Archeology News

Archeology News

Archaeology News

The Museum of the Bible in the Spotlight

A new museum dedicated to the best-selling book of all time will open in Washington, D.C.—just three blocks from the U.S. Capitol.

The post The Museum of the Bible in the Spotlight appeared first on Biblical Archaeology Society.

Author: Biblical Archaeology Society Staff
Posted: October 20, 2017, 7:32 pm

Life goes on for marine ecosystems after cataclysmic mass extinction

One of the largest global mass extinctions did not fundamentally change marine ecosystems, scientists have found.
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Posted: October 20, 2017, 1:22 pm

Ancient DNA offers new view on saber-toothed cats' past

Researchers who've analyzed the complete mitochondrial genomes from ancient samples representing two species of saber-toothed cats have a new take on the animals' history over the last 50,000 years. The data suggest that the saber-toothed cats shared a common ancestor with all living cat-like species about 20 million years ago. The two saber-toothed cat species under study diverged from each other about 18 million years ago.
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Posted: October 19, 2017, 6:30 pm

New tyrannosaur fossil is most complete found in Southwestern US

A fossilized skeleton of a tyrannosaur discovered in Utah's Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument was airlifted by helicopter Oct 15, and delivered to the Natural History Museum of Utah where it will be uncovered, prepared, and studied. The fossil is approximately 76 million years old and is likely an individual of the species Teratophoneus curriei.
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Posted: October 19, 2017, 6:30 pm

Fossil coral reefs show sea level rose in bursts during last warming

Scientists have discovered that Earth's sea level did not rise steadily when the planet's glaciers last melted during a period of global warming; rather, sea level rose sharply in punctuated bursts.
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Posted: October 19, 2017, 2:09 pm

Ice stream retreats under a cold climate

Warmer ocean surface triggered the ice retreat during The Younger Dryas.
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Posted: October 19, 2017, 2:08 pm

A solar flare recorded from Spain in 1886

Satellites have detected powerful solar flares in the last two months, but this phenomenon has been recorded for over a century. On Sept. 10, 1886, at the age of just 17, a young amateur astronomer using a modest telescope observed from Madrid one of these sudden flashes in a sunspot.
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Posted: October 19, 2017, 2:07 pm

Understanding the coevolving web of life as a network

Coevolution, which occurs when species interact and adapt to each other, is often studied in the context of pair-wise interactions between mutually beneficial symbiotic partners. But many species have mutualistic interactions with multiple partners, leading to complex networks of interacting species.
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Posted: October 18, 2017, 5:32 pm

Ancient, lost, mountains in the Karoo reveals the secrets of massive extinction event

A researcher studied the fossil-rich sediments present in the Karoo, deposited during the tectonic events that created the Gondwanides, and found that the vertebrate animals in the area started to either go extinct or become less common much earlier than what was previously thought.
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Posted: October 18, 2017, 3:35 pm

Headless Toads Revealed in 4,000-Year-Old Jerusalem Tomb

The discovery of a 4,000-year-old Canaanite shaft tomb containing the remains of at least nine decapitated toads has given archaeologists intriguing insight into ancient burial practices.

The post Headless Toads Revealed in 4,000-Year-Old Jerusalem Tomb appeared first on Biblical Archaeology Society.

Author: Biblical Archaeology Society Staff
Posted: October 18, 2017, 3:25 pm

Ancient preen oil: Researchers discover 48-million-year-old lipids in a fossil bird

As a rule, soft parts do not withstand the ravages of time; hence, the majority of vertebrate fossils consist only of bones. Under these circumstances, a new discovery from the UNESCO World Heritage Site “Messel Pit” near Darmstadt in Germany comes as an even bigger surprise: a 48-million-year old skin gland from a bird, containing lipids of the same age. The oldest lipids ever recorded in a fossil vertebrate were used by the bird to preen its plumage.
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Posted: October 18, 2017, 1:12 pm

Study reshapes understanding of climate change's impact on early societies

A new study linking paleoclimatology -- the reconstruction of past global climates -- with historical analysis shows a link between environmental stress and its impact on the economy, political stability, and war-fighting capacity of ancient Egypt.
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Posted: October 17, 2017, 4:43 pm

Keratin, proteins from 54-million-year-old sea turtle show survival trait evolution

Researchers have retrieved original pigment, beta-keratin and muscle proteins from a 54-million-year-old sea turtle hatchling. The work adds to the growing body of evidence supporting persistence of original molecules over millions of years and also provides direct evidence that a pigment-based survival trait common to modern sea turtles evolved at least 54 million years ago.
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Posted: October 17, 2017, 1:18 pm

Dinosaur dung fertilizes planet, new research shows

Dinosaurs were, and large animals are, important not for the quantity of dung they produce, but for their ability to move long distances across landscapes, effectively mixing the nutrients, outline researchers in a new report.
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Posted: October 16, 2017, 4:44 pm

Fanged kangaroo research could shed light on extinction

Fanged kangaroos -- an extinct family of small fanged Australian kangaroos -- might have survived at least five million years longer than previously thought. A new study has found the species might have competed for resources with ancestors of modern kangaroos.
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Posted: October 16, 2017, 1:27 pm

Fanged kangaroo research could shed light on extinction

Fanged kangaroos -- an extinct family of small fanged Australian kangaroos -- might have survived at least five million years longer than previously thought. A new study has found the species might have competed for resources with ancestors of modern kangaroos.
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Posted: October 16, 2017, 1:27 pm

Newfoundland populated multiple times by distinct groups, DNA evidence shows

Researchers who've examined genetic evidence from mitochondrial DNA provide evidence that two groups of indigenous people in Canada, known as the Maritime Archaic and Beothuk, brought different matrilines to the island, adding further support to the notion that those groups had distinct population histories.
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Posted: October 12, 2017, 6:33 pm

Newfoundland populated multiple times by distinct groups, DNA evidence shows

Researchers who've examined genetic evidence from mitochondrial DNA provide evidence that two groups of indigenous people in Canada, known as the Maritime Archaic and Beothuk, brought different matrilines to the island, adding further support to the notion that those groups had distinct population histories.
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Posted: October 12, 2017, 6:33 pm

Paleogenomic analysis sheds light on Easter Island mysteries

New paleogenomic research appears to rule out the likelihood that inhabitants of Easter Island intermixed with South Americans prior to the arrival of Europeans on the island in 1722.
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Posted: October 12, 2017, 4:30 pm

Paleogenomic analysis sheds light on Easter Island mysteries

New paleogenomic research appears to rule out the likelihood that inhabitants of Easter Island intermixed with South Americans prior to the arrival of Europeans on the island in 1722.
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Posted: October 12, 2017, 4:30 pm

Geologic evidence is the forerunner of ominous prospects for a warming Earth

While strong seasonal hurricanes have devastated many of the Caribbean and Bahamian islands this year, geologic studies on several of these islands illustrate that more extreme conditions existed in the past. A new analysis shows that the limestone islands of the Bahamas and Bermuda experienced climate changes that were even more extreme than historical events.
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Posted: October 12, 2017, 3:48 pm

Carbon dioxide levels lower than thought during super greenhouse period

Researchers adds to the understanding of Earth's historic hyperthermal events to help explain the planet's current warming trend.
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Posted: October 12, 2017, 2:37 pm

Last common ancestor of humans and apes weighed about five kilograms

New research suggests that the last common ancestor of apes -- including great apes and humans -- was much smaller than previously thought, about the size of a gibbon. The findings, published today in the journal Nature Communications, are fundamental to understanding the evolution of the human family tree.
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Posted: October 12, 2017, 1:09 pm

'Obscure' stalked filter feeder lived in Utah some 500 million years ago

The only fossilized specimen of a species previously unknown to science -- an 'obscure' stalked filter feeder -- has just been detailed for the first time.
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Posted: October 11, 2017, 4:04 pm

The making of medieval bling

Gold has long been valued for its luxurious glitter and hue, and threads of the gleaming metal have graced clothing and tapestries for centuries. Determining how artisans accomplished these adornments in the distant past can help scientists restore, preserve and date artifacts, but solutions to these puzzles have been elusive. Now scientists have revealed that medieval artisans used a gilding technology that has endured for centuries.
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Posted: October 11, 2017, 4:03 pm

The making of medieval bling

Gold has long been valued for its luxurious glitter and hue, and threads of the gleaming metal have graced clothing and tapestries for centuries. Determining how artisans accomplished these adornments in the distant past can help scientists restore, preserve and date artifacts, but solutions to these puzzles have been elusive. Now scientists have revealed that medieval artisans used a gilding technology that has endured for centuries.
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Posted: October 11, 2017, 4:03 pm

One of planet's largest volcanic eruptions

Researchers have determined that the Pacific Northwest was home to one of the Earth's largest known volcanic eruptions, a millennia-long spewing of sulfuric gas that blocked out the sun and cooled the planet. Only two other eruptions -- the basalt floods of the Siberian Traps and the Deccan Traps -- were larger, and they led to two of the Earth's great extinctions.
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Posted: October 11, 2017, 1:11 pm

Mass extinctions led to low species diversity, dinosaur rule

Two of Earth's five mass extinction events -- times when more than half of the world's species died -- resulted in the survival of a low number of so-called 'weedy' species that spread their sameness across the world as the Earth recovered from these dramatic upheavals. The findings could shed light on modern high extinction rates and how biological communities may change in the future.
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Posted: October 10, 2017, 4:40 pm

'Fake fin' discovery reveals new ichthyosaur species

An ichthyosaur first discovered in the 1970s but then dismissed and consigned to museum storerooms across the country has been re-examined and found to be a new species.
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Posted: October 10, 2017, 2:56 pm

Evolutionary stepping stone to beet-red beets discovered

Scientists describe an ancient loosening up of a key biochemical pathway that set the stage for the ancestors of beets to develop their characteristic red pigment.
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Posted: October 10, 2017, 2:56 pm

Dinosaur blood? New research urges caution regarding fossilized soft tissue

Scientists have conducted experiments to accelerate degradation in keratinous tissues such as feathers, scales and hair in order to simulate the processes that occur over deep time as something becomes a fossil.
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Posted: October 10, 2017, 2:54 pm

Formation of coal almost turned our planet into a snowball

While burning coal today causes Earth to overheat, about 300 million years ago the formation of that same coal brought our planet close to global glaciation. For the first time, scientists show the massive effect in a new study.
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Posted: October 9, 2017, 7:49 pm

Amazon farmers discovered the secret of domesticating wild rice 4,000 years ago

Amazonian farmers discovered how to manipulate wild rice so the plants could provide more food 4,000 years ago, long before Europeans colonized America, archaeologists have discovered.
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Posted: October 9, 2017, 7:47 pm

'Lost chapel' of Westminster Palace revealed in new 3-D model

The first dedicated House of Commons chamber, destroyed in the 1834 Palace of Westminster fire, has been reconstructed with the help of 3-D visualization technology.
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Posted: October 6, 2017, 3:23 pm

Prehistoric humans are likely to have formed mating networks to avoid inbreeding

Early humans seem to have recognized the dangers of inbreeding at least 34,000 years ago, and developed surprisingly sophisticated social and mating networks to avoid it, new research has found.
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Posted: October 5, 2017, 6:17 pm

12,000 years ago, Florida hurricanes heated up despite chilly seas

Category 5 hurricanes may have slammed Florida repeatedly during the chilly Younger Dryas, 12,000 years ago. The cause? Hurricane-suppressing effects of cooler sea surface were out-weighed by side effects of slowed ocean circulation.
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Posted: October 5, 2017, 4:50 pm

Liverwort genes and land plant evolution

The common liverwort is a living link to the transition from marine algae to land plants. Biologists have analyzed the genome sequence of the common liverwort (Marchantia polymorpha) to identify genes and gene families that were deemed crucial to plant evolution and have been conserved over millions of years and across plant lineages.
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Posted: October 5, 2017, 4:11 pm

Who fatally undermined Scott's Antarctic expedition?

What doomed Captain Robert Falcon Scott's British Antarctic Expedition in 1912? Scientists have uncovered documents and diary entries that suggest a team member stole food Scott needed, failed to pass on orders that would have sent out a dog team to meet the men and then changed his story over time to cover up his role in their deaths.
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Posted: October 5, 2017, 2:26 pm

Ancient humans left Africa to escape drying climate

Humans migrated out of Africa as the climate shifted from wet to dry about 60,000 years ago, according to new paleoclimate research. What the northeast Africa climate was like when people migrated from Africa into Eurasia between 70,000 and 55,000 years ago is still uncertain. The new research shows around 70,000 years ago, the Horn of Africa climate shifted from a wet phase called 'Green Sahara' to even drier than the region is now.
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Posted: October 4, 2017, 7:12 pm

Ornamented artifact may indicate long-distance exchange between Mesolithic communities

An ornamented bâton percé found in Central Poland may provide evidence of exchange between Mesolithic communities, according to a study.
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Posted: October 4, 2017, 6:26 pm

Meet Madagascar's oldest animal lineage, a whirligig beetle with 206-million-year-old origins

A new study suggests the Malagasy striped whirligig beetle Heterogyrus milloti boasts a genetic pedigree stretching back to the late Triassic period.
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Posted: October 4, 2017, 6:01 pm

The vitamin ergothioneine: an antioxidant for oxygen-free areas?

Chemists have been able to show for the first time that anaerobic bacteria can produce the vitamin ergothioneine in the absence of oxygen. This suggests that bacteria were forming this compound even before there was oxygen in the Earth's atmosphere. The vitamin's function therefore remains a mystery, as it was previously ascribed a role in oxygen-dependent processes.
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Posted: October 4, 2017, 4:05 pm

Morbidity and mortality of leprosy in the Middle Ages

In the Middle Ages, did contracting leprosy necessarily increase a person's chances of dying? Yes, says a new paper. But it's complicated.
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Posted: October 3, 2017, 4:51 pm

New light shed on Earth's history

New research suggests that hydrogen, oxygen, water and carbon dioxide are being generated in the earth's mantle hundreds of kilometers below the earth's surface.
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Posted: October 3, 2017, 4:51 pm

Bones reveal social differences between the people buried in dolmens and those in caves

Archeologists have measured stable carbon and nitrogen isotopes of the bones of individuals buried in dolmens and caves; the aim is to establish their diet and thus obtain information on their social structure and type of society in the Rioja Alavesa area during the late Neolithic and early Chalcolithic.
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Posted: October 3, 2017, 3:11 pm

Extreme magnetic storm: Red aurora over Kyoto in 1770

Researchers used historic accounts of a rare red aurora over Kyoto, Japan, in the 18th century to support calculations of the strength of the associated magnetic storm. The September 1770 storm could be 3-10% stronger than the September 1859 storm, the greatest storm in the past 200 years. The research provides insights that could assist preparation for an unlikely, but possible, future intense magnetic storm.
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Posted: October 3, 2017, 3:10 pm

Ancient petrified salamander reveals its last meal

A new study on an exceptionally preserved salamander from the Eocene of France reveals that its soft organs are conserved under its skin and bones. Organs preserved in three dimensions include the lung, nerves, gut, and within it, the last meal of the animal, according to a new study.
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Posted: October 3, 2017, 1:39 pm

Prehistoric squid was last meal of newborn ichthyosaur 200 million years ago

Scientists have identified the smallest and youngest specimen of Ichthyosaurus communis on record and found an additional surprise preserved in its stomach.
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Posted: October 3, 2017, 1:39 pm

Monstrous crocodile fossil points to early rise of ancient reptiles

A newly identified prehistoric marine predator has shed light on the origins of the distant relatives of modern crocodiles.
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Posted: October 3, 2017, 12:22 am

Monstrous crocodile fossil points to early rise of ancient reptiles

A newly identified prehistoric marine predator has shed light on the origins of the distant relatives of modern crocodiles.
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Posted: October 3, 2017, 12:22 am

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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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