Archeology News

Archeology News

  • 1,500-Year-Old Grave Unearthed in Slovakia
    on October 27, 2021 at 9:00 pm

    GBELY, SLOVAKIA—The Slovak Spectator reports that a man digging a foundation for a new garage in western Slovakia alerted the authorities when he discovered human remains. Further investigation revealed a grave containing the bones of two women. Radiocarbon analysis indicates the burial dates to between A.D. 421 and 541, a time known as the Migration Period, when Quadi, Hunds, Heruli, Lombards, and perhaps Goths and Rugians lived in the area. Archaeologist Matúš Sládok of the Regional […]

  • New Thoughts on the Study of Cremated Remains
    on October 27, 2021 at 8:30 pm

    IXELLES, BELGIUM—According to a statement released by the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, scientists Barbara Veselka and Christophe Snoeck have developed a method to detect vitamin D deficiency in cremated human remains. The researchers used 16 pairs of unburnt molars from a cemetery in Koekelberg, Belgium, and one pair of unburnt canine teeth from a cemetery in Broerekerk Zwolle in the Netherlands for the experiment. One tooth from each pair was burned at either 1112, 1472, or 1652 degrees […]

  • ​​More than ceremonial, ancient Chaco Canyon was home, new study says
    on October 27, 2021 at 8:05 pm

    While some current scientific theories point to ancient Chaco Canyon, a distinctive archeological site in the American southwest, as simply a prehistoric ceremonial site populated only during sacred rituals, University of Cincinnati researchers are turning that popular belief on its head.

  • Industrial-Sized Tannery Detected at Medieval Abbey in England
    on October 27, 2021 at 8:00 pm

    RIPON, ENGLAND—The foundation of a possible medieval tannery has been discovered at Fountains Abbey in North Yorkshire, according to a report in The Guardian. A survey conducted at the site with ground-penetrating radar has revealed the outlines of previously unknown buildings surrounded by lined pits and tanks near the River Skell. “A tannery of this size, spanning such a large area of the site, reveals an operation on an industrial scale,” explained archaeologist Mark Newman of […]

  • Team discovers evidence of prehistoric human activity in Falkland Islands
    on October 27, 2021 at 6:00 pm

    Since its first recorded sighting by European explorers in the 1600s, scientists and historians have believed that Europeans were the first people to ever set foot on the Falkland Islands. Findings from a new University of Maine-led study, however, suggests otherwise; that human activity on the islands predates European arrival by centuries.

  • The surprising origins of the Tarim Basin mummies
    on October 27, 2021 at 4:19 pm

    Researchers have determined the genetic origins of Asia's most enigmatic mummies. Once thought to be Indo-European speaking migrants from the West, the Bronze Age Tarim Basin mummies are revealed to be a local indigenous population with deep Asian roots and taste for far-flung cuisine.

  • The surprising origins of the Tarim Basin mummies
    on October 27, 2021 at 3:00 pm

    As part of the Silk Road and located at the geographical intersection of Eastern and Western cultures, the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region has long served as a major crossroads for trans-Eurasian exchanges of people, cultures, agriculture, and languages. Since the late 1990s, the discovery of hundreds of naturally mummified human remains dating to circa 2,000 BCE to 200 CE in the region's Tarim Basin has attracted international attention due to their so-called 'Western' physical appearance, […]

  • Red paint on 1,000-year-old gold mask from Peru contains human blood proteins
    on October 27, 2021 at 12:37 pm

    Thirty years ago, archeologists excavated the tomb of an elite 40-50-year-old man from the Sicán culture of Peru, a society that predated the Incas. The man's seated, upside-down skeleton was painted bright red, as was the gold mask covering his detached skull. Now, researchers reporting in ACS' Journal of Proteome Research have analyzed the paint, finding that, in addition to a red pigment, it contains human blood and bird egg proteins.

  • Maya Carving Repatriated to Guatemala
    on October 26, 2021 at 9:30 pm

    PARIS, FRANCE—BBC News reports that a French collector handed over a fragment of an eighth-century A.D. Maya stela to Guatemala during a ceremony in Paris. The stone sculpture, which depicts a ruler wearing a bird of prey mask, disappeared from the site of Piedras Negras in the 1960s and reappeared at a Paris auction in 2019. Guatemalan officials objected to the sale and asked for the object to be returned. The carving will go on display at Guatemala’s National Museum of Archaeology and […]

  • Wreckage of U.S. Revenue Cutter Found
    on October 26, 2021 at 9:00 pm

    WASHINGTON, D.C.—Live Science reports that the wreckage of the U.S. Revenue Cutter Bear has been found in Canadian waters by the U.S. Coast Guard, the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and other researcher groups. Although the wooden vessel has been badly damaged by fishing trawlers and strong currents, it still has the Bear’s distinctive “bow staples” for traveling through heavy ice in polar waters, according to Brad Barr of NOAA. Built as a commercial sealer […]

  • Assyrian Wine Production Site Found in Iraq
    on October 26, 2021 at 8:30 pm

    DOHUK, IRAQ—According to an AFP report, researchers working at the site of Khinis in northern Iraq uncovered stone-cut pits dated to the eighth century B.C. and the reign of the Assyrian king Sennacherib. “We have found 14 installations that were used to press the grapes and extract the juice, which was then processed into wine,” explained archaeologist Daniele Morandi Bonacossi of the University of Udine. “It was a sort of industrial wine factory.” For more on ancient wine, go to […]

  • Hundreds of Archaeological Sites Spotted in Mexico
    on October 26, 2021 at 8:00 pm

    TUCSON, ARIZONA—Gizmodo reports that lidar technology was used to create 3-D maps of some 30,000 square miles of Mexico, revealing more than 475 archaeological sites dating from 1400 B.C. to A.D. 1000. Researchers including Takeshi Inomata of the University of Arizona have identified among the structures five types of architectural arrangements thought to reflect different time periods or social arrangements among the Olmec and Maya peoples. All of the sites have rectangular or square […]

  • Publication of 500-year-old manuscript exposes medieval beliefs and religious cults
    on October 26, 2021 at 7:32 am

    A rare English illuminated medieval prayer roll, believed to be among only a few dozen still in existence worldwide, has been analyzed in a new study to expose Catholic beliefs in England before the Reformation in the sixteenth century.

  • Carbonized Cake Recovered in Germany
    on October 25, 2021 at 9:30 pm

    LÜBECK, GERMANY—A cake baked 79 years ago has been found in the Old Town district of the city of Lübeck, which is located near the coast of northern Germany, according to a Live Science report. Dirk Rieger of the Hanseatic City of Lübeck Historic Monuments Protection Authority said that the city, although a non-military target, was bombed by the British Royal Air Force on the night of March 28, 1942, in retaliation for the Nazi blitz of Coventry, England, in 1940. The cake was found in the […]

  • Study Suggests Humans Did Not Wipe Out Woolly Mammoths
    on October 25, 2021 at 9:00 pm

    CAMBRIDGE, ENGLAND—According to a statement released by the University of Cambridge, humans did not cause the extinction of the woolly mammoths, even though they are known to have hunted mammoths for food and used the skeletons and hides for shelter, weapons, and artwork. Eske Willerslev of St. John’s College and the University of Copenhagen, Yucheng Wang of the University of Cambridge, and their colleagues analyzed DNA recovered from soil samples taken from Arctic areas where mammoth […]

  • Wari Burials Unearthed in Northern Peru
    on October 25, 2021 at 8:30 pm

    LIMA, PERU—According to an AFP report, the remains of 29 people have been discovered at Huaca Santa Rosa de Pucala, a ceremonial center built between A.D. 800 and 900 in northern Peru’s coastal region of Lambayeque. Twenty-five of the burials, dating from A.D. 100 to 700, belong to the Moche culture. These remains had been placed in clay tombs and burial chambers, along with pottery and the remains of llamas, alpacas, and guinea pigs. The remaining four burials contain the remains of three […]

  • Study finds nearly 500 ancient ceremonial sites in southern Mexico
    on October 25, 2021 at 8:08 pm

    A team of international researchers led by the University of Arizona reported last year that they had uncovered the largest and oldest Maya monument—Aguada Fénix. That same team has now uncovered nearly 500 smaller ceremonial complexes that are similar in shape and features to Aguada Fénix. The find transforms previous understanding of Mesoamerican civilization origins and the relationship between the Olmec and the Maya people.

  • Pigmented Shell Bead in Japan Dated to Paleolithic Period
    on October 25, 2021 at 8:00 pm

    NAHA, JAPAN—The Mainichi reports that a bead made of shell and red iron oxide pigment recovered from Sakitari-do Cave in southern Okinawa has been dated to 23,000 years ago by researchers at the Okinawa Prefectural Museum and Art Museum. The bead measures about one-half inch long and one-third inch wide. Fishhooks made of shell and other shell beads were also recovered at the site. Objects crafted during the Jomon period, some 15,000 years ago, had previously been Japan’s oldest-known […]

  • Interglobular dentine identified in cremated human teeth
    on October 25, 2021 at 3:59 pm

    The cremation process destroys a lot of information that can usually be obtained from the human skeleton. Diseases are especially difficult to observe. This has caused a paucity in our knowledge of the disease load in populations that practiced cremation as their main funerary ritual. Dr. Barbara Veselka and Prof. Christophe Snoeck, of the Brussels Bioarchaeology Lab and research groups MARI and AMGC for the first time have detected vitamin D deficiency in cremated human remains.

  • Vitamin D deficiency for the first time visible after cremation
    on October 25, 2021 at 2:17 pm

    The cremation process destroys a lot of information that can usually be obtained from the human skeleton. Especially diseases are difficult to observe. Researchers have now found a way to reveal some of the information. For the first time, they have succeeded in detecting vitamin D deficiency in cremated human remains.

  • Archaeologists in Iraq find ancient wine press, carvings
    on October 25, 2021 at 8:17 am

    Archaeologists in Iraq revealed Sunday their discovery of a large-scale wine factory from the rule of the Assyrian kings 2,700 years ago, along with stunning monumental rock-carved royal reliefs.

  • Prehistoric Phallus-Shaped Pillars Found in Turkey
    on October 22, 2021 at 9:43 pm

    ISTANBUL, TURKEY—According to a Live Science report, archaeologists led by Necmi Karul of Istanbul University uncovered 11 pillars and a carving shaped like a human head in a building at the 11,000-year-old site of Karahan Tepe, which is located in southeastern Turkey. “All pillars are erected and shaped like a phallus,” Karul said. The building where the pillars were found was connected to three other structures and may have been part of a ceremonial complex, he explained. People could […]

  • Discovery of ancient Peruvian burial tombs sheds new light on Wari culture
    on October 22, 2021 at 6:38 pm

    A team of archeologists in northern Peru discovered the remains of 29 people, including three children, that could help experts rewrite the history of the pre-Incan Wari civilization, the lead researcher said on Friday.

  • Traces of an ancient road in a lake
    on October 22, 2021 at 2:57 pm

    Anyone traveling from the German city of Brandenburg via Berlin to Frankfurt an der Oder at the Polish-German border does so along an ancient route that reaches far into Poland. German and Polish researchers have now documented the influence of this East-West connection on the history of the landscape by examining the sediments of Lake Czechowskie in the Bory Tucholskie and also evaluating historical sources. According to the results, three phases of landscape development can be distinguished […]

  • 100s more archaeological sites found on Mexico train route
    on October 22, 2021 at 7:02 am

    Mexican experts said Thursday they have detected the ruins of almost 2,500 pre-Hispanic structures and 80 burial sites on just one-sixth of the route of the president's controversial "Maya Train" project on the Yucatan peninsula.

  • Tree-Ring Study Dates Canada’s Viking Settlement
    on October 21, 2021 at 9:00 pm

    GRONINGEN, THE NETHERLANDS—According to an NBC News report, researchers led by Margot Kuitems of the University of Groningen used a cosmic ray event in A.D. 993 to date the Viking settlement at L’Anse aux Meadows to A.D. 1021. First, Kuitems and her colleagues identified three pieces of wood at the site that had been cut with metal tools, which were used by the Norse but not the Indigenous people who also lived in the region. Then, they looked for a spike in radioactive carbon in the wood […]

  • Human Remains Discovered Under 19th-Century Pub in Ireland
    on October 21, 2021 at 8:30 pm

    CORK, IRELAND—The Irish Examiner reports that the remains of six people have been found under a partially demolished nineteenth-century pub in the medieval section of southwest Ireland’s city of Cork. City archaeologist Ciara Brett said that the burials predate the pub, and may date to the eighteenth century. “It is important to note that it is only through post-excavation analysis, which will include examination by the osteoarchaeologist and radiocarbon dating of the bones, that a […]

  • New Thoughts on the Domestication of the Horse
    on October 21, 2021 at 8:00 pm

    PARIS, FRANCE—According to a Cosmos Magazine report, a new study conducted by an international team of scientists led by Ludovic Orlando of the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) suggests that horses were first domesticated in the Pontic-Caspian steppes of the northern Caucasus some 4,000 years ago. The researchers sequenced the genomes of 273 horses who lived in Eurasia as early as 50,000 years ago, and compared them to the genomes of modern domestic horses. They found […]

  • Why scholars have created global guidelines for ancient DNA research
    on October 21, 2021 at 12:30 pm

    The field of ancient DNA has grown rapidly in recent years, largely thanks to technological advancements. This work involves sampling human remains from long ago and analyzing the DNA to understand human and population history, origins and evolution.

  • What drove the invention of military technologies?
    on October 20, 2021 at 6:00 pm

    Peter Turchin from the Complexity Science Hub Vienna (CSH) and an interdisciplinary team of colleagues set out to test competing theories about what drove the evolution of war machines throughout world history. Their study, published today in the journal PLOS ONE, sees the strongest influence on the evolution of military technology coming from world population size, the connectivity between geographical areas, and advances in critical technologies such as iron metallurgy or horse riding. […]

  • Europeans in the Americas 1000 years ago
    on October 20, 2021 at 5:59 pm

    The Vikings were active in North America in the year 1021 AD. This now represents the earliest -- and only -- known year in which Europeans were present in the Americas prior to the arrival of Columbus in 1492 AD. It also represents a definitive point in time by which the Atlantic Ocean had been traversed and human migration had finally encircled the globe.

  • Proceeding with Caution: First global guidelines proposed for ancient DNA research
    on October 20, 2021 at 4:34 pm

    As ancient DNA research sweeps the globe, ballooning from zero genomes sequenced as of 2009 to more than 6,000 as of 2021, those involved in and affected by the genetic analysis of human remains have pressed with ever greater urgency for ethical standards that can be applied wherever such research is carried out.

  • Europeans in the Americas 1,000 years ago
    on October 20, 2021 at 3:00 pm

    Columbus was not the first European to reach the Americas. The Vikings got there centuries before, although exactly when has remained unclear. Here, an international team of scientists show that Europeans were already active in the Americas in 1021 AD.

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