General Science

General medieval sciences, including astronomy, alchemy, metrology, geology, natural philosophy, and similar studies.

Mona Lisa in 3-D?

The discovery of a Mona Lisa twin in the Museo del Prado in Madrid has led art historians and scientists to consider if Da Vinci's most famous work was actually the world's oldest 3-D artwork. (photos)

Medieval theory of multiple universes?

According to Tom Mcleish, Giles Gasper and Hannah Smithson for an article in The Conversation, 13th century Bishop of Lincoln, Robert Grosseteste, was one of the most dazzling minds of his generation (1170 to 1253) and may have caught onto the modern notion of multiple universes.

Norse Power: Smells like... carnage!

Re-enactors who want that authentic Viking smell should get themselves a can of Norse Power Deodorant For Men. Developed by scientists for Visit York and the Jorvik Viking Centre, the deodorant claims to "help recreate what a Viking probably smelled like."

Latest techniques used to help conserve ancient bridges

Researchers from the Applied Geotechnology Group at the University of Vigo in Spain are using the latest technology to study 80 Roman and medieval bridges to determine the original construction of the bridges and the best ways to conserve them.

Blarney Stone mystery solved - by the Scots!

The origins of Ireland's Blarney Stone, famous for bestowing the "gift of gab" to anyone willing to kiss it, has been the subject of controversy for centuries. Now a team of scientists from the University of Glasgow's Hunterian Museum have found the answer using a 19th century rock sample.

Ancient barley virus carried by Crusaders

A team of British scientists from the University of Warwick has been able to sequence the genome of ancient RNA thanks to the study of ancient barley from Egypt. The fossilized grain contained the Barley Stripe Mosaic Virus, believed to be a modern disease, which may have been transported to Egypt by Crusaders in the Seventh Crusade.

Rocket cats?

Proof that gun powder technology captured the imagination of 16th century military minds can be found in a manual written by artillery master Franz Helm of Cologne, Germany who proposed strapping rockets to the backs of cats in order to "set fire to a castle or city which you can't get at otherwise." (photos)

Earthquake may explain Shroud of Turin mystery

An article by Alberto Carpinteri and a group of researchers in Springer's journal Meccanica suggests that an earthquake might explain the mystery of the famous Shroud of Turin, whose cloth has been carbon dated to the 13th century.

Technology uncovers medieval defences and settlements in Poland

New studies using LiDAR (aerial laser scanning), electrofusion and magnetic prospection, soil analysis and other technologies have revealed new perspectives on six medieval sites in Poland: Chełm, Rękoraj, Rozprza, Stare Skoszewy, Szydłów and Żarnowo.

Abu Raihan al-Biruni and the discovery of America

In a feature article for History Today, S. Frederick Starr of the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University, looks at the claimants to the discovery of the New World, including Abu Raihan al-Biruni, an Islamic scholar from Central Asia, who "may have discovered the New World centuries before Columbus – without leaving his study."

Archaeological forensics not like CSI

The public has learned to expect DNA testing to answer all archaeological questions, but this is not always the case according to Stephanie Pappas, Senior Writer for LiveScience. One good example is the mummified head, long believed to be that of King Henry IV of France, the investigation of which has led experts on a merry chase.

DNA study proves French relics not royal

Three years ago, French scientists identified a mummified head as that of the beloved French king, Henri IV, but now new DNA research proves that the relic did not belong to a royal. Henri IV ruled from 1589 to 1610.

Mathematics used to measure sociability of the Vikings

Pádraig Mac Carron and Ralph Kenna from Coventry University's Applied Mathematics Research Centre recently published an article in the European Physical Journal on the social relationships of Vikings, showing them to have more complex social networks than previously believed.

3D laser mapping may help preserve Leaning Tower of Pisa

The campanile of the cathedral of the city of Pisa, Italy has been leaning since its construction in the 12th century. Now, a new handheld 3D mapping system developed by CSIRO, Australia's national science agency, may "preserve" the Leaning Tower in bits if the ultimate catastrophe happens. (photos, video)

13th century volcano changed climate

Medieval texts record an abrupt cooling in the weather in the middle of the 13th century, including a terrible summer in 1258. Now a group of scientists believe they have found the source of the cooling: the eruption of the Samalas Volcano on Lombok Island, Indonesia.

Tudor tombs re-created by historians and scientists

Archival experts are teaming up with scientists to re-create two Tudor monuments using a combination of cutting-edge technology and document research. The two tombs, both victims of Henry VIII's dissolution of the monasteries, are those of Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk and Henry Fitzroy, Duke of Richmond, illegimate son of Henry VIII. (photo)

Technology traces Roman beads to Egypt

A team of scientists from the Institute of Nuclear Chemistry at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Germany has analyzed glass beads found in former Rhaetian settlements in Bavaria, and concluded that the beads, dating from the 1st through 4th centuries, must have originated "somewhere near a soda lake like those in Wadi El Natrun in Egypt." (photo)

Mona Lisa quest sparks controversy

Everyone knows the face of the Mona Lisa, but Silvano Vinceti hopes that he can show the world her actual face by identifying her remains removed from the Sant'Orsola convent in Florence. The task is expected to be accomplished by matching DNA from eight skeletons removed from the convent with that of remains taken from the lady's family tomb.

Technology of Cheapside Hoard amazes modern researchers

Researchers from Birmingham City University have used modern technology to re-examine the Cheapside Hoard - "the world's largest collection of Elizabethan and Jacobean jewellery discovered in a London cellar in 1912" -- and were "stunned at the advanced technologies" used to craft the items.

Bid made to analyze bones of Alfred the Great

In 2010, the Hyde900 community group was set up to celebrate the 900th anniversary of the founding of Hyde Abbey, the presumed burial place of King Alfred the Great. Now the organization has appled to have the remains of the King analyzed in order to prove their legitimacy.

Galileo ice debate continues

Why does ice float on water? This was the subject of debate between Galileo and his arch-enemy Lodovico delle Colombe during the summer of 1611, which brought into focus some of the odd properties of water.

Modelling Mary

The team who created the 3D face of Richard III, have now been comissioned to produce a virtual face of Mary, Queen of Scots as she would have looked in her 20s. The image is part of the new exhibition at the Scottish National Museum in Edinburgh. (photo)

What we can learn from Timbuktu

In the Middle Ages, Africa was a leader in the scientific research and knowledge. Now Umar Benna of the College of Architecture and Planning at the University of Dammam, in Al-Khoba, Saudi Arabia believes that the lessons of Timbuktu's gradual development approach can teach modern Africa, as well as the western world, how to deal with globalism.

Leonardo at the Smithsonian

Visitors to Washington D.C. this fall may want to explore a Smithsonian exhibition Codex on the Flight of Birds, which examines Leonardo da Vinci's studies and sketches dealing with flying machines, the nature of air, and bird flight. The exhibit will be at the National Air and Space Museum until October 22, 2013. (video)

Viking voyages to southern Newfoundland proved

"Provocative" new evidence shows that Vikings may have sailed south from their settlement in northern Newfoundland to Notre Dame Bay, where they may have encountered native inhabitants of the island.

The "Brilliant Ages"

In a video on YouTube, Prager University discusses the "Dark Ages" and dispells some of the myths about the time. The video is presented by Providence College Professor of English, Anthony Esolen.

X-ray technology can read the unreadable

Researchers have long been distressed by the illegibility of fragile ancient parchments, but new techniques developed by scientists at Cardiff University may help read the unreadable.

Climate change threatens Jamestown

Venice may not be the only historic city threatened by rising ocean waters caused by climate change. Jamestown, the first successful English colony in America, may soon be under water. Christopher Joyce of  NPR's All Things Considered has the audio story. (photos)

Monks chronicled 1200 years of volcanic activity

A new report, published in the journal Environmental Research Letters, finds that 1200 years of volcanic activity was chronicled in the texts of irish monks. The report was the work of an international team led by Dr Francis Ludlow from Harvard University.

Our great big European family

Great Britain and continental Europe are just one, big family - at least genetically - according to a new study by Graham Coop, a professor of evolution and ecology at the University of California, Davis in PLoS Biology.