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Archaeology

Egypt unearths 3,000 year-old tomb with sarcophagus dedicated to Horus, GOD of the sky

sarcophagus
© Global Look Press / dpa / Samer Abdalla
A vast trove of artifacts, including 20 sarcophagi, has been discovered in sixteen tombs in Egypt's Minya region. It's the latest in a series of high-profile digs which have resulted in extraordinary finds in recent years.

The Ministry of Antiquities unveiled the incredible discovery at the Al-Ghoreifa site, about 300 kilometres (186 miles) south of Cairo on Thursday.

The tombs contained the mummified bodies of high priests of the god Djehuty, and nobility from the 26th dynasty from the Late Period around 3,000 years ago. A spectacular sarcophagus inscribed with hieroglyphics dedicated to the sky god Horus was also unearthed.

Camera

Russia declassifies pre-Yalta conference photos: Churchill, FDR in Sevastopol, Crimea

Churchill/Roosevelt
© Russian Defense Ministry archive
(left to right) Soviet FM Molotov, British PM Churchill and US President Roosevelt at the Sevastopol airport, Crimea, USSR, February 1945
As part of a WWII document trove declassified ahead of the 75th anniversary of the Yalta summit, never before seen photographs show US and British leaders and officers arriving in Crimea and touring Sevastopol with Soviet hosts.

British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and US President Franklin Delano Roosevelt traveled to Crimea in February 1945, to meet with Soviet leader Joseph Stalin at the Black Sea town of Yalta.

Official photos from the Yalta conference itself were taken by American photographers at the Livadia Palace, where the US delegation was staying. Prior to the summit, however, Soviet photographers captured the arrival of Allied leaders and their activities in Sevastopol.

Microscope 2

Neanderthal genes found for first time in African populations

Neanderthal
© Universal Images Group North America LLC/Alamy
A Neanderthal skull. Previously it was believe that only non-African populations carried Neanderthal genes.
African populations have been revealed to share Neanderthal ancestry for the first time, in findings that add a new twist to the tale of ancient humans and our closest known relatives.

Previously it was believed that only non-African populations carried Neanderthal genes due to interbreeding that took place after a major human migration out of Africa and across the globe about 60,000 years ago.

The latest findings suggest human and Neanderthal lineages are more closely intertwined than once thought and point to far earlier interbreeding events, about 200,000 years ago.

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Cow Skull

Scientists have found 330-million-year-old sharks fossilized in a Kentucky cave

kentuky cave shark
Kentucky's Mammoth Cave National Park is a long way from the ocean, but newly discovered fossils suggest the area was once teeming with sharks.

Scientists have identified the remains of 15 to 20 different species of sharks deep in the cave, including part of the head of a great white-sized monster that's partially protruding from a wall, paleontologist John-Paul Hodnett told CNN.

The sharks lived about 330 million years ago in what is known as the Late Mississippian geologic time period, when much of North America was covered by oceans. When they died, their remains were encased in sediment that eventually became the limestone where the cave formed.

"There's hardly ever any record at all of sharks' teeth coming from these rocks. So that was exciting", Hodnett sad. "So this is a brand new record of sharks from a particular layer of time." Mammoth Cave scientists Rick Olson and Rick Toomey were mapping a remote part of the cave when they started seeing shark fossils, according to Vincent Santucci, senior paleontologist with the National Park Service.

They sent photos of their find to Hodnett, because he's an expert on Paleozoic sharks. He works at Maryland's Dinosaur Park, a fossil site near Washington, DC, and does support research for the National Park Service.

Boat

Wreck found believed to be 95-year-old ship that vanished near Bermuda Triangle

Diver
© Science Channel
An undated photo shows diver Michael C. Barnette measuring the wreck of the SS Cotopaxi off the coast of Florida.An undated photo shows diver Michael C. Barnette measuring the wreck of the SS Cotopaxi off the coast of Florida.
After nearly 95 years, explorers believe they have discovered the SS Cotopaxi, a ship that vanished near the area known as the Bermuda Triangle in 1925.

The steam-powered bulk carrier set sail from Charleston, South Carolina, to Havana, Cuba, on Nov. 29, 1925 before disappearing on the way.

Carrying 32 passengers, no bodies have been recovered, and what happened in the shipwreck, or the whereabouts of it, were unknown -- until now.

In the summer of 2019, Michael Barnette went on a dive and believed he came across the wreckage of the Cotopaxi off the coast of St. Augustine, Florida.

Barnette said that while he didn't go specifically looking for the ship, he regularly goes out to sea to help identify local wrecks.

Archaeology

Ancient stone tools found in Siberian cave overturn accepted theories on Neanderthal migrations

neanderthal
© Marcin Rogozinski / Alamy Stock Photo
Many of us have at least a little Neanderthal DNA inside us
Neanderthals, a subspecies of archaic humans who roamed Eurasia before mysteriously disappearing some 40,000 years ago, remain a source of fascination among archeologists and ethnographers, since the true cause of their extinction has yet to be agreed upon.

A multinational collective of scientists from Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, Australia and Canada has discovered important new clues indicating that Neanderthal nomads made at least two separate 3,000-4,000 km treks from Eastern Europe to southern Siberia in the hunt for bison.

The groundbreaking discovery, based on the identification and analysis of a distinct type of stone tool at Chagyrskaya Cave, a famous archeological site in Altai region, provides new clues about the ancient hominins' amazing ability to adapt to the dry and barren steppes and frigid cold temperatures of Siberia during migration across long distances.

Dig

Pliny the Elder's remains were found on shores of Pompeii, researchers believe

skull
© Luciano Fattore
The skull and mandible found at Stabiae. Tests showed they belonged to two different people
The cranium really does belong to the Roman admiral who died leading a rescue mission after Vesuvius erupted, even if the jaw doesn't, researchers say

A team of Italian researchers have strengthened the case that at least the cranium found near Pompeii 100 years ago really does belong to Pliny the Elder, a Roman military leader and polymath who perished while leading a rescue mission following the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in 79 C.E. However, a jawbone that had been found with the skull evidently belonged to somebody else.

Over the last couple of years the experts, including anthropologists and geneticists, conducted a host of scientific tests on the skull and lower mandible that had been found a century ago on the shore near Pompeii, which have since been at the center of a scholarly debate as to whether they should be attributed to Pliny.

The main finding of the researchers, who presented their conclusions at a conference in Rome on Thursday, is that the jawbone belonged to a different person, but that the skull is compatible with what we know about Pliny at his death.

Comment: For more of the fascinating finds in Pompeii, see:


Archaeology

Egypt's fascinating 'Valley of the Whales'

whale fossils egypt
© Shutterstock
Wadi El Hitan, the Valley of the Whales
There is an ancient Egyptian desert, once a vast ocean, that guards the secret of one of the most remarkable transformations in the evolution of life on planet Earth.

Egypt is known as the land of Pyramids, Pharaohs, and golden sands. Countless treasures have been excavated from beneath Egypt's sands, revealing a treasure trove of a time long gone. Archeologists have discovered pyramids, temples, entire cities and treasures whose value is incalculable. But there's more to Egypt than the Sphinx, the Pharaohs, and its incredible pyramids, and there is more to this wonderful land than the Valley of Kings.

Some 160 kilometers southwest of the Pyramids at the Giza plateau is a treasure trove of history. There aren't any pyramids, temples or mummies buried there, but it is nonetheless a site of great importance. In fact, Wadi El Hitan was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2005.

The reason? hundreds of fossils of some of the earliest forms of whales, the archaeoceti (a now extinct sub-order of whales) lie buried beneath the desert sand.

Pharoah

Surprising revelations about Egyptian mummy Takabuti and her death

Takabuti
Takabuti, the famous ancient Egyptian mummy on display at the Ulster Museum, suffered a violent death from a knife attack, a team of experts from National Museums NI, University of Manchester, Queen's University Belfast and Kingsbridge Private Hospital have revealed.

The team, whose findings are made public on the 185 year anniversary of Takabuti's unwrapping in 1835, also show that her DNA is more genetically similar to Europeans rather than modern Egyptian populations.

The team show Takabuti had an extra tooth - 33 instead of 32 - something which only occurs in 0.02% of the population and an extra vertebrae, which only occurs 2% of the population.

And Takabuti's heart, previously thought to have been missing, was identified by the state of the art technology used by the researchers as intact and perfectly preserved.

Comment: Just who were some of these Egyptian elite? The Golden Age, Psychopathy and the Sixth Extinction

See also:


Dig

Usa̧klı Höyük: Earliest mosaic in the world found in Turkey - Was this the center for the cult of the "storm god"?

mosaic
© Usa̧klı Höyük Archaeological Project
The stone mosaic floor is in the foreground
A crude tiled floor laid down in geometric patterns, unearthed in a preclassical Hittite town in central Turkey, is the earliest-known mosaic in the world, reports Anacleto D'Agostino of the University of Pisa. Moreover, he adds, the settlement where the mosaic was found may be the lost Hittite city of Zippalanda.

Discovered during the excavation of prehistoric Usakli Hoyuk, the multichromatic patterned surface is in the courtyard of a public building - which archaeologists interpret to be a temple to the Storm God, D'Agostino writes in Antiquity, published by the Cambridge University Press. Made of stones of varying size and shape, the Late Bronze Age floor is also the earliest-known rendition in rock of geometric patterns.

The later mosaics that most people are more familiar with are "pebble mosaics" made of unworked small, round stones, or tile mosaics made of small, flattened cubic or rectangular tiles.

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