Ancient Rome

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King Herod's Hallway Linked to 'Horrible' Gangrene

Reviled ancient ruler was too sick to use palace, experts say

(Newser) - Archaeologists have uncovered a corridor into Herod the Great's ancient palace but say the infamous king never really put the hallway to use, NBC News reports. In fact he turned Herodium, roughly 7 miles south of Jerusalem, into a burial monument when he fell horribly ill. "Surprisingly, during... More »

5 Ancient Skeletons Found in Shackles

Child's remains among those discovered at Roman site

(Newser) - Investigating an ancient Roman burial site in southwest France, researchers came upon a creepy find: Five skeletons—one of them a child's—were stuck in shackles, the Independent reports. Iron chains were locked around the ankles of three of the skeletons, while another had shackles on its neck. The... More »

Ancient Shipwreck Dates to Time When Rome Still Ruled

Divers spend hours descending 400-plus feet in search of artifacts

(Newser) - Scientists in Italy are teaming up with highly skilled divers from Florida to carefully sift through an ancient shipwreck dating back thousands of years—to the second Punic Wars between Rome and Carthage from 218BC to 201BC. It could be one of the oldest shipwrecks in the Mediterranean, and is... More »

Man Slept in Car for Days to Guard Discovered Treasure

UK man with metal detector found 22K Roman coins

(Newser) - Laurence Egerton's metal-detecting excursions often resulted in such "treasures" as old shotgun cartridges and other "rubbish," he says. But last November, the UK builder found something much better—22,000 fourth-century Roman coins, the biggest such cache ever found in Britain. The coins, which date from... More »

Female Skeleton Casts Light on Ancient Earthquake

Archaeologists say temblor flattened Hippos in 363AD

(Newser) - Archaeologists investigating the remains of an ancient city overlooking the Sea of Galilee say they've found the best evidence yet of a devastating earthquake—one of two that leveled the Greco-Roman municipality, the Jerusalem Post reports. The University of Haifa researchers, who have been excavating Hippos for 15 years,... More »

Mysterious Coin Stash Unearthed—After 2K Years

26 Roman and Late Iron Age coins found in Derbyshire

(Newser) - A cave in Britain may have been the perfect hiding place for a stash of coins … because 2,000 years passed before anyone found them. A climber sheltering from the rain happened upon four coins in Dovedale, Derbyshire, reports the Ashbourne News Telegraph , which led to a National Trust... More »

Inside the Tough Life of an Ancient Roman Gladiator

Researchers map out Roman 'prison'

(Newser) - After discovering a well-preserved ludus gladiatorius (read: gladiator school) near Vienna in 2011, researchers mapped it out using radar and overhead surveys, the BBC reports. Now, they're revealing details of the terrible life of an ancient Roman gladiator—enslaved as part of what was a "big business,"... More »

Ancient Obelisk's True Purpose Revealed

We've had 'Altar of Peace' wrong for decades, according to 3D modeling

(Newser) - Researchers using 3D modeling and data from NASA think they've discovered the true purpose of the Obelisk of Montecitorio—upending a theory that has stood for decades. The 71-foot-tall ancient Egyptian obelisk was brought to Rome by Emperor Augustus, and would have stood across a plaza from the Ara... 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 »

Secrets of Ancient Rome's Amazing Concrete Revealed

Study could bring changes to modern construction

(Newser) - The ancient Romans were so skilled at making concrete that breakwaters poured more than 2,000 years ago are still doing fine. The modern stuff? Give it 50 years before it starts eroding in seawater. Now, however, scientists think they've figured out how the Romans did it—and the... More »

Amateur Treasure Hunter Finds Hoard of Roman Coins

And the haul could be worth $160,000

(Newser) - An amateur treasure hunter in Britain recently struck gold—literally—while using a relatively cheap metal detector. He found 40 Roman gold coins dating back to at least 408AD buried in the woods, reports the Daily Mail . He returned to the shop where he bought the detector, coins in hand,... More »

Ancient Romans, Chinese Helped Warm Planet

Ice samples reveal greenhouse gas emissions

(Newser) - Human activity contributed to climate change long before the Industrial Revolution, according to new research. Scientists analyzing ice core samples from Greenland found a spike in emissions of the greenhouse gas methane during a 200-year period around 2,000 years ago, when the ancient Roman and Chinese empires were at... More »

'Almost Intact' Ancient Roman Ship Found

Trade ship has been buried in mud for 2K years

(Newser) - A shipment of fish, wine, oil, and grain bound for Spain has been discovered 2,000 years after it set off from ancient Rome. Divers have found an almost intact Roman-era commercial vessel buried in mud off Liguria province in northwest Italy, reports the BBC . Experts, who describe the ship... More »

Ailing Colosseum Getting $30M Overhaul

Tod's founder bankrolling much-needed facelift, to begin in December

(Newser) - Italian cultural officials have announced that the $30 million restoration of the Colosseum financed by the founder of luxury leather good maker Tod's will begin in December. Officials said the work is expected to take two and a half years, during which time the monument will remain open to... More »

New Roman Shipwrecks Bust Ancient Sailing Theory

Roman finds are deepest in Mediterranean

(Newser) - Greece has tracked down the deepest ancient shipwrecks ever found in the Mediterranean, and they're challenging what we thought we knew about the Romans. While experts previously believed that ancient ships held to the coastlines for safety—instead of venturing into the open sea—the two wrecks disprove that... More »

Ancient Sewer Reveals Roman Diet

Scientists sift through waste to find veggie-heavy evidence

(Newser) - Researchers have discovered the biggest load of crap from ancient Rome, and they're using it to determine how Romans lived 2,000 years ago. After sifting through 750 sacks of human excrement discovered in the sewers below the town of Herculaneum, scientists have deduced that Romans ate a lot... More »

Roman Tomb Found Beneath Toxic Dump

Illegal dumping 'robbing our patrimony,' says environmentalist

(Newser) - It's enough to make Caesar roll over in his grave. An ancient Roman mausoleum has been discovered beneath an illegal toxic waste dump outside Naples. The huge, vividly decorated 2nd-century tomb was found beneath some 60 tons of refuse dumped on ruins at Pizzuoli, site of the ancient Roman... More »

Roman Soldiers Likely Hit by Chemical Weapon

Archaeologists discover secrets in ancient bones

(Newser) - When archaeologists first found the bones of the 19 ancient Roman soldiers and one Persian buried under the ancient Syrian city of Dura-Europos in the 1930s, they assumed they’d died in some kind of fierce underground melee—when the Persians attacked the city, they’d dug tunnels under the... More »

Sorry, Folks, Caligula's Tomb Isn't Found

Historian: Supposed discovery near Rome just doesn't add up

(Newser) - The quirky story out of Rome about police stumbling onto the lost tomb of Caligula grabbed headlines, but Cambridge professor Mary Beard isn't buying it. The key evidence is that cops caught a guy with a looted statue near Lake Nemi, and the statue was, gasp, wearing the same "... More »

More Pompeii Ruins Collapse

Critics say Berlusconi neglects historical site

(Newser) - Two thousand years after that volcano did a number on Pompeii, the ancient Roman city is having another rough stretch. Two more walls collapsed today, reports the BBC . It's the second collapse this week and follows the collapse of the famous gladitorial house last month. The latest ruins to fall... More »

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