This Week In History News, Jan. 14 – 20

Published January 19, 2024

Sword from the Viking Age dredged up in Poland, network of ancient cities uncovered in the Amazon, fossils of prehistoric "terror beast" worms found in Greenland.

1,000-Year-Old Sword Pulled Out Of A Polish River In Stunning Condition During Routine Dredging

Medieval Sword

Ośrodek Sportu i Rekreacji WłocławekBecause it was buried in silt, this sword remains in excellent condition even after 1,000 years and is now being called a “national sensation.”

Workers dredging a river in Poland just happened upon a sword dating back to the Viking Age. After analyzing the blade via X-ray, researchers found an inscription reading “ULFBERTH,” marking this as one of the storied Ulfberht swords that are known for their exceptional quality even though experts don’t know who made them or where. And because it was buried in silt, this sword remains in excellent condition even after 1,000 years and is now being called a “national sensation.”

See more here.

Huge Network Of Ancient Cities Uncovered In The Amazon Rainforest

Upano Valley Ancient Cities

Rostain et al.Lidar scans of the Upano Valley in Ecuador.

Deep within the Amazon, researchers recently discovered a network of 2,500-year-old cities unlike anything ever before seen in the region — and it’s changing historians’ understanding of ancient life in the rainforest.

Laser scans revealed the existence of thousands of mounds that mark the locations of long-gone houses, plazas, and monuments that were connected by “sophisticated” roads and surrounded by terraced farmland. This new discovery is the largest and earliest example of a large-scale agricultural civilization in the South American rainforest.

Read on here.

Scientists Discover Fossils Of “Terror Beast” Worms That Ruled The Oceans 518 Million Years Ago

Timorebestia Fossils

Bob Nicholls/University of BristolAn artist’s depiction of the ancient “terror beast” worms.

Researchers in northern Greenland recently uncovered fossils of giant predator worms that ruled the oceans 518 million years ago — and they dubbed them “terror beasts.”

These massive worms, named Timorebestia — meaning “terror beasts” in Latin — were some of Earth’s earliest carnivorous aquatic animals. They had bodies lined with fins, long antennae protruding from their heads, and massive jaw structures. Reaching nearly a foot in length, they were among the largest ocean creatures during the Early Cambrian period.

Dig deeper in this report.

All That's Interesting
A New York-based publisher established in 2010, All That's Interesting brings together subject-level experts in history, true crime, and science to share stories that illuminate our world.
John Kuroski
John Kuroski is the editorial director of All That's Interesting. He graduated from New York University with a degree in history, earning a place in the Phi Alpha Theta honor society for history students. An editor at All That's Interesting since 2015, his areas of interest include modern history and true crime.