Author: Carly Hilts

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Ancient arteries and ‘modern’ diseases

Hardening of the arteries is commonly associated with modern lifestyle choices, but newly-published research indicates that it affected people across the ancient world. Full-body CT scans of 137 adult mummies from ancient Egypt, Peru, southwest America (Ancestral Puebloans of the Archaic and Basketmaker II cultures), and the Aleutian Islands in Alaska (Unangan people), revealed that […]

Egyptian Blue is used in the 'Pond in a garden' fresco found in the tomb of Nebamun in Thebes.

Worlds oldest artificial pigment put to modern use

Egyptian blue, the world’s oldest artificial pigment, could be put to a range of modern uses from medical imaging devices to remote controls for televisions, newly-published research says. First produced 5,000 years ago by the ancient Egyptians, who called it hsbd-iryt (‘artificial lapis lazuli’), the bright blue pigment was highly-prized in Antiquity, used to decorate tombs, sculptures, […]

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Archaeologists find a 1,600-year-old tumour containing teeth

Archaeologists examining the 1,600-year-old remains of a woman from Roman Spain have made a unique – if grisly – discovery: a calcified ovarian tumour containing four teeth and a piece of bone. Known as a ‘teratoma’,  the spherical mass measured 4.3cm (1.7in) in diameter and was found in the right-hand part of the woman’s pelvis by researchers […]

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The elaborate rock-hewn tombs of Petra, in Jordan, have inspired visitors, poets, and film-makers alike, ever since the Swiss explorer Johann Ludwig Burckhardt stumbled across the Khazneh (the Treasury) in 1812. But what lies behind the monumental rock-hewn façades in the ‘rose red city half as old as time’? In the first study of its […]

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Ramesses III: unwrapping an ancient murder

Ramesses III was murdered in a palace coup led by his wife and son, archaeologists announced today (17 December). A number of ancient Egyptian documents, including the Judicial Papyrus of Turin, record an attempt on the 20th Dynasty pharaoh’s life in 1155 BC, the final year of his reign, and that the chief conspirators were […]

Image: Robert Morgan

Edible Archaeology: The Sleeping Lady of Malta

Every year I make a cake for 3D Archaeological Society’s Christmas Dinner themed on a place we have visited during our long weekend away during the summer. Last year’s cake was of Skara Brae following our fabulous trip to Orkney and this year, after many requests from those that went to Malta with me on this years tour, I […]

The celebrated bust of Nefertiti. Image: Neuses Museum

100 years of Nefertiti

A major new exhibition to mark the 100th anniversary of the discovery of the world-famous bust of Nefertiti opens tomorrow (7 December) at the Neues Museum, Berlin. With some 400 objects on display, including never-before seen artefacts from the museum’s collections, as well as loans from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Louvre, and the […]

The Cyrus Cylinder

‘First declaration of human rights’ on tour

The Cyrus Cylinder is to tour five major American museums next year in its first visit to the USA, the British Museum has announced. Supported by the Iran Heritage Foundation, the cylinder will travel as part of an exhibition called ‘The Cyrus Cylinder in Ancient Persia’, which explores the innovations developed under Persian rule between 550 BC […]

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Three thousand years ago, the daughter of a priest from the temple of Amun at Karnak was laid to rest in the nearby Valley of the Kings. The tomb already had an occupant, but grave robbers had long since done their worst. So the ransacked body was carefully rewrapped, laid to one side, and lightly […]

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Egypt in England at Wellington Arch

Ancient Egypt has had a deep and lasting influence on English architecture for the last 200 years. From Harrods’ food court and fanciful mausolea to cinemas and even factories, Egyptian art is everywhere. Now, marking the 90th anniversary of the discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb, English Heritage have launched an exhibition in the recently-reopened Wellington Arch on Hyde Park […]

Trinkle's Retirement Cake

American Edible Archaeology

This archaeological cake was sent to us by Dr Judy Bischoff, Research Coordinator at the US National Park Service. She had it made for the retirement party of a colleague, Trinkle Jones, who had been an archaeologist with the Service for 34 years, until April 2011. It shows the National Park Service badge, and a selection of […]

Lake Suigetsu

Japanese time capsule extends radiocarbon dating 40,000 years

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 organisms die […]

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