11 Stories

Waiter Learns the Hard Way to Be Careful Around Ancient Art

Venus statue at London's British Museum had thumb knocked right off by catering server

(Newser) - A waiter who was all thumbs cost a priceless Roman sculpture one of its own. The BBC reports on the incident at London's British Museum, which the Art Newspaper says took place in December, in which the unfortunate unnamed server from an outside catering vendor was setting up for... More »

Workers Laying Pipes Unearth Coins—1,300 Pounds of Them

Their mint condition suggests they were never in circulation

(Newser) - What should've been a simple maintenance project involving new water pipes in Spain has become something else entirely. Construction workers near Seville Wednesday stumbled upon about 1,300 pounds of bronze Roman coins from the third and fourth centuries crammed into 19 ancient amphoras, the AFP reports. The Washington ... More »

Newly Found Roman God Stumps Experts

Archaeologists say he could be a Roman-Near Eastern hybrid

(Newser) - Archaeologists have unearthed an ancient sculpture of a bearded man standing in a plant—and while they say it's most definitely a god, they have no idea which one. Found at the site of a Roman temple in Turkey, the roughly 2,000-year-old relief "clearly" depicts a deity,... More »

London Romans Piled Skulls in Pits

Some may have been gladiators' remains

(Newser) - Slob Romans living in ancient London, it seems, just left decapitated heads lying around in open pits for years, a study suggests. "It is not a pretty picture," a researcher tells the Guardian . "At least one of the skulls shows evidence of being chewed at by dogs,... More »

Ancient Romans Ate Giraffe: Study

Also sea urchins

(Newser) - Researchers digging around the drains of ancient Pompeii have learned about some unusual Roman eating habits. The scientists found the remains of a giraffe and sea urchin in the drain of a onetime restaurant, LiveScience reports. "This is thought to be the only giraffe bone ever recorded from an... More »

'Christian Martyrdom' Never Happened

New book by Candida Moss assails an old story

(Newser) - Were early Christians martyred en masse? That notion is key to Christian history, but in The Myth of Persecution: How Early Christians Invented a Story of Martyrdom, Candida Moss assails the idea that Christians spent centuries hiding from godless Romans who wanted them thrown to the lions, Salon reports. The... More »

Roman Town Found in London

Village rich with artifacts discovered just below surface

(Newser) - Excavators exploring the site of a planned hotel in west London stumbled upon an amazing archaeological find: well-preserved remains of a Roman settlement. Just a few feet below the surface, archaeologists found several burial sites and a Roman road. So far 11,500 fragments of pottery, 100 coins, and jewelry... More »

Skeletons Mark Historic Gladiator Graveyard

York remains show evidence of lion bites

(Newser) - Scientists have determined that a puzzling collection of skeletons discovered in England is the best-preserved Roman gladiator graveyard ever found. Lion bites, headless corpses and hammer marks on skulls are clues that the 80 skeletons found over a decade were gladiators buried in York, which was a Roman provincial capital... More »

Behold the Mighty Medicine Ball

Weighty exercise aid goes back a lot longer than you'd think

(Newser) - The thunk of a medicine ball may evoke images of football players doing strength and resistance training, but its history reaches far beyond the advent of modern fitness regimens. ESPN the Magazine chronicles the medicine ball through the ages, from gladiators' workouts to Renaissance medical texts to the earliest days... More »

Archaeologists Unearth Part of Roman Throne

First finding of its kind is decorated with ivory bas-reliefs of gods

(Newser) - Archaeologists have discovered the remains of a Roman throne in the volcanic ash that buried the city of Herculaneum when Mount Vesuvius erupted in the year 79. Scientists unearthed two legs and the back of a throne, the first ever found. The piece was decorated with ivory bas-reliefs of ancient... More »

Ancient Israeli Tunnel Found

Israeli archaeologists uncover tunnel Jews used to escape ancient Romans

(Newser) - While searching for the ancient main road of Jerusalem, Israeli archaeologists stumbled upon a 2,000-year-old tunnel that residents used to escape Roman invaders destroying the Second Temple. The tunnel was originally used to drain rain water and prevent flooding, and its discovery is doubly significant, the AP reports, because... More »

11 Stories