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Saturday, April 10, 2021
Egyptologists translate the oldest-known mummification manual

Egyptologists translate the oldest-known mummification manual

Egyptologists have recently translated the oldest-known mummification manual. Translating it required solving a literal puzzle; the medical text that includes the manual is currently in pieces, with half of what remains in the Louvre Museum in France and half at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark. A few sections are completely missing, but what’s left…
An ancient dog fossil helps trace humans’ path into the Americas

An ancient dog fossil helps trace humans’ path into the Americas

An ancient bone from a dog, discovered in a cave in southeast Alaska, hints at when and how humans entered the Americas at the end of the Ice Age. The bone, just the fragment of a femur, comes from a dog that lived about 10,150 years ago, based on radiocarbon dating. That makes this dog…
Egyptian royal mummy shows pharaoh wasn’t assassinated—he was executed

Egyptian royal mummy shows pharaoh wasn’t assassinated—he was executed

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Saleem and Hawass 2021 CT scans of a mummified Egyptian pharaoh, once suspected to be the victim of a palace assassination, suggest that he was actually executed after being captured in battle in the mid-16th century BCE. Pharaoh Seqenenre led his army from Upper Egypt in the 1550s BCE to face the Hyksos, a group…
Neanderthals used stone tool tech once considered exclusive to Homo sapiens

Neanderthals used stone tool tech once considered exclusive to Homo sapiens

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Blinkhorn et al. 2021 The entangled history of Homo sapiens and Neanderthals in the Levant (the area around the eastern end of the Mediterranean) just got even more complicated. Paleoanthropologists recently identified a tooth from Shukbah Cave, 28km (17.5 miles) northwest of Jerusalem, as a Neanderthal molar. That makes Shukbah the southernmost trace of Neanderthals…
Stonehenge may have had roots in a Welsh stone circle

Stonehenge may have had roots in a Welsh stone circle

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At an ancient site situated among the hills of western Wales, researchers suspect they have uncovered the remnants of a stone circle that contained initial building blocks of Stonehenge. Excavations of the site are in the early stages, but the stone circle was probably dismantled between 5,400 and 5,200 years ago, say University College London…
Humans made a horn out of a conch shell about 18,000 years ago

Humans made a horn out of a conch shell about 18,000...

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Ancient Europeans made a horn out of a large seashell and blew musical notes out of it roughly 18,000 years ago, a new study suggests. While it’s not known how ancient people used the shell horn, conch shells in historical and modern cultures have served as musical instruments, calling or signaling devices and sacred or…
Review: The Dig brings a famous archaeological find to vivid life

Review: The Dig brings a famous archaeological find to vivid life

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Carey Mulligan and Ralph Fiennes star in the new Netflix film The Dig.Just before the outbreak of World War II, a widow and a local archaeologist team up to excavate large burial mounds in Suffolk, England, and discover priceless treasure, in the new Netflix film, The Dig.  It's based on the 2007 novel of the…
Lost Alaskan Indigenous fort rediscovered after 200 years

Lost Alaskan Indigenous fort rediscovered after 200 years

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Enlarge / This interpretive sign at the presumed "fort clearing" includes a reconstruction of what the fort probably looked like in 1804. In 1804, Tlingit warriors sheltered behind the walls of a wooden fort on a peninsula in southeastern Alaska, preparing to repel a Russian amphibious assault. An archaeological survey near the modern community of…
Ancient embalmers used mud to hold a damaged mummy together

Ancient embalmers used mud to hold a damaged mummy together

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Enlarge / Sir Charles Nicholson donated the mummified person and the coffin to the University of Sydney in 1860, apparently having realized that an entire dead body is a pretty horrific travel souvenir.Sowada et al, PLOS ONE (CC BY 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) Approximately 3,200 years ago in Egypt, ancient embalmers encased a mummy in dried mud…
An ancient Egyptian mummy was wrapped in an unusual mud shell

An ancient Egyptian mummy was wrapped in an unusual mud shell

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An unusual mud-wrapped mummy is leading archaeologists to rethink how nonroyal Egyptians preserved their dead. CT scans of an Egyptian mummy from around 1,200 B.C. reveal that the body is sheathed in a mud shell between its layers of linen wrappings. Ancient Egyptians may have used this preservation technique, never before seen in Egyptian archaeology,…

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