Archaeology

More Stories in Archaeology

  1. An ancient saddle against a white backdrop with a colorful bar for scale
    Archaeology

    The oldest known horseback riding saddle was found in a grave in China

    The well-used saddle, dated to more than 2,400 years ago, displays skilled leather- and needlework. Its placement suggests its owner was on a final ride.

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  2. illustration showing a line of Viking ships on the ocean horizon
    Archaeology

    How an ancient solar flare illuminated the start of the Viking Age

    Improved radiocarbon dating aided by a solar flare in the year 775 sheds light on the early days of Vikings and global trading in medieval times.

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  3. A painting of a group of Xiongnu herders riding horses with more livestock seen off to the side.
    Archaeology

    How Asia’s first nomadic empire broke the rules of imperial expansion

    New studies reveal clues to how mobile rulers assembled a multiethnic empire of herders known as the Xiongnu more than 2,000 years ago.

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  4. A photo of three ancient stone artifacts from the island of Palawan in the Philippines on a black background.
    Archaeology

    Indigenous input revealed early hints of fiber making in the tropics

    To decipher marks on nearly 40,000-year-old stone tools and figure out what they were used for, researchers turned to the Philippines’ Pala’wan people.

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  5. A photo of the pages of a book called the Dresden Codex.
    Astronomy

    50 years ago, a search for proof that the Maya tracked comets came up short

    The mystery of whether the ancient civilization tracked comets endures, but recent evidence hints the Maya tracked related meteor showers.

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  6. An ancient quartz bottle with handles on either side against a black backdrop
    Archaeology

    An old perfume bottle reveals what some ancient Romans smelled like

    Chemical analyses reveal that an unopened flask of perfume from 2,000 years ago contained patchouli, a common ingredient in modern perfumes.

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  7. A photo of a male Japanese macaque sitting on a rock with a blurry forest in the background.
    Animals

    When and why did masturbation evolve in primates? A new study provides clues

    In a first-of-its-kind comparative study, researchers show that primates were masturbating 40 million years ago and that the behavior may help males keep their sperm fresh.

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  8. An artist reconstruction of a grave holding several bones.
    Anthropology

    Homo naledi may have dug cave graves and carved marks into cave walls

    Proposed discoveries of humanlike activities by these ancient, small-brained hominids have elicited skepticism from some researchers.

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  9. An ancient toilet that looks like a square stone block with a circular hole in the middle
    Humans

    Oldest traces of a dysentery-causing parasite were found in ancient toilets

    Scientists have found traces of giardia in two toilets used by wealthy residents of Jerusalem in the 7th and 6th century B.C.

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