January 21, 2009 |
Archaeologists generally argue that the Maya civilization and others in South and Central America perished as a result of intense warfare or prodigal consumption of resources. But for one early society, the cause was more elemental -- earth, wind and water.
December 27, 2008 |
Egyptian archaeologists have discovered the tombs of two court officials, in charge of music and pyramid building, in a 4,000-year-old cemetery that was built during the reign of Pharaoh Unas. The tombs were found buried in the sands south of Cairo and could shed light on the fifth and the sixth dynasties of the Old Kingdom, said Zahi Hawass, Egypt's antiquities chief. One of the tombs belonged to Iya Maat, the supervisor of pyramid building under the reign of Unas. He organized the acquisition of granite and limestone from Aswan and other materials from the Western Desert.
November 15, 2008 |
Canadian researchers say they've narrowed down the likely owner of a dinosaur nest, abandoned on a river's edge 77 million years ago, to two suspects. They say that the discovery offers a unique look at dinosaur reproduction and the evolution of birds. The two small, carnivorous suspects are a caenagnathid, which looks somewhat like an ostrich, or a small raptor called a dromaeosaurid. Both are small by dinosaur standards, and related to modern birds. The nest probably held as many as a dozen eggs, of which fossilized fragments remain.
November 9, 2008 |
Sometimes serendipity makes history. In this case, it may have uncovered history. This year, Israeli writer Yaron Svoray came to Germany to research the underground operation that whisked Nazi officials to South America to escape justice after World War II. Svoray was chatting with a local about his project when the man mentioned that a nearby plot of land had served as a dump during the Third Reich.
September 27, 2008 |
Egypt's antiquities council says archaeologists have unearthed a 3,000-year-old red granite head believed to portray the 19th Dynasty pharaoh Ramses II. The Supreme Council of Antiquities says the discovery was made recently at Tell Basta, about 50 miles northeast of Cairo. The council's statement this week says the 30-inch-high head belonged to a colossal statue of Ramses II that once stood in the area. The site at Tell Basta was dedicated to the cat goddess Bastet and was an important center of the Old Kingdom until the end of the Roman Period.
September 22, 2008 |
British researchers think they have solved the decades-old mystery of why ancient Britons transported massive rocks 250 miles from Wales to Salisbury Plain to construct the massive but enigmatic Stonehenge monument: They believed the stones possessed healing powers.
September 13, 2008 |
Archaeologists have unearthed gold jewelry, weapons and pottery at an ancient burial site near Pella in northern Greece, the birthplace of Alexander the Great, the Culture Ministry said this week. The excavations at the vast cemetery uncovered 43 graves dating from 650 to 279 BC, shedding new light on the early development of the Macedonian kingdom, which stretched as far as India under Alexander's conquests. Among the most interesting discoveries were the graves of 20 warriors dating to between 580 and 460 BC, in the late Archaic period, the ministry said in a statement Thursday.
September 6, 2008 |
Israeli archaeologists Wednesday unveiled a 2,100-year-old Jerusalem perimeter wall -- along with beer bottles left behind by 19th century researchers who first discovered the stone defenses. The wall, on Mt. Zion at the southern edge of Jerusalem's Old City, dates back to the Second Jewish Temple, which was destroyed by the Romans in AD 70. The 10 1/2 -foot-high wall was not supported by any mortar or other bonding material and formed part of a 3 1/2 -mile-long fortification around the city, an official said.