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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.

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Blog designed by Mia Pearlman Design

11.29.2010

Crown Suggests Queen Arsinoë II Ruled Ancient Egypt as Female Pharaoh

ScienceDaily — A unique queen's crown with ancient symbols combined with a new method of studying status in Egyptian reliefs forms the basis for a re-interpretation of historical developments in Egypt in the period following the death of Alexander the Great. A thesis from the University of Gothenburg (Sweden) argues that Queen Arsinoë II ruled ancient Egypt as a female pharaoh, predating Cleopatra by 200 years.

Read the rest here.


Staggering Picasso trove turns up in France

PARIS – A retired French electrician and his wife have come forward with 271 undocumented, never-before-seen works by Pablo Picasso estimated to be worth at least 60 million euros ($79.35 million), an administrator of the artist's estate said Monday.

Read the rest here.

11.26.2010

More Proof That Vikings Were First to America

By Lisa Bend

Pity poor Leif Ericsson. The Viking explorer may well have been the first European to reach the Americas, but it is a certain Genoan sailor who gets all the glory. Thanks to evidence that has until now consisted only of bare archeological remains and a bunch of Icelandic legends, Ericsson has long been treated as a footnote in American history: no holiday, no state capitals named after him, no little ditty to remind you of the date of his voyage. But a group of Icelandic and Spanish scientists studying one mysterious genetic sequence — and one woman who's been dead 1,000 years — may soon change that.

Read the rest here.

11.24.2010

Ancient Lambayeque civilizations domesticated cats 3500 years ago

Recent finds at the Ventarrón archaeological site have revealed some of the oldest examples of ancient Peruvian domestication of animals.

Read the rest here.


2,000-year-old intact female skeleton with gray hair unearthed in Hubei

A 2,000-year-old intact skeleton of an elderly woman was unearthed from a tomb from the early Western Han dynasty at the construction site of an industrial park in the north of Zhuchengjie, a satellite city of Wuhan, capital of east-central China's Hubei Province, on Nov. 19.

Read the rest here.

11.23.2010

London's National Portrait Gallery Finds Relics of English King Richard II in Its Basement

LONDON.- An archivist at the National Portrait Gallery has found relics from the tomb of King Richard II while cataloguing the papers of its first Director Sir George Scharf (1820-1895). Among the hundreds of diaries and notebooks left behind in boxes not opened for years were contents from the coffin of a medieval English king, and sketches of his skull and bones.

Read the rest here.


Ancient Egyptian temple submerged in sewage

An ancient Egyptian temple to the god Ptah in the village of Meet Rahina near Memphis, just south of Cairo, now sits submerged in sewage. The temple, which was built during the reign of Pharaoh Ramses II (1279 BC - 1213 BC) and was once a major tourist attraction, now serves as a home for stray dogs. According to local residents, sanitation authorities never removed the piles of garbage dumped around the temple by villagers.

Read the rest here.

11.22.2010

Boy, 3, uncovers $4M gold medieval relic

Forget the tricycle — your kid needs a metal detector.

James Hyatt, then 3, found $4 million worth of medieval gold on a trip with his father and grandfather while scouring the Essex countryside with their device.

Read the rest here.


Ancient Roman soldiers' bathhouse found in Jerusalem

By Shira Medding

Jerusalem (CNN) -- Israeli archaeologists have discovered an ancient Roman bathhouse that was probably used by the soldiers who destroyed the Second Temple in Jerusalem, the Israel Antiquities Authority announced Monday.

Read the rest here.

11.21.2010

Burnt City woman's face reconstructed

Rome's National Museum of Oriental Art has displayed the reconstructed face of a female skeleton which was found in Iran's Burnt City wearing an artificial eyeball. The reconstructed version of the 5,000-year-old skeleton was unveiled during a ceremony attended by head of Iran's Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization Hamid Baqaei and Iran's ambassador to Italy Seyyed Mohammad-Ali Hosseini.

Read the rest here.


Dozer Driver Makes Fossil Discovery of the Century

by Loren Grush

An accidental discovery by a bulldozer driver has led to what may be the find of the century: an ice-age burial ground that could rival the famed La Brea tar pits. After two weeks of excavating ancient fossils at the Ziegler Reservoir near Snowmass Village, Colorado, scientists from the Denver Museum of Natural Science returned home Wednesday with their unearthed treasures in tow -- a wide array of fossils, insects and plant life that they say give a stunningly realistic view of what life was like when ancient, giant beasts lumbered across the Earth.

Read the rest here.

11.18.2010

Ancient Roman landscape unearthed near London

London, England (CNN) -- Archaeologists have uncovered an ancient Roman landscape beneath a park in west London, with a Roman road, evidence of a settlement, and unusual burials among the finds.

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11.15.2010

16th Century Astronomer's Remains Exhumed

(CBS/AP) Astronomer Tycho Brahe uncovered some of the mysteries of the universe in the 16th century - and now modern-day scientists are delving into the mystery of his sudden death. On Monday, an international team of scientists opened his tomb in the Church of Our Lady Before Tyn near Prague's Old Town Square, where the famous Dane has been buried since 1601.

Read the rest here.


World's oldest Copper Age settlement found

A "sensational" discovery of 75-century-old copper tools in Serbia is compelling scientists to reconsider existing theories about where and when man began using metal. Belgrade - axes, hammers, hooks and needles - were found interspersed with other artefacts from a settlement that burned down some 7,000 years ago at Plocnik, near Prokuplje and 200 km south of Belgrade.

Read the rest here.


Ancient Egyptian 'Avenue of Sphinxes' gets twelve Sphinxes longer

Archaeologists have unearthed twelve ancient sphinx statues at Luxor, Egypt. The sculptures were found at a newly discovered part of the Avenue of Sphinxes, an ancient road stretching from the temple at Karnak to the temple of the goddess Mut at Luxor.

Read the rest here.

11.12.2010

Fertile Crescent farmers took DNA to Germany

Rebecca Jenkins
ABC

DNA evidence suggests that immigrants from the Ancient Near East brought farming to Europe, and spread the practice to the region's hunter-gatherer communities, according to Australian-led research.

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Chinese vase sells for record-breaking $68M

London, England (CNN) -- A Chinese vase found during a house clearout in London has sold at auction for what is believed to be a world record £43 million ($68 million).

Read the rest here.

11.09.2010

The brains of Neanderthals and modern humans developed differently

by Max-Planck-Gesellschaft

Researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany have documented species differences in the pattern of brain development after birth that are likely to contribute to cognitive differences between modern humans and Neanderthals.

Read the rest here.

11.08.2010

Roman coin forged by ancient 'Del Boy'

A Roman coin discovered by a cleaner was struck by a 'Del Boy' forger who could not spell and did not know his emperors. The silver denarius, based on coins marking the Battle of Actium in 31BC, has the word ‘Egypt’ spelled incorrectly and bears the head of Emperor Caesar when it should be Augustus, British Museum experts said.

Read the rest here.


Experts reveal brutal Viking massacre

By Liam Sloan

VIKING skeletons buried beneath an Oxford college were the victims of brutal ethnic cleansing 1,000 years ago, archaeologists have discovered. Experts were mystified when they discovered a mass grave beneath a quadrangle a St John’s College, St Giles, in 2008.

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New Statistical Model Moves Human Evolution Back Three Million Years

ScienceDaily— Evolutionary divergence of humans and chimpanzees likely occurred some 8 million years ago rather than the 5 million year estimate widely accepted by scientists, a new statistical model suggests.

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Egypt: A life before the afterlife

by Richard Parkinson

Ancient Egypt rarely escapes our stereotypical view of it: an exotic place full of pyramids crammed with cursed treasure, waiting to be discovered by adventurous archaeologists. As in René Goscinny and Albert Uderzo's comic Asterix and Cleopatra, it is often presented as a land of spooky tombs and people speaking in hieroglyphic pictures. These stereotypes are themselves quite ancient – even to the ancient Greeks, Egypt was a quintessentially different culture. But they trivialise a complex society.

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Pompeiians Flash-Heated to Death—"No Time to Suffocate"

Maria Cristina Valsecchi in Rome

The famous lifelike poses of many victims at Pompeii—seated with face in hands, crawling, kneeling on a mother's lap—are helping to lead scientists toward a new interpretation of how these ancient Romans died in the A.D. 79 eruptions of Italy's Mount Vesuvius. Until now it's been widely assumed that most of the victims were asphyxiated by volcanic ash and gas. But a recent study says most died instantly of extreme heat, with many casualties shocked into a sort of instant rigor mortis.

Read the rest here.

11.07.2010

Ozzy Osbourne genome sequenced

Furthermore, Osbourne's got a genetic sliver that once belonged to homo sapiens' extinct cousins, the Neanderthals. "For a long time we thought that Neanderthals didn't have any descendents today, but it turns out that Asians and Europeans have some evidence of Neanderthal lineage – like a drop in the bucket," Pearson said. "We found a little segment on Ozzy's chromosome 10 that very likely traces back to a Neanderthal forebear."

Read the rest here.

11.03.2010

Pompeii’s Mystery Horse Is a Donkey

Indeed, the identity of the strange breed of 'horse' that has been discovered in 2004, at Pompeii, has been cleared out by a Cambridge University researcher, who realized it was actually a donkey. Back in 2004, when academics unearthed skeletons found at a house in the ancient Roman town that was covered in ashes in 79 AD, they thought it belonged to an extinct breed of horse.

Read the rest here.


Rediscovered walls protected Sphinx from winds, sand

(CNN) -- Protection from the Sahara's howling dust storms may have helped the Sphinx maintain its steady gaze over the millennia.

Read the rest here.

11.01.2010

Gigapan: Prehistoric Cave Art of Niaux

Deep in the mountainside near the Ariege river in France, ghostly images of long ago still dance across the rock walls of tunnels, overhangs, and vast caverns.

Read the rest here.


Old Mystic Cemetery Has Rare Wolf Stones

MYSTIC — When a young Israel Putnam climbed into a craggy den on a snowy afternoon in 1743 and killed the last wolf in Connecticut, colonists could breathe a sigh of relief.

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Bronze Age hoard found intact in Essex field

Archaeologists have unearthed a collection of Bronze Age axe heads, spear tips and other 3,000-year-old metal objects buried in an Essex field.

Read the rest here.