Sweet potato pie, 17th century style

While menu planning for the upcoming meal events that traditionally feature any number of pies, consider Elizabeth Grey, Countess of Kent’s potato pie from her 1653 cookbook A True Gentlewomans Delight: Wherein is contained all manner of Cookery: Together with Preserving, Conserving, Drying and Candying, Very necessary for all Ladies and Gentlewomen. Elizabeth Grey was …

Ötzi the Iceman is more of a snowman

Ötzi, the 5,300-year-old ice mummy found by hikers in the Tyrolean Alps in 1991, is one of the oldest and best preserved mummies in the world. Much of his soft tissue, including his tattooed skin, survived, as did his clothing, quiver of arrows and other equipment, some of it damaged. Since his discovery, the prevailing …

Rare medieval bone flute found in Kent

Excavation of a development site at Herne Bay, Kent, on the southeastern coast of England, has unearthed a rare medieval bone flute. The instrument was discovered within the bounds of a rectangular enclosure bounded by a ditch. It was found in a layer with pottery dating to between the 12th and 15th centuries. It’s a …

Offerings to Demeter found in archaic temple on Crete

Excavations of the ancient city of Phalasarna in western Crete have unearthed hundreds of offerings to the goddess Demeter in the remains of an ancient temple. The temple dates to the late 4th century B.C. and was built in Doric style on natural rock with two fluted columns, capitals, metopes and pediment. Estimates indicate it …

Bronze hand is first document in Basque language

A bronze hand from the 1st century B.C. discovered on Mount Irulegi near Pamplona in northern Spain is the first document written in the Basque language. The Hand of Irulegi is a flat bronze plate cut from a single sheet of bronze into the shape of a life-sized right hand with five fingers. It is 5.7 …

Henry VI quarter noble is oldest English coin in Canada

A gold coin found in Newfoundland is the oldest European coin ever found in Canada. The coin was discovered on a beach on the south coast of Newfoundland this summer by local amateur historian Edward Hynes. He reported the find to provincial archaeologists as required by Canadian law and experts identified it as a quarter …

Hypocaust system in pristine condition found in Bonn

The remains of an underfloor heating system in exceptional condition has been discovered in the remains of a Roman building in Bonn, Germany. Private homes and baths with luxurious hypocaust heating are not uncommon finds in Germany — the upper classes were the first to adopt Roman culture and creature comforts in outlying territories — …

Terracotta dancers, musicians found in Northern Wei tomb

A tomb from the Northern Wei Dynasty (386-534 A.D.) containing a rich group of pottery figurines has been discovered in Datong, Shanxi province, northeastern China. Tomb 113, unearthed in the center of a group of tombs, contained dozens of burial objects, mostly earthenware figurines. The figurines are led by pottery horsemen. Behind them is a …

Ancient Egyptian amulet seal found in Turkey

An obsidian amulet of Egyptian origin has been unearthed in the Roman-era remains of the ancient city of Amastris in northern Turkey. It was discovered in a Roman structure built out of marble in the 2nd century A.D. The amulet is the only artifact recovered from the structure. The amulet is a pyramidal stamp seal …