Ancient Colony News
Prehistoric crocodile fossil discovered in New Mexico
on September 18, 2019 at 11:57 am
Jurassic dinosaur fossils were first found in New Mexico more than 100 years ago. Now a crocodile fossil has been discovered in New Mexico's Jurassic rocks. The fossil was discovered in September of 2018 by hikers in the Ojito Wilderness near San Ysidro.
Defenses of Iron Age Hillfort Uncovered in England
on September 18, 2019 at 1:36 am
SHROPSHIRE, ENGLAND—Excavations at Nesscliffe, an Iron Age hillfort thought to date to 500 B.C., have unearthed the fort's inner rampart as well as rare guard chambers at its northeastern entrance, the Shropshire Star reports. The fort's location near the steep cliffs at Oliver's Point made it easily defendable. "There is a possibility that this was a highly strategic point," said University of Oxford archaeologist Gary Lock. "It would have been seen from miles around and would have given […]
Givati Parking Lot Dig Unearths Rare Seal of Woman
by Robin Ngo on September 17, 2019 at 10:51 pm
Two First Temple period seals were discovered in the Givati Parking Lot excavations in Jerusalem. One seal belonged to a woman named Elihana bat Gael. The post Givati Parking Lot Dig Unearths Rare Seal of Woman appeared first on Biblical Archaeology Society.
Scientists Trace Origins of Bronze Age Tin
on September 17, 2019 at 10:21 pm
MANNHEIM, GERMANY—According to a report in The Times of Israel, an international team of scientists led by Daniel Berger of the Curt Engelhorn Center for Archaeometry and his retired colleague Ernst Pernicka analyzed the composition of tin ingots recovered from five Late Bronze Age underwater archaeological sites in the eastern Mediterranean in order to trace their origins. It had been previously thought that the tin used in bronze production in the Levant in the second millennium B.C. […]
Scientists discover one of world's oldest bird species at Waipara, New Zealand
on September 17, 2019 at 10:00 pm
The ancestor of some of the largest flying birds ever has been found in Waipara, North Canterbury.
Rare 10 million-year-old fossil unearths new view of human evolution
on September 17, 2019 at 7:40 pm
Near an old mining town in Central Europe, known for its picturesque turquoise-blue quarry water, lay Rudapithecus. For 10 million years, the fossilized ape waited in Rudabánya, Hungary, to add its story to the origins of how humans evolved.
Northern France was already inhabited more than 650,000 years ago
on September 17, 2019 at 3:12 pm
The first evidence of human occupation in northern France has been put back by 150,000 years, thanks to the findings of a team of scientists from the CNRS and the Musée National d'Histoire Naturelle at the emblematic site of Moulin Quignon in the department of the Somme. The site, now located in the gardens of a housing estate in Abbeville, was rediscovered in 2017 after falling into oblivion for over 150 years.
Discovery of rare Roman cattle bones sheds new light on ancient farming
on September 17, 2019 at 1:43 pm
The "incredibly rare" discovery of Roman cattle bones by archaeologists has shed new light on how ancient farmers butchered and sold meat.
Rare Butcher Shop Suggests Wider Sphere of Roman Influence in Britain
on September 16, 2019 at 11:27 pm
IPPLEPEN, ENGLAND—Archaeologists led by Stephen Rippon of the University of Exeter have unearthed a fourth-century A.D. butcher’s shop and possible craft center in the acidic soil of southwest England, according to a report in The Guardian. The discovery supports the idea that Roman influence stretched at least 20 miles further southwest than had been previously thought. Rippon said the abattoir likely belonged to butchers who produced high quality cuts of meat, since his team found […]
1,000-Year-Old Painted Tomb Uncovered in China
on September 16, 2019 at 10:54 pm
HOHHOT, CHINA—According to a Xinhua report, a tomb thought to date the beginning of the Liao Dynasty (A.D. 907–1125) has been discovered in eastern Inner Mongolia. Topped with a capstone made of two huge pieces of imported granite, the tomb consists of a single chamber whose ceiling is decorated with paintings of cranes. Artifacts from the tomb include objects made of gold and glass. Lian Jilin of the Inner Mongolia Regional Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology said the […]
Medieval Royal Carving Discovered in England
on September 16, 2019 at 10:50 pm
MILTON KEYNES, ENGLAND—According to a report in the MK Citizen, a stone carving that may depict the head of Eleanor of Aquitaine was discovered in southeast England’s Bradwell Abbey during conservation work. Eleanor was Duchess of Aquitaine when she married King Louis VII of France and participated in the Second Crusade. After her marriage to Louis VII was annulled, she married the Duke of Normandy, who became King Henry II of England in A.D. 1154. Three of her sons from this […]
Chalcolithic Female Figurine Found in Bulgaria
on September 16, 2019 at 10:18 pm
SUVOROVO, BULGARIA—Archaeology in Bulgaria reports that a six-inch-long fragment of a ceramic figurine depicting a woman’s torso has been unearthed at the site of a workshop in northeastern Bulgaria, near the coast of the Black Sea. The complete statue is thought to have stood about a foot tall when it was crafted sometime in the brief Middle Chalcolithic period, between 4700 and 4600 B.C. Vladimir Slavchev of the Varna Museum of Archaeology said few anthropomorphic figures dating […]
Carp aquaculture in Neolithic China dating back 8,000 years
on September 16, 2019 at 3:40 pm
Researchers analyzed fish bones excavated from the Early Neolithic Jiahu site in Henan Province, China. By comparing the body-length distributions and species-composition ratios of the bones with findings from East Asian sites with present aquaculture, the researchers provide evidence of managed carp aquaculture at Jiahu dating back to 6200-5700 BC.
Tooth Enamel Reveals Sex of Ancient Individuals Buried Hand in Hand
on September 13, 2019 at 11:50 pm
MODENA, ITALY—New analysis of the tooth enamel of two individuals, buried with their hands interlocked in a fifth-century A.D. necropolis, has revealed that both were men, according to a Live Science report. When the burial was discovered in northern Italy in 2009, mass media outlets assumed the individuals—dubbed the "Lovers of Modena"—were a man and a woman, though the badly preserved skeletons precluded a definitive determination of sex. However, Federico Lugli of the […]
New Evidence for Hunter-Gatherer Trade in North America
on September 13, 2019 at 9:53 pm
BINGHAMTON, NEW YORK—According to a Science News report, hunter-gatherers living in North America some 4,000 years ago may have had direct trade links spanning 900 miles. A ceremonial copper object has been found surrounded by a ring of seashells at an ancient grave site on St. Catherines Island off the coast of Georgia. Known as the McQueen shell ring, the circle of shells measures nearly 230 feet across. At its center, anthropologist Matthew Sanger of Binghamton University and his […]
Ancient Australia was home to strange marsupial giants, some weighing over 1,000 kg
on September 13, 2019 at 8:33 pm
Palorchestid marsupials, an extinct group of Australian megafauna, had strange bodies and lifestyles unlike any living species, according to a study released September 13, 2019 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Hazel Richards of Monash University, Australia and colleagues.
The enigma of Bronze Age tin
on September 13, 2019 at 4:08 pm
The origin of the tin used in the Bronze Age has long been one of the greatest enigmas in archaeological research. Now researchers have solved part of the puzzle. They were able to proof that tin ingots found at archaeological sites in Israel, Turkey, and Greece do not come from Central Asia, as previously assumed, but from tin deposits in Europe.
The enigma of bronze age tin
on September 13, 2019 at 3:53 pm
The origin of the tin used in the Bronze Age has long been one of the greatest enigmas in archaeological research. Now researchers from Heidelberg University and the Curt Engelhorn Centre for Archaeometry in Mannheim have solved part of the puzzle. Using methods of the natural sciences, they examined the tin from the second millennium BCE found at archaeological sites in Israel, Turkey, and Greece. They were able to prove that this tin in the form of ingots does not come from Central Asia, as […]
Women also competed for status superiority in mid-Republican Rome
on September 13, 2019 at 3:05 pm
Purple clothing, gold trimmings, earrings and two- or four-wheeled carriages. Among the elite, competition for status superiority was just as vital to women as it was to men in Rome around 2000 years ago. This has been demonstrated in a thesis that investigates the domains and resources women had access to for status competition and how these were regulated by law.
Extinction of Icelandic walrus coincides with Norse settlement
on September 13, 2019 at 2:14 pm
Scientists have used ancient DNA analyses and C14-dating to demonstrate the past existence of a unique population of Icelandic walrus that went extinct shortly after Norse settlement some 1100 years ago. Walrus hunting and ivory trade was probably the principal cause of extinction, being one of the earliest examples of commercially driven overexploitation of marine resources.
Roman bronze cauldron unearthed in central Norway burial cairn
on September 13, 2019 at 11:55 am
Sometime around 150-300 CE a person died at the place now called Gylland in the Gaula River valley, in southern Trøndelag county. After the body was cremated, the remains were laid in a bronze vessel. This was then covered or wrapped in birch bark before being buried under several hundred kilos of stone.
Dental Plaque Offers Clues to Diet of Irish Famine Victims
on September 12, 2019 at 11:38 pm
EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND—According to a report in The Belfast Telegraph, analysis of dental plaque obtained from the teeth of 42 people buried in mass graves at Ireland’s Kilkenny Union Workhouse in the mid-nineteenth century has shown that the individuals' diet was consistent with historical records of what people ate during the Great Famine, which resulted in the deaths of more than 1 million people. Many Irish laborers were thought to have subsisted on a diet of potatoes and […]
Scientists Generate Virtual Skull of Modern Human Ancestor
on September 12, 2019 at 11:16 pm
PARIS, FRANCE—The New York Times reports the creation of a virtual skull for the last common ancestor of living modern humans. A team of researchers led by paleoanthropologists Aurélien Mounier of the French National Museum of Natural History and Marta Mirazón Lahr of the University of Cambridge took CT scans of the skulls of 260 people living all over the world today, and also scanned the skulls of other extinct hominins, including 100,000-year-old skulls unearthed in […]
2,000-Year-Old Tombs Discovered in Central China
on September 12, 2019 at 10:42 pm
LINGBAO, CHINA—Xinhua reports that more than 70 ancient tombs were discovered in central China during road construction. Many of the tombs were clustered in family groups, according to researchers from the Sanmenxia Institute of Cultural Heritage and Archaeology, who said the tombs’ structural characteristics and the style of the artifacts suggest they date to the Han Dynasty (202 B.C.–A.D. 220). Among the artifacts recovered were ceramic, bronze, and iron objects, as well as […]
Possible Pictish Cemetery Found in Scotland
on September 12, 2019 at 10:35 pm
ROSS AND CROMARTY, SCOTLAND—BBC News reports that a large cemetery estimated to be 1,400 years old has been found on Black Isle in the Scottish Highlands. Thought to have been built by the Picts, the cemetery consists of square and round barrows, or burial mounds, and enclosures that range in size from about 26 feet to more than 130 feet across. Previous work at the site has revealed features that might predate the barrows by thousands of years. “We intend to evaluate the […]
Jurassic crocodile identified in fossil study
on September 12, 2019 at 2:29 pm
A prehistoric crocodile that lived around 180 million years ago has been identified—almost 250 years after the discovery of its fossil remains.
5,000-Year-Old Egyptian Settlement Uncovered in Israel
on September 12, 2019 at 12:15 am
KRAKOW, POLAND—A trading post was established in Israel at the site of Tel Erani by members of Egypt’s Nagada culture more than 5,000 years ago, according to a Science in Poland report. Krzysztof Ciałowicz of Jagiellonian University said people living in Upper Egypt in the fourth millennium B.C. imported copper and oil from the Levant in exchange for meat and fish products. Ciałowicz and his colleagues discovered a wall, bread forms, ceramics, and other objects crafted in […]
Israel’s Prehistoric Hunters Had a Varied Toolkit
on September 11, 2019 at 11:08 pm
TEL AVIV, ISRAEL—According to a Times of Israel report, elephant fat and bone residues have been detected on 500,000-year-old flint blades unearthed in southern Israel by a team of researchers led by Flavia Venditti and Ran Barkai of Tel Aviv University. A collection of animal bones, hand axes, scrapers, and what had been thought to be knapping debris was recovered from the site, known as Revadim. But microscopic examination of the tiny flint pieces, some of which measure just two inches […]
Dairy Protein Found on Teeth of Britain’s Neolithic Farmers
on September 11, 2019 at 10:27 pm
YORK, ENGLAND—BBC News reports that calcified plaque scraped from 6,000-year-old teeth has provided early evidence for dairy consumption among Britain’s Neolithic farmers. Traces of dairy products analyzed in the study were obtained from pottery fragments recovered at three Neolithic sites in Britain. Testing of these residues suggests that some of the milk had been heated, and analysis of the dental plaque using mass spectrometry detected a dairy protein in some of the individuals. […]
Reconstructing the evolution of all species
on September 11, 2019 at 6:27 pm
By looking into fossil teeth from almost 2 million years old rhinos, researchers have launched a new molecular method for studying the evolutionary history of fossil species dating back millions of years.
Jaws reveal Australia's ancient marsupial panda
on September 11, 2019 at 6:00 pm
New research has revealed that Australia's extinct short-faced kangaroos were a marsupial version of the giant panda, with jaws adapted to browsing woody, poor-quality vegetation.
Early humans used tiny, flint 'surgical' tools to butcher elephants
on September 11, 2019 at 5:08 pm
The Acheulian culture endured in the Levant for over a million years during the Lower Paleolithic period (1.4 million to 400,000 years ago). Its use of bifaces or large cutting tools like hand axes and cleavers is considered a hallmark of its sophistication—or, some researchers would argue, the lack thereof.
Half-a-billion-year-old tiny predator unveils the rise of scorpions and spiders
on September 11, 2019 at 5:00 pm
Two palaeontologists working on the world-renowned Burgess Shale have revealed a new species, called Mollisonia plenovenatrix, which is presented as the oldest chelicerate. This discovery places the origin of this vast group of animals—of over 115,000 species, including horseshoe crabs, scorpions and spiders—to a time more than 500 million years ago. The findings are published in the prestigious journal Nature on September 11, 2019.