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Archeo-news archive: May-June 2006

The shells were probably parts of necklaces or bracelets (Image: Marian Vanhaeren/Francesco d'Errico)
Ancient beads imply culture older than we thought
(Jun 22, 2006)

Archaeologists have discovered that 100,000-year-old shells found in Israel and Algeria were decorative beads. This suggests that modern human forms of behaviour, such as language, developed earlier than previously thought. "Personal ornaments are a powerful tool of communication," says Francesco D’Errico at the Institute of the Prehistory and Geology of the Quaternary in Talence, France, one of the team that studied the beads.

Read more. Source: New Scientist

amphora fragment from Pattanam
Search for India's ancient city
(Jun 12, 2006)

Archaeologists working on India's south-west coast believe they may have solved the mystery of the location of a major port which was key to trade between India and the Roman Empire - Muziris, in the modern-day state of Kerala. For many years, people have been in search of the almost mythical port, known as Vanchi to locals.

Read more. Source: BBC

ancient fig
Ancient fig clue to first farming
(Jun 2, 2006)

Ancient figs found in an archaeological site in the Jordan Valley may represent one of the earliest forms of agriculture, scientists report. The carbonised fruits date between 11,200 and 11,400 years old. The US and Israeli scientists say the figs are a variety that could have only been grown with human intervention.

Read more. Source: BBC

Archeologist Anna De Santis with the skeleton in Rome
Rome skeleton find pre-dates city
(May 31, 2006)

Italian archaeologists digging in the Roman Forum have found a well-preserved skeleton of a woman who lived 3,000 years ago. The astonishing fact about this discovery is that it dates back to at least 300 years before the traditional date of the founding of Rome, 753 BC. It has long been known that Bronze Age people were living on the site where the ancient Romans founded their city. But few traces of their society have ever been brought to light.

Read more. Source: BBC

sarcophagus from the Valley of thee Kings
Mysteries still surround Egyptian chamber
(May 29, 2006)

Is it a royal Egyptian tomb, a glorified supply room for ancient embalmers, or something in between? A year after the discovery of a chamber that had lain hidden in the Valley of the Kings for millennia, archaeologists are still asking themselves exactly what they've found. When the find was announced in February, it was portrayed as the first tomb to be uncovered in the pharaonic city of the dead since the discovery of King Tutankhamun's treasures in 1922.

Read more. Source: MSNBC

Archaeologists inspect the Moche mummy. Image: National Geographic Society
Tattooed mummy discovered in Peru
(May 17, 2006)

A tattooed mummy has been found in Peru which archaeologists say is one of the best-ever relics of a civilisation that ended more than 1,300 years ago. The mummy is of a woman of about 30, believed to be an elite member of the Moche tribe. The skeleton of an adolescent girl offered in sacrifice was found with a rope still around its neck.

Read more. Source: BBC

Henge-like site in Brazil
'Brazilian Stonehenge' discovered
(May 13, 2006)

Brazilian archaeologists have found an ancient stone structure in a remote corner of the Amazon that may cast new light on the region's past. The site, thought to be an observatory or place of worship, pre-dates European colonisation and is said to suggest a sophisticated knowledge of astronomy. Its appearance is being compared to the English site of Stonehenge.

Read more. Source: BBC


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