Ancient History News Archive February 2012

February 2012

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Ancient Greek Helmet Discovered

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published on 29 February 2012
LiveScience is reporting that an ancient Greek helmet has been found at the bottom of Haifa Bay in Israel. The helmet dates from c. 600 BCE and belonged to a Greek mercenary warrior who likely served Pharaoh Necho II of Egypt (r. 610-595 BCE). This unique artifact has since been cleaned and is now on display at the National Maritime Museum in Haifa, Israel... [continue reading]
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Ireland & The Romans--A Project

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published on 24 February 2012
So did the Romans have much of anything to do with the "Emerald Island"? The Irish Times is reporting that a new academic project has commenced, exploring the links between Roman Europe and Celtic Ireland. Entitled "Late Iron Age and Roman Ireland (Liari)," the project has already caused quite a stir! Please click here to read about this fantastic initiative.
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Sleep Patterns of the Past

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published on 23 February 2012
The BBC reports that the popular belief of eight hours of sleep being optimal is a development of the 19th century, and that people have had a very different pattern of sleep before. In previous times humans usually had a first period of sleep of several hours, followed by a night-time awake phase, which in turn is followed by a second period of sleep of several... [continue reading]
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Golden Clues from a Lost Civilization

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published on 22 February 2012
Archaeologists have made perhaps one of the most exciting Pre-Columbian finds in recent decades! In the vicinity of El Caño, Panama, excavations have unearthed fantastic tombs filled exquisite golden items. Since 2010, dozens of artifacts have been recovered and now scholars are peeling back the layers of time in order to solve the mysteries of this long forgotten... [continue reading]
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Pre-Columbian "Nasca" Lines in Brazil?

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published on 22 February 2012
The New York Times ran an article last month, detailing the importance of geoglyphs found deep within the Amazon rainforest in northwestern Brazil. Although they have been known to scientists and archaeologists since the 1970s, these "land carvings" are receiving increasing attention from the international community. Characterized by remarkable "geometric precision"... [continue reading]
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Event: Golden age of the Celts

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published on 21 February 2012
LONDON. Ever wondered how the Celts warded off evil spirits? Come along to this event and find out more about the Celts. The British Museum is hosting an event of Celtic art and mythological stories for children and adults alike. The event costs GBP 12 and takes place on Sunday 04 March at the British Museum in London, from 14h00 to 19h00. Find out how to... [continue reading]
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Costa Concordia nearly hit Roman shipwreck

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published on 21 February 2012
The Costa Concordia, a cruise liner than recently sunk off the Italian island of Giglio, nearly landed on an ancient Roman shipwreck. The modern ship sunk only a ship's length away from the ancient wreck. The waters around Giglio are in fact an ancient ship graveyard, as many vessels have sunk there before. Even the oldest known shipwreck of the Mediterranean... [continue reading]
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Ice Age Flowers Regrown

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published on 21 February 2012
Russian biologists have managed to regrow flowers from seeds that were frozen for about 30.000 years. The seeds of prehistoric Silene stenophylla were extracted from plant seeds found in the Russian permafrost soil. They were probably dug in by Ice Age squirrels and never defrosted since. The flowers show significant differences from their modern counterparts... [continue reading]
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Aelian's Wild Tales in Translation

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published on 21 February 2012
The Wall Street Journal had a great review of Aelian's "On the Nature of Animals," in a of a new translation, by Gregory McNamee. Born c. 170 CE, Aelian is perhaps the world's first "naturalist." Please click here to read this review.
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Objects Stolen From Olympia--A True Greek Tragedy

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published on 20 February 2012
We have the unfortunate news of reporting a robbery of precious items from the Museum of the History of the Olympic Games, in Olympia, Greece. The BBC is reporting that around seventy items were stolen and that the museum has been significantly damaged. The news prompted the resignation of Greece's Minister of Cultural Affairs, Pavlos Geroulanos, but did... [continue reading]
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Restoration of Ancient Egyptian Vessel

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published on 20 February 2012
ABC News is reporting that a joint team of Japanese and Egyptians scientists is in the process of restoring a 4.000 year old boat, which originally belonged to the famous Pharaoh Kufu. Khufu--also known as "Cheops"--ordered the construction of the Great Pyramid of Giza. Egyptologists and scientists have already restored another similar boat with much success. Please click here to read more.
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Impressive Pre-Columbian Art Exhibit

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published on 16 February 2012
The Walters Museum, in Baltimore, MD USA, is the current venue of a fantastic exhibition not to be missed: Exploring Art of the Ancient Americas: The John Bourne Collection will be on view until May 20, 2012. Featuring over 135 exquisite objects from South and Central America, this exhibition covers nearly 3,000 years of art history. Among the highlights... [continue reading]
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Edinburgh Egyptians in the News

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published on 15 February 2012
Last week, we mentioned the opening of an exciting new exhibit of ancient Egyptian objects and artifacts in Edinburgh, Scotland. The BBC has just covered the opening of this exhibition with a news report that can be viewed by clicking here.
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Hellenism and Its Impact

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published on 12 February 2012
In the weekend edition of the Wall Street Journal, Dr. James Romm of Bard University has written an excellent review for "A Culture of Freedom," by Christian Meier. Just published, this work focuses on Hellenism and its impact in the Near East as well as in Europe and North Africa. Please click here to read this review.
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Ancient Egyptians Take Over Scotland

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published on 10 February 2012
Fascinating Mummies opens today at the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh. On show until May 27, 2012, this exhibition presents a special collection of objects and treasures from the Rijksmuseum van Oudheden, based in Leiden, Netherlands. Highlights include detailed cat scans of various mummies, from all over Egypt, as well as rare sarcophagi. Please... [continue reading]
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In this fun and engaging article, freelance writer Elisabeth Eaves journeys into the Yucatan peninsula's remotest region in order to visit the mysterious Mayan city of Calakmul. Flourishing around the year c. 600 CE, Calakmul was a wealthy and influential city, rivaling the fêted city of Tikal for power and prestige. Three times as large as the better-known... [continue reading]
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Bulgarian Roman Ruins Revealed

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published on 09 February 2012
While our readers and visitors from Europe have been suffering through frigid weather for the past week or so, winter's wrath has proven itself as a blessing in at least one part of the old continent. An ancient building from Roman times, as well as pottery shards and the foundation of an ancient sewer system, has been revealed in the port city of Bourgas, Bulgaria... [continue reading]
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Two archeologists from Belgium, Fabienne Pigière and Denis Henrotay, make a very interesting argument in the latest edition of the Journal of Archaeological Science: the bedrock of Roman power depended upon the camel. They posit that camels connected the various parts of the empire and were the favored animals for long distance trade. Furthermore, they also... [continue reading]
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Roman Political Advice 2.000 Years Later

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published on 08 February 2012
2012 is likely to be a year of great political importance for the United States and for the European Union, if not for the entire world. Recently on NPR (National Public Radio), Professor Philip Freeman of Luther University spoke about his new book, "How to Win an Election: An Ancient Guide for Modern Politicians." Freeman's work is a translation of a text written... [continue reading]
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Fabulous Pre-Islamic Artifacts in Berlin

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published on 05 February 2012
Last week, we noted the opening of "Roads of Arabia" at the Pergamon Museum in Berlin, Germany. Now, you can access several pictures and a brief review of the exhibition from Der Spiegel, by clicking here. This is the first time that such rare and exquisite artifacts have been displayed in Germany. The exhibition has already won rave reviews from museum-goers... [continue reading]
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Forthcoming Spring Exhibitions

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published on 02 February 2012
Although it is only February, museums and galleries across the world are preparing to showcase ancient treasures and objects to the delight of museum-goers. Be sure to check out some of these exhibitions this coming spring season! Byzantium and ancient Egypt seem to be en vogue this season: Roads of Arabia: Archaeological Treasures From the Kingdom of Saudi... [continue reading]

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