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History & Archaeology

We bring you all the latest historical news and archaeological discoveries relating to ancient human history. Read more history news from around the world here at Ancient Origins.

Left; Kin Klizhin is an ‘ancestral’ community consisting of a great house with tower kiva. Right; Strombus galeatus conch shell from the Sea of Cortez. Source: Van Dyke/Antiquity Publications Ltd

Ancient Chacoan Settlements Used Conch-Shell Trumpets to Keep in Touch

A team of archaeologists from universities in New York and Arizona have just published a fascinating new study that reports on the impressive auditory range of conch-shell trumpets used by Native...
Detail, the face of the Lady of Elche. Source: Public Domain

The Enigma Surrounding the Stunning Lady Of Elche

In 1897, archaeologists uncovered a stunning artifact on a private estate at L'Alcúdia in Valencia, Spain. This find was a statue – a polychrome bust of a woman’s head. Believed to date back to the...
Left, Preparation of a geophysical survey during the field campaign in March 2024. Right; Geophysical survey of the previously unknown site of Jarkovac (Serbia).	Source:  Left; © Sebastian Schultrich/Cluster ROOTS Right; © Cluster ROOTS/Museum of Vojvodina Novi Sad/National Museum Zrenjanin/National Museum Pančevo

Cluster of Neolithic Settlements Discovered in Serbia

A field campaign has provided a ‘discovery of outstanding importance’ in Serbia, incorporating discoveries regarding various cultures of the Late Neolithic including Vinča culture, Banat culture, and...
A limestone panel depicting two Maya Mesoamerican ballgame players. Usumacinta River area, Guatemala.  Source: Ada Turnbull Hertle Fund; Art Institute Chicago/CC BY 3.0

Hallucinogens Found In Ancient Yucatán Ball Courts Betray Maya Offerings

New research has shed light on the rituals surrounding the construction of a ballcourt in the ancient Maya city of Yaxnohcah. A collecting of botanicals, subjected to environmental DNA analysis, has...
A strong relationship between human and animal: a cow with a modified ‘neck’ pendant and horns. 	Source: Julien Cooper/The Conversation

Rock Art Discoveries in Eastern Sudan Tell a Tale of the Once ‘Green Sahara’

By Julien Cooper /The Conversation The hyper-arid desert of Eastern Sudan, the Atbai Desert, seems like an unlikely place to find evidence of ancient cattle herders. But in this dry environment, my...
Initial stage dry stone structure of Roman ruins found at Chamboret, France.	Source: Inrap

Roman Ruins and Evidence of Neolithic Settlement Unearthed from France

Archaeologists in France have recently uncovered a fascinating site offering a glimpse into multiple layers of history. Nestled near the village of Chamborêt, approximately 12 miles (19.3 km) north...
The tightly packed amphorae of the Ses Fontanelles Roman shipwreck. Source: Sebastià Munar Llabrés, Jaume Cardell, Carlos de Juan, Miguel Ángel Cau, Darío Bernal-Casasola, Llorenç Picornell & Enrique García Riaza / Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences.

Roman Shipwreck Reveals Entirely New Type of Amphora

Archaeologists excavating the hold of a Roman cargo ship off the coast of Mallorca have turned up something new. An entirely unknown type of amphora has been found inside the wreck, which is believed...
A new study believes that uranium may be behind the curse of the pharaohs. Source: Shutter2U / Adobe Stock

There WAS a Curse! Was Deadly Radiation Behind the Curse of the Pharaohs?

When Howard Carter broke into the tomb of King Tutankhamun in 1922, the treasures he found in the sealed chambers were not the only thing on his mind. He also feared a curse, the legendary curse of...
Prehistoric Irish monuments of Late Bronze Age stone circle at Boleycarrigeen, with Keadeen cursus near the summit of the mountain in the background        Source: J. O’Driscoll/Antiquity

Prehistoric Irish Monuments Revealed As ‘Pathways for the Dead’

Archaeologists using advanced LiDAR technology have unearthed a significant discovery at Baltinglass in County Wicklow, Ireland, known as the "Hillfort Capital" of the region. This cutting-edge...
Burial with a horse at the Rákóczifalva site, Hungary (8th century AD). This male individual of the culture of the Avars, belongs to the 2nd generation of pedigree 4, and was one of the sons of the founder of this kinship unit. Source: Institute of Archaeological Sciences, Eötvös Loránd University Múzeum, Budapest, Hungary/Nature

DNA Study Reveals Cultural Truths About Avar Warriors

Based on the analysis of several hundred skeletons, a new genetic study revealed fascinating new information about how the society of the Avars was organized. These formerly nomadic migrants...
The unique sword found in Valencia in 1994 dates back 1,000 years.	Source: SERVICI D’ARQUEOLOGIA DE L’AJUNTAMENT DE VALÈNCIA SIAM

Unique ‘Excalibur’ Sword Unearthed in Spain Holds Islamic Origins

Researchers have finally unveiled the age-old mysteries surrounding a historic Islamic sword dubbed “Excalibur”, due to its position when found evoking parallels to the legendary sword of King Arthur...
Left; Bust of Greek Philosopher Plato. Right; the carbonized Herculaneum papyri being studied.	Source: Left; CC BY-SA 4.0, Right; Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche

Plato’s Final Resting Place in Athens Revealed!

The revolutionary scanning and study of the Herculaneum papyri has revealed remarkable new details about the philosopher Plato, including the precise location of his burial. This significant...
As part of the groundbreaking $40 million Mansion Revitalization Project funded by private donors, archaeologists unearth two intact, sealed 18th-century glass bottles at George Washington's Mount Vernon estate. Source: Mount Vernon Ladies' Association

George Washington’s Refurbished Manor Has Sealed Bottles from 18th Century

As part of the $40 million Mansion Revitalization Project, archaeologists have unearthed two sealed, 18th-century European glass bottles at George Washington’s Mount Vernon mansion. Analysis has...
A handful of the medieval coin hoard found in Visingsö, Sweden	Source: Jönköping County Museum

Sensational Silver Discovery on Visingsö Alters Medieval Coin History

In an extraordinary archaeological find, at a medieval graveyard at Brahekyrkan on Visingsö island, Sweden, has yielded around 170 silver coins dating back to the mid-12th century, casting new light...
A Chinese prisoner who has tried to escape is lying on the ground while a man wearing a red jacket is cutting his ankles with a sword. Colored stipple print by J. Dadley, 1801.Source: Wellcome Collection/ Public Domain

Amputation Found to be Elite Punishment in 550 BC

A team of researchers recently completed a study into the origins of two ancient skeletons from China that were both missing parts of their lower leg at the time they were buried. Based on extensive...
The authors at the stern of the wreck where the standing bottom logs and stern are seen sticking up from the seabed, seen from the starboard side. Source: Florian Huber/Stockholm University.

Medieval Weapons Chest Amongst Spoils in Sunken Warship

New insights into warship combat platforms and a unique late medieval weapon chest have been discovered in studies of the Danish flagship Gribshunden/Gripen which sank in the Blekinge archipelago in...
Image and name of Cerdic, from the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. Source: Paul Harper

King Cerdic of Wessex’s Burial Site Claimed to be Found!

More than a millennium after its mention in an ancient royal charter, the possible final resting place of Wessex founder Cerdic has come to light. An enigmatic figure from the same era as the...
The 4,200-year-old grave with the large stone designed to stop the “zombie” within rising once again. Source: LDA Saxony-Anhalt, Anja Lochner-Rechta / Miami Herald.

Bronze Age German Grave was Built to Hold a “Zombie”

There’s always something new in archaeology, it would seem. In an unexpected development, archaeologists performing excavations in eastern Germany excavated a 4,200-year-old grave containing the...
Stonehenge may map the changing seasons through following the Sun, but does it align with the Moon as well? Source: Magann / Adobe Stock.

Stonehenge May be Aligned with the Moon

A team of experts and organizations, including the Royal Astronomical Society, think they have found something unexpected. After careful research they have announced the possibility that Stonehenge's...
The colonnaded Roman road was found near Hıdırlık Tower, and extends to Hadrian’s Gate, another Roman-era landmark in the city. Source: Antalya Metropolitan Municipality / Anatolian Archaeology.

2nd Century Colonnaded Roman Road Unearthed in Turkey

During recent excavations along Turkey’s southwestern Mediterranean coastline in the city of Antalya, archaeologists have found something big. A partial section of a colonnaded road has been...
The Carved area of the Bone was completed deliberately by a Neanderthal, not as a byproduct of butchery or other practical applications. Source: Journal of Archaeological Science.

Carved Bone in Poland shows us how Neanderthals were Thinking

Nobody thought much of the bone fragment when it was discovered in the Dziadowa Skała Cave in southern Poland in the 1950s. It would take the better part of a century, and a brilliant new study, for...
Malta’s hypogeum Hal saflieni. Source: damian Entwistle/CC BY-NC 2.0 DEED

The Incredible Sound Effects of Malta’s Hypogeum Hal Saflieni

The Hypogeum of Hal Saflieni in Malta is a UNESCO World Heritage Site which is believed to be the oldest prehistoric underground temple in the world. The subterranean structure is shrouded in mystery...
Left; The excavation site at Somma Vesuviana. Credit: Right; Augustus Caesar of Prima Porta statue. 	Source: Left; University of Tokyo Foundation.  Right; Vatican Museums/CC BY-SA 4.0

Villa Where Augustus Died May Have Been Excavated Near Mount Vesuvius

Archaeologists from the University of Tokyo has excavated what may be the remains of the Villa of Augustus, a first-century grand estate that was built near Somma Vesuviana, a town located in the...
A cast of the skull of Homo heidelbergensis, one of the hominin species analyzed in the latest study. Source: The Duckworth Laboratory/ University of Cambridge

A Unique Twist Found In Path of Human Evolution

University of Cambridge Competition between species played a major role in the rise and fall of hominins -- and produced a "bizarre" evolutionary pattern for the Homo lineage -- according to a new...

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