|Sunstone Unearthed From Shipwreck|
March 05, 2013, Science Now by Lizzie Wade
In 1592, a British ship sank near the island of Alderney in the English Channel carrying an odd piece of cargo: a small, angular crystal. Though cloudy and scuffed up from 4 centuries at the bottom of the sea, its precise geometry and proximity to the ship's navigation equipment caught the eye of a diver exploring the wreckage. Once it was brought back to land, a few European scientists began to suspect the mysterious object might be a calcite crystal, which they believe Vikings and other European seafarers used to navigate before the introduction of the magnetic compass.
|Insurance When Your Home's a Piece of History|
March 04, 2013, Bankrate.com by Terry Sheridan
A home in Massachusetts has been in the same family since it was built in the 1600s -- less than 20 years after the Mayflower landed. Though nearly four centuries have passed, one room in the home remains just as it was in the 1600s, with the same hand-hewn floorboards.
There are special -- and more expensive -- historic-home insurance policies to protect houses such as this. But they vary in what they'll pay for. You might be able to replace 1775 windows with something close to the real thing, or just historic look-alikes.
|Mormon Church Finally Notes Black Elders, Still Offers No Apology|
March 04, 2013, Religion Dispatches by Darron T. Smith
Both Elijah Abel and Walker Lewis were black, which meant that they bore the “Mark of Cain” in Mormon theology. Both, however, also held the priesthood and all of its blessings that their descendants were later denied—Abel in 1836 and Lewis in 1843. A statement released last Friday, which includes what RD’s Joanna Brooks calls “the most significant changes made to Mormon scripture since 1981,” acknowledges the existence of these men and their place with respect to Church liturgical rites. The statement also furthered the idea that nobody knows why the ban on blacks existed in the first place, concluding that “Church records offer no clear insights into the origins of this practice.”
| Life in the 1500s|
February 26, 2013, Snopes.com by Barbara Mikkelson
Claim: The numerous current sayings listed in a "Life in the 1500s" article sprang from ordinary living conditions in that era.
|Canons Ashby 'masonic' chamber discovered after 400 years|
February 25, 2013, BBC (UK) by Staff
A secret chamber, hidden for 400 years and with possible links to early freemasonry, has been discovered.
The entrance to the room, which has plastered walls, was found inside a cupboard at the National Trust-owned house Canons Ashby, near Daventry.
|Rotterdam archaeologists find old shoe stuffed with medieval money|
February 22, 2013, DutchNews (The Netherlands) by Staff
...Archaeologists say they have never before found a shoe filled with money, which ranges in dates from 1472 to 1592. On theory is that the owner of the shoe hid it under floorboards to protect it during the 80 Years War (1568-1648)
|George Washington's Vision|
February 22, 2013, Snopes.com by Staff
Claim: George Washington told of an angel who revealed a prophetic vision of America to him at Valley Forge.
|War of 1812 extravaganza failed to excite Canadians, poll shows|
February 21, 2013, The Globe and Mail (Canada) by Gloria Galloway
The year-long celebration of the War of 1812’s bicentennial is over, and Canada is $30-million poorer, but many Canadians say they feel no greater sense of affinity for their country as a result of the federally instigated hoopla.
A recent survey conducted by Nanos Research for the Institute for Research on Public Policy asked what types of historic events Canadians believe the federal government should spend time and money marking. The War of 1812, which saw British troops thwart a U.S. attempt to overrun their territory, was not high on the list.
|Cumberland County battle field could soon become historical site|
February 21, 2013, NBC40 (NJ) by Lynda Weed
Some members of the Cumberland County community are seeking a grant that they say will shed light on the truth behind a suspected Revolutionary War battle site.
Revolutionary War history is said to be rooted here in Port Norris, and some members of the Cumberland County community say they will stop at nothing to shed light on the truth.
|Ghosts of Crimean War return as French cemetery uncovered|
February 21, 2013, Agence France-Presse by Staff
The din of machinery mingled with the echo of the 19th century Crimean War when an excavator bucket stumbled upon the yellowed remains of long-dead French soldiers at a construction site in a southern Ukrainian port city.
The haunting find at Sebastopol's Cane Bay beach in December revealed the site of a large cemetery of French soldiers who died in the war against the Russian Empire during the 1854-1856 Crimean War.
|Besieged commander's 'Victory or Death' letter returns to the Alamo for first time|
February 21, 2013, The Associated Press by Staff
A plea for help penned in 1836 by the commander of the besieged rebel Texas forces at the Alamo, in which he vowed "Victory or Death," returns to old Spanish mission for the first time Friday.
William Barret Travis' famous letter to "the People of Texas and All Americans in the World," will get a police escort from the state archive in Austin to the Alamo, which is now in the heart of downtown San Antonio. The weathered, single-page letter will go on display for two weeks, starting this weekend, and will be kept in a special display cabinet and given round-the-clock guards.
February 20, 2013, Snopes.com by Barbara Mikkelson
Claim: A cook attempted to poison George Washington with tomatoes.
|Peter the Wild Boy grave gets Grade II listing|
February 20, 2013, BBC (UK) by Staff
The headstone inscribed "Peter the Wild Boy", stands in the graveyard of St Mary's in Northchurch.
English Heritage said the boy was found in a Hanover forest in 1724, unable to speak and walking on all fours.
|Underwater discovery offers glimpse of 1850s trains|
February 18, 2013, The Philadelphia Inquirer by Edward Colimore
The emerald-colored waters off Long Branch, N.J., were "gloomy and spooky" as Dan Lieb swam toward the two hulking silhouettes, sitting upright and side by side about 90 feet down.
The objects were heavily encrusted with marine life, but Lieb recognized the unmistakable lines, the wheels and boilers of identical locomotives, 160 years after they fell or were cast overboard.
|Canada’s oldest shipwreck -- a 16th-century Basque galleon -- to be resurrected with replica|
February 18, 2013, Vancouver Sun (Canada) by Randy Boswell
It’s the oldest shipwreck ever found in Canada and one of the most important in the world: a 16th-century Basque whaling galleon that lies at the bottom of Labrador’s Red Bay, a sunken relic from the Age of Discovery that symbolizes the early spread of European civilization — and commerce — to the New World.
Now, the 450-year-old San Juan, a jumble of thick beams and broken barrels lying in shallow waters off the site of a 1560s-era whaling station in the Strait of Belle Isle, is to be resurrected by a team of Spanish maritime heritage experts planning to construct a full-scale, seaworthy replica of the original 16-metre, three-masted vessel.
| The Curious Case Of The Lincoln Birthplace Cabin|
February 17, 2013, National Parks Traveler by Richard West Sellars
Abraham Lincoln was born in a log cabin near present-day Hodgenville, Kentucky, on February 12, 1809; and the curious case of his well-traveled birthplace cabin is a historical labyrinth of veneration, profit seeking, confused identity, and cross-pollination with historic relics from the Confederate States of America. Could it be that those Lincoln Logs you played with as a child were really Jeff Davis logs?
|Mystery of Henri IV's missing head divides France|
February 16, 2013, The Guardian (UK) by Kim Willsher
Richard III may have had an ignominious resting place under a Leicester car park, but spare a thought for Henri IV. First the French monarch was disinterred from the royal sepulchre by revolutionaries and thrown into a mass grave. Then his head was cut off and – allegedly – turned up in the attic of a retired tax inspector.
Worse, while British experts have confirmed that the deformed skeleton found in Leicester is "almost certainly" that of Richard, bearing signs of fatal wounds he suffered during the battle of Bosworth, French scientists are still fighting over the disputed remains of Henri, who was assassinated in 1610 by a Catholic fundamentalist.
|A hoard of 16th and 17th century children’s toys|
February 16, 2013, Irish Archaeology by Adrienne Corless
In the course of my research of VikingAge woodcraft, I somewhat unexpectedly turned up information about a most delightful archaeological find: an entire hoard of children’s toys, found at Market Harborough parish church, England[i]. A charming stash of the everyday playthings of sixteenth or seventeenth century children, the hoard throws a rare spotlight on the material culture of children in the archaeological record.
The hoard was revealed when construction workers unblocked an old disused stairwell at the church and discovered that the space had been stashed with over 200 toys. Staff at Harborough Museum dated the collection to the late Tudor and early Stuart era (1570-1630). The hoard was comprised of street toys, specifically 117 objects known as tipcats, 89 spinning tops, thirteen sap whistles, six knucklebones, seven balls, five whip handles, two possible teetotums (a kind of spinning top) and eight wooden cylinder objects that were also thought to be toys. The finds were made mainly from wood – willow, ash, hazel, alder and fruitwoods, cut straight from the hedgerows or out of a carpenter’s workshop – with some bone, clay, leather and fabric also used.
|‘Most wanted notice’ marking Machiavelli’s downfall found|
February 15, 2013, University of Manchester (UK) by Staff
The original copy of a proclamation - exactly 500-years old - calling for the arrest of one the world’s most infamous political operators has been discovered by a University of Manchester academic.
Professor Stephen Milner came across the 1513 proclamation which led to the downfall of Niccolò Machiavelli, known as the Italian Prince of Darkness, buried in the state archives in Florence.
| France's 'Good King Henri IV' reconstructed 400 years after his death|
February 14, 2013, The Telegraph (UK) by Henry Samuel
The smiling, mustachioed "Good King Henri", as France's favourite monarch was known, was presented to the public for the first time at Paris' National Archives this week.
The presentation comes less than two weeks after a skeleton found beneath a Leicester car park was confirmed as that of England's King Richard III. A reconstruction of King Richard's face was also revealed.
|The last Medici may not have died of syphilis after all|
February 14, 2013, Nature by Alison Abbott
In 1743, the last member of the family that had ruled Florence for almost 300 years died a slow and painful death. Historical documents suggest that Anna Maria Luisa de’ Medici suffered from syphilis or breast cancer. But a first look at samples of her bone suggests that syphilis may not have killed her.
In 1966, the tombs of the Medici family were swamped in mud during severe flooding of Florence, which many feared had damaged the bodies. But Anna Maria Luisa's skeleton was found to be mostly intact when it was exhumed last October as part of a research collaboration between the University of Florence in Italy and the Reiss Engelhorn Museum in Mannheim, Germany. The first pictures from the exhumation were released at a press briefing today.
|Eighteenth century graves found at Charleston construction site|
February 14, 2013, ABC News by Staff
A day of unfettered digging in downtown Charleston yielded another 27 graves for archaeology crews working with the City of Charleston.
The find adds to the mystery of what used to sit on the property. Archaeologists said there used to be a meat market near the area in the 18th century.
|Swiss Mona Lisa 'is the original'|
February 13, 2013, The Guardian (UK) by Staff
New tests on a painting billed as the original version of the Mona Lisa have produced fresh proof that it is the work of Leonardo, a Swiss-based art foundation has said.
The tests on his 15th century portrait were carried out by a specialist in "sacred geometry" and by the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in the wake of the Geneva unveiling of the painting, the Isleworth Mona Lisa, last September.
|Mexican 'ape woman' buried 150 years after her death|
February 13, 2013, The Guardian (UK) by Staff
An indigenous Mexican woman once described as the "ugliest woman in the world" has been buried more than 150 years after her death and a tragic life spent exhibited as a freak of nature at circuses around the world.
Born in 1834, Julia Pastrana suffered from hypertrichosis and gingival hyperplasia, rare genetic disorders that gave her copious facial hair and a thick-set jaw. She became known as the "ape woman" after she left the Pacific coast state of Sinaloa in 1854, when she was 20, and was taken around the United States by showman Theodore Lent, according to a Norwegian commission that studied her case.
|Mystery of eccentric landowner solved after 300 years|
February 12, 2013, The Telegraph (UK) by Hayley Dixon
An excavation of a mausoleum in the grounds of Pentillie Castle in Cornwall is thought to have uncovered the body of Sir James Tillie, who died 300 years ago in 1713.
His final resting place has been a mystery for centuries – leading to him being dubbed Cornwall’s very own Richard III.
Sir James, who built the home in 1698, left instructions that on his deathbed he should not be buried.