11 Stories

Dye That Makes Jeans Blue Is Much Older Than We Thought

Archaeologists discover 6,200-year-old textile dyed with indigo

(Newser) - The dye that makes blue jeans blue has been around a lot longer than anyone thought. Archaeologists digging in Peru found a piece of cotton fabric dyed with indigo that is 6,200 years old, according to a press release . That's 1,500 years older than the previous oldest... More »

Is This the Face of a 16th-Century Pirate?

Remains were found under a school playground in Scotland

(Newser) - Students at a primary school in Scotland are set to get a real-life forensics lesson thanks to a centuries-old skeleton—believed to be that of a pirate—found last year beneath their playground, the Telegraph reports. Workers unearthed the remains while doing survey work for a planned extension at Victoria... More »

When Raiding Chinese Tombs, Feng Shui Helps

Police bust the China's biggest black-market antiquities ring

(Newser) - Police in China say they've busted the biggest antiquities trafficking ring in the country's history with the arrest of 175 people and the discovery of more than 1,100 artifacts worth $80 million, reports the BBC . Most are thought to have been dug up illegally around ruins going... More »

Jeweled Mummy Found Under Collapsed Roof

Mystery woman died about 4K years ago in Egypt

(Newser) - At some point about 4,000 years ago, a female aristocrat in her 30s died in southern Egypt. Archaeologists have finally found her—along with the jewelry she was wearing when buried, reports Discovery . The find is unusual because tomb raiders have generally picked such sites clean, but a stroke... More »

Scientists Find Reptile Eggs 120M Years Old

Believed to come from a pterosaur in what is now China

(Newser) - Scientists in China have found five well-preserved reptile eggs still intact more than 100 million years after they were laid. It's believed they belong to the ancient pterosaur—a reptile that roamed the Earth more than 120 million years ago during the Cretaceous period. Until now, scientists had found... More »

Archaeologists Find 4K-Year-Old Brain

It was likely preserved by earthquake, fire

(Newser) - Archaeologists in Turkey have uncovered one of the oldest human brains ever found, New Scientist reports. The 4,000-year-old organ was found in Seyitömer Höyük, a Bronze Age settlement, and researchers think its owner was likely killed when an earthquake buried him under rubble. A fire probably... More »

Earliest Matches Found at Dig Site

Stone and clay relics in Israel are 8,000 years old

(Newser) - Archaelogists say a set of peculiar, ancient artifacts might just be the earliest known matches. The cylindrical objects, fashioned from stone and clay, date back nearly 8,000 years. At first, scientists thought they were phallic cultural symbols, but then a group of Israeli researchers noticed a striking similarity to... More »

Bone Carving May Be Oldest Art in North America

Found in Florida, it's about 13,000 years old

(Newser) - Some of the earliest Americans turn out to have been artists. A bone fragment at least 13,000 years old, with the carved image of a mammoth or mastodon, has been discovered in Florida, a new study reports. While prehistoric art depicting animals with trunks has been found in Europe,... More »

Americas' Oldest Dog Unearthed

9,400-year-old Fido ended up as dinner

(Newser) - The first known domesticated dog in the Americas lived some 9,400 years ago and likely provided its owner with company, security, and, eventually, dinner, an ancient bone fragment suggests. A University of Maine researcher found the bone fragment in a prehistoric sample of human waste in Texas. DNA testing... More »

In Armenian Cave, Ancient Evidence of Winemaking

Turns out we loved our wine at least 6,100 years ago

(Newser) - Uncork a bottle of Pinot Noir and toast the wonders of archaeology: Scientists have reportedly discovered a 6,100-year-old winemaking operation—the oldest ever. Found in an Armenian cave where the oldest-known leather shoe was recently discovered, the "fairly large-scale operation" consists of a fermentation vat, a press, storage... More »

Neanderthals More Promiscuous Than Us

Finger length points to Stone Age promiscuity

(Newser) - Stone-Age men were Neanderthals in more ways than one. Finger length among Stone-Age humans indicates they were far more promiscuous than humans today, say scientists. Researchers had already determined that a smaller ratio between the length of an individual's ring and index finger is an indication of greater promiscuity among... More »

11 Stories