Teens find famed 1946 plane wreck in Swiss glacier

Three 18-year-old hikers have found the propeller from a C-53 Skytrooper Dakota that crashed on the Gauli Glacier in Switzerland’s Bernese Alps on November 19, 1946. The crash was front page news worldwide when it happened, and it’s still famous in Switzerland as the event that pioneered Alpine air rescue. On Monday, November 18th, 1946, …

16 right hands found buried in Egyptian palace

A team of archaeologists from the Austrian Archaeological Institute and the Austrian Academy of Sciences have found the skeletal remains of 16 right hands buried under an ancient palace in Tell el-Daba, Egypt. The hands are about 3,600 years old and date to when Canaanite Hyksos rulers controlled parts of Egypt. Modern day Tell el-Daba …

2000-year-old Roman shipwreck found in sea mud

A Roman merchant vessel that sank between the 1st century B.C. and the 1st century A.D. has been found buried in the mud of the seafloor off the coast of Varazze, a town 18 miles from Genova in the northeastern Italian region of Liguria. The ship was full of cargo when it sank, and since …

Black energy drink reached pre-Columbian St. Louis

Europeans who traveled among the Native American tribes of the coastal southeast in the 16th and 17th centuries reported seeing them drink a dark, hot, heavily caffeinated beverage known as black drink, then vomiting it up. Brewed from the roasted leaves and bark of the Yaupon holly bush, black drink was served in shell cups …

18th c. Hungarian mummies help TB research

A group of 265 mummies currently in the Hungarian Natural History Museum are being studied by medical researchers looking for new ways to combat tuberculosis. Tuberculosis killed 1.5 million people in 2010, and fully a third of the world population is infected but asymptomatic. The vaccine doesn’t work in many places where TB is endemic …

Modern soldier finds remains of ancient one

Rifleman Rowan Kendrick of the 5th Battalion, The Rifles (a British Army infantry regiment) has unearthed the remains of an Anglo-Saxon warrior buried about 1500 years ago on Salisbury Plain. Kendrick is a volunteer with Operation Nightingale, a project that places injured veterans on archaeological sites as a form of physical and social therapy and …

Rijksmuseum acquires spectacular screaming baby

Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum has received a most wonderful gift from an anonymous donor: the spectacularly expressive head of a screaming baby carved in wood by Dutch Renaissance sculptor and architect Hendrick de Keyser in around 1615. De Keyser was known for his realism — even including less than flattering aspects like a client’s wrinkles on his …

Volcano caused mass deaths in 13th c. London

Between 1991 and 2007, Museum of London Archaeology unearthed 5,387 medieval skeletons on the grounds of what was once an Augustinian priory and hospital of St. Mary Spital in East London. Ranging in date from the 12th century to the early 16th, the bones have been a rich source of information about the lives and …

Stolen “Sarcophagus of the Quadrigas” returns after 21 years

An exquisite yellow marble sarcophagus carved in high relief with quadrigae (four-horse chariots) racing at the Circus Maximus has been returned to its hometown of Aquino, about 60 miles south of Rome, 21 years after it was stolen from the Church of Santa Maria della Libera. The sarcophagus, a masterpiece of Roman funerary art from …

Ned Kelly’s remains to go to family, not developers

The skeletal remains of 19th century Australian folk hero outlaw Ned Kelly were discovered in a mass grave on the site of the former Pentridge Prison in 2008. Unlike many of the more than 30 executed criminals buried in that grave, Kelly’s bones — minus the skull which is still missing — were in a …