Ancient news stories

Researchers suggest sea scorpions used serrated tail spine to dispatch their prey
21st April 2017 | Ancient

Four hundred and thirty million years ago, long before the evolution of barracudas or sharks, a different kind of predator stalked the primordial seas. The original sea monsters were eurypterids—better known as sea scorpions.

What Drove Tsavo Lions to Eat People? Century-Old Mystery Solved
20th April 2017 | | Ancient, Animal Life

Their names were “The Ghost” and “The Darkness,” and 119 years ago, these two massive, maneless, man-eating lions hunted railway workers in the Tsavo region of Kenya. During a nine-month period in 1898, the lions killed at least 35 people and as many as 135, according to different accounts. And the question of why the lions developed a taste for human flesh remained a subject of much speculation.

Medieval priest discovered in elaborate grave 700 years after his death
20th April 2017 | | Ancient

The remains of a medieval priest who died 700 years ago have been uncovered in an elaborate grave.

Archaeologists from the University of Sheffield uncovered the rare find at Thornton Abbey in Lincolnshire, which was founded as a monastery in 1139 and went onto become one of the richest religious houses in England.

Mexico revives 3,000-year-old ancient ball game
19th April 2017 | | Ancient

The finals of a revived 3,000-year-old ball game have been played in the Mexican city of Teotihuacan

Organisers have been trying to bring back the game, known as Ullamaliztli in Mexico, because of its ancient cultural and religious significance.

Archaeologists find Roman emperor’s 1,900-year-old summer home in Turkey
19th April 2017 | | Ancient

Kibyratis in the Turkish mountains was a pastoral retreat for the Roman elite, who didn’t miss the opportunity to make money while about it

Stone Age Woman Had Modern-Looking Face
19th April 2017 | | Ancient

The pretty face of a woman who lived more than 13,000 years ago in what is now Thailand, and is considered a likely descendant of the first humans to populate Southeast Asia, is seeing the light of day.

The “True” Human Diet
19th April 2017 | Ancient, Humans

From the standpoint of paleoecology, the so-called Paleo diet is a myth

People have been debating the natural human diet for thousands of years, often framed as a question of the morality of eating other animals. The lion has no choice, but we do. Take the ancient Greek philosopher Pythagoras, for example: “Oh, how wrong it is for flesh to be made from flesh!”

Behind the iron curtain: How methane-making microbes kept the early Earth warm
19th April 2017 | Ancient

For much of its first two billion years, Earth was a very different place: oxygen was scarce, microbial life ruled, and the sun was significantly dimmer than it is today. Yet the rock record shows that vast seas covered much of the early Earth under the faint young sun.

The terrifying tsunami that devastated Britain
18th April 2017 | | Ancient, Earth

Some 8,000 years ago, a tsunami with a run-up height of up to 25m swept Scottish islands and the coastline at 80mph. It may have been caused by climate change. Could it happen again?

How the Discovery of Two Lost Ships Solved an Arctic Mystery
18th April 2017 | Ancient

In 1848, the Franklin expedition’s two ships, H.M.S. Erebus and H.M.S. Terror, disappeared with all their crew while searching for the Northwest Passage. Their fate is one of the enduring mysteries of the age of exploration. Numerous expeditions were sent out to find them, numerous theories proposed to explain what happened. Dark rumors of cannibalism only made the mystery more compelling. It wasn’t until 2014 that a Canadian mission, equipped with all the latest marine archaeological equipment, located Erebus. Terror was discovered two years later.

Paul Watson, author of Ice Ghosts: The Epic Hunt for the Lost Franklin Expedition, was on board the lead Canadian vessel when Erebus was found.

Solstice Alignments Discovered in ‘Peter Pan’ Gardens
18th April 2017 | | Ancient

The pathways of the “Peter Pan” gardens in front of Kensington Palace in London were designed to align with the rising sun during the summer and winter solstices, a researcher had found.

Black holes theorized in the 18th century
18th April 2017 | Ancient, Space

Black holes are not made up of matter, although they have a large mass. This explains why it has not yet been possible to observe them directly, but only via the effect of their gravity on the surroundings. They distort space and time and have a really irresistible attraction. It is hard to believe that the idea behind such exotic objects is already more than 230 years old.

Shock-absorbing spear points kept early North Americans on the hunt
17th April 2017 | | Ancient

Ancient North Americans hunted with spear points crafted to absorb shock.

Clovis people, who crossed a land bridge from Asia to North America around 13,500 years ago, fashioned stone weapons that slightly crumpled at the base rather than breaking at the tip when thrust into prey

Bushmen Painted Earliest Rock Art in Southern Africa 5,000 Years Ago
17th April 2017 | | Ancient

They may now be underwater, but the oldest rock art paintings in southern Africa are about 5,000 years old, far more ancient than previously realized, a new study finds.

3,700-year-old pyramid discovered near Cairo was probably already excavated 60 years ago
17th April 2017 | Ancient

Archaeologists working at the Dahshur royal necropolis south of Cairo have discovered the remains of a pyramid built 3,700 years ago – at the time of the 13th dynasty of Egypt.

The Antiquities ministry announced that a long interior corridor and a block engraved with 10 hieroglyphic lines had been found, in a good state of conservation. The inscriptions might shed a light on the story of the pyramid.

Precision chronology sheds new light on the origins of Mongolia’s nomadic horse culture
17th April 2017 | | Ancient

According to new research, nomadic horse culture — famously associated with Genghis Khan and his Mongol hordes — can trace its roots back more than 3,000 years in the eastern Eurasian Steppes, in the territory of modern Mongolia

What Did the Ancients See? Unidentified Flying Objects that Made an Impact on Early History
16th April 2017 | | Ancient, Weird

The number of reported UFO sightings has hit an all time high in 2017. In the 112 years since the National UFO Reporting Center began keeping track, there have been 104,947 reported events (Monfort, 2017). The majority of sightings occur in the United States, though Canada, Australia, and the Nordic countries also have significant numbers of unidentified flying object sightings

News stories covering history, archaeology, ancient Egypt, and mysteries of the past.