Although scientists have known that a funguslike organism caused the potato blight that triggered the Great Famine in Ireland in the 1840s, they didn't know which strain was the culprit. But they do now, thanks to the genes in some 19th century potato samples.
When Margot Adler learned that a cousin had hidden from the Nazis in Amsterdam, she was stunned. Adler started digging around and discovered that like Anne Frank, 25,000 Dutch Jews hid, and two-thirds of them survived. Her cousin was one of them.
A rare piece of America's military history was located this spring, when dolphins from the Navy's Marine Mammal Program located an unusual artifact: a torpedo from the 19th century. Discovered during a training exercise in the ocean near San Diego, the torpedo will eventually make its way to a museum.
Giuseppe Arcimboldo was a 16th-century artist who liked to play with his food, transforming it into the building blocks of many of his fantastical portraits. Artist Philip Haas has taken those portraits out of museums, reinterpreting them as colossal statues that interact with the natural environment.
By the end of the century, ocean levels could rise by 2 or 3 feet. That's enough to flood the colonists' first settlement at Jamestown, Va. And it's putting pressure on archaeologists to get as many artifacts out of the ground as quickly as possible — before it's too late.
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