Ancient Civilizations

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

  • 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. […]

  • Archaeogeneticist pinpoints Indian population origins using today's populace
    on May 8, 2017 at 1:51 pm

    Researchers identifies the origins of Indian populations comprising migrating humans from Africa, Iran and Central Asia over a period of 50,000 years. […]

  • Holy chickens: Did Medieval religious rules drive domestic chicken evolution?
    on May 3, 2017 at 12:45 am

    Chickens were domesticated from Asian jungle fowl around 6,000 years ago. Since domestication they have acquired a number of traits that are valuable to humans, including those concerning appearance, reduced aggression and faster egg-laying, although it is not known when and why these traits evolved. Now, an international team of scientists has combined DNA data from archaeological chicken bones with statistical modeling to pinpoint when these traits started to increase in frequency in Europe. […]

  • Three-thousand-year-old axes found in farmer's field in mid-Norway
    on May 2, 2017 at 12:46 pm

    Some 3,000 years ago, 24 axes were cached in Stjørdal municipality, about 44 km east of Trondheim. They’re now seeing the light of day once again. […]

  • DNA from extinct humans discovered in cave sediments
    on April 27, 2017 at 6:17 pm

    Researchers have developed a new method to retrieve hominin DNA from cave sediments -- even in the absence of skeletal remains. […]

  • Behind the iron curtain: How methane-making microbes kept the early Earth warm
    on April 17, 2017 at 5:10 pm

    Using mud pulled from the bottom of a tropical lake, researchers at have gained a new grasp of how ancient microbes made methane in the complex iron chemistry of the early Earth. […]

  • Cracking the origin of ancient decorative ostrich eggs
    on April 12, 2017 at 1:12 pm

    Archaeologists and scientists are using cutting edge technology to crack a conundrum surrounding the ancient trade in ostrich eggs. […]

  • Precision chronology sheds new light on the origins of Mongolia's nomadic horse culture
    on April 11, 2017 at 5:08 pm

    According to new research, nomadic horse culture -- famously associated with Genghis Khan and his Mongol hordes -- can trace its roots back more than 3,000 years in the eastern Eurasian Steppes, in the territory of modern Mongolia. […]

  • New DNA research shows true migration route of early farming in Europe 8,000 years ago
    on April 6, 2017 at 2:26 pm

    New DNA research shows true migration route of early farming in Europe 8,000 years ago, correcting previous theories. […]

  • 10,000 years of genetic continuity in northwest North America, study reveals
    on April 4, 2017 at 8:00 pm

    A study of the DNA in ancient skeletal remains adds to the evidence that indigenous groups living today in southern Alaska and the western coast of British Columbia are descendants of the first humans to make their home in northwest North America more than 10,000 years ago. […]

  • New archaeological evidence throws light on efforts to resist 'the living dead'
    on April 3, 2017 at 4:33 pm

    A new scientific study of medieval human bones, excavated from a deserted English village, suggests the corpses they came from were burnt and mutilated. Researchers believe this was carried out by villagers who believed that it would stop the corpses rising from their graves and menacing the living. […]

  • Tiller the Hun? Farmers in Roman Empire converted to Hun lifestyle -- and vice versa
    on March 22, 2017 at 6:32 pm

    New archaeological analysis suggests people of Western Roman Empire switched between Hunnic nomadism and settled farming over a lifetime. Findings may be evidence of tribal encroachment that undermined Roman Empire during 5th century AD, contributing to its fall. […]

  • Egyptian ritual images from the Neolithic period
    on March 22, 2017 at 1:49 pm

    Egyptologists have discovered rock art from the 4th millennium BC during an excavation at a necropolis near Aswan in Egypt. The paintings were engraved into the rock in the form of small dots and depict hunting scenes like those found in shamanic depictions. They may represent a link between the Neolithic period and Ancient Egyptian culture. The discovery earned the scientists the award for one of the current ten most important archeological discoveries in Egypt from the Minister of Antiquities in Cairo. […]

  • 430 million-year-old fossil named in honor of Sir David Attenborough
    on March 22, 2017 at 1:23 pm

    A new 430 million-year-old fossil has been discovered by scientists, and has been named in honor of Sir David Attenborough. The discovery is a unique example of its kind in the fossil record, say the authors of a new report. […]

  • Icelandic drinking horn changes our historic understanding of St. Olav
    on March 20, 2017 at 12:54 pm

    After the Reformation, Norway's Olav Haraldsson was no longer supposed to be worshipped as a saint. An Icelandic drinking horn offers some clues on how the saint’s status changed over time. […]

  • Earth's first example of recycling: its own crust!
    on March 16, 2017 at 6:10 pm

    Rock samples from northeastern Canada retain chemical signals that help explain what Earth's crust was like more than 4 billion years ago. […]

  • Bones, teeth reveal the harsh conditions endured by the ancestors of indigenous Finnish cattle and...
    on March 10, 2017 at 2:19 pm

    The most extensive isotope analysis of archaeological material in Finland revealed a fragment of the history of ancient Finnish cattle: the bones and teeth showed which plants the animals fed on. For thousands of years, the ancestors of today’s Finncattle and Finnsheep survived on scarce nutrition, but actually starved in the Middle Ages in particular. […]

  • Ancient southern China fish may have evolved prior to the 'Age of Fish'
    on March 8, 2017 at 7:53 pm

    An ancient fish species with unusual scales and teeth from the Kuanti Formation in southern China may have evolved prior to the 'Age of Fish', according to a new study. […]

  • Dental plaque DNA shows Neanderthals used 'aspirin'
    on March 8, 2017 at 6:12 pm

    Ancient DNA found in the dental plaque of Neandertals -- our nearest extinct relative -- has provided remarkable new insights into their behavior, diet and evolutionary history, including their use of plant-based medicine to treat pain and illness. […]