Tag: Archaeology and Anthropology

Rich, Ancient City Is Unearthed in Greece

LONDON — First, the archaeologist and her team uncovered a sarcophagus from a village in southern Greece in 1984. Thirty-four years later, an ancient road in the same village led to a Roman mausoleum. Then, in October, a lost city called Tenea was found. “After I uncovered the sarcophagus, I knew I had to go […]

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Matter: Crossing From Asia, the First Americans Rushed Into the Unknown

Nearly 11,000 years ago, a man died in what is now Nevada. Wrapped in a rabbit-skin blanket and reed mats, he was buried in a place called Spirit Cave. Now scientists have recovered and analyzed his DNA, along with that of 70 other ancient people whose remains were discovered throughout the Americas. The findings lend […]

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Matter: In Cave in Borneo Jungle, Scientists Find Oldest Figurative Painting in the World

On the wall of a cave deep in the jungles of Borneo, there is an image of a thick-bodied, spindly-legged animal, drawn in reddish ocher. It may be a crude image. But it also is more than 40,000 years old, scientists reported on Wednesday, making this the oldest figurative art in the world. Until now, […]

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Trilobites: When Human Relatives First Visited a Green Arabian Peninsula

Buried in the Arabian desert’s sand are clues to the peninsula’s wetter, greener past. Fossils from long-extinct elephants, antelope and jaguars paint a prehistoric scene not of a barren wasteland, but of a flourishing savanna sprinkled with watering holes. Now, scientists have found what they think is evidence of the activities of early human relatives, […]

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Trilobites: Why Textbooks May Need to Update What They Say About Birth Canals

Look up the term “pelvic canal” in the typical anatomy or obstetric textbook, and you likely will find a description such as this: “Well-built healthy women, who had a good diet during their childhood growth period, usually have a broad pelvis.” Such a pelvis, the text continues, enables “the least difficulty during childbirth.” But such […]

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The Story of Amsterdam, Told Through Its Trash

AMSTERDAM — The objects come as a surprise. In two display cases wedged between escalators in the Rokin metro station here, they emerge into view only as you travel up and down. Suddenly, thousands of fragments of the city’s past appear: vases, pipes, anchors, shards of china, buttons, human bones. These glimpses tell a small […]

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Italy’s Oldest Instrument Hints at Sounds of Prehistoric Rome

ROME — When the archaeologist Giovanni Carboni first came upon the oddly shaped ceramic object during an excavation in a Roman suburb in 2006, he was baffled. “I said — please don’t write this, though, because I said a swear word — I said: ‘What the heck is this thing,’ ” Dr. Carboni recalled recently. […]

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Trilobites: City Rats Eat Meat. Country Rats Eat What They Can.

It’s been nearly 3,000 years since Aesop wrote “The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse,” the fable in which an urban rodent exposes his rural cousin to the city’s superior dining options. A new study suggests Aesop was right about the geographical differences in rodent diets. By analyzing the remains of brown rats that lived […]

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Trilobites: Hidden Kingdoms of the Ancient Maya Revealed in a 3-D Laser Map

Hidden pyramids and massive fortresses in the jungle. Farms and canals scattered across swamplands. Highways traversing thickets of rain forest. These are among more than 61,000 ancient Mayan structures swallowed by overgrowth in the tropical lowlands of Guatemala that archaeologists have finally uncovered using a laser mapping technology called lidar. The discoveries, published Thursday in […]

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Loss of Indigenous Works in Brazil Museum Fire Felt ‘Like a New Genocide’

“We didn’t even have money for toilet paper,” said Mr. de Souza, the anthropologist, who has worked at the museum for 38 years. There were a handful of missed opportunities that could have enabled museum personnel to take better care of the building and its contents. University officials and the World Bank discussed the possibility […]

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Oldest Known Drawing by Human Hands Discovered in South African Cave

Nine red lines on a stone flake found in a South African cave may be the earliest known drawing made by Homo sapiens, archaeologists reported on Wednesday. The artifact, which scientists think is about 73,000 years old, predates the oldest previously known modern human abstract drawings from Europe by about 30,000 years. “We knew a […]

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The Fire That Consumed Brazil’s Treasures

According to Anna Roosevelt, professor of anthropology at the University of Illinois at Chicago, “The museum had collections from the early explorations to the most recent investigations, comprehensive collections that show the history of museums, of exploration and of science in Brazil.” The fire, she said, is “a catastrophe for South American natural science and […]

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The Brazil Museum Fire: What Was Lost

David Reich, a geneticist at Harvard Medical School, said he had struggled to think of an appropriate way to understand the destruction of Brazil’s National Museum by fire. “It’s as if the Metropolitan Museum of Art burned down,” he said. CreditMuseu Nacional Brasil, via Associated Press A reconstruction, right, of the face of the woman […]

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Matter: A Blended Family: Her Mother Was Neanderthal, Her Father Something Else Entirely

In a limestone cave nestled high above the Anuy River in Siberia, scientists have discovered the fossil of an extraordinary human hybrid. The 90,000-year-old bone fragment came from a female whose mother was Neanderthal, according to an analysis of DNA discovered inside it. But her father was not: He belonged to another branch of ancient […]

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Trilobites: Ancient Burial Pits Reveal Sophisticated Rituals

Advertisement Trilobites Hundreds of bodies were packed tightly in carved out bedrock, marked by pillars, a sign of organized “monumentality” by some of East Africa’s earliest herders. Stone pendants and earrings recovered from the Lothagam North Pillar Site in Kenya, which is about 5,300 years old. It was used as a burial site for about […]

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Archaeologists Find 3,200-Year-Old Cheese in an Egyptian Tomb

A few years ago, a team of archaeologists cleaning sand from an ancient Egyptian tomb discovered a group of broken jars, one of them containing a mysterious white substance. The team had guesses as to what the material might be, but a new analysis published in the journal Analytical Chemistry offers an answer: What they […]

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