Category Archives: Archaeology

Caveman With Blue Eyes Shocks Scientists

Scientists examining the DNA of ancient remains find surprising new evidence of how early Europeans had dark skin and blue eyes. Image: An artist’s impression of the face of a 7,000-year-old man, reconstructed from his skeleton. His remains were discovered in a cold subterranean cave 5,000ft below sea level in the Cantabrian mountains of northwest… Read More »

Pre- Viking Brew: Surprisingly Good

Ancient Scandinavians quaffed an alcoholic mixture of barley, honey, cranberries, herbs and even grape wine imported from Greece and Rome, new research finds. This Nordic “grog” predates the Vikings. It was found buried in tombs alongside warriors and priestesses, and is now available at liquor stores across the United States, thanks to a reconstruction effort… Read More »

World’s oldest Buddhist shrine discovered in Nepal

Archaeologists in Nepal say they have discovered traces of a wooden structure dating from the sixth century BC which they believe is the world’s oldest Buddhist shrine. Kosh Prasad Acharya, who worked with archaeologists from Durham University, said on Tuesday that the structure had been unearthed inside the sacred Mayadevi temple in Lumbini. The Buddha,… Read More »

Mysterious Package Found in Century-Old Time Capsule

If you opened a 101-year-old time capsule and found a mysterious package addressed to the descendants of an unknown man, would you open it? That’s the question a church in Michigan now faces after they recently cracked open a time capsule from 1912, and found something they couldn’t quite explain. The Lansing State Journal has… Read More »

Colossal new predatory dino terrorized early tyrannosaurs

This is an illustration of Siats meekerorum. Credit: Jorge GonzalesA new species of carnivorous dinosaur – one of the three largest ever discovered in North America – lived alongside and competed with small-bodied tyrannosaurs 98 million years ago. This newly discovered species, Siats meekerorum, (pronounced see-atch) was the apex predator of its time, and kept… Read More »

More than 600 ancient seals and amulets found

Classical scholars from the Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics” made an unusually large find of seals in an ancient sanctuary in Turkey. They discovered more than 600 stamp seals and cylinder seals at the sacred site of the storm and weather god Jupiter Dolichenus, 100 of which in the current year alone. “Such large… Read More »

Skull may change story of human evolution

Georgian scientists on Friday showed off a 1.8 million-year-old skull discovered in the Caucasus nation that researchers say could force a re-evaluation of current theories of human evolution. The skull – unearthed in the medieval town of Dmanisi some 100 kilometres (62 miles) southwest of Tbilisi – is the first completely preserved skull found from… Read More »

Math explains history: Simulation accurately captures the evolution of ancient complex societies

The question of how human societies evolve from small groups to the huge, anonymous and complex societies of today has been answered mathematically, accurately matching the historical record on the emergence of complex states in the ancient world. Intense warfare is the evolutionary driver of large complex societies, according to new research from a trans-disciplinary… Read More »

Archaeologists’ tricorder reveals objects’ ancient origins

Tricorder-style handheld scanners could help archaeologists uncover historical secrets without having to wait months for laboratory results. Researchers from Sheffield University have adapted technology used to identify materials in scrap metal yards and docks, in order to determine the geographical origin of certain stone tools in just 10 seconds. The portable scanner uses X-rays to… Read More »

Ancient Jewelry Had Extraterrestrial Origin

Iron is a great material for making tools. But the oldest known iron artifacts were actually intended for decoration: nine Egyptian beads that date back to 3200 BC. And now we know that this ancient jewelry has an even more impressive origin—the iron out of which it was crafted came from space. The metal cylinders… Read More »

Researchers: Neanderthals Taught Humans How to Use Bone Tools

Scientists gathered to participate in the analysis of new evidence surrounding Neanderthals at the University of Wollongong. Their conclusions center around specialized tools, crafted from deer ribs that were discovered with Neanderthal dead. Previously these tools were solely associated with modern humans. Findings suggest that these tools were actually invented by Neanderthals and later adopted… Read More »

Petroglyphs in North America dated to up to 14,800 years ago

University of Colorado Boulder researcher shows the oldest known petroglyphs in North America, which are cut into several boulders in western Nevada, date to at least 10,500 years ago and perhaps even as far back as 14,800 years ago. The petroglyphs located at the Winnemucca Lake petroglyph site 35 miles northeast of Reno consist of… Read More »

Vanishing Treasures: Tomb Raiders Exploit Chaos in Egypt

Egypt’s cultural heritage is in danger. Grave robbers, sometimes heavily armed, are taking advantage of political chaos to plunder its poorly guarded archaeological sites. Authorities feel powerless to stop them and fear that ancient treasures might be lost forever. From the pharaohs and Romans to the Greeks, Copts and Fatimids, Egypt bears the traces of… Read More »

Genetic Adam: Humanity’s Last Common Ancestor

… Hundreds of thousands of years ago—when people still lived in small hunter-gatherer bands, when it’s not even clear they were totally anatomically modern (though they probably were)—something happened in the human genome. Somewhere in Africa, a man carried a Y chromosome that would turn out to be the only surviving Y chromosome in humans… Read More »

First dino “blood” extracted from ancient bone

… A dinosaur bone buried for 80 million years has yielded a mix of proteins and microstructures resembling cells. The finding is important because it should resolve doubts about a previous report that also claimed to have extracted dino tissue from fossils. Proteins such as collagen are far more durable than DNA, but they had… Read More »

All Non-Africans Part Neanderthal, Genetics Confirm

If your heritage is non-African, you are part Neanderthal, according to a new study in the July issue of Molecular Biology and Evolution. Discovery News has been reporting on human/Neanderthal interbreeding for some time now, so this latest research confirms earlier findings. Damian Labuda of the University of Montreal’s Department of Pediatrics and the CHU… Read More »

‘World’s oldest calendar’ discovered in Scottish field

Archaeologists believe they have discovered the world’s oldest lunar “calendar” in an Aberdeenshire field.Excavations of a field at Crathes Castle found a series of 12 pits which appear to mimic the phases of the moon and track lunar months.A team led by the University of Birmingham suggests the ancient monument was created by hunter-gatherers about… Read More »

Ancient Maya City Discovered in Mexico

It must be World Discover-Lost-Cities Week! Barely a week after we heard the exciting news of a lost city found in Cambodia, comes the announcement of an ancient Maya city discovered in Mexico’s Central Lowlands. The site has been dubbed Chactún, “Red Stone”; one of 19 stelae unearthed so far bears inscriptions detailing the ruler… Read More »

Discovery of Oldest Primate Skeleton, Ancestor of Humans and Apes

An international team of researchers has announced the discovery of the world’s oldest known fossil primate skeleton representing a previously unknown genus and species named Archicebus achilles. The fossil was unearthed from an ancient lake bed in central China’s Hubei Province, near the course of the modern Yangtze River. In addition to being the oldest… Read More »

Cave paintings in Mexico: Carvings uncovered in Burgos

Archaeologists in Mexico have found 4,926 well-preserved cave paintings in the north-eastern region of Burgos. The images in red, yellow, black and white depict humans, animals and insects, as well as skyscapes and abstract scenes. The paintings were found in 11 different sites – but the walls of one cave were covered with 1,550 scenes.… Read More »

Afghanistan’s heritage is at stake

South east of Kabul lies Logar, the latest province to backslide into the clutches of insurgency and Taliban rule. Upon the region’s barren landscape sits a cluster of rocky foothills known collectively as Mes Aynak. To the Afghan and Chinese governments, Mes Aynak is the site of massive copper reserves, the world’s second largest, with… Read More »

Mayan Temple in Belize Bulldozed to Make Gravel for Road

The overgrown ruins of a 2,300-year-old Mayan Temple in Belize were partially destroyed by contractors who wanted to use the limestone bricks for gravel to build a village road, according to the National Institute of Culture and Heritage. “There was massive destruction and there’s very little we can do about it now,” John Morris, an… Read More »

Secret streets of Britain’s Atlantis are revealed

  Image: A 3-D visualization of underwater ruins of St Katherine’s Church, Dunwich, UK. A University of Southampton professor has carried out the most detailed analysis ever of the archaeological remains of the lost medieval town of Dunwich, dubbed ‘Britain’s Atlantis’. Funded and supported by English Heritage, and using advanced underwater imaging techniques, the project… Read More »

Robot finds mysterious spheres in ancient temple

The archaeologists used a 3-foot-long, remote-controlled robot which was able to explore the last part of the tunnel. Hundreds of mysterious spheres lie beneath the Temple of the Feathered Serpent, an ancient six-level step pyramid just 30 miles from Mexico City. The enigmatic spheres were found during an archaeological dig using a camera-equipped robot at… Read More »

Two million-year-old creature had mix of ape, human traits

A 2 million-year-old ancestor of man had a mixture of ape and human-like features that allowed it to hike vast distances on two legs with as much ease as it could scurry up trees, according to research published on Friday. Discovered in cave near Johannesburg in 2008, the fossils of a species named “Australopithecus sediba”… Read More »

Ancient Clockwork

In 1900, a worn bronze machine was hauled from an ancient Greek shipwreck. With dozens of crumbling gears, the machine puzzled experts for more than a century. This documentary follows researchers who have come to suspect the machine, known as the Antikythera mechanism, is a miniature planetarium that tracked the Sun and the Moon and… Read More »

Massive prehistoric bird extinction linked to human colonization

Research by a University of Tennessee, Knoxville professor has found that about a thousand bird species became extinct following human colonization. Research by Alison Boyer, a research assistant professor in ecology and evolutionary biology, and an international team studied the extinction rates of nonperching land birds in the Pacific Islands from 700 to 3,500 years… Read More »

Mars Could Have Supported Life, NASA Says

Several billion years ago, Mars may well have been a pleasant place for tiny microbes to live, with plenty of water as well as minerals that could have served as food, NASA scientists said Tuesday at a news conference on the latest findings from their Mars rover. But they have yet to find signs that… Read More »

Four Wings? Extra Feathered Limbs May Have Helped Early Birds Fly

It’s now generally accepted that the large leg feathers of the Microraptor were useful in flight, but a nagging question long remained unanswered: Did birds go through a “four-winged” stage, or were dinosaurs like the Microraptor merely an evolutionary side-branch?The new study, which published in the journal Science on Friday, has provided the first “solid… Read More »

2.7-million-year-old fungus found deep under seafloor

The story of life on Earth keeps getting stranger. Researchers report they’ve discovered dormant algae and a thriving community of carbon-chomping fungus deep beneath the ocean floor in 2.7-million-year-old mud. Genetic evidence indicates the most deeply buried fungi are distinct from wind-blown relatives at the planet’s surface, suggesting the fungal communities are ancient and isolated.… Read More »

Giant Camels Came From the Great White North

… You grew up assuming that camels originated in the Middle East, right? Or maybe Africa or Asia, like the two-humped Bactrian? … that no longer seems to be the case, … You see, evidence has been found that giant, prehistoric camels lived in the Arctic circle and this just might be where our even-toed,… Read More »

Ancient bones found 100 years ago belong to undiscovered species

Prehistoric bones discovered more than a century ago belong to a previously-undiscovered species of ocean predator, research has revealed. The partial skeleton, including a jawbone and teeth, has been identified as belonging to a group of ancient crocodiles that were similar to dolphins. An amateur palaeontologist found the specimen in a clay pit near Peterborough… Read More »

New feathered dinosaur fossil challenges bird evolution theory

The discovery of a new bird-like dinosaur from the Jurassic period challenges widely accepted theories on the origin of flight. Co-authored by Dr Gareth Dyke, Senior Lecturer in Vertebrate Palaeontology at the University of Southampton, the paper describes a new feathered dinosaur about 30 cm in length which pre-dates bird-like dinosaurs that birds were long… Read More »

Scientists in Germany Draft Neanderthal Genome

9 hours ago 9 hours ago Scientists report that they have reconstructed the genome of Neanderthals, a human species that was driven to extinction some 30,000 years ago, probably by the first modern humans to enter Europe. The Neanderthal genome, when fully analyzed, is expected to shed light on many critical aspects of human evolution. It will help document… Read More »