Ancient Civilizations

Ancient Civilizations News -- ScienceDaily Archaeology news. Articles on ancient Egypt, ancient Rome, ancient Greece and other civilizations.

  • Citrus fruits were the clear status symbols of the nobility in the ancient Mediterranean
    on August 18, 2017 at 1:21 pm

    New research reveals that citrons and lemons were status symbols for the ancient Roman ruling elite. It also plots the route and evolution of the citrus trade in the ancient Mediterranean. […]

  • Early Indian Ocean trade routes bring chicken, black rat to eastern Africa
    on August 17, 2017 at 6:15 pm

    The earliest introduction of domestic chickens and black rats from Asia to the east coast of Africa came via maritime trade routes between the 7th and 8th centuries AD. […]

  • Poisonings went hand in hand with the drinking water in ancient Pompeii
    on August 17, 2017 at 3:09 pm

    The ancient Romans were famous for their advanced water supply. But the drinking water in the pipelines was probably poisoned on a scale that may have led to daily problems with vomiting, diarrhea, and liver and kidney damage. This is the finding of analyses of water pipe from Pompeii. […]

  • Archeologists uncover new economic history of ancient Rome
    on August 15, 2017 at 3:09 pm

    Researchers are the first to successfully excavate the Roman villa of Durreueli at Realmonte, located off the southern coast of Sicily. […]

  • Analysis finds defeat of Hannibal 'written in the coins of the Roman Empire'
    on August 14, 2017 at 1:28 pm

    Analysis of ancient Roman coins has shown that the defeat of the Carthaginian general Hannibal led to a flood of wealth across the Roman Empire from the silver mines of Spain. This finding gives us a tangible record of the transition of Rome from a regional power to an Empire. […]

  • Archaeologists uncover 3,000-year-old female statue at citadel gate complex in Turkey
    on August 10, 2017 at 9:33 pm

    The remains of a majestic female statue uncovered at an archaeological site in southeast Turkey may challenge our understanding of the public role of women in the ancient world. Excavations at a site near the Syrian border have unearthed a beautifully carved head and upper torso of a female figure. The remnants are largely intact, although the face and chest appear to have been intentionally -- possibly ritually -- defaced. […]

  • Ancient DNA used to track Mesa Verde exodus in 13th century
    on August 10, 2017 at 2:49 pm

    Ancient DNA used to track the mass exodus of Ancestral Pueblo people from Colorado's Mesa Verde region in the late 13th century indicates many wound up in the Northern Rio Grande area north of Santa Fe, N.M., inhabited today by the Tewa Pueblo people. […]

  • DNA from Viking cod bones suggests 1,000-year history of European fish trade
    on August 7, 2017 at 7:17 pm

    New research using DNA from the fish bone remains of Viking-era meals reveals that north Norwegians have been transporting -- and possibly trading -- Arctic cod into mainland Europe for a millennium. […]

  • Farmers selected maize for agricultural use at high elevations
    on August 3, 2017 at 6:10 pm

    By analyzing ancient genomes of maize, scientists have found evidence suggesting that eventual agricultural use of the crop throughout the temperate highlands of the US likely occurred due to propagation of varieties with earlier flowering times. […]

  • First civilizations of Greece are revealing their stories to science
    on August 2, 2017 at 5:47 pm

    A new analysis of genome sequences from the ancient Minoans and Mycenaeans offers insight into the origins of these Bronze Age cultures. […]

  • Bronze Age Iberia received fewer Steppe invaders than the rest of Europe
    on July 27, 2017 at 6:15 pm

    The genomes of individuals who lived on the Iberian Peninsula in the Bronze Age had minor genetic input from Steppe invaders, suggesting that these migrations played a smaller role in the genetic makeup and culture of Iberian people, compared to other parts of Europe. […]

  • Archaeologists find key to tracking ancient wheat in frozen Bronze Age box
    on July 26, 2017 at 1:15 pm

    A Bronze Age wooden container found in an ice patch at 2,650m in the Swiss Alps could help archaeologists shed new light on the spread and exploitation of cereal grains following a chance discovery. […]

  • New Kingdom Egypt: The goldsmith’s tomb
    on July 21, 2017 at 1:01 pm

    Archeologists are studying the impact of intercultural contacts in Ancient Egypt. New excavations in Sudan have uncovered a tomb dating to around 1450 BC on the island of Sai in the Nile. […]

  • Ancient Greek theaters used moveable stages more than 2,000 years ago
    on July 11, 2017 at 1:26 pm

    Theater has been loved by many people since classical times. Along with its popularity, stage theater construction evolved greatly between the ancient Greek and Roman periods. In this research, an architectural researcher has clarified the development process for some of the stage equipment that was used in the theaters of Messene, an ancient Greek city. […]

  • Archaeologists put sound back into a previously silent past
    on July 6, 2017 at 6:31 pm

    Many attempts to explain how past people experienced their wider world have focused on sight at the expense of sound, but researchers have now developed a tool that puts sound back into the ancient landscape. […]

  • Utah is home to earliest use of a wild potato in North America
    on July 3, 2017 at 9:00 pm

    Potato starch residues have been discovered in the crevices of a 10,900-year-old stone tool in Escalante, Utah -- the earliest evidence of wild potato use in North America. This is the first archaeological study to identify Solanum jamesii, a wild species native to the southwestern United States, as an important part of ancient human diets. The long history could mean that the species was transported, cultivated or even domesticated. […]

  • Ancient concrete: Learning to do as the Romans did
    on July 3, 2017 at 5:20 pm

    A new look inside 2,000-year-old Roman concrete has provided new clues to the evolving chemistry and mineral cements that allow ancient harbor structures to withstand the test of time. […]

  • Genetic evidence from the South Caucasus region shows surprising long-term stability
    on June 29, 2017 at 6:30 pm

    The South Caucasus -- home to the countries of Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan -- geographically links Europe and the Near East. The area has served for millennia as a major crossroads for human migration, with strong archaeological evidence for big cultural shifts over time. And yet, surprisingly, ancient mitochondrial DNA evidence finds no evidence of any upheaval over the last 8,000 years. […]

  • Scientists recreate Californian Indian water bottles to study ancient exposure to chemicals
    on June 23, 2017 at 3:05 pm

    Water bottles replicated in the traditional method used by Native Californian Indians reveal that the manufacturing process may have been detrimental to the health of these people. […]

  • A wooden toe: Swiss Egyptologists study 3000-year-old prosthesis
    on June 20, 2017 at 1:31 pm

    It is likely to be one of the oldest prosthetic devices in human history: Together with other experts, Egyptologists have reexamined an artificial wooden big toe. The find is almost 3000 years old and was discovered in a female burial from the necropolis of Sheikh ´Abd el-Qurna close to Luxor. This area is currently being studied using state-of-the-art methods. […]

  • Ancient DNA reveals role of Near East and Egypt in cat domestication
    on June 19, 2017 at 4:58 pm

    DNA found at archaeological sites reveals that the origins of our domestic cat are in the Near East and ancient Egypt. Cats were domesticated by the first farmers some 10,000 years ago. They later spread across Europe and other parts of the world via trade hub Egypt. The DNA analysis also revealed that most of these ancient cats had stripes: spotted cats were uncommon until the Middle Ages. […]

  • Jerusalem tower younger than thought
    on June 15, 2017 at 4:06 pm

    Gihon Spring was crucial to the survival of its inhabitants, and archaeologists had uncovered the remains of a massive stone tower built to guard this vital water supply. Based on pottery and other regional findings, the archaeologists had originally assigned it a date of 1,700 BCE. But new research provides conclusive evidence that the stones at the base of the tower were laid nearly 1,000 years later. […]

  • Dawn of humanity: Neanderthal-Homo sapiens transition
    on June 14, 2017 at 3:42 pm

    Archaeologists have provided a window into one of the most exciting periods in human history -- the transition between Neanderthals and modern humans. […]

  • Student makes big discovery during anthropology dig on battle site
    on June 8, 2017 at 11:35 am

    An anthropology student working on an archaeological site near Arkansas City, Kansas, has discovered an artifact dating back to the 1600s. […]

  • Why was a teenager with bone cancer buried on Witch Hill in Panama?
    on June 1, 2017 at 7:18 pm

    Likely the first bone tumor from an ancient skeleton in Central America has been found by archaeologists. The starburst-shaped tumor is in the upper right arm of the skeleton of an adolescent buried in about 1300 AD in a trash heap at a site in western Panama called Cerro Brujo or Witch Hill. The reason for what appears to be a ritual burial in this abandoned pre-Columbian settlement is unknown. […]

  • The first genome data from ancient Egyptian mummies
    on May 30, 2017 at 3:51 pm

    An international team has successfully recovered ancient DNA from Egyptian mummies dating from approximately 1400 BCE to 400 CE, including the first genome-wide nuclear data, establishing ancient Egyptian mummies as a reliable of ancient DNA. The study found that modern Egyptians share more ancestry with Sub-Saharan Africans than ancient Egyptians did. […]

  • Genomics tracks migration from lost empires to modern cities
    on May 28, 2017 at 11:20 pm

    New genomic tools are enabling researchers to overturn long-held beliefs about the origins of populations. Until recently, assumptions about origins were based on where people were buried, but this does not take into account the migrations that scientists now know took place thousands of years ago. […]

  • Ancient DNA evidence shows hunter-gatherers and farmers were intimately linked
    on May 25, 2017 at 4:30 pm

    In human history, the transition from hunting and gathering to farming is a significant one. As such, hunter-gatherers and farmers are usually thought about as two entirely different sets of people. But researchers reporting new ancient DNA evidence show that in the area we now recognize as Romania, at least, hunter-gatherers and farmers were living side by side, intermixing with each other, and having children. […]

  • Oldest evidence of life on land found in 3.48 billion-year-old Australian rocks
    on May 9, 2017 at 11:44 pm

    Fossils discovered in ancient hot spring deposits in the Pilbara have pushed back by 580 million years the earliest known evidence for microbial life on land. […]

  • 'Humanlike' ways of thinking evolved 1.8 million years ago
    on May 8, 2017 at 10:49 pm

    By using highly advanced brain imaging technology to observe modern humans crafting ancient tools, a neuroarchaeologist has found evidence that human-like ways of thinking may have emerged as early as 1.8 million years ago. […]