Archaeologist Julie Schablitsky believes she has found the site on Maryland's Eastern Shore where Harriet Tubman lived with her family during her teenage years, state and federal officials announced Tuesday, per The Washington Post.
Schablitsky, who works for Maryland's State Highway Administration, had been searching in the isolated area in Dorchester County for signs of the long-vanished cabin for some time when she found a coin from 1808 with her metal detector that suggested she had finally hit the jackpot. After that, officials said, bricks, pottery, a button, and a slew of other household items — all dated to the right time — further pointed to the location being the site of the property owned by Tubman's father, Ben Ross, whose enslaver freed him and granted him the piece of land. Tubman and her siblings were still enslaved (and their parents were far from safe) while they sheltered there.
The discovery is likely a crucial one and should help provide a lot of context to the famed abolitionist's story, experts told the Post. The wooded area where the cabin stood became Tubman's "classroom," biographer Kate Clifford Larson told the Post, explaining that it's likely where, with the help of her "committed" father, Tubman learned how to survive in such terrain and "read the night sky," skills that aided her during her days as a clandestine Underground Railroad conductor. Read more about the discovery at The Washington Post.Tim O'Donnell
A copy of Shakespeare's First Folio — a book published in 1623 that brought together 36 of his plays and preserved the sole copies of works including Macbeth and The Tempest — has been discovered at a home on the Scottish Isle of Bute. Previously, only 233 copies of what the BBC dubs "one of the most sought-after books in the world" were known, marking this find both "rare and significant."
The book, owned by the seventh Marquess of Bute, Johnny Dumfries, was found at Mount Stuart House library, located about 60 miles west of Glasglow. The timing of the discovery was perhaps serendipitous, said Emma Smith, a Shakespeare expert at the University of Oxford who authenticated the Folio, as it comes shortly before the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death on April 23.
When archaeologists uncovered the skeleton of a young man among the roots of a massive beech tree in Collooney, Co Sligo, they also discovered his violent death nearly a millennium before. The skeleton, which a bone analysis revealed to be of a 17 to 20-year-old man, had two stab wounds to the chest and another on his left hand, which The Irish Times reports is "presumably from trying to ward off his attacker." The teen is believed to have died between 1030 and 1200 A.D.
Archaeologists described the excavation of the skeleton as "certainly an unusual situation," because of its placement within the tree roots. "The upper part of the skeleton was raised into the air trapped within the root system. The lower leg bones, however, remained intact in the ground," Marion Dowd of Sligo-Leitrim Archaeological Services told The Irish Times. "Effectively as the tree collapsed, it snapped the skeleton in two."
Once unearthed, further analysis of the young man's bones revealed him to be about 5 foot, 10 inches in height, which The Irish Times notes is taller than the average height of a medieval person. His bones revealed mild spinal joint disease, likely indicating that he had been doing physical labor since he was young. The teen received a Christian burial. Becca Stanek