Archeology News

Archeology News

  • Iraqi archaeologist, museums champion, dies at 80
    on January 20, 2019 at 7:49 pm

    An Iraqi archaeologist, who lent her expertise to rebuilding the National Museum's collection after it was looted in 2003, has died at the age of 80. […]

  • Terracotta Figurines Uncovered in Southern India
    on January 19, 2019 at 12:00 am

    KERALA, INDIA—The Hindu reports that flooding in southwest India has revealed a collection of terracotta figurines along the banks of the Pamba River. So far, researchers have identified images of Sapta Matrika (mother goddesses), naga (serpent) idols, and figures of men. Archaeologist K. Krishnaraj said iconographic studies and thermoluminescence dating of the sculptures are expected to offer more information about who might have produced them. For more, go to “India's Anonymous […]

  • Nineteenth-Century Periodic Table Found in Scotland
    on January 18, 2019 at 11:45 pm

    FIFE, SCOTLAND—The Scotsman reports that a historic lithograph of the periodic table was found in a storage area at St. Andrews University, rolled up with other large-scale charts. The late nineteenth-century teaching tool, printed in Vienna and annotated in German, is thought to be the oldest surviving example of a classroom-sized periodic table. The information included in the table helped Eric Scerri of the University of California, Los Angeles, to date the document to between 1879 and […]

  • 2,000-Year-Old Mint Discovered in Central China
    on January 18, 2019 at 11:33 pm

    ZHENGZHOU, CHINA—Xinhua reports that heavy rains in central China have revealed a mint estimated to be more than 2,000 years old. An excavation of the site recovered copper coins, copper smelting slag, pottery, animal bones, and pieces of coin molds, according to Bai Yunxiang of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. Yang Jun of the China Numismatic Society said inscriptions on the molds suggest they were used during the reign of Wang Mang, a Western Han Dynasty official who seized power […]

  • Damaged Carving Recovered from Shrine at Tell Edfu
    on January 17, 2019 at 10:49 pm

    CHICAGO, ILLINOIS—Live Science reports that a carving of a man and a woman recovered from a 3,500-year-old shrine in a villa at Tell Edfu, in southern Egypt, may have been damaged in antiquity by someone who wanted to erase the couple’s existence in the afterlife. Nadine Moeller of the Tell Edfu Project and the University of Chicago’s Oriental Institute said the shrine may have been dedicated to the ancestors of those who lived in the villa. The faces of the man and woman, […]

  • Scientists Analyze 100,000-Year-Old Child’s Teeth
    on January 17, 2019 at 10:13 pm

    BEIJING, CHINA—Science News reports that paleoanthropologist Song Xing of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and her colleagues examined the teeth of a child who died at about six and one-half years of age at least 104,000 years ago, and perhaps more than 200,000 years ago. They found that the child’s dental growth and development proceeded slowly, at a pace similar to that experienced by modern human children living today. X-rays of the child’s fossilized upper jaw revealed the […]

  • Dogs May Have Helped Humans Hunt 11,500 Years Ago
    on January 17, 2019 at 9:53 pm

    COPENHAGEN, DENMARK—According to a Haaretz report, dogs may have assisted human hunters living some 11,500 years ago in what is now northwest Jordan. While excavating a year-round settlement site known as Shubayqa, a team of researchers led by zooarchaeologist Lisa Yeomans of the University of Copenhagen noticed a dramatic increase in the number of bones of small animals such as hares. The condition of many of the bones indicates they were digested by a carnivore, but they were too large […]

  • Scientists confirm pair of skeletons are from same early hominin species
    on January 17, 2019 at 5:08 pm

    Separate skeletons suggested to be from different early hominin species are, in fact, from the same species, a team of anthropologists has concluded in a comprehensive analysis of remains first discovered a decade ago. […]

  • Coralline red algae have existed for 300 million years longer than previously presumed
    on January 17, 2019 at 1:56 pm

    Coralline red algae have existed for 130 million years—in other words since the Cretaceous Period, the time of the dinosaurs. At least this was the established view of palaeontologists all over the world until now. However, this classification will now have to be revised after fossils discovered by researchers at GeoZentrum Nordbayern at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) in conjunction with researchers at La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia, prove […]

  • Submerged Prehistoric Site Discovered in Scotland
    on January 16, 2019 at 9:53 pm

    BENBECULA, SCOTLAND—BBC News reports that a prehistoric site has been discovered in a submerged, partially fossilized forest on one of Scotland’s Western Isles. Researcher Joanna Hambly of the Scottish Coastal Archaeology and the Problem of Erosion Trust said researchers had recovered a quern stone, used for grinding food, in addition to a wall and what may have been parts of circular stone structures. A piece of a quartz flake was even found in the bone it had been used to butcher. […]

  • Painted Floor Found in 1,000-Year-Old Tomb in Northeast China
    on January 16, 2019 at 8:41 pm

    SHENYANG, CHINA—According to a Xinhua report, images of carriages and horses, flowers, dragons, and a phoenix have been found painted on the walls and floor of a tomb in a Liao Dynasty cemetery (A.D. 907-1125) in northeast China’s Liaoning Province. Si Weiwei of the Liaoning Province Archaeological Institute explained that this is the first known example of a tomb with a painted floor from the Liao Dynasty. So far, four tombs in the cemetery have been excavated. They also yielded […]

  • Robot recreates the walk of a 290-million-year-old creature
    on January 16, 2019 at 8:39 pm

    How did the earliest land animals move? Scientists have used a nearly 300-million-year old fossil skeleton and preserved ancient footprints to create a moving robot model of prehistoric life. […]

  • An ancient relative of humans shows a surprisingly modern trait
    on January 16, 2019 at 7:00 pm

    A relative of modern humans that lived at least 104,000 years ago in northern China showed evidence of dental growth and development very similar to that of people today, a new study found. […]

  • 11,500-year-old animal bones in Jordan suggest early dogs helped humans hunt
    on January 16, 2019 at 12:42 pm

    Around 11,500 years ago, in what is now northeast Jordan, people began to live with dogs and may also have used them for hunting, according to a new study by archaeologists from the University of Copenhagen and University College London. They suggest that the introduction of dogs as hunting aids may explain the dramatic increase of hares and other small prey in the archaeological remains at the site. […]

  • New insights into what Neolithic people ate in southeastern Europe
    on January 16, 2019 at 12:00 am

    New research, led by the University of Bristol, has shed new light on the eating habits of Neolithic people living in southeastern Europe using food residues from pottery extracts dating back more than 8,000 years. […]

  • Roman-Era Tombs Uncovered in Egypt’s Dakhla Oasis
    on January 15, 2019 at 11:13 pm

    CAIRO, EGYPT—Ahram Online reports that two Roman tombs have been unearthed in Egypt’s Western Desert. Mostafa Waziri of the Supreme Council of Antiquities said the tombs were unfinished. One of the tombs has a 20-step staircase covered in plaster, a main hall made of mudbrick with a vaulted ceiling, and two burial chambers containing human remains, lamps, and pots. The other tomb has a vaulted chamber featuring a niche painted with a scene depicting the mummification process. Ten […]

  • Bronze Age Pit Possibly Linked to Medieval Assembly Site
    on January 15, 2019 at 10:58 pm

    FIFE, SCOTLAND—According to a report in The Courier, a Bronze Age cremation pit has been discovered at a site in southeast Scotland where open-air councils are thought to have been held during the medieval period. Cremated bone recovered from the pit was dated to nearly 4,000 years ago. Alastair Rees of ARCHAS Archaeology said such pits are often found in clusters, so additional Bronze Age burials may be found at the site. “Prehistoric origins for early medieval places of assembly […]

  • World War I–Era Submarine Revealed in France
    on January 15, 2019 at 10:47 pm

    WISSANT, FRANCE—BBC News reports that a World War I–era German submarine is emerging from the sands on a beach in northern France. “Pieces reappear from time to time, but this is the first time we discover so much,” said local tour guide Vincent Schmitt. The submarine’s crew is known to have flooded and abandoned the vessel, named UC-61, in July 1917, after it ran aground while traveling from Zeebrugge, Belgium, to Boulogne-sur-Mer and Le Havre. The ship is thought […]

  • Luxurious Buildings Uncovered in Bulgaria’s Philipopolis
    on January 15, 2019 at 10:24 pm

    PLOVDIV, BULGARIA—Archaeology in Bulgaria reports that luxurious residential and public buildings dating to the Roman era have been discovered on the southern slope of three hills in the heart of the ancient city of Philipopolis, which was also known as Trimontium. The six structures include a temple dedicated to multiple deities, an inn with a tavern, residential buildings, and a brothel, according to Zheni Tankova of the Plovdiv Museum of Archaeology. The temple is noted for its marble, […]

  • 3,000-year-old eastern North American quinoa discovered in Ontario
    on January 15, 2019 at 5:20 pm

    A mass of charred seeds found while clearing a home construction site in Brantford, Ontario, has been identified as ancient, domesticated goosefoot (C. berlandieri spp. jonesianum), a form of quinoa native to Eastern North America. The seeds date back to 900 B.C., and have never previously been found north of Kentucky this early in history, says Professor Gary Crawford of the Department of Anthropology at the University of Toronto Mississauga (UTM), who was brought in by Archaeological Services […]

  • Bringing medieval literature into the digital age
    on January 15, 2019 at 3:00 pm

    William Langland likely wouldn't know what to make of the latest way people are reading his poetry. In part, that's because Langland died in 1386. But it's also because his most famous work, Piers Plowman, is the subject of an expansive digital humanities project – allowing scholars to work with multiple versions of the poem using modern tools. […]

  • Fossil deposit is much richer than expected
    on January 15, 2019 at 2:30 pm

    It has long been known that a quarry near the Dutch town of Winterswijk is an Eldorado for fossil lovers. But even connoisseurs will be surprised just how outstanding the site actually is. A student at the University of Bonn, himself a Dutchman and passionate fossil collector, has now analyzed pieces from museums and private collections for his master's thesis. He found an amazing amount of almost completely preserved skeletons, all between 242 and 247 million years old. The good condition is […]

  • Archaeologists find Rome-era tombs in Egypt's Western Desert
    on January 15, 2019 at 2:12 pm

    Egypt says archaeologists have uncovered two ancient tombs dating back to the Roman period in the country's Western Desert. […]

  • Buddha Statue Head Uncovered in Northwest India
    on January 14, 2019 at 10:00 pm

    TARANGA, INDIA—The head of a Buddha statue believed to date to the fourth or fifth century A.D. has been discovered near Taranga in India’s northwestern state of Gujarat, according to a report from The Times of India. The find was made by archaeologists from the Archaeological Survey of India, who recently found some 50 votive stupas nearby, establishing Taranga as an important Buddhist center. The head, which was uncovered in a temple, has a round face with curly hair and long […]

  • Medieval Copper Production Settlement Found in Jordan
    on January 14, 2019 at 9:58 pm

    AMMAN, JORDAN—A medieval settlement dedicated to copper smelting has been identified in southern Jordan, reports The Jordan Times. The site, known as Khirbat Nuqayb Al Asaymir (Arabic for "Ruin of the Small Black Pass"), flourished under the Ayyubid dynasty, which was founded by the Kurdish military leader Saladin. University of San Diego archaeologist Ian Jones leads the excavation, and notes the site was only occupied for 50 or 60 years. Its rise coincided with the expansion of the […]

  • Medieval Inscription Discovered in India
    on January 14, 2019 at 9:30 pm

    AMARAVATI, INDIA—The Times of India reports that a stone slab inscribed with a thirteenth-century inscription has been found in a village in southeastern India. The slab rises two feet above ground level, and archaeologists believe it extends up to five feet into the ground. Carvings on the slab's surface depict a bull, a sun, and a moon, all characteristic of art made under the Kakatiya dynasty, which ruled what is now the state of Andhra Pradesh from the twelfth to fourteenth […]

  • Plant phytolith and water content influence rate of tooth enamel abrasion in vertebrates
    on January 14, 2019 at 1:38 pm

    Plant phytolith and water content cause differing degrees of tooth enamel abrasion in vertebrates. This is the conclusion reached by an international research team headed by scientists from Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU). Their study, featured online before print in the journal PNAS, has implications for how tooth wear in extinct animals is interpreted and how this information can be employed to reconstruct their dietary behavior and habitats. […]

  • DNA tool allows you to trace your ancient ancestry
    on January 14, 2019 at 1:28 pm

    Scientists at the University of Sheffield studying ancient DNA have created a tool allowing them to more accurately identify ancient Eurasian populations, which can be used to test an individual's similarity to ancient people who once roamed the earth. […]

  • Algeria's ancient pyramid tombs still shrouded in mystery
    on January 14, 2019 at 7:39 am

    Dating back centuries, Algeria's pyramid tombs are unique relics of an ancient era but a dearth of research has left the Jeddars shrouded in mystery. […]

  • Skull scans tell tale of how world's first dogs caught their prey
    on January 11, 2019 at 3:25 pm

    Analysis of the skulls of lions, wolves and hyenas has helped scientists uncover how prehistoric dogs hunted 40 million years ago. […]

  • Stadiums aren't fated to disrepair and disuse – history shows they can change with the city
    on January 11, 2019 at 3:20 pm

    Stadiums are among the oldest forms of urban architecture: from Olympia to Rome, stadiums were at the centre of the Western city, well before the great medieval cathedrals and the railway stations of the industrial revolution. […]

  • We found lapis lazuli hidden in ancient teeth – revealing the forgotten role of women in medieval...
    on January 11, 2019 at 2:25 pm

    We recently and unexpectedly revealed direct archaeological evidence of involvement of medieval women in manuscript production, challenging widespread assumptions that male monks were the sole producers of books throughout the Middle Ages. […]

  • Solving the ancient mysteries of Easter Island
    on January 10, 2019 at 7:00 pm

    The ancient people of Rapa Nui (Easter Island, Chile) built their famous ahu monuments near coastal freshwater sources, according to a team of researchers including faculty at Binghamton University, State University of New York. […]

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Sudan’s forgotten pyramids

Sudan’s forgotten pyramids

Nubian pyramids – Bagrawiyah, Sudan – More than 200km from the Sudanese capital Khartoum, the remains of an ancient city rise from the arid and inhospitable terrain like a science-fiction film set. Nestled between sand dunes, the secluded pyramids seem to have been forgotten by the modern world, with no nearby restaurants or hotels to cater to tourists.

The Nubian Meroe pyramids, much smaller but just as impressive as the more famous Egyptian ones, are found on the east bank of the Nile river, near a group of villages called Bagrawiyah. The pyramids get their name from the ancient city of Meroe, the capital of the Kingdom of Kush, an ancient African kingdom situated in what is now the Republic of Sudan.

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