Smart News History & Archaeology

A plaque depicting a war chief and a royal military priest carrying a leather gift box

London's Horniman Museum Will Return Stolen Benin Bronzes to Nigeria

The 72 objects were looted from Benin City more than a century ago

Experts were unable to pinpoint a cause of death, but three medical witnesses who testified during an inquest into the Somerton Man case agreed that his passing “was not natural.” 

Have Scholars Finally Identified the Mysterious Somerton Man?

New DNA analysis suggests a body found on a beach in Australia in 1948 belongs to Carl Webb, an electrical engineer from Melbourne

Archaeologists found the ruins last year ahead of planned construction.

Archaeologists Rebury 'First-of-Its-Kind' Roman Villa

The ruins were originally uncovered in Scarborough, England, last year

The watch that likely belonged to Adolf Hitler

Hitler’s Watch Sells for $1.1 Million at Controversial Auction

Jewish leaders opposed the sale, calling it “an abhorrence” in an open letter

A footprint discovered on an archaeological site is marked with a pin flag on the Utah Test and Training Range, July 18, 2022.

Archaeologists Find 12,000-Year-Old Human Footprints in Utah

The 88 individual footprints were were discovered on a remote desert Air Force training site that was once a wetland

Archaeologists Wade Catts and Dana Linck with historian Jennifer Janofsky at the excavation site

Archaeologists Uncover Remains of 13 Hessian Soldiers at Revolutionary War Battlefield

The discovery came as a surprise to the team at New Jersey’s Red Bank Battlefield Park

Jackie Robinson circa 1945

New Museum Honors Jackie Robinson’s Many Legacies

Interactive exhibits will explore the baseball icon’s athletic career and civil rights work

Singer James Brown off stage near Memphis, Tennessee

'Ebony' and 'Jet' Magazines' Iconic Photos Captured Black Life in America

Getty and the Smithsonian will now share ownership of the two magazines' renowned photo archives

The Appalshop building during the floods

Kentucky Floods Damage Irreplaceable Appalachian Archives

Appalshop, a cultural center in Whitesburg, Kentucky, is still assessing damage from the historic floods

The Salem Witch Memorial in Salem, Massachusetts

Last Convicted Salem 'Witch' Is Finally Cleared

Elizabeth Johnson Jr. has been officially exonerated—thanks to a dogged band of middle schoolers

French Culture Minister Rima Abdul Malak visiting Notre-Dame Cathedral on July 28

Notre-Dame Cathedral Will Reopen by 2024

Officials say that the iconic structure will be ready for visitors in time for the Olympics

Nichelle Nichols as Nyota Uhura in “Star Trek”

Nichelle Nichols, Pioneering 'Star Trek' Actress, Dies at 89

She made history as one of the first Black women to appear in a leading role on television

The ceremony arrives amid a worldwide push to repatriate objects removed from their countries of origin under troubling circumstances.

Albuquerque Museum Returns Long-Forgotten Cache of Sculptures to Mexico

The objects, which date to between 300 and 600 B.C.E., sat in a storage box for 15 years

The coin depicts Luna, the goddess of the moon, and the zodiac sign for Cancer.

Cool Finds

Roman Coin Depicting Zodiac Symbol Discovered off Israel’s Coast

The rare bronze coin was minted during the reign of the Roman emperor Antoninus Pius

Frida Kahlo painting a portrait in 1931

A Musical About Frida Kahlo Is Coming to Broadway

The production, expected to open in 2024, is a celebration of the painter's resilience and passion

Don McLean’s 1971 hit “American Pie” is the subject of a new documentary.

Unraveling the Secrets of Don McLean's 'American Pie'

A new documentary explores the meaning of the catchy, enigmatic tune

A marine archaeologist examines one of the engraved Purbeck gravestones recovered from the 13th-century Mortar Wreck.

Cool Finds

England's Oldest Surviving Shipwreck Is a 13th-Century Merchant Vessel

Carrying a cargo of locally sourced limestone, the so-called Mortar Wreck likely sank off the Dorset coast during the reign of Henry III

The U.S. government seized the Amadea, a yacht it says is owned by Russian oligarch Suleiman Kerimov.

'Alleged' Fabergé Egg Found Aboard a Seized Russian Oligarch's Yacht

The rare egg may not be authentic—but if it is, it could be worth millions

Only about a dozen first printings of the Constitution are known to exist.

After Selling for $43 Million, Rare Copy of the Constitution Goes on Display

The new exhibition explores diverse interpretations of the document's founding values

Aldrin's Apollo 11 inflight coverall jacket

These Objects Tell the Story of Buzz Aldrin's Career

The astronaut is auctioning off his moon-landing jacket and other space gear

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