Evidence of what one bishop described as the "end of the world" plague has been unearthed by Italian archaeologists in Egypt.
Archaeologists with the Italian Archaeological Mission to Luxor [MAIL] recently discovered a large monument used as a burial site in modern-day Luxor. The monument contained some human remains covered in lime, as well as bones charred by a giant bonfire. The archaeologists believe this evidence, along with the nearby discovery of three kilns used to make lime, are proof that the momentous plague of the 3rd Century A.D. that wiped out vast portions of the Roman Empire, including Egypt.
Francesco Tiradritti, director of the MAIL, told LiveScience that in ancient times, the lime was considered to be a disinfectant, and was likely used on the bodies in an attempt to halt the spread of infection. The bodies of plague victims were also burned, again to stop further contamination. more >>
A fisherman from the Kemerovo region of Siberia recently uncovered a 4,000-year-old statuette, suspected to be a pagan god from the Bronze Age.
Nikolay Tarasov, a 53-year-old fisherman, was pulling his net in on the shores of a river in his home of Tisul, in the Kemerovo region, this week when he discovered a small statuette with a face peering up from the net among the carp and other fish he had caught.
"Me and a friend were walking on the river bank with nets, when suddenly it got stuck with something," he told The Siberian Times. "I found the object, freed the net and was about to throw it back in the water – but at the last second I looked at it more closely," Tarasov, who also works as a truck driver, added. more >>
Archaeologists claim to have recovered a tomb near Cairo, Egypt, dating back to 1100 B.C., a find that excavators say adds a new "chapter to our knowledge" about the area.
The tomb was discovered by the Cairo University Faculty of Archaeology at the ancient burial ground of Saqqara, south of Cairo. Mohamed Ibrahim, minister of the country's Antiquities Ministry, told the Associated Press that the tomb belonged to Paser, a guard who protected the army archives and also served as the royal ambassador between ancient Egypt and foreign countries.
Ibrahim added to the AP that this discovery adds "a chapter to our knowledge about the history of Saqqara." The tomb reportedly contains very clear and detailed inscriptions telling of the guard's funeral procession and his future in the afterlife. One image in blue, red and yellow colors shows Paser's wife crying over her deceased husband, while another shows Paser's children offering gifts to the gods. A third relief shows Osiris, the god of the Egyptian underworld, presiding over Paser's funeral. more >>
The legendary citadel captured by King David in his conquest of Jerusalem has reportedly been discovered by an Israeli archaeologist, though some critics have questioned linking the discovery to the biblical account.
"This is the citadel of King David, this is the Citadel of Zion, and this is what King David took from the Jebusites," said the archaeologist, Eli Shukron, who worked for Israel's Antiquities Authority before leaving to become a lecturer and tour guide. "The whole site we can compare to the Bible perfectly."
The Associated Press reported that the $10 million excavation took place in the Arab neighborhood of Jerusalem, and was financed by a group that settles Jews in Arab areas of east Jerusalem. The Elad Foundation is also said to be privately funded by Jewish donors in the U.S. And the U.K. more >>
A group of Spanish archaeologists claim they may have recovered one of the earliest images of Jesus Christ, painted on the inside of a 6th Century, underground structure near burial tombs in Upper Egypt alongside Coptic inscriptions and plant motifs.
Josep Padro of the Catalan Egyptology Society led a team of archaeologists in discovering the image, which was painted on the wall of an underground structure among burial tombs in the ancient city of Oxyrhynchus in Upper Egypt. The town has been considered to be archaeologically rich because of its ancient people's worship of the Egyptian God Osiris, but this most recent find is from much later, the 6th Century, and relates to the Christian religion.
As Padro told La Vanguardia newspaper, his team discovered "five or six coats of paint on the walls [in the underground structure], the last of which was from the Coptic period of the first Christians." more >>
50 mummies in the Valley of the Kings in Egypt were discovered recently and researchers from the University of Basel in Switzerland believe the remains date back 3,300 years to between 1567 and 1085 B.C. The skeletal remains of princes, princesses and infants had already been raided, however, most likely by bandits thousands of years ago, according to reports.
The 50 mummies in the Valley of the Kings are located along the West Bank of the Nile, about 312 miles south of modern-day Cairo, Egypt. The research was conducted by the University of Basel in conjunction with the country's antiquities officials, who may allow the mummies to be displayed in museums after studying them.
"The immense necropolis contains the remains of mummies that could have been members of the royal family," Egyptian officials from MENA told Reuters. Hieroglyphs indicated the mummies could be related to Thutmose IV and Amenhotep III, who led Egypt in about the 14th century B.C., Live Science reported. more >>