March 31, 2023

‘Vesuvius Challenge’ Will Pay Up to $1M to Whoever Can Decipher Charred Scrolls From Pompeii

On a normal day long ago in 79 CE, the volcano known as Mount Vesuvius erupted, covering the town below it in volcanic ash. Pompeii was obliterated with people suffocating under ash and buildings vanishing, not to be unearthed for hundreds of years. Historians today view Pompeii as a valuable time capsule of ancient life, preserved much as it was that fateful day.

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March 6, 2023

Museum Discovers That Its “Fake” Sword Is Actually an Authentic 3,000-Year-Old Weapon

Hoaxes abound in archeology. Anytime an artifact appears, observations on its appearance, provenance, discovery, materials, style, and other factors help scholars determine its authenticity. Sometimes a fake object successfully masquerades as real for many years before the truth is uncovered. But in one instance, the opposite happened. For almost 100 years, the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago considered a metal sword in their collection to be just another fake.

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January 15, 2023

Radar Technology Discovers Intricate Ancient Mayan Civilization in Northern Guatemala

The ancient Maya of Central America created incredible civilizations. With their water filtration systems, mathematics, stone pyramids, and detailed calendars, the Maya dominated the region for hundreds of years. The Mayan Empire peaked in what is known as its classical period from 250 C.E. to 900 C.E. However, in the proceeding preclassical period from around 1800 B.C.E. to 250 C.E., the Maya were expanding and developing their settlements in the lowlands.

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December 28, 2022

Metal Detectorist in the UK Finds a Medieval Diamond Wedding Ring

The UK is full of history, some of it buried just below a shallow layer of dirt. Amateur metal detectorists can stumble on antiquities, including hoards of ancient treasure. Some finds are more singular: an amateur roving the Dorset countryside with his metal detector discovered a 14th-century medieval gold and diamond wedding ring. The stunning band bears a unique inscription, and has recently sold at auction for an impressive $46,000.

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