Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Latest Archaeology News


The art of the Roman surveyors emerges from newly discovered pavements in Pompeii

Jonathan KantrowitzatArchaeology News Report - 15 hours ago
Politecnico di milano [image: IMAGE] *IMAGE: *Plan of the house of Orion, Showing the disposition of the newly discovered images (1,2) and of the mosaics (3) view more Credit: L. Ferro, G Magli, M. Osanna The technical skills of the Roman agrimensores - the technicians in charge of the centuriations (division of the lands) and of other surveys such as planning towns and aqueducts - are simply legendary. For instance, extremely accurate projects of centuriations are still visible today in Italy and in other Mediterranean countries. Their work had also religious and symbolic connectio... more »

Facial deformity in royal dynasty was linked to inbreeding

Jonathan KantrowitzatArchaeology News Report - 1 day ago
[image: IMAGE] *IMAGE: *King Charles II of Spain was the last in the Habsburg line and one of the most afflicted with the facial deformity view more Credit: Don Juan Carreño de Miranda The "Habsburg jaw", a facial condition of the Habsburg dynasty of Spanish and Austrian kings and their wives, can be attributed to inbreeding, according to new results published in the *Annals of Human Biology*. The new study combined diagnosis of facial deformities using historical portraits with genetic analysis of the degree of relatedness to determine whether there was a direct link. The research... more »

Justinianic plague not a landmark pandemic?

Jonathan KantrowitzatArchaeology News Report - 1 day ago
National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center [image: IMAGE] *IMAGE: *A graphical abstract showing highlights of the research presented in the article: "The Justinanic Plague: An Inconsequential Pandemic? " view more Credit: Elizabeth Herzfeldt-Kamprath, SESYNC Researchers now have a clearer picture of the impact of the first plague pandemic, the Justinianic Plague, which lasted from about 541-750 CE. Led by researchers at the University of Maryland's National-Socio Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC), the international team of scholars found that the plague's effects may have b... more »

New archaeological information on the use of plants in prehistoric northern Europe

Jonathan KantrowitzatArchaeology News Report - 1 day ago
University of Helsinki [image: IMAGE] *IMAGE: *Charred remains of prehistoric gathered plants: a rose hip, a nutshell fragment, a raspberry seed, a yellow water lily seed and a bird cherry seed. The rose hip, dating back... view more Credit: Santeri Vanhanen In the study, the following questions were explored: Which plants did humans gather in prehistoric times? When did the first cultivated plants make their initial appearance, and where did they come from? How did farming develop after its adoption? To find answers to these questions, ancient plant remains, such as nutshells, seed... more »

Early DNA lineages from Finland shed light on the diverse origins of the contemporary population

Jonathan KantrowitzatArchaeology News Report - 2 weeks ago
[image: IMAGE] *IMAGE: *Medieval burial site of Kalmistomäki in Kylälahti, Hiitola in Russia. view more Credit: Stanislav Belskiy A new genetic study carried out at the University of Helsinki and the University of Turku demonstrates that, at the end of the Iron Age, Finland was inhabited by separate and differing populations, all of them influencing the gene pool of modern Finns. The study is so far the most extensive investigation of the ancient DNA of people inhabiting the region of Finland. In the study, genes were investigated from archaeological bone samples of more than one ... more »

Alpine rock axeheads became social and economic exchange fetishes in the Neolithic

Jonathan KantrowitzatArchaeology News Report - 2 weeks ago
Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona [image: IMAGE] *IMAGE: *Alpine rock axehead found at Harras, Thuringia, from the Michelsberg Culture (c. 4300-2800 ANE). view more Credit: Juraj Lipták, State Office for Heritage Management and Archaeology Saxony-Anhalt. Axeheads made out of Alpine rocks had strong social and economic symbolic meaning in the Neolithic, given their production and use value. Their resistance to friction and breakage, which permitted intense polishing and a re-elaboration of the rocks, gave these artefacts an elevated exchange value, key to the formation of long-distan... more »

World's oldest glue used from prehistoric times till the days of the Gauls

Jonathan KantrowitzatArchaeology News Report - 2 weeks ago
Birch bark tar, the oldest glue in the world, was in use for at least 50,000 years, from the Palaeolithic Period up until the time of the Gauls. Made by heating birch bark, it served as an adhesive for hafting tools and decorating objects. Scientists mistakenly thought it had been abandoned in western Europe at the end of the Iron Age (800-25 BC) and replaced by conifer resins, around which a full-fledged industry developed during the Roman period. But by studying artefacts that date back to the first six centuries AD through the lens of chemistry, archaeology, and textual analysis... more »

The medieval Catholic church's influence on psychology of Western, industrialized societies

Jonathan KantrowitzatArchaeology News Report - 3 weeks ago
The Western Catholic Church's influence on marriage and family structures during the Middle Ages shaped the cultural evolution of the beliefs and behaviors now common among Western Europeans and their cultural descendants, researchers report. The greater individualism, lower conformity and increased stranger trust behaviors commonly observed among these populations, long exposed to the church, are at least in part due to the Medieval Western Church's policies, the authors say. Their study highlights how cultural changes more than 500 years ago can evolve and seed significant and lo... more »

Ancient roman DNA reveals genetic crossroads of Europe and Mediterranean

Jonathan KantrowitzatArchaeology News Report - 3 weeks ago
All roads may lead to Rome, and in ancient times, a great many European genetic lineages did too, according to a new study. Its results, perhaps the most detailed analysis of changing genetic variation patterns in the region to date, reveal a dynamic population history from the Mesolithic (~10,000 BCE) into modern times, and spanning the rise and fall of the Roman Empire. At its height, the ancient Roman Empire sprawled across three continents, encompassing the entirety of the Mediterranean and the lives of tens of millions across Europe, the Near East and North Africa. The size of ... more »

Minoan treasures found on Libyan Sea island: Experts

Jonathan KantrowitzatArchaeology News Report - 4 weeks ago
A team excavating on the tiny island of Chrysi south of Crete for over a decade have unearthed a 3,800-year-old Bronze Age compound containing gold jewels, glass beads and the remains of bronze talents, the common unit of value of ancient Greece. © ΥΠΠΟΑ. *ATHENS* *(AFP)**.-* Archaeologists in Greece have located a "major treasure" of Minoan origin in a Bronze Age settlement on a small island in the Libyan Sea, the culture ministry said Friday. A team excavating on the tiny island of Chrysi south of Crete for over a decade have unearthed a 3,800-year-old Bronze Age compound contai... more

Unique sled dogs helped the inuit thrive in the North American Arctic

Jonathan KantrowitzatArchaeology News Report - 4 days ago
UC Davis anthropologists and geneticists traced dog's DNA back 2,000 years University of California - Davis [image: IMAGE] *IMAGE: *A team of Greenland sled dogs are descendants of the Inuit of North American Arctic. view more Credit: Article author Tatiana Tatiana Feuerborn Inuit sled dogs have changed little since people migrated to the North American Arctic across the Bering Strait from Siberia with them, according to researchers who have examined DNA from the dogs from that time span. The legacy of these Inuit dogs survives today in Arctic sled dogs, making them one of the last ... more »

Barbequed clams on the menu for ancient Puerto Ricans

Jonathan KantrowitzatArchaeology News Report - 4 days ago
Analysis of fossilized shells reveals cooking habits of Caribbean civilizations over 2500 years ago Cardiff University [image: IMAGE] *IMAGE: *Photographs of all shells analyzed in this study. view more Credit: Cardiff University Scientists have reconstructed the cooking techniques of the early inhabitants of Puerto Rico by analysing the remains of clams. Led by Philip Staudigel, who conducted the analysis as a graduate student at the University of Miami Rosenstiel School and is now a postdoctoral researcher at Cardiff University, the team has used new chemical analysis techniques ... more »

Only eat oysters in months with an 'r'? Rule of thumb is at least 4,000 years old

Jonathan KantrowitzatArchaeology News Report - 1 week ago
[image: IMAGE] *IMAGE: *The impressed odostome, Boonea impressa, is a tiny marine snail that parasitizes oysters by perching atop and piercing their shells and sucking their insides. Because the snails have a predictable... view more Credit: Kristen Grace/Florida Museum GAINESVILLE, Fla. --- Foodie tradition dictates only eating wild oysters in months with the letter "r" - from September to April - to avoid watery shellfish, or worse, a nasty bout of food poisoning. Now, a new study suggests people have been following this practice for at least 4,000 years. An analysis of a large sh... more »

Scientists use modern technology to understand how ochre paint was created in pictographs

Jonathan KantrowitzatArchaeology News Report - 2 weeks ago
Ochre, one of Earth's oldest naturally occurring materials, was often seen as a vivid red paint University of Missouri-Columbia [image: IMAGE] *IMAGE: *This is one of the pieces of rock art found at Babine Lake. It is representative of the rock art that was analyzed in the study. view more Credit: University of Missouri Ochre, one of Earth's oldest naturally occurring materials, was often used as a vivid red paint in ancient rock art known as pictographs across the world. Despite its broad use throughout human history and a modern focus on how the artistic symbolism is interpreted,... more »
Egypt and the Near East

Ancient Egyptians gathered birds from the wild for sacrifice and mummification

Jonathan KantrowitzatArchaeology News Report - 2 weeks ago
[image: IMAGE] *IMAGE: *Scene from the Books of the Dead (The Egyptian museum) showing the ibis-headed God Thoth recording the result of the final judgement. view more Credit: Wasef et al, 2019 In ancient Egypt, Sacred Ibises were collected from their natural habitats to be ritually sacrificed, according to a study released November 13, 2019 in the open-access journal *PLOS ONE* by Sally Wasef of Griffith University, Australia and colleagues. Egyptian catacombs are famously filled with the mummified bodies of Sacred Ibises. Between around 664BC and 250AD, it was common practice for... more »

Megadrought likely triggered the fall of the Assyrian Empire

Jonathan KantrowitzatArchaeology News Report - 2 weeks ago
Climate change influenced rise and fall of Northern Iraq's Neo-Assyrian Empire Changes in climate may have contributed to both the rise and collapse of the Neo-Assyrian Empire in northern Iraq, which was considered the most powerful empire of its time, according to a new study. The results suggest that multi-decade megadroughts aligned with the timing of the empire's collapse in 609 BCE, triggering declines in the region's agricultural productivity that led to political and economic demise within 60 years. Previous explanations for the empire's collapse have focused on political i... more »

Stanford scientists link Neanderthal extinction to human diseases

Jonathan KantrowitzatArchaeology News Report - 3 weeks ago
Stanford University -- School of Humanities and Sciences [image: IMAGE] *IMAGE: *This is an illustration of modern humans overcoming disease burden before Neanderthals. view more Credit: Vivian Chen Wong Growing up in Israel, Gili Greenbaum would give tours of local caves once inhabited by Neanderthals and wonder along with others why our distant cousins abruptly disappeared about 40,000 years ago. Now a scientist at Stanford, Greenbaum thinks he has an answer. In a new study published in the journal *Nature Communications*, Greenbaum and his colleagues propose that complex disease ... more »

The last Neanderthal necklace

Jonathan KantrowitzatArchaeology News Report - 4 weeks ago
[image: IMAGE] *IMAGE: *This is a falange of imperial eagle with marks of court from Cave Foradada view more Credit: Antonio Rodríguez-Hidalgo Eagle talons are regarded as the first elements used to make jewellery by Neanderthals, a practice which spread around Southern Europe about 120,000 and 40,000 years ago. Now, for the first time, researchers found evidence of the ornamental uses of eagle talons in the Iberian Peninsula. An article published in the cover of the journal *Science Advances* talks about the findings, which took place in the site of the cave Foradada in Calafell. ... more »

The genetic imprint of Palaeolithic has been detected in North African populations

Jonathan KantrowitzatArchaeology News Report - 3 weeks ago
[image: IMAGE] *IMAGE: *The origin and history of the population of North Africa are different from the rest of the continent and are more similar to the demographic history of regions outside Africa. view more Credit: Michael Gaida, Pixabay An international team of scientists has for the first time performed an analysis of the complete genome of the population of North Africa. They have identified a small genetic imprint of the inhabitants of the region in Palaeolithic times, thus ruling out the theory that recent migrations from other regions completely erased the genetic traces o... more »

The homeland of modern humans

Jonathan KantrowitzatArchaeology News Report - 5 weeks ago
A study has concluded that the earliest ancestors of anatomically modern humans (*Homo sapiens sapiens*) emerged in a southern African 'homeland' and thrived there for 70 thousand years. The breakthrough findings are published in the prestigious journal *Nature* today. The authors propose that changes in Africa's climate triggered the first human explorations, which initiated the development of humans' genetic, ethnic and cultural diversity. This study provides a window into the first 100 thousand years of modern humans' history. *DNA as a time capsule * "It has been clear for s... more »

Human migration out of Africa may have followed monsoons in the Middle East

Jonathan KantrowitzatArchaeology News Report - 1 week ago
Last year, scientists announced that a human jawbone and prehistoric tools found in 2002 in Misliya Cave, on the western edge of Israel, were between 177,000 and 194,000 years old. The finding suggested that modern humans, who originated in Africa, began migrating out of the continent at least 40,000 years earlier than scientists previously thought. But the story of how and when modern humans originated and spread throughout the world is still in draft form. That's because science hasn't settled how many times modern humans left Africa, or just how many routes they may have taken... more »

Study reveals that humans migrated from Europe to the Levant 40,000 years ago

Jonathan KantrowitzatArchaeology News Report - 4 weeks ago
[image: IMAGE] *IMAGE: *A view of Manot cave and a close up of the area where some of the teeth were found. view more Credit: Prof. Israel Hershkovitz/American Friends of Tel Aviv University. Who exactly were the Aurignacians, who lived in the Levant 40,000 years ago? Researchers from Tel Aviv University, the Israel Antiquities Authority, and Ben-Gurion University now report that these culturally sophisticated yet mysterious humans migrated from Europe to the Levant some 40,000 years ago, shedding light on a significant era in the region's history. The Aurignacian culture first appe... more »

1,400 year-old hammer and nails discovered at Usha show Byzantine inhabitants practiced metallurgy.

Jonathan KantrowitzatArchaeology News Report - 4 weeks ago
This past Sukkot, about 8,500 people participated in archaeological excavations and activities hosted by the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA). One family, from Tur’an in the Lower Galilee, made a rare and informative discovery while volunteering at the IAA’s excavation of ancient Usha. The family discovered an iron hammer-head and nails dating to the Byzantine period, about 1,400 years ago. According to *Yair Amitzur *and* Eyad Bisharat*, directors of the excavation on behalf of the IAA, “About 20 iron hammers are registered in the Israel Antiquities Authority records, only six o... more » »

Ground penetrating radar reveals why ancient Cambodian capital was moved to Angkor

Jonathan KantrowitzatArchaeology News Report - 4 weeks ago
[image: IMAGE] *IMAGE: *Regional map of Koh Ker showing the location of the chute and key archaeological features. The detailed map area (top right) is shown as a white dashed box on the... view more Credit: Dr Ian Moffat, Flinders University The largest water management feature in Khmer history was built in the 10th century as part of a short-lived ancient capital in northern Cambodia to store water but the system failed in its first year of operation, possibly leading to the return of the capital to Angkor. An international team of researchers led by Dr Ian Moffat from Flinders ... more »

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