Ancient news stories

Scarcity of resources led to violence in prehistoric central California
24th February 2017 | | Ancient

A longtime anthropology professor who studies violence among prehistoric people in California has published his work, outlining that there are two views related to the origins of violence and warfare in humans. One view suggests that humans in earlier times were peaceful and lived in harmony, and a second view that there has always been competition for resources, war and violence.

Mystery over male Black Death victims found buried hand in hand
24th February 2017 | | Ancient

The skeletons of two men who were buried apparently hand in hand during an outbreak of the Black Death have been excavated from a plague burial ground in London.

The men, believed to have been in their 40s, were buried in the early 15th century in a carefully dug double grave, in identical positions, with heads turned towards the right and the left hand of one man apparently clasping the right hand of the other.

Collapse of Aztec society linked to catastrophic salmonella outbreak
22nd February 2017 | | Ancient

DNA of 500-year-old bacteria is first direct evidence of an epidemic — one of humanity’s deadliest — that occurred after Spanish conquest.

One of the worst epidemics in human history, a sixteenth-century pestilence that devastated Mexico’s native population, may have been caused by a deadly form of salmonella from Europe, a pair of studies suggest.

1,700-Year-Old Untouched Tomb Yields Elaborate Headdress Figurine
22nd February 2017 | | Ancient

A 1,700-year-old untouched tomb bearing the bones of a dozen male adults, as well as pre-Columbian figurines and statues, has been unearthed in Mexico.

Graves of ancient Egypt’s last children reveal widespread malnutrition
22nd February 2017 | | Ancient

Children buried in the Ancient Egypt necropolis of Saqqara 2,000 years ago may have suffered from anaemia, tooth decay and chronic sinusitis, archaeologists have discovered.

Saqqara is a vast burial ground which was used throughout antiquity, as the necropolis for Memphis, the ancient Egyptian capital.

Search for secret chamber in King Tutankhamun’s tomb to recommence
21st February 2017 | | Ancient

The search for a secret chamber in King Tutankhamun’s tomb will recommence later this month.

A team from the Polytechnic University of Turin will be scanning the burial site and surrounding areas in the hope of finding buried treasures.

Alt: Egypt Probes King Tut’s Tomb For Hidden Chamber

Greece displays ‘7,000-year-old archaeological enigma’
21st February 2017 | | Ancient

A statuette which Greek archaeologists are calling a “7,000-year-old enigma” has gone on show in the National Archaeological Museum in Athens.

The bird-like object was carved from granite – without the benefit of metal tools, as it dates from the Final Neolithic period.

Ancient shipwreck exposed by wind and tide on south Mayo coast
21st February 2017 | | Ancient

Continued erosion on the Atlantic seaboard has exposed the remains of a shipwreck on the south-west Mayo coastline.

Research also finds possible monastery or Bronze Age fortress on Kid island

Deforestation During Angkor: Looking for Trees in the Dirt
21st February 2017 | | Ancient, Earth

Their motivation may not have been to support a sprawling political patronage network, but when the Khmer dominated the region about 1,000 years or so ago, one necessity of maintaining their empire was steady deforestation.

How an Ice Age paradox could inform sea level rise predictions
21st February 2017 | Ancient, Earth

New findings from the University of Michigan explain an Ice Age paradox and add to the mounting evidence that climate change could bring higher seas than most models predict.

The study, published in Nature, shows how small spikes in the temperature of the ocean, rather than the air, likely drove the rapid disintegration cycles of the expansive ice sheet that once covered much of North America.

A kiss of death — mammals were the first animals to produce venom
21st February 2017 | | Ancient

Africa is a tough place. It always has been. Especially if you have to fend off gigantic predators like sabre-toothed carnivores in order to survive. And, when you’re a small, dog-sized pre-mammalian reptile, sometimes the only way to protect yourself against these monsters is to turn your saliva into a deadly venomous cocktail.

New fossil discovery suggests sea life bounced back after the ‘Great Dying’ faster than thought
21st February 2017 | Ancient

An international team of researchers has found a trove of marine fossils at a North American site that offers evidence of life bouncing back faster than thought after the most devastating mass extinction in Earth’s history. In their paper published in the journal Science Advances, the team describes the wide assortment of fossils they found and what they believe the discovery will contribute to understanding the evolutionary history of our planet.

Woolly mammoth on verge of resurrection, scientists reveal
20th February 2017 | | Ancient, Animal Life, Tech

The woolly mammoth vanished from the Earth 4,000 years ago, but now scientists say they are on the brink of resurrecting the ancient beast in a revised form, through an ambitious feat of genetic engineering.

The scientist leading the “de-extinction” effort said the Harvard team is just two years away from creating a hybrid embryo, in which mammoth traits would be programmed into an Asian elephant.

First live birth evidence in dinosaur relative
20th February 2017 | | Ancient

Scientists have uncovered the first evidence of live births in the group of animals that includes dinosaurs, crocodiles and birds.

All examples of this group, known as the Archosauromorpha, lay eggs.

Otzi the Iceman: Researchers validate the stability of genetic markers
20th February 2017 | Ancient, Humans

Biomarkers are biological attributes that can give doctors or researchers clues about the health status or illnesses of a patient.

Although these molecules are very stable in tissues, prior to this study it was unclear whether they could still be found in human tissues after thousands of years

Colonists shipped Native Americans abroad as slaves
19th February 2017 | | Ancient

Native Americans, including noncombatants, who surrendered during King Philip’s War to avoid enslavement were enslaved at nearly the same rate as captured combatants, research shows.

Stone sculptures smashed by Isil in ancient city of Palmyra restored to former glory by Italian experts
19th February 2017 | | Ancient

Priceless stone sculptures that were smashed with hammers by Islamic State extremists in the ancient Syrian town of Palmyra have been meticulously restored by Italian experts with the help of laser scans and 3D printers.

The 2nd century AD funerary busts – one of a man, the other of a woman – were vandalised by Isis terrorists after they overran the archeological site and its museum in 2015.

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