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Detail of the statuette of the Lady of Auxerre

The Lady of Auxerre: What is the Story Behind Her Archaic Smile?

Elegant and alluring, the Lady of Auxerre has drawn in archaeologists and art enthusiasts alike. Her origins, probably on ancient Crete, provide an added element of interest. Was the female form...
Artist’s impression of elderly Neanderthal male based on fossil found at La Chappelle-aux-Saints

Neanderthals Cared for Each Other and Survived into Old Age – New Research

James Ohman & Asier Gomez-Olivencia / The Conversation When we think of Neanderthals, we often imagine these distant ancestors of ours to be rather brutish, dying at a young age and ultimately...
François Clouet - Dame au bain (Portrait of Diane de Poitiers)

A Mistress with the Midas Touch: Her Hunger for Gold Would Be the Death of Her

Diane de Poitiers was a French noblewoman and courtier who lived during the 16 th century. She is best remembered for being the mistress of Henry II, the King of France. This allowed Diane to wield...
Venus and Mars, c 1485. Tempera and oil on poplar panel, National Gallery, London.

Trial by Public Performance: The Impotence Trials of Pre-Revolutionary France

The impotence trials of prerevolutionary France sound a bit like a political joke. France had mostly squelched the ability for couples to divorce, and it was in the wake of this that the impotence...
Recreated Viking helmet and weapon

Burning, Pillaging, and Carving up the Lands: Viking Raids into England - Part II

Vikings in history and popular culture are known as strong and dangerous, bloodthirsty killers, raiders, pillagers – pirates of land and sea. But who were the Vikings, and what were the causes of...
(1) Knotted tanned hide bundle before extraction of contents; (2) & (4) gold dinars; (3) signet ring with intaglio; (5) contents of knotted tanned hide bundle.

Medieval Treasure Unearthed at the Abbey of Cluny

In mid-September, a large treasure was unearthed during a dig at the Abbey of Cluny, in the French department of Saône-et-Loire: 2,200 silver deniers and oboles, 21 Islamic gold dinars, a signet ring...
The castle of Fleckenstein.

Fleckenstein Castle: From Impregnable Fortress to a Chateaux in Ruins

Fleckenstein Castle is a castle located near Lembach, in the eastern French region of Alsace. This castle is known to have existed since the 12 th century, and was the property of the powerful...
King Edward III implores the forgiveness of God while facing the storm of 1360 with his army in the fields of Sours

Black Monday: The Deadly 14th Century Hailstorm That Killed Over 1000 Soldiers and 6000 Horses

On Easter Monday, 13 th April 1360, a freak hail storm broke over English troops as they were preparing for battle with the French during the Hundred Years’ War. So brutal was the storm that over 1,...
Representation of a group of Neanderthals.

Toolmaking Teachers? Surprising Skills Shared Between Neanderthals and Modern Humans

50,000-year-old tools made from deer ribs suggest modern humans may have learned tool-making from Neanderthals. Found in the southwest of France, these artifacts add to a growing body of evidence...
The site is being carefully excavated before the mosaics are removed.

Race to Recover Elaborate Ancient Roman Mosaics Unearthed in France

A team of archaeologists has recently discovered the ruins of an opulent 5th-century Roman palace in Auch, a commune in southwestern France. The team claims to be eager to excavate the site as they...
Detail of ‘The Battle of Pavia’ (1528-1531) by Bernard van Orley and William Dermoyen.

The Battle of Pavia: Paving the Political Roads of Rival Rulers with Blood

February 24, 1525. A day that is not marked in infamy but in the blood of France. On this date, the Battle of Pavia occurred – the decisive event in a longstanding war and rivalry, and the crushing...
Two views of the Parade Armor of Henry II of France.

Renaissance Aesthetics at its Finest: The Exquisite Parade Armor of Henry II of France

The crowded, dusty square was full of excitement. Even the heat and the cramped space served as no deterrent to the people who continued trying to push their way into the already full meeting place...
Unmasking King Richard: Does the Lionhearted King of England Have a Better Reputation Than He Deserves?

Unmasking King Richard: Does the Lionhearted King of England Have a Better Reputation Than He Deserves?

Cruel. Courageous. Scheming. Chivalrous. These are just some of the contradictory words that have been used to describe the English king with a ‘Lion heart.’ But lions are not always majestic...
This bronze cauldron is one of the stunning artifacts which have been analyzed from the tomb of a Celtic elite found in Lavau, France.

Celtic Prince or Princess? Researchers Have Finally Ascertained Who Owned an Opulent 2500-Year-Old Tomb in France

First unearthed in 2015, research on the stunning artifacts found in a rich tomb in Lavau, France are finally coming to light. Scholars have managed to solve the mystery of the tomb’s owner and have...
Tunnels in the underground city of Naours, France

The Underground City of Naours: A Subterranean Settlement Complete with Bakeries and Chapels

Many stories have been told about hidden underground cities or realms. Examples from fiction include the underground compound inhabited by the Morlocks in H.G. Well’s, The Time Machine and the...
French psychiatrist Philippe Pinel (1745-1826) releasing lunatics from their chains at the Salpêtrière asylum in Paris in 1795.

Gunpowder, Prostitutes, and Neuroscience: What is the Explosive History of Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital?

The Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital is a well-known historical hospital located in Paris, France. But it wasn’t always a hospital. The oft-forgotten beginnings of this building may be traced back to the...

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