More than a thousand years before the first telescopes, Babylonian astronomers tracked the motion of planets across the night sky using simple arithmetic. But a newly translated text reveals that these ancient stargazers also used a far more advanced method, one that foreshadows the development of calculus over a…
Volcanic eruptions are something of a spectator sport today, with orbital satellites and high-speed connectivity bringing glorious images of the planet’s pyrotechnic power to the comfortable safety of our computer screens. But a fascinating new study suggests people have been chronicling Earth’s powerful outbursts…
The carcass was remarkably well preserved, but something was clearly wrong. A rounded hole through the interior jugal. Deep incisions along the ribs. Dents in the left scapula. A broken mandible.
Earlier this year, a maintenance worker found a golden scepter in a Jerusalem cemetery. Antiquity experts were stumped, prompting a six-month long investigation into its origin. A Facebook user has now correctly identified the object — and well, let’s just say it’s not what they thought it was.
Scattered hand bones, severed arms, cracked skulls: if one thing is clear from this Neolithic burial pit, it’s that some some serious shit went down 6,000 years ago.
For the past 20 years, divers have unsuccessfully tried to explore and photograph a PBY-5 Catalina seaplane shot down during Japan’s opening salvo of the Pearl Harbor attack. Now, some 74 years after that fateful day, archaeologists have finally accomplished the task. Here’s what they saw at the bottom of Kāne‛ohe…
Centuries ago, humans didn’t eat turkeys—we revered them. But around the mid-1000s, Puebloan peoples of the American Southwest started roasting the sacred bird. What happened?
A team of scientists has unearthed the fossil remnants of a tropical forest on the arctic island of Svalbard, and it could help explain one of the most dramatic climate shifts in Earth’s history.
A cache of over 4,000 silver and bronze coins dating back to ancient Rome has been discovered by a Swiss farmer. Buried some 1,700 years ago, it’s one of the largest treasures of its kind ever found in Switzerland.
Well, that didn’t take long. Only a few weeks after a team of scientists began a project using novel scanning techniques to analyze Egypt’s major pyramids, they’ve discovered strange temperature anomalies—but it’s still unclear what’s causing them.
Archaeologists digging in the ruins of Cidade Velha, the once-thriving city on the Cabo Verde islands off the west coast of Africa have found the oldest Christian church in the tropics, and the horrible reason why the city was once so rich.
The investigation of King Tut’s tomb to find secret chambers ended today with promising results, according to a statement from Egypt’s antiquity ministry.
Turgai, Kazakhstan might not look like much besides wide, sweeping plains. But over the past few years, archaeologists have revealed more than 200 massive earthworks, so large that you’d never notice them from the ground. As the New York Times reports today, no one knows their purpose–yet.
There’s a long and colorful history of people trying to unlock the secret of how the Egyptian pyramids were built—and possibly find hidden rooms and corridors, for good measure. And now, a new international project aims to peer through the stone walls of these ancient structures, using cosmic rays.
An American husband-and-wife team working in Greece has uncovered the 3,500-year-old remains of a prominent ancient warrior who was buried alongside an assortment of riches. It’s being called the most important discovery made in continental Greece in over 65 years.
The Black Death wiped out nearly half the population of Europe during the 14th Century, a blight that swept through the continent in the gut of fleas. But a new analysis of ancient human DNA shows that the dreaded bacteria emerged at least 3,000 years before the first plague pandemic—a time before it mutated into its…
Conservators working at the University of Virginia’s Rotunda have inadvertently uncovered a chemical hearth designed by Thomas Jefferson. The discovery is offering fresh insights into how chemistry was taught over 200 years ago.
Last month in South Africa, scientists announced the discovery of a new group of early humans called Homo naledi. Now an analysis shows that this hominin had hands capable of both tree climbing and tool use, plus feet that were adapted for walking upright.
Sixty six million years ago the world changed in an instant. A huge asteroid, some ten kilometers in diameter, smashed into what is now Mexico. It arrived with the force of several million nuclear bombs, and unleashed a deadly cocktail of wildfires, tsunamis, earthquakes, and volcanoes.
This past Monday, people from around the world aimed their cameras upwards in hopes of catching a glimpse of the “blood moon” lunar eclipse. But as this 19th century manuscript shows, it’s a phenomenon that’s been chronicled long before the advent of camera phones and telescopic lenses.