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Ancient Greeks Played with Yo-Yos

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Greek youths played with yo-yos made of wood, metal, and painted terra cotta – some of which survive today. The toys were also sometimes ceremonially offered to gods. The earliest yo-yo image is of a boy playing with the toy on a Greek vase dated to 440 BC.

Cleopatra lived closer in time to us than she did to the building of the Great Pyramid.

The construction of the Great Pyramid of Giza concluded around 2560 BC. Cleopatra lived from 69 – 30 BC, putting her birth approximately 2,500 years after the pyramid’s construction.

The Iliad and Odyssey are the only surviving pieces of an eight-part epic cycle.

We know about the lost six parts of the Trojan War epic cycle because they were summarized and referenced in other late antiquity works. All eight parts originated in the oral tradition of Bronze Age hero cults. Only the surviving Iliad and Odyssey are associated with Homer.

Ancient Chinese had a mechanical statue that always pointed south.

The “south-pointing chariot” was a two-wheeled vehicle with a pointing figure on top. The wheels were geared to the figure so that it rotated as the chariot turned, maintaining its indicating direction. Many versions existed, dating to at least 200 BC, hundreds of years before the first navigational use of a magnetic compass.