Ancient news stories

Amateur Volunteers Help Unravel Mystery of New Hampshire’s Paleoindians
23rd October 2017 | | Ancient, Humans

Hidden behind a bed-and-breakfast in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, teams of amateur volunteers with trowels and shovels needle the soil in several shallow pits searching for clues about Native Americans who passed through here 12,000 years ago. The researchers hope to find any artifacts that could explain just how these Paleoindians lived, why they set up shop above a valley, and why they eventually moved on.

The Mysterious Pyramids of Ancient Nubia
23rd October 2017 | | Ancient

Travelogue article from Singapore’s Buro focusing on Ancient Nubia, now known as Sudan, which actually has more than twice the number of pyramids as compared to Egypt — with 255 known pyramids as compared to Egypt’s 138 —  built by members of the Kingdom of Kush, an early civilisation that ruled areas along the Nile River from 1070 BC to 350 AD.

The Stone Petrospheres of Costa Rica
22nd October 2017 | Ancient, Earth

Fascinating article from the Free Dictionary site about the 300 stone petrospheres of Costa Rica.  In the cosmogony of the Bribri, which is shared by the Cabecares and other American ancestral groups, the stone spheres are “Tara’s Cannon Balls”. Tara or Tlatchque, the god of thunder, used a giant blowpipe to shoot the balls at the Serkes, gods of winds and hurricanes, in order drive them out these lands. Numerous myths surround the stones, such as they came from Atlantis. Some local legends also state that the native inhabitants had access to a potion able to soften the rock. Research has been offered in support of this hypothesis, but it is not supported by geological or archaeological evidence, and it has not been demonstrated that igneous gabbro, the material most of the balls are composed of, can be worked in this way.

The Struggle to Protect a Tree at the Heart of Hopi Culture
22nd October 2017 | | Ancient, Earth, Humans

In the American Southwest, the loss of juniper trees at the hands of mining and development could cost the Hopi a crucial part of their heritage.  The juniper provides Hopis the basics of warmth, shelter, tools, and food. Hopis do not cut down junipers, but rather collect deadwood for winter fires and for building houses, corrals, and fences. Juniper roots which can stretch downward 200 feet are carved into cradleboards, bows and arrows, and hairpieces used for the famous squash-blossom hairdo of Hopi maidens.  Juniper berries are considered a “starvation food” for when the tribe’s crops fail.

Skeptic “Disproves” Theory of California’s 130,000 year old First Americans
22nd October 2017 | | Ancient, Humans

Early in 2017, evidence of 130,000 year old Ancient Americans was found at the Cerutti Mastodon Site in San Diego, California. This is more than 100,000 years older than the First Americans should be.  So is it right?  Editorial article from Adam Benton’s Filthy Monkey Men website challenges recent findings.

The Many Hands Shirt: Reuniting an Oglala Lakota Family and an Heirloom
22nd October 2017 | | Ancient, Humans

The symbolic Many Hands shirt was made around 1910 by the wife of Chief Daniel Black Horn of the Oglala Lakota. He had traveled extensively with Buffalo Bill’s Wild West and other shows of the period. He went to Europe several times and, though he spoke no English, he met many members of European royal families and government officers with whom he had to shake hands.

Why the Famous Folsom Point, New Mexico, isn’t a Smoking Gun
22nd October 2017 | | Ancient, Humans

Nine decades after the original Folsom excavation team labored in the hot summer sun of northeastern New Mexico, recent research continues to shed new light on our understanding of Ancient America.  Frankly, the story just keeps getting better and better.

How Smart Were the First Toolmakers?
22nd October 2017 | | Ancient, Humans

The stone tools that have survived in the archaeological record can tell us something about the intelligence of the people who made them. Even our earliest human ancestors were no dummies; there is evidence for stone tools as early as 3.3 million years ago, though they were probably making tools from perishable items even earlier.

The Pre-Columbian Pyramid of the Magician in Uxmal, Mexico
22nd October 2017 | Ancient

Comprehensive article from The Free Dictionary site containing details about Uxmal, Mexico’s famed step Pyramid of the Magician, also known as the Pyramid of the Soothsayer: its architecture, construction, restoration, folkore, Mayan legends, historical references, and contemporary status.

DNA Analysis of 40,000 year old Tianyuan Man Reveals Complicated Genetic History of Asia
22nd October 2017 | Ancient, Humans

Though several ancient humans have been sequenced in Europe and Siberia, few have been sequenced from East Asia, particularly China, where the archaeological record shows a rich history for early modern humans. This new study on Tianyuan man marks the earliest ancient DNA from East Asia, and the first ancient genome-wide data from China.

Paleontologists Find New Species of Extinct Condor in Argentina
22nd October 2017 | Ancient, Animal Life

The fossil was found in Marcos Paz,  34 kilometers from Buenos Aires. With its wings open, its total length was around 2 meters and 50 centimeters. Because it had stronger claws and backbone than the current condor, paleontologists estimate that it could hunt its prey instead of merely eating carrion.

Evidence of Ritualistic Violence in Early Andean Socieites
22nd October 2017 | Ancient, Humans

Pacopampa in Peru’s northern highlands was home to a complex society founded on ritual activity.  Researchers excavating an ancient ceremonial site there say the culture engaged in violent, non-lethal rituals of bloodletting.

The Face of Peru’s 4,500 year old “Lady with the 4 Brooches” Recreated
22nd October 2017 | Ancient, Humans

Scientists have recreated the face of a 4,500 year old mummy, unearthed last year in an archaeological site in the coastal ruins of Aspero, north central Peru.  The findings shed new light on the important role of women who lived in an ancient gender-equal South American culture called the Caral civilisation.

When Wealth Inequality Arose
22nd October 2017 | Ancient, Humans

For eons, our hunter-gatherer ancestors shared their spoils with one another, didn’t own much and had very little social hierarchy.  The fact that individuals had so few personal possessions took the bitter dish of economic inequality off the table.  But now, Neolithic burial sites offer evidence of the growing divide between the rich and the poor.  As time passed, farmers owning fertile fields got rich, while farmers with rocky plots got by or found other work.

“Pharaoh: The Face of Power” Exhibit at Copenhagen’s Glyptotek Museum
22nd October 2017 | Ancient

In an impressive special exhibition, the Glyptotek Museum gives a glimpse into the power structures, god-worship and everyday life in Ancient Egypt when Pharaohs reigned as a personified gods and undisputed authorities.

Younger Dryas Ice Stream Retreats Under a Cold Climate
21st October 2017 | | Ancient, Earth

An article published in Nature Communications shows that a warmer ocean surface in Baffin Bay triggered the Jakobshavn Isbræ ice stream retreat in Greenland during this cold period known as the Younger Dryas period occurred 12,900-11,700 years ago after the last ice age.

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