Archaeology

A 1,500 year old papyrus fragment contains some of the earliest documented references to the Last Supper and ‘manna from heaven’.

Dr. Roberta Mazza of the University of Manchester came across the Greek ‘amulet’ while working on thousands of fragments of unpublished historical documents that are kept in the library’s vaults. At 1,500 years old, it is the earliest surviving document to use the Christian Eucharist liturgy - which outlines the Last Supper - as a protective charm.

Previously unknown archaeological monuments have been discovered around Stonehenge as part of a digital mapping project that will transform our knowledge of this iconic landscape – including remarkable new findings on the world's largest 'super henge', Durrington Walls.


South of Copenhagen, Danish archaeologists have done something that has not happened in over 60 years - they have found a previously undiscovered Viking fortress.

It will be a surprise to most that Vikings built fortresses at all - they were the people that caused everyone else to build fortresses, who was dangerous enough to raid them? Their fellow berserkers and pirates, of course.

Using new, precise laser measurements of the landscape out curator Nanna Holm of Nanna Holm of The Danish Castle Centre on the trail of the fortress. An almost invisible rise in the field was proved by new measurements to have a clear circular outline. 

Archaeologists and restorers, are preserving and studying 4th-century tunics ascribed to St. Ambrose. In the course of examining the valuable silk garments, they have made surprising scholarly discoveries regarding the development of early relic worship.

Born in Trier, Germany, Saint Ambrose began his career as a politician, becoming elected, in 374, the influential Bishop of the emperor’s residence of Milan. He enacted relic worship, and would become frequently quoted in the catechism. The Ambrosian chants are associated with him, and he is honored as a Doctor of the Church. Surprisingly though, the tunics at Sant’Ambrogio, which are associated with the saint and worshipped as relics, are little known.

In 1934, American archaeologist Nelson Glueck named one of the largest known copper production sites of the Levant, located deep in Israel's Arava Valley, "Slaves' Hill."

This hilltop station seemed to bear all the marks of an Iron Age slave camp – fiery furnaces, harsh desert conditions, and a massive barrier preventing escape, but new evidence uncovered by Tel Aviv University archaeologists overturns that narrative and says the people there were instead highly regarded craftsmen rather than slaves.



A key part of civilization? Credit: E Photos, CC BY-SA

A Middle Bronze Age Canaanite palace at the Tel Kabri excavation in Israel has revealed an ancient wine cellar.


Researchers have discovered new evidence to suggest that the origins of mummification started in ancient Egypt 1,500 years earlier than previously thought.

Traditional theories on ancient Egyptian mummification suggest that in prehistory -- the Late Neolithic and Predynastic periods between c. 4500 and 3100 B.C. -- bodies were desiccated naturally through the action of the hot, dry desert sand.

Scientific evidence for the early use of resins in artificial mummification has, until now, been limited to isolated occurrences during the late Old Kingdom (c. 2200 BC). Their use became more apparent during the Middle Kingdom (c. 2000-1600 BC).


Recent papers have suggested that women improve small working groups and so adding women to a group is a surefire way to boost team collaboration and creativity.

A new study from Washington University in St. Louis says that is only true when women there is no competition. Force teams to go head to head and the benefits of a female approach evaporate.

"Intergroup competition is a double-edged sword that ultimately provides an advantage to groups and units composed predominantly or exclusively of men, while hurting the creativity of groups composed of women," said Markus Baer, PhD, lead author of the study and associate professor of organizational behavior at Olin Business School.


Excavations at an archaeological site at Kathu in the Northern Cape province of South Africa,
one of the richest early prehistoric archaeological sites in South Africa, have produced tens of thousands of Earlier Stone Age artifacts, including hand axes and other tools.

It is situated between the Kuruman Hills to the east and the Langberge mountains to the west and estimated to be between 700,000 and one million years old.