Posted inMiddle Ages

The Lady of Arintero, the young woman who posed as a man to fight for Isabella I of Castile

We wrote on other occasions about women who had a more or less prominent role in warfare. We’ve seen Vikings, Welsh, Bretons, and, in short, individuals from various nationalities, including several Spanish women. Today, we’ll focus on the national women, recalling the story of the Lady of Arintero, the daughter of a Leonese noble who, […]

Posted inArchaeology, Middle Ages

Pouches Full of Vandal and Ostrogothic Coins Lost by Pilgrims Discovered in the Ancient City of Marea in Egypt

Researchers from the Faculty of Archaeology at the University of Warsaw have examined thousands of coins discovered in the ancient city of Marea, located 45 kilometers southwest of Alexandria. Their findings are reshaping the established understanding in literature about monetary circulation in Egypt at the end of antiquity. Marea, known as Filoksenite during the Byzantine […]

Posted inArchaeology, Middle Ages

Archaeologists Discover Oldest Dry Compass in Europe from Wreck of Medieval Ship in Estonia

Archeologists in Estonia made an exciting discovery this year while excavating an old shipwreck site near the historic port of Tallinn. In 2022, well-preserved remains of a medieval ship were found buried on Lootsi Street, not far from the old city walls. The excavation was led by Muinasprojekt OÜ, an Estonian archaeology company. Once uncovered, […]

Posted inArchaeology, Middle Ages

Archaeologists uncover the ancient city of Jalula, where Sasanians and Muslims engaged in a historic clash back in 637 AD

In an exciting announcement, the General Authority for Antiquities and Heritage of Iraq has revealed the discovery of the boundaries and various structures of the ancient city of Jalula, the city that witnessed the famous battle of the same name 1386 years ago. The Director-General of the Directorate of Research and Archaeological Excavations, Professor Ali […]

Posted inGeography, Middle Ages

Cosmas Indicopleustes, a Greek traveler and geographer, is the sole known medieval author who believed that the Earth was flat

Syrian Greek merchant Cosmas Indicopleustes, born in the 6th century, penned a controversial work ‘Christian Topography’. He rejected the Greek concept of a spherical earth and provided firsthand descriptions from his travels, including maritime trade and Arabian flora and fauna, influencing Western depictions of the region.

Posted inArchaeology, Middle Ages

Norway’s Earliest Ship Burial Emerges Before the Viking Age

This summer, a small group of archaeologists and metal detector enthusiasts conducted a study on the large burial mound known as Herlaugshaugen, located on the island of Leka in the northern Trøndelag region of Norway. The project was commissioned by the National Antiquities Council of Norway and carried out in collaboration with the regional government, […]

Posted inMiddle Ages, Modern Era

The Last Descendants of the Byzantine Emperors Settled on the Caribbean Island of Barbados

The French adventurer Victor Hughes, featured in Alejo Carpentier’s novel The Century of Lights, recounts in a passage some of the wonders he has seen in his travels, including “in Barbados, the tomb of a nephew of Constantine XI, the last emperor of Byzantium, whose ghost appears on stormy nights to solitary wanderers…“. He refers […]

Posted inAncient Rome, Culture, Middle Ages

When the Codex Overtook the Scroll as the Format for Books

Recently, following the article we published about the origins of the books in the Library of Alexandria, a somewhat finicky (and indeed quite mistaken) reader confronted us on a social media platform, asserting that those were not books but rather handwritten scrolls. What he evidently didn’t know is that scrolls are simply one form of […]