This Week In History News, Jun. 11 – 17

Published June 16, 2023

Ancient mosaic found in the Gulf of Naples, "vampire" burials uncovered in Poland, bulldog-like breeding discovered among ancient Romans.

Divers Just Found An Ancient Mosaic At The Sunken City Where Roman Elites Indulged In Wild Parties 2,000 Years Ago

Ancient Baiae Mosaic

Edoardo RuspantiniWith intertwining lines, crossing braids, and swirls of color, this “psychedelic” mosaic bears a close resemblance to the ancient tilework uncovered in Tunisia.

Divers investigating the submerged remains of an ancient Roman party town have uncovered a 2,000-year-old mosaic on the seafloor in the Gulf of Naples. With intertwining lines, crossing braids, and swirls of color, this “psychedelic” mosaic bears a close resemblance to the ancient tilework uncovered in Tunisia.

And this is just the latest discovery among the ruins of Baiae, now known as the Las Vegas of the ancient world for the legendary hedonism of its wealthy visitors. In fact, this mosaic was likely the floor of a Roman elite’s wealthy villa once used for partying before a disastrous volcanic event sent Baiae to the bottom of the sea.

See more from this astounding find here.

“Vampire Grave” With Over 400 Skeletons Discovered Near 18th-Century Church In Poland

Vampire Grave In Luzino Poland

Maciej StromskiAs evidenced by this Polish burial, people once believed that decapitation could end the “vampire curse.”

While overseeing the expansion of a road in Luzino, Poland, archaeologists came across a mass grave near a church. But this wasn’t just any graveyard. Upon closer examination, the archaeologists found that several of the dead had been treated as “vampires.”

Of the 450 bodies discovered near the church, many had been apparently dug up and reburied. Some had been decapitated and had a skull between their legs, others had coins placed in their mouths, and 20 to 30 percent had bricks arranged alongside their head, arms and legs.

Dig deeper in this report.

New Research Finds Romans Once Bred Lapdogs That Looked Like Modern French Bulldogs

Tralleis Dog Skull Comparisons

Wrocław University of Environmental and Life SciencesThe Tralleis dog skull compared with modern dog skulls.

Dogs have been by humanity’s side since before the dawn of recorded history, but new research suggests that our more-recent fondness for flat-faced dogs is anything but a modern trend. In fact, the breeding of bulldog-like canines can be traced all the way back to ancient Rome.

Analysis of a 2,000-year-old dog skull with a particularly flat snout revealed that the ancient dog shared striking similarities to a modern French bulldog.

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.