Asia

Palm reading

Before rice cultivation became prevalent in China, prehistoric inhabitants of its southern coast probably relied on sago palms as a staple food, according to new research published in PLOS ONE. Previously, little was known of this region’s ancient diet, as its acidic soils and humid climate hinder the preservation of plant remains. Now, however, Xiaoyan […]

Prehistoric food processors

A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences has pushed back agriculture in China by 12,000 years. The roots of agriculture are traditionally traced to tools used to grind seeds in the Middle East around 23,000 year ago. Now research led by Li Liu, Stanford University’s professor of Chinese archaeology, has […]

1379

Fishing in the Jōmon

Analysis of some of the world’s earliest pots 
has revealed that Ice Age hunter-gatherers 
used them to cook fish. By studying charred food residues inside over 100 pots made across Japan during the J¬ōmon period (14,000-300 BC), an international team of researchers have found the earliest direct evidence for how ceramic vessels were used. While […]

Tritton 46 female reproduction IM_8046 copy

The Mirror of Health: Discovering Medicine in the Golden Age of Islam

A rare collection of Islamic medical manuscripts has gone on display for the first time, illuminating medical traditions that developed in the Golden Age of Islamic culture, between the 9th and 17th centuries AD. Based at the Royal College of Physicians in London, and curated by Professor Peter E Pormann from The University of Manchester, The mirror […]

KBM_incipient

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 […]

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 […]

1359

Charles Higham: New finds with an old – very special – trowel

Non Ban Jak will soon be slumbering again in the heat of the dry season here in Northeast Thailand. The huge mound rises above the rice fields, demarcated by two moats and banks. Excavations here began last year and revealed, for the first time in such a site, house foundations, rooms, floors, and even a […]

1335

Russia’s wealthy warrior

Archaeologists have identified a spectacular 2,200-year-old warrior burial in Russia, part of a previously unknown necropolis in the central Caucasus mountains. Located 800m (2,600ft) above sea level, near modern Mezmay, the site came to the attention of archaeologists after Krasnodar Regional Museum was alerted to large-scale looting in the area. Museum staff, directed by Nikolay […]

1364

Qatar: Bridging the Gulf

Qatar formed part of the ‘southern route’ out of Africa across the Arabian Peninsula when, at the height of the last Ice Age, much of the Arabian Gulf was open landscape. Now, pioneering research is looking for traces of those earliest migrations, as Kirsten Amor reports.

1334

Koldewey at Babylon

The dig The site of Babylon – one of the oldest, richest, and most fabled cities of Antiquity – had attracted a succession of European antiquarian investigators during the 19th century, but it was not until the arrival of a German Oriental Society (Deutsche Orient-Gesellschaft) team led by Robert Koldewey (1855-1925) that scientific excavations were […]

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