectious.

You might be wanting to instill a little more childlike wonder into your own life, and not sure where to start. Never fear, the internet is here. Reddit user SetsunaSaigami asked people, “What always remains fun no matter how old you get?” People’s (surprisingly profound) answers were great reminders that no matter how complex our lives become, simple joy will always be important.

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