Museum acquires rare sufragette banner found in Leeds charity shop

The People’s History Museum (PHM) has acquired a very rare suffragette banner that was made in Manchester in the early 1900s and will now return to its native city again more than 80 years of exile in Leeds. Created by premiere Manchester banner maker Thomas Brown & Sons, the banner celebrates the founding of the …

Cuneiform tablet is oldest (& newest) trigonometric table

Mathematicians at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) in Sydney, Australia, in think they’ve cracked a cuneiform code that has given rise to vigorous debate in the mathematical community for almost a century. The bone, or in this case clay tablet, of contention is known as Plimpton 322 and has been in the Columbia …

Neolithic homes, 19th c. whale skeletons found on Orkney

Archaeologists excavating Cata Sand, a bay on the Orkney island of Sanday, have unearthed the remains of an Early Neolithic house and at least a dozen 19th century whale skeletons. The prehistoric structure dates to between 3400 and 3100 B.C. and is fairly extensive with its original hearth and remains of walls. Northwest of the …

Tomb of China’s Shakespeare found

Archaeologists excavating the site of a demolished factory in Fuzhou, Jiangxi Province, east China, have discovered the tomb of Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) playwright Tang Xianzu (1550-1616). A large grouping of tombs was first unearthed after the demolition of the old plant last year, 42 of them in total, 40 dating to the Ming Dynasty. Tomb …

Misunderstood dodo gets its due

A new study of bone sections has revealed new information about the life and reproductive cycles of the dodo bird. Because very few skeletal remains of dodo’s have survived, researchers have been reluctant to slice and dice them to use the latest technology that might discover more about a very misunderstood animal. Recent discoveries of …

From the annals of people are terrible

On Friday, August 4th, visitors to the Prittlewell Priory Museum in Southend, Essex, did something so stupid and reckless it defies understanding. Parents of a young child lifted him over the barrier into a medieval sandstone sarcophagus, presumably to capture a precious memory of their cherub desecrating a funerary artifact. As anyone with two neurons …

Ancient child sarcophagi found at Rome’s Olympic Stadium

Workers installing new pipelines near Rome’s Olympic Stadium this summer uncovered two ancient Roman children’s’ sarcophagi. The ENEA utility company stumbled on the artifacts while digging in the Monte Mario neighborhood just behind the north curve of the stadium. They stopped the work and reported the find to the Special Superintendency for the Colosseum and …

6th c. mosaic inscription found near Damascus Gate

A team of Israel Antiquities Authority archaeologists surveying the site of a cable line installation near Jerusalem’s Damascus Gate this summer have discovered a rare 6th century mosaic inscription that namedrops the Emperor Justinian. The excavation was just about complete with little to show for it besides a few extremely damaged ancient remains that were …

Stolen de Kooning found 32 years after theft

In a happy counterpoint to yesterday’s sad news, a painting by Willem de Kooning stolen from the University of Arizona Museum of Art in Tucson 32 years ago has been found and returned to the museum. Woman-Ochre was snatched November 29th, 1985, the day after Thanksgiving, in a classic two-person misdirection ploy. A woman and …