Never in a million years.
That was my first reaction to finding out that the University of Leicester (where I am based) was about to commence an archaeological dig to uncover the bones of Richard III.
But, a press conference this morning has showed be to be totally wrong - or at least, woefully pessimistic. Because, it seems that a team of archeaologists has uncovered some bones that are indeed very likely to have been Richard III's.
King Richard III, the last of the Plantagenets, ruled England from 1483 until he was defeated at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485, the next-to-last major battle in what would later be called The Wars of the Roses. If you're watching "Game of Thrones" on HBO, the Wars of the Roses were Lancasters instead of Lannisters and Yorks rather than Starks - the show has more dragons and less sex than the real thing. Richard III was a York and if you think that show has a lot of characters and craziness, try to follow the actual Wars of the Roses.
Forty hectares of remains have been found in Alken Enge bog located in in the Alken Enge wetlands near Lake Mossø in East Jutland, Denmark.
Man has been killing man and beast since whatever critter of common descent crawled out of the primordial ooze. And likely before, there's just no way to know it.
But some things can be known and one of them is this; you don't manufacture poison unless you intend to kill something with it. And ancient man was interested in using the best applied science they could find.
A giant human sculpture has been unearthed at the Tayinat Archaeological Project excavation site in southeastern Turkey.
The head and torso of the human figure is intact to just above its waist and stands approximately 5 feet tall, so it likely had a total body length of 10 to 12 feet. The figure's face is bearded, with beautifully preserved inlaid eyes made of white and black stone, and its hair has been coiffed in an elaborate series of curls aligned in linear rows. Both arms are extended forward from the elbow, each with two arm bracelets decorated with lion heads. The figure's right hand holds a spear, and in its left is a shaft of wheat. A crescent-shaped pectoral adorns its chest.
The best stuff is found in Scotland.
And by 'best' I mean weirdest, like haggis, caber-tossing and 3,000-year-old mummies that turn out to be Frankenstein monsters.
Well, at least we know the ancient Celts weren't anti-science. I mean, they created a Frankenstein monster and they figured out that high-acid, low-oxygen peat bogs are the perfect way to insure that future generations could enjoy their abominations of nature. That's pro-science.
Stonehenge is interesting, though any mystical (or downright alien) symbolism is lost when you visit much larger sites, like Avebury Henge
, that are clearly not mystical at all. Because of its fame, people have long sought answers as to why Stonehenge was built.
A group of archaeologists now contend it was indeed symbolic - but not religious symbolism, it was more political.
The Dropa Stones are puzzling artifact #2 on the 10 Most Puzzling Ancient Artifacts list.
These are “The” Dropa Stone images.
What are the Dropa Stones?
I’ve seen this article several times now, and I meant to address it the first time, but then I got distracted by something shiny…er I mean work?
The coolest stuff regarding ancient religious history is not found in the Vatican or western Europe at all, it's in the East where a lot less modern growth took place. There is more stuff that will be buried under the Ilisu dam in Turkey than in all of most countries farther west. Almost every town in Turkey is a major archaeological site.
So it also goes with places like Bulgaria. I found a really wonderful Byzantine cross on a trip there, from the 18th century (unless you are doing it one time, to experience the paperwork and process of buying and bringing in an antique, I discourage you from doing so) and the place is littered with ancient monasteries and churches.