1501 CE to 1600 CE

Elizabethan medal illustrates explorers' influence

In a YouTube video, Neil MacGregor discusses a small silver medal commorating the 1577-80 around-the-world voyage of Sir Francis Drake. The video is part of the BBC program entitled Shakespeare's Restless World.(video)

Ecuadoran archaeologists hope to find Atahualpa's grave

Archaeologists from Ecuador's Cultural Patrimony Institute hope to discover the tomb of Atahualpa, the last Inca emperor, during a dig to be conducted at Sigchos, about 70km south of Quito. The site was found in 2010 by Ecuadoran historian Tamara Estupinan.

Danish ship information to go online

Records from more than 1.8 million ships that sailed through the Danish sound will go online in May 2012. The records date from the mid 15th century to 1857.

Tudor costumes and weapons stolen from Northampton re-enactor

The education of school children in Northampton, England will be poorer after the theft of a van containing costumes and equipment belonging to re-enactor Steve Parish. Parish, who runs Past Alive, teaches children about English history.

"King size" bed returns to Ware, England

Since 1931, the Great Bed of Ware has been a beloved feature of the Victoria and Albert Museum. The three metres wide bed was built in 1590 by Hertfordshire carpenter Jonas Fosbrooke. (photo)

Map corrections may help solve mystery of missing colonists

Theories about the fate of the "Lost Colony", a group of English colonists who founded a settlement in coastal North Carolina (USA), have ranged from disease to alien abduction. New evidence found on an English map may finally answer the question.

Pyramus and Thisbe, Beatle-style

In celebration of Shakespeare's 400th birthday, the Beatles perform the Pyramus and Thisbe play from A Midsummer Night's Dream. The 1964 performance is from a DVD called The Beatles Explosion.

16th century Spanish pattern book available online

The World Digital Library has posted a digital version of the Book on Geometry, Practice, and Patterns by Juan de Alcega. Published in 1580, the book offers techniques for ordering lengths of fabric based on the measurement of the "ell."

Cataloging Elizabethan drunks

Drunkenness in Elizabethan England was not a rare occurance, to the extent, in fact, that satirist Thomas Nashe cataloged eight specific types. The website Lists of Note published Nashe's piece Eight Kindes of Drunkennes.

Medieval Estonian documents go online

The oldest written documents in Estonia are now online thanks to a joint project between the Estonian State Archives and the Estonian History Museum. The oldest documents data from the mid 13th century.

Controversial restoration of da Vinci's last painting completed

Over the past 18 months, the art world has held its collective breath to see the results of the Louvre's restoration of Leonardo da Vinci's last work The Virgin and Child with Saint Anne, but the wait is now over. (photo)

Brazilian shipwreck may be Spanish colonial supply ship

In 2005, a team of divers with the Barra Sul Project discovered the remains of a ship off the coast of Santa Catarina in Brazil. Now they believe that vessel may have been a lost supply ship sent by Spain to build two forts on the Strait of Magellan.

Ladies of leisure in the Renaissance

The Victoria and Albert Museum in London has posted an article on pasttimes of noble ladies during the Renaissance. The article, Renaissance women at leisure, includes short descriptions, with photos, of interests such as hunting, needlework and gaming.

Secret message leads to Da Vinci investigation

Cerca trova - "seek and you shall find" is the message hidden in a Florence mural by Giorgio Vasari, long thought to have replaced Leonardo da Vinci's greatest work, leading scientists to use high tech methods to investigate behind the painting. (photos and video)

English Brick Coloration: 1500-1650

A study of patterned bricks shows that not all English buildings were of one color. Exteriors and interiors used limewashes as well as different colors of bricks (or even glazed bricks!) to enliven the surface.

Behind-the-scenes look at the treasures of the Mary Rose

Take in inside look at the artifacts recovered from the Tudor ship the Mary Rose with BBC South Today's Sally Taylor and historic weapon expert and actor Robert Hardy in a BBC video clip.

Summer Was Deadly for Tudors

Recent research indicates that summertime produced the most fatal accidents during the 16th century.

Renaissance stove subject of V & A ceramics restoration class

In an article for the Victoria and Albert Museum, Senior Ceramics and Glass Conservator Fi Jordan shares photos and commentary on a student project to clean a 16th century, free-standing ceramic stove. (photos)

Isabel López before the inquisition

In September 1516, Judeo-conversa Isabel López, along with her mother María, was arrested by the Inquisition  in Cogolludo, Spain, observing the Sabbath by dressing in holiday garb and joining others to celebrate. Her trial is the subject of an article by Renée Levine Melammed for the Jerusalem Post Magazine.

Sports scientists to look for archers aboard the Mary Rose

Sports physiologists are examining the skeletons found on the Mary Rose, an English ship that sank in 1545. They are looking for stress injuries and other markers that would indicate which skeletons were professional archers.

Collegium Cantorum to offer concerts in DC area

Collegium Cantorum, under the  direction of Timothy Kendall, will present "Master of the Notes", a  concert of Renaissance polyphony by Josquin des Prez (c.1450-1521) on April 14 and 15, 2012 in the Washington DC area.

California Bay to be named after Sir Francis Drake

The U.S. Government is set to name a spot north of San Francisco, California after Sir Francis Drake, giving credance to that spot as the true location where Drake landed and claimed "Nova Albion" for Elizabeth I.

From Electronica to Elizabethan

Damon Albarn, frontman of Blur and Gorillaz, is turning his attention to an even more arcane topic than animated musical monkeys: 16th century intellectural John Dee.

16th century secular frescoes found in Slovenia

A rare set of frescoes depicting secular themes have been found in a house in Slovenia. The frescoes depict men and women wearing the latest fashions.

A brief history of prosthetics

This facinating photo gallery traces the history of artificial limbs from ancient Egypt though the Rennaisance and into modern times.

Rare Panels from Henry VIII's Nonsuch Palace

Two canvas panels, presumably commissioned for Henry VIII's Nonsuch Palace, are displayed in renovated condition.

Portuguese medallion found in baby shark

Suseela Menon from Klebang, Malaysia was preparing lunch for her husband when she discovered a surprise in the stomach of a baby shark, the main course: a religious medallion believed to have been worn by Portuguese soldiers. (photo)

Artifacts push back timeline on Spanish Colorado

Recent archaeological discoveries indicate the Spanish search for gold may have taken them into Colorado much earlier than previously thought.

Landsknechte to hold re-enactment in Germany

Landsknechte from around the world will gather in April for the Second International Landsknecht Hurra 2012 to be held in Oberzollhaus, Germany. The event has been created for members of Landsknecht.org.

Second International Landsknecht Hurra 2012

The contemporary world of landsknecht re-enactment is as heterogenous as the slashed and hacked cloth worn by its inhabitants. For years there has been dreams and rumors about an international Musterung to bring all sistren and brethren together for one great feast.