Secret HistoryS


Why did European DNA suddenly change 4,000 years ago? Experts reveal evolutionary mystery - and say the makers of Stonehenge may hold the key

Researchers found genetic lineage of Europe mysteriously transformed about 4000 years ago

Bell Beaker culture, which is believed to have been instrumental in building the monoliths at Stonehedge, could hold the key

The genetic makeup of Europe mysteriously transformed about 4,000-5,000 years ago, researchers have discovered.

An Australian team found the unexplained change while analysing several skeletons unearthed in central Europe that were up to 7,500 years old.

They say the rapid expansion of the Bell Beaker culture, which is believed to have been instrumental in building the monoliths at Stonehedge, could hold the key.
Researchers say the rapid expansion of the Bell Beaker culture, which is believed to have been instrumental in building the monoliths at Stonehedge, could hold the key to why the genetic lineage of Europe mysteriously transformed about 4000 years ago

What is intriguing is that the genetic markers of this first pan-European culture, which was clearly very successful, were then suddenly replaced around 4,500 years ago, and we don't know why,' study co-author Alan Cooper of the University of Adelaide Australian Center for Ancient DNA said.

'Something major happened, and the hunt is now on to find out what that was.'


Did an earthquake destroy ancient Greece?

© Leonard G., Wikimedia CommonsRemnants of Cyclopean walls built by the Mycenaeans can be found at the Acropolis in Athens, Greece.
The grand Mycenaens, the first Greeks, inspired the legends of the Trojan Wars, The Iliad and The Odyssey. Their culture abruptly declined around 1200 B.C., marking the start of a Dark Ages in Greece.

The disappearance of the Mycenaens is a Mediterranean mystery. Leading explanations include warfare with invaders or uprising by lower classes. Some scientists also think one of the country's frequent earthquakes could have contributed to the culture's collapse. At the ruins of Tiryns, a fortified palace, geologists hope to find evidence to confirm whether an earthquake was a likely culprit.

Tiryns was one of the great Mycenaean cities. Atop a limestone hill, the city-state's king built a palace with walls so thick they were called Cyclopean, because only the one-eyed monster could have carried the massive limestone blocks. The walls were about 30 feet (10 meters) high and 26 feet (8 m) wide, with blocks weighing 13 tons, said Klaus-G. Hinzen, a seismologist at the University of Cologne in Germany and project leader. He presented his team's preliminary results April 19 at the Seismological Society of America's annual meeting in Salt Lake City.


Sacred Stonehenge hunting ground found

© Edward Haylan |
A site near Stonehenge has revealed archaeological evidence that hunters gathered just a mile from Stonehenge roughly 5,000 years prior to the construction of the first stones, new research suggests.

What's more, the site, which was occupied continuously for 3,000 years, had evidence of burning, thousands of flint tool fragments and bones of wild aurochs , a type of giant cow. That suggests the area near Stonehenge may have been an auroch migration route that became an ancient feasting site, drawing people together from across different cultures in the region, wrote lead researcher David Jacques of the Open University in the United Kingdeom, in an email.

"We may have found the cradle of Stonehenge, the reason why it is where it is," Jacques wrote. [In Photos: A Walk Through Stonehenge]


Archaeologists unlock 1900-year-old burial chamber's secrets with drones

© Gizmodo
Teotihuacan, an ancient, abandoned city about an hour north of Mexico City, was once one of the largest cities in the world. It collapsed in the centuries ago (thanks either to an internal uprising or foreign invaders, depending on who you ask), but it's never been completely deserted, since the ruins have always been a magnet for squatters, archaeologists and hordes of tourists.

Yet there are still portions of Teotihuacan that remain untouched by today's explorers, including a subterranean burial site that scientists estimate has spent the last 1900 years unseen by human eyes. Until now.

© Gizmodo
In 2003, scientists discovered a tunnel beneath Teotihuacan's Temple of the Plumed Serpent. They speculated that the tunnel was a processional walkway leading to a warren of royal burial chambers, but couldn't say for sure, since the opening to the tunnel was intentionally buried by the city's last inhabitants. According to BLDGBLOG, archaeologists at Mexico's National Anthropology and History Institute are now uncovering the mystery of the buried chambers without disturbing them - thanks to a diminutive robotic system designed to go where shimmying archaeologists cannot:
... A little wireless robot called Tlaloc II-TC will soon "investigate the far reaches of a tunnel found beneath the Temple of the Plumed Serpent at Teotihuacan," entering a chamber "estimated to be 2,000 years old, and [that] may have been used as a place for royal ceremonies or burials."


Oldest temple in Mexican valley hints at possible human sacrifice

El Palenque's temple
© Charles Spencer and Elsa RedmondHere, an oblique aerial view of El Palenque's temple precinct, facing southwest toward a public plaza. Three temples linked by enclosure walls face the public plaza. Behind them are two priests' residences, located in the left foreground of this view. Also visible is the entrance to the masonry-lined tunnel directly behind central temple.
A newly discovered temple complex in the Valley of Oaxaca, Mexico, reveals hints of a specialized hierarchy of priests - who may have committed human sacrifice.

The evidence of such sacrifice is far from conclusive, but researchers did uncover a human tooth and part of what may be a human limb bone from a temple room scattered with animal sacrifice remains and obsidian blades. The temple dates back to 300 B.C. or so, when it was in use by the Zapotec civilization of what is now Oaxaca.

Archaeologists have been excavating a site in the valley called El Palenque for years. The site is the center of what was once an independent mini-state. Between 1997 and 2000, the researchers found and studied the remains of a 9,150-square-foot (850 square meters) palace complex complete with a plaza on the north side of the site. Radiocarbon dating and copious ash reveal that the palace burned down sometime around 60 B.C. or so. [See Images of the Ancient Temple Site]

Now, the archaeologists have unearthed an even larger complex of buildings on the east side of El Palenque. The walled-off area appears to be a temple complex, consisting of a main temple flanked by two smaller temple buildings. There are also at least two residences, probably for priests, as well as a number of fireboxes where offerings may have been made.


66 Ancient skeletons found in Indonesian cave

Professor Truman
© University of WollongongProfessor Truman Simanjuntak holding an exact replica of an ancient stone hand axe excavated from East Java.
Talk about your archaeological jackpots: Researchers in Indonesia have reportedly discovered the 3,000-year-old remains of 66 people in a cave in Sumatra.

"Sixty-six is very strange," Truman Simanjuntak of Jakarta's National Research and Development Center for Archaeology said in a statement. He and his colleagues have never before found that many remains in a single cave, Simanjuntak added.

The cave is known as Harimaru or Tiger Cave, and also contains chicken, dog and pig remains. Thousands of years ago, the Tiger Cave and other limestone caverns nearby were occupied by Indonesia's first farmers. They used the caves to bury their dead, explaining the 3,000-year-old cemetery unearthed by Simanjuntak's team. The ancient farmers also manufactured tools in the caves.


Is 'Siberian Stonehenge' really the birthplace of astronomy? Astonishing theory about remote spot 'used by stargazers 16,000 years ago'

Sunduki in Siberia may be oldest human observatory in history

Russian scientist claims to have found evidence of crude solar calendars

Ancients 'used landscape to record time'

A Russian scientist believes a remote Siberian rock formation may be the first place that humanity began to follow the movements of the heavens.

Sunduki, known as the Siberian Stonehenge, is a series of eight sandstone outcrops on a remote flood plain on the bank of the Bely Iyus river in the republic of Khakassia.

Professor Vitaly Larichev, of the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography at the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, claims that the 16,000-year-old site was not only a place of huge religious significance in the ancient world, but also its stargazing capital.
Dawn of astronomy: A Russian academic says the 'Siberian Stonehenge' could be man's first attempt to monitor the heavens


Stonehenge occupied 5,000 years earlier than previously thought

© REXThe people occupying the site would likely have been responsible for erecting the first monument at Stonehenge, the Mesolithic posts, between the 9th and 7th millennia BC.
Excavation of a site just a mile from the stone structure provided what researchers claim is the first firm evidence of continuous occupation from as early as 7,500BC.

Earlier evidence had suggested that humans were present at the site, known as Vespasian's Camp, around 7,500BC but there were no signs anyone had lived there until as late as 2,500BC.

By carbon-dating materials found at the site, the archaeologists identified a semi-permanent settlement which was occupied from 7,500 to 4,700BC, with evidence that people were present during every millennium in between.

The people occupying the site would likely have been responsible for erecting the first monument at Stonehenge, the Mesolithic posts, between the 9th and 7th millennia BC.


The strange rock at Hung Kings Temple, Vietnam

Strange Rock
© Vietnamnet
Vietnamese netizens have been talking about a rock of about 50 cm high, in the form of a sail, placed on a platform in the Thuong Temple. The front and back of the rock have complicated ancient hieroglyphics and square patterns. Some said that this rock is a kind of strange enchantments that is not good.

Mr. Nguyen Xuan Cac, director of the Management Board of the Hung Kings Temple Relic, said this rock was donated by a Hanoi man named Kham in 2009, when the relic was repaired.

Cac's predecessor, Mr. Nguyen Van Khoi, previously had to submit a written explanation to the authorities of Phu Tho province for admitting the strange rock.

Cac said there is no ground to identify the rock as good or bad. Phu Tho will establish a scientific committee to "study" the rock. The committee will release its scientific conclusions and recommendations towards the strange stone after this year's festival.


'World's oldest port' found in Egypt - complete with scrolls revealing everyday life for Ancient Egyptians

Port found on Red Sea coast and is believed to date back 4,500 years
Once 'one of the most important commercial ports of ancient Egypt'
Sheets of precious papyri also offer insight into daily life in Ancient Egypt

Archaeologists have stumbled upon what is thought to be the world's oldest port.

The harbour, discovered on the Red Sea coast, is believed to date back 4,500 years, to the days of the Pharaoh Khufu (Cheops) in the Fourth Dynasty.

Teams believe it was once of one of the most important commercial ports of ancient Egypt, and would have been used for the export copper and other minerals from the Sinai Peninsula.

© APThe world's oldest port is believed to have been found at Wadi el-Jarf area, south Suez, Egypt, alongside hieroglyphic papyri
Egyptian authorities said the archaeologists found a variety of docks, as well as a collection of carved stone anchors, NBC reports.

Alongside it were pieces of ancient papyri, which include fascinating details about the daily lives of ancient Egyptians.