Archaeology in the News

Forget the Shovel, Ancient Finds Now Made From Space   Seeker - January 5, 2017
Badgers discovered the burial site of 12th century Slavic warriors and a Stonehenge cremation burial. The Lascaux cave paintings were discovered by four schoolchildren and a dog. The 5,000-year-old corpse of Otzi was discovered when hikers happened upon in the Alps. The Rosetta Stone was discovered by French soldiers expanding their fort. Many discoveries in archaeology have happened this way, by accident. But archaeology now has much better tools than badgers and lucky amateurs with shovels.

  The 'Stone Age Atlantis': Stunning video reveals the 9,000-year-old settlement found submerged under the sea off Sweden   Daily Mail - November 14, 2016
Just off the coast of southern Sweden, researchers have discovered what is thought to be the submerged remains of an ancient Stone Age lagoon community. The findings include a 9,000-year-old pick axe sculpted from elk antlers, and eight fish traps made of braided hazel rods. According to the researchers, the settlers that once lived there likely had good lives, with plenty of food and a favorable climate - but their lagoon environment sank as sea levels rose in the centuries that followed.

Polish Pyramids: Ruins of Megalithic Tombs from the Time of Stonehenge Discovered in Poland   Ancient Origins - March 2, 2016
BR> A group of monumental megalithic tombs has been discovered in Western Pomerania in Poland. Because of the enormous character of the structures, they are often called the Polish pyramids.

Is This a Huge Million-Year-Old, Man-Made Underground Complex?   Ancient Origins - March 2, 2016
Most archaeologists and historians agree that human civilization only emerged some 10,000 to 12,000 years ago. Yet many researchers have drawn attention to artifacts and various other evidence of advanced civilizations long before this, even millions of years earlier.

Anthropologist Suggests that Tiny Stone Age Cave ‘Handprints’ Are Not Actually Human Hands   Ancient Origins - March 2, 2016
The 6,000-8,000-year-old cave paintings at the Wadi Suri II site in Egypt have been a source of interest since they were discovered in 2002. Although there are thousands of paintings that include a variety of images, a special interest has been given to the tiny "handprints" that were once thought to have been made by infants.

Weird Horse-Cows and 6-Legged Sheep Found in Iron Age Burials   Live Science - July 20, 2015
Weird, "hybridized" animal skeletons, including a cow-horse and a six-legged sheep litter the bottom of storage pits in an Iron Age site in England, archaeologists have found. One pit even holds the bones of a woman with a slit throat laid on top of animal bones, the scientists said. The unusual remains belong to an ancient people who lived in southern England from about 400 B.C. until just before the Roman invasion, in A.D. 43, said dig co-director Paul Cheetham, a senior lecturer in archaeology at Bournemouth University in the United Kingdom. It appears that the people dug the pits to store food such as grain near their dwellings. They had "no decent way of refrigerating stuff" back then, and the chalky earth would have provided a cool storage area.

  As ISIS vandalizes antiquity, Iraqis are glad ancient Babylon is out of reach   CNN - March 16, 2015
ISIS has smashed priceless ancient statues in Mosul, bulldozed the ruins of Nineveh and Hatra, and dynamited centuries-old churches, mosques and shrines. The tomb of Saddam Hussein was squashed to rubble. The ancient city of Babylon is outside the extremists' grasp, south of Baghdad. For nearly 5,000 years it has stood as a symbol of the glory of ancient Mesopotamian civilization.

  Cavers find treasure from era of Alexander the Great in Israel   CNN - March 10, 2015
Hen Zakai loves exploring darkness. In his spare time, he lowers himself into the underground world of hidden caves to navigate the nooks and crevasses of a very different environment. Zakai was recently spelunking with his father and a friend, all of whom are members of the Israeli Caving Club, when Zakai spotted a shiny silver object in one of the most well-hidden stalactite caves in northern Israel.

Cavers Find Ancient Hoard of Coins and Jewelry in Israel   Live Science - March 9, 2015
While spelunking in northern Israel, cavers stumbled upon a hidden stash of ancient coins and jewelry from the era of Alexander the Great, the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) announced today (March 9). IAA officials suspect locals may have put these artifacts in the cave for safekeeping during a time of political unrest 2,300 years ago - but they wouldn't have been the first. Archaeologists who inspected the cave found even more ancient objects inside, some 6,000 years old. To prepare for an upcoming expedition, three members of the Israeli Caving Club - Reuven Zakai; his 21-year-old son, Hen Zakai; and their friend Lior Halony - were exploring a stalactite cave in northern Israel two weeks ago, according to a statement from the IAA.

Roman Emperor Dressed As Egyptian Pharaoh in Newfound Carving   Live Science - March 27, 2014
An ancient stone carving on the walls of an Egyptian temple depicts the Roman Emperor named Claudius dressed as an Egyptian pharaoh, wearing an elaborate crown, a team of researchers has discovered. In the carving, Emperor Claudius, who reigned from A.D. 41 to 54, is shown erecting a giant pole with a lunar crescent at the top. Eight men, each wearing two feathers, are shown climbing the supporting poles, with their legs dangling in midair. Egyptian hieroglyphs in the carving call Claudius the "Son of Ra, Lord of the Crowns," and say he is "King of Upper and Lower Egypt, Lord of the Two Lands." The hieroglyphs say he is raising the pole of the tent (or cult chapel) of Min (an ancient Egyptian god of fertility and power) and notes a date indicating a ritual like this took place around the summertime researchers say. It would have taken place even though Claudius never visited Egypt. A cult chapel is a place of worship and a tent could also be used for this purpose.

  Ancient bone fragments help describe diet, health of Saharan ancestors   PhysOrg - March 27, 2014
The diet and journeys taken by those who lived in the Sahara Desert thousands of years ago are being analysed through their teeth and bones. To describe the ancient Saharan diets, the researchers are measuring the levels of chemical entities called isotopes in the remains. Biological tissues are reservoirs for elements such as carbon and oxygen, which arrive in the body through the food we eat and the environment we live in, and which have variants (isotopes) that can be measured.

Amateur discovers Roman-era German treasure linked to Wagnerian Nibelung legend   The Independent - February 21, 2014
A hobby archaeologist with a metal detector has discovered a trove of gold and silver in a German forest dating back to late Roman times, fueling speculation that it could be the legendary Nibelung treasure which inspired composer Richard Wagner's operatic "Ring Cycle".

The Story of the Ring: Opera Synopses

New Dam in Turkey Threatens to Flood Ancient City and Archaeological Sites   National Geographic - February 21, 2014
From the Neolithic caves riddling its cliffs to the honey-colored, 15th-century minarets looming over its streets, Hasankeyf, Turkey, is a living museum of epic proportion. Rare birds soar around the crumbling towers of its Artuqid bridge. Shepherds' songs have echoed through its canyons for centuries, even as the area transformed from a Byzantine bishopric to an Arab fortress to an outpost in the Ottoman Empire. Almost every major Mesopotamian civilization has occupied this 12,000-year-old settlement site on the banks of the Tigris River in southeastern Turkey, not far from the border with Syria. But today's reigning power, the Turkish Republic, has a unique plan for Hasankeyf: submerging the ancient town beneath 200 feet (60 meters) of water.

Middle East


Silver Hoop Earrings Found Among Ancient Treasure in Biblical City   Live Science - February 21, 2014
A jug containing silver earrings and ingots has been discovered at the ancient biblical city of Abel Beth Maacah in Israel. Found to the north of a massive structure that may be a tower, the jug and its treasure appear to date back to about 3,200 years ago, long before minted coins were invented, archaeologists said. Curiously, they found no sign that the treasure was hidden, and no one appears to have gone back for it, they added. When the treasure was discovered, the silver was bunched together in what looked like a big ball.

Israel Archaeological Discoveries

Ancient Rural Town Uncovered in Israel   Live Science - February 18, 2014
On the outskirts of Jerusalem, archaeologists have discovered the remains of a 2,300-year-old rural village that dates back to the Second Temple period, the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) announced. Trenches covering some 8,000 square feet (750 square meters) revealed narrow alleys and a few single-family stone houses, each containing several rooms and an open courtyard. Among the ruins, archaeologists also found dozens of coins, cooking pots, milling tools and jars for storing oil and wine.

Israeli Discoveries

One-of-a-Kind Aztec Dog Burials Found in Mexico   National Geographic - February 18, 2014
Archaeologists in Mexico City have made an extraordinary discovery -- the skeletons of 12 dogs all mysteriously buried together more than 500 years ago, in the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan. Dog burials have been uncovered before at archaeological digs, but this is a first such finding not associated with a building or a human burial, according to a report published in Spanish last week by Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH).

Aztec Discoveries

Great Pyramid at Giza Vandalized to 'Prove' Conspiracy Theory   Live Science - February 18, 2014
Two German men who visited the Egyptian pyramids in April 2013 now face criminal charges for their attempt to prove their "alternative history" conspiracy theories through vandalism. The men, Dominique Goerlitz and Stefan Erdmann, were joined by a third German, a filmmaker who accompanied them to document their "discoveries." The men were allowed to enter the inner chambers of the Great Pyramid at Giza normally off-limits to the public and restricted to authorized archaeologists and Egyptologists. The group reportedly took several items from the pyramids, including taking samples of a cartouche (identifying inscription) of the pharaoh Khufu, also known as Cheops. Goerlitz and Erdmann, who are not archaeologists but have instead been described as "hobbyists," allegedly smuggled the artifacts out of the country in violation of strict antiquities laws, according to news reports.

4,600-Year-Old Step Pyramid Uncovered in Egypt   Live Science - February 3, 2014
Archaeologists working near the ancient settlement of Edfu, in southern Egypt, have uncovered a step pyramid that dates back about 4,600 years, predating the Great Pyramid of Giza by at least a few decades. The step pyramid, which once stood as high as 43 feet (13 meters), is one of seven so-called "provincial" pyramids built by either the pharaoh Huni (reign ca. 2635-2610 B.C.) or Snefru (reign ca. 2610-2590 B.C.). Over time, the step pyramid's stone blocks were pillaged, and the monument was exposed to weathering, so today, it's only about 16 feet (5 m) tall. Scattered throughout central and southern Egypt, the provincial pyramids are located near major settlements, have no internal chambers and were not intended for burial. Six of the seven pyramids have almost identical dimensions, including the newly uncovered one at Edfu, which is about 60 x 61 feet (18.4 x 18.6 m).

Step Pyramid at Edfu

Pyramids of Egypt Index

Valley of the other kings: Lost dynasty found in Egypt   Independent - February 1, 2014
A previously unknown, yet potentially very important, ancient Egyptian kingdom has been discovered by archaeologists working in the Nile Valley. Excavations at Abydos, 70 miles north-west of Egypt's famous Valley of the Kings, have revealed the existence of an entire royal cemetery, now believed to be the final resting place of up to 16 mysterious pharaohs - an entire dynasty whose existence was up till now virtually unknown to the Egyptological world. Pharaoah Senebkay

Archaeologists find remains of previously unknown pharaoh in Egypt   The Guardian - February 1, 2014

Archaeologists in Egypt believe they have discovered the remains of King Senebkay, a previously unknown pharaoh who reigned more than 3,600 years ago in a forgotten dynasty.

Egypt: Archaeology in the News

Terceira: Subaquatic pyramidal shaped structure found – Azores   Portuguese American Journal - January 29, 2014
An underwater pyramidal structure was identified at a depth of 40 meters off the coast of Terceira Island. The perfectly squared structure was sighted by a private yacht owner, Diocleciano Silva, during a recreational trip.

Huge Underwater Pyramid Discovered Near Portugal – The Navy is Investigating   The Mind Unleashed - January 29, 2014
Portuguese news reported the discovery of a very large under water pyramid first discovered by Diocleciano Silva between the islands of Sčo Miguel and Terceira in the Azores of Portugal.According to claims, the structure is said to be perfectly squared and oriented by the cardinal points. Current estimates obtained using GPS digital technology put the height at 60 meters with a base of 8000 square meters. The Portuguese Hydrographic Institute of the Navy currently has the job of analyzing the data to determine whether or not the structure is man-made.

Mingary Castle restoration: Secret window found   Scotsman - January 29, 2014
Archaeologist have opened up an ancient Scottish castle window revealing a view that has not been seen in 500 years. Mingary Castle, which lies on the most westerly point of the British mainland, is being restored after its walls began to crumble. The castle is though to be the most intact 13th century castle in Scotland and, due to its location on the Ardnamurchan peninsula, was a strategic stronghold for many clan chiefs. The castle, on the Ardnamurchan peninsula near Kilchoan in the Highlands, was the seat of Clan MacIain, who commanded the sea route through the Sound of Mull. The window was opened up after archaeologists and stonemasons broke through into a secret room which had also been sealed for 500 years.

Scotland: Rosslyn Chapel

Archaeologists Unearth What May Be Oldest Roman Temple   NPR - January 29, 2014
Archaeologists excavating a site in central Rome say they've uncovered what may be oldest known temple from Roman antiquity. Along the way, they've also discovered how much the early Romans intervened to shape their urban environment. And the dig has been particularly challenging because the temple lies below the water table.

Ancient Roman Temples

Gunung Padang and The Lost City of Atlantis   Mysterious Universe - January 29, 2014
There are megalithic sites and then there are megalithic sites. Our ancestors, it seems, were particularly fond of building things. Look at the skyline of any major city and you can see we haven't strayed too far from that ideal ourselves. From stone circles to pyramids, the builders of the ancient world knew well how to create a structure that will last through the ages, and our landscapes the world over show many examples of their expertise. We know quite a bit about these ancient structures too. We know how the pyramids were built, we know who build the ruins in Greece and why, we know (or we think we know) how the massive walls and terraces were built in Mesoamerica, and for the most part, we know when all these structures were built. For a long time, it was thought that the oldest structures built in the ancient world were somewhere around 9000 years old. That all changed with the discovery of a temple structure in modern day Turkey called Gobekli Tepe.


Proof of Ancient Aliens in the National Museum of Iraq?   Huffington Post - January 28, 2014
One of the most amazing, inspiring museums a lot of people will (sadly) never get to visit is the National Museum Of Iraq in Baghdad. It has collections that include art and artifacts from ancient Sumerian, Babylonian, Akkadian, Assyrian and Chaldean civilizations - collections that put the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Louvre to shame. And, despite being looted in 2003, it also has the Nimrud gold collection--which features gold jewelry and figures of precious stone that date to the 9th century BCE--and the collection of stone carvings and cuneiform tablets from Uruk that date back to 3500 and 3000 BCE. Basically, there's some old, ancient shizz in there. And amongst the old, ancient art are some jars with some really weird, unexplained figures on them.


300,000-Year-Old Caveman 'Campfire' Found   Live Science - January 27, 2014
A newly discovered hearth full of ash and charred bone in a cave in modern-day Israel hints that early humans sat around fires as early as 300,000 years ago - before Homo sapiens arose in Africa. In and around the hearth, archaeologists say they also found bits of stone tools that were likely used for butchering and cutting animals. The finds could shed light on a turning point in the development of culture "in which humans first began to regularly use fire both for cooking meat and as a focal point - a sort of campfire - for social gatherings.

Earliest Use of Fire

Hunter-gatherer European had blue eyes and dark skin   BBC - January 27, 2014
Scientists have shed light on what ancient Europeans looked like. Genetic tests reveal that a hunter-gatherer who lived 7,000 years ago had the unusual combination of dark skin and hair and blue eyes. It has surprised scientists, who thought that the early inhabitants of Europe were fair. Two hunter-gatherer skeletons were discovered in a cave in the mountains of north-west Spain in 2006. The cool, dark conditions meant the remains (called La Brana 1 and 2) were remarkably well preserved. Scientists were able to extract DNA from a tooth of one of the ancient men and sequence his genome. The team found that the early European was most closely genetically related to people in Sweden and Finland. But while his eyes were blue, his genes reveal that his hair was black or brown and his skin was dark. This was a result that was unexpected.

Early Europeans

Leopard Teeth, Calf Bones Found in Ruins Near Pyramids   Live Science - January 21, 2014
The remains of a mansion that likely held high-ranking officials some 4,500 years ago have been discovered near Egypt's Giza Pyramids. Bones from young cattle and teeth from leopards suggest its residents ate and dressed like royalty. Archaeologists excavating a city just 400 meters (1,312 feet) south of the Sphinx uncovered the house and nearby mound containing the hind limbs of young cattle, the seals of high-ranking officials, which were inscribed with titles like "the scribe of the royal box" and "the scribe of the royal school," and leopard teeth (but no leopard). The house, containing at least 21 rooms, is part of a city that dates mainly to the time when the Pyramid of Menkaure (the last of the Giza Pyramids) was being built.

Egyptian Pyramids Index

Strange Ancient Fish Had Front And Back Legs   Live Science - January 14, 2014
The closest known relative of the ancestors of limbed animals such as humans likely evolved the foundation for rear legs even before the move to land, researchers say. This ancestor may have even been able to walk underwater, they added. These findings reveal that a key step in the evolution of hind limbs happened in fish, challenging previous theories that such appendages evolved only after the move to land. Scientists investigated fossils of a 375-million-year-old fish known as Tiktaalik roseae, discovered in 2004 in northern Canada's Ellesmere Island. Possessing a broad flat head and sharp teeth, Tiktaalik resembled a cross between a fish and a crocodile, growing to a length of 9 feet (2.7 meters) as it hunted for prey in shallow freshwater.

Fish Fossils

King Sobekhotep I's Tomb Identified In Egypt   Huffington Post - January 9, 2014
The impressive tomb of an ancient Egyptian pharaoh has been identified at the Abydos archaeological site near Sohag, Egypt. A positive identification of the sarcophagus, which weighed close to 60 tons, was made after researchers found and interpreted pieces of stone slab inscribed with the pharaoh's name. King Sobekhotep I is believed to be the founder of the 13th Pharaonic dynasty, the Agence France-Presse reports. Previous to this discovery, little information about the important leader's rule had been unearthed -- a factor that lends particular significance to the breakthrough in Abydos. Ayman El-Damarani, a ministry official, noted that Sobekhotep's nearly five-year rule was "the longest rule at this time," the outlet notes. Located in Upper Egypt west of the Nile River, the sacred city of Abydos has been the site of many important archaeological discoveries. Once a royal cemetery for early Egyptian royalty, the location later became a popular pilgrimage site for worship of the god Osiris.

Ancient Egyptian Dynasties

Iconic Australasian trees found as fossils in South America   PhysOrg - January 9, 2014
Today in Australia they call it Kauri, in Asia they call it Dammar, and in South America it does not exist at all unless planted there; but 52 million years ago the giant coniferous evergreen tree known to botanists as Agathis thrived in the Patagonian region of Argentina, according to an international team of paleobotanists, who have found numerous fossilized remains there. These spectacular fossils reveal that Agathis is old and had a huge range that no one knew about from Australia to South America across Antarctica.


Donated Chinese bamboo strips turn out to be ancient multiplication table   PhysOrg - January 9, 2014
Researchers at Tsinghua University in China are reporting that a subset of bamboo strips donated to the university five years ago has been found to make up an ancient Chinese multiplication table. Dated back to 2,300 years ago (circa 305 B.C.), the table represents the oldest-known such device that computes in base 10 - ancient Babylonian tables dating back 4000 years were base 60. The bamboo strips were part of a much larger collection of very old and partially decomposed bamboo strips, all of which had writing on the back.

Mathematics Files

'Ardi' skull reveals links to human lineage   PhysOrg - January 6, 2014
One of the most hotly debated issues in current human origins research focuses on how the 4.4 million-year-old African species Ardipithecus ramidus is related to the human lineage. "Ardi" was an unusual primate. Though it possessed a tiny brain and a grasping big toe used for clambering in the trees, it had small, humanlike canine teeth and an upper pelvis modified for bipedal walking on the ground.

Meet Ardi ...

Archaeologists discover 3,000-year-old tomb of brewer to the gods in Egypt   The Guardian - January 3, 2014
Scenes from ancient Egypt found on the walls of the newly discovered tomb in Luxor, which dates from about 3,000 years ago. Japanese archaeologists have unearthed the tomb of an ancient beer brewer in the city of Luxor that is more than 3,000 years old, Egypt's minister of antiquities said. Mohammed Ibrahim said on Friday that the tomb dated back to the Ramesside period and belonged to the chief "maker of beer for gods of the dead", who was also the head of a warehouse. He added that the walls of the tomb's chambers contain "fabulous designs and colors, reflecting details of daily life along with their religious rituals". The head of the Japanese team, Jiro Kondo, says the tomb was discovered during work near another tomb belonging to a statesman under Amenhotep III, grandfather of the famed boy-pharaoh Tutankhamun.

Ancient Egypt: Agriculture, Farming, Diet, Animals

King Tutankhamen   Crystalinks
King Tut's Mummified Erect Penis May Point to Ancient Religious Struggle   Live Science - January 2, 2014
Egypt's King Tutankhamun was embalmed in an unusual way, including having his penis mummified at a 90-degree angle, in an effort to combat a religious revolution unleashed by his father, a new study suggests.The pharaoh was buried in Egypt's Valley of the Kings without a heart (or a replacement artifact known as a heart scarab); his penis was mummified erect; and his mummy and coffins were covered in a thick layer of black liquid that appear to have resulted in the boy-king catching fire.

In Photos: The Life and Death of King Tut   Live Science - January 2, 2014
Tutankhamun was an Egyptian pharaoh who lived between roughly 1343 and 1323 B.C. Often called the "boy-king," he ascended the throne at around the age ...

Discovery of oldest footprints gives clues to Mexico's climate   PhysOrg - January 2, 2014
The oldest human footprints in North America have been dated for the first time and could help scientists to understand what Mexico's climate was like 7000 years ago. The new climate data comes from two sets of footprints found in the Chihuahuan desert in north-eastern Mexico. At 10.5 thousand years old, the museum footprints pre-date the oldest evidence of humans previously known in the area - a 9000 year old piece of human feces.

10 Coolest Archaeology Discoveries of 2013   Live Science - December 31, 2013
Archaeologists dig through the faint traces of the past to learn more about human history. And 2013 was a big year for new archaeology finds. From royal tombs to the mysterious vanished inhabitants of Europe, here are some of the strangest and most exciting archaeology finds of the year.

Ancient Spider Rock Art Sparks Archaeological Mystery   Live Science - December 20, 2013
Archaeologists have discovered a panel containing the only known example of spider rock art in Egypt and, it appears, the entire Old World. The rock panel, now in two pieces, was found on the west wall of a shallow sandstone wadi, or valley, in the Kharga Oasis, located in Egypt's western desert about 108 miles (175 kilometers) west of Luxor. Facing east, and illuminated by the morning sun, the panel is a "very unusual" find. The identification of the creatures as spiders is tentative and the date of it uncertain. The rock art may date to about 4000 B.C. or earlier, which would put it well into prehistoric times, before Egypt was unified.


Inscriptions Everywhere! Magical Medieval Crypt Holds 7 Male Mummies   Live Science - December 18, 2013
A 900-year-old medieval crypt, containing seven naturally mummified bodies and walls covered with inscriptions, has been excavated in a monastery at Old Dongola, the capital of a lost medieval kingdom that flourished in the Nile Valley. Old Dongola is located in modern-day Sudan, and 900 years ago, it was the capital of Makuria, a Christian kingdom that lived in peace with its Islamic neighbor to the north. One of the mummies in the crypt (scientists aren't certain which one) is believed to be that of Archbishop Georgios, probably the most powerful religious leader in the kingdom. His epitaph was found nearby and says that he died in A.D. 1113 at the age of 82.

Archaeologists uncover Late Stone Age settlement on Cyprus   PhysOrg - December 9, 2013
Artifacts found at an archaeological site in Cyprus support a new theory that humans occupied the tiny Mediterranean island about 1,000 years earlier than previously believed - a discovery that fills an important gap in Cypriot history. Excavations have uncovered, among other objects, the earliest complete human figurine on the island. The site has been carbon-dated to between 8800-8600 BC, near the beginning of the Neolithic Period - also known as the Late Stone Age - when the transition from hunting to farming economies was occurring throughout the Middle East.

Ancient Estate and Garden Fountain Unearthed in Israel   Live Science - December 8, 2013
The remains of a wealthy estate, a mosaic fountain and a system of pipes connected to a large cistern dating back to the late 10th and early 11th centuries have been unearthed in Ramla in central Israel, archaeologists report. It seems that a private building belonging to a wealthy family was located there and that the fountain was used for ornamentation.


Mummy Mystery: Tombs Still Hidden in Valley of Kings   Live Science - December 4, 2013
> Multiple tombs lay hidden in Egypt's Valley of the Kings, where royalty were buried more than 3,000 years ago, awaiting discovery, say researchers working on the most extensive exploration of the area in nearly a century. The hidden treasure may include several small tombs, with the possibility of a big-time tomb holding a royal individual, the archaeologists say. Egyptian archaeologists excavated the valley, where royalty were buried during the New Kingdom (1550-1070 B.C.), between 2007 and 2010 and worked with the Glen Dash Foundation for Archaeological Research to conduct ground- penetrating radar studies.

Valley of Kings

City of David Discovery Fills Gap in Jerusalem History   Live Science - December 3, 2013
Archaeologists have discovered the first ruins of a building from the Hasmonean period in Jerusalem, filling a gap in the ancient city's history, the Israeli Antiquities Authority (IAA) announced. The building's remains were uncovered during an extensive dig at the Givati Parking Lot, located in Jerusalem's oldest neighborhood, the City of David. Excavations over several years at the site have turned up some remarkable finds, including a building from the Second Temple period that may have belonged to Queen Helene, a trove of coins from the Byzantine period, and recently, a 1,700-year-old curse tablet in the ruins of a Roman mansion. Despite extensive excavations in Jerusalem, IAA archaeologists Doron Ben Ami and Yana Tchekhanovets said there has been an absence of buildings from the Hasmonean period in the city's archaeological record. Simon Maccabeus founded the Hasmonean dynasty in 140 B.C. This group ruled Judea until 37 B.C., when Herod the Great came into power.


Photos: Ancient Tomb of Chimu Nobles Found in Peru   National Geographic - December 3, 2013
Archaeologists working at the site of an ancient town in the coastal desert of northern Peru made a surprising discovery in late August - a multichamber tomb from the much later Chimu culture that held the remains of at least four noble musicians and weavers. Two human sacrifices, seen in this photo, accompanied the tomb's elite occupants into eternity. The site of Samanco spreads over some 75 acres in the Nepena River valley. Most of its ruins belong to a small trading community that flourished between 800 and 200 B.C. But amid the early stone structures, archaeologists uncovered a ten-foot-deep adobe shaft tomb dating to the 15th or 16th century A.D. At that time the Chimu were among the many conquered peoples who made up the vast Inca empire.


  Religious roots of Buddha's birthplace traced back 2,600 years   NBC - November 25, 2013
The National Geographic Channel documents the excavation of Maya Devi Temple in Lumbini, Nepal, the birthplace of the Buddha. Archaeologists in Nepal say they have found traces of a temple structure linked to Buddha's nativity going back to the sixth century B.C. The remnants of a timber structure - unearthed at the Maya Devi Temple in Lumbini, Nepal, which has traditionally been venerated as the spiritual leader's birthplace - represent the first archaeological material linking the birth of Buddha and the religion he founded to a specific century.

Shrine Found at Buddha's Birthplace dates to 6th Century B.C.   Live Science - November 25, 2013
An ancient timber structure that may have once marked Buddha's birthplace has been unearthed in Nepal. The new discovery could help pinpoint the time period when the spiritual leader was born. Charcoal and grains of sand from a timber structure at the Maya Devi Temple in Lumbini, Nepal, date to the sixth century B.C., according to the a study published in the December issue of the journal Antiquity. The ancient building may have been a shrine built to enclose a tree that the Buddha's mother clung to during the birth of her son. Previously, the site, which was widely believed to be Buddha's birthplace, contained evidence going back just to the third century B.C.


Photos: Roadside Dig Reveals 10,000-Year-Old House in Israel   Live Science - November 25, 2013
Archaeologists have opened up several trenches in Eshtaol along Israel's Highway 38, which is being expanded. There, a crew with the Israel Antiquities Authority has uncovered artifacts spanning thousands of years of ancient history, including the remains of house from the eight millennium B.C.


Oldest Royal Wine Cellar Uncorked in Israel   Live Science - November 22, 2013
These 3,700-year-old jars were discovered in an ancient palatial wine cellar unearthed by researchers at Tel Kabri in July 2013. The team worked in day and night shifts to excavate a total of 40 intact vessels during its six-week dig. Archaeologists have uncovered the oldest known palatial wine cellar in the Middle East at a site in Israel. The storage room stocked at least 3,000 bottles' worth of the intoxicating beverage in massive pottery jars. The ancient wine bore little resemblance to the Bordeaux and Chianti of today - it was preserved and spiced with resin and herbs, including juniper, mint and myrtle. The closest modern analogue is a Greek wine flavored with pine resin called retsina.

'Gate to Hell' Guardians Recovered in Turkey   Live Science - November 20, 2013
Archaeologists digging in Turkey have found the guardians of the "Gate to Hell" -- two unique marble statues which once warned of a deadly cave in the ancient Phrygian city of Hierapolis, near Pamukkale. Known as Pluto's Gate -- Ploutonion in Greek, Plutonium in Latin -- the cave was celebrated as the portal to the underworld in Greco-Roman mythology and tradition. The statues represent two mythological creatures. One depicts a snake, a clear symbol of the underworld, the other shows Kerberos, or Cerberus, the three-headed watchdog of hell in the Greek mythology.

More Than 600 Ancient Seals and Amulets Found in Turkey   Science Daily - November 18, 2013
Classical scholars from the Cluster of Excellence "Religion and Politics" made an unusually large find of seals in an ancient sanctuary in Turkey. They discovered more than 600 stamp seals and cylinder seals at the sacred site of the storm and weather god Jupiter Dolichenus, 100 of which in the current year alone. The 7th to the 4th centuries B.C. close to the ancient city of Doliche is unparalleled.

Sumerian Cylinder Seals

Ancient City Discovered Beneath Biblical-Era Ruins in Israel   Live Science - November 17, 2013
Archaeologists have unearthed traces of a previously unknown, 14th-century Canaanite city buried underneath the ruins of another city in Israel. The traces include an Egyptian amulet of Amenhotep III and several pottery vessels from the Late Bronze Age unearthed at the site of Gezer, an ancient Canaanite city. Gezer was once a major center that sat at the crossroads of trade routes between Asia and Africa. The ancient city of Gezer has been an important site since the Bronze Age, because it sat along the Way of the Sea, or the Via Maris, an ancient trade route that connected Egypt, Syria, Anatolia and Mesopotamia.


For ancient Egypt's rulers, even lunch was mummified   NBC - November 18, 2013
Bandaged beef ribs from the tomb of Yuya and Tjuiu, from the 13th century B.C. The ancient Egyptians believed that humans carried material possessions into a party in the afterlife, and meticulously stocked tombs with clothing, jewelry, furniture, and most important, food. Chambers were laid out like a freezer with no expiration date, crammed with grains, bread, wine, beer, oil and hunks of meat - the food of the wealthy - dried, flavored and bandaged in linen. New analysis of such "meat mummy" samples from tombs built in the 13th century B.C. indicates that those packed picnics weren't a slapdash affair. The attention and cost poured into the preparation of food mummies matched or rivaled the care lavished on the pickled humans - if they were rich enough to afford the deluxe packaging.

Pyramid-Age Love Revealed in Vivid Color in Egyptian Tomb   Live Science - November 15, 2013
She was a priestess named Meretites, and he was a singer named Kahai, who performed at the pharaoh's palace. They lived about 4,400 years ago in an age when pyramids were being built in Egypt, and their love is reflected in a highly unusual scene in their tomb - an image that has now been published in all its surviving color. The tomb at Saqqara - which held this couple, their children and possibly their grandchildren - has now been studied and described by researchers at Macquarie University's Australian Center for Egyptology. Among the scenes depicted is a relief painting showing the couple gazing into each other's eyes, with Meretites placing her right hand over Kahai's right shoulder. Such a display of affection was extraordinary for Egypt during the Pyramid Age. Only a few examples of a face-to-face embrace survive from the Old Kingdom (2649 B.C. to 2150 B.C.), the time period when the couple lived and pyramid building thrived.

Ancient Egypt

Deformed, Pointy Skull from Dark Ages Unearthed in France   Live Science - November 15, 2013
The skeleton of an ancient aristocratic woman whose head was warped into a deformed, pointy shape has been unearthed in a necropolis in France. The necropolis, found in the Alsace region of France, contains 38 tombs that span more than 4,000 years, from the Stone Age to the Dark Ages. The Obernai region where the remains were found contains a river and rich, fertile soil, which has attracted people for thousands of years.

Incan Skulls - Enlarged Pointed Heads   Crystalinks

  Cave women unearth skull of unknown human ancestor   NBC - November 16, 2013
An all-woman team of spelunking scientists has retrieved hundreds of fossils from a 100-foot-deep (30-meter-deep) cave in South Africa - including the cranium from what appears to be a prehistoric humanlike creature. Friday's retrieval of the skull was a climactic moment for the three-week expedition to the Rising Star Cave in South Africa's Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site, just 25 miles (40 kilometers) north of Johannesburg.

Bone and Bracelets Found in Roman Child's Coffin   Live Science - November 15, 2013
A group of archaeologists in England this week lifted the lid on a Roman child's coffin, discovering that it contains fragments of bones and two tiny bangles. Last month, treasure hunters equipped with metal detectors led archaeologists to the rare lead coffin buried in a field in Warwickshire. The funerary box was child-sized, and researchers think it is likely more than 1,600 years old, dating back to the Roman occupation of Britain. A crew with a group called Archaeology Warwickshire opened the coffin and found fragmentary skeletal remains and two bracelets made of jet, a dark black gemstone.

Ancient Rome

Mexico unveils stone-age etchings   BBC - July 9, 2013
Archaeologists in Mexico have catalogued thousands of etchings carved into stones that they believe were made by hunter-gatherers 6,000 years ago. The carvings, known as petroglyphs, mostly consist of wavy lines and concentric circles, with some images representing deer tracks. Some 8,000 images were found at the site in Narigua in northern Mexico.

Legend of Lost City Spurs Exploration, Debate   Live Science - June 19, 2013
Deep in the dense rain forests of Honduras, a glittering white city sits in ruins, waiting for discovery. The inhabitants there once ate off plates of gold; the metropolis was, perhaps, the birthplace of a god. A recent high-tech survey of the region by air reveals possible pyramids and other structures. Has the lost city of Ciudad Blanca been found? Or did it ever exist at all? Probably not, according to archaeologists and anthropologists, who generally agree there was once something in the eastern Honduras rain forest - though likely not a city of mythical wealth and luxury. In fact, the legend of this ancient city may be a relatively new one.

'Lost' Medieval City Discovered Beneath Cambodian Jungle   Live Science - June 19, 2013
A lost city known only from inscriptions that existed some 1,200 years ago near Angkor in what is now Cambodia has been uncovered using airborne laser scanning. The previously undocumented cityscape, called Mahendraparvata, is hidden beneath a dense forest on the holy mountain Phnom Kulen, which means "Mountain of the Lychees." The cityscape came into clear view, along with a vast expanse of ancient urban spaces that made up Greater Angkor, the large area where one of the largest religious monuments ever constructed - Angkor Wat, meaning "temple city" - was built between A.D. 1113 and 1150.

The lost city of Mahendraparvata revealed in a shaded relief map of terrain beneath the vegetation in the Phnom Kulen acquisition area. Green denotes previously documented archaeological features; areas shaded red contain newly documented features indicative of an extensive urban layout.

Stone Age Phallus Found in Israel   Live Science - March 26, 2013
Some remarkable traces of Stone Age life were unearthed recently in northern Israel, including a pit of burned bean seeds and a carving of a penis that's more than 6,000 years old, the Israeli Antiquities Authority (IAA) reported. Archaeologists are excavating at Ahihud Junction ahead of the construction of a new Israeli railroad line to the city of Karmiel. They found evidence of ancient settlements from two eras: the Pre-Pottery Neolithic period and the Early Chalcolithic period (7th millennium B.C. – 5th millennium B.C.).

Archaeology - August 6-10, 2012
    Severed Hands Discovered in Ancient Egypt Palace
    Zapotec - New Pyramid Found With Vivid Murals, Stacked Tombs
    Mexican archaeologists discover 'unprecedented' Aztec burial
    Mayans May Have Sacrificed Earliest Domestic Turkeys
    New Flat-Faced Human Species Possibly Discovered
    Early human ancestors had more variable diet
    Archaeologists claim objects are earliest 'matches'
    High flying technology to map Peru ruins

Castles of 'lost cities' revealed in Libyan desert   MSNBC - November 7, 2011
New evidence of a lost civilization in an area of the Sahara in Libya has emerged from images taken by satellites. "It is like someone coming to England and suddenly discovering all the medieval castles. These settlements had been unremarked and unrecorded under the (Moammar) Gadhafi regime," said project leader David Mattingly, professor of Roman archaeology at the university. The fall of the regime has opened up Libya to more exploration by archaeologists of its pre-Islamic heritage.

Pavlopetri - Underwater town breaks antiquity record   New Scientist - October 22, 2009
A settlement that long ago sank into the Mediterranean Sea has been identified as the world's oldest underwater town. Pavlopetri, off the southern coast of the Pelopennese in Greece, has been dated to around 3000 BC. Although Pavlopetri was found in 1967, the Greek government has just announced that 5000-year-old pottery fragments have been recovered from the town, forcing a rethink of when it was first occupied. Moreover, the government has also revealed that a further 9000 square metres of buildings, streets, and graves - plus what looks like a large ceremonial building called a megaron - have been discovered. This suggests that Pavlopetri may have been an important trading port, and provides new clues about how Neolithic people lived.

Pavlopetri -- the world's oldest known submerged town   PhysOrg - October 21, 2009
The world's oldest known submerged town has been revealed through the discovery of late Neolithic pottery. The finds were made during an archaeological survey of Pavlopetri, off the southern Laconia coast

Largest Anglo-Saxon Treasure Found   National Geographic - September 26, 2009
Buried for centuries in a field in central England - two eagles flanking a fish, the Dark Ages treasure was one of more than 1,500 scattered gold and silver artifacts

Subway excavation uncovers Algeria's past   MSNBC - August 18, 2009
'No one could have imagined that the earth was hiding these relics'

Dominican Republic: Clues to Caribbean's earliest inhabitants   PhysOrg - August 18, 2009
A prehistoric water-filled cave has become a "treasure trove" stone tools, a small primate skull in remarkable condition, and the claws, jawbone and other bones of several species of sloths. The researchers' focus has been on the era a mere 500 years ago when the Old World and New World first met after Christopher Columbus stepped ashore in the Caribbean -- and on scintillating pirate lore. This rare find is expected to give insights into the earliest inhabitants of the Greater Antilles and the animals they encountered.

Ancient stone artwork discovered   BBC - August 18, 2009
Prehistoric artwork has been discovered by an amateur archaeologist at a Perthshire mountain range.

Subatomic Archaeology: Muons Meet the Mayan Pyramids Science News Online - December 14, 2007
Physicists plan to use muons generated by cosmic rays to probe the interior of the Pyramid of the Sun at Teotihuacan.
Muon Wikipedia

Sprawling Angkor Brought Down By Overpopulation, Study Suggests National Geographic - August 13, 2007
Cambodia's long-lost temple complex of Angkor is the world's largest known preindustrial settlement, reveals a new radar study that found 74 new temples and more than a thousand manmade ponds at the site. Now a new archaeological map created using jungle-penetrating radar has revealed traces of vast suburban sprawl surrounding the many temples and the walled central city of Angkor Thom. Extensive waterworks threaded through the low-density development, channeling the flow of three rivers through agricultural fields, homes, and local temples. In the end, residents of greater Angkor likely struggled with the ecological consequences of transforming the landscape. The new survey found breached spillways and canals clogged with silt, suggesting that environmental degradation made the infrastructure increasingly difficult to maintain.

Photo Gallery National Geographic - August 14, 2007

The largest religious complex in the world, Cambodia's Angkor Wat is the jewel in the vast Angkor archaeological site. The lost city was an ancient wonder of urban sprawl, according to a new survey that uncovered 74 temples and more than a thousand artificial ponds in Angkor's "suburbs." The Khmer Empire's King Suryavarman II built Angkor Wat between A.D. 1113 and 1150 to honor the Hindu god Vishnu. Carved from soft sandstone, the temple complex's statues crumbled and toppled in the wake of Angkor's decline. Still guarded by a 4-mile (6.4-kilometer) moat, the restored Angkor Wat today fuels a booming tourist trade at the modern town of Siem Reap.

Map reveals ancient urban sprawl BBC - August 14, 2007
The great medieval temple of Angkor Wat in Cambodia was once at the centre of a sprawling urban settlement, according to a new, detailed map of the area. Using radar, an international team have discovered at least 74 new temples and complex irrigation systems. The map, published in the journal PNAS, extends the known settlement by 1000 sq km, about the size of Los Angeles. Analysis also lends weight to the theory that Angkor's residents were architects of the city's demise. The large-scale city engineered its own downfall by disrupting its local environment by expanding continuously into the surrounding forests

Long-lost community found around Angkor MSNBC - August 13, 2007

Archaeologists have published a new map showing an extensive ancient settlement surrounding Cambodia's Angkor Wat that supported large numbers of inhabitants before and after the famous temple was built. Now obscured by vegetation and low-lying clouds, the ruins spread over nearly 390 square miles (1,000 square kilometers) and were made up of thousands of houses, roads, human-made ponds and canals, researchers from Australia, Cambodia and France said in the latest issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Vanishing remnants of 74 village temples were found in the countryside surrounding the monumental, world-famous temple complex at Angkor Wat.

Newfound Book of Psalms Doesn't Predict Doom, Experts Say National Geographic - July 27, 2006
It's not the end of the world, experts announced today. The opening passage of a thousand-year-old Christian prayer book discovered in Ireland does not say that doomsday is near. When the medieval text - a Book of Psalms dated to about A.D.1000 - was unearthed by a construction worker in a bog last week, archaeologists described the find as a miracle.

Indonesia: 'Pompeii of the East' discovered - Lost Kingdom of Tambora BBC - February 28, 2006
An expedition to the site of the largest volcanic eruption in modern times has uncovered a lost kingdom. More than 100,000 people died when Mount Tambora erupted on the Indonesian island of Sumbawa in 1815. Remains of a house with two occupants buried under ash have been unearthed for the first time in a discovery hailed the "Pompeii of the East". Scientists say bronze bowls, ceramic pots and other recovered artifacts shed light on an old Indonesian culture.

Lost civilization unearthed in Indonesia MSNBC - March 1, 2006
Scientists have found what they believe are traces of the lost Indonesian civilization of Tambora, which was wiped out in 1815 by the biggest volcanic eruption in recorded history. Mount Tambora's cataclysmic eruption on April 10, 1815, buried the inhabitants of Sumbawa Island under searing ash, gas and rock and is blamed for an estimated 88,000 deaths. The eruption was at least four times more powerful than Mount Krakatoa's in 1883. Guided by ground-penetrating radar, U.S. and Indonesian researchers recently dug in a gully where locals had found ceramics and bones. They unearthed the remains of a thatch house, pottery, bronze and the carbonized bones of two people, all in a layer of sediment dating to the eruption. University of Rhode Island volcanologist Haraldur Sigurdsson, the leader of the expedition, estimated that 10,000 people lived in the town when the volcano erupted in a blast that dwarfed the one that buried the Roman town of Pompeii. The eruption shot 400 million tons of sulfuric gases into the atmosphere, causing global cooling and creating what historians call The Year Without a Summer. Farms in Maine suffered crop-killing frosts in June, July and August. In France and Germany, grape and corn crops died, or the harvests were delayed.

Report Examines Ancient Mexican Footprint Claim BBC - December 1, 2005
Impressions in volcanic ash hailed as footprints made by the earliest known human settlers in the Americas may not be what they seem. If confirmed, the 40,000-year-old marks would have debunked accepted theories of human migration into the Americas. But the ash has now been dated to 1.3 million years ago - more than a million years before modern humans evolved. Relatives of our species living at this time were not capable of making the journey to the Americas, experts say. One of the Nature paper's authors even suggests the supposed footprints could have been made by picks used to quarry the site.

Stone Age Cemetery, Artifacts Unearthed in Sahara National Geographic - October 26, 2005
Human skeletons and artifacts on the shores of an ancient lake in the Sahara. The seven nearby sites include an extensive cemetery and represent one of the largest and best preserved concentrations of ancient skeletons and artifacts ever found in the region, researchers say. Harpoons, fishhooks, pottery, jewelry, stone tools, and other artifacts pepper the ancient lakeside settlement. The objects were left by early communities that once thrived on the former lake's abundant fish and shellfish.