There are very few absolutely true things in this life, but one of them is you shouldn’t drink lead. Historians have long believed that ancient Romans learned this the hard way—it’s been said that lead used in water pipes and cooking materials could have poisoned Romans and contributed to their downfall. Now, new…
Roman concrete is famous for its durability, lasting for thousands of years and seemingly stronger with each passing year. New research has uncovered the chemical processes responsible for the sturdiness of this ancient building material—a finding that could inspire modern engineers to revive this forgotten technique.
By combining archaeology with 3D computer modeling, European researchers have digitally reconstructed a house in Pompeii, showing how lavish and colorful these structures truly were before they were destroyed by a catastrophic volcanic eruption.
Archaeologists working at an ancient Roman battlefield in Scotland have discovered a type of pierced sling-bullet that made a whistling sound when hurled at the enemy.
Recently, I had occasion to search the stock photography database Shutterstock for pictures depicting ancient Rome. A theme quickly emerged: sexy ancient Romans. There are a lot of depictions of sexy ancient Romans. Even for a passel of horn dogs like the ancient Romans, it’s a lot!
Forget all those Roman epics with sprawling casts of white actors speaking in (real or fake) British accents. New findings suggest that London circa 50 A.D. was pretty diverse.
A cache of over 4,000 silver and bronze coins dating back to ancient Rome has been discovered by a Swiss farmer. Buried some 1,700 years ago, it’s one of the largest treasures of its kind ever found in Switzerland.
An undisturbed Samnite tomb has been unearthed at a burial ground beside Pompeii’s famous Villa of the Mysteries. The discovery will help archaeologists study a relatively unexplored era of Pompeii’s history—a time when the Samnites fought bitter battles against the Romans.
In 1982, the ground beneath the historic port city of Pozzuoli began to rise like a cake in the oven. Within two years, the swell had exceeded 6 feet. Then the earth started shaking—first, a swarm of microquakes. When the first magnitude 4 quake hit, Pozzuoli became a ghost town overnight.
Archaeologists working in the Golan heights have discovered 2,000-year-old imprints made by the boots of Roman soldiers. The imprints were made in the still-wet mortar of the fortifications at the Hellenistic city of Hippos. The boots, including one that was a size 9, left studded footprints, and were standard issue…
Trajan's Column in Rome commemorates Emperor Trajan's victory over Dacian Wars in 155 bas relief scenes. This stop-motion video outlines the current theory on how the towering structure was built.
February gets the shaft when it comes to days in the month. While other months last 30 or 31 days, February has 28 or 29, depending on the year. Why? Well, this video explains all of the fiddling that Romans did to the calendar, and how that resulted in a single short month.
Archaeologists working in southwest France have discovered hundreds of Gallo-Roman graves dating to the second half of the 2nd century AD, with some of the skeletons featuring shackles still strapped around their necks and ankles.
Watching marble being extracted from a modern quarry is an impressive sight, one that requires a tricky combination of skill, coordination, and advanced machinery to achieve. But, without the aid of bulldozers and power tools, how did the ancient miners manage it?
Analysis of the skeletal remains of an affluent young woman who lived in Tuscany some 2,000 years ago shows that celiac disease has existed since ancient times — as has the practice of avoiding certain foods.
Rome was the first city on the planet to have an extensive and efficient municipal water system, thanks to the empire's ambitious aqueduct system that's still found throughout Europe. But that infrastructure was also pumping ancient Romans with lead—up to 100 times the amount of lead found in local spring water.
An amateur archaeologist — or more accurately, an opportunistic ass-wipe with a metal detector — recently uncovered a treasure trove of gold and silver artifacts in Germany. But he was promptly caught after trying to sell the rare items on the black market.
Ancient Roman funeral processions were led by professional mourners who wore masks of the recently deceased's ancestors. But because the masks were made from wax, none survived. Recently, a group of archaeologists created their own wax masks using their own faces, and the results were stunning.
The emperors of Rome could be wise, just and kind. They could also be vindictive, cruel and insane. And most of all, they could be the worst perverts the world has ever seen — at least according to ancient historians like Suetonius, Pliny, and Cassius Dio. Here are nearly a dozen of the most immoral, disgusting…
The Romans were undoubtedly master engineers. They were experts at civil engineering, building roads, improving sanitation, inventing Roman concrete, and constructing aqueducts that adhere to tolerances impressive even by today's standards. Perhaps the best evidence of their aptitude is the fact that many of those…