Google trikes go inside ancient sites

Google Street View continues to add new sites to their already impressive list of historical locations you can explore online. Now that they use tricycles as well as cars to travel the world photographing what they see, they can follow paths that cars cannot, like for instance the inside of the Colosseum. As of yesterday, …

Aaand he’s back

Zahi Hawass was reappointed Minister of Antiquities today. Interim Prime Minister Essam Sharaf had agreed to demands from ministry employees that Antiquities remain separate from the Culture Ministry. Faced with an aimless department with a power vacuum at the top, continuing thefts at archaeological sites generating a great deal of concern and UNESCO attention, plus …

Victorian beetle-wing dress restored wing by wing

A Victorian stage costume made in 1888 using 1,000 iridescent jewel beetle wings is back on display after two years of meticulous restoration. The dress was created for famed Shakespearean actress Ellen Terry’s portrayal of Lady Macbeth and was immortalized by American painter John Singer Sargent in an 1889 portrait now in London’s Tate Gallery. …

Small English church finds original King James Bible

St. Laurence Church in Hilmarton, a charming little 12th century Norman parish church, has had a large old Bible on a shelf behind the pews since the mid-19th century. A note next to it claimed that it was from the second of two original printings of the King James Bible done in 1611, but nobody …

Roman spa in Turkey submerged under dam waters

The 1,800-year-old Roman spa complex of Allianoi in Izmir Province, Turkey is already halfway submerged under the dammed waters of the Ilya River. Flooding began on December 31st, 2010. By the end of February, Allianoi was already under an estimated 61 million cubic meters of water. You can see a desperately sad slideshow of the …

2500-year-old brains, now with picture!

In August 2008, archaeologists excavating an Iron Age pit on the grounds of the University of York discovered a skull with something rattling around in it. Finds Officer Rachel Cubitt peered inside and saw an odd yellow substance. That substance turned out to be a brain. Cubitt recalled a lecture she had attended by Dr. …

New species found: a saber-toothed vegetarian

Paleontologists in Tiaraj├║, southern Brazil, have discovered the fossil of a new species: a plant-eater about the size of a large dog with 5-inch long canines jutting down over its lower jaw. Not only did the 260 million-year-old critter have saber teeth despite its exclusively vegetarian diet, but the entire roof of its mouth was …

Roald Dahl made a great Rod Serling

Famed author and undercover sex spy Roald Dahl also wrote screenplays for American television in the late ’50s and ’60s. He’s best known for his work on Alfred Hitchcock Presents, including having penned the scripts for the Emmy-nominated “Lamb to the Slaughter” (1958) episode starring Barbara Bel Geddes, and “Man from the South” (1960) starring …

Sicily welcomes the Getty’s cult goddess home

In 1988 the J. Paul Getty Museum bought a larger-than-life-sized 5th c. B.C. Greek sculpture of a cult goddess (at the time referred to as Aphrodite, but later that attribution was found to be inaccurate) for a record sum of $18 million. The statue was so valuable because it was a very rare almost complete …

Civil War sub to sit up for the first time since 1864

The H. L. Hunley, a Confederate submarine named after its inventor, sank under mysterious circumstances in 1864, right after she became the first submarine to sink an enemy ship in combat. After torpedoing the USS Housatonic, a Union warship that was enforcing the blockade of Charleston harbor, the Hunley gave the agreed-upon signal that she …