• Italy unveils the restored Zeus di Solunto

    The statue of Zeus of Soluntum (Greek Soloeis), one of the most important examples of ancient Greek art, is again on display at the Archaeological Museum Antonio Salinas in Palermo after careful restoration.
    The Zeus of Soluntum was found near another statue of a female figure in a sacred building of the archaeological area of Soluntum, one of the principal Phoenician settlements in Sicily along with Panormus and Motya.The Zeus of...
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  • During last warming period, Antarctica heated up 2 to 3 times more than planet average

    Following Earth's last ice age, which peaked 20,000 years ago, the Antarctic warmed between two and three times the average temperature increase worldwide, according to a new study by a team of American geophysicists.Blustery conditions at the West Antarctica ice sheet divide, a ridge where a 3.4-kilometer borehole was drilled
     to acquire ice cores. The tent protected the equipment and scientists as they measured...
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  • Fish fossils reveal how tails evolved

    Despite their obvious physical differences, elephants, lizards and trout all have something in common. They possess elongated, flexible structures at the rear of their bodies that we call tails. But a new study by a University of Pennsylvania paleobiologist reveals that the tails of fish and the tails of tetrapods, or four-limbed animals, are in fact entirely different structures, with different evolutionary histories.Aetheretmon...
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  • Before race mattered: what archives tell us about early encounters in the French colonies

    As Europe expanded its overseas colonies, fixed ideas of racial differences took hold. Historian Dr Mélanie Lamotte, whose forebears include a slave, is researching a brief period when European notions of ethnicity were relatively fluid. Early French settlers believed that non-white inhabitants of the colonies could be ‘civilised’ and ‘improved’.Image from Archives Nationales d’Outre Mer (ANOM), Jean-Baptiste Labat, 
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  • Master Mateo in the Museo del Prado

    The Museo del Prado, the Real Academia Gallega de Bellas Artes and the Fundación Catedral de Santiago are the joint organisers of this monographic exhibition of works by Master Mateo for the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, offering visitors an in-depth focus on a golden period in the history of the building, spanning the years 1168 to 1211.The exhibition brings together an exceptional group of fourteen works that were removed in...
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  • Secrets of the Paleo diet: Archaeological discovery reveals plant-based menu of prehistoric humans

    A collection of 780,000-year-old edible plants found in Israel reveals the plant-based diet of the prehistoric man and is the largest and most diverse in the Levantine corridor linking Africa and Eurasia.780,000 year old remains of edible fruits and seeds discovered in the northern Jordan Valley 
    [Credit: Yaakov Langsam]A tiny grape pip (scale 1mm), left on the ground some 780,000 years ago, is one of more than 9,000 remains of...
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  • Geoscientists size-up early dinosaurs, find surprising variation

    Look out your window, and you may see people of all ages and sizes roaming the street: a 6-foot-5-inch man walking beside a 4-foot-6-inch boy, for example, or a sprouting teen-ager who is much taller than a full-grown adult.A Coelophysis flock [Credit: Matt Celeskey]Virginia Tech geoscientists Christopher Griffin and Sterling Nesbitt discovered that this sort of variation in growth patterns in people despite their ages also occurred...
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  • Researchers find overwhelming evidence of malaria's existence 2,000 years ago

    An analysis of 2,000-year-old human remains from several regions across the Italian peninsula has confirmed the presence of malaria during the Roman Empire, addressing a longstanding debate about its pervasiveness in this ancient civilization.Skeletal remains of an individual from Velia are shown [Credit: Luca Bandioli, Pigorini Museum]The answer is in mitochondrial genomic evidence of malaria, coaxed from the teeth of bodies buried...
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  • Prehistoric plant remains highlight diverse origins of cereal domestication

    A study from the University of the Basque Country (UPV-EHU) and the University of Copenhagen shows that the process of cultivation and domestication of cereals occurred at different times across southwest Asia.
    Modern-day harvesting of wild barley in southern Syria 
    [Credit: Juan José Ibañez]The analyses of plant remains from archaeological sites dated to around11,600-10,700 years ago suggest that in regions such as Turkey,...
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  • When permafrost melts, what happens to all that stored carbon?

    The Arctic's frozen ground contains large stores of organic carbon that have been locked in the permafrost for thousands of years. As global temperatures rise, that permafrost is starting to melt, raising concerns about the impact on the climate as organic carbon becomes exposed. A new study is shedding light on what that could mean for the future by providing the first direct physical evidence of a massive release of carbon from...
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  • New evidence on the formation of the solar system

    International research involving a Monash University scientist is using new computer models and evidence from meteorites to show that a low-mass supernova triggered the formation of our solar system.Supercomputer model of a low-mass supernova [Credit: Bernhard Mueller, MNRAS 453, 287-310 (2015)]About 4.6 billion years ago, a cloud of gas and dust that eventually formed our solar system was disturbed.The ensuing gravitational...
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  • Scientist uses clam shells to help build 1,000-year record of ocean climate

    Alan Wanamaker, working as a postdoctoral researcher from 2007 to 2009, was charged with beginning to compile a 1,000-year record of the marine climate for a spot in the North Atlantic just off the fjords and fishing villages of North Iceland.How scientists study clam shells: A) The dashed line shows the shell's maximum growth axis. B) The cross-section 
    of a shell cut along its maximum growth axis. C) Detail of a section of the...
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  • Biologists unlock 51.7-million-year-old genetic secret to landmark Darwin theory

    Scientists have identified the cluster of genes responsible for reproductive traits in the common primrose flower (Primula vulgaris), first noted as important by Charles Darwin more than 150 years ago.Primrose [Credit: © nikolay100/Fotolia]Darwin hypothesised that some plant species with two distinct forms of flower, where male and female reproductive organs were of differing lengths, had evolved that way to promote out-crossing by...
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  • Female PPE

    Archaeology, despite our best efforts, does not seem to take any notice of the seasons and therefore, as field archaeologists we are required to be out in all weathers all year round. Sometimes we are sweltering in the dust of a quarry site in August, other times we find ourselves wading through calf-deep clay mud in soggy Somerset in February. Battling with the elements as we do, having good warm and waterproof clothing is essential and is provided by Wessex. Recently Wessex has been trialling
  • China's terracotta warriors to return to UK for first time in nearly a decade

    Ancient Chinese treasures from first emperor’s tomb will be among 120 objects to go on display at Liverpool’s World Museum in 2018China’s terracotta warriors are to return to the UK almost a decade after they thrilled visitors in a landmark exhibition at the British Museum.Karen Bradley, the culture secretary, announced that Liverpool’s World Museum would be the next destination for the spectacular treasures which China’s first emperor, Qin Shihuangdi, had made to a
  • St Lawrence Church, Tinsley

    Graveyard Survey Following on from the highly successful three-year HLF Community Heritage project ‘Exploring Tinsley Manor’ with Heeley City Farm and Tinsley Junior School (now Tinsley Meadows), and the University of Sheffield History Department’s Unravelling Tinsley’s Court Rolls project, Wessex Archaeology Sheffield staff recently helped Heeley City Farm with an ongoing graveyard survey of St Lawrence Church in Tinsley, Sheffield. The survey is being carried out b
  • Excavating the CA archive: CA 322

    Joe Flatman explores half a century of reports from the past.
    All CA issues mentioned by Joe Flatman in this month’s column below can be accessed for free for one month via Exact Editions, starting 1 December. Use the links within the text to jump to the individual issues, or click on the covers below. Print subscribers can add permanent digital access to their account for just £12 a year – this includes everything from the last 50 years, right back to Issue 1! Call our dedicat
  • Ramesses II, victor of Kadesh: a kindred spirit of Trump?

    Much like the president-elect, Ramesses II knew that bombast can sometimes outweigh truth. His tale of triumph at the Battle of Kadesh is a perfect exampleIn 1274BCE, near the Levantine town of Kadesh, a miracle occurred: Ramesses II of Egypt, isolated from his forces due to faulty intelligence, single-handedly destroyed a Hittite army. Out of the 2,500 chariots attacking him, not one survived. The pharaoh subsequently threw countless enemies into the river Orontes, only sparing the Hittite king
  • Somerset skeletons are oldest evidence of monks found in UK

    Carbon dating of remains unearthed in Beckery chapel near Glastonbury indicate monastic life dating back to fifth or early sixth centuries Skeletons excavated at a site near Glastonbury are the oldest examples of monks ever found in the UK, carbon dating has proved. The remains, unearthed at the medieval Beckery chapel in Somerset, said to have been visited by legendary figures such as King Arthur and St Bridget, indicate a monastic cemetery dating back to the fifth or early sixth centuries AD,
  • Archaeologists uncover name of Roman Prefect of Judea before Third Jewish Revolt

    University of Haifa researchers have made an important underwater discovery: a rare inscription from the period preceding the Bar Kochba revolt permits for the first time the definite identification of Gargilius Antiques as the Roman prefect of Judea at that time.The massive rectangular stone discovered during a maritime excavation at the Tel Dor 
    archaeological site south of Haifa [Credit: Ehud Erkin Shalev]The inscription was...
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  • Ancient pollution hints at possible early copper smelting in Jordan

    Industrial pollution may seem like a modern phenomenon, but in fact, an international team of researchers may have discovered what could be the world’s first polluted river, contaminated approximately 7,000 years ago.Wadi Faynan, Jordan, where researchers found evidence of ancientpollution caused by the combustion of copper 
    [Credit: Barqa LandscapeProject/University of Waterloo]In this now-dry riverbed in the Wadi Faynan...
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  • Mummified remains identified as Egyptian Queen Nefertari

    A team of international archaeologists believe a pair of mummified legs on display in an Italian museum may belong to Egyptian Queen Nefertari – the favourite wife of the pharaoh Ramses II.Mummified legs from Nefertari's tomb on display in 2014 exhibition at Museo Egizio in Turin 
    [Credit: © 2016 Habicht et al.]The team, which included Dr Stephen Buckley and Professor Joann Fletcher from the University of York’s Department of...
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  • 4,000 year old Egyptian model boat sails away as top selling lot at Bonhams Antiquities Sale

    A large wooden model boat from the Egyptian Middle Period 2123-1797 BC, sold for £161,000 at Bonhams Antiquities Sale in London yesterday. The boat had been estimated at £30,000-50,000.A wooden model boat from the Egyptian Middle Period 2123-1797 BC, sold for £161,000 
    [Credit: Bonhams]Boats were an integral part of Egyptian everyday life and mythology and as such they were considered necessary in the afterlife. Usually two...
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  • Swiss seize artefacts looted from Syria's Palmyra

    Swiss authorities said Friday they had seized cultural relics looted from Syria's ancient city of Palmyra, as well as from Libya and Yemen, which were being stored in Geneva's free ports.A funeral bas-relief from Palmyra in Syria discovered during a custom control on April 2013
    in the free ports of Geneva [Credit: AFP/Getty Images]The free ports provide highly secured warehouses where basically anything can be stashed tax-free with...
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  • American School of Classical Studies investigating deviant burials at Phaleron

    In sociology, deviant behaviour can be either malum in se, meaning wrong in itself, or malum prohibita, wrong because it is prohibited. The term deviant is also used to define the mystery of an ancient necropolis unearthed at the Phaleron (present-day Faliro) Delta, where classical archaeology has called on the help of CSI-style archaeologists from the Malcolm H. Wiener Laboratory for Archaeological Science at the American School of...
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  • Rebuilding history? Debate rages over lost Afghan Buddhas

    For centuries they stood, two monumental ancient statues of Buddha carved into the cliffs of Bamiyan, loved and revered by generations of Afghans -- only to be pulverised by the Taliban in an act of cultural genocide.This picture taken on November 6, 2016 shows Afghan men walk at the site of the giant Buddha statues, which were 
    destroyed by the Taliban in 2001 in Bamiyan province. For centuries they stood, two monumental...
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  • New tomb of Baekje Dynasty discovered in Seoul

    An ancient tomb of the Baekje Dynasty was found in Seokchon-dong in Seoul. The tomb reportedly consists of the largest number of smaller stone mound tombs ever found in Korea as at least 10 individual stone mound tombs are located closely or connected to each other. Together with the tomb, the excavation team also found a site possibly used as a mortuary hall where the corpse was contained before the burial.Aerial view of the...
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  • Excavation of Roman Cemetery nominated for British archaeology award

    For the second year running a project led by University of Leicester archaeologists has been nominated in the Current Archaeology Awards, this year in the category 'Rescue Project of the Year'.An archaeologist excavates one of the skeletons in the Roman cemetery at Western Road 
    [Credit: University of Leicester]The project, ‘Buried between Road and River: Investigating a Roman cemetery in Leicester’ (reported on in Current...
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  • Ancient mound used for defense hints at walled city in Japan

    Ancient hilltop earthworks discovered here could offer the first hard evidence of Japan having had a walled city in the seventh century.Researchers study the earthworks in the Maehata ruins at Chikushino, Fukuoka Prefecture[Credit: Toshiyuki Tsunenari]The mound in northern Fukuoka Prefecture measures 500 meters or so, and is presumed to have been part of a long line of fortifications to protect Dazaifu, or the regional government...
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  • Fires set by Ice Age hunters destroyed forests throughout Europe

    Large-scale forest fires started by prehistoric hunter-gatherers are probably the reason why Europe is not more densely forested. The finding -- by an international team, including climate researcher Professor Jed Kaplan of the University of Lausanne and archaeologist Professor Jan Kolen of Leiden University -- was published in the journal PLOS ONE.Reconstruction of a fire in a semi-open landscape [Credit: Leiden...
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  • 2,000 year old Ashoka Pillar in Delhi suffers heavy damage

    A valuable piece of India's ancient history in the heart of the nation's modern capital is being erased word by word, literally.Ashoka Pillar at Ferozeshah Kotla, Delhi [Credit: WikiCommons]The Ashoka pillar in central Delhi's Ferozeshah Kotla, erected by the Mauryan emperor Ashoka originally in Haryana's Ambala area between circa 273 and 236 BCE, is showing clear signs of flaking and deterioration. The sad thing is that the...
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  • Dutch return looted 2nd century marble head to Italy

    Dutch police have returned to Italy a 2nd century marble head that was stolen from a famous archaeological site outside Rome and offered up for auction in Amsterdam.The marble head depicting the Roman Empress Julia Domna was stolen in 2013 
    from Hadrian's Villa at Tivoli, near Rome [Credit: ANSA]Italy's national police art squad says the 31-centimeter head of Roman empress Giulia Domna was worth 500,000 euros. It was stolen,...
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  • The coldest decade of the millennium?

    While searching through historical archives to find out more about the 15th-century climate of what is now Belgium, northern France, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands, Chantal Camenisch noticed something odd. "I realised that there was something extraordinary going on regarding the climate during the 1430s," says the historian from the University of Bern in Switzerland.One of the historical documents analysed by the team was a Bernese...
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  • France claims rights to shipwreck linked to lost colony of Fort Caroline

    France has filed a legal claim to an ancient shipwreck discovered off Cape Canaveral, saying it was part of the French fleet that in 1565 went to the aid of that country’s doomed colony at Fort Caroline in Jacksonville.The French fleur-de-lis symbol engraved on a 16th-century bronze cannon discovered in a shipwreck off the coastof Cape Canaveral in Florida [Credit: Global Marine Exploration, Inc.]That follows a claim by the private...
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  • Research suggests Chinese paper-making older than previously thought

    A Chinese archaeologist has announced new findings about an ancient scrap of paper, likely to be evidence of the earliest on record, dating 250 years before Cai Lun invented paper-making technology in China.Page from one of the oldest surviving books on paper, 250 AD. The Phi Yü Ching on "liu-ho" paper made in Liu-ho in northern Chiangsu. It is made from six different materials [Credit: WikiCommons]The piece, about five centimeters...
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  • Works resume at ancient city of Hadrianapolis

    Works have been resumed, after two years, in the ancient city of Hadrianapolis in the northern Turkish province of Karabük (Greek Paphlagonia).Mosaics found during excavations at the ancient city of Hadrianopolis 
    in Paphlagonia [Credit: AA]The ancient city is believed to have been established in the first century BC and was used as a settlement until the eighth century.Vedat Keleş, the head of the excavations and professor at...
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  • Hi-tech replica to bring prehistoric art of Lascaux within reach

    £48m recreation of French caves will let visitors experience magic of the ‘prehistoric Sistine chapel’ for first time in decadesIn the Dordogne village of Montignac sur Vézère, the story of how one boy and his dog discovered one of the most haunting examples of prehistoric art has gone down in local folklore.On 8 September 1940, Marcel Ravidat’s black-and-white mongrel, Robot, dived into a hole in the ground in pursuit of a rabbit. The 17-year-old Ravidat re
  • Embryonic cluster galaxy immersed in giant cloud of cold gas

    Astronomers studying a cluster of still-forming protogalaxies seen as they were more than 10 billion years ago have found that a giant galaxy in the center of the cluster is forming from a surprisingly-dense soup of molecular gas.Artist’s impression of the cosmic “ocean” of very cold gas discovered in the heart of an embryonic cluster of galaxies, 
    about 10 billion light-years away. A single super-galaxy is expected to condense...
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  • Astronomers watch star clusters spewing out dust

    Galaxies are often thought of as sparkling with stars, but they also contain gas and dust. Now, a team led by UCLA astronomers has used new data to show that stars are responsible for producing dust on galactic scales, a finding consistent with long-standing theory. Dust is important because it is a key component of rocky planets such as Earth.In the galaxy II Zw 40, dust (shown in yellow) is strongly associated with clusters of...
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  • Predation on pollinating insects shaped the evolution of the orchid mantis

    A team of scientists at The Cleveland Museum of Natural History, Australia, and Germany discovered that the orchid mantis looks like a flower due to the exploitation of pollinating insects as prey by its praying mantis ancestors.A typical male orchid mantis, Hymenopus coronatus, from Sarawak,Borneo showing brown 
    and white coloration with transparent wings[Credit: Gavin Svenson]By studying the evolutionary relationships of...
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  • Return Venus de Milo please: Greeks make formal request to Louvre

    It has been almost 200 years since the famous Greek statue known to Greeks as Aphrodite of Milos, or Venus de Milo, was discovered by a farmer on the Greek island of Milos.
    The man is said to have discovered the statue while renovating the walls of his property and the Aphrodite of Milos was soon sold to a French naval officer and was to later be gifted to King Louis XVII. The statue of Aphrodite would then end up in the Louvre in...
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  • New study describes 200 million years of geological evolution

    200 million years of geological evolution of a fault in Earth's crust has recently been dated. Published in Nature Communications, these new findings may be used to shed light on poorly understood pathways for methane release from the heart of our planet.Fault zone in Southern Norway shows 200 million years of reactivation history 
    [Credit: Giulio Viola]Tectonic plates, big sections of Earth's crust and blocks underneath them,...
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  • Scientists discover new material from Sutton Hoo ship burial

    Scientists have discovered a new material to add to the collection of treasures from the Sutton Hoo ship burial - bitumen from the Middle East.The 7th century ship-burial at Sutton Hoo was first excavated in 1939 and is famous for the spectacular
    treasure that was found [Credit: University of Aberdeen]The 7th century burial site in East Anglia is the most richly furnished grave ever discovered in Britain.Fragments of black organic...
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  • The ancient atmosphere and carbon and nitrogen in Earth's crust

    Carbon and nitrogen are central to life on Earth -- life cannot exist without them, but an overabundance in the atmosphere imperils the life we have. So how much carbon and nitrogen is there on (and in) planet Earth? And how much was in the ancient atmosphere? Actually, no one is really sure.Minerals like chert contain trapped carbon and nitrogen, which could comprise substantial unknown 
    reservoirs in Earth's crust [Credit:...
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  • Shedding light on the origin of the baleen whale

    Monash University scientists have played a key role in discovering the origin of filter feeding in baleen whales -- the largest animal known to have ever existed.This is Alfred the 'fossil' whale skull [Credit: Ben Healley]The discovery is detailed in a paper co-written with international researchers and palaeontologists from Museum Victoria. 'Alfred' the 25- million-year-old fossilised whale skull was unveiled at the Museum...
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  • Earth's 'technosphere' now weighs 30 trillion tons, research finds

    "The technosphere is a major new phenomenon of this planet – and one that is evolving extraordinarily rapidly" – Professor Mark Williams, University of Leicester.Earth and cling film [Credit: University of Leicester]An international team led by University of Leicester geologists has made the first estimate of the sheer size of the physical structure of the planet's technosphere – suggesting that its mass approximates to an enormous...
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  • Chilling climate revelations from the last Ice Age

    About 14,000 years ago, the southwest United States was lush and green, home to saber-toothed cats and mammoths. Meanwhile, the Pacific Northwest was mostly grassland.A Greenland ice sheet [Credit: Christine Zenino/Creative Common]That all changed as the last ice age was ending. Climate changes might be expected with the melt of a global freeze, but what's surprising is how quickly climate and rainfall patterns changed. According to...
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  • Life and death following Great Barrier Reef bleaching

    Scientists have confirmed the largest die-off of corals ever recorded on Australia's Great Barrier Reef. The worst affected area, a 700 km swath of reefs in the northern region of the Great Barrier Reef has lost an average of 67% of its shallow-water corals in the past 8-9 months. Further south, over the vast central and southern regions of the Great Barrier Reef, the scientists were relieved to find a much lower death toll.Dead...
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  • Middle Eastern Bitumen Found in Early Medieval Buried Ship in UK - Sci-News.com

    Middle Eastern Bitumen Found in Early Medieval Buried Ship in UK
    Bitumen — a rare, tar-like material — from the Middle East is present in the 7th century Anglo-Saxon ship-burial at Sutton Hoo, Suffolk, UK, according to a study led by Dr. Pauline Burger of the British Museum, London. Model of the Sutton Hoo ship ...en meer »
  • Mummified knees are Queen Nefertari's, archaeologists conclude

    A pair of mummified knees are most likely those of the famously beautiful spouse of Pharoah Ramses II, who died around 1250BC, say scientistsA pair of mummified knees found in a tomb in Egypt’s Valley of the Queens are most likely those of Queen Nefertari, the royal spouse of Pharaoh Ramses II, say archaeologists.Thought to have died around 1250 BC, Nefertari was the favourite consort of Ramses the Great, and was famed at the time for her beauty. Continue reading...

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