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Welcome to History Buff, a blog for history lovers everywhere! History Buff brings news stories about archaeology from around the world together on one site. From finds in ancient Egypt to new discoveries in anthropology, History Buff wants to know. And feel free to stop by History Buff's ** Author Interviews** for Q&As with authors of historical fiction. Enjoy!

Michelle Moran
Historical fiction author

As an historical fiction writer I am fascinated by news stories featuring the past as it's unearthed and reimagined and brought to life. I spend a
large quantity of time searching for news in archaeology and history. Once in a great while a new archaeological discovery will act as an inspiration for what I'm currently writing. But most of the time the news stories I read are simply interesting tidbits of history. Unfortunately, I have disallowed comments because I travel so frequently that I can neither monitor nor respond to them. But I would still love to share the history that I find fascinating each day. So welcome! And feel free to visit my website at www.michellemoran.com.

Logo designed by Shaun Venish

Blog designed by Mia Pearlman Design

10.31.2008

Scientists to measure quake effect on Acropolis

ASSOCIATED PRESS

ATHENS, Greece – For thousands of years the Acropolis has withstood earthquakes, weathered storms and endured temperature extremes, from scorching summers to winter snow. Now scientists are drawing on the latest technology to install a system that will record just how much nature is affecting the 2,500-year-old site.

Read the rest here.


Limestone altar Discovered at Dalheim Roman Dig

Dalheim Dig discovery

Following previous archaelogical discoveries at the Dalheim dig another artefact has been discovered.

Read the rest here.


Tuataras Breeding Again on Mainland New Zealand


AP/Karori Sanctuary: An adult tuatara basking on a tree stump at the Karori Sanctuary near Wellington, New Zealand.

WELLINGTON, New Zealand — A rare reptile with lineage dating back to the dinosaur age has been found nesting on the New Zealand mainland for the first time in about 200 years, officials said Friday.

Read the rest on FoxNews.

10.30.2008

Ancient iceman probably has no modern relatives

LONDON (Reuters) – "Otzi," Italy's prehistoric iceman, probably does not have any modern day descendants, according to a study published Thursday.

Read the rest on Yahoo.


Phoenicians Left Deep Genetic Mark, Study Shows

The Phoenicians, enigmatic people from the eastern shores of the Mediterranean, stamped their mark on maritime history, and now research has revealed that they also left a lasting genetic imprint. Scientists reported Thursday that as many as 1 in 17 men living today on the coasts of North Africa and southern Europe may have a Phoenician direct male-line ancestor.

Read the rest on the NYT.


Archaeologists report finding oldest Hebrew text

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Archaeologists in Israel said Thursday they had unearthed the oldest Hebrew text ever found, while excavating a fortress city overlooking a valley where the Bible says David slew Goliath.

Read the rest here.


10.29.2008

Inca Elite Imported Diverse "Staff" to Run Machu Picchu

José Orozco
for National Geographic News

Inca nobility at Machu Picchu relied on special, permanent servants from the far corners of the empire to manage the royal estate, according to a new study of human skeletons found buried at the site.

Read the rest on National Geographic.


Mystery of cardinal's missing bones

Cardinal John Henry Newman
Claims of a miracle attributed to Newman are being investigated

A forensic archaeologist has raised fresh questions over why no remains were found in the grave of an English cardinal in line to become a saint. It comes just days before artefacts owned by Cardinal John Henry Newman go on display ahead of his possible beatification.

Read the rest on the BBC.


The Real Robinson Crusoe – Evidence Of Alexander Selkirk’s Desert Island Campsite

ScienceDaily: Cast away on a desert island, surviving on what nature alone can provide, praying for rescue but fearing the sight of a boat on the horizon. These are the imaginative creations of Daniel Defoe in his famous novel Robinson Crusoe. Yet the story is believed to be based on the real-life experience of sailor Alexander Selkirk, marooned in 1704 on a small tropical island in the Pacific for more than four years, and now archaeological evidence has been found to support contemporary records of his existence on the island.

Read the rest on ScienceDaily.

10.28.2008

The Vikings' burning question: some decent graveside theatre

The average Viking lived a life in which spirituality and thoughts of immortality played a far more important part than the rape and pillage more usually associated with his violent race, according to new research. A study of thousands of excavated Viking graves suggests that rituals were performed at the graveside in which stories about life and death were presented as theatre, with live performances designed to help the passage of the deceased from this world into the next.

Read the rest on the Times Online.


Why did Neanderthals have such big noses?

Ewen Callaway
Museum recreation of a Neanderthal (Image: Wikimedia Commons)
Museum recreation of a Neanderthal (Image: Wikimedia Commons)

The Neanderthal's huge nose is a fluke of evolution, not some grand adaptation, research suggests.

The Neanderthal nose has been a matter of befuddlement for anthropologists, who point out that modern cold-adapted humans have narrow noses to moisten and warm air as it enters the lung, and reduce water and heat loss during exhalation.

Read the rest on NewScientist.

10.27.2008

Solomon's real mine? 3,000 years on, archaeologists uncover fabled site in desert

By David Derbyshire

In a discovery straight out of an Indiana Jones movie, archaeologists believe they have uncovered one of the lost mines of King Solomon. The vast copper mine lies in an arid valley in modern-day Jordan and was created in the 10th century BC - around the time Solomon is believed to have ruled over the ancient Hebrews.

Read the rest on the DailyMail.


World's Oldest Cooked Cereal Was Instant

Jennifer Viegas, Discovery News
Bulgar: It's What's For Breakfast
Bulgar: It's What's For Breakfast

European diners around 8,000 years ago could enjoy a bowl of instant wheat cereal that, aside from uneven cooking and maybe a few extra lumps, wasn't very different from hot wheat cereals served today, suggests a new study that describes the world's oldest known cooked cereal.

Read the rest on Discovery.


Two Thousand Year Old Tunnel Found in Shaanxi Province, China

During reconstruction of the Han Dynasty’s Xian Gate in Changan City, Shaanxi Province, the entrance to a 4-meter deep tunnel was found. The tunnel, buried for nearly 2,000 years, is intact and is filled with mud. An archaeologist said that the tunnel might have been built as an escape route for the emperors.

Read the rest here.


Vikings preferred male grooming to pillaging

The traditional view of the Vikings as "illiterate warring thugs" exaggerates considerably the reality of their life Photo: PA

But Cambridge University has launched a campaign to recast them as "new men" with an interest in grooming, fashion and poetry. Academics claim that the old stereotype is damaging, and want teenagers to be more appreciative of the Vikings' social and cultural impact on Britain.

They say that the Norse explorers, far from being obsessed with fighting and drinking, were a largely-peaceful race who were even criticised for being too hygienic.

Read the rest on the Telegraph.


C.W. Post professor helps unravel pyramid mystery

Using cutting edge technology, Egyptologist Bob Brier of the C.W. Post Campus of Long Island University delved into the only standing wonder of the ancient world, the Great Pyramid, and uncovered the mystery behind cracks in the massive Egyptian structure, unearthing a new room along the way.

Read the rest here.

10.24.2008

Artefacts discovery might lead to lost tribe

By Manny Mogato

Reuters: When Philippine police confiscated 22 bags of broken pottery from antiquity smugglers near an area where Muslim rebels operated, little did they know that they may have uncovered the remnants of a long-lost tribe.

Read the rest here.


Greece unearths Neolithic home, household equipment

Greece unearths Neolithic home, household equipment
Greece unearths Neolithic home, household equipment Clay pots are seen among the ruins of a Neolithic home unearthead by archaeologists in northern Greece, near the city of Pella, October 24, 2008. REUTERS/Culture Ministry/Handout

ATHENS (Reuters) - Archaeologists in northern Greece have unearthed the ruins of a Neolithic house, a rare find that offers valuable information about everyday life 6,000 years ago, the Greek culture ministry said Friday.

Read the rest here.


10.23.2008

Egyptian Mummies Yield Earliest Evidence of Malaria

Rossella Lorenzi, Discovery News
Plagued by Disease
Plagued by Disease

Two Egyptian mummies who died more than 3,500 years ago have provided clear evidence for the earliest known cases of malaria, according to a study presented this week in Naples at an international conference on ancient DNA.

Read the rest on Discovery.com.



Clue to medieval church uncovered

Carved stone. Pic: HAS
The carved sandstone could date back to the 14th Century

Archaeologists have found a carved sandstone fragment believed to be part of a medieval church in Ross-shire.

Read the rest on the BBC.


Greek dig unearths 6,000-year-old household gear

ATHENS, Greece - A 6,000 year-old set of household gear, including crockery and two wood-fired ovens, has been found in the buried ruins of a prehistoric farmhouse in northern Greece, officials said Thursday.

Read the rest here.

10.22.2008

Britain's 'most important archeological' discovery found in desk drawer

Thousands of gold pins which lay in a drawer for 40 years have been described as one of Britain's most important archeological discoveries.
The artefacts were part of a dagger buried with a warrior chief, near Stonehenge, nearly 4,000 years ago. Photo: PIN

The artifacts were part of a dagger buried with a warrior chief, near Stonehenge, nearly 4,000 years ago. Archeologists said they were known as 'the work of the gods'.

Read the rest on The Telegraph.


Dig at Augustus Temple re-examines remnants of Roman triumphs





The Turkish capital, which has been the cradle of a variety of civilizations, is watching as a significant archeological dig takes place at Augustus Temple in the Ulus area. The temple stands next to the Hacıbayram Mosque. The dig aims to clean up the areas dug in the temple in the 1930s and bring a wealth of new history to light.

Read the rest here.


Shake a tail-feather: Scientists reveal the pigeon-sized dinosaur that is bird's earliest ancestor

A strange pigeon-sized dinosaur that roamed the planet more than 150 million years ago was the oldest known relative of birds, say scientists.

The new species 'Epidexipteryx hui' had large teeth that could rip prey apart and a strange anatomy including long, ribbon-like tail feathers - suggesting the plumage was purely ornamental rather than for flight.

Epidexipteryx
An artist's impression of an Epidexipteryx. The creature may have used its tail feathers to attract a mate or scare off rivals

Read the rest on the DailyMail.


10.21.2008

Archaeologists Find Unique, Early US Relic Of African Worship


How the African bundle might have looked 300 years ago. (Credit: Brian Payne, University of Maryland)

ScienceDaily— University of Maryland archaeologists have dug up what they believe to be one of the earliest U.S. examples of African spirit practices. The researchers say it's the only object of its kind ever found by archaeologists in North America - a clay "bundle" filled with small pieces of common metal, placed in what had been an Annapolis street gutter three centuries ago.

Read the rest on ScienceDaily.


Archaeologists Uncover Ancient Governor's Palace In Turkey


Discovery of a rare treasure trove of more than 20 bronze vessels under the paving stones in the courtyard. (Credit: Ziyaret Tepe Archaeological Project)
ScienceDaily— Within the scope of an international rescue excavation project, a team of four archaeologists specialized in Middle Eastern affairs headed by Dr. Dirk Wicke (Institute of Egyptology and Ancient Near Eastern Studies) have unearthed parts of a Neo-Assyrian governor's palace dating back to the 9th to 7th century BCE in a two-month excavation program amongst the ruins on Ziyaret Tepe. The discoveries were extraordinary.

Read the rest on ScienceDaily.

10.20.2008

Crested Duck-Billed Dinosaurs Used "Caller ID"?

by Ker Than

The bony crests that straddled the heads of some duck-billed dinosaurs may have been used to produce deep, haunting bellows, according to new research.

Read the rest on National Geographic.



Sun reveals cross carved into stone slab on St Kilda

THE sun glancing sideways on a stone slab led to archaeologists working on St Kilda, the National Trust for Scotland’s dual World Heritage Site, making a fascinating discovery.

Read the rest here.


Ancient Spindle with Runes Discovered in Reykjavík

A fracture of a spindle with a runic inscription was discovered in an archeological excavation near the Althingi parliament building in Reykjavík last week. It is believed to date back to the 11th century and may be the oldest runic inscription in Iceland.

Read the rest on Iceland Review.


'Dinosaur Dance Floor' Discovered in Arizona


Winston Seiler: This dinosaur footprint, including three toes and a heel, is thought to have been made by an upright-walking meat-eater.

More than 1,000 dinosaur footprints along with tail-drag marks have been discovered along the Arizona-Utah border. The incredibly rare concentration of beastly tracks likely belonged to at least four different species of dinosaurs, ranging from youngsters to adults.

Read the rest on LiveScience.



Prehistoric drug kit from S. America is evidence of Stoned Age

Stone Age humans could well have deserved the name. Scientists have found the drug paraphernalia used by prehistoric humans to cook up herbal mixtures to get themselves high.

Read the rest on The Times.


Scientists have new clue to sub mystery

Research suggests Hunley crew might have suffocated

By BRUCE SMITH - The Associated Press

CHARLESTON— It’s long been a mystery why the H.L. Hunley never returned after becoming the first submarine in history to sink an enemy warship in 1864, but new research announced Friday may lend credence to one of the theories.

Read the rest on TheState.

10.17.2008

Rome workers uncover city of dead

A dig has turned up the tomb of a nobleman who led Rome's legions in the second century A.D.
A dig has turned up the tomb of a nobleman who led Rome's legions in the second century A.D.

ROME, Italy (AP) -- Workers renovating a rugby stadium have uncovered a vast complex of tombs beneath Rome that mimic the houses, blocks and streets of a real city, according to officials, who have unveiled a series of new finds.



Finding Hidden Tomb Of Genghis Khan Using Non-Invasive Technologies


A 14th-century portrait of Genghis Khan. The painting is now located in the National Palace Museum in Taipei, Taiwan. (Credit: Image courtesy of UC San Diego)
ScienceDaily— According to legend, Genghis Khan lies buried somewhere beneath the dusty steppe of Northeastern Mongolia, entombed in a spot so secretive that anyone who made the mistake of encountering his funeral procession was executed on the spot.

Read the rest on ScienceDaily.


Archaeologists discover earliest ever foundations at Hampton Court Palace from 800 years ago

Archaeologists working at Hampton Court Palace have uncovered the earliest foundations ever found at King Henry VIII's famous royal residence.

The significant 13th century building remains predate any other finds made at the palace by nearly 200 years.

Hampton Court
Archaeologists working at Hampton Court Palace have unearthed the earliest surviving building ever discovered at the historic site

The unexpected discoveries were made during excavations as part of a project to recreate Henry VIII's Tudor 16th century courtyards.

Read the rest on the DailyMail.


Ancient Egypt had powerful Sudan rival, British Museum dig shows

The Second Kushite Kingdom controlled the whole Nile valley from Khartoum to the Mediterranean from 720BC to 660BC. Now archaeologists have discovered that a region of northern Sudan once considered a forgotten backwater once actually "a real power-base".

They discovered a ruined pyramid containing fine gold jewellery dating from about 700BC on a remote un-navigable 100-mile stretch of the Nile known as the Fourth Cataract, plus pottery from as far away as Turkey.

Read the rest on The Telegraph.


Timbers from a Viking home found in Hungate dig

Peter Connelly who is leading the dig
Gary Millward works on timbers forming part of the cellar of a Viking house found on the Hungate development. By Jeremy Small

The remains of a Viking home have been discovered in York by archaeologists.

York Archaeological Trust archaeologists have exposed what they believe to be a timber-lined cellar of a two-storey house, during excavations at the site of the new Hungate development, which is being built near Stonebow.

Read the rest on The Press.



Archaeologists unearth place where Emperor Caligula met his end

Gaius Caligula
Caligula was the third emperor of the Roman Empire

Archeologists say that they have found the underground passage in which the Emperor Caligula was murdered by his own Praetorian Guard to put an end to his deranged reign of terror.

Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus Germanicus (AD12–AD41), known by his nickname Caligula (Little Boots), was the third emperor of the Roman Empire after Augustus and Tiberius, and like them a member of the Julio-Claudian dynasty.

Read the rest on the Times Online.

10.16.2008

Israeli Cops: Jesus Brother Artifact a Hoax

After building a career and religious following on the apparent remains of Jesus’ brother James, an antiques dealer is in court, accused of forging the most important artifact in the history of Christianity.

The controversy surrounds an “ossuary,” a stone box containing the bones of the dead, that Israeli antiques collector Oded Golan claimed once housed the remains of the Bible's Apostle James, according to TIME. The “James Ossuary,” inscribed with the inscription “James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus,” was held to be proof of Jesus’ existence.

Read the rest on FoxNews.



Rare Roman tombstone goes on show

Lancaster tombstone
The stone shows a Roman soldier with the severed head of a barbarian

A Roman tombstone unearthed in Lancaster has gone on permanent display at the city's museum.

The tombstone, dating to around 100AD, was discovered in 2005. It was found during an excavation in Aldcliffe Road by the Greater Manchester Archaeology Unit, which is based at the University of Manchester.

Read the rest on the BBC.


Tomb of Real 'Gladiator' Found in Rome

Italian archaeologists have discovered the tomb of the ancient Roman hero said to have inspired the character played by Russell Crowe in the film "Gladiator."

Daniela Rossi, an archaeologist based in Rome, said the discovery of the monumental marble tomb of Marcus Nonius Macrinus, including a large inscription bearing his name, was "an exceptional find."

Read the rest on FoxNews.


10.15.2008

2 Ears Struck Off: 12 Marks In Payment

ScienceDaily — A study of old Frisian compensation tariffs, a sort of bodily injury list, reveals just how strongly honour and body were linked to each other in the ideology of medieval Frisians. The research has given rise to a model of honour that can be used in many other cultures and eras.

This is the first study into the old Frisian culture of honour and, moreover, via a text genre that has received little attention to date: the compensation tariffs. Old Frisian compensation tariffs, which can best be compared to bodily injury lists, are lists of wounds to the human body and summaries of insults and material damage with the associated monetary compensation. A punch: 4 pence...

Read the rest on ScienceDaily.



World's Oldest Fossil Impression Of Flying Insect Discovered: Found In Suburban Strip Mall


Tufts geology major Richard J. Knecht holding halves of the fossil. (Credit: Jodi Hilton, Tufts University)
ScienceDaily— While paleontologists may scour remote, exotic places in search of prehistoric specimens, Tufts researchers have found what they believe to be the world's oldest whole-body fossil impression of a flying insect in a wooded field behind a strip mall in North Attleboro, Mass.

Read the rest on ScienceDaily.


Ancient Egyptian Skulls Dug Out of English Garden

AP: LONDON — Two ancient Egyptian skulls unearthed in a yard in England have been returned to their native country. And the mystery of how they got from the hot sands of Egypt to the rainy north of England has been solved, investigators said Tuesday.

Read the resat on FoxNews.

10.14.2008

Amazonian queen excavations reveal ancient palace in Şanlıurfa


A mosaic unearthed in Şanlıurfa features an ancient Amazonian queen from the early Byzantine period.

Excavation work in southeastern Şanlıurfa province has led to the discovery of a Roman palace (A.D. fifth to sixth century) and floor mosaics.

Read the rest here.


Why Do Women Get More Cavities Than Men?


John Lukacs, professor of anthropology, shows a 250,000-year-old "Kabwe skull" from Africa. The sex is unknown, but this specimen has 15 teeth still intact or partially present -- 12 of them have obvious damage from dental caries. (Credit: Jim Barlow)
ScienceDaily: Reproduction pressures and rising fertility explain why women suffered a more rapid decline in dental health than did men as humans transitioned from hunter-and-gatherers to farmers and more sedentary pursuits, says a University of Oregon anthropologist.

Read the rest on ScienceDaily.


Witches of Cornwall: Macabre evidence of age-old spells surfaces in an archaeologist's front yard

by Kate Ravilious
[image]

Archaeologist Jacqui Wood holds a fragment of a cauldron unearthed from a buried spring-fed pool near her home. This and other artifacts she has found point to a long history of ritual and witchcraft. (Manuel Cohen)

Over the centuries, many in the British Isles have appealed to witches in times of need--to cure a toothache, concoct a love potion, or curse a neighbor. Witchcraft, the rituals of a number of pagan belief systems, was thought to offer control of the world through rites and incantations. Common as it has been over the past several centuries, the practice is secretive and there are few written records. It tends to be passed down through families and never revealed to outsiders. But archaeologist Jacqui Wood has unearthed evidence of more than 40 witchy rituals beneath her own front yard, bringing to light an unknown branch of witchcraft possibly still practiced today.

Read the rest on Archaeology.org

10.13.2008

Unique Fossils Capture ‘Cambrian Migration’


Fossils showing 'migrating' Cambrian arthropods. (Credit: Derek Siveter)

ScienceDaily— A unique set of fossils indicates that 525 million years ago marine animals congregated in Earth’s ancient oceans, most likely for migration, according to an international team of scientists.

Read the rest on ScienceDaily.


Archaeologists find bones from prehistoric war in Germany

Schwerin, Germany - Archaeologists have discovered the bones of at least 50 prehistoric people killed in an armed attack in Germany around 1300 BC. The signs of battle from around 1300 BC were found near Demmin, north of Berlin. They are the first proof of any war north of the Alps during the Bronze Age, said state archaeologist Detlef Jantzen on Thursday.

Read the rest on EarthTimes.


Bas-relief of Mannaean winged man discovered in northwestern Iran

TEHRAN, Oct. 12 (MNA) -- A brick bearing bas-relief of a winged man was unearthed at the Rabat Tepe during the third season of excavations, which has begun at the 3000-year-old site in Iran’s West Azerbaijan Province since early October.

The brick, which dates back to the Mannaean period, measures 70x45 centimeter, said Reza Heidari, director of the team working on the site, the Persian service of CHN reported on Sunday.

Read the rest here.


10.11.2008

Ancient Roman stadium opens

POZZUOLI, Italy, Oct. 10 (UPI) -- The Roman stadium where Emperor Antoninus Pius staged Rome's version of the Olympic Games will be open this weekend for the first time in almost 500 years.

Read the rest here.

10.10.2008

An Alpine Pompeii from the Stone Age

By Matthias Schulz

What happened to the prehistoric village on Lake Mondsee in the Austrian Alps? One geologist has found evidence that a vast rock slide may have set off a tsunami that buried the lakeside settlement. He's hoping to find funding -- and mummies.

The fall of Pompeii began with a small cloud of smoke drifting out of Mt. Vesuvius. Within a few days, though, the affluent Roman city lay coated in a meter-thick shroud of ash. Even more devastating were the effects of a giant meteorite that crashed into the Gulf of Mexico 65 million years ago, bringing an end to the age of the dinosaurs.

Read the rest on Spiegel.


Prehistoric child is discovered buried with 'toy hedgehog' at Stonehenge

This toy hedgehog, found in a child's grave at Stonehenge, is proof of what we have always known - children have always loved to play.

The chalk figurine was probably a favourite possession of the three year old, and placed next to the child when they died in the late Bronze Age or early Iron Age, around 3,000 years ago.

Toy hedgehog

Archaeologists who discovered the grave, where the child was laying on his or her side, believe the toy - perhaps placed there by a doting father - is the earliest known depiction of a hedgehog in British history.

Read the rest on the DailyMail.


Archaeologists dig deep to shed new light on city's Viking heritage


IT has long been acknowledged that York is an archaeological gold mine, but the true scale of the city's long history still remains buried underfoot.
However, one of the most significant discoveries in a generation has thrown up new evidence to provide a clearer picture of how far the city sprawled during the Viking era.

Read the rest here.


Speed-Walking Across Asia

Picture of Earth
Southern exodus.
A trail of stone tools and fossil bones suggests that early humans left Africa 1.8 million years ago. Some headed north to Dmanisi, Georgia; others may have taken a southern route into China and Java, Indonesia. Credit: NASA/TerraMetrics/Human Origins Program, Smithsonian

By Ann Gibbons
ScienceNOW Daily News

Over a million years ago, a band of early humans left their stone tools and two front teeth near a stream in southwest China. For decades, the precise age of the fossils has remained a mystery, leaving open a central question in paleontology: How quickly did our human ancestors reach China after leaving Africa? Now, thanks to advanced dating techniques, scientists may finally have the answer.

Read the rest on ScieneNow.

10.09.2008

The RAF bomber pilot who single-handedly recovered the the body of the co-pilot and comrade he lost on Berlin raid 60 years old

By Andrew Levy

RAF
Hero: Former Pilot Officer Reg Wilson who found the body of a former comrade killed when their plane was shot down 60 years ago

The tide was finally beginning to turn on the Nazis after years of war when Reg Wilson went on a bombing raid in early 1944.

The Halifax bomber - nicknamed Old Flo by her eight-man crew - had just dropped her bombs over Berlin and was heading for home when she was hit by anti-aircraft fire.

Read the rest on the DailyMail.



Meat-Eating Dino had Birdlike Breathing System

PHOTOS: Meat-Eating Dino had Birdlike Breathing System
—Photograph by Erin Fitzgerald, copyright 2008, courtesy of Project Exploration

This newly found South American dinosaur may have had flesh-ripping teeth, but it had the lungs of a bird, scientists announced Monday.

Read the rest on National Geographic.

10.08.2008

Unique Byzantine Mosaics Unearthed in Bulgaria's Kyustendil

Click to enlarge the photo
A team of Bulgarian archaeologists discovered Wednesday unique mosaics from Byzantine times during excavation works in the town of Kyustendil. Photo by Darik News

A team of Bulgarian archaeologists discovered Wednesday unique mosaics from Byzantine times during excavation works in the town of Kyustendil.

Read the rest here.


In Ancient Greece, Soil Was Sacred

Jennifer Viegas, Discovery News
Temple of Poseidon
Temple of Poseidon

Greek temples honored specific gods and goddesses, and now new research suggests that even the dirt under such buildings held spiritual significance.

The discovery could help explain why writers like Homer and Plato wrote of "divine soil" and soil that can affect a person's soul. It may also explain how the ancients selected locations for their sacred buildings.

Read the rest on Discovery.


Cannon might be from 1846 wreck of USS Shark

By TOM VOGT
The (Vancouver) Columbian

A tub containing a historic cannon believed to be from the USS Shark is shown at Cannon Beach, Ore.

VANCOUVER, Wash. — Two cannons with possible links to Fort Vancouver have had their 15 minutes of fame. Next comes the long, dirty slog of restoration.

Read the rest on Seattle Times.



10.07.2008

Mysterious Neolithic People Made Optical Art

by Rossella Lorenzi
Earliest Op-Art?
Earliest Op-Art?

An egalitarian Neolithic Eden filled with unique, geometric art flourished some 7,000 years ago in Eastern Europe, according to hundreds of artifacts on display at the Vatican.

Running until the end of October at the Palazzo della Cancelleria in the Vatican, the exhibition, "Cucuteni-Trypillia: A Great Civilization of Old Europe," introduces a mysterious Neolithic people who are now believed to have forged Europe's first civilization.

Read the rest on Discovery.


Ancient Peru Pyramid Spotted by Satellite

Rossella Lorenzi, Discovery News
Buried History
Buried History

A new remote sensing technology has peeled away layers of mud and rock near Peru's Cahuachi desert to reveal an ancient adobe pyramid, Italian researchers announced on Friday at a satellite imagery conference in Rome.

Nicola Masini and Rosa Lasaponara of Italy's National Research Council (CNR) discovered the pyramid by analyzing images from the satellite Quickbird, which they used to penetrate the Peruvian soil.

Read the rest on Discovery.

10.06.2008

Oldest Footprints on Earth Possibly Found

The oldest-known tracks of a creature apparently using legs have been discovered in rock dated to 570 million years ago in what was once a shallow sea in Nevada.

Scientists think land beasts evolved from ancient creatures that left the sea and evolved lungs and legs.

If the new finding is real — the discoverer says it will fuel skepticism — it pushes the advent of walking back 30 million years earlier than any previous solid finding.

The aquatic creature left its "footprints" as two parallel rows of small dots, each about 2 millimeters in diameter.

Read the rest on FoxNews.



Underground World War II caves found below Caen in northern France

The time capsule labyrinth lies deep below the Normandy city of Caen, which was all but destroyed by British guns around D-Day, June 6th 1944.

Largely undisturbed since, the makeshift bunkers still contain numerous reminders of a terrified population whose only thought at the time was survival.

They include packed suitcases, tins of syrup, decaying maps and official passes, and even lady's make-up bags including nail varnish and lipstick.

Read the rest on the Telegraph.


Archaeologists file criminal complaint over Placido Domingo concert at Chichen Itza.

ASSOCIATED PRESS

MERIDA, Yucatan — Placido Domingo's concert at the Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza tonight is being billed as "the world's greatest tenor at one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World," a claim few lovers of opera or history would dispute.

Read the rest here.

10.05.2008

Winged dinosaurs were 'too heavy to fly'

At the cinema, they swoop through the air and circle ominously overhead with their razor-sharp bills.

But in fact, the flying dinosaurs which feature in King Kong and Jurassic Park would have struggled to get off the ground, researchers believe.

After analysing the flight of 28 birds, scientists from Tokyo University say the pterodactyl, which weighed a quarter of a ton, would not have been able to flap its wings fast enough to stay in the air - and could only glide relatively short distances from clifftops.

Pterosaur

Myth? Many believed that pterodactyls were the largest animals to ever have flown, but an expert now says they were simply too heavy.

Read the rest on the DailyMail.


10.04.2008

UBC Dig Uncovers Roman Mystery

Archeologist Roger Wilson pulls out the day amphora from its 1,500 year hiding place - photo courtesy of Roger Wilson
Archeologist Roger Wilson pulls out the clay amphora from its 1,500 year hiding place - photo courtesy of Roger Wilson

By Lorraine Chan

UBC archaeologists have dug up a mystery worthy of Indiana Jones, one that includes a tomb, skeletons and burial rites with both Christian and pagan elements.

This summer, Prof. Roger Wilson led excavations at Kaukana, an ancient Roman village located near Punta Secca, a small town in the south-eastern province of Ragusa in Sicily.

Read the rest on UBC Public Affairs.


10.03.2008

Mycenaean warrior used 'imported sword'

A Mycenaean warrior who died in western Greece over 3,000 years ago was the proud owner of a rare gold-wired sword imported from the Italian peninsula, a senior archaeologist said on Thursday.

"This is a very rare discovery, particularly because of the gold wire wrapped around the hilt," archaeologist Maria Gatsi told AFP.

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Mammoth Tooth Found in Hurricane Ike Debris

AP: CAPLEN, Texas — A paleontologist whose beachfront home in Texas was destroyed during Hurricane Ike has found a football-size tooth in the debris.

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Unexpected Roman ruin turns history on its head

by Maev Kennedy
Richborough Roman Fort near Sandwich in Kent
Rewriting history … Richborough Roman fort near Sandwich in Kent. Photograph: Hugo Philpott/PA

The best view of a newly discovered archaeological site in Kent is from the trains thundering past a few feet away. Passengers heading towards the Ramsgate ferry ports glance incuriously out at what was a jungle of brambles and nettles a few weeks ago, not realising that they are seeing almost 2,000 years of history rewritten.

Read the rest on TheGuardian.


Greece: Ancient sculptures fished out of the sea

ATHENS, Greece – Greek archaeologists have discovered two Roman-era sculptures built into a sunken ancient harbor wall on the Aegean Sea island of Kythnos.

A Culture Ministry statement says the stone torso of a man in armor and the head of a bearded man were found during an underwater survey in September at Mandraki, on western Kythnos.

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10.02.2008

Archaeologists Unveil Majestic Roman Ruins That Rival Riches of Pompeii

Ostia Archaeological Authority: An Ostia Antica fresco in the House of the Painted Vaults.

OSTIA ANTICA, Italy —The ruins of Ostia, an ancient Roman port, have never captured the public imagination in the same way as those of Pompeii, perhaps because Ostia met with a less cataclysmic fate.

Yet past archaeological digs here have yielded evidence of majestic public halls and even multistory apartment buildings that challenge Pompeii’s primacy. Now officials hope that the decade-long restoration of four dwellings lavishly decorated with frescoes will focus new attention on this once-bustling port about 15 miles west of Rome.

Read the rest on the NYT.com.

Ostia Antica FrescoesSee the slide show on NYT.com

10.01.2008

Earliest Reference Describes Christ as 'Magician'

Jennifer Viegas, Discovery News
'By Christ the Magician'
'By Christ the Magician'

A team of scientists led by renowned French marine archaeologist Franck Goddio recently announced that they have found a bowl, dating to between the late 2nd century B.C. and the early 1st century A.D., that is engraved with what they believe could be the world's first known reference to Christ.

Read the rest on Discovery.com.


Pirate hoard found in East End

A hoard of items from the homes of 17th century sailors and pirates has been discovered.

An archaeological dig in the Narrow Street area of Ratcliff, near Limehouse, has found the remains of the homes of sea captains - and pottery, coins, jars, glassware, water containers, coral and cannonballs from around the world.

Read the rest here.


Church Discovered In Orhaneli One Of World's Earliest

BURSA - The "Derecik Basilica" discovered in north-western province of Bursa's Orhaneli town in the year 2000 has been claimed as one of the world's earliest churches that was constructed after Christianity was accepted as an official religion by the Roman Empire.

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