Tag Archives: Archaeology

Ancient DNA is revealing the genetic landscape of people who first settled East Asia

Pulverized ancient bone can provide DNA to scientists for analysis. Xin Xu Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology, CC BY-ND

Pulverized ancient bone can provide DNA to scientists for analysis. Xin Xu Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology, CC BY-ND Melinda A. Yang, University of Richmond The very first human beings originally emerged in Africa before spreading across Eurasia about 60,000 years ago. After that, the story of humankind heads down many different paths, some more well-studied than others. Eastern …

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Fears grow for safety of Iraq’s cultural heritage under ISIS

This Assyrian winged bull is safe in Chicago, if far from home. How much else is safe? Trjames, CC BY-SA

This Assyrian winged bull is safe in Chicago, if far from home. How much else is safe? Trjames, CC BY-SA Eleanor Robson, UCL Iraq has a long and rich heritage, home for thousands of years to mighty empires – Assyria and Babylon, the Abbasid caliphate – that ruled the region once known as Mesopotamia, widely held as the cradle of …

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Fossil jawbone from Israel is the oldest modern human found outside Africa

Fossilized teeth from a modern human who lived in Israel close to 200,000 years ago. Israel Hershkovitz, Tel Aviv University, CC BY-ND

Fossilized teeth from a modern human who lived in Israel close to 200,000 years ago. Israel Hershkovitz, Tel Aviv University, CC BY-ND Rolf Quam, Binghamton University, State University of New York New fossil finds over the past few years have been forcing anthropologists to reexamine our evolutionary path to becoming human. Now the earliest modern human fossil ever found outside …

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Our fossil finger discovery points to earlier human migration in Arabia

: Ian Cartwright/Michael Petraglia/Palaeodeserts Project

: Ian Cartwright/Michael Petraglia/Palaeodeserts Project Huw Groucutt, University of Oxford The Arabian Peninsula is a vast landmass at the crossroads of Africa and Eurasia. Yet until the last decade almost nothing was known about early humans in the area. In the last few years the team I work with have made many remarkable discoveries in Saudi Arabia, but one thing …

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We’re just beginning to grasp the toll of the Islamic State’s archaeological looting in Syria

A Syrian archeologist holds an artifact that was transported to Damascus for safe-keeping during the Syrian Civil War. AP Photo/Hassan Ammar

A Syrian archeologist holds an artifact that was transported to Damascus for safe-keeping during the Syrian Civil War. AP Photo/Hassan Ammar Fiona Greenland, University of Virginia; James Marrone, Johns Hopkins University; Oya Topçuoğlu, Northwestern University, and Tasha Vorderstrasse, University of Chicago The Islamic State surrendered its last scrap of territory, in Baghouz, Syria, this past March. While some argue that …

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Hidden women of history: Ennigaldi-Nanna, curator of the world’s first museum

The National Museum of Iraq photographed in February 2018. Many of the pieces discovered at the ruins of Ur, arranged and labelled by Ennigaldi-Nanna, can be found here. Wikimedia Commons

The National Museum of Iraq photographed in February 2018. Many of the pieces discovered at the ruins of Ur, arranged and labelled by Ennigaldi-Nanna, can be found here. Wikimedia Commons Louise Pryke, Macquarie University In this series, we look at under-acknowledged women through the ages. “It belongs in a museum.” With these words, Indiana Jones, the world’s best-known fictional archaeologist, …

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Khaled al-Asaad, the martyr of Palmyra

The ancient city of Palmyra. Ulrich Waack, CC BY-SA

The ancient city of Palmyra. Ulrich Waack, CC BY-SA Pierre Leriche, École normale supérieure (ENS) – PSL A second ancient temple at Palmyra has been razed, with a satellite image appearing to confirm the destruction of the Temple of Bel, previously one of the best-preserved parts of the ancient city. The revelation follows the release of images by Islamic State …

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Looting of antiquities has increased under lockdown – here’s how we’re working to prevent this in Iraq

Training museum staff in Iraq in how to mark priceless heritage artefacts using SmartWater. Ali Al-Makhzoomi, Author provided

Training museum staff in Iraq in how to mark priceless heritage artefacts using SmartWater. Ali Al-Makhzoomi, Author provided Roger Matthews, University of Reading In addition to causing mayhem and misery for most, the COVID-19 pandemic crisis has expanded the opportunities for illicit looting, theft and dealing in one of the world’s most important resources – its cultural heritage. Social instability …

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