RIO DE JANEIRO — Sailing from the Angolan coast across the Atlantic, the slave ships docked here in the 19th century at the huge stone wharf, delivering their human cargo to the “fattening houses” on Valongo Street. Foreign chroniclers described the depravity in the teeming slave market, including so-called boutiques selling emaciated and diseased African children.
The newly arrived slaves who died before they even started toiling in Brazil’s mines were hauled to a mass grave nearby, their corpses left to decay amid piles of garbage. As imperial plantations flourished, diggers at the Cemitério dos Pretos Novos — Cemetery of New Blacks — crushed the bones of the dead, making way for thousands of new cadavers.
Now, with construction crews tearing apart areas of Rio de Janeiro in the building spree ahead of this year’s World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics, stunning archaeological discoveries around the work sites are providing new insight into the city’s brutal distinction as a nerve center for the Atlantic slave trade.
This map shows the town of Agloe, New York, which was first put on maps in the 1930s as a fake place name so that cartographers could see when their work was being plagiarized. Their plan backfired, though, when someone living in the area opened an Agloe General Store after seeing the name on a map, and their cartographic fiction became a reality. Read more here.
On the afternoon of March 4, 1960, the French ship La Coubre exploded in Havana Harbor while carrying several tons of munitions, killing about 75 people and injuring hundreds more. Alberto Korda’s Guerrillero Heróico, the now-iconic image of Che Guevara shown above, was taken at a memorial service for the victims of the La Coubre explosion held on March 5, the following day.
Scapa S/S 2014
Movement of the Red Army across Eastern Europe (including what is now the Ukraine) after repelling Nazi operation Barbarossa [1201x921]