Mysterious Medieval Manuscript is Probably Not a Hoax

voynichcosmological

The Voynich Manuscript has baffled everyone since it was first acquired (or, some say, forged) by collector Wilfrid Voynich in 1912. Probably dating to the 15th century and originating in Northern Italy, the manuscript consists of 240 pages of vellum covered in a mysterious, indecipherable script and illustrations of non-existent plants, astronomical diagrams, tiny naked [Read More...]

A Face From the Past

maryrosearcher

You can be excused for thinking the face pictured above is a modern mugshot of some dude who just robbed a Piggly Wiggly. In fact, it’s an archer who died in the sinking of the Mary Rose,  a ship from the fleet of Henry VIII (spit). The Mary rose was sunk in 1545, discovered in [Read More...]

Are These Beams From the First Temple?

photo credit: Matti Friedman/Times of Israel

Reused for millennia, discarded, forgotten, left in a padlocked storage space: these rough chunks of wood hewn from cedar, cypress, and oak up to 3000 years ago may once have been part of the First Temple. Building materials routinely were recycled throughout ancient times, but these are important because they were removed from the Al-Aqsa [Read More...]

Is This the Voice of Alexander Graham Bell?

bell

The Smithsonian thinks it is. They’ve been using imaging technology to listen to unplayable experimental recordings by non-destructive means, and accidentally hit upon this snatch of audio, in which the speaker says, “In witness whereof—hear my voice, Alexander Graham Bell.” You have to click the link the hear it, since I can’t embed it, but [Read More...]

Ship Rams From First Punic War Discovered

ram

Very, very cool. Ten bronze warship rams from the last naval battle of the epic First Punic War have been recovered from the western coast of Sicily. The ten rams (Latin rostra), each weighing around 125 kilogrammes and made of bronze, were mounted on the prow of the warships (ancient triremes or quinquiremes), and were [Read More...]

Really Old Medieval Cookbook Found

Medieval cooking

Researchers have discovered a collection of recipes written in Latin by monks of Durham Cathedral in 1140. Some are calling it the oldest such collection of the Middle Ages. Many of the dishes sound like they would work on a modern restaurant menu. Faith Wallis, an expert in medical history and science based at McGill [Read More...]

Gate to Hell Discovered

8.hells-gate-130329-digital-reconstruction

And it’s in New Jersey! (Audio link.) Nah, just kidding. It’s actually in Turkey.  The Plutonium was believed to be the portal to the underworld in the ancient world, and it was known for its lethal properties, provided courtesy of carbon dioxide. It was long believed to be at the Phrygian city of Hierapolis (modern Pamukkale). Strabo wrote [Read More...]

Some Thoughts on Richard III, History, and Catholicism

richardface

Everyone by now has heard the big news: the bones of King Richard III–last king of the House of York, villain of one of Shakespeare’s most masterful historical plays, and a man long long regarded as a psychopath twisted in both body and mind–have been found under a parking lot in Leicester, England. DNA testing has confirmed [Read More...]


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