|In New England, Recognizing A Little-Known History Of Slavery|
May 24, 2015, NPR by Emily Corwin
Two men are sliding nine pine coffins into a vault in the ground on Chestnut Street in downtown Portsmouth, N.H. The remains were disinterred in 2003, part of a long-forgotten burial ground for African slaves discovered during routine road work. Now, they are being reburied among 200 other long forgotten men and women as part of Portsmouth's new African Burying Ground Memorial Park.
One coffin contains the remains of a woman who would have been free in West Africa at the turn of the 18th century. But when she stepped off the boat into what is now Prescott Park in Portsmouth, she was likely sold to a white New Hampshire family.
|1776: The Revolt Against Austerity|
May 20, 2015, The New York Review of Books by Steve Pincus
Was the Declaration of Independence a powerful indictment of British austerity policies? Does America’s founding document need to be seen as part of an economic debate about the British Empire? These questions may seem jarring, almost anachronistic. But eighteenth-century political argument, like that of our own day, often revolved around responses to fiscal crisis. Just as political debates in Britain and the United States today turn in large part on the response to the great recession of 2008, so the events that made the United States were shaped by the British imperial government’s reaction to the debt crisis of the 1760s. What made the Declaration so offensive to British politicians then, and what makes it highly relevant to Europeans and Americans today, is that America’s founders offered a blueprint for a different kind of state response to fiscal crisis.
|A New Image of William Shakespeare Has Been Discovered, Historian Says|
May 19, 2015, Time Magazine by Conal Urquhart
A historian claims he has discovered the only surviving image of William Shakespeare that was produced in his lifetime.
Mark Griffiths, who is also a botanist, found the image in a book published in 1598, The Herball or Generall Historie of Plantes by John Gerard. The 1,484-page encyclopaedia of plants has four portraits on its title page, the fourth of which Griffiths believes is Shakespeare.
|Harriet Tubman wins poll to replace Andrew Jackson on $20 bill|
May 12, 2015, Reuters by Victoria Cavaliere
Twenty-dollar bills could soon be known as "Tubmans" if a grassroots campaign succeeds in persuading President Barack Obama to remove Andrew Jackson's portrait from circulation on U.S. paper currency in favor of a famous woman in U.S. history.
Harriet Tubman, an escaped slave, abolitionist and "conductor" on the so-called Underground Railroad that helped slaves escape to freedom during the 1850s, was the overwhelming choice to replace Old Hickory on the $20 note, an online poll showed on Tuesday.
|Archaeologists identify sunken 1681 Spanish shipwreck off Panamanian coast|
May 12, 2015, Texas State University by Jayme Blaschke
More than three years after uncovering a shipwreck buried in the sand off the Caribbean coast of Panama near the mouth of the Chagres River, ongoing analysis and interpretation has led archaeologists to identify the shipwreck as Nuestra Señora de Encarnación. A colonial Spanish nao, or merchant ship, Encarnación was one of several ships that sank in 1681 when a storm engulfed the Tierra Firme fleet en route to Portobelo, Panama from Cartagena, Colombia. Frederick “Fritz” Hanselmann, research faculty and chief underwater archaeologist with The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment at Texas State University, leads the research team.
|Group identifies Marylander, 2 German soldiers who died at NY Revolutionary War supply depot|
May 11, 2015, The Associated Press by Chris Carola
A historical preservation group working to identify some of the hundreds of soldiers believed buried at a Revolutionary War site in the Hudson Valley has attached names to another three of the fallen, including an officer from Maryland and two German mercenaries who fought for the British.
The Friends of the Fishkill Supply Depot said in a statement released over the weekend that a researcher studying pension files of American Revolution veterans has identified Capt. Joseph Burgess of the 4th Maryland Regiment as a soldier known to have died at the depot, site of a major Continental Army supply depot throughout most of the war.
|Pre-Civil War Era Shipwreck Found At Nantasket Beach|
May 10, 2015, CBS Boston (MA) by Paul Burton
It’s a mystery from the deep, timbers from a long ago shipwreck uncovered on Nantasket Beach in Hull.
“Pretty exciting its historical,” Hull resident Megan Doll said.
The ship was discovered last week.
|19th-Century Schooner Unearthed at Toronto’s Historic Waterfront|
May 07, 2015, Archaeology Magazine by Staff
Parts of an early nineteenth-century schooner were discovered during a construction project near Toronto’s old Lake Ontario shoreline. Archaeologists from ASI, an archaeological and cultural heritage firm, were looking for the remains of the Queens Wharf and other harbor features when they found the ship’s keel, the lowermost portions of the stern and bow, and a limited section of the bottom of the hull on the port side....
|Capt. Kidd's treasure found off Madagascar, report says|
May 07, 2015, CNN by Todd Leopold
Explorers in Madagascar may have found treasure from the infamous Capt. Kidd, according to a report.
An expedition overseen by underwater explorer Barry Clifford has located a silver bar believed to have been left by William Kidd, the 17th-century Scottish pirate, the BBC said.
|Unearthing slave artifacts in South Carolina|
May 07, 2015, Northern Arizona University News by Staff
May 7, 2015 1 Comments Dr. Moses and Tiny Sharon Moses digging up artifacts at the Hume Plantation with a man who goes by the name, Tiny, and is a South Carolina slave descendant. When Sharon Moses and a group of NAU students conduct an historical archaeology field school later this month, they will be looking for relics buried beneath former slave quarters to gain additional insights on religious practices among different ethnicities and cultures.
Moses, an assistant professor of anthropology and archaeology, is investigating the site of the Hume Plantation’s slave quarters on South Carolina’s Cat Island, specifically looking for items related to rituals and spirituality
|Nazi-confiscated painting returned to heir of Jewish art historian|
May 05, 2015, Reuters by Staff
A 17th century painting taken by Nazis from a prominent German Jewish art historian has been returned to the owner's daughter, New York state officials said on Tuesday. The painting, called "Portrait of a Man," was recovered in part by the New York Department of Financial Services' Holocaust Claims Processing Office, which has helped to return $171 million in assets to relatives of holocaust victims.
|Returning the Spoils of World War II, Taken by Americans|
May 05, 2015, The New York Times by Tom Mashberg
As the Allies stormed through Germany in 1945, museum officials in Dessau scurried to hide their art treasures in a nearby salt mine, where they would soon be discovered by American soldiers.
Much of the art was preserved, but three paintings by old masters somehow ended up in a poker game won by an American tank commander, Maj. William S. Oftebro, who quietly mailed them home.
|Tourists posing for selfie wreck 18th-century Italian monument|
May 04, 2015, The Telegraph (UK) by Nick Squires
A pair of tourists in Italy seriously damaged a famous monument featuring statues of Hercules by clambering onto it in order to snap a "selfie".
A large marble crown which topped the "Statue of the Two Hercules" monument in the town of Cremona in northern Italy was brought crashing to the ground after the tourists climbed onto it to pose for the photograph.
|Peru: Hidden early Christian crypt discovered with dozens of skeletons|
April 29, 2015, International Business Times by Adam Justice
Archaeologists in Peru have accidentally stumbled upon a centuries-old crypt with dozens of skeletons inside in the city of Cusco, whilst performing restoration work at one of the country's earliest Christian sites, the Saint Francis of Assisi Temple, according to local media.
Peruvian daily El Comercio reported that 32 skeletons were discovered inside the crypt which was used as a burial site for early Christians in the area. The temple and its crypt is thought to be more than 500 years old.
|Hidden hoard of more than 6,000 silver coins found in forest in Poland|
April 28, 2015, Ancient Origins by Liz Leafloor
A forest ranger in east central Poland stumbled upon the find of a lifetime this year—he discovered a hidden treasure of thousands of silver coins in a wooded area near the village of Guzów.
Two clay pots were spotted by forestry worker Boguslaw Szwichtenberg by the side of a wooded road in April of this year. When he opened them a hoard of more than 6,000 silver coins was revealed. He turned the find over to the Archaeological Museum of the Middle Oder in Zielona Góra, where conservation experts are now attempting to restore the coins, reports the museum’s Facebook page.
|Patrick Matthew, The Overlooked Third Man Of Natural Selection|
April 20, 2015, Science 2.0 by Staff
Charles Darwin, for all his brilliance, was perhaps paralyzed by insecurity. There are not many other explanations for why he delayed publishing his seminal work, "On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life", until 1859.
The mutual affinities of organic beings and their embryological relations were clearly on the minds of everyone in the science world during the 19th century and an 1858 paper by Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace to the Linnean Society secured their place in history books about natural selection but 27 years earlier Patrick Matthew had used the concept of 'evolution by natural selection' in his book "On Naval Timber and Arboriculture". That book, published in 1831, addressed best practices for the cultivation of trees for shipbuilding, but also expanded on his concept of natural selection.
|170-Year-Old Champagne Cache Analyzed|
April 20, 2015, Chemical & Engineering News by Sarah Everts
A 170-year-old stash of perfectly preserved champagne taken from a shipwreck off the coast of Finland has brought to light an array of curious facts about past winemaking practices. Chemical analysis of the vintage sparkling wine revealed particularly high levels of sugar and salt compared with modern-day champagne, as well as the presence of unexpected metals, likely used in 19th-century wine preservation and storage (Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 2015, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1500783112).
The champagne also tasted “fabulous, with hints of tobacco,” says Philippe Jeandet, a champagne chemistry expert at the University of Reims Champagne-Ardenne, in France, who led the team of researchers, and who sampled 100 µL of the golden liquid. That drop of vintage champagne “was probably one of the best wines I’ve tasted in my life,” he says.
|New Light for Old Master Paintings|
April 13, 2015, The Optical Society by Staff
A painting hanging on the wall in an art gallery tells one story. What lies beneath its surface may tell quite another.
Often in a Rembrandt, a Vermeer, a Leonardo, a Van Eyck, or any other great masterpiece of western art, the layers of paint are covered with varnish, sometimes several coats applied at different times over their history. The varnish was originally applied to protect the paint underneath and make the colors appear more vivid, but over the centuries it can degrade. Conservators carefully clean off the old varnish and replace it with new, but to do this safely it is useful to understand the materials and structure of the painting beneath the surface. Conservation scientists can glean this information by analyzing the hidden layers of paint and varnish.
|Historic archaeological artifact recovered from Patuxent River|
April 11, 2015, BayNet.com by Jefferson Patterson Park & Museum
On March 25th, watermen from Solomons Island Heritage Tours and Patuxent River Seafood recovered an 18th-century Iberian Botija/Olive Oil Jar from the Patuxent River. This amazing find was pulled from the water by their oyster tongs and is in remarkably good condition.
|Artifacts lost in shipwreck 191 years ago returned to Hawaii|
April 10, 2015, The Associated Press by Staff
A footnote in Recollections and Private Memoirs of Washington, written largely by George Washington Parke Custis and edited by Benson J. Lossing, passes on this story: It is related of the Honorable Gouverneur Morris, who was remarkable for his freedom of deportment toward his friends, that on one occasion he offered a wager that he could treat General [George] Washington with the same familiarity as he did others. This challenge was accepted, and the performance tried.
...A footnote in Recollections and Private Memoirs of Washington, written largely by George Washington Parke Custis and edited by Benson J. Lossing, passes on this story: It is related of the Honorable Gouverneur Morris, who was remarkable for his freedom of deportment toward his friends, that on one occasion he offered a wager that he could treat General [George] Washington with the same familiarity as he did others. This challenge was accepted, and the performance tried.
|Did Gouverneur Morris Slap Washington on the Shoulder?|
April 10, 2015, Boston 1775 by J. L. Bell
A footnote in Recollections and Private Memoirs of Washington, written largely by George Washington Parke Custis and edited by Benson J. Lossing, passes on this story:
It is related of the Honorable Gouverneur Morris, who was remarkable for his freedom of deportment toward his friends, that on one occasion he offered a wager that he could treat General [George] Washington with the same familiarity as he did others. This challenge was accepted, and the performance tried....
|What’s in a Name? 5 People Behind New York City Street Names|
April 09, 2015, The Epoch Times by Arleen Richards
During colonial times, streets in New York City more often than not, got their names from the people who became landowners, served in local government, or those who would go on to become historically significant for some other reason. From landowners to Founding Fathers, the city’s streets have been named and renamed, but many have remained the same, honoring their original namesakes.
The first street names in Manhattan were plotted on the Commissioner’s Plan of 1811, the original design plan for the streets of Manhattan. Initially a proposal by the New York State Legislature, it was adopted in 1811 in order to organize the land between 14th Street and Washington Heights for sale. Historians consider this design to be among the most famous uses of grid plans, calling it far-reaching and visionary.
|The Politics of Chocolate: Cosimo III’s Secret Jasmine Chocolate Recipe|
April 07, 2015, The Recipes Project by Ashley Buchanan
By 1708 the Medici grand ducal “spezieria,” or pharmacy, had grown into a complex of eleven rooms located in the main ducal residence, the Palazzo Pitti. It included a medical laboratory for the production of alchemical medicines, a pharmacy for the production of herbals, syrups and powders, and a distillery for the production of medicinal waters, tinctures, and liquors. When foreign guests, dignitaries, and members of the court entered the spezieria they were greeted with stuffed exotic animals like armadillos and crocodiles. The first room of the spezieria was dedicated to one activity in particular – the consumption of chocolate. This wasn’t just any chocolate, however, it was a secret and highly coveted recipe for jasmine chocolate.
|First complete Battle of Waterloo skeleton identified as German soldier|
April 07, 2015, Fox News by Staff
A 200-year old skeleton discovered beneath a parking lot at the Battle of Waterloo site has been identified as a German soldier. The remains are the first full skeleton to be recovered from the famous battlefield in Belgium.
The soldier, 23-year old Friedrich Brandt, was a member of the King’s German Legion of British monarch George III, the Sunday Times reports. Brandt, who had curvature of the spine, known at the time as “hunchback,” was killed when a musket ball fired by Napoleon’s troops lodged in his ribs.
|How Sobriety Lost The Battle: Beer And The Battle Of Trenton|
April 07, 2015, War on the Rocks by Paul Lewandowski
The American military has a long-standing tradition of social drinking. From the infamous grog bowl to the Officer’s Club, American fighting spirit is derived in part from spirits of another kind. This tradition is hardly new. America’s fighting forces owe much to patriotic brewers, distillers, and vintners. This tradition dates back to before the birth of the nation.
In December of 1776, the Continental Army was in dire straits. The more professional and well-equipped British Army had ceaselessly battered the Americans, and the battles at Long Island and Fort Washington inflicted brutal losses on the Americans. Desertions were common, and even General Washington privately admitted in his letters that “the game is near up.”