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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.

Michelle Moran
Historical fiction author


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Logo designed by Shaun Venish

Blog designed by Mia Pearlman Design



In preparation for my novel's release on September 15th, I have launched a new website at! Okay, it's actually just a shell site. All of the links go back to, but I'd like to point out some of the seriously amazing things we'll be doing for the book.
  • On August 1, the fist 50 reviewers to sign up will receive an ARC of Cleopatra's Daughter.

  • The incredibly talented and amazing Shaun Venish (who designed the logo for this site) also designed an entire map of Rome, recreating what the city looked like during the time of Augustus. You can see an interactive version here. A black and white version will also appear at the front of the novel!

  • A treasure hunt! Yes, there is going to be a treasure hunt at 25 participating indie bookstores around the country beginning September 15th. The prizes will include a signed copy of Cleopatra's Daughter, gold jewelry, Roman artifacts, and other Cleopatra goodies! I'll announce more about this closer to the time.

  • Any bloggers who would like to host a blog contest to give away copies of Cleopatra's Daughter when it debuts can now contact me through my Bloggers Page!

Fragment Of Hebrew Inscription From Period Of Kings Of Judah Found

A fragment of a Hebrew inscription from the period of the Kings of Judah was found. (Credit: Vladimir Naikhin, courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority)

ScienceDaily — A fragment of a limestone plaque bearing several letters of ancient Hebrew script was discovered while sifting soil that was excavated in the vicinity of the Gihon Spring, within the precincts of the “Walls around Jerusalem National Park”.
Read the rest on Science Daily.

Fishkill land confirmed to be Revolutionary War gravesite

FISHKILL - Graves, very likely those of hundreds of Revolutionary War soldiers, have been found, at long last, on undeveloped land in the Town of Fishkill that was proposed to be a shopping center.

Read the rest here.


America's 11 most endangered historic places announced

The National Trust for Historic Preservation today announced its list of America's 11 Most Endangered Historic Places for 2009.

Read the rest on the USAToday.

Roman glass dish found in grave

Roman millefiori dish
The Roman millefiori dish was pieced together from its many fragments

A rare Roman millefiori dish has been unearthed by archaeologists from the grave of a wealthy Londoner.

Read the rest on the BBC.


4,300 mediaeval coins unearthed at Carevi Kuli

Total 4,300 mediaeval coins dating back to the second half of the 12th and the beginning of the 13th centuries have been unearthed at the Carevi Kuli archaeological site overlooking Strumica.

Read the rest here.

Ancient medieval buildings found beneath Cathedral Square

Archaeologists excavating beneath Cathedral Square in Peterborough have found the remains of ancient medieval buildings.

Read the rest here.


Painted history

REMAINS of the largest ancient Egyptian temple yet to be found in Sinai have been uncovered in Qantara, reports Nevine El-Aref.

Read the rest here.

The Little Ice Age and Scotland

By Steven McKenzie
Highlands and Islands reporter, BBC Scotland news website

Astronomers have reported that the Sun is at its dimmest for almost a century.

Read the rest on the BBC.


Forgotten Franklin letters offer glimpse into U.S. history

LONDON, England (CNN) -- An American professor doing research in London stumbled across a series of previously unknown letters written by, to, and about Benjamin Franklin, a stunning find that sheds new light on early U.S. history.

Read the rest on CNN.


Artificial Intelligence Cracks 4,000-Year-Old Mystery

By Brandon Keim


An ancient script that's defied generations of archaeologists has yielded some of its secrets to artificially intelligent computers.

Read the rest on Wired Science.


Team's re-creation of ancient Karnak brings history of pharaohs to life

After being crowned one of ancient Egypt’s rare female pharaohs, Queen Hatshepsut renovated a coronation hall lined with statuary depicting her father, her highly regarded predecessor, as a god. In the center of the hall, she installed two 10-story red granite obelisks and a beautiful red quartzite chapel inscribed with images of herself erecting the colossal obelisks.
One of the 10-story obelisks erected by Queen Hatshepsut in the complex's coronation room. View the rest here.

Read the rest on UCLA's website.

World Digital Library putting human history a click away

PARIS — A globe-spanning UN digital library seeking to display and explain the wealth of all human cultures has gone into operation on the Internet, serving up mankind's accumulated knowledge in seven languages for students around the world.

Read the rest on the Chicago Tribune.

Neandertals Babies Didn't Do the Twist

By Ann Gibbons
ScienceNOW Daily News

Giving birth is more difficult--and dangerous--for modern humans than for any other primate. Not only do human mothers have to push out babies with unusually big heads, but infants also have to rotate to fit their heads through the narrow birth canal. Now, a new virtual reconstruction of the pelvis of a Neandertal woman suggests that Neandertal mothers also had a tough time giving birth to their big-headed infants--but the babies, at least, didn't have to rotate to get out.

Read the rest on Science Now.


Viking Legacy On English: What Language Tells Us About Immigration And Integration

ScienceDaily — They’re a firm part of our language and even speak to us of our national culture — but some words aren’t quite as English as we think.

Read the rest on Science Daily.

'Beginner's luck' may lay trail to Cleopatra tomb

BURG EL-ARAB, Egypt (AFP) — Archaeologists revealed a rocky hilltop in northern Egypt on Sunday where they believe Cleopatra was buried 2,000 years ago by the side of her Roman lover Mark Anthony after she committed suicide with a self-inflicted asp bite.

Read the rest on AFP.

Great Wall of China longer than believed as 180 missing miles found

The Great Wall of China is even greater than once thought, after a two-year government mapping study uncovered new sections totalling about 180 miles, according to a report posted on the website of the country's national mapping agency.

Read the rest on The Guardian.


Unleash thy inner bard on 'Talk Like Shakespeare Day'

(CNN) -- Hast thou been patterning thy parlance to evoke the vernacular of William Shakespeare?

Read the rest on CNN.


Sale fails to bail out last Titanic survivor

LONDON, England (CNN) -- The last living survivor of the Titanic earned only a small fraction of what auctioneers hoped to raise when she sold her final remaining mementos of the doomed ship to pay nursing home bills.

Read the rest on CNN.

Did Humans Learn From Hobbits?

By Elizabeth Culotta
ScienceNOW Daily News

Thousands of small, sharp-edged flakes of volcanic tuff and chert have been unearthed from the cave of the "hobbit," the roughly 1-meter-tall ancient human found on the island of Flores in Indonesia. The stone tools have puzzled researchers: How could a hominid with a brain the size of a grapefruit craft tools? Now a detailed analysis sheds light on the hobbit's technological capabilities and raises a new mystery: Why did the modern humans who arrived later on Flores make tools the same way hobbits did?

Read the rest on Science Now.

No review of William Wallace’s conviction for treason in 1305

Two miscarriages of justice watchdogs have formally ruled that the name of Scots hero William Wallace can never be cleared.

Read the rest here.

In king in colour: The Edwardians as you've never seen them before following historic discovery

King Edward VII stares out of the picture, taking a brief break during a stroll through a Scottish estate in full Highland costume in the autumn of 1909.

Read the rest on the Daily Mail.


Is A Find About to Be Announced? The News Stories Are Coming Fast and Furious: Is this Cleopatra's skull? The thrilling finds at the dig to discover

By James White

Discovery: The skull found in a tomb near the Temple of Taposiris Magna in a western suburb of Alexandria, Egypt

Elated archaeologists searching for the lost bodies of doomed lovers Cleopatra and Mark Antony have made a number of important discoveries. In what could be the most thrilling finds since the tomb of Tutankhamun was unearthed in 1922, leading Egyptologists believe they are edging ever-closer to the country's most fabled queen.

Read the rest on the DailyMail.


Part 2: Love eternal? Egyptian dig hopes to uncover Cleopatra and Mark Antony side by side

Elizabeth Taylor as Cleopatra and Richard Burton as her lover Mark Antony in the 1963 film of the Egyptian queen. It was during filming that the co-stars also became lovers

By Cher Thornhill

The burial place of doomed lovers Cleopatra and Mark Antony has remained an enduring mystery, but new evidence suggests it could soon be laid to rest. Archaeologists are to begin searching three new sites identified in a radar survey of a temple close to Alexandria for the tombs of the celebrated queen of Egypt and the Roman general.

Read the rest here.

Archaeologists Find Ancient Germanic Graves in Kranj

Kranj, 17 April (STA) - Archaeologists excavating an ancient burial ground in Kranj in the Gorenjsko region have found what they believe to be nine Germanic graves.

Read the rest here.


Last Titanic survivor selling mementos to pay bills

LONDON, England (CNN) -- The last living survivor of the Titanic, 97-year-old Millvina Dean, is auctioning off her remaining mementos of the doomed ship to pay nursing home bills.

Millvina Dean, 97, is trying to raise money so she can stay in the nursing home she prefers.
Millvina Dean, 97, is trying to raise money so she can stay in the nursing home she prefers.

Read the rest on CNN.

Three Neanderthal Sub-groups Confirmed

ScienceDaily — The Neanderthals inhabited a vast geographical area extending from Europe to western Asia and the Middle East 30,000 to 100,000 years ago. Now, a group of researchers are questioning whether or not the Neanderthals constituted a homogenous group or separate sub-groups (between which slight differences could be observed).

Read the rest on Science Daily.

UCA professor discovers ancient rock painting

Dr. Reinaldo (Dito) Morales Jr., assistant professor of art history at UCA, has confirmed a major discovery in the world of rock art: an ancient rock painting at a burial site from the Inca site of Machu Picchu in Peru.

Read the rest here.


Egypt to search 3 sites for Cleopatra's tomb

CAIRO (AP) — Archaeologists next week will begin excavating three sites in Egypt near the Mediterranean Sea that may contain the tombs of doomed lovers, Cleopatra and Mark Anthony.

Read the rest here.

How keeping it in the family spelled the end of the line for the Hapsburg royal dynasty

Charles II
Charles II who is believed to have suffered from two inherited disorders which prevented him from fathering an heir. This resulted in the end of the Hapsburg dynasty

The Hapsburg dynasty, one of the most influential and celebrated dynasties in Europe was driven to extinction because of inbreeding, say researchers.

Read the rest on DailyMail.


Expert says terracotta army of servants, not warriors

BEIJING, April 13 -- A Chinese professor is out with a theory that could turn one of the country's most important archeological discoveries on upside down.

Read the rest here.

Mission finds dozens of mummies in 53 rock-hewn tombs dating to Egyptian Middle Kingdom.

The mummies found date back as far as 4,000 years

CAIRO - Archaeologists working in an Egyptian oasis have found a necropolis containing dozens of brightly painted mummies dating back as far as 4,000 years, the country's antiquities chief said on Sunday.

Read the rest here.

Hong Kong Christens an Ark of Biblical Proportions

HONG KONG -- This city's three billionaire Kwok brothers have just the answer for the rising waters threatening the global economy: the world's first life-size replica of Noah's ark, built to biblical specifications off the coast of this recession-struck Chinese financial center.

Read the rest here.


Uncovering 5,000 years of Malta's history

The megalithic temple of Hagar Qim, now a Unesco World Heritage Site

In a striking hilltop position, with views over land and sea, stand the remains of an ancient temple.

Read the rest on the Times.

To see Michelle's photos of Malta, click here.

"King of Bling" Tomb Sheds Light on Ancient Peru

Found in a treasure-filled tomb of the Moche culture in Peru in June 2008, this 1,500-year-old gilded-copper-and-seashell funerary mask was one of two that shielded the face of the so-called Lord of Ucupe. Photograph courtesy Dr. Steve Bourget. To read more from Dr. Bourget, or buy his book, click here.

by Kelly Hearn and Ted Chamberlain

Packed with treasure in the styles of two ancient orders, the 1,500-year-old tomb of the Moche Indian "king of bling" is like no other, according to archaeologist Steve Bourget.

Read the rest on National Geographic.


Archaeologist: Jesus took a different path

By Ben Wedeman

JERUSALEM (CNN) -- It's Good Friday, the day that Christians believe Jesus was crucified. Jerusalem's Old City is crowded with the faithful, retracing the steps of Jesus along the Via Dolorosa -- the Way of Suffering -- to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, where Christians believe he was crucified.

Read the rest on CNN.

Scotland's First People Left Behind Big Game Toolkit

Jennifer Viegas, Discovery News

Archaeologists have just identified the oldest evidence for humans in Scotland, a fairly sophisticated 14,000-year-old toolkit that may have been used to hunt and prepare big game from the region.

Read the rest on Discovery.


Mystery over Georgian queen's relics at Old Goa continues

OLD GOA: Scientists have conducted a DNA analysis on bones believed to have been relics of Georgian queen Ketevan preserved in St Augustine's complex at Old Goa, but the mystery continues as a matching analysis of her other relics in Georgia needs to be done to confirm the findings.

Read the rest here.

Dog Sacrifices Found in Medieval Hungarian Village

by Charles Q. Choi

A medieval Hungarian town full of ritually sacrificed dogs could shed light on mysterious pagan customs not found in written records from the era, a new study suggests.

Read the rest from National Geographic.

Dig reveals religious settlement

Evidence of an ancient religious settlement has been discovered by archaeologists working at a visitor attraction in Argyll.

Read the rest on the BBC.



This has nothing whatsoever to do with history, but really - it's too cute not to post!

Spontaneous Dancing - Why Not???

Damage to Historical Monuments ‘Significant’

Read the rest on the NYT.

Preserving the World’s Most Important Artifacts

By Judith H. Dobrzynski

What would you call a list that includes the 11th-century Bayeaux tapestries and the proceedings of the trial of Nelson Mandela?

Read the rest on Smithsonian Magazine.

Bloody Stone Age: war in the Neolithic

The perception that much of prehistory was relatively peaceful is changing. New research has identified evidence of violent assault in the Neolithic. What does this tell us about Stone Age life as a whole? Forensic archaeologist Martin Smith explains.

Read the rest here.


L'Aquila earthquake damaged ancient baths in Rome

The third-century Baths of Caracalla in Rome were damaged by the earthquake that struck near L'Aquila, central Italy, on Monday, a city archaeological authority told reporters.

Read the rest on the Telegraph.


How similar was Neandertal behavior to that of modern humans?

by Kate Wong

CHICAGO—Neandertals have long been portrayed as dumb brutes. But a growing body of evidence hints that these extinct humans were much savvier than previously thought. The results of a new study presented here last week at the annual meeting of the Paleoanthropology Society bolster that view, and suggest that, in fact, Neandertals acted in much the same way as early modern humans.

Read the rest here.

Archaeological discovery in Jordan valley: Enormous 'foot-shaped' enclosures

by Rachel Feldman

"The 'foot' structures that we found in the Jordan valley are the first sites that the People of Israel built upon entering Canaan and they testify to the biblical concept of ownership of the land with the foot," said archaeologist Prof. Adam Zertal of the University of Haifa, who headed the excavating team that exposed five compounds in the shape of an enormous "foot", that it were likely to have been used at that time to mark ownership of territory.

Read the rest here.

Knights Templar Hid the Shroud of Turin, Vatican Says

Medieval knights hid and secretly venerated The Holy Shroud of Turin for more than 100 years after the Crusades, the Vatican said Sunday in an announcement that appeared to solve the mystery of the relic’s missing years.

Read the rest here.


Philip II's palace revealed

The restoration works on the palace of Aigai at the archaeological site of Vergina of northern Greece have provided archaeologists with additional information on the impressive construction, described as in league with the Parthenon atop the Acropolis in central Athens and three times as large.

Read the rest here.

Oldest Stone Blades Uncovered

By Ann Gibbons
ScienceNOW Daily News

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS--Paleoanthropologists working in Africa have discovered stone blades more than a half-million years old.

Read the rest here.


Quest for the tomb of Monthemhat in Egypt

Using Georadar technology, a team of specialists from the Terranova and In situ Testing enterprises have explored all the enclosures of a funerary complex, in order to identify hidden rooms which might hold the sarcophagus of the fourth prophet of Ammon and Governor of Upper Egypt (670- 648 B.C.).

Read the rest here.

First Ship Sunk in WWII Revealed in Sonar

Read the rest on Discovery.


Take This Medicine: The Story of the Sign 'Rx'

This VOA Special English program WORDS AND THEIR STORIES was written by Frank Beardsley. The narrator was Maurice Joyce. I'm Warren Sheer.

Every week at this time, the Voice of America tells about popular words and expressions used in the United States. Some of these words and expressions are old. Some are new. Together, they form the living speech of the American people.

Read the rest on VOA News.

Inscription from the time of Alexander the Great - found in Baktria, land of origin of ancient Bulgarians

Baktra. Unique marble slab with the image of Alexander the Great and a passage of an inscription was discovered in archaeological excavations in the ancient Baktriya, Baktriya Press Agency informed.

Read the rest here.

Police: Mass Grave Unearthed in Alabama May Have Been Victims of 1800's Epidemic

Alabama construction workers grading the land at a city lot unearthed a mass grave Tuesday morning in Montgomery, reported.

Read the rest here.