Author: Carly Hilts

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Grave discovery: first intact Neolithic burial chamber north of the Alps

Excavations in Switzerland have revealed the first intact Neolithic burial chamber north of the Alps. The dolmen, at Oberbipp in the Canton of Bern, contains the remains of at least 28 individuals dating to about 5,000 years ago. Marianne Ramstein, director of excavations, explained that examples of such burial chambers are rare, most are in […]

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Salmon cooking in the Jomon

Analysis of some of the world’s earliest pots has revealed that Ice Age hunter-gatherers enjoyed a fish supper. An international team of researchers, led by the University of York, examined charred food residues inside 101 pots made by the Jomon hunter-gatherer culture of Japan. Dating back up to 15,000 years, they represent the earliest direct […]

Oetzi the Iceman had bad teeth

New research on the remains of ‘Oetzi’, the world’s oldest wet mummy, has revealed that his violent death was not the only misfortune suffered by the Iceman – he also had terrible teeth. According to a study led by researchers from the University of Zurich’s Centre for Evolutionary Medicine, Oetzi’s gritty diet had wreaked havoc […]

1950s time capsule found at Cold War reactor

Environmental workers have made an unexpected discovery while preparing a building on the site of Hanford’s Cold War-era nuclear reactor in Washington for demolition: a time capsule from the 1950s. In a building close to the site’s D reactor – a relic of the Manhattan Project, involved in the development of the Atomic bomb – the team […]

human figure, Xagħra Circle (Gozo), Temple Period, 3600–2500 bce

Temple and Tomb: prehistoric Malta, 3600-2500 BC

First settled in the late 6th millennium BC, between 3600-2500 BC the Maltese archipelago flourished into an astonishingly rich prehistoric culture, producing a wealth of stylised human figures unparalleled by contemporary peoples, as well as the oldest surviving free-standing stone buildings in the world. Constructed from massive slabs of limestone some 4m high, weighing up […]

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Toeing the line: the world’s oldest prosthetics?

Given the importance that the Ancient Egyptians placed on entering the afterlife intact, it is unsurprising that replacement body parts have been found in tombs. Whether these were used in life, or had a purely cosmetic purpose, has long been the subject of debate, however. Now an experimental archaeology project at the University of Manchester’s […]

Clara Amit, courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority

Israel’s church-shaped lantern: shedding light on the past

Archaeological work ahead of the construction of an events garden at Hamei Yoav, Israel, has uncovered an unusual church-shaped lantern, as well as a 1,500-year-old wine press. The rare artefact, comprising a ceramic model of a church decorated with cross-shaped ‘windows’ and a sloping roof, was found by the Israel Antiquities Authority during the investigation of […]

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Book Review: How to be a Viking: The Norse warrior’s unofficial manual

How to be a Viking: The Norse warrior’s unofficial manual John Haywood Thames & Hudson, £12.95 ISBN 978-0500251942 If you’ve ever wondered how to choose the right sword, or how best to organise your army into an effective swine-wedge (who hasn’t?), this book is the one for you. From what to expect on sea voyages […]

Sophie Hay_Italy_Otricoli_Mausoleum in a storm_taken Nov 2012

CWA Photo of the Year Competition – results

CWA readers clearly are a talented bunch: we were overwhelmed by huge number and high quality of the entries for our first CWA photographic competition and giving our judge Adam Stanford, of Aerial-Cam, a truly difficult task in picking a winner. From Classical temples to remote Maya ruins, arty shots to scientific documentation, artefacts to […]

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CWA 58

Archaeologists in Estonia have discovered the most extraordinary site: a mass grave comprising two Viking ship burials. They date to about AD 750, and bear witness to bloody battle on the shores of the Estonian island Saaremaa. A weary gang of warriors laid out their dead aboard one of the ships and covered them with […]

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Finding Richard III

At a Leicester press conference on 4 February, experts announced that the human remains found beneath a city centre carpark last August are ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ those of Richard III. Addressing over 100 journalists from all over the world, the panel reported that the skeleton was that of an adult male, aged in his late […]

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DNA detective work: identifying Richard III

Following questions about the validity of using a genetic sample from a modern day relative of Richard III to help identify his remains, Dr Turi King of the University of Leicester guides us through the process she used. I’m afraid I must start with a quick DNA primer! I promise to keep it short. Our DNA can […]

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