Archaeology news. Articles on ancient Egypt, ancient Rome, ancient Greece and other civilizations.
Updated: 2 weeks 12 hours ago
A new study describes an ancient hedgehog and tapir that lived in what is now Driftwood Canyon Provincial Park, British Columbia, approximately 52 million years ago. The ancient hedgehog is a species hitherto unknown to science.
Scientists have identified the fossilized remains of an extinct giant bird that could be the biggest flying bird ever found. With an estimated 20- to 24-foot wingspan, the creature surpassed the previous record holder -- an extinct bird named Argentavis magnificens -- and was twice as big as the royal albatross, the largest flying bird today. Computer simulations show that the bird's long slender wings helped it stay aloft despite its enormous size.
Re-examination of a circa 100,000-year-old archaic early human skull found 35 years ago in Northern China has revealed the surprising presence of an inner-ear formation long thought to occur only in Neandertals.
A trio of paleontologists has discovered a remarkable new tracksite in Alaska's Denali National Park filled with duck-billed dinosaur footprints -- technically referred to as hadrosaurs -- that demonstrates they not only lived in multi-generational herds but thrived in the ancient high-latitude, polar ecosystem. The article provides new insight into the herd structure and paleobiology of northern polar dinosaurs in an arctic greenhouse world.
Scientists have completed the most accurate and precise reconstruction to date of historic volcanic sulfate emissions in the Southern Hemisphere. The new record is derived from a large number of individual ice cores collected at locations across Antarctica and is the first annually resolved record extending through the Common Era.
A unique archaeological find uncovered near the site of a Roman villa in Dorset could help to shed light on the rural elite of late-Roman Britain. The skeletal remains are thought to be unique as they are buried near the site of a Roman villa, making it likely that the five skeletons belonged to the owners and occupants of the villa -- the first time in Britain that the graves of villa owners have been found in such close proximity to the villa itself.
Many traits unique to humans were long thought to have originated in the genus Homo between 2.4 and 1.8 million years ago in Africa. Although scientists have recognized these characteristics for decades, they are reconsidering the true evolutionary factors that drove them.
A new study updates the number of human genes to 19,000; 1,700 fewer than the genes in the most recent annotation, and well below the initial estimations of 100,000 genes. The work concludes that almost all of these genes have ancestors prior to the appearance of primates 50 million years ago.
Paleontologists are currently studying a new specimen of Archaeopteryx, which reveals previously unknown features of the plumage. The initial findings shed light on the original function of feathers and their recruitment for flight.
Genetic analysis of Neolithic deer hair from Italian Alps mummy's clothes ties deer population to modern day western European lineage, in contrast to the eastern lineage found in the Italian alps today.
Several thousand years ago, the common ancestors of Han Chinese and Tibetans moved onto the Tibetan plateau, a low-oxygen environment that probably proved fatal to many because of early heart disease and high infant mortality. But a specific variant of a gene for hemoglobin regulation, picked up from earlier interbreeding with a mysterious human-like species, Denisovans, gradually spread through the Tibetan population, allowing them to live longer and healthier and avoid cardiovascular problems.
Ancient Japanese gold leaf artists were truly masters of their craft. An analysis of six ancient Namban paper screens show that these artifacts are gilded with gold leaf that was hand-beaten to the nanometer scale. Researchers believe that the X-ray fluorescence technique they used in the analysis could also be used to date other artworks without causing any damage to them.
Figuring out how to survive on a lean-season diet of hard-to-reach ants, slugs and other bugs may have spurred the development of bigger brains and higher-level cognitive functions in the ancestors of humans and other primates, suggests new research.
Sharks were a tolerant bunch some 50 million years ago, cruising an Arctic Ocean that contained about the same percentage of freshwater as Louisiana's Lake Ponchatrain does today, says a new study. The study indicates the Eocene Arctic sand tiger shark, a member of the lamniform group of sharks that includes today's great white, thresher and mako sharks, was thriving in the brackish water of the western Arctic Ocean back then. In contrast, modern sand tiger sharks living today in the Atlantic Ocean are very intolerant of low salinity, requiring three times the saltiness of the Eocene sharks in order to survive.
Researchers have sketched out one of the greatest baby booms in North American history, a centuries-long 'growth blip' among southwestern Native Americans between 500 to 1300 A.D. It was a time when the early features of civilization -- including farming and food storage -- had matured to where birth rates likely 'exceeded the highest in the world today,' the researchers write. A crash followed, offering a warning sign to the modern world about the dangers of overpopulation.
The popular idea that northern Europeans developed light skin to absorb more UV light so they could make more vitamin D -- vital for healthy bones and immune function -- is questioned by researchers in a new study. Ramping up the skin’s capacity to capture UV light to make vitamin D is indeed important, however, researchers concluded in their study that changes in the skin’s function as a barrier to the elements made a greater contribution than alterations in skin pigment in the ability of northern Europeans to make vitamin D.
In their quest to understand what kind of hunter the extinct marsupial Thylacine was, two paleobiologists built a dataset of forelimb bone measurements that predict the predation style of a wide variety of carnivorous mammals.
Ice fronts from the early 19th century were far more advanced around the Arctic than they are today, researchers analysing whalers’ log books from this time have discovered.
It is a remarkable survivor of an ancient aquatic world -- now a new study sheds light on how one of Earth's oldest reefs was formed. Researchers have discovered that one of these reefs -- now located on dry land in Namibia -- was built almost 550 million years ago, by the first animals to have hard shells.
Researchers have found that the deep ocean currents that move heat around the globe stalled or even stopped about 950,000 years ago, possibly due to expanding ice cover in the north. The slowing currents increased carbon dioxide storage in the ocean, leaving less in the atmosphere, which kept temperatures cold and kicked the climate system into a new phase of colder but less frequent ice ages, they hypothesize.