Domesticated pigs were present in northern Germany around 4600 B.C., some 500 years earlier than previously thought, new fossil and DNA evidence reveals.
The finding, detailed in this week’s issue of the journal Nature Communications, is significant because the people living in that part of Europe at the time were Mesolithic hunter-gatherers who primarily lived off of wild game.
These people, known as the Ertebølle culture, kept domesticated dogs as hunting companions, but it would be several hundreds of years before they began raising animals and crops for food.
One hypothesis for how the Ertebølle came to acquire the pigs is that they traded for them with their farmer neighbors to the south. Read more.
A badger has led German archaeologists to a stunning find of medieval warrior graves, complete with one skeleton still clutching a sword and a wearing snake-shaped buckle on his belt.
Scientists are now examining the burial site where at least eight people were buried.
Artist and voluntary monument maintenance man Lars Wilhelm said he was watching badgers near his home in Brandenburg, north Germany, when he realized they were digging into an ancient grave.
He said he had been watching the progress of an enormous badger sett for five years. “My wife and I - we are both sculptors - wanted to put artworks in there.”
But this was now out of the question, he said. “The bones changed everything,” he added. Read more.
A new exhibition at the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia is causing diplomatic friction between Germany and Russia. “The Bronze Age of Europe: Europe Without Borders” features some German works of art that were looted by Russian soldiers at the end of World War II.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel was in St. Petersburg for a summit with Russian leader Vladimir Putin, and the two leaders were on hand Friday at the Hermitage to open the exhibition. During the visit, Merkel reportedly called on Russia to return the looted items.
"It’s our opinion that these exhibition pieces should be returned to Germany," she said, according to Reuters. Putin reportedly replied that it was time to stop making repatriation claims. Read more.
Thousands of Greek antiquities removed from Greece during Second World War will be returned to the country from Germany in June, the ministry of culture confirmed on Wednesday.
According to a document submitted to parliament by Alternate Culture Minister Kostas Tzavaras, the Pfahlbaumuseum will return to Greece 8,000 pottery fragments from the Neolithic Era, which were illegally excavated in 1941 near Velestino, Thessaly.
Pfahlbaumuseum is an archaeological open-air museum in southern Germany, consisting of reconstructions of stilt houses from the Neolithic and Bronze Age.
The ministry’s general directorate for antiquities is collecting data for all antiquities illegally removed from Greece during the German occupation. Read more.
For years, few were interested in unearthing what lay beneath old gallows and scaffolds. But, in Germany, growing interest in “execution site archaeology” is throwing much light on how the executed died and the executors lived.
Her interests initially focused on fashion, but then they migrated to murder and decay. Marita Genesis, 42, worked as a runway model for Escada after graduating from secondary school. Later, she studied ancient and early history, and learned about criminal law.Now, the archaeologist is surrounded by criminals. She is standing in a storeroom belonging to the Thuringia State Office for the Preservation of Monuments and pointing at a number of bones. These are the remains of thieves, sodomites and child murderers. Read more.
COLOGNE, Germany — After long being sidelined for Roman excavations, an archaeological dig in western Germany has unearthed myriad traces of daily life in one of Europe’s oldest and biggest Jewish communities.
From ceramic dishes and tools to toys, animal bones and jewellery, some 250,000 artefacts have so far shed light on various periods in 2,000 years of the city of Cologne’s history.
And they include many piecing together Cologne’s little-known but rich Jewish history.
But plans to display the findings, discovered since 2007 by head archaeologist Sven Schuette’s team at the 10,000 square-metre (32,800 square-foot) city centre dig, in a new museum have proved divisive. Read more.
PRISTINA, Kosovo (AFP) - Kosovo’s culture minister on Friday said Germany had returned seven millennia-old artefacts that were smuggled out during the 1998-1999 war with Serbia and unexpectedly found in a German police raid.
The seven terracotta items, including a small bowl, date back to the neolithic era, between 3,500 to 4,000 BC. They were found by German police in an unrelated investigation against two Serbs several years ago, Memli Krasniqi said, adding that it took a while to confirm the items came from Kosovo. Read more.
BOGOTA, Colombia — Nearly a century ago, Konrad Preuss did pioneering work in Colombia’s most important archaeological zone, called San Agustin. But the German archaeologist also took 35 stone statues back to Germany, and now residents of the southern Colombian region where he worked have mounted a campaign to get them back.
About 1,800 residents of the Andean community of the San Agustin region signed a petition this month in a grass-roots effort to urge Colombia’s government to make a formal request for the return of the intriguing artifacts. Some of the statues are on display and others are in storage at the Ethnological Museum in Berlin’s Dahlem neighborhood. Read more.