Ancient Civilizations

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

  • Ancient barley took high road to China
    on November 21, 2017 at 2:52 pm

    First domesticated 10,000 years ago in the Fertile Crescent of the Middle East, wheat and barley took vastly different routes to China, with barley switching from a winter to both a winter and summer crop during a thousand-year detour along the southern Tibetan Plateau, suggests new research. […]

  • New treasures from Tutankhamun's tomb
    on November 16, 2017 at 3:51 pm

    Archaeologists have examined embossed gold applications from the sensational find of 1922. The motifs indicate surprising links between the Levant and the Egypt of the pharaohs. […]

  • Ink from ancient Egyptian papyri contains copper
    on November 10, 2017 at 4:39 pm

    Until recently, it was assumed that the ink used for writing was primarily carbon-based at least until the fourth and fifth centuries AD. But in a new study, analyses of 2,000-year-old papyri fragments with X-ray microscopy show that black ink used by Egyptian scribes also contained copper -- an element previously not identified in ancient ink. […]

  • Archaeologists unearth 'masterpiece' sealstone in Greek tomb
    on November 7, 2017 at 2:29 pm

    Archaeologists are documenting artifacts contained within their amazing 2015 find, the tomb of the Griffin Warrior in Greece. But the 3,500-year-old treasures include their most stunning historical offering yet: an intricately carved gem, or sealstone, that represents one of the finest works of prehistoric Greek art ever found. […]

  • Excavation in Northern Iraq: Sasanian loom discovered
    on November 6, 2017 at 3:02 pm

    Archaeologists have returned from the Iraqi-Kurdish province of Sulaymaniyah with new findings: The discovery of a loom from the 5th to 6th century AD. […]

  • Caribbean's largest concentration of indigenous pre-Columbian rock art
    on October 30, 2017 at 2:01 am

    New research reveals key discoveries including first direct rock art dates in the Caribbean, how pre-Columbian rock-art was made and paint recipes. […]

  • Oldest recorded solar eclipse helps date the Egyptian pharaohs
    on October 30, 2017 at 2:01 am

    Researchers have pinpointed the date of what could be the oldest solar eclipse yet recorded. The event, which occurred on Oct. 30, 1207 BC, is mentioned in the Bible, and could have consequences for the chronology of the ancient world. […]

  • 'Mega-carnivore' dinosaur roamed southern Africa 200 million years ago
    on October 25, 2017 at 7:06 pm

    An international team of scientists has discovered the first evidence that a huge carnivorous dinosaur roamed southern Africa 200 million year ago. […]

  • Could squirrel fur trade have contributed to England's medieval leprosy outbreak?
    on October 25, 2017 at 2:31 pm

    Genetic analysis of a pre-Norman skull unearthed in a garden in Suffolk has added to a growing body of evidence that East Anglia may have been the epicentre of an epidemic of leprosy that spread through medieval England. The authors of the new study suggest that an explanation for the prevalence of leprosy in medieval East Anglia may possibly be found in the sustained Scandinavian trade in squirrel fur -- an animal known to carry the disease. […]

  • Archaeologists uncover cuneiform archive in Iraq’s Kurdish region
    on October 23, 2017 at 10:03 pm

    Archaeologists have made sensational finds in the Kurdistan region of northern Iraq. The researchers found a cuneiform archive of 93 clay tablets dating from 1250 BCE -- the period of the Middle Assyrian Empire. What the tablets record remains a mystery for the time being. The researchers will have to decipher them -- a long and difficult task. […]

  • Fanged kangaroo research could shed light on extinction
    on October 16, 2017 at 1:27 pm

    Fanged kangaroos -- an extinct family of small fanged Australian kangaroos -- might have survived at least five million years longer than previously thought. A new study has found the species might have competed for resources with ancestors of modern kangaroos. […]

  • Newfoundland populated multiple times by distinct groups, DNA evidence shows
    on October 12, 2017 at 6:33 pm

    Researchers who've examined genetic evidence from mitochondrial DNA provide evidence that two groups of indigenous people in Canada, known as the Maritime Archaic and Beothuk, brought different matrilines to the island, adding further support to the notion that those groups had distinct population histories. […]

  • Paleogenomic analysis sheds light on Easter Island mysteries
    on October 12, 2017 at 4:30 pm

    New paleogenomic research appears to rule out the likelihood that inhabitants of Easter Island intermixed with South Americans prior to the arrival of Europeans on the island in 1722. […]

  • The making of medieval bling
    on October 11, 2017 at 4:03 pm

    Gold has long been valued for its luxurious glitter and hue, and threads of the gleaming metal have graced clothing and tapestries for centuries. Determining how artisans accomplished these adornments in the distant past can help scientists restore, preserve and date artifacts, but solutions to these puzzles have been elusive. Now scientists have revealed that medieval artisans used a gilding technology that has endured for centuries. […]

  • Monstrous crocodile fossil points to early rise of ancient reptiles
    on October 3, 2017 at 12:22 am

    A newly identified prehistoric marine predator has shed light on the origins of the distant relatives of modern crocodiles. […]

  • Modern humans emerged more than 300,000 years ago new study suggests
    on September 28, 2017 at 6:20 pm

    A genomic analysis of ancient human remains from KwaZulu-Natal revealed that southern Africa has an important role to play in writing the history of humankind. […]

  • Earliest evidence for a native African cultigen discovered in Eastern Sudan
    on September 27, 2017 at 8:20 pm

    Archaeologists examining plant impressions within broken pottery have discovered the earliest evidence for domesticated sorghum in Africa. […]

  • How aerial thermal imagery is revolutionizing archaeology
    on September 24, 2017 at 2:37 pm

    A new study has demonstrated how the latest aerial thermal imagery is transforming archaeology due to advancements in technology. Today's thermal cameras, commercial drones and photogrammetric software has introduced a new realm of possibilities for collecting site data-- field survey data across a much larger area can now be obtained in much less time. The findings serve as a manual on how to use aerial thermography. […]

  • Ancient textiles reveal differences in Mediterranean fabrics in the 1st millennium BC
    on September 22, 2017 at 1:40 pm

    Analysis of Iron Age textiles indicates that during c. 1000-400 BC Italy shared the textile culture of Central Europe, while Greece was largely influenced by the traditions of ancient Near East. […]

  • Ancient DNA data fills in thousands of years of human prehistory in Africa
    on September 21, 2017 at 6:13 pm

    By sequencing the ancient genomes of 15 individuals from different parts of Africa, researchers reporting in the journal Cell on Sept. 21 have reconstructed the prehistory of humans on the continent, going back thousands of years. The findings shed light on which human populations lived in eastern and southern Africa between 8,000 and 1,000 years ago, the researchers say. […]

  • How Teotihuacan's urban design was lost and found
    on September 20, 2017 at 3:33 pm

    A new article outlines how the urban design of the city of Teotihuacan differed from past and subsequent cities, only to be rediscovered and partially modeled on many centuries later by the Aztecs. […]

  • Earthquake faults may have played key role in shaping the culture of ancient Greece
    on September 12, 2017 at 2:35 pm

    The Ancient Greeks may have built sacred sites deliberately on land affected by previous earthquake activity, according to a new study. […]

  • An officer and a gentlewoman from the Viking army in Birka
    on September 9, 2017 at 12:55 am

    War was not an activity exclusive to males in the Viking world. A new study shows that women could be found in the higher ranks at the battlefield. […]

  • The connection between an unusual pottery vessel and the development of the elites
    on September 6, 2017 at 6:45 pm

    Researchers have found a unique pottery vessel dating back some 7,200 years ago. The unique vessel was apparently used for ritual purposes, ensuring that certain people or groups could maintain their ability to store large quantities of crops. […]

  • Mobile women were key to cultural exchange in Stone Age and Bronze Age Europe
    on September 4, 2017 at 7:10 pm

    At the end of the Stone Age and in the early Bronze Age, families were established in a surprising manner in the Lechtal, south of Augsburg, Germany. The majority of women probably came from Bohemia or Central Germany, while men usually remained in the region of their birth. This so-called patrilocal pattern combined with individual female mobility persisted over a period of 800 years during the transition from the Neolithic to the Early Bronze Age. […]

  • Fossil whales' teeth shows what ferocious predators they were
    on August 30, 2017 at 1:45 pm

    The feeding habits of the whale -- the world's biggest animal -- have evolved to filter feeding, shows new international research. Ancient whales appear to have been ferocious predators, investigators explain. […]

  • 3-D scanning methods allow an inside look into fossilized feces
    on August 24, 2017 at 7:09 pm

    Coprolites are fossilized feces that give evidence of an organism's behavior and often contain food residues, parasite remains and other fossils that provide clues to ancient paleoecological relations. […]

  • Mathematical mystery of ancient Babylonian clay tablet solved
    on August 24, 2017 at 6:12 pm

    Scientists have discovered the purpose of a famous 3,700-year old Babylonian clay tablet, revealing it is the world's oldest and most accurate trigonometric table, possibly used by ancient mathematical scribes to calculate how to construct palaces and temples and build canals. The new research shows the Babylonians beat the Greeks to the invention of trigonometry -- the study of triangles -- by more than 1,000 years. […]

  • World's oldest Italian wine just discovered
    on August 24, 2017 at 6:12 pm

    Italian wine residue has been found from the Copper Age, debunking current belief wine growing and wine production in Italy developed during the Middle Bronze Age. […]

  • 'Lost city' used 500 years of soil erosion to benefit crop farming
    on August 21, 2017 at 2:27 pm

    Researchers working on a 700-year-old abandoned agricultural site in Tanzania have shown that soil erosion benefited farming practices for some 500 years. […]