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Thursday, January 28, 2021
Study sheds new light on polar explorer’s final hours, 100+ years later

Study sheds new light on polar explorer’s final hours, 100+ years...

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Enlarge / Danish explorer Jørgen Brønlund's petroleum burner was found in 1973. Brønlund and two compatriots died in 1907 during an expedition to Greenland.Jørn Ladegaard Over 100 years ago, a Danish explorer named Jørgen Brønlund perished during an expedition to northeast Greenland, along with two members of his expedition. He left behind a diary detailing…
Archaeologists excavate ancient Roman takeout counter at Pompeii

Archaeologists excavate ancient Roman takeout counter at Pompeii

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Pompeii Archaeological Park/Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism/Luigi Spina/Handout via REUTERS A recently-unearthed termopolium, or “hot drinks counter” served up ancient Roman street food—and plenty of wine—to the people of northeast Pompeii in the days before Mount Vesuvius destroyed the city in a cataclysmic 79 CE eruption. Painted bright yellow and decorated with…
Divers recover a WWII Enigma Machine from the Baltic Sea

Divers recover a WWII Enigma Machine from the Baltic Sea

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When Nazi naval officers tossed their ship’s Enigma encryption machine overboard, they probably thought they were putting the device beyond anyone’s reach. Blissfully unaware that Allied cryptanalysts in Poland and at Bletchley Park in the UK had broken the Enigma code, the Nazis had standing orders to destroy their encryption devices to keep them out…
Divers recover a WWII Code Machine from the Baltic Sea

Divers recover a WWII Code Machine from the Baltic Sea

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When Nazi naval officers tossed their ship’s Enigma encryption machine overboard, they probably thought they were putting the device beyond anyone’s reach. Blissfully unaware that Allied cryptanalysts in Poland and at Bletchley Park in the UK had broken the Enigma code, the Nazis had standing orders to destroy their encryption devices to keep them out…
Ivory from a 16th century shipwreck reveals new details about African elephants

Ivory from a 16th century shipwreck reveals new details about African...

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In 2008, miners off the coast of Namibia stumbled upon buried treasure: a sunken Portuguese ship known as the Bom Jesus, which went missing on its way to India in 1533. The trading ship bore a trove of gold and silver coins and other valuable materials. But to a team of archaeologists and biologists, the…
Ancient people may have survived desert droughts by melting ice in lava tubes

Ancient people may have survived desert droughts by melting ice in...

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During a parched summer almost 2,000 years ago, people living in what is now western New Mexico crawled into the cold, dark belly of a volcanically formed cave to melt the frozen water at its heart. The ice preserved in these naturally cool formations might have helped Ancestral Puebloans in the region persevere through five…
Two stones fuel debate over when America’s first settlers arrived

Two stones fuel debate over when America’s first settlers arrived

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Scientific debate about the most controversial archaeological site in the Americas has entered rocky new territory. In 2017, scientists reported that around 130,000 years ago, an unidentified Homo species used stone tools to break apart a mastodon’s bones near what is now San Diego. If true, that would mean that humans or one of our…
How many turkey feathers does it take to make an ancient blanket? 11,500

How many turkey feathers does it take to make an ancient...

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Enlarge / A segment of fiber cord that has been wrapped with turkey feathers, along with a single downy feather. Indigenous Pueblo populations in the American Southwest—ancestors of today's Hopi, Zuni, and Rio Grande Pueblo tribes—typically wove blankets, cloaks, and funeral wrappings out of animal hides, furs, and turkey feathers. Anthropologists at Washington State University…
Rock art in a California cave was a visual guide to hallucinogenic plants

Rock art in a California cave was a visual guide to...

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Enlarge / This red pinwheel image (left), which is around 500 years old, may depict the unfurling petals of a datura flower (right).Rick Bury and Melissa Dabulamanzi At a cave in Southern California, archaeologists recently found centuries-old bundles of hallucinogenic plants tucked into crevices in the low ceiling, near a painting that may depict a…
The biblical warrior Goliath may not have been so giant after all

The biblical warrior Goliath may not have been so giant after...

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Early versions of the Bible describe Goliath — an ancient Philistine warrior best known as the loser of a fight with the future King David — as a giant whose height in ancient terms reached four cubits and a span. But don’t take that measurement literally, new research suggests. Archaeological findings at biblical-era sites including…

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