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Mining for ochre in ancient Mexico

Divers exploring the now-submerged caves of Quintana Roo in Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula have uncovered evidence for red ochre mining between 12,000 and 10,000 years ago, the oldest known example of the exploitation of this mineral resource in the Americas.

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Rare painted leopard revealed

Archaeologists with the Egyptian-Italian Mission at West Aswan have digitally restored fragments of a very fragile painted leopard’s head from a 2nd century BC sarcophagus, discovered at the Egyptian necropolis last year. The leopard is a common symbol of power and protection in ancient Egypt, but it is unusual to see it painted on a […]

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Investigating a pre-Roman oil press

Excavations near Ferrandina in southern Italy, an area rich in sites dating from the Iron Age to the Lucanian period (8th-3rd century BC), have been investigating an ancient olive oil press identified during preventative archaeological work in 2007. Led by Maria Chiara Monaco, Antonio Pecci, and Fabio Donnici from the Università degli Studi della Basilicata, […]

Photo Comp Feat

CWA Photo Competition 2021

Calling all photographers! We’ve all been spending more time indoors lately, and while some travel and sites are still off-limits, photography gives us the chance to take in the sights and splendours of world archaeology from a distance. Whether you’ve been whiling away the hours looking back at photos from holidays past, venturing out for […]

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New finds from Pompeii

Excavating Regio V and Civita Giuliana Discoveries continue at Pompeii as more electoral inscriptions, fine frescoes, and victims of the eruption of Vesuvius are unearthed, offering snapshots of public and private life in the Roman city. We take a look at some of the finds so far. In Pompeii’s Regio V, a large-scale excavation is […]

WMF SYR Aleppo Souk featured

Hope through heritage

Before September, the people in this picture had never picked up a chisel. Now, only a few months into World Monument Fund’s conservation stonemasonry training programme, they can carve arabesques for zakhrafa jambs, prepare rectangular billet mouldings, or work an ovolo return. Not yet perfect maybe, but still astonishing progress, made more remarkable still given […]

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NEWS: Close encounters of the island kind

Archaeologists have uncovered decorative jewellery made from the bones of exotic animals encountered during the first human dispersal to Wallacea – a zone of oceanic islands between South-east Asia and Australia – between 22,000 and 30,000 years ago. A project, led by Adam Brumm and Michelle Langley at Griffith University (Australia), uncovered ancient ornaments during […]

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NEWS: Vasa ship look-alike found in Swedish waters

Underwater archaeologists have discovered a historic vessel off the coast of southern Sweden which is similar in construction to the famous Vasa, the ornate 17th-century warship on display in a dedicated museum in Stockholm. Around 45m in length with 68-70 cannons, experts from the Sjöhistoriska Museet believe the ship is the Blekinge, which was built […]

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NEWS: The Exotic Libations of Ancient Ghana

Forensic analyses of the hollow cavities inside pre-colonial terracotta figurines from Koma Land, northern Ghana have revealed the exotic contents of libations poured inside them during traditional West African rituals. Researchers from University of Manchester tested the biological contents of a series of terracotta forms which date to the 6th-14th centuries AD. Using swabs and a magnetic extraction […]

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NEWS: First Humans in North America

  The timing of the first arrival of the humans into North America across the Bering Strait has now been pushed back 10,000 years, claim researchers from Université de Montréal and Oxford University’s Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit.  Analysing over 36,000 animal bone fragments from Bluefish Caves in the northern Yukon, Canada, the study, led by Lauriane Bourgeon, Ariane Burke, and Thomas […]

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NEWS: Clues of Maya Collapse

Archaeologists have developed a highly-refined chronology for the two major Maya collapses using the largest set of radiocarbon dates ever obtained from a single site. The circumstances behind the Preclassic (2nd century AD) and Classic Maya (9th century AD) collapses – two periods of widespread urban abandonment across Mesoamerica – have long been the subject […]

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NEWS: Heartbroken in a French convent

Analyses of graves in the Jacobin convent in Rennes (western France) have revealed previously unknown burial practices, challenging earlier interpretations about the history of death and belief in Europe. Constructed in 1369, the convent became a principal burial site for the aristocracy of Rennes, the seat of Brittany’s parliament.  Excavations there by the Institut national […]

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