Ancient Colony News

Ancient Colony News

  • The origin and legacy of the Etruscans
    on September 24, 2021 at 10:25 pm

    Researchers present comprehensive ancient DNA data retrieved from peoples culturally affiliated with the iconic Etruscans, settling a long-lasting debate on the origins of this highly skilled and enigmatic culture.

  • 800-Year-Old Tomb Discovered in Peru
    on September 24, 2021 at 9:00 pm

    LIMA, PERU—The remains of eight people estimated to be 800 years old were discovered by workers laying gas pipes near Lima, according to an AFP report. The bodies, which included adults and children thought to have lived in the nearby ancient town of Chilca, had been wrapped in bundles of plant material before being placed in the mass grave. Archaeologist Cecilia Camargo said that shells had been placed on some of their heads, and some of them had bags for holding coca leaves, which can be […]

  • 600-Year-Old Muisca Jars Recovered in Colombia
    on September 24, 2021 at 8:15 pm

    BOGOTÁ, COLOMBIA—Live Science reports that archaeologist Francisco Correa and his colleagues discovered eight ceramic jars containing metal figurines and emeralds in a temple at a Muisca site in central Colombia during an investigation ahead of a road construction project. Many of the Muisca died when the Spanish conquered the region between 1537 and 1540. The jars, known as ofrendatarios, are estimated to be 600 years old. The figurines resemble snakes, other animals, and people wearing […]

  • Human Footprints in North America Dated to 23,000 Years Ago
    on September 24, 2021 at 6:59 pm

    TUCSON, ARIZONA—According to a statement released by the University of Arizona, human footprints found in New Mexico’s White Sands National Park have been dated to 23,000 years ago. Jeff Pigati and Kathleen Springer of the U.S. Geological Survey radiocarbon dated seeds found above and below multiple layers of footprints left behind in stream beds at White Sands National Park over a 2,000-year period. The size of the footprints suggest they were made mainly by playing teenagers and younger […]

  • The origin and legacy of the Etruscans
    on September 24, 2021 at 6:00 pm

    The Etruscan civilization, which flourished during the Iron Age in central Italy, has intrigued scholars for millennia. With remarkable metallurgical skills and a now-extinct, non-Indo-European language, the Etruscans stood out from their contemporary neighbors, leading to intense debate from the likes of the ancient Greek historian Herodotus on their geographical origins.

  • Fossil footprints prove humans populated the Americas thousands of years earlier than we thought
    on September 24, 2021 at 12:06 pm

    Our species began migrating out of Africa around 100,000 years ago. Aside from Antarctica, the Americas were the last continents humans reached, with the early pioneers crossing the now-submerged Bering land bridge that once connected eastern Siberia to North America.

  • Long-Distance Trade Detected in Genomes of Siberian Dogs
    on September 23, 2021 at 10:00 pm

    MUNICH, GERMANY—According to a statement released by Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU), a team of researchers led by Laurent Frantz of LMU and Tatiana Feuerborn of the University of Copenhagen has analyzed the genomes of 49 dogs whose remains were unearthed at archaeological sites in Siberia and Eurasia. The study found an increase of genetic material from dogs from the Eurasian steppes and Europe in Siberian dogs between the Iron Age and the medieval period. Archaeologist Robert […]

  • Composition of Stone Tools From Roman Morocco Analyzed
    on September 23, 2021 at 9:00 pm

    AUSTIN, TEXAS—According to a statement released by the University of Texas at Austin, a team of archaeologists and geoscientists analyzed a collection of stone fragments from mixing vats and millstones unearthed at Morocco’s ancient Roman city of Volubilis. The researchers discovered that specific types of rock had been chosen to improve the function of these tools. For example: grain millstones were made of volcanic basalt with sharp-edged pores, olive mills were made from limestone […]

  • New Thoughts on Maya Pyramid in El Salvador
    on September 23, 2021 at 8:00 pm

    BOULDER, COLORADO—According to a Live Science report, the Campana structure, a Maya pyramid in El Salvador’s Zapotitán Valley, was built with cut stone, earth, and tephra ejected by the Tierra Blanca Joven eruption of the Ilopango caldera, which is located about 25 miles away. Recent radiocarbon dating of tree trunks in El Salvador indicates that the eruption occurred around A.D. 539. It had been previously thought that the Maya abandoned their settlements in the ash-covered region for […]

  • Earliest evidence of human activity found in the Americas
    on September 23, 2021 at 8:00 pm

    Footprints found at White Sands National Park in New Mexico provide the earliest unequivocal evidence of human activity in the Americas and offer insight into life over 23,000 years ago.

  • Ancient DNA analysis sheds light on a dark event in medieval Spain
    on September 23, 2021 at 8:00 pm

    An international team of researchers led by the University of Huddersfield's Archaeogenetics Research Group, including geneticists, archeological scientists, and archeologists, has published the genome sequence of a unique individual from Islamic medieval Spain—al-Andalus—the results of which have shed light on a brutal event that took place in medieval Spain.

  • Ancient DNA analysis sheds light on dark event in medieval Spain
    on September 23, 2021 at 3:56 pm

    Researchers used ancient DNA analysis to identify a member of a population expelled from medieval Spain known as the 'Segorbe Giant'. The results have shed light on the brutal political decision that led to a dramatic change in population following the Christian reconquest of Spain.

  • Gas pipe workers find 800-year-old bodies in Peru
    on September 23, 2021 at 8:15 am

    Peruvian workers laying gas pipes found the remains of eight people buried in a common tomb with food and musical instruments some 800 years ago, an archaeologist said Wednesday.

  • DNA Analysis Identifies Japanese Ancestors
    on September 22, 2021 at 9:00 pm

    DUBLIN, IRELAND—According to a Live Science report, analysis of DNA samples obtained from ancient bones unearthed at various sites across Japan has detected a previously unidentified genetic group that migrated to Japan during the Kofun period, between A.D. 300 and 700, when Japan transitioned into an imperial state. This group is thought to be one of three populations ancestral to modern Japanese people. The other two groups have been identified as Jomon-period hunter gatherers who arrived […]

  • Ritual Objects Discovered in Northern Egypt
    on September 22, 2021 at 8:00 pm

    CAIRO, EGYPT—Ahram Online reports that researchers from Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities have uncovered artifacts used in rituals honoring the goddess Hathor in the Temple of the Pharaohs at the site of the ancient city of Buto, which is located in the Nile Delta. The instruments, which date to the 26th Dynasty (688-525 B.C.), include a limestone pillar shaped like the goddess; faience incense burners, one of which is decorated with the head of the god Horus; pottery; statuettes of […]

  • Those earrings are so last year – but the reason you're wearing them is ancient
    on September 22, 2021 at 6:33 pm

    Shell beads found in a cave in Morocco are at least 142,000 years old. The archaeologists who found them say they're the earliest known evidence of a widespread form of human communication.

  • Early Homo sapiens groups in Europe faced subarctic climates
    on September 22, 2021 at 6:32 pm

    Using oxygen stable isotope analysis of tooth enamel from animals butchered by humans at the site of Bacho Kiro Cave, Bulgaria, researchers show that human groups belonging to an early wave of dispersal of our species into Europe were faced with very cold climatic conditions while they occupied the cave between about 46,000 and 43,000 years ago. Archaeological remains at Bacho Kiro Cave currently represent the oldest known remnants of Upper Palaeolithic Homo sapiens in Europe, and thus open a […]

  • Those earrings are so last year—but the reason you're wearing them is ancient
    on September 22, 2021 at 6:00 pm

    The necklace, nametag, earrings or uniform you chose to put on this morning might say more than you realize about your social status, job or some other aspect of your identity.

  • Early Homo sapiens groups in Europe faced subarctic climates
    on September 22, 2021 at 6:00 pm

    Using oxygen stable isotope analysis of tooth enamel from animals butchered by humans at the site of Bacho Kiro Cave, Bulgaria, Max Planck researchers show that human groups belonging to an early wave of dispersal of our species into Europe were faced with very cold climatic conditions while they occupied the cave between about 46,000 and 43,000 years ago. Archaeological remains at Bacho Kiro Cave currently represent the oldest known remnants of Upper Paleolithic Homo sapiens in Europe, and […]

  • Recording Roman resource exploitation and urban collapse
    on September 22, 2021 at 4:53 pm

    For hundreds of years, Carthage—the Phoenician city-state in North Africa—flourished, establishing itself as a robust trade empire with widespread colonies. As the Carthaginian and Roman empires expanded their reach across Mediterranean Europe and North Africa, escalating tensions over political dominance and trade culminated in the Three Punic Wars.

  • Blowing up medieval gunpowder recipes
    on September 22, 2021 at 4:13 pm

    First used for battle in China in about 900 A.D., gunpowder spread throughout Eurasia by the end of the 13th century, eventually revolutionizing warfare as a propellant in firearms and artillery. Meanwhile, master gunners tinkered with gunpowder formulas, trying to find the ideal concoction. Now, researchers have recreated medieval gunpowder recipes and analyzed the energies released during combustion, revealing that the evolution of the perfect powder was a slow, trial-and-error process.

  • Island-hopping: Genetics reveal how humans settled remote Pacific
    on September 22, 2021 at 3:19 pm

    Easter Island's famous megaliths have relatives on islands thousands of miles to the north and west—and so did the people who created them, a study said Wednesday.

  • Medieval Mass Graves Excavated in Lebanon
    on September 21, 2021 at 10:00 pm

    POOLE, ENGLAND—Two mass graves thought to contain the remains of European soldiers killed during the Crusades have been found in a dry moat at the site of Lebanon’s St. Louis Castle, according to a Live Science report. Christian soldiers first captured St. Louis Castle after the First Crusade in 1110, and held the port of Sidon for more than a century. But records also show that the castle was attacked by Mamluks in 1253 and the Mongols in 1260, when it was destroyed. The men in the mass […]

  • Four dinosaurs discovered in Montana, including a possible rare ostrich-mimic Anzu
    on September 21, 2021 at 9:26 pm

    A team of paleontologists excavated four dinosaurs in northeastern Montana this summer. The four dinosaur fossils are: the ilium -- or hip bones -- of an ostrich-sized theropod, the group of meat-eating, two-legged dinosaurs that includes Tyrannosaurus rex and raptors; the hips and legs of a duck-billed dinosaur; a pelvis, toe claw and limbs from another theropod that could be a rare ostrich-mimic Anzu, or possibly a new species; and a Triceratops specimen consisting of its skull and other […]

  • Three Phases of Wooden Wagon Way Uncovered in Scotland
    on September 21, 2021 at 9:00 pm

    EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND—BBC News reports that three layers of wooden tracks constructed for the horse-drawn Tranent Waggonway have been uncovered in East Lothian by researchers from the 1722 Waggonway Project. The line was first built in 1722 to haul coal along a two-mile route from a pit in Tranent to the coast of the Firth of Forth at Cockenzie and Port Seton, where it was used as fuel for making salt. The distance between the two rails was initially set at about three feet, three inches apart, […]

  • Rare Shell Artifacts Discovered in South Australia
    on September 21, 2021 at 8:00 pm

    ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA—According to a statement released by Flinders University, modified freshwater mussel shell objects have been recovered from shell middens along south-central Australia’s Murray River by researchers from Flinders University and Griffith University, in collaboration with the River Murray and Mallee Aboriginal Corporation and the Ngarrindjeri Aboriginal Corporation. The shells range in age from 6,000 to 600 years old. Two of them had been perforated, and one has a finely […]

  • Maya rulers put their personal stamp on monumental complexes
    on September 21, 2021 at 7:09 pm

    Early Maya cities featured monumental complexes, which centered on a shared form of religion but these complexes transformed radically once kingship emerged in 400 B.C. To solidify their power, rulers throughout the Maya lowlands would change these complexes, installing their mark on the landscape and reshaping how people remember it, according to a Dartmouth study published in Ancient Mesoamerica.

  • Burned Layer at Jamestown Linked to Bacon’s Rebellion
    on September 21, 2021 at 7:00 pm

    JAMESTOWN, VIRGINIA—The Virginia Gazette reports that new excavations at the site of the memorial church at Jamestown have uncovered intact burn deposits and several artifacts. The burned surface is thought to date to Bacon’s Rebellion in 1676, according to archaeologist Sean Romo, who first spotted burned deposits just below the surface of the ground at the church in 2019. He thought the deposits could be evidence of Nathaniel Bacon’s siege of Jamestown, the fire that burned the fort in […]

  • Roman-era mixers and millstones made with geology in mind
    on September 21, 2021 at 6:01 pm

    A study on stone tools from an outpost of the Roman Empire has found that for ancient bakers and millers, having the right tools was a matter of geology.

  • Roman-era mixers and millstones made with geology in mind  
    on September 21, 2021 at 4:01 pm

    A study on stone tools from an outpost of the Roman Empire has found that for ancient bakers and millers, having the right tools was a matter of geology.  

  • Ancient Mayans built pyramid partly from ash after catastrophic volcanic eruption
    on September 21, 2021 at 2:45 pm

    Akira Ichikawa, an archaeologist at the University of Colorado Boulder, has found evidence of Mayans returning to a part of Central America that was destroyed after a catastrophic volcanic eruption, much sooner than previously thought. In his paper published on the Cambridge University Press site Cambridge Core, he describes his study of the area around what was once the site of San Andrés in the Zapotitán Valley, in what is now El Salvador.

  • Possible Grave of Medieval Christian Hermit Excavated in Spain
    on September 20, 2021 at 10:39 pm

    BURGOS, SPAIN—According to a statement released by the National Research Center on Human Evolution (CENIEH), a team of researchers has excavated a rock-lined burial placed near the entrance to the San Tirso and San Bernabé Hermitage, a medieval Christian site in Ojo Guareña, a series of caves in northern Spain’s Cantabrian Mountains. Archaeologist Ana Isabel Ortega said the site has been dated to the early eighth century A.D., pushing back the founding of the hermitage by several […]

  • Modern activities follow the contours of ancient Teotihuacan
    on September 20, 2021 at 9:12 pm

    A lidar mapping study using a cutting-edge aerial mapping technology shows ancient residents of Teotihuacan moved astonishing quantities of soil and bedrock for construction and reshaped the landscape in a way that continues to influence the contours of modern activities in this part of Mexico. The work is published in the open-access journal, PLOS One.

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