Ancient news stories
New research suggests that the last common ancestor of apes ~ including great apes and humans ~ was much smaller than previously thought, about the size of a gibbon. The findings, published in the journal Nature Communications, are fundamental to understanding the evolution of the human family tree.
The British Museum’s latest exhibit on the Scythians of Siberia is an exhilarating look at a ferocious people with a unexpectedly delicate side.
Scientists have discovered that Earth’s sea level did not rise steadily when the planet’s glaciers last melted during a period of global warming; rather, sea level rose sharply in punctuated bursts. Fossil reefs near Texas endured punctuated bursts of sea level rise before drowning.
At one time housing up to 20,000 people, Derinkuyu is one of the largest underground cities in the world. Located in Turkey’s Cappadocia region, it’s one of over 200 subterranean cities that were carved into the volcanic rock. Believed to have been built by Indo-European people known as the Phrygeans, it extends for 18 stories’ depth and has defensive circular stones that roll over doorways.
Modern day Deir el-Medina was the location of an ancient Egyptian village — Set Ma’at or Place of Truth, and workmen who lived there were called Servants in the Place of Truth. Archeological remains suggest that at its peak the community was home to around 68 families comprising builders, scribes, artists and craftsmen.
Archaeologists have made a discovery so sensational that they have waited a whole year to announce it to be sure they had the dating correct. A set of teeth belonging to an early hominin species has been found in Eppelsheim Germany that date back 9.7 million years.
Archaeologists in Maine are working to unearth ancient indigenous artifacts buried for centuries in shell middens. But sea levels are rising, eroding the ancient sites.
These mysterious ancient stone spheres in Costa Rica were created by a civilization lost to time and are now mostly lawn ornaments.
In the Bucegi Mountains of Romania, there lies a rock formation shrouded in mystery and conspiracy theories. From a certain angle, its outline resembles that of Egypt’s Great Sphinx of Giza. Over millions of years, the elements carved the nearly 40 foot tall rock until it resembled something akin to a woman’s face. But the Mountain Sphinx is a hotbed of folklore and conspiracy theories. Some say it sits atop a cave with a strong energetic force field, one of the Earth’s supposed chakras. Others say an ancient civilization carved it to represent some sort of supreme god.
When the collision took place due to the plate tectonic movements, converging crusts of Eurasia and India rose, because of their densities, forming big mountains and took along fragments of oceanic sediments from the Tethys Sea that separated the two landmasses to the highest peaks. Thus, the fold mountains with the sedimentary rocks of the Karakoram and the Himalayan ranges and the high Plateau of Tibet were formed. These rocks suggest that they were on a seabed long ago and contribute to the preservation of a geological history that is many million years old.
Archaeologists working in the shadow of the ancient pyramids of Saqqara, Egypt have uncovered the wooden head of a 4,000 year old statue they believe to be the likeness of Sixth Dynasty Queen Ankhesenpepy II.
Thanks to Hurricane Ophelia’s raging winds, complete Iron Age skeletal remains, believed to be over 1,500 years old, were discovered near Kilmore Quay in Co Wexford, Ireland.
Scandinavian Bronze Age art is found on most of the famous petroglyphic boulders in the Georgia Gold Belt, a mountainous region in the southeastern US containing the purest gold in the world. Most of Georgia’s petroglyphs are believed to be contemporary with the Scandinavian Bronze Age, although some are definitely Mayan or Arawak in origin. The most important symbols of the European Bronze Age such as the Sun Wheel, Great Sun (High King), Summer Solstice, Winter Solstice, Equinox, Solar Eclipse and phases of the Moon are identical in Bronze Age Sweden and the writing system of Georgia’s Creek Indians.
Along the lower reaches of the Amur River, where the water empties into the Pacific Ocean, the climate—unlike most of Siberia—is wet. To keep dry, the indigenous Nivkhi shrugged on fish skin coats. These ingeniously constructed coats are a testament to the people’s holistic approach to natural resources; they also tell the story of a worldly culture and a wild place.
Turquoise is an icon of the desert Southwest with enduring cultural significance especially for Native American communities. Yet, relatively little is known about the early history of turquoise procurement and exchange in the region. University of Arizona researchers are starting to change that by blending archaeology and geochemistry to get a more complete picture of the mineral’s mining and distribution in the region prior to the 16th century arrival of the Spanish.
The Karoo in South Africa tells a 100 million year long story of the supercontinent Gondwana, and the ancient transcontinental Gondwanides mountain range. Reading this rock record reveals the story of the life and death of the animals it supported.