1000-year-old wood Viking shield found in Denmark

Archaeologists excavating some Viking castles west of Copenhagen have uncovered a rare wooden Viking shield dating from over a thousand years ago. Archaeologist Kirsten Christensen said the wooden shield has a diameter of 32 inches. […] Christensen said Thursday it is the first time such a shield has been found in Denmark. She said the …

In more ancient skeletons with TB news…

Another ancient skeleton is providing clues to the spread of tuberculosis. This one is Roman from the 4th c. and was found on a construction site at York University. If the new case is confirmed as TB it could provide scientists with a valuable tool to trace the movement of the disease as it is …

The original Pepto recipe: Chianti, cherries and herbs

A pharmacist in Tuscany recently discovered an 18th c. recipe for a digestive miracle drug. The pharmacy was established by the current pharmacist’s ancestors in 1715, and apparently there are all kinds of manuscripts lying around or wedged in shelves. “My ancestors left several manuscripts with formulas for digestive drinks, but this one struck me …

A heartbreaking update

Earlier this year, I posted repeatedly about the federal raids on looted and overvalued-for-tax-fraud Asian antiquities in prominent California museums. One of the sad results of this investigation was the arrest and death in custody of Asian antiquities specialist Roxanna Brown. She was known as a vocal opponent of the trade in looted artifacts, so …

A little more about Amenhotep’s eye

This article adds some juice to the dry announcement of the eye’s return. Zawi Hawass himself apparently saw it while he was in town for the Tut exhibit, recognized it right away and negotiated directly with the collector to get it back. Notice the use of the standard “in good faith” clause. Whenever you see …

Warrior gold found in Alexander’s birthplace

Archaeologists have discovered 43 richly laden graves of warriors in Pella, northern Greece, the birthplace of Alexander the Great. The graves range in age from 650-279 B.C., including 9 that date to Alexander’s time (320 B.C.). There are even 11 bejeweled women buried among them. Some were buried in bronze helmets alongside iron swords and …

Amenhotep III gets his eye back

It was stolen from the temple in Luxor during a fire in 1972. The looters found the usual willing buyer: a greedy antiquities dealer willing to purchase to loot no questions asked. The greedy antiquities dealer found the usual willing fence in Sotheby’s, where a German dealer bought it at auction. From there, the eye …

Google microfiches 200 years of newspapers

The days of having to rely on newspapers’ online archives or, heaven forfend, actual physical archives in libraries, will soon be over. Today, we’re launching an initiative to make more old newspapers accessible and searchable online by partnering with newspaper publishers to digitize millions of pages of news archives. Let’s say you want to learn …