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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

2.26.2010

Woman who found coin worth £2,000 in garden becomes first to be prosecuted for not reporting treasure

by Andy Dolan

A woman who found a 700-year-old silver 'coin' whilst digging in her garden as a child has become the first in the country to be convicted of failing to hand in suspected treasure.

Read the rest on Daily Mail.


Accidental Discovery Pieces Together Ancient Biblical Manuscript

AP: JERUSALEM — Two parts of an ancient biblical manuscript separated across centuries and continents were reunited for the first time in a joint display Friday, thanks to an accidental discovery that is helping illuminate a dark period in the history of the Hebrew Bible.

Read the rest here.


Tyrannical English king 'buried in Scotland'

THE government is being asked to help fund tests that could solve a 600-year-old mystery surrounding the disappearance and death of an English king.

Read the rest here.


1,800-year-old Roman marble carving of the god Jupiter found at Fountains Abbey

A LONG-LOST Roman bust has turned up in North Yorkshire.

Read the rest here.

2.25.2010

Descartes Letter Found, Therefore It Is

It was the Great Train Robbery of French intellectual life: thousands of treasured documents that vanished from the Institut de France in the mid-1800s, stolen by an Italian mathematician. Among them were 72 letters by René Descartes, the founding genius of modern philosophy and analytic geometry.

Read the rest on the NYT.


Researchers hold breath as they lift lid on history in quest for Archbishop Wichmann

Roger Boyes

The archbishop has aged well. After 800 years, a tomb believed to contain the remains of one of the key advisers to the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick Barbarossa was opened for the first time yesterday — revealing an astonishingly well-preserved skeleton with whisps of eyebrow hair, a trace of flesh and feet decked in stylish, gold brocaded sandals.

Read the rest here.


Ring fort may have held Bronze Age sports arena

A MYSTERIOUS ring fort in Co Tipperary holds “massive potential for discoveries” according to archaeologists who have carried out the first survey of the site.

Read the rest on the Irish Times.

2.24.2010

Huge New Dinosaur Found via "Mind-boggling" Skulls

Christine Dell'Amore




Four skulls of a giant new species of plant-eating dinosaur may give scientists a head start on understanding the biggest animals ever to have walked the Earth, a new study says.

Read the rest on National Geographic.


Pictures: Shipwreck Discovery Yields Ancient Treasure

by James Owen

Gleaming where it sank almost 3,000 years ago, a golden bracelet from the Bronze Age marks the site of one of the world's oldest shipwrecks, recently discovered off the coast of the United Kingdom. At the time of the wreck, Rome had yet to be built, pharaohs still ruled Egypt, and Jesus Christ's birth was still centuries away.

See the photos on National Geographic.

2.23.2010

Newly Discovered Archaeological Sites In India Reveals Ancient Life

LONDON (Bernama) -- Newly discovered archaeological sites in southern and northern India have revealed how people lived before and after the colossal Toba volcanic eruption 74,000 years ago, according to Press Trust of India (PTI) on Tuesday.

Read the rest here.


Pirate's head taken off again

WHEN fearsome Baltic pirate Klaus Stortebeker was executed 600 years ago, his headless body is said to have walked 12m along the length of Hamburg quayside. He had struck a deal with the elders of the port: any of his 70 men he managed to pass in his post-decapitation walk should be spared. The quivering corpse passed 11 fellow pirates before the executioner put out a foot and tripped him up.

Read the rest here.

2.22.2010

History in the Remaking: A temple complex in Turkey that predates even the pyramids is rewriting the story of human evolution.

By Patrick Symmes

They call it potbelly hill, after the soft, round contour of this final lookout in southeastern Turkey. To the north are forested mountains. East of the hill lies the biblical plain of Harran, and to the south is the Syrian border, visible 20 miles away, pointing toward the ancient lands of Mesopotamia and the Fertile Crescent, the region that gave rise to human civilization. And under our feet, according to archeologist Klaus Schmidt, are the stones that mark the spot—the exact spot—where humans began that ascent.

Read the rest on Newsweek.


First Minoan Shipwreck

by Eti Bonn-Muller

Crete has seduced archaeologists for more than a century, luring them to its rocky shores with fantastic tales of legendary kings, cunning deities, and mythical creatures. The largest of the Greek islands, Crete was the land of the Minoans (3100-1050 B.C.), a Bronze Age civilization named after its first ruler, King Minos, the "master of the seas" who is said to have rid the waters of pirates. According to Thucydides, he also established the first thalassocracy, or maritime empire. The Minoans were renowned for their seafaring prowess, which opened trade routes with the powerful kingdoms of Egypt, Anatolia, and the Levant.

Read the rest in Archaeology Magazine.


How a hobbit is rewriting the history of the human race

homo-floresiensis-hobbit
A painting of what researchers believe Homo floresiensis may have looked like. Illustration: Peter Schouten (see his amazing wildlife artwork here)

by Robin McKie

It remains one of the greatest human fossil discoveries of all time. The bones of a race of tiny primitive people, who used stone tools to hunt pony-sized elephants and battle huge Komodo dragons, were discovered on the Indonesian island of Flores in 2004.

Read the rest on the Guardian.

2.21.2010

FOR THE FIRST TIME, KING TUT’S DNA IS MAPPED, HIS FAMILY IDENTIFIED, AND HIS SHORT LIFE INVESTIGATED

Will you be watching??

KING TUT UNWRAPPED
is airing tonight at 8 PM (ET/PT) and Monday, February 22, at 8 PM (ET/PT).


Revealed: The evidence that might show Elizabeth I's 'lover' had wife killed so he could wed the Queen

It has been the subject of fierce debate for more than 400 years. Now new evidence has emerged that supports the theory that Amy, the wife of Elizabeth I's close friend and suspected lover Robert Dudley, was murdered so her husband could marry the Queen.

Read the rest on the Daily Mail.

2.19.2010

Unearthing the splendour of Ur in Iraq

By Mehdi Lebouachera, in Tell al-Muqayyar for AFP

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/93/Ancient_ziggurat_at_Ali_Air_Base_Iraq_2005.jpg

With the country ravaged by war and strife since the 2003 US-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein, Baghdad's struggling government has had greater priorities than funding large-scale digs at Ur - the birth place of Abraham and one of the cradles of civilisation - where only small teams have been working since 2005.

Read the rest on The Telegraph.


Archaeologists pinpoint long-disputed site of Battle of Bosworth

By Maev Kennedy

Archaeologists announced today that they have located not just the site of the Battle of Bosworth, but the spot where – on 22 August 1485 – Richard III became the last English king to die in battle when he was cut down by Tudor swords.

Read the rest on The Guardian.

2.18.2010

Primitive Humans Conquered Sea, Surprising Finds Suggest

Heather Pringle

It wasn't supposed to happen like this.

Two years ago a team of U.S. and Greek archaeologists were combing a gorge on the island of Crete (map) in Greece, hoping to find tiny stone tools employed by seafaring people who had plied nearby waters some 11,000 years ago.

Read the rest on National Geographic.


Pieces of armor owned by ancient emperors unearthed

KYOTO, Feb. 18 (AP) - (Kyodo)—Pieces of iron armor owned by ancient Japanese emperors have been excavated from the ruins of Japan's eighth century capital of Nagaoka-kyo in Kyoto Prefecture,archaeologists said Thursday.

Read the rest on Breitbart.

2.17.2010

The writing's on the wall: How cave drawings may have been Man's first attempts to write

By Nicola Boden

They had previously been dismissed as little more than doodles, but these ancient dots and lines could be the very first attempts by Man to write.

Read the rest on the Daily Mail.


Unmasked: The real faces of the crippled King Tutankhamun (who walked with a cane) and his incestuous parents

 Queen Tiye
King Tut's grandmother Queen Tiye, the mother of Pharaoh Akhenaten.

King Tutankhamun was a hobbled, weak teenager with a cleft palate and club foot. And he probably has his parents to blame. For the mother and father of the legendary boy pharaoh were actually brother and sister.

Read the rest on the Daily Mail.


Archaeologist: Royal Palace of Ebla, Living Archive of Syria's History

By H. Zain Ghossoun
Ebla_of_syria

The importance of the Royal Palace of Ebla, in north Syria, lies in that it includes a room for cuneiform manuscripts, known as 'Ebla Archive' which stressed its importance as a political and economic metropolis in Bilad al-Cham besides that the Palace dates back to the Early Bronze Age 2400 BC.

Read the rest here.


Ghana dig reveals ancient society

Archaeologists have unearthed dozens of clay figures in Ghana, shedding light on a sophisticated society which existed before the arrival of Islam.

Read the rest on the BBC.

2.16.2010

What are you doing on Sunday??????

If you have any interest in the Amarna period (when Akhenaten was Pharaoh with Queen Nefertiti) or the enigmatic King Tut, I hope you'll be watching the Discovery Channel's special this Sunday, February 21st, at 8PM.

The Discovery Channel was kind enough to show me the episode early, and let me tell you - it's one you don't want to miss!!


Dig finds medieval monk was living it up in Kilkenny 'pad'

MICHAEL PARSONS

ARCHAEOLOGISTS IN Kilkenny have discovered new evidence of the lavish lifestyle enjoyed by a medieval Irish monk.

Read the rest on the Irish Times.


3,000-year-old shipwreck shows European trade was thriving in Bronze Age

The discovery of one of the world's oldest shipwrecks shows that European trade was thriving even in the Bronze Age, according to experts. The vessel, carrying copper and tin ingots used to make weapons and jewellery, sank off the coast near Salcombe in Devon and is thought to date from 900BC.

Read the rest on The Telegraph.


DNA Tests Reveal Mysteries of Boy-King Tut

AP: Egypt's famed King Tutankhamun suffered from a cleft palate and club foot, likely forcing him to walk with a cane, and died from complications from a broken leg exacerbated by malaria, according to the most extensive study ever of his mummy....

The studies also disproved speculation that Tutankhamun and members of his family suffered from rare disorders that gave them feminine attributes and misshapen bones, including Marfan Syndrome, a connective tissue disorder that can result in elongated limbs.

Read the rest here.

2.15.2010

Skeleton of St Anthony goes on display to public more than 750 years after his death

Pilgrims are being given the chance to see the 13th Century remains of St Anthony which go on display in a glass case today in Italy. The display, which will last until Saturday will be in chapel of his tomb in Padua and marks the feast of the transfer of St Anthony, also known as the 'feast of the tongue'.

Read the rest on Daily Mail.

2.12.2010

Scientist use DNA strand to uncover crucial details in a man believed to be 4,000 years old.

Watch the video on CNN.


Breeding Ancient Cattle Back from Extinction

By Stephan Faris

The only place to see an aurochs in nature these days? A cave painting. The enormous wild cattle that once roamed the European plains have been extinct since 1627, when the last survivor died in a Polish nature reserve. But this could soon change thanks to the work of European preservationists who are hoping they can make the great beast walk again.

Read the rest on Time Magazine.


Hellenistic Period tombs unearthed by torrential rainfall

Eight tombs dating to the Hellenist Period were partially revealed recently in the region of Gonous, Larissa prefecture, after flooding caused by heavy rainfall swept away a rural dirt road.

Read the rest here.


Why Humans Walk 'Flat-Footed'

Rachael Rettner

Cats and dogs trot around on their toes, as do many other mammals. So why do humans and other walk flat-footed? It is surprisingly energy efficient, a new study suggests.

Read the rest on Yahoo.

2.11.2010

World's Biggest Snake Ate New Prehistoric Croc Species

Christine Dell'Amore
National Geographic News

A new species of prehistoric croc has been unearthed in Colombia—and the ancient reptile was likely prey for the largest known snake ever to have slithered the Earth, a new study says.

Read the rest on National Geographic.


Archaeological 'Time Machine' Greatly Improves Accuracy of Early Radiocarbon Dating

ScienceDaily— Researchers at Queen's University have helped produce a new archaeological tool which could answer key questions in human evolution. The new calibration curve, which extends back 50,000 years, is a major landmark in radiocarbon dating -- the method used by archaeologists and geoscientists to establish the age of carbon-based materials.

Read the rest on Science Daily.

2.10.2010

Mythological love unearthed - Experts dig up chamber used by King Bana to hide his daughter

AURAV BORKATAKI

A secret chamber probably built by an Assam king to hide his lovelorn daughter from Krishna’s grandson has been dug up by archaeologists near Tezpur. The find, experts are saying, could be a confirmation of the legendary love story of Aniruddha, Krishna’s grandson, and princess Usha, daughter of King Bana.

Read the rest here.


Archaeologists find Byzantine era road

By Kevin Flower

Jerusalem (CNN) -- Archaeologists working under the direction of the Israeli Antiquities Authority have uncovered a 1,500-year-old road running through the center of Jerusalem's Old City.

Read the rest on CNN.


Should We Clone Neanderthals?

by Zach Zorich

If Neanderthals ever walk the earth again, the primordial ooze from which they will rise is an emulsion of oil, water, and DNA capture beads engineered in the laboratory of 454 Life Sciences in Branford, Connecticut. Over the past 4 years those beads have been gathering tiny fragments of DNA from samples of dissolved organic materials, including pieces of Neanderthal bone. Genetic sequences have given paleoanthropologists a new line of evidence for testing ideas about the biology of our closest extinct relative.

Read the rest on Archaeology.org.

2.09.2010

Grand Canyon archaeologists surprised at findings

By Stacey Wittig

Flagstaff, AZ -- Grand Canyon archaeologist Ian Hough reported to a crowd of local archaeologists, Grand Canyon hikers and enthusiasts that his team was surprised by artifacts and features recently unearthed at the bottom of the Grand Canyon.

Read the rest on the Examiner.


HISTORY'S HORRORS IN THE PRESENT: Man goes undercover to combat child sex slavery

By Leif Coorlim,

Phnom Penh, Cambodia (CNN) -- Aaron Cohen first met Jonty Thern and her older sister, Channy, in 2005 while singing in a karaoke bar in Battambang, Cambodia. He has come back to see them every year since.

Read the rest on CNN.


A Tree Carving in California: Ancient Astronomers?

By Matt Kettman

Though local lore held that the so-called "scorpion tree" had been the work of cowboys, paleontologist Rex Saint Onge immediately knew that the tree was carved by Indians when he stumbled upon it in the fall of 2006.

Read the rest on Time.


Professors make Jurassic discovery

By Melissa Turley

Are they birds or dinosaurs? This question has puzzled scientists for almost two decades after the discovery of a bizarre, bird-like family of dinosaurs called Alvarezsauridea, first found in the 1990s.

Read the rest here.


14th century Narasimha temple found

GUNTUR: A Vaishnavaite temple of Narasimhaswamy was found on Sunday by Puttakota villagers in the valley close to Mahadwaram of cantonment of erstwhile Reddi kings of Kondaveedu.

Read the rest on Hindu.com.

2.08.2010

Bog woman given a face

A 2000-year-old body found in a northeastern Jutland bog has received a makeover – coroner style The female known as the Auning Woman, found in a northeastern Jutland bog 1886, and housed at the Museum for Culture and History in...

Read the rest here.

2.05.2010

Ancient tooth enamel defects linked with premature death

A study reveals ancient human teeth showing evidence that stressful events during early development are linked to shorter lifespans.

Read the rest here.

2.04.2010

Ancient Mongolian Tomb Holds Skeleton of Western Man

By Bruce Bower

Dead men can indeed tell tales, but they speak in a whispered double helix. Consider an older gentleman whose skeleton lay in one of more than 200 tombs recently excavated at a 2,000-year-old cemetery in eastern Mongolia, near China's northern border.

Read the rest on Discovery.



Ancient tribal language becomes extinct as last speaker dies

Jonathan Watts
Boa Sr, the last speaker of the Bo language of the Andaman Islands, has died.
Boa Sr, the last speaker of the Bo language of the Andaman Islands, has died. Photograph: Alok Das/Survival/Survival

The last speaker of an ancient tribal language has died in the Andaman Islands, breaking a 65,000-year link to one of the world's oldest cultures.

Read the rest on The Guardian.


Bronze brooch rises from the ashes

ANNE LUCEY

A 1,400-YEAR-OLD brooch dating from the early Christian period has been discovered in the remnants of a turf fire in a range in north Kerry.

Read the rest on the Irish Times.

2.03.2010

King, Sultan, pope crack down on smoking

By Ethan Trex Mental Floss

More and more cities and states around the country are banning smoking in public places, much to the chagrin of smokers. But opposition to smoking has been around almost as long as smoking itself, and some of the historical measures to curb lighting up might surprise you.

1. The Pope cracks down on smoke

Pope Urban VII's papacy began on September 15, 1590. It ended with his death from malaria less than two weeks later.

Read the rest on CNN.


DNA Testing on 2,000-Year-Old Bones in Italy Reveal East Asian Ancestry

ScienceDaily — Researchers excavating an ancient Roman cemetery made a surprising discovery when they extracted ancient mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) from one of the skeletons buried at the site: the 2,000-year-old bones revealed a maternal East Asian ancestry.

Read the rest on Science Daily.


Excavation and restoration on the Avenue of Sphinxes

By Ann Wuyts

The Avenue of Sphinxes in front of the Luxor Temple
Photo by Jennifer Willoughb;
The Avenue of Sphinxes in front of the Luxor Temple
    Read more »

    2.02.2010

    Could museum's gold be from ancient Troy?

    The scientist had traveled from Germany to examine the ancient items that lay before him on the University of Pennsylvania laboratory table, and he was dazzled. Earrings with cascades of golden leaves. Brooches adorned with tightly coiled spirals. A necklace strung with hundreds of gold ringlets and beads.

    Read the rest here.


    Early draft of the Constitution found in Phila.

    Researcher Lorianne Updike Toler was intrigued by the centuries-old document at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania.

    Read the rest here.

    2.01.2010

    Archaeologists unearth Iron Age settlement in Kent

    The remains of an Iron Age settlement have been unearthed by archaeologists working along the route of a new £1.3m water pipeline in Kent.

    Read the rest on the BBC.


    Lifestyles of the rich and famous... Egyptians

    By Paula Veiga

    The rich and famous people of ancient Egypt lived a decadent lifestyle with fine wine, sex, high fashion, and plenty of partying. How do they compare with their equivalents today - the modern western celebrity set?

    Read the rest on The Independent.


    An ancient Roman temple, discovered in the chancel of the church of Sant Feliu Girona.

    An ancient Roman temple, discovered following the first excavations in the chancel of the church of Sant Feliu Girona.

    Read the rest here.


    Pictures: "Mythical" Temple Found in Peru

    A thousand-year-old temple complex (including a tomb with human sacrifice victims, shown in a digital illustration) has been found under the windswept dunes of northwestern Peru, archaeologists say.

    See the photos on National Geographic.