Tag: Archaeology and Anthropology

Matter: An Ancient Human Species Lived in This Island Cave

In a cave in the Philippines, scientists have discovered a new branch of the human family tree. At least 50,000 years ago, an extinct human species lived on what is now the island of Luzon, researchers reported on Wednesday. It’s possible that Homo luzonensis, as they’re calling the species, stood less than three feet tall. […]

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Mummified Mice and Falcons Are Found in Egyptian Tomb

SOHAG, Egypt — Archaeologists in Egypt have recovered about 50 mummified animals, including mice, from a well-preserved and finely painted tomb thought to date from the early Ptolemaic period, more than 2,000 years ago. The tomb, which was built for a man named Tutu and his wife, is one of seven discovered near the town […]

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Can Museums Heal History’s Wounds?

In the early 1920s, the director of the Bristol Museum in Britain received a package containing two human skulls. The donation came from Alfred Hutchins. He had left England seeking brighter horizons and by the late 1800s was living in Southern California. There he became an amateur archaeologist, excavating Native American graves on the Channel […]

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A Colonial-Era Cemetery Resurfaces in Philadelphia

In June 2017 Kimberlee Moran, a forensic scientist at Rutgers University-Camden, stood in a pit at a construction site in downtown Philadelphia, just across from the Betsy Ross House. The walls of the pit were shored up by diagonal pillars of dirt. They bristled with coffin wood — and human bones. But what she couldn’t […]

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Trilobites: DNA Clues to an Ancient Canary Islands Voyage

Today the Canary Islands are a tourist hub, a volcanic archipelago with palm trees and azure beaches, located off the coast of Morocco and governed by Spain. But the history of this paradise is marred by the brutal conquest, enslavement and treatment of its indigenous people by European colonizers beginning around the 15th century. Although […]

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Matter: A History of the Iberian Peninsula, as Told by Its Skeletons

For thousands of years, the Iberian Peninsula — home now to Spain and Portugal — has served as a crossroads. Phoenicians from the Near East built trading ports there 3,000 years ago, and Romans conquered the region around 200 B.C. Muslim armies sailed from North Africa and took control of Iberia in the 8th century […]

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Critic’s Pick: See Ancient Trade Route Treasures at the Met

Archaeological shows, whether large or small, are like icebergs. What you see is the tip of a mountain of history submerged in the ocean of time. “The World Between Empires: Art and Identity in the Ancient Middle East,” which opens at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on Monday, is like that. It’s a big show, […]

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‘The Place Is Extraordinary’: Well-Preserved Artifacts Are Found Under Maya Ruins

Archaeologists announced this week that they had discovered an extraordinary trove of well-preserved Maya artifacts under the ancient city of Chichén Itzá in Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula. The artifacts were found in a cave called Balamkú, less than two miles from the famed pyramid known as the Temple of Kukulcan, or The Castle, which sits in […]

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Trilobites: Massacre of Children in Peru Might Have Been a Sacrifice to Stop Bad Weather

Last year archaeologists in Peru announced the discovery of a centuries-old ritual massacre, at a site they believed was the largest known case of child sacrifice ever found. Buried beneath the sands of a 15th-century site called Huanchaquito-Las Llamas were nearly 140 child skeletons, as well as the remains of 200 llamas. While the reasoning […]

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Trilobites: The X-rays Revealed Something Unusual: Mummified Body Parts

Egyptian security officials at the Cairo International Airport foiled a plot to smuggle out of the country mummified limbs that were hidden inside a loudspeaker, Egypt’s Ministry of Antiquities announced on Sunday. The contraband was to be loaded on a plane to Belgium when authorities spotted something strange on the X-rays. In a hollowed-out speaker, […]

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18 Skeletons, 3 Buttons and a Revolutionary War Mystery

[What you need to know to start the day: Get New York Today in your inbox.] LAKE GEORGE, N.Y. — It was not the first time the archaeologist had received this type of call. “There have been some human bones unearthed,” Chris Hatin, an investigator with the Warren County sheriff’s office, said in a voice […]

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Archaeologists in Pompeii Find Fresco of Narcissus in ‘Extraordinary’ Condition

Time robbed Narcissus of his good looks, but through a volcanic blast, almost 2,000 years and many tons of ash, his beloved — his own reflection — has gazed unwaveringly back. On Thursday, the mythological figure of Narcissus re-emerged to the public from his perch on a wall in Pompeii, where archaeologists announced they had […]

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Ancient European Stone Monuments Said to Originate in Northwest France

Thousands of years ago, megaliths began to appear in Europe — standing stones, dolmens, stone circles. They vary from single stones to complexes like Stonehenge. There are about 35,000 such monuments in Europe, many along the Atlantic coast of France and Spain, in England, Ireland, Scandinavia and throughout the Mediterranean. They attract both tourists and […]

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Trilobites: Aboriginal Hunters’ Fires Help Restore an Australian Desert

In Australia in recent decades, the bilby, the bettong, or rat kangaroo, the brush-tailed possum and other medium-sized mammals all disappeared from the Western Desert. It was a mystery: Typically bigger animals vanish first — often only after people show up. But ask the people who lived in this desert for 48,000 years what happened […]

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Egypt Unveils Dozens of Newly Discovered Mummies

Dozens of newly discovered mummies from the Ptolemaic era were unveiled at an Egyptian burial site this weekend, one of a number of sites the country plans to disclose this year, according to Egypt’s Ministry of Antiquities. The site, which was described as a family burial chamber, was discovered a year ago hollowed out of […]

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5 Takeaways From the Ancient DNA Research Story

What can genes tell us about who we are? Millions of people around the word have begun using consumer ancestry services like 23andMe in an attempt to peer into their personal origins and understand where they came from. Meanwhile, though, in a handful of elite genetics labs around the world, scientists have begun analyzing ancient […]

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Is Ancient DNA Research Revealing New Truths — or Falling Into Old Traps?

PART I 1. The Ghosts of Teouma A faint aura of destiny seems to hover over Teouma Bay. It’s not so much the landscape, with its ravishing if boilerplate tropical splendor — banana and mango trees, coconut and pandanus palms, bougainvillea, the apprehensive trill of the gray-eared honeyeater — as it is the shape of […]

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Trilobites: In an Ancient Nun’s Teeth, Blue Paint — and Clues to Medieval Publishing

Anita Radini, an archaeologist at the University of York, in England, spends a lot of time looking at tartar. Really old tartar. Tartar, or dental plaque — that film of bacteria that feels like sweaters on your teeth — contains a wealth of information about what long-dead individuals encountered in their daily lives. Dr. Radini […]

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Ancient Thoroughbred Horse With Bronze-Plated Saddle Is Discovered in Pompeii

LONDON — The horse, a thoroughbred, was wearing a bronze-plated military saddle and ready to go when Mount Vesuvius erupted and buried the ancient city of Pompeii in A.D. 79. The horse, too, was covered in pumice and ash. Almost 2,000 years later, archaeologists unearthed the petrified horse, along with the remains of two others, […]

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