archaeology

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Relic in Ancient Basilica May Hold Apostle's Ashes

Archaeologists say small vessel in Bulgaria came from John's grave site

(Newser) - Archaeologists in Bulgaria think they've found ashes belonging to one of the 12 apostles. The team found a small lead container with ashes while excavating a basilica that dates back to the sixth century AD, reports Archaeology in Bulgaria . The markings on the inch-long vessel match those at the... More »

Found in Turkey: Huge Underground City

May be the biggest one ever found in region

(Newser) - It's a stunning find uncovered by accident: Construction workers demolishing homes in Turkey's Nevsehir province in 2013 ended up discovering entrances to what could be the largest ancient underground city ever found in the region. The country's Hurriyet Daily News reported on its existence just days before... More »

Cave's 'Red Lady' Was Real Queen of the Stone Age

Woman who died 19K years ago received most elaborate burial in millennia

(Newser) - Stone Age hunter-gatherers weren't big on social hierarchies, let alone monarchies, researchers say, but a woman buried in a cave 18,700 years ago was clearly held in very high regard. The woman dubbed the "Red Lady," whose remains were unearthed in a cave in northern Spain,... More »

Ancient Animal Fat Shows Humans Butchered Game

500K-year-old tools still had residue of it

(Newser) - Archaeologists in Israel say they've discovered something along the lines of an open-air butcher shop, and the tools there prove that these ancient butchers worked on big game. That proof? The axes and scrapers used there 500,000 years ago still had residue of animal fat on them—a... More »

Whale Fossil Provides Clues on Human Origins

Discovery sheds light on when uplift of African continent began

(Newser) - An ancient whale with a bad sense of direction is helping researchers figure out when the landscape of Africa changed in a way that drove the evolution of humans. The beaked whale in question apparently took a wrong turn into a river and swam into modern-day Kenya about 17 million... More »

Scientists: Cervantes' Lost Remains Are Found

But his bones may be impossible to identify

(Newser) - The lost remains of Don Quixote author Miguel de Cervantes may have finally been found nearly 400 years after the writer's death—and a year after experts began searching for them. Experts working at Madrid's Convent of the Barefoot Trinitarians used ground-penetrating radar among other technology to identify... More »

Ring Links Vikings to Ancient Islam

Colored-glass ring is inscribed with either 'to Allah' or 'for Allah'

(Newser) - Those Vikings really got around: Not only did they land in North America long before 1492, they may have visited the Islamic world as well. As possible evidence, researchers say a ring from a ninth-century Viking woman's grave looks exceptionally Islamic, Science News reports. The silver ring was first... More »

Archaeologists Uncover 'Mask Unlike Any Other'

Larger-than-life bronze mask depicts ancient god of shepherds

(Newser) - An ancient god has resurfaced in Israel thanks to what archaeologists say is a one-of-a-kind discovery. University of Haifa researchers were digging at what's believed to be an ancient basalt armory outside Sussita—which the Jerusalem Post reports was once the Roman city of Antiochia Hippos—when a ball... More »

A 'Lost Civilization'? Whoa There, Experts Say

Scholars take issue with 'discovery' in Honduran jungle

(Newser) - Did explorers really stumble on a "lost civilization" in the Honduran jungle ? That's what National Geographic quoted them as saying, but several scholars have since penned an open letter calling the claim exaggerated, the Smithsonian reports. In the original story, the group of experts were searching for... More »

Professor Looks Into Rumor, Finds Priceless Coin Trove

Coins had sat in university archives for 80 years

(Newser) - In Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, the swashbuckling professor tells his students that "70% of all archaeology is done in the library"—but at the University at Buffalo, it turned out to be 100% for assistant classics professor Philip Kiernan. He followed up on a rumor about... More »

Archaeologists Uncover World's Oldest ... Pretzel

250-year-old treat among burnt breakfast found in Bavaria

(Newser) - Archaeologists digging in Germany's state of Bavaria probably weren't expecting to find a snack. But that's exactly what turned up last summer at a site in Regensburg on the Danube River, a location that had previously given up the remains of some gallows and a 1,200-year-old... More »

'Tantalizing' Ancient Tool Found at Oregon Dig

Scraper may be oldest human artifact in the West

(Newser) - A small stone tool unearthed in eastern Oregon appears to be so ancient that the history of humans in the area may have to be rewritten, archaeologists say. The agate scraper found at a rock shelter was below a 15,800-year-old layer of ash from Mount St. Helens, making it... More »

Jawbone Rewrites 'Dawn of Man' Timeline

It pushes back start of 'Homo' genus by 400K years

(Newser) - It's just a small piece of a jawbone with five teeth, but its discovery in Ethiopia is changing the timeline of human origins. Researchers say the bone is from an individual who lived 2.8 million years ago and belonged to the genus Homo, the lineage from which modern... More »

Long-Lost Civilization Found in Rainforest

Search for legendary 'White City' in Honduran jungle led to find

(Newser) - Heard of the long-lost "White City" or "City of the Monkey God"? A group of experts who entered a Honduran rainforest in search of it emerged last Wednesday saying they have found a lost city—one that's totally untouched, National Geographic reports. As writer Douglas Preston... More »

Wheat Discovery Rewrites Europe's Stone Age History

Ancient Brits apparently weren't as isolated as once believed

(Newser) - Scientists studying a Stone Age site in Britain came across something that by all rights shouldn't have been there: wheat. More specifically, the researchers found the DNA of wheat dating back 8,000 years off the coast of the Isle of Wight, reports Reuters . That's about 2,000... More »

Ancient Morticians Boiled the Dead

Quicklime stripped away flesh so bones could be preserved

(Newser) - Those who lived in what is now Bolivia more than 1,000 years ago likely wound up at the end of their days in what USA Today calls an "ancient mortuary." There, the morticians of their day dissected the bodies and boiled the various parts in pots of... More »

Ancients 'Predicted the Future' With ... Flour?

Archaeologists uncover three shrines on Armenian hilltop

(Newser) - Archaeologists have discovered three ancient shrines where diviners apparently tried seeing the future with animal bones, small pebbles, or flour baked into little bread rolls, LiveScience reports. Ensconced in an Armenian fortress, the roughly 3,300-year-old shrines found between 2003 and 2011 each have a room containing a clay basin... More »

Ancient Moat in Japan May Be Part of Royal Tomb

Archaeologists think it dates back to 7th century

(Newser) - Archaeologists in Japan have found the remains of an ancient moat that may have once guarded an emperor's tomb. They made the discovery in Asuka, and researchers think the moat was part of the burial site of a seventh-century emperor named Jomei who died in the year 641, reports... More »

Near Irish 'Little Pompeii,' an Even More Ancient Site

Traces of buildings have been found along cliffs near a well-known castle

(Newser) - The settlement of Dunlace on Northern Ireland's craggy North Coast is thought to have been founded in 1608, but was eventually abandoned after a fire destroyed much of it in 1642. The settlement, first unearthed in 2009, reports the Belfast Telegraph , has been called Little Pompeii, and it's... More »

Early Humans Ate Animals We Call Pets

Human bite marks found on small-carnivore remains

(Newser) - Europeans have dined on dogs, foxes, badgers, and wild cats, a new study says—although admittedly it's been a while. Researchers base this on ancient small-carnivore remains discovered in a Spanish cave, the Telegraph reports. Dating back 3,100 to 7,200 years, the remains show signs of human... More »

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