Mysteries

Adam Driver (left) plays Jacques Le Gris, a French squire accused of raping Marguerite, wife of knight Jean de Carrouges (right, played by Matt Damon).

Based on a True Story

The True History Behind 'The Last Duel'

A new film from Ridley Scott dramatizes the 1386 trial by combat of a medieval man accused of a horrific crime

Nestor's Cup, named for its ties to a legendary king referenced in Homer's Iliad and Odyssey, bears one of the earliest known Greek inscriptions.

Cool Finds

Researchers Are Unraveling the Mystery of the Ancient Greek Tomb of 'Nestor's Cup'

New analysis suggests the 2,800-year-old burial held the remains of at least three adults, not a child as previously believed

Early Etruscans had advanced knowledge of art, farming and metallurgy, leading some historians to believe the civilization originated elsewhere before settling in what is now Italy. DNA analysis shows they were actually locals.

New Research

Where Did the Ancient Etruscans Come From?

A new DNA analysis suggests the enigmatic civilization was native to the Italian Peninsula

“Air temperatures rapidly rose above 3,600 degrees Fahrenheit,” writes study co-author Christopher Moore. “Clothing and wood immediately burst into flames. Swords, spears, mudbricks and pottery began to melt. Almost immediately, the entire city was on fire.”

Ancient City's Destruction by Exploding Space Rock May Have Inspired Biblical Story of Sodom

Around 1650 B.C.E., the Bronze Age city of Tall el-Hammam was wiped out by a blast 1,000 times more powerful than the atomic bomb used at Hiroshima

Approximately 71 percent of modern Japanese people's ancestry comes from the newly identified Kofun period population.

New Research

DNA Analysis Rewrites Ancient History of Japan

A new study suggests the island's modern populations trace their ancestry to three distinct groups, not two as previously proposed

Archaeologists found the unusual burials while conducting excavations in the Romanian city of Cluj Napoca, pictured here.

Cool Finds

Why Were These Neolithic People Buried With Urns on Their Heads and Feet?

Found in Transylvania, the 6,000-year-old vessels may have once held provisions for the afterlife

Wildlife officials in some states are saying it is okay to feed songbirds again now that the mysterious illness is abating.

As Mysterious Avian Illness Fades, Some States Give All-Clear to Feed Birds Again

It's okay to feed songbirds again in many states, though scientists still don't know what caused this mysterious illness

The documentary plays out much like a spy thriller, interrogating the art world and the enigmatic figures who populate it.

Will the Mystery of 'Salvator Mundi' Ever Be Solved?

A new documentary, "The Lost Leonardo," explores the dramatic history of a purported Renaissance masterpiece

This iron dagger's well-preserved wooden handle may help researchers date artifacts found in Konthagai.

Cool Finds

Archaeologists Unearth Ancient Dagger Linked to Enigmatic Indian Civilization

A blade found in the state of Tamil Nadu offers new evidence of an urban center that thrived as long as 2,500 years ago

Radiocarbon dating suggests the workshop began minting operations between 640 and 550 B.C.E.

Cool Finds

World's Oldest Known Coin Mint Found in China

The 2,600-year-old site produced highly standardized "spade money," possibly on government orders

The four symbols seen in front of the king—a crescent moon, the sun, a snake and a flower—may hold religious significance.

Cool Finds

Archaeologists Discover 2,550-Year-Old Carving of the Last King of Babylon

Found in northern Saudi Arabia, the inscription depicts sixth-century B.C.E. ruler Nabonidus holding a scepter

The road appears to have run along a sandy ridge between the northern and southern ends of the lagoon.

Cool Finds

Traces of Submerged Roman Road Found Beneath Venetian Lagoon

New research suggests the Italian city was settled earlier than previously believed

Tollund Man was likely the victim of a human sacrifice.

What Did Tollund Man, One of Europe's Famed Bog Bodies, Eat Before He Died?

The enigmatic, 2,400-year-old mummy's last meal consisted of porridge and fish

Experts restored the sitter's facial expression to its original state.

Why the Vegetable Seller in This 450-Year-Old Painting Isn't Smiling Anymore

Restoration revealed that a grin had been added to the original—and brought experts closer to identifying the work's creator

Researchers previously thought the cave was an 18th-century folly, or decorative structure constructed to enhance the natural landscape.

Cool Finds

Deposed Ninth-Century King May Have Called This Cave Dwelling Home

New research suggests Eardwulf of Northumbria lived in the modified structure while in exile

The Renaissance artist created the wax figurine as a preparatory model for a larger sculpture.

Cool Finds

Fingerprint Found on Renaissance Wax Sculpture May Belong to Michelangelo

Conservators at the V&A in London say fluctuating temperatures, humidity in storage likely revealed the long-hidden imprint

The inscription represents a rare and valuable clue to the development and spread of writing systems in the region.

Cool Finds

This 3,100-Year-Old Inscription May Be Linked to a Biblical Judge

A pottery fragment found in Israel bears the name Jerubbaal—a nickname for Gideon ben Yoash, who appears in the Book of Judges

The sandstone relief is the first of its kind found at Vindolanda, a Roman fort near Hadrian's Wall.

Cool Finds

Rare Carving of Nude Horseman Found at Roman Fort May Depict Mercury or Mars

A pair of amateur archaeologists discovered the sandstone relief at Vindolanda in northern England

The elaborate construction of the pool, along with artifacts discovered inside of it, points to a ceremonial purpose.

Cool Finds

3,400-Year-Old Artificial Pool in Italy May Have Hosted Religious Rituals

New research dates the wooden basin's construction to a time of immense social change for Bronze Age people

Researchers say the incisors' removal may have served as an indicator of social status or membership in a specific group.

Why Are These Medieval-Era Skulls Found in Gabon Missing Their Front Teeth?

Intact, 500-year-old upper jaws discovered in an African cave bear evidence of deliberate facial modification

loading icon