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Archaeology News - Fossil News, Archaeological Science, Archaeology, Fossils provides the latest news on archaeology, fossils, archaeological sciences and archaeological technology.


How much can late Permian ecosystems tell us about modern Earth? A lot.

Fri, 15 Dec 2017 12:26:14 EST

A whopping two hundred and fifty-two million years ago, Earth was crawling with bizarre animals, including dinosaur cousins resembling Komodo dragons and bulky early mammal-relatives, millions of years before dinosaurs even existed. New research shows us that the Permian equator was both a literal and figurative hotspot: it was, for the most part, a scorching hot desert, on top of having a concentration of unique animals. Here, you could find ancient crocodile-sized amphibians right next to newly evolved dinosaur and croc relatives. Many of these species were wiped out after an extinction which changed life on the planet forever.

Why the idea that the English have a common Anglo-Saxon origin is a myth

Fri, 15 Dec 2017 09:30:01 EST

The idea that there is a common Anglo-Saxon ancestry based on biology is gaining currency among some right-wing and religious groups in the UK and US.

Indonesian island found to be unusually rich in cave paintings

Fri, 15 Dec 2017 09:27:22 EST

A tiny Indonesian island, previously unexplored by archaeologists, has been found to be unusually rich in ancient cave paintings following a study by researchers from The Australian National University (ANU).

The locomotion of hominins in the Pleistocene was just as efficient as that of current humans

Fri, 15 Dec 2017 09:22:21 EST

In an article published recently in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology, researchers from the Paleophysiology and Ecology Group of the Centro Nacional de Investigación sobre la Evolución Humana (CENIEH) analyzed the influence of body proportions on the cost of locomotion by means of an experimental energetic study with 46 subjects of both sexes, whose results indicate that the walk of Pleistocene hominins was no less efficient energetically than that of current humans.

Evidence of early humans found in the jungles of Borneo

Fri, 15 Dec 2017 07:16:29 EST

I recently led a team excavating at one of the most iconic archaeological locations in Southeast Asia, Niah Caves in Malaysia.

Oldest cases of breast cancer and myeloma revealed in scans of mummies

Fri, 15 Dec 2017 07:07:13 EST

An international team, including researchers from the UGR's anthropology group led by Prof. Miguel Cecilio Botella López of the Department of Legal Medicine, Toxicology and Physical Anthropology, has discovered the world's oldest known cases of breast cancer and multiple myeloma, a type of bone marrow cancer. The discoveries were made by conducting CT scans of two mummies found in the pharaonic necropolis of Qubbet el-Hawa in Aswan, Egypt.

Ancient feces reveal parasites described in earliest Greek medical texts

Thu, 14 Dec 2017 19:00:01 EST

Ancient faeces from prehistoric burials on the Greek island of Kea have provided the first archaeological evidence for the parasitic worms described 2,500 years ago in the writings of Hippocrates - the most influential works of classical medicine.

Historic finds unearthed in Medieval cemetary

Thu, 14 Dec 2017 06:40:41 EST

What was supposed to be a simple excavation to allow for the expansion of a church cemetery turned into a treasure trove of historic artefacts, including a decorative fitting from a book "imported" by Vikings from Ireland.

Archaeologists uncover burial sites, statue in Egypt's Aswan

Thu, 14 Dec 2017 06:18:03 EST

Egypt's Antiquities Ministry says archaeologists have uncovered four intact burial sites, part of a cemetery and an incomplete statue in different areas in the southern city of Aswan.

The oldest plesiosaur was a strong swimmer

Thu, 14 Dec 2017 05:36:32 EST

Plesiosaurs were especially effective swimmers. These long extinct "paddle saurians" propelled themselves through the oceans by employing "underwater flight"—similar to sea turtles and penguins. Paleontologist from the University of Bonn, Germany, together with colleagues from Japan and France, now describe the oldest plesiosaur in the journal Science Advances. The fossil comes from the earliest part of the Triassic period and is about 201 million years old.

Fossil orphans reunited with their parents after half a billion years

Tue, 12 Dec 2017 19:00:01 EST

Everyone wants to be with their family for Christmas, but spare a thought for a group of orphan fossils that have been separated from their parents since the dawn of animal evolution, over half a billion years ago.

Ancient penguin was as big as a (human) Pittsburgh Penguin

Tue, 12 Dec 2017 11:41:26 EST

Fossils from New Zealand have revealed a giant penguin that was as big as a grown man, roughly the size of the captain of the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Dinosaur parasites trapped in 100-million-year-old amber tell blood-sucking story

Tue, 12 Dec 2017 11:00:01 EST

Fossilised ticks discovered trapped and preserved in amber show that these parasites sucked the blood of feathered dinosaurs almost 100 million years ago, according to a new article published in Nature Communications today.

Experiments show Neolithic Thames beater could be used to kill a person

Tue, 12 Dec 2017 09:46:43 EST

(—A team of researchers with the University of Edinburgh has found evidence that the "Thames Beater" was a weapon that could be used to kill another person—perhaps at times, with a single blow to the head. In their paper published in the journal Antiquity, the group describes experiments they conducted to learn more about the lethality of the weapon.

How virtual reality is opening up some of the world's most inaccessible archaeological sites

Tue, 12 Dec 2017 08:08:33 EST

We often associate virtual reality (VR) with thrilling experiences we may never be able to have in real life – such as flying a jet fighter, exploring the oceans or going on a spacewalk. But researchers are also starting to use this technology to study and open up access to archaeological sites that are difficult to get to.

Genetics preserves traces of ancient resistance to Inca rule

Tue, 12 Dec 2017 05:24:25 EST

The Chachapoyas region was conquered by the Inca Empire in the late 15th century. Knowledge of the fate of the local population has been based largely on Inca oral histories, written down only decades later after the Spanish conquest. The Inca accounts claim that the native population was forcibly resettled out of Chachapoyas and dispersed across the Inca Empire. However, a new study in Scientific Reports, by an international team including researchers from the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, uses genetic evidence to reveal that despite Inca conquest, the population of Chachapoyas has remained genetically distinct, and not assimilated with that of the Inca heartland.

Scientists pioneer new way to analyze ancient artwork

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 15:54:54 EST

Scientists from UCLA and the National Gallery of Art have used a combination of three advanced imaging techniques to produce a highly detailed analysis of a second century Egyptian painting.

Archaeologist finds world's oldest funereal fish hooks

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 08:01:34 EST

An archaeologist from The Australian National University (ANU) has uncovered the world's oldest known fish-hooks placed in a burial ritual, found on Indonesia's Alor Island, northwest of East Timor.

Nuclear technology unlocks 50-million-year-old time capsules

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 06:39:20 EST

A scientific analysis of fossilised tree resin has caused a rethink of Australia's prehistoric ecosystem, and could pave the way to recovering more preserved palaeobiological artefacts from the time of dinosaurs or prehistoric mammals.

Los Angeles subway work uncovers array of Ice Age fossils (Update)

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 03:36:51 EST

As part of the crew digging a subway extension under the streets of Los Angeles, Ashley Leger always keeps her safety gear close by.

Egypt archaeologists discover mummy in Luxor

Sat, 09 Dec 2017 17:01:47 EST

Egyptian archaeologists have discovered a mummy in one of two previously unexplored tombs across the Nile from the southern city of Luxor, the antiquities ministry said Saturday.

Revising the story of the dispersal of modern humans across Eurasia

Thu, 07 Dec 2017 14:00:01 EST

Most people are now familiar with the traditional "Out of Africa" model: modern humans evolved in Africa and then dispersed across Asia and reached Australia in a single wave about 60,000 years ago. However, technological advances in DNA analysis and other fossil identification techniques, as well as an emphasis on multidisciplinary research, are revising this story. Recent discoveries show that humans left Africa multiple times prior to 60,000 years ago, and that they interbred with other hominins in many locations across Eurasia.

It's all in the ears: Inner ears of extinct sea monsters mirror those of today's animals

Thu, 07 Dec 2017 12:24:08 EST

A new study led by Oxford University Museum of Natural History has revealed that an extinct group of marine reptiles called sauropterygians evolved similar inner ear proportions to those of some modern day aquatic reptiles and mammals. The research is published in Current Biology today.

530-million-year-old fossil has look of world's oldest eye, study suggests

Thu, 07 Dec 2017 12:02:55 EST

A 530-million-year-old fossil contains what could be the oldest eye ever discovered, a study reveals.

Venezuelan rock art mapped in unprecedented detail

Thu, 07 Dec 2017 07:00:02 EST

Rock engravings located in Western Venezuela - including some of the largest recorded anywhere in the world - have been mapped in unprecedented detail by UCL researchers.

New species of extinct marsupial lion discovered in Australia

Wed, 06 Dec 2017 19:10:02 EST

A team of Australian scientists has discovered a new species of marsupial lion which has been extinct for at least 19 million years. The findings, published in the Journal of Systematic Palaeontology, are based on fossilised remains of the animal's skull, teeth, and humerus (upper arm bone) found by University of New South Wales (UNSW) scientists in the Riversleigh World Heritage Area of remote north-western Queensland.

Synchrotron sheds light on the amphibious lifestyle of a new raptorial dinosaur

Wed, 06 Dec 2017 13:00:24 EST

An exceptionally well-preserved dinosaur skeleton from Mongolia unites an unexpected combination of features that defines a new group of semi-aquatic predators related to Velociraptor. Detailed 3D synchrotron analysis allowed an international team of researchers to present the bizarre 75 million-year-old predator, named Halszkaraptor escuilliei, in Nature. The study describes a new genus and species of bird-like dinosaur that lived during the Campanian stage of the Cretaceous in Mongolia and sheds light on an unexpected amphibious lifestyle for raptorial dinosaurs.

Mission to gather petrified Antarctic plants could help predict future of flora on warming Earth

Wed, 06 Dec 2017 12:33:33 EST

A team of investigators from the University of Kansas currently is stationed at Antarctica's Shackleton Glacier to collect the remains of plants that once thrived there during the boundary between the Permian and Triassic periods.

Biologists say recently discovered fossil shows transition of a reptile from life on land to life in the sea

Wed, 06 Dec 2017 10:39:54 EST

Using modern research tools on a 155-million-year-old reptile fossil, scientists at Johns Hopkins and the American Museum of Natural History report they have filled in some important clues to the evolution of animals that once roamed land and transitioned to life in the water.

After 20 years, researcher presents the most complete Australopithecus fossil ever found

Wed, 06 Dec 2017 08:40:02 EST

South Africa's status as a major cradle in the African nursery of humankind has been reinforced with today's unveiling of "Little Foot", the country's oldest, virtually complete fossil human ancestor.