The Necropolis of the Via Triumphalis in 3D

tombs

Here’s a terrific video (Italian with subtitles) of the The Necropolis of the Via Triumphalis, using slick animation to peel away the layers and provide a good view of the site. The area had been closed for a time for additional excavation and restoration, but is now open to public with even more sites to see. [Read More...]

Pagan Temple Found Under Cathedral

876MilanoDuomo

The people working on excavations in Milan have found a secret under the giant gothic Duomo di Milano: it’s built on top of an ancient temple dedicated to Minerva. The location shouldn’t come as a surprise, since the Cathedral (begun in the 14th century and finished 600 years later) was constructed at the most prominent [Read More...]

A New Poem By Sappho Discovered UPDATED

Saphhos

This is pretty big news: there’s a major discovery of previously unknown poems by the great Greek poet Sappho. Few lines of her work have survived (some of them in our old friend the Oxyrhynchus dump), so each find is important. This new verses are on a scrap of papyrus in the hands of a [Read More...]

When Archaeology and Epidemiology Meet

A 1400-year-old tooth containing plague DNA

The past is always present. A group of scientists has managed to extract DNA from the teeth of two people who died during the Justinian Plague in the 6th century, and tests have confirmed that the same pathogen was at the root of the Black Plague of the 14th century, with mutations that are still [Read More...]

United by Cruelty: Carthage and America

Outside Carthage, a special part of a cemetery dedicated to the burial of infants. Photograph: Josephine Quinn

Ancient tales tell of how Carthaginians sacrificed their own children to obtain favors from the gods. Historians dismissed these accounts as mere propaganda, but new interpretations of the archaeological record suggest the stories were true. As the archaeologists and historians relate their new theories in this story from the Guardian, it’s clear that none of [Read More...]

St. Thecla’s Tomb Desecrated by Syrian Rebels, Nuns Still Missing

thekla

Twelve nuns kidnapped from the Mar Takla Orthodox convent are still being held by our friends, the Syrian “rebels.” They were taken away in early December in a raid by terrorist Abu Jafar, leader of the Battalion of the Martyr Abu Taan. Jafar pillaged the monasteries there, and sold off the goods in Lebanon. On January 12th, [Read More...]

Tour the Priscilla Catacombs on Google Maps

catacombs

After years of restoration work, the Priscilla Catacombs in Rome were reopened last fall. This 8-mile network of tunnels was used for Christian burial and worship from the 2nd to 5th centuries. The catacombs were forgotten, looted, ignored, and ultimately reclaimed, and now centuries of grime has been removed to reveal striking art work. The [Read More...]

A 2,000-Year-Old Eggshell

Ritual-Deposits

Eggs are very important at Casa McD, so I was tickled to see this amazing discovery from Turkey: a nearly-intact eggshell from about 17 AD. The town of Sardis had been hit by an earthquake, and when residents rebuilt, they buried a pierced egg in a pot to ward off further dangers. The intact egg [Read More...]


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