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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

12.24.2008

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!!
HAPPY HANUKKAH!!!!!!!

And have a wonderful start to the NEW YEAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!

12.19.2008

History Buff Is Going On Vacation




Gladiators to Return to Colosseum After 2,000 Years

After 2,000 years, gladiators will return to the Colosseum — though only in mock fights. Umberto Broccoli, head of archaeology at Rome City Council, said a series of mock combats would take place next year to give the Colosseum's visitors a feel of the shows originally staged there, along with "the sights, sounds and smells" of the arena.

Read the rest here.

12.18.2008

King Tut's Father ID'd in Stone Inscription

by Rossella Lorenzi

An inscribed limestone block might have solved one of history's greatest mysteries -- who fathered the boy pharaoh King Tut. "We can now say that Tutankhamun was the child of Akhenaten," Zahi Hawass, chief of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities, told Discovery News.

Red the rest on Discovery.



Ancient ruins may reveal fate of Moche sex and sacrifice culture

Archaeologists have discovered the ruins of an ancient city that they hope might finally answer questions about the fate of the Moche culture — best known for the ceremonial sex acts and ritualistic human sacrifices depicted on its pottery.

Read the rest on the Times.



Ancient Mass Graves of Soldiers, Babies Found in Italy


by Maria Cristina Valsecchi in Rome

More than 10,000 graves containing ancient amphorae, "baby bottles," and the bodies of soldiers who fought the Carthaginians were found near the ancient Greek colony of Himera, in Italy, archaeologists announced recently.

Read the rest on National Geographic.


DNA is recovered from ancestral snack

WE MAY soon find out exactly what our ancestors ate when they sat down to dinner. The discovery that DNA can be extracted from ancient cooked bones overturns the expectation that heat would destroy such genetic material.

Read the rest on New Scientist.


Museum mummy murder mystery

By Ben Goldby

IT is the murder mystery which has spanned thousands of years. Archaeologists have long questioned how an unidentified man entombed in a 1,700-year-old mummy at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery met his death.

Read the rest here.


'Lost Leonardo da Vinci drawings' found on back of one of his paintings in the Louvre

A curator at the Louvre Museum in Paris has stumbled upon some unknown drawings on the back of a painting by Leonardo da Vinci that look like they might be by the Italian master himself.

Sketches by a master? The three sketches, possibly drawn by da Vinci, are of a horse's head, half a skull and a baby Jesus and lamb
Sketches by a master? The three sketches, possibly drawn by da Vinci, are of a horse's head, half a skull and baby Jesus and playing with a lamb

Read the rest on DailyMail.


12.17.2008

Christmas carol is really a rebel song in celebration of Bonnie Prince Charlie, claims expert

It has been sung at carol services across the country but a centuries-old secret political code has been found in a popular Christmas song. According to one musical expert, O Come All Ye Faithful, also called Adeste Fideles, is actually a birth ode to Jacobite pretender Bonnie Prince Charlie.

Read the rest on DailyMail.



Ancient city discovered in Peru that dates back to Wari culture

Ancient city found in Peru
The sprawling site contained cells and rooms that were used for human sacrifice

By Chris Laker

The ruins of an entire city have been found in northern Peru which could provide the 'missing link' between two ancient cultures, researchers have said.

Read the rest on DailyMail.


Ancestral History Explains Roots Of Income Inequality

Adapted from materials provided by Brown University.

ScienceDaily — Two Brown University economists have created a new data set explaining differences in the world’s current per capita gross domestic products (GDPs). In a National Bureau of Economic Research working paper, Louis Putterman and David N. Weil introduce a “World Migration Matrix” showing that inequality among countries can be largely explained by where the ancestors of each country’s people lived some 500 years ago.

Read the rest on ScienceDaily.


Voice from the past: Listen to a family Christmas recording hidden since the Great War

Ghostly voices from a family celebrating Christmas together during the First World War have been heard for the first time in nearly a century. The recordings provide a fascinating insight into an English family living at a tumultuous time in world history. Eight phonograph cyclinders, made of beeswax and soap, feature the Smith family from Salisbury in Wiltshire singing carols and sicussing 'daddy being away at war.'

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO THE INCREDIBLE 95-YEAR-OLD RECORDINGS

recording
The rare recordings, made on wax cylinders, have been heard for the first time in 95 years after they were copied onto a CD

Read the rest on DailyMail.

12.16.2008

World’s oldest portrait in peril

The world’s oldest depiction of a human face could be threatened if Australian mining companies are permitted to build an explosives factory on the remote Burrup peninsula in the northwest of the country.

Read the rest on the Times.


New dinosaurs discovered by British scientists in Sahara desert

By David Derbyshire

A prehistoric 'river of the giants' that was once home to gigantic fish, towering dinosaurs and 60 foot long crocodiles has been unearthed by British fossil hunters.

The river - as wide as the Danube - flowed across the Sahara desert 100 million years ago, surrounded by lush forests, waterways and lakes.

sauropod discovered
Dr Dave Martill from the University of Portsmouth and Nizar Ibrahim from University College Dublin preparing to move a bone from a new species of sauropod discovered in the Sahara desert

Read the rest on the DailyMail

12.15.2008

Pompeii Family's Final Hours Reconstructed

Rossella Lorenzi, Discovery News
Figure Attempting Escape
Final Moment

Italian researchers have reconstructed the last hours in Pompeii of a dozen people who managed to survive Mount Vesuvius' devastating eruption for more than 19 hours.

Read the rest on Discovery.


2,000-Year-Old Woman Found in Incheon

A well-preserved adult female skeleton dating back 2,000 years ago has been unearthed in Yeongjong Island, Incheon.

Read the rest here.


Fifth Century settlement located

Boat Shaped Hall (generic)
Archaeologists believe a boat shaped hall was a feature of the settlement.

A Fifth Century Germanic settlement has been discovered on land set out for regeneration in Kent.

Read the rest on the BBC.


Searchers find remains of Teutonic Knights leaders

WARSAW, Poland – Polish archaeologists believe silk-draped skeletons found in a cathedral crypt are those of three grand masters who more than 600 years ago ruled the Teutonic Knights — an order that spread religion through force.

Read the rest on Yahoo.

12.12.2008

Pay £500,000? God help us, say couple forced by a medieval law to foot the bill for church repairs

Andrew and Gail Wallbank
Andrew and Gail Wallbank outside the church they are being forced to pay to repair - simply because they inherited land with a chancel repair liability

By Victoria Moore

This is a beautiful spot. The church of St John the Baptist stands in the Warwickshire village of Aston Cantlow, in a small churchyard scattered with gravestones and dotted with neatly trimmed yew and holly. It's here that Shakespeare's parents are thought to have married, and if the walls look a little crumbly and uneven... well, perhaps that's only to be expected of a building that dates back to the 13th century.

Read the rest on Daily Mail.


Scientists Find Oldest Human Brain in Britain

Archaeologists have found what they say is the oldest brain ever discovered in Britain, or at least the shriveled remnant of one, in a decapitated skull that dates back more than 2,000 years.

Read the rest here.

12.11.2008

Graves 'may mark ancient church'

Scene of archeological dig
The graves were found in the gardens of two cottages

A team of Oxfordshire researchers and archaeologists have discovered three graves which they believe could mark the site of a medieval church.

Read the rest on the BBC.


Vase discovery linked to Mary Magdalene

By Nick Pisa in Rome

The Italian team have been digging for several months at the ancient Palestinian town of Magdala – from where Mary gets her name. The archaeologists of the Franciscan academic society Studium Biblicum Franciscanum found the unopened vases dating to the first century AD conserved in mud at the bottom of a swimming pool in Magdala's thermal complex.

Read the rest on the Telegraph.


Rare artifacts uncovered in Roman baths dig

By Deepa Babington

ROME (Reuters Life!) - Excavations at an ancient Roman villa and bath complex in the outskirts of Rome have unearthed a wealth of surprisingly well-preserved artifacts, including the marble head of a Greek god, archaeologists said on Wednesday.

Read the rest on Reuters.

12.10.2008

Mystery Pyramid Built by Newfound Ancient Culture?


Photograph by Carlos Hernández Reyes

Alexis Okeowo in México City
for National Geographic News

Several stone sculptures recently found in central Mexico point to a previously unknown culture that likely built a mysterious pyramid in the region, archaeologists say.

Read the rest on National Geographic.


Archaeologists dig into Greenham peace camp

by Martin Wainwright

They may not rank with the Pyramids or Sutton Hoo, but the traces of one Britain's best-known protest camps are being sifted by a team of archaeologists. More than 600 artefacts have been catalogued at the skeletal remnants of Turquoise Gate camp, Greenham Common, as part of a project to tell the "full story" about the women's anti-nuclear campaign 25 years ago.

Read the rest on the Guardian.


Roman temple unearthed in Notts

THE remains of a Roman temple have been found in Notts – and experts say it could re-write the history books. A wall dating back as far as 43AD, made from large smooth-faced sandstone blocks, has been unearthed at the former Minster School site in Southwell.

Read the rest here.

12.08.2008

Divers search for Armada treasure off Mull

Paul Kelbie, Scotland Editor
The Observer

More than 400 years after a Spanish galleon loaded with gold and silver slid beneath the waves in the waters surrounding the Isle of Mull, a new mission has been launched to try to recover its hoard of treasure.

Read the rest on the Guardian.


Shipwreck clues could clear Blackbeard of sinking his ship to swindle his crew

By Jasper Copping
Blackbeard: Shipwreck clues could clear  Blackbeard of sinking his ship to swindle his crew
Blackbear may be innocent of some of the charges against him Photo: HULTON ARCHIVE

He was history's most feared pirate, striking terror into seafarers as he cut a bloodthirsty swathe through the Caribbean and North Atlantic. But new research has found that Blackbeard may be innocent of one of the most notorious charges against him.

Read the rest on the Telegraph.


Ancient Roman Oil Lamp 'Factory Town' Found

Rossella Lorenzi, Discovery News
The Big 'Brands' in Oil Lamps
The Big 'Brands' in Oil Lamps

Italian researchers have discovered the pottery center where the oil lamps that lighted the ancient Roman empire were made.

Read the rest on Discovery.


The world’s first Illyrian trading post found

IMPORTANT DISCOVERY: - Our discovery is important for understanding cultural identities in the Balkans in ancient times,”, says Marina Prusac at University of Oslo. Photo: University of Mostar

Tekst: Yngve Vogt

A unique archaeological discovery in the Balkans: Archaeologists from the University of Oslo have just found the first Illyrian trading post of all time. So Balkan history must now be rewritten!

Read the rest here.


Help Vera Save Her House


I very rarely post about anything outside of archaeological discoveries on this site, but I wanted to take the time this morning to ask my readers to help a fellow author in distress.



Vera Nazarian, sci-fi writer extraordinaire, is on the verge of losing her house. Her money has gone to caring for her mother (stricken with ovarian cancer) and you can read about her story here. If you feel like you can donate five dollars, or even just a dollar, it would go a long way towards helping a wonderful woman and a fantastic writer save her home. You can even donate via PayPal to the address helpvera@fuzzyorange.com. There is also a fabulous auction going on to help raise the $11,229.72 Vera needs.

Thank you, and happy holidays!

12.07.2008

Stone Age string: Unearthed, the twine that was twisted into shape 8,000 years ago

ancient string
Found in the mud: The ancient stringBy Neil Sears

How old is a piece of string? In this case, 8,000 years - making it the oldest length of string ever found in Britain. Our ancestors made it by twisting together what seem to be fibres of honeysuckle, nettles, or wild clematis, and used it in their struggle for survival as the last ice age ended.

Read the rest on DailyMail.

12.05.2008

Shock of office boss whose paperweight turned out to be a live WWI shell packed with TNT

When a friend out diving found a foot-long lump of metal on the seabed, printing firm boss Jeff Hayes decided it would make an ideal paperweight. For the next two years it sat on his desk as he chatted to his 150 employees - blissfully unaware that it was an unexploded bomb from the First World War.

Read the rest on DailyMail.


Prehistoric Flying Reptile Was Bigger Than a Car


Mark Witton: An amazing artist's representation of Lacusovagus, which scientists say represents a new genus of pterosaurs.

Live Science: A fossil of a toothless flying pterosaur, with a body bigger than some family cars, represents one of the largest of these extinct reptiles ever to be found and has forced the creation of a new genus, scientists announced today.

Read the rest here.



Dental Plaque Gives Clue To Diet Of Ancient People

WASHINGTON (AP) ― Thanks to poor dental hygiene, researchers are getting a more detailed understanding of what people ate thousands of years ago in what is now Peru.

Read the rest here.


DNA Secrets: Cave's latrines yield new evidence about prehistoric North America

PAISLEY, Ore. -- For some 85 years, homesteaders, pot hunters and archaeologists have been digging at Paisley Caves, a string of shallow depressions washed out of an ancient lava flow by the waves of a lake that comes and goes with the changing climate.

Read the rest here.

12.04.2008

Humans 80,000 Years Older Than Previously Thought?

Kate Ravilious
for National Geographic News

Modern humans may have evolved more than 80,000 years earlier than previously thought, according to a new study of sophisticated stone tools found in Ethiopia.

Read the rest on National Geographic.


Lost city of 'cloud people' found in Peru

The settlement covers some 12 acres and is perched on a mountainside in the remote Jamalca district of Utcubamba province in the northern jungles of Peru's Amazon.

Read the rest on the Telegraph.

12.03.2008

First credit crunch traced back to Roman republic

Mark Brown, arts correspondent

Politicians searching for historical precedents for the current financial turmoil should start looking a bit further back after an Oxford University historian discovered what he believes is the world's first credit crunch in 88BC.

Read the rest on the Guardian.


Herculaneum's glories shown off

AP: Herculaneum, ignored by many a Pompeii-bound tourist as that other city the erupting volcano Mount Vesuvius "froze" in ancient time, is showing off its glories, including some never before seen by the public.

Read the rest here.


Rare artefacts from the late Stone Age have been uncovered in Russia.

By Jason Palmer
Science and technology reporter, BBC News

Palaeolithic figurine (Antiquity)
The carving has a feminine form, reminiscent of "Venus" figurines found from Siberia to the Pyrenees

The site at Zaraysk, 150km south-east of Moscow, has yielded figurines and carvings on mammoth tusks.

Read the rest on the BBC.

12.02.2008

Huge Stash of Marijuana Found in Ancient Tomb

Duuuuuude! The world's oldest stash of marijuana has been found in far western China, according to an article in the Journal of Experimental Botany.

Read the rest here.

12.01.2008

Rare Bronze Age necklace is found

Amber necklace
The necklace was intact and extremely rare, experts say

A rare amber necklace believed to be about 4,000 years old has been uncovered in Greater Manchester. Archaeologists made the find while excavating a cist - a type of stone-lined grave - in Mellor, Stockport.

Read the rest on the BBC.


Painting that inspired iconic Christmas card is found hanging in pensioner's home... and it's now worth £70,000

By Andy Dolan

As one of the most popular Christmas card scenes of all time, it has graced mantelpieces by the million. But for the last 40 years, an elderly woman has contented herself with the knowledge that only she had the original painting of Beneath The Snow Encumbered Branches.

Elena Ratcheva with original painting by Joseph Farquharson
Going, going... the auctioneers' Elena Ratcheva with the original painting of Beneath The Snow Encumbered Branches

Read the rest on the DailyMail.


A temple discovered below Romuliana

Author: S. B.
A temple discovered below Romuliana
ZAJECAR – German experts from the Archeological Institute of Frankfurt in collaboration with our experts have come to an incredible discovery- they have found monumental buildings below Romuliana covering 300 square meters. A temple and 25 objects have been hidden under the surface.

“It was generally believed that Romuliana, the place where Roman emperor Caius Valerius Galerius Maximianus (297-311) was born, was a village.

Read the rest here.


Medieval Bishop's palace discovered in Ross

A CENTURIES-old search for a lost palace has ended at one of Herefordshire’s best-known beauty spots, where a time team unearthed its second stunning find in nearly as many months.

Read the rest here.


An Embalmed Corpse of a King was discovered in Kurdistan-Iran

(California, November 27, 2008). On November 19, 2008, six corpses were discovered in Kurdistan-Iran. Archeologists believe the corpses were buried some 3000 years ago.

Read the rest here.


Mystery of stone 'note' is solved

Part of the inscription on the stone
Experts say the engraving gives a "fascinating glimpse" into history

The mystery of a 90-year-old note inscribed in stone has been solved thanks to a trans-Atlantic e-mail.

Read the rest on the BBC.