Ancient news stories

New fossil mammal was the first ‘King’ of Scotland
15th May 2017 | | Ancient

Until now, only two mammal species were known from the Middle Jurassic of Scotland. This month, my colleagues and I added a third one to the list: Wareolestes rex

Eggs four times bigger than ostriches’ reveal a giant dinosaur
15th May 2017 | | Ancient

A clutch of enormous fossil eggs from China has led to the discovery of a new species of giant bird-like dinosaur.

Flightless Beibeilong sinensis, which lived around 90 million years ago, had feathers, primitive wings and a beak, but dwarfed any of its modern bird relatives.

Alt: Embryo of Colossal Dinosaur Was Preserved for 90 Million Years

A New Discovery in Roman Britain
15th May 2017 | Ancient

More of the ancient Roman city of Verulamium’s secrets have been discovered by archaeologists. The burnt remains of a 1,800-year-old kiln – a type of oven used to create pottery – have been unearthed during excavations of the ancient city near the modern city of St. Albans in Hertfordshire, Great Britain.

Egypt ‘uncovers burial chamber of pharaoh’s daughter’
14th May 2017 | | Ancient

The 3,700-year-old burial chamber of a pharaoh’s daughter is believed to have been found near the remains of a recently discovered pyramid in Egypt.

This Means War!
14th May 2017 | Ancient

Sites of ancient conflicts reignite a debate over when members of our species first took up arms against each other.

The skull, though weathered from millennia of brutal heat and scouring sands, is unmistakably human. Unmistakable, too, are the signs of a violent death

Snowball Earth melting led to freshwater ocean 2 kilometres deep
14th May 2017 | | Ancient

A little more than 600 million years ago, you could have drunk from the ocean.

After an extreme ice age known as snowball Earth, in which glaciers extended to the tropics and ice up to a kilometre thick covered the oceans, the melt formed a thick freshwater layer that floated on the super-salty oceans.

A New Idea on How Earth Became a Giant Snowball
14th May 2017 | | Ancient, Earth

Eons ago Earth experienced a wild transformation: it turned into a giant snowball. These massive glaciation events, where ice encased the planet from pole-to-pole, are fittingly named “snowball Earth.” There were at least two occurrences: one around 717 million and another some 645 million years ago.

Although geologists have good evidence Earth experienced these snowball events, they still cannot figure out how they happened.

Jurassic drop in ocean oxygen lasted a million years
14th May 2017 | | Ancient, Earth

Dramatic drops in oceanic oxygen, which cause mass extinctions of sea life, come to a natural end – but it takes about a million years.

Alt: Oceans are at the ‘edge’ of losing all oxygen: Event could lead to mass sea life extinction

Found: dragon and griffin megaliths ‘dating back 12,000 years to end of Ice Age, or earlier’
14th May 2017 | Ancient

‘If we accept the fact that the dragon is an artificial object, then the stones composing it were brought, processed and installed in a certain position, he said. ‘The rock weighs over 120 tons.

17,000-Year-Old Sacred Site – Believed to be Gateway to the Underworld – Is Vandalized
14th May 2017 | | Ancient

The prehistoric petroglyphs near Malyshevo village in Khabarovsk region are among the most remarkable in the world – an ancient art exhibition dating to neolithic times.

On the basalt rocks on the right shore of the Amur River are carvings of faces and shaman masks along with woolly mammoths, horses, snakes, concentric circles and hunting scenes.

Oldest evidence of life on land found in 3.48-billion-year-old Australian rocks
13th May 2017 | Ancient

Fossil evidence of early life has been discovered by UNSW scientists in 3.48 billion year old hot spring deposits in the Pilbara of Western Australia – pushing back by 3 billion years the earliest known existence of inhabited terrestrial hot springs on Earth.

Alt: First Life on Earth: New Discovery Pushes Back Evidence by 3 Billion Years! –“Major Implications for Life on Mars”
Alt: 3.5-billion-year-old fossils hint life evolved in pond, not sea

Antibiotic-resistant microbes date back to 450 million years ago, well before the age of dinosaurs
13th May 2017 | | Ancient

Leading hospital ‘superbugs,’ known as the enterococci, arose from an ancestor that dates back 450 million years — about the time when animals were first crawling onto land (and well before the age of dinosaurs), according to a new study.

Ancient minerals fill in lost chapter of Earth’s history
13th May 2017 | Ancient, Earth

Scientists from the Australian National University in Canberra studying ancient minerals have filled in some gaps in our picture of Earth in the Hadean eon, 4.4. billion years ago.

How Arabs Made Israel’s Desert Bloom More Than 1,500 Years Ago
13th May 2017 | | Ancient

Israelis like to boast about their success in developing the Negev, but under the Byzantine empire, Christian Arabs were the first to turn the desert into a garden.

Related: Ancient Engineering That Kept One of the Driest Cities Wet

Don’t Believe The Big Story About Humans Roaming America 130,000 Years Ago
13th May 2017 | | Ancient

Ancient people butchered a mastodon, hammering its bones for marrow with rocks, some 130,000 years ago in California, according to a new archaeological study.

The far more likely explanation, according to Grayson and other skeptics, is that the bones were crushed not by ancient humans, but by bulldozers carving a new highway in the 1990s.

Yemen war threatens millennia-old mummies
13th May 2017 | Ancient

Yemen’s war has claimed thousands of lives and pushed millions to the brink of famine. Now the conflict threatens to erase a unique part of the country’s ancient history.

Ancient Egyptian limestone relief recovered from Paris
13th May 2017 | Ancient

Egypt’s Ministry of Antiquities officially received today an ancient Egyptian limestone relief, which has been recovered from France, during a ceremony held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs headquarters in Cairo.

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