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With Signs of Afghan Looting, 'I Feel As If My Soul Is Dying'

Taliban denies looting at ancient sites despite evidence in satellite images

(Newser) - The Taliban's vow to protect the cultural treasures of Afghanistan may have been little more than lip service, according to researchers, who've uncovered evidence of the widespread bulldozing and looting of ancient sites. The Center for Cultural Heritage Preservation at the University of Chicago used satellite images and...

Auction Said to Be 'Nothing Short of Remarkable' Is Halted

Sale of Nelson Mandela artifacts has been suspended as South Africa fights for them

(Newser) - The planned auction of dozens of artifacts belonging to Nelson Mandela has been suspended pending a court application to completely halt it. The online auction had been scheduled by New York-based Guernsey's auction house on Feb. 24, in conjunction with Dr. Makaziwe Mandela, the eldest daughter of the anti-apartheid...

Mad Scramble in US Museums on Native American Displays

New rules handed down by Biden administration prohibit such exhibits without consent from tribes

(Newser) - Museums across America have started closing exhibits highlighting Native American artifacts in an attempt to comply with new Biden administration rules that mandate venues get the OK from Indigenous tribes before displaying those samples. The requirements under the updated Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act , originally passed in 1990,...

Archaeological Dig May 'Change the History' of Brazil

Scientists find relics that push back the time of first inhabitants by about 1.4K years

(Newser) - Archaeologists weren't too surprised when they began unearthing relics from a dig in northeastern Brazil. They were stunned, however, to keep finding relics the deeper they dug in the coastal city of Sao Luis, reports AFP . In all, they've unearthed four layers representing different eras of human habitation,...

Confederate Relics Unearthed in South Carolina River
South Carolina River Cleanup
Makes Surprising Civil War Find
in case you missed it

South Carolina River Cleanup Makes Surprising Civil War Find

Hundreds of relics uncovered from Sherman's March to the Sea

(Newser) - Hundreds of Civil War relics were unearthed during the cleanup of a South Carolina river where Union troops dumped Confederate military equipment to deliver a demoralizing blow for rebel forces in the birthplace of the secessionist movement. As the AP reports, the artifacts were discovered while crews removed tar-like material...

These Auction Items Touched Titanic Survivors, and the Dead
3 Rare Titanic Artifacts
Top $100K at Auction

3 Rare Titanic Artifacts Top $100K at Auction

Pocket watch taken from body of 2nd-class passenger sells for nearly $119K

(Newser) - Someone paid more than $100,000 for a century-old dinner menu, reflecting "ongoing interest" in the Titanic, according to auction house Henry Aldridge & Son Ltd. The menu—coveted by Titanic enthusiasts as the only one to survive from April 11, 1912, three days before the luxury ocean liner...

Metal Detector Uncovers a Bronze Age Treasure Trove

Jewelry collection comes from Swiss area with few known settlements from that time

(Newser) - A Swiss man who set out to explore a freshly plowed field with his metal detector stumbled upon what some are speculating are treasures once contained in an ancient jewelry box. From the carrot field in Güttingen, 50 miles northeast of Zurich, Franz Zahn first pulled a bronze disc...

US Tourist Arrested for Hurling Museum's Statues to Floor

Lawyer says man was suffering from so-called 'Jerusalem syndrome'

(Newser) - Israeli police have arrested an American tourist at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem after he hurled works of art to the floor, defacing two second-century Roman statues. The vandalism late Thursday raised questions about the safety of Israel's priceless collections and stirred concern about a rise in attacks on...

Oldest Wood Structure Is a Surprise to Researchers
'When I First Saw It,
I Thought This Can't Be Real'
in case you missed it

'When I First Saw It, I Thought This Can't Be Real'

Oldest known wood structure found to predate modern humans by almost 200K years

(Newser) - Archaeologists have uncovered what is thought to be the world's oldest known wood structure, whose estimated age suggests woodworking is at least 175,000 years older than our species. A research team discovered five very old pieces of wood in waterlogged sediment near Zambia's Kalambo Falls in an...

1.9K-Year-Old Roman Swords Have a Story to Tell

Remarkably well-preserved weapons are discovered in an Israeli cave

(Newser) - Four Roman-era swords, their wooden and leather hilts and scabbards and steel blades exquisitely preserved after 1,900 years in a desert cave, surfaced in a recent excavation by Israeli archaeologists near the Dead Sea, the Israel Antiquities Authority said Wednesday. The cache of exceptionally intact artifacts was found about...

Pending Nazi Artifacts Law Boosts Sales in Australia

Anti-defamation official denounces auctions, which included signed Hitler pictures

(Newser) - Anticipation of a ban in Australia on selling Nazi artifacts has created what an anti-defamation official calls a "repulsive phenomenon"—buyers rushing to snap up offensive reminders of a horrific period. "I've been a full-time dealer for 14 years and I've never seen the number...

Pope Endorses Returning Artifacts Held by Vatican

'If you steal something you have to give it back,' Francis says

(Newser) - Pope Francis said Sunday that talks were underway to return artifacts in the Vatican Museum that were acquired from Indigenous peoples in Canada and voiced a willingness to return other colonial-era objects in the Vatican's collection on a case-by-case basis. "The Seventh Commandment comes to mind: If you...

Artifact That Was Displayed in US Goes Back to Egypt
US Returns Artifact to Egypt

US Returns Artifact to Egypt

Looted ancient sarcophagus was smuggled into US in 2008

(Newser) - An ancient wooden sarcophagus that was featured at the Houston Museum of Natural Sciences was returned to Egypt after US authorities determined it was looted years ago, Egyptian officials said Monday. The repatriation is part of Egyptian government efforts to stop the trafficking of its stolen antiquities, the AP reports....

'It Was Wrong to Take the Bronzes' and 'Keep Them for 120 Years'

Germany returns 20 Benin Bronzes to Nigeria

(Newser) - The kingdom of Benin—whose earthen walls were said to be on par with those of the Great Wall of China—stood from the 11th century until 1897. That was the year the British invaded what's now southern Nigeria, burned it down, and made off with the Benin Bronzes:...

'A Spoil of War': Egyptologists Demand Return of Rosetta Stone

British Museum, which refused its return in the past, says there's no official request now

(Newser) - Egyptian archaeologists and thousands of supporters are demanding the return of one of the British Museum's most prized artifacts, along with other Egyptian treasures, saying their continued presence in the heart of the British Empire "supports past colonial endeavors of cultural violence." An online petition launched last...

Museum, Tribe Agree on Return of Wounded Knee Artifacts

Items are a fraction of those held by institutions that federal law says should be turned over

(Newser) - About 150 items considered sacred by the Sioux peoples that have been stored at a small Massachusetts museum for more than a century are being returned, museum and tribal officials announced Monday. The items including weapons, pipes, moccasins, and clothing—about seven or eight of which are thought to have...

Investigators Remove Artifacts From Met With Search Warrants

Repatriations to Italy and Egypt are planned for next week

(Newser) - More artifacts are on their way back to other countries after investigators bearing search warrants took them from the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Manhattan District Attorney's Office announced that 27 ancient objects, valued at more than $13 million, were seized after a determination that they had...

Vatican Museums' Lesser Known Collection Is a Contested One

Indigenous groups want back the artifacts and art 'gifted' for 1925 exhibition

(Newser) - The Vatican Museums are home to some of the most magnificent artworks in the world, from Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel to ancient Egyptian antiquities and a pavilion full of papal chariots. But one of the museum’s least-visited collections is becoming its most contested before Pope Francis' trip to Canada,...

Art World's 'Indiana Jones' Recovers Relic in Surprising Way

Anonymous person gave to Arthur Brand stolen vials said to hold blood of Christ

(Newser) - Thieves were inconspicuously locked inside a French church on the evening of June 1. According to police, they burst out the next morning with one of the most cherished Christian relics: two lead vials containing pieces of linen said to be covered in the blood of Jesus Christ—collected in...

'Really Amazing Artifact' Found at Jesus' Supposed Crucifixion Site

Medieval altar would've stood at apex of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre

(Newser) - A medieval altar, apparently long forgotten, has been rediscovered at the supposed site of Jesus Christ's crucifixion. Recent excavations on Jerusalem's Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the site where many Christians believe Jesus was crucified , buried, and resurrected, revealed a large stone slab, "pressed against a wall...

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