601 CE and Earlier

Using science to read the Archimedes palimpsest

In a TEDTalks video on YouTube, ancient books curator William Noel discusses "the fascinating story behind the Archimedes palimpsest, a Byzantine prayer book containing previously-unknown original writings from ancient Greek mathematician Archimedes and others." (video)

Experts gather to study historic Iona, Scotland

The island of Iona was recently the site of a gathering of international experts to study the island's carved stones and grave markers, and its unique history. The workshop was sponsored by Historic Scotland and the Iona community.

Samson mosaic graces "monumental synagogue" discovery in Galilee

A team of archaeologists has discovered a "monumental" synagogue dating to the 4th or 5th centuries C.E. in excavations at Huqoq in Israel’s Galilee. The excavations revealed a "stunning" mosaic depicting Samson "placing torches between the tails of foxes." (photo)

1000 years in Sicily: from Roman villa to monastery

For over 1,000 years, a farmland estate in the northeastern Sicilian village of Torrenova was in constant use, according to archaeologists from the University of Vienna. The land is believed to have hosted a Roman villa in late antiquity and a monastery throughout the Middle Ages. (photo)

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)

The Dark Ages: Everything old is new again

In a new documentary, filmmaker and historian Michael Wood compares the economic gloom and social unrest of modern Europe with conditions in the western world at the beginning of the Dark Ages.

Anglo-Saxon woman found buried with cow

Archaeologists excavating a late 5th century CE grave in Cambridgeshire, England have come across something completely uniquie - a women buried with a cow. This is the first known burial from this period of a woman with an animal in England, and the first case of anyone being buried with a cow.

Stunning locations mark Morrocan Roman ruins

Most tourists of Roman sites rave about the beauty of Rome or Hadrian's Wall, but most ignore Roman Morocco. In an article for The Star Online, Paul Schemm looks at several Roman sites in Morocco.

Japanese tomb yields Roman jewelery

Glass beads found in a 5th century tomb near Kyoto, Japan probably originated somewhere in the Roman empire. The beads were made between the 4th and 1st centuries CE.

"Historic" Byzantine site discovered in Israel

Israeli archeologists believe they may have discovered the site of a 6th century Byzantine church and stone quarry mentioned in a text by historian Procopius of Caesarea.

Remains of St. John the Baptist found (again)

Archaeologists excavating a church in Bulgaria have found a small ossuary with an inscription claiming to be the remains of St. John. Radio carbon and DNA testing have given some collaboration to the claim.

Hadrian's Wall Heritage receives UK£500,000 grant

The central section of Hadrian's Wall in northern England has been listed on the Heritage at Risk register for some time, but now a grant of UK£500,000 from the SITA Trust will allow Hadrian's Wall Heritage to repair and preserve the important historical site.

New terracotta warriors found in China

Over 100 new terracotta warriors have been found in China, some with bright paint on them. Terracotta horses along with real weapons and parts of a chariot have also been found.

Rome on the Rhine

If you believe the press, most important Roman activity took place in either Italy or Britain, but archaeologists and historians know a different story, as evidenced by the treasures of the Roman-Germanic Museum in Cologne, Germany. Deutsche Welle has a review. (photos)

Evidence of early Jewish presence on Iberian Peninsula

Archaeologists have found the earliest evidence yet of Jews on the Iberian Penninsula. An excavation of a Roman villa in Portugal has revealed a marble slab, probably from a tombstone, with a Hebrew inscription dating to 390 CE.

Roman temple discovered in Bonn, Germany

The remains of a 2,000-year-old Roman temple were recently discovered by archaeology students on the campus of Bonn University in Germany.

Evidence of smuggling found in Roman shipwreck

Italian archaeologists have recently excavated a 3rd century Roman shipwreck off the coast of Marausa Lido, a beach resort near Trapani. On board they found eveidence of smuggling in the form of unusual tubular tiles, taken from North Africa to Rome. (photo)

Holy Robe shines spotlight on Trier

In 1500, the Holy Robe, believed by Catholics to have been worn by Jesus, was installed as a relic in the ancient Catholic cathedral in Trier, Germany, once the Roman capital north of the Alps. Since then, the robe has been exhibited only 17 times, and is currently on display until May 13, 2012.

Cirencester's Roman amphitheatre to be revamped

The Cirencester town council has plans for their city's Roman ruins, including "the remains of one of the largest Roman amphitheatres in Britain."

Archaeologists hope to find Roman suburb in Northampton

Archaeologists in Northampton, England are set to excavate a site that may reveal 1,000 years of local history, from the Iron Age through the end of the Roman period. They believe the site might have been a suburb of the Roman city of Duston.

Roman ornaments found in Sozopol, Bulgaria

Excavations by Bulgarian archeologists Dimitar Nedev and Tsonya Drajeva have unearthed Roman artifacts including a "massive gold ring and a gold leaf from a royal crown" at the site of the ancient city of Apollonia, now Sozopol.

Travel the Roman roads, Google-style

The Roman road network, renowned for its scope and efficiency, has now gotten even easier to travel thanks to an online application from Stanford University.  ORBIS is a geospatial network model that covers hundreds of land and sea routes in the Roman Empire circa 200 CE.

UK£49,200 Heritage Lottery Fund grant may bring fame to Epiacum

Many travelers to England are familiar with the country's famous Roman forts, but Elaine Edgar is hoping that a UK£49,200 Heritage Lottery Fund grant will help bring fame and visitors to a lesser-known site, Epiacum.

Folding chair has ancient roots

Future filmmakers of movies about barbarians may have to trade their traditional rock-and-fur decor for a Coleman camping stool.

Oldest German runes found on comb

A second century comb, discovered several years ago in central Germany, may lead to the understanding of early Germanic languages. The carved antler comb bears the oldest engraved runes known in the area. (photo)

Bouncy Stonehenge is fun for Druids and kids alike

A giant inflatable replica of Stonehenge is making waves in Glasgow, Scotland. The attraction is part of the Glasgow International art festival.

And the horse he rode in on...

Mildenhall Museum in Suffolk, England is expanding to accommodate a new exhibit, the remains of an Anglo-Saxon warrior and the horse he rode in on - or at least with which he was buried - complete with bridle, sword and shield. (photo)

Gladiators banned from Colosseum

Performers dressed as gladiators will no longer be able to make money having their photos taken with tourists, according to city officials. NPR commentator Renee Montagne has the brief audio report for Morning Edition.

Redeeming qualities of Attila the Hun

On the blog Past Imperfect for the online version of Smithsonian Magazine, Michael D. Blodgett tries to find "Nice Things to Say About Attila the Hun." The greatest, he feels was Attila's "refusal to be seduced by wealth."

Artifacts found at site of Roman fort in Scotland

A team of archaeologists, supervising the installation of a water main through the site of a Roman fort near Kirkton, Scotland, has discovered a cobbled roads and artifacts dating to Roman times.