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.
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).
First ancient DNA from West Africa illuminates the deep human past
on January 22, 2020 at 6:00 pm
A team of international researchers, which includes a Saint Louis University Madrid anthropologist, dug deep to find some of the oldest African DNA on record, in a new study published in Nature.
Native Americans did not make large-scale changes to environment prior to European contact
on January 22, 2020 at 5:37 pm
Contrary to long-held beliefs, humans did not make major changes to the landscape prior to European colonization, according to new research. These new insights into the past could help to inform how landscapes are managed in the future.
Warm-blooded crocs thrived in Jurassic cold snap
on January 22, 2020 at 2:10 pm
They are revered throughout nature as chilling predators … now research shows crocodiles have not always been the cold-blooded creatures they are today.
Officials Recover Limestone Sculpture Looted from Afghanistan
on January 21, 2020 at 10:30 pm
LONDON, ENGLAND—The Guardian reports that a sculpture stolen from the National Museum of Afghanistan some 30 years ago has been identified at a London auction house and will go on display at the British Museum before it is returned to Kabul. Members of the Art Loss Register spotted the limestone statue, known as the Surkh Kotal Bull, while reviewing items offered for sale. The sculpture had been part of a second century A.D. ceremonial frieze in a temple at the site of Surkh Kotal, which […]
Fire Reveals Sections of Australia’s Ancient Aquaculture System
on January 21, 2020 at 10:00 pm
VICTORIA, AUSTRALIA—ABC News Australia reports that bush fires in the Budj Bim Cultural Landscape in southwestern Victoria have revealed additional stone-lined channels and pools built by the Gunditjmara people as part of an aquaculture system for harvesting eels. Some parts of the system, which includes stone dwellings, have been dated to as early as 6,600 years ago. Denis Rose, project manager for the Gunditj Mirring Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation, said fire damage to the […]
Pre-Columbian Artifacts Repatriated to Mexico
on January 21, 2020 at 9:30 pm
MEXICO CITY, MEXICO—Reuters reports that German officials have handed over clay artifacts to members of Mexico’s foreign ministry. Alejandro Bautista of Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History said a German woman who had had possession of the artifacts for decades approached the Mexican embassy in Berlin to turn them over voluntarily. The objects, which include a 1,500-year-old Zapotec incense burner and sculpted clay faces thought to have originated in what […]
Japan’s Oldest-Known Sake Brewery Unearthed
on January 21, 2020 at 9:00 pm
KYOTO, JAPAN—According to a report in The Asahi Shimbun, a sake brewery thought to date to the fifteenth century A.D. has been discovered on the grounds of the Tenryuji Temple, which is located in the south-central region of Japan’s main island of Honshu. Researchers working ahead of a construction project discovered 180 holes that held storage jars, and traces of a wooden apparatus used to extract liquid from fermented rice held in cloth bags. Historical documents record that the […]
A chronicle of giant straight-tusked elephants
on January 21, 2020 at 12:34 pm
About 800,000 years ago, the giant straight-tusked elephant Palaeoloxodon migrated out of Africa and became widespread across Europe and Asia.
Solving an ancient dairy mystery could help cure modern food ills
on January 21, 2020 at 12:32 pm
Genghis Khan's conquering armies fed on dried curd as they crossed the vast steppes of Eurasia, ancient Romans imported pungent cheeses from France, and Bedouin tribes crossing the Arabian Desert have for centuries survived on camel's milk.
US, UK ratify treaty to protect Titanic wreck
on January 21, 2020 at 12:11 pm
Britain on Tuesday hailed a new treaty with the United States that seeks to protect the wreck of the Titanic from damage by explorers and tourists.
What Did Human Ancestors Eat?
on January 20, 2020 at 10:00 pm
ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI—According to a statement released by Washington University in St. Louis, a study of the wear and tear caused by food particles on tooth enamel suggests human ancestors may have eaten more hard plant foods than previously thought. Biological anthropologist Adam van Casteren explained that early hominins such as Australopiths had very large teeth and jaws, and probably also had huge chewing muscles that would have allowed them to crush nuts, seeds, tubers, and woody […]
Section of Roman Wall Collapses in Chester, England
on January 20, 2020 at 9:30 pm
CHESTER, ENGLAND—BBC News reports that a section of Chester’s historic defensive wall collapsed after earth was removed from its base by developers planning to build luxury apartments. The city was founded in northwest England as a Roman fort in the first century A.D. A spokesperson for Chester Council said that the removal of too much earth exposed a section of the wall’s foundation. “I am thankful that no one has been hurt as a result of this collapse and our priority […]
Modern face of Homo antecessor may have had insufficient room for wisdom teeth
on January 20, 2020 at 1:30 pm
A study led by the University of Bordeaux and the Dental Anthropology Group of the Centro Nacional de Investigación sobre la Evolución Humana (CENIEH), which has been published this week in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology, reveals that the species Homo antecessor, found in level TD6 of the Gran Dolina site in the Sierra de Atapuerca (Burgos), already endured the drawbacks of having insufficient space for the third molar or wisdom tooth to erupt.
An evolving understanding of extinction
on January 17, 2020 at 3:00 pm
Few things related to science capture the imagination more than the magic of worlds past. This includes the origins of life, dinosaurs, mass extinctions, meteorite impacts, and the evolution of our species. Understanding the evolution of life is central to the way we view ourselves and others and developing this field is thus critical.