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Israel Unearths 1.5K-Year-Old Church

Byzantine-era mosaic floor will be removed for display

(Newser) - Excavators preparing a plot of earth in southern Israel for new construction instead unearthed an impressive 1,500-year-old church, reports Fox News . The structure, about 70 feet long and 40 feet wide, dates to the Byzantine era and still has mosaics with intricate geometric designs in place on its floors,...

Saudi Arabia Milestone: Dinosaur Fossils

Scientists find first that can be identified in Arabian Peninsula

(Newser) - A new fossil discovery confirms that dinosaurs roamed present-day Saudi Arabia. Researchers report in PLoS One that they found bone fragments of two different dinosaurs that lived about 72 million years ago. One is a distant cousin of T-Rex, a meat-eating theropod. The other is a plant-eating titanosaur, reports LiveScience...

For Early Plague in Europe, Blame Halley's Comet?

Scientists think piece hit Earth in 530 AD, caused drought and famine

(Newser) - Halley's Comet provided more than just a light show for residents of planet Earth in the year 530 AD—a chunk of it may have slammed into Greenland, creating such a massive dust storm in the atmosphere that it triggered drought, famine, and possibly even the first recorded instance...

Guardians of 'Hell's Gate' Unearthed in Turkey

Pluto's Gate once had snake, 3-headed dog standing guard

(Newser) - What's a "Gate to Hell" without a couple of scary guardians lurking outside? Appropriately, archaeologists in Turkey have unearthed two marble statues that once guarded the fabled portal to the underworld known as Pluto's Gate, LiveScience reports. "The statues represent two mythological creatures," says archaeologist...

Vikings Buried Headless Slaves With Owners
Vikings Buried Headless Slaves With Owners
study says

Vikings Buried Headless Slaves With Owners

Archeologists piece together clues from ancient burial site

(Newser) - Sleuthing archeologists think they've figured out a grisly characteristic of the Vikings: They buried slaves with their owners—after chopping off the servants' heads. As USA Today explains, the theory comes from a gravesite dating back about 1,200 years on an island off the Norwegian Sea. Some of...

Archeologists Find First Evidence of Spicy Cooking

Honor goes to garlic mustard seeds used 6K years ago

(Newser) - The first foodies? Archeologists have uncovered the oldest known evidence of humans cooking with spices, they report in PLoS One . The UK researchers found traces of garlic mustard seeds in 6,000-year-old pots dug up in Denmark and Germany. Because the seeds have little nutritional value but deliver a peppery...

Large Mayan Frieze Found in Guatemala

Archeologists were exploring pyramid

(Newser) - Archaeologists have found an "extraordinary" Mayan frieze richly decorated with images of deities and rulers and a long dedicatory inscription. The frieze was discovered in the northern Province of Petenelli by a team led by Guatemalan archaeologist Francisco Estrada-Belli, a professor at Tulane. The archaeologists were exploring a Mayan...

Archaeologists: We Found Piece of Jesus' Cross

Small relic undergoing tests in Turkey

(Newser) - Archaeologists working at an ancient church in Turkey think they've unearthed a piece of the world's most famous cross, the one used to crucify Jesus. They found a stone chest during excavation at a 1,350-year-old church, and the chest had a number of relics inside believed to...

Archaeologists: We've Found King David's Palace

Site unveiled near Jerusalem

(Newser) - Archaeologists have made a discovery of Biblical proportions: They say newly excavated ruins near Jerusalem are "the best example to date of the uncovered fortress city of King David." Extensive digging has unveiled a pair of structures, one of which may have been a palace belonging to the...

Stonehenge Began as Cemetery for Bigwigs
 Stonehenge Began as 
 Cemetery for Bigwigs 
study says

Stonehenge Began as Cemetery for Bigwigs

Researchers think elite families were buried there around 3000 BC

(Newser) - Observatory? Solar calendar? Add this to the theory on the origins of Stonehenge: Researchers say it began earlier than thought as a cemetery for elite Stone Age families, reports the Guardian . The most extensive analysis yet of remains excavated from the site suggests that men, women, and children were buried...

Syrian Rebels' New Cash Source: Stolen Artifacts

Fighters have become 'archeologists': rebel

(Newser) - Short on funds, Syrian rebels have been turning to a new source of income: selling snatched artifacts. "Some days we are fighters; others we are archeologists," says a rebel who counts ancient Sumerian tablets among his finds. Fighters, who control most of the top archeological areas, say a...

Yep: Skeleton in Parking Lot Is Richard III

DNA matches sister's descendant

(Newser) - Archeologists have shown "beyond a reasonable doubt" that human remains under a Leicester parking lot belong to a fabled king of England. Researchers had suspected the skeleton was Richard III's —and today they announced that DNA and other testing have confirmed it, the Guardian reports. The skeleton'...

Cheesemaking Goes Back 7.5K Years

Earliest pots used in process are found in modern Poland

(Newser) - Residents of what is now Poland figured out how to make cheese about 7,500 years ago, reports the BBC . Archeologists have determined that clay vessels unearthed near a river were used to separate curds from whey, a key step in the process. The finding is the earliest such proof...

Vandals Cut Ancient Art From California Cliffs

Petroglyphs hacked from Volcanic Tableland

(Newser) - Thieves hacked at least four large petroglyphs from cliffs near Bishop, California, that had been there for more than 3,500 years, reports the Los Angeles Times . Two others were damaged and left behind. The etchings of animals and symbols in a region known as Volcanic Tableland are sacred to...

French Parking Lot Yields Roman Shipwreck

Ship sank in shallow water at ancient port

(Newser) - Archaeologists investigating the site of a proposed parking lot in the French Riviera have found a vessel that has been parked there for nearly 2,000 years. The Roman shipwreck is believed to have sunk just off the ancient port of Antipolis, in an area that gradually filled with sand....

Ancient &#39;Black Drink&#39; Surprises Archeologists
 Ancient 'Black Drink' 
 Surprises Archeologists  
in case you missed it

Ancient 'Black Drink' Surprises Archeologists

Beverage suggests America had trade network

(Newser) - It turns out our ancestors liked their caffeine buzz, too. Archeologists studying the ancient city Cahokia have located what they believe is evidence of a likely sacred beverage known as "black drink," which European settlers exploring the southeast US in the 1600s described in writing. What's surprising...

Yaarrrr: Shipwreck Might Yield Pirate's Booty

Divers may have found storied sunken ship off Tongan coast

(Newser) - Shiver me timbers! Divers off the coast of Tonga have found what they suspect is an old pirate's ship with a history straight out of Treasure Island, AFP reports . The Port-au-Prince was built by the French, captured by British privateers (read: pirates) in 1805, and then met its end...

Phew! This Mayan Calendar Doesn't Stop at 2012

We've got thousands of years left, according to new discovery

(Newser) - Everybody can calm down now: Looks like the Mayans didn't think the world would end this year after all. Researchers have discovered astronomical calculations on the wall of an ancient Mayan site that suggest "dates thousands of years beyond" 2012, reports National Geographic . The find came at the...

Ancient Instrument Pushes Music History Back 1K Years

Archeologists find remains of lyre in Scottish cave

(Newser) - Turns out even ancient Europeans liked subtle and complex music. Archeologists have found part of a 2,300-year-old lyre—the oldest instrument ever discovered in western Europe—inside a Scottish cave, the Daily Mail reports. The broken and burnt piece of wood "pushes the history of complex music back...

Book Upends Theory About First Americans' Arrival

Visitors may have gotten here thousands of years earlier than thought

(Newser) - Forget what you learned in school about the first Americans: A new theory is turning archeological assumptions upside down. A pair of experts on ancient history assert that the first Europeans arrived in the Mid-Atlantic region 20,000 years ago, during the Stone Age—rejecting the standard theory that North...

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