archaeology

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In Ancient Scottish Chapel, Evidence of a Witch Prison

Aberdeen church has an iron ring set in stone

(Newser) - The remains of some 2,000 people lie beneath Scotland's East Kirk of St. Nicholas church, but an iron ring set in the stone pillar of the chapel could link directly back to a spookier past: the documented trial and execution of 23 women and one man accused of... More »

Huge Find Could Reveal the Truth About Goliath's People

The 3K-year-old Philistine remains could help solve a biblical mystery

(Newser) - Harvard University archaeologist Lawrence Stager has led the Leon Levy Expedition to Ashkelon since 1985, clocking more than 30 years of excavations in a 150-acre site in the ancient seaport 35 miles south of Tel Aviv, reports the Harvard Gazette . Now, a major find related to the little-known Philistines, some... More »

Neanderthals 'Thoroughly' Butchered Their Own

Researchers excavated 99 bones and fragments from a cavern in Belgium

(Newser) - Neanderthals appear to have had quite the appetite for, well, one another, at least according to findings by researchers at the University of Tübingen in Germany. Reporting in the journal Scientific Reports , they say that an analysis of 99 new Neanderthal remains from a cavern in Belgium that date... More »

Earliest Pay Stub Shows Workers Were Paid in Beer

5K-year-old tablet found in Mesopotamian city of Uruk

(Newser) - Rather be paid in beer than money? You might've enjoyed life in Mesopotamia. Scientists have discovered one of the earliest examples of writing in the form of "the world's oldest known payslip." Dating to around 3300 BC, the clay tablet found in the Mesopotamian city of... More »

Naval Bases Found That Once Guarded World's First Democracy

Archaeologists make huge find in Athens

(Newser) - Archaeologists have discovered massive naval bases that once enabled Athens to fight off the Persian Empire—and develop the world's first democracy. Among the recent finds at the Port of Piraeus, Greece's biggest seaport, are ship-sheds that held hundreds of warships known as triremes, the Smithsonian reports. "... More »

England Searching for Another King Under Parking Lot

King Henry I was buried in Reading Abbey nearly 1,000 years ago

(Newser) - England's King Henry I was a man of many appetites: He usurped the throne from an older brother, fathered two dozen children out of wedlock, and is thought to have died after gorging on lampreys—a jawless, snakelike fish. After his death in 1135, his remains were brought to... More »

Archaeologist: I Found Trojan War-Era Throne

Greek culture ministry officials skeptical about the find

(Newser) - A Greek archaeologist believes he has found a fragment of the lost throne of the rulers of Mycenae, famous from ancient myth and the story of the Trojan War, the AP reports. Christofilis Maggidis, who heads excavations at the site in southern Greece, says the chunk of worked limestone was... More »

Lasers Penetrate Cambodian Jungle, Reveal Hidden Cities

Archaeologists say the findings may force a rewriting of history

(Newser) - All is not as it has seemed in Cambodia, according to new research published in the Journal of Archaeological Science . Using aerial scanning technology that determines precise elevation points beneath even dense jungle foliage, archaeologists say they have uncovered multiple metropolises between 900 and 1,400 years old that might... More »

Petra's Secret Found 'Hiding in Plain Sight'

Archaeologists find unusual structure buried in sand

(Newser) - The sandstone Monastery and Treasury Building of Petra, carved by the Nabataeans nearly 2,000 years ago, astonish hundreds of thousands of tourists who visit southern Jordan each year. Unbeknownst to them, another enormous monument has been "hiding in plain sight" half a mile away. Satellite and drone imagery... More »

16K Items That Vanished From Auschwitz Are Found

They were sitting in boxes at the Polish Academy of Sciences

(Newser) - Jewelry, tobacco pipes, buttons, keys. Archaeologists uncovered more than 16,000 such items in the remains of Auschwitz's Crematorium III and gas chamber in 1967—"the last personal belongings of the Jews" led to their deaths. But while watching an old documentary about the excavation, Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum officials... More »

'Truly Miraculous' Find: the Original Alamo?

Artifacts suggest site of San Antonio's first mission

(Newser) - Bet you don't remember the original Alamo. When the World Heritage site we know as the Alamo opened in San Antonio as the Mission San Antonio de Valero, it wasn't the first iteration of the mission. Archeologists now think it was initially founded at a different site in... More »

Underwater 'Lost City' Is Something Else Entirely

Looks like mystery off of Greek island comes down to methane

(Newser) - A "lost city" discovered by snorkelers off the Greek island of Zakynthos isn't an underwater metropolis after all. "We investigated the site, which is between [6.5 to 16 feet] underwater, and found that it is actually a natural geologically occurring phenomenon," Julian Andrews, lead author... More »

Britain's Oldest Dated Document Is Found

It was written 2,000 years ago and preserved in mud

(Newser) - Archaeologists say they've discovered hundreds of writing tablets from Roman London—including the oldest handwritten document ever found in Britain—in a trove that provides insight into the city's earliest history as a busy commercial town, per the AP . Researchers from Museum of London Archaeology uncovered more than... More »

Dig at Shakespeare Theater Reveals a Surprise

It was rectangular, not circular; and toys for sound effects were found

(Newser) - The Bard was truly ahead of his time—and not only because of his way with words. Archaeologists digging at one of London's oldest playhouses , where Shakespeare's company performed from 1597 to 1599, have found a ceramic bird whistle they believe was used for sound effects—perhaps during... More »

Divers Find Roman-Era 'Trash' Saved by Shipwreck

Merchant ship sank off Israel 1.6K years ago

(Newser) - A Roman-era treasure trove has been retrieved thanks to two strokes of luck. The first happened 1,600 years ago when a merchant ship carrying the statues and coins to be recycled sank in the ancient port of Caesarea in Israel. The second came last month when two divers discovered... More »

Egypt Accused of Hiding the Truth About Tut's Tomb

Cairo 'in denial' over scan's failure to find hidden chambers, scientist says

(Newser) - The curse of the pharaohs, or politics as usual? The controversy over supposed hidden chambers in King Tutankhamun's tomb has become even more complicated, with allegations that Egyptian officials are trying to suppress evidence that the chambers are not there after all . A radar scan last November by Japanese... More »

Archaeologists Find World's Oldest Ax

Only Japan comes close to harboring axes as old as fragment found in Australia

(Newser) - Archaeologists in Australia have found a fragment of an ax far older than any other ever found, evidence that the continent's first Aboriginal people were considerably more sophisticated with toolmaking than they've been given credit for. "We are rewriting history here," Sydney University archaeologist Peter Hiscock... More »

Teen's Stellar Theory Leads to Lost Mayan City

His dream is to one day visit the site

(Newser) - William Gadoury has spent a fifth of his life researching the ancient Maya, and the 15-year-old's effort has just paid off in a big way—with the apparent discovery of a lost city. "I did not understand why the Maya built their cities away from rivers, on marginal... More »

Ancient Proof of Mother's Love Unearthed in Taiwan

4,800-year-old human fossil is of mother, baby

(Newser) - Archaeologists in Taiwan were "shocked" to unearth a 4,800-year-old human fossil of a mother cradling an infant in her arms. The discovery, among 48 sets of remains excavated from graves in the Taichung area, represents the earliest trace of human activity in central Taiwan, according to Reuters . "... More »

Workers Laying Pipes Unearth Coins—1,300 Pounds of Them

Their mint condition suggests they were never in circulation

(Newser) - What should've been a simple maintenance project involving new water pipes in Spain has become something else entirely. Construction workers near Seville Wednesday stumbled upon about 1,300 pounds of bronze Roman coins from the third and fourth centuries crammed into 19 ancient amphoras, the AFP reports. The Washington ... More »

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