background preloader


Facebook Twitter

Stone Monument Found In Ancient Maya City Of El Perú-Waka' Sheds Light On Royal Dynasties (PHOTOS) Researchers in northern Guatemala have unearthed not only a rare 1,450-year-old Maya stone monument but also an intriguing tale of royal vengeance and power. Officially named El Perú Stela 44, the stone was found during an excavation beneath the main temple of the ancient Maya city El Perú-Waka’. The new discovery includes hieroglyphic text detailing a battle between two of the civilization’s most powerful royal dynasties. "'Game of Thrones'... George Lucas... Steven Spielberg... Nobody could write this story the way the Maya actually lived it," Dr. David Freidel, an anthropologist at Washington University in St. So, what story was hidden in Stela 44? Map of the Maya world. Lady Ikoom was one of two Snake dynasty princesses sent into arranged marriages with the rulers of El Perú-Waka’ kingdom and another nearby Maya city -- all part of an attempt to cement Snake control over that region of Guatemala.

Maya Snake queen Lady Ikoom as depicted on Stela 44. Also on HuffPost: Tiny Chinese Archicebus fossil is oldest primate yet found. A mouse-sized fossil from China has provided remarkable new insights into the origin of primates. At 55 million years old, it represents the earliest known member of this broad group of animals that includes humans. Scientists have called the diminutive creature Archicebus, which roughly translates as "ancient monkey". They tell Nature magazine that its skeleton helps explain the branching that occurred at the very base of the primate evolutionary tree.

The team puts Archicebus on the line leading to tarsiers, a collection of small arboreal animals now found exclusively in south-east Asia. But its great age and primitive features mean Archicebus also has much to say about the emergence of the tarsiers' sister grouping - the anthropoids, the primates that include monkeys, apes and us. And it would suggest that the first of these creatures were, likewise, petite forms scurrying through the tropical canopies that grew to cover the Earth shortly after the dinosaurs' extinction. Mystery of 16th-century perfume bottle stopper from India or Sri Lanka found in a field in England.

Experts are scratching their heads about how the 16th century gold artefact, inlaid with 16 rubies, made its way from the Indian sub-continent to a South Derbyshire field. The tiny stopper, which is believed to originate in Goa or Sri Lanka, was found by amateur metal detectorists Tim Corser and Peter Jones. Mr Corser, said: “I couldn’t believe it. It came right up in the first spade when I got to that spot. It was incredibly lucky that it hadn’t been harmed in all those years. I thought initially that the stones were garnets. Experts at the British Museum have described the find as important, but its provenance is a mystery and therefore difficult to value. Derby coroner Paul McCandless said: “It really is the most beautiful object and the workmanship is extremely good.” Mr Corser and Mr Jones are keeping the exact location of the site a secret and are planning further digs. Source: Derby Telegraph.

Richard III team makes second Leicester car park find. 3 May 2013Last updated at 22:33 ET Continue reading the main story The site of the excavation, at Oxford Street, was outside the walls of Roman Leicester The bodies were found buried in a variety of positions, suggesting mixed religious beliefs among the dead A jet ring with a mysterious symbol, thought to be early Christian, was among the finds The site is earmarked for development Continue reading the main story The team that discovered the remains of Richard III under a Leicester car park has made another find.

A 1,700-year-old Roman cemetery has been identified beneath another car park in the city. Archaeologists from the University of Leicester believe the remains date back to AD300. Researchers found 13 sets of remains of mixed age and sex as well as hairpins, belt buckles and other personal items at the site on Oxford Street. In February remains found beneath Greyfriars car park were revealed to be those of the last Plantagenet monarch, Richard III. Jet ring Continue reading the main story. Culture - Sculpture of ancient Rome: The shock of the old. The Romans loved art full of violence and sex. But where modern viewers see smut and gore, ancient eyes may have seen something different, writes Alastair Sooke. It must have been bliss to be an archaeologist during the 18th Century, when the Roman towns of Pompeii and Herculaneum were rediscovered. Take the Villa of the Papyri outside Herculaneum: 85 sculptures were uncovered at this site alone between 1750 and 1761.

But it could be awkward too. Imagine how the excavators must have felt when they unearthed the most infamous of these sculptures in the presence of the king of Naples and Sicily on a spring day in 1752. Unlike most of the 18th-Century finds from Herculaneum and Pompeii, the sculpture was hidden away, available to view only with the monarch’s permission. Without realising, Nollekens had stressed the scene’s undertones of bestiality and rape – even though the original may have appeared much less violent to the Romans. Grim gardens Saucy sculpture. Mystery of 200-year-old British soldier found in the dunes of Holland. 2 May 2013Last updated at 08:32 GMT By Caroline Wyatt Defence correspondent, BBC News A preserved Coldstream Guards button and soldiers in modern ceremonial dress and the skeletal remains of the unknown soldier with a decomposed button found at the site The 200-year-old body of a British Coldstream Guards soldier was found in sand dunes in the Netherlands.

Who was he? For more than two centuries, the remains of a soldier lay undisturbed on a windy beach in the northern Netherlands. But in March 2011, birdwatchers discovered bones and metal artefacts among sand-dunes that had once been covered in asphalt. The find was near an area known as the "Bonehole" because of the number of historic remains that had previously been unearthed. A team of archaeologists was called in to dig further. "We were taken to the site by the person who made the find, and it was quite hard to see," she recalls. Continue reading the main story The 2nd Regiment Continue reading the main story 1799 invasion of Holland. 'Proof' Jamestown settlers turned to cannibalism. 1 May 2013Last updated at 18:24 ET By Jane O'Brien BBC News, Jamestown, Virginia "The evidence is absolutely consistent with dismemberment and de-fleshing of this body" - Doug Owsley, forensic anthropologist Newly discovered human bones prove the first permanent English settlers in North America turned to cannibalism over the cruel winter of 1609-10, US researchers have said.

Scientists found unusual cuts consistent with butchering for meat on human bones dumped in a rubbish pit. The four-century-old skull and tibia of a teenage girl in James Fort, Virginia, were excavated from the dump last year. James Fort, founded in 1607, was the earliest part of the Jamestown colony. 'Starving Time' Researchers fashioned a three-dimension replica of the girl's face "The evidence is absolutely consistent with dismemberment and de-fleshing of this body," said Doug Owsley, a forensic anthropologist at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington DC. Continue reading the main story. Heracleion Photos: Lost Egyptian City Revealed After 1,200 Years Under Sea. It is a city shrouded in myth, swallowed by the Mediterranean Sea and buried in sand and mud for more than 1,200 years. But now archeologists are unearthing the mysteries of Heracleion, uncovering amazingly well-preserved artifacts that tell the story of a vibrant classical-era port.

Known as Heracleion to the ancient Greeks and Thonis to the ancient Eygptians, the city was rediscovered in 2000 by French underwater archaeologist Dr. Franck Goddio and a team from the European Institute for Underwater Acheology (IEASM) after a four-year geophysical survey. The ruins of the lost city were found 30 feet under the surface of the Mediterranean Sea in Aboukir Bay, near Alexandria.

A new documentary highlights the major discoveries that have been unearthed at Thonis-Heracleion during a 13-year excavation. Exciting archeological finds help describe an ancient city that was not only a vital international trade hub but possibly an important religious center. Also on HuffPost: The “Wall of Severus” Offa's Dyke, near Knighton (Powys) One of the more startling claims made by Steve Blake and Scott Lloyd in their dreadful book The Keys to Avalon: the true location of Arthur’s Kingdom revealed (Shaftesbury: Element, 2000) is that what has been known for the past thousand years and more as ‘Offa’s Dyke’ was in fact built by Roman armies during the reign of Septimius Severus (Emperor 197-211).

They use literary texts and, as a ‘stop press’, a radiocarbon date for Wat’s Dyke, whose relevance is not immediately apparent. Interestingly, they hardly use archaeological evidence. On what do they base their claim? Bust of Septimius Severus (145-211 CE, Emperor from 193) in the Glyptothek, Munich Turning then to the Historia Augusta, a late fourth-century compilation of Lives of various emperors from Hadrian to the later third century, they make the astounding claim that “this one text alone forms the basis of our knowledge of the names of the Romans who built the Hadrian and Antonine Walls”.


Archaeology and prehistoric. 100-million-year-old coelacanth fish discovered in Texas is new species from Cretaceous. A new species of coelacanth fish has been discovered in Texas. The species is now the youngest coelacanth from Texas; fish jaw and cranial material indicate a new family -- Dipluridae -- that was evolutionary transition between two previously known families. Pieces of tiny fossil skull found in Fort Worth have been identified as 100 million-year-old coelacanth bones, according to paleontologist John F. Graf, Southern Methodist University, Dallas. The coelacanth has one of the longest lineages -- 400 million years -- of any animal. The SMU specimen is the first coelacanth in Texas from the Cretaceous, said Graf, who identified the fossil. Graf named the new coelacanth species Reidus hilli. Coelacanths have been found on nearly every continent Reidus hilli is now the youngest coelacanth identified in the Lone Star State.

Previously the youngest was a 200 million-year-old coelacanth from the Triassic. Coelacanth fossils have been found on every continent except Antarctica. A sharper look into the past for archaeology and climate research. By using a new series of measurements of radiocarbon dates on seasonally laminated sediments from Lake Suigetsu in Japan, a more precise calibration of radiocarbon dating will be possible. In combination with an accurate count of the seasonal layered deposits in the lake, the study resulted in an unprecedented precision of the known 14C method with which it is now possible to date older objects of climate research and archeology more precisely than previously achievable.

This is the result published by an international team of geoscientists led by Prof. Christopher Bronk Ramsey (University of Oxford) in the latest edition of the journal Science. The radiocarbon method for dating organic and calcareous materials uses the known decay rates of the radioactive isotope 14C, which is formed in very small amounts in the upper atmosphere by cosmic rays. These new data are very important for both archaeological and paleoclimatic research.