Ancient Civilizations

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

  • Parasites from medieval latrines unlock secrets of human history
    on October 15, 2018 at 3:35 pm

    A radical new approach combining archaeology, genetics and microscopy can reveal long-forgotten secrets of human diet, sanitation and movement from studying parasites in ancient excrement, according to new research. […]

  • Sponges on ancient ocean floors 100 million years before Cambrian period
    on October 15, 2018 at 3:35 pm

    Researchers have found the oldest clue yet of animal life, dating back at least 100 million years before the famous Cambrian explosion of animal fossils. […]

  • 'Vampire burial' reveals efforts to prevent child's return from grave
    on October 12, 2018 at 1:30 pm

    Archaeologists found the remains of a 10-year-old child with a stone inserted into his or her mouth at a fifth-century Italian cemetery. They think the stone was meant to keep the child from rising from the dead and spreading malaria to the living. […]

  • City of Koh Ker was occupied for centuries longer than previously thought
    on October 10, 2018 at 6:17 pm

    The classic account of the ancient city of Koh Ker is one of a briefly-occupied and abruptly-abandoned region, but in reality, the area may have been occupied for several centuries beyond what is traditionally acknowledged, according to a new study. […]

  • Statistical method recreates the history of a long-abandoned village
    on October 9, 2018 at 5:59 pm

    Archaeologists now have new tools for studying the development of medieval villages and the transformation of the historical landscapes surrounding them. Scientists have attempted to reconstruct the history of Zornoztegi, an abandoned medieval village located in the Basque Country, Spain. […]

  • Salt: Mover and shaker in ancient Maya society
    on October 8, 2018 at 10:33 pm

    Salt is essential for life. As ancient civilizations evolved from hunters and gatherers to agrarian societies, it has not been clear how people acquired this mineral that is a biological necessity. However, an anthropologist has discovered remnants of an ancient salt works in Belize that provide clues on how the ancient Maya at the peak of their civilization more than 1,000 years ago produced, stored and traded this valuable mineral. […]

  • Anthropologist rewrites history using science, art
    on October 4, 2018 at 2:00 pm

    Art often imitates life, but when an anthropologist and a geologist investigated a 2000-year-old carved statue on a tobacco pipe, he exposed a truth he says will rewrite art history. […]

  • Eighth-century skeleton found at Torcello
    on October 1, 2018 at 3:43 pm

    On the island of Torcello, at the Ca' Foscari University of Venice excavation site, some protagonists of the island's thousand-year history have begun to emerge. A tomb datable to around 700 A.D. has recently been unearthed by the site's team of scholars. […]

  • CT technique expands possibilities of imaging ancient remains
    on September 25, 2018 at 2:58 pm

    Researchers using computed tomography (CT) have successfully imaged the soft tissue of an ancient Egyptian mummy's hand down to a microscopic level, according to a new study. […]

  • Ancient bird bones redate human activity in Madagascar by 6,000 years
    on September 12, 2018 at 6:44 pm

    Analysis of bones, from what was once the world's largest bird, has revealed that humans arrived on the tropical island of Madagascar more than 6,000 years earlier than previously thought. […]

  • Wild animals were routinely captured and traded in ancient Mesoamerica
    on September 12, 2018 at 6:44 pm

    New evidence from the Maya city of Copan, in Honduras, reveals that ancient Mesoamericans routinely captured and traded wild animals for symbolic and ritual purposes, according to a new study. […]

  • Discovery of the earliest drawing
    on September 12, 2018 at 5:35 pm

    The oldest known abstract drawing has been found in South Africa's Blombos Cave -- on the face of a flake of siliceous rock retrieved from archaeological strata dated to 73,000 years before the present. The work is at least 30,000 years older than the earliest previously known abstract and figurative drawings. […]

  • A prehistoric thirst for craft beer
    on September 12, 2018 at 3:19 pm

    Evidence suggests that stone mortars from Raqefet Cave, Israel, were used in brewing cereal-based beer millennia before the establishment of sedentary villages and cereal agriculture. […]

  • Understanding 6th-century barbarian social organization and migration through paleogenomics
    on September 11, 2018 at 5:21 pm

    Applying a comprehensive analysis of genetic, historical, and archeological factors in two 6th-century barbarian cemeteries, researchers have gleaned new insights into a key era known as the Migration Period that laid the foundation for modern European society. […]

  • What Anglo Saxon teeth can tell us about modern health
    on September 6, 2018 at 4:34 pm

    Evidence from the teeth of Anglo Saxon children could help identify modern children most at risk from conditions such as obesity, diabetes and heart disease. […]

  • DNA of early medieval Alemannic warriors and their entourage decoded
    on September 5, 2018 at 10:48 pm

    In 1962, an Alemannic burial site containing human skeletal remains was discovered in Niederstotzingen (Baden-Württemberg, Germany). Researchers have now examined the DNA of these skeletal remains. […]

  • Turtle shells served as symbolic musical instruments for indigenous cultures
    on September 5, 2018 at 3:57 pm

    Researchers delved into how turtle shells served as symbolic musical instruments for indigenous cultures in the southeastern US. […]

  • The gens isiaca in Hispania: Egyptian gods in Roman Spain
    on September 4, 2018 at 3:47 pm

    Researchers have developed a geo-localized database which enables archaeological pieces from ancient religions to be located on the Iberian Peninsula. This platform, named ''The gens isiaca in Hispania'', provides a catalogue with more than 200 remains from the Roman age on Isis and other Egyptian gods. […]

  • Ancient African herders had lasting ecological impact on grazed lands
    on August 29, 2018 at 5:32 pm

    Ancient animal herders added to the ecological richness and diversity of the African savanna thousands of years ago -- an effect that persists to the present day, a new study finds. The herders' practice of penning their cattle, goats and sheep at night created nutrient-rich grassy glades that still attract wildlife and have increased habitat diversity in the region, researchers report. […]

  • Neanderthal mother, Denisovan father! Hybrid fossil
    on August 22, 2018 at 5:10 pm

    Up until 40,000 years ago, at least two groups of hominins inhabited Eurasia -- Neanderthals in the west and Denisovans in the east. Now, researchers have sequenced the genome of an ancient hominin individual from Siberia, and discovered that she had a Neanderthal mother and a Denisovan father. […]

  • DNA analysis of 6,500-year-old human remains with blue eye mutation
    on August 20, 2018 at 2:42 pm

    Scientists have discovered that waves of migration from Anatolia and the Zagros mountains to the Levant helped develop the Chalcolithic culture that existed in Israel's Upper Galilee region some 6,500 years ago. "Certain characteristics, such as genetic mutations contributing to blue eye color, were not seen in the DNA test results of earlier Levantine human remains," according to one of the researchers. […]

  • 99-million-year-old beetle trapped in amber served as pollinator to evergreen cycads
    on August 16, 2018 at 6:32 pm

    Flowering plants are well known for their special relationship to the insects and other animals that serve as their pollinators. But, before the rise of angiosperms, another group of unusual evergreen gymnosperms, known as cycads, may have been the first insect-pollinated plants. Now, researchers have uncovered the earliest definitive fossil evidence of that intimate relationship between cycads and insects. […]

  • Prehistoric mummy reveals ancient Egyptian embalming 'recipe' was around for millennia
    on August 15, 2018 at 11:05 pm

    The ancient Egyptians developed sophisticated embalming treatments far earlier and across a wider geographical area than had been previously known, forensic tests on a well-known prehistoric mummy have revealed. […]

  • Origins and spread of Eurasian fruits traced to the ancient Silk Road
    on August 14, 2018 at 6:05 pm

    Studies of ancient plant remains from a medieval archaeological site in the Pamir Mountains of Uzbekistan have shown that fruits, such as apples, peaches, apricots, and melons, were cultivated in the foothills of Inner Asia. The archaeobotanical study is among the first systematic analyses of medieval agricultural crops in the heart of the ancient Silk Road. […]

  • How Neolithic people adapted to climate change
    on August 13, 2018 at 8:05 pm

    Research has uncovered evidence that early farmers were adapting to climate change 8,200 years ago. […]

  • Laziness helped lead to extinction of Homo erectus
    on August 10, 2018 at 1:15 pm

    New archaeological research has found that Homo erectus, an extinct species of primitive humans, went extinct in part because they were 'lazy'. […]

  • Prehistoric peopling in southeast Asia: Genomics of Jomon and other ancient skeletons
    on August 9, 2018 at 1:34 pm

    Current evidence suggests that Southeast Asia was occupied by Hoabinhian hunter-gatherers until about 4000 years ago, but the human occupation history thereafter with farming economies remains unsettled. By sequencing 26 ancient human genomes (25 Southeast Asians, 1 Japanese Jomon), the history is shown to be more complex than previously thought; both Hoabinhian hunter-gatherers and East Asian farmers contributed to current Southeast Asian diversity. The results help resolve one of the long-standing controversies in Southeast Asian prehistory. […]

  • Rediscovering the sources of Egyptian metals
    on August 7, 2018 at 1:51 pm

    Two new studies offer the first comprehensive analytical datasets of Protodynastic to Old Kingdom Egyptian copper-based artifacts (c. 3rd millennium BC), analyzing the provenance of Egyptian copper. As elaborated in a methodological comment, the studies constitute an important step forward in current knowledge on copper provenance and the subsequent economic, social and cultural insights into ancient Egypt. […]

  • Making thread in Bronze Age Britain
    on July 26, 2018 at 8:11 pm

    Splicing technique identified on 3,800-year-old Cambridgeshire textiles made from plant fibers. […]

  • Archeological plant remains point to southwest Amazonia as crop domestication center
    on July 26, 2018 at 1:02 pm

    The remains of domesticated crop plants at an archaeological site in southwest Amazonia supports the idea that this was an important region in the early history of crop cultivation, according to a new study. […]