Rare 3rd c. double-aureus found in Hungary

An extremely rare gold double-aureus from the reign of the Emperor Volusianus has been discovered in Hungary. Volusianus ruled as co-emperor with his father Trebonianus Gallus for less than two years (November 251 – August 253) before they were both assassinated by their own soldiers, so coins from his reign are already rare. Gold Volusianus …

Marble inlay slabs found in Pompeii tool chest

Archaeologists have discovered an ancient stone worker’s supply chest in the large reception room of the House of the Library in Pompeii. The extraordinary remains of a large wooden chest containing slabs of giallo antico (ancient yellow) marble quarried in Numidia and of green serpentine porphyry from the Peloponnese peninsula in Greece, among other fine …

Republican-era bridge found outside Rome

The remains of an exceptionally rare Republican-era bridge have been discovered on the 12th kilometer of the Via Tiburtina, the ancient Roman road that leads northeast out of the Eternal City. Pottery findings and the type of masonry work seen on the large tufa blocks used in its construction date the bridge to the 2nd …

Ancient parasite eggs identify Roman chamber pot

Analysis of a ceramic pot from the 5th century A.D. discovered in Gerace, Sicily, has revealed the presence of whipworm eggs confirming that it originally contained human feces. This is the first direct evidence that this type of vessel was used a chamber pot in the Roman era. Roman pottery shapes and sizes have been …

Met acquires Renaissance roundel 18 years after 1st attempt

The Metropolitan Museum of Art has at long last acquired an exceptional Renaissance parcel-gilt bronze roundel 18 years after it first tried and failed to buy it at auction. At 16.5 inches in diameter, rimmed and embellished with gilded accents and silver inlay, it is the largest bronze roundel known from the Renaissance, and one …

9,000-year-old ritual complex found in Jordan

A joint team of Jordanian-French archaeologists have discovered a Neolithic ritual complex in the Jibal al-Khashabiyeh area of Jordan’s southeastern desert. The site includes anthropomorphic stele, the remains of semi-subterranean circular dwellings, lithics indicative of a rich stone tool crafting industry, animal bones and marine fossils. The complex was discovered near sites known as “Desert …

Roman mosaic is largest found in London in 50 years

Archaeologists have unearthed the largest Roman mosaic discovered in London in more than 50 years. The mosaic geometric shapes, floral and knot designs in black, white and red tesserae set in a red tiled floor of a large room eight meters (26 feet) long that was likely a triclinium (a Roman dining room). A second, …

13th c. plank causeway found under downtown Berlin

A long stretch of a 13th century wooden plank causeway has been discovered in Berlin’s historic downtown.  So far the remains of a section of road 164 feet long and 20 feet wide have been unearthed. Tree ring analysis of wood samples taken from the Medieval road revealed the trees were felled in 1238, dating …

Earliest evidence of ear surgery found on 5,300-year-old skull

Researchers have discovered the first known evidence of ear surgery in a 5,300-year-old skull from the Dolmen of El Pendón, a megalithic tomb monument in the province of Burgos, north central Spain. The study has been published in the journal Scientific Reports. Radiocarbon analysis has determined that the dolmen was built at the beginning of …

Oldest mass sacrifice of children found in Peru

The mummies of six children have been discovered in the tomb of the pre-Inca nobleman found at the Cajamarquilla archaeological site east of Lima, Peru, last November. Archaeologists found the set of six funerary bundles around the entrance of the tomb, plus scattered non-mummified skeletal remains of seven adults, at least three of them women, …