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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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Chinese Archaeologists Discover Legendary Tomb of Cao Cao


Chinese archeologists have unearthed a large third-century tomb, which they say could be that of Cao Cao, the legendary politician and general famous throughout East Asia for his Machiavellian tactics.

Read the rest here.


First Jesus-Era House Found in Nazareth, Israel


Days before Christmas, archeologists on Monday unveiled what they said were the remains of the first dwelling in Nazareth that can be dated back to the time of Jesus — a find that could shed new light on what the hamlet was like during the period the New Testament says Jesus lived there as a boy.

Read the rest here.


Study: Mistress of French King Died From Drinking Too Much Gold

LONDON — A British medical journal has published findings saying a mistress of 16th-century French King Henry II may have died from consuming too much drinkable gold.

Read the rest here.

Monument lifted from Cleopatra's underwater city

ALEXANDRIA, Egypt — Egyptian archaeologists have lifted out of the Mediterranean Sea an ancient granite temple pylon from the palace complex of Cleopatra, submerged in the waters of Alexandria's harbor.

Read the rest here.


A rocky vacation she really dug

By Sue Kovach Shuman
Washington Post Staff Writer

I was attacked by red ants. Sat on a cactus. Almost stepped on a rattlesnake. And given the chance, I'd take the same vacation again. For five days last May, I worked as a volunteer archaeologist with the U.S. Forest Service in Southern California's Cleveland National Forest.

Read the rest on the Washington Post.


Heroes or rabble-rousers? The real story of the Maccabees

A Bernard Picart copper plate engraving circa 1730 depicting the Maccabees. (Public Domain)
A Bernard Picart copper plate engraving circa 1730 depicting the Maccabees. (Public Domain)

by Gil Shefler

NEW YORK (JTA) -- In 165 BCE, a group of warriors led by Judah Maccabee and his band of brothers ushered in a new era in Jewish history when they routed the soldiers of the Greek-Syrian empire and rededicated the Holy Temple in Jerusalem.

Read the rest here.

Ancient Amazon civilisation laid bare by felled forest

by Linda Geddes

Signs of what could be a previously unknown ancient civilisation are emerging from beneath the felled trees of the Amazon. Some 260 giant avenues, ditches and enclosures have been spotted from the air in a region straddling Brazil's border with Bolivia.

Read the rest on New Scientist.



To all of my readers who celebrate Hanukkah, have a wonderful holiday!

Ancient Tablets Decoded; Shed Light on Assyrian Empire

Brian Handwerk
for National Geographic News

Meticulous ancient notetakers have given archaeologists a glimpse of what life was like 3,000 years ago in the Assyrian Empire, which controlled much of the region between the Mediterranean Sea and the Persian Gulf.

Read the rest on National Geographic.


Ancient Mediterranean flood mystery solved

By Victoria Gill
Science reporter, BBC New

Research has revealed details of the catastrophic Zanclean flood that refilled the Mediterranean Sea more than five million years ago. The flood occurred when Atlantic waters found their way into the cut-off and desiccated Mediterranean basin.

Read the rest on the BBC.

Newly Found Dinosaur Sheds Light on Dino Origins

By Jeanna Bryner

Hikers in New Mexico stumbled across a few bits of bone, leading to the discovery of a game-changing dinosaur that reveals where it all began.

Read the rest here.

Anonymous Donor Drops Two Rare Coins In Salvation Army Kettles

Anonymous donors have dropped three rare – and very valuable - gold coins into Salvation Army kettles over the past week, boosting spirits during a sluggish holiday season.

Read the rest on CNN.


Rembrandt auction sets £20million world record

Portrait of a man, half-length, with his arms akimbo by Rembrandt which fetched £20,201,250, a world record price for the artist at auction, and the fourth highest price ever for an Old Master painting sold at auction
Portrait of a man, half-length, with his arms akimbo by Rembrandt which fetched £20,201,250, a world record price for the artist at auction, and the fourth highest price ever for an Old Master painting sold at auction

Read the rest on the Daily Mail.

Crofter finds a 'Viking' anchor on the Isle of Skye

Anchor; pic courtesy of Central Scotland News Agency
The anchor was found near Sleat on the Isle of Skye

A crofter has uncovered what is believed to be a Viking anchor while digging a drain on the Isle of Skye.

Read the rest on the BBC.


Medieval tombstones rise from flames

Medieval tombstones uncovered in a fire which devastated a County Durham church have gone on display.

Read the rest on the BBC.

Ice Age skull of giant sloth unearthed in Southern California

Many archaeological finds are accidentally unearthed by construction crews, as was the discovery of a 1.8 million-year-old skull of a giant ground sloth in Southern California.

Read the rest here.


Excavations in Ancient Tegea

The first stage of a five-year (2009-2013) excavation project in Ancient Tegea, near Tripolis, has been completed by an international team of archaeologists led by the Norwegian Institute in Athens in Collaboration with the Greek culture ministry's 38th Ephoria for Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities and 25th Ephoria of Byzantine Antiquities.

Read the rest here.

HISTORY'S HORRORS IN THE PRESENT: Human traffickers sell sex slave on Britain's busiest street

By Sophie Freeman

Pimps sold a young woman as a sex slave in broad daylight on Britain’s busiest shopping street. A brothel owner paid just £3,000 for the Lithuanian victim, a woman in her 20s, in the transaction on London’s Oxford Street.

Read the rest on the DailyMail.

To learn more about human trafficking, visit

George Washington letter sells for $3.2M

Miniatures of U.S. President George Washington and his wife Martha made in 1792 by Archibald Robertson.
Miniatures of U.S. President George Washington and his wife Martha made in 1792 by Archibald Robertson.

NEW YORK (CNN) -- A letter penned by George Washington praising the new Constitution sold for $3.2 million at an auction, the highest price for a letter by America's first president.

Read the rest on CNN.

Ruins of Pompeii now on Google Streetview

This is cool: Google mapped and photographed the ruins of ancient Pompeii in Italy. Pompeii was a Roman city that was covered in volcanic ash after nearby Mt. Vesuvius erupted in 79 A.D.

Read the rest here.


Student finds letter 'a link to Jefferson'

(CNN) -- In a nondescript conference room tucked inside the library at the University of Delaware, a graduate student found a historian's equivalent to a needle in a haystack.

Read the rest on CNN.


Rome unveils ancient luxury complex

ROME — Italian officials unveiled new discoveries Thursday in an ancient Roman luxury complex filled with priceless mosaics, elegant porticos and thermal baths.

Read the rest from the AP.

Panel Criticizes Military’s Use of Embedded Anthropologists

A two-year-old Pentagon program that assigns social scientists to work with military units in Iraq and Afghanistan has come under sharp criticism from a panel of anthropologists who argue that the undertaking is dangerous, unethical and unscholarly.

Read the rest on the NYT.

Bad Teeth Tormented Ancient Egyptians

By Rossella Lorenzi

Worn teeth, periodontal diseases, abscesses and cavities tormented the ancient Egyptians, according to the first systematic review of all studies performed on Egyptian mummies in the past 30 years.

Read the rest on Discovery.


What really killed Jane Austen?

This work by British painter Ozias Humphry is the only known oil painting of Jane Austen, believed to be aged about 14.
This work by British painter Ozias Humphry is the only known oil painting of Jane Austen, believed to be aged about 14.

By Richard Allen Greene

London, England (CNN) -- It is a truth universally acknowledged -- or nearly so -- that Jane Austen, the author of "Pride and Prejudice," died of a rare illness called Addison's disease, which robs the body of the ability to make critical hormones.

Katherine White doesn't believe it.

Read the rest on CNN.

Porpoise porridge, sir? World's oldest recipe book reveals dishes English kings enjoyed 600 years ago

Liz Hull

Dishes of chicken blancmange and porpoise porridge are unlikely to whet the appetite of most modern food lovers. But such recipes were apparently fit for a king 600 years ago. Written by chefs employed by Richard II, they are included in what is thought to be the world's oldest cookbook.
A meal fit for a king? Visitors to Manchester University's John Rylands library are tasting meals cooked from the world's first cookbook written in 1390

Read the rest on the Daily Mail.

How a prehistoric 'super river' turned Britain into an island nation

By Claire Bates

A prehistoric 'super-river' is the reason why Britain became an island and was cut off from Europe. An Anglo-French study has revealed that long before the English Channel there was a giant river which ran south from an area of the North Sea.

Read the rest on the Daily Mail.

Remains of Roman tower discovered during City Walls repair project in Chester

THE well-preserved remains of a Roman tower used by guards patrolling Chester’s City Walls has been discovered by archaeologists repairing a section which collapsed near the Eastgate Clock.

Read the rest here.

Hair Reveals Ancient Peruvians Were Stressed Out

By Jennifer Viegas

People in the past were very stressed out, suggests a new study that found high amounts of a stress hormone in the hair of Peruvian individuals who lived between 550 A.D. and 1532.

Read the rest on Discovery.


A Lost European Culture, Pulled From Obscurity

Before the glory that was Greece and Rome, even before the first cities of Mesopotamia or temples along the Nile, there lived in the Lower Danube Valley and the Balkan foothills people who were ahead of their time in art, technology and long-distance trade.

Read the rest on the NYT.

Greece: Archaeologists Discover Wall of Ancient City of Vergina

An exceptional fortification structure surrounding the ancient city of Vergina, located in northern Greece, was recently discovered by archaeologists from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.

Read the rest here.

Pictish throne built as part of new research project

Pictish throne
The throne was unveiled at the National Museum of Scotland

A throne built to a design used by the ancient Picts has gone on display at the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh.

Read the rest on the BBC.