• 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
  • Human Footprints in North America Dated to 23,000 Years Ago

    TUCSON, ARIZONA—According to a statement released by the University of Arizona, human footprints found in New Mexico’s White Sands National Park have been dated to 23,000 years ago. Jeff Pigati and Kathleen Springer of the U.S. Geological Survey radiocarbon dated seeds found above and below multiple layers of footprints left behind in stream beds at White Sands National Park over a 2,000-year period. The size of the footprints suggest they were made mainly by playing teenagers and yo
  • 800-Year-Old Tomb Discovered in Peru

    LIMA, PERU—The remains of eight people estimated to be 800 years old were discovered by workers laying gas pipes near Lima, according to an AFP report. The bodies, which included adults and children thought to have lived in the nearby ancient town of Chilca, had been wrapped in bundles of plant material before being placed in the mass grave. Archaeologist Cecilia Camargo said that shells had been placed on some of their heads, and some of them had bags for holding coca leaves, which can be
  • 600-Year-Old Muisca Jars Recovered in Colombia

    BOGOTÁ, COLOMBIA—Live Science reports that archaeologist Francisco Correa and his colleagues discovered eight ceramic jars containing metal figurines and emeralds in a temple at a Muisca site in central Colombia during an investigation ahead of a road construction project. Many of the Muisca died when the Spanish conquered the region between 1537 and 1540. The jars, known as ofrendatarios, are estimated to be 600 years old. The figurines resemble snakes, other animals, and people we
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  • Long-Distance Trade Detected in Genomes of Siberian Dogs

    MUNICH, GERMANY—According to a statement released by Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU), a team of researchers led by Laurent Frantz of LMU and Tatiana Feuerborn of the University of Copenhagen has analyzed the genomes of 49 dogs whose remains were unearthed at archaeological sites in Siberia and Eurasia. The study found an increase of genetic material from dogs from the Eurasian steppes and Europe in Siberian dogs between the Iron Age and the medieval period. Archaeologist
  • Composition of Stone Tools From Roman Morocco Analyzed

    AUSTIN, TEXAS—According to a statement released by the University of Texas at Austin, a team of archaeologists and geoscientists analyzed a collection of stone fragments from mixing vats and millstones unearthed at Morocco’s ancient Roman city of Volubilis. The researchers discovered that specific types of rock had been chosen to improve the function of these tools. For example: grain millstones were made of volcanic basalt with sharp-edged pores, olive mills were made from limestone
  • New Thoughts on Maya Pyramid in El Salvador

    BOULDER, COLORADO—According to a Live Science report, the Campana structure, a Maya pyramid in El Salvador’s Zapotitán Valley, was built with cut stone, earth, and tephra ejected by the Tierra Blanca Joven eruption of the Ilopango caldera, which is located about 25 miles away. Recent radiocarbon dating of tree trunks in El Salvador indicates that the eruption occurred around A.D. 539. It had been previously thought that the Maya abandoned their settlements in the ash-covered r
  • DNA Analysis Identifies Japanese Ancestors

    DUBLIN, IRELAND—According to a Live Science report, analysis of DNA samples obtained from ancient bones unearthed at various sites across Japan has detected a previously unidentified genetic group that migrated to Japan during the Kofun period, between A.D. 300 and 700, when Japan transitioned into an imperial state. This group is thought to be one of three populations ancestral to modern Japanese people. The other two groups have been identified as Jomon-period hunter gatherers who arrive
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  • Ritual Objects Discovered in Northern Egypt

    CAIRO, EGYPT—Ahram Online reports that researchers from Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities have uncovered artifacts used in rituals honoring the goddess Hathor in the Temple of the Pharaohs at the site of the ancient city of Buto, which is located in the Nile Delta. The instruments, which date to the 26th Dynasty (688-525 B.C.), include a limestone pillar shaped like the goddess; faience incense burners, one of which is decorated with the head of the god Horus; pottery; statuette
  • Medieval Mass Graves Excavated in Lebanon

    POOLE, ENGLAND—Two mass graves thought to contain the remains of European soldiers killed during the Crusades have been found in a dry moat at the site of Lebanon’s St. Louis Castle, according to a Live Science report. Christian soldiers first captured St. Louis Castle after the First Crusade in 1110, and held the port of Sidon for more than a century. But records also show that the castle was attacked by Mamluks in 1253 and the Mongols in 1260, when it was destroyed. The men in the
  • Three Phases of Wooden Wagon Way Uncovered in Scotland

    EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND—BBC News reports that three layers of wooden tracks constructed for the horse-drawn Tranent Waggonway have been uncovered in East Lothian by researchers from the 1722 Waggonway Project. The line was first built in 1722 to haul coal along a two-mile route from a pit in Tranent to the coast of the Firth of Forth at Cockenzie and Port Seton, where it was used as fuel for making salt. The distance between the two rails was initially set at about three feet, three inches apa
  • Audio News Sep. 13th through the 19th, 2021


    News items read by Laura Pettigrew include:Bronze Age coffin unearthed on UK golf course yields new secrets during conservation(details)(details)Handprints and footprints preserved in Tibetan mud may be oldest known art(details)(details)Bone tools from Moroccan cave show how Pleistocene people made clothing(details)Texas academics catalog African American graves at risk in American South(details)
  • Audio News Sep. 12th through the 18th, 2021


    News items read by Laura Pettigrew include:Bronze Age coffin unearthed on UK golf course yields new secrets during conservation(details)(details)Handprints and footprints preserved in Tibetan mud may be oldest known art(details)(details)Bone tools from Moroccan cave show how Pleistocene people made clothing(details)Texas academics catalog African American graves at risk in American South(details)
  • Rare Shell Artifacts Discovered in South Australia

    ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA—According to a statement released by Flinders University, modified freshwater mussel shell objects have been recovered from shell middens along south-central Australia’s Murray River by researchers from Flinders University and Griffith University, in collaboration with the River Murray and Mallee Aboriginal Corporation and the Ngarrindjeri Aboriginal Corporation. The shells range in age from 6,000 to 600 years old. Two of them had been perforated, and one has a fi
  • Burned Layer at Jamestown Linked to Bacon’s Rebellion

    JAMESTOWN, VIRGINIA—The Virginia Gazette reports that new excavations at the site of the memorial church at Jamestown have uncovered intact burn deposits and several artifacts. The burned surface is thought to date to Bacon’s Rebellion in 1676, according to archaeologist Sean Romo, who first spotted burned deposits just below the surface of the ground at the church in 2019. He thought the deposits could be evidence of Nathaniel Bacon’s siege of Jamestown, the fire that burned t
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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

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