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Preview: Brightsurf Science News :: Archaeology News

Archaeology Current Events and Archaeology News from Brightsurf

Archaeology Current Events and Archaeology News Events, Discoveries and Articles from Brightsurf

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Rock art: Life-sized sculptures of dromedaries found in Saudi Arabia

Tue, 13 Feb 18 00:13:20 -0800

At a remarkable site in northwest Saudi Arabia, a CNRS archaeologist and colleagues from the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage have discovered camelid sculptures unlike any others in the region. They are thought to date back to the first centuries BC or AD. The find sheds new light on the evolution of rock art in the Arabian Peninsula.

Interdisciplinary approach yields new insights into human evolution

Tue, 13 Feb 18 00:02:20 -0800

The evolution of human biology should be considered part and parcel with the evolution of humanity itself, proposes Nicole Creanza, assistant professor of biological sciences. She is the guest editor of a new themed issue of the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B that takes an interdisciplinary approach to human evolution.

Micro to macro mapping -- Observing past landscapes via remote-sensing

Thu, 08 Feb 18 00:05:00 -0800

New multi-scale relief modelling algorithm helps archaeologists rediscover topographical features of the past.

Radiocarbon dating reveals mass grave did date to the Viking age

Fri, 02 Feb 18 00:10:20 -0800

A team of archaeologists, led by Cat Jarman from the University of Bristol's Department of Anthropology and Archaeology, has discovered that a mass grave uncovered in the 1980s dates to the Viking Age and may have been a burial site of the Viking Great Army war dead.

Ancient lake reveals a colorful past

Fri, 26 Jan 18 00:04:30 -0800

Archaeologists say they may have discovered one of the earliest examples of a 'crayon' -- possibly used by our ancestors 10,000 years ago for applying color to their animal skins or for artwork.

Remains of earliest modern human outside of Africa unearthed in Israel

Thu, 25 Jan 18 00:14:50 -0800

A jawbone complete with teeth recently discovered at Israel's Misliya cave by Tel Aviv University and University of Haifa researchers has now been dated to 177,000-194,000 years ago. The finding indicates that modern humans were present in the Levant at least 50,000 years earlier than previously thought.

Frozen in time: Glacial archaeology on the roof of Norway

Tue, 23 Jan 18 00:11:20 -0800

Artefacts revealed by melting ice patches in the high mountains of Oppland shed new light on ancient high-altitude hunting.

UNH researchers find human impact on forest still evident after 500 years

Thu, 18 Jan 18 00:02:10 -0800

Researchers at the University of New Hampshire used high-tech tools to more precisely view where these cleared sites were and how much lasting impact they had on the rainforest in the Amazon Basin in South America.

Researchers find first evidence of sub-Saharan Africa glassmaking

Thu, 18 Jan 18 00:11:30 -0800

Scholars from Rice University, University College London and the Field Museum have found the first direct evidence that glass was produced in sub-Saharan Africa centuries before the arrival of Europeans, a finding that the researchers said represents a 'new chapter in the history of glass technology.'

Not just for Christmas: Study sheds new light on ancient human-turkey relationship

Wed, 17 Jan 18 00:12:20 -0800

For the first time, research has uncovered the origins of the earliest domestic turkeys in ancient Mexico. The study also suggests turkeys weren't only prized for their meat -- with demand for the birds soaring with the Mayans and Aztecs because of their cultural significance in rituals and sacrifices.

Dual migration created genetic 'melting pot' of the first Scandinavians

Tue, 09 Jan 18 00:08:40 -0800

New genomic data suggest that the first human settlers on the Scandinavian peninsula followed two distinct migration routes. The study publishing Jan. 9 in the open-access journal PLOS Biology led by researchers from Uppsala University with an international team of collaborators, also indicates that the resulting mixed population genetically adapted to the extreme environmental conditions.

Discovering the creation era of ancient paintings at Mogao Grottoes, China

Tue, 09 Jan 18 00:01:40 -0800

Mural paintings at Mogao Grottoes are a precious cultural heritage of mankind. In mural archeology, a critical procedure is to determine the era when the mural was painted, which is called dating the painting. However, some paintings at Mogao Grottoes are dated with controversies due to the disagreement of painting experts. A latest research published in Science China Information Sciences provides a scientific way for dating the ancient paintings by using deep learning, and discovers the creation era of six mural paintings from two grottoes.

Redefining knowledge of elderly people throughout history

Wed, 03 Jan 18 00:11:20 -0800

An archaeologist from The Australian National University is set to redefine what we know about elderly people in cultures throughout history, and dispel the myth that most people didn't live much past 40 prior to modern medicine.

Prehistoric bling? Aesthetics crucial factor in development of earliest copper alloys

Thu, 21 Dec 17 00:11:50 -0800

New study suggests golden hue crucial to development of world's earliest tin bronze artefacts. Using experimentally made copper alloys and colorimetric analyses, original colour of artefacts c. 6,500 years old can now be seen.

Are bones discovered under an Exeter street from the first turkey dinner in England?

Tue, 19 Dec 17 00:03:40 -0800

Bones dug up from under an Exeter street may be the remains of the first ever turkey dinner in England, archaeologists believe.

Discovery of ruins of ancient Turkic monument surrounded by 14 pillars with inscriptions

Mon, 18 Dec 17 00:11:10 -0800

A joint excavation team from Osaka University and the Institute of History and Archaeology of the Mongolian Academy of Sciences discovered the ruins of a unique monument surrounded by 14 large stone pillars with Turkic Runic inscriptions arranged in a square on the steppe called Dongoin shiree in eastern Mongolia during their three-year (2015 ~ 2017) joint excavation.

Indonesian island found to be unusually rich in cave paintings

Fri, 15 Dec 17 00:11:20 -0800

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).

Scientists from UCLA, National Gallery of Art pioneer new way to analyze ancient artwork

Mon, 11 Dec 17 00:10:10 -0800

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. They are the first to use the specific combination -- which they termed

Venezuelan rock art mapped in unprecedented detail

Thu, 07 Dec 17 00:07:20 -0800

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 insights into life and death of Jumbo the elephant revealed in BBC One documentary

Thu, 07 Dec 17 00:10:50 -0800

University of Leicester archaeologist Dr. Richard Thomas provides expertise to upcoming BBC One documentary with Sir David Attenborough on Sunday, Dec. 10.

Stretching language to its limit

Thu, 07 Dec 17 00:08:10 -0800

A disregard for human traditions, the brutality of predation, sacrifice, and sexual desire are ingrained in languages across cultures. This paper concerns a key linguistic feature reflecting this predicament: utterances that encapsulate their opposite and effectuate a U-turn in meaning.

New approach measures early human butchering practices

Wed, 06 Dec 17 00:02:10 -0800

Researchers, led by a Purdue University anthropology professor, have found that statistical methods and 3-D imaging can be used to accurately measure animal bone cut marks made by prehistoric human butchery, and to help answer pressing questions about human evolution.

Could ancient bones suggest Santa was real?

Tue, 05 Dec 17 00:16:00 -0800

Was St Nicholas, the fourth century saint who inspired the iconography of Santa Claus, a legend or was he a real person? New Oxford University research has revealed that bones long venerated as relics of the saint, do in fact date from the right historical period.

Adornments told about the culture of prehistoric people

Thu, 30 Nov 17 00:15:10 -0800

Vladislav Zhitenev, a Russian archaeologist from MSU, studied bone jewelry found at Sungir Upper Paleolithic site. A group led by Vladislav Zhitenev found out that many items were crafted specifically for burial purposes, while others were worn on a daily basis. The style of the jewelry was influenced by many cultures of Europe and the Russian Plain. The article was published in EPAUL 147.

Sea-level rise predicted to threaten >13,000 archaeological sites in southeastern US

Wed, 29 Nov 17 00:07:40 -0800

Sea-level rise may impact vast numbers of archaeological and historic sites, cemeteries, and landscapes on the Atlantic and Gulf coasts of the southeastern United States, according to a study published Nov. 29, 2017 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by David Anderson from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, USA, and colleagues.

First evidence for Julius Caesar's invasion of Britain discovered

Tue, 28 Nov 17 00:07:40 -0800

University of Leicester archaeologists suggest Caesar's fleet first landed in Pegwell Bay, Isle of Thanet, Kent in 54BC and constructed fort nearby

Unique metal artefacts from Iron Age settlement shed new light on prehistoric feasting

Mon, 27 Nov 17 00:04:50 -0800

Prehistoric cauldrons, ancient sword and assorted metalwork among nationally significant findings discovered by University of Leicester archaeologists at Glenfield Park, Leicestershire.

Ancient barley took high road to China

Mon, 20 Nov 17 00:05:50 -0800

First domesticated 10,000 years ago in the Fertile Crescent of the Middle East, wheat and barley took vastly different routes to China, with barley switching from a winter to both a winter and summer crop during a thousand-year detour along the southern Tibetan Plateau, suggests new research from Washington University in St. Louis.

Height and weight evolved at different speeds in the bodies of our ancestors

Tue, 07 Nov 17 00:02:20 -0800

The largest study to date of body sizes over millions of years finds a 'pulse and stasis' pattern to hominin evolution, with surges of growth in stature and bulk occurring at different times. At one stage, our ancestors got taller around a million years before body mass caught up.

Excavation in Northern Iraq: Sasanian loom discovered

Mon, 06 Nov 17 00:04:10 -0800

A team of Frankfurt-based archaeologists has returned from the Iraqi-Kurdish province of Sulaymaniyah with new findings. The discovery of a loom from the 5th to 6th century AD in particular caused a stir.

New research on the Caribbean's largest concentration of indigenous pre-Columbian rock art

Sun, 29 Oct 17 00:08:20 -0700

New research reveals key discoveries including first direct rock art dates in the Caribbean, how pre-Columbian rock-art was made and paint recipes.

Does population size affect rates of violence?

Thu, 26 Oct 17 00:12:30 -0700

A new article in Current Anthropology argues small-scale societies are likely to be victims, rather than perpetrators, of violence

'Selfish brain' wins out when competing with muscle power, study finds

Fri, 20 Oct 17 00:08:20 -0700

New research on our internal trade-off when physical and mental performance are put in direct competition has found that cognition takes less of a hit, suggesting more energy is diverted to the brain than body muscle. Researchers say the findings support the 'selfish brain' theory of human evolution.

Research sheds new light on early turquoise mining in Southwest

Wed, 18 Oct 17 00:14:30 -0700

Researchers are blending archaeology and geochemistry to get a more complete picture of turquoise's mining and distribution in the pre-Hispanic Southwest.

Bones reveal social differences between the people buried in dolmens and those in caves

Tue, 03 Oct 17 00:03:00 -0700

A study by the UPV/EHU's Department of Genetics, Physical Anthropology and Animal Physiology and the School of Archaeology of the University of Oxford has measured stable carbon and nitrogen isotopes of the bones of individuals buried in dolmens and caves; the aim is to establish their diet and thus obtain information on their social structure and type of society in the Rioja Alavesa area during the late Neolithic and early Chalcolithic.

Meet the hominin species that gave us genital herpes

Sun, 01 Oct 17 00:10:00 -0700

New research uses innovative data modeling to predict which species acted as an intermediary between our ancestors and those of chimpanzees to carry HSV2 -- the genital herpes virus -- across the species barrier.

Scandinavia's earliest farmers exchanged terminology with Indo-Europeans

Fri, 29 Sep 17 00:03:50 -0700

5,000 years ago, the Yamnaya culture migrated into Europe from the Caspian steppe. In addition to innovations such as the wagon and dairy production, they brought a new language -- Indo-European -- that replaced most local languages the following millennia. But local cultures also influenced the new language, particularly in southern Scandinavia, where Neolithic farmers made lasting contributions to Indo-European vocabulary before their own language went extinct, new research shows.

Stone Age child reveals that modern humans emerged more than 300,000 years ago

Thu, 28 Sep 17 00:10:40 -0700

How old is our species? The complete genomes of three Stone Age individuals from the KwaZulu-Natal coast, helped to shed light on the age of our species. Their DNA shows that genetically modern humans emerged much earlier than previously thought, and probably in more than one African region.

How aerial thermal imagery is revolutionizing archaeology

Sun, 24 Sep 17 00:08:30 -0700

A Dartmouth-led study has demonstrated how the latest aerial thermal imagery is transforming archaeology due to advancements in technology. Today's thermal cameras, commercial drones and photogrammetric software has introduced a new realm of possibilities for collecting site data-- field survey data across a much larger area can now be obtained in much less time. The findings in Advances in Archaeological Practice serve as a manual on how to use aerial thermography.

Huge genetic diversity among Papuan New Guinean peoples revealed

Thu, 14 Sep 17 00:15:10 -0700

The first large-scale genetic study of people in Papua New Guinea has shown that different groups within the country are genetically highly different from each other. Scientists at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and their colleagues reveal that the people there have remained genetically independent from Europe and Asia for most of the last 50,000 years, and that people from the country's isolated highlands region have been completely independent even until the present day.

An officer and a gentlewoman from the Viking army in Birka

Fri, 08 Sep 17 00:11:20 -0700

War was not an activity exclusive to males in the Viking world. A new study conducted by researchers at Stockholm and Uppsala universities shows that women could be found in the higher ranks at the battlefield.

Mobile women were key to cultural exchange in Stone Age and Bronze Age Europe

Mon, 04 Sep 17 00:11:30 -0700

At the end of the Stone Age and in the early Bronze Age, families were established in a surprising manner in the Lechtal, south of Augsburg, Germany. The majority of women probably came from Bohemia or Central Germany, while men usually remained in the region of their birth. This so-called patrilocal pattern combined with individual female mobility persisted over a period of 800 years during the transition from the Neolithic to the Early Bronze Age.

Research on the meaning of ancient geometric earthworks in southwestern Amazonia

Wed, 30 Aug 17 00:04:10 -0700

Researchers examine pre-colonial geometric earthworks in the southwestern Amazonia from the point of view of indigenous peoples and archaeology. The study shows that the earthworks were once important ritual communication spaces.

'Lost city' used 500 years of soil erosion to benefit crop farming

Mon, 21 Aug 17 00:16:00 -0700

Researchers at the University of York working on a 700-year-old abandoned agricultural site in Tanzania have shown that soil erosion benefited farming practices for some 500 years.

Citrus: From luxury item to cash crop

Fri, 18 Aug 17 00:01:00 -0700

New research from Tel Aviv University reveals that citrons and lemons were status symbols for the ancient Roman ruling elite. It also plots the route and evolution of the citrus trade in the ancient Mediterranean.

Archaeologists uncover ancient trading network in Vietnam

Thu, 17 Aug 17 00:03:20 -0700

A team of archaeologists from The Australian National University has uncovered a vast trading network which operated in Vietnam from around 4,500 years ago up until around 3,000 years ago.

Mystery of 8,500-year-old copper-making event revealed through materials science

Tue, 15 Aug 17 00:13:20 -0700

Stone Age metallurgical 'slag' from Turkey -- once thought to be the earliest known example of copper smelting in western Eurasia -- now re-identified as incidentally fired green copper pigment.

Chaco Canyon petroglyph may represent ancient total eclipse says CU professor

Wed, 09 Aug 17 00:03:10 -0700

As the hullabaloo surrounding the Aug. 21 total eclipse of the sun swells by the day, a University of Colorado Boulder faculty member says a petroglyph in New Mexico's Chaco Canyon may represent a total eclipse that occurred there a thousand years ago.

Ancient pottery reveals insights on Iroquoian population's power in 16th century

Wed, 09 Aug 17 00:10:50 -0700

An innovative study published today in the journal Science Advances demonstrates how decorations on ancient pottery can be used to discover new evidence for how groups interacted across large regions.

Ancient DNA analysis reveals Minoan and Mycenaean origins

Wed, 02 Aug 17 00:11:40 -0700

DNA analysis of archaeological remains has revealed that Ancient Minoans and Mycenaens were genetically similar with both peoples descending from early Neolithic farmers. They likely migrated from Anatolia to Greece and Crete thousands of years before the Bronze Age. Modern Greeks are largely descendants of the Mycenaeans, the study found.The Minoan civilization flourished on Crete beginning in the third millennium B.C.E. and was advanced artistically and technologically. The Minoans were also the first literate people of Europe.