• Genetic Study Examines Neanderthal Blood Types

    MARSEILLE, FRANCE—According to a Cosmos Magazine report, paleoanthropologist Silvana Condemi and her colleagues at Aix-Marseille University used information from three Neanderthal genomes and one 64,000-year-old Denisovan genome to investigate their blood types. Only one Neanderthal’s blood had been typed in the past, and was found to be type O under the ABO system used to classify the blood of modern humans. Since all chimpanzees are type A, and all gorillas are type B, it was assum
  • Possible Grave of Medieval Christian Hermit Excavated in Spain

    BURGOS, SPAIN—According to a statement released by the National Research Center on Human Evolution (CENIEH), a team of researchers has excavated a rock-lined burial placed near the entrance to the San Tirso and San Bernabé Hermitage, a medieval Christian site in Ojo Guareña, a series of caves in northern Spain’s Cantabrian Mountains. Archaeologist Ana Isabel Ortega said the site has been dated to the early eighth century A.D., pushing back the founding of the hermi
  • Bone Tools in Morocco May Be Earliest Evidence of Clothing

    JENA, GERMANY—According to a UPI report, a new analysis of animal bones unearthed in Contrebandiers Cave, which is located on Morocco’s Atlantic coast, suggests that humans made clothing from animal skins between 90,000 and 120,000 years ago. It had been previously thought that the bones were food waste, but researchers led by Emily Hallett of the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History found shaping and use marks on 60 bones that show they were used to process and smoo
  • Did Eurasia’s Early Bronze Age Pastoralists Drink Milk?

    JENA, GERMANY—According to a UPI report, analysis of proteins trapped in dental calculus suggest that more than 90 percent of the Yamnaya herders migrating from Russia to Mongolia some 5,000 years ago were consuming milk. “We did not expect such a massive shift to milk consumption right at the time of a known massive human migration,” said Nicole Boivin of the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History. But research team leader Shevan Wilkin explained that this ready
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  • Saudi Arabia’s Rock-Cut Camels Redated

    RIYADH, SAUDI ARABIA—According to a BBC News report, a series of large-scale camel sculptures discovered carved into rock faces in northern Saudi Arabia three years ago are now estimated to be between 7,000 and 8,000 years old, based upon the analysis of erosion patterns and tool marks, and the dating of animal bones found at the site. Some 8,000 years ago, the now desert landscape was covered with grass and dotted with lakes, and the sculptures may have marked a meeting point for nomadic
  • Possible Parietal Art Discovered on the Tibetan Plateau

    ITHACA, NEW YORK—Gizmodo reports that fossilized, individually placed handprints and footprints dated to between 169,000 and 226,000 years ago were found on the Tibetan Plateau near the Quesang Hot Spring and studied by an international team of researchers. The impressions, described by Thomas Urban of Cornell University as similar to those made by present-day children in fresh cement, are the oldest evidence yet found for the presence of hominins on the Tibetan Plateau. Based upon the siz
  • Anglo-Saxon Silver Brooch Recovered in England

    SOMERSET, ENGLAND—BBC News reports that a metal detectorist has uncovered an early medieval brooch in southwestern England. The disc-shaped, Trewhiddle-style brooch, decorated with intricately carved, interlaced animals, has been dated to between A.D. 800 and 900. Researchers from the South West Heritage Trust investigated the site, but did not find any additional artifacts. “The fact that no further significant objects were found suggests that the brooch was lost or discarded into w
  • Roman Sewer System Discovered in Turkey

    DENIZLI, TURKEY—The Anadolu Agency reports that a Roman-era sewerage system was discovered in southwestern Turkey’s ancient city of Tripolis by a team of researchers led by Bahadir Duman of Pamukkale University. “The gigantic sewage system has dimensions that a person can easily enter and walk in,” Duman said. The system, which Duman described as a rare surviving example of Roman architecture and engineering, is more than five feet tall and two feet wide. To read about sa
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  • Face of “Dutch Neanderthal” Reconstructed

    LEIDEN, NETHERLANDS—According to a Live Science report, researchers from Kennis & Kennis Reconstructions have reconstructed the face of a young Neanderthal man, dubbed “Krijn,” from a piece of skull recovered from North Sea sediments collected off the coast of the Netherlands some 20 years ago. They used other Neanderthal skulls and previously collected data on Neanderthal eye, skin, and hair color to assist with the facial details. The young man is thought to have lived in
  • Sculpture of Lord Ganesha Uncovered in Southeastern India

    ANDHRA PRADESH, INDIA—The Hindu reports that a farmer in southeastern India discovered a twelfth-century sculpture of the Hindu deity Lord Ganesha while tilling his fields. Archaeologist Sivanagi Reddy said the Chola-period statue stands about one and one-half feet tall, and depicts Ganesha without a headdress, and seated in the lotus position on a lotus pedestal. Two of his four hands have been broken. The sculpture has been moved to the Kodanda Ramaswamy temple. To read about the develop
  • Gupta-Period Temple Found in Northern India

    UTTAR PRADESH, INDIA—The Times of India reports that researchers from the Archaeological Survey of India discovered two decorated pillars and a staircase at a temple site in northern India’s Bilsarh village during routine cleanup after the monsoon season. The title “Sri Mahendraditya,” which refers to the fifth-century A.D. Gupta ruler Kumaragupta I, was found in Shankhalipi, or shell script, on the staircase. The ornate script was used between the fourth and eighth centu
  • Possible Prehistoric Campsite Uncovered in Northern Wyoming

    SHERIDAN, WYOMING—According to an Associated Press report, ceramics, stone flakes, arrowheads, animal bones, and obsidian have been uncovered from a long-term, prehistoric camp at northern Wyoming’s Medicine Lodge Archaeological Site. The camp, which is located in a canyon, was supplied with fresh water from Medicine Lodge Creek and protected from extreme temperatures by the steep limestone cliffs. Wyoming state archaeologist Spencer Pelton said radiocarbon dating of the artifacts wi
  • Statue of Roman Emperor Hadrian Unearthed in Turkey

    AYDIN, TURKEY—According to a Hurriyet Daily News report, six fragments of a marble statue of the Roman emperor Hadrian have been unearthed in western Turkey’s ancient city of Alabanda by a team of researchers led by Ali Yalçin Tavukçu of Atatürk University in Erzurum. The statue, estimated to be 1,900 years old, stood about eight feet tall. “The area where the statue fragments were found is the ancient parliament building,” said Umut Tuncer, Aydin Provi
  • Audio News September 5th through 11th, 2021


    News items read by Laura Pettigrew include:Acropolis renovations draw criticism for covering centuries of history(details)Further evidence of human sacrifice in construction of Korea’s Moon Castle(details)Unique artifacts uncovered in China highlight the creativity of ancient peoples(details)New research explores interactions of ancient Pueblo with turkeys(details)
  • Bronze Age Log Coffin Discovered in England

    LINCOLNSHIRE, ENGLAND—A 4,000-year-old log coffin containing the remains of a man and an ax were found in a golf course pond in England’s East Midlands, according to a report in The Guardian. Analysis of the ten-foot-long coffin indicates it had been carved from an oak tree and lined with plants. The ax, complete with a stone head and a wooden haft, may have served as a symbol of the man’s authority rather than as a tool. After a year in cold storage, conservation of the coffin
  • Ancient Shipwreck Discovered Off Croatia's Coast

    ILOVIK, CROATIA—According to a Total Croatia News report, a shipwreck dated to the second century B.C. has been discovered in shallow waters of the Adriatic Sea near the island of Ilovik. The wooden merchant ship measured about 70 feet long and was held together with wooden wedges. Archaeologist Milan Eric and colleagues from the Lošinj Museum said that the wreck rested on loose sand, requiring the construction of a dam around the site to prevent it from being continually backfilled
  • Roman Soldiers’ Artifacts Unearthed in the Netherlands

    UTRECHT, THE NETHERLANDS—Dutch News reports that a complete Roman bolt head missile, two sets of horse bridles and bits, a wicker fish trap, and pieces of amphora that held garum, or fish sauce, were discovered in the central Netherlands, in an area along a marching route on the frontier of the Roman Empire. The 20-inch-long pointed bolt head would have been discharged from a launching platform and would have been powerful enough to pierce iron shields. City archaeologist Erik Graafstal sa
  • Human Remains Found in Foundation of Silla Dynasty Palace

    GYEONGJU, SOUTH KOREA—Korea JoongAng Daily reports that a young woman’s remains have been unearthed at the site of Wolseong, a Silla Dynasty (57 B.C.–A.D. 935) palace complex in eastern South Korea. The remains of a man and a woman in their 50s were discovered less than two feet away from her grave in 2017. All three sets of remains, which show no signs of injury, had been placed in the bottom layer of the west wall of the fortress, according to Choi Byung-heon of Soongsil Univ
  • Study Estimates Life Expectancy in Bronze Age Turkey

    ESKIŞEHIR, TURKEY—Analysis of the remains of more than 40 people suggests that 35 to 40 years of age was the average life span in central Anatolia some 5,000 years ago, according to a Hurriyet Daily News report. The cemetery where the remains were unearthed is located at the Küllüoba Mound, which is known for its Early Bronze Age urban settlement. Most of the remains in the study belonged to women and children. “Infant and child mortality is very high,” said Yilm
  • Walls of Possible Anglo-Saxon Church Unearthed in England

    STOKE MANDEVILLE, ENGLAND—Buckinghamshire Live reports that archaeologists working ahead of a road construction project in southeastern England uncovered traces of an Anglo-Saxon–era church underneath the remains of St. Mary’s Old Church, a structure built on a compacted foundation shortly after the Norman invasion. Team leader Rachel Wood said the building found under the compacted foundation had flint walls forming a square. “To have so much of it remaining, including t
  • Catacombs at Delft’s Nieuwe Kerk Excavated

    DELFT, THE NETHERLANDS—According to a Dutch News report, archaeologists have found the remains of some 200 people during work on the extension of the royal burial chamber at Nieuwe Kerk, a fourteenth-century church located opposite Delft’s City Hall. More than 40 members of the Dutch royal family have been buried in the chamber, including William of Orange in the sixteenth century. Archaeologist Michael Bot explained that about 150 of the newly unearthed remains had been buried in gr
  • Wreckage of World War II Minesweeper Identified in Irish Sea

    POOLE, ENGLAND—According to a statement released by Bournemouth University, one of 300 shipwrecks in the southern Irish Sea has been identified as the minesweeper HMS Mercury by a team of researchers from Bournemouth University and Bangor University. Built as a passenger steamer in 1934 for the London Midland Scottish Railway, the ship was requisitioned for service in World War II by the British Admiralty in 1939. In 1940, the vessel was damaged by a mine it was attempting to clear, and sa
  • Study of Seals in Turkey Seeks Birth of Bureaucracy

    MALATYA, TURKEY—According to an Anadolu Agency report, researchers led by Francesca Balossi Restelli of Sapienza University are investigating the formation of state administration and bureaucracy at eastern Anatolia’s site of Arslantepe through the analysis of 250 seal impressions recovered from a 5,600-year-old temple. Microscopic examination of the impressions suggests that the seals themselves were made of stone, metal, and wood. The impressions, depicting lions, snakes, and human
  • Sixth-Century Cache of Gold Objects Discovered in Denmark

    JELLING, DENMARK—The AFP reports that a cache of 1,500-year-old gold objects weighing a total of about two pounds was discovered in southwestern Denmark by a metal detectorist. Mads Ravn of Vejle Museums said the 22 objects, which bear runes and motifs not seen before, were buried in an Iron Age longhouse. While one inscriptions refers to the fourth-century ruler Constantine, the others may refer to rulers of the time or Norse mythology, he explained. “The find consists of a lot of g
  • New Study Analyzes Louisiana’s Poverty Point Earthworks

    ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI—According to a statement released by Washington University in St. Louis, Tristram R. Kidder and his colleagues conducted a new investigation of a site on Ridge West 3 at Poverty Point, a 3,000-year-old site in northern Louisiana known for its well-preserved, 72-foot-tall earthen mound and concentric half-circle ridges. Artifacts found within and around the ridges suggest that people lived there, Kidder said. New radiocarbon dating, microscopic analysis of soil, and magn
  • Wooden Piles Reveal History of Balkan Settlement

    BERN, SWITZERLAND—According to a statement released by the University of Bern, researchers led by Albert Hafner have dated some 800 submerged wooden posts on what were the eastern banks of Lake Orhid, which is located in the southwest Balkans, through a study of their tree rings and radiocarbon dating. It had been previously thought that the site, known as Ploča Mičov Grad, was first built around 1000 B.C. and densely inhabited, but the range of dates indicates that dwellings wer
  • Two Stone Balls Recovered from Neolithic Tomb in Scotland

    ORKNEY, SCOTLAND—The Scotsman reports that two balls carved from stone have been found in a tomb on the island of Sanday, which is located off Scotland’s northeastern coast, by a team of researchers led by Hugo Anderson-Whymark of the National Museum of Scotland. Dated to 3500 B.C., the tomb is a stalled cairn split into several compartments and has been damaged by erosion. Anderson-Whymark said one of the balls is still perfectly spherical and beautifully finished, while the other h
  • Audio News for August 29th through September 4th, 2021


    News items read by Laura Pettigrew include:Analysis of bone tools from Italy resets timeline of Neanderthal development(details)First DNA evidence of ancient Toalean people recovered in Indonesia(details)Louisiana earthworks created by rare group efforts from hunter-gatherers(details)Artifacts reveal the softer side of Viking culture(details)
  • Periodic Prehistoric Rainfall Made Northern Arabia Navigable

    JENA, GERMANY—According to a Science News report, Huw Groucutt of the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History and an international team of researchers suggest that hominins repeatedly migrated through northern Arabia as early as some 400,000 years ago, as monsoon rains periodically transformed the desert landscape into habitable grassland. The researchers collected sediments from five ancient lake beds in hollows between large sand dunes in northern Saudi Arabia, and detected
  • Cache of Medieval Jewelry Unearthed in Russia

    MOSCOW, RUSSIA—According to a Live Science report, researchers from the Russian Academy of Sciences have discovered a trove of finely made medieval jewelry at the site of Old Ryazan, the fortified capital of Rus in southwest Russia that was sacked by Batu Khan and his invading Mongol army in the thirteenth century. The silver cache weighs more than four pounds and includes eight pendants, 14 bracelets, seven rings, and several small, six-sided ingots. The items are thought to have been pla

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