archaeology

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Clay Seals Suggest Kings David, Solomon Were Real

Discovery bolsters theory of Iron Age kingdoms

(Newser) - Kings David and Solomon may be memorable figures from the Bible, but plenty of scholars think they were mere figments of somebody's imagination. One big reason is that the archaeological record doesn't mesh: These two supposedly ruled in the 10th-century BC, but where's the physical evidence? Now,... More »

Skeleton and His Dagger Yield a Tale 4.2K Years Old

Tests suggest he was likely a warrior who died in battle

(Newser) - He lay on his side, clutching a bronze dagger, undiscovered in a shallow field in the UK for four millennia til a metal detector hit upon his dagger. Then it took another quarter-century for tests to be funded and performed, but they're now telling the story of Racton Man... More »

Teeth Solve an Easter Island Mystery

Scientists discover what the locals were really snacking on 800 years ago

(Newser) - Scientists have been pondering why people who lived on Easter Island (or Rapa Nui) appear to have eaten palm trees—a primary crop, reports Nature World News —for several centuries when other research suggests the plant went extinct right around the time of colonization in the 13th century. The... More »

Cave Find Suggests When Humans Figured Out Fire

Researchers in Israel say it happened about 350K years ago

(Newser) - As early human milestones go, it's as big as they get: the "invention" of fire. Or more precisely, the mastering of fire. Now archaeologists studying an ancient cave in Israel say they've figured out when humans managed the feat: about 350,000 years ago, reports Science . Researchers... More »

Archaeologists' Surprise Find: Ancient, Busty Statuette

They put it together from 20 fragments

(Newser) - Archaeologists in northern France were digging for "tooled flint or bones," they say, when they came upon something stunning: what ended up being a 23,000-year-old sculpture of a woman. While digging near Amiens over the summer, they noticed some pieces amid the limestone they had found didn'... More »

Medieval Palace May Be Buried Underground

Archaeologists uncover what's under the grass at Old Sarum

(Newser) - A prehistoric fortress is home to a much later structure: what may be one of the biggest medieval palaces ever discovered, one whose remnants remain buried beneath the ground, the Independent reports. The site in southern England is surrounded by huge earthworks that date to the Iron Age. Researchers used... More »

5 Ancient Skeletons Found in Shackles

Child's remains among those discovered at Roman site

(Newser) - Investigating an ancient Roman burial site in southwest France, researchers came upon a creepy find: Five skeletons—one of them a child's—were stuck in shackles, the Independent reports. Iron chains were locked around the ankles of three of the skeletons, while another had shackles on its neck. The... More »

Biggest Ancient Block of Stone Is Found

It weighs 1.6K tons, was never moved from quarry

(Newser) - Archaeologists studying an ancient quarry that is home to a famously gigantic stone block have now found an even bigger stone block at the site, reports io9 . This monster, which dates back to 27 BC, is 64 feet long and 19.6 feet wide. Though it is still mostly buried,... More »

How Was Terracotta Army Made? Ears Reveal Clue

Facial features were perhaps modeled after real soldiers, researchers find

(Newser) - A massive army of terracotta warriors, commissioned by China's first emperor in 246 BC, has mesmerized archaeologists since its discovery in 1974. Slowly, researchers have learned the secrets of the amazing clay statues, including how they were painted , but were still puzzled by how their realistic features were created.... More »

Bones in Ancient Tomb May Solve Greece Mystery

Whoever was buried at Amphipolis was clearly important

(Newser) - Archaeologists in Greece have made their biggest find yet inside an ancient tomb that goes back to the days of Alexander the Great: bones. The discovery at the site near what was once Amphipolis could finally answer the question of who was buried there in the 4th century BC, reports... More »

King-Protecting 'Witchmarks' Uncovered in Home

Though King James I never made it to the Knole estate in Kent

(Newser) - Most old homes bear normal signs of wear and tear. The strange gouge marks beneath the floorboards of "one of Britain's most important historic houses," however, tell a pretty interesting story, the Independent reports: They were intended to guard King James I from witches and other evil... More »

Hiker Stumbles Onto 90M-Year-Old Turtle

Experts then dig it up for museum display

(Newser) - What looked like a pile of weirdly gray rocks was actually something far more significant: a fossil dating back to the dinosaurs, the Las Cruces Sun-News reports. Jeff Dornbusch, a museum volunteer, noticed the gray mound while hiking in New Mexico's brown desert landscape more than ten years ago,... More »

Old Stone Circles Baffle Archaeologists

"Big Circles" in Jordan date back at least 2K years

(Newser) - Archaeologists have snapped aerial photos of ancient stone circles as part of an ongoing effort to figure out why the structures exist, LiveScience reports. The images (taken in Jordan and viewable here ) show that 10 of the 11 structures are roughly 1,300 feet in diameter, but their purpose... More »

50 Years Later, Woman Returns Stolen Piece of Pompeii

She felt bad about taking the artifact during her honeymoon

(Newser) - It's been more than half a century since a certain unidentified Canadian woman took a piece of Pompeii home with her, but it seems her guilt got the better of her: She has finally brought it back to the site, the BBC reports. The woman was on her honeymoon... More »

Dig Reveals Mass Sacrifice of Kids, Llamas

At least 42 children, 76 llamas killed in possible offering to the sea

(Newser) - Physical anthropologist John Verano has seen plenty while working in Peru over the last 30 years. What he came across this summer in the village of Huanchaquito, however, is "not what we've seen before, especially on the coast," he says. Locals noticed bones poking out of a... More »

Archaeologists: Tunnel Could Lead to Teotihuacan Rulers

Chambers could hold Teotihuacan leaders' remains

(Newser) - After almost a decade of painstaking work, researchers have unearthed an amazing 50,000 relics from a tunnel in the ancient city of Teotihuacan—and they believe the biggest prizes still await. The tunnel below the site around 30 miles away from Mexico City was discovered in 2003 after having... More »

Highest Ice Age Camp Found in Andes

Settlers in Peru got there earlier than thought

(Newser) - Archaeologists who found ancient settlements high up in the Peruvian Andes were surprised to learn that humans were there between 12,000 and 13,000 years ago. At nearly 3 miles above sea level, that makes them the "world's highest known Ice Age settlements," in the words... More »

Humans Stayed Lactose Intolerant Long After Dawn of Dairy Operations

Trait showed up thousands of years after first cheese-making

(Newser) - Humans have been running relatively advanced dairy operations for more than 7,000 years—the first cheese dates back to then —so it seems logical to assume that human bodies have been able to process milk for just as long. Turns out, that assumption is off by thousands of... More »

Experts Hunt for Prehistoric Culture Under Everglades Boardwalk

Search follows on 1968 discovery

(Newser) - Researchers are searching for an ancient culture in Everglades National Park, following up on work done decades ago. In 1968, after a pond in the park was dredged, a park ranger spotted a vast collection of what may have been tools and weapons, as well as remnants of marine life... More »

Archaeologists Uncover Giant Sphinx in Calif. Dunes

Cecil B. DeMille buried 'Ten Commandments' set in the Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes

(Newser) - Archaeologists parted the sands in California to excavate one of the last remnants of old-time Hollywood: a giant plaster sphinx from the set of Cecil B. DeMille's The Ten Commandments. The director buried props from the epic movie (the 1923 silent black-and-white version, not the 1956 Charlton Heston blockbuster)... More »

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