This week’s history news round-up

We take a look at the historical stories that have been making the news this week...

Entrance to the concentration camp Auschwitz-Birkenau. Poland. Photograph from 1995. (Photo by Votava/Imagno/Getty Images)

Teenagers “apologise unreservedly” for picking up items at Auschwitz death camp

Two British teenagers were released with suspended prison sentences earlier this week after they were detained for attempting “to keep some items which they had found on the ground” at Auschwitz death camp.

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A spokesperson from The Perse School in Cambridge said that both boys have been fined about £170 and have “apologised unreservedly” for their actions. The school also said the pupils picked up the items “without thinking”.

To read the BBC News story in full, click here.

8 million mummified animals found in Egyptian catacombs

Eight million animals have been found in the Egyptian catacombs of Anubis in Saqqara. The majority of the mummified animals are dogs, much to the surprise of the archaeology team involved in the excavations, as they were not expecting to find so many mummified animals in their search.

Despite mass burials and animal cults being customary in ancient Egypt, the mass scale of this discovery has shocked the researchers involved.

Researchers have for many years known about the animal catacombs – a map from 1897 clearly shows the location of the mummified dogs. However, it was not until a team from Cardiff University’s School of History, Archaeology and Religion, with the help of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities, investigated the tunnels in 2009 that they found masses of mummified animals.

 To read the CNN story in full, click here.

James V’s lost tapestries recreated at Stirling Castle

A 14-year project has been completed at Stirling Castle to recreate the lost tapestries of James V.

Historic Scotland began the project in 2001 after it was found that James V once had a collection of more than 100 tapestries that have since been lost.

A group of 18 expert weavers were brought together to recreate the ‘Hunt of the Unicorn’ tapestry.

The tapestries are now on show at the castle for the public to view.

To read our story in full, click here.

Former National Theatre head claims Shakespeare’s jokes aren’t funny

Director Sir Richard Eyre has revealed that he believes Shakespeare’s jokes are not funny for modern audiences.

Despite previously directing numerous Shakespearean plays, including Richard III, King Lear and Hamlet, Richard Eyre argues that some forms of comedy become dated very quickly, and therefore lose its meaning.

Speaking at the Chalke Valley History Festival, Eyre said: “It’s true that a lot of Shakespeare’s jokes aren’t very good because they’re topical, you know. Comedy dates very, very quickly.”

To read the Telegraph story in full, click here.

The word ‘twerk’ originates from 1820, according to Oxford English Dictionary

According to Oxford English Dictionary, the word ‘twerk’ – popularised recently by the singer Miley Cyrus – first originated in 1820 and was spelt ‘twirk’.

Apparently, ‘twirk’ was used to describe a movement that is particularly jerking, twitchy or twisting. The ‘twerk’ spelling that is used today was first used in 1901, according to the dictionary.

Twerking is today described in the dictionary as dancing “in a sexually provocative manner, using thrusting movements of the bottom and hips while in a low, squatting stance”.

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To read the BBC News story in full, click here.