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E.g., 04/21/2019
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  • a photo of a Cherokee inscription on the wall of a cave
  • Tokyo
  • astrolabe
Your search has returned 416 articles:
  • News in Brief

    Newly translated Cherokee cave writings reveal sacred messages

    Shortly before being forced out of their homeland in the 1830s, Cherokee people of the southeastern United States left written accounts on cave walls of secretive rituals. Now researchers have translated some of those messages from long ago.

    Cherokee inscriptions in Alabama’s Manitou Cave, now a popular tourist destination, describe religious ceremonies and beliefs using written symbols...

    04/16/2019 - 09:00 Archaeology
  • Reviews & Previews

    ‘Cities’ reveals common ground between ancient and modern urban life

    CitiesMonica L. SmithViking, $30

    Ancient Rome’s Monte Testaccio and modern Tokyo’s Tsukiji fish market reveal a lot about the nature of cities. Monte Testaccio is a hill made of broken pottery in the middle of Rome. Around 2,000 years ago, people tossed empty wine and olive oil vessels onto what was then a garbage heap. Tokyo’s vast seafood emporium, also known as Toyosu Market,...

    04/16/2019 - 05:00 Archaeology, Anthropology
  • The –est

    The oldest known astrolabe was used on one of Vasco da Gama’s ships

    While searching for shipwreck remains near Oman in the Arabian Sea in 2014, divers discovered an unusual metal disk that has since proven to be the world’s oldest known mariner’s astrolabe, British researchers report.

    The navigational device came from the wreckage of a ship in the Portuguese armada that had been part of explorer Vasco da Gama’s second voyage to India from 1502 to 1503....

    03/22/2019 - 06:00 Archaeology
  • The –est

    A 2,000-year-old tattoo tool is the oldest in western North America

    While taking an inventory of stored artifacts excavated in Utah in 1972, archaeologist Andrew Gillreath-Brown thought he recognized one: a tattooing tool. That previously overlooked find dates to nearly 2,000 years ago, making it the oldest known tattoo implement from western North America.

    Until now, several similar tattoo implements from the U.S. Southwest dated to no more than around...

    03/04/2019 - 16:00 Archaeology
  • News in Brief

    Ancient Angkor’s mysterious decline may have been slow, not sudden

    Angkor’s moat is giving up the medieval Cambodian city’s secrets, showing that the metropolis gradually dwindled over roughly a century.

    The last capital of the Khmer Empire, Angkor was the world’s most extensive city in the 1200s, home to hundreds of thousands of people in its urban core and comparable numbers of rice farmers in the surrounding area. But Angkor mysteriously declined in...

    02/25/2019 - 15:00 Archaeology
  • News in Brief

    Tooth plaque shows drinking milk goes back 3,000 years in Mongolia

    WASHINGTON — Ancient people living in what’s now Mongolia drank milk from cows, yaks and sheep — even though, as adults, they couldn’t digest lactose. That finding comes from the humblest of sources: ancient dental plaque.

    Modern Mongolians are big on dairy, milking seven different animal species, including cows, yaks and camels. But how far into the past that dairying tradition extends...

    02/17/2019 - 07:00 Archaeology
  • News

    The spread of Europe’s giant stone monuments may trace back to one region

    From simple rock arches to Stonehenge, tens of thousands of imposing stone structures dot Europe’s landscapes. The origins of these megaliths have long been controversial. A new study suggests that large rock constructions first appeared in France and spread across Europe in three waves.

    The earliest megaliths were built in what’s now northwestern France as early as around 6,800 years...

    02/11/2019 - 15:00 Archaeology
  • News

    DNA reveals early mating between Asian herders and European farmers

    Hundreds of years before changing the genetic face of Bronze Age Europeans, herders based in western Asia’s steppe grasslands were already mingling and occasionally mating with nearby farmers in southeastern Europe.

    That surprising finding, published online February 4 in Nature Communications, raises novel questions about a pivotal time when widespread foraging and farming populations...

    02/08/2019 - 06:00 Genetics, Archaeology
  • News

    New dates narrow down when Denisovans and Neandertals crossed paths

    Mysterious ancient hominids known as Denisovans and their evolutionary cousins, Neandertals, frequented a southern Siberian cave starting a surprisingly long time ago, two new studies find.

    Evidence for visits by those populations to Denisova Cave, beginning by around 200,000 years ago for Neandertals and possibly as early as about 300,000 years ago for Denisovans, appears in the Jan. 31...

    01/30/2019 - 13:00 Anthropology, Archaeology, Human Evolution
  • The Science Life

    Why modern javelin throwers hurled Neandertal spears at hay bales

    Archaeologist Annemieke Milks had convened a sporting event of prehistoric proportions.

    The athletes: Six javelin throwers who approached the physical strength of Neandertals. The weapon: Two replicas of a 300,000-year-old wooden spear, one of nine ancient hunting tools discovered at Germany’s Schöningen coal mine (SN: 3/1/97, p. 134). The test: Could Neandertals, the likely makers of...

    01/28/2019 - 13:51 Anthropology, Archaeology, Human Evolution