Archeology News

Archeology News

  • Another “Erased” Black Cemetery Identified in Florida
    on December 23, 2021 at 10:30 pm

    CLEARWATER, FLORIDA—NPR reports that ground-penetrating radar has revealed an unmarked African American cemetery under a parking lot and a building in western Florida’s city of Clearwater, just a mile away from the public school where dozens of unmarked graves were found last year. The city paid for the hundreds of graves at the site of St. Matthew’s Cemetery to be moved by developers in the 1950s, ahead of the construction of a shopping center. Antoinette Jackson of the University of […]

  • Foods From India’s Iron Age Identified
    on December 23, 2021 at 9:57 pm

    SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA—According to a statement released by Seoul National University, Jennifer Bates of Seoul National University, Kelly Wilcox Black of the University of Chicago, and Kathleen Morrison of the University of Pennsylvania examined enhanced images of charred lumps unearthed at southern India’s site of Kadebakele. The researchers determined that some of the lumps, dated to about 800 B.C., were made up of dough made primarily with millet that was likely formed into flatbreads, while […]

  • Ephemeral evidence of Mediterranean mobility
    on December 23, 2021 at 3:08 pm

    The central Mediterranean throughout time has been a region defined by the continuous flow of people, goods, and ideas. Excavation and analysis of ancient shipwrecks along these coastlines reveal the overlapping social, political, and economic relationships that fostered the development of the region and spurred wide-ranging movement across the Mediterranean Sea.

  • Out of Africa: The path of Homo sapiens
    on December 23, 2021 at 3:07 pm

    What routes did Homo sapiens take on his way from Africa to Europe and Asia in the previous millennia? The climatic conditions changed, and with them the living conditions. The advance was hampered in some places by deserts, in others by dense forests. Over the past twelve years, a team of researchers within the framework of the Collaborative Research Center 806 "Our Way to Europe" unraveled the complex interplay of cultural innovations and environment that shaped migrations. After completion […]

  • Geneticists’ new research on ancient Britain contains insights on language, ancestry, kinship,...
    on December 22, 2021 at 8:31 pm

    New research revealing a major migration to the island of Great Britain offers fresh insights into the languages spoken at the time, the ancestry of present-day England and Wales, and even ancient habits of dairy consumption.

  • Research: Wreck of last US slave ship mostly intact on coast
    on December 22, 2021 at 5:49 pm

    Researchers studying the wreckage of the last U.S. slave ship, buried in mud on the Alabama coast since it was scuttled in 1860, have made the surprising discovery that most of the wooden schooner remains intact, including the pen that was used to imprison African captives during the brutal journey across the Atlantic Ocean.

  • New dates for the start of Viking-age trade
    on December 22, 2021 at 5:44 pm

    Mobility shaped the human world profoundly long before the modern age. But archaeologists often struggle to create a timeline for the speed and impact of this mobility. An interdisciplinary team of researchers at the Danish National Research Foundation's Centre for Urban Network Evolutions at Aarhus University (UrbNet) has now made a breakthrough by applying new astronomical knowledge about the past activity of the sun to establish an exact time anchor for global links in the year 775 CE.

  • Geneticists' new research on ancient Britain contains insights on language, ancestry, kinship, milk
    on December 22, 2021 at 4:00 pm

    New research revealing a major migration to the island of Great Britain offers fresh insights into the languages spoken at the time, the ancestry of present-day England and Wales, and even ancient habits of dairy consumption.

  • Ancient DNA reveals the world's oldest family tree
    on December 22, 2021 at 4:00 pm

    Analysis of ancient DNA from one of the best-preserved Neolithic tombs in Britain has revealed that most of the people buried there were from five continuous generations of a single extended family.

  • Israeli archaeologists find treasures in ancient shipwrecks
    on December 22, 2021 at 3:35 pm

    The Israel Antiquities Authority announced Wednesday the discovery of remnants of two shipwrecks off the Mediterranean coast, replete with a sunken trove of hundreds Roman and medieval silver coins.

  • Underwater archaeologist advocates for diversity in field
    on December 22, 2021 at 2:30 pm

    An assistant professor of sociology and anthropology from The University of Texas at Arlington, who also chairs the national Advisory Council on Underwater Archaeology, is advocating for more diversity and inclusion in her field.

  • The Search for Sources of Roman Silver
    on December 21, 2021 at 10:30 pm

    LYON, FRANCE—According to a statement released by the Geological Society of America, Jean Milot of the University of Lyon and his colleagues analyzed the levels of silver and lead in samples of galena in ore deposits collected in Spain and Portugal, and compared the results with the chemical signatures of Roman silver coins. The researchers found that some of the galena deposits were silver-rich, and could have been used to produce coins, while some of the galena deposits would have been used […]

  • Africa’s Ancient Networks Tracked with Eggshell Beads
    on December 21, 2021 at 10:00 pm

    JENA, GERMANY—According to a statement released by the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, researchers Jennifer Miller and Yiming Wang created a database of more than 1,500 ostrich eggshell beads unearthed at 31 archaeological sites located in southern and eastern Africa. The oldest of these sites dates back some 50,000 years. The information about each bead in the database includes total diameter, aperture diameter, and shell thickness. Miller and Wang determined that […]

  • Spain Repatriates 36 Artifacts to Egypt
    on December 21, 2021 at 9:30 pm

    MADRID, SPAIN—Reuters reports that Spanish officials handed over 36 artifacts to Youssef Diaeldin Mekkawy, Egypt’s ambassador to Spain, in a ceremony at the National Archaeological Museum in Madrid. Police had seized the objects from smugglers in 2014.The artifacts are all thought to have been looted from the necropolis of Saqqara and the ancient city of Memphis, and include a granite sculpture of the lion-headed warrior goddess Sekhmet. The Spanish Civil Guard will accompany the artifacts […]

  • Stone Tools, Mammoth Fossils Found in England
    on December 21, 2021 at 9:00 pm

    WILTSHIRE, ENGLAND—Stone tools thought to have been made by Neanderthals, and the 200,000-year-old remains of five mammoths, have been found in a quarry in southwest England, according to a BBC News report. The fossils include the bones of two adult mammoths, two juveniles, and one infant. “Finding mammoth bones is always extraordinary, but finding ones that are so old and so well preserved, and in such close proximity to Neanderthal stone tools is exceptional,” said Lisa Westcott Wilkins […]

  • Disturbing Viking ritual could have really happened, say researchers
    on December 21, 2021 at 4:00 pm

    For decades, historians have debated whether an infamously violent Viking torture ritual ever really happened, or if it was a misunderstood or embellished story passed down through poetry over the centuries.

  • Unique Medieval Vessel Restored in Scotland
    on December 20, 2021 at 10:00 pm

    GALLOWAY, SCOTLAND—The Guardian reports that the restoration of an unusual artifact from the Galloway Hoard, which was discovered in western Scotland in 2014, has been completed. The artifact, a Roman rock crystal jar intricately decorated with gold thread some 600 years later, had been wrapped in a leather pouch lined with silk imported from Asia and buried around A.D. 900 with some 100 other objects, including a bird-shaped gold pin and a silver-gilt vessel. A Latin inscription on the […]

  • Why Did the Vikings Leave Greenland?
    on December 20, 2021 at 9:30 pm

    NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA—According to a Live Science report, rising sea levels may have contributed to the abandonment of Viking settlements in southern Greenland. Marisa Julia Borreggine of Harvard University and her colleagues modeled estimated ice growth in southwestern Greenland between the time of the arrival of the Norse, around A.D. 985, and their departure in the fifteenth century. The study suggests that during the cooler temperatures of the Litte Ice Age, which began in the fourteenth […]

  • Ostraca Discovered in Upper Egypt
    on December 20, 2021 at 9:00 pm

    SOHAG, EGYPT—Ahram Online reports that a team of German and Egyptian researchers has uncovered more than 13,000 ostraca, or fragments of pottery bearing texts, at Athribis, a site on the west bank of the Nile River in central Egypt. The texts are written in Demotic, hieratic, Coptic, Greek, and Arabic, and mostly relate to financial transactions, according to Mostafa Waziri of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities. Some of the fragments date back to the Byzantine and Roman eras, added […]

  • Ostrich eggshell beads reveal 50,000-year-old social network across Africa
    on December 20, 2021 at 4:00 pm

    Humans are social creatures, but little is known about when, how and why different populations connected in the past. Answering these questions is crucial for interpreting the biological and cultural diversity that we see in human populations today. DNA is a powerful tool for studying genetic interactions between populations, but it can't address any cultural exchanges within these ancient meetings. Now, scientists from the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History have turned to an […]

  • First genome-wide ancient human DNA from Sudan shines new light on Nile Valley past
    on December 17, 2021 at 9:31 pm

    The first genome-wide ancient human DNA data from Sudan reveals new insights into the ancestry and social organization of people who lived more than 1,000 years ago in the Nile Valley, an important genetic and cultural crossroads.

  • 1,500-Year-Old Evidence of Livestock Found on Faroe Islands
    on December 17, 2021 at 9:30 pm

    NEW YORK, NEW YORK—BBC News reports that a team led by Lorelei Curtin of the University of Wyoming and William D’Andrea of Columbia University detected fragments of sheep DNA and chemical residues of sheep feces in sediments from a lake on Eysturoy, one of the Faroe Islands that are located about halfway between Iceland and Norway in the North Atlantic. Dating of the evidence indicates that livestock were carried to the remote spot around A.D. 500. It had been previously thought that […]

  • Western Han Dynasty Tomb Identified in Northwest China
    on December 17, 2021 at 9:00 pm

    SHAANXI PROVINCE, CHINA—China Daily reports that researchers from China’s National Cultural Heritage Administration have determined that a tomb discovered in 2006 belonged to Liu Heng, the third emperor of the Western Han Dynasty, who ruled from 203 to 157 B.C. The mausoleum, called Baling in ancient documents, is surrounded by more than 110 burial pits. Although only eight of the pits have been excavated, according to Ma Yongying of the Shaanxi Academy of Archaeology, more than 1,000 […]

  • Using drones to capture coastal heritage before it's lost
    on December 17, 2021 at 5:55 pm

    Improved understanding is a necessary first step in the process of managing the loss of an archaeological site, and the Seaford Head Project is trialing ways of achieving this including 3D modeling and surveying the site with drones. The project will also trial the use of podcasts and videos to engage local communities in a conversation about coastal change and how they feel about the eventual, inevitable loss of historic sites.

  • Discovering sources of Roman silver coinage from the Iberian Peninsula
    on December 17, 2021 at 5:38 pm

    Despite its prior status as a luxury commodity, silver became widely used for coinage in the Roman world from the 7th century BCE onward and provided a standardized monetary system for ancient Mediterranean civilizations. However, the sources of silver used to produce Roman coinage have largely been used up, making it difficult to determine which deposits Roman miners exploited.

  • Discovering sources of Roman silver coinage from the Iberian Peninsula
    on December 17, 2021 at 5:32 pm

    Despite its prior status as a luxury commodity, silver became widely used for coinage in the Roman world from the 7th century BCE onward and provided a standardized monetary system for ancient Mediterranean civilizations. However, the sources of silver used to produce Roman coinage have largely been used up, making it difficult to determine which deposits Roman miners exploited.

  • Archaeologist's book examines human adornment
    on December 17, 2021 at 3:46 pm

    Across countries, continents, and centuries, humans have felt compelled to adorn themselves. A new book edited and co-authored by Hannah Mattson, Southwestern archaeologist and an assistant professor of Anthropology at The University of New Mexico, explores personal adornment as components of human identity and practice, as well as symbols of wealth, power, and status.

  • Millet bread and pulse dough from Early Iron Age South India
    on December 17, 2021 at 3:34 pm

    Prof. Jennifer Bates and her coworkers, Kelly Wilcox Black and Prof. Kathleen Morrison, published a new archaeobotanical article, "Millet Bread and Pulse Dough from Early Iron Age South India: Charred Food Lumps as Culinary Indicators, " in the Journal of Archaeological Science. Jennifer is a former Postdoc in the Penn Paleoecology Lab, now an Assistant Professor at Seoul National University, Kelly is a Ph.D. student at the University of Chicago, completing her dissertation. Kathleen is a […]

  • Early Humans May Have Transformed Their Surroundings
    on December 16, 2021 at 9:30 pm

    LEIDEN, THE NETHERLANDS—UPI reports that hundreds of butchered animal bones, some 20,000 stone artifacts, and evidence of fire building have been discovered at a 125,000-year-old Neanderthal site in the Neumark-Nord lake basin in central Germany’s Geisel Valley by a team of researchers led by Wil Roebroeks of Leiden University. Samples of ancient pollen at the site indicate that the area had been cleared of trees, while pollen counts in the nearby Harz Mountains show that they were […]

  • Medieval Falconry Figurine Unearthed in Norway
    on December 16, 2021 at 9:00 pm

    OSLO, NORWAY—According to a statement released by the Norwegian Institute for Cultural Heritage Research (NIKU), a three-inch-long figurine carved from bone or antler was discovered at the site of a medieval garden near the ruins of a fortified royal residence in Oslo by archaeologist Ann-Ingeborg Floa Grindhaug. The smiling, curly-haired figure wears a crown and carries a falcon on a gloved arm, and may therefore depict a king or queen, explained NIKU art historian Kjartan Hauglid. The […]

  • Humans reached remote North Atlantic islands centuries earlier than thought
    on December 16, 2021 at 7:59 pm

    New evidence from the bottom of a lake in the remote North Atlantic Faroe Islands indicates that an unknown band of humans settled there around 500 AD -- some 350 years before the Vikings, who up until recently have been thought to have been the first human inhabitants. The settlers may have been Celts who crossed rough, unexplored seas from what are now Scotland or Ireland.

  • Humans reached remote North Atlantic islands centuries earlier than thought
    on December 16, 2021 at 4:00 pm

    New evidence from the bottom of a lake in the remote North Atlantic Faroe Islands indicates that an unknown band of humans settled there around 500 AD—some 350 years before the Vikings, who up until recently have been thought to have been the first human inhabitants. The settlers may have been Celts who crossed rough, unexplored seas from what are now Scotland or Ireland. The findings appear today in the journal Communications Earth & Environment.

  • A classical machine learning technique for easier segmentation of mummified remains
    on December 16, 2021 at 2:40 pm

    A team of researchers from the University of Malta and the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility in France has developed a new segmentation method for viewing the inside of mummified remains. In their paper posted on the open access site PLOS ONE, the group describes their new technique and how well it worked when tested on mummified animals.

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