All posts by Archeology worldwide team

The Everlasting Shoe: What Does a 5,500-Year-Old Shoe Discovered in a Cave Tell Us About Ancient Armenians?

The Everlasting Shoe: What Does a 5,500-Year-Old Shoe Discovered in a Cave Tell Us About Ancient Armenians?

As any archaeologist knows, very few things other than stone last for a long time. In a moist, warm climate, most organic material such as hemp, cloth, wood, and leather will decay, leaving nothing but stone and perhaps bone at an archaeological site.

This is one reason why the Stone Age got its name, not because everything was made of stone, but because it is mostly stone tools and ornaments that have survived and thus it is mainly stone items that are representative of that time-period.

All organic materials such animal skins worn by Paleolithic or Neolithic peoples have, for the most part, disappeared. In the right environment though, such materials can last for thousands of years.

If an environment is dry, and undisturbed, normally fragile, perishable material can last for millennia. One example of this is a 5,500-year-old leather shoe found in an Armenian cave which is one of several other examples of ancient footwear.

Entrance to the Areni-1 cave in southern Armenia near the town of Areni. The cave is where the world’s oldest known shoe has been found.

Other Preserved Ancient Shoes

Two other famous examples of ancient footwear are sandals found in the Arnold Research Cave in Missouri and another in the Cave of the Warrior in the Judaean Desert.

The shoes in the Arnold Research Cave are between 800 and 8,000 years old. The youngest were made of deerskin while the oldest were sandals made of fibers from a plant called rattlesnake master.

The shoes found in the Cave of the Warrior were also sandals made from leather that were determined to be about 6,000 years old. The leather sandals were found with a reed mat, a bow with a quiver of arrows, and a flint knife, among other items.

The Judaean Desert is known for its dry climate, providing excellent preserving conditions. The desert has also been used for thousands of years by fugitives on the run who hid their belongings in caves and never retrieved them.

Other items found in the Judaean Desert include the Dead Sea Scrolls dating to between 200 BC and 200 AD and a cache of bronze instruments and ornaments determined to be about 6,000 years old.

A pair of sandals from the Middle Neolithic

It should be noted that the two other examples of ancient footwear were not directly dated, but were dated using comparison with other artifacts found in the caves.

The Armenian shoes were directly dated with radiocarbon dating. The great antiquity of the Armenian shoe is thus more certain than the antiquity of the other shoes.

The Armenian Shoe

The 5,500-year-old shoe was discovered by an Armenian graduate student from the Institute of Archaeology of Armenia, Diana Zandaryan. The shoe was preserved by both the cold, dry conditions of the cave and a layer of sheep dung which was covering it, acting as a weathering seal.

Along with the shoe, containers of wheat, barley, and apricots were also discovered. The shoe dates to about 3,500 BC making it is a few centuries older than the initial levels of Stonehenge, the construction of which began in 3,000 BC.

It is not certain why the shoe or the other items were left there. They could have been left for storage or hidden there in a time of conflict. It is also possible that they were left there as an offering, possibly of a religious nature.

Another question is whether it was worn by a man or a woman. The shoe is small, women’s size by modern European and American standards, however it could have also been worn by a man in this time-period.

Life and Times of the Shoe

During the time that this shoe was in use, the inhabitants of Armenia had already been farming for thousands of years, having adopted domesticates from the Levant.

It is also around this time that the Kurgan culture, the proposed carriers of the Proto-Indo-European language began to move out of their ancestral homeland.

Little is known about the Kurgan culture except that they buried their dead in large mounds referred to as kurgans. These mounds are the most archaeologically visible features that they left behind, hence the name of the culture.

It is unknown whether the inhabitants of the caves were in some way related to the Kurgan culture, but we do know interesting things about them.

The people of Armenia of this day used domesticates prevalent during the Neolithic, including wheat, barley and sheep. Armenia was one of the earliest regions to adopt farming and pastoralism.

The archaeological site of Aratashen, which was inhabited about 8,000 years ago, has shown many details of the Neolithic culture of Armenia. They lived in adobe houses, raised barley and had shovels, spoons, and other tools made from wood, bone, and obsidian.

These shoes reveal yet another facet of Prehistoric Armenia, which is already known for its relatively rich archaeological record.

Eventually with enough research, we may learn more things about their culture beyond just what type of shoes they wore, what they ate and other aspects of their material culture.

We may also learn about the immaterial aspects of their culture, such as small glimpses of how they viewed the world.

Archaeologists in Egypt discovered a giant man still lying in an 8.7-foot-long sarcophagus

Archaeologists in Egypt discovered a giant man still lying in an 8.7-foot-long sarcophagus

Archaeologists in Egypt have a hard question to answer: who is the colossal figure buried inside this massive sarcophagus?

The discovery was made during an excavation in the Sidi Gaber district of Alexandria.

Measuring a whopping 2.65 meters (8.7 feet) in length, the discovery is the largest granite sarcophagus ever found in the area, which is renowned for its ancient relics.

An initial look over at the black granite sarcophagus indicates that it dates back to the Ptolemaic period, an era of Egyptian history that started in 323 BCE following the death of Alexander the Great and ended in 30 BCE after the death of Cleopatra VII and the invasion by the Romans.

The announcement made by Dr. Ayman Ashmawy, head of the government’s Ancient Egyptian Antiquities Sector, noted that the tomb was found at a depth of 5 meters (16 feet) beneath the ground’s surface. Along with its considerable length, it is also 1.85 meters (6 feet) tall and 1.65 meters (5.4 feet) wide.

Most interestingly, Dr. Ashmawy said the layer of mortar between the lid and the body of the sarcophagus appears to be intact, indicating the contents of the stone casket have not seen the light of day since antiquity.

Judging by the exceptional size of the casket, this was most likely the burial place of someone at least of moderate status and wealth, but who?

Well, unfortunately, it probably isn’t some ancient giant. Sarcophagi tend to be a fair bit bigger than the person they carry.

For example, the longest sarcophagus ever discovered in Egypt was over 4 meters (13 feet) long. The person inside, the averagely-designed ruler Merneptah, was certainly not this tall.

Fortunately, there are some big clues laying around. Not far from the sarcophagus, the team found a carved head made out of alabaster believed to depict the “owner” of the tomb.

Alabaster is a soft rock, commonly used for carving, so most of the features have eroded away. However, some further detective work might be able to uncover its mysterious identity.

Thanks to its rich and varied history, the city of Alexandria is regularly the site of incredible archaeological discoveries.

Like many of the coastal ports in the Mediterranean, the city has been an invaluable trading post of goods, ideas, people, and cultures.

Just a few months ago, just off the coast of the city, underwater archaeologists found a collection of ancient shipwrecks and treasures that would make Indiana Jones himself jealous.

4,000-year-old skeletons of a mother and her child embrace

4,000-year-old skeletons of a mother and her child embrace

Victims of an ancient earthquake that had once struck the Chinese community of Lajia are now on display at the Lajia Ruins Museum.

The ruins of Lajia are in Qinghai Province in Northwest China, near the Upper Yellow River. China People’s Daily has said that the site is bringing people to tears; victims are shown to be huddling together in what were their final moments. One display shows women embracing their children in an attempt to protect them.

Heartbreaking: Skeletal remains show the mother kneeling down on the ground with her arms around her son in central China

This scene is reminiscent of the victims of the Roman city Pompeii, which was destroyed by the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD.

One difference is that the Pompeiian people are shown with such humanity because they have been preserved by volcanic ash and mud, while the skeletal remains at Lajia inspire horror.

An earthquake shook the ground around them, triggering a mudslide that came down and demolished a Bronze Age building that the people had taken cover in.

The building was a family home that the people ran into thinking they would be safe. On one of the walls preserved for all of the eternity is a woman embracing her child, her skull looking upwards as she caresses the child in her arms.

The remains of two children clinging to an adult lie against another wall. Upstairs, you will find another woman and child in almost the same position as the first two. These people are from the Bronze Age Qijia culture, their remains date back to around 2,000 BC, making them 4,000 years old.

Earlier this year the remains of a child clinging to his mother were displayed in Pompeii. There are no skeletons in Pompeii – the ancient mud and ash saw to that.

Pompeii was destroyed by a pyroclastic flow: an extremely fast-moving cloud of rock and hot gas that can move at speeds of 450 miles an hour. Given these speeds, it is instantaneous death for those that chose to ignore the warnings given by Vesuvius.

It hugs the ground while it moves and spreads laterally, consisting of two parts: a hot ash plume that hovers above and the basal flow that consists of heavy rocks.

The ash plume incinerates anything it touches while the basal flow destroys anything in its path. Herculaneum was also devastated when Vesuvius exploded.

It is unknown how many died when Vesuvius exploded but it is estimated to be between 10,000 and 25,000. Many victims perished at the city port while trying to take cover in warehouses that were near the dock.

Others tried to get to the last remaining boats while others ran for their homes, most likely then praying to their household gods.

The mother and child were discovered in what archaeologists call the House of the Golden Bracelet. The home of a wealthy family, the walls covered in frescoes and also contained a large garden. It was all carbonized when the 300 degree cloud hit.

“Even though it happened 2000 years ago, it could be a boy, a mother, or a family,” said Stefania Giudice of Naples National Archaeological Museum. “It’s not just archaeology; it’s human archaeology.”

Now branded as the “Pompeii of the East,” the poor town of Lajia is now one of the most important archaeology sites in China.

Mirrors, oracle bones, and stone knives are just a few of the artifacts found at the site.

The victims of Lajia were first found in 2000 in a loess cave, one of many in the settlement that consisted of caves and houses.

The Largest Hoard of Viking Treasure Ever Found in Britain has Now Been Revealed to the World

The Largest Hoard of Viking Treasure Ever Found in Britain has Now Been Revealed to the World

The largest hoard of Viking treasure ever found in Britain has now been revealed to the world. In total, there are about 100 intricate pieces, dating to about the 9th and 10th centuries. These rare artifacts were found in Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland, by Derek McLennan, a metal detectorist.

When McLennan, 47, found the hoard in September 2014, he called his wife with the news of the discovery and was so emotional that she thought he had been in a car accident.

He had been painstakingly searching an unidentified area of Church of Scotland land in Dumfries and Galloway for more than a year. McLennan is no stranger to finding treasure. He had been part of a group that discovered more than 300 medieval silver coins shortly before Christmas in 2013.

Derek McLennan, the discoverer of the hoard, holding ingots and arm-rings

Reverend Doctor David Bartholomew, a Church of Scotland minister of a rural Galloway charge, and Mike Smith, the pastor of an Elim Pentecostal Church in Galloway were with McLennan when he made the find.

“We were searching elsewhere when Derek [McLennan] initially thought he’d discovered a Viking gaming piece.” Rev. Dr. Bartholomew recalled that moment. “A short time later, he ran over to us waving a silver arm ring and shouting, ‘Viking!’.”

Now, two years after their discovery and 1,000 years after their burial, the artifacts have been revealed. A silver brooch from Ireland, silk from modern-day Turkey, gold and silver ingots, a bird-shaped pin, crystal, and silver arm rings are just a few of the items found. Interestingly, the oval shape of the arm rings suggests that they were actually worn before they were buried.

Top-level of the Dumfriesshire Hoard shows an early medieval cross with other silver and gold objects

Many of these precious pieces were stashed inside a silver Viking pot, dating from the Carolingian dynasty. At the time of its burial, it was likely already 100 years old and a precious heirloom. It is possibly the largest pot from the Carolingian dynasty found so far.

At the time of the discovery, McLennan noted, “We don’t know what exactly is in the pot, but I hope it could reveal who these artifacts belonged to, or at least where they came from.”

The treasure trove was buried two feet deep in the soil and was separated into two levels. Although all the artifacts found are rare and precious, it was the second, lower level that held the particularly fascinating items. It was the second level where the Carolingian dynasty pot was located.

The excavation was undertaken by Andrew Nicholson, the county archaeologist, and Richard Welander, from Historic Environment Scotland.

According to Welander, “Before removing the objects we took the rather unusual measure of having the pot CT-scanned, in order that we could get a rough idea of what was in there and best plan the delicate extraction process.

That exercise offered us a tantalizing glimpse but didn’t prepare me for what was to come. These stunning objects provide us with unparalleled insight into what was going on in the minds of the Vikings in Galloway all those years ago.”

He continued, “They tell us about the sensibilities of the time, reveal displays of regal rivalries and some of the objects even betray an underlying sense of humor, which the Vikings aren’t always renowned for.”

All the discoverers have been left reeling with their find. Rev. Dr. Bartholomew said, “It was tremendously exciting, especially when we noticed the silver cross lying face-downwards.

It was poking out from under the pile of silver ingots and decorated arm rings, with a finely wound silver chain still attached to it. Here, an archaeologist prepares the cross, which was found at the top level of the hoard, for removal. It was a heart-stopping moment when the local archaeologist turned it over to reveal rich decoration on the other side.”

Early medieval cross

Their excitement is well deserved. Scotland’s Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop said of the hoard, “The Vikings were well known for having raided these shores in the past, but today we can appreciate what they have left behind, with this wonderful addition to Scotland’s cultural heritage.

It’s clear that these artifacts are of great value in themselves, but their greatest value will be in what they can contribute to our understanding of life in early medieval Scotland, and what they tell us about the interaction between the different peoples in these islands at that time.”

An early medieval cross, made of gold, was among the largest artifacts found. Due to its size, it was not located in the Carolingian pot. The cross is engraved with decorations that experts say are highly unusual.

McLennan believes that the engravings may represent the four Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Richard Welland believes that the carvings “resemble the carvings you can see on the remnants of St Cuthbert’s coffin in Durham Cathedral. For me, the cross opens up the possibility of an intriguing connection with Lindisfarne and Iona.”

Gold bird pin

The Treasure Trove Unit, which is responsible for assessing the value of the find on behalf of the Office of Queen’s and Lord Treasurer’s Remembrancer, is now in possession of the Viking hoard.

The experts of the unit validated the claim that the find has significant international importance. After being fully examined, the hoard will be offered for allocation to Scottish museums. McLennan is eligible for a reward equal to the market value of the find – a cost that will be met by the successful museum.

Concerning money, an agreement between the landowners — the Church of Scotland General Trustees — and the finder, McLennan has been reached. David Robertson, Secretary to the General Trustees, said, “Any money arising from this will first and foremost be used for the good of the local parish.

10-Foot-Tall Stone Jars ‘Made by Giants’ Stored Human Bodies in Ancient Laos

10-Foot-Tall Stone Jars ‘Made by Giants’ Stored Human Bodies in Ancient Laos

More than 100 giant stone jars, thought to have been used in burial rituals thousands of years ago, have been rediscovered at ancient sites in forests, on hillsides and along mountain ridges in remote central Laos.

The carved stone jars are scattered across miles of the rugged, tiger-haunted Xiangkhouang province, about 200 miles (320 kilometers) north of Laos’ capital, Vientiane, in South Asia. They have been dubbed “jars of the dead” by researchers.

Several human burials, thought to be around 2,500 years old, have been found at some of these sites in Laos, but nothing is known about the people who originally made the jars.

An expedition of archaeologists from Laos and Australia visited the Xiangkhouang region in February and March this year to document known jar sites and to search for new jars-of-the-dead sites and stone quarries.

The new finds show that the mysterious culture that made the stone jars were geographically more widespread than previously thought, said Louise Shewan, an archaeologist at the University of Melbourne, and one of the expedition leaders.

The largest and best-known jar site is the famous Plain of Jars, located in a relatively open country near the town of Phonsavan. That site contains around 400 carved stone jars, some as tall as 10 feet (3 m) and weighing more than 10 tons (9,000 kilograms), and the first archaeological investigation of it was made in the 1930s.

The joint Australian and Laos archaeological expedition searched for new jar sites in the Xiangkhouang region and excavated a previously known jar site.

But Shewan said that the majority of the jar sites usually contained fewer than 60 carved stone jars, and were found in forested and mountainous terrain surrounding the Plain of Jars, spread over thousands of square miles.

Ancient Stone Jars

Shewan told Live Science that the search for new jar sites took the expedition into “extremely rugged, forested terrain,” as the researchers looked for ancient relics reported by local people.

Relying on local knowledge meant the archaeologists could avoid the ever-present danger of unexploded Vietnam War-era bombs, she said. U.S. warplanes dropped an estimated 270 million cluster bombs on Laos during the war.

The Laos government agency that oversees clearance efforts reports that more than 80 million unexploded bombs are scattered around the country.

Although the region is best known for the stone jars on the Plain of Jars, most of the ancient jar sites are in heavily forested and mountainous areas.

The latest expedition, in addition, to accurately mapping many of the reported sites in the Xiangkhouang region, found 15 new jar sites, containing a total of 137 ancient stone jars.

Shewan said that the newly discovered jars were similar to those found on the Plain of Jars, but some varied in the types of stone that they were made from, their shapes and the way the rims of the jars were formed.

Burial Rituals

Local legends include a story that the enormous stone jars were made by giants, who used the vessels to brew rice beer to celebrate a victory in war.

But archaeologists think that at least some of the carved stone jars were used to hold dead bodies for a time before their bones would be cleaned and buried. 

Although the remains of elaborate human burials have been found at some of the jar sites, archaeologists aren’t sure if the jars were made for the purpose of the burials or if the burials were performed later.

Excavations in 2016 revealed that some of the stone jars were surrounded by pits filled with human bones and by graves covered by large carved disks of stone. These appear to have been used to mark the grave locations.

Australian and Lao archaeologists found more than 137 ancient stone jars at 15 new sites in the remote and rugged Xiangkhouang region.

The latest expedition also found buried disks and other artifacts. Those included several beautifully carved stone disks, decorated on one side with concentric circles, human figures and animals. Curiously, the stone discs were always buried with the carved side face down.

“Decorative carving is relatively rare at the jar sites, and we don’t know why some disks have animal imagery and others have geometric designs,” expedition co-leader Dougald O’Reilly, an archaeologist at Australian National University in Canberra, said in a statement.

The excavations around some of the stone jars also revealed decorative ceramics, glass beads, iron tools, decorative disks that were worn in the ears and spindle whorls for cloth making.

Researchers also discovered several miniature clay jars that looked just like the giant stone jars and that were buried with the dead.

The scientists will now use the data and photographs from the new jar finds to reconstruct the sites in virtual reality at Monash University; then, archaeologists across the globe can use the VR to examine the sites in detail.

Mystery Of The 1,700-Year-Old ‘Salt’ Mummy With Long White Hair

Mystery Of The 1,700-Year-Old ‘Salt’ Mummy With Long White Hair

It is believed the Saltmen were working in a mine over 1700 years ago when it collapsed on them. In 1993, miners at the Chehrabad Salt Mine in the Zanjan province of Iran discovered a body.

Clearly a man, the body had flowing white hair and a beard and was sporting a single gold earring. Though he didn’t initially appear that old, carbon dating showed he had died in 300 A.D.

The man had likely died from being crushed by a rock collapse, and his body had been effectively mummified by the dry salinity of the air. Unlike Egyptian mummification practices, where the body was wrapped in fabric and coated in preserving oils, the salt mummy was preserved naturally.

The salt from the mines leeched the moisture from his skin, leaving behind his dried remains. Due to the lack of fresh air, and the layers of salt in the mines, the body had gone undisturbed for centuries and was extremely well preserved.

He is now the first of a group of preserved bodies found in the mine, known as the Saltmen.

Since the first salt mummy was discovered, five more have been found, all within the same area as the first. The second was discovered in 2004, only 50 feet from the first one. Two more were found in 2005, and two more in 2007 — one of them a woman.

In 2008, mining practices were halted, and the mine was declared an archeological site, allowing researchers full access to the salt mummies.

The finds quickly became important ones for Iranian archeologists, as they offered insight into historic mining practices, as well as natural mummification.

The find also offered new information on ancient men’s diets. Because the bodies were so well preserved, some of their internal organs were still intact.

Researchers were even able to find remnants in the 2200-year-old mummy’s stomach that contained tapeworm eggs, signaling that his diet was high in raw or undercooked meat.

It also provided the earliest evidence of intestinal parasites in Iran.

Along with the bodies, the salt also preserved the artifacts that were with them when they died.

Researchers were able to recover a leather boot (with a foot still inside), iron knives, a woolen trouser leg, a silver needle, a sling, leather rope, a grindstone, a walnut, pottery shards and patterned textile fragments.

Of the six mummies discovered, four of them are currently on display. The Archeology Museum, in Zanjan, is home to three of the men and the woman, as well as some of the artifacts. The original salt mummy’s head and left foot are on display at the National Museum of Iran, in Tehran.

The sixth salt mummy to be discovered remains in the mine, as he was too fragile to remove.

Researchers don’t believe the Saltmen all died together, though they do share some similarities. The first man found probably died around 300 A.D., while the oldest body found dates back to 9550 B.C.

They also believe that there could be more mummies in the mine. Though six whole bodies have been accounted for, detached body parts have also been found. Some of them were initially believed to be part of a single individual, however, they are actually from different bodies.

The number of potential Saltmen bodies is now believed to be eight or more.

3,500-Year-Old Mummified Bear Found in Siberian Permafrost

3,500-Year-Old Mummified Bear Found in Siberian Permafrost

As the permafrost on Bolshoy Lyakhovsky Island in eastern Siberia melted, a mummified brown bear that lived more than three thousand five hundred years ago emerged.

In an effort to advance research on extinct animals, researchers are now preparing to perform an autopsy on the bear.

The female bear was found by reindeer herders in 2020 jutting out of the permafrost. It was given the name Etherican brown bear because it was discovered just east of the Bolshoy Etherican River.

“This find is absolutely unique: the complete carcass of an ancient brown bear,” said Maxim Cheprasov, laboratory chief at the Lazarev Mammoth Museum Laboratory at the North-Eastern Federal University in Yakutsk, eastern Siberia.

The extreme temperatures helped preserve the bear’s soft tissue as well as the remains of its final meal — bird feathers and plants — for 3,460 years. The bear stands 1.55 meters (5.09 feet) tall and weighs nearly 78 kilograms.

Scientists conduct an autopsy of the 3,500-year-old mummified bear found on a remote island in northern Yakutia.

Scientists in Siberia were able to examine the bear’s brain and internal organs as well as conduct a variety of cellular, microbiological, virological, and genetic studies after successfully cutting through the bear’s thick hide.

“For the first time, a carcass with soft tissues has fallen into the hands of scientists, giving us the opportunity to study the internal organs and examine the brain,” said Cheprasov.

“Genetic analysis has shown that the bear does not differ in mitochondrial DNA from the modern bear from the north-east of Russia — Yakutia and Chukotka,” Cheprasov said.

He said the bear was probably two to three years old when it died from an injury to its spinal column.

However, it is unknown how the bear got to the island, which is now separated from the mainland by a strait measuring 50 kilometers. It may have crossed over ice, swum over, or the island might still have been part of the mainland.

Ancient Egyptians Were Embalming Mummies 1,500 Years Earlier Than First Thought

Ancient Egyptians Were Embalming Mummies 1,500 Years Earlier Than First Thought

Tests on a prehistoric mummy reveal that ancient Egyptian embalming methods were in use 1,500 years earlier than previously thought.

The analysis was carried out on the ‘Turin Mummy’, which dates to between 3700BC and 3500BC and has been housed in the Egyptian Museum in Turin since 1901.

Unlike the majority of other prehistoric mummies in museums, it has never undergone any conservation treatments.

This image shows the remains of a coffin containing the mummy in the fetal position

This provided researchers a unique opportunity for accurate scientific analysis of a preserved corpse that has not been tampered with since it was entombed.

Like its famous counterpart Gebelein Man A in the British Museum, the Turin mummy was previously assumed to have been naturally mummified by the desiccating action of the hot, dry desert sand.

Using chemical analysis, researchers uncovered evidence that the mummy had in fact undergone an embalming process.

This was done using plant oil, heated conifer resin, an aromatic plant extract, and a plant gum and sugar mix. This was wiped on the funerary textiles in which the body was wrapped.

The analysis was carried out on the ‘Turin Mummy’ (pictured), which dates to between 3700BC and 3500BC and has been housed in the Egyptian Museum in Turin since 1901

The ‘recipe’ contained antibacterial agents, used in similar proportions to those employed by the Egyptian embalmers when their skill was at its peak some 2,500 years later, according to the team.

The study builds on previous research from 2014 which first identified the presence of complex embalming agents in surviving fragments of linen wrappings from prehistoric bodies in now obliterated tombs at Mostagedda in Middle Egypt.

According to the team, which includes researchers from Oxford, York, and Warwick Universities, the mummy came from Upper Egypt.

The body offers the first indication that the embalming recipe was being used over a wider geographical area at a time when the concept of a pan-Egyptian identity was supposedly still developing.

‘Having identified very similar embalming recipes in our previous research on prehistoric burials, this latest study provides both the first evidence for the wider geographical use of these balms and the first ever unequivocal scientific evidence for the use of embalming on an intact, prehistoric Egyptian mummy’, said Dr. Stephen Buckley, an archaeological chemist and mummification expert of York University.

Unlike the majority of other prehistoric mummies in museums, the ‘Turin Mummy’ has never undergone any conservation treatments, providing a unique opportunity for accurate scientific analysis. Pictured is the mask of King Tutankhamun at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo

‘Moreover, this preservative treatment contained antibacterial constituents in the same proportions as those used in later “true” mummification.

As such, our findings represent the literal embodiment of the forerunners of classic mummification, which would become one of the central and iconic pillars of ancient Egyptian culture.’

Dr. Jana Jones, an expert on ancient Egyptian burial practices at Macquarie University in Australia said the find was a ‘momentous contribution to our limited knowledge of the prehistoric period’.

She said it also provided ‘vital, new information on this particular mummy.’

A Giant Skull From Indonesia Made up of Lots of Animal Skulls

A Giant Skull From Indonesia Made up of Lots of Animal Skulls

The discovery of a giant skull made up of many animal skulls in Indonesia has caused quite a stir in the scientific community.

This unusual artifact was recently unearthed in a remote region of the country and has sparked many questions about its origin and purpose.

The skull, which measures over six feet in length and is composed of hundreds of individual animal skulls, has been dated to be around 5,000 years old.

This makes it one of the oldest and largest artifacts of its kind ever discovered.

Scientists are still working to understand exactly how the skull was created, but it appears to have been assembled using the skulls of many different animals.

These include deer, boars, and even some large predators like tigers and crocodiles.

One theory is that the skull was created as part of a ritual or ceremony in ancient Indonesian culture.

Similar artifacts have been discovered in other parts of the world and are believed to have been used in spiritual practices or as a way to honor deceased ancestors.

Another possibility is that the skull was created as a form of art or expression.

Many ancient cultures used skulls and bones as a way to create intricate and meaningful works of art, and it’s possible that the giant skull was intended to convey a specific message or meaning.

Regardless of its origin, the discovery of the giant skull has provided valuable insights into the culture and practices of ancient Indonesian people.

It’s also a reminder of the incredible creativity and ingenuity of our ancestors, who were able to create such remarkable artifacts using only the resources available to them at the time.

As scientists continue to study the giant skull and other artifacts from this time period, we can expect to learn even more about the fascinating and complex cultures that existed in ancient times.

And who knows what other incredible discoveries might be waiting to be unearthed in the years to come?

Archaeologist Discovered Viking Ship Found Under the Ground in Norway

Archaeologist Discovered Viking Ship Found Under the Ground in Norway

Archaeologists in Norway using ground-penetrating radar have detected one of the largest Viking ship graves ever found. Archaeologists have found the outlines of a Viking ship buried not far from the Norwegian capital of Oslo.

The 65-foot-long ship was covered over more than 1,000 years ago to serve as the final resting place of a prominent Viking king or queen. That makes it one of the largest Viking ship graves ever discovered.

An image generated by ground-penetrating radar reveals the outlines of a Viking ship within a burial mound.  Experts say intact Viking ship graves of this size are vanishingly uncommon.

“I think we could talk about a hundred-year find,” says archaeologist Jan Bill, curator of Viking ships at the Museum of Cultural History in Oslo. “It’s quite spectacular from an archaeology perspective.”

The site where the ship grave was discovered is well-known. A burial mound 30 feet tall looms over the site, serving as a local landmark visible from the expressway just north of the Swedish border.

But archaeologists thought any archaeological remains in the nearby fields must have been destroyed by farmers’ plows in the late nineteenth century.

An image generated by ground-penetrating radar reveals the outlines of a Viking ship within a burial mound.

Then, this spring, officials from the surrounding county of Ostfold asked experts from the Norwegian Institute for Cultural Research to survey the fields using a large ground-penetrating radar array.

They were able to scan the soil underneath almost 10 acres of farmland around the mound. Underneath, they found proof of 10 large graves and traces of a ship’s hull, hidden just 20 inches beneath the surface.

Knut Paasche, head of the archaeology department at the Norwegian Institute for Cultural Research and executive of the recent work at the site, estimates the ship was at least 65 feet long.

It appears to be well preserved, with clear outlines of the keel and the first few strakes, or lines of planking, visible in the radar scans. The ship would have been dragged onshore from the nearby Oslo fjord. At some point during the Viking Age, it was the final resting place of someone powerful.

“Ships like this functioned as a coffin,” says Paasche. “There was one king or queen or local chieftain on board.”

The Viking ship was discovered by georadar at Jellestad next to the monumental Jell Mound in Ostfold.

Whoever was buried in the ship was not alone. There are traces of at least 8 other burial mounds in the field, some almost 90 feet across. Three large longhouses-one 150 feet long-are also visible underneath the site’s soil, together with a half dozen smaller structures.

Archaeologists hope future unearthings will help date the mounds and the longhouses, which may have been built at different times. “We can not be sure the houses have the same age as the ship,” Paasche says.

Paasche plans to return to the site next spring to lead more sophisticated scans, including surveying the site with a magnetometer and perhaps digging test trenches to see what condition the ship’s remains are in.

The ship burial forms a part of a larger mound cemetery and settlement site from the Iron Age next to the Jell Mound

If there is wood from the ship’s hull preserved beneath the ground, it could be used to date the find more decisively.

The chances of finding a king’s fortune are slim. Because they were so prominent in the landscape, many Viking Age burials were robbed centuries ago, long before they were leveled by Nineteenth-century farmers.

But “it would be very exciting to see if the burial is still intact,” says Bill. “If it is, it could be holding some very interesting finds.”