Archaeological quests haven’t been popularly exciting since Indiana Jones went off the screen. Maybe that’s because most archaeological escapades involve a lot of digging in one spot, rather than jumping all across the countryside, being chased by huge perfectly spherical boulders, and shooting at Nazis. This latest story is no less exciting for the fact that Indiana is missing.
One of the world's most famous prehistoric sites, the Stonehenge located about 8 miles north of Salisbury, England- has been the subject of so much study, and so little in the way of answers, that it is an archaeologist's dream; maybe they'll soon be the ones to solve the mystery of why, how, and who.
For those of us who enjoy the studies of the past, there is nothing quite as intriguing as seeing one discipline help solve questions in another. This is just the case in a recent revelation that has helped explain a mystery dating back to the 19th century.
The skulls of two lions, which were kept by royals during medieval times, have the same genetic make-up as the north African Barbary lion, a DNA study shows. Experts believe the animals were gifts to English monarchs in the 13th and 14th centuries.
The two well-preserved lion skulls were recovered during excavations of the moat at the Tower of London in 1937. They have been radiocarbon dated to AD 1280-1385 and AD 1420-1480. Researchers at the University of Oxford extracted DNA from the skulls, and found that it matched that of the north African Barbary lion.
Archaeologists have discovered a spectacularly preserved walls of an ancient harbor town of built 3,500 years ago along an isolated, rocky stretch of Greek shoreline by the Mycenaeans, the civilization on which many of the Homeric legends were based.
Anthropologists have discovered how the ancient Maya produced an unusual and widely studied blue pigment that was used in sacrificial offerings at Chich n Itz , on pottery, and murals across Mesoamerica from about A.D. 300 to 1500.
First identified in 1931, the blue pigment known as Maya Blue has puzzled archaeologists and scientists for years because of its unusual chemical stability, composition and persistent color in one of the world's harshest climates. This vivid, virtually indestructible pigment resistant to age, acid, weathering, biodegradation and even modern chemical solvents. It has been called one of the great technological and artistic achievements of Mesoamerica.
Archeologists have discovered what may prove to be a burial grave of a mystical, priestly class of elite individuals called Druids among Celtic societies in Britain. Druid societies existed through much of Western Europe, Britain and Ireland, until they were supplanted by the Roman government and, later, the arrival of Christianity. Until now, here has been no archaeological evidence of their existence.
The world's most unusual tunnel runs under the Elbe River in Hamburg, Germany. A beautiful tunnel like no other, this 1/2 kilometer ‘technical marvel’, built in 1911, sits 24 meters below the river and connects central Hamburg with the shipyard island of Steinwerder. What makes the tunnel unique are the entry points on each side of the river: but rather than just driving straight into the tunnel, vehicles enter a freight elevator which slowly descends to the tunnel below, the tunnel then taking traffic to a similar elevator on the opposite side which lifts them back to ground level.
Evidence of the brutal lives endured by some ancient Egyptians to build the monuments of the Pharaohs has been uncovered by archaeologists at Amarna, a new capital built on the orders of the Pharaoh Akhenaten, 3,500 years ago.
Archaeologists from a British-based team made a breakthrough when they found human bones in the desert, which had been washed out by floods.
Aerial photography has been used since World War I where it was used to spot enemy patrols and encampments. Since then aerial photos have been used to locate long lost archeological sites, waiting to be rediscovered.
But satellite imagery takes it that one step further, with high-tech sensors allowing the camera to capture that which the human eye cannot see. Infrared and ultraviolet cameras are now taking shots over a much wider wavelength, well past the human restricted 400 to 700 nanometer range. As a result, even that which lay hidden underneath earth can be found.