General Science

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

Genetic links may show Vikings brought Americans to Iceland

According to new research, Viking explorers brought a Native American woman to Iceland in the 11th century, an act borne out by evidence of Native American genes in 80 modern Icelanders. Results of the study by Spain's Centre for Scientific Research will be published in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology.

Stonehenge bluestones moved with aid of ball bearings?

A new study suggests that the massive "bluestones" at Stonehenge may have been moved into place with the help of ball bearings.

Argon case prescribed for Washington's Magna Carta

The copy of the Magna Carta in the National Archives in Washington, D.C. will have a new, protective case filled with argon. The document is currently housed in a case filled with helium.

Dry weather reveals Roman history in Great Britain

The dry summer of 2010 in Great Britain has been a help to archaeologists as it revealed hundreds of archaeological sites through "cropmarks," the landscape markings prodcued by crops growing over buried buildings.

El Niño may have caused famine in medieval Europe

A new study by a team of scientists from the University of Miami finds that El Niño and La Niña may have caused cooling in the central Pacific, leading to drought in medieval Europe.

Living with volcanoes

Inspired by his plane's detour to avoid the Icelandic ash cloud, historian David Cannadine looks at ways that volcanoes have affected human life throughout history.

17th century scientist predicted modern inventions

In the 1660s, Robert Boyle, chemist and Royal Society founding fellow, wrote a list of 24 future predictions about science and technology. All but a few have come true, many in the past fifty years.

Laser scanner to survey Robin Hood prison

Archaeologists from the University of Nottingham plan to use laser technology to survey a cave used as a dungeon under the city's Galleries of Justice. It is possible that the cave once housed Robin Hood.

Wet summers may have contributed to devastation of Black Plague

A team of scientists, who have studied tree rings and medieval wooden architectural materials to determine the climate of the late Middle Ages, report that wet summers were a contributing factor to the disaster of the Black Death in the 14th century.

Climate cause of tough times for Norse settlers

New geochemical research by the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, Canada shows that Norse settlers in 9th century Greenland and Iceland faced enormous challenges. The study followed temperature changes through analysis of mollusk shells.

New da Vinci code predicts end of the world

Vatican researcher Sabrina Sforza Galitzia believes that Leonardo da Vinci worked out a code predicting the world to end on November 1, 4006.

Erwin Tomash Library offers insight into history of computing, geometry, and mathematics

A casual interest in the history of computing led Erwin Tomash, who started his career in computer engineering in the 1940s and became one of the pioneers of the information age, to compile an encyclopedic, illustrated catalog of primary source references dating back to the 12th century CE. The catalog is available online for free access.

Lasers to be used to clean historic paintings

Long used to clean metal and stone, lasers may be the new tool of choice for cleaning famous works of art. The technique is the same used to remove tattoos.

DNA may help solve 16th century murder

Gaetano La Fata, Mayor of Carini, Italy, has an extremely cold case on his hands: the murder of Baroness Laura Lanzaand her lover Ludovico Vernagallo, killed in 1563 when caught in bed together.

Skull of St. Bridget may not be authentic

A research group at Uppsala University's Department of Genetics and Pathology recently used DNA and other tests to determine whether or not the skulls of Saint Bridget (Birgitta) of Swedenand her daughter Katarina are authentic.

Computer technology to be used to read inscription on Roman altar

Two experts from the University of Mainz in Germany are using the latest computer technology to try to decypher the "invisible" inscription on a 3th century Roman altar. The stone was discovered in the River Tyne in 1672, but has never been legible. (video)

Da Vinci’s Workshop In Manhattan

Leonardo da Vinci’s Workshop, an exhibit at Discovery Times Square Exposition in New York City, brings the wonders of da Vinci's genius to life in the form of mechanical objects and interactive displays from the minds of Milan’s Leonardo3, “an innovative research center and media company” devoted to the scientist.

Galileo relics found

Records report that, in the 18th century, three fingers, a tooth and a vertebra were removed from the tomb of Galileo Galilei and placed in a container. Since then, a finger and the vertebra have turned up, but the tooth and other fingers were still missing. Now, two fingers and a tooth have been found and are scheduled to be placed on display.

Medieval pine trees found in Norway

Norwegian scientists were surprised recently to find that dendrochronological dating showed fallen pine trees they were studying as part of climate research had died in the 14th century. Resin secreted by the dying trees is responsible for the "mummification."

Hadrian's Wall: cultural melting pot

Research shows that the Roman guards who occupied Hadrian's Wall came from a wide range of ethnic backgrounds, from northern to eastern European. Recently, evidence has shown that a fair number came from the Middle East.

Organic chemist claims to have reproduced the Shroud of Turin

An Italian scientist claims to have reproduced the image on the Shroud of Turin using only materials and techniques known in the Middle Ages. Luigi Garlaschelli, who will present his findings at a conference, said, "The result obtained clearly indicates that this could be done with the use of inexpensive materials and with a quite simple procedure."

Early watch depicted in Renaissance painting

Experts believe they may have identified the earliest depiction of a watch in a painting. The timepiece is featured in the 450-year-old portrait of Cosimo I de Medici, Duke of Florence.

Scholars hope to give John Dee a make-over

For centuries, John Dee, royal wizard to Queen Elizabeth I, has gotten a bad rap. Now a group of scholars wants to restore his image by showcasing his accomplishments. The group met in September, 2009 in Cambridge for a two-day conference.

Murder or execution in Venta Icenorum?

"This is an abnormal burial," said archaeologist Will Bowden of the University of Nottingham, about the discovery of a male skeleton, buried with his hands tied behind his back. "It could be that the person was murdered or executed, although this is still a matter of speculation." (photo)

The ancient origins of fairy tales

A new study by cultural anthropologists shows that popular fairy tales may be older than previously believed, some dating back as much as 2500 years. The experts traced the origins of the stories through many cultures around the world.

Genetic studies show crusaders influenced religion in Lebanon

A new study shows that some Lebanese men carry genes traceable to Western Europe, a heritage, say researchers, from Crusaders who established settlements and castles in the country in the 11th through 13th centuries.

[ATL] War of the Wings IV

Once again there is cause for the Baronies of Sacred Stone and Black Diamond to meet on the fields of Elchenburg Castle to seek resolution to conflict. With the help of their friends they will strive to settle their differences throug artistic, scientific, heraldic and martial competitions.

Researchers investigate "ancient lighting"

A team of experts is investigating ancient lighting techniques to evaluate how artifacts would look in their original light. The result "is a warm, sumptuous glow, which the researchers describe as subtle and pleasant compared with the 'rough, almost unnatural' effect of modern lighting." (photo)

Remains of Copernicus finally identified

After two centuries, scientists believe that they have found the final resting place of Nicolaus Copernicus, the father of modern astronomy. They also believe he had blue eyes.

Incan success at Machu Picchu may have been related to Medieval Warm Period

An article published in the "Climate of the Past Discussions", a discussion group of the European Geosciences Union, concludes that "a period of sustained aridity that began from AD 880, followed by increased warming from AD 1100 that lasted beyond the arrival of the Spanish in AD 1532" was partially responsible for the success of the Inca civilization during that period.