Author: patrick


A Selective History of the Sacred Poppy

Opium poppy (Papaver somniferum) image in public domain. By Patrick Hunt –  Any history of the opium poppy, in this case Papaver somniferum or the “sleep-bringing” poppy, must be replete with its known medical use and perhaps equally its less scientific lore. Why it has been known as the “sacred […]

Food History

Long History of the Fig

Emma Bridgewater Figs (Photo P. Hunt) By Patrick Hunt – If asked what the oldest cultivated fruit might be, how surprised would anyone be to know it could be the fig (represented by the botanical specimen of Ficus carica), apparently cultivated through the long Early Neolithic at least back to […]

Food History

Chateauneuf-du-Pape’s Domaine de Beaurenard

Domaine de Beaurenard, Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Sept. 2023 (Photo P. Hunt) By Patrick Hunt – Regardless how many times I’ve had a wine degustation in Chateauneuf-du-Pape over three decades, it never fails to excite when driving over the regional road D-68 from the north into the vineyards and then finally see the […]

Artifacts of Material History Controversies

Possible Chinese Silk in Bronze Age or Iron Age Jericho: the “Babylonish” Garment from Shin’ar in Joshua 7 ?

By Patrick Hunt –  One of the more intriguing passages of the Hebrew Bible, Joshua 7: 10-23 & ff. describes the sin of Achan and his “accursed” secret purloined material spoliation after the taking of Jericho by the Israelites, a narrative with controversial historicity. Regardless of when it can be […]


Vikings Renavigated in RIVER KINGS Book – A Review

By Patrick Hunt – Vikings continue to be a magnetic topic, especially in light of new discoveries of ships, burials and sites that enable us to concentrate more on their far-flung commercial savvy and technology than the weary and skewed caricature of merely violent rapacity.  Anyone who has been to […]