The World’s Longest Living Town Today, you will only get a view of Erbil Citadel ‘some four miles away’ from the window of a plane: there is a building boom going on in the modern city that surrounds the ancient settlement. Even so, the sight of the great citadel cannot fail to impress. It sits [...]
A 6,500-year-old tooth packed with beeswax represents the earliest dental filling, newly published research says. Found in part of a human jaw excavated in a Slovenian cave, the tooth is a left canine, thought to have belonged to a man aged between 24 and 30 years old. Research led by Federico Bernardini and Claudio Tuniz [...]
The dogs of archaeology Dogs have long been used in police work and truffle hunting, and their ability to find people buried beneath the snow of an avalanche has saved many a life, but now their acute sense of smell is being used by archaeologists in Australia to help them find ancient graves. A black [...]
During a recent visit to Mycenae – as a guest speaker with Swan Hellenic – my wife Polly and I were amused by the overheard conversation of another couple, clearly American tourists who, I hastily add, were not from our cruise. Rather overweight and clearly feeling the heat, the lady sat on a large rock [...]
Archaeologists in Guatemala believe they may have uncovered the tomb of the 7th-century warrior queen K’abel, one of the great female rulers of Classic Maya civilisation. The burial was discovered during excavations by a team from Washington University in St Louis investigating the Maya city of El Perú-Waka, about 75km (47 miles) from Tikal. Interred [...]
The collapse of Classic Maya civilisation was brought about by war and social unrest driven by climate change, newly published research suggests. An international team of scientists have analysed stalagmites in Yok Balum cave, Belize, to reconstruct a precisely dated record of rainfall in the Classic Maya region, dating back 2,000 years. This was compared [...]
A 37-year project to compile a dictionary of Demotic – the language of ordinary ancient Egyptians – has been completed, opening a window on everyday life 2,500 years ago. Taking its name from the Greek demos, or ‘common people’, Demotic was used between 500 BC-AD 500. Its flowing script was much faster and easier to [...]
Recycling is no modern concept: our ancestors were putting old tools to new uses 13,000 years ago, archaeologists in Spain have discovered. In the first study of its kind, published in the Journal of Archaeological Science, researchers examined the unusually high number of re-worked burnt tools found at Molí del Salt in Tarragona. Manuel Vaquero, [...]
Austrian archaeologists are reconsidering prehistoric gender roles after the discovery of what could be the earliest female metalworker. The burial of a mature woman, aged between 45 and 60, was uncovered along with 14 other early Bronze Age graves during excavations by the Austrian Museum of Ancient History at Geitzendorf, north-west of Vienna. She had [...]
A hundred years after its first Egyptian exhibition, Manchester Museum has reopened its Ancient Egypt and Archaeology collections to the public following a £1.57m revamp. Three new ‘Ancient Worlds’ galleries showcase the museum’s collections, ranging from prehistoric Egypt (c.10,000 BC) to the Byzantine era (c.AD 600), introducing the people and stories behind the ancient objects, [...]
High-resolution CT scans of an ancient Egyptian mummy have revealed that the young man suffered from terrible dental problems – and that he used a unique treatment to try to soothe his toothache. Aged in his 20s or early 30s, the man had a mouth full of cavities and abscesses that would have caused him [...]
Excavations at Abusir, south of Cairo, have identified the 4,500-year-old tomb of an ancient Egyptian princess called Sheretnebty. More than a mile from the burials of the rest of her dynasty, she had been laid to rest in a complex of rock-cut tombs, in a part of the site dedicated to the graves of non-royal [...]
Archaeologists will be able to determine the age of ancient objects much more precisely following a breakthrough in radiocarbon dating using sediments from Lake Suigetsu in Japan. Radiocarbon, or C-14, is a naturally occurring, radioactive isotope of carbon that is continuously produced in the upper atmosphere and becomes incorporated into all living organisms. Once the [...]
A piece of cloth woven from nettle fibres and found in a Danish Bronze Age burial mound is evidence of far-reaching trade connections 2,800 years ago, archaeologists say. Excavated on Funen, off the coast of Denmark, the cloth had been used to wrap the cremated remains of a man, which were then placed in a [...]
Excavations in southern Turkey have uncovered a huge Roman mosaic, suggesting that Imperial culture was more influential on the edge of the empire than previously thought. Decorated with large squares, each filled with a colourful geometric design, the mosaic was part of a baths, lying alongside a 25ft-long (7.5m) marble-lined pool, and is thought to [...]
Our ideas about what a Roman fort should look like are being overturned, or at least being severely challenged, by recent reconstructions at the Roman fort of the Saalburg in Germany, as Andrew Selkirk reveals.
In the first of a two-part series, Brian Fagan reveals tantalising highlights of the rich and complex history of ancient seafaring. He has combined his love of the sea with a deep-rooted curiosity about our species’ earliest endeavours in his new book Beyond the Blue Horizon. This is no history of caravels, galleys, and galleons, but an investigation into the humble beginnings of ocean voyaging. Why did these intrepid explorers venture out on to the wild unknown seas?
Within hours of stepping ashore, the 19th-century missionaries were dead, their bodies cut up and eaten by local chiefs. Undeterred – or perhaps inspired – more followed. They met a similar fate. James L Flexner ventured to this tiny, far-flung island to discover what remains of this turbulent time.
Pingyao is an archaeological site with a difference: 30,000 people still live in it.
Once the banking capital of China, it has been continuously occupied for more than
2,700 years, and today provides an astonishing picture of life in Imperial China. But, asks Tom St John Gray, are tourist dollars turning the city into a theme park of the past?
The Temple of Hera at Selinunte is testament to the grandeur of this great Classical settlement. But it is just one of many on this sanctuary site. Now, Clemente Marconi and his team have uncovered one of the finest examples of Greek cult architecture and, next to it, one of the earliest to be discovered so far West – dedicated, they believe, to Hera’s sister Demeter.