Ancient news stories

Ghost Talkers and Puma Men: Adena Totemism and Shamans of the Early Woodland Period
14th October 2017 | | Ancient, Humans

The people of the Adena Moundbuilder Culture are widely regarded as the first builders of mounds and earthworks in the Ohio Valley.  By conventional dating, the culture spans the period of 1000 BC to around 300 AD.

Did Paleolithic Man in Siberia Weaponise Woolly Mammoth Ivory to Kill Woolly Mammoths?
14th October 2017 | Ancient, Animal Life, Humans

Ancient mammoth tusk spears were dug from a known permafrost layer in the Arctic area of Yakutia, which suggests they originate from the Upper Paleolithic time period. In other words, the mammoth tusk spears appear to have been used in an ambush attack by ancient man on a woolly mammoth at the time the creatures were veering towards obliteration. The beast probably lumbered on but eventually expired with the spear still piercing its rib cage to be found by modern-day tusk hunters.

To Bee or Not to Bee? Unique Glacier Bumblebee Survived the Ice Age in Russia
14th October 2017 | Ancient, Animal Life

It was first recorded in 1902, but now conclusive DNA evidence has now established that honey-making Bombus glacialis, the Glacier Bumblebee, is a separate species.  Endemic to the remote island of Novaya Zemlya, Russia, it survived the Ice Age here, scientists believe, the only creature known to have done so.

Ancient Bronze Age Warrior Unearthed in Siberia Marching to Afterlife with Daggers Drawn, Wearing Spiral Earrings and Mirrored Eyepatch
14th October 2017 | Ancient

The extraordinary find of a Bronze Age warrior ready for combat on his journey to the afterlife between 2,700 and 2,900 years ago is intriguing archeologists in Omsk, Siberia. Unusual features are the dagger ready for use in one hand, a knife in the other, and a metallic eye patch, seen as either a mirror illuminating his route to another world, or those who gave him evil glances. Nearby he had an axe and also some arrowheads. The warrior also wore some fetching white metal spiral earrings, made possibly from tin or silver.

Prehistoric Burials and Artifacts Unearthed in Wiltshire UK
14th October 2017 | | Ancient

Prehistoric burials were uncovered during construction work at a military base located about a mile and a half from Stonehenge.  Prehistoric pottery was found in the ditch fill which sealed the grave, which suggests the burial is also prehistoric. One body was placed in a crouched position, and such burials typically date between 2400 to 1600 BC.

Viking Silk Burial Garments Embroidered with “Allah” and “Ali” in Kufic Script
14th October 2017 | | Ancient

When archaeologists originally analyzed the burial clothes found at Viking graves in Sweden, they were working during World War II and looking at the garments through the lens of a Nordic-focused ideology. They missed a fascinating detail. As textile archaeologist Annika Larsson discovered when she re-examined the silks, which had been in storage for decades, the burial clothes had woven bands of silk patterned with Kufic characters referring to Allah and Ali, one of the most important figures in Islam.

How Osiris, First Ruler of Egypt, Became God of the Underworld
14th October 2017 | | Ancient

Osiris was one of the most prominent gods in the ancient Egyptian pantheon. This prominent deity was a member of the Ennead (known also as the Great Ennead and the Ennead of Heliopolis), a group of nine Egyptian deities worshipped primarily in Heliopolis, but whose influence spread to the rest of Egypt as well.

Ancient Tasmanian Stone Tools Seized from Home After Online Auction Tip-off
14th October 2017 | | Ancient

More than 130 suspected relic aboriginal stone tools were seized in Sydney Australia as part of investigation into the illegal sales of indigenous cultural material which carries penalties up to $795,000.

The United States Officially Withdraws From UNESCO
13th October 2017 | | Ancient

And so ends America’s efforts to list some of the most distinctive ancient earthworks and irreplaceable historical treasures in the world on the UNESCO World Heritage list. The official effective date of withdrawal is December 2018.  Hopefully we can still celebrate these ancient sites, cherish them, protect them, and educate the world about them.

The Mysterious Tribe of Blue Eyed Native Americans
13th October 2017 | Ancient, Humans

History holds many oddities that we may never fully understand, either through incomplete documentation, disinterest at the time, or simply a big question mark that hangs over all. Among these are mysterious tribes of people that have been encountered and confronted in all corners of the globe, often vanishing before we really understand them and leaving us perplexed at just who they were or where their origins lie. One such tribe was a mysterious group of Native Americans who appeared to explorers as something quite European in nature, although their ways and beginnings have always been cloaked in shadows. Known mostly from historical accounts, their origins remain murky, their lineage uncertain, and they are a historical curiosity we may never fully understand.

Evolution: The Beneficiaries of Mass Extinction
13th October 2017 | | Ancient, Animal Life

Mass extinctions were followed by periods of low diversity in which certain new species dominated wide regions of the supercontinent Pangaea, reports a new study.

DNA Study: South Americans Did Not Populate Easter Island
13th October 2017 | | Ancient, Humans

Researchers from UC Santa Cruz analysed bone fragments from the ancient skeletal remains of five people, which were excavated in the 1980s,to make their discovery.

DNA Study: Newfoundland Populated Multiple Times by Distinct Groups
13th October 2017 | Ancient, Humans

Indigenous people have been on the far northeastern edge of Canada for most of the last 10,000 years, moving in shortly after the ice retreated from the Last Glacial Maximum. Archaeological evidence suggests that people with distinct cultural traditions inhabited the region at least three different times with a possible hiatus for a period between 2,000 and 3,000 years ago.

How the People of Wales Became Welsh
13th October 2017 | | Ancient, Humans

Britain in the early Middle Ages was very different to the country it is now. Rather than England, Scotland and Wales, the island consisted of numerous kingdoms, the fate and fortune of which fluctuated, as some kings gained lordship over others, some smaller kingdoms were swallowed by their larger neighbours and others fell to foreign invaders – including Vikings, in the ninth and tenth centuries.

Obsidian Artifacts Found at Maya Site in Guatemala
13th October 2017 | | Ancient

42 obsidian artifacts have been found at the Maya site of Ceibal in Guatemala.  The precious rocks were thought to hold special spiritual or supernatural significance for Preclassical Mayan people.

Partial Statues of King Psamtik I, Ramses II, and Ra-Horakhti Discovered in Egypt
13th October 2017 | | Ancient

Archaeologists working in Souq al-Kharnis in the Matariya district of Egypt have uncovered a large number of fragments of the lower part of a King Psamtik I colossus, fragments of a colossal statue of King Ramses II, and part of the statue of god Ra-Horakhti.

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