If you think maintaining a beard is expensive these days, you might consider yourself lucky compared to 17th century Russians. Archaeologists have discovered a rare 300-year-old coin that was once used to prove the holder had paid for beard tax. The “beard kopek” is only the second known example of the coin and is considered priceless.
The coin was discovered in the remains of a 17th-century building in the western Russian city of Pskov. It was one of over 5,000 coins recovered from the site. The kopek is made of copper and features the image of a beard and a mustache. The words “Money Paid” is written above the mustache.
The copper token was reportedly minted in 1699.
It is the oldest ‘beard tax coin’ ever found.
But what exactly is beard tax? The policy was implemented by Tsar Peter the Great in 1698 following his incognito visit to Britain where he only saw clean-shaven men. The tsar decided that he would put out a strict rule that his people must adopt a similar look.
Some beard kopek were made of silver and were handed to wealthier people.
Beards were a major part of religion, as being hirsute was an Orthodox practice. Peter the Great was certainly asking his people to either follow orders or stay true to their beliefs.
He did, however, allow people the option to keep their beards if they pay a hefty sum. Upon payment, they will be given the special token.
The Tsar himself preferred to keep a feathery mustache.
The coin was more than just a little reminder that you paid a lot of money just to stay hairy. Men were required to carry it with them and present it to the police when you are stopped for having facial hair. Failure to present the token would give the Tsar’s police the honor of shaving your beard off.
The police can shave you immediately if you don’t have your kopek.
The policy was stopped after the Tsar’s death and the beard kopeks were taken back to be melted down into new coins. This is why the rare token is so remarkable. Needless to say, men should be grateful that they can be as hairy as they want to be in modern times.
7 Astounding New Discoveries Involving Ancient Horses
#7 is definitely mind-blowing!
Horses have always played an important role in our history. Our ancestors spent centuries trying to domesticate the animals before horses became a part of human civilization. Without horses, great empires would never exist. Yet, we continue to learn astounding things about these magnificent creatures every day.
Our ancestors have been riding horses for thousands of years. However, saddles may have been invented for a different animal. Scientists recently found the remains of a donkey with molars that had the same damage as horses that have to wear bits. The skeleton was dated back to around 2700 BC, which is at least 1,000 years before horses were brought to the Near East. Here are seven astounding archaeological discoveries that involved ancient horses.
1. The First Horse Tamers
Behind Mankind’s First Step on the Moon is a Woman Celebrating Her 100th Birthday
She’s an inspiration to women of all ages and races.
Katherine Johnson, NASA’s “human computer” responsible for the computations needed for mankind’s first step on the moon, turns 100! Working behind the scenes, Johnson hand-crunched the numbers for NASA’s first-ever manned space flight involving the famous Neil Armstrong and his team.
This lady mathematician is a legend in NASA’s ranks. Being given the impossible never-before-done task of sending a manned spacecraft to the moon, Johnson stepped up to the challenge and made the missions successful.
Katherine Johnson was born in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia on August 26, 1918.
7 Ancient Discoveries Of Prehistoric Fossils That Became Legends
These ancient finds fueled the beliefs that mystical creatures once existed.
People barely bat an eyelash when new fossils are uncovered these days. After all, we are already aware that these discoveries are the remains of prehistoric creatures. But can you imagine what it was like for our ancestors when they dug up dinosaur bones? These ancient finds actually became legends that are still passed down today.
Yes, many ancient discoveries fueled the beliefs that mystical creatures once existed. For example, our ancestors used to collect the teeth of the Megalodon because they thought it was the petrified tip of a dragon's tongue. It wasn't until the 17th century that a naturalist revealed the "dragon tongue" actually belonged to the gigantic prehistoric shark.
Here are seven ancient discoveries of prehistoric fossils that became legends:...