• Restoration Reveals Engravings in Egypt’s Temple of Esna

    CAIRO, EGYPT—According to an Ahram Online report, Egyptian and German archaeologists have cleaned the walls and ceilings of Luxor’s Temple of Esna from dust, salts, and bird droppings, revealing images of 46 birds arranged in two rows. Mostafa Waziri of the Supreme Council of Antiquities said that it is the first time that the artworks have been seen in 2,000 years. Some of the birds have the head of the Upper Egypt goddess Nekhbet, and others have the head of the Lower Egypt goddess
  • Possible Traces of Calming Drug Found in Sacrificed Inca Children

    WARSAW, POLAND—Science News reports that bioarchaeologist Dagmara Socha of the University of Warsaw and her colleagues have detected traces of harmine and harmaline in the hair and fingernails of two Inca children who were sacrificed some 500 years ago and buried on Peru’s Ampato Mountain. The presence of these chemicals in the children’s remains suggest that they may have ingested the vine Banisteriopsis caapi in the days or weeks before their deaths, Socha explained. Tests of
  • California Museum Repatriates Remains and Artifacts

    SANTA BARBARA, CALIFORNIA—The Santa Barbara Independent reports that the Santa Barbara Natural History Museum has handed over a collection of human remains and artifacts to the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians. The bones included the partial remains of more than 1,000 Chumash and pre-Chumash people, along with some 4,000 funerary objects. The oldest remains in the collection have been dated to 13,000 years ago. These three femurs were discovered on Santa Rosa Island and support the idea
  • Well-Preserved Iron Age Arrow Discovered in Norway

    OSLO, NORWAY—An ancient arrow complete with iron arrowhead, tightly wrapped sinew, tar, thread, and feather fletching has been recovered from a glacier in southern Norway, according to a Live Science report. The arrow, thought to have been lost by a hunter who had traveled to the mountains in search of reindeer, measures more than 30 inches long. “It is probably the best-preserved arrow we have found so far,” commented archaeologist Lars Pilø of the Innlandet County Coun
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  • Genetic Study Clarifies Spread of Farming Into Europe

    BERN, SWITZERLAND—Nature News reports that population geneticist Laurent Excoffier of the University of Bern and his colleagues sequenced the high-quality genomes of 15 hunter-gatherers and early farmers whose remains were recovered in southwest Asia, along the migration route of the Danube River, and in western Anatolia, and found that the ancient Anatolian farmers descended from the repeated mixing of hunter-gatherer groups from Europe and the Middle East. Some of these groups nearly die
  • Remains of 19th-Century Soldiers Uncovered in India

    CHANDIGARH, INDIA—Zee News reports that the remains of 282 Indian soldiers who fought in the First War of Independence in 1857 against the rule of the British East India Company have been uncovered in the Amritsar district of Punjab in northern India. JS Sehrawat of Punjab University said that the bones were found in a well underneath a religious structure, along with some coins and medals. The remains will be radiocarbon dated and analyzed, Sehrawat added. To read about excavations at a B
  • Prehistoric Pits Found at Stonehenge

    WILTSHIRE, ENGLAND—BBC News reports that pits that may have been dug by prehistoric hunters as early as some 10,000 years ago have been discovered near Stonehenge by researchers from the University of Birmingham and Ghent University. The team members combined traditional archaeological methods with a noninvasive technique called electromagnetic induction survey, which makes use of the electrical conductivity of the soil to investigate what rests beneath the surface. “The traces we se
  • Early Neo-Assyrian Rock Art Discovered in Turkey

    ANKARA, TURKEY—Live Science reports that researchers are investigating a subterranean complex made up of an entrance chamber and an upper and lower gallery carved out of limestone bedrock in what is now southeastern Turkey’s village of Başbük. Although looters first entered the structure through a hole cut through the floor of a house in the village, police intervened and alerted archaeologists at the Şanlıurfa Archaeological Museum. The structure is thought to ha
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  • Indus Valley Civilization Site Investigated in Northern India

    HARYANA, INDIA—According to an India.com report, recent excavations at Rakhigarhi, a 7,000-year-old planned city in northern India with straight streets, fired-brick walls, drainage systems, corner garbage containers, and multi-storied houses, have been conducted by researchers from the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). The excavation team have now uncovered the graves of two women who had been buried with tools and jewelry, and a 5,000-year-old jewelry workshop. “Copper and gold
  • Southern India’s Earliest Evidence of Iron Use Found

    TAMIL NADU, INDIA—According to a report in the Deccan Herald, carbon dating has revealed that iron was used by the Tamils at Mayiladumparai some 4,200 years ago. “The earliest Iron Age site in Tamil Nadu so far was 1500 B.C. while all other such sites in the country were beyond 2000 B.C. There were a lot of questions on why there was no scientific evidence on the use of iron despite it being mentioned in literature and having rich iron ore in the Salem region. With this, we now have
  • 18th-Century Bones of Sick Soldiers Identified in the Netherlands

    VIANEN, THE NETHERLANDS—BBC News reports that forensic anthropologist April Pijpelink has identified the remains of eighteenth-century soldiers who died of illness among 82 sets of human remains recovered in 2020 from a mass grave outside the old city wall of the Dutch city of Vianen. Isotope analysis of the bones of six of the young men revealed that one of them had grown up in southern England, perhaps in Cornwall; another in southern Cornwall; and one in an English city. Two of the men
  • Two More “Giants” Discovered in Sardinia

    MONT’E PRAMA, ITALY—ANSA.it reports that fragments of two monumental limestone statues of boxers that once stood more than six feet tall have been discovered in the necropolis at Cabras, which was discovered on farmland in the 1970s in the central-western area of the island of Sardinia. The 3,000-year-old pieces include the torsos of two boxers; a large, curved shield that would have covered an abdomen and arm; a head; legs; and other body parts. The researchers also unearthed traces
  • Traces of Hyde Abbey Found in England

    WINCHESTER, ENGLAND—The Hampshire Chronicle reports that the remains of a twelfth-century wall and some floor surfaces have been unearthed at the site of Hyde Abbey in southeastern England by HYDE900, a community archaeology project. The remains of Alfred the Great (r. 871–899), who died in 899, were moved to the abbey church when it was completed. After the abbey was torn down in 1538 by King Henry VIII, the stone was reused in other buildings. The newly unearthed wall and floors, w
  • Audio News for May 1st through the 7th, 2022


    News items read by Laura Pettigrew include:Lone woman buried with elite men raises questions about gender roles in Neolithic Europe(details)3D modeling technique reveals full extent of large Indigenous cave painting in Alabama(details)Stonehenge area offered ample resource base long before monument was built(details)Indigenous Americans and Australians raised oysters sustainably for centuries(details)
  • DNA Study Offers Clues to Neolithic Burials in France

    CAEN, FRANCE—Genetic analysis of remains recovered from the long barrows at Fleury-sur-Orne, a 6,000-year-old cemetery in northwestern France, suggests that the Cerny culture was patrilineal, according to a Live Science report. Maïté Rivollat of the University of Bordeaux and the Max Planck Institute and her colleagues were able to obtain DNA from 14 of the 19 sets of human remains found at the site. Thirteen of them were identified as male, and only two of them, a father
  • Ship Graffiti at Zanzibar Fort Recorded

    EXETER, ENGLAND—According to a statement released by the University of Exeter, John P. Cooper and Alessandro Ghidoni recorded graffiti depicting ships inside the ramparts at Zanzibar Fort, which is located on the coast of Tanzania and was built by the rulers of Oman in the eighteenth century. The engravings are thought to have been carved by soldiers on guard duty from the mid- to late nineteenth century, when the region was the southern terminus of a transoceanic trade network. The images
  • Traces of Aztec Dwelling Unearthed in Mexico City

    MEXICO CITY, MEXICO—Live Science reports that the ruins of a dwelling dated to about 800 years ago were uncovered during construction work in the Centro neighborhood of Mexico City by researchers from Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH). When the structure was built, it was situated in a residential and agricultural area on the border of two neighborhoods in Tenochtitlan, the capital of the Aztec Empire. The dwelling covered about 4,300 square feet and had
  • Ibis Remains Detected in Ancient Egyptian Mummy

    ITHACA, NEW YORK—A recent CT scan of a 1,500-year-old mummy held in the collections at Cornell University has revealed the remains of a sacred ibis (Threskiornis aethiopica), according to a Live Science report. A study of museum records conducted by researcher Carol Ann Barsody and her colleagues suggests that the mummy, which had been mistakenly labeled as a hawk, may have arrived at Cornell in 1930 as part of a donation made by an alumnus. The Egyptians sometimes sacrificed these birds,
  • Historic Jamestown Threatened by Flooding

    JAMESTOWN, VIRGINIA—According to a report in The Washington Post, the site of the 1607 English settlement of Jamestown, the first arrival of enslaved Africans in America in 1619, and long-time home of Native Americans has been placed on a list of the country’s most endangered historical places by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Situated on a tidewater island between the James River and a swamp, the site is vulnerable to heavy rain and rising groundwater levels brought a
  • Researchers Document Cuba’s 1960s Defenses

    SYRACUSE, NEW YORK—Esteban Grau González-Quevedo of the Antonio Núñez Jiménez Foundation for Nature and Humanity and Odlanyer Hernández de Lara of Syracuse University conducted a survey of concrete bunkers and trenches dug into the bedrock along Cuba’s coastline, and documented them with 3-D photogrammetry, according to a Live Science report. In 1962, the Soviet Union placed nuclear missiles on the island, which is located just 124 miles from the Un
  • DNA Indicates Black Rats Colonized Europe at Least Twice

    YORK, ENGLAND—According to a statement released by the University of York, a DNA study of rodent bones dated from the first through the seventeenth centuries has traced the spread of the black rat (Rattus rattus) across Europe and North Africa. A team of researchers from the University of York, the University of Oxford, and the Max Planck Institute found that the black rat colonized Europe in the Roman period, but its population there declined after the fall of the empire. A genetically di
  • 3-D Photogrammetry Reveals 1,000-Year-Old Etchings in Alabama

    KNOXVILLE, TENNESSEE—Science Magazine reports that a project to document etchings of birds, snakes, wasps, and overlapping patterns of lines on the ceiling of an underground cave in northern Alabama with 3-D photogrammetry has revealed previously undetected images of three human-like figures, a serpent with scales, and a swirling figure with a rattlesnake tail. One of these images measures about 11 feet long, making it the largest known in North America. Jan Simek of the University of Tenn
  • Carvings in Southern Mexico May Represent Ritual Ballcourts

    OAXACA, MEXICO—Thirty carvings depicting possible I-shaped ritual ball courts have been found in natural rock outcrops at the site of the ancient settlement of Quiechapa, according to a Live Science report. The settlement, which is located in southern Mexico, dates back to about 2,300 years ago, said Alex Elvis Badillo of Indiana State University. The carvings, he added, are thought to date to sometime after 100 B.C., based upon the shape of the ball courts. In the sixteenth century, Spani
  • Possible Ringfort Spotted in Satellite Imagery of Southern Ireland

    COUNTY TIPPERARY, IRELAND—Tipperary Live reports that a previously unidentified circular enclosure and a tree line following the curvature of the mark was spotted on satellite imagery of land in southern Ireland, near the town of Cashel, by Anne-Karoline Distel, who alerted Ireland’s National Monuments Service. Jean Farrelly of the National Monuments Service said the enclosure may have held animals, or it may have been a ringfort where a farmer’s family lived. The tree line is
  • 12th-Century Carving Discovered in Cambodia

    SIEM REAP, CAMBODIA—The Khmer Times reports that pieces of a carving dated to the twelfth century A.D. have been unearthed at Angkor Archaeological Park, which is located in northwestern Cambodia. The sculpture was found at the causeway of the Angkor Thom temple's Takav Gate, and depicts an apsara, a type of dancing fairy or spirit of the clouds and waters. To read about laser scanning of Angkor's surrounding areas, go to "Laser Scanning," one of ARCHAEOLOGY's Top 10 Discoveries of the Dec
  • 6,000-Year-Old Slate Rings May Have Symbolized Relationships

    HELSINKI, FINLAND—Fragments of stone ring ornaments recovered at hunter-gatherer sites across northeastern Europe may have served as friendship pendants some 6,000 years ago, according to a Live Science report. It had been previously thought that these rings broke into pieces naturally after they had been buried, but Marja Ahola of the University of Helsinki and her colleagues analyzed the geochemical composition of the pieces of slate, and checked their surfaces to look for traces of how
  • When Did Early Humans Begin to Hunt?

    HOUSTON, TEXAS—According to a statement released by Rice University, a new study of 1.5-million-year-old fossilized animal remains conducted by Manuel Domínguez-Rodrigo and his colleagues suggests that saber-toothed cats devoured all of their prey, and sometimes even consumed some of the bones. Such rich protein sources are thought to have been vital to early human brain development, he explained, and it had been previously suggested that early humans may have fed on meat from the a
  • Defensive Gate Uncovered in Slovakia

    TRNAVA, SLOVAKIA—The Slovak Spectator reports that a fortified gateway constructed in the sixteenth century as an added defense against the threat of the Ottoman Empire has been uncovered in western Slovakia, near the well-preserved medieval defensive walls surrounding the town of Trnava. “The current masonry find is located south of the Lower Gate near Strelecká Street,” commented Peter Grzná of the Monuments Board Office of Trnava. The structure was torn down in
  • Audio News from Archaeologica, April 24th through the 30th, 2022


    News items read by Laura Pettigrew include:New analysis on materials excavated 70 years ago reveals details about medieval Norwegian town(details)Neanderthals in Lower Saxony region exhibited adaptability to a changing climate(details)New research of Anglo-Saxon diets suggests that royals and peasants ate similarly and even intermixed at special meals(details)Several Nevada tribes allege desecration of sacred land and appeal to archaeological firm to stop digging at site of planned lithium mine(
  • Tests Indicate Bronze Age Daggers Had a Practical Purpose

    NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND—According to a statement released by Newcastle University, an international team of researchers has developed a new technique to analyze residues on Bronze Age daggers, which have been found in weapon-rich burials throughout Europe, Britain, and Ireland. The technique involves staining the residues with Picro-Sirius Red solution, and then observing them under optical, digital, and scanning electron microscopes. Team leaders Andrea Dolfini and Isabella Caricola
  • New Thoughts on the Stonehenge Landscape

    WILTSHIRE, ENGLAND—Analysis of animal remains, pollen, fungal spores, and traces of DNA in ancient sediments indicates that the area surrounding Stonehenge was a partially open woodland where large herbivores grazed in the 4,000 years before the monument was constructed, according to a BBC News report. It had been previously thought that the region was heavily forested. Mesolithic hunter-gatherers living at Blick Mead, which is located on the edge of the Stonehenge World Heritage Site, wou
  • New Thoughts on the Pre-Stonehenge Landscape

    WILTSHIRE, ENGLAND—Analysis of animal remains, pollen, fungal spores, and traces of DNA in ancient sediments indicates that the area surrounding Stonehenge was a partially open woodland where large herbivores grazed in the 4,000 years before the monument was constructed, according to a BBC News report. It had been previously thought that the region was heavily forested. Mesolithic hunter-gatherers living at Blick Mead, which is located on the edge of the Stonehenge World Heritage Site, wou
  • Roman Coin Cache Discovered in Switzerland

    BASEL-LANDSCHAFT, SWITZERLAND—Live Science reports that a nine-inch-tall clay pot filled with more than 1,200 Roman coins was discovered in northern Switzerland by a metal detectorist who alerted Archaeology Baselland, the canton’s archaeological department. Reto Marti, head of the department, and his colleagues were able to remove the pot in a block of soil and send it for a CT scan, which revealed a piece of cowhide dividing the coins into two piles within the pot. All of the coins
  • Collection of Ancient Toothless Skulls Analyzed in Mexico

    CHIAPAS, MEXICO—According to a statement released by Mexico’s Ministry of Culture, researchers from Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) have analyzed some 150 skulls and other bones discovered about 10 years ago in southeastern Mexico’s Comalapa Cave, which is located near the border with Guatemala. Police in the region had initially thought the remains could represent people killed in recent violence and collected the remains. But the examinati
  • Irish Civil War Hideout Investigated

    SLIGO, IRELAND—RTÉ reports that more than 200 artifacts were recovered by archaeologists investigating a cave in northwestern Ireland where 34 men hid for six weeks in the fall of 1922. The Irish War of Independence between the Irish Republican Army (IRA) and British forces ended with the signing of the Anglo-Irish Treaty in December of 1921, but a faction of the IRA rejected the agreement and fought against the Irish Free State in the Irish Civil War. The artifacts recovered from T
  • Possible Viking Boat Burial Detected in Norway

    OSLO, NORWAY—According to a Live Science report, a ground-penetrating radar survey of an area slated for road construction near the town of Kvinesdal, which is located in southwest Norway, has detected a possible Viking boat burial and several other mounds. Jani Causevic of the Norwegian Institute for Cultural Heritage Research (NIKU) said that the boat measured between 26 and 30 feet long. “The soil in the area is not preferable for the conservation of organic materials, and most li
  • Study Suggests Neanderthals Adapted to a Changing Climate

    LEIPZIG, GERMANY—According to a statement released by the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology (MPI-EVA), Neanderthals living in what is now northern Germany were able to adapt to changing climate conditions. Researchers including Michael Hein of MPI-EVA and Marcel Weiß of the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg combined information obtained through luminescence dating, sedimentology, and the analysis of pollen and phytoliths to recreate conditions at what was once a lakes
  • Flammable Residues Detected in Medieval Vessels in Jerusalem

    QUEENSLAND, AUSTRALIA—According to a Cosmos Magazine report, some of the eleventh- and twelfth-century vessels unearthed in Jerusalem’s Armenian Garden in the 1960s may have been used as a sort of hand grenade. Carney Matheson of Griffith University analyzed residues from the vessels and found that some had held mercury, oil, and medicines, and some had been used for drinking beer. But traces of a flammable and possibly explosive material was found in some of the containers, which ar
  • Flammable Residues Detected in Medieval Vessels from Jerusalem

    QUEENSLAND, AUSTRALIA—According to a Cosmos Magazine report, some of the eleventh- and twelfth-century vessels unearthed in Jerusalem’s Armenian Garden in the 1960s may have been used as a sort of hand grenade. Carney Matheson of Griffith University analyzed residues from the vessels and found that some had held mercury, oil, and medicines, and some had been used for drinking beer. But traces of a flammable and possibly explosive material was found in some of the containers, which ar
  • Traces of a World War II Battle Uncovered in the Marshall Islands

    KWAJALEIN ATOLL, MARSHALL ISLANDS—The Shawnee News-Star reports that remnants of a World War II battle have been uncovered on an atoll in the Marshall Islands by archaeologist Matt Griffin during an investigation conducted ahead of a construction project on a U.S. Army base. More than 8,000 Japanese soldiers died in Operation Flintlock, a four-day battle fought in 1944. “We found the remains of a Japanese Asakazemarn [rifle], which was followed by the discovery of ammunition, a bayon
  • Colonial-Era Shipyard Unearthed in Philadelphia

    PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA—CBS News reports that traces of a shipyard and warehouses that may date to the late seventeenth century have been uncovered at a construction site in Philadelphia that was once situated along the banks of the Delaware River. The colony of Pennsylvania was founded in 1681 by William Penn with a land grant from England’s King Charles II. Some of the features and artifacts will be incorporated into the new building, while others will be housed at the State Mus
  • Colonial-Era Shipyard Uncovered in Philadelphia

    PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA—CBS News reports that traces of a shipyard and warehouses that may date to the late seventeenth century have been uncovered at a construction site in Philadelphia that was once situated along the banks of the Delaware River. The colony of Pennsylvania was founded in 1681 by William Penn with a land grant from England’s King Charles II. Some of the features and artifacts will be incorporated into the new building, while others will be housed at the State Mus
  • Temple Dedicated to Zeus Discovered in Egypt

    CAIRO, EGYPT—According to an Associated Press report, a temple dedicated to Zeus-Kasios has been discovered at the Tel el-Farma site, which is located in the northwestern Sinai Peninsula. Zeus-Kasios refers to Zeus, the ancient Greek god of the sky, and Syria’s Mount Kasios. Mostafa Waziri of the Supreme Council of Antiquities said that in 1910, French Egyptologist Jean Cledat found engraved blocks suggesting that a temple once stood in the area. Waziri explained that an Egyptian res
  • Possible Medieval Friary Site Found in Wales

    HAVERFORDWEST, WALES—An investigation ahead of a construction project uncovered the remains of 17 people in southwest Wales, at a site that may have been the Friary of St Saviours, according to a BBC News report. The friary was home to eight Dominican monks known as Blackfriars who moved to the area in 1258. One shroud pin has been recovered from the burials. The excavation also unearthed walls, drains, and wall and floor tiles thought to have been imported from France. The friary grew ver
  • Iron Age Sandal Recovered in Norway

    HAMAR, NORWAY—According to a Live Science report, an ancient sandal was discovered on a mountain in Norway in 2019 after a hiker spotted it in melting ice and alerted archaeologist Espen Finstad of Secrets of the Ice. Finstad and his colleagues were able to retrieve the artifact within one day, before a snowstorm in the weather forecast would blanket the artifact. “Then it could take many years before it melted out again,” Finstad said. The footwear, which has been radiocarbon
  • Audio News for April 17th through the 23rd, 2022


    News items read by Laura Pettigrew include:New study identifies at least 20 royal burial sites from King Arthur era(details)Game dice found in Indian town believed to be 1,000 years old(details)Statistical analysis of site mixing challenges claims for pre-Clovis peopling of the Americas(details)Chinese text may be oldest description of aurora borealis(details)
  • Well-Preserved Shipwreck Discovered in Estonia

    TALLINN, ESTONIA—ERR News reports that a shipwreck was uncovered during construction work in Estonia at what was once the estuary of the Härjapea River, near the modern port of Tallinn. Planners knew of one thirteenth-century shipwreck at the site, but were surprised when the remains of this 80-foot ship came to light. Priit Lätti of the Estonian Maritime Museum said that initial examination of the wreckage indicates it could date to the late thirteenth or early fourteenth centur
  • High-Tech Tools Used to Explore Corn Domestication in Mexico

    STATE COLLEGE, PENNSYLVANIA—According to a statement released by Penn State University, Ivan López-Valdivia and Jonathan Lynch are investigating the domestication process of the wild grass teosinte into modern corn. The researchers used laser ablation tomography, which combines laser optics and 3-D imaging, to analyze the anatomy of two 5,000-year-old root stalks recovered from the very dry conditions in San Marcos Cave in southern Mexico’s Tehuacán Valley. Like modern
  • Clues to Pacific Migration Paths Discovered in Papua New Guinea

    CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA—Lapita pottery, tools, blades used for tattooing, imported obsidian, and the bones of non-local species of pigs, dogs, and rats have been discovered at the Gutunka archaeological site on Brooker Island, which is located near the southern tip of Papua New Guinea, according to a Cosmos Magazine report. “For a long time it was thought Lapita groups avoided most of Papua New Guinea because people were already living there,” said Ben Shaw of Australian National U
  • Study Investigates Anglo-Saxon Diets

    CAMBRIDGE, ENGLAND—According to a statement released by the University of Cambridge, England’s early medieval Anglo-Saxon rulers may not have consumed large amounts of meat on a daily basis, as had been previously thought. Bioarchaeologist Sam Leggett analyzed the chemical composition of the bones of more than 2,000 people who had been buried in England from the fifth through eleventh centuries A.D., and then compared what she found with evidence of social status from grave goods, bo

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