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Mormon Church Publishes Never-Before-Seen Photos Of “Seer Stone” Used By Joseph Smith

Pictures of the “seer stone” were released Tuesday as part of an effort by the Mormon church to be more transparent.

It’s a small, brown rock that’s roughly the size of an egg, but to Mormons it’s also a sacred relic used by the church’s founder, Joseph Smith, to translate the word of God.

The …

Joseph Smith

The trade in stolen antiquities from Syria funds all sides of the civil war that has engulfed the country. BuzzFeed News’ Mike Giglio traveled along its porous border with Turkey to meet the people involved in this black market, from grave robbers and excavators to middlemen and dealers.

HATAY PROVINCE, Turkey — A fine white dust covered Mohamed’s bare feet as he stepped onto the ancient mosaic. It had been rolled up in an old carpet, its hundreds of stone pieces glued in place on an elastic sheet. Unfurling the carpet released the smell of earth into the humid air.

Dust coated the …

Syrian Civil War

More Than 200,000 Vietnam Vets Still Have PTSD

New research reveals considerable PTSD in some vets, even decades after war

Many veterans who served in the Vietnam War still have war-zone-related post-traumatic stress disorder, according to a new study published in JAMA Psychiatry.

The researchers, led by Dr. Charles R. Marmar, of the New York …


This May Be The Oldest Copy Of The Qu’ran In Existence

The author of the text may have known the Prophet Muhammad.

British researchers have used radiocarbon analysis to date fragments of a Qu’ran manuscript to the early days of Islam, the University of Birmingham announced Wednesday.

The school says the two parchment leaves are at least 1,370 years old, …


Royal Family’s Nazi Salute in 1930s Stirs Debate in Britain

LONDON — The grainy black-and-white home movie lasts about 17 seconds. It shows a young Princess Elizabeth, the future Queen Elizabeth II, raising her hand in the air in the style of a Nazi salute, an apparent youthful pantomime. The Queen Mother and Elizabeth’s uncle, Prince Edward, who would …

Royal Family

Renowned author, uncompromisingly Catholic: Flannery O'Connor chosen for new postage stamp

Award-winning American author and devout Roman Catholic Flannery O’Connor will appear on a new postage stamp this summer, the U.S. postal service …

Flannery O'Connor

Why Palmyra Is So Important

International attention on its invaluable antiquities, now at risk with the Syrian city overrun by ISIS, may do more harm than good.

After Islamic State forces apparently wrested control of the Syrian city of Palmyra—their second large territorial gain this week—the big news didn’t seem to be the …


The Stories Behind Graduation Traditions

This is a big weekend for college graduations. As you listen to a school administrator read names from a seemingly endless list of graduates, you …

Cool Stuff

Where Did the Tiki Mug Come From and Why the Current Resurgence?

Ceramic drinking vessels that emulate the decor and ephemera seen in Hawaii and the Polynesian Islands are no longer mere mugs. Over the past few …

The Model For Norman Rockwell’s Rosie The Riveter Has Died At 92

Mary Doyle Keefe was 19 years old when she posed for the artist.

Mary Doyle Keefe, the model for Norman Rockwell’s iconic Rosie the Riveter portrait, died Tuesday at age 92, the Associated Press reported.

The painting ran on the May 29, 1943 cover of the Saturday Evening Post.

Keefe died in Simsbury, …

Norman Rockwell

Russians blockade Berlin: from the archive, 2 April 1948

Berlin, April 1
All Allied rail traffic between Berlin and West Germany is now at a standstill. By this morning there were four Allied trains standing either at Helmstedt, just inside the British zone, or at Marienborn, five miles on the Russian side of the frontier. These included the American …


Intact Ottoman 'war camel' found in Austrian cellar

A complete camel skeleton dug up from a 17th-century Austrian cellar shows tell-tale signs that it was a valuable riding animal in the Ottoman army.

It was probably left behind or traded in the town of Tulln following the Ottoman siege of nearby Vienna in 1683.

DNA analysis shows that the beast - the …

Foreign Policy

The Very Strange And Very English Reburial Of Richard III

Even 500 years after his death, the king’s supporters still kept the faith – and now they have had their vindication. BuzzFeed News talked to the Richard III super-fans on their day of jubilee.

As with most funerals, there were tears. But here they weren’t of sadness, but disbelief.

This was …

Richard III

Nazi Lair From World War II Found Hidden In Argentina Jungle

Archaeologists have found the ruins of what appears to have been a lair designed for Nazi fugitives hidden deep within the jungle of Argentina.

The three ruined buildings were discovered in Teyu Cuare Park in Misiones province, in the country's northeast, by researchers from the urban archaeology …


DNA records effects of conquest, slave trade in the Americas

The Internet and modern genetics have been a pair of high-wattage searchlights slicing through one of the darkest periods of modern human history: more than three centuries of conquest, slave trade and population displacement in the Americas.

Historians now can sort through ship manifests once …

Big History

Large, Rare Statue Portraying the Death of Buddha Unearthed at Ancient Bahmala Stupa Site

Two rare and ancient Buddha statues have been unearthed at the Bhamala Stupa site in Pakistan. The largest ever statue found at the site depicts the …


The men who uncovered Assyria

Two of the ancient cities now being destroyed by Islamic State lay buried for 2,500 years, it was only 170 years ago that they began to be dug up and stripped of their treasures. The excavations arguably paved the way for IS to smash what remained - but also ensured that some of the riches of a


The History Of Europe Lies In British People’s DNA

Scottish, Cornish, Welsh, Orcadian — Brits hailing from specific regions of the country have telltale genetic signatures, finds a groundbreaking new study. This gush of DNA data offers a time-machine ride through the history of Britain.

Legend has it that, in 1588, a Spanish galleon sank off the …

Big History

A man and his wallet, reunited after 65 years

A man is being reunited with his wallet, 65 years after he dropped it down the back of a medieval bookcase at Lambeth Palace, writes Newsnight's James Clayton.

Most of us have lost our wallet at some stage in our lives. But few would imagine having it returned after a nearly seven-decade gap.

Edward …

Remembrance Day

Missing the old Gypsy orchestras

People speak of the "Roma" thinking it's polite, but when it comes to music, the old word "Gypsy" is much more widely used, and many Roma today are proud of their Gypsy music traditions. But how much of that music is left in the modern world?

Antal Dragic - known as Uncle Tony to his friends - is …

Music (UK)

Here’s A Look At Some Of The Ancient Sites Destroyed By ISIS And The Syrian Civil War

Years of fighting and the emergence of the fanatical militant group ISIS have taken a heavy toll on some of humankind’s greatest treasures.

Since unrest first broke out in Syria in 2011, fierce fighting has left the country as a shell of its former self.

More than 190,000 people have now been killed …


Archaeologists Stumble Across a Hoard of Gold

An unprecedented discovery of more than 2,000 gold coins off the north-central coast of Israel might be part of the largest gold hoard ever found in the eastern Mediterranean, according to archaeologists.

The coins are identified as dinars, the official currency of the Fatimid caliphate that ruled …


Is This the Tomb of a Biblical Prophet—and Will It Survive?

War threatens a site in Iraq where biblical prophet Nahum is said to rest.

The 800-year-old synagogue believed to house the tomb of the biblical prophet Nahum could become the next victim of Iraq's ancient and modern conflicts.

The crumbling stone walls, weakened by weeds sprouting from cracks, tilt …


Decayed vintage cars up for auction in Paris

Entrepreneur Roger Baillon, dreamed of restoring his collection of cars to their former glory and displaying them in a museum, but his plans were dashed as his business struggled, forcing the sale of about 50 vehicles, to be auctioned off on Feb. 6, 2015.

Autos (Canada)

Nazi Auschwitz camp officer, 93, to face trial over 300,000 deaths

Oskar Groening, a former death camp officer, will go on trial in Germany in April charged with at least 300,000 counts of accessory to murder

A 93-year-old former Auschwitz death camp officer will go on trial in Germany in April charged with at least 300,000 counts of accessory to murder, a court …


Judge orders Oswald's casket returned to brother

FORT WORTH, Texas -- A judge ruled Friday that the original casket Lee Harvey Oswald was buried in belongs to his brother, not the funeral home that sold it at auction for $87,468 a few years ago.

Judge Don Cosby ordered Baumgardner Funeral Home to pay that same amount in damages to Oswald's brother …

Lee Harvey Oswald

Portugal Offers Citizenship to Descendants of Expelled Jews

Portugal currently boasts around 1,000 Jews, but that number might rise soon

Portugal approved this week new rules for granting citizenship to descendants of the nation’s Sephardic Jewish community. The landmark move was first proposed two years ago, but had stalled in the absence of cabinet …


Divers begin recovery of Civil War ironclad

(CNN) — The deepening of the shipping channel in Savannah, Georgia, won't be dredging up just mud and sand.

It will be raising up a link to the past: an ironclad that protected the city during the Civil War until the vessel met its undignified demise.

For about the next nine months, divers will be …

Civil War

The Oddball Original Locations of Los Angeles's Most Famous Fast Food Chains

Mid-Twentieth-Century Los Angeles was a place built on cars and hamburgers. As the city abandoned public transportation and became car-dependent, it …