Archeology News

Archeology News

  • Holy Pleistocene Batman, the answer's in the cave
    on April 25, 2019 at 11:36 am

    Examining a 3-meter stack of bat feces has shed light on the landscape of the ancient continent of Sundaland. The research could help explain the biodiversity of present-day Borneo, Sumatra, and Java. It could also add to our understanding of how people moved through the region. […]

  • Holy Pleistocene Batman, the answer's in the cave
    on April 25, 2019 at 9:00 am

    Let's say you wanted to solve a 20,000-year-old mystery, where would you start? Perhaps archaeology and geology come to mind. Or, you could sift through a 3-metre pile of bat faeces. […]

  • Guatemala’s Magnetized Sculptures Studied
    on April 24, 2019 at 11:42 pm

    CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS—Science News reports that geoscientist Roger Fu of Harvard University and his colleagues analyzed the magnetized areas of 11 of Guatemala’s 2,000-year-old potbelly sculptures. Some of the massive sculptures, which are generally round in shape and depict people holding extremely large stomachs with their arms and legs, are thought to have been carved from boulders magnetized by lightning strikes. Fu’s team suggests the ancient carvers looked for areas […]

  • Section of Pictish Fort Uncovered in Scotland
    on April 24, 2019 at 11:23 pm

    MORAY, SCOTLAND—According to a report in The Scotsman, a section of eighth-century defensive wall has been uncovered in northern Scotland, on the coast of a peninsula that projects into the Moray Firth, by a team of researchers led by Gordon Noble of the University of Aberdeen. Preserved pieces of timber lacing were found in the ten-foot-long section of Pictish rampart. “It really reinforces the huge investment in resources that was undertaken to construct the fort at […]

  • Researchers Analyze Wound in Ancient Greek Skeleton
    on April 24, 2019 at 10:09 pm

    GARDEN CITY, NEW YORK—A team of researchers at Adelphi University, led by anthropologist Anagnostis Agelarakis, examined the skeletal remains of a well-muscled man recovered from the Greek island of Thasos and attempted to determine how he died some 2,000 years ago, according to a Live Science report. Agelarakis found a nearly perfectly round hole, positioned at a 90-degree angle, in a fragment of the man’s sternum. He thought the fatal wound might have been made with a styrax, or […]

  • Modern analysis of ancient hearths reveals Neanderthal settlement patterns
    on April 24, 2019 at 6:00 pm

    Ancient fire remains provide evidence of Neanderthal group mobility and settlement patterns and indicate specific occupation episodes, according to a new study published in PLOS ONE on April 24, 2019 by Lucia Leierer and colleagues from Universidad de La Laguna, Spain. […]

  • Human settlements in Amazonia much older than previously thought
    on April 24, 2019 at 6:00 pm

    Humans settled in southwestern Amazonia and even experimented with agriculture much earlier than previously thought, according to an international team of researchers. […]

  • Meet Callichimaera perplexa, the platypus of crabs
    on April 24, 2019 at 6:00 pm

    The crab family just got a bunch of new cousins—including a 95-million-year-old chimera species that will force scientists to rethink the definition of a crab. […]

  • Digital cathedrals: bringing Notre-Dame de Paris back to life
    on April 24, 2019 at 2:50 pm

    The devastating fire at Notre-Dame de Paris sparked intense emotion around the world, demonstrating the cathedral's important place in history and culture as well as its enormous symbolic power. As France and other countries around the world continue to mourn the tragedy, the French government, experts, journalists and others are already mobilising to launch an ambitious restoration – funding, planning, skills, materials and technologies. […]

  • A Neanderthal tooth discovered in Serbia reveals human migration history
    on April 24, 2019 at 2:40 pm

    In 2015, our Serbian-Canadian archaeological research team was working at a cave site named Pešturina, in Eastern Serbia, where we had found thousands of stone tools and animal bones. One day, an excited Serbian undergrad brought us a fossil they had uncovered: a small molar tooth, which we immediately recognized as human. […]

  • What happens now we've found the site of the lost Australian freighter SS Iron Crown, sunk in WWII
    on April 24, 2019 at 12:50 pm

    Finding shipwrecks isn't easy – it's a combination of survivor reports, excellent archival research, a highly skilled team, top equipment and some good old-fashioned luck. […]

  • Evidence found of early hunter-gatherer eating an entire venomous snake
    on April 24, 2019 at 12:30 pm

    A trio of researchers from Texas A&M University and Wichita State University has found evidence of an early hunter-gatherer eating an entire venomous snake. In their paper published in Journal of Archaeological Science, Elanor Sonderman, Crystal Dozier and Morgan Smith describe their study of coprolites found at a site in Texas and the snake remains they found. […]

  • Egypt: Archaeologists uncover ancient tomb with mummies
    on April 24, 2019 at 11:05 am

    Egypt says archaeologists have uncovered an ancient tomb with mummies believed to date back about 2,000 years in the southern city of Aswan. […]

  • Ming Dynasty Porcelain Workshop Identified in Eastern China
    on April 23, 2019 at 11:48 pm

    JIANGXI PROVINCE, CHINA—Xinhua reports that a wall uncovered in the city of Jingdezhen, at the foot of southeastern China’s Zhushan Mountain, was part of an imperial ceramic workshop dating to the early Ming Dynasty (A.D. 1368–1644). Fragments of rare royal porcelain were found within the wall ruins of the complex, and porcelain that was not selected by the royal family for use was found in burial pits near the structure, according to Jiang Jianxin of the Ceramic Archaeology […]

  • Scientists Spot Merchant Vessel Sunk During World War II
    on April 23, 2019 at 10:42 pm

    SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA—According to an Australian Broadcasting Corporation report, SS Iron Crown, an Australian merchant freighter torpedoed by a Japanese submarine during World War II, has been found under nearly 2,300 feet of water in the Bass Strait, which separates Tasmania from the Australian mainland. The ship sank within a single minute of being struck, and all but five of the 43 crew members were lost. Marine archaeologists mapped the wreck site and the surrounding sea floor with […]

  • Greco-Roman Era Tomb Found in Upper Egypt
    on April 23, 2019 at 10:24 pm

    CAIRO, EGYPT—Mostafa Waziri of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities announced the discovery of a sealed, rock-cut tomb in Aswan containing about 30 mummies, according to an Ahram Online report. The tomb is located in the Aga Khan Mausoleum area, where archaeologists have mapped some 300 tombs dating from the sixth century B.C. through the fourth century A.D. The newly discovered tomb dates to the Greco-Roman period and is made up of a stairway flanked by sculpted blocks of stone […]

  • Australia WWII ship sunk by Japanese submarine found
    on April 23, 2019 at 10:17 am

    An Australian freighter sunk by a Japanese submarine during World War II has been located "relatively intact" in waters off the country's southeast coast, archeologists said Tuesday. […]

  • Venomous Snake Parts Found in Prehistoric Human Coprolite
    on April 22, 2019 at 11:44 pm

    COLLEGE STATION, TEXAS—Cosmos reports that researchers led by Elanor Sonderman of Texas A&M University discovered uncooked bones, scales, and the fang of a viper in a single human coprolite recovered from a rock shelter in southwest Texas. The sample of fossilized feces has been dated to between 1,460 and 1,528 years old. The researchers also detected traces of agave, prickly pear cactus, plants related to asparagus, and the uncooked bones of a small rodent in the sample. Sonderman […]

  • Byzantine Gold Coin Discovered in Northern Israel
    on April 22, 2019 at 11:34 pm

    GALILEE, ISRAEL—According to a report in The Times of Israel, several high school students discovered a Byzantine-era solidus depicting the emperor Theodosius II while orienteering near a stream in northern Israel. The goddess Victory holding the Staff of the Cross is shown on the gold coin's other side. Israel Antiquities Authority numismatic expert Gabriela Bijovsky said the coin was minted in Constantinople between A.D. 420 and 423, and is the first of its kind to be found in […]

  • Possible Seventeenth-Century Massacre Site Found in Alaska
    on April 22, 2019 at 9:58 pm

    ABERDEEN, SCOTLAND—Live Science reports that researchers led by Rick Knecht and Charlotta Hillerdal of the University of Aberdeen have uncovered evidence of a massacre at a well-preserved Yup’ik village site in southwestern Alaska, where more than 60,000 artifacts, including dolls, figurines, wooden dance masks, and grass baskets have also been recovered from the permafrost. Some of the 28 people whose remains were discovered in a large defensive complex at the town of Agaligmiut, […]

  • Eighteenth-Century Inscription Unearthed in India
    on April 22, 2019 at 9:38 pm

    THANJAVUR, INDIA—According to a report in The Times of India, local people in the village of Perumagalur in the southern state of Tamil Nadu uncovered an inscribed stone measuring about five feet long and two feet wide at the Somanathar temple during renovation work. An archaeologist named Manimaran of the Saraswathi Mahal Library and a team of epigraphists determined the text was written in a script used to write the Marathi language, which was primarily spoken in the state of […]

  • Better labor practices could improve archaeological output
    on April 22, 2019 at 2:52 pm

    Archaeological excavation has, historically, operated in a very hierarchical structure, according to archaeologist Allison Mickel. The history of the enterprise is deeply entangled with Western colonial and imperial pursuits, she says. Excavations have been, and often still are, according to Mickel, led by foreigners from the West, while dependent on the labor of scores of people from the local community to perform the manual labor of the dig. […]

  • The stone faces and human problems on Easter Island
    on April 22, 2019 at 2:40 pm

    In 1981, UCLA archaeology graduate student Jo Anne Van Tilburg first set foot on the island of Rapa Nui, which is commonly called Easter Island, eager to explore her interest in rock art by studying the iconic stone heads that enigmatically survey the landscape. […]

  • How 'The Hunchback of Notre Dame' inspired the cathedral's 19th-century revival
    on April 22, 2019 at 1:50 pm

    On April 15, people around the world watched in horror as a voracious fire consumed the medieval wooden roof of Paris's Notre Dame cathedral and felled its spire. […]

  • Better labor practices could improve archaeological output
    on April 22, 2019 at 12:22 pm

    Archaeological excavation has, historically, operated in a very hierarchical structure, according to archaeologist. The history of the enterprise is deeply entangled with Western colonial and imperial pursuits, she says. Excavations have been, and often still are, led by foreigners from the West, while dependent on the labor of scores of people from the local community to perform the manual labor of the dig. […]

  • Possible Sons of Crusaders Identified in Medieval Burial Pit
    on April 19, 2019 at 10:34 pm

    CAMBRIDGE, ENGLAND—According to a report in The Independent, a genetic study of remains recovered from a Crusader-era mass burial pit in what is now Lebanon indicates that even though some of the fighters were descendants of Western Europeans and local people who lived on the eastern Mediterranean coast, the Crusaders had little overall genetic impact on the population. The burial pit, located near the ruin of a Crusader castle in Sidon, contained the burned remains at least 25 […]

  • Maya Figurine Workshop Discovered in Guatemala
    on April 19, 2019 at 8:54 pm

    ROCK HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA—According to a Science Magazine report, a large figurine workshop dated to between A.D. 750 and 900 was discovered in the highlands of Guatemala during a construction project on private property. Archaeologist Brent Woodfill of Winthrop University excavated what was left of the site, named Aragón, and recovered thousands of ceramic fragments, including pieces of figurines and the molds used to make them. Such figurines are thought to have been given by […]

  • Mesopotamian King Sargon II envisioned ancient city Karkemish as western Assyrian capital
    on April 19, 2019 at 3:00 pm

    In "A New Historical Inscription of Sargon II from Karkemish," published in the Journal of Near Eastern Studies, Gianni Marchesi translates a recently discovered inscription of the Assyrian King Sargon II found at the ruins of the ancient city of Karkemish. The inscription, which dates to around 713 B.C., details Sargon's conquest, occupation, and reorganization of Karkemish, including his rebuilding the city with ritual ceremonies usually reserved for royal palaces in capital cities. The text […]

  • Daily grind: The biography of a stone axe
    on April 19, 2019 at 12:58 pm

    Tom Breukel analysed some 250 stone axes from the Caribbean and reconstructed their biographies, thus increasing our knowledge of production and trade in the period around the arrival of Columbus. His Ph.D. defence is on 18 April. […]

  • Notre Dame: the public and private lives of France's spiritual home
    on April 19, 2019 at 10:20 am

    While flames engulfed Notre Dame on the evening of April 15 and the world watched in despair, French president Emmanuel Macron told news cameras that the Paris cathedral was part of the history of all French people: […]

  • Rabbit Bone Dated to First Century A.D. Found in England
    on April 18, 2019 at 11:29 pm

    WEST SUSSEX, ENGLAND—The Guardian reports that zooarchaeologist Fay Worley of Historic England spotted a small fragment of a rabbit’s tibia bone in a box of artifacts that were unearthed in 1964 at Fishbourne Palace in southeast England. This was the site of a Roman villa whose wealthy inhabitants are known to have kept a varied menagerie. Worley said the bone, dated to the first century A.D., bears no butchery marks and appears to have been part of the earliest known rabbit in […]

  • 13,500-Year-Old Burial Unearthed in China
    on April 18, 2019 at 11:14 pm

    GUANGZHOU, CHINA—Xinhua reports that a 13,500-year-old tomb at the site of the Qingtang ruins in southeastern China has yielded the remains of a young woman who died between the ages of 13 and 18 and was buried, without her head, in a squatting position. Liu Suoqiang of the Guangdong Institute of Cultural Heritage and Archaeology said the woman was deliberately put in a squatting posture. “It points to the emergence of the concepts of life and death and of primitive religious […]

  • Urine Salts in Soil May Mark Advent of Herding
    on April 18, 2019 at 11:00 pm

    NEW YORK, NEW YORK—According to a report in The Atlantic, Jordan Abell of Columbia University and his colleagues were able to detect a possible shift from hunting and gathering to herding at the site of Aşıklı Höyük, in Turkey’s central Anatolia region. Because the area is dry, Abell hypothesized that the sodium, nitrate, and chlorine salts contained in the urine of people and animals would not have been washed away from the soil by rain. The scientists […]

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