Free online course on the archaeology of Portus

Researchers from the University of Southampton have been excavating the ancient man-made harbour of Portus in modern day Fiumicino, 20 miles southwest of Rome, since 1998. In collaboration with experts from the British School at Rome, the University of Cambridge, and the Soprintendenza Speciale per i Beni Archeologici di Roma, they have explored the warehouses …

How’s your ancient Greek?

Nonexistent? Okay then, how are you at playing Concentration when you can see all the cards? Pretty damn good, I bet. Well now you can put that talent to excellent history nerd use by helping identify and transcribe the Oxyrynchus Papyri, a large collection of ancient writings dating from the 1st to the 6th century …

The History of English in Ten Minutes

The Open University is a UK school of higher learning that has no formal entry requirements for admission. The idea is to make learning available to everyone of any age and walk of life, no matter where they live. You don’t have to wait to graduate high school to enroll at OU, and there is …

First shots of Civil War fired 150 years ago today

One hundred and fifty years ago today, at 4:30 in the morning, Captain James fired a shell from a ten-inch mortar across Charleston harbor at Fort Sumter. The garrison had been running desperately low on supplies, and since South Carolina had been the first state to formally secede from the Union months before (on Christmas …

Alexander’s armies wore linen armour

This isn’t breaking news or anything, but it’s news to me and I’ve been obsessing about it for 2 days. Greek armies from at least the 6th century B.C. through the Hellenistic period (the era after Alexander’s conquests when Greek military strength and cultural influence were at their peak) wore an armour made out of …

Henry VIII’s kitchens at Hampton Court Palace

Another slow news Sunday here, but I did find an addictive little YouTube channel run by Historic Royal Palaces, the British independent charity which cares for the Tower of London, Hampton Court Palace, the Banqueting House, Kensington Palace and Kew Palace. The videos in the channel cover the history of those sites and their royal …

GA Museum publishes all medieval Italian art in North America

The Georgia Museum of Art has published the first part of a massive compendium of all the Italian paintings made between 1250 and 1500 on canvas and wood found in North American collections. Part one is titled Corpus of Early Italian Paintings in North American Public Collections: The South. Author Perri Lee Williams of Miami …

World history in 100 objects starts tomorrow

Mark your calendars, folks. The first episode of BBC’s Radio Four and the British Museum A History of the World in 100 Objects debuts tomorrow. That’s already today for those of you across the Atlantic. The theme of the first 5 episodes is “Making Us Human” and they covers objects that define us as human, …

The history of the world in 100 objects

Beginning in January 2010, BBC’s Radio Four in conjunction with the British Museum will air 100 15-minute episodes each detailing the history of one object from the British Museum collection. The aim is to cover a vast stretch of history from 1.4 million years ago to modern times, and all over the globe, not just …