These just-unearthed ancient tablets show how little has changed in 2,000 years.

The most fascinating part of the 405 ancient Roman tablets recently unearthed in London is what's written on them.

Photo by Daniel Leal-Olivas/Getty Images.


They're not filled with abstract philosophy. Or enigmatic paeans to long-forgotten gods. Or even soul-deep wisdom of the ages.

Archeologist Luisa Duarte displays one of the tablets. Photo by Daniel Leal-Olivas/Getty Images.

They're filled with things like business advice, IOUs, and even a schoolchild's writing practice.

Photo by Daniel Leal-Olivas/Getty Images.

Oh yeah, and they include the oldest-ever written reference to the city of London.

Jolly old London. Photo by Colin/Wikimedia Commons.

The tablets were found almost by accident during an archeological survey to prepare for the construction of Bloomberg's new headquarters in Europe.

"I’ve been digging around in London for years and never quite imagined that in the late 1st century, there was a community of people who are very much like us," Sophie Jackson, the manager of the dig project, told New Scientist.

The reference to London was made sometime between 65 and 80 A.D., 40 years earlier than the city's previously known first written mention.

A model of Roman-era London. Photo by Stephen G. Johnson/Wikimedia Commons.

The inscription reads: "In London, to Mongontius" and is believed to be the beginning of a letter written by someone in the upstart city to an acquaintance elsewhere in the empire.

The tablets also contain writing like this:

"...because they are boasting through the whole market that you have lent them money. Therefore, I ask you in your own interest to not appear shabby. You will not thus favour your own affairs..."

In which someone is basically telling their buddy to dress like the big shot they've made themselves out to be.

And this:

"...I ask you by bread and salt that you send as soon as possible the 26 denarii in victoiriati and the 10 denarii of Paterio..."

In which someone invokes the time-honored tradition of hitting up a rich friend for money.

The tablets are incredible evidence that people 2,000 years ago lived in ways we can recognize today.

Painting by Gustave Boulanger/The Hermitage/Wikimedia Commons.

Two centuries ago, people weren't all sitting around writing impenetrable political treatises, fighting mummies, or speaking in obtuse, poetic dialects (though some, thankfully, did).

Like people today, they started businesses, they owed people money — and tried to get out of paying them back — and their children struggled to learn to read.

In that sense, the tablets are kind of soul-deep wisdom of the ages.

Photo by Daniel Leal-Olivas/Getty Images.

Technology advances. Cities transform. Empires rise and fall.

But through it all, we've always been human.

Image by 5540867 from Pixabay

Figuring out what to do for a mom on Mother's Day can be a tricky thing. There's the standard flowers or candy, of course, and taking her out to a nice brunch is a fairly universal winner. But what do moms really want?

Speaking from experience—my kids range from age 12 to 20—a lot depends on the stage of motherhood. What I wanted when my kids were little is different than what I want now, and I'm sure when my kids are grown and gone I'll want something different again.

We asked our readers to share what they want for Mother's Day, and while the answers were varied, there were some common themes that emerged.

Moms of young kids want a break.

When your kids are little, motherhood is relentless. Precious and adorable, yes. Wonderful and rewarding, absolutely. But it's a LOT. And it's a lot all the fricking time.

Most moms I know would love the gift of alone time, either away at a hotel or Airbnb or in their own home with no one else around. Time alone is a priceless commodity at this stage, especially if it comes with someone else taking care of cleaning, making sure the kids are fed and safe and occupied, doing the laundry, etc.

This is especially true after more than a year of pandemic living, where we moms have spent more time than usual at home with our offspring. While in some ways that's been great, again, it's a lot.

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Courtesy of CeraVe
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"I love being a nurse because I have the honor of connecting with my patients during some of their best and some of their worst days and making a difference in their lives is among the most rewarding things that I can do in my own life" - Tenesia Richards, RN

From ushering new life into the world to holding the hand of a patient as they take their last breath, nurses are everyday heroes that deserve our respect and appreciation.

To give back to this community that is always giving so selflessly to others, CeraVe® put out a call to nurses to share their stories for a chance to be featured in Heroes Behind the Masks, a digital content series shining a light on nurses who go above and beyond to provide safe and quality care to patients and their communities.

First up: Tenesia Richards, a labor and delivery nurse working in New York City who, in addition to her regular job, started a community outreach program in a homeless shelter that houses expectant mothers for up to one year postpartum.

Tenesia | Heroes Behind the Masks presented by CeraVe www.youtube.com

Upon learning at a conference that black mothers in the U.S. die at three to four times the rate of white mothers, one of the widest of all racial disparities in women's health, Richards decided to take further action to help her community. She, along with a handful of fellow nurses, volunteered to provide antepartum, childbirth and postpartum education to the women living at the shelter. Additionally, they looked for other ways to boost the spirits of the residents, like throwing baby showers and bringing in guest speakers. When COVID-19 hit and in-person gatherings were no longer possible, Richards and her team found creative workarounds and created holiday care packages for the mothers instead.

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