Author: Carly Hilts

A fragment of a child's skull, from Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania, shows the oldest-known evidence of anaemia caused by malnutrition. : Citation: Dominguez-Rodrigo M, Pickering TR, Diez-Martin F, Mabulla A, Musiba C, et al. (2012) Earliest Porotic Hyperostosis on a 1.5-Million-Year-Old Hominin, Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania. PLoS ONE 7(10): e46414. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0046414

Anaemic ancestors

A fragment from the skull of a prehistoric child provides the oldest-known evidence of anaemia caused by malnutrition – suggesting that hominids were regularly eating meat much earlier than previously thought, archaeologists say. While it is known that early human ancestors did eat meat, it was not previously certain whether this was something consumed frequently, […]


Ancient Egyptian teething problems

Hard on the heels of the discovery that Neolithic ‘dentists’ may have used beeswax to treat cracked teeth, 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 […]


Sacrificial skulls at Templo Mayor

Archaeologists have discovered 50 human skulls and over 250 jawbones dating back over 500 years near a sacrificial stone at the main Aztec temple in Mexico City. Located within the sacred precinct of Tenochtitlan, the old Aztec capital, the remains represent the largest number of skulls found in a single deposit at Templo Mayor. Forty-five […]

Disturbed stones said to have been part of the foundations of the old Ducal Palace. Image:  Roberto Rocca

Apulia’s archaeology under threat

Residents of Taurisano, a small village in Apulia, Italy, are fighting to prevent their local heritage from being razed by building works. A series of 12th-century tombs associated with the Medieval church of St Lucia were revealed beneath the main square during sewage works in the 1990s. Carefully covered over at the time, villagers now […]

The grave of the 'metalworker'. IMage: Austrian Museum of Ancient History

‘First female metalworker’ sheds light on prehistoric gender roles

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 45-60, was uncovered along with 14 other early Bronze Age graves during excavations by the Austrian Museum of Ancient History at Geitzendorf, northwest of Vienna. She had been laid […]

Moll's Salt site in Tarragon,Cataluña, Spain. Credit: M. Vaquero et al.

Recycling in the Palaeolithic

Recycling is no modern concept: our ancestors were adept at putting old tools to new uses 13,000 years ago, archaeologists in Spain, have discovered.  In the first study of its kind, and published in the Journal of Archaeological Science, the archaeologists were able to take advantage of the unusually high number of re-worked burnt tools […]

Agamemnon's death mask, credit: K Derham

International edible archaeology

Our friends over at Current Archaeology frequently print pictures of amazing archaeological cakes sent in by their readers, so we were very excited to see this culinary creation with a distinctly international flavour. Sent in by the proud father of its creator, a professional archaeologist who modestly asked to remain anonymous, the cake depicts the famous ‘death […]

An archaeological smoking gun: the tomb of a Maya warrior queen

  Excavations in Guatemala may have uncovered the tomb of K’abel, a 7th century warrior queen and one of the great female rulers of Classic Maya civilisation, it was announced today (4 October). The burial was discovered by archaeologists from Washington University in St Louis during investigations at the Maya city of El Perú-Waka, about 75km from Tikal. […]

The site: Pollena Trocchia

Digging on the dark side of Vesuvius

Hannah Snell combined her passion for archaeology with her love of Roman architecture during her summer months excavating with the team from the Apolline Project in Italy. Here she tells CWA about her experience of digging a Roman bathhouse on the north slope of Vesuvius. We have all heard about Pompeii and Herculaneum, but the […]

The tooth, with its beeswax filling. Bernardini F, Tuniz C, Coppa A, Mancini L, Dreossi D, et al. (2012) Beeswax as Dental Filling on a Neolithic Human Tooth. PLoS ONE 7(9): e44904. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0044904

Neolithic dentists?

A 6,500-year-old tooth packed with beeswax could represent the earliest evidence of a dental filling, newly-published research has announced. Found in part of a human jaw excavated in a cave near Lonche, Slovenia, the tooth is a left canine, thought to have belonged to a man aged between 24 and 30. Research led by Federico […]

O.57 &A-1946

Three jailed for Fitzwilliam Museum thefts

Three men arrested for the theft of 18 Chinese artefacts from the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge have been jailed for 6 years each. Robert Smith, 24, of Hockenden Lane, Kent, Steven Coughlan, 26, of Eleanor Street, London, and another 29-year-old man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, were each sentenced for conspiracy to burgle […]

Image: Elmar Buchner

Out of this world: Buddhist statue made from meteorite

A 1,000-year-old Buddhist statue taken from Tibet by Nazi scientists is the first-known carving of a human figure made from a meteorite, newly-published research says. With stylistic links to the 11th century Bön culture, the sculpture is thought to depict the Buddhist god Vaisravana. Despite measuring just 24cm in height, the object weighs 10kg (22lb). Now […]

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