Ancient Colony News

Ancient Colony News

  • Well-Preserved Artifacts Recovered from London Cesspit
    on January 28, 2020 at 10:30 pm

    LONDON, ENGLAND—The Guardian reports that archaeologists have recovered a variety of medieval artifacts from a 15-foot-deep cesspit under Somerset House, an eighteenth-century Neoclassical building in central London. The well-preserved objects, which include pottery vessels, an iron spur, a ring, a belt buckle, a bone-handled fork, a pendant, a thick chain that might have been attached to a candlestick, and floor tiles usually found in palaces and monasteries, are thought to have come […]

  • Historic Columbus Letter Will Return to Italy
    on January 28, 2020 at 10:00 pm

    WILMINGTON, DELAWARE—According to a CNN report, U.S. federal authorities have recovered a copy of a letter written in Spanish by Christopher Columbus to King Ferdinand of Spain in 1493. The text of the letter was soon translated into Latin and published in Rome by a printer named Stephan Plannck. About 30 such copies of this letter are thought to have survived. This copy had been held in Italy’s Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana since about 1875, and is thought to have been stolen […]

  • Stone Blades Offer Clues to Neanderthal Migration
    on January 28, 2020 at 9:30 pm

    NOVOSIBIRSK, RUSSIA—Cosmos Magazine reports that Kseniya Kolobova of Siberia’s Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography, Richard Roberts of the University of Wollongong, and their colleagues have discovered 74 Neanderthal bones, animal fossils, plant remains, and more than 3,000 stone blades in Siberia’s Chagyrskaya Cave. Kolobova said the blades resemble Micoquian blades produced by Neanderthals living some 1,800 miles away in what is now Eastern Europe. “Central and […]

  • Possible Anglo-Saxon Monastery Uncovered in Bath
    on January 28, 2020 at 9:00 pm

    BATH, ENGLAND—According to a report in the Bath Echo, traces of two semicircular stone buildings, uncovered at Bath Abbey during renovation work, have been radiocarbon dated with charcoal recovered from the site to the Anglo-Saxon period. The structures, which were found situated under the cloisters of the twelfth-century cathedral and above remains of Roman-period buildings, are surrounded by late Saxon burials. Bruce Eaton of Wessex Archaeology said the buildings may have been erected […]

  • Researchers develop method to assess geographic origins of ancient humans
    on January 28, 2020 at 7:57 pm

    Working with lead isotopes taken from tooth enamel of prehistoric animals, researchers at the University of Arkansas have developed a new method for assessing the geographic origins of ancient humans.

  • Assessing geographic origins of ancient humans
    on January 28, 2020 at 7:27 pm

    Working with lead isotopes taken from tooth enamel of prehistoric animals, researchers have developed a new method for assessing the geographic origins of ancient humans.

  • Bananas Eaten in Remote Oceania Some 3,000 Years Ago
    on January 27, 2020 at 9:30 pm

    DUNEDIN, NEW ZEALAND—The Otago Daily Times reports that Monica Tromp of the University of Otago has found direct evidence of plants used by the first inhabitants of Vanuatu. It had been previously suggested that the first settlers to reach the islands in Remote Oceania brought plants and animals with them in their canoes, but no direct evidence of those plants had been found. When Tromp examined calcified plaque on the 3,000-year-old teeth of 32 skeletons unearthed at the Teouma site, a […]

  • Well-Preserved Statue Uncovered in Northeastern India
    on January 27, 2020 at 9:00 pm

    GUWAHATI, INDIA—The Times of India reports that construction workers in northeastern India uncovered a three-foot-tall sculpture depicting the Sun God and his attendants Dandi and Pingala on the campus of Cotton University, near the ancient site of Ambari. The Sun God is shown with a seven-horse chariot and holding lotuses in both hands. The statue is thought to have been carved between the ninth and twelfth centuries A.D. during the reign of the Pala Empire. Ranjana Sharma of […]

  • New study debunks myth of Cahokia's Native American lost civilization
    on January 27, 2020 at 8:51 pm

    A University of California, Berkeley, archaeologist has dug up ancient human feces, among other demographic clues, to challenge the narrative around the legendary demise of Cahokia, North America's most iconic pre-Columbian metropolis.

  • Siberian Neanderthals were intrepid nomads
    on January 27, 2020 at 8:00 pm

    A new study, published online today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, reveals that Neanderthals made an intercontinental trek of more than 3000 km to reach Siberia's Altai Mountains, equipped with a distinctive toolkit used to kill and butcher bison and horses.

  • New study debunks myth of Cahokia's Native American lost civilization
    on January 27, 2020 at 7:54 pm

    An archaeologist has dug up ancient human feces, among other demographic clues, to challenge the narrative around the legendary demise of Cahokia, North America's most iconic pre-Columbian metropolis.

  • Driven by Earth's orbit, climate changes in Africa may have aided human migration
    on January 27, 2020 at 7:54 pm

    New research describes a dynamic climate and vegetation model that explains when regions across Africa, areas of the Middle East, and the Mediterranean were wetter and drier and how the plant composition changed in tandem, possibly providing migration corridors throughout time.

  • How smart were our ancestors? Turns out the answer isn't in brain size, but blood flow
    on January 27, 2020 at 2:22 pm

    How did human intelligence evolve? Anthropologists have studied this question for decades by looking at tools found in archaeological digs, evidence of the use of fire and so on, and changes in brain size measured from fossil skulls.

  • Vitrified Brain Tissue Discovered in Victim from Herculaneum
    on January 24, 2020 at 9:30 pm

    NAPLES, ITALY—According to a report in The Guardian, a team of researchers including forensic anthropologist Pier Paolo Petrone of the University of Naples Federico II found unique material inside the skull of a 25-year-old man whose charred, exploded bones were recovered in the 1960s from Herculaneum, an ancient city in southern Italy destroyed by pyroclastic flows during the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in A.D. 79. The young man’s remains were found under a pile of volcanic ash, […]

  • Medieval Priest’s Remains Unearthed in England
    on January 24, 2020 at 9:00 pm

    LINCOLNSHIRE, ENGLAND—The Lincolnite reports that archaeological investigations conducted by Allen Archaeology ahead of the installation of improved drainage works and landscaping in the area surrounding Lincoln Cathedral uncovered the grave of a medieval priest in a cemetery at the cathedral’s west front end. The priest was buried with a pewter chalice and a paten, which were used to serve bread and wine during the Christian communion service. The plain style of the artifacts […]

  • Holocaust archaeology: Uncovering vital evidence to prove the deniers wrong
    on January 24, 2020 at 3:00 pm

    It's now 75 years since Soviet troops liberated the notorious death camp at Auschwitz and the vast majority of Holocaust survivors are no longer with us. The impact of continuing to research the Holocaust can, therefore, not be underestimated. The further away we move from the events and the more first-hand witnesses we lose, the more disconnected we feel, both individually and as a society.

  • New species of Allosaurus discovered in Utah
    on January 24, 2020 at 12:00 pm

    A remarkable new species of meat-eating dinosaur has been unveiled at the Natural History Museum of Utah. Paleontologists unearthed the first specimen in early 1990s in Dinosaur National Monument in northeastern Utah. The huge carnivore inhabited the flood plains of western North America during the Late Jurassic Period, between 157-152 million years ago, making it the geologically oldest species of Allosaurus, predating the more well-known state fossil of Utah, Allosaurus fragilis. The newly […]

  • Pre-Columbian Ritual Steam Bath Discovered in Mexico City
    on January 23, 2020 at 10:30 pm

    MEXICO CITY, MEXICO—BBC News reports that archaeologists from Mexico’s Directorate of Archaeological Rescue and National Institute of Anthropology and History uncovered a fourteenth-century temazcal, or ritual steam bath, measuring about 16 feet long by nine feet wide. The discovery of the temazcal, which had been marked on historic maps, has allowed the researchers to pinpoint the location of Temazcaltitlán, one of the oldest neighborhoods of Tenochtitlan, the Aztec capital. […]

  • Possible 19th-Century Witch Bottle Uncovered in Virginia
    on January 23, 2020 at 10:00 pm

    WILLIAMSBURG, VIRGINIA—According to a statement released by the College of William & Mary, archaeologists led by Joe Jones of the college’s Center for Archaeological Research (WMCAR) recovered a nineteenth-century glass bottle full of nails near a brick-lined hearth ahead of road construction in eastern Virginia. The hearth had been part of Redoubt 9, one of 14 mini-forts constructed by Confederate troops between the James and York rivers. Redoubt 9 was captured by Union troops […]

  • Sixth-Century Statue Discovered in Cambodia
    on January 23, 2020 at 9:30 pm

    SIEM REAP, CAMBODIA—The Khmer Times reports that the head of a statue of a makara, a crocodile-like sea dragon in Hindu iconography, was spotted in Phnom Kulen National Park by a local resident who alerted authorities at the Siem Reap Provincial Environment Department. In the Hindu tradition, makaras serve as guardians of gateways and thresholds, especially in throne rooms and temples, and work as transport for the river goddess Ganga and the sea god Varuna. Researchers who traveled to […]

  • Genetic Study Reveals Diversity in Ancient West Central Africa
    on January 23, 2020 at 9:00 pm

    MADRID, SPAIN—According to a Cosmos Magazine report, analysis of DNA obtained from the remains of two children who were buried in the Shum Laka rock shelter in western Cameroon around 8,000 years ago, and two children who were buried there some 3,000 years ago, indicates that they were not the ancestors of the Bantu-speaking people who now live in the region. Rather, the genetic study suggests about two-thirds of the hunter-gatherer children’s DNA came from a previously unknown […]

  • Ancient voice: Scientists recreate sound of Egyptian mummy
    on January 23, 2020 at 4:00 pm

    Researchers say they've mimicked the voice of a 3,000-year-old Egyptian mummy by recreating much of its vocal tract using medical scanners, 3D printing and an electronic larynx.

  • 3,000-year-old teeth solve Pacific banana mystery
    on January 23, 2020 at 3:49 pm

    Humans began transporting and growing banana in Vanuatu 3000 years ago, a University of Otago scientist has discovered.

  • Isotopes in teeth suggest two megalithic cultures were separate groups
    on January 23, 2020 at 2:43 pm

    A team of researchers from the U.K., Belgium and Spain has found evidence that two groups of people in Late Neolithic Europe living approximately 5,500 years ago belonged to two distinct communities. In their paper published in the journal Science Advances, the group describes their study of isotopes from two burial sites and what they found.

  • Black 'rock' from AD 79 Italy eruption is part of exploded brain
    on January 23, 2020 at 1:31 pm

    It looks like a piece of rock - black, shiny and unexceptional.

  • Study reveals two writers penned landmark inscriptions in eighth-century BCE Samaria
    on January 23, 2020 at 11:40 am

    The ancient Samaria ostraca—eighth-century BCE ink-on-clay inscriptions unearthed at the beginning of the 20th century in Samaria, the capital of the biblical kingdom of Israel—are among the earliest collections of ancient Hebrew writings ever discovered. But despite a century of research, major aspects of the ostraca remain in dispute, including their precise geographical origins—either Samaria or its outlying villages—and the number of scribes involved in their […]

  • Early Humans May Have Triggered Carnivore Extinctions
    on January 22, 2020 at 10:00 pm

    GOTHENBURG, SWEDEN—Søren Faurby of the University of Gothenburg and his colleagues suggest that hominins started triggering the extinctions of other creatures about four million years ago, according to a BBC News report. Faurby and his team compared the rate of extinction for large and small carnivores with environmental changes and the changes in brain size of human ancestors in East Africa such as Australopithecus, thought to have evolved some 4.2 million years ago, and […]

  • Study Analyzes Warriors’ Remains in Medieval Tombs in Poland
    on January 22, 2020 at 9:30 pm

    GDAŃSK, POLAND—Science in Poland reports that the isotope and genetic analysis of samples collected from the remains of four men uncovered in an eleventh-century A.D. cemetery in northwestern Poland indicates they came from Scandinavia. The men, who were buried in four wood-lined chamber graves surrounded by a fence or palisade, were probably warriors from Denmark, according to Sławomir Wadyl of the Archaeological Museum in Gdańsk. The graves are thought to be the oldest of […]

  • Additional Remains Unearthed Near Revolutionary War Battlefield
    on January 22, 2020 at 9:00 pm

    RIDGEFIELD, CONNECTICUT—According to a News Times report, the remains of a fourth possible Revolutionary War soldier have been uncovered on private property near the site of the Battle of Ridgefield, which took place in April 1777. State archaeologist Nicholas Bellantoni said 28 brass buttons were recovered from the chest and arm areas of the skeleton. “All buttons were badly corroded and need to be cleaned in the lab to look for insignia,” he said. Scientists from the […]

  • Anthropologists confirm existence of specialized sheep-hunting camp in prehistoric Lebanon
    on January 22, 2020 at 8:46 pm

    Anthropologists at the University of Toronto (U of T) have confirmed the existence more than 10,000 years ago of a hunting camp in what is now northeastern Lebanon—one that straddles the period marking the transition from nomadic hunter-gatherer societies to agricultural settlements at the onset of the last stone age.

  • Tw writers penned landmark inscriptions in 8th-century BCE Samaria
    on January 22, 2020 at 8:43 pm

    A new study reveals that only 2 writers penned landmark inscriptions on an 8th-century BCE Samarian ostraca. The discovery illuminates the bureaucratic apparatus of an ancient kingdom of Israel.

  • Anthropologists confirm existence of specialized sheep-hunting camp in prehistoric Lebanon
    on January 22, 2020 at 8:00 pm

    Anthropologists have confirmed the existence more than 10,000 years ago of a hunting camp in the mountains along the modern-day border between Lebanon and Syria -- one that straddles the period marking the transition from nomadic hunter-gatherer societies to agricultural settlements at the onset of the last stone age. Analysis of decades-old data collected from Nachcharini Cave shows it was a short-term hunting camp and that sheep were the primary game.

  • Late Neolithic Italy was home to complex networks of metal exchange
    on January 22, 2020 at 7:00 pm

    During the 4th and 3rd millennia BC, Italy was home to complex networks of metalwork exchange, according to a study published January 22, 2020 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Andrea Dolfini of Newcastle University (UK), and Gilberto Artioli and Ivana Angelini of the University of Padova (Italy).

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