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Ancient Origins Tour IRAQ

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Iberian Peninsula

The tonsure of King Wamba, by Joan Brull Vinyoles circa 1894. Source: Public domain

King Wamba Lost the Throne When He Unwittingly Underwent a Tonsure

Within ancient history, tales of kings and rulers often contain unexpected twists and turns. Enter Wamba, the 7th century King of the Visigoths, whose reign is shrouded in a peculiar legend regarding...
The Roman sandal in situ, discovered in Lugo de Llanera, Asturias.      Source: Esperanza Martin/Astures

Unique 2,000-Year-Old Sandal Found In A Roman Well In Spain

A collection of artifacts, including a unique Roman sandal thought to have been lost by a well-cleaner 2,000-years-ago, has been uncovered at an ancient Roman settlement called Lucus Asturum in...
Archaeologists have unearthed an adorned stela at Las Capellanías complex in Cañaveral de León, Spain.       Source: University of Durham

Newly Discovered 3,000-Year-Old Stela in Spain Upends Gender Stereotypes

Archaeologists performing excavations at the 3,000-year-old Las Capellanías funerary complex in southwestern Spain have uncovered a decorated stela (standing stone slab) that features a unique and...
Reconstruction of a hunter-gatherer associated with the Gravettian culture (32,000-24,000 years ago), inspired by the archaeological findings at the Arene Candide site (Italy). Source: Tom Bjoerklund/Nature

Ancient DNA Reveals Contrasting Fates of Hunter-Gatherer Groups in Europe

Ancient DNA gathered from the bones and teeth of hunter-gatherers who lived as the Last Glacial Maximum was waning, around 19,000-25,000 years ago, has revealed exciting new information about our...
Composite image depicting the similitude between a replica of the Valencian slate owl plaque with inserted feathers (on the left) and the long-eared owl species which may have inspired numerous engraved owl plaques (on the right). Source: Juan J. Negro / CC BY 4.0

Enigmatic Copper Age Owl Plaques Were Made by Children, Study Claims

Decades of excavations in ancient burial pits in the Iberian Peninsula (modern-day Spain and Portugal) have unearthed more than 4,000 palm-sized slate owl plaques engraved with geometric images of...
Neanderthal Diet Was Carnivorous, Shows Study of Tooth Enamel

Neanderthal Diet Was Carnivorous, Shows Study of Tooth Enamel

A team of scientists from the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS), in collaboration with colleagues from several scientific institutions in Germany, have just published a new study...
The Araña Caves are best known for their rock painting of honey hunting. Source: Right: Turismo Comunidad Valenciana / Left: GNU Public Licence

The Araña Caves of Valencia: Entering a Bygone Era Through Rock Art

In 1920, a teacher named Jaime Poch heard of some cave paintings near Bicorp in the Caroig mountain range in Valencia, Spain. Now, over a hundred years later, the site known as the Araña Caves is a...
Spain’s Sagunto Castle: From Iberian Arse To Roman Sagunto and Beyond!

Spain’s Sagunto Castle: From Iberian Arse To Roman Sagunto and Beyond!

Sagunto Castle is located not far from the city of Valencia, on the east coast of Spain. The parts of Sagunto Castle that are most visible, i.e., its defensive walls, date largely to the Islamic...
A Miraculous Recovery for the Nearly-Looted Amarguilla Treasure

A Miraculous Recovery for the Nearly-Looted Amarguilla Treasure

The Archaeological and Ethnological Museum of Córdoba has opened an entrancing new exhibit that is turning heads. For the first time ever, members of the public and press are getting a close-up look...
Remote Sensing Technology Uncovers 66 “Hidden” Roman Bases In Spain

Remote Sensing Technology Uncovers 66 “Hidden” Roman Bases In Spain

Utilizing advanced aerial imaging and state-of-the-art remote sensing techniques, a team of historical and archaeological researchers have been able to chart the location of 66 previously...
The ‘Last Neanderthal Necklace’ Has Been Found In Spain

The ‘Last Neanderthal Necklace’ Has Been Found In Spain

Eagle talons are regarded as the first materials used to make jewelry by Neanderthals , a practice which spread around Southern Europe about 120,000 and 40,000 years ago. Now, for the first time,...
Lady of Baza, famous Iberian sculpture from a style that was developed by the Iberians of the Bronze age. Source: Juan Aunión / Adobe Stock.

The Restless Peninsula: The Proud and Colorful History of Iberia

Over the ages, the Iberian Peninsula was a melting pot of diverse cultures and civilizations, a piece of Europe that saw numerous migrations and many nations that rose and fell on its soil. Being the...
Archaeologists excavate the Red Lady’s burial site in 2010

Archaeologists unravel secrets of 18,700-year-old burial of the Red Lady of el Miron

The woman whose remains were tinted with red ochre and buried with flowers about 18,700 years ago in a cave in northern Spain may have had what modern people would consider a hard life. But on the...
Virtual reconstruction of the Aroeira 3 cranium in frontal (A), posterior (B), superior (C), and endocranial (D) views. The frontal sinus in D is exposed in a parasagittal section located 4 mm to the right of the sagittal plane.

At Nearly Half a Million-Years-Old, the Fossil of a Human Cranium Discovered in Portugal is a Shock Find

Archaeologists unearthed a 400,000-year-old skull of a mysterious human ancestor with Neanderthal traits in Portugal. It is considered to be the oldest fossil of a human ancestor discovered in the...
The Roman silver coins that were recently discovered in Ampurias, Spain and the amphora in which they were held.

Archaeology Student Discovers Amphora Full of 200 Silver Roman Coins

The archaeological site of Empúries (Ampurias), located in the province of Girona, Catalonia, Spain, is a unique site in the Iberian Peninsula which contains both the ruins of a Greek city -the...
Reconstruction of the original appearance of the megalithic mound of Alto de Reinoso.

A Community Burial Advances Understanding of Life in Neolithic Spain

A Neolithic Spanish burial site which contains the remains of a closely-related local community from 6,000 years ago had been discovered in Burgos, northern Spain. During their excavations,...
Left:  tooth which has had its genome sequenced, discovered in a Spanish cave. It belonged to a Neolithic farmer from 7400 years ago. Right: Cardium Pottery typical of the culture to which the Neolithic farmer is believed to have belonged.

4,700-Year-Old Tooth Provides Insight on the First Farmers of the Iberian Peninsula

Eight thousand years ago, the first farmer groups from the Middle East crossed the area currently known as Turkey and entered into Europe before branching out to follow two different routes: one...
Prehistoric man and woman carrying weapons.

Debate continues over whether Stone Age people were peaceful or warlike

There is a debate among archaeologists, anthropologists and psychologists about whether prehistoric people were violent and warlike or whether there was widespread peace in prehistory. A new...
Model of a Neolithic flint mine

Miners in Iberia 5,300 years ago had high social status and rich burials

Stone Age Iberian miners of both sexes 5,300 to 4,300 years ago are believed to have had important status in their community near what is now Barcelona, Spain, as some of their dead were entombed in...