Archeology News

Archeology News

  • Shipwreck Lifted from a New Zealand Beach
    on December 15, 2018 at 12:40 am

    AUKLAND, NEW ZEALAND—The New Zealand Herald reports that The Daring, a two-masted schooner that wrecked on the west coast of the North Island of New Zealand in 1865, has been lifted out of the sands intact. Members of the Classic Yacht Charitable Trust raised money to recover the vessel, which was just two years old when it was blown ashore by a storm. Security was in place around the clock to protect the site from scavengers. Once the sand was removed from the ship’s interior, the […]

  • Corn Domestication May Have Taken Thousands of Years
    on December 15, 2018 at 12:07 am

    WASHINGTON, D.C.—According to a Science News report, the domestication of the corn plant began in southern Mexico some 9,000 years ago, and continued in Mexico and the southwestern Amazon for several thousand years. It had been previously thought that corn domestication was accomplished in southern Mexico relatively quickly. Logan Kistler of the Smithsonian Institution and his colleagues reconstructed the genetic history of the maize plant by analyzing and comparing the genomes of 108 […]

  • Neanderthal DNA May Affect Skull Shape of Modern Humans
    on December 14, 2018 at 11:54 pm

    LEIPZIG, GERMANY—According to a Live Science report, paleoanthropologist Philipp Gunz of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology suggests that modern humans who inherited certain fragments of Neanderthal DNA may have more oblong brains and skulls than other modern humans. Gunz and his colleagues took computed tomography scans of seven Neanderthal skulls and 19 modern human skulls, then constructed imprints of the skulls’ braincases. They compared the shapes of these […]

  • Study Tracks Population Changes in Late Neolithic Norway
    on December 14, 2018 at 11:21 pm

    OSLO, NORWAY—Science Nordic reports that researchers led by Svein Vatsvåg Nielsen of the University of Oslo’s Museum of Cultural History analyzed hundreds of radiocarbon-dated artifacts from archaeological sites across Norway in order to track changes in the country’s Late Neolithic population. Nielsen said the study identified an increase in human activity in eastern Norway some 6,000 years ago, which could signal the arrival of early farmers from the east. DNA analysis […]

  • Archaeologist debunks the myth of "the nearly naked Bushmen"
    on December 14, 2018 at 3:10 pm

    It is said that "clothes maketh the man." […]

  • Two stalagmites found in Chinese cave offer a way to improve accuracy of carbon-14 dating
    on December 14, 2018 at 2:20 pm

    A team of researchers with members affiliated with several institutions in the U.S. and China has found two stalagmites that offer a way to improve the accuracy of the carbon-14 dating technique. In their paper published in the journal Science, the group describes the stalagmites and their study of them. […]

  • Horned dinosaur Crittendenceratops discovered in Arizona
    on December 14, 2018 at 1:48 pm

    Palentologists are announcing a new dinosaur discovery in the southwest United States. Crittendenceratops krzyzanowskii is a new ceratopsid (horned) dinosaur from 73-million-year-old (Late Cretaceous) rocks in southern Arizona. It is one of the few dinosaurs named from Arizona. […]

  • Tiles Link Ancient Buddhist Temples in Japan
    on December 13, 2018 at 10:50 pm

    RITTO, JAPAN—The Asahi Shimbun reports that circular roof tiles decorated with flowers and pieces of ornamental ridges have been unearthed at what may have been the site of a late seventh-century Buddhist temple at the Hachiya archaeological site in Shiga Prefecture. The ornaments are similar to those found in the Horyuji temple compound, and the Chuguji temple ruins, which are both located to the south, in Nara Prefecture. The tiles from all of the sites are thought to have been made […]

  • Does Chicken Consumption Signal New Human Epoch?
    on December 13, 2018 at 10:32 pm

    LEICESTER, ENGLAND—According to a Live Science report, geologist Carys Bennett of the University of Leicester led a study of chicken bones unearthed at archaeological sites around London, in order to investigate how chickens have changed over time at the hands of humans. Bennett says these differences can be seen in the bones of the small chickens raised in Roman-era London, the slightly heftier domestic chickens bred during the medieval period, and the chickens now raised on modern […]

  • 18th Dynasty Tomb Discovered in Aswan
    on December 13, 2018 at 9:27 pm

    ASWAN, EGYPT—Ahram Online reports that an undecorated tomb dating to between 1550 and 1295 B.C. has been discovered in the Kom Ombo area of Upper Egypt. Three limestone sarcophagi, scarabs, amulets, and the remains of about 50 people were recovered from the tomb. About half of the remains belonged to children. Mostafa Waziri, secretary-general of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities, said the burial chamber and the tomb’s two side rooms had been damaged by ground water. To read […]

  • Early animals: Death near the shoreline, not life on land
    on December 13, 2018 at 6:12 pm

    Our understanding of when the very first animals started living on land is helped by identifying trace fossils -- the tracks and trails left by ancient animals -- in sedimentary rocks that were deposited on the continents. […]

  • Scientists scour WWI shipwreck to solve military mystery
    on December 13, 2018 at 5:36 pm

    A hundred years ago, a mysterious explosion hit the only major U.S. warship to sink during World War I. Now the Navy believes it has the answer to what doomed the USS San Diego: An underwater mine set by a German submarine cruising in waters just miles from New York City. […]

  • Oldest known plant virus found at ancient settlement
    on December 13, 2018 at 4:21 pm

    Researchers studying ancient corncobs found at a Native American archeological site have recovered a 1,000-year-old virus, the oldest plant virus ever reported. […]

  • Pollen dispersal in traditional processing of buckwheat
    on December 13, 2018 at 12:46 pm

    Interpreting the source and significance of crop pollen in archaeological sites has always been a key issue in environmental and agricultural archaeology. The research team of Dr. Shang Xue from the Department of Archaeology and Anthropology of the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, recently conducted a simulation study on the dispersal pattern of pollen in the traditional processing of buckwheat. […]

  • 3-D-printed reconstructions provide clues to ancient site
    on December 13, 2018 at 1:00 am

    Part of the ancient archaeological site of Tiwanaku, Bolivia, believed by Incans to be where the world was created has been reconstructed using 3-D printed models of fragments of an ancient building. The results are presented in a study published in the open access journal Heritage Science. […]

  • Carved Snake Heads Uncovered in Ukraine
    on December 12, 2018 at 11:31 pm

    KIEV, UKRAINE—Nadiia Kotova of the Institute of Archaeology at the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine and her team unearthed two carved rocks resembling snake heads at Kamyana Mohyla I, an archaeological site near the Sea of Azov in southern Ukraine, according to a Live Science report. Both of the carvings date to the Mesolithic period, although one is older than the other. Carved sometime between 8300 and 7500 B.C. from yellow sandstone, the first of the two snake heads weighs […]

  • Sri Lanka’s Ancient Cosmopolitan Cuisine
    on December 12, 2018 at 11:09 pm

    MANTAI, SRI LANKA—According to a Science Magazine report, researchers who analyzed soil samples collected at the site of the ancient port of Mantai on the island of Sri Lanka detected plant remains from around the world. Researchers found grains of locally grown rice, charred black pepper dating to between A.D. 600 and 700, and a single clove dating to between A.D. 900 and 1100. Archaeobotanist Eleanor Kingwell-Banham of University College London said spices are rarely found in the […]

  • Hematite “Pencil” Discovered in Denisova Cave
    on December 12, 2018 at 10:41 pm

    NOVOSIBIRSK, RUSSIA—The Siberian Times reports that a piece of hematite that may have been used for making reddish-brown marks between 50,000 and 45,000 years ago was discovered in Denisova Cave’s southern gallery. Mikhail Shunkov of the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography, in the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, said the “pencil” may have been used by either the Denisovans or Neanderthals who inhabited the cave. “We cannot say how exactly […]

  • Neolithic Cattle May Have Pulled Heavy Loads
    on December 12, 2018 at 10:30 pm

    LONDON, ENGLAND—According to a report in The Telegraph, Neolithic cattle bones unearthed at 11 archaeological sites in the Balkans show wear and tear consistent with pulling heavy loads. The study, led by Jane Gaastra of University College London, suggests cattle were put to work as early as 6000 B.C., about 2,000 years earlier than previously thought and before the introduction of the plow and the wheel. Researchers think that, in the Balkans, cattle would have helped early farmers clear […]

  • First-ever look at complete skeleton of Thylacoleo, Australia's extinct 'marsupial lion'
    on December 12, 2018 at 7:07 pm

    Thyalacoleo carnifex, the 'marsupial lion' of Pleistocene Australia, was an adept hunter that got around with the help of a strong tail, according to a new study. These insights come after newly discovered remains, including one nearly complete fossil specimen, allowed these researchers to reconstruct this animal's entire skeleton for the first time. […]

  • First-ever look at complete skeleton of Thylacoleo, Australia's extinct 'marsupial lion'
    on December 12, 2018 at 7:00 pm

    Thyalacoleo carnifex, the "marsupial lion" of Pleistocene Australia, was an adept hunter that got around with the help of a strong tail, according to a study released December 12, 2018 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Roderick T. Wells of Flinders University and Aaron B. Camens of the South Australia Museum, Adelaide. These insights come after newly-discovered remains, including one nearly complete fossil specimen, allowed these researchers to reconstruct this animal's entire skeleton for […]

  • Chickens to be marker of Anthropocene
    on December 12, 2018 at 5:18 pm

    New research shows the age of man -- the Anthropocene -- will be defined by the chicken. […]

  • Five reasons why 2018 was a big year for palaeontology
    on December 12, 2018 at 2:50 pm

    A lot happened in the world of palaeontology in 2018. Some of the big events included some major fossil finds, a new understanding of our reptile ancestors and a major controversy whose outcome could rewrite human history. The Conversation Africa asked Dr. Julien Benoit to discuss five important moments in palaeontology you may have missed during 2018, and what they mean – particularly for Africa and its place in the story of human origins. […]

  • How Islamic State's destruction of ancient Palmyra played out on Arabic-language Twitter
    on December 12, 2018 at 2:39 pm

    Pictures of the destruction of the UNESCO World Heritage site of Palmyra have become iconic images of the conflict in Syria. These have been widely shared around the world as symbols of Islamic State's barbarism – profiled alongside their extensive human rights violations, such as the massacre of the Yazidi people. […]

  • Fossils key to fulfilling Darwin's 160-year-old prediction
    on December 12, 2018 at 12:57 pm

    A new study by researchers at the University of Salford has shown that fossils are likely to be key to fulfilling a prediction made by Charles Darwin more than 160 years ago. […]

  • Soil Cores Searched for Evidence of Alpaca Domestication
    on December 11, 2018 at 11:21 pm

    PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA—According to a Live Science report, organic geochemist Thomas Elliott Arnold of the University of Pittsburgh and his colleagues analyzed sediment cores from lakes in southeastern Peru for changes in the ratios of signature chemicals found in human and ruminant feces, in order to estimate when domestication of alpacas might have taken place. In the samples from Lake Arapa and Lake Orurillo, the researchers determined the portion of ruminant poop increased after […]

  • Germanic Cemetery in Poland Investigated
    on December 11, 2018 at 10:06 pm

    GORZÓW COUNTY, POLAND—Science in Poland reports that a team of archaeologists led by Krzysztof Socha of the Kostrzyn Fortress Museum are investigating the site of a 2,000-year-old Germanic cemetery in western Poland. Plowing and forest planting some 50 years ago damaged much of the cemetery, resulting in a large number of iron and bronze artifacts scattered over the area. But the team members did find three intact graves. One held burned human remains in a ceramic urn. Cremains had […]

  • IAA Announces Recovery of 9,000-Year-Old Neolithic Stone Mask
    by Robin Ngo on December 11, 2018 at 7:47 pm

    The Israel Antiquities Authority recently announced that its Antiquities Theft Prevention Unit recovered a rare 9,000-year-old stone mask. The post IAA Announces Recovery of 9,000-Year-Old Neolithic Stone Mask appeared first on Biblical Archaeology Society. […]

  • Tooth enamel analysis shows two early hominin species ate a generalized diet
    on December 11, 2018 at 1:44 pm

    A team of researchers with members affiliated with several institutions in Germany has found evidence that suggests two species of hominins from the Early Pleistocene ate a generalized diet. In their paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the group describes their study of fossilized tooth enamel from the two species and what they found. […]

  • 4,000-Year-Old Game Board Identified in Azerbaijan
    on December 11, 2018 at 12:58 am

    NEW YORK, NEW YORK—According to a Live Science report, Walter Crist of the American Museum of Natural History has identified a collection of pits carved into a rock shelter in Azerbaijan as a 4,000-year-old game board. Known as “58 Holes,” or “Hounds and Jackals,” copies of the game have also been found in the tomb of the ancient Egyptian pharaoh Amenemhat IV, and at other sites dating to around the second millennium B.C. in Mesopotamia and Anatolia. This set of […]

  • Mosaic Fragment Returned to Turkey
    on December 11, 2018 at 12:03 am

    GAZIANTEP, TURKEY—BBC News reports that Bowling Green State University has handed over pieces of the “Gypsy Girl” mosaic to Turkey, where they have been put on display in the Zeugma Mosaic Museum with other fragments from a larger artwork. The 2,000-year-old image fragments, which depict a girl’s eyes, nose, hair, and hat, are thought to have been looted from the ancient city of Zeugma and smuggled out of Turkey in the early 1960s. The university purchased the mosaic […]

  • Researchers suggest 'Little Foot' is an entirely new species of early human
    on December 10, 2018 at 2:22 pm

    Several teams of researchers have announced that the skeletal remains of a hominin believed to have lived approximately 3.67 million years ago represent a new species of early human. The researchers report that the specimen, known as "Little Foot," has characteristics that make it unlike any other known species. […]

  • South African skeleton shows humans learned to walk upright in the trees
    on December 10, 2018 at 1:56 pm

    The analysis of the world's most complete skeleton of an early human ancestor, conducted by a research collaboration involving the University of Liverpool, offers conclusive evidence that human ancestors became efficient upright walkers while they were still substantially tree dwelling animals. […]

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Sudan’s forgotten pyramids

Sudan’s forgotten pyramids

Nubian pyramids – Bagrawiyah, Sudan – More than 200km from the Sudanese capital Khartoum, the remains of an ancient city rise from the arid and inhospitable terrain like a science-fiction film set. Nestled between sand dunes, the secluded pyramids seem to have been forgotten by the modern world, with no nearby restaurants or hotels to cater to tourists.

The Nubian Meroe pyramids, much smaller but just as impressive as the more famous Egyptian ones, are found on the east bank of the Nile river, near a group of villages called Bagrawiyah. The pyramids get their name from the ancient city of Meroe, the capital of the Kingdom of Kush, an ancient African kingdom situated in what is now the Republic of Sudan.

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