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17th c. French noblewoman found fully clothed in lead coffin

The remains of a noblewoman buried at the Convent of the Jacobins in the northwestern French city of Rennes in 1656 have been found in exceptional condition. Discovered in March of 2014, the remains have been quietly studied by a multidisciplinary team who are now revealing the results of their investigations. The 14th century Convent [...]

Genoa port dredge finds cannons, huge anchor

A dredging project in the port of Genoa has recovered a record haul of English cannons, other artillery and anchors dating from the 16th century through the 19th. The project has been ongoing since 2009 to make the port accessible to high tonnage commercial container and cruise ships. So far they’ve moved three and a [...]

Bodicacia’s tombstone doesn’t mark her grave

The rare Roman tombstone found earlier this year at the site of the former Bridges Garage in Cirencester does not mark the grave of the woman mentioned in its inscription. The headstone is engraved “DM BODICACIA CONIUNX VIXIT ANNO S XXVII,” meaning “To the spirits of the dead, Bodicacia, wife, lived 27 years,” and since [...]

Leonidas Part II: Love and Marriage

Although Helen, the ultimate femme fatale, was undoubtedly a child of Sparta, few people nowadays think of love when they think of Sparta. Certainly, Spartan art lacks the plethora of explicitly erotic art that is found elsewhere in Greece. Show More Summary

Pieces of triumphal Arch of Titus found in Circus Maximus

The Arch of Titus which still stands today at the end of the Via Sacra next to the Roman Forum, famous for its period depiction of spoils from the capture of Jerusalem in 70 A.D., is an honorific arch commemorating the emperor’s greatest deeds and apotheosis, not a triumphal arch. Built by his brother Domitian [...]

Artifacts recovered from HMS Erebus dive

The recent ice dive to the wreck of the HMS Erebus recovered 15 artifacts, including brass buttons from a tunic, ceramic plates and one six-pounder cannon. Pairs of divers — one Parks Canada underwater archaeologist paired with one Royal Canadian Navy ice diving expert — explored the wreck in shifts for 12 hours a day [...]

Murder through the lines of medieval land charters

In 2014, the University of Toronto’s Thomas Fisher Rare Books Library received a donation of medieval and early modern charters from private collector Eric Robertson who had bought them in an Edinburgh book store decades ago. There are 60 charters in the collection, all from the Fleming family of Biggar in the South Highlands of [...]

Scythian gold vessels found with opium, cannabis residue

Gold vessels found in a Scythian burial mound in the Caucasus Mountains near Strovopol, southwestern Russia, have traces of cannabis and opium inside them. The artifacts were discovered in the summer of 2013 when kurgan Sengileevskoe-2 was being excavated in advance of power-line construction. Archaeologist Andrei Belinski didn’t expect to find anything of note — [...]

Staffordshire Hoard helmet band, pommel pieced together

Anyone who has ever done a large jigsaw puzzle knows how essential it is to put like with like. When your puzzle is 4,000 pieces of Anglo-Saxon gold, silver and gem-festooned objects, sorting out which are part of the same artifact is essential. Thus one of the most important and complicated labours in the first [...]

Icon of the Madonna restored to former splendor

The 13th century icon of the Madonna in the Basilica of Saints Boniface and Alexis on the Aventine Hill has been restored to glowing golden splendor. The restoration by experts at the Superior Institute for Conservation and Restoration (ISCR) took three years. The surface was cleaned, pollutants and paint from past retouchings removed. This isn’t [...]

Back in Larnaka

Well, since it has been a few days since I posted, a brief recap is on order. On Saturday, Bill and I packed up and moved our base of operations from Polis back to Larnaka. The change was pretty dramatic. … Continue reading ?

Lost Reich Chancellery horses found in warehouse

Two monumental bronze equine sculptures by Josef Thorak that once guarded Hitler’s Reich Chancellery in Berlin have been found in a warehouse in the southwestern German spa town of Bad Durkheim. The raid was one of 10 executed at the same time around the country. Art squad police raided properties in Berlin, Bavaria, North Rhine-Westphalia [...]

Plaster casts of Vesuvius’ victims restored

When Vesuvius erupted on August 24th, 79 A.D., a column of ash and pumice rained down on Pompeii, depositing as much as a foot per hour in some parts of the city. Fleeing the shower of stone and ash, many people took shelter in buildings, a deadly choice as it happened, since within six hours [...]

Medieval panels looted from Devon church found

Two 15th century painted oak panels ripped out of Holy Trinity Church in Torbryan, Devon, almost two years ago have been recovered by police. A sharp-eyed and damn decent collector spotted them in an online sale and notified the authorities who traced them in a property in south London. The place was raided by detectives [...]

Finishing Up at Polis

I realized today that I have not posted anything in a few days. This is due to a few factors – less than reliable internet at the hotel and long days trying to finish up our work here at Polis. … Continue reading ?

Bronze Age Egtved Girl was not from Denmark

Egtved Girl, the Bronze Age woman whose exceptionally well-preserved grave was discovered near the village of Egtved on the Jutland peninsula of southeastern Denmark, was not born in Denmark. Researchers from the National Museum of Denmark and the University of Copenhagen studied the remains of her body, clothes and accessories using a combination of biomolecular, [...]

Anglo-Saxon butter churn lid

Saxon artefacts discovered in Stafford during construction of WCML improvement project Archaeologists have discovered an Anglo-Saxon wooden butter churn lid at a rail development near Stafford.  But radiocarbon tests have revealed the lid of the butter churn dates from the early medieval period. The tests have put a fragment of wood found with the lid […]

Le Brun’s Jabach Family restored and on display

Charles Le Brun’s monumental portrait Everhard Jabach and His Family purchased last year by the Metropolitan Museum of Art has been restored and is now on display in the museum’s European Paintings Gallery alongside other French works from the 17th century. Feast your eyes upon this pair of very satisfying before and after pictures: The [...]

5th c. skeleton may have brought leprosy to Britain

The skeleton of an adult male unearthed on the outskirts of Great Chesterford, Essex, is one of the earliest leprosy victims in Britain and a A new study has found that he may even have been the person who introduced the disease to Britain. The skeletal remains were unearthed between October 1953 and April 1954 [...]

Summer Has Arrived

Today was another day at the apotheke going through boxes and looking at pottery. It was pretty clear this morning that today was going to be a much warmer day than the past week which has averaged highs around 72 degrees. … Continue reading ?

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