Category Archives: EUROPE

The couple got missing in 1942 found in Melting Swiss Glacier

The couple got missing in 1942 found in Melting Swiss Glacier

The bodies of a couple missing for 78 years have been disclosed by a melting Swiss glacier thawed by rising temperatures. It’s not exactly a happy ending for their relatives, but at least it’s an ending, after many decades of uncertainty.

The rural residents who lived near the Diablerets mountains, Marcelin and Francine Dumoulin went out to tend to their cows on 15 August 1942 and never returned. Now DNA matching has confirmed the recovered bodies are the missing couple.

Marceline Udry-Dumoulin, one of her daughters was 4 years old at the time of disappearance and now has 79 years old. She told Le Matin, Sarah Zeines, that she was three times climbing the glacier in the hope of finding traces of her parents

Francine and Marcelin Dumoulin disappeared in 1942.

“We spent our whole lives looking for them,” says Udry-Dumoulin. “I can say that after 78 years of waiting for this news gives me a deep sense of calm.”

The couple’s remains were uncovered on the Tsanfleuron glacier above the Les Diablerets ski resort by a ski lift worker, reports the BBC, at a height of 2,615 meters (8,579 feet). According to the director of the ski lift firm, it’s likely the pair fell into a crevasse.

Les Diablerets, Switzerland

Alongside their bodies were backpacks, a watch, tin bowls, a glass bottle, and male and female shoes still encased in ice. The bodies were found lying next to each other.

After the original disappearance, villagers spent two-and-a-half months searching for the Dumoulin’s, but eventually, their seven children were resettled with other families.

Marcelin and Francine, who were 40 and 37 respectively at the time of their disappearance, are far from the only missing people to be slowly revealed as the ice recedes.

Local police report that bodies hidden for decades are often uncovered,  and they have a list of 280 missing people stretching back to 1925.

Warmer temperatures have caused maximum snow depths in the Swiss Alps to drop by 25 percent since 1970, while the ski season has shrunk by 37 days at the same time – an indication of shifting snow levels.

Experts are crediting climate change for revealing other remains, like the two Japanese climbers discovered in the Swiss Alps in 2015, and the New Zealand climber whose body was found at the foot of the country’s Tasman glacier in the same year.

Back in 2014 the Italian Alps even gave up bodies of soldiers who died in World War I.

A steady trickle of frozen artifacts has been discovered in the same region since the 1990s, including a well-preserved love letter to someone named Maria.

As for the Dumoulin’s, they can now be given a proper funeral, although their daughter Marceline isn’t going to go for the usual black clothing.

“I think that white would be more appropriate. It represents hope, which I never lost,” she says.

A Roman “laguncula” (water bottle) of the 4th century AD discovered in France

A Roman “laguncula” (water bottle) of the 4th century AD discovered in France

Archaeologist Carlo Di Clemente: Exceptional state of conservation, there are only very few other specimens found from excavations

A Roman "laguncula" (water bottle) of the 4th century AD discovered in France
Photo of the French Inrap Institute

The military bottle in the modern sense dates back to the second half of the 19th century, yet the Romans had already invented it.

One of these has just been found, in extraordinary conservation conditions, in the town of Seynod, in south-eastern France.

The architects of the discovery were the archaeologists of the National Institute for Preventive Archaeological Research (Inrap).

A shopping center, or something similar, should be built on the site, but since the first investigations, evidence of a sacred Roman site with two or three small temples emerged, of which only the stone foundations remain.

In two of these, the cell floor (the closed space of the temple) and the vestibule can be clearly identified and referred to in the first half of the 4th century.

However, the site had to be older: the discovery of pottery from the end of the 1st century. they date the first construction of the sanctuary to that time.

In addition to the temples, 42 tombs with very different dimensions have emerged: the largest is more than two meters wide, the smallest only a meter and a half. Inside some of these coins, ceramics and figurines have been found. Among the various votive objects, a metal “laguncula” of the 4th century has sprung up. AD that belonged almost certainly to a legionnaire.

This is an exceptional find for the state of conservation – explains the archaeologist Carlo Di Clemente – there are only very few other specimens found from excavations. 

The “laguncula” was the container flask, usually made of copper, bronze or other alloys, which each legionnaire brought with him to preserve his daily ration of cereals, which he would then consume together with the companions of his “contubernium”, the smallest unit of the Roman army (8 soldiers). The food supply of the Roman army was extremely efficient: a legion (about 5000 men) needed around 1.2 tons of cereals per day.

The container, with a very graceful shape, is composed of two iron disks joined by bronze plates with a lobed outline like that of an oak leaf. Both the hinged handle and the cap are made of bronze, once connected to the flask by a metal cable, also in copper alloy, of which a fragment remains. Both the cap and the base are decorated with concentric circles. 

The interior was coated with wax or pitch to waterproof the container and, not surprisingly, traces of this material have been identified.

Even more interesting is how the remains of the organic content of the bottle have been preserved. According to the first analyzes, they are millet seeds (Panicum miliaceum, cereal widely consumed by the Romans) blackberries, with traces of dairy products. Perhaps he had also transported olives, given the presence of oleanoleic acid.

The laguncula was therefore also a kind of apprenticeship since it could contain solid foods. In fact, for the water, the legionaries had a specific skin bottle.

Explains military historian and experimental archaeologist Flavio Russo: This was a flask made of goatskin and had the advantage of not breaking with falls or bumps.

The external coat, if wet, allowed to refresh the content due to the subtraction of heat produced by evaporation. Its use even reached the Great War where it was called “ghirba”. By extension, “saving the stuff” began to mean, in military jargon, saving one’s life. The skin bottle also performed a very useful function: if filled with air, it constituted a real lifesaver that allowed the legionnaire to wade the waterways. skins, if used in bulk,

Returning to the laguncula, it is surprising how on the market of accessories for historical re-enactment this bottle has been present for some time now, reproduced with characteristics quite similar to the ancient one found. This allows us to appreciate how “new” it should have been. 

It was certainly an object of a certain value, like all the metal ones, at the time, which the legionary had to particularly care about. 

Perhaps this is precisely why she was left in one of the tombs. Maybe, the extreme homage of a fellow soldier, a friend, a brother? It is not just an archaeological find: the rust and verdigris that cover the laguncula evoke a story of pain and affection that we will never know.

The mystery of unique 2,100-year-old human clay head – with a ram’s skull inside

The mystery of unique 2,100-year-old human clay head – with a ram’s skull inside

According to a report in The Siberian Times, a team of researchers led by Natalia Polosmak of the Russian Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography and Konstantin Kuper of the Institute of Nuclear Physics used fluoroscopy to examine a head-shaped sculpture crafted by the Tagar culture more than 2,000 years ago.

The clay head, which resembles a young man, was discovered among about 15 sets of cremated human remains in a Shestakovsky burial mound in eastern Siberia in 1968. X-rays made of the artifact at the time revealed a small skull within the sculpture.

The Martynov brothers noted in 1971 that “there are skull bones and a narrow hollow space which, however, does not correspond to the inner size of the human skull but is much smaller,’ Then – and later – opening the clay head was deemed impossible since it would destroy this ancient relic. 

‘It was suggested that there was a human skull inside. It was of course quite surprising to see instead a sheep’s skull.’

Four decades later scientists returned to this man’s mystery from the Tagar culture, renowned for his elaborate funeral rites, e.g. the use of large pit crypts containing some 200 bodies which were set ablaze.  As scientist Dr. Elga Vadetskaya had observed, the heads of the dead were covered in clay, moulding a new face on the skull, and often covering the clay face with gypsum.  So the expectation was – in deploying new technology on the man’s death mask – that the bones inside, though small fragments, would be human.

But they were not. 

The research was led by Professor Natalya Polosmak, from the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography, and Dr. Konstantin Kuper, of the Institute of Nuclear Physics, both in Novosibirsk, and part of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences. 

The man ‘could have got lost in the taiga, drowned, or disappeared in alien lands’.
The man ‘could have got lost in the taiga, drowned, or disappeared in alien lands’.

‘I had been working with Natalya Polosmak on other research, and she suggested checking this head because they could not simply look inside – and were puzzled,’ explained Dr. Kuper.  ‘It was suggested that there was a human skull inside. It was of course quite surprising to see instead a sheep’s skull.’


What made these ancient people fill human remains with a ram’s remains?

In the article for the magazine Science First Hand Professor Polosmak offers two options but also acknowledges that ‘as this is the only such case so far, any explanations of this phenomenon will undoubtedly contain, alongside the elements of uniqueness, elements of chance’. She believes the Tagar people ‘may have buried in this extraordinary manner a man whose body had not been found’.

Professor Anatoly Martynov unearthed the head in 1968 in Khakassia.
Professor Anatoly Martynov unearthed the head in 1968 in Khakassia.

She surmises that the man ‘could have got lost in the taiga, drowned, or disappeared in alien lands’. For this reason, he was ‘replaced with his double – the animal in which his soul was embodied’ and in this was sent to the afterlife alongside the remains of his fellow humans.

‘This must have been the only way to ensure the after-death life of a person who had not returned home.

‘Archaeologists know a number of such burials, referred to as cenotaphs, which have no human remains but may contain a symbolic replacement. As the latter, an animal could have been used.’ Her other theory for the ‘false burial’ is that it may have been done to give the man ‘a chance to have a fresh start, a new life in a new status.

Clay head prepared for fluoroscopy at the Institute of Nuclear Physics, SB RAS.
Clay head prepared for fluoroscopy at the Institute of Nuclear Physics, SB RAS.

‘Instead of a living man whose death was staged for some reason, an animal – a sheep in human disguise – was offered.’

One thing is clear: for ancient people the ram had a great significance. 

‘What does the sheep’s skull hidden under the clay covers depicting a man’s face tell us? What is it, an accident? Or was the animal the main hero of ancient history?

‘The latter hypothesis seems justified. A ram (sheep) is among the most worshipped animals of old times. Initially, the Egyptian god Khnum was depicted as a ram (later, as a man with the head of a ram).’

Remains of 200 mummified bodies found in one of the Tagar burial mounds at Belaya Gora.

A third version has been proposed by Dr. Vadetskaya in her book ‘The Ancient Yenisei Masks from Siberia’  after studying elaborate burial rites of ancient people during this Tesinsk period. Her work was based on the research of other archaeologists but also had fascinating input from forensic experts. She believed the burial rite had two stages – the first of which was putting the dead body in a ‘stone box’ which then went into a shallow grave or under a pile of stones for several years. The main goal was partial mummification – the skin and tissues decomposed, but tendons and the spinal cord persisted. 

Then the skeleton was taken away intact and was tied by small branches. The skull was trepanned and the rest of the brain was removed. Then the skeleton was turned into a kind of ‘doll’ – it was wrapped around with grass and sheathed with pieces of leather and birch bark. Then, according to Dr. Vadetskaya, they reconstructed ‘the face’ on the skull. The nose hole, eyes socket, and mouth were filled with clay, then the clay was put onto the skull and the ‘face’ was moulded though without necessarily much facial resemblance to the deceased. 

Often this clay face was covered with a thin layer of gypsum and painted with ornaments.  She suspected that these masked mummies went back to their families pending their second, bigger funeral.  This might have been for some years: there is evidence that gypsum was repaired and repainted. 

Faces molded on the skulls were often covered with a thin gypsum layer painted with ornaments.

She wrote: ‘For some mummies, the wait was too long. The decomposed, so only the heads were left to be buried.  ‘In some cases, even the head did not survive. Then they had to recreate the whole image of the deceased one.’

She believed that this was the case with the mysterious human sheep skull. The ram remains were used to replace the real human skull of this ‘mummy doll’ lost or destroyed during the decades between the two funeral rites.  According to Vadetskaya, a large pit was dug for these ‘Big’ funerals. A log house was erected and covered with birch bark and fabrics.  Many such human remains were put inside, and the log house was with the remains of dead were ignited.  The log house was partly burned down and often the roof collapsed.  The pit-crypt burial was then covered with turf and earth and formed a mound. 

In this particular case, there were relatively few human remains – no more than 15, yet in others, the number could rise into the hundreds. 

So – there are three main theories. 

Perhaps future scientists will gain access to more elaborate technology to examine this death mask and unlock more secrets about this extraordinary find.

Two Viking Boat Graves—With a Warrior Inside—Found in Sweden

Two Viking Boat Graves—With a Warrior Inside—Found in Sweden

Previously, two Viking burial boats in Uppsala, Sweden have been unraveled by archaeologists the remains of a dog, a man, and a horse are remarkably preserved.

The horse skeleton.

A few of the powerful elites were sent back to their afterlife by the Vikings in boats laden with sacrificed animals, weapons and artifacts; the funeral practice dates back to the Iron Age (A.D. 550 to 800) but was used throughout the Viking age (A.D. 800 to 1050), according to a statement.

Throughout Scandinavia, several richly decorated gravestones have been found. For example, archeologists had already discovered one of those burial boats throughout Norway with evidence of human remains, and one in western Scotland with many burial artifacts, including an ax, a shield boss, a ringed pin a hammer and tongs.

Recent excavations of Viking boat burials reveal the remains of a man, a horse, and a dog.

The elites who were given such elaborate send-offs were also often buried with animals, such as stallions.

These burial boats were typically built with overlapping wooden planks (called “clinker-built”) and had symmetrical ends, a true keel, and overlapping planks joined together, said Johan Anund, the regional manager for The Archaeologists, an archeological organization working with the National Historical Museums in Sweden.

A man’s remains were discovered in one of the boat graves. 

Archaeologists have also found other, simpler boat structures, such as logboats, which are like a dugout wide canoe, Anand told Live Science in an email. 

The remains of the dog and the horse were nestled in the bow of the well-preserved boat, while the remains of the man were found in the stern.

“We don’t know much” about the man yet, Anund said. But analysis of the skeleton will reveal how old he was, how tall he was and if he had any injuries or diseases. Anund’s group may even be able to figure out where the man grew up and where he lived for most of his life, Anund said.

As for the animals buried with him, they could have been sacrificed to help the dead person on the “other side” but could also be there to show the man’s status and rank, Anund said. It’s common to find horses and dogs in such burials, but also big birds like falcons.

Archaeologists also found other items on the boat such as a sword, spear, shield, an ornate comb, and leftover wood and iron nails that were likely used in its construction.

A comb and a part of a shield were discovered in one of the boat graves.

The other boat was badly damaged, probably because a 16th-century medieval cellar was built right on top of it, according to the statement.

Some human and animal bones were still preserved on the damaged ship, but they seem to have been moved around, making it difficult for archaeologists to say much about them, Anund said.

Archaeologists discovered the ships, the well, and the cellar after a plot of land outside Uppsala was marked off to become a new building for the vicarage of Gamla Uppsala parish.

They excavated the boats last month and some of the finds will go on display at Gamla Uppsala museum and the Swedish History Museum in Stockholm.

Medieval Church Discovered in Bulgaria

14th Century Murals With ‘Warrior Saints’ Found In Church Of Ancient City Cherven In Bulgaria

RUSE, BULGARIA—Archaeologist reports that a fourteenth-century Christian church decorated with murals has been discovered in northeastern Bulgaria’s medieval city of Cherven.

The church is the sixteenth to be uncovered in the Cherven Archaeological Preserve. Fragments of the frescoes include images of painted drapery and a scene depicting “warrior saints.”

Some of the murals have been transferred to a conservation laboratory, where they will be restored and placed on a reinforced surface for display at the Ruse Regional Museum of History. 

The surviving newly found murals in the Cherven Archaeological Preserve include a partially preerved scene with “warrior saints.”

The glorious medieval city of Cherven, in today’s Ruse District in Northeast Bulgaria, was one of the major urban, religious, and economic centers of the Second Bulgarian Empire (1185-1396/1422 AD). While Cherven was one of the largest urban centers in the Second Bulgarian Tsardom (Empire), it has a much longer history, as its area also features remains from an Ancient Thracian settlement, an early Byzantine fortress, as well as several settlements from the time of the First Bulgarian Empire (680-1018 AD).

During the period of the Second Bulgarian Empire (1185-1396 AD), and especially in the 14th century, Cherven became one of Bulgaria’s most important cities. It has been excavated since 1910, with early 20th century excavations being led by Vasil Zlatarski, one of the most renowned Bulgarian historians and archaeologists from the early years of the Third Bulgarian Tsardom formed after Bulgaria’s Liberation from the Ottoman Turkish Empire in 1878.

An image reconstructing the cityscape of medieval Cherven. 

Up until recently, Cherven was known to have had a total of 15 churches, until the 16th one was exposed recently in the western part of the medieval city, the Regional Museum of History in the Danube city of Ruse has revealed. The Ruse Museum has announced that it has drafted a project for seeking funding from the Bulgarian Ministry of Culture for the conservation and restoration of the 14th-century murals.

“The full-fledged exposure of the church building led to the discovery of a preserved layer of murals on the temple’s walls,” the Museum says.

The most valuable of the surviving frescoes have been extracted for restoration and display
An aerial photo of the newly discovered Church No. 16 in Cherven.

“The preserved fresco fragments are parts of a painted drapery as well as a partly preserved scene with figures of warrior saints,” it adds. The archaeologists and restorers have already put in place a cover over the surviving frescoes in the newly discovered Church No. 16 in Cherven, a major economic and spiritual center in the late Second Bulgarian Empire. The area of the surviving murals is about 12 square meters on the ruins of the walls of the church, which is dated, more specifically, to the first decades of the 14th century.

The late medieval church is described as one of the temples that are representative of the life of the medieval fortress of Cherven. The church has one apse pointed to the east, and is 13 meters long and 7 meters wide. Part of the discovered frescoes have been transferred to a restoration atelier, and the conservation and restoration project developed by archaeologist Svetlana Velikova is supposed to guarantee the reinforcing and restoring of the murals on a new surface.

The restoration work is being carried out by Assoc. Prof. Miglena Prashkova from Veliko Tarnovo University “St. Cyril and St. Methodius”.

“The successful realization of the project would lead to including the picturesque decorations from the newly found church [in Cherven] in the permanent exhibition of the Museum,” the Ruse Museum of History says. Parallel to the excavations of the church, the Ruse archaeologists have also been exposing a nearby necropolis as well as parts of a medieval street and adjacent buildings.

“Future research in this area would help clarify important questions about the urban planning [of the city of Cherven], and about the events around the conquest of the fortress [by the Ottoman Turks] and the ensuing Early Ottoman period,” the Ruse Museum states.

The surviving and partly restored fortress in the medieval city of Cherven in Northeast Bulgaria. 
A visual reconstruction of the castle of the Cherven fortress
A visual reconstruction of the castle of the Cherven fortress.
A visual reconstruction of Church No. 2 of in the city of Cherven

An interesting fact about Cherven is that so far the archaeologists have found a total of 80 medieval inscriptions about church donors there, more than in the capital of the Second Bulgarian Empire, Veliko Tarnovo, where a total of 60 such inscriptions have been found. This is seen as a testimony to Cherven’s importance during the Middle Ages.

The Cherven Archaeological Preserve is located within the Rusenski Lom Natural Park, along the canyon of the Cherni Lom River, in a truly magical and picturesque landscape. The ruins of the medieval Bulgarian city of Cherven are found on a high rock while today’s town of Cherven, which was set up by survivors after the Ottoman conquest, is located down in the river gorge.

The medieval Bulgarian city of Cherven was one of the most important urban centers in the Second Bulgarian Empire (1185-1396 AD). It is located in today’s Ivanovo Municipality, 35 km south of the Danube city of Ruse, on a rock overlooking the picturesque canyon of the Cherni Lom River, within the Rusenski Lom Natural Park. It experienced dynamic urban growth after Bulgaria’s liberation from the Byzantine Empire in 1185 AD, and rose to great importance during the 14th century.

A total of 80 medieval inscriptions about church donors have been there, more than in the capital of the Second Bulgarian Empire, Veliko Tarnovo, where a total of 60 such inscriptions have been found, a testimony to Cherven’s importance during the Middle Ages. It was a center of Christianity as the seat of the Cherven Metropolitan and a center of craftsmanship. Cherven was conquered and ransacked by the Ottoman Turks in 1388 AD.

After the Ottoman Turkish conquest, it briefly preserved some administrative functions but waned and essentially disappeared as an urban center. Some of its survivors settled nearby into the newly founded village of Cherven. Cherven was first excavated in 1910 by renowned Bulgarian historian and archaeologist Vasil Zlatarski. It has been regularly excavated since 1961. In the recent decades, it has been excavated by Stoyan Yordanov from the Ruse Regional Museum of History.

Archaeologists have discovered there a large feudal palace, fortified walls reaching up to 3 m in width, two well-preserved underground water supply passages, a total of 13 churches, administrative and residential buildings, workshops and streets.

A famous 12 m-high three-storey tower, known as the Cherven Tower, from the 14th century has also been fully preserved and was even used as a model for the reconstruction of Baldwin’s Tower in the Tsarevets Hill in Veliko Tarnovo in 1930.

Cherven’s site also features remains from an Ancient Thracian settlement, a 6th century early Byzantine fortress, and several settlements from the period of the First Bulgarian Empire (680-1018 AD).

Melting Ice Reveals a “Lost” Viking-era Highway in Norway’s Mountains

Melting Ice Reveals a “Lost” Viking-era Highway in Norway’s Mountains

As the glaciers of Scanadvia melt, the long-forgotten journeys of intrepid Vikings are revealed. 

Tinderbox found on the surface of the ice at Lendbreen during the 2019 fieldwork. It has not yet been radiocarbon-dated.

Reported in the journal Antiquity today, a retreating Lendbreen glacier in the mountains of Norway has recently revealed a mountain pass used by Vikings over 1,000 years ago, along with a treasure trove of rare artifacts, weapons, and ancient horse poop.

The mountain pass was brought to light in 2011 when the receding Lendbreen ice patch revealed a stunningly well-preserved wool tunic from around 1,600 years ago.

While other archaeological digs have headed to these hills in the years following, a huge increase in melting on the glacier in 2019 revealed even more long-lost possessions that were carelessly dropped by Vikings centuries ago. 

Archaeologists from the University of Cambridge in the UK and NTNU University Museum in Norway used radiocarbon dating on at least 60 artifacts from the site, suggesting the mountain pass was used by humans for over millennia, between 300 CE and 1500 CE.

This also indicated that the mountain pass was most widely used around 1000 CE during the Viking Age, a time in Scandinavian history when Norsemen expanded their influence across Europe and beyond through trade and a hefty dose of violence.

An array of horse-related objects discovered at the site.

Among the glacier’s hidden loot the team discovered a knife with a preserved wooden handle, the remains of a shoe, a fur mitten, and a distaff used to spin natural fibers.

Many of the objects actually detail the journey of Vikings through the pass, including objects such as horseshoes, bones of horses, horse dung, remain of sleds, and a walking stick with a runic inscription. 

“My favorite find from Lendbreen is a small wooden bit with pointed ends [pictured below]. When we found it, we could not understand what it was used for,” Lars Pilø, co-director Department of Cultural Heritage at Innlandet County Council, told IFLScience.

A “bit”, probably for a young animal like a kid or lamb to prevent it suckling, maximizing milk for human consumption. Made from juniper wood in the 11th century CE

“It was exhibited at a local museum, and an elderly woman who visited the exhibition immediately identified it. It is a bit for goat kids and lambs to prevent them from suckling their mother, as the milk was used to produce dairy products on the summer farms,” Pilø explained. 

“The women had herself seen such bits in use in the 1930s. They were made in Juniper then, and so is ours, but the bit from Lendbreen is radiocarbon-dated to the 11th century CE!”

Snowshoe for a horse found during the 2019 fieldwork at Lendbreen. It has not yet been radiocarbon-dated.

Judging from the artifacts left here, it’s believed this passway was used to access high-elevation farms in the warm summer months and as a major trade route, whether for local use or even to transport rare pelts and antlers to the rest of Europe. 

At some time around the 11th century CE, however, the journeys along this busy road dried up. In the centuries following 1000 CE, northern Europe was hit with a number of big social, economic, and climatic changes of fortune that saw the passageway become used less and less.

One of these big changes was the Black Death, which first struck Norway in 1348 or 1349, and caused more than its fair share of human misery and economic turmoil. 

“It seems likely that the amount of mountain travel here declined and ultimately stopped as the Little Ice Age and then, in the middle of the 1300s, the Black Death, took their toll,” said Dr. James H Barrett, Reader in Medieval Archaeology at the University of Cambridge.

“The decline in population reduced demand for mountain products, and there were simply fewer travellers on the road. When population and the economy recovered, the pass had been forgotten and new routes were created.”

Fashionable 2,000-Year-Old Roman Shoe Found in a Well

Fashionable 2,000-Year-Old Roman Shoe Found in a Well

We all know the ancient Romans were skilled engineers, constructing vast highways to cover the enormous lands they conquered.

But did you know they were also fashionable? In the Empire, footwear was used as a status symbol in addition to providing warmth and protection.

And with Italy’s reputation for shoes, it should come as no surprise that their Roman ancestors were also good cobblers.

A stylish shoe on display at The Saalburg in Germany shows just how fashionable women in ancient Rome could be.

The Saalburg is a Roman fort located on the ridge of the High Tanus mountain and was part of ancient border fortifications in the area.

Enormous in scale, the fort and its surrounding village were home to around 2,000 people at its peak.

It was constructed in 90 AD and stayed in operation until around 260 AD when a political and economic crisis caused it to go out of use.

Since 2005, The Saalburg has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site with a museum that displays items found in the area.

This includes a 2,000-year-old shoe discovered in a well before going on exhibit for the world to see. Typical of certain types of ancient Roman footwear, they have a leather upper and a hobnailed sole.

Shoes were often modeled after caligae—heavy-soled military boots with lots of open areas.

This 2000-year-old Roman shoe features heavy-duty leather and exquisite craftsmanship

For women, decorative embroidery and patterns were often added to the shoes in addition to laces. Not only demonstrating the craftsmanship of the maker, but these shoes also helped display the wealth and status of the women wearing them.

These thick-soled shoes would have been worn outdoors, with lighter sandals used indoors.

Their destiny to be discovered in Germany shows just how much craftsmanship and style traveled within the Ancient Roman Empire.

It’s incredible to see that the fashion choices made aren’t far off from the modern shoes we wear ourselves.

Scientists Reveal a Perfectly Preserved 18,000-year-old Puppy Discovered Frozen in Russia

Scientists Reveal a Perfectly Preserved 18,000-year-old Puppy Discovered Frozen in Russia

An ancient dog finds in Russia in the Far East that he lived a glorious eighteen thousand years ago. It was found last year in a frozen mud near the city of Yakutsk in Siberia and has been given the affectionate name of “Dogor”.

Researchers carefully cleaned the specimen to reveal it was still mostly covered in fur

More surprising is that it is unusually good with intact fur, skin, whiskers, and eyelashes. It might look just like a sleeping old dog to the casual viewer!

The Russian Wolfhound, also known as the Borzoi breed, is a special dog of tremendous speed, known for the rather remote appearance, associated with Russia.

A quick online search showed that in Russia other dogs mixed wolves with hundreds of massive beast dogs that have been domesticated by patient owners. The owners insist these dogs are half-wolf; whether they’ve been genetically proven to be so is another matter.

That is what scientists believe they have found buried deep in the ice in the Far East reaches of Siberia; an almost perfectly preserved specimen that even retains its fur.

As yet, experts have not determined whether the animal is dog or wolf, but that riddle, they say, is half the fun of the quest. One thing is for sure, it looks like a puppy and perhaps is an evolutionary cross between wolf and dog.

The prehistoric puppy’s teeth, nose, the fur are all incredibly intact.

A piece of the puppy’s bone was immediately shipped off to Stockholm’s Centre for Paleogenetics to determine just what scientists were looking at.

They have determined the animal is 18,000 years old and is preserved perfectly, thanks to the ice in which it was buried.

The pup still has its whiskers, eyelashes, and nose intact.

“We have now generated a nearly complete genome sequence from it and normally when you have two-fold coverage genome, which is what we have, you should be able to relatively easily say whether it’s a dog or a wolf, but we still can’t say, and that makes it even more interesting,” said Love Dalen, professor of evolutionary genetics at the centre.

Whatever the animal’s true ancestry turns out to be, the remains now have a name that applies in either case: Dogor, which is Yakutian for a friend.

Dogor remains are now kept at a private facility, the Northern World Museum. Museum director Nikolai Androsov said, at Dogor’s unveiling to the media, “this puppy has all its limbs…even whiskers.

The nose is visible. There are teeth. We can determine due to some data that it is male” he said at the presentation of Dogor at Yakutsk’s famed Mammoth Museum, which specializes in ancient remains and specimens.

How the prehistoric puppy perished is so far unknown, although scientists do know he was just eight weeks old. Researchers will no doubt continue testing to learn all they can about the fascinating creature.

Russia’s the Far East has provided many incredible finds and animal remains for scientists who study ancient animals in recent years.

Buried deep within Siberia’s permafrost, remains of woolly mammoths, canines and other prehistoric animals are being discovered whenever the ice melts. Mammoth tusk hunters are oftentimes the ones who discover them.

Who knows? One day Dogor the prehistoric puppy may become part of a Russian children’s story, or the basis of a movie. He has already joined other furry, famous canines in getting worldwide attention.