artifacts

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Ice Ax That Dug Into Trotsky's Skull No Longer Under a Bed

Keith Melton says he bought it, and that it will be displayed in America

(Newser) - "Who knows if it is the real ax?" says Leon Trotsky’s grandson, Esteban Volkov, dismissively to the Guardian. Keith Melton, for one. The private collector says he staunchly believes that an ice pick he recently purchased and plans to display at the International Spy Museum in Washington is... More »

After 106 Years in Antarctica, Fruitcake Still Looks 'Like New'

Too bad it smells like 'rancid butter'

(Newser) - It's a good thing scientists weren't especially hungry when they stepped inside one of the earliest structures built in Antarctica recently. On a shelf in a hut in Cape Adare sat a "perfectly preserved" fruitcake apparently untouched for more than a century, reports Stuff.co.nz . Made... More »

Museum Won't Return Spears, Despite Claim of Personal Ties

Rodney Kelly is trying to get Aboriginal artifacts returned to Australia

(Newser) - The British and the Aborigines first crossed paths in 1770, when famed English explorer James Cook landed in what is now Sydney. It was a violent meeting, and Cook departed with some of the Gweagal's spears—and the UK's Cambridge University says it won't give up the... More »

Dead Sea Scrolls Cave Discovered, but Someone Got There First

Looters got there 70 years before researchers

(Newser) - Israeli researchers have discovered what they believe is the first new Dead Sea Scrolls cave uncovered in more than 60 years—but looters got there long before them. The site at the Qumran cliffs, an Israeli-controlled site in the West Bank, has yielded artifacts including pieces of pottery, broken scroll... More »

Long-Lost Diary of Secret Jew in 16th-Century Mexico Found

Private collector spotted the manuscript, is paying to return it to National Archives

(Newser) - On Dec. 8, 1596, 48 people were burned at the stake in what Haaretz calls one of the "most dramatic" autos-da-fe the New World had seen. Among those to die was 30-year-old Luis de Carvajal the Younger, born in Spain to a family of Jewish "conversos"—forced... More »

16K Items That Vanished From Auschwitz Are Found

They were sitting in boxes at the Polish Academy of Sciences

(Newser) - Jewelry, tobacco pipes, buttons, keys. Archaeologists uncovered more than 16,000 such items in the remains of Auschwitz's Crematorium III and gas chamber in 1967—"the last personal belongings of the Jews" led to their deaths. But while watching an old documentary about the excavation, Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum officials... More »

Stolen Columbus Letter Sat in Library of Congress

It's now been returned to Italy

(Newser) - In February 1493, Christopher Columbus described his historic journey of the previous year in a letter to the king and queen of Spain. Though the letter was reprinted and circulated throughout Europe, only about 80 copies remain—and now the US is sending one of them, a stolen one, back... More »

Egypt's 'Grand' Museum Gets Influx of Artifacts

Grand Egyptian Museum to display 50K items when it opens in 2018

(Newser) - When visitors arrive at the Grand Egyptian Museum—to open near the Giza pyramids in 2018—they'll be greeted by a 4-ton statue of King Amenhotep seated beside the Egyptian god Ra. But first, the 3,500-year-old pink granite statue will be restored, having just traveled 400 miles from... More »

Scientists Begin Digging for Honduras' 'Lost Civilization'

Ruins, carved stones suggest the remote 'White City' was more than legend

(Newser) - For centuries locals, travelers, and Spanish conquistadors alike have spoken of the legend of the "Lost City of the Monkey God," or "White City," in a remote section of the Mosquitia jungle of Honduras. Now President Juan Orlando Hernandez is announcing a joint partnership with Colorado... More »

Hobby Lobby Clan Suspected of Looting Iraq Antiquities

4-year federal probe looks into whether ancient tablets were smuggled into US

(Newser) - The Museum of the Bible being built in DC by the Christian family behind one of the nation's biggest arts-and-crafts retailers is coming along nicely. Maybe too nicely, per law enforcement sources, who tell the Daily Beast that the Green family—the ones whose Hobby Lobby chain claimed a... More »

Old Well May Delve Into US History

A magazine calls the find 'tantalizing'

(Newser) - Archaeologists in Jamestown—the first permanent English settlement in the Americas—say they may have found another well that delves deep into US colonial history, Popular Archaeology reports. Spotted in a seven-foot-deep cellar dating to the early 1600s, the partially visible find is "a pretty good-sized pit," says... More »

New Mission in Iraq, Syria: Save Ancient Treasures From ISIS

Precious antiquities being destroyed by militants

(Newser) - ISIS militants have trashed museum pieces in Mosul with sledgehammers, bulldozed the ancient Assyrian city of Nimrud, and yesterday destroyed the Hatra ruins in Iraq, reports the BBC . But while the New York Times catalogs everything that antiquities ministers and workers are doing to stave off the annihilation of some... More »

King Tut's Iconic Mask Breaks, 'Fix' Is Even Worse

Beard reportedly knocked off in cleaning mishap is shoddily reset with epoxy

(Newser) - What do you do if someone accidentally damages one of the world's most famous artifacts under your charge at the Egyptian Museum? Do you a) report it to the nation's antiquities ministry to ensure it's properly repaired by specialists, or b) frantically call your husband so he... More »

St. Francis Manuscripts Leaving Italy After 700 Years

Medieval artifacts are bound for US

(Newser) - When Francis of Assisi went blind after living a life of poverty, he penned his inspiring "Canticle of the Sun," Catholic Online notes. Now the manuscript that contains that writing, as well as 12 other medieval manuscripts, are heading to the US after a 700-year stay in Italy,... More »

Buffett's Son Buys Rosa Parks Items, Will Donate Them

Collection includes hat she may have worn on famous bus ride

(Newser) - One lucky museum will be getting a treasure trove in the form of hundreds of items belonging to civil rights icon Rosa Parks. A foundation run by Howard Buffett, son of Warren, has purchased the items—including a postcard from Martin Luther King Jr. and a hat Parks may have... More »

Mystery Surrounds 'Indiana's Own Indiana Jones'

More rumors than facts about 91-year-old Don Miller

(Newser) - He has a chunk of concrete from Adolf Hitler's bunker. He helped build the atomic bomb. These are just two of the rumors swirling about the 91-year-old Indiana man who this week saw his home and private artifact collection invaded by the FBI . But little is known for sure... More »

FBI Reveals 91-Year-Old's Incredible Artifact Stash

Don Miller says thousands of objects are rightfully his

(Newser) - The FBI spent yesterday at a somewhat unlikely place: the Indiana home of 91-year-old Don Miller, a man the bureau describes as an "amateur archaeologist." Its art crime team is currently going through his private collection of thousands of Native American cultural artifacts as well as pieces from... More »

Crazy Shipwreck Find: 2K-Year-Old Roman Food?

Divers think food could have been preserved

(Newser) - A 2,000-year-old shipwreck discovered off the coast of Italy could yield a pretty neat find: jars of preserved food from ancient Rome. Divers launched a search near Varazze, a town in the province of Liguria, after more than 80 years of reports from fishermen that they were bringing up... More »

Ancient 'Halls of the Dead' Unearthed

1K years older than Stonehenge

(Newser) - Archaeologists have unearthed two ancient buildings in England thought to be 6,000 years old—that's 1,000 years older than Stonehenge. The remains of the 320-foot-long wooden long houses were found under burial mounds in Herefordshire. They are believed to have been deliberately, symbolically burned down—probably when... More »

Syrian Rebels' New Cash Source: Stolen Artifacts

Fighters have become 'archeologists': rebel

(Newser) - Short on funds, Syrian rebels have been turning to a new source of income: selling snatched artifacts. "Some days we are fighters; others we are archeologists," says a rebel who counts ancient Sumerian tablets among his finds. Fighters, who control most of the top archeological areas, say a... More »

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