• Did Stone Age people build a large labyrinth in Denmark?

    A series of Stone Age palisade enclosures have been discovered in Denmark in recent years and archaeologists are still wondering what they were used for.The dark green dotted lines indicate where scientists have dug their trenches and excavated the site. The position of 
    where the palisade is believed to have been is marked in red. The light green dashed line shows the lack of finds 
    [Credit: Danish Geodata Agency/Pernille...
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  • Face of ‘brutally murdered’ Pictish man reconstructed

    Researchers from the University of Dundee’s Centre for Anatomy and Human Identification (CAHID) have reconstructed the face of a Pictish man they showed to have been brutally murdered 1,400 years ago.This face of a Pictish man who was brutally murdered more than 1,400 years ago
     has been reconstructed by researchers [Credit: University of Dundee] Archaeologists excavating a cave in the Black Isle, Ross-shire, were astonished to...
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  • Violence in prehistoric central California driven by scarcity of resources

    A longtime Cal Poly Pomona anthropology professor who studies violence among prehistoric people in California has been published in a prestigious journal.'Night-time Attack on an Indian Village with Flaming Arrows,' 1563, engraving by Theodore de Bry 
    [Credit: DEA/G. Dagli Orti]Professor Mark Allen's study, titled "Resource scarcity drives lethal aggression among prehistoric hunter-gathers in central California," was published...
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  • After being saved by modern technology, busts ruined in Palmyra will return to Syria

    Two rare busts rescued from the Islamic State group's destruction of the ancient city of Palmyra will soon be heading back to Syria, after a painstaking restoration in Italy.A restorer fixes a restored piece of the face of a man bust, which is one of the two funeral reliefs from Palmyra 
    archaeological site that will be restored at the Higher Institute of Conservation and Restoration 
    (ISCR - Istituto Superiore per la...
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  • Ancient animal burial site unearthed at English church

    An archaeological dig at a Shrewsbury church, in Shropshire in the West Midlands of England, has uncovered an ancient animal burial site.Archaeologists said the finds were unprecedented [Credit: Sarah Hart]Archaeologists said the finds, which include a calf, a pig and a dog that died while giving birth, were "unprecedented"."It gets more and more bizarre with every moment," said lead archaeologist Janey Green.The site is being...
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  • 2016 Polish excavations at Kato Paphos – Maloutena completed

    The Cypriot Department of Antiquities announced the completion of the 2016 excavations of the Polish Archaeological Mission at Kato Pafos-Malloutena. Excavations were conducted by the Polish Archaeological Mission of the University of Warsaw under the direction of Dr H. Meyza.Southwestern corner of the courtyard HH 1 with corner of the rectangular basin and bedrock 
    uncovered south of the basin [Credit: H. Meyza]Excavations were...
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  • Medieval, modern looters destroy most mummies in Russia's Yamal — scientist

    Medieval and modern looters have destroyed most mass burials in the Yamal-Nenets Autonomous District, and finding undamaged remains of mummies is great surprise for researchers, Aexei Zarodov, head of the archaeology and ethnography department of the local museum complex, told TASS on Thursday.Mummy of a red-haired man dubbed 'black shaman' [Credit: TASS]"It is next to impossible to find well preserved remains in the burials of the...
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  • Remains of 'extremely tall man' discovered alongside ancient treasure trove in Iran

    Archaeologists in western Iran have discovered a treasure trove of ancient artefacts, including the remains of an extremely tall man who lived more than 1,500 years ago.Storeroom with two storage vessels [Credit: © Rokna twitter]Archaeologists excavating a site in the Iranian province of Lorestan have discovered a load of historically important artefacts dating back thousands of years.The most exciting discovery is the remains of a...
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  • 3D reconstruction of skull suggests small crocodile is new species

    A small crocodile discovered in Germany's Langenberg Quarry may be a new species, according to a study published in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Daniela Schwarz from Leibniz Institute for Evolutionary and Biodiversity Research, Germany, and colleagues.Limestone slab contains the partial skeleton of Knoetschkesuchus 
    [Credit: Schwarz et al., 2017]The Langenberg Quarry has proven to be a rich source of marine-related...
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  • Stolen artefacts from Turkey found in Germany

    One of the artefacts stolen from the Kocaeli Archaeology Museum in 2009 has been found at an auction house in Germany.
    The Culture and Tourism Ministry reported theft of the Roman-era coloured marble relief, which is valued at around 32,000 euros in the auction, to Interpol.Following the illegal excavations there, the Kocaeli Archaeology Museum initiated excavations in İzmit’s Çukurbağ neighbourhood, thought to be the centre of the...
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  • Study finds that heel-down posture in great apes and humans confers fighting advantage

    Walking on our heels, a feature that separates great apes, including humans, from other primates, confers advantages in fighting, according to a new University of Utah study published in Biology Open. Although moving from the balls of the feet is important for quickness, standing with heels planted allows more swinging force, according to study lead author and biologist David Carrier, suggesting that aggression may have played a part...
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  • Otzi the Iceman: Researchers validate the stability of genetic markers

    Biomarkers are biological attributes that can give doctors or researchers clues about the health status or illnesses of a patient. Scientists are placing great hope in a new type of biomarker, so-called microRNAs. These short ribonucleic acid molecules are notable for their very high level of stability. Researchers have now established that such microRNAs can remain stable even after 5,300 years.Researchers found short ribonucleic...
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  • Life under pressure: how biological enzymes function in extreme pressures

    Life can thrive in some of the most extreme environments on the planet. Microbes flourish inside hot geothermal vents, beneath the frigid ice covering Antarctica and under immense pressures at the bottom of the ocean. For these organisms to survive and function, so must the enzymes that enable them to live and grow. Now, researchers from Georgetown University have homed in on what allows particular enzymes to function under extreme...
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  • In the developing ears of opossums, echoes of evolutionary history

    When we are confronted with the remarkable diversity and complexity of forms among living things—the lightweight and leathery wings of a bat, the dense networks of genes that work together to produce a functional cell—it can be hard to imagine how chance mutations and selective processes produced them. If we could rewind evolutionary time, what would we see?When mammalian middle ear bones develop, they begin as part of the arch of...
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  • Extinct tortoise yields oldest tropical DNA

    An extinct tortoise species that accidentally tumbled into a water-filled limestone sinkhole in the Bahamas about 1,000 years ago has finally made its way out, with much of its DNA intact.The fossil skull of the Bahamian tortoise, which yielded the first ancient tropical DNA 
    [Credit: Nancy Albury]As the first sample of ancient DNA retrieved from an extinct tropical species, this genetic material could help provide insights into...
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  • Old rocks, biased data: Overcoming challenges studying the geodynamo

    Gleaning data from old rocks may result in bias. Now, geophysicists have a way to improve their methods to overcome challenges in studying the history of the Earth's core and magnetic field that make up the geodynamo.Michigan Tech undergraduate Katie Bristol preps a magnetized rock sample with liquid nitrogen 
    [Credit: Michigan Tech, Sarah Bird]Since researchers cannot visit the core, they use rocks at the surface as a proxy....
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  • Global ocean de-oxygenation quantified

    Oxygen is an essential necessity of life on land. The same applies for almost all organisms in the ocean. However, the oxygen supply in the oceans is threatened by global warming in two ways: Warmer surface waters take up less oxygen than colder waters. In addition, warmer water stabilizes the stratification of the ocean. This weakens the circulation connecting the surface with the deep ocean and less oxygen is transported into the...
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  • Researchers pinpoint watery past on Mars

    Researchers from Trinity College Dublin have discovered a patch of land in an ancient valley on Mars that appears to have been flooded by water in the not-too-distant past. In doing so, they have pinpointed a prime target to begin searching for past life forms on the Red Planet.Striations exposed on the surface between dunes indicate fluctuating levels of salty groundwater. a) Exposure of putative 
    crossbeds on windward slope of...
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  • Missing stars in the solar neighbourhood reveal the sun's speed and distance to the centre of the Milky Way galaxy

    Using a novel method and data from the Gaia space telescope, astronomers from the University of Toronto have estimated that the speed of the Sun as it orbits the centre of the Milky Way Galaxy is approximately 240 kilometres per second.A composite image shows the Gaia spacecraft against a backdrop of the Milky Way Galaxy 
    [Credit: ESA/ATG medialab; background image: ESO/S. Brunier]In turn, they have used that result to calculate...
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  • Invasive alien species on the rise globally

    The number of alien species is increasing globally, and does not show any sign of saturation, finds an international team involving UCL researchers.Ladybird [Credit: University College London]Led by scientists from Senckenberg, Germany, and the University of Vienna, Austria, the team found that during the last 200 years, the number of new established alien species has grown continuously worldwide, with more than a third of all first...
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  • This week in 1923 | From the Observer archive

    Tutankhamun’s splendour is revealed to the worldSuspense has ended for the excavators in Egypt and the watchers in the two hemispheres.Never before has the civilised world followed, or been able as now to follow, step by step, immediately upon the heels of discovery... Now it is certain that in breaking through the sealed wall Lord Carnarvon and Mr Carter have broken the seal of a historical document quite unparalleled. Hope is not satisfied, but exceeded. Continue reading...
  • 3-D reconstruction of skull suggests small crocodile is new species

    A small crocodile discovered in Germany's Langenberg Quarry may be a new species, according to a study published in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Daniela Schwarz from Leibniz Institute for Evolutionary and Biodiversity Research, Germany, and colleagues.Limestone slab contains the partial skeleton of Knoetschkesuchus 
    [Credit: Schwarz et al., 2017]The Langenberg Quarry has proven to be a rich source of marine-related...
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  • How an Ice Age paradox could inform sea level rise predictions

    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.An animated graphic showing the ice sheet [Credit: University of Michigan]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...
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  • The evolution of wooden halibut hooks carved by native people of the Northwest Coast

    The Tlingit and Haida, indigenous peoples of the Northwest Coast (NWC), have used carved wooden hooks to catch halibut for centuries. As modern fishing technology crept into use, however, the old hooks practically disappeared from the sea. But they thrived on land—as decorative art.Devil Fish Halibut Hook by Arthur B. Nelson, 2012 [Credit: Kathy Dye, Sealaska Heritage Institute]The hook's evolution from utilitarian tool to expression...
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  • Divers find submerged Roman artefacts off Tuscan coast

    A team of divers from Italy's fire service discovered a Roman anchor and an urn during a training session off the coast of Tuscany, they announced on Tuesday.The wooden anchor [Credit: Vigili del Fuoco]The artefacts - part of a wooden anchor measuring 150cm long and a damaged urn - "date back to the Roman era", the fire service said in a statement.They were found at a depth of around 13 metres, during a training session in the...
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  • Turkey restores Ottoman era 'legacies' in the Balkans

    Turkey restored a total of 47 historical buildings including mosques, Mevlevi lodges, dervish lodges, shrines, fountains and baths from the Ottoman era, which are all located in the Balkans, between the years 2008 and 2016.Mehmed Pasha Sokolovic Bridge [Credit: Daily Sabah]The Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA), which operates in 54 different countries in Eastern Europe, Africa, Asia, Latin America and Middle East,...
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  • Temple culture in Ptolemaic Egypt alive and kicking

    Egyptian temple culture was thought to be declining in the Ptolemaic era, after the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC. Nothing could be further from the truth, says Egyptologist Carina van den Hoven. Temple culture was very much alive and kicking.
    Temple of Horus, Edfu [Credit: WikiCommons]InnovationsCarina van den Hoven travelled to Eqypt every year for her PhD research, to study temples and photograph what she saw. Having...
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  • Looking at Sardinian DNA for genetic clues to an island's - and Europe's - past

    Sardinia sits at a crossroads in the Mediterranean Sea, the second largest island next to Sicily. Surrounded by sparkling turquoise waters, this Mediterranean jewel lies northwest of the toe of the Italian peninsula boot, about 350 kilometers due west of Rome.Prehistoric giant statues from Sardinia [Credit: Museum of Cabras]For evolutionary biologists, islands are often intriguing, geographically isolated pockets with unique...
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  • Late Bronze Age weapons hoard dug up at Scottish building site

    GUARD Archaeologists have recently recovered a very rare and internationally significant hoard of metalwork that is a major addition to Scottish Late Bronze Age archaeology.The Bronze Age Hoard as it was first revealed during excavations at Carnoustie 
    [Credit: © GUARD Archaeology Ltd]A bronze spearhead decorated with gold was found alongside a bronze sword, pin and scabbard fittings in a pit close to a Bronze Age settlement...
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  • Street grid unearthed at site of mysterious ancient Japanese capital

    Archaeologists said they may have unravelled one of the many mysteries surrounding Kunikyo, the capital of Japan from 740 to 744.A road crossing a side ditch at right angles in Kizugawa, Kyoto Prefecture, resembles the grid pattern
     found in ancient capitals of Japan [Credit: Makoto Ito]The Kyoto Prefecture Research Center for Archaeological Properties said on Jan. 26 that it has found evidence of “jobo” grid pattern streets for...
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  • 'The Berlin Painter and His World: Athenian Vase-Painting in the Early Fifth Century BC' at the Princeton University Art Museum

    The Berlin Painter was the name given by the great Oxford scholar Sir John Beazley (1885-1970) to an anonymous fifth-century B.C. Athenian vase-painter, whose hand Beazley recognized in over 200 complete or fragmentary vases in collections around the world. Since Beazley’s first published identification of the Berlin Painter in 1911, attributions to this remarkable and prolific artist have grown to over 300 works, and esteem for his...
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  • The heart of a far-off star beats for its planet

    For the first time, astronomers from MIT and elsewhere have observed a star pulsing in response to its orbiting planet.For the first time, astronomers have observed a star pulsing in response to its orbiting planet. The star, HAT-P-2, pictured,
     is one of the most massive exoplanets known today. The planet, named HAT-P-2b, tracks its star in a highly 
    eccentric orbit, flying extremely close to and around the star, then...
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  • Black-hole-powered jets forge fuel for star formation

    Astronomers using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) have discovered a surprising connection between a supermassive black hole and the galaxy where it resides.Artist impression of galaxy at the center of the Phoenix Cluster. Powerful radio jets from the supermassive 
    black hole at the center of the galaxy are creating giant radio bubbles (blue) in the ionized gas surrounding 
    the galaxy. ALMA has...
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  • Rare pulsating star 7,000 light years away is one of only seven in Milky Way

    Astronomers are reporting a rare star as big -- or bigger -- than Earth's sun and that is expanding and contracting in a unique pattern in three different directions.The newest delta Scuti star in our night sky is so rare it’s only one of seven identified by astronomers 
    in the Milky Way [Credit: Palomar Observatory Sky Survey]The star is one that pulsates and so is characterized by varying brightness over time. It's situated...
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  • No close partner for young, massive stars in Omega Nebula

    Astronomers from Leuven (Belgium) and Amsterdam (Netherlands) have discovered that massive stars in the star-forming region M17 (the Omega Nebula) are—against expectations—not part of a close binary. They have started their lives alone or with a distant partner star. The researchers base their findings on data from the X-shooter spectrograph on ESO's Very Large Telescope in northern Chile.
    The open cluster M17 (the Omega Nebula),...
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  • HMS Caroline

    Members of the Edinburgh team visited HMS Caroline, the last survivor of the iconic Battle of Jutland (1916), at her mooring at Alexandra Dock, Belfast in early February, following her return from dry docking at Harland & Wolff. Caroline, part of the collection of historic ships held by the National Museum of the Royal Navy, has been undergoing a full restoration and advanced conservation to return the ship to as close a representation of her 1916 Jutland appearance as possible. The project
  • Ancient jars found in Judea reveal Earth's magnetic field is fluctuating, not diminishing

    Albert Einstein considered the origin of Earth's magnetic field one of the five most important unsolved problems in physics. The weakening of the geomagnetic field, which extends from the planet's core into outer space and was first recorded 180 years ago, has raised concern by some for the welfare of the biosphere.Stamped handle from Ramat Rahel [Credit: Oded Lipschits]But a new study published in Proceedings of the National Academy...
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  • Canadian glaciers now major contributor to sea level change

    Ice loss from Canada's Arctic glaciers has transformed them into a major contributor to sea level change, new research by University of California, Irvine glaciologists has found.Canada's glaciers and ice caps are now a major contributor to sea level change, a new UCI study shows. Ten times more
     ice is melting annually due to warmer temperatures. Seen here is the edge of the Barnes Ice Cap in May 2015 
    [Credit: NASA/John...
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  • Old into new: Geneticists track the evolution of parenting

    University of Georgia researchers have confirmed that becoming a parent brings about more than just the obvious offspring—it also rewires the parents' brain.A female burying beetle feeds her begging young. The parent and offspring are in a mouse carcass prepared 
    by the parent as food [Credit: Allen Moore/UGA]The study, published this month in Nature Communications, finds that the transition from a non-parenting state to a...
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  • Romanian skeleton puzzles archaeologists

    An unusual and 'confusing' grave site dug up in Romania by a student from The Australian National University (ANU) is helping provide evidence for the first official written history of the Szekely people.Student Coco James on site [Credit: ANU]Coco James, a Master of Biological Anthropology student with the ANU School of Archaeology and Anthropology, has returned from a field trip in central Romania where she unearthed a grave burial...
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  • Fossil discovery rewrites understanding of reproductive evolution

    A remarkable 250 million-year-old "terrible-headed lizard" fossil found in China shows an embryo inside the mother -- clear evidence for live birth.Dinocephalosaurus, a long-necked aquatic reptile, was an ancestor of crocodiles, dinosaurs and birds 
    [Credit: Dinghua Yang and Jun Liu]Head of The University of Queensland's School of Earth and Environmental Sciences and co-author Professor Jonathan Aitchison said the fossil...
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  • Humans affect Earth system more than natural forces

    Humans are causing the climate to change 170 times faster than natural forces, new research co-led by The Australian National University (ANU) has found.The Anthropocene equation: E is the Earth system; A is astronomical forces; G is geophysical forces; I is internal 
    dynamics; and H is industrialised societies [Credit: Australian National University]Co-researcher Professor Will Steffen from ANU said the study for the first time...
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  • New theory explains how Earth's inner core remains solid despite extreme heat

    Even though it is hotter than the surface of the Sun, the crystallized iron core of Earth remains solid. A new study from KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden may finally settle a longstanding debate over how that's possible, as well as why seismic waves travel at higher speeds between the planet's poles than through the equator.Seismic waves traveling in between the Earth's poles travel faster than those between the equator -...
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  • Banned chemicals from the '70s found in the deepest reaches of the ocean

    A study, led by Newcastle University's Dr Alan Jamieson, has uncovered the first evidence that human-made pollutants have now reached the farthest corners of our earth.Hirondellea gigas are voracious scavengers that consume anything that comes down from the surface 
    [Credit: Dr Alan Jamieson]Sampling amphipods from the Pacific Ocean's Mariana and Kermadec trenches -- which are over 10 kilometres deep and 7,000 km apart -- the...
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  • Tomb with ancient mural surveyed near Japan's Fukushima plant

    Precise 3-D data on a tomb containing an ancient mural and situated about 3 kilometers from the wrecked Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant was being collected on Feb. 9-10.A surveying technician examines the mural inside the Kiyotosakuoketsu tomb, a government-designated historical 
    heritage site, in Futaba, Fukushima Prefecture [Credit: Tatsuo Kanai]The Kiyotosakuoketsu tomb is in the difficult-to-return zone with high...
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  • Swiss archaeologist shines light on Sudan's buried past

    A veteran Swiss archaeologist has unearthed three temples in Sudan built thousands of years ago, a discovery he says promises to throw new light on Africa's buried ancient past.Excavations at Kerma [Credit: Lassi/WikiCommons]The round and oval shaped structures dating from 1,500 to 2,000 BC were found late last year not far from the famed archaeological site of Kerma in northern Sudan.Charles Bonnet, 83, considered a master student...
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  • What the Harappa seals really say

    In the 1870s, Sir Alexander Cunningham, who founded the Archaeological Survey of India, published some findings excavated at Harappa. Among them was a curious object, a one inch by one inch piece of smooth inscribed clay, buried in the ruins. The piece was not polished and seemed to show the figure of a bull. Cunningham initially thought that the seal was a foreign object.Typical Harappan seal [Credit: harappa.com]In the years to...
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  • Non-invasive archaeology to uncover more about an iconic Islamic palace in Southern Spain

    Bournemouth University researchers are using new archaeological techniques and technologies to learn more about an iconic Islamic palace in Southern Spain.Aerial view of the Madinat-Al-Zhara palace [Credit: Córdoba Patrimonio de la Humanidad]Constructed in the mid-10th century, and abandoned in the 11th, the medieval palace city of Madinat al-Zahra showcased the prestige and power of the Islamic caliphate in Iberia. While much...
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  • Ancient Greeks in Ionia first used GPS method to navigate

    Professor Emeritus of the Aristotelian University of Thessaloniki Cartography Department Evangelos Livieratos revealed that ancient Greeks living off the coast of Ionia in Asia Minor (what is today modern Turkey) from the city of Melitus were the among the first peoples to use stars and their relationship with the earth’s surface like a GPS system to aid them in navigating around the Earth.An ancient astronomer gazes at the stars,...
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  • Remains of incomplete royal tomb found in South Korea

    The remains of an incomplete royal tomb were found in Gyeongju, North Gyeongsang Province. The remains were previously assumed to be the royal tomb of King Shinmun or Queen Sodeok of Silla. As a result of excavation, however, they are more likely to be the tomb of King Hyoseong (?-742), the second son of King Seongdeok. It is also considered that the Silla Dynasty had the custom to prepare a king’s tomb before the death.Aerial view...
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