Ancient Roman Puzzle Gets New Piece – Secrets in the News: March 5 – 11, 2016

Fragments of the Forma Urbis Romae in an engraving by Giovanni Battista Piranesi, 1756 ( public domain )

Fragments of the Forma Urbis Romae in an engraving by Giovanni Battista Piranesi, 1756 ( public domain )

1. Shipwrecks Offer Insight Into Hurricane History
The National Hurricane Center did not start keeping official storm records storms until 1851. For years, researchers relied on historical anecdotes as well as physical markers like coastal lake sediment or coral isotopes to fill in the timeline. A new study shows that patterns in ancient shipwrecks are helping scientists measure hurricane activities. Read more at Smithsonian Magazine.

Watch Secrets of the Dead: The Sinking of the Andrea Doria to find out what happened to the luxury cruise liner on its last night of a 4,000-mile voyage across the Atlantic.

2. Did Scientists Identify Banksy?
The identity of street artist Banksy has remained a mystery for more than a decade. However, using a variation of a forensic technique called geographic profiling, researchers may have advanced a theory first put forth by The Daily Mail in 2008, linking the artist to a man named Robin Gunningham. The method was originally developed to help law enforcement track down criminals. Read more at The New York Times.

3. Ring of Babies: A Disturbing Scene Found in 1,000-Year-Old Tomb in Peru
Archaeologists found a ring of babies that had been buried with the remains of 70 more people while they excavated a 1,000-year-old tomb at the pre-Inca Pachacamac site in Peru. Read more at Ancient Origins.

4. Spain’s Concrete Castle: A Case of the World’s Worst Restoration or Accidental Genius?
The ruins of the ninth-century Matrera castle in Cádiz province have been invaded by a white concrete hulk, the precious Moorish stone walls reduced to a thin rind of history, and stuck on the front of a big blank box. It has been damned as the world’s worst ever restoration. But look at the photographs and you may well be witnessing a work of accidental genius. Read more at The Guardian.

5. Ancient Roman Puzzle Gets New Piece
A fragment of the world’s oldest and largest unsolved jigsaw puzzle has been finally reunited to the other existing pieces. It is a 2,200-year-old map of Rome, which is known as Forma Urbis Romae and carved into marble slabs between 203 and 211 A.D. Read more at Discovery.

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