History


Something for the Hollow Earth Expedition crowd:

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As per NPR, archeologists have found the ruins of a ancient Cambodian city using remote-sensing technology.

Mahendraparvata, a 1,200-year-old lost city that predates Cambodia’s famous Angkor Wat temple complex by 350 years, was part of the Hindu-Buddhist Khmer Empire that ruled much of Southeast Asia from about 800 to 1400 A.D.

From Wikipedia, the location is in deep, swampy jungle — perfect for the ’30s (or even modern — added danger: landmine are common there) pulp-style game:

They initially uncovered five new temples. Eventually, using the Lidar data, 30 previously unidentified temples were discovered. In addition to the temples, their research showed the existence of an elaborate grid-like network of roads, dykes and ponds forming the city…The city’s origins date to the reign of Jayavarman II, considered founder of the Khmer Empire. His reign was consecrated on the sacred mountain of Mahendraparvata.

The only European that had been in the area as of 1936 was Phillipe Stern, a French archeologist.

 

Here’s a little something for the Hollow Earth Expedition crowd —  a wonderful story from the golden age of aviation:

Really, for any pulp-type RPG set during the interwar period, here are a couple of excellent books to help with setting the scene in Shanghai, the Pearl of the Orient, the Paris of the East…

The Shanghai Green Gang: Politics and Organized Crime, 1919-1937, Brian G Martin. A frequently cited work on the Qing Bang and their ties to the Kuomingtang (Nationalist government) of Chiang Kai Shek. There’s quite a bit on “Big Eared” Du Yeusheng, the gang leader.

Policing Shanghai, 1927-1937, Frederic Wakeman, Jr. Perfect for fleshing out the most dangerous city on the planet (in the 1930s.)

Beyond the Neon Lights: Everyday Shanghai in the Early Twentieth Century, Hanchao Lu. This one provides a lot of the kind of flavor that you don’t get in the usual tomes. Here you have the every day stuff — the “alleyway houses” that were standard in the city, what kind of small stores the average Chinese shopped at, the nightstool and the men who collected the waste in the morning (most of Shanghai d0esn’t have flush toilets) and that industry’s connection to the gangs. There’s stuff on the rickshaw business, which was cut throat due to licensing restrictions (think trying to get a medallion in modern NYC.) If has a few excellent maps in it, as well.

Online, Tales of Old Shanghai is a must, as is An American in China: 1936-39.

 

The Reluctant Imperialist: Italian Colonization in Somalia just went live at Kindle store at Amazon.com. This is a history of the early corporate-run attempts to colonize the region at the turn of the 19/20th Century.

Clickety-click to buy

Kindle reader is available for iPad, Blackberry, Android, Kindle, Mac, and PC.

Max Fleischer gives us his cartoon tour of the 1938 World’s Fair:

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