Articles by Andrew Lawler

At an archaeological site in Ethiopia, researchers are uncovering the oldest Christian basilica in sub-Saharan Africa.

Church Unearthed in Ethiopia Rewrites the History of Christianity in Africa

Archaeologists now can more closely date when the religion spread to the Aksumite Empire

The Hondius map of 1589 inset depicts Drake's encampment at New Albion, Portus Novas Albionis.

Did Francis Drake Really Land in California?

New research suggests that one of the state’s greatest historians had a hand in perpetrating an infamous hoax

This marker now resides beside Highway 64 near the site of where the Roanoke settlement is believed to have sat.

Joachim Gans, the First Practicing Jew to Set Foot in North America, Finally Gets His Due

The metallurgist came to the Roanoke settlement looking for raw materials to support the English war effort

An illustration of Blackbeard, the famed pirate

Three Centuries After His Beheading, a Kinder, Gentler Blackbeard Emerges

Recent discoveries cast a different light on the most famous—and most feared—pirate of the early 18th century

This early map of the newly settled colony of Virginia features a photo of Sir Francis Drake

Did Francis Drake Bring Enslaved Africans to North America Decades Before Jamestown?

The English privateer arrived on the Carolina coast after sacking Spanish lands in the Caribbean, but who, if anyone, did he leave behind?

Greek Orthodox priests taking part in a procession inside the Katholikon, or Catholicon Chapel, in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem.

A Crusader-Era High Altar Resurfaces in Jerusalem’s Holy Sepulcher

This reminder of centuries-old history was sitting in plain sight all along

Jozsef and Merrylu Richter perform at the 42nd International Circus Festival in Monte Carlo last weekend.

After Claims of Animal Cruelty, Can the Circus Survive?

At the International Circus Festival in Monte Carlo, an unlikely figure is leading the charge to transform the circus for the 21st century

The lost colony of Roanoke

The Mystery of Roanoke Endures Yet Another Cruel Twist

An artifact found 20 years ago turns out to not be what archaeologists thought

History of Now

Muslims Were Banned From the Americas as Early as the 16th Century

Long before today’s anxiety about terror attacks, Spain and England feared that enslaved Africans would be more susceptible to revolt if they were Muslim

Chicken reigns in the 21st century.

How the Chicken Conquered the World

The epic begins 10,000 years ago in an Asian jungle and ends today in kitchens all over the world

After being abrupty sacked in an overhaul of the country's cabinet, Zahi Hawass has been reinstated, but only temporarily.

The Fall of Zahi Hawass

Removed as minister of antiquities, the high profile archaeologist no longer holds the keys to 5,000 years of Egyptian history

During the Civil War, Fort Monroe served as the key staging ground for Northern campaigns against Norfolk, the Outer Banks of North Carolina and the Southern capital of Richmond.

Fort Monroe’s Lasting Place in History

Famous for accepting escaped slaves during the Civil War, the Virginia base also has a history that heralds back to Jamestown

The Dead Sea Scrolls remained hidden in caves for nearly 2,000 years until they were discovered, in 1947, by a shepherd.

Who Wrote the Dead Sea Scrolls?

Resolving the dispute over authorship of the ancient manuscripts could have far-reaching implications for Christianity and Judaism

Four hundred years ago, Isfahan was larger than London and more cosmopolitan than Paris.  The city's most famous bridge, Si-o Seh Pol (Bridge of 33 Arches) is nearly 1,000 feet long and 45 feet wide.

Isfahan: Iran's Hidden Jewel

Once the dazzling capital of ancient Persia,Isfahan fell victim to neglect, but a new generation hopes to restore its lost luster

Higham (at Ban Non Wat) says villagers "don't relate to the bones they find."

Bodies of Evidence in Southeast Asia

Excavations at a cemetery in a Thai village reveal a 4,000-year-old indigenous culture

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Unearthing Egypt's Greatest Temple

Discovering the grandeur of the monument built 3,400 years ago

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Down to Earth

Anthropologist Amber VanDerwarker is unraveling the mysteries of the ancient Olmec by figuring out what they ate

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Prophet on the Mount

The devout pay respects to Aaron

One of the few entryways into Petra is a narrow passage, the Siq, at the end of which Petrans carved elaborate monuments into the soft rock.

Reconstructing Petra

Two thousand years ago, it was the capital of a powerful trading empire. Now archaeologists are piecing together a picture of Jordan's compelling rock city

Capt. John Smith and Chief Powhatan had historic encounters in Werowocomoco.

Lost City of Powhatan

The Algonquian settlement crucial to the survival of Jamestown 400 years ago has been found. Finally