Livestream summer solstice at Stonehenge

Stonehenge is closed right now and won’t open until next month, leaving hundreds of disappointed pilgrims and tourists who would otherwise have flocked to the ancient site to see the dawn break over the Heel stone. English Heritage is offering an alternative experience open to everyone in the world: a livestream of sunset today and …

Museum acquires Roman lead pig ingot of national importance

An inscribed Roman lead pig designated of national importance has been acquired by the Wrexham Museum. It was discovered last September by metal detectorist Rob Jones in a field near Rossett, northeastern Wales. He dug up a corner of the object, saw that it had an inscription on it and alerted the local finds liaison …

Hercules Segers motherlode online

Visionary printmaker of the Dutch Golden Age Hercules Pieterszoon Segers (ca. 1589 – ca. 1638) inspired artists whose names are much more famous than his today, most notably Rembrandt van Rijn who was an avid collector of Segers paintings and prints. Very few Segers works are known to survive today — 183 unique impressions from …

WWII silver cache found in 14th c. castle

A hoard of silver objects likely buried in World War II has been discovered on the grounds of a 14th century castle in Nowy Sącz, southern Poland. A group from the Nowy Sącz Historical and Exploratory Association were surveying a site near the castle tower when their metal detector alerted them to the presence of …

2000-year-old map carved into volcanic rock

Thousands of years ago, an eruption of the Fuego de Colima volcano hurled a lava bomb nine miles south near the town of Colima, Mexico. The large basalt rock attracted the attention of local inhabitants who carved an elaborate petroglyph on the largest surface which faces the volcano that birthed it. The stone, 5.5 feet …

Longhouse remains rewrite Iceland’s settlement history

The Landnámabók (the Icelandic Book of Settlement) records that the first Norse settler on Iceland was one Ingólfur Arnarson who left Norway in 874 and built a farmstead on the site what is today Reykjavík. Remains of longhouses from around that time have been discovered under the city, as we know from the high-precision dating …

The Maya wall paintings from Chajul, Guatemala

A study of early Colonial wall paintings found in private homes in Chajul, Guatemala, has revealed they were painted by local Ixil Maya artists using a combination of traditional techniques and European motifs. They are rare surviving glimpses into the shift in cultural practice and iconography from the pre-Hispanic Maya to the Spanish Colony. Chajul …

Inorganic lead white pigment radiocarbon dated

As plants and animals absorb carbon dioxide during their lifetimes, they absorb the unstable isotope carbon-14 with it. When they die, the carbon exchange stops and the C14 isotopes start to decay at a steady rate. Radiocarbon dating works by measuring the amount of carbon-14 present in organic archaeological materials and comparing it to reference …

Bone songbird is East Asia’s oldest carved figurine

A tiny songbird carved 13,500 years ago in China is the oldest figurine ever discovered in East Asia. It’s the oldest three-dimensional art in the region by 8,500 years, albeit not the earliest carved art overall since there are engravings on bone and stone and some worked ornaments made of animal teeth and shell that …