Religious History

Workers converting a 15th-century granary (large brown building pictured) into a parking garage in Erfurt, Germany, uncovered graves from a medieval Jewish cemetery.

How Construction of a Parking Lot Uncovered New Insights About Medieval Jews

A new DNA study suggests Ashkenazi Jews living in 14th-century Germany were surprisingly genetically diverse

Throne 1, KK'in Lakam Chahk (785)

Rarely Seen Ancient Maya Masterpieces Go on View at the Met

It's the first exhibition of its kind in the United States in a decade

Nazis set an estimated 1,400 synagogues on fire during Kristallnacht.

These 84-Year-Old Nazi Photos Paint a Harrowing Picture of Kristallnacht

The images show mobs ransacking Jewish-owned homes, businesses and synagogues in 1938

If Yonatan Adler's theory proves correct, then Judaism is, at best, Christianity’s elder sibling and a younger cousin to the religions of ancient Greece and Rome.

Is Judaism a Younger Religion Than Previously Thought?

A new book by an Israeli archaeologist makes the stunning claim that common Jewish practices emerged only a century or so before Jesus

Magic was just another tool in a medieval animal healer's toolbox.

The Veterinary Magic of the Middle Ages

Medieval healers treated animals' ailments with a mix of faith, tradition and science

T.H. Matteson, Examination of a Witch, 1853

A Brief History of the Salem Witch Trials

One town's strange journey from paranoia to pardon

At the 1893 World Columbian Exposition in Chicago, Vivekananda presented a paternal, all-inclusive vision of India that made America seem young and provincial.

The Indian Guru Who Brought Eastern Spirituality to the West

A new biography explores the life of Vivekananda, a Hindu ascetic who promoted a more inclusive vision of religion

Researchers have created facial reconstructions of three medieval Scottish people who were buried at the historic Whithorn site.

Stunning Facial Reconstructions Resurrect a Trio of Medieval Scots

The renderings show what a bishop, a cleric and a young woman with a remarkably symmetrical face may have looked like in life

Fragments of the Hercules statue (left) and an archaeologist excavating the artwork (right)

Archaeologists in Greece Unearth 'Larger-Than-Life' Statue of Hercules

The team discovered the 2,000-year-old artwork in Philippi

A different page from the Beauvais Missal, a manuscript created in the late 13th century

Man Pays $75 for Medieval Text That Could Be Worth $10,000

He spotted the page from the 13th-century Beauvais Missal at an estate sale in Maine

Earlier this week, American investigators returned a looted rare quarter shekel silver coin to Israel.

Ancient Coin Made in Defiance of Roman Rule Returns to Israel

U.S. officials found the stolen coin at a Denver auction in 2017

Catherine de' Medici was the mother of three kings.

The Many Myths of Catherine de' Medici

A new Starz series, "The Serpent Queen," dramatizes the life of the much-maligned 16th-century ruler

Aerial view of the usually submerged ruins of the village of Aceredo in northwestern Spain on February 15, 2022

This Summer’s Drought Is Europe's Worst in 500 Years. What Happened Last Time?

The 1540 megadrought brought mass suffering to the continent, but European society quickly bounced back

Digital facial reconstructions of two of the individuals found in the well, based on skeletal remains and DNA

Bones Found in Medieval Well Likely Belong to Victims of Anti-Semitic Massacre

A new DNA analysis suggests the 17 individuals were Ashkenazi Jews murdered in Norwich, England, in 1190

Tourists visit the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul in 2020.

Archaeologists Call on Unesco to Protect the Hagia Sophia

The sixth-century site has suffered increased vandalism and damage in recent years

Left, the Pula Arena is the sixth-largest Roman amphitheater still standing and one of the best preserved. Right, the port in the coastal town of Fažana.

In Istria, Roman Ruins, Unique Wines and Prized Truffles Await

Journey to the coast of Croatia, where you’ll encounter an inviting coastline, ancient mummies and so much more

The mural in its new location inside the Ohavi Zedek Synagogue in Burlington, Vermont

Why Was a Synagogue Mural Hidden Behind a Wall in a Vermont Apartment?

The restoration of the stunning 112-year-old artwork is now complete

Archaeologists pose near the inscription found on the north shore of the Sea of Galilee

Did Archaeologists Find Saint Peter's Birthplace?

An inscription uncovered at the site of an ancient church offers new evidence

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

Divers from AllenX examines the debris trail of the Maravillas, which sank in the Bahamas in 1656.

The Race to Preserve Treasures From a Legendary 17th-Century Shipwreck

The new Bahamas Maritime Museum will feature finds from the "Maravillas," a Spanish galleon that sank in 1656 with a cargo of gold, silver and gems

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