archaeology

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Hidden in Plain View, an Ancient Sword

5K-year-old blade was initially labeled as medieval sword on display at monastery

(Newser) - A PhD student had a hunch that a monastery's sword, labeled as medieval, was actually much, much older. After two years of study, "it all came full circle," Italian archaeologist Vittoria Dall'Armellina, who's now completed her schooling at Venice's Ca' Foscari University, tells CNN... More »

Structure Made of Mammoth Bones Baffles Scientists

It was built 25K years ago in what is now Russia, and 'it does boggle my mind,' says researcher

(Newser) - Archaeologists have found plenty of structures made of mammoth bones across Eastern Europe over the years, but none quite like this one. Previously discovered ones were fairly small, suggesting they were used as dwellings. But this is not only older than the rest—figure about 25,000 years old—it'... More »

Ancient Earth May Have Been 'Water World'

Study suggests continents were nowhere to be found 3B years ago

(Newser) - Ready your Kevin Costner jokes : A new study suggests that ancient earth had no continents to speak of and was instead what scientists call a "water world," reports the Guardian . In this case, ancient refers to 3.2 billion years ago, and the study in Nature Geoscience is... More »

Treasures Abound on Canada's Legendary Wreck

HMS Erebus artifacts include a hairbrush, a lead stamp

(Newser) - When the flagship of a doomed 1845 expedition to find the Northwest Passage was discovered in Canada's Arctic in 2014, experts could hardly contain their glee at the thought of the artifacts lying in wait. They weren't disappointed. Some 350 items, including a 170-year-old wax seal boasting a... More »

Archaeologists May Have Found Rare 'Witch Bottle'

Could be a talisman used by Union troops in Virginia to ward off evil spirits

(Newser) - On the one hand, it might just be an old bottle that was used to store nails. But archaeologists who found it suspect something far more intriguing: They think Union soldiers used it as a "witch bottle" during the Civil War to fend off evil spirits, per a news... More »

3 Bodies Found During Alamo Renovations

Excavation work has been halted

(Newser) - Archaeologists have discovered three apparently long-forgotten bodies during a pre-renovation exploration of the Alamo, authorities say. Excavation work was halted and a tribal monitor was notified after the human remains were found in the Monks Burial Room and nave of the Alamo Church, NBC reports. "The remains encountered appear... More »

It Was Set to Be a Dump. Then, 'Largest Find of Its Kind'

Human-built pits in Mexico believed to be first known woolly mammoth traps

(Newser) - Humans were hunting woolly mammoths with traps some 15,000 years ago, according to a first-of-its-kind discovery. Archaeologists working the site of a planned garbage dump in Tultepec, Mexico, say they've found two pits used to capture the animals, as well as 824 bones from at least 14 mammoths—... More »

They Dug Up Tower of London Floor and Found Skeletons

They're the first bones from the Tower to have been analyzed

(Newser) - It's been almost 50 years since human remains were unearthed in the Tower of London, reports Live Science , which makes the recent discovery of two skeletons a noteworthy one—for more reasons than one. The Telegraph reports on the find: of a woman who died between the ages of... More »

20 Sealed Coffins Uncovered in Egypt

And nearby, evidence of funerary items produced on an 'industrial scale'

(Newser) - The colorful strokes, painted millennia ago, are still visible beneath a layer of dirt, which is partly why Egypt's antiquities ministry is celebrating the discovery of more than 20 ancient coffins as one of the "largest and most important" finds in the country in recent years. But the... More »

'Spanish Stonehenge' Reappears in 50-Year First

Dolmen of Guadalperal was last seen in full in 1963

(Newser) - For a limited time, you can feast your eyes on "Spanish Stonehenge"—which has been unseen in full in more than 50 years. The ancient monument officially known as the Dolmen of Guadalperal—a circle of 150 stones up to 6 feet tall on Spain's Peraleda de... More »

Scotland Is Seeking the Bones of a 300-Year-Old Witch

Lilias Adie died in 1704

(Newser) - Scotland has a single witch's grave. Only the bones that were placed there in 1704 aren't there anymore, and local officials are hoping to finally get them back. The Washington Post reports that Lilias Adie was arrested 315 years ago after she was accused of calling upon Satan... More »

As Far as Child Sacrifices Go, This Could Be the Biggest

227 bodies found in Peru

(Newser) - It's a grim and possibly record-setting find in Peru: what archaeologists say could be the biggest single mass child sacrifice ever found. The current body count is 227, and that number could grow as archaeologists continue to work the site, which is near the seaside town of Huanchaco in... More »

Pompeii Gives Up a 'Sorcerer's Treasure Trove'

So much for good-luck charms

(Newser) - There was perhaps no better place for good-luck charms than Pompeii circa AD79. Too bad they didn't quite work. Archaeologists combing the ancient Roman city discovered dozens of charms within a "sorcerer's treasure trove," encased in hardened volcanic material from Mount Vesuvius' eruption that year, per... More »

Cannonball Alters History of Waterloo

It suggests French army reached British field hospital before defeat

(Newser) - Rare human remains—specifically, amputated leg bones—have been discovered at the site of the 200-year-old battle that marked Napoleon's final defeat. Archaeologists were combing the site of farm buildings that were used as a British field hospital during the Battle of Waterloo in what is now Belgium when... More »

'It's the Earliest Strong Evidence of People Getting High' on Pot

Signs of ritual marijuana smoking found in western China

(Newser) - Archaeologists have unearthed the earliest direct evidence of people smoking marijuana from a 2,500-year-old graveyard in western China. In a complex of lofty tombs in the Pamir Mountains—a region near the borders of modern China, Pakistan, and Tajikistan—excavators found 10 wooden bowls and several stones containing burnt... More »

Mass Grave Tells of Horror When the Men Were Away

Archaeologists probe a 5K-Year-old killing

(Newser) - Talk about a cold case: Archaeologists are investigating a 5,000-year-old mass murder that confirms the brutality of late Neolithic life, LiveScience reports. Eight years ago, a grave was discovered in Poland with 15 women, young men, and children, all killed by head wounds and buried alongside funerary gifts like... More »

At Heart of Lake Titicaca, an Ancient Treasure Trove

Evidence suggests ritual sacrifice by the Tiwanaku

(Newser) - To the Aymara people of the Andes, Lake Titicaca is a mystical being. It's a belief that dates back hundreds of years to the Inca—and beyond, as evidenced by treasure pulled from the lake's depths, per Live Science . Divers have discovered gold medallions marked with a ray-faced... More »

Remnants of Nazi Massacre Found in Germany

400 artifacts found during excavation

(Newser) - Between March 20 and 23 in 1945, Nazis killed three groups of Polish and Soviet forced laborers—208 people in all—in Germany's Arnsberg Forest. The remains were exhumed and reburied by 1947, but those victims are now being remembered and discussed following a trio of excavations of the... More »

Archaeologists Are Bitter About Cadbury

They say treasure hunt campaign advocated looting

(Newser) - Cadbury has pulled an advertising campaign that archaeologists say encouraged children to dig for treasure—illegally. Naming archaeological sites around the UK and Ireland where jewels, gold, and silver have been found, the Treasure Island ads encouraged kids to "grab your metal detector and go hunting for Roman riches"... More »

After Locals Told of the Cave, It Was Sealed—Until Now

Some 200 Mayan artifacts found below Chichen Itza

(Newser) - This "extraordinary" story could have been published 50 years ago. That's when locals at the Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza told an archaeologist about a cave there, but he had its entrance sealed, possibly to safeguard what was inside. The AP reports his brief report on it languished... More »

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