8. This Medieval Village Rises and Falls with the Lake
Fabbriche di Careggine is a village built near Tuscany in the thirteenth century and remained occupied until modern times. In 1946, builders completed a dam on the local lake, and the village disappeared into an artificial reservoir. There were 150 residents of the town at that time, and the city relocated all of them. When they drain the reservoir for maintenance work, the village reappears. Whenever this happens, tourists flood the site to see for themselves the town that rises and falls. It last re-emerged in 2021.
If you think that Yahtzee was the first game that involved throwing dice, think again. This icosahedron, or 20-sided die, was used by ancient diviners who pitched it as part of their attempts to predict the future. Divination was a common practice in the ancient world, and like games that involved throwing dice, it has survived in various forms to the present. Fortune tellers still use tarot cards, astrology, tea leaves, and palm lines to try to predict the future and, like their ancient counterparts, are experts at swindling people out of all of their money.
6. This Archeological Find May Be the Real Sword in the Stone
The sword in the stone is a classic item from Arthurian legend. The story claims that there was a sword stuck in a rock that no one could retrieve except the true king, and the unassuming Arthur was able to recover it with minimal effort. Nevertheless, is there any historical basis to the story? Saint Galgano was once a knight in Italy, but he renounced his lifestyle for asceticism by plunging his sword into a stone to create a cross. The site of Galgano’s sword has allegedly seen 19 miracles, leading to the former knight’s beatification. Continue reading to learn the amazing five things archeologists discovered over the recent years.
The Cressoni Theatre in Como, Italy, opened in 1807 and closed in 1997. At that point, it was supposed to be razed to the ground. However, the Ministry of Culture determined that the site held a potential treasure trove of ancient artifacts, and in 2018, an archeological team discovered these gold coins. They were stacked neatly in rows, similarly to how banks roll coins nowadays. Archeologists who have studied the find believe that it belonged to a Roman bank rather than a private individual. Furthermore, the coins date from the fifth century — about the time Rome fell.
4. These Horses Were Buried with the Archeological Chariot
People commonly used chariots throughout the ancient world, from Asia to Africa to Europe. The chariot in this picture was found in Bulgaria, part of modern Europe, and it was made out of wood and bronze about 2000 years ago. Chariots were powerful tools of warfare used by those with power and authority. The horses buried with the chariot indicate that they died as part of a military campaign. Archeologists who have studied the site speculated that the people would have made offerings to ensure that the horses had safe passage to the afterlife. Continue reading for the top three things archeologists discovered recently.
Ancient Rome had boundaries that extended all the way to modern Scotland, known at the time as Caledonia. Italy today is full of ruins from the empire. The ditch dug in this picture reveals an exceptionally well-preserved tile floor that was part of a Roman villa during the third century CE. It was found under a vineyard in 2020 and is still under study by the Verona Fine Arts and Landscape teams. Technicians are busy working to discover how extensive the floor is so that they can excavate it and preserve it according to modern methods.
Okay, that actually shouldn’t be too terribly surprising. Helmets protect the head, and this person died while wearing his helmet, so his head was still inside when they found it. Not surprising, but still really interesting. Experts believe the Corinthian helmet is from the Battle of Marathon, which gave rise to the legend about the Greek warrior who ran 26.2 miles to warn of the approaching army. Today, marathons are 26.2 miles in his honor. They fought the battle as part of the struggle between Ancient Greece and Ancient Persia, both of which were empires aiming to achieve dominance.
Take a look at this beautiful archeological find. Astrological rings were reasonably standard in the Late Medieval Period and the Renaissance. As shown in the picture, they usually had two to eight bands that could be folded down into a ring or unfolded to make a globe. Though common, they were a sign of status. Why? Because the jewelry came in gold and were very expensive to make. This one dates from the sixteenth century and could reveal astrological signs that the wearer could interpret. These rings and other astrological artifacts tell us how people during that period understood and used astrology.
Where Did We Find This Stuff? Some Sources and Further Reading