Syphilis: The STD that Won and Lost Wars

In 1494, King Charles VIII of France launched an all-out war against the republics of the Italian peninsula, a watershed moment in history. Within months, 50,000 soldiers from his army had fled, not as a consequence of bad tactics or lack of preparation, but rather, something invisible to the naked eye. A mysterious microbe, unrecorded […]

Encrypted Letter of Charles V Reveals A Rumored Assassination Attempt

Holy Roman Emperor and King of Spain, Charles V, was one of the 16th century’s most powerful people, but certainly not well liked. A rumored French plot to assassinate the erstwhile emperor has been decoded and cracked by a team a researchers in eastern France. The letter had been authored by Charles in 1547, and […]

‘Fake’ Gold Coins Prove Roman Emperor Sponsian Was Real

For many years, a hoard of Roman coins uncovered in Transylvania in 1713 were thought to be forgeries, with the ancient coinage displaying the name of an apparently “lost” emperor known as Sponsian. The Sponsian coins had been minted using a distinct method to common coins, and were generally unlike the Roman coins from the […]

Astrolabe Tile Fragments Recovered from the Lambsar Castle of the Hashshasins

Lambsar Castle, representing the gargantuan castle in the popular ‘Assassin’s Creed’ franchise, has yielded stunning astrolabe tile fragments during excavations. Located in the Central Alburz mountains in Iran, south of the Caspian Sea, it was one of the fortifications used by Nizari Ismaili, leader of a sect that established the Nizari or Alamut State (1090-1273 […]

Roman Road Network: All Roads Lead to Rome – and Riches

Some 2,000 years after the Romans established their extensive road network, regions lying along it remain the most affluent, a recent study has found. The Roman road network links contributed to improved economic welfare in ancient times, and the prosperity imparted by them has been remarkably long-lasting, continuing into modern times. Military Roads Doubled as […]

Oldest Egyptian Tomb is Aligned with the Winter Solstice

Precisely oriented to the rising sun of the winter solstice, researchers have found a tomb in the necropolis of Qubbet el-Hawa ( Aswan) that registered the entire solar cycle related to rebirth. Believed to be the resting place of a governor of the city of Elephantine, Heqaib-ankh, who lived around 1830 BC when the XII […]

An Abundance of Artifacts Unearthed at Falasarna Acropolis in Crete

Excavations at the acropolis in Falasarna (also Phalasarna) in the far west of Crete continue to produce rich archaeological bounty. Most recently, hundreds of artifacts including female clay figurines dedicated to the Greek goddess Demeter have been discovered in the main area of the ancient temple in the acropolis. An announcement from the  Greek Ministry […]

Striking the Right Note – Rare Bone Flute Unearthed in Kent

A pre-development dig by Cotswold Archeology at Herne Bay in Kent, England, has uncovered evidence of settlement from the Bronze Age to the Roman period and again in the medieval period. One of the most striking finds from the site is that of a rare a bone flute. Signs of Sustained Occupation at Herne Bay […]

Wei Dynasty Terracotta Figurines Enrich Our Knowledge of Ancient China

Datong, Shanxi province has now yielded a large number of terracotta figurines, dated 1,500-years-old in the latest round of archaeological finds – all from the tombs of the upper class. Due to where they were found, the figurines provide a window into the study of funeral culture, ethnic costumes, and social life in the Northern […]

Puzzling Identity of the Most Ancient Humans in England

In the latest string of research and studies shedding light on the incredibly complex history of human evolution, fossils found in Boxgrove, England have been compared to fossils found at Sima de los Huesos (or the ‘Pit of Bones’) in Spain. The Boxgrove fossils, found in the 1990s, include two fossil teeth and part of […]