New Photographs of Bulgarian “Vampire” Skeleton

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Last month I wrote about the discovery of a skeleton in Bulgaria that had been “staked” with an iron rod: an indication that people thought this was a vampire, or might become one. The skeleton is at least 700 years old, which places it long before Dracula and most modern vampire lore. Now it turns [Read More...]

The Grave of Mona Lisa: Discovered?

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A team of archaeologists searching the Convent of St. Ursula in Florence for the remains of Lisa del Giocondo believe they have them. Lisa, the model for Leonardo’s Mona Lisa, became a nun after the death of her husband, and lived in the convent until her death in 1542. The bones were found under the floor [Read More...]

Technology and Archaeology in the Holy Land

Thomas Levy, the Norma Kershaw Chair in the Archaeology of Ancient Israel and Neighboring Lands at the University of California (San Diego), gives a TEDTalk about the convergence of technology and archaeology in the Holy Land. In particular, he explains about “cyber-archaeology”: using the latest tech for visualization, data collection and management, and site analysis. New techniques are pumping out vast amounts [Read More...]

The Very First Tech?

“Technology” is a pretty broad category. It encompasses the practical application of knowledge to the fabrication of tools or methods for solving a problem. Picking up a rock and hammering a nail with it is not technology, because the rock has not been modified for a particlar purpose. If we had to guess, the first [Read More...]

Searching for the Tomb of Mona Lisa

It’s strange to think of coming face to face (so to speak) with the remains of the woman with the most famous face in the world, but archaeologists and art historians think they may be close. We know some things about Lisa del Giocondo, including the fact that two of her daughters, Camilla and Marietta, became [Read More...]

Levantine DNA in Ethiopia May Support Biblical Story

Genetic researchers believe they’ve found evidence that people from Israel, Egypt, or Syria mixed with Ethiopians 3000 years ago. The timing of this appearance of the new DNA coincides with the historical period in which the Queen of Sheba visited King Solomon. According to legend, the queen returned to Ethiopia bearing Solomon’s son. Professor Chris [Read More...]

Medieval Monks and Recusants to be Reburied in England

Five monks , two men, and two women will be reburied two decades after they were discovered, and then forgotten, by archaeologists excavating  Eynsham Abbey, Oxfordshire. The four laypeople had been buried secretly, possibly because they were Catholic recusants and unwilling to to be buried according to protestant rites. Nine bodies left languishing in a storeroom for decades will [Read More...]

Are These the Faces of the Children of Antony and Cleopatra?

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I’m not wholly convinced, but Giuseppina Capriotti, an Egyptologist at Italy’s National Research Council, thinks she can make the case based on style, dating, and iconography. Cleopatra’s twin babies now have a face. An Italian Egyptologist has rediscovered a sculpture of Alexander Helios and Cleopatra Selene, the offspring of Mark Antony and Cleopatra VII, at the Egyptian [Read More...]


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