archaeology

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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 »

Study Names Man Behind One of Great Scientific Hoaxes

Charles Dawson was apparently the sole perpetrator behind Piltdown Man

(Newser) - In 1912, an ambitious lawyer named Charles Dawson discovered a fossilized skeleton with the skull of a man but the jaws of an ape in a British gravel pit, the Telegraph reports. For the next three decades, Eoanthropus dawsoni—better known as Piltdown Man, named for the location it was... More »

China's Great Flood Legend Might Actually Be True

Evidence suggests water covered North China Plain 4K years ago

(Newser) - A great flood at the dawn of Chinese civilization was said to have swept away settlements, the water rising so high that it overran heaven itself. It was the sage King Yu who tamed the waters by building ditches, the legend went, thus earning a mandate to rule and laying... More »

16th Century Spanish Fort Found Under Golf Course

Archaeologists had been searching for Fort San Marcos for decades

(Newser) - After two decades of searching, archaeologists have finally discovered the location of a Spanish fort missing for 450 years: a golf course in South Carolina, the Beaufort Gazette reports. According to the AP , Fort San Marcos—built in 1577 and occupied for five years—was discovered last month under a... More »

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 »

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