Preserved Roman wood cellar, staircase found in Frankfurt
The History Blog
by livius drusus
5h ago
A Roman wooden cellar complete with five-step staircase in an exceptional state of preservation has been discovered in Frankfurt and recovered. Dating to the late 1st century, the cellar is all that remains of a half-timbered Roman residential building which burned down in a fire. Roman cellars were not like basements today, but rather underground storage rooms formed by beams along the sides and boards on the floor. The beams and boards survived the millennia because they were carbonized by the flames. The cellar was unearthed by a team from the Frankfurt Monuments Office in the Heddernheim d ..read more
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Romulus & Remus brooch found in Spain
The History Blog
by livius drusus
2d ago
A rare silver brooch depicting the she-wolf suckling the infants Romulus and Remus, the founding legend of Rome, has been discovered at the Hostalot – Idlum archaeological site in Vilanova d’Alcolea, Valencia, Spain. Dating to the 2nd century A.D., the brooch is unusual for its high quality of carving and because there are few comparable examples known. The piece is small, just four centimeters (1.6 inches) long, and while the surface is worn, details of the original fine carving like the wolf’s mane are still visible. The original pin is still attached to its hinge in the back. The Hostalot ..read more
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4,000-year-old copper dagger found in Poland
The History Blog
by livius drusus
3d ago
A rare copper dagger dating back more than 4,000 years has been discovered in a forest near Jarosław, southeastern Poland. Shaped like a flint dagger from the period, it is just over four inches long, but that is actually a large dagger compared to similar such finds because the metal was hard to come by and very valuable. This is the oldest dagger ever discovered in the Subcarpathian Voivodeship (province). The blade was discovered last November by metal detectorist Piotr Gorlach from the Historical and Exploration Association Grupa Jarosław, an organization of local history enthusiasts who s ..read more
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Burnt porridge crusts identified on Neolithic pottery
The History Blog
by livius drusus
3d ago
A study of burnt food residues in prehistoric ceramic vessels found in the Neolithic settlement of Oldenburg, Schleswig-Holstein, has revealed meals of varied cereals and wild plants and dairy, including a thick porridge with the same kind of intractable charred residue porridge so willingly leaves on pots today. Scanning electron microscopy and chemical analysis of food crusts caked to the inside of bowls identified the remains of emmer, barley and the starchy seeds of wild white goosefoot. The same ingredients have been identified in soil samples from the site. Oldenburg was a Middle Neolith ..read more
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V&A launches campaign for 12th c. walrus ivory carving
The History Blog
by livius drusus
5d ago
The V&A museum has launched a campaign to raise the £2 million it needs to acquire the rare 12th century walrus ivory carving that will otherwise leave the UK and enter the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Deposition from the Cross is a depiction of Joseph of Arimathea taking the body of Christ down from the cross. The meticulous detail — the finely striated hair and beards, the soft draping of the robes — make it one of the greatest surviving examples of English Romanesque ivory carving. Thought to have been crafted in York, North Yorkshire, in around 1190, it was origina ..read more
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“Vanished church” found under Venice’s iconic Piazza San Marco
The History Blog
by livius drusus
6d ago
The remains of San Geminiano, the “vanished church” that moved around Piazza San Marco in Venice for centuries before its final destruction in 1807, have been discovered under the iconic main square. So far archaeologists have discovered pieces of the medieval pavements and walls and a brick tomb containing the skeletal remains of seven people. The tomb dates to the 7th or 8th century, predating construction of Piazza San Marco itself. Tradition has it that the first San Geminiano church was built by order of the Byzantine general Narses in the mid-6th century A.D. in appreciation of Venice’s ..read more
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Caracalla medallion found in child’s grave in Bulgaria
The History Blog
by livius drusus
1w ago
Two Roman-era graves with rich grave goods including a rare bronze medallion of the emperor Caracalla have been discovered in Nova Varbovka, Bulgaria. One is a double burial of an adult man and a woman, the other of a young child, suggesting these graves were a family grouping. The artifacts found inside the graves date them to the first half of the 3rd century. The burials were discovered last fall by a tractor driver when he hit a limestone slab while plowing a field near Nova Varbovka. He saw the human remains but didn’t realize they were archaeological in nature, so he reported the find t ..read more
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Rare Merovingian gold ring found in Jutland
The History Blog
by livius drusus
1w ago
A metal detectorist has discovered a rare Merovingian gold ring dating to 500-600 A.D. in Emmerlev, Southwest Jutland, Denmark. The ring is made of 22-carat gold and is set with an oval cabochon almandine garnet, a red semi-precious stone prized among Germanic peoples as a symbol of power. The mount has four spirals on the underside and trefoil knobs where the band meets the bezel. The spirals and knobs are characteristic of the highest quality of Frankish manufacture, and rings of this type were worn by the elite of the Merovingian dynasty. National Museum of Denmark curator Kirstine Pommerga ..read more
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Cobra-headed pottery handle found in Taiwan
The History Blog
by livius drusus
1w ago
Archaeologists from National Tsing Hua University in Taiwan have unearthed a Neolithic snake-shaped pottery handle. Radiocarbon dating found it is 4,000 years old. Crafted in the shape of a cobra with its upper body raised and hood flattened ready to strike, it was discovered during a 2023 excavation of a sand dune on the northwest coast of Taiwan in the Guanyin District of Taoyuan City. The site was a major center of stone tool manufacturing during the Neolithic Snakes have symbolic significance in many religions around the world, including in East Asian cultures. They can represent healing ..read more
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Tomb of royal scribe found in Abusir
The History Blog
by livius drusus
1w ago
Archaeologists from the Czech Institute of Egyptology (CIE) have discovered the richly decorated shaft tomb of a royal scribe who died in the 5th or 6th century B.C., the time of Persian invasion of Egypt. Inscriptions name the deceased as Djehutiemhat. A long sequence of apotropaic sayings against snakebite from the Pyramid Texts covers the north (entrance) wall . Interestingly, the snakes mentioned in these magical texts both represented a potential danger and could serve as powerful protectors of the deceased and his mummy. “While the entrance to the nearby Menechinekon’s burial chamber wa ..read more
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