Ancient news stories

‘Shocking’ die-off of Africa’s oldest baobabs
11th June 2018 | Ancient, Earth

The trees, aged between 1,100 and 2,500 years and some as wide as a bus is long, may have fallen victim to climate change, the team speculated.

South America’s Inca civilization was better at skull surgery than Civil War doctors
10th June 2018 | | Ancient, Humans, Tech

A study of skulls from pre-Columbian Peru suggests the success rates of surgeons there was up to 80% during the Inca era, compared with just 50% during the American Civil War some 400 years later.

Russian Skeletons Show the Bubonic Plague Has Killed People for 4,000 Years
10th June 2018 | | Ancient, Humans

The discovery, published Friday in Nature Communications, pushes back the proposed age of the bubonic plague by 1,000 years.

Cannabis shops set to open in Canada by autumn after Senate approves legalisation
8th June 2018 | | Ancient, Earth, Humans

The Cannabis Act will now go back to the House of Commons, which passed the bill in November 2017 but needs to sign off on changes made by the Senate.

Secrets of Orkney’s ancient tombs revealed – in 3D
8th June 2018 | | Ancient, Humans, Tech

Orkney’s famous chambered cairns have been reconstructed in 3D with viewers able to explore and move around the tombs like never before.

Deadly behavior-modifying weapon identified in insect-world chemical arms race
7th June 2018 | | Ancient, Animal Life, Humans, Tech, Weird

New research joins the dots between zombie ants, an insect-world arms race and the search for new antibiotics.

Ancient paintings found in Krabi cave
7th June 2018 | Ancient, Humans

More than 60 ancient paintings, thought to be around 3,000-5,000 years old, have been found at the Khao Pru Tee Mae cliff in Mount Chong Lom, Ao Luek, Krabi.

Big data little help in megafauna mysteries
7th June 2018 | | Ancient, Animal Life

Too many meta-analyses of extinctions of giant kangaroos or huge sloths use data that are poor or poorly understood, warn Gilbert J. Price and colleagues.

DNA study reveals fate of Irish women taken by Vikings as slaves to Iceland
7th June 2018 | | Ancient, Humans

Researchers have found that contemporary Icelanders draw about 70 per cent of their genes from Norse ancestry.

A Crucial Archaeological Dating Tool Is Wrong, And It Could Change History as We Know It
6th June 2018 | | Ancient, Earth, Humans

This may not seem like a huge deal, but in situations where a decade or two of discrepancy counts, radiocarbon dating could be misrepresenting important details.

Dozens of Mysterious ‘Reserve Heads’ Were Sealed in Ancient Egyptian Tombs
6th June 2018 | | Ancient, Humans

Sculpted during the Old Kingdom (2613-2181 B.C.), the heads are often made of limestone, with the bottom of the neck working as a sort of base to allow the object to stand.

Late Pleistocene human mandibles from the Niah Caves may hint at ancient diets
6th June 2018 | Ancient, Humans

The researchers estimate that one of the mandibles is 28-30,000 years old, while the other two are at least 11,000 and 10,000 years old, respectively.

Researchers report the earliest fossil footprints
6th June 2018 | Ancient, Animal Life, Earth

Fossil footprints for animal appendages in the Ediacaran Period (about 635-541 million years ago) have been discovered in China. This is considered the earliest animal fossil footprint record.

Traditional Aboriginal healers should work alongside doctors to help close the gap
5th June 2018 | Ancient, Animal Life, Earth, Humans

Aboriginal healing practices involve mindfulness and attention to relationships with all living things, as well as seeking the advice and treatments of traditional healers.

The art of healing: five medicinal plants used by Aboriginal Australians
5th June 2018 | Ancient, Earth, Humans

People have lived in Australia for at least 65,000 years. In all those generations the land provided original Australians with everything they needed for a healthy life.

This 4,000-Year-Old Jar Contains Italy’s Oldest Olive Oil
5th June 2018 | | Ancient, Humans

Traces of oleic and linoleic acid found on a central Italy jar pushes the timeline of the substance in the region back an estimated 700 years.

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