|NZ's first missionary station uncovered|
February 10, 2014, The New Zealand Herald by Staff
The site of New Zealand's first missionary's station and its first classroom have been discovered by archaeologists after two years of research and fieldwork.
Artefacts from the Hohi Mission Station at Kerikeri have uncovered details about the daily lives of the first permanent European settlers, researchers said.
|Charles Dickens statue: Why was his dying wish ignored?|
February 07, 2014, BBC (UK) by Eleanor Williams
Charles Dickens stipulated that when he died there should be no memorial to his life, save his writings. However, his home city of Portsmouth has now erected a statue to the celebrated author. Should the will of England's greatest novelist have been respected?
"I conjure to my friends on no account to make me the subject of any monument, memorial or testimonial whatsoever. I rest my claims to the remembrance of my country upon my published works."
|India sharpens focus on preservation of famed Taj Mahal|
February 06, 2014, Asian News International by Staff
The Archaeological Survey of India has sharpened its focus on preserving the famed Taj Mahal, strengthening its commitment beefs up security measures and involves the civil society to take up responsibility of keeping the surroundings of the world heritage site clean.
The pinnacle of Mughal architecture has been the centre of attention after a militant attack on famous Bodhgaya Temple in Bihar.
|Arrests made in theft of $5 million Stradivarius violin|
February 05, 2014, The Associated Press by Staff
Three people were arrested in connection with the theft of a multi-million dollar Stradivarius violin stolen last week from the concertmaster of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, a prosecutor said Wednesday.
Kent Lovern, a Milwaukee County assistant district attorney, said he couldn't reveal any information beyond the arrests. He said he didn't expect a charging decision would be made before Thursday.
|Milwaukee symphony violinist robbed of Stradivarius worth up to $6M|
January 29, 2014, FoxNews.com by Staff
Police in Milwaukee are investigating the theft of a Stradivarius violin potentially worth $6 million.
Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn said Tuesday that the violin was taken from Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra concertmaster violinist Frank Almond Monday night during an armed robbery.
|Old graves at Nashville Zoo may present dilemma|
January 26, 2014, The Tennessean (TN) by Michael Cass
No one knows their names. The lives they led, the way they died — time has swallowed that up.
Buried under the bamboo-covered dirt near the ticket booths at Nashville Zoo — just steps away from the pavement pounded by hundreds of thousands of people each year — are at least five unidentified souls.
|The Woman Buried in a New Jersey Parking Lot|
January 23, 2014, MentalFloss.com by Lucas Reilly
When Mary Ellis died in 1828, her family buried her in a peaceful patch of woods near a bend in the Raritan River. She’s still there, but the trees are long gone—her body now rests in the middle of a movieplex parking lot.
In the 1790s, Mary moved to New Brunswick, New Jersey to live with her sister. There, she fell in love with a local sea captain (who is rumored to have also been a Revolutionary War officer). The couple courted, schmoozed, and made plans for the future. But one day, duty called. The captain had to set sail, and he cruised down the Raritan River to New York Harbor. Before leaving, he gave Mary his trusty horse and promised to return. So Mary waited.
|Mexican archaeologists find colonial human skeletons in the State of Guerrero|
January 20, 2014, ArtDaily.com by Staff
News of finding a couple of 300 year old colonial era burials in the atrium of the old church they were planning to demolish, spread quickly among the 400 and plus inhabitants of Texpoxtlan, Guerrero, in the municipality of Ahuacuotzingo.
To the inhabitants of Tepoxtlan, this discovery, made by specialists by the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH), represents a brief tale of the epoch in which the construction of Temple San Agustin, today considered a historic monument, took place.
|Fire ruins parts of historical village in Norway|
January 19, 2014, The Associated Press by Staff
Officials say a large fire has blazed through a historical village famous for its well-preserved wooden houses from the 18th and 19th centuries, destroying at least 23 buildings.
The municipality of Laerdal, in western Norway, said in a statement Sunday that 52 people have been hospitalized with light injuries and hundreds had been evacuated from their homes.
|New England's 'lost' archaeological sites rediscovered|
January 17, 2014, LiveScience.com by Staff
Take a walk in the New England woods, and you may stumble upon the overgrown remains of a building's foundation or the stacked stones of a wall. Now, researchers have begun uncovering these relics from the air.
Examinations of airborne scans of three New England towns revealed networks of old stone walls, building foundations, old roads, dams and other features, many of which long were forgotten. These features speak to a history that Katharine Johnson, an archaeologist and study researcher, wants to see elucidated.
|16th-century manuscript could rewrite Australian history|
January 16, 2014, TheAge.com by Charli Newton
A tiny drawing of a kangaroo curled in the letters of a 16th-century Portuguese manuscript could rewrite Australian history.
The document, acquired by Les Enluminures Gallery in New York, shows a sketch of an apparent kangaroo (''canguru'' in Portuguese) nestled in its text and is dated between 1580 and 1620. It has led researchers to believe images of the marsupial were already being circulated by the time the Dutch ship Duyfken - long thought to have been the first European vessel to visit Australia - landed in 1606.
|Discovering Grief And Freedom In A Family's History Of Slavery|
January 14, 2014, NPR by Staff
The wrenching film 12 Years a Slave, based on true events, re-creates the story of a free black man who was kidnapped and sold into slavery in the 1840s. The Golden Globe-winning film has prompted an uptick in six-word entries concerning slavery sent to the Race Card Project, particularly from people who have tried to uncover their own family connections to slavery.
For many of those people, like Robert Goins of San Francisco, the search can be difficult — and the discoveries painful.
|Flashback Friday: the mysterious dancing epidemic of 1518.|
January 10, 2014, Discover Magazine by Seriously Science
In their free time, some scientists and doctors like to try to figure out causes of medically-related historical events. For example, the authors of this study investigate what may have caused the crazy dancing “epidemic” of 1518 in Strasbourg: “Some time in mid-July 1518 a lone woman stepped into one of its narrow streets and began a dancing vigil that was to last four or even 6 days in succession. Within a week another 34 had joined the dance. And by the end of August, one chronicler asserts, 400 people had experienced the madness, dancing wildly, uncontrollably around the city.” And this wasn’t a sedate affair; the dancers’ feet often ended up bruised and bloody. The authors were not able assign a biological cause to the epidemic (it seems unlikely that hallucinogenic compounds from the rye fungus ergot were involved), but they suggest that hunger and psychological stress were the likely culprit, with a healthy dose of religious belief thrown in: “In times of acute hardship, with physical and mental distress leaving people more than usually suggestible, a fear of St Vitus could rapidly take hold. All it then took was for one or a few emotionally frail people, believing themselves to have been cursed by St.Vitus, to slip into a trance. Then they would unconsciously act out the part of those who had incurred his wrath: dancing wildly, uncontrollably for days on end.” The description of the events, and the government’s (likely unhelpful) response, is fascinating. We have included our favorite bits from the full text below. Enjoy!
|Native History: Manatees or Mermaids, Columbus Has No Idea|
January 09, 2014, Indian Country Today by Staff
This Date in Native History: On January 9, 1493, Christopher Columbus—having set sail from Spain six months earlier—spots three “mermaids” while sailing near the Dominican Republic.
“The day before, when the Admiral was going to the Rio del Oro, he said he saw three mermaids who came quite high out of the water but were not as pretty as they are depicted, for somehow in the face they look like men. He said that he saw some in Guinea on the coast of Manegueta,” from the Diary of Christopher Columbus.
|Learning More About the Massacre of the Conestoga 250 Years Later|
January 03, 2014, Indian Country Today by Rick Kearns
Scholars from the U.S. and Great Britain and Native activists converged on Lancaster, Pennsylvania to share information at a symposium called “The ‘Paxton Boys’ and the Conestoga Massacre: 250 Years Later” held December 13 and 14.
The event started with a blessing ceremony in a longhouse and ended with a theatrical presentation that included the reading of the names of the slaughtered Conestoga men, women and children who died at the hands of the “Paxton Boys” in and around Lancaster in 1763.
|Travel Back in Time to Meet Kateri Tekakwitha, the First Native Saint|
December 29, 2013, Indian Country Today by Staff
Who was Kateri Tekakwitha? A Mohawk-Algonquin woman born in 1656, Kateri devoted her adult life to Christianity and died at age 24. In 1980, she became the first Native to be beatified by the Catholic Church, and in 2012 she became the first Native to be granted Sainthood.
But really, who was Kateri? In the video below, part of the TimeTravellerTM series by artist Skawennati, a student with a paper to write goes back in time to meet the revered figure. In this imagining of the story (created before Kateri was sainted), Kateri's Christianity is not as cut-and-dried as the Catholic Church might like to believe.
|Spain to celebrate 400 years of El Greco throughout 2014|
December 25, 2013, El Pais by Javier Rodriguez Marcos
Standing in front of the grille separating the choir from the rest of the church, the mother superior of Santo Domingo el Antiguo complains that people are not coming to see her Grecos. "Toledo is very commercialized, and tourists only go and see five things. They don't come here because they don't know about it, because nobody brings them here or because they get lost on the way," says Maria del Pilar Garcia-Argudo, 73, the head of a group of 11 Cistercian nuns who live in a convent she herself joined in 1962.
Local lore holds that the body of El Greco is buried in a crypt inside this very church. And while it is true that the Renaissance painter was buried in Santo Domingo el Antiguo after his death on April 7, 1614, and that one of his last paintings, The Adoration of the Shepherds (which now hangs at the Prado Museum) was made for this church, history shows that four years later the nuns asked El Greco's son to take the remains away.
|Is this the lost tomb of the last Incan emperor? Amazon ruins could solve one of the greatest mysteries of the ancient world|
December 19, 2013, The Daily Mail (UK) by Staff
A mystery that has intrigued archaeologists and historians for centuries may be on the cusp of being solved thanks to the discovery of a ruin deep in the Amazonian jungle.
The site, discovered by a multinational team of explorers, could be the tomb of Atahualpa, the last emperor of the Incas, who was executed by the Spanish after their conquest of South America.
|Mystery 300-year-old shipwreck could rewrite history|
December 15, 2013, New Zealand News by Ian Steward
Scientists are arguing for the archaeological excavation of a shipwreck lying buried in sand in the Kaipara Harbour after a discovery that could rewrite the history of New Zealand's early European settlement.
Carbon dating of the vessel, completed last week, puts its construction as after Abel Tasman but before James Cook.
|Kalashkathi temples falling apart for want of attention|
December 05, 2013, The daily Star (Bangladesh) by Sushanto Ghosh
Five nearly 400-year-old temples — one with rare terracotta plaques — at Kalashkathi in Barisal are on the verge of destruction, thanks to the authorities’ indifference to historical sites.
Goutam Mukharjee, one of the descendants of Kalashkathi zamindar (landlord), said zamindar Janaki Ballav established the estate more than 350 years ago by taking lease of land from the Nawabs of Bengal.
|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.
|17th century shipwreck in Lake Michigan? Maybe|
November 25, 2013, The Associated Press by John Flesher
Five months after divers searched a remote section of Lake Michigan for a mysterious 17th century ship and retrieved a wooden slab the group leader believes is part of the vessel, it's still uncertain whether they are on the right track.
The object of the weeklong mission in June was the Griffin, built by the legendary French explorer La Salle, which disappeared in 1679 with its six-member crew, becoming the oldest known shipwreck in the upper Great Lakes. The dive team dug a deep hole at the base of the nearly 20-foot-long timber, which was wedged vertically into the lake floor, hoping other wreckage was beneath. To their disappointment, they found nothing.
November 15, 2013, Snopes by Staff
Claim: A constitutional law professor quipped on the difference between the Bible and the Constitution.