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‘A little miracle’: Dutch statesman’s diary found 200 years after it was lost

Johan van Oldenbarnevelt chronicled final months before he was beheaded on 13 May 1619 Johan van Oldenbarnevelt is arguably the greatest Dutch statesman, as one of the founding fathers who helped liberate the Netherlands from Spanish rule, but for 200 years the whereabouts of a diary chronicling his final months before he was beheaded has been a mystery. The prose written over an eight-month period between 1618 and 1619 was last seen in 1825 when a pastor, the Rev Adrian Stolker, studied the manuscript and made a copy by hand…

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Italian Man Buys A DNA Test, Finds Out He And His Father Are Not Italians At All

Pretty much all of us have heard about the recent hype of genetic genealogy tests. Your friends, coworkers and maybe even family members have taken the test to find out about their ethnicity. The companies providing these tests invested millions of dollars into advertising to stimulate our curiosity. For instance, according to Kantar Media, in 2016 Ancestry.com spent $109 million on TV and other ads in the US. And it worked well, the genetic testing industry had 12 million consumers in 2017 alone. These tests allow you to gain knowledge…

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Lakes of mercury and human sacrifices after 1,800 years, Teotihuacan reveals its treasures

When archaeologists found a tunnel under Mexicos birthplace of the gods, they could only dream of the riches they would discover. Now its wonders from jewel-eyed figures to necklaces of human teeth are being revealed to the world In 2003, a tunnel was discovered beneath the Feathered Serpent pyramid in the ruins of Teotihuacan, the ancient city in Mexico. Undisturbed for 1,800 years, the sealed-off passage was found to contain thousands of extraordinary treasures lying exactly where they had first been placed as ritual offerings to the gods. Items unearthed…

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Strolling the ancient hillforts of southern England

Our writer conjures a vivid picture of prehistoric times on a walk in the Wiltshire Downs one of 4,000 iron age hillfort sites across Britain and Ireland mapped on a new website They stand in a clear line along the Wiltshire Downs facing north: perhaps facing an enemy whose identity we do not know. In the bright sunshine of late spring, I could see the hillforts stretching away along the escarpment Barbury, then Liddington, and finally Uffington, with its famous chalk white horse. They may have been begun in the…

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