Ancient Colony News

Ancient Colony News

  • Bones of Possible Medieval Kings and Queens Analyzed
    on May 22, 2019 at 12:31 am

    BRISTOL, ENGLAND—The Independent reports that Heidi Dawson-Hobbis and Kate Robson Brown of the University of Bristol and their colleagues analyzed a collection of medieval human remains held in wooden caskets in southern England’s Winchester Cathedral. In the mid-seventeenth century, during the English Civil War, the cathedral was ransacked and the bones were taken from their wooden caskets and scattered by Parliamentarian troops. The jumbled bones were thought to belong to six […]

  • More Megalithic Jars Mapped in Laos
    on May 22, 2019 at 12:13 am

    CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA—Live Science reports that a new survey conducted in central Laos by a team of archaeologists from Laos and Australia revealed an additional 137 stone jars at 15 new sites in the rugged terrain surrounding the Plain of Jars. The giant, carved stone jars are thought to have been used in burial rituals some 2,500 years ago. Researchers have suggested that bodies may have been stored in the jars until the bones could be cleaned and buried. Archaeologist Louise Shewan of […]

  • Ancient Egyptians Enjoyed Sweet Watermelons
    on May 21, 2019 at 10:46 pm

    MUNICH, GERMANY—New Scientist reports that Egyptians living some 3,500 years ago may have eaten watermelons similar to those we enjoy today. Botanists Susanne Renner of the University of Munich and Guillaume Chomicki of the University of Oxford analyzed a tiny piece of one of the ancient watermelon leaves that were discovered in an Egyptian tomb and sent to botanist Joseph Hooker in London in the late nineteenth century. Fortunately, the partial genome sequence the researchers obtained […]

  • Eastern forests shaped more by Native Americans' burning than climate change
    on May 21, 2019 at 8:24 pm

    Native Americans' use of fire to manage vegetation in what is now the Eastern United States was more profound than previously believed, according to a researcher who determined that forest composition change in the region was caused more by land use than climate change. […]

  • In a first, researchers identify reddish coloring in an ancient fossil
    on May 21, 2019 at 9:00 am

    Researchers have for the first time detected chemical traces of red pigment in an ancient fossil—an exceptionally well-preserved mouse, not unlike today's field mice, that roamed the fields of what is now the German village of Willershausen around 3 million years ago. […]

  • New Thoughts on the Origins of King Tut’s Yellow Scarab
    on May 20, 2019 at 11:35 pm

    BENTLEY, AUSTRALIA—Live Science reports that a carved piece of canary-yellow glass worn as pectoral ornament by Egypt’s King Tutankhamun was likely formed by ground-based shock waves initiated by a meteorite impact some 29 million years ago. Aaron Cavosie of Curtin University led a team of researchers who analyzed grains of the mineral zircon found in similar pieces of glass recovered in the Libyan desert. It had been previously suggested that such yellow glass could have been […]

  • 19th-Century Military Complex Unearthed in Canada
    on May 20, 2019 at 10:54 pm

    OTTAWA, CANADA—According to a CBC News report, archaeologists are excavating a nineteenth-century military complex on Parliament Hill, which is now home to the Parliament of Canada. Archaeologist Stephen Jarrett said soldiers in the Royal Sappers and Miners Regiment who lived at the site worked to build the Rideau Canal, which connects the capital city to Lake Ontario and the Saint Lawrence River. So far, his team has uncovered a guardhouse, a jail, and at least one of three barracks used […]

  • Rare Roman Coin Uncovered in England
    on May 20, 2019 at 10:31 pm

    CAMBRIDGESHIRE, ENGLAND—The Hunts Post reports that archaeologists working ahead of road construction in eastern England uncovered a coin at a Roman farmstead site depicting Ulpius Cornelius Laelianus wearing a radiate crown. The coin is only the second one to have been found in England that bears an image of Laelianus, who ruled a breakaway empire located in what is now Germany and France for two months in A.D. 269. Laelianus was killed in Germania, perhaps by his own soldiers, during […]

  • High-quality jadeite tool discovered in underwater ancient salt works in Belize
    on May 20, 2019 at 3:52 pm

    Anthropologists discovered a tool made out of high-quality translucent jadeite with an intact rosewood handle at a site where the ancient Maya processed salt in Belize. The discovery of these high-quality materials—jadeite and rosewood—used as utilitarian tools, demonstrates that salt workers played an important role in the Classic Maya marketplace economy more than 1,000 years ago. […]

  • Isaiah’s Signature Uncovered in Jerusalem
    by Megan Sauter on May 19, 2019 at 1:41 pm

    Archaeologist Eilat Mazar reveals what may be a seal impression of the prophet Isaiah—unveiled here for the first time ever—in honor of Hershel Shanks’s retirement as Editor of BAR. The post Isaiah’s Signature Uncovered in Jerusalem appeared first on Biblical Archaeology Society. […]

  • King Hezekiah in the Bible: Royal Seal of Hezekiah Comes to Light
    by Robin Ngo on May 18, 2019 at 8:57 pm

    For the first time, the royal seal of King Hezekiah in the Bible has been found in an archaeological excavation. The post King Hezekiah in the Bible: Royal Seal of Hezekiah Comes to Light appeared first on Biblical Archaeology Society. […]

  • Sarmatian Kurgan Discovered in Russia
    on May 17, 2019 at 10:27 pm

    NIKOLSKOYE, RUSSIA—A farmer who discovered a kurgan on his property in southwestern Russia alerted archaeologist Georgiy Stukalov of the Astrakhan State Museum and his team, according to a Live Science report. Their excavation revealed that the kurgan had been looted in antiquity, but still contained three human skeletons, a horse skull, a harness, weapons, gold jewelry, and a bronze cauldron. The three individuals are thought to have been buried in wooden coffins some 2,500 years ago and […]

  • Rock Art in Australia May Depict 19th-Century British Ship
    on May 17, 2019 at 10:11 pm

    PERTH, AUSTRALIA—Mirage News reports that an image of an early nineteenth-century British naval ship has been found scratched into a boulder on an island in the Dampier Archipelago, off the coast of Western Australia. Peter Veth of the University of Western Australia and rangers from the Murujuga Aboriginal Corporation Land and Sea Unit found the rock art during a survey of the area in 2017. The image is thought to depict HMC Mermaid, a cutter captained by Phillip Parker King during his […]

  • DNA Extracted From Sweden’s Prehistoric “Chewing Gum”
    on May 17, 2019 at 9:48 pm

    STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN—According to a Cosmos Magazine report, scientists have recovered DNA from pieces of birch bark chewed into sticky pitch by toolmaking hunters and fishers some 10,000 years ago. Archaeologists Per Persson and Mikael Manninen of the University of Oslo found the chewed bits of “gum” at a Mesolithic campsite on Sweden’s west coast, and asked Natalija Kashuba, then a researcher at Oslo’s Museum of Cultural History, to check them for genetic material. […]

  • Earliest evidence of the cooking and eating of starch
    on May 17, 2019 at 3:51 pm

    New discoveries made at the Klasies River Cave in South Africa's southern Cape, where charred food remains from hearths were found, provide the first archaeological evidence that anatomically modern humans were roasting and eating plant starches, such as those from tubers and rhizomes, as early as 120,000 years ago. […]

  • Museum volunteers discover new species of extinct heron at North Florida fossil site
    on May 17, 2019 at 3:51 pm

    When the bones of an ancient heron were unearthed at a North Florida fossil site, the find wasn't made by researchers but by two Florida Museum of Natural History volunteers. A previously unknown genus and species, the heron has been named Taphophoyx hodgei. […]

  • Museum volunteers discover new species of extinct heron at North Florida fossil site
    on May 17, 2019 at 2:20 pm

    When the bones of an ancient heron were unearthed at a North Florida fossil site, the find wasn't made by researchers but by two Florida Museum of Natural History volunteers. […]

  • A 'high-heeled' dinosaur that walked on its tiptoes
    on May 17, 2019 at 11:39 am

    A 24-tonne dinosaur may have walked in a 'high-heeled' fashion, according to University of Queensland research. […]

  • Tooth Study Suggests Earlier Neanderthal-Modern Human Split
    on May 16, 2019 at 11:23 pm

    LONDON, ENGLAND—According to a Science News report, Neanderthals and modern humans split from a common ancestor more than 800,000 years ago, or significantly earlier than previously thought. Paleoanthropologist Aida Gómez-Robles of University College London calculated the rate of changes in tooth shape for eight ancient hominid species, and then examined 430,000-year-old Neanderthal teeth recovered from Sima de los Huesos, a site in Spain. Based upon the steady rate of change of […]

  • New Dates for Florida’s Ancient, Underwater Burial Site
    on May 16, 2019 at 11:09 pm

    SARASOTA, FLORIDA—The Herald Tribune reports that a Native American burial ground located off Florida’s Manasota Key is about 8,000 years old, or some 1,000 years older than previously thought. Ryan Duggins of the Bureau of Archaeological Research for the Florida Department of State said the site, which was discovered in 2016, was once a shallow, freshwater burial pond that was used for about 1,000 years before it was innundated by the rising waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Surveys in […]

  • Altar Dedicated to Nemesis Uncovered in Mytilene
    on May 16, 2019 at 10:57 pm

    LESBOS, GREECE—According to The Greek Reporter, a temple dedicated to Nemesis, a goddess who enacted retribution against those guilty of foolish pride, was discovered in an entrance to the ancient theater in Mytilene, a port city on the Greek island of Lesbos. The temple is thought to date to the first century A.D., as is a later construction phase of the theater, which had room for at least 10,000 attendants. Pavlos Triantafyllides of the Lesvos Ephorate said the temple, which was […]

  • Archaeological discovery upends a piece of Barbados history
    on May 16, 2019 at 4:14 pm

    Which came first, the pigs or the pioneers? In Barbados, that has been a historical mystery ever since the first English colonists arrived on the island in 1627 to encounter what they thought was a herd of wild European pigs. […]

  • New research reveals what was on the menu for medieval peasants
    on May 16, 2019 at 2:13 pm

    Scientists from the University of Bristol have uncovered, for the first time, definitive evidence that determines what types of food medieval peasants ate and how they managed their animals. […]

  • Analysis of the Palaeolithic diet shows no social divisions in food consumption
    on May 16, 2019 at 1:59 pm

    Biochemical analysis of human remains has become a key feature in our understanding of past peoples. Ancient DNA and stable isotope analysis are now considered primary sources of information in the study of the geographic mobility of populations, their genetic affinities, and their diets. […]

  • Newly discovered fossil footprints force paleontologists to rethink ancient desert inhabitants
    on May 16, 2019 at 1:17 pm

    An international team of paleontologists has united to study important fossil footprints recently discovered in a remote location within Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona. A large sandstone boulder contains several exceptionally well-preserved trackways of primitive tetrapods (four-footed animals) which inhabited an ancient desert environment. The 280-million-year-old fossil tracks date to almost the beginning of the Permian Period, prior to the appearance of the earliest dinosaurs. […]

  • Texas A&M student identifies unique 5-million-year-old rhino species
    on May 16, 2019 at 12:39 pm

    Rhinoceros don't roam the prairies of Texas today, and some might not even know they once roamed the Great Plains. But one Texas A&M University student knows about rhinos: she's identified unique specimens from fossilized remains found in the mountains of Tennessee dating back almost 5 million years. […]

  • Notorious astrology doctors' 400-year-old case notes transcribed and released online
    on May 16, 2019 at 12:30 pm

    Simon Forman and his protégé Richard Napier were infamous in early 17th-century England for their apparent ability to diagnose and even cure all kinds of ailments – from bewitchment to the "bloody flux" – by consulting the planets and stars. […]

  • More mysterious jars of the dead unearthed in Laos
    on May 16, 2019 at 12:28 pm

    ANU Archaeologists have discovered 15 new sites in Laos containing more than one hundred 1000-year-old massive stone jars possibly used for the dead. […]

  • From mother to daughter, Tunisia potters pass on ancestral know-how
    on May 16, 2019 at 5:58 am

    With bucket and spade in hand, Sabiha Ayari from Sejnane in northern Tunisia is among the women keeping alive an ancient tradition of creating pottery with all-natural materials. […]

  • Paleolithic Footprints Studied in Italian Cave
    on May 15, 2019 at 9:29 pm

    JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA—A team of researchers led by Marco Romano of the University of the Witwatersrand used laser scans, sediment analysis, geochemistry, archaeobotany, and 3-D modeling to analyze 180 footprints discovered in northern Italy’s Grotta della Bàsura in the 1950s, according to a Live Science report. The evidence suggests that some 14,000 years ago, a group of two adults, one preteen, and two children—aged six and three—entered the cave barefoot […]

  • Romans May Have Repaired Roads with Molten Iron
    on May 15, 2019 at 9:26 pm

    AMHERST, MASSACHUSETTS—Live Science reports that Eric Poehler of the University of Massachusetts Amherst, independent researcher Juliana van Roggen, and Benjamin Crowther of the University of Texas at Austin suggest iron droplets, spatters, and stains found on Pompeii’s streets are evidence of ancient road repairs. Over decades, the repeated passage of carts on the city’s stone-paved streets eroded away ruts and holes that made travel difficult. The researchers said complete […]

  • Ancient fish ponds in the Bolivian savanna supported human settlement
    on May 15, 2019 at 6:00 pm

    A network of fish ponds supported a permanent human settlement in the seasonal drylands of Bolivia more than one thousand years ago, according to a new study published May 15, 2019 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Gabriela Prestes-Carneiro of Federal University of Western Para, Brazil, and colleagues. The study is the first to document the full range of fish species likely kept in these constructed ponds, and provides new insights into how humans modified the savannah environment to cope […]

  • Neanderthals and modern humans diverged at least 800,000 years ago
    on May 15, 2019 at 6:00 pm

    Neanderthals and modern humans diverged at least 800,000 years ago, substantially earlier than indicated by most DNA-based estimates, according to new research by a UCL academic. […]



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