This Week In History News, Jul. 25 – 31

Published July 30, 2021
Updated July 31, 2021

Trove of Jurassic starfish uncovered, 890-million-year-old "spongelike" fossils found, Roman amphitheater unearthed.

Amateur Fossil Hunters In England Just Unearthed More Than 10,000 Jurassic Fossils Using Google Earth

Dig Site In The Cotswolds

Andrew Matthews/PA Images/Getty ImagesArchaeologists continue to unearth more specimens at the dig site in the Cotswolds Hills of England.

Amateur paleontologists Sally and Neville Hollingworth just stumbled into the history books with an unequaled discovery of more than ten thousand Jurassic fossils.

Hundreds of these stunning specimens have never even been seen before. Sally Hollingworth has taken to making up her own names for some of these previously undiscovered species, including “squiggly wigglies” and “stalkie walkies.”

See more of what’s been found in this historic haul here.

These 890-Million-Year-Old “Spongelike” Fossils Could Be The Oldest Animal Fossils Ever Discovered

Possible Oldest Sponge Fossil

Elizabeth Turner/Laurentian UniversityA close-up of the fossil’s texture.

In the 1990s, geologist Elizabeth Turner flew to Canada’s isolated Mackenzie Mountains to take samples for her Ph.D. One of the samples struck her as odd, but she put it aside for later. Now, Turner believes that that sample might be evidence that animal life began hundreds of millions of years earlier than previously thought.

Dig deeper in this report.

Archaeologists Just Discovered A 1,800-Year-Old Roman Gladiator Arena In Turkey

Mastaura Arena From Outside

Turkey Culture and TourismThe arena is estimated to have held between 15,000 and 20,000 people.

Archaeologists have just uncovered a rare piece of Roman-era history in the ancient town of Mastaura in western Turkey: a nearly perfectly preserved gladiator arena that could seat upwards of 20,000 cheering fans.

The amphitheater dates to around 200 B.C., during the reign of the Severan dynasty, a time when this region was rapidly expanding and increasing its wealth and status.

Read on here.

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.