Made in Taiwan? How a Frenchman Fooled 18th-Century London

Detail from depiction of a Formosan funeral, featured in George Psalmanazar’s An Historical and Geographical Description of Formosa (1704) — Internet Archive The remarkable story of George Psalmanazar, the mysterious Frenchman who successfully posed as a native of Formosa (now modern Taiwan) and gave birth to a meticulously fabricated culture with bizarre customs, exotic fashions, and its own[…]

King Harold the Great: What Might Have Been if the English Had Won at Hastings

The end of an era: the death of Harold, according to the Bayeux Tapestry. Wikimedia Commons 1066 was a close-run thing and Harold almost cemented his reputation as a military mastermind. An English victory may not have benefited the country, though.    By Dr. Charles West and Alyxandra Mattison / 10.11.2016 West: Reader in Medieval History Mattison: Independent Researcher and PhD Candidate in Medieval[…]

How Did 4th-Century Roman Coins End Up in a Medieval Japanese Castle?

Roman coins were discovered in Katsuren castle in Uruma, Okinawa, southwestern Japan. EPA/Uruma City Education Board Is this evidence that Rome traded with Japan? Almost certainly not. By Dr. Kevin Butcher / 10.03.2016 Professor of Classics and Ancient History University of Warwick The recent discovery of Roman coins in controlled excavations of a castle in Japan prompted the inevitable[…]

Barbarians, Gladiators, and Head Cults: Roman London Uncovered

Keeping your head up was tough in Roman times. Public domain During a 1988 excavation on London Wall 39 human skulls were discovered. But they remained shrouded in mystery. By Dr. Richard Hingley / 01.17.2014 Professor of Archaeology Durham University During a 1988 excavation on London Wall 39 human skulls were discovered. But they remained shrouded in mystery.[…]