Fragment of flag from Battle of Bosworth sold

A fragment of cloth from a flag the flew over the Battle of Bosworth on August 22, 1485, sold to an anonymous private collector for £3,800 ($6,150) at auction last Saturday. The 6.5-inch by 5.5-inch piece of gold and red fabric is a remnant of the standard of Henry Tudor, who after his victory over …

See La Sagrada Família finished in 90 seconds

The church of the Sagrada Família, final masterpiece of architect Antoni Gaudí and an icon of Barcelona, was begun in 131 years ago and is still unfinished. When the cornerstone was laid on March 19th, 1882, the church was to be built according to a neo-Gothic design by the diocesan architect Francisco de Paula del …

US returns silver griffin rhyton to Iran

The United States has returned a silver rhyton in the shape of a griffin to Iran 10 years after it was seized by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). This is a shocking development, to say the least. When I first wrote about the rhyton languishing forlorn in an ICE warehouse in Queens in 2010, the …

Attic mummy is plastic with real human skull

The mummy discovered by ten-year-old Alexander Kettler in his grandmother’s attic in Diepholz, northern Germany, in August is neither a mummy nor an ingeniously disguised crime victim. Forensic examination has determined that most of it is a plastic skeleton, possibly a medical school model, of recent manufacture topped with a genuine human skull. The discovery …

Brazil emperor’s toothbrush found in Rio subway dig

Archaeologists excavating the site of a future subway extension in Rio de Janeiro have unearthed more than 200,000 artifacts from the 17th to 19th centuries. Many of them are in pristine condition, even fragile pieces like glass bottles and ceramic containers, and they have an illustrious provenance. There was a slaughterhouse on the site between …

Daughter gets WWII medals, letter from father she never knew

Twelve years ago, Donna Gregory was helping her then-husband go through his deceased grandparents’ home in Arnold, Missouri, when she came across a box in their bedroom closet labelled “War Department.” Inside she found a collection of documents, clippings and medals belonging to Army private first class John Farrell Eddington, including his Bronze Star, Purple …

Head of Aphrodite found during excavation of mosaic

The dramatic 1600-square-foot Roman mosaic discovered last year in the ancient town of Antiochia ad Cragum on the southern coast of Turkey continues to bear fruit. Archaeologists excavating the part of the mosaic that was left underground at the end of the last digging season found a life-sized marble head of Aphrodite face down in …

Museum buys Kelly Clarkson’s Jane Austen ring

The cabochon turquoise and gold ring that was bought at auction last July by singer Kelly Clarkson will not be departing English soil after all. A local museum has raised the funds to buy it from the singer and keep it in the country. According to British law, objects of cultural patrimony 50 years old …

Elite Etruscan grave found intact in Tarquinia

The intact tomb of an Etruscan aristocrat has been discovered in Tarquinia, a town about 50 miles north of Rome that was the first of the 12 principal cities of Etruria. The Tarquins who ruled Rome before the overthrow of the monarchy and establishment of the Republic came from Tarquinia (called Tarquinii in antiquity), and …

Lost Mary Pickford film found in barn, restored

Their First Misunderstanding, a 1911 Independent Moving Picture Co. (IMP) short starring Mary Pickford in her first fully credited film appearance, will make its second debut more than a century after its first at a special screening on October 11th at Keene State College in Keene, New Hampshire. It’s a milestone in Mary Pickford’s rise …