Remains of Abbot of Furness Discovered

Abbot

A major discovery at Furness Abbey, in the Lake District in England, may have revealed the long-lost remains of an abbot, along with his crosier and jewelry. Furness was a powerful, wealthy Cistercian monastery until Henry VIII seized control of the church, dissolved the monasteries, and looted their treasures, leaving the grand edifices to rot. The picturesque ruins were made [Read More...]

Rare Animal-Shaped Mounds Discovered in Peru

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Giant earthen mounds in the shape of an orca, a giant condor, a duck, and a caiman have been discovered on the plains of Peru. These huge structures, ranging in length from 5 to 400 meters, are found in North America, but are uncommon in South America. Dr. Robert Benfer of the University of Missouri believes [Read More...]

Tax Collecting in Ancient Israel

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It’s that time of the year again, but maybe you can take comfort from the fact that people have paid taxes since the first nomads set down roots, built some huts, and decided that someone should really hire a guy to cart away all these leftover woolly mammoth bones, and then maybe send him off [Read More...]

Searching for a Lost Chapel in Maryland

The current chapel of St. Francis Xavier dates to 1731

St. Francis Xavier Church in Newtowne, Maryland is among the oldest Catholic churches America. The current chapel dates to 1731, but that wasn’t the first chapel. Jesuits began their work in Newtowne Neck in 1640, and in honor of the church’s 350th anniversary, Fr. Brian Sanderfoot wants to find the remains of the original chapel, which was [Read More...]

Archaeology … in SPAAAAACE!

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  Actually, it’s archaeology from space, but I couldn’t resist a Muppets reference. Satellite data is becoming an essential tool for archaeology, as the widespread availability of improved imaging allows researchers to identify areas of former human habitation that cannot be seen from the ground: Beyond the impressive mounds of earth, known as tells in Arabic, that mark lost [Read More...]

Underground Franciscans Discovered

No, I don’t mean a clandestine network of people who like to secretly dress in brown and help the poor under the inspiration of the greatest saint the church has ever known. I mean the remains of 15th century Franciscans have been discovered six inches below the surface of a roadway that was being repaved in St [Read More...]

Unusual Christian/Pagan Grave Discovered in England

The gold cross found in the grave of the young Anglo-Saxon woman

Ancient Anglo-Saxon “bed burials”–in which the deceased is laid out in a real bed, often with possessions–are rare enough, but they have turned up in England before. Solid gold pectoral crosses are also extremely rare finds in English burials, but again: not completely unknown. But finding a Christian symbol on a person buried in the [Read More...]

The Oldest Monastery in Europe?

Does new research push the date of a monastery in Bulgaria, founded by St. Athanasius himself, back to 344 AD? Definitely maybe: Bulgarian archaeologists have uncovered what they believe is the oldest Christian monastery in Europea near the village of Zlatna Livada in southern Bulgaria. According to latest archaeological research, the St. Athanasius monastery, still functioning [Read More...]


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