Archeology News

Archeology News

Archaeology News

Ocean floor mud reveals secrets of past European climate

Samples of sediment taken from the ocean floor of the North Atlantic Ocean have given researchers an unprecedented insight into the reasons why Europe's climate has changed over the past 3,000 years.
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Posted: November 23, 2017, 2:43 pm

Mysterious deep-Earth seismic signature explained

New research on oxygen and iron chemistry under the extreme conditions found deep inside the Earth could explain a longstanding seismic mystery called ultralow velocity zones. The findings could have far-reaching implications on our understanding of Earth's geologic history, including life-altering events such as the Great Oxygenation Event, which occurred 2.4 billion years ago.
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Posted: November 22, 2017, 6:14 pm

Growing teeth and a backbone: Studies trace early origins of skeletal tissues

Two new studies on the evolutionary origin of teeth and of vertebra further illuminate the human connection to marine organisms that goes back millions of years. Both studies were conducted in the little skate (Leucoraja erinacea).
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Posted: November 22, 2017, 4:29 pm

Ancient barley took high road to China

First domesticated 10,000 years ago in the Fertile Crescent of the Middle East, wheat and barley took vastly different routes to China, with barley switching from a winter to both a winter and summer crop during a thousand-year detour along the southern Tibetan Plateau, suggests new research.
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Posted: November 21, 2017, 2:52 pm

Ancient barley took high road to China

First domesticated 10,000 years ago in the Fertile Crescent of the Middle East, wheat and barley took vastly different routes to China, with barley switching from a winter to both a winter and summer crop during a thousand-year detour along the southern Tibetan Plateau, suggests new research.
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Posted: November 21, 2017, 2:52 pm

Space dust may transport life between worlds, research suggests

Life on Earth might have originated from tiny organisms brought to our planet in streams of fast-moving space dust, according to a new study.
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Posted: November 20, 2017, 4:13 pm

Rise in oxygen levels links to ancient explosion of life, researchers find

Scientists have found that oxygen levels appear to increase by roughly 80 percent at about the same time as a three-fold increase in biodiversity during the Ordovician Period, between 445 and 485 million years ago.
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Posted: November 20, 2017, 4:13 pm

Hydrological implications of rapid global warming

Researchers studying a rapid global warming event, around 56 million years ago, have shown evidence of major changes in the intensity of rainfall and flood events. The findings indicate some of the likely implications should current trends of rising carbon dioxide and global warming continue.
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Posted: November 20, 2017, 4:13 pm

A sub-desert savanna spread across Madrid 14 million years ago

The current landscape of Madrid city and its vicinity was really different 14 million years ago. A semi-desert savanna has been inferred for the center of the Iberian Peninsula in the middle Miocene. This ecosystem was characterized by a very arid tropical climatic regime with up to ten months of drought per year, according to a recent paper. Scientists reached such conclusions after comparing mammal fauna with Africa and Asia ones.
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Posted: November 17, 2017, 7:17 pm

A popular tool to trace Earth's oxygen history can give false positives

If someone cries 'Eureka!' because it looks like oxygen appeared in Earth's ancient atmosphere long before the body of evidence indicated, be careful. If it was a chromium isotope system reading that caused the enthusiasm, it might need to be curbed.
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Posted: November 17, 2017, 1:52 pm

Bryozoans: Fossil fills missing evolutionary link

Scientists recently announced the discovery of a missing evolutionary link -- a fossil of the first known member of the modern bryozoans to grow up into a structure.
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Posted: November 16, 2017, 10:24 pm

Wooden shoes: Long-lasting issues from inflexible clogs

Bio-archeologists have discovered a pattern of unusual bone chips in the feet of clog-wearing 19th-Century Dutch farmers -- injuries that offer clues to the damage we may unwittingly be causing to our own feet.
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Posted: November 16, 2017, 6:26 pm

Human evolution was uneven and punctuated

Neanderthals survived at least 3,000 years longer than we thought in Southern Iberia -- what is now Spain -- long after they had died out everywhere else, according to new research.
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Posted: November 16, 2017, 6:26 pm

New treasures from Tutankhamun's tomb

Archaeologists have examined embossed gold applications from the sensational find of 1922. The motifs indicate surprising links between the Levant and the Egypt of the pharaohs.
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Posted: November 16, 2017, 3:51 pm

New treasures from Tutankhamun's tomb

Archaeologists have examined embossed gold applications from the sensational find of 1922. The motifs indicate surprising links between the Levant and the Egypt of the pharaohs.
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Posted: November 16, 2017, 3:51 pm

Museum of the Bible: Part Museum, Part Holy Land Experience

The Museum of the Bible is opening in Washington, DC. Take a look at some of the spectacular exhibition spaces and interactive rooms.

The post Museum of the Bible: Part Museum, Part Holy Land Experience appeared first on Biblical Archaeology Society.

Author: Robin Ngo
Posted: November 15, 2017, 7:07 pm

Structure and origins of glacial polish on Yosemite's rocks

The glaciers that carved Yosemite Valley left highly polished surfaces on many of the region's rock formations. These smooth, shiny surfaces, known as glacial polish, are common in the Sierra Nevada and other glaciated landscapes. Geologists have now taken a close look at the structure and chemistry of glacial polish and found that it consists of a thin coating smeared onto the rock as the glacier moved over it.
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Posted: November 15, 2017, 6:38 pm

Rising inequality charted across millennia

Researchers have found that the arc of prehistory bends towards economic inequality. In the largest study of its kind, the researchers saw disparities in wealth mount with the rise of agriculture, specifically the domestication of plants and large animals, and increased social organization.
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Posted: November 15, 2017, 6:08 pm

Colorado River's connection with the ocean was a punctuated affair

The Colorado River's initial trip to the ocean didn't come easy, but its story has emerged from layers of sediment preserved within tectonically active stretches of the waterway's lower reaches. Researchers theorize that the river's route off the Colorado Plateau was influenced by tectonic deformation and changing sea levels that produced a series of stops and starts between roughly 6.3 and 4.8 million years ago.
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Posted: November 15, 2017, 5:46 pm

Chimp study reveals how brain's structure shaped our evolution

Chimpanzee brains may be more different from those of humans than was previously thought, according to new research that sheds light on our evolution.
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Posted: November 15, 2017, 4:50 pm

Study settles prehistoric puzzle, confirms modern link of carbon dioxide and global warming

Fossil leaves from Africa resolve a prehistoric climate puzzle and confirm the link between carbon dioxide and global warming. Research previously found conflicting data on high carbon levels and its link to climate change about 22 million years ago. But a new study found the link existed then as now. The finding sheds light on recent and future increases in atmospheric carbon and its impact on our planet.
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Posted: November 14, 2017, 5:32 pm

Archaeology: Medieval treasure unearthed at the Abbey of Cluny

In mid-September, a large treasure was unearthed during a dig at the Abbey of Cluny, in the French department of Saône-et-Loire: 2,200 silver deniers and oboles, 21 Islamic gold dinars, a signet ring, and other objects made of gold. Never before has such a large cache of silver deniers been discovered. Nor have gold coins from Arab lands, silver deniers, and a signet ring ever been found hoarded together within a single, enclosed complex.
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Posted: November 14, 2017, 2:19 pm

World’s longest sauropod dinosaur trackway brought to light

In 2009, the world's largest dinosaur tracks were discovered in the French village of Plagne, in the Jura Mountains. Since then, a series of excavations at the site has uncovered other tracks, sprawling over more than 150 meters. They form the longest sauropod trackway ever to be found. Scientists have concluded these tracks were left 150 million years ago by a dinosaur at least 35 m long and weighing no less than 35 tons.
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Posted: November 14, 2017, 12:51 am

When water met iron deep inside the Earth, did it create conditions for life?

Reservoirs of oxygen-rich iron between the Earth's core and mantle could have played a major role in Earth's history, including the breakup of supercontinents, drastic changes in Earth's atmospheric makeup, and the creation of life, according to recent research.
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Posted: November 14, 2017, 12:49 am

Geologists uncover Antarctica’s fossil forests

Prehistoric polar forests were built for survival, but were not hardy enough to live in ultra-high concentrations of atmospheric carbon dioxide. A geologist is studying the tree fossil record in Antarctica from a mass extinction 250 million years ago, looking for clues to how greenhouse gases affected plants -- then and now.
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Posted: November 13, 2017, 9:28 pm

Archaeologists find earliest evidence of winemaking

Excavations in the Republic of Georgia have uncovered evidence of the earliest winemaking anywhere in the world. The discovery dates the origin of the practice to the Neolithic period around 6000 BC, pushing it back 600-1,000 years from the previously accepted date.
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Posted: November 13, 2017, 8:38 pm

When continents break it gets warm on Earth

The concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere determines whether the Earth is in greenhouse or ice age state. Before humans began to have an impact on the amount of CO2 in the air, it depended solely on the interplay of geological and biological processes, the global carbon cycle. This study shows that the break-up of continents - also known as rifting -- contributed significantly to higher CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere.
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Posted: November 13, 2017, 5:37 pm

Ancient life form discovered in remote Tasmanian valley

Scientists have uncovered rare, living stromatolites deep within the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area.
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Posted: November 13, 2017, 2:54 pm

Ancient Latrine: A Peek into King Hezekiah’s Reforms in the Bible?

An ancient stone toilet recently unearthed at Lachish may provide archaeological evidence of King Hezekiah’s religious reforms throughout Judah in the eighth century B.C.E. The toilet had been placed in what is interpreted to be a gate-shrine within the largest ancient city gate found in Israel.

The post Ancient Latrine: A Peek into King Hezekiah’s Reforms in the Bible? appeared first on Biblical Archaeology Society.

Author: Robin Ngo
Posted: November 13, 2017, 2:00 pm

Ink from ancient Egyptian papyri contains copper

Until recently, it was assumed that the ink used for writing was primarily carbon-based at least until the fourth and fifth centuries AD. But in a new study, analyses of 2,000-year-old papyri fragments with X-ray microscopy show that black ink used by Egyptian scribes also contained copper -- an element previously not identified in ancient ink.
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Posted: November 10, 2017, 4:39 pm

Ink from ancient Egyptian papyri contains copper

Until recently, it was assumed that the ink used for writing was primarily carbon-based at least until the fourth and fifth centuries AD. But in a new study, analyses of 2,000-year-old papyri fragments with X-ray microscopy show that black ink used by Egyptian scribes also contained copper -- an element previously not identified in ancient ink.
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Posted: November 10, 2017, 4:39 pm

Site of asteroid impact changed the history of life

An asteroid, also known as the Chicxulub Impactor, hit Earth some 66 million years ago, causing a crater 180 km wide. The impact of the asteroid heated organic matter in rocks and ejected it into the atmosphere, forming soot in the stratosphere.
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Posted: November 10, 2017, 4:39 pm

Ice sheets as large as Greenland's melted fast in a warming climate

New research shows that climate warming reduced the mass of the Cordilleran Ice Sheet by half in as little as 500 years, indicating the Greenland Ice Sheet could have a similar fate.
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Posted: November 10, 2017, 3:40 am

Finger and toe fossils belonged to tiny primates 45 million years ago

A new study identifies nearly 500 minuscule finger and toe bones as belonging to 45-million-year-old tiny primates. Many of the fossils are so small they rival the diminutive size of a mustard seed. Representing nine different taxonomic families of primates and as many as 25 species, the specimens from China include numerous fossils attributed to Eosimias, the very first anthropoid known to date, and three fossils attributed to a new and more advanced anthropoid.
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Posted: November 9, 2017, 6:12 pm

Why did the Earth's ancient oceans disappear?

We think of oceans as being stable and permanent. However, they move at about the same speed as your fingernails grow. Geoscientists have now found a novel way of mapping the Earth’s ancient oceans.
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Posted: November 9, 2017, 2:38 pm

A giant, prehistoric otter's surprisingly powerful bite

A massive, wolf-sized otter that lived about 6 million years ago may have been a dominant predator in its time, according to a new analysis of the animal's jaws. When scientists used computers to simulate how biting would strain S. melilutra's jaws, they concluded that the animal had much firmer jaw bones than expected, giving it a surprisingly strong bite.
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Posted: November 9, 2017, 2:33 pm

Neolithic farmers coexisted with hunter-gatherers for centuries in Europe

New research answers a long-debated question among anthropologists, archaeologists and geneticists: when farmers first arrived in Europe, how did they interact with existing hunter-gatherer groups? Did the farmers wipe out the hunter-gatherers, through warfare or disease, shortly after arriving? Or did they slowly out-compete them over time? The current study suggests that these groups likely coexisted side-by-side for some time before the farming populations slowly integrated local hunter-gatherers.
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Posted: November 9, 2017, 2:31 pm

Cooling in high and mid-latitudes led to aridification in Northern Africa

Analyses of ancient plant leaf wax found in the sediments of the Gulf of Guinea told the researchers about rainfall in Cameroon and the central Sahel-Sahara over the past several millennia and showed a rapid aridification around 5500 years before now.
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Posted: November 8, 2017, 2:24 pm

Not so different after all: Human cells, hardy microbes share common ancestor

Researchers have found striking parallels between how archaeal cells and more complex cells, including humans' and animals', package and store their genetic material. The breakthrough study provided evidence that archaea and eukaryotic cells share a common mechanism to compact, organize and structure their genomes.
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Posted: November 8, 2017, 2:23 pm

Height and weight evolved at different speeds in the bodies of our ancestors

The largest study to date of body sizes over millions of years finds a 'pulse and stasis' pattern to hominin evolution, with surges of growth in stature and bulk occurring at different times. At one stage, our ancestors got taller around a million years before body mass caught up.
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Posted: November 8, 2017, 2:22 pm

Humankind's earliest ancestors discovered in southern England

Fossils of the oldest mammals related to humankind have been discovered on the Jurassic Coast of Dorset in the UK. The two teeth are from small, rat-like creatures that lived 145 million years ago in the shadow of the dinosaurs. They are the earliest undisputed fossils of mammals belonging to the line that led to human beings.
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Posted: November 7, 2017, 4:32 pm

How far did you fall from the tree?

Mutations generate genetic variation, and are a major driving force of evolution. Therefore, examining mutation rates and modes are essential to better understand the genetic basis for physiology and evolution.
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Posted: November 7, 2017, 4:31 pm

Archaeologists unearth 'masterpiece' sealstone in Greek tomb

Archaeologists are documenting artifacts contained within their amazing 2015 find, the tomb of the Griffin Warrior in Greece. But the 3,500-year-old treasures include their most stunning historical offering yet: an intricately carved gem, or sealstone, that represents one of the finest works of prehistoric Greek art ever found.
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Posted: November 7, 2017, 2:29 pm

Archaeologists unearth 'masterpiece' sealstone in Greek tomb

Archaeologists are documenting artifacts contained within their amazing 2015 find, the tomb of the Griffin Warrior in Greece. But the 3,500-year-old treasures include their most stunning historical offering yet: an intricately carved gem, or sealstone, that represents one of the finest works of prehistoric Greek art ever found.
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Posted: November 7, 2017, 2:29 pm

Potential 'missing link' in chemistry that led to life on Earth discovered

Chemists have found a compound that may have been a crucial factor in the origins of life on Earth, explains a new report.
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Posted: November 6, 2017, 4:23 pm

Mammals switched to daytime activity after dinosaur extinction

Mammals only started being active in the daytime after non-avian dinosaurs were wiped out about 66 million years ago (mya), finds a new study.
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Posted: November 6, 2017, 4:23 pm

Caribbean islands reveal a 'lost world' of ancient mammals

An analysis of the incredibly diverse "lost world" of Caribbean fossils includes dozens of ancient mammals, a new study reports. The study reveals that the arrival of humans throughout the islands was likely the primary cause of the extinction of native mammal species there.
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Posted: November 6, 2017, 3:07 pm

Excavation in Northern Iraq: Sasanian loom discovered

Archaeologists have returned from the Iraqi-Kurdish province of Sulaymaniyah with new findings: The discovery of a loom from the 5th to 6th century AD.
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Posted: November 6, 2017, 3:02 pm

Excavation in Northern Iraq: Sasanian loom discovered

Archaeologists have returned from the Iraqi-Kurdish province of Sulaymaniyah with new findings: The discovery of a loom from the 5th to 6th century AD.
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Posted: November 6, 2017, 3:02 pm

Fish provide insight into the evolution of the immune system

New research reveals how immune systems can evolve resistance to parasites. The study solves the enigma of how species can adapt and change their immune system to cope with new parasitic threats -- whilst at the same time showing little or no evolutionary change in critical immune function over millions of years. It help to explain why we humans have some immune genes that are almost identical to those of chimpanzees.
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Posted: November 6, 2017, 3:01 pm

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