• Ancient Persephone Statue Repatriated to Libya

    LONDON, ENGLAND—According to a report in The Guardian, a sculpture seized by customs officers at London’s Heathrow Airport has been handed over to Libya by British officials. Researchers from the British Museum examined the sculpture and suggested it had been looted from a cemetery in the ancient city of Cyrene during a period of political upheaval in Libya in 2011. Dated to the second century B.C., the sculpture depicts a woman wearing snake bracelets and holding a small doll, and h
  • Study Reviews Evidence of Māori Voyages to the Antarctic

    SOUTH ISLAND, NEW ZEALAND—A review of literary accounts, oral history, and carvings and weavings conducted by Priscilla Wehi of Manaaki Whenua Landcare Research and her colleagues suggests that Māori explorers sailed from New Zealand into Antarctic waters as early as the seventh century A.D., according to a Gizmodo report. One Māori narrative records a southward journey taken by Polynesian chief Hui Te Rangiora and his crew aboard the TeI vi o Atea some 1,320 years ago. Hui
  • Diet of Siberia’s Neanderthals Studied

    VALENCIA, SPAIN—Neanderthals whose remains were recovered in Siberia’s Altai Mountains consumed large and medium-sized game and a wide range of plants, according to a statement released by Asociacion RUVID, the Network of Valencian Universities for the Promotion of Research, Development, and Innovation. An international team of scientists, including Robert Power of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Domingo Carlos Salazar García of the University of Valenc
  • DNA Analysis Reunites Viking Relatives 1,000 Years Later

    COPENHAGEN, DENMARK—The AFP reports that DNA analysis has linked the remains of two men who died some 1,000 years ago. The remains of one man, who was in his early 20s when he died from head wounds, were found in a mass grave in Oxford, England. His relative, whose remains were unearthed in Denmark, died in his 50s. These bones bear the marks of healed wounds. “This is a big discovery because now you can trace movements across space and time through a family,” said Jeanette Var
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  • Hoard of Medieval Silver Coins Unearthed in Poland

    WARSAW, POLAND—Live Science reports that a hoard of more than 100 silver coins has been discovered in a farmer’s field in northeastern Poland. Mateusz Bogucki of the University of Warsaw said the 1,200-year-old coins, which bear Latin inscriptions and a central cross, were minted in the Carolingian Empire—an area that covered much of what are now France, Germany, Switzerland, and northern Italy. Only three such coins had previously been found in Poland, at the Norse trading cen
  • Ancient Necropolis Found on Croatian Island

    HVAR, CROATIA—Croatia Week reports that a section of stone wall dated to the second century A.D., ramparts and a fifth-century city gate, and a well-preserved necropolis dated to the late fourth century were uncovered by Eduard Viskovic, Joško Barbarić, Marko Bibić, Jure Tudor, Marina Ugarković, and Josip Baraka Perica of Kantharos d.o.o. during excavations ahead of a construction project on the island of Hvar, which is located in the Adriatic Sea. The remains of 12 p
  • Search for Lost Settlement of Sarabay Yields Site in Florida

    JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA—According to a statement released by the University of North Florida, a team of researchers has uncovered the remains of a possible settlement in northeastern Florida that could be the Mocama-speaking Timucua community of Sarabay. French and Spanish chroniclers described Timucuan communities as having wooden palisade walls, houses, public buildings, and granaries. The researchers have uncovered Spanish pottery, locally produced pottery, and items made from bone, stone
  • Shackled Roman-Era Skeleton Unearthed in England

    LONDON, ENGLAND—According to a CNN report, construction workers in central England discovered the skeletal remains of a man with iron fetters around his ankles. The bones have been radiocarbon dated to between A.D. 226 and 427. “We do know that the Roman Empire relied quite heavily on slave labor,” said osteologist Chris Chinnock of the Museum of London Archaeology. Chinnock and his colleagues suspect that this man, who was found on his right side with his left side and arm on
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  • DNA Study Investigates Early Goat Herd in Iran

    DUBLIN, IRELAND—Courthouse News Service reports that an international team of scientists led by Kevin G. Daly of Trinity College Dublin examined the remains and DNA samples of goats that lived at Ganj Dareh, an archaeological site in western Iran’s Zagros Mountains, at least 10,000 years ago. Several bricks bearing the imprint of goat hooves have been found at the settlement, Daly added. The animals resembled the wild bezoar ibex, with robust bodies, large cloven hooves, and scimitar
  • Possible Traces of 4,500-Year-Old Cabin Found in China

    CHENGDU, CHINA—Xinhua reports that possible traces of a cabin made of bamboo and mud some 4,500 years ago have been uncovered at the Baodun Ancient Town site in southwest China. Tang Miao of the Chengdu Cultural Relics and Archaeology Research Institute said that the six pieces of carbonized bamboo show that bamboo and mud structures were built on the Chengdu Plain earlier than had been previously thought. Pottery, stoneware, and possible traces of rice paddies were also unearthed, he adde
  • The Special Status of Britain’s Ancient Chickens

    EXETER, ENGLAND—According to a statement released by the University of Exeter, researchers led by Sean Doherty have developed a method to determine the age of domesticated chickens at the time of death. Scientists rely upon tooth wear and bone fusion to determine the age at death of mammals, but these methods do not apply to birds. Instead, the team members measured the size of modern chickens’ tarsometatarsal spur, which begins to grow on the legs of adult cockerels and continues to
  • Audio News for May 30th through June 5th, 2021


    News items read by Laura Pettigrew include:Scotland’s Galloway Hoard unveils new mysteries of the Viking Age(details)National Guard mobilized to protect Teotihuacan from illegal building(details)Piecing together countless fragments of the past, then and now(details)Roman graves in England held decapitated victims of harsh legal code(details)
  • Beeswax Discovered in 400-Year-Old Wooden Box in Norway

    OSLO, NORWAY—Gizmodo reports that researchers from the Museum of Cultural History in Oslo identified the remnants of beeswax candles inside a well-preserved wooden box that was discovered in 2019 in melting glacial ice along the Lendbreen mountain pass in Norway’s Breheimen National Park. The lid of the box was held shut with leather straps. The pine used to make the box has been radiocarbon dated to between A.D. 1475 and 1635. Farmers used such boxes to transport candles, which were
  • Additional Burials Found at Mass Grave Site in Tulsa

    TULSA, OKLAHOMA—State Archaeologist Kary Stackelbeck announced that three additional burials were found at the site of a mass grave at Oklahoma’s Oaklawn Cemetery, according to a KJRH News report. The mass grave is thought to hold the remains of victims of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, according to old funeral home records. An estimated 300 people were killed and 800 wounded on May 31 and June 1 when a white mob attacked businesses, homes, and churches in the area of Tulsa’s pr
  • Rattling Noise Made by Prehistoric Ornaments Investigated

    HELSINKI, FINLAND—According to a statement released by the University of Helsinki, auditory archaeologist Riitta Rainio and artist Juha Valkeapää danced for six consecutive hours while wearing elk tooth ornaments sewn in rows on an apron, and then examined the microscopic wear marks left behind on the teeth as they clattered against each other. The researchers then compared these wear marks to elk teeth recovered from four graves at Yuzhniy Oleniy Ostrov, a Late Mesolithic cemete
  • Medieval Church Excavated in Sudan's Northern State

    WARSAW, POLAND—Science in Poland reports that researchers led by Artur Obłuski of the University of Warsaw have found the remains of a large medieval church in the center of Old Dongola, Northern State, Sudan. Dongola was the capital of Makura, one of the Christian Nubian kingdoms, Obłuski explained. He suggests the building could have served as the seat of the archbishop of Dongola, who governed the Nubian churches along a 620-mile stretch of the Nile River. The team members hav
  • Roman Basilica Complex Unearthed in Israel

    ASHKELON, ISRAEL—According to a statement released by the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, researchers led by Rachel Bar-Natan, Saar Ganor, and Fredrico Kobrin of the Israel Antiquities Authority have uncovered a Roman basilica complex in the ancient city of Ashkelon, which is located along southern Israel’s Mediterranean coastline. Ashkelon residents during the Roman period would have met for social and legal matters, transacted business, and attended performances and religious c
  • Message Recovered From 20th-Century Beer Bottle in Detroit

    DETROIT, MICHIGAN—The Drive reports that two men working on the renovation of Michigan Central Station, a passenger rail depot that opened in 1913 and closed in 1988, discovered a beer bottle wedged upside down behind a piece of crown molding. Much of the bottle’s label survived, and a rolled-up piece of paper had been placed inside it. The men turned the artifact over to their project superintendent, who passed it on to archivists at the Ford Motor Company, which has purchased the b
  • Cemetery Found at Caribbean Sugar Plantation Site

    ORANJESTAD, ST EUSTATIUS—The Associated Press reports that investigation ahead of a construction project revealed an eighteenth-century cemetery on St. Eustatius, an island in the northeastern Caribbean Sea colonized by the Dutch in 1636. The island became a hub for sugar and the trade in enslaved people from West Africa. Most of the 48 skeletons uncovered so far belonged to men, although the remains of a few women and infants have also been found. “Initial analysis indicates th
  • Possible Ancient War Monument in Syria Analyzed

    TORONTO, CANADA—Live Science reports that a pyramid-shaped mound of dirt and gypsum at Syria’s now-submerged site of Tell Banat contained the remains of at least 30 people who may have served in an organized military force. The 4,300-year-old mound was excavated between 1988 and 1999 by a team of researchers from the Euphrates Salvage Project before it was flooded by the construction of the Tishreen Dam. Descriptions of such monuments, which were made from the carefully stacked bodie
  • Ancient Curse Jar from Athenian Agora Analyzed

    ATHENS, GREECE—Jessica Lamont of Yale University has analyzed a ceramic jar holding the bones of a young chicken discovered in 2006 near several burned pyres that contained animal remains under the floor of the Classical Commercial Building of the Agora in Athens, according to a Live Science report. Lamont said the 2,300-year-old jar had been gouged with a large iron nail and inscribed with the names of more than 55 people and the words “we bind.” The inscriptions were written
  • Decapitated Remains Uncovered in Roman Cemeteries

    CAMBRIDGESHIRE, ENGLAND—BBC News reports that decapitated bodies of men and women have been unearthed at three third-century A.D. cemeteries located near a military supply farm settlement site in southeastern England. The heads of the dead were placed at the feet or lower legs. Archaeologist Isabel Lisboa said as many as one-third of the people buried in the cemeteries had been executed, compared to six percent of those interred in most Roman-era cemeteries in Britain. Several of the dead
  • Prehistoric Rock Art Discovered in Scotland

    ARGYLL, SCOTLAND—The Guardian reports that carved images of red deer have been found in western Scotland at Dunchraigaig cairn, in an area known for prehistoric cup and ring markings, by archaeology student Hamish Fenton. The carvings, on the capstone of a burial cist situated on the side of the cairn, are estimated to be between 4,000 and 5,000 years old. “As I shone the torch around [inside the cist], I noticed a pattern on the underside of the roof slab which didn’t appear t
  • Sassanid-Era Tables and Chairs Unearthed in Iran

    TEHRAN, IRAN—According to a Tehran Times report, tables and chairs carved from gypsum have been unearthed at the site of a Zoroastrian fire temple in central Iran by a team of researchers from the University of Isfahan and the University of Tehran. The furniture is thought to have been crafted in the Sassanid era, from A.D. 224 to 651, for use in rituals. To read more about the archaeology of Iran, go to "Persian Steel."
  • Audio News for May 23rd through the 29th, 2021


    News items read by Laura Pettigrew include:History of Black Pharaohs unearthed in northern Sudan(details)Evidence of tools used for creating ancient tattoos found in Tennessee(details)Ongoing excavations around Tulsa search for victims of Greenwood riots(details)Ancient food scraps add evidence to the evolution of Kosher dietary practices(details)
  • Hunter-Gatherers’ Injuries Record Evidence of Repeated Raids

    BORDEAUX, FRANCE—Science News reports that paleoanthropologist Isabelle Crevecoeur of the University of Bordeaux and her colleagues examined hunter-gatherers’ remains unearthed in the 1960s at Jebel Sahaba, a cemetery in Sudan dated from 13,400 to 18,600 years ago. The researchers found that their bones show signs of sporadic warfare. Microscopic analysis of the 61 skeletons held at the British Museum shows that 41 individuals, including adults, adolescents, and children, had at leas
  • 2,000-Year-Old Intact Tomb Discovered in Malta

    ZABBAR, MALTA—Malta Today reports that workers discovered an intact 2,000-year-old Punic tomb in southeastern Malta while expanding a local drainage network. The tomb contained urns holding the cremated remains of an adult and a young child. An amphora, an oil lamp, a glass perfume bottle, and other pottery vessels were also recovered. To read about another discovery in Malta, go to "World Roundup: Malta."
  • Some East Asians May Have Been Wiped Out in the Last Ice Age

    BEIJING, CHINA—According to a Science Magazine report, paleogeneticist Qiaomei Fu of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and her colleagues analyzed the genomes of 25 individuals whose remains were unearthed in Russia’s Amur region, which is located on the eastern edge of the China Plateau. The study suggests that a woman who lived between 34,000 and 32,000 years ago was closely related to a man whose 40,000-year-old remains were discovered in northeastern China’s Tianyuan Cave. Th
  • 3,800-Year-Old Gold Ornament Unearthed in Germany

    TÜBINGEN, GERMANY—Live Science reports that a gold artifact thought to have been worn as a hair ornament has been found in a woman’s grave in southwestern Germany. Raiko Krauss of the University of Tübingen and Jörg Bofinger of the Baden-Württemberg State Office for Cultural Heritage Management said the woman, who is estimated to have been about 20 years old at the time of her death some 3,800 years ago, was buried in the fetal position near a prehistoric hilltop
  • 1,000-Year-Old Canoe Revealed in Florida

    POLK COUNTY, FLORIDA—Bay News 9 reports that a canoe estimated to be 1,000 years old was discovered in central Florida’s Lake Hancock by a fisherman. Bartholomew Delcamp of the Lake Wales History Museum said the canoe has been soaking in resin for the past year to preserve it. “[This canoe is] about 21 feet long and we think it would have held about seven Native Americans at a time,” Delcamp said. “They would cut down cypress trees and hold them over fire to soften

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