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The Dragon has Newfoundlanded!

For the first time in a thousand years, a Viking longship has crossed the North Atlantic. The Draken Harald Hårfagre reached port of St. Anthony in Newfoundland on June 1st. It was not an easy voyage. There’s only a short window in late spring and early summer when crossing the frigid waters of the North [...]

Wrapping up 2016 Cyprus Season

So, today is my last day in Cyprus. It has been a busy week in Larnaka. We spent some time looking for artifacts to catalogue and trying to sort out some minor issues. This took a lot more time than … Continue reading ?

The Battle of Adrianople – Misunderstood Roman History

The Battle of Adrianople sits near the top of the list of misunderstood battles in history, being variously labelled one of the main causes of the fall of the Roman Empire and the battle that launched the medieval practice of knighthood by proving that cavalry was superior to infantry. Show More Summary

Utrecht’s first newspaper printed in 1623 found

The first newspaper ever printed was created by bookseller Johann Carolus in Strasbourg, Holy Roman Empire, in the early 17th century. Carolus had produced a weekly current events newsletter before then, but he wrote it by hand and mailed it to a small number of moneyed subscribers. His source was the avise or avvisi, a [...]

The History Blog’s Tin Anniversary

Ten years ago today, I wrote the first post on The History Blog. It was a more innocent time then, a time when a crappy thumbnail picture was good enough for me, when a post could consist of little more than a link and a blockquote, sometimes two threadbare posts a day, more often with [...]

Britain’s oldest written document found in London

The Museum of London Archaeology’s excavation of the site of Bloomberg’s future European headquarters in central London has proven to be an even richer archaeological motherlode than we knew. Thanks to its proximity to the Thames and the waterlogged embrace of the lost Walbrook River, organic remains from the earliest days of Roman London through [...]

Tutankhamun’s dagger made from meteoric iron

When Howard Carter opened the sarcophagus of King Tutankhamun and unwrapped the mummy in 1925, three years after his discovery of the tomb, he found 107 objects placed in the linen bandages. One of them was an iron dagger with a gold handle elaborately decorated with cloisonné enamel, gold granulation in geometric patterns and a [...]

Museum finds part of Nazi cipher machine on eBay

Last week the National Museum of Computing at Bletchley Park discovered the teleprinter of a Lorenz SZ42 cipher machine for sale as a “telegram machine” on eBay. Museum volunteers went to Southend to inspect it in person. They found it in its original case on the floor of a shed, confirmed it was a Lorenz [...]

Settled in Larnaka

So, Sunday we got up, packed up the car, and headed over to Larnaka. Along the way, we took a break and stopped for lunch at one of our favorite spots, Zygi. As I have mentioned many times before, this is … Continue reading ?

Looters dig up Petersburg National Battlefield

Just in time for Memorial Day, the National Park Service has discovered extensive looting of the Petersburg National Battlefield in Virginia. Rangers found a large number of pits dug by treasure hunters looking to steal Civil War artifacts. They likely used metal detectors to discover small, easily removed and carried objects like uniform buttons, buckles [...]

Ancient gold wreath kept in a box under the bed

On June 9th, Duke’s of Dorchester auction house will be selling an ancient gold myrtle wreath kept for years in a box under a bed in Somerset. Duke’s appraiser Guy Schwinge went to the cottage to examine some of the belongings of the elderly resident. He was amazed when the owner pulled a busted old [...]

The Father of Quality Lager reborn

Humans have been brewing beer since at least 6000 B.C. in Mesopotamia — a study was just published a few days ago revealing a 5,000-year-old recipe for beer derived from residue inside pottery found in China’s Shaanxi province — but for thousands of years the chemical processes of fermentation were mysterious. Ingredients varied widely, and [...]

Saturday in Polis

Things are a bit slow at Polis, I am heading to Larnaka tomorrow so there wasn’t a lot to do today. So Brandon, Dave, and I used the day as a chance to go to Paphos and visit some of the … Continue reading ?

Last Friday in Polis

Things are winding down in Polis for 2016 for me – we leave Sunday for a week of work at PKAP in Larnaka. I finished looking at pottery yesterday, both pieces in the museum and what we had stored at … Continue reading ?

Neanderthals built stalagmite circles 175,000 years ago

The entrance to the Bruniquel Cave in southwest France collapsed in prehistoric times, sealing off the cave from the Pleistocene until determined local speleologists dug their way through in 1990. Inside the cave just 336 meters (1102 feet) from the entrance, they found two circular structures made of whole and broken stalagmites. Archaeologists carefully documented [...]

10 Days to Go

Time is flying by, I only have til Sunday in Polis and then we head to Larnaka to do some PKAP work next week, mainly cataloguing and illustrating artifacts. Today I drove Bill and David to the airport, they are … Continue reading ?

Altar cloth may be sole surviving Elizabeth I gown

Speaking of Queen Elizabeth I, Historic Royal Palaces (HRP) curators think an altar cloth from St Faith’s Church in Bacton, Herefordshire, may be the only known surviving piece of one of the monarch’s famously elaborate gowns. There is no conclusive proof that the cross-shaped piece of fabric once belonged to the queen herself, but there’s [...]

Help save the Drake Armada Portrait of Elizabeth I

The Art Fund and Royal Museums Greenwich have launched a campaign to buy the iconic Armada Portrait of Queen Elizabeth I before it’s put up for public auction. The Art Fund has contributed £1 million ($1,461,000) and Royal Museums Greenwich £400,000 ($584,000), its entire annual acquisitions budget, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. [...]

Starting to Feel the Pressure

I am always amazed at how each season in Cyprus goes the same way. When I first get to the island, everything is nice and relaxed and I look forward to how much work I will be able to accomplish. … Continue reading ?

Mug at Auschwitz hid jewelry for 70+ years

Staff at the Auschwitz Museum have discovered one person’s cherished treasures hidden under the false bottom of a mug for more than 70 years. The mug is one of more than 12,000 pieces of enameled kitchenware — pots, bowls, kettles, cups — in the museum’s collection, the quotidian things people brought with them when being [...]

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