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Welcome to History Buff, a blog for history lovers everywhere! History Buff brings news stories about archaeology from around the world together on one site. From finds in ancient Egypt to new discoveries in anthropology, History Buff wants to know. And feel free to stop by History Buff's ** Author Interviews** for Q&As with authors of historical fiction. Enjoy!

Michelle Moran
Historical fiction author

As an historical fiction writer I am fascinated by news stories featuring the past as it's unearthed and reimagined and brought to life. I spend a
large quantity of time searching for news in archaeology and history. Once in a great while a new archaeological discovery will act as an inspiration for what I'm currently writing. But most of the time the news stories I read are simply interesting tidbits of history. Unfortunately, I have disallowed comments because I travel so frequently that I can neither monitor nor respond to them. But I would still love to share the history that I find fascinating each day. So welcome! And feel free to visit my website at www.michellemoran.com.

Logo designed by Shaun Venish

Blog designed by Mia Pearlman Design

11.30.2009

Archaeologists Recount a Buddhist Tale

All great cultures go through avatars that alter them beyond recognition. Then, mysteriously, they somehow leave their own distinctive imprint on whatever they borrowed.


Read the rest on the NYT.


Dig to start at Shakespeare site

Shakespeare
The New Place is thought to be where Shakespeare died in 1616

Archaeologists are preparing to excavate the site of Shakespeare's final home to find out more about the history of the building.

Read the rest on the BBC.

11.25.2009

1,500 years after she was buried alive, scientists resurrect 16-year-old servant girl

gaya institute
The teenager's 5ft skeleton was used as a starting point for the model before layers of muscle and skin were added.

Her petite features and slim build would have marked her out as a beauty in any era. And by using modern technology South Korean archaeologists have been able to recreate just how the 5ft servant girl would have looked 1,500 years ago, the first time such a task has been done in the country.

Read the rest on the Daily Mail.


11.24.2009

HISTORY BUFF IS OFF FOR THANKSGIVING

My family and I have a great deal to be thankful for this holiday season. Wherever you are in the world, and whether or not you celebrate Thanksgiving, have a wonderful week :]

See you all on Monday!


Supervolcano Eruption In Sumatra Deforested India 73,000 Years Ago

ScienceDaily— A new study provides "incontrovertible evidence" that the volcanic super-eruption of Toba on the island of Sumatra about 73,000 years ago deforested much of central India, some 3,000 miles from the epicenter, researchers report.

Read the rest on Science Daily.



Archaeologist Set to Recreate Palace of Greatest Bulgarian Tsar

Bulgaria: Archaeologist Set to Recreate Palace of Greatest Bulgarian Tsar
Professor Ovcharov presenting his project for the recreating of the Bulgarian medieval royal palace. Photo by BGNES

Leading Bulgarian archaeologist Nikolay Ovcharov has presented a project for recreating the palace of the greatest Bulgarian medieval Tsar.


Read the rest here.

11.23.2009

Heian tomb yields tweezers

By REIJI YOSHIDA

A makeup kit containing a pair of 17-cm iron scissors and iron tweezers 8.5 cm long has been discovered in the tomb of a woman who lived at the end of the Heian Period (794-1192), archaeologists said recently.

Read the rest here.


11.22.2009

Rare Charles Darwin Book Found on Toilet Bookshelf

LONDON — An auction house says it is selling a rare first edition of Charles Darwin's "On the Origin of Species" found in a family's guest lavatory in southern England.

Read the rest here.

11.21.2009

Body parts cut from Galileo's corpse found after vanishing a century ago

An art collector has found a tooth, thumb and finger of the famous renaissance astronomer Galileo that had been missing for more than a century.

Read the rest on the DailyMail.


11.20.2009

Death certificate is imprinted on the Shroud of Turin, says Vatican scholar

by Richard Owen

A Vatican scholar claims to have deciphered the "death certificate" imprinted on the Shroud of Turin, or Holy Shroud, a linen cloth revered by Christians and held by many to bear the image of the crucified Jesus.

Read the rest on the Times.





Lincoln letter to schoolboy sells for $60,000

(CNN) -- Less than a month before the Civil War's start, a newly inaugurated President Lincoln took time from his frantic schedule to write to an Illinois boy whose classmates didn't believe he'd met the president.


Read the rest on CNN.



Sophisticated hunters not to blame for driving mammoths to extinction

by Ian Sample

Woolly mammoths and other large, lumbering beasts faced extinction long before early humans perfected their skills as spearmakers, scientists say.


Read the rest on the Guardian.


'Hobbits' are a new human species -- according to the statistical analysis of fossils

Researchers from Stony Brook University Medical Center in New York have confirmed that Homo floresiensis is a genuine ancient human species and not a descendant of healthy humans dwarfed by disease. Using statistical analysis on skeletal remains of a well-preserved female specimen, researchers determined the "hobbit" to be a distinct species and not a genetically flawed version of modern humans. Details of the study appear in the December issue of Significance, the magazine of the Royal Statistical Society, published by Wiley-Blackwell.

Read the rest here.


11.18.2009

The Vanished Army: Solving an Ancient Egyptian Mystery

In 525 B.C., the Persian Emperor Cambyses dispatched 50,000 of his soldiers to lay waste to an oasis temple in the Sahara because its oracle had spoken ill of his plans for world domination.

Read the rest in Time Magazine.


Heart Disease Found in Egyptian Mummies

ScienceDaily — Hardening of the arteries has been detected in Egyptian mummies, some as old as 3,500 years, suggesting that the factors causing heart attack and stroke are not only modern ones; they afflicted ancient people, too.

Read the rest on Science Daily.

11.17.2009

Quest to find out what the Romans dropped down the drain

Roman Baths
(Gareth Iwan Jones): The Great Drain, which carries the overflow from the Roman Baths, needs unblocking

Britain’s oldest bath overflow is to be given its first thorough inspection nearly 2,000 years after it was built.

Read the rest on the Times Online.


11.16.2009

Israel displays coins from ancient Jewish revolt

By MICHAEL BARAJAS

JERUSALEM (AP) - Israel displayed for the first time Wednesday a collection of rare coins charred and burned from the Roman destruction of the Jewish Temple nearly 2,000 years ago.

Read the rest here.


Maya "Painted Pyramid" Reveals 1st Murals of Daily Life

A series of unusual Maya wall murals, complete with hieroglyphic captions, are providing archaeologists with a priceless look at day-to-day life in the empire circa A.D. 620 to 700.

Read the rest on National Geographic.


Man finds 3,000-year-old sword

OSLO, Norway, Nov. 13 (UPI) -- A Norwegian man said experts told him the sword he found abandoned at a roadside four years ago dates back 3,000 years.

Read the rest here.


Were rats behind Easter Island mystery?


Easter Island's mystery — brooding statues atop a treeless Polynesian island — fascinates tourists and scholars alike. And inspires debate.

Read the rest on USA Today.


Evidence for kings David and Solomon

Norman Hammond, Archaeology correspondent
The Ten Dan Stele
The Ten Dan Stele

Until 15 years ago, there was no extra-biblical documentary mention of even the House of David as ruling in Judea.

Read the rest on the Times Online.

11.13.2009

Humans Still Evolving as Our Brains Shrink

Evolution in humans is commonly thought to have essentially stopped in recent times. But there are plenty of examples that the human race is still evolving, and even accelerating.

Read the rest here.

11.11.2009

Remains of what appears to be Queen Himiko's palace found in Nara

Read the rest here.


Donegal brain surgeon at work in AD 800, burial site reveals

MARESE McDONAGHBRAIN SURGERY was being carried out in Ireland more than 1,000 years ago – and patients survived

Read the rest on the Irish Times.

11.10.2009

Digitized inscriptions reveal ancient messages

Four thousand years ago, a government bureaucrat in Mesopotamia jotted down a tally of slave laborers on a clay tablet.

Read the rest on the San Francisco Chronicle.


Secrets from a sunken Egyptian city

Heracleion x-large Scholars unveiled inscriptions discovered in a sunken Egyptian city on Monday.

Read the rest on USA Today.

11.09.2009

Vanished Persian Army Said Found in Desert

By Rossella Lorenzi
cambyses army bones
Hundreds of bleached bones and skulls found in the desolate wilderness of the Sahara desert may be the remains of the long lost Cambyses' army, according to Italian researchers. Alfredo and Angelo Castiglioni

The remains of a mighty Persian army said to have drowned in the sands of the western Egyptian desert 2,500 years ago might have been finally located, solving one of archaeology's biggest outstanding mysteries, according to Italian researchers.

Read the rest on Discovery.


Priestess of Cahuachi

Tomb discovered of an elite child dating to the early Nasca Period. With the mummy were various pieces of jewellery made from gold, silver and precious stones.

Read the rest here.


2012: Six End-of-the-World Myths Debunked

Brian Handwerk for National Geographic News

The end of the world is near—December 21, 2012, to be exact—according to theories based on a purported ancient Maya prediction and fanned by the marketing machine behind the soon-to-be-released 2012 movie.

Read the rest on National Geographic.

11.06.2009

Reassessing Artworks of Ancient Rome

Vatican Museums: "The Aldobrandini Marriage," one of the works featured in "Rome: The Painting of an Empire."

ROME — Painting was more prized than sculpture by the ancient Greeks and Romans, and easel paintings more than frescoes, which were considered essentially decorative. Yet not a single easel painting of the kind described by Pliny the Elder in his encyclopedic “Natural History” of the first century A.D. has come down to us.

Read the rest on NYT.


PICTURES: "Extraordinary" Ancient Skeletons Found

Click here to see the pictures on National Geographic.


Archaeologists Track Infamous Conquistador Through Southeast

ScienceDaily — Archaeologists at Atlanta's Fernbank Museum of Natural History have discovered unprecedented evidence that helps map Hernando de Soto's journey through the Southeast in 1540. No evidence of De Soto's path between Tallahassee and North Carolina has been found until now, and few sites have been located anywhere.

Read the rest on Science Daily.

11.05.2009

More on novice metal detector man who discovers 'stunning' treasure hoard


David Booth, first-time treasure hunter

David Booth was “stunned” when he found several 2000-year-old gold neckbands in a field in Stirlingshire.

Read the rest here.


In the Mediterranean, Killer Tsunamis From an Ancient Eruption


The massive eruption of the Thera volcano in the Aegean Sea more than 3,000 years ago produced killer waves that raced across hundreds of miles of the Eastern Mediterranean to inundate the area that is now Israel and probably other coastal sites, a team of scientists has found.

Read the rest on the NYT.

11.04.2009

Chinese challenge to 'out of Africa' theory

by Phil McKenna

The discovery of an early human fossil in southern China may challenge the commonly held idea that modern humans originated out of Africa.

Read the rest on The New Scientist.


Iron age gold treasure found in Scotland

A metal-detecting enthusiast has unearthed a 2,000-year-old treasure hoard worth an estimated £1m, it was revealed today.

Read the rest here.

11.03.2009

British holidaymaker discovers lost underwater 'city'

A British holidaymaker has uncovered what is believed to be a lost, ancient temple while snorkelling in the Mediterranean.
The Montenegrin coast is dotted with ancient ruins yet to be documented.

Michael Le Quesne, 16, was swimming off a popular beach in Montenegro with his parents and his ten-year-old sister Teodora when he spotted an odd looking 'stone' at a depth of around two metres.

Read the rest on The Telegraph.


Riddle of 200-year-old Irish grave in New York

Workers uncovered a young Irishman's grave in New York's Greenwich Village more than 200 years after he died.

Read the rest on the Independent.


Cromwell's legacy damages tomb of Black Prince

By Harriet Alexander
The tomb of a medieval knight at Canterbury Cathedral: Cromwell's legacy damages tomb of Black Prince
The tomb of a medieval knight, the Black Prince, at Canterbury Cathedral Photo: IMAGES INTERNATIONAL

Stained glass windows overlooking the tomb of Edward, Prince of Wales, were destroyed by Puritan iconoclasts in the 1640s, allowing damaging UV rays to enter the cathedral unfiltered. Since then, clear replacements have been installed and the deterioration of the paintwork on the 14th century canopy surrounding the prince's resting place has continued.

Read the rest here.

11.02.2009

Remains of 1,000 people recovered at medieval site

THE skeletal remains of more than a thousand people have been recovered from what experts believe was one of the country’s largest medieval cemeteries.

Read the rest on the Irish Examiner.


14th century Cairo mosque restored to glory

CAIRO — Developers unveiled the restoration of a 650-year-old mosque in Cairo's old city, part of an effort to revitalize the impoverished district and boost tourism to the country's treasure trove of Islamic sites.

Read the rest here.


Secret tunnels and ancient mysteries


Clockwise from top: the secret tunnel inside Seti I's tomb; an inscribed ostraca and an ushabti figurine unearthed in the tunnel

When the famous explorer Giovanni Battista Belzoni discovered the tomb of Pharaoh Seti I in 1817, he knew that it represented a very developed example of a New Kingdom royal tomb. Not only was it the longest, deepest and most completed tomb ever found in the Valley of the Kings, but its walls were painted with fine scenes in full colour featuring the great pharaoh in various positions before the gods and with his family. Inside the burial chamber Belzoni found a calcite anthropoid sarcophagus and a fragment of a canopic chest that used to hold the internal organs, and is now on display at Sir John Soane's Museum in London.

Read the rest here.


Newfound Dinosaur Armored Like a Tank

A husband and wife team of paleontologists has discovered a newfound species of armored dinosaur that lived 112 million years ago in what is now Montana.

Read the rest here.