Ancient news stories

Neanderthals: Our extinct human relatives
21st August 2023 | | Ancient, Humans

Studies suggest that H. sapiens last shared a common ancestor with Neanderthals somewhere between 600,000 and 800,000 years ago, though the exact date of the split is debated. Neanderthals arose as a distinct population between 400,000 and 350,000 years ago and went extinct around 40,000 years ago, though exactly why isn’t clear.

An Ancient Fire Wiped Out Entire Species. It’s Happening Again, Scientists Fear
20th August 2023 | | Ancient, Animal Life, Earth, Humans

In a new study, published in August 2023, we sought to understand changes that were happening in California during the last major extinction event at the end of the Pleistocene, a time period known as the Ice Age.

13-year-old girl found in Iberian cave was an Early Neolithic pioneer, predating funerary traditions by 1,000 years by Justin Jackson ,
17th August 2023 | Ancient, Humans

Research led by the Universidad de Alcala, Spain, has revisited Early Neolithic human remains found within the Galería del Sílex cave in Spain’s Sierra de Atapuerca cave system. See the paper here.

The Famous ‘Iceman’ Ötzi Is Not Who We Thought He Was
17th August 2023 | | Ancient, Humans, Tech

A new and improved DNA analysis of the famous ‘Iceman’ mummy suggests this ancient individual is not who we thought he was. The study was published in Cell Genomics.

12,000-year-old sequins hint at a shared culture in Indonesian islands
16th August 2023 | Ancient, Humans

A team of Australian and Indonesian researchers have found that reflective shell beads, sewn onto clothing and other items, was a common trend across the islands of Alor, Timor, and Kisar. This means there were shared ornament traditions across the region 12,000 years ago. See the research here.

China’s ancient water pipe networks show they were a communal effort with no evidence of a centralized state authority
16th August 2023 | Ancient, Humans

In a study published in Nature Water, the archaeological team describe a network of ceramic water pipes and drainage ditches at the Chinese walled site of Pingliangtai dating back 4,000 years to a time known as the Longshan period.

Big freeze drove early humans out of Europe
14th August 2023 | | Ancient, Humans

A big freeze previously unknown to science drove early humans from Europe for 200,000 years, but they adapted and returned, new research shows.

Researchers seek to determine climate drivers of early human interbreeding
14th August 2023 | Ancient, Humans

A new study published in the journal Science by an international team finds that past changes in atmospheric CO2 and corresponding shifts in climate and vegetation played a key role in determining when and where early human species interbred.

Mysterious Village on Stilts Found Submerged Under Ancient Lake
14th August 2023 | | Ancient, Humans

A stretch of the Albanian shore of the lake once hosted a settlement of stilt houses some 8,000 years ago, archaeologists believe, making it the oldest lakeside village in Europe discovered to date.

New evidence suggests the world’s largest known asteroid impact structure is buried deep in southeast Australia
10th August 2023 | Ancient, Earth, Space

The Deniliquin structure, yet to be further tested by drilling, spans up to 520 kilometres in diameter. This exceeds the size of the near-300km-wide Vredefort impact structure in South Africa, which to date has been considered the world’s largest. See research here.

Winchcombe meteorite is helping scientists to understand more about asteroids
10th August 2023 | Ancient, Humans, Space, Tech

In a new paper published in Meteoritics & Planetary Science, researchers take a closer look at the minerals contained within the meteorite, its bulk elemental composition and water content.

Underworld discovery casts doubt on our understanding of human evolution
10th August 2023 | | Ancient, Humans

Did an extinct ‘small-brained ape-man’ species develop a sophisticated culture millennia before we did?

Hip bone found in cave in France may represent a previously unknown lineage of Homo sapiens
10th August 2023 | Ancient, Humans

A bone found in a cave by an international team of anthropologists in France may represent a previously unknown lineage of Homo sapiens. The study is published in the journal Scientific Reports.

Scientists Spot Fossil Evidence of a Cyclical Climate on Mars
10th August 2023 | | Ancient, Space

Mars may be a dry and barren wasteland now, but new evidence has emerged that this wasn’t always the way – and, moreover, that climate conditions changed, perhaps seasonally, in a way that may have been conducive to the emergence of life. See research here.

50 years ago, mysterious glass hinted at Earth’s violent past
9th August 2023 | | Ancient, Earth

In 1994, tektites and concentric fault lines in southern Virginia revealed an 85-kilometer-wide impact crater under Chesapeake Bay. Science News reported that “a structure this size would rank as the largest crater in the United States” and would be among the largest on Earth

Missing ‘body’ of ice age animal carving finally found — but nobody knows what the animal is
8th August 2023 | | Ancient, Animal Life, Humans

Archaeologists in Germany have discovered the missing piece of an ice age carving deep in a cave. But the new addition of the ivory carving, originally thought to depict a horse, has actually complicated matters: Now, researchers aren’t sure if it portrays a cave lion or a cave bear.

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