African

African history and culture

Roman city found in Libya

Italian archaeologists have discovered a buried Roman city near the city of Tobruk in Libya. Remnants of the city were found beneath sand dunes, leading experts to believe that a large part of the city sank.

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.

Spider silk tapestry unique creation

It took weavers in Madagascar four years to complete a golden 11-by-4-foot tapestry made completely of spider silk. The only one of its kind in the world, the tapestry is kept safe in a glass case in the American Museum of Natural History. Christopher Joyce of NPR has an audio story.

Cooking with the ancients

Looking for ideas for a new appetizers? Try a recipe from the past - way past - with The Philosopher’s Kitchen: Recipes from Ancient Greece and Rome for the Modern Cook by Francine Segan.

Connecticut's 5th Century Christian Church

A researcher believes a site in Connecticut is an early Christian church, built by Byzantine monks who fled from North Africa during the 5th Century, in the wake of the Vandal invasions.

World Digital Library launches with 1,200 documents

The World Digital Library, Unesco's project to "promote curiosity and understanding across cultures," has launched its website with 1,200 documents ranging from a" 1,000-year-old Japanese novel to the earliest known map to mention America by name."

16th century ship found on "Skeleton Coast"

Archaeologists are working furiously to save the wreck of a 16th century Portuguese ship discovered recently on the Namibian coast. "This is perhaps the largest find in terms of artefacts from a shipwreck in this part of the world," said project manager Webber Ndoro.

African beads found at medieval Irish archaeological dig

Archaeologists working at Newtwopothouse, a site near Cork, Ireland, have discovered African beads among the medieval artifacts, showing that the Irish were carrying out trade with North Africa at the time.

Columbus-era ship yields wealth of artifacts

Geologists from De Beers, the diamond company, have discovered the wreck of a late 15th or early 16th century ship loaded with Spanish and Portuguese treasure behind a seawall in Namibia.

Tower lions from northwest Africa

Recent study of a pair of lion skulls discovered during excavations of the Tower of London reveals that the lions originated near the Barbary Coast of Northwest Africa. The skulls, which dated from the 13th or 14th centuries, were carbon dated and tested for DNA.

Tourists flock to churches built by angels

Legend says that the churches carved into the red rock of Lalibela, Ethiopia were built with the help of the angels. Now tourists have discovered one of the country's holiest sites.

Timbuktu treasures continue to dazzle experts

The recent discovery of ancient books stored for centuries in leather trunks beneath the dry streets of Timbuktu has many scholars excited. A project to collect many of the books into a world class resource library is now being funded by contributions from around the world.

Preserving Timbuktu's precious manuscripts

Due to the climate, it's common to find ancient documents in boxes or caves, or even hidden beneath the sand of Timbuktu, but now a push is on to save many of these precious manuscripts.

Interview with historian Natalie Zemon Davis

Medievalists.net features an interview with Dr. Natalie Zemon Davis, Professor Emeritus of History at Princeton University, who currently teaches at the University of Toronto. Davis is the author of nine books and more than 80 articles, "many of which focus on the social and cultural history of 16th century France.

"Lost" Islamic kingdom discovered

A team of French archaeologists have discovered three towns in the Rift Valley of Ethiopia which they believe are part of the "lost" Islamic kingdom of Shoa. The Muslim stronghold was an important stop on the trade route from the 10th to the 16th centuries.

Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna Exhibits "Benin -- Kings and Rituals"

Soon a new exhibition will be on display at the Kunsthistorisches Museum in the Museum für Völkerkunde in Vienna: Benin — Kings and Rituals: Court Arts from Nigeria.

6th century book restored in Ethiopia

In an article for the Spring 2007 issue of Skin Deep, a publication for bookbinders, Mark Winstanley discusses Tsbook [Tigrinya for Good] - The Gospel of Abba, a 6th century Ethiopian Gospel and its repair project.

The truth about Cleopatra's good looks.

A silver denarius minted in 32 B.C. shows that the fabled image of Cleopatra is not what she really looked like.

Egyptian Diversity Reached Top of Society

Ethnic diversity in ancient Egypt appears to have existed in all levels of society, even the highest.

Today in the Middle Ages: June 14, 1325

On June 14, 1325, Ibn Batuta left his native Tangier on pilgrimage to Mecca. He was not to return for 29 years.

"Islamic Manuscripts from Mali" Online

Judith of Troll Fen reports that the African and Middle Eastern Division of the Library of Congress has released Islamic Manuscripts from Mali as part of its Global Gateway collection. The collection is available online.

Bibliotheca Alexandrina: Ancient and Modern

The sparkling, new library in Alexandria, Egypt has an enormous reputation to live up to. The original, built by Alexander's general Ptolemy I Soter, became known as the greatest library in the world.

Moroccan City Holds Secrets from Roman Through Medieval Times

Moroccan archaeologists from the National Institute of Archaeological Sciences and Heritage are combing through research discovered during a recent excavation of the Roman city of Thamusida and its medieval layers up to Islamic times.

Hannibal v. Rome

On Sunday October 30, 2005, the National Geographic Channel will present Hannibal v Rome a two-hour epic story of "an African warrior who would dare to challenge the impossible and shape the course of human history."

Medieval African Manuscripts on Display

A collection of 16 manuscripts from medieval Timbuktu will go on display in Johannesburg, South Africa this month for the first time. The works are part of a 30,000 manuscript discovery from the city which was founded in the year 1100.

New York lecture series showcases historical medicine

The New York Academy of Medicine hosts a four-part lecture series, beginning September 27, on the subject of medicine in ancient and medieval times.

National Geographic: Antibiotics in African Beer Gave Health Boost

A new study of the bones of 4th century Nubian people from the Sudan in North Africa leads experts to speculate that their beer may have had antibiotic properties.

Gun Control Leads South Africans to Medieval Methods of Protection

Tighter gun control laws in South Africa are causing more and more South Africans to purchase medieval weapons for their own protection.

Radio Nederland: Arab Scholarship Sheds New Light on Cleopatra

New research has shown that medieval Arab scholars respected the philosophical and scientific accomplishments of the Egyptian queen Cleopatra.

Mapungubwe Ruins to Attract Visitors

South Africa plans to attract visitors to a new national park, the centerpiece of which will be excavations from the Mapungubwe Kingdom.