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Herod the Great's Tomb May Not Be His

Herod the Great's Tomb May Not Be His Oct 25th, 2013 at 1:02PM: Wikimedia Commons Israel is a country filled with ancient sites. One of the more popular ones to visit is the Herodium, the palace of the infamous Herod the Great, now part of a national park just outside Jerusalem. Herod was a lavish builder and created quite the crib between 23-15 BC. The historian Josephus, writing half a century after Herod's death, says that when the king died in 4 BC, he...

British Museum Opens Exhibition On Life And Death In Pompeii And Herculaneum

British Museum Opens Exhibition On Life And Death In Pompeii And Herculaneum Mar 28th, 2013 at 9:00AM: Today the British Museum in London opens what is sure to be the hit exhibition of the year. "Life and Death in Pompeii and Herculaneum" examines the daily life of the Roman world, as it was preserved in two cities buried under volcanic ash from the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 A.D. Through fine art and mundane objects, we get to see what life was like for ordinary Romans. Romans like...

Ancient 'Toilet Paper' Discovered In Fishbourne Roman Palace

Ancient 'Toilet Paper' Discovered In Fishbourne Roman Palace Jan 31st, 2013 at 2:00PM: An examination of some strange ceramic disks found at the Fishbourne Roman Palace is changing how we look at some of the most private aspects of Roman life. Excavations at the palace in the past 50 years have uncovered dozens of pieces of broken pottery that had been deliberately shaped into flat disks. Archaeologists tentatively called them gaming pieces but were never convinced that was...

Naughty Roman Frescoes Uncovered In Colosseum

Naughty Roman Frescoes Uncovered In Colosseum Jan 12th, 2013 at 2:00PM: Archaeologists working on a conservation project at the Colosseum in Rome have discovered ancient frescoes of gladiators and erotic scenes, Agence France Press reports. The brightly colored fragments were found on the walls of a corridor currently closed to the public for restoration. The scenes show gladiators being honored with laurels. There are also erotic scenes, although the researchers...

Temple To Phallic God Priapus Found In Bulgaria?

Temple To Phallic God Priapus Found In Bulgaria? Jan 12th, 2013 at 11:00AM: There's something weird going on in the Bulgarian Black Sea port of Sozopol. Last year, Bulgarian archaeologists dug up the graves of two vampires and analyzed the purported bones of John the Baptist. Now the Sofia Globe reports they've found a temple to the Classical god Priapus. This deity, best known for his huge erect penis, was the god of fertility and its opposite – erectile...

The Allure Of Ancient Tangier

The Allure Of Ancient Tangier Jan 10th, 2013 at 12:00PM: The whole Mediterranean rim has a rich history. The Minoans, Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans and many others explored and settled these rocky coasts and islands. Tangier, just outside the Strait of Gibraltar and looking out onto the Atlantic Ocean, was considered the furthest point west by many civilizations. To the north, ancient travelers could see the Iberian Peninsula. South lay the coast of...

Tourist Trinkets From The Roman Empire

Tourist Trinkets From The Roman Empire Dec 21st, 2012 at 9:00AM: The Roman Empire is remarkably familiar to the modern eye. It had highways, indoor plumbing, religious tolerance, and even fashion violations such as wearing socks with sandals. It's like a primitive version of our own culture, with more similarities than differences. And now it turns out they had tourist trinkets too. A press release from Hadrian's Wall Trust announces that a new book...

Padlocks Of Love Removed From Bridge In Rome

Padlocks Of Love Removed From Bridge In Rome Sep 12th, 2012 at 2:00PM: Officials in Rome have removed the so-called "padlocks of love" from the famous Ponte Milvio, the BBC reports. This is the latest phase of an ongoing struggle between the city and romantic couples that we've been reporting on since 2007. It all started when Italian novelist Frederico Moccia wrote "I Want You," in which a couple put a bicycle lock around the bridge's lamppost and tossed the key...

Roman Cavalry Helmet To Be Star Attraction At Royal Academy Exhibition

Roman Cavalry Helmet To Be Star Attraction At Royal Academy Exhibition Sep 10th, 2012 at 4:00PM: A new exhibition at the Royal Academy in London will feature one of Britain's most stunning archaeological discoveries of the past few years. Back in 2010, a metal detectorist found this brass helmet in a field in Cumbria, northern England. It dates from the first to third centuries A.D. and is one of a few rare ornate cavalry helmets dating to the Roman period. These helmets were worn for...

The Leaning Colosseum Of Rome

The Leaning Colosseum Of Rome Jul 31st, 2012 at 1:00PM: Rome's iconic Colosseum is beginning to tilt, the Guardian newspaper reports. The stadium where gladiators used to hack away at one another to cheering crowds has developed a distinct slant, with one side being 40 centimeters (15.7 inches) lower than the other. Archaeologists have been studying the tilt for a year and have confirmed that it is real and could pose a threat to the monument's...

Ancient Curses Uncovered In Two Countries

Ancient Curses Uncovered In Two Countries May 25th, 2012 at 12:00PM: It's been a good week for ancient curses. A "cursing stone" has been discovered on the Isle of Canna, Scotland. More precisely called a bullaun stone, they're natural or artificial depressions in a stone that catch rainwater and give it magical properties, usually to heal or to help women conceive a child. A shaped stone is placed in the hole that's turned to make a prayer or curse. The...

Five toilet paper alternatives for the road (or if you live in New Jersey)

Five toilet paper alternatives for the road (or if you live in New Jersey) Mar 13th, 2012 at 12:00PM: Trenton, New Jersey, has a serious problem. The city government is in a fight with their paper goods supplier over prices and the city's buildings are in danger of running out of toilet paper. What can they do for their voters in need? Installing bidets would be more expensive than simply paying the high cost the government contractor is demanding. Luckily, there are some other alternatives...

Is the Colosseum crumbling?

Is the Colosseum crumbling? Dec 31st, 2011 at 10:00AM: Economic instability, a change of government, and now this. It looks like Italy's most famous landmark, the Colosseum, may be crumbling. The Culture Ministry has launched an investigation after eyewitnesses spotted bits of stone falling off the Roman ruin on two different occasions in recent days. An Italian shoe company has promised to restore the Colosseum with an ambitious 25 million euro...

Archaeologists blog as they excavate Nea Paphos World Heritage site

Archaeologists blog as they excavate Nea Paphos World Heritage site Nov 29th, 2011 at 2:00PM: Archaeologists excavating at the ancient city of Nea Paphos in Cyprus have written about their work and discoveries in a blog. A University of Sydney team has been working to uncover medieval walls built atop a Classical theater and investigating a public fountain dating to the first century AD, the Cyprus Mail reports. Nea Paphos is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was founded around 300...

Herod may not have completed Jerusalem's Western Wall, archaeologists discover

Herod may not have completed Jerusalem's Western Wall, archaeologists discover Nov 23rd, 2011 at 11:00AM: It is one of the holiest spots in one of the holiest cities in the world. The Western Wall attracts Jews and Christians alike, and is on the limits of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, a Muslim holy site. It's always been believed to have been built by King Herod, the king of Judea and a vassal of the Roman Empire who reigned from 37-4 BC. Herod expanded the Second Temple in Jerusalem and the Western Wall...

Is the Romulus and Remus statue a copy from the Middle Ages?

Is the Romulus and Remus statue a copy from the Middle Ages? Nov 22nd, 2011 at 2:00PM: It's one of the most famous symbols of ancient Rome--the legendary Romulus and Remus suckling from a she-wolf. Legend has it the brothers were born to a Vestal Virgin who had been abducted by the war god Mars. Abandoned, they were raised by a she-wolf. As adults they fought each other. Romulus killed Remus and went on to build Rome. The statue graces Rome's Capitoline Museum and is photographed...

Historic stretch of Hadrian's Wall repaired

Historic stretch of Hadrian's Wall repaired Oct 15th, 2011 at 2:00PM: A stretch of Hadrian's Wall, the famous fortification in northern England that for centuries marked the northernmost boundary of the Roman Empire, has been repaired. After 2,000 years, parts of the fortification meant to keep out northern barbarians are in pretty bad shape. People have stolen stones over the past several centuries and you can see parts of the wall in local farmhouses and...

Excavations at ancient city of Perge in Turkey celebrate 65 years

Excavations at ancient city of Perge in Turkey celebrate 65 years Sep 12th, 2011 at 2:00PM: Archaeological excavations at the ancient city of Perge in southern Turkey have reached their 65th year, the Hürriyet Daily News reports. This makes them the longest-running excavations in a country with a wealth of ancient sites. Perge (aka Perga) is in Turkey's Antalya province and was founded 3,500 years ago by the Hittites. It became a prosperous Greek colony like Ephesus and...

Roman shipwreck found off Albanian coast

Aug 19th, 2011 at 2:00PM: An underwater archaeological survey has turned up a Roman shipwreck off the coast of Albania. As the above video shows, the remains of the ship are now little more than a heap of amphorae, the characteristic pots the Romans used to transport wine. The team hasn't had a chance to excavate the site yet, so more finds may lie hidden beneath the bottom of the sea. The archaeologists estimate...

An IKEA for ancient Roman housewares

An IKEA for ancient Roman housewares Aug 14th, 2011 at 1:30PM: Is your domus lacking style? Do you need to redecorate your cubiculum or latrina? A museum exhibit in the Netherlands can help. Through January 6, 2012, the Limburgs Museum Venlo presents IXEA: The Roman Store ("IXEA: je Romeinse woonwarenhuis" - site in Dutch and German), an installation that combines displays of re-imagined Roman housewares with the familiar layout of an IKEA store. IXEA,...

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