archaeology

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Sphinx Uncovered in Egyptian Temple

The discovery was made in the southern city of Aswan

(Newser) - Egypt says archaeologists have discovered a statue of a lion's body and a human head in the southern city of Aswan. Per the AP , the Antiquities Ministry says the sphinx made of sandstone was found in the Temple of Kom Ombo during work to protect the site from groundwater.... More »

Limestone Altar Reveals Secret of Mayan Rule

Guatemalan engraving may reveal how rival dynasty defeated Tikal

(Newser) - How do you conquer a powerful Mayan city-state? Forge a political dynasty, ally with smaller surrounding cities, and slowly envelop until you become leader of the Serpent Kingdom—at least according to one take on a newly unveiled Mayan altar, the AP reports. Discovered in 2017 at the Guatemalan site... More »

Big Egypt Find: Signs of Village Way Before the Pyramids

About 2,500 years before, to be (somewhat) exact

(Newser) - When you think of ancient Egypt, pharaohs and pyramids come to mind. But a new discovery in the Nile Delta is shedding some light on an even earlier time in Egypt's history. Archaeologists have discovered storage silos containing animal bones and food dating back to the Neolithic era (around... More »

What We Assumed About Easter Island May Be Wrong

New study looked at the source of the tools used to carve the heads

(Newser) - The tale of the demise of Easter Island's people may have to be rewritten. The story has long held that infighting as resources ran out was one of the main drivers of the collapse, but a new study published in the Journal of Pacific Archaeology suggests a different scenario.... More »

Find Made at Jamestown May Be a Significant One

Archaeologists suspect they may have found George Yeardley's remains

(Newser) - "Who got such a prominent burial in the church?" It's the question archaeologists believe they know the answer to, though only time—and DNA analysis—will tell. Scientists working in Jamestown, Va., have unearthed remains they suspect might belong to Sir George Yeardley, the first governor of Virginia,... More »

450-Year-Old Wreck Holds Something 'Unique'

But rare, ancient grappling hook will remain with the wreckage of the Swedish ship Mars

(Newser) - Seven years after it was found, a 454-year-old shipwreck in the Baltic Sea is still revealing its treasures. Cannons, a hand grenade, possible remains of helmets and swords, and a large grappling hook used to rein in enemy ships are among recent discoveries aboard Mars, a Swedish warship that sank... More »

Ancient Sarcophagus Yields Horrible-Smelling Secret

Sewage water leaked in over centuries

(Newser) - "The sarcophagus has been opened, but we have not been hit by a curse," declared the head of Egypt’s Supreme Council for Antiquities after opening a huge black sarcophagus that had been untouched for 2,000 years. Those prone to queasiness might have disagreed. Sewage water had... More »

In Ancient Fireplace, an 'Exceptional' Food Find

Researchers find the world's oldest bread

(Newser) - At least 4,000 years before the advent of farming, humans were baking bread. Two dozen charred crumbs found in hearths at an ancient hunter-gatherer site in northeastern Jordan have been identified as the world's oldest samples of bread—specifically, a 14,400-year-old flatbread made from wild cereals. That... More »

At an Egyptian Site Last Excavated in 1900, a Significant Find

Archaeologists hope to learn more about mummification process used 2.5K years ago

(Newser) - "It's only the beginning," is how Egypt's antiquities minister on Saturday described a find made at a site near the country's famed pyramids at an ancient necropolis south of Cairo. The discovery—which includes a mummification workshop and a shaft, used as a communal burial... More »

Pompeii Victim's Death Not What It Seemed

It wasn't decapitation, but it was still pretty awful

(Newser) - In reporting on the discovery of a centuries-old Pompeii victim in May, we wrote that it wasn't hard to figure out what killed the man: Archaeologists found a massive stone block, probably hurled by a volcanic cloud, severing the top part of his body. Now it turns out the... More »

First Civil War 'Limb Pit' Is Excavated

Find at Manassas National Battlefield Park reveals the aftermath of battle

(Newser) - A utility crew working at Virginia's Manassas National Battlefield Park unearthed what at first just seemed like portions of bone. Then came more bones, so far 11 limbs in all, nearly all of them leg bones. Now, thanks to help from forensic anthropologists at the Smithsonian's National Museum... More »

Victim Crushed by Rock Found at Pompeii

Bone infection slowed down his escape

(Newser) - It's not hard to figure out what killed a man whose remains were recently discovered at Pompeii—there is a massive stone block, probably hurled by a volcanic cloud, crushing the top part of his body. Determining why he was there takes more expertise: Archaeologists say there are lesions... More »

Legendary Ancient City Found by Accident

Mardaman in modern-day Iraq is nearly 5K years old

(Newser) - Archaeologists who've spent five years digging up an ancient city in Iraq's Kurdistan region have finally learned its name—and it's legendary. Mardaman, once the capital of a Mesopotamian province and its own independent kingdom, is believed to have begun as early as 4,800 years ago... More »

Couple Finds 'Cow' Remains in Yard—Except It's Not a Cow

Utah skeleton is actually that of a Pleistocene Era horse

(Newser) - When Laura and Bridger Hill started doing yard work at their home in Lehi, Utah, last September to prep for a retaining wall, the last thing they expected was to stumble across Ice Age-era remains. But that's exactly what happened, with the couple telling the New York Times they... More »

'Extraordinary Find' Made in Pompeii Bath House

Child's body is the first uncovered in decades

(Newser) - Almost 2,000 years ago, a child sheltered in Pompeii's central bath house complex as nearby Mount Vesuvius erupted terrifyingly, spewing vast amount of hot ash and pumice. The child's body was undisturbed until this year, when archaeologists using ground-scanning tools were surprised to find it just inches... More »

This Might've Been the Largest Child Sacrifice Ever

Remains of 140 children, 200 young llamas found in Peru

(Newser) - Decades before it was felled by the larger Inca civilization around 1475 AD, the Chimu people in what is now northern Peru gathered more than 140 children on a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean and slaughtered them all. Archaeologists who've uncovered the remains of boys, girls, and 200 young... More »

After 5th-Century Massacre, Bodies Were Left to Rot

Archaeologists find a grim end at Sandby borg

(Newser) - "In most cases where human remains have been found in connection with … scenes of brutal violence, the bodies have been buried in mass graves. This is not the case at Sandby borg," write the authors of a new study published in the journal Antiquity . The Swedish site,... More »

Teen Stumbles on Treasure Tied to King Bluetooth

Pearls, jewelry, coins unearthed by archaeologists in weekend dig

(Newser) - "Bluetooth" may strike you as an entirely modern word, but it's one found in the pages of history by way of Danish king Harald Gormsson, or "Harry Bluetooth", as he was known—and treasure connected to him has reportedly just been found. The Guardian reports 13-year-old Luca... More »

FBI Solves the Mystery of an Ancient Severed Head

In an Egyptian tomb belonging to Djehutynakht and his wife, there was just one head

(Newser) - It has to rank among the less usual undertakings doctors at Massachusetts General Hospital had attempted: In 2009 they removed a molar from a severed Egyptian mummy's head via an endoscope with grasping forceps they inserted through the neck. The tooth was a hopeful clue in a nearly... More »

29 Ancient Footprints May Upend Long-Held Migration Theory

The Coastal Migration Theory, that is

(Newser) - Twenty-nine human footprints from the end of the last Ice Age are fueling discussion about America's first immigrants, Gizmodo reports. Archaeologists found the prints on an island in British Columbia, Canada, while seeking evidence of the Coastal Migration Theory, which posits that humans traveled down the coast after crossing... More »

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