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Irish brew

In honor of Saint Patrick's Day 2014, journalist - and beer connoisseur - Reuben Gray looks at the history of the delightful drink from its prehistoric days to its worldwide modern revival.

The jewels of the saints

After the Reformation, many Catholics were depressed about the loss of relics of their saints. In the 16th century thousands of skeletons were taken from the catacombs in Rome, bedecked with jewels, and distributed throughout Europe. A slideshow of jeweled saints, photographed by art historian Paul Koudounaris, is online.

"Lost" Jewish cemetery found in Vienna

In 1943, Nazis encouraged the destruction of the gravestones in Vienna's oldest Jewish cemetery. Now through the use of ground-penetrating radar, some of the stones, dating back to the 16th century, have been re-discovered.

Rethinking Henry VIII

For 500 years, Henry VIII has had a reputation as a womanizing villain, but TV historian Dr Lucy Worsley has a different view: Henry was a family kind of guy who just wanted to settle down with a good woman.

The color of the Colosseum

A restoration of the Colosseum, currently underway, reveals frescos in a corridor that has been sealed off since the 3rd century. Unlike the moss-and-marble walls of today, the building interior, in its day, would have been a Technicolor extravaganza.

SCA book club created in Meridies

A new Yahoo group has been created as a means to discuss books of interest to the SCA. Those interested may join the Meridien Book Club online.

Tolkien-inspired "Hobbit House" graces Chester County, Pennsylvania

A devoted collector of J.R.R. Tolkien memorabilia, having spent thirty years accumulating a private collection, wanted an appropriate house to showcase the collection. Architect Peter Archer overcame surprising engineering challenges to bring the house to reality.

Roman beads found in 5th century Japanese tomb

A recent discovery may prove that the Roman Empire was more influential than previously believed. Three Roman glass beads have been unearthed in a 5th century Utsukushi burial mound in Nagaoka, Japan. (photo)

Viking mice rejected Newfoundland

It appears that Viking mice, which traveled on ships with their human warrior companions, found Newfoundland mostly not to their liking, according to a new study evolutionary biologist Eleanor Jones in the journal BMC Evolutionary Biology.

U.S. Magna Carta to return to display

On February 17, 2012, the only medieval copy of the Magna Carta in the United States will return to display in the National Archives. The copy was purchased by philanthropist David Rubenstein in 2007 and is on long-term loan at the museum.

Shipwrecks reveal lives of medieval Swedes

Experts from the Swedish Maritime Museum are thrilled by the discovery of five shipwrecks dating to the 16th through 18th centuries, found during a quay renovation in central Stockholm. The ships, some measuring 20 meters (66 feet), are in good condition.

NH Make-A-Wish Foundation builds castle for young boy

The Make-A-wish Foundation (New Hampshire) built a castle - in his backyard - for young David Marasco, who "has a rare disease called desmoid fibromatosis."

What goes around, comes around

In which "old' is "new" again. Perhaps these young Mexican gentlemen have been influenced by late 15th century footwear?

Early Byzantine church discovered in Israel

Israeli archaeologists are excited over the discovery of a 6th century Byzantine church in the desert southwest of Jerusalem. The small basilica features "exquisitely decorated" mosaic floors.

Masterpieces online: Like looking at a painting "with a giant magnifying glass."

Until January 29, 2011, art lovers and historians have the opportunity to study six masterpieces from the Uffizi gallery in Florence in minute detail on the Haltadefinizione company website. The site allows visitors to zoom in on high-resolution images.

Gladiator Graveyard

Archaelogists, working at the Driffield Terrace site in York have unearthed some 80 skeletons dating from the 1st through 4th centuries CE.  Based on current evidence, they believe it to be a Gladiator graveyard from the Roman settlement of Eboracum.

Feature-length "Rome" in the works

Bruno Heller, creator of the hit TV series Rome, has announced plans for a feature-length film.

Jesus studied with the Druids, according to new film

Gordon Strachan, a minister for the Church of Scotland, believes Jesus may have visited England and studied with the Druids at Glastonbury. His research is featured in a new film, And Did Those Feet.

Great Wall longer than previously believed

A newly-discovered section of China's Great Wall shows that the structure was actually at least 11 kilometers longer than previously believed. The new section was found in the northeastern Jilin province.

Monastery of the Bulgarian Patriarch and French ring found in medieval capital

A team of archaeologists, led by Professor Nikolay Ovcharov, has discovered the walls of what they believe is the the Monastery of the Bulgarian Patriarch in the 13th century in Veliko Tarnovo, the country's medieval capital.

Under Armour recalls athletic cups, citing potential injury hazard

Under Armour, manufacturer of a line of athletic garments popular with SCA martial participants, has recalled over 200 thousand athletic cups because they may break under stress and cause injury.

Sherwood "infested" by Robin Hood?

According to a 15th century history book, Robin Hood may not have been as popular with the common people as believed. According to art historian Julian Luxford, Robin and his merry men "infested" Sherwood Forest with their thieving ways.

13th century midden yields shoe soles

A batch of leather shoe soles dating from the 13th to 18th centuries was found in 2005 in a hollow tree trunk in an ancient trash dump in Lyon, France. The soles are well-preserved.

6th century Sleeping Buddha escaped "wrath of the Taliban"

A 1500-year-old "Sleeping Buddha" statue has been found buried in Afghanistan near the site of the tragic destruction of two other statues seven years ago by Taliban extremists. The latest 62-foot long Buddha was found by a French-Afghan team.

Modern technology used to help restore "Madonna of the Goldfinch"

"X-rays, CAT scans, reflective infra-red photography, lasers, men and women in white coats, microscopes, latex gloves" all played a part in the restoration of Raphael's masterpiece "Madonna of the Goldfinch," a 10-year project with stunning results. (photo)

Eunuch's-eye-view of China's Forbidden City

A new virtual tour of Beijing's Forbidden City allows visitors to step into the silk slippers of an imperial eunuch for a behind-the-scenes virtual tour of the cultural treasure.

German radio station to broadcast in Latin September 26, 2008

Berlin radio station Kiss FM plans to air its morning show entirely in Latin on September 26, 2008. The show will celebrate the European day of languages.

Computers create sound of ancient harp

The ASTRA (Ancient instruments Sound/Timbre Reconstruction Application) project has produced the sound of a Epigonion, a wooden string instrument similar to a modern-day harp. This is the first time that this ancient instrument has been heard by modern man.

"The Theatre" discovered in London

Archaeologists are hoping that they have found the remains of The Theatre. Built in 1576, the venue is very likely the place where Shakespeare's "The Merchant of Venice" and "Romeo and Juliet" debuted. Walls of the building were discovered under a vacant garage.

Medieval church windows helped purify air

A new study suggests that medieval stained glass windows covered with tiny gold particles helped to purify the air when sunlight shone through them.