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Mon, 27 Mar 2017
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Archaeology

Jurassic highway: Thousands of dino footprints uncovered, including rare stegosaurus tracks

© University of Queensland
An area of Australian coastline has been dubbed 'Jurassic Park' after paleontologists scouring the landscape discovered an "unprecedented" number of dinosaur tracks dating back around 130 million years.

The Dampier Peninsula has been identified as a former home to scores of prehistoric beasts, thanks to researchers from the University of Queensland and James Cook University, who successfully documented thousands of footprints along the 25km (16 miles) stretch of coast.

New analysis of the area took five years (2011-2016) to complete, and has just been published in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology.

Dig

500 year old Ming Dynasty mummies unearthed at Chinese construction site

© Jason Lee / Reuters
The construction site of China Zun is seen behind the Ming Dynasty City Wall, China
A construction crew in China made an unexpected discovery when attempting to install plumbing, unearthing a tomb containing the mummies of a couple believed to date back to the Ming Dynasty.

The discovery of the corpses, which are believed to be around 500 years old, was made in Taikang county in Zhoukou, Henan province, the Dahe Daily reported. Other discoveries found at the site included a tombstone and two crystal coffins.


Boat

Ancient military harbor for epic Greek battle found

© V. Mentoyannis
At the end of the jetty there was a round tower, which would have been part of the fortified harbor during the Battle of Salamis.
Greek archaeologists have found the ancient military harbor of the island of Salamis — the very physical space from which the largest and most decisive naval battle ever fought in antiquity was launched.

The ancient harbor was identified as being located in the small and well-protected Bay of Ambelaki, in the eastern part of the Greek island, during an archaeological search by a team of 20 experts from two Greek universities — the Ephorate of Underwater Antiquities and the Hellenic Institute of Marine Archaeology — according the Greek Ministry of Culture and Sports.

"This is the first systematic underwater reconnaissance to be initiated by Greek institutions in a severely polluted marine environment, yet in a crucial area of historical importance," the ministry said. [10 Epic Battles That Changed History]

Archaeology

Archeologists uncover 4,000yo tomb of one of the most important Egyptian noblemen from 12th Dynasty

© Vivek Prakash / Reuters
The tomb dates back to almost 4,000 years ago.
A team of archaeologists has uncovered the tomb of the brother of Sarenput II, one of the most important Egyptian noblemen from the 12th Dynasty. The discovery reveals new details about those who lived within the corridors of power during the period.

The team from the University of Jaén in Andalucia made the discovery in Aswan, Egypt where they have been working since 2008.

A mummy was found inside the tomb along with pottery, two cedar coffins and two wooden models representing funerary boats and scenes of everyday life at the time, according to a statement from the university.

Info

Ancient Greek artifact unearthed at Crimean bridge construction site

A part of a unique terracotta statue has been found at the Crimean bridge construction site during underwater diggings near the Ak-Burun Cape, Sergei Olkhovsky, head of the underwater unit of Russia's Academy of Sciences, said on Wednesday.
© Crimean bridge information center
Such objects have never been found in the northern Black Sea area before, according to the head of the underwater unit of Russia’s Academy of Sciences.
"As far as we know, this unique artifact discovery is the first of its kind in the northern Black Sea area, such objects have never been found here before. In order to figure out what it was used for, when and where it was made, we will cooperate with the leading ancient Greek art experts and will also carry out a laboratory test of the clay," the Crimea Bridge information Center quoted Olkhovsky as saying.

Mass production of terracotta artifacts began in the sixth century BC. Usually, figurines not more than 40 centimeters tall were made. However, the fragment unearthed during the current diggings, is believed to have been part of a bigger sculpture.

Info

14,000 year old engraved 'tablets' discovered in France

Some forty prehistoric engravings, more than 14,000 years old, have been discovered in Finistere, at the town of Plougastel-Daoulas, in Brittany (northwestern France).

© N. Naudinot/PLOS ONE
© N. Naudinot/PLOS ONE
Fragment 317 with a bifacial ornamentation: side A) head of aurochs surrounded by radiating lines; side B) head of aurochs.
Depicting several animals, these artistic vestiges date back to the Upper Palaeolithic period and are extremely rare in Europe.

The discovery, whose secret has been well kept, has only just been unveiled but is in fact not a recent one.

It dates back to 1987.

Bulb

Knowledge is Power: How oral cultures memorize so much information

© Psyorg
Bradshaw rock paintings help Aboriginal people record knowledge to memory.
Ancient Celtic bards were famous for the sheer quantity of information they could memorize. This included thousands of songs, stories, chants and poems that could take hours to recite in full.

Today we are pretty spoiled. Practically the whole of human knowledge is conveniently available at our fingertips. Why worry about memorising something when we can simply Google it?

The answer seems pretty evident when we go into a panic after losing our smartphones!

Long before the ancient Celts, Aboriginal Australians were recording vast scores of knowledge to memory and passing it to successive generations.

Aboriginal people demonstrate that their oral traditions are not only highly detailed and complex, but they can survive - accurately - for thousands, even tens of thousands, of years.

Yet I struggle to remember what I did last Tuesday. So how did they do it?

Archaeology

Tiller the Hun? Farmers in Roman Empire converted to Hun lifestyle -- and vice versa

© Susanne Hakenbeck
Example of a modified skull, a practice assumed to be Hunnic that may have been appropriated by local farmers
Marauding hordes of barbarian Huns, under their ferocious leader Attila, are often credited with triggering the fall of one of history's greatest empires: Rome.

Historians believe Hunnic incursions into Roman provinces bordering the Danube during the 5th century AD opened the floodgates for nomadic tribes to encroach on the empire. This caused a destabilisation that contributed to collapse of Roman power in the West.

According to Roman accounts, the Huns brought only terror and destruction. However, research from the University of Cambridge on gravesite remains in the Roman frontier region of Pannonia (now Hungary) has revealed for the first time how ordinary people may have dealt with the arrival of the Huns.

Pharoah

King Tut's Grandmom? Huge Alabaster Statue Unearthed Along Nile

© Egypt Ministry of Antiquities
A statue that may depict Queen Tiye, the grandmother of King Tut, has been unearthed near Luxor.
A "unique" carved alabaster statue that may represent King Tut's grandmother ― Queen Tiye ― has been unearthed on the west bank of Luxor along the Nile River, archaeologists with Egypt's Ministry of Antiquities announced yesterday (March 23).

The statue, which looks to be life-size in images released by the ministry, was found accidentally when workers lifted the lower part of the colossal statue of King Amenhotep III, the ninth ruler of ancient Egypt's 18th Dynasty, who lived from about 1390 to 1352 B.C. The statue, dating back around 3,400 years, was situated next to the king's right leg, according to the mission leader, Hourig Sourouzian.

Queen Tiye, who died around 1340 B.C., was the wife of King Amenhotep III and the paternal grandmother of King Tut; as the identity of the boy king's mother is a source of debate among scholars, his maternal grandmother is not known for certain.

Archaeology

6,000yo Ancient Rock Carvings Depicting Masked People Discovered in Egypt

© David Sabel

A drawing showing the Neolithic rock carving from Qubbet el-Hawa in greater clarity. Mask use was previously unknown from this era of pre-dynastic ancient Egypt.
Before King Tut, Hatshepsut or Ramesses I — in fact, before there were any pharaohs at all — someone pecked an image of a hunter and a dancer wearing an ostrich mask into a rock on a hill along the Nile River.

The image, discovered recently by archaeologists, provides a tantalizing glimpse of Egypt's Neolithic period, or Stone Age. It likely dates back to the latter half of the fourth millennium B.C., said Ludwig Morenz, an Egyptologist at the University of Bonn in Germany. The depiction of a masked dancer in this era is particularly fascinating, Morenz told Live Science.

"[In] ancient Egyptian culture, we know many, many masks, but they are basically all masks for the dead," Morenz said. "And here we have a mask culture which predates pharaonic culture."