Archaeologists in China have unearthed the skulls of more than 80 young women who may have been sacrificed more than 4,000 years ago, state media reported on Monday.
The skulls were found in what appears to have been a mass grave at the Shimao Ruins, the site of a neolithic stone city in the northern province of Shaanxi.
The women’s bodies were not present, the official news agency Xinhua said, adding that archaeologists concluded that the skulls were “likely to be related china to the construction of the city wall” in “ancient religious activities or foundation ceremonies” before construction began. Read more.
Archaeologists working with London’s Crossrail project have uncovered 20 skulls believed to be from the Roman period.
It is likely the bones were washed from a nearby burial site along one of London’s “lost” rivers - the Walbrook.
In the last year archaeologists in London have also found about 10,000 Roman items at a nearby site.
These latest finds could give new insights into the lives of Roman people.
Near-intact pottery artefacts were also found which probably travelled along the same route as the skulls. Other bone fragments would not have been washed as easily down the river. Read more.
Three sets of old human remains have been found inside Londonderry’s historic walls.
The remains were unearthed at an archaeological dig at Bishop Street car park, near St Augustine’s cemetery on Friday.
The remains may have been there since the 17th Century, according to researchers.
Archaeologist Emily Murray said: “Below bulks of mud, I came across skulls.”
She added: “You can actually see the seams in the cranium.
"The big question is who the people are and how they died. Read more.
A new analysis of the skulls of prehistoric peoples in Mexico reveals significant regional variation in the facial characteristics of indigenous populations – indicating that there were notable physical differences between geographically separate groups before the arrival of Europeans.
"There has long been a school of thought that there was little physical variation prior to European contact," says Ann Ross, a forensic anthropologist at NC State who co-authored a paper on the work. "But we’ve found that there were clear differences between indigenous peoples before Europeans or Africans arrived in what is now Mexico." Read more.
Stone Age farmers lived through routine violence, and women weren’t spared from its toll, a new study finds.
The analysis discovered that up to 1 in 6 skulls exhumed in Scandinavia from the late Stone Age — between about 6,000 and 3,700 years ago — had nasty head injuries. And contrary to findings from mass gravesites of the period, women were equally likely to be victims of deadly blows, according to the study published in the February issue of the American Journal of Physical Anthropology.
Linda Fibiger, an archaeologist at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, and her colleagues focused on the late Stone Age, when European hunter-gatherers had transitioned into farming or herding animals. Read more.
Archaeologists have unearthed a trove of skulls in Mexico that may have once belonged to human sacrifice victims. The skulls, which date between A.D. 600 and 850, may also shatter existing notions about the ancient culture of the area.
The find, described in the January issue of the journal Latin American Antiquity, was located in an otherwise empty field that once held a vast lake, but was miles from the nearest major city of the day, said study co-author Christopher Morehart, an archaeologist at Georgia State University.
"It’s absolutely remarkable to think about this little nothing on the landscape having potentially evidence of the largest mass human sacrifice in ancient Meso-America," Morehart said. Read more.
(AP)—Mexican archaeologists said Friday they uncovered the largest number of skulls ever found in one offering at the most sacred temple of the Aztec empire dating back more than 500 years.
The finding reveals new ways the pre-Colombian civilization used skulls in rituals at Mexico City’s Templo Mayor, experts said. That’s where the most important Aztec ceremonies took place between 1325 until the Spanish conquest in 1521.
The 50 skulls were found at one sacrificial stone. Five were buried under the stone, and each had holes on both sides—signaling they were hung on a skull rack. Archaeologist Raul Barrera of Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History said the other 45 skulls appeared to have just been dumped on top of the stone. Read more.
AN UNUSUAL cluster of Stone Age skulls with smashed-in faces has been found carefully separated from the rest of their skeletons. They appear to have been dug up several years after being buried with their bodies, separated, then reburied.
Collections of detached skulls have been dug up at many Stone Age sites in Europe and the Near East - but the face-smashing is a new twist that adds further mystery to how these societies related to their dead.
Juan José Ibañez at the Spanish National Research Council in Barcelona says the find may suggest that Stone Age cultures believed dead young men were a threat to the world of the living.
No one knows why Neolithic societies buried clusters of skulls - often near or underneath settlements. Some think it was a sign of ancestral veneration. “When people started living together [during the Neolithic period], they needed a social cement,” says Ibañez. Venerating ancestors might have been a way of doing this. But the violence demonstrated towards the skulls in the latest cluster suggests a different story. Read more.