Rare, prehistoric rock art which could be more than 4,000 years old has been discovered in the Brecon Beacons.
The Bronze Age discovery was made late last year by national park geologist Alan Bowring.
Experts claim the stone probably served as a way marker for farming communities.
Similar stones have been found in other parts of Britain but they are thought to be rare in mid Wales.
Its exact location in the Brecon Beacons is being kept a secret and news of its discovery comes after archaeologists found a similar ancient rock in the Scottish Highlands. Read more.
Medieval desert-dwelling Arabs in Saudi Arabia ate lizards after the advent of Islam, which generally prohibits eating reptiles, new research suggests.
Though historical and anthropological texts had mentioned the taste for these scaly desert snacks, the find is the first archaeological evidence confirming the lizard’s presence in the Arabian diet, study co-author Hervé Monchot, a zooarchaeologist at the Université-Paris Sorbonne, wrote in an email to Live Science.
The lizards were probably eaten because they are “an excellent source of protein,” Monchot said. Read more.
Egypt has announced that a team of European archaeologists have found a nearly 2-meter- (6 ½-foot-) tall alabaster statue of a pharaonic princess, dating from approximately 1350 B.C., outside the southern city of Luxor.
Minister of Antiquities Mohammed Ibrahim said in in a statement Friday that the statue was once part of a larger statue that was nearly 14 meters (456 feet) tall and guarded the entrance to a temple.
Ibrahim says the statue is of Iset, the daughter of Amenhotep III, and is the first found that depicts her without her siblings. Archaeologists uncovered the statue next to the funerary temple of Amenhotep III, who was worshipped as a deity after his death. (source)
The Pachacamac archaeological site, located about 40 kilometers southeast of Lima, has yielded some new finds.
According to Peru21, archaeologists working at the site have found two relatively well-preserved artifacts at the site: a small wooden carving depicting a female figure and a cloth covered with brightly-colored feathers.
Peru21 reports that the pieces were found by specialists who work at the Pachacamac site museum. The objects were discovered in the area of the site called Pilgrims’ Plaza.
The wooden figurine measures 8.5 centimeters long, and bears the likeness of a standing woman with her hands resting on her chest. Read more.
In the same century that Michelangelo painted the Sistine Chapel and Shakespeare wrote “Richard III,” German artillery experts were trying to master the art of strapping bombs to cats.
A 16th-century treatise on warfare and weapons includes illustrations of cats and doves wearing what look like early jetpacks. The idea was that these animal bombers could set fire to cities or castles that were otherwise inaccessible to human soldiers.
Mitch Fraas, a researcher at the University of Pennsylvania Libraries, compiled these images, which derive from a text called “Buch von den probierten Künsten” by a German artillery master named Franz Helm of Cologne. Read more.
Researchers from New Zealand’s University of Otago studying 3000-year-old skeletons from the oldest known cemetery in the Pacific Islands are casting new light on the diet and lives of the enigmatic Lapita people, the likely ancestors of Polynesians.
Their results—obtained from analysing stable isotope ratios of three elements in the bone collagen of 49 adults buried at the Teouma archaeological site on Vanuatu’s Efate Island—suggest that its early Lapita settlers ate reef fish, marine turtles, fruit bats, free-range pigs and chickens, rather than primarily relying on growing crops for human food and animal fodder. Read more.
A grand, sandstone-walled pit in Mesa Verde National Park has for decades been seen as an achievement of prehistoric hydrology, part of a system of cisterns and canals used by Ancestral Puebloans to harvest rainwater on the arid plateau as much as 1,100 years ago.
Cowboys who watered their horses at the pit in the 19th century called it Mummy Lake.
In 1917, government ethnologist Jesse Walker Fewkes cemented the more official interpretation of the site, deeming it a “prehistoric reservoir.”
But a new analysis of the feature finds that, while it may catch runoff from time to time, Mummy Lake wasn’t built for holding water. Read more.
An archaeological excavation at Ireland’s best-preserved Anglo Norman castle has been extended after the discovery of a secret tunnel.
Experts from Queen’s University had been commissioned to spend three weeks conducting exploratory digs at Carrickfergus Castle in a bid to find out more about the 800-year-old fortification on the shores of Belfast Lough.
But Stormont’s Environment Minister Mark H Durkan has now given the archaeologists another month to carry out further excavations.
Built in 1177 by Anglo Norman knight John de Courcy soon after his invasion of Ulster, the castle lies on the stretch of coastline where King William III landed in Ireland before the Battle of the Boyne in 1690. Read more.