601 CE and Earlier

When in Rome... read!

Mysteries set in ancient Rome continue to catch the imaginations of readers.

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.

Roman tower found in Chester

Archaeologists working to repair a section of Chester, England's city wall have discovered the remains of a Roman tower. “To our surprise, almost as soon as we started digging, a well-made sandstone wall appeared. It was running across the line of the City Wall and was more than 1m thick," said City Archaeologist Mike Morris.

Saint Nicholas in Turkey

St. Nicholas, the 4th century Christian saint who influenced so many Christmas traditions, is thought to have lived and died in Myra, Turkey. His remains were removed to Bari in southern Italy in the 11th century. Now Turkish officials would like to see Nicholas' basilica restored.

The origins of December 25 as Christmas

An online article by Andrew McGowan, an associate professor of early Christian history at the Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, Massachusetts, for the Biblical Archaeology Review discusses how December 25 came to be chosen as the date of Christ's birth.

Latin students create wiki for the "Study of Ancient Gaul and Ancient Celtic Culture"

Students of the John Carroll School Latin 2 class found themselves dissatisfied with their textbook depiction of ancient Celts and Gauls. Their solution? Create a wiki of online links relating to the subject. (map)

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.

Same-sex marriage in the Middle Ages

Historians believe they have evidence of same-sex marriage in late antiquity and early Middle Ages. One piece of evidence is a monastic icon depicting the marriage of two male saints with Jesus officiating. (photo)

Archaeologist offers "tastes of the past"

Archaeologist Jacqui Wood is not afraid go back to the basics with her cooking. The author of Tasting the Past: Recipes from the Stone Age to the Present, Wood cooks in the style of the Romans and the Celts.

Bath's "Great Drain" to be inspected

Nearly 2,000 years after construction, the overflow from the Roman bath in Bath, England is going to be inspected. Archaeologists are excited at the prospect of discovering what Roman - and subsequent generations - threw down the drain.

3rd century Roman townhouse found under Canterbury theater

Archaeologists have discovered the ruins of a 3rd century Roman townhouse beneath the Marlowe Theatre in Canterbury, England. "It's quite unexpected," said archaeologist James Holman.

Antonine Wall: Scotland's hidden Roman treasure

When blogger Keir Roper-Caldbeck planned to bicycle the length of -- and report on -- Scotland's newest World Heritage site, the Antonine Wall, he thought it would be an easy task. That proved not to be the case. His blog of the journey is online.

Metal detector finds UK£1m torcs

Metal detector enthusiast David Booth was "stunned" to learn that four Iron Age gold torcs, dating to late Roman times, could bring him over UK£1m. The torcs were discovered in September 2009 in Stirlingshire, Scotland. (photo & video)

US in better shape than Rome, says Cornell professor

"Almost everything that has happened [in the United States] over the last year has happened in some deviation before in the period that I study, which is essentially the equivalent of 2008 for the Roman Empire," said said Kim Bowes, Cornell assistant professor of classical archaeology at a recent lecture.

4th century Roman temple found in Tuscany

A rectangular stone and marble temple, built using the opus testaceum technique, has been discovered near Marina di Alberese in central Italy. The existence of the 4th century temple may suggest a larger settlement in the area.

A feast for the orgy

In an article for Remembrance of Meals Past, Corky White remembers the time she was asked to prepare a Roman feast for a Harvard professor.

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.

Happy birthday, Asterix!

On October 29, 2009, Gaul's most famous denizon, Asterix, celebrated his Lth birthday. (That would be 50 to the Roman-numerically-challenged.) The comic book character was created in 1959 by René Goscinny and illustrated by Albert Uderzo.

Beowulf-era ceremonial hall discovered in Denmark

Archaeologists in Denmark are puzzled over the discovery of a large building "littered with bits and pieces of exquisite golden jewellery, glass and bronze broaches, high quality artifacts, such as drinking glasses and ceramics, which all seem to have been deliberately smashed in some ritual."

Hear the Oxyrhynchus Hymn

Gregorio Paniagua and the Atrium Musicae de Madrid has recorded The Oxyrhynchus Hymn, "the earliest known manuscript of a Christian hymn - dating from the 3rd century AD - to contain both lyrics and musical notation." The re-creation has been posted on YouTube.

Byzantine grave site found in Syria

A joint team of Syrian and Japanese archaeologists have discovered the graves of children dating to the 6th century in the ancient city of Palmyra. A wealthy city along the caravan route, Palmyra was known as the Bride of the Desert.

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.

"High status" Saxon brooch found in South Oxfordshire

Metal detectorists at a rally in South Oxfordshire have discovered a 6th century Saxon grave yielding a skull and a garnet brooch belonging to some of "high status."

Tournament of the Phoenix to draw international jousters

For the third straight year, jousters from around the world will gather for the Tournament of the Phoenix, a weekend-long event to be held October 23-25, 2009 in Poway California. The event is being held in conjunction with the Festival of History, a living history event featuring re-enactors from Roman times to the Renaissance.

Roman skeleton really Goth

The 5th century skeleton of a man, discovered in 1972 in Gloucester, England, has been identified as a Goth, originating from east of the Danube River. Experts feel that the man was most likely a Roman soldier.

US Army construction site unearths Roman settlement

A team of archaeologists from Mainz University have discovered what they believe is a 3rd century Roman settlement near Wiesbaden, Germany. The site was found during excavations for a new US$133 million Army Corps of Engineers housing project.

Bones of unidentified saint found in Bulgarian cathedral

Archaeologists working at the site of a medieval church, part of the fortress of Perperikon in Bulgaria, have discovered a bronze cross bearing remains dating to the 5th-7th centuries C.E. "These are broken and decayed bones, most definitely of a saint," Professor Ovcharov said.

Murder or execution in Venta Icenorum?

"This is an abnormal burial," said archaeologist Will Bowden of the University of Nottingham, about the discovery of a male skeleton, buried with his hands tied behind his back. "It could be that the person was murdered or executed, although this is still a matter of speculation." (photo)

Roman military camps found on Austrian amber road

The discovery of three Roman military camps "will rewrite the history of the Romans in Austria," said Stefan Groh, the leader of the Austrian Archeological Institute team which discovered the camps near Strebersdorf. The sites were found on the amber road, the ancient trading route which runs through the country.

Hadrian's wall cemetery to be excavated

Excavation has begun on "the first systematic excavation of a cemetery on Hadrian's Wall," a Roman cremation cemetery which is part of the World Heritage Site at Birdoswald Fort, Cumbri.