For some time now scholars have been fairly certain that the plague that struck the Eastern Roman Empire in the 6th century, known to some as Justinian's Plague, was the same disease that struck Europe in the 14th-century Black Death. Now this theory has been confirmed by DNA analysis of the remains of 6th-century plague victims, which revealed the presence of Yersinia pestis, the bacterium that manifests itself as bubonic, pneumonic, and septicemic plague.
The dreadful epidemic of the 6th century had far-reaching repercussions for Eastern Rome, although the theory that it heralded the end of the empire is not universally shared.
Find out more in the article by Mark Prigg at the Daily Mail.
While surveying the area in order to extend a highway, workers in southern Israel uncovered the remains of a village dating to the early Byzantine era. It soon became apparent that it was located on what had been an important travel route. And then the mosaics were uncovered. Described as "spectacular" and "stunning," the mosaics are a combination of birds, fruit, and intricate geometric patterns.
Find out more about the discovery in these articles:
- Byzantine Mosaics Uncovered In Southern Israel
Feature by Carlo Davis at the Huffington Post includes a video and a slide show.
- Impressive 1,500-year-old mosaic exposed
Article at Ynet News includes a video and two photos.
- Mosaic from Byzantine era found in Israeli road work site
Blog at NBC News includes some large, vivid images.
- Stunning Byzantine mosaic uncovered in Israel
Item by Jeanna Bryner at Fox News includes two photos.
He is perhaps best known for the role he played in ushering Christianity into Anglo-Saxon England, thanks in large part to his very Catholic wife. But he also wrote the earliest extant English law code. He was King Ethelbert I of Kent.
Recently, there have been quite a few news items about medieval and Renaissance art -- among other treasures.
- Elizabeth I portrait found in house clearance sale
Article by Tim Masters at BBC News includes a video.
- Medieval prayer book newly available online
Announcement by by Dr. Sue Steuer at WMU.
- Swedish royal regalia found in garbage bags
Item at UPI.com.
- Mishneh Torah, a Renaissance treasure, has new homes.
Article by Ula Ilnytzky at the Kansas City Star.
- Heaven on Earth: Art of Byzantium from Greek Collections to Premiere at National Gallery of Art
Feature by Maria A. Karamitsos at The Greek Star includes a very nice image of an icon of the Archangel Michael.
- MIA acquires rare Renaissance bust looted by Hitler
Item at TwinCities.com includes a nice photo.
- Long Hidden, Vatican Painting Linked To Native Americans
Feature by Sylvia Poggioli at NPR.
- Medieval Hermit Pope Not Murdered, as Believed
Evidence shows that Pope Celestine V was not the victim of foul play, as a hole in the remains of his skull prompted some scholars to speculate. Article by Rossella Lorenzi at Discovery News.
About six weeks ago, the grave of a knight was discovered under a parking lot in Edinburgh. Now archaeologists believe they may have found the knight's family buried in a crypt nearby. A female skull and the skeleton of an infant were found very close to the slab that marked the knight's grave. Other skeletons have been found, as well.
Find out more in these news items:
- More Medieval Skeletons Unearthed From Parking Lot In Scotland
Feature at Nature World News includes a large photo and a two-minute video.
- Mystery of the missing Knight from the Middle Ages is solved as researchers find his family crypt under an Edinburgh car park
That about sums it up, doesn't it? Feature by Wills Robinson at the Daily Mail includes many good photos.
As the youngest son of King Clovis, Chlotar received his portion of the divided kingdom when his father died. He joined forces with his brothers to conquer Burgundy and Thuringia, and as his brothers and their children died, he acquired their portions of the kingdom. But he did not always wait for natural causes.
Find out what misdeeds allowed Chlotar to build his kingdom in his Who's Who Profile.
Here are just a few stray bits of news you might find interesting.
- Dry rot leads to medieval discovery
What's the exciting discovery? Believe it or not, it's... a ditch. No, really. Article at Guernsey News includes a video.
- Rare 16th-century globe that first put 'Canada' on the map to be auctioned in U.K.
Feature by Randy Boswell at the Vancouver Sun.
- Herm's medieval bones reveal signs of leprosy and childhood mortality
Brief item at This Is Guernsey.
A ten-month-long excavation of a settlement in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland, has yielded a remarkable number of artifacts, from combs and bits of jewelry to a board game to the remains of houses, some dating as far back as the 10th century. And one especially interesting find is a "suspiciously buried skeleton." The body of a teenaged girl has a damaged skull, and it is believed that the place where she was found was not her original burial site.
Could she have been murdered? Check out the article by Meredith Bennett-Smith at the Huffington Post to find out more.
In an unmarked grave in the courtyard of what was once a Dominican monastery, archaeologists have uncovered the skeletons of a man and a woman holding hands and facing each other. The man has a broken hip, the result of a blow from a blunt object, and probably the cause of his death. The cause of the woman's death is uncertain; one theory is she died of a broken heart upon hearing news of the man's demise. More prosaically, perhaps it was a heart attack that struck her down. In any case, one must have died not long after the other for them to have been buried together.
Find out more in these news items:
- Love beyond the grave: Skeletons discovered holding hands in coffin together
Article by Dion Dassanayake at the Express.
- Romanian Skeletons Found Buried Holding Hands In Cluj-Napoca
Item by Carlo Davis at the Huffington Post.
- The Romanian Romeo and Juliet: Mystery of the young couple buried holding hands in courtyard of monastery
Feature by Jill Reilly at the Daily Mail.
While it's rare for two people to be buried together, it isn't unheard of. In fact, a similar case was uncovered less than two years ago in Italy. See Eternally together, October, 2011.