Fra Mauro world map digitized to the nines

The visionary world map created by 15th century monk Fra Mauro has been digitized and can now be explored in detail online with a fantastic depth and breadth of explanatory material in Italian, English and Chinese. Made in the monastery of San Michele in Isola around 1450, the map took a whole new approach to …

Medieval St. George seal matrix found in French château

A previously unpublished and unknown bronze seal matrix of Saint George slaying the dragon has been discovered at the royal Château of Villers-Cotterêts in northern France. George’s armor stylistically dates the piece the early 15th century. The chateau was built in 1528 by King Francis I. Its greatest fame comes from having been the location …

Largest starfish offering found at Templo Mayor

Archaeologists have discovered an elaborate Mexica offering containing 164 starfish at the Templo Mayor in Mexico City. This is the largest number of starfish ever found in a ritual context. One of them is uniquely well-preserved, a magnificent specimen of Nidorellia armata, commonly known as the chocolate chip star, 22 cm (8.7 inches) wide with …

Porta Maggiore underground basilica illuminated

The public has been given a bright new glimpse at the unique basilica of mysterious purpose under Porta Maggiore just outside Rome’s ancient Aurelian walls thanks to the installation of a state-of-the-art illumination system. It is a very brief glimpse — the basilica was only opened from the 18th to the 20th — before the …

Garden ornament is lost Canova masterpiece

A statue of the Recumbent Magdalene made by Neoclassical sculptor par excellence Antonio Canova has been rediscovered 100 years after it was sold off and its illustrious creator forgotten. It will be going under the hammer at Christie’s in London in July with a pre-sale estimate of £5,000,000-8,000,000 ($6,580,000-10,530,000). Recumbent Magdalene was celebrated as a …

Mausoleum, industrial silver mystery site found in Kent

After 15 years of archaeological investigation and extensive research, a Roman site with unique features including a mausoleum and evidence of massive silver production has been published in a new monograph by Pre-Construct Archaeology.. Grange Farm in Kent was first settled in the Late Iron Age (ca. 100 B.C.) but became much more active after …

14th c. lead sarcophagus found under Notre Dame

A lead anthropoid coffin from the 14th century has been discovered under Notre-Dame de Paris. Archaeologists unearthed the sarcophagus in the very heart of the cathedral where the transept and nave intersect, so the individual buried there must have been someone of importance, likely a church dignitary. Notre-Dame was the final resting place of several …

Human bone amulet found in Bronze Age grave

Archaeologists have discovered a unique amulet made with human bone in the grave of a woman from the Bronze Age Tagar culture in southern Siberia. The grave was unearthed in the Kazanovka 1 cemetery in the Minusinsk basin in 2020. It was one of multiple burials in 16 stone enclosures built with slabs and flagstones. Kurgan …

Shipwreck timber analysis confirms early 1600s date

A new analysis of timbers from a shipwreck believed to have sunk off the Cape Cod in 1626 has found it was built in England in the late 16th, early 17th century. This is the first scientific dating of the ship known as the Sparrow-Hawk, and the results confirm that it is the oldest known …

Roman shipwreck cargo recovered off Mallorca

An archaeological salvage operation has recovered objects from a Roman merchant vessel that sank off the coast of Mallorca 1,700 years ago. The wreck is less than seven feet deep under the Bay of Palma 160 feet away from one the most popular tourist beaches on the island, but it was effectively covered by the …