Weapons

NATO troops from a battalion based in Fort Hood, Texas, train in Germany in September 1983, two months before the Able Archer 83 drill.

The 1983 Military Drill That Nearly Sparked Nuclear War With the Soviets

Fearful that the Able Archer 83 exercise was a cover for a NATO nuclear strike, the U.S.S.R. readied its own weapons for launch

A Long Island family sits in a "Kidde Kokoon" underground bomb shelter in 1955.

Digging Up the History of the Nuclear Fallout Shelter

For 75 years, images of bunker life have reflected the shifting optimism, anxieties and cynicism of the Atomic Age

Three spears have returned to southeastern Australia for the first time and are being displayed at the University of Sydney’s Chau Chak Wing Museum.

Captain Cook and His Crew Stole These Spears. Centuries Later, They're Finally Back in Sydney

The artifacts are on display alongside modern spears created by the descendants of the Indigenous Dharawal people

Researchers unearthed 10-pound Civil War artillery shell at a national park in Georgia in February. Local authorities say they plan to safely detonate the bomb—a decision that angered some historians arguing for the artifact's preservation. 

Cool Finds

Unexploded Civil War Shell Unearthed in Georgia

Local authorities plan to safely detonate the ordnance, potentially destroying it in the process. The decision has sparked controversy among history buffs

Chalcidian helmets such as this one were often worn by ancient Greek warriors.

Cool Finds

These Ancient Greek Helmets Tell of a Naval Battle 2,500 Years Ago

Archaeologists in southern Italy discovered the headgear along with pottery, fragments and a shield near the likely remains of a temple to goddess Athena

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

Inlaid with silver and brass, the ancient Roman dagger is in remarkably good condition.

Cool Finds

Amateur Archaeologist in Switzerland Unearths 2,000-Year-Old Roman Dagger

Lucas Schmid's find led to the discovery of hundreds of other ancient artifacts linked to a 15 B.C.E. battle between imperial and Rhaetian forces

The term “Crusade” has always been an anachronism—a way of looking back at complex, often disconnected movements with a wide array of motivations, membership, tactics and results and organizing them into a single coherent theology or identity. Pictured: A 19th-century painting of the 1177 Battle of Montgisard by Charles-Philippe Larivière

The Many Myths of the Term 'Crusader'

Conceptions of the medieval Crusades tend to lump disparate movements together, ignoring the complexity and diversity of these military campaigns

The ivory comb shows gazelle-like animals attempting to escape predators.

Cool Finds

1,500-Year-Old Ivory Beard Comb Found in Grave in Germany

The rare sixth-century grooming tool features intricate carvings of a hunting scene

The timbers of a 500-year-old ship rest on the floor of the Baltic Sea. Scholars and divers are studying the legendary wreck.

An Extraordinary 500-Year-Old Shipwreck Is Rewriting the History of the Age of Discovery

In the frigid Baltic Sea, archaeologists probing the surprisingly well-preserved remains of a revolutionary warship are seeing the era in a new way

A diver discovered the 900-year-old sword in a natural cove off the coast of northern Israel.

Cool Finds

Diver Discovers 900-Year-Old Crusader Sword Off Israel's Coast

The four-foot-long weapon is encrusted in marine organisms but otherwise in "perfect condition"

Italian artist Girolamo di Tommaso da Treviso created the ceremonial shield around 1535.

Ornate Medieval Shield Looted by the Nazis Will Be Returned to the Czech Republic

Created in the 16th century, the intricately decorated piece of armor was once owned by Archduke Franz Ferdinand

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

One of 664 uranium cubes used in a nuclear reactor during World War II. Researchers are trying to confirm whether a similar cube housed in the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory's collections was also part of the Nazis' failed nuclear program.

Did the Nazis Use This Uranium Cube in Their Failed Nuclear Program?

New research may help the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory confirm the identity of a mysterious object in its collections

Finds ranged from a portrait of Adolf Hitler to a revolver, gas masks, Nazi Party badges, brass knuckles, letters and documents.

Trove of Nazi Artifacts Found Stashed in Wall of German House

Likely hidden as the Allies advanced on the city at the end of WWII, the cache includes gas masks, a revolver and boxes of documents

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

The gold and garnet pyramid mount found in Norfolk, England

Cool Finds

Amateur Treasure Hunter in England Discovers Early Medieval Sword Pyramid

On par with specimens found at nearby Sutton Hoo, the tiny accessory likely helped a lord or king keep their weapon sheathed

The Romans invaded and occupied Son Catlar around 123 B.C.E.

Cool Finds

Trove of Roman Weapons Unearthed at Ancient Settlement in Spain

Son Catlar, a Talayotic site on the Balearic Islands, is known for its well-preserved fortifications

Archaeologists excavated the White Monument, which stood north of the village of Igraya until the area was flooded in the late 1990s.

Archaeologists Propose 4,500-Year-Old Burial Mound Was World's First Military Memorial

Mesopotamians turned a community tomb on the Euphrates into a battle monument

This sample of red trinitite contained the quasicrystal described in a new study.

New Research

Study Plucks Rare Quasicrystal From Wreckage of First Atomic Bomb Test

Researchers found the strange material inside a piece of red trinitite, a glass-like amalgam formed by the blast's intense heat and pressure

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