This Week In History News, Sept. 15 – 21

Published September 20, 2019

"Spanish Stonehenge" revealed by drought, remains of Russian city sacked by Mongols uncovered, Civil War cannonballs found washed up on beach.

Drought Uncovers ‘Spanish Stonehenge’ Hidden Underwater For Decades

Dolmen Of Guadalperal

Ruben Ortega Martin/Raices de PeraledaThe Dolmen de Guadalperal, also known as the “Spanish Stonehenge,” has been completely exposed for the first time in 50 years following the drought.

Severe changes in weather, particularly across Europe, have been a curse for farmers whose crops are suffering and who are losing millions of euros because of it. But for archaeologists, these severe changes sometimes help them gain access to relics that were previously out of reach.

Take Spain’s 7,000-year-old Dolmen de Guadalperal, a megalithic monument made up of 144 standing stones — some up to six feet tall — arranged in a circular open space. Located in the province of Cáceres, this previously-underwater monument has now been completely exposed following the harsh drought that has hit the area.

Read more about the Dolmen de Guadalperal here.

Researchers Uncover Horrors Of Russian ‘City Drowned In Blood’ By The Mongols In 1238

Archaeologist Excavating The Yaroslav Graves

Moscow Institute of Physics and TechnologyAn archeologist examines the remains at the Yaroslavl massacre site.

When the Mongols invaded the Russian town of Yaroslavl in 1238, almost nobody was spared. Hundreds were slaughtered brutally and dumped into mass graves as the town was completely sacked. Nearly 800 years later, researchers have given us a chilling glimpse of the victims left behind.

After the slaughter, Mongol raiders buried the dead in pits by the dozens with no markers to distinguish who these poor victims even were. But one pit of the dead in particular stood out after scientists of the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology began genetically analyzing three of its 15 corpses.

Researchers found that the three murdered townsfolk buried together in the dirt were a woman, her daughter, and her grandson. Moscow’s research team found that the eldest of the three corpses was at least 55 years old before she died. Her daughter was between 30 and 40, while her grandson was younger than 20. They were buried in one of nine pits found at Yaroslavl, which altogether held more than 300 bodies.

Dig deeper here.

Couple Stumbles On Civil War Cannonballs Washed Up On A Beach Following Hurricane Dorian

Civil War Cannonball In The Sand

WCSCOne of the cannonballs weighed eight pounds and the other three.

Strong hurricanes often leave destruction in their wake and sometimes, they uncover a bit of history too.

This was the case for a young couple visiting South Carolina’s Folly beach when they came across two Civil War-era cannonballs exposed on the sand. The historic relics were likely unburied by the strong winds of Hurricane Dorian.

Though the couple had hoped to find some artifacts washed up on the beach after the hurricane, they never thought they would find something like this.

“I wanted to get a metal detector,” Aaron Lattin said of his discovery. “We actually just got lucky with no equipment, just spending a day at the beach.”

At first, Lattin said, the couple thought the cannonballs were perhaps strange rocks. But after closer inspection, realized they were likely old explosives and called the find into the Folly Beach Department of Public Safety.

See more 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.