• Bronze Age Settlement Found in Switzerland

    HEIMBERG, SWITZERLANDD—A Bronze Age settlement thought to have been inhabited between 3,200 and 3,500 years ago has been found in the Swiss Plateau, beside the Aare River, according to a Newsweek report. The ancient village likely sat along a route between the Jura Mountains and the Swiss Alps. Researchers from the Archaeological Service of the Canton of Bern (ASCB) discovered the settlement during an excavation conducted ahead of a construction project. “What is exciting about the H
  • Possible Royal Ring Discovered in Denmark

    EMMERLEV, DENMARK—Live Science reports that a metal detectorist discovered a gold ring set with a semiprecious red stone in the hamlet of Emmerlev, which is located in the Southern Jutland region of Denmark. Archaeologist Kirstine Pommergaard of the National Museum of Denmark said that the ring has been dated to the fifth or sixth century A.D., and may have belonged to a local royal family connected to the Frankish kings known as the Merovingians, based upon its spirals and trefoil knobs u
  • Tool Analysis Suggests Neanderthals Mixed Compound Adhesives

    NEW YORK, NEW YORK—According to a statement released by New York University, stone tools recovered in France from the Neanderthal site of Le Moustier in the 1960s have been reexamined by an international team of researchers. The team, led by Patrick Schmidt of the University of Tübingen, detected traces of ocher and bitumen on several of the scrapers, flakes, and blades. “We were surprised that the ochre content was more than 50 percent,” Schmidt said. “This is becau
  • France’s Beaumont Abbey Excavated

    TOURS, FRANCE—The Miami Herald reports that the excavation of the entirety of Beaumont Abbey, including the church, cloister, peripheral buildings, abbey dwellings, the refectory, the kitchen, the parlor, cellars, ovens, pipes, washhouses, latrines, an icebox, the gardens, and dumping areas, has been completed. This is the first time a complete abbey site has been excavated in Europe, according to Philippe Blanchard of the French National Institute of Preventive Archaeological Research. Th
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  • DNA Study Identifies Chromosomal Disorders in Infant Remains

    ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA—According to a statement released by the University of Adelaide, statistician Adam “Ben” Rohrlach of the University of Adelaide, Kay Prüfer of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, and an international team of researchers screened some 10,000 DNA samples taken from human remains dating from the Mesolithic period through the mid-nineteenth century for evidence of autosomal trisomies, or a third copy of one of the first 22 chromosomes in
  • Lost Medieval Church and Burial Found Under Venice Piazza

    VENICE, ITALY—According to a report in The Miami Herald, a rectangular stone-lined tomb dated to the seventh or eighth century has been found under Venice’s Piazza San Marco. The grave was found during an investigation carried out ahead of work to restore the plaza’s paving stones. Archaeologist Sara Bini said that the tomb holds the remains of seven people, including an eight-year-old child and a woman. Near the tomb, the researchers uncovered traces of walls and a floor ident
  • Replica Stone Axes and Adzes Tested

    TOKYO, JAPAN—According to a Cosmos Magazine report, Akira Iwase of Tokyo Metropolitan University and his colleagues made 75 replica ax heads and adzes with a stone hammer, anvil, and grindstones from semi-nephrite collected in Japan’s Matsukawa River and Oumigawa River; hornfels from the Abo River on Yakushima Island; and tuff taken from the Fujikawa River. Thin strips of wood and fibrous grass were used to bind the stones to wooden handles. The tools were then tested in 15 different
  • Ancient Snake-Shaped Handle Uncovered in Taiwan

    TAOYUAN CITY, TAIWAN—A snake-shaped handle to a pottery vessel has been uncovered in northwestern Taiwan, at a site where a large-scale stone tool processing center has also been found, according to a Newsweek report. Researchers led by Hung-Lin Chiu of National Tsing Hua University found the artifact in a sand dune. It has been radiocarbon dated to some 4,000 years ago. Chiu said the snake handle resembles a cobra, with its head raised and bulging skin folds on its head and neck. “S
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  • Faces of Scots From the Past Recreated in Digital Portraits

    PERTHSHIRE, SCOTLAND—The Guardian reports that the faces of four people whose remains were uncovered in central Scotland have been recreated by forensics and facial reconstruction expert Chris Rynn, with information obtained through the analysis of DNA, the chemical composition of bone, radiocarbon dating, and reconstruction forensics. The first digital reconstruction reveals a medieval man thought to have been killed by a traumatic injury between the ages of 18 and 25. His remains were fo
  • Remains of a Possible Roman-Era Family Unearthed in Bulgaria

    NOVA VARBOVKA, BULGARIA—According to a Live Science report, a farmer discovered two Roman graves while plowing a field in northern Bulgaria late last year. Archaeologists from the Veliko Tarnovo Regional Museum of History dated the graves to the third century A.D. Both of the brick graves had been lined with plaster and covered with large slabs of limestone. The remains of a man and a woman between the ages of 45 and 60 at the time of death were found in the larger tomb, which measures abo
  • Monumental Stone Circle Found in Northern Peru

    LARAMIE, WYOMING—According to a statement released by the University of Wyoming, a monumental circular plaza made up of two concentric walls has been discovered in the Andes Mountains of northern Peru by Jason Toohey and Melissa Murphy of the University of Wyoming, Patricia Chirinos Ogata of the University of California, Santa Barbara, and their colleagues. The plaza, constructed with upright megaliths at the Callacpuma archaeological site, measures about 60 feet in diameter and has been r
  • Audio News for February 11th through the 17th, 2024

    News items read by Laura Kennedy include:Mesolithic megastructure in the Baltic Sea offers insight into early hunter-gatherers(details)(details)Patagonian rock art served as a generational communication tool(details)(details)Stone Age skeleton study reveals life story(details)(details)(details)New radiocarbon dating suggests independence of the Rongorongo script(details)(details)
  • New Dates Obtained for Rock Art in Patagonia

    BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA—Live Science reports that samples of black pigment from rock art in a cave in Patagonia have been radiocarbon dated to 8,200 years ago, making some of the images several thousand years older than previously thought. “[The cave] is not the oldest occupation in South America, but it is the oldest directly radiocarbon-dated pigment-based rock art in South America,” said Ramiro Barberena of Temuco Catholic University and Argentina’s National Research C
  • Unusual Animal Burials Excavated in Ancient Cemetery in Italy

    VERONA, ITALY—According to a Newsweek report, the excavation of a cemetery at the Cenomane site of Seminario Vescovile has uncovered the remains of 161 people, 16 of whom were buried with complete animal skeletons or animal parts. Zita Laffranchi of the University of Bern, Stefania Zingale of the Institute for Mummy Studies, Umberto Tecchiati of the University of Milan, and their colleagues suggest that some of the partial animal remains may have been intended as food offerings, but noted
  • Study Dives Deep Into Life of Denmark’s “Vittrup Man”

    GOTHENBURG, SWEDEN—A new analysis of the skeletal remains known as Vittrup Man has been completed by a team of researchers led by Anders Fischer and Karl-Göran Sjögren of the University of Gothenburg, according to a Cosmos Magazine report. The skeleton, discovered in 1915 in a peat bog in northwest Denmark along with a wooden club, a ceramic vessel, and cow bones, has been dated to between 3300 and 3100 B.C. Vittrup Man is thought to have been between 30 and 40 years old at the t
  • Possible Viking-Age Marketplace Found in Norway

    STAVANGER, NORWAY—According to a statement released by the University of Stavanger, a ground-penetrating radar survey conducted on Klosterøy, an island off Norway’s southwestern coast, has detected traces of possible pit houses, cooking pits, and pier or boathouse foundations that may have been part of a Viking Age marketplace. Investigation of this area of private farmland around the medieval Utstein Monastery over the years with metal detectors has also revealed coins and we
  • Ship’s Bell Recovered From Torpedoed WWI Destroyer

    WASHINGTON, D.C.—According to a U.S. Naval Institute News report, the bell of the USS Jacob Jones (DD-61), an American destroyer built in New York in 1916 and sunk off the Isles of Scilly during World War I, has been recovered by a salvage unit with the United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defence, Salvage and Marine Operations. The ship was one of six Tucker class destroyers, the first U.S. destroyers to displace more than 1,000 tons. The Jacob Jones was sent to Queenstown, Ireland, to prot
  • Avar Grave Offers Clues to 7th-Century Heavy Cavalry

    DEBRECEN, HUNGARY—According to a Newsweek report, the 1,300-year-old intact burial of an Avar warrior, including the remains of a horse, weapons, and armor, has been discovered in eastern Hungary. The Avars were nomads who occupied the region of the Carpathian Basin in the mid-sixth century A.D., and gradually shifted to living in settlements before their collapse in the ninth century. Archaeologist Tamara Hága of the Déri Museum said that the warrior had been placed in a rel
  • Ancient Marble Sculpture From Sicily Reassessed

    PALERMO, SICILY—Newsweek reports that a marble sculpture thought to have come from the site of the ancient Temple of Olympian Zeus in Agrigento has been recovered off the coast of Sicily, near the mouth of the Akragas River. The city of Agrigento, known today for the Valley of the Temples, was founded under the name Akragas in the sixth century B.C. by colonists from Greece. The unfinished Temple of Olympian Zeus, constructed around 480 B.C., is thought to have been about 370 feet long, 18
  • Clovis Hare-Bone Bead Identified in Wyoming

    LARAMIE, WYOMING—According to a statement released by the University of Wyoming, a small, tube-shaped bead unearthed at Wyoming’s La Prele Mammoth site has been dated to about 12,940 years ago by Todd Surovell of the University of Wyoming and his colleagues. Previous studies have shown that a young mammoth was butchered at the La Prele Mammoth site; the bone bead was recovered about three feet away from a collection of other artifacts. Analysis of collagen extracted from the bead wit
  • Megalithic “Blinkerwall” Found in the Baltic Sea

    WARNEMÜNDE, GERMANY—The Guardian reports that a section of wall stretching for nearly one-half mile was found in the Bay of Mecklenburg, off the coast of Germany, during a survey conducted with a multibeam sonar system. Inspection of the wall revealed that it was made up of about 300 boulders connected with some 1,400 smaller stones. The structure is thought to have been constructed more than 10,000 years ago, near a lake or marsh. Jacob Geersen of the Leibniz Institute for Baltic Sea
  • 19th-Century Chocolate Factory Identified in Spain

    BARCELONA, SPAIN—According to an ArtNet News report, excavation of a medieval manor house in Barcelona, combined with historical research, has identified several uses for the building over the past 600 years. The researchers found original fourteenth-century arches and doors in the structure. By the fifteenth century, the building was used as a hostel, until there was a major renovation in the sixteenth century. In the eighteenth century, the manor house was divided into three different pr
  • Family Relationships in Thailand’s Log Coffin Culture Detected

    LEIPZIG, GERMANY—According to a statement released by the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Rasmi Shoocongdej of Silpakorn University, Selina Carlhoff of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, and their colleagues analyzed DNA samples taken from 33 individuals who were buried in large wooden coffins at five sites in northwestern Thailand between 2,300 and 1,000 years ago. These coffins, each made from a single teak tree carved with geometric, human, and a
  • DNA Analysis Tracks Origins of Scandinavia’s First Farmers

    LUND, SWEDEN—According to a statement released by Lund University, DNA analysis of bone and teeth samples from prehistoric human remains unearthed in Denmark suggests that the first farmers to arrive in Scandinavia some 5,900 years ago wiped out the hunter-gatherer population within a few generations. “This transition has previously been presented as peaceful,” said Anne Birgitte Nielsen of Lund University. “However, our study indicates the opposite. In addition to violen
  • Intact Roman Egg Examined

    BUCKINGHAMSHIRE, ENGLAND—BBC News reports that a micro-computed tomography scan of a 1,700-year-old chicken egg revealed that it still contains its yolk, egg white, and air sac. The egg was one of several discovered in southeastern England during an excavation conducted by researchers from Oxford Archaeology ahead of a construction project between 2007 and 2016, but the only one to have been removed from the site intact. The researchers think the eggs had been thrown into a watery pit, per
  • Stone Tool Innovation Studied

    NAGOYA, JAPAN—According to a statement released by Nagoya University, a study conducted by Seiji Kadowaki of Nagoya University and his colleagues has explored the transition from the Middle Paleolithic period, in which modern humans and Neanderthals made similar stone tools, with the Upper Paleolithic period, often understood as a time when other human species went extinct while modern humans developed new cognitive abilities and technologies that gave then an advantage as they then expand
  • Audio News for February 4th through the 10th, 2024

    News items read by Laura Kennedy include:Spanish Bronze Age gold hoard contains meteorite metal(details)(details)Archaeologists discover Roman era bone container filled with poisonous seeds(details)(details)Transition from prehistoric hunter-gatherers to farmers was a violent affair(details)(details)(details)Fascinating but challenging Amazon rainforest caves reveal their secrets(details)(details)
  • Audio News for January 28th through February 3rd, 2024

    News items read by Laura Kennedy include:German cave shows modern humans replaced Neanderthals locally by 45,000 years ago(details)(details)Footprints on a Moroccan beach are oldest human trackway from the region(details)Salvage dig in looted Maya tomb uncovers jade mosaic mask(details)Cold, dry years may have made plagues worse during the Roman Empire(details)
  • Audio News for January 21st through the 27th, 2024

    News items read by Laura Kennedy include:Archaeomagnetic dating pinpoints construction of Babylon’s Ishtar Gate(details)Amateur archaeologists unearth a Roman dodecahedron in central England(details)Peruvian sites show even early hunters lived mostly on plant foods(details)New analysis confirms which relatives of Alexander the Great occupy the royal tombs of Macedonia(details)
  • Audio News for January 14th through the 20th, 2024

    News items read by Laura Kennedy include:Gum disease, tooth decay common among Mesolithic hunter-gatherers(details)Like-new 14th century gauntlet discovered in Switzerland(details)New study reveals origins of western Europeans(details)Woolly mammoths shared habitat with earliest human settlements in Alaska(details)
  • Audio News for January 7th through the 13th, 2024

    News items read by Laura Kennedy include:First Roman tombs dug directly into rock found in Egypt(details)Colossal Bronze Age rampart discovered around one of Arabia's longest oases(details)(details)Deep in Amazon rainforest, lasers reveal oldest cities yet(details)(details)(details)Grave of tall man with long sword may shed light on medieval union of Nordic countries(details)(details)
  • Audio News for December 31st, 2023, through January 6, 2024

    News items read by Laura Kennedy include:Cerne Giant was probably Hercules, and rallied early Medieval farmers fighting off Viking invaders(details)New palace found in central China, dating to fabled Xia Dynasty(details)Archaeologists at Tulum find Maya burial cave(details)Bronze buckles from central Europe may show beliefs of lost pagan cult(details)
  • Audio News for December 24th through the 30th, 2023

    News items read by Laura Kennedy include:New study shows how quickly Patagonian natives adopted the horse(details)Europe’s first mega-sites thrived on a mostly vegetarian diet(details)Now underwater, northwest Australia’s continental shelf once was settled(details)Pompeii dig finds group of terracotta figurines honoring the cult goddess Cybele(details)
  • Audio News for December 17th through the 23rd, 2023

    News items read by Laura Kennedy include:Discovery of cat and human-like figures on geoglyphs in Peru(details)New proof that Viking dentistry was remarkably advanced(details)Dental anthropologists connect all Native Americans to one East Asian migration(details)Cutting edge forensics show how nomadic man in ancient Britain ended up far from home(details)
  • Audio News for December 10th through the 16th, 2023

    News items read by Laura Kennedy include:Mongolia may be home to modern horse-riding equipment(details)Excavation of Pompeiian bakery shows the grim life of enslaved people(details)New Mesa Verde area rock art finds show complex cosmology and motifs(details)Curse invoking Beelzebub found in medieval German latrine(details)
  • Audio News for December 3rd through the 9th, 2023

    News items read by Laura Kennedy include:Neolithic builders used simple tools, complex planning to build the Menga Dolmen(details)DNA research shows Slavic migration into the Balkans began in late Roman times(details)In Siberia, world's oldest fortress challenges view of how societies developed(details)Ruins of first rural Wari Empire complex unearthed in Peru(details)
  • Intact Western Han Dynasty Tomb Uncovered in China

    CHONGQING, CHINA—Xinhua reports that a well-preserved tomb dated to the Western Han Dynasty (206 B.C.–A.D. 9) was discovered in southwestern China, near the Wujiang River, during an investigation conducted ahead of a construction project. Huang Wei of the Chongqing Cultural Relics and Archaeological Research Institute said that more than 600 artifacts were recovered from the waterlogged tomb, including lacquerware and objects made of wood, bamboo, pottery, and bronze. “What is
  • Byzantine Gold Coin Found in Norway

    INNLANDET COUNTY, NORWAY—An ancient gold coin has been discovered in the mountains of south-central Norway by a metal detectorist, according to a CBS News report. Known as a histamenon nomisma, the coin was issued by the Byzantine Empire, and was likely minted in Constantinople. One side of the coin features an illustration of Jesus Christ holding a Bible, and a Latin inscription reading “Jesus Christ, King of those who reign,” while the reverse shows the Byzantine emperors Bas
  • Audio News for November 26th through December 2nd, 2023

    News items read by Laura Kennedy include:Bone biographies” tell tales of medieval England’s common folk(details)New insights into 9,000 year-old shaman and infant burial(details)New study suggests Maya purified water with plants(details)Ancient carved trees shine light on Wiradjuri culture(details)
  • Second Wild Grass Identified as Maize Ancestor

    DAVIS, CALIFORNIA—Previous research has shown that maize was first domesticated some 9,000 years ago by hunter-gatherers in lowland Mexico’s Balsas River Basin from a teosinte subspecies called parviglumis. Maize then spread along the Pacific coastline to Panama by about 7,800 years ago, and Peru by about 6,700 years ago. Now, a new genetic study conducted by evolutionary biologist Jeffrey Ross-Ibarra of the University of California, Davis, and his colleagues has identified a second
  • Possible Neolithic Cemetery Site in Finland Reexamined

    TAINIARO, FINLAND—According to a Gizmodo report, a new analysis of a possible 6,500-year-old cemetery in Finnish Lapland just 50 miles south of the Arctic Circle suggests that at least 120 people may have been buried there, making the site much larger than previously thought. Because the acidic soil at the site would have destroyed any bone long ago, burial-shaped pits and red ocher—a colorant found at other Neolithic settlements—have been used to identify possible graves. &ldq
  • Tribute Storage Center of the Wari Empire Found in Peru

    BARCELONA, SPAIN—According to a statement released by the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB), remnants of a 1,400-square-foot building, a courtyard, and warehouses have been uncovered at the site of El Trigal III, which is located in southern Peru’s Aja River valley. The construction of the building has been dated to between the seventh and tenth centuries A.D., when the Wari Empire encompassed much of coastal and highland Peru. Pedro V. Castro-Martinez of UAB and Trinidad Esco
  • Bones of Possible Married Couple Found Near Frankish Castle

    HELFTA, GERMANY—According to a Live Science report, excavation of graves found near the 1,000-year-old site of a palace built in northern Germany by Holy Roman Emperor Otto the Great has uncovered the remains of a man and a woman buried next to each other. Oliver Dietrich of the German Archaeological Institute said the two may have been a married couple. Artifacts recovered from the man’s grave include an iron knife; a buckle and tongue strap from a belt; and the iron tip of a noblem
  • Study Suggests Hominins Hunted Beavers 400,000 Years Ago

    MAINZ, GERMANY—SciNews reports that Sabine Gaudzinski-Windheuser of Johannes Gutenberg University and her colleagues examined nearly 2,000 beaver teeth and more than 500 beaver bones unearthed at Bilzingsleben, a 400,000-year-old archaeological site in central Germany. The bones belonged to the Eurasian beaver, or Castor fiber, and the extinct giant beaver, Trogontherium cuvieri. Cut marks on the bones indicate that the animals were likely hunted for their pelts and their meat. The study a
  • Germany Repatriates Artifacts to Mexico

    BERLIN, GERMANY—According to a report in The Art Newspaper, 75 artifacts were repatriated to Mexico in a ceremony held at Mexico’s embassy in Berlin. All but one of the items had been collected by a German national who had been working near Mexico’s Gulf Coast some 120 years ago. The artifacts were then donated to the Museum Schloss Salder in 1963, where they were identified as Huastecan. The remaining artifact, a 4,000-year-old stone mortar tripod, was seized by customs offici
  • Unusual Hand Ax Discovered in Saudi Arabia

    ALULA, SAUDI ARABIA—A 20-inch-long hand ax sharpened on two edges was discovered on the surface of a sand dune in northwestern Saudi Arabia, according to a Live Science report. Excavation of the area uncovered an additional 13 smaller hand axes. The long, narrow tool is nearly four inches wide and about two inches thick. Researchers led by archaeologist Ömer Can Aksoy and Giulia Edmond of the Royal Commission for AlUla said that the basalt ax is easily held with two hands, but it is u
  • 1,000-Year-Old Wari Burials Unearthed in Peru

    LIMA, PERU—Live Science reports that the remains of more than 70 people have been found in fabric bundles tied with rope near the so-called Painted Temple at Peru’s Wari site of Pachacamac. The burials have been dated to between A.D. 800 and 1100. Some of the bodies had been buried with ceramic objects, or wearing wood and ceramic masks known as false heads. Two carved wooden staffs were found in a deposit of shells of the thorny oyster (Spondylus princeps) near the cemetery. These s
  • Genome Study Tracks Spread of Languages in North America

    NEW YORK, NEW YORK—It had been previously suggested that Uto-Aztecan languages, such as Hopi, Shoshoni, and Nahuatl, spread from Mexico into California with early maize farmers some 4,300 years ago. But according to a Live Science report, a new genetic study of ancient remains from central and southern California and northwestern and central northern Mexico indicates that hunter-gatherers may have migrated northward some 1,000 years before the arrival of the farmers. Nathan Nakatsuka of th
  • Mummies Buried at Ancient Temple Site Discovered in Peru

    LIMA, PERU—According to a Reuters report, the mummified remains of four children and an adult thought to have died some 1,000 years ago during the Ychsma period have been unearthed in Lima. The well-preserved mummies were found, along with some pottery, at the base of a staircase that was part of a hilltop temple dated to about 3,500 years ago. “This whole area is a very important ceremonial chamber,” said archaeologist Luis Takuda of Lima’s Rimac District. “The peo
  • Audio News for November 19th through the 25th, 2023

    News items read by Laura Kennedy include:2,000 clay stamps found in ancient Roman municipal archive building(details)Ancient Egyptian baboon DNA reveals location of fabled port city of Punt(details)Ancient DNA reveals Uto-Aztecan languages spread to California 1,000 years earlier than thought(details)Archaeologists identify civilization-saving technology of ancient Sumerians(details)

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