Everybody’s a critic. Even back in second century Egypt.
While digging in Tebtunis in northern Egypt in the winter of 1899–1900, British archaeologists stumbled upon portraits of affluent Greco-Egyptians placed over the faces of mummies. One grave contained an ink and chalk sketch, a bit larger than a standard sheet of printer paper, of a woman from around the years A.D. 140 to 160. The...
Domesticated bunnies may need a new origin story.
Researchers thought they knew when rabbits were tamed. An often-cited tale holds that monks in Southern France domesticated rabbits after Pope Gregory issued a proclamation in A.D. 600 that fetal rabbits, called laurices, are fish and therefore can be eaten during Lent.
There’s just one problem: The story isn’t true. Not only does...
Young children travel to fantasy worlds every day, packing just imaginations and a toy or two.
Some preschoolers scurry across ocean floors carrying toy versions of cartoon character SpongeBob SquarePants. Other kids trek to distant universes with miniature replicas of Star Wars robots R2-D2 and C-3PO. Throngs of youngsters fly on broomsticks and cast magic spells with Harry Potter and...
Youngsters have probably been playing their way into cultural competence for at least tens of thousands of years. So why are signs of children largely absent from the archaeological record?
A cartoon that Biblical scholar Kristine Garroway taped up in her college dorm helps to explain kids’ invisibility at ancient sites: Two men in business suits stare intently at an unidentifiable round...
Stone-tool makers in what’s now India redesigned their products in a revolutionary way much earlier than previously thought.
Excavated stone artifacts document a gradual shift from larger, handheld cutting implements to smaller pieces of sharpened stone, known as Middle Paleolithic tools, by around 385,000 years ago, researchers say. That shift mirrors a similar change seen in tools from...
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A fossil jaw unearthed in Israel is speaking up about when humans departed Africa. The jaw’s message, at least to its finders: That ancient exodus started much earlier than many researchers had assumed.
Misliya Cave on Israel’s Mount Carmel has yielded what its discoverers regard as a partial Homo sapiens jaw with an estimated age of between around 177,000 and 194,...
Letters to the Editor
Pedal to the universal metal01/24/2018 - 13:34 Cosmology, Archaeology, Astronomy
Some cosmologists hope to explain the universe’s accelerating expansion by fully accounting for the universe’s lumpiness, Emily Conover reported in “Simulating the universe using Einstein’s theory of gravity may solve cosmic puzzles” (SN: 11/25/17, p. 22).
The universe’s accelerating expansion “is apparently based on the observation of objects that are...
A teenage girl climbed into an underground cave around 13,000 years ago. Edging through the ink-dark chamber, she accidentally plunged to her death at the bottom of a deep pit.
Rising seas eventually inundated the cave, located on Central America’s Yucatán Peninsula. But that didn’t stop scuba divers from finding and retrieving much of the girl’s skeleton in 2007.
“First Face of...
A pair of ancient Egyptian mummies, known for more than a century as the Two Brothers, were actually half brothers, a new study of their DNA finds.
These two, high-ranking men shared a mother, but had different fathers, say archaeogeneticist Konstantina Drosou of the University of Manchester in England and her colleagues. That muted family tie came to light thanks to the successful...
Dead Sea Scrolls safe
The famous Dead Sea Scrolls, rumored lost or damaged during the June war between Israel and Egypt, are safe, according to Antiquity…. On the eve of the war they were packed up and put safely in a strong room in the basement of the Palestine Archaeological Museum (Rockefeller Museum), according to a reliable authority. — Science News, January 20, 1968Update...