1501 CE to 1600 CE

Bridge to Jewish past found in Vilnius, Lithuania

Excavations of the 16th century Great Synagogue in Vilnius, Lithuania, have uncovered the site of the Aron Kodesh, or Holy Ark, along with "part of the original floor, and the top of one of the four pillars surrounding the bima."

Graham Ryder discusses the firearms of Henry VIII

In a short BBC video, Graham Ryder from the Royal Armouries in Leeds discusses Henry VIII's fascination with and promotion of firearms.

Portrait of Elizabeth of York revealed

Duncan Leslie of Hever Castle explains about the importance of Elizabeth of York, the mother of Henry VIII, in a short BBC video. A 16th century portrait of the queen has been recently revealed.

Proportional Lime Type Foundry

Proportional Lime Type Foundry issues a line of electronic fonts, based on historical exemplars, suitable for print and web use. The historical period fonts offered at reasonable prices are excellent reproductions of the originals with added functionality such as extended punctuation and characters for modern use.

Ruling with an iron hand - literally

In the early 16th century, Gottfried “Götz” von Berlichingen, a knight  - and rogue - of the Holy Roman Empire, found his hand ripped off by a cannonball during the Siege of Landshut. This did not stop the staunch German, however, who had an iron prosthetic crafted to replace the appendage. PG-13 for language.

Remains of Irish beauty discovered at Dungannon

Archaeologists working on a dig at Dungannon, Ireland's Castle Hill have discovered what experts believe are the remains of Mabel Bagenal, third wife of the Earl of Tyrone, Hugh O'Neill, and known as Ireland's "Helen of Troy."

Madrid researchers search for bones of Miguel de Cervantes, author of Don Quixote

Researchers are about to undertake a Quixotic quest - to find the lost bones of Miguel de Cervantes. They are believed to be somewhere in a convent in Madrid.

Newly-discovered da Vinci could break world auction record

When Salvator Mundi or Saviour of the World, goes to auction, it could sell for a world record UK£125 million. The recently-restored painting, once attributed to Giovanni Antonio Boltraffio, a protégé of Leonardo, has been certified an authentic da Vinci by a panel of experts. (photo)

The riches of the Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple

In a moment straight out of an Indiana Jones film, a panel of officials opened the sealed vaults to the 16th century Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple in the southern Indian state of Kerala finding treasure worth billions of rupees.

Talking Shakespeare

Actor and author Ben Crystal explores the accents of Shakespearean English in a series of videos based on his book Shakespeare on Toast. Crystal offers examples of Received Pronunciation and Shakespearean Pronunciation. (video)

16th century automaton replicates "prayer and trance"

Tradition says that a 16th century mechanical monk, now owned by the Smithsonian Institution, was created by Juanelo Turriano for Spanish Emperor Charles V. The monk walks, prays, and kisses a wooden cross. (photo and video)

Technology to be used to crack mystery of Howard tombs

Dr Phillip Lindley of Leicester University and experts from EuroPac 3D plan to use lasers and x-rays to scan and reconstruct the tombs of Thomas Howard, the third Duke of Norfolk, and Henry Fitzroy, Duke of Richmond, both prominent in the reign of Henry VIII.

16th century Chinese bronze found in shipwreck off Mexico

A 16th century Chinese bronze in the form of a Foo Dog has been found off the Pacific coast of Baja, Mexico. The artifact is believed to come from the cargo of the galleon San Felipe which disappeared in 1576.

15th century ring found in Bulgarian monastery excavation

A team of Bulgarian archaeologists are engaged in the excavation of St. Peter and St. Paul monastery in Veliko Tarnovo, the capital of the Second Bulgarian Empire. One of the finds is a silver ring dating to the 15th-16th centuries. (photo)

Accidental death in Tudor England

Oxford University historian, Dr. Steven Gunn, has undertaken the task of scouring 16th Century coroners' reports to compile a list of accidental deaths in Tudor, England. The list includes death by bears and archery accidents.

Renaissance Clothing by The Tudor Shoppe

Renaissance Costumes and medieval clothing for those with discriminating taste. Also, buttons, patterns, notions, jewelry, tapestries, toys, swords, panther tents, and more.

Was Jane Shaxspere the inspiration for Ophelia?

In Hamlet, the melancholy Ophelia drowns while picking flowers. Now a new study of accidental deaths in Tudor England may find a real-life link to Shakespeare's tragic heroine.

Spanish documents describe Irish settlement in South Carolina

Early 16th century Spanish explorers in North America reported the existance of a settlement in modern-day South Carolina of people with "red to brown hair, tan skin and gray eyes." The settlement was called Duhare.

Mercaston posy ring declared treasure

“+I LIKE MI CHOIES” reads the inscription on a silver posy ring found in a field by a British metal detector enthusiast. The ring has been declared treasure by the British Museum. (photo)

Shakespeare and Olympics share billing in 2012 London

In 2012, England will celebrate hosting the Olympic Games, but the year will also include a huge celebration of the works of William Shakespeare. Vanessa Thorpe of the Guardian offers a rundown of cultural events involving Shakespeare.

Stirling restored

Those gentles making the journey to Scotland will want to include Stirling Castle on their itinerary. The castle is in the midst of being completely restored. BBC News has a slideshow of the results.

Coin composition tells story of Europe's Price Revolution

Anne-Marie Desaulty believes coins can tell a story. She and colleagues from the University of Lyon are using mass spectrometry to study isotopes of lead and copper found in coins of the 16th and 17th centuries in hopes of discovering the cause of the great Price Revolution.

The literary origin of ‘Syphilis’

For centuries, people have dreaded the diagnosis of the STD Syphilis, but where did the name originate? Acording the the website Science Friday, Syphilus was the name of the hero of a epic poem written by Hieronymus Fracastorius in 1530.

Shakespeare: The most influential person who ever lived

Stephen Marche believes William Shakespeare is the most influential man in history, showing up in the most obvious - and unexpected - places.

Google Earth search leads to discovery of five Indian forts

Sachin Joshi, a research assistant at Deccan College Postgraduate and Research Institute, noticed some unusual wall-like structures in the Raigad district of India while perusing Google Earth images. Upon investigations, the walls were discovered to be five forts dating to the 15th and 16th centuries.

Prayer book and crucifix of Mary Queen of Scots reunited in Scotland

As she walked to the scaffold to be executed, Mary Queen of Scots carried an ornate crucifix and a Book of Hours. Now both artifacts, thought to have been carried by Mary, were reunited for a day at Loretto School in Musselburgh, East Lothian. (photo)

Diana Gabaldon reviews "Elizabeth I"

Author of the Outlander series, Diana Gabaldon, recently reviewed Elizabeth I by Margaret George. The review was published in the Washington Post.

The "Shiksa" looks at Tudor cooking

On her blog The Shiksa in the Kitchen, Tori Avey discusses food in Tudor England and the "exotic and lavish culinary habits of the British royal monarchy during the 1500’s."

Final flight of the Endeavour to carry Mary Rose artifact

John Lippiett, chief executive of the Mary Rose Trust, is sending a piece of history into space: "a parrel, a three-inch wooden ball used as part of the mechanism to hoist the sails of Henry VIII's flagship." The artifact will be launched into orbit with the space shuttle Endeavour. (photos)

Drea Leed publishes Elizabethan costume book online

Costume historian Drea Leed has recently published the wardrobe inventories of Queen Elizabeth I. Her work is available online in a searchable format.