Ancient Colony News
Medieval Church Wall Uncovered in Slovakia
on July 1, 2020 at 8:30 pm
ZVOLEN, SLOVAKIA—The Slovak Spectator reports that construction work in central Slovakia’s town of Zvolen uncovered remains of a wall that was built in the thirteenth century around the local church. The section of wall uncovered by the recent excavation stood until 1811, when the cemetery next to the church was redeveloped. Archaeologist Ján Beljak said the church alone may have been fortified because the small community could not afford to encircle the whole town. Based […]
Massive Medieval Defensive Walls Unearthed in Poland
on July 1, 2020 at 8:00 pm
POZNAŃ, POLAND—The First News reports that researchers have uncovered massive fortifications made up of three joined rings and ramparts made of wood, sand, and stone in the city of Poznań. The presence of wood in the defensive walls allowed researchers to use tree ring data to determine that they were built between A.D. 968 and 1000. “Until now, we believed that Poznań was a settlement of secondary importance,” said archaeologist Antoni Smoliński. The city […]
First confirmed underwater Aboriginal archaeological sites found off Australian coast
on July 1, 2020 at 7:17 pm
Ancient submerged Aboriginal archaeological sites await underwater rediscovery off the coast of Australia, according to a study.
Aboriginal artifacts reveal first ancient underwater cultural sites in Australia
on July 1, 2020 at 6:00 pm
The first underwater Aboriginal archeological sites have been discovered off northwest Australia dating back thousands of years ago when the current seabed was dry land.
Looping footstep pattern in modern guineafowl sheds light on dinosaur tracks
on July 1, 2020 at 2:20 pm
A trio of researchers, two with Brown University, the other with Liverpool John Moores University, has found that a looping pattern in modern guineafowl footsteps is similar to those of certain dinosaurs. In their paper published in The Royal Society Biology Letters, Morgan Turner, Peter Falkingham and Stephen M. Gatesy describe their study of tracks made by modern guineafowl and how they compared to dinosaur tracks left in modern Connecticut.
Paris show relives Pompeii's final horrifying hours
on July 1, 2020 at 9:29 am
It is the most explosive Paris exhibition of the summer—Mount Vesuvius erupting several times a day in a new immersive 3D show which opens Wednesday in the Grand Palais.
Amber fossils unlock true color of 99-million-year-old insects
on June 30, 2020 at 11:00 pm
Nature is full of colors, from the radiant shine of a peacock's feathers or the bright warning coloration of toxic frogs to the pearl-white camouflage of polar bears.
Eighteenth-Century Artifacts Uncovered in Michigan
on June 30, 2020 at 9:00 pm
MACKINAW CITY, MICHIGAN—UpNorthLive reports that excavators working at Mackinac State Historic Parks have uncovered a heart-shaped ring, a sleeve button made of glass or crystal, a gunflint, a plain pewter button, a plain brass button, and part of a bone knife handle at the site of a house at Colonial Michilimackinac, a fort first established by French traders and missionaries on Mackinac Island. The house was home to Charles Henri Desjardins de Rupallay de Gonneville, and later, after […]
Human Bones Found in Walls of Paris’ Chapelle Expiatoire
on June 30, 2020 at 8:30 pm
PARIS, FRANCE—According to a report in The Guardian, human bones have been found in the walls of the Chapelle Expiatoire, a monument dedicated to the memory of King Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette, who were guillotined in 1793 at the Place de la Révolution and buried in the nearby Madeleine cemetery. Aymeric Peniguet de Stoutz, administrator of the chapel, which was completed in 1826 on the site of the Madeleine cemetery, found anomalies in the walls between the columns of the […]
Scientists Analyze Tikal’s Polluted Waters
on June 30, 2020 at 8:00 pm
CINCINNATI, OHIO—According to a statement released by the University of Cincinnati, a team of scientists analyzed layers of sediments collected from ten reservoirs in the Maya city of Tikal, which is located in northern Guatemala. Founded in the third century B.C., the city was abandoned by the ninth century A.D., when a series of droughts occurred. The researchers detected toxic levels of cyanobacteria in the water near Tikal’s central temple. Biologist David Lentz said consuming […]
Evidence found of Natufian people eating snakes and lizards 15,000 years ago
on June 30, 2020 at 5:00 pm
A trio of researchers at the University of Haifa's Zinman Institute of Archaeology has found evidence of Natufian people eating snakes and lizards approximately 15,000 years ago. In their paper published in the journal Scientific Reports, Ma'ayan Lev, Mina Weinstein-Evron and Reuven Yeshurun describe their study of squamate bones found in caves at the el-Wad Terrace dig site in Israel and what they learned about them.
Lizards and Snakes on Prehistoric Menu in Israel
on June 29, 2020 at 9:30 pm
HAIFA, ISRAEL—According to a Live Science report, an examination of the bones of lizards and snakes recovered from el-Wad Terrace, a cave near Mount Carmel in northern Israel, indicates that reptiles such as the legless European glass lizard and the large whip snake were eaten by members of the Natufian culture at the site between 15,000 and 11,500 years ago. The lizard and snake bones made up about one-third of the animal bones in the cave. Ma’ayan Lev of the University of Haifa […]
New Plant Identified in 1,400-Year-Old Pipe in Washington
on June 29, 2020 at 9:00 pm
PULLMAN, WASHINGTON—According to a statement released by Washington State University, researchers have detected traces of smooth sumac, or Rhus glabra, in residues on 1,400-year-old pipes unearthed in central Washington with new technology that can detect thousands of plant compounds. Traces of a species of tobacco plant not currently grown in the region were also detected in the pipes. Korey Brownstein of the University of Chicago suggests smooth sumac may have been mixed with tobacco […]
Prehistoric Fishing Artifacts Reexamined in Norway
on June 29, 2020 at 8:30 pm
OSLO, NORWAY—According to a Science Norway report, Svein Vatsvåg Nielsen of the University of Oslo examined bluefin tuna and killer whale bones and bone fishhooks and harpoons discovered in a southern Norway wetland in the 1930s. He determined that the bones and the artifacts date to the same period, from about 3700 to 2500 B.C., a time when sea levels were higher and the place where the items were found may have been covered by a lagoon. Nielsen and his colleagues returned to the […]
Reconstruction Depicts Stone Age Man Unearthed in Sweden
on June 29, 2020 at 8:00 pm
MOTALA, SWEDEN—Live Science reports that forensic artist Oscar Nilsson has created a 3-D reconstruction of the head of a man whose 8,000-year-old skull was found among the remains of at least ten other adults and an infant in what was once a lake in eastern-central Sweden. Only one of the skulls was found with a jaw, although the jaws of wild brown bears, boar, red deer, moose, and roe deer were recovered at the site. Two of the skulls had been placed on stakes that rose above the surface […]
New extinct family of giant wombat relatives discovered in Australian desert
on June 29, 2020 at 4:25 pm
The unique remains of a prehistoric, giant wombat-like marsupial—Mukupirna nambensis—that was unearthed in central Australia are so different from all other previously known extinct animals that it has been placed in a whole new family of marsupials.
Bronze Age Collapse: Pollen Study Highlights Late Bronze Age Drought
by Noah Wiener on June 28, 2020 at 12:16 pm
What caused the Bronze Age collapse? A recent study of pollen grains in sediment cores beneath the Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea provides a new view of the Bronze Age collapse. The post Bronze Age Collapse: Pollen Study Highlights Late Bronze Age Drought appeared first on Biblical Archaeology Society.
More fragments from 1952 crash in Alaska found in glacier
on June 27, 2020 at 1:17 pm
A lucky Buddha figurine, a flight suit, several 3-cent stamps, a crumpled 1952 Mass schedule for St. Patrick's Church in Washington, D.C., and 480 bags containing individual human remains.
Ancient Maya reservoirs contained toxic pollution: study
on June 26, 2020 at 9:36 pm
Reservoirs in the heart of an ancient Maya city were so polluted with mercury and algae that the water likely was undrinkable.
Genome of Ancient Arctic Sled Dog Analyzed
on June 26, 2020 at 9:00 pm
COPENHAGEN, DENMARK—NBC News reports that researchers have compared the genome of a 9,500-year-old dog who lived at a site on Siberia’s Zhokhov Island, where archaeological evidence of dogsleds was also recovered, with DNA extracted from a 33,000-year-old wolf’s jaw found in northeastern Siberia, and the genomes of 134 modern sled dog breeds, including Alaskan and Siberian huskies, Alaskan malamutes, and Greenland dogs. The study found that the ancient dog had long fur and […]
16th-Century Cemetery in Poland Yields Children’s Remains
on June 26, 2020 at 8:30 pm
NISKO, POLAND—The First News reports that the remains of 115 children were found in a sixteenth-century cemetery associated with a large Catholic church in southeast Poland during road construction. Some of the children were buried with coins in their mouths. Most of them were minted during the reign of Sigismund III Vasa, who ruled Poland from 1587 to 1632, or from the reign of John II Casimir, who ruled from 1648 to 1668. “It’s certainly a sign of their beliefs,” said […]
17th-Century Artifacts Found at Soldiers’ Barracks in Ireland
on June 26, 2020 at 8:00 pm
ATHLONE, IRELAND—According to a report in the Roscommon Herald, excavations at the Athlone Garda Barracks in central Ireland have uncovered a cobbled area and courtyard dated to the late seventeenth century. Soldiers stationed at the site left behind coins, musket balls, a thimble, a fine-toothed bone comb, a clay curler, clay pipes, glassware, military buttons, and uniform buckles. Zooarchaeologist Siobhan Duffy also identified a rooster’s lower leg bone whose spur had been sawn […]
Native bees' exotic origins reveal cross-pollination
on June 26, 2020 at 3:48 pm
Ancestors of a distinctive pollinating bee found across Australia probably originated in tropical Asian countries, islands in the south-west Pacific or greater Oceania region, ecology researchers claim. Describing the likely dispersal corridor for the ancestral lineage of the bee genus Homalictus will help understand the social evolution of the vibrant halictine bees, researchers say.
Non-tobacco plant identified in ancient pipe for first time
on June 26, 2020 at 3:48 pm
People in what is now Washington State were smoking Rhus glabra, a plant commonly known as smooth sumac, more than 1,400 years ago. The discovery marks the first-time scientists have identified residue from a non-tobacco plant in an archeological pipe.
Non-tobacco plant identified in ancient pipe for first time
on June 26, 2020 at 3:04 pm
People in what is now Washington State were smoking Rhus glabra, a plant commonly known as smooth sumac, more than 1,400 years ago.
Imaging systems to help libraries and museums uncover lost texts
on June 26, 2020 at 3:02 pm
Scientists from Rochester Institute of Technology are developing affordable imaging systems to help libraries and museums preserve and expand access to their historical collections. The project, funded by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, aims to create a low-cost spectral imaging system and software that can be used to recover obscured and illegible text on historical documents.
The millenial pre-colonial cultural inluence is evident in the Amazon forest
on June 26, 2020 at 3:01 pm
More than ten years ago, large geometric earthworks found in the southwestern parts of the Amazon, called geoglyphs, were reported in the global scientific news. A pre-colonial civilization unknown to scholars that built geometric ceremonial centers and sophisticated road systems. This civilization flourished in the rainforest area 2,000 years ago. The discovery radically altered the prevailing notion of the pristine Amazon rainforest. The research of an interdisciplinary Finnish-Brazilian team […]
Bizarre saber-tooth predator from South America was no saber-tooth cat
on June 25, 2020 at 11:00 pm
A new study led by researchers from the University of Bristol has shown that not all saber-tooths were fearsome predators.
Study Links Alaskan Volcano to Fall of Roman Republic
on June 25, 2020 at 8:30 pm
RENO, NEVADA—According to a statement released by the Desert Research Institute, Joe McConnell of the Desert Research Institute, Michael Sigl of the University of Bern, and an international team of their colleagues found evidence of two volcanic eruptions in Arctic ice cores that may have contributed to the fall of the Roman Republic and Egypt’s Ptolemaic Kingdom. Two years of fallout from the eruptions are thought to have triggered the extreme drop in temperatures and increase in […]
Kilns and Walls Found at Egypt’s Avenue of Sphinxes
on June 25, 2020 at 8:00 pm
LUXOR, EGYPT—According to an Ahram Online report, several structures were uncovered during an excavation at the Avenue of Sphinxes, a ceremonial passageway lined with ram-headed sculptures that once connected temples in Luxor and Karnak. Mudbrick kilns dating to the Roman period (30 B.C.–A.D. 640) are thought to have been used to fire pottery. A wall dated to the Egyptian Late Period (712–332 B.C.) would have protected Luxor from the floodwaters of the Nile River. Another […]
MicroCT reveals detailed head morphology of arthropod, Leanchoilia illecebrosa
on June 25, 2020 at 7:41 pm
An international collaboration between researchers at Harvard University and Yunnan University in China uses microCT to study and restudy arthropod fossils from the early Cambrian in the Chengjiang biota in the Yunnan Province of China. Their latest study shows with unprecedented clarity the head morphology of the species Leanchoilia illecebrosa and demonstrates the presence of a labrum thus supporting the hypothesis that megacheirans are distant relatives of modern chelicerates (e.g. horshoe […]
Big-boned marsupial unearths evolution of wombat burrowing behavior
on June 25, 2020 at 3:00 pm
The discovery of a new species of ancient marsupial, named Mukupirna nambensis, is reported this week in Scientific Reports. The anatomical features of the specimen, which represents one of the oldest known Australian marsupials discovered so far, add to our understanding of the evolution of modern wombats and their characteristic burrowing behavior.
Tiny japanese dinosaur eggs help unscramble cretaceous ecosystem
on June 25, 2020 at 12:42 pm
When most of us think of dinosaurs, we envision large, lumbering beasts, but these giants shared their ecosystems with much smaller dinosaurs, the smaller skeletons of which were generally less likely to be preserved. The fossilized egg shells of these small dinosaurs can shed light on this lost ecological diversity.