Ancient news stories

Ancient Human Sacrifice Victims Faced Slavery Before Death
20th June 2017 | | Ancient

At an ancient site of human sacrifice in China, war captives may have been kept as slaves for years before they were killed, a new study finds.

Archaeologists have previously uncovered evidence of ritual human sacrifice in many ancient societies, including the ancient Greeks, the Vikings, the ancient Maya, and the Aztecs and the Incas, as well as in ancient China.

Orion Transformed: Familiar Constellation Will Shift Over Millennia
19th June 2017 | | Ancient, Space

Humans observing the sky as they walked out of Africa millennia ago would have seen different night skies than the ones people see today. And humans in the far future will see another, different celestial landscape.

A Pharaoh’s Massive Tomb Unveiled
19th June 2017 | Ancient

The tomb of King Senwosret III, one of the most renowned pharaohs of ancient Egypt’s Middle Kingdom, is expected to open to the public in about a year or two, allowing tourists to appreciate the architecture of Egyptian builders who constructed the burial complex almost four thousand years ago, according to Dr. Josef Wegner, Associate Curator of the Egyptian Section of the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology (Penn Museum). He has been excavating in Abydos for decades.

Brewing Viking beer — with stones
19th June 2017 | | Ancient

When archaeologist Geir Grønnesby dug test pits at 24 different farms in central Norway, he nearly always found thick layers of fire-cracked stones dating from the Viking Age and earlier. Carbon-14 dating of this evidence tells us that ago, Norwegians brewed beer using stones.

Medieval Farmers May Have Skinned Cats for Pagan Rituals
19th June 2017 | | Ancient

Farmers skinned cats about 1,000 years ago in Spain, possibly for the medieval cat-fur industry or a “magical” pagan ritual, a new study finds.

Scientists found evidence of the skinning at the archaeological site of El Bordellet in eastern Spain, where medieval artifacts were discovered during highway construction in 2010.

Ancient DNA Could Unravel the Mystery of Prehistoric European Migration
19th June 2017 | | Ancient

By combining genetic data with archaeology, researchers analyzed the DNA of over 300 ancient Eurasians and Near-Eastern Europeans to find that these people may have roamed surprisingly far. They found that 50 percent of ancient skeletons were in graves more than 100 miles from their place of origin, 30 percent were up to 620 miles away, and the remaining people had roamed as far as 1,900 miles from their homes.

The Moundbuilders: North America’s Little-known Native Architects
19th June 2017 | | Ancient

The prehistoric people of Central and South America are known worldwide for their fantastic architectural and cultural achievements. However, North American natives are not known as great builders. But that does not mean they didn’t build.

Mesa Verde: Cliff Dwellings of the Anasazi
19th June 2017 | | Ancient

The Mesa Verde archaeological region, located in the American Southwest, was the home of a pueblo people who, during the 13th century A.D., constructed entire villages in the sides of cliffs.

Recently researchers found evidence that the people at Mesa Verde had sophisticated mathematical knowledge, using the golden ratio, a mathematical ratio also used at the Giza Pyramids, to help construct a Sun Temple.

Archaeologists in Ethiopia uncover ancient city in Harlaa
19th June 2017 | | Ancient

A forgotten city thought to date back as far as the 10th century AD has been uncovered by a team of archaeologists in eastern Ethiopia.

Artefacts from Egypt, India and China have been found in the city in the Harlaa region.

The Lost Cities of Ethiopia
18th June 2017 | Ancient

The Fra Mauro map (mid-15th century) provides a rare lens into the geographical worldview and mental landscapes of the medieval world. By connecting identifiable geography from this map to historical place names, we have begun to discover lost, medieval cities in Ethiopia.

Did Ancient Humans Acquire Nautical Knowledge by Sailing the Prehistoric Megalakes of Africa?
18th June 2017 | | Ancient

There is increasing evidence that anatomically modern humans (AMH) left Africa 100,000 years ago. Archaeological evidence indicates that AMH were in Arabia, China, Crete, and Brazil over 100,000 years ago. It has been shown that AMH left Africa before 60 thousand years ago.

This Ancient Maya Pyramid Was Destroyed To Build a Road
18th June 2017 | | Ancient

If the road to hell is paved with good intentions, then the road to progress is paved with…the destruction of ancient civilizations?

In May of 2013, archeologists in Belize were horrified to discover that a construction crew had gutted a major Maya archeological site in order to use the pyramid’s stone for roadwork.

Ancient Aztec temple and ball court unearthed in heart of Mexico City
18th June 2017 | | Ancient

The remains of a major Aztec temple and a ceremonial ball court have been discovered in downtown Mexico City, shedding new light on the sacred spaces of the metropolis that Spanish conquerors overran five centuries ago, archaeologists said on Wednesday.

Toys and Civilization
18th June 2017 | | Ancient

The excavator of Mohenjodaro and Chanhiyun Jo Daro [Chanhu-daro] Ernest Mackay wrote that “like the cities of Mohenjo-daro and Harappa, Chanhu-daro has produced a great variety of toys and playthings. Evidently the people of the Harappa period, like the Indians of today, paid attention to the enjoyment of the younger population

Fossil mushroom discovered from the era of the dinosaurs
16th June 2017 | | Ancient

With a classic shape, gills and a sturdy stalk, it wouldn’t look out of place in a stir-fry – but in fact it’s the fossilised remains of a mushroom thought to have sprouted about 115m years ago. It is the world’s oldest known fossil mushroom, and it is remarkable that it was preserved at all.

Alt: Scientists find world’s oldest fossil mushroom

Baby Bird from Time of Dinosaurs Found Fossilized in Amber
16th June 2017 | Ancient

The remains of a baby bird from the time of the dinosaurs have been discovered in a specimen of 99-million-year-old amber, according to scientists writing in the journal Gondwana Research.

The hatchling belonged to a major group of birds known as enantiornithes, which went extinct along with dinosaurs at the end of the Cretaceous period, about 65 million years ago.

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