archaeology

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650-Year-Old Temple Found Under Mexican Supermarket

It's believed to have been built to worship the god of wind

(Newser) - Working at the site of a demolished supermarket in Mexico City, archaeologists only had to dig 10 feet down to find a temple built more than 650 years ago, researchers said Wednesday. The circular platform, about 36 feet in diameter and 4 feet tall, now sits in the shadow of... More »

We May Finally Know Exactly Where the 1st Pilgrims Lived

And it only took 396 years

(Newser) - We likely now know the exact location of the first Pilgrim settlement in the New World—thanks, in part, to a cow named Constance. The Boston Globe reports it's long been known that the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth in 1620, but it was never clear exactly where they built... More »

Inside the Pyramid Is a Pyramid. Inside That Is Something More

Inside the Kukulkan pyramid are 2 smaller, older ones

(Newser) - On the surface, the Kukulkan temple that sits among the ruins of Chichen Itza looks nothing like a Russian nesting doll, but it's essentially the pyramid equivalent, scientists say. They'd known for decades that the 100-foot-tall structure in Mexico's Yucatan state sits on top of a smaller,... More »

The Only Intact Stone Copy of Ten Commandments Could Be Yours

But you'll have to fork over at least $322K

(Newser) - Not content with your Bible? For $322,000, you could perhaps own a marble slab bearing the only complete stone inscription of the Ten Commandments. Heritage Auctions is now auctioning the 2-foot-long, 200-pound slab engraved in a Samaritan script, though the commandments aren't exactly as you know them today.... More »

In Remote Chile, Skeleton of Gauguin's Dad Found

Remains at Chilean fort believed to be his

(Newser) - Artist Paul Gauguin was a little more than a year old when his parents left Paris bound for Peru. But during a stop at a Chilean fort near Antarctica on Oct. 30, 1849, Gauguin's father, Clovis, died suddenly of a heart aneurysm. His family saw him buried, but the... More »

Bathroom Break Leads to Major Prehistoric Discovery

The find changes a lot of what we know about early Australians

(Newser) - "A man getting out of the car to go to the toilet led to the discovery of one of the most important sites in Australian pre-history," archaeologist Giles Hamm tells ABC News . Hamm was surveying a section of Australia's Flinders Ranges when his partner, aboriginal elder Clifford... More »

This Medieval Well May Be Both Blessed and Cursed

Archaeologists think they've found St. Anne's Well near Liverpool

(Newser) - In medieval times, pilgrims flocked to England in quest of St. Anne's Well, which was said to cure ailments and wash away sins. Archaeologists now say they've rediscovered that large sandstone well on a private farm near Liverpool using only a 1983 photo and a description, reports the... More »

'Burial Slab' of Jesus Discovered in Jerusalem

Burial chamber has been concealed by marble cladding since at least 1555 AD

(Newser) - Renovations at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem have uncovered what many believe to be the stone bench on which the body of Jesus Christ was laid after his death. USA Today reports that work began in June to renovate or restore certain areas of the church, including... More »

Meet the World's Oldest Known Righty

Telltale scratches on teeth go back nearly 2M years

(Newser) - A lot has changed over 1.8 million years, but perhaps not the tendency of hominids to favor their right hand. An upper jawbone belonging to a human relative who lived in what is now Tanzania almost 2 million years ago has been discovered with scratches on its still-intact teeth,... More »

China's Ancient Terracotta Army May Rewrite History

Researchers say they prove that contact with West occurred far earlier than thought

(Newser) - Marco Polo's travels to China in the 13th century are the first well documented record of a European reaching the empire. But archaeologists studying a famous trove of terracotta figures dug up in China now suggest that the first contact with the West occurred much earlier than thought—some... More »

This Is What an Iceman Sounded Like

Scientists recreate voice of Otzi

(Newser) - He is arguably the world's most famous Iceman, and now we have a general idea of what he sounded like. Italian researchers used a CT scan to measure the vocal tract and vocal chords of a 5,300-year-old mummy known as Otzi the Iceman, and produced this video to... More »

In Ancient Grave, 13 Well-Kept Pot Plants

Man was buried with them about 2.5K years ago

(Newser) - You probably wouldn't want to smoke the stuff, but archaeologists have discovered the most well-preserved cannabis plants one could hope for in an ancient Chinese burial. The first discovery of its kind comes from the grave of a man aged about 35—possibly a shaman, reports Discover —buried... More »

Ancient Bullets Shed Light on Roman Raid in Scotland

Battlefield archaeologists map out 800 lead bullets using special metal detectors

(Newser) - Reading ancient battlefields is no easy task given they so often leave no trace behind—wood disintegrates, iron rusts, and stones aren't detectable. But lead is different, and a cache of hundreds of ancient sling bullets was readily detected thanks to specialized metal detectors in Burnswark Hill in southern... More »

Listen to World's Oldest Known Melody

The music dates back an astonishing 3.5K years

(Newser) - In 1950, a collection of 29 tablets was discovered in the ruins of Ugarit, an ancient city in the northern region of present-day Syria, but only one had survived the intervening centuries well enough to be deciphered. Known as H6, the 3,500-year-old clay tablet revealed a simple hymn specifying... More »

Scientists Virtually Unroll Scroll Turned to Charcoal in Fire

It contains evidence the modern Hebrew Bible may be 2,000 years old

(Newser) - An ancient Jewish scroll reduced to charcoal in a fire 1,500 years ago along the shores of the Dead Sea has finally been read with the help of dedicated researchers and some impressive new technology, National Geographic reports. According to the AP , the so-called Ein Gedi scroll sat in... More »

Rare, Ancient Female Figurine Uncovered

Turkey find is from 6,000BC

(Newser) - Archaeologists have uncovered a rare stone figurine of a woman dating back 8,000 years at a dig in Turkey's central province of Konya that an expert says is one of only a handful of statuettes of the era ever found in one piece. Stanford University professor Ian Hodder... More »

Source of London's Great Plague Is Found in Boneyard

'Yersina pestis' also responsible for the Black Death

(Newser) - Scientists finally know what killed 100,000 people in the Great Plague of London, or a quarter of the population, more than 350 years ago—and it would've been familiar to anyone around 300 years before that. An examination of 20 of the 3,500 skeletons found last year... More »

Archaeologist Says She's Solved the Mystery of Mexico's Teotihuacan

And the answer is water

(Newser) - Water may be the key to understanding the mysterious ancient city of Teotihuacan in Mexico, according to new research from Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology and History. Teotihuacan—home to some of the world's largest pyramids and 150,000 people at its peak—shut down around the year... More »

Bones May Belong to Teen Sacrificed to Zeus

Giving credence to legends of human sacrifices in ancient Greece

(Newser) - An ancient legend tells of a man sneaking a human boy into an animal sacrifice to Zeus on Greece's Mount Lykaion and being turned into a wolf as punishment, the Washington Post reports. But despite Plato and others writing about ongoing human sacrifices, archaeologists have never been able to... More »

First Americans Didn't Arrive on a Land Bridge

They 'must have taken a different route'

(Newser) - You probably remember the Bering Land Bridge theory from history class: North America's first inhabitants traveled along a land bridge between Siberia and Alaska and discovered an immense new world less than 15,000 years ago. Just like the land bridge did 10,000 years ago, that belief now... More »

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