Archaeology

A detailed analysis of the remains of a high-status Danish Bronze Age female, known as the Egtved Girl, has revealed information about her movements, what she ate, and where her clothes came from.

The Egtved Girl, a 16–18 year old female, was discovered in the Danish village of Egtved in an oak coffin, calculated to have been buried around 3,400 years ago.
Scientists have found stone tools dating back 3.3 million years, long before the advent of modern humans, and by far the oldest such artifacts yet discovered.

The tools, whose makers may or may not have been some sort of human ancestor, push the known date of such tools back by 700,000 years and may challenge the notion that our own most direct ancestors were the first to create new technology.

The discovery is the first evidence that an even earlier group of proto-humans may have had the thinking abilities needed to figure out how to make sharp-edged tools. The stone tools mark "a new beginning to the known archaeological record," say the authors of a new paper about the discovery. 

It's a First World Idyll that ancient indigenous people sustained themselves using nature's bounty, in harmony with the land.

Science knows otherwise. Instead, from Alaska to Washington, indigenous people created productive clam gardens to ensure abundant and sustainable clam harvests. There was nothing natural about it.


In the most famous versions of Richard III, written by William Shakespeare, the last Plantagenet king was physically and mentally deformed. 

But the public probably did not know what, and if they did, they wisely never mentioned it. A king busy fighting the War of the Roses could easily hide a deformity. Dr. Mary Ann Lund, of the University of Leicester's School of English argues that Richard's body image in life was carefully controlled and he probably kept any signs of his scoliosis hidden outside of the royal household - but after his death at the Battle of Bosworth, he was carried to Leicester and exhibited before being buried and it wasn't a secret after that.


We tend to think society is more sexualized today but perhaps it's only now that the common people are getting it on the way elites once did.

In the Eilat Mountain region around Nahal Roded in Israel, recently discovered sites look distinct from other ones nearby: They have 126 ‘regular’ standing stones along with perforated ones and anthropomorphic stone images to go with them.  The tools date back to the Neolithic period - before pottery.
In 1722, when Europeans arrived on Easter Island, nearly 2,300 miles off the west coast of Chile, the native Polynesian culture known as Rapa Nui were already in a demographic tailspin from which they would not recover.

Pick a fad belief of the moment, and someone has correlated it to Easter Island. Environmental damage? Easter Island. Climate change? Easter Island. Add in political partisanship and lifestyle diseases and you can also find a correlation-causation arrow being abused. 

Will there ever be an answer? Hard to say, but a new paper attempts at least some clarification.


Valley Forge. Credit: Thomas

By:
Joel N. Shurkin, Inside Science

(Inside Science) -- Archaeologists, digging into George Washington’s headquarters at Valley Forge in Pennsylvania, have added domestic images to the picture of one of the most iconic moments of American history.

They may have found the cabin Washington had built so he could get out of the chaos of the headquarters, and perhaps eat in peace with his wife and officers.

Rock soil droplets formed by heating are part of the evidence used to content that a disastrous cosmic impact 12,900 years ago triggered the Younger Dryas cold period but they most likely instead came from Stone Age house fires, according to new research of soil from Syria.

The Younger Dryas lasted a thousand years and coincided with the extinction of mammoths and other great beasts and the disappearance of the Paleo-Indian Clovis people.

In the 1980s, some researchers put forward the idea that the cool period, which fell between two major glaciations, began when a comet or meteorite struck North America.


The village of Nichoria in Messenia was located near the palace of Pylos during the Greek Bronze Age, when Greece was considered a Superpower of the Mediterranean. The region thrived on its trade and economic stability, culture, and art and architecture, including great monuments, palaces and writings. The collapse of the Bronze Age (beginning around 1,200 BC), including the abandonment of cities and the destruction of palaces, is known as the Greek Dark Age. 

Nichoria remained through both the Late Bronze Age and the Greek Dark Age, and scholars have suggested that it turned to cattle ranching during the region's collapse. That made sense, the remains of cattle bones are prevalent among bone fragments in the soil. 


It's no secret that war is tough on innocent buildings so it is no surprise that four of six major archaeological sites in Syria have been heavily looted and damaged, according to an analysis of high-resolution satellite images. 

The report analyzes 6 of the 12 sites that Syria has nominated as World Heritage Sites: Dura Europos, Ebla, Hama's Waterwheels, Mari, Raqqa, and Ugarit. Images from 2014 show numerous pits throughout three sites where ancient cities once stood. The pits generally do not appear in similar images from 2011, when the conflict in Syria began.