5 Most Incredible Discoveries of the Week
Including a long-lost piece of artwork and an ancient shell carving
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 6, 2014 6:02 AM CST
Archaeologists have discovered ruins some are calling an "underwater Pompeii."   (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)
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(Newser) – Lots of enormous buried items make this week's list:

  • Biggest Man-Made Stone Block Found: What's 64 feet long, 18 feet high, and 1,650 tons? According to German archaeologists in Lebanon, it's the biggest stone block ever made by man. As impressive as it is, the ancient block might have been a reject.
  • 'Underwater Pompeii' Discovered: Greek officials have known for some time about the underwater ruins located off the island of Delos, believing them to be the remains of ancient docks. But a recent discovery of old buildings, including a pottery shop with 16 pots and parts of a kiln, has led them to a more exciting theory and the proclamation of an "underwater Pompeii."

  • Something Else That's Big and Buried—in England: The Iron Age fortress at Old Sarum in Wiltshire, England, has been on scientists' radar for some time. But now those scientists have used actual radar technology to discover something within the fort's walls: an underground palace that could be one of the largest from that period ever discovered.
  • Historian Spots Missing Painting in Famous Kids' Movie: Hungarian art historian Gergely Barki was watching a children's flick with his daughter five Christmases ago when he noticed a painting above the mantelpiece in the film and did a double-take. His hunch was right: It was Sleeping Lady With Black Vase, last seen in public in 1928. The film? You've probably heard of it.
  • Ancient Shell Carving Wasn't Exactly by a Human: Long ago, some human ancestor picked up a mussel shell and carved a nifty design into it. Researchers think the zigzag design goes back 430,000 years, before Homo sapiens roamed the Earth, which could shake up theories about our predecessors.
Click to read about more discoveries, including how men who smoke might lose their Y chromosomes.