601 CE and Earlier

Did Alexander come to a Styx-y end?

A new speculation about the death of Alexander the Great suggests that the notoriously toxic waters of the River Styx (the modern river Mavroneri) may have taken his life.

No proof Jesus killed on cross, says Christian scholar

The word translated from New Testament Greek as "crucifixion" may more accurately mean something like "suspension," says Gunnar Samuelsson, a Swedish theologian and researcher who describes himself as a "boring pastor."

Cornish find redraws map of Roman Britain

Roman artifacts have been discovered at a fortress in Cornwall formerly believed to be an exclusively Iron Age site. This find revises the historical view of the Roman occupation of Britain, which had been thought not to extend so far southwest.

Carlisle dig provides a "wonderful glimpse into how people lived 2,000 years ago"

Carlisle Castle, one of the most important archaeological digs in northern England, has now been completed, providing experts with a wealth of archaeological evidence to study including armor, leather, pottery, and everyday household items.

Ancient music from Ugarit reconstructed

Working with the earliest musical notation known, Syrian musicologist Ziad Ajjan has composed three pieces from the Ugarit cuneiform tablet known as the "Hymn of Supplication."

Taking another look at Spartan women

In a historically based opinion piece, Jim Arnold offers a new interpretation of the Spartan women's traditional freedoms, which far exceeded those of their female contemporaries in other city-states.

Pyramids offer weathertight camping

America's Finest News Source suggests that the Egyptian pyramids may have been created for accommodation at a weekend camping event in a historic precursor to the SCA.

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.

World's oldest leather shoe found

Archaeologists have found a leather show dating back 5,500 years in a cave in Armenia. The shoe is cut from one piece of cow leather and sewn together with eyelets.

"Indiana Jones" of brewing recreates ancient New World drink

When Patrick E. McGovern read an article about traces of an "unidentified beverage" being found inside 2800-year-old pottery vessels in Central America, he was inspired to collaborate with the author, anthropologist John Henderson, and eventually to recreate a brew made from cacao beans.

Thousand-page report reveals treasures of Carlisle Roman excavation

A decade later later, the report of the 1999 "Millennuim Dig" at Carlisle describes the tens of thousands of items found at the site. Finds of wooden buildings and leather artifacts surprised the archaeologists, as such materials don't normally survive.

Roman altar stones give insight into religious practices

Archaeologists in Scotland are excited about the discovery of Roman altar stones found in a cricket pavilion in Musselburgh, East Lothian, finding them "the most significant find of their kind in the past 100 years."

Rediscovered Health and Safety report damaging for Odysseus's record

A rediscovered ancient Greek scroll lists a number of health and safety violations by Odysseus during his tenure as ship's captain while returning home from the Trojan War.

Millennium Dig report documents 80,000 Carlisle artifacts

The city of Carlisle, England is now being mentioned in the same breath as York and Newcastle when it comes to Roman archaeology thanks to the Millennium dig. The three-year effort has now been documented in a 936-page report.

Lives of Celtic pilgrims and monks online

Dr. Deborah Vess of Georgia College & State University has created an online overview of Celtic monasticism illustrated with photographs of monastic and pilgrimage sites.

Mayan History Preserved in Floors

Maya commoners of their Classic Period --  "illiterate farmers, builders and servants" -- preserved their history by burying their old possesions in the floors of newly built homes. 

Precious Cambridge manuscript collection now online

The entire Parker library, a collection of Anglo-Saxon manuscripts at Corpus Christi College of Cambridge University, has been made accessible online. Librarian Suzanne Paul narrates a video tour of the collection's highlights.

"Long lost language of the Picts" identified

Long thought to be artistic images of hunters and animals, the engravings on the famous Iron Age Pictish Stones are now believed to be the written language of the Pictish people, an ancient language recognized by the Venerable Bede.

Colosseum display brings Roman arena to life

Ancient gladitorial artifacts, preserved at Pompeii, will share display space with modern reconstructions of plumed helmets and silk tunics for a new exhibit at Rome's Colosseum entitled Gladiatores now through October 2, 2010.

Students choose gladiator life

This summer, twenty students from the University of Regensburg in Germany are foregoing their usual pizza and computers in favor of Roman gladiator training.

Early medieval church and graves stops construction in Bulgaria

The discovery of an early medieval church and graves dating to the 5th-12th centuries, has temporarily stopped construction of a subway line in Sofia, Bulgaria.

Keep Off the Wall

Walkers along Hadrian's Wall are being urged to respect the ancient structure and help to protect it.

Keeping Alive the Language Jesus Spoke

In the village of Maaloula, Syria, the ancient language Aramaic is still spoken but endangered.

New Syrian Excavation Offers Light on Inventors of Writing

At Tell Zeidan in Syria, a few hours' drive from Aleppo, archaeologists believe they will find rich discoveries about the culture that flourished there before the first cities appeared further south. 

Campaign to save Colchester's Roman Circus a success

Officials from the Colchester (England) Archaeological Trust report that they have reached their goal of raising UK£200,000to buy and preserve the only Roman chariot-racing circus ever found in Britain.

Feature-length "Rome" in the works

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

York's "Ivory Bangle Lady" of African origin

Recent analysis of a Roman burial in the city of York show that the remains belonged to a "high status" woman of African origin. Dubbed the "Ivory Bangle Lady," the woman was buried in the late 4th century along with "items including jet and elephant ivory bracelets, earrings, beads and a blue glass jug." (photos)

Stonehenge surrounded by Stonehedge

A new study of the landscape around Stonehenge seems to suggest that Stonehenge was once surrounded by two low, concentric hedges. The media have dubbed the foliage "Stonehedge."

Building an Iron Age Celtic roundhouse

A PDF with complete instructions for construction of an SCA tent version of an Iron Age Celtic roundhouse is available to download online.

Byzantine-era road uncovered in Jerusalem

The Madaba Map, a mosaic depicting 6th-7th century Jerusalem, shows Cardo Street in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City. Now, the Byzantine-era street has been discovered by archaeologists.