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Archeology News

Archeology News

  • DNA Study Investigates Migrations to Canary Islands
    on March 22, 2019 at 10:23 pm

    SAN CRISTÓBAL DE LA LAGUNA, SPAIN—According to a New York Times report, migrants from North Africa first arrived in the Canary Islands around A.D. 100, and inhabited all seven of the islands by A.D. 1000 at the latest. The study, conducted by population geneticist Rosa Fregel of the University of La Laguna and her colleagues, examined human mitochondrial DNA recovered from skeletons unearthed at 25 sites scattered over all of the Canary Islands, which are located off the coast of […]

  • Which Came First, Big Gods or Big Societies?
    on March 22, 2019 at 10:01 pm

    KANAGAWA, JAPAN—Live Science reports that Patrick Savage of Keio University and his colleagues employed “Seshat,” a global history databank spanning the end of the Paleolithic period to the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, to expand on the work of previous studies that looked at the relationship between belief in moralizing gods and the rise of complex societies. Authors of some smaller-scale studies have suggested that belief in moralizing gods and supernatural […]

  • Paleontologists report world's biggest Tyrannosaurus rex
    on March 22, 2019 at 8:33 pm

    Paleontologists have just reported the world's biggest Tyrannosaurus rex and the largest dinosaur skeleton ever found in Canada. The 13-metre-long T. rex, nicknamed 'Scotty,' lived in prehistoric Saskatchewan 66 million years ago. […]

  • Paleontologists report world's biggest Tyrannosaurus rex
    on March 22, 2019 at 6:53 pm

    University of Alberta paleontologists have just reported the world's biggest Tyrannosaurus rex and the largest dinosaur skeleton ever found in Canada. The 13-metre-long T. rex, nicknamed "Scotty," lived in prehistoric Saskatchewan 66 million years ago. […]

  • Treasure trove of marine fossils from 'Cambrian explosion' found in China
    on March 22, 2019 at 1:20 pm

    A team of researchers from Northwest University and Guizhou University, both in China and one from the U.S., has found and partially excavated a new treasure trove of marine fossils from the "Cambrian explosion" in southern China. In their paper published in the journal Science, the group describes what has been found thus far. Allison Daley, with the University of Lausanne, has published a Perspective piece on the work by the team in China in the same journal issue. […]

  • Ancient birds out of the egg running
    on March 22, 2019 at 10:59 am

    The ~125 million-year-old Early Cretaceous fossil beds of Los Hoyas, Spain, have long been known for producing thousands of petrified fish and reptiles (Fig. 1). However, researchers have uncovered an extremely rare, nearly complete skeleton of a hatchling bird. Using their own laser imaging technology, Dr. Michael Pittman from the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of Hong Kong and Thomas G Kaye from the Foundation for Scientific Advancement in the U.S. have determined the […]

  • Imperial Palace Gate Uncovered in Central China
    on March 21, 2019 at 11:43 pm

    ZHENGZHOU, CHINA—Xinhua reports that the rammed-earth base of a fortified gate has been found in the ancient capital of Luoyang, at the site of an imperial palace dating to the Northern Wei Dynasty (A.D. 386–534). Liu Tao of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences said historical records indicate that officials of the Northern Wei Dynasty would park their sedan chairs and carriages outside this gate before entering the palace’s main hall to see the emperor. For more on […]

  • Bronze Age Stone Platform Found in Northwest China
    on March 21, 2019 at 11:36 pm

    URUMQI, CHINA—Xinhua reports that a large stone platform surrounded by polished stones has been discovered in northwest China at the Jartai Pass site, which dates to between 1600 and 1000 B.C. The stone platform measures nearly 1,300 square feet, and was built about one-half mile south of a 3,000-year-old residential area. Archaeologist Wang Yongqiang of the Xinjiang Uygur Cultural Relics and Archaeology Research Institute said stone walls, pottery, animal bones, stone artifacts, and ash […]

  • Seventeenth-Century Artifacts Unearthed in Connecticut
    on March 21, 2019 at 11:28 pm

    WETHERSFIELD, CONNECTICUT—Connecticut Magazine reports that artifacts dating to the time of the 1637 Wethersfield Indian Massacre, such as diamond-pane window glass, wampum beads, medicine and liquor bottles, ceramics, food remains, shells, nails, furniture hardware, buttons, and coins minted in the 1620s and 1630s have been unearthed in the historic town of Old Wethersfield, which is located in central Connecticut. Traces of a possible stockade wall have also been found. Sarah Sportman […]

  • 4,000-Year-Old Burial Discovered in Northern England
    on March 21, 2019 at 10:50 pm

    NORTHUMBERLAND, ENGLAND—BBC News reports that construction workers uncovered the top stone slab of a Bronze Age cist in northern England, at the site of a hotel built in the eighteenth century. The human bones within the stone-lined burial chamber are estimated to be 4,000 years old. Archaeologist Roger Miket said a small flint knife was found by the skeleton’s legs. “It would have been a precious item at the time of the burial and was included in the grave for use in the […]

  • Women shaped cuisine, culture of ancient Cahokia
    on March 21, 2019 at 3:26 pm

    Archaeologists have struggled to explain the rapid rise and fall of Cahokia—the mysterious Mississippian mound-building culture that sprang up about a thousand years ago in the fertile southern Illinois bottom lands just across the river from modern-day St. Louis. […]

  • Half-a-billion-year-old fossil reveals the origins of comb jellies
    on March 21, 2019 at 3:00 pm

    One of the ocean's little known carnivores has been allocated a new place in the evolutionary tree of life after scientists discovered its unmistakable resemblance with other sea-floor dwelling creatures. […]

  • Big gods came after the rise of civilisations, not before, finds study using huge historical...
    on March 21, 2019 at 1:20 pm

    When you think of religion, you probably think of a god who rewards the good and punishes the wicked. But the idea of morally concerned gods is by no means universal. Social scientists have long known that small-scale traditional societies – the kind missionaries used to dismiss as "pagan" – envisaged a spirit world that cared little about the morality of human behaviour. Their concern was less about whether humans behaved nicely towards one another and more about whether they […]

  • Complex societies gave birth to big gods, not the other way around: study
    on March 21, 2019 at 10:52 am

    An international research team, including a member of the Complexity Science Hub Vienna, investigated the role of "big gods" in the rise of complex large-scale societies. Big gods are defined as moralizing deities who punish ethical transgressions. Contrary to prevailing theories, the team found that beliefs in big gods are a consequence, not a cause, of the evolution of complex societies. The results are published in the current issue of the journal Nature. […]

  • Roman Tile Factory Unearthed in Northern England
    on March 20, 2019 at 11:36 pm

    CUMBRIA, ENGLAND—Cumbria Crack reports that a Roman tile factory and a medieval foundation and burial were discovered in the original path of a water pipeline in northwest England. Archaeologists had expected to find the remains of a medieval farm at the site. The medieval structure was built within the Roman one, perhaps as an outbuilding for the farm. The body was found within the outline of the medieval building. “Usually a grave cut can be seen during excavation, but here there […]

  • Traces of York’s First Railway Station Uncovered
    on March 20, 2019 at 10:00 pm

    YORK, ENGLAND—Minster FM reports that traces of York’s first railroad station, which was built in 1840 for George Hudson’s York and North Midland Railway, have been uncovered in the city’s historic center during construction work. The structure, designed by architect George Townsend Andrews, was the terminus of a line that traveled to London. The station fell out of use in 1877 when a new station, which is still used today, opened nearby. A recently excavated train […]

  • Song Dynasty Shipwreck In South China Sea Conserved
    on March 20, 2019 at 9:41 pm

    GUANGZHOU, CHINA—Xinhua reports that more than 140,000 artifacts have been recovered from a Song Dynasty (A.D. 960–1279) shipwreck discovered in the South China Sea in 2007. Cui Yong of the Guangdong Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology said the merchant ship measured about 72 feet long and about 30 feet wide. It carried a cargo of porcelain, gold, silver, copper, iron, bamboo, and lacquered wood items, as well as copper coins. The remains of plants and animals have also […]

  • North Africans were among the first to colonize the Canary Islands
    on March 20, 2019 at 6:10 pm

    People from North Africa are likely the main group that founded the indigenous population on the Canary Islands, arriving by 1000 CE, reports a new study. […]

  • North Africans were among the first to colonize the Canary Islands
    on March 20, 2019 at 6:00 pm

    People from North Africa are likely the main group that founded the indigenous population on the Canary Islands, arriving by 1000 CE, reports a new study by Rosa Fregel of Stanford University and Universidad de La Laguna, Spain, and colleagues, published March 20, 2019 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE. […]

  • Archaeologist debunks alien influence, other conspiracy theories in archaeology
    on March 20, 2019 at 1:32 pm

    Have you heard the one about the aliens and the pyramids? Or what about the technologically advanced but tragically lost city of Atlantis? […]

  • Researchers shed new light on the origins of modern humans
    on March 20, 2019 at 1:30 pm

    Researchers from the University of Huddersfield, with colleagues from the University of Cambridge and the University of Minho in Braga, have been using a genetic approach to tackle one of the most intractable questions of all—how and when we became truly human. […]

  • New Cretaceous fossil sheds light on avian reproduction
    on March 20, 2019 at 12:26 pm

    A team of scientists led by Alida Bailleul and Jingmai O'Connor from the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology (IVPP) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences reported the first fossil bird ever found with an egg preserved inside its body. Their findings were published on March 20 in Nature Communications. […]

  • Project adds 11,400 intra-American journeys to Slave Voyages database
    on March 20, 2019 at 12:11 pm

    Blending the power of big data and history, an expanded and redesigned version of Slave Voyages – one of the most utilized resources in the digital humanities – is now available. Housing both trans-Atlantic and intra-American slave trade databases, the Slave Voyages website illuminates the ubiquity of the slave trade from the 16th century to the 19th century. A research team co-led by the University of California, Irvine focused on the intra-American database, adding 11,400 records […]

  • Descendants of Great Moravian Noblemen Identified
    on March 20, 2019 at 12:27 am

    BRNO, CZECH REPUBLIC—Czech Radio reports that a study of Y-chromosome markers has identified 18 men who are descended from Great Moravian noblemen who lived in what is now the Czech Republic some 1,000 years ago. A team of researchers led by Ludĕk Galuška of the Moravian Museum compared samples of DNA obtained from 340 living men whose surnames appeared in historic registry records with samples of 75 men buried in high-status graves near the town of Uherské […]

  • Study of Hepatitis B Virus Tracks Australia's Ancient Migrations
    on March 20, 2019 at 12:17 am

    NORTHERN TERRITORY, AUSTRALIA—According to an Australian Broadcasting Corporation report, a new study has found that the hepatitis B virus affecting between 10 and 20 percent of the Aboriginal people living in northern Australia today is a unique strain named HBV/C4. Margaret Littlejohn of the Victorian Infectious Diseases Reference Laboratory noted that there are also differences in the virus among the 30 communities that offered samples for testing, which allowed the scientists to study […]

  • New Project Focuses on Colonial Garden in Virginia
    on March 19, 2019 at 11:01 pm

    WILLIAMSBURG, VIRGINIA—The Virginia Gazette reports that archaeologists led by Jack Gary of Colonial Williamsburg are investigating pastureland where the eighteenth-century home of John Custis IV once stood. Enslaved Africans are also known to have lived on the property, called Custis Square, and tended its house and elaborate gardens. The foundations of the house were uncovered in the 1960s. Now Gary and his team members want to find out how the landscaping, thought to feature topiary, […]

  • First Anatolian farmers were local hunter-gatherers that adopted agriculture
    on March 19, 2019 at 4:00 pm

    An international team led by scientists from the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History and in collaboration with scientists from the United Kingdom, Turkey and Israel, has analyzed eight prehistoric individuals, including the first genome-wide data from a 15,000-year-old Anatolian hunter-gatherer, and found that the first Anatolian farmers were direct descendants of local hunter-gatherers. These findings provide support for archaeological evidence that farming was adopted and […]

  • Scholar probes secrets of sacred North Korean mountains
    on March 19, 2019 at 2:59 pm

    The conclusion of a second Trump-Kim summit with no North Korean opening to the West puts an even greater premium on the research that Maya Stiller, University of Kansas assistant professor of the history of art, has been able to do inside the hermit kingdom, and about which she continues to publish. […]

  • New Thoughts on Egtved Girl and Skrydstrup Woman
    on March 19, 2019 at 1:15 am

    AARHUS, DENMARK—Isotope geochemist Rasmus Andreasen of Aarhus University and his colleagues suggest that the presence of modern, strontium-rich agricultural lime in the landscape may have skewed earlier interpretations of the Egtved Girl and Skrydstrup Woman, according to a Live Science report. Previous analysis of isotopes obtained from the Bronze Age remains indicated that the Egtved Girl may have grown up in southern Germany, and traveled between Denmark and another location in the […]

  • Boat Described by Herodotus Discovered in Nile River
    on March 18, 2019 at 9:33 pm

    OXFORD, ENGLAND—According to a report in The Guardian, a unique shipwreck has been discovered near the sunken port city of Thonis-Heracleion, which is located at the mouth of the Nile River. The vessel was constructed in a manner described by the fifth-century B.C. Greek historian Herodotus, who visited Egypt and observed the construction of an unusual trading vessel. Damian Robinson of Oxford University said the hull is the first such ship to be found. Known as a “baris,” the […]

  • Giant squid gets makeover before showtime
    on March 18, 2019 at 9:23 pm

    A little elbow grease, some formaldehyde, and a lot of ingenuity—that's what it took for taxidermists at the Museum of Natural History to prettify a giant squid along with a coelacanth, a rare fish known as the "living fossil". […]

  • Neanderthal Tool Workshop Unearthed in Poland
    on March 18, 2019 at 9:15 pm

    SILESIA, POLAND—Science in Poland reports that a 60,000-year-old flint workshop has been discovered on a riverbank in southern Poland. Among some 17,000 pieces of flint, thought to have been worked by Neanderthals, Andrzej Wiśniewski of the University of Wrocław and his team were able to find areas where certain kinds of tools were crafted. In fact, the researchers were able to reconstruct the waste from the production of individual tools, and determine how they had been made. […]

  • Hepatitis B virus sheds light on ancient human population movements into Australia
    on March 18, 2019 at 5:26 pm

    Australian researchers have used hepatitis B virus genome sequences to deduce that the mainland Aboriginal population separated from other early humans at least 59,000 years ago. […]

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