Tag Archives | discovery

Gruesome Find: 100 Bodies Stuffed into Ancient House

The 5,000-year-old house found in China was about 14 by 15 feet in size.  Credit: Photo courtesy Chinese Archaeology

The 5,000-year-old house found in China was about 14 by 15 feet in size.
Credit: Photo courtesy Chinese Archaeology

Remains of 97 bodies have been discovered in a 5,000 year old house in China. It’s likely that these people were victims of an epidemic.

Owen Jarus via Live Science:

The remains of 97 human bodies have been found stuffed into a small 5,000-year-old house in a prehistoric village in northeast China, researchers report in two separate studies.

The bodies of juveniles, young adults and middle-age adults were packed together in the house — smaller than a modern-day squash court — before it burnt down. Anthropologists who studied the remains say a “prehistoric disaster,” possibly an epidemic of some sort, killed these people.

The site, whose modern-day name is “Hamin Mangha,” dates back to a time before writing was used in the area, when people lived in relatively small settlements, growing crops and hunting for food.

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Decapitated victims discovered at excavation in Mexico

aztec foto_home

Archaeologists have recently uncovered the remains of decapitated victims of human sacrifice left by the Aztecs.

Martin Barillas via Spero News:

Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History announced on August 20 that archaeologists have found the macabre remains of human sacrifice left behind by Mexico’s Aztec ancestors.

Known as a tzompantli in the language of the Aztecs, Nahuatl. The find consists of a rack of the skulls of human sacrificial victims that was once part of the Templo Mayor complex in Tenochtitlan – the capital of the Aztecs that is now Mexico City.

The tzompantli was found on Calle Republica de Guatemala, a street that runs at the eastern end of the colonial-era Metropolitan Cathedral in the modern city’s central square. This is the first such skull rack that has been found that is mortared together. The human skulls found by the researchers were used almost like bricks. Some of the skulls had holes pierced through them at the temples.

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‘Sea Monster’ Figurehead Hauled from the Baltic Sea

Credit: Foto Ingemar Lundgren, Ocean Discovery

Credit: Foto Ingemar Lundgren, Ocean Discovery

A ship figurehead from the flagship of King Hans of Denmark, the Gribshunden, has been recovered. It resembles either a “cowling dog or perhaps a fantastical sea dragon with a helpless human clutched in its jaws.” The ship last sailed in 1495 and this figurehead could provide clues into how ships were once built.

Tia Ghose via Live Science:

The sunken ship could provide an unprecedented look at how warships were made at that pivotal time in world history.

“What is unique is that there are no other warships from this time in the world,” said Marcus Sandekjer, the director of the Blekinge Museum in Karlskrona, Sweden, where the figurehead is being kept.

The Gribshunden, or the “Grip Dog,” could even provide clues to the construction of the ships that Christopher Columbus used to sail to North America, he added.

The team isn’t quite sure what a “grip dog” is.

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Underwater ‘Stonehenge’ Monolith Discovered

via Twitter.

via Twitter.

Off the coast of Sicily, divers have discovered a Stonehenge-like monolith.

Rossella Lorenzi via Discovery News:

Broken in two parts, the 3.2-foot-long monolith has a rather regular shape and features three holes of similar diameter. One, which can be found at its end, crosses it completely from part to part, the others appear at two sides of the massive stone.

Such features leave no doubt that the monolith was man-made some 10,000 years ago.

“There are no reasonable known natural processes that may produce these elements,” Zvi Ben-Avraham, from the Department of Earth Sciences at Tel Aviv University, and Emanuele Lodolo, from the National Institute of Oceanography and Experimental Geophysics in Trieste, Italy, wrote in the Journal of Archaeological Science.

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“This discovery reveals the technological innovation and development achieved by the Mesolithic inhabitants in the Sicilian Channel region,” Lodolo told Discovery News.

He noted that the monolith, which weights about 15 tons, was made of a single, large block that required cutting, extraction, transportation and installation.

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Elongated Skull Found at Russian Stonehenge

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An elongated skull has been unearthed at Arkaim, otherwise known as “Russia’s Stonehenge,” and the alien theories have already started. Though, the most likely explanation is head binding.

Paul Seaburn writes at Mysterious Universe:

Researcher Maria Makurova announced the discovery to the Russian news agency TASS. She described it as “a well-preserved skeleton” of a female. The skeleton appears to be from the 2nd or 3rd century AD, most likely after the original settlement was abandoned by its first residents. Markurova speculates she was a member of the Sarmati tribe which lived at the time in what are now central Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan.

If she’s a Sarmati tribal woman, that might explain the elongated skull since they were known for head binding – the gruesome practice of deforming a child’s head by applying constant force over long periods.

That explanation will satisfy the skeptics but not those who believe that, like Stonehenge, Arkaim may have been visited and perhaps even populated at one time by grey aliens or another alien species with outsized skulls.

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Archeologists discover 400-year-old remains of Jamestown, Virginia colonial leaders

Loney Abrams writes at Hopes&Fears:

Archeologists have unearthed the human remains of four colonial leaders in Jamestown, Virginia. The bodies were buried more than 400 years ago near what had been the US’ first Protestant church, and are believed to belong to some of the earliest English settlers in America. It is the same church where Pocahontas married John Rolfe, which marked the beginning of a peace treaty between the Powhatan Indians and colonists. Archeologists had discovered the remains in November 2013 but they wanted to trace and confirm the findings before making an announcement.

The most interesting aspect of the discovery, however, was not of the bones themselves, but of the relics that were buried with the bodies. For example, on top of the coffin belonging to Capt. Gabriel Archer, a nemesis of the one-time colony leader John Smith, archeologists found a Catholic reliquary that contained bone fragments and a container for holy water, raising questions of whether Archer was part of a secret cell within the Protestant community, or even a Catholic spy on behalf of the Spanish.… Read the rest

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Ball’s Pyramid — Last Home to the Lord Howe Island Stick Insect

Atlas Obscura showcases Ball’s Pyramid in one of their newest videos. Ball’s Pyramid juts out of the Pacific Ocean 1,844 ft into the air and is actually the remnant of “a shield volcano and caldera that formed about 6.4 million years ago.”

What makes this island particularly special is that it’s home to the last remaining wild population of the Lord Howe Island Stick Insect. Watch the video for more information.

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Sharks Discovered Inside the Underwater Volcano, Kavachi

Recently, scientists discovered sharks swimming in the underwater volcano, Kavachi. This raises some interesting questions for scientists. Mainly, because the volcano is active, how do the sharks know when it will erupt?

Via the National Geographic YouTube description:

A real life sharkcano? Ocean engineer Brennan Phillips led a team to the remote Solomon Islands in search of hydrothermal activity. They found plenty of activity—including sharks in a submarine volcano. The main peak of the volcano, called Kavachi, was not erupting during their expedition, so they were able to drop instruments, including a deep-sea camera, into the crater. The footage revealed hammerheads and silky sharks living inside, seemingly unaffected by the hostile temperatures and acidity.

Phillips said, “You never know what you’re going to find. Especially when you are working deep underwater. The deeper you go, the stranger it gets.” They knew they would see interesting geology but weren’t sure about the biology.

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In the Beginning there were Simple Chemicals – New Evidence on the Origins of Life

Via Phys.org:

In the beginning, there were simple chemicals. And they produced amino acids that eventually became the proteins necessary to create single cells. And the single cells became plants and animals. Recent research is revealing how the primordial soup created the amino acid building blocks, and there is widespread scientific consensus on the evolution from the first cell into plants and animals. But it’s still a mystery how the building blocks were first assembled into the proteins that formed the machinery of all cells. Now, two long-time University of North Carolina scientists – Richard Wolfenden, PhD, and Charles Carter, PhD – have shed new light on the transition from building blocks into life some 4 billion years ago.

“Our work shows that the close linkage between the of amino acids, the , and protein folding was likely essential from the beginning, long before large, sophisticated molecules arrived on the scene,” said Carter, professor of biochemistry and biophysics at the UNC School of Medicine.

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Evidence of Earliest Known Murder Found

Cranium 17 bone traumatic fractures. (A) Frontal view of Cranium 17 showing the position of the traumatic events T1 (inferior) and T2 (superior); (B) Detailed ectocranial view of the traumatic fractures showing the two similar notches (black arrows) present along the superior border of the fracture outlines. Note that the orientation of the two traumatic events is different; (C) Detail of the notch in T1 under 2X magnification with a light microscope. (D) Endocranial view of T1 and T2 showing the large cortical delamination of the inner table (black arrows).

Cranium 17 bone traumatic fractures.
(A) Frontal view of Cranium 17 showing the position of the traumatic events T1 (inferior) and T2 (superior); (B) Detailed ectocranial view of the traumatic fractures showing the two similar notches (black arrows) present along the superior border of the fracture outlines. Note that the orientation of the two traumatic events is different; (C) Detail of the notch in T1 under 2X magnification with a light microscope. (D) Endocranial view of T1 and T2 showing the large cortical delamination of the inner table (black arrows).

Evidence of the earliest murder has emerged in the form of a fractured skull recovered from the Sima de los Huesos Middle Pleistocene site.

Lethal Interpersonal Violence in the Middle Pleistocene via PLOS One:

Evidence of interpersonal violence has been documented previously in Pleistocene members of the genus Homo, but only very rarely has this been posited as the possible manner of death.

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