Lost Monet found in art hoarder’s suitcase

A long lost Claude Monet painting has been discovered in a suitcase belonging to the late art hoarder Cornelius Gurlitt

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A Claude Monet landscape, found in a suitcase belonging to Cornelius Gurlitt, is being investigated to identify whether it was among artwork stolen by the Nazis.

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Gurlitt’s father Hindlebrand was ordered by Hitler to confiscate works from Jewish families. A total of 1,280 works of art were seized from his Munich apartment by authorities in 2012, this piece will be added to the investigation.

The painting was handed over to administrators dealing with the hoard by the hospital in which he stayed before his death last May, aged 81.

Experts believe that the painting was produced in 1864; there are notable similarities between the recently discovered piece and Monet’s 1867 work View at Sainte Adresse.

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

Rare Viking ‘ring fortress’ discovered in Denmark

A ring-shaped Viking fortress found in Denmark is the first to be unearthed in more than 60 years and only the fifth to be uncovered.

Dated to around the 8th century, the construction of the fortress has been attributed to the first Christian king of Denmark, Harald Bluetooth, although, other historians believe that his son Sweyn Forkbeard, who would become the first Danish king of England, built the earthwork.

With 10.5-meter deep ramparts and a diameter of more than 144 meters, symmetrically divided, it adheres to the rigid geometric layout of the other Danish ring fortresses.

To read theTelegraph article in full, click here.

Amateur detective reveals Jack the Ripper was a Polish immigrant

The serial killer known as Jack the Ripper has finally been identified, according to an amateur researcher. Russell Edwards was ‘captivated’ by the murders and claims that Aaron Kosminski, a Polish Jewish immigrant fleeing persecution by Poland’s Russian rulers, was ‘definitely, categorically and absolutely’ the killer.

Kosminski was one of six suspects identified by the police in 1881 when the murders took place; unlike contemporary detectives Edwards claims to have used DNA evidence to identify the attacker. He purchased the shawl of Catherine Eddowes, one of Jack the Ripper’s supposed victims, in 2007. He took a DNA sample from what he believes to be the killer’s ejaculate on the shawl; he claims to have a matched this with another sample of DNA, a descendant of Kosminski.

Other historians and genealogist have disagreed with the findings. Many question the accuracy of the DNA sampled considering the poor preservation and tenuous history of Eddowes’ shawl.

To read the Guardian article in full, click here.

To read our guide to Jack the Ripper, click here.

Ground-penetrating ‘X-ray’ reveals Stonehenge had bigger brother

A 330-metre long line of huge 3 metres by 1.5-metre stones has been found near Stonehenge. The arc of stones intersects the bank of Britain’s largest Neolithic henge, Avebury.

The arc is believed to have been constructed some time around 2500 BC which could make it contemporary to Stonehenge, radiocarbon dated to 2200-2400 BC. It is one of 17 other previously undiscovered ritual monuments in the area uncovered during a four-year investigation by archaeologists from the universities of Birmingham and Bradford and the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute in Vienna.

The team used cutting-edge ground-penetrating radar systems to send an electromagnetic current into the ground. When the current returns to the device a graph is created depending on the resistance below the ground, a non-destructive technique that allows archaeologists to identify features up to four meters below the ground. 

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

To read our 10 facts about Stonehenge, click here.

Alexander the Great-era tomb, biggest in northern Greece discovered

A massive tomb, likely to belong to a prominent Macedonian, is the largest to have been discovered in northern Greece, near the Aegean port of Amphipolis (now Amfípoli).

Within the tomb archaeologists discovered a pair of rare marble Caryatids, two-foot-high sculpted female figurines. The hands of the Caryatids hands are outstretched halting the advance of anyone intent on violating the tomb. The Greek ministry of culture believes the finds demonstrate the prominence of the tomb and, consequently, the importance of the individuals buried there.

The proposed date of the tombs construction, 300-325 BC, would mean that it was constructed at the end of Alexander the Great’s rule. However, since strong evidence shows Alexander the Great to be buried in Egypt, it seems more likely that a member of his immediate family may rest in the tomb.

To read the National Geographic article in full, click here.

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Stories compiled by Benjamin Frith-Salem