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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

8.31.2009

Heating System Confirms Ancient Kingdom Was Korean



The largest "ondol" heating system dating from the Balhae Kingdom has been unearthed in a nearly intact state in Russia's Maritime Province, confirming the kingdom to have been a Korean settlement.

Read the rest here.

8.29.2009

How I Spent My Weekend....


Preparing for the Digging For Cleopatra's Daughter Treasure Hunt! We mailed 60 gift bags to 60 participating indie stores around the country. It was A LOT of work... but worth it! Thank you Julie & Briana for all of your help!!

8.28.2009

Swedish archaeologists uncover 7th century ship

Swedish archaeologists uncover 7th century ship

Swedish archaeologists have announced the find of a 7th century burial ship, the oldest of its kind to be discovered in Scandinavia.

Read the rest here.


2,000-year-old skeleton found in Mongolia

The National Museum of Korea said yesterday it has unearthed a 2,000-year-old skeleton of a Mongolian nomad at the Xiongnu Tombs of Duurlignars, about 500 kilometers northeast of Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia.

Read the rest here.


Gold-plated Roman horse head found

AP: FRANKFURT - Scientists say a Roman horse head made from bronze and plated in gold has been discovered at an archaeological site in Germany.

Read the rest on MSNBC.


Revealed: Letter from Henry VII that may prove first Englishman sailed to North America in 1499


The personal letter written by King Henry VII to his Lord Chancellor on 12 March 1499 which historians hope could prove to be evidence of the first expedition led by an Englishman to North America
Evidence of what could be the first expedition led by an Englishman to North America, previously unknown by historians, will be published this week.Read the rest on the Daily Mail.


Viking silver treasure hoard worth £1m unearthed after 1,000 years

Silver jewellery
A king's ransom: Silver jewellery buried more than a millennium agoAn impressive Viking hoard of jewellery has made a father and son metal-detector team £1m, after being bought by two British museums.

Read the rest on the Daily Mail.

8.27.2009

Destruction of the Parthian Kuh-e Khajeh is on the Increase

Kuh_Khajeh_Rostam_Castle.jpg (149841 bytes)

LONDON, (CAIS) -- Despite frequent warnings by the experts, one of the most unique Parthian sites in Iran-proper known as the Kuh-e Khajeh (Parthian Ushida) remains in danger of total destruction, and the cultural authorities have not take any action to ensure its protection.

Read the rest here.

8.26.2009

Shackles found in River Thames hold ghoulish tale

LONDON (Reuters Life!) - An iron ball and chain found on the banks of London's River Thames is causing a stir amongst archaeologists who say the 300 year-old artifact used to restrain convicts on ships may have a gruesome story to tell.

Read the rest on Reuters.


Brain changes may have led to Stone Age tools

David Perlman, Chronicle Science Editor

Once upon a time in the long evolution of Homo sapiens, a band of our African ancestors learned to use fire for more than cooking meat, lighting the dark or warding off attacking animals.

Read the rest on the San Francisco Gate Chronicle.

8.25.2009

Archaeologists uncover large Roman statue of Augustus

File photo of a recent bit of the statue found by archaeologists. Photo: DPA

Archaeologists in have discovered fragments of a 2,000-year-old bronze Roman equestrian statue of Emperor Augustus in a stream near Giessen, the Hessian state science ministry has announced.

Read the rest here.


Gaping Gila Monsters, Buzzing Insects, Clambering Ungulates: New Finds From Germany's Messel Pit


Rodent in a fur coat, Masillamys. (Senckenberg, Frankfurt (Germany))
ScienceDaily— Today, anyone who looks into the Messel Pit, about 20 kilometres southeast of Frankfurt, Germany, will see scattered groups of trees, bushes and grasses. Underlying the vegetation, however, are richly fossiliferous shales.

Read the rest on Science Daily.


First Iranians

By Manouchehr Saadat Noury, PhD

The ancient history of Iran, like many other countries, is believed to be based upon the archeological findings and a mixture of documented myths and information recorded by historians or religious entities of the time. Archaeology, which is the study of human cultures through the recovery, documentation and analysis of cultural and environmental data, has been carried out in Iran since quite a long time.

Read the rest here.


War's end opens up Angolan 'Jurassic Park'

AFP

Angola is best known for oil and diamonds, but dinosaur hunters say the country holds a "museum in the ground" of rare fossils waiting to be discovered.

Read the rest here.


Ancient skeletons could help solve mystery of rare disease

By Louise Hogan

TWO ancient skeletons with a rare genetic bone disease unearthed from a medieval Irish graveyard may hold key insights for medical experts.

Read the rest here.

8.24.2009

Rare tiles unearthed at palace

Rare Valencian tiles have been uncovered by archaeologists during excavations at the ruins of a Surrey palace, once owned by Henry VIII.

Read the rest on the BBC.


Laboratory to Decipher Zapoteca Writing will be Created


The laboratory will warrantee that engraved stones distributed around the archaeological zone undergo detailed study, in an adequate place for their preservation and storage. Photo: Hector Montano/INAH.

MEXICO CITY.- Nearly 300 engraved stones will be studied in the laboratory that will be operating at Monte Alban Archaeological Zone in Oaxaca to advance in Zapoteca writing deciphering.

Read the rest on Art Daily.

8.21.2009

Face to face with the 5,000-year-old 'first Scot'

AT FIRST glance, it appears little more than a tiny fragment of sandstone with a few crude scratches on the surface.

Read the rest here.


Stanford scientists scan 2,500-year-old mummy

PALO ALTO, Calif.---- Scientists trying to unwrap the mysteries of a more than 2,500-year-old mummy believed to be an ancient Egyptian priest conducted computer scans Thursday to help determine how the man died, what was buried with him and what he looked like.

Read the rest here.

8.20.2009

Caves tell a tale of an ancient trade route

Neeta Kolhatkar

Mumbai: Few would know that the Elephanta, Kanheri, Mahakali, Jogeshwari and Mandapeshwar caves are all connected by a trade route that existed in and around Mumbai nearly 2,000 years ago.

Read the rest here.


Was ancient Cypriot cave a prehistoric diner?

Read the rest on Yahoo.


Excavations reveal Roman history

Archaeological excavations at the site of a former plant nursery, set to be developed for housing, have found evidence of Iron Age and Roman use.

Read the rest on the BBC.


3,000-year-old butter found in Kildare bog

By Conor McHugh

AN OAK barrel, full of butter, estimated to be roughly 3,000 years old has been found in Gilltown bog, between Timahoe and Staplestown.

Read the rest here.

8.18.2009

Sea captain's pocket watch lost in a shipwreck 130 years ago finally returned to his family

Captain Richard Prichard
The silver watch belonging to Captain Richard Prichard sank with the Barbara off the coast of Wales in 1881, but was recovered and returned to his family

A silver pocket watch discovered near the site of a shipwreck has been returned to the family of its original owner 130 years after it was lost.

Read the rest on the DailyMail.


New Egyptian Bust Looks Like Michael Jackson?



Watch the video on CNN.

8.17.2009

Mozart may have died of strep throat complications

by Shahreen Abedin

So ill he could not move, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart supposedly sang parts of his final masterpiece, "Requiem," from his deathbed. Two centuries later, the exact cause of the Austrian composer's premature death, in December 1791 at age 35, is still a mystery.

Read the rest on CNN.


Seafood gave us the edge on the Neanderthals

by Ewen Callaway

If Neanderthals ever shared a Thanksgiving feast with Homo sapiens, the two species may have had trouble settling on a menu.

Read the rest on New Scientist.


Syria: 5th century skeleton found in Byzantine cathedral

Edited by Maha Karim
al-Hasaka

A cathedral with a skeleton remains in it, dating back to the Byzantine era, was unearthed by the Syrian excavation team in Tal Al-Hasaka site, north eastern Syria.

Read the rest here.


HISTORY'S HORRORS IN THE PRESENT: Gay men attacked, executed in Iraq, rights group says

BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Hundreds of gay men have been tortured and killed in Iraq in recent months, some by the nation's security forces, Human Rights Watch said Monday.

Read the rest on CNN.

8.14.2009

Archaeologists find prehistoric skeleton in the Dales

A human body, thought to date from the Iron Age, has been unearthed by archaeologists during a dig at a Peak District beauty spot.

Read the rest here.


'Neolithic cathedral built to amaze’ unearthed in Orkney dig

The dig site at Ness of Brodgar
(Ken Amer) The dig site at Ness of Brodgar has been described as potentially as important as Skara Brae. Worshippers would have been led through a passage to a chamber at the heart of the building



A huge Neolithic cathedral, unlike anything else which can be seen in Britain, has been found in Orkney.

Read the rest on the Times.

8.13.2009

Cave Complex Allegedly Found Under Giza Pyramids

Rossella Lorenzi, Discovery News
Caves at Giza
Caves at Giza | Discovery News Video

An enormous system of caves, chambers and tunnels lies hidden beneath the Pyramids of Giza, according to a British explorer who claims to have found the lost underworld of the pharaohs.

Read the rest on Discovery.


Neanderthals didn't like sprouts either

Spanish researchers say they're a step closer to resolving a mystery of evolution - why some people like Brussels sprouts but others hate them.

Read the rest here.

8.12.2009

Pre-Stonehenge House Reveals Domestic Life

Jennifer Viegas, Discovery News
Stone Age Dwelling
Stone Age Dwelling | Discovery News Video

The remains of a 9,000-year-old hunter-gatherers' house, uncovered during construction at an airport, have been unearthed in Great Britain's Isle of Man.

Read the rest on Discovery.


Castle Moats: Holy for Some, Sewer for Others

Jennifer Viegas, Discovery News
Castle Moat
Dual Purpose | Discovery News Video

Over 2,000 years ago, residents of at least one royal palace enjoyed convenient indoor toilets, with the contents regularly transported to the stately mansion's surrounding moat, according to a recent excavation. The dig also found that the inhabitants struggled, and likely failed, to keep the waste flowing away from the palace.

Read the rest on Discovery.

8.11.2009

Grave discovered at royal centre

The grave
The grave contained artefacts including a bronze dagger with a gold band

Archaeologists have discovered an early Bronze Age grave and artefacts at the site of a centuries old royal centre.

Read the rest on the BBC.


Archaeologists find major pre-Columbian sites in Puerto Rico

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) - U.S. and Puerto Rican archaeologists say they have found the best-preserved pre-Columbian site in the Caribbean, which could shed light on virtually every aspect of Indian life in the region, from sacred rituals to eating habits.

Read the rest on the Sun Journal.


4,000-year-old dye found on Egyptian artifact

By Randolph E. Schmid

(AP) WASHINGTON - Four thousand years ago Egyptians had mastered the process of making madder, a red dye, according to a researcher who uncovered the earliest known example of the color still used today.

Read the rest on MSNBC.


Bipedal Humans Came Down From The Trees, Not Up From The Ground

ScienceDaily— A detailed examination of the wrist bones of several primate species challenges the notion that humans evolved their two-legged upright walking style from a knuckle-walking ancestor.

Read the rest on Science Daily.

8.10.2009

And More! Two thousand year-old remains of Emperor Vespasian's house discovered

The archaeologists have unearthed reception rooms, colonnades, mosaic floors and traces of a hot bath complex at a site in mountainous countryside near the town of Rieti, north of Rome.

Read the rest on the Telegraph.


Shipwrecked: Archaeologists explore graveyard of sunken ships in Baltic Sea

MALIN RISING, Associated Press Writer
STOCKHOLM (AP) —The fire began in the galley, where the crew had kept a stove burning while they visited a tavern ashore. As the flames devoured her stern, the Anna Maria sank through the ice in the Stockholm archipelago.

Read the rest on the LA Times.


A handmade leather heart, a gold cross and a train ticket: The poignant keepsakes found at mass World War I graves in France

Fromelles

They are the personal mementoes and keepsakes of men whose bodies have lain abandoned and disturbed in the wake of one of the First World War's most deadly and wasteful battles.

Read the rest on the Daily Mail.

8.07.2009

Graves of forgotten Culloden Redcoats discovered

by

They were the victors, but for centuries the location of the graves of the government troops who fell at Culloden has been a mystery - unmarked and untraced in the vengeful belief that they were unworthy of proper graves.

Read the rest on the Times.


Roman Emperor Vespasian's Villa Found

Rossella Lorenzi, Discovery News
Vespasian Villa
Summer Home | Discovery News Video

The summer villa of Roman Emperor Vespasian has been found in the Sabine hill country northeast of Rome, Italian archaeologists announced today.

Read the rest on Discovery.


World's oldest map: Spanish cave has landscape from 14,000 years ago

By Fiona Govan
Archaeologists have discovered what they believe is man's earliest map, dating from almost 14,000 years ago.
Archaeologists have discovered what they believe is man's earliest map, dating from almost 14,000 years ago Photo: EPA

A stone tablet found in a cave in Abauntz in the Navarra region of northern Spain is believed to contain the earliest known representation of a landscape.

Read the rest on the Telegraph.

8.06.2009

Göbekli Tepe: Standing stones from humanity’s oldest temple

Wiki Photo

by Gwynneth Anderson

The massive limestone monoliths weigh between ten and twenty tons and are weirdly carved with fantastic scorpions, lions, spiders and snakes that testify to the difficult hunter’s life. Unearthed after thousands of years of deliberate forgetfulness, these silent pillars stand in a circle located only a few miles south of the ancient town of Sanliurfa, Turkey, the legendary birthplace of the prophet Abraham

Read the rest here.


A A A text size Archaeologists Unearth the Treasure of Basil II

Unique golden coins from Basil II Slayer of Bulgars ruling have been unearthed in Yabalkovo village near Dimitrovgrad (southeastern Bulgaria).

Read the rest here.

8.05.2009

Ship's weapon dug up from garden

By Steven McKenzie
Highlands and Islands reporter, BBC Scotland news website
Bar shot
Bar shot was designed to destroy a ship's rigging

A history enthusiast may have unearthed a rusting relic of Royal Navy "fire and sword" tactics from the 1700s while weeding his Highlands garden.

Read the rest on the BBC.


Dig reveals secrets of 'green' monks

AN ARCHAEOLOGICAL dig has unearthed evidence about a monastic order with a “green agenda” in medieval Co Meath, where a group of monks dependent on handouts battled to become self-sufficient.

Read the rest here.

8.04.2009

Saving the gems of the Stone Age

Skara Brae

It is one of the best preserved Stone Age villages in Europe, but Skara Brae in Orkney is just a few metres from the sea and it is a constant battle to save it from coastal erosion.

Read the rest on the BBC.

8.03.2009

Henry II 'spent a fortune on Dover Castle to counter Becket cult'

by Stephen Adams
Henry II 'spent a fortune on Dover Castle to counter Becket cult'
The rooms have just been renovated and refurbished in a £2.45 million project managed by English Heritage, to resemble how they would have done in Henry's day. Photo: CLARE KENDALL

Henry II spent vast sums on Dover Castle as an international public relations exercise to counter the growing "anti-monarchial cult" of Thomas Becket's shrine in nearby Canterbury, according to a new analysis.

Read the rest on the Telegraph.


Hidden Gobi Desert relics found

Rare Buddhist treasures, not seen for more than 70 years, have been unearthed in the Gobi Desert.

Read the rest on the BBC.


Archeology works in Veliko Turnovo discover a princess

The tomb of a Bulgarian princess was discovered in the northern Bulgarian town of Veliko Turnovo, Bulgaria's medieval capital, the Bulgarian National Radio (BNR) said.

Read the rest here.


Delighted antiques dealer discovers 1,300-year-old Knights Templar relic at car boot sale

Martin Roberts with his find: The 'Knights Templar' tabarnacle door which could date back to 700AD
Martin Roberts with his find: The 'Knights Templar' tabarnacle door which could date back to 700AD
Read the rest on the DailyMail.

8.02.2009

Analyst: Music pieces probably composed by young Mozart

A researcher in Austria says the works were probably transcribed by Mozart's father, as young Mozart played.
A researcher in Austria says the works were probably transcribed by Mozart's father, as young Mozart played.

By Shelby Lin Erdman

(CNN) -- The music isn't new, but the discovery that a young Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart "almost certainly" composed it is a stunning revelation.

Read the rest on CNN.