Archaeological News

            The latest news in archaeology.             

Posts tagged "skull"

The skeleton of an ancient aristocratic woman whose head was warped into a deformed, pointy shape has been unearthed in a necropolis in France.

The necropolis, found in the Alsace region of France, contains 38 tombs that span more than 4,000 years, from the Stone Age to the Dark Ages.

The Obernai region where the remains were found contains a river and rich, fertile soil, which has attracted people for thousands of years, Philippe Lefranc, an archaeologist who excavated the Stone Age burials, wrote in an email.

Archaeologists first found the tombs in 2011 while doing a preliminary excavation of the area prior to the start of a big industrial building project. This year, Lefranc and his colleagues went back to do a more in-depth excavation. Read more.

A 1.8-million-year-old skull blends features of a number of early human species.

A newly discovered skull, some 1.8 million years old, has rekindled debate over the identity of humanity’s ancient ancestors. Uncovered at the Dmanisi site in the Caucasus in Georgia, “Skull 5” represents the most complete jaw and cranium from a turning point in early human history.

Researchers, led by Georgian National Museum anthropologist David Lordkipanidze, first found the complete lower jaw of a fossil human in 2000. The cranium turned up five years later, at the fossil-rich Dmanisi site 96 miles southwest of Tbilisi, and is now being reported in the journal Science.

"It was discovered on August 5, 2005—in fact, on my birthday," Lordkipanidze says. He adds that the fossil’s importance was clear as soon as the team saw it, but required eight years of preparatory analysis. Read more.

Experts have discovered on the archaeological site of Tlatelolco in the Mexican capital the skull of a decapitated individual and a vessel, both from an estimated 500 years ago, the National Anthropology and History Institute, or INAH, said.

In a communique, the INAH said the small offering was found at the foot of the Great Temple on the pre-Columbian site after a custodian reported “what appeared to be a buried vessel.”

Archaeologist Salvador Guilliem, director of the Tlatelolco Project, said the skull, found on top of the vessel, was from a young adult male, “very probably a prisoner of war.” Read more.

Newfound pieces of human skull from “the Cave of the Monkeys” in Laos are the earliest skeletal evidence yet that humans once had an ancient, rapid migration to Asia.

Anatomically modern humans first arose about 200,000 years ago in Africa. When and how our lineage then dispersed out of Africa has long proven controversial.

Archaeological evidence and genetic data suggest that modern humans rapidly migrated out of Africa and into Southeast Asia by at least 60,000 years ago. However, complicating this notion is the notable absence of fossil evidence for modern human occupation in mainland Southeast Asia, likely because those bones do not survive well in the warm, tropical region.

Now a partial skull from Tam Pa Ling, “the Cave of the Monkeys” in northern Laos helps fill in this mysterious gap in the fossil record. Read more.

A fractured skull and a thigh bone hacked in half, along with axes, spears, clubs and shields confirm that the bog at Alken Enge in Denmark was the site of violent conflict.

‘It’s clear that this must have been a quite far-reaching and dramatic event that must have had profound effect on the society of the time,’ explains Project Manager Mads Kähler Holst, professor of archaeology at Aarhus University.

For almost two months now, Dr Holst and a team of fifteen archaeologists and geologists have been working to excavate the remains of a large army that was sacrificed at the site around the time of the birth of Christ. The skeletal remains of hundreds of warriors lie buried in the Alken Enge wetlands near Lake Mossø in East Jutland, Denmark.

The remains will be exhumed from the excavation site over the coming days. Then an international team of researchers will attempt to discover who these warriors were and where they came from by performing detailed analyses of the remains. Read more.

The skull seemed a daunting thing, amid the trove of worldly antiquities, fine jewelry, rare gems and ancient fossils. It was an austere war relic, and for more than half a century it loomed in the vast collection of Franklin’s Ruby City Gem and Mineral museum.

From temple to temple, crossing the tip of the skull, grim words were written in black.

“Made in Japan. Tried in the Solomons and Found Wanting.”

The words were, supposedly, written by a U.S. Marine gunner C.N. Baumand, signed 1942. The hand-drawn mark of the U.S. Marine symbol adorned the center of the message.

But last year, after decades of being showcased as an artifact in the establishment’s inventory, Ruby City proprietors were asked in an email to remove the item by the Japanese Consulate.

An anonymous woman from South Carolina contacted the Japanese Embassy after seeing the skull, alerting them of the possible find. Read more.

The Actun Tunichil Muknal cave or ATM - for short, may be the most prized and treasured Mayan site in Belize - and that’s because of the spectacular skeletal remains of 15 individuals that can be found there.

They are estimated to be over a thousand years old - and the most precious is the so called Crystal Maiden, the skeletal remains of a young woman.

Not far from Belmopan, it is a popular tourist destination, but a couple weeks ago, during one of the regular tours, one of the tourists got a little careless around one of the skeletons. He dropped his camera, fracturing one of the thousand year old skulls.

No, it wasn’t on the famous crystal maiden - but it is still a very serious issue, and today we spoke to Director of the Institute of Archaeology Jaime Awe who told us how serious it is, and how they plan to prevent this from happening again. Read more.

ScienceDaily — A 33,000-year-old dog skull unearthed in a Siberian mountain cave presents some of the oldest known evidence of dog domestication and, together with an equally ancient find in a cave in Belgium, indicates that modern dogs may be descended from multiple ancestors.

If you think a Chihuahua doesn’t have much in common with a Rottweiler, you might be on to something.

An ancient dog skull, preserved in a cave in the Altai Mountains of Siberia for 33,000 years, presents some of the oldest known evidence of dog domestication and, together with equally ancient dog remains from a cave in Belgium, indicates that domestication of dogs may have occurred repeatedly in different geographic locations rather than with a single domestication event.

In other words, man’s best friends may have originated from more than one ancient ancestor, contrary to what some DNA evidence previously has indicated. Read more.