Neanderthal bone structure discovered in Ukraine

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Neanderthal bone structure discovered in Ukraine
Archaeologists believe they have discovered the remains of a 44,000-year-old Neanderthal building constructed using the bones of mammoths near the town of Molodova in eastern Ukraine. The structure, which is made from 16 large bones, including mammoth skulls, jaws, 14 tusks and leg bones, contained at least 25 hearths filled with ash, indicating that it was used for some time. Many of the bones were decorated with carvings and ochre pigments.
 
 

Jane Austen’s Steventon home unearthed

 
The remains of what archaeologists believe to be the rectory where Jane Austen spent more than half of her life have been unearthed in Steventon, near Basingstoke. Austen lived in the house between 1775 and 1801, during which time she began writing Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice and Northanger Abbey, but the building was demolished in the 19th century after the Austen family moved to Bath. It is thought that Austen’s experiences while at Steventon provided her with material for her novels.
 
 

Cockerel figurine found in Cirencester

 
An 1,800-year-old enamelled cockerel figurine has been found in a child’s grave at one of Britain's earliest-known burial sites in Cirencester. The bronze piece, which stands at 12.5cm high, may have been created as a message to the gods since the Romans gave religious significance to the cockerel. The bird is known to be connected to Mercury, the messenger to the gods who was also responsible for conducting newly-deceased souls to the afterlife. Other finds from the grave include a small pottery tettine or feeding bottle.
 
 
 
 

'Iranian Schindler' saved Jews

 
A new book has claimed thousands of Jews were saved by an Iranian diplomat in Paris during the Scond World War. In The Lion's Shadow, by Fariborz Mokhtari, tells the story of Abdol-Hossein Sardari who gained exemptions from Nazi race laws for more than 2,000 Iranian Jews, helping many escape France. Sadari also helped many Iranians return to Tehran by issuing them with the new-style Iranian passports required to travel across Europe. In The Lion's Shadow is published by The History Press.
 
 

Stonehenge rock origin confirmed

 
Research carried out by National Museum Wales and Leicester University has confirmed the precise origin of some of the rocks at Stonehenge, according to experts. The source of the monument’s stones has long been a source of debate, but they have now been identified to within 70 metres of Craig Rhos-y-felin, near Pont Saeson. Using a process known as petrography – detailing the mineral content and the textural relationships within the rock – experts have ascertained that 99 per cent of the samples could be matched to rocks found in this particular set of outcrops. It is hoped that the find will help reveal how the stones were transported to Wiltshire.
 
 

Heroin found in National Archives file

 
A member of the public has found a package of heroin in an 80-year-old Foreign Office file at the National Archives. The pouch, which was discovered with a document from the British Consulate in Cairo about a 1928 court case, contained less than a gram of heroin in 19 sachets and has now been handed to the police. Other unusual items previously found at the archives include a mummified rat and a red pyjama suit.
 
 

Orson Welles Oscar sells for £549,721

 
The Oscar won by Orson Welles for the 1941 film Citizen Kane has sold at auction in California for £549,721. Nominated for nine Academy Awards, the film was written and directed by Welles who also starred in it. The award was once thought to be lost but was rediscovered in 1994 after a US cinematographer tried to sell it, claiming Welles had given it to him as a form of payment. The identity of the winning bidder is unknown but the second-highest offer was made by magician David Copperfield.
 

 

100-year-old Christmas card found in Swansea

 
A Christmas card dated 21 December 1911 has been found by a builder renovating a three-storey Victorian house in Swansea. The 100-year-old card was discovered after it fell through a hole in the ceiling and reads: ‘Good Remembrance of your Friends’. The card was signed by someone named Grobity. A clothing tag from a local shop called Griffith and Son was also found in the house along with a tin of Ogden's tobacco.
 

 

Charlotte Hodgman

 

Charlotte Hodgman is Features Editor for BBC History Magazine 

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