Scotland

Bruce Clark, author of the new book Athens: City of Wisdom, outlines the events that culminated in the Elgin Marbles’ extraction from Greece.

How the Much-Debated Elgin Marbles Ended Up in England

For two centuries, diplomat Thomas Bruce has been held up as a shameless plunderer. The real history is more complicated, argues the author of a new book

An illustration from Newes From Scotland (1591), a pamphlet that publicized ongoing witch trials in North Berwick, Scotland, across Europe. Groups of accused women are depicted brewing spells to thwart James VI's ship (upper left), and a local schoolmaster is shown taking notes from the devil. 

Scotland Considers Pardon for Thousands of Accused 'Witches'

Advocates are calling on leaders to exonerate the thousands of women and men targeted in witch hunts during the 16th through 18th centuries

Discovered with the Galloway Hoard in Scotland, a gold-wrapped rock crystal jar includes the name of a previously unknown bishop from medieval Britain.

Cool Finds

A Rare, Gold-Wrapped Jar May Reveal the Splendor of Early Medieval Britain

After going through an extensive conservation process, researchers found that the rock crystal artifact was inscribed with the name of a mysterious bishop

Archaeologists have identified a rare ninth-century Viking sword discovered at a burial site on one of the Orkney Islands in Scotland.

Cool Finds

Rare Viking Sword Discovered in Grave on Scottish Island

The weapon is covered in rust and dirt, but a new X-ray analysis suggests it once boasted rich decorations

David Allan, Edinburgh Milkmaid With Butter Churn, circa 1780–90

See a Rare Watercolor of a Black Woman Living in Edinburgh in the Late 18th Century

Staff at the National Galleries of Scotland, which recently acquired the David Allan painting, hope to uncover more information about the sitter's identity

A plaster cast of a "ghost turnip" carving from Donegal, Ireland

When People Carved Turnips Instead of Pumpkins for Halloween

Revelers in Ireland transformed the root vegetables into lanterns designed to ward off dark spirits

Some prehistoric stone spheres found in Scotland feature carved ridges and spirals. This one's surface is polished smooth.

Cool Finds

Polished, 5,500-Year-Old Stone Balls Found in Neolithic Scottish Tomb

The rare artifacts were probably used as both weapons and symbols of power

Researchers successfully recovered one of the two prehistoric timbers.

Cool Finds

5,000-Year-Old Wooden Stakes Discovered at Neolithic Site in Scotland

Excavations at Orkney's Ness of Brodgar revealed two prehistoric pieces of timber

The 1,900-year-old segment dates to the early stages of the wall's construction.

Cool Finds

Overlooked Section of Hadrian's Wall Discovered Beneath Busy Newcastle Street

Routine work in the English city revealed a ten-foot stretch of the barrier that once marked the Roman Empire's northwest frontier

Experts describe the Galloway Hoard as the “richest collection of rare and unique Viking-age objects ever found in Britain or Ireland.”

Trove of Viking-Age Treasures Makes Its Long-Awaited Public Debut

The Galloway Hoard, a collection of 100 rare artifacts buried in Scotland around 900 A.D., is finally on view

The carvings show the large antlers of adult male red deer.

Cool Finds

Amateur Archaeologist Discovers Prehistoric Animal Carvings in Scottish Tomb

The 4,000- to 5,000-year-old depictions of deer are the first of their kind found in Scotland

Artist’s reconstruction of historic structures at the site of Netherton Cross, a 10th- or 11th-century religious sculpture that has since been relocated

Cool Finds

Scottish Archaeologists Discover Only Surviving Traces of Razed Medieval Town

An 18th-century duke seeking to transform his estate into parkland ordered the village of Netherton's destruction

Rosary beads and Bible belonging to Mary, Queen of Scots, pictured at Arundel Castle in January 1968. Authorities recently announced the rosary's theft from the English stronghold.

Rosary Beads Owned by Mary, Queen of Scots, Stolen in Heist at English Castle

The Stuart monarch may have carried the golden beads—taken last Friday in a $1.4-million burglary—to her execution in 1587

After Yolande of Anjou, wife of Francis I, duke of Brittany, died in 1440, her husband had her likeness painted over with a portrait of his second wife.

Cool Finds

Researchers Discover Hidden Portrait in 15th-Century Duchess' Prayer Book

The duke of Brittany had his second spouse's likeness painted over an image of his late first wife

The find marks the first ancient fingerprint recorded at the Ness of Brodgar archaeological site.

Cool Finds

5,000-Year-Old Fingerprint Found on Pottery Shard Unearthed in Scotland

The Ness of Brodgar is home to a massive complex of Neolithic buildings

Samuel Ntiro's Chopping Wood (circa 1967) is one of 12 newly attributed African Modernist artworks set to go on view in Scotland next month.

Cool Finds

Trove of African Modernist Masterpieces Spent Decades Hidden in Rural Scotland

A two-year research project identified 12 overlooked paintings, drawings and prints by pioneering 20th-century artists

The team used LiDAR scanning and computer modeling to recreate the acoustics of Linlithgow Palace's chapel.

Art Meets Science

Hear a 16th-Century Concert Recreated by a 'Musical Time Machine'

Researchers modeled the acoustics of Linlithgow Palace in Scotland to transport listeners back to a 1512 performance

On March 13, 1996, a gunman murdered 16 students and their teacher at Dunblane Primary School in Scotland. Pictured: the class of 5- to 6-year-olds and their teacher, Gwen Mayor

History of Now

How the 1996 Dunblane Massacre Pushed the U.K. to Enact Stricter Gun Laws

A devastating attack at a Scottish primary school sparked national outcry—and a successful campaign for gun reform

Can You Dig It volunteers took part in excavation work at Little Wood Hill in 2019.

Cool Finds

Hazelnut Shell Sheds Light on Life in Scotland More Than 10,000 Years Ago

Amateur archaeologists discovered the shell, along with evidence from an Iron Age structure, in 2019

Smith, the first black American to earn a medical degree, was also a leading abolitionist and prolific writer. His alma maters included the African Free School #2 (bottom right) and the University of Glasgow (top right).

Race in America

America's First Black Physician Sought to Heal a Nation's Persistent Illness

An activist, writer, doctor and intellectual, James McCune Smith, born enslaved, directed his talents to the eradication of slavery

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