• German Citizens Repatriate Artifacts to Mexico

    BERLIN, GERMANY—DW reports that more than 30 pre-Columbian artifacts have been handed over to Mexico’s embassy in Germany. “Two German citizens approached our embassy in Berlin to express their interest in returning archaeological pieces that were in the possession of their families,” said Alejandro Celorio, legal consultant to Mexico’s foreign minister. According to a statement released by Mexico’s Culture Ministry, the items include a three-legged Maya vesse
  • Anglo-Saxon Sword Pyramid Found in England

    NORFOLK, ENGLAND—According to a BBC News report, a metal detectorist in the the Breckland area of Norfolk in eastern England has found a so-called sword pyramid dating to between A.D. 560 and 630, a time when the area was part of the Anglo-Saxon Kingdom of East Anglia. The object, which would have been part of a pair and whose fellow has not been found, was designed as a decorative fitting to keep a sword attached to its scabbard. Researchers have speculated that one of the sword pyramid's
  • Anglo-Saxon Sword Pyramid Unearthed in England

    NORFOLK, ENGLAND—According to a BBC News report, a metal detectorist in the the Breckland area of Norfolk in eastern England has found a so-called sword pyramid dating to between A.D. 560 and 630, a time when the area was part of the Anglo-Saxon Kingdom of East Anglia. The object, which would have been part of a pair and whose fellow has not been found, was designed as a decorative fitting to keep a sword attached to its scabbard. Researchers have speculated that one of the sword pyramid's
  • Roman Weapons Unearthed at Punic Site in Spain

    ALICANTE, SPAIN—According to a statement released by the University of Alicante, a team of archaeologists led by Fernando Prados of the university's Institute for Research in Archaeology and Historical Heritage uncovered a cache of Roman weapons dating to around 100 B.C. at the site of Son Catlar on the island of Menorca. Knives, arrowheads, spearheads, and other projectile weapons were discovered inside a defensive gate built by Punic peoples to protect against attack by the Romans, who c
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  • Audio News for July 25th through the 31st, 2021

    News items read by Laura Pettigrew include:New finds in sunken Egyptian port of Heracleion(details)Japanese lake sediments show that origins of agriculture depended on a stable climate(details)Indigenous roots and modern technology combine in search for missing residential school children(details)Fats, proteins, microbes: new techniques help identify the details of ancient cuisines(details)
  • How Did Climate Impact the Origins of Farming?

    KYOTO, JAPAN—According to a statement released by Ritsumeikan University, analysis of sediments collected from Lake Suigetsu, which is located on Japan’s main island of Honshu, has allowed scientists led by Takeshi Nakagawa to reconstruct the area’s climate between 18,000 and 10,000 years ago. The study suggests that people based their subsistence strategies upon the stability of the climate, which alternated between stable and unstable periods at the end of the last Ice Age. T
  • DNA Offers New Insight Into Early Medieval Grave in Finland

    TURKU, FINLAND—According to a statement released by the University of Turku, Ulla Moilanen and her colleagues have re-evaluated the contents of the so-called Suontaka grave, which was discovered in southern Finland in 1968 during a construction project. The 1,000-year-old grave held human remains, a sword with a bronze handle, a second weapon, and jewelry typically associated with a woman’s clothing. It had been previously suggested that the grave held the remains of a man and a woma
  • Silver Coin Unearthed at India’s Keeladi Archaeological Site

    TAMIL NADU, INDIA—According to a report in The Times of India, a punch-marked silver coin has been unearthed at the Keeladi archaeological site, which is located on the banks of the Vaigai River in southeastern India. The coin bears images of the sun, the moon, a bull, and a dog on its obverse, and a half circle and a sign resembling a Tamil letter on its reverse. Thangam Thennarasu, minister for industries, Tamil development, and archaeology, said the coin may have been used in trade with
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  • New Dates for North Africa’s Acheulian Stone Tools

    CASABLANCA, MOROCCO—The AFP reports that a hand-ax manufacturing sited dated to some 1.3 million years ago has been uncovered in a quarry in central-western Morocco by an international team of researchers. Archaeologist Abderrahim Mohib said the discovery pushes back the emergence of Acheulian stone tool technology in North Africa by about 600,000 years. Acheulian tools in South Africa have been dated to 1.6 million years ago, and to 1.8 million years ago in East Africa. Mohib said that th
  • 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
  • Roman Canal and Road Uncovered in The Netherlands

    OOSTERHOUT, THE NETHERLANDS—The AFP reports that a canal and gravel road thought to have been built and used by the Roman military have been discovered near the city of Nijmegen in the eastern Netherlands. Archaeologist Eric Noord of RAAP said the 33-foot-wide canal probably linked nearby Roman settlements and military bases to the Rhine River in order to transport troops, supplies, and building materials along the border of the Roman Empire. To read about Roman dice unearthed in the Nethe
  • Contents of Bronze Age Burial Urn from Hungary Examined

    BOLOGNA, ITALY—According to a Live Science report, researchers led by Claudio Cavazzuti of the University of Bologna have examined the contents of an elite burial urn recovered from a Bronze Age cemetery discovered at a construction site near the Danube River in northern Hungary. Thousands of burials belonging to the Vatya culture are expected to be found in the cemetery, Cavazzuti explained. Although this particular urn appeared to be similar to the several hundred that have been excavate
  • Copper Coins Unearthed at Greek City Site in Russia

    KRASNODAR KRAI, RUSSIA—According to an ArtNet News report, researchers led by Vladimir Kuznetsov of the Russian Academy of Sciences' Institute of Archaeology uncovered the broken neck of an amphora holding 80 copper staters in Phanagoria, an ancient Greek city located in southwestern Russia. The coins are thought to have been hidden before an attack by the Huns or the Turks, who burned large sections of the city and left the coins covered in ash and fire-damaged wooden floors. A broken bap
  • Rock Art Sites Push Back Settlement of Northern India

    HARYANA, INDIA—The Print reports that Paleolithic paintings and artifacts have been found in multiple rock shelters and open-air sites near Mangar Bani forest in northwestern India’s Aravalli Mountains. The newly found rock art is estimated to date back some 20,000 to 40,000 years. “Some are line drawings, which are the oldest, when humans hadn’t really figured out how to draw complex patterns,” said Banani Bhattacharya of the Haryana Department of Archaeology and M
  • New Dates for Canterbury Cathedral’s Medieval Stained Glass

    CANTERBURY, ENGLAND—BBC News reports that stained glass windows over the south entrance of Canterbury Cathedral, which depict the ancestors of Christ, have been re-dated to the mid-twelfth century using a new, non-destructive technique. Conservator Léonie Seliger and her colleagues used a device called a windolyser to shine a beam on the surface of the glass. Spectrometry was then used to analyze the chemical fingerprint of the glass and calculate its age. The new dates indicate tha
  • Smuggled Old Kingdom Statue Returned to Egypt

    CAIRO, EGYPT—According to an Ahram Online report, an Old Kingdom statue depicting the priest Nikau-Ptah has been returned to Egypt from an art gallery in the Netherlands. Nikau-Ptah is shown standing and wearing a short skirt, although the statue’s legs are missing. The priest’s name was engraved on the sculpture’s right hand. Shaaban Abdel-Gawad of Egypt’s Antiquities Repatriation Department said the statue had been illegally excavated and smuggled out of Egypt. To
  • Audio News July 18th through the 24th, 2021

    News items read by Laura Pettigrew include:Researchers discover ancient cuneiform inscription and image of Babylon’s last king(details)Clues from the final meal of a 2,400-year-old bog body found in Denmark(details)Remnants of an ancient Roman road found submerged in Venice lagoon(details)Interdisciplinary team focuses on the archaeological history of climate changes(details)
  • Inscription With Image of Babylonian King Found in Saudi Arabia

    RIYADH, SAUDI ARABIA—Live Science reports that a 2,550-year-old inscription has been discovered on a piece of basalt in the Hail region of northern Saudia Arabia. Nabonidus, the last king of Babylon, is shown holding a scepter at the top of the engraving, along with a snake, a flower, and the moon. These images are thought to have been used as symbols with religious meaning. The lines of cuneiform text following the images are being translated and may offer new information about the king.
  • New Thoughts on Early Human Dentition

    DUNEDIN, NEW ZEALAND—According to a statement released by the University of Otago, biological anthropologist Ian Towle and dentist Carolina Loch examined more than 20,000 teeth from fossils and living primates and noted the position and size of any tooth fractures for clues to the diets of early humans. The researchers found that extreme tooth wear and high rates of tooth fractures were normal within the Homo genus, similar to the rate of tooth fracture found in living primates who eat a d
  • Rock-Cut Chambers Unearthed in Turkey’s House of the Muses

    GAZIANTEP, TURKEY—Hurriyet Daily News reports that two rock-cut chambers thought to have been used as dining rooms have been discovered in the so-called “House of the Muses,” which is located in southeastern Anatolia’s ancient city of Zeugma. The building is known for its decorative mosaic floors, and named for one consisting of portraits of the nine muses. Archaeologist Kutalmiş Görkay said work to reinforce the chambers after they were emptied of earthen fill
  • Artifact Found in Germany Hints at Neanderthal Hunting Practices

    TÜBINGEN, GERMANY—According to a statement released by the University of Tübingen, a leaf-shaped point dated to at least 65,000 years ago has been unearthed in southern Germany’s Hohle Fels Cave by a team led by Nicholas Conard of the University of Tübingen. Microscopic analysis of the Neanderthal artifact by Veerle Rots of the University of Liège revealed damage to the tip that suggests it had been mounted on a wooden shaft and used as a thrusting spear during
  • Sonar Survey Detects Underwater Roman Structures in Venice

    VENICE, ITALY—ANSA reports that possible traces of a Roman road and dock were found during a survey of Venice conducted by researchers from Italy’s National Research Center and IUAV University. “We carried out the mapping with sonar because we wanted to study the morphology of the canals in 3-D,” said geophysicist Fantina Madricardo of the National Research Center. The remains of the dock were found in an area of the lagoon known as the Treporti Channel. The Roman road, t
  • Tollund Man’s Last Meal Re-Examined

    SILKEBORG, DENMARK—NBC News reports that Nina Nielsen of Silkeborg Museum and her colleagues have re-examined the intestinal contents of Tollund Man, whose 2,400-year-old, naturally preserved remains were recovered from a bog in central Denmark in the 1950s. Previous research has shown that Tolland Man was killed by hanging—a noose of braided animal hide remains around his neck. Yet his body was placed on one side with closed eyes and a faint smile, as if asleep. The new study found
  • New Thoughts on Early Fire Builders

    LEIDEN, NETHERLANDS—According to a statement released by Leiden University, a new study of fire-building techniques employed by hominins in Israel, Africa, Europe, and China claims that early humans exchanged knowledge and skills via social networks some 400,000 years ago. Team member Katharine MacDonald explained that similar combinations of charcoal, carbonized bones, and stones subjected to heat were found at the various sites, and suggested that hominins may have transferred fire-build
  • Shipwreck Found at Egypt’s Submerged Site of Thonis-Heracleion

    CAIRO, EGYPT—According to a Reuters report, a team of Egyptian and French researchers found the wreckage of an ancient military vessel at the site of Thonis-Heracleion, a now-submerged city along Egypt’s Mediterranean coastline that once controlled the mouth of a western branch of the Nile River. The 80-foot ship had a flat bottom, oars, and a large sail. When the city’s huge temple of Amun collapsed in the second century B.C., it sank the vessel, which was moored nearby. The r
  • Audio News for July 11th through the 17th, 2021

    News items read by Laura Pettigrew include:Lakota shirt returned after a century in German museums(details)Tomb of Hellenistic poet-astronomer uncovered in southern Turkey(details)New Easter Island research finds population increase, not collapse(details)Ancient Greek feasting grounds found on island of Cyprus(details)
  • Study Analyzes Imprints of Fabrics on Bronze Age Seals

    HEIDELBERG, GERMANY—Science in Poland reports that Agata Ulanowska of Warsaw University examined a University of Heidelberg collection of casts and imprints of the bottoms of thousands of Bronze Age seals from Lerna and Phaistos, two administrative centers in Greece separated by about 750 years. On about 1,600 of them, she identified imprints of textiles and other materials, including tree phloem, club-rush, wicker, leathers with hair, smooth leathers, and parchment, and changes in how the
  • Rare Boundary Stone Uncovered in Rome

    ROME, ITALY—The Associated Press reports that a pomerium stone was discovered in Rome’s historic city center during excavations for a new sewage system. An engraving on the slab of marble dated it to A.D. 49 and the reign of the emperor Claudius (r. A.D. 41–54), when the area of the pomerium, a consecrated piece of land along the city’s walls, was expanded to accommodate the city’s new limits. Claudio Parisi Presicce of the Archaeological Museums of Rome said t
  • Medieval Cave House Surveyed in Central England

    DERBYSHIRE, ENGLAND—CNN reports that a cave house in central England may date to the early ninth century. Researchers from the Royal Agricultural University (RAU) and Wessex Archaeology surveyed the Anchor Church Caves and found that the rooms cut from the sandstone have narrow doorways and windows resembling those found in Saxon architecture. Edmund Simons of RAU said that one of the rock-cut pillars is similar to one in a nearby Saxon crypt, making the cave one of the country’s old
  • Viking-Era Coins Discovered on Isle of Man

    DOUGLAS, ISLE OF MAN—BBC News reports that a cache of silver coins and pieces of arm bands were discovered by a metal detectorists in a field on the northern side of the Isle of Man. The 87 coins are about 1,000 years old and were minted in England, Dublin, Germany, and the Isle of Man. Coin specialist Kristin Bornholdt-Collins suggested that the coins’ owner may have added to the hoard over time. The 13 pieces of arm rings were also used as currency, she explained. To read about a 4

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