|Restoring the mausoleum that helped inspire the Taj Mahal|
December 01, 2013, NPR by Julie McCarthy
Think Taj Mahal and then try to imagine what came before it. What was the inspiration for that masterpiece?
Archaeologists and architects say a 16th century tomb tucked in the southeast corner of Delhi presaged the jewel of Muslim art in India.
|Slave relics and other artifacts discovered on site of future Georgia highway project|
December 01, 2013, The Associated Press by Russ Bynum
The site of a $30 million highway project in Savannah has turned up thousands of artifacts from what archaeologists believe were once slave quarters on the property.
A team of archaeologists spent three months surveying the 20-acre tract on Savannah’s suburban south side, where the state Department of Transportation plans next year to build an elevated section of highway over a busy residential crossing.
|Archaeologist May Have Discovered Earliest Spanish Mission, Alamo’s Original Location|
November 30, 2013, Hispanically Speaking News by Staff
Texas archaeologists are excited about the possibility they have located the oldest Spanish mission in San Antonio and the precursor to the famous Alamo.
Remnants, that include broken pottery and rosary beads, have been located on a 3-acre parcel of land by city archaeologists and by the University of Texas’ Center for Archaeological Research. The items are thought to belong to the 1718 Mission San Antonio de Valero.
November 15, 2013, Snopes by Staff
Claim: A constitutional law professor quipped on the difference between the Bible and the Constitution.
|Is This the Tavern Where Washington Drank After Beating the British?|
November 12, 2013, The Huffington Post by William Bryk
Plans for a new hotel in New York have been halted by the discovery that the building site may be the original location of the famed Bull’s Head Tavern, a bar Washington visited.
Pity the poor developers. Chu and Associates were planning to build a 20-story, 220 room hotel at 50-52 Bowery near the Manhattan Bridge. But there’s a problem: Apparently the old Bull’s Head Tavern, New York City’s oldest pre-Revolutionary structure and the site of a visit by Gen. George Washington, is still in the basement. The developers knew the existing buildings were old. They just may be older than they thought.
|Exposed shipwreck is older than previously thought|
November 10, 2013, Northumberland Gazette (UK) by Staff
Recent survey work on a partially-exposed shipwreck on the north Northumberland coast has proved it to be older than originally thought.
The dendrochronology survey yielded a terminus post quem date of 1768 – meaning that the timber in question was felled in or after 1768. It also established that the timber originates from the East of England making the wreck British.
|Mummified head thought to belong to King Henry IV of France has NO royal link at all, claims geneticist|
October 10, 2013, The Daily Mail (UK) by Victoria Woollaston
After three years of tests, a centuries-old mummified head once thought to have belonged to a 17th century king has been found to have no royal lineage at all.
Belgian geneticist Jean-Jacques Cassiman compared DNA from the embalmed head with three living relatives of the king and found a genetic mismatch, suggesting it can't be him.
|Painting in Swiss Vault May Be Leonardo Da Vinci’s|
October 10, 2013, History.com by Christopher Klein
Leonardo da Vinci’s sketch of Renaissance noblewoman Isabella d’Este is housed in the Louvre, but art historians have long debated whether the master ever actually painted his subject. The answer to the 500-year-old mystery may have just been found locked inside a Swiss bank vault.
|Unexpected Genomic Change Through 400 Years of French-Canadian History|
October 08, 2013, ScienceDaily by Staff
Researchers at the Sainte-Justine University Hospital Center and University of Montreal have discovered that the genomic signature inherited by today's 6 million French Canadians from the first 8,500 French settlers who colonized New France some 400 years ago has gone through an unparalleled change in human history, in a remarkably short timescale. This unique signature could serve as an ideal model to study the effect of demographic processes on human genetic diversity, including the identification of possibly damaging mutations associated with population-specific diseases.
|'Gold Fever' Makes its Television Premiere on the Discovery Channel this Friday, October 11 at 9 PM ET/PT.|
October 08, 2013, TV by the Numbers by Amanda Kondolojy
The year is 1848: not long after the Revolutionary War. The country is still very young and dirt poor, a nation of farmers. And then, suddenly gold is discovered in California, and the new American dream is born.
Over the course of a few years, Americans would discover the modern equivalent of $25 billion dollars — money that would give a jolt to the economy and make America the most powerful nation on Earth: the government could build an army and businesses had the capital they needed to create huge industrial empires unlike anything America (or the world) had ever seen.
|Remembering the Proclamation of 1763|
October 07, 2013, History.com by Jesse Greenspan
On October 7, 1763, King George III issued a proclamation that forbade colonial settlement west of the Appalachian Mountains. In so doing, he hoped to placate Native Americans who had sided against him during the recently concluded Seven Years’ War. Enforcement was so weak, however, that it did very little to curb the westward flow of pioneers. Even prominent figures such as George Washington paid it no heed, except as a source of anti-British sentiment leading up to the American Revolution.
|Mattancherry’s 463-year-old synagogue now a cattle shed|
September 14, 2013, The Hindu (India) by Nidhi Surendranath
The Paradesi synagogue at Mattancherry receives several thousand visitors every year from all over the world. People flock to Jew Street to catch a glimpse of the well-preserved 16 century synagogue and the descendants of the Paradesi Jews who still follow the old customs. Not many know, however, that a second synagogue older than the Paradesi synagogue still stands just a few metres from it. At the other end of Jew Street stands the Kadavumbhagom synagogue, a 463-year-old prayer hall of the Cochini Jews.
When the Moors attacked the Jewish settlements near Kodungalloor, known as Cranganore or Shingly in Jewish texts, the people fled to the port town of Mattancherry to seek refuge. There were at least four synagogues in Mattancherry in the old days, says historian P.M. Jussay in his book ‘The Jews of Kerala.’ These are the Kochangadi, Kadavumbhagom, Paradesi and Thekkumbhagom synagogues. (There are two other synagogues — the Kadavumbhagom and Thekkumbhagom synangogues on Market Road in Ernakulam — that are less known but are just as important.)
|A 450-year-old shipwreck is discovered off Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic|
September 13, 2013, The Scuba Place by Staff
A treasure hunting company from Florida has discovered a 450-year-old shipwreck off the coast of the Dominican Republic in the Caribbean.
The crews from Anchor Research and Salvage were under contract from the Underwater Cultural Heritage division of the Dominican Minister of Culture's office to explore the waters off the coast of Punta Cana, one of the country's popular destinations for scuba diving holidays.
|Seven years have now passed, my Lord|
August 28, 2013, Letters of Note by Samuel Johnson
Samuel Johnson's A Dictionary of the English Language, published in April 1755, is one of history's most important dictionaries, written practically single-handedly by Johnson over the course of eight years having being commissioned for the fixed sum of £1,575. After writing the initial proposal, Johnson attempted to raise additional funds for the project by securing a patron, and he soon found one in Lord Chesterfield who, despite pledging £10, offered very little else in terms of support—until, that is, the book was completed seven years later, at which point Chesterfield anonymously wrote two positive reviews in which he was glowingly named as patron. Furious at what he saw as an opportunistic move after years of toil, Johnson wrote an angry but admirably restrained letter to his patron that was almost instantly, and still is, considered a classic.
|(Re)Searching a sunken American slave ship|
August 27, 2013, National Museum of American History by Justin Daley and Brianna Rossettie
This summer, a new program debuted on the museum floor: (Re)Searching an American Slave Ship. It highlights the ongoing research led by our curator of maritime history, Paul Johnston. Paul, an underwater archeologist, has identified the approximate location of the only known American slave shipwreck that went down with all the enslaved Africans onboard. This is the only known American slave ship wreck that went down with all the enslaved Africans onboard. It's an emotional and important story, and excavating this ship would contribute valuable new knowledge of the transatlantic slave trade.
|Venice hosts biggest da Vinci show in 30 years|
August 23, 2013, ANSAmed (Italy) by Alina Trabattoni
Italy's biggest show of Leonardo da Vinci drawings in over 30 years will open on August 29 at the Gallerie dell'Accademia museum in Venice, and is set to focus on 57 famous Leonardo drawings including the iconic Vetruvian Man. The show is called ''Leonardo da Vinci, The Universal Man'' and will revolve around the Accademia-owned 30 da Vinci works collection, last shown together in 1980.
The masterpieces will be exhibited alongside 27 loans from Italian museums such as the Uffizi, the National Gallery of Parma and the Royal Library of Turin, as well as European collections including the Royal Collection Trust of Windsor Castle, the British Museum, the Louvre and the Ashmolean.
|National Library of Sweden to Recover Stolen Books|
August 23, 2013, The New York Times (NY) by Patricia Cohen
A chance request in 2004 for a 19th-century German book about the Mississippi River was what alerted the National Library of Sweden that dozens of rare books from its collection had been stolen. Now that volume and another valuable antique book that contains early maps of America have been recovered and are being returned to library officials at a ceremony on Wednesday at the office of the United States Attorney in Manhattan. These books were part of sensational heist engineered by Anders Burius, a senior librarian dubbed the “Royal Library Man,” who committed suicide shortly after his arrest nine years ago. A crack in the case first came last year after a rare atlas from 1597 was recovered. Mr. Burius sold or consigned at least 13 of the books to Ketterer Kunst, a German auction house.
|Possible Shipwreck Artifact to Get CT Scan for Age|
August 22, 2013, The Associated Press by John Flesher
The hunt for the Griffin, a ship commanded by legendary French explorer La Salle, has taken an unlikely detour from northern Lake Michigan to a small-town hospital, where modern technology may help determine whether a wooden slab is wreckage from the 17th century vessel.
A team led by explorer Steve Libert, who has searched 30 years for the mysterious craft, hauled the roughly 400-pound beam ashore in June. He discovered a 10.5-foot section of it protruding from the lake bed in 2001 during dive near uninhabited Poverty Island, and received permits this summer to dig beneath it. But his crew discovered the beam wasn't attached to anything.
|Ostrich-Egg Globe May Be Oldest to Depict New World|
August 21, 2013, History.com by Sarah Pruitt
The intriguing Latin phrase Hic Sunt Dracones--translated as “Here be dragons”--appears on the globe above the coast of Southeast Asia, while the continent of North America is shown only as a few scattered islands. Experts say the recently discovered globe, engraved on two conjoined ostrich-shell halves, may be the oldest ever identified that depicts the New World. Purchased anonymously at the 2012 London Map Fair, the globe made its way into the hands of collector Stefaan Missine, who published the results of a yearlong analysis in this week’s edition of Portolan, the journal of the Washington Map Society.
|Poole wreck: 17th-century rudder comes ashore after 400 years|
August 20, 2013, The Guardian (UK) by Staff
An elaborately carved rudder that has sat on the seabed of the English Channel for more than 400 years has been raised by archaeologists.
The rudder, which features a man's face carved into the wood, is part of the so-called Swash Channel Wreck, thought to have been a Dutch trading ship that sank in the early 17th century.
|Thousands of bodies under Bath Abbey threaten its stability|
August 15, 2013, BBC (UK) by Jon Kay
For more than 300 years, thousands of people have been buried just below the stone flooring of Bath Abbey.
It is estimated that up to 6,000 bodies have been "jammed in" to shallow graves under the church's grave ledger stones.
Now as the floor of the 500-year-old building begins to lift and collapse, the abbey has discovered "huge great voids everywhere" beneath its flooring.
|The Shakespeare Code: English Professor Confirms the Bard’s Hand in ‘The Spanish Tragedy’|
August 13, 2013, University of Texas at Austin by Staff
For centuries, scholars have been searching for answers to a literary mystery: Who wrote the five additional passages in Thomas Kyd’s “The Spanish Tragedy”?
Mounting arguments point to William Shakespeare, but English professor Douglas Bruster has recently found evidence confirming that the 325 additional lines are indeed the work of the Bard.
|Florence tomb opened in quest to find 'Mona Lisa'|
August 10, 2013, BBC (UK) by Staff
Scientists in the Italian city of Florence have opened a tomb to extract DNA they hope will identify the model for Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa.
The tomb contains the family of Lisa Gherardini, a silk merchant's wife who is believed to have sat for the artist.
|Scots army defeat at Flodden blamed on 18ft weapon|
August 09, 2013, The Scotsman (Scotland) by Stephen McGinty
IT WAS one of Scotland’s most catastrophic defeats, a battle that robbed the country of its king and countless lairds.
Now, in the run-up to the 500th anniversary of the battle of Flodden, an expert has blamed the defeat on the Scottish army’s inability to master their weapon of choice: an unwieldy, 18ft pike.
|In search of Shakespeare's dark lady|
August 09, 2013, The Guardian (UK) by Saul Frampton
On 20 May 1609, the publisher Thomas Thorpe stepped off Ludgate Hill into Stationers' Hall, and registered what was to become perhaps the most famous poetic works of all time: Shakespeare's Sonnets. It was a slim volume on publication, containing 154 poems over 67 pages, and the edition is now extremely rare: only 13 copies survive. But its influence has been all-encompassing, providing a template for language, for literature, for love, ever since. Recent years have seen the sonnets disseminated in ways that Shakespeare could never have imagined. "Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?" is quoted 5m times on the internet. Apps have been created in which famous voices recite the poems, sonnets are tweeted, T-shirts are printed, and poetry that was once said to circulate only among Shakespeare's "private friends" is now stored for ever in the cloud.