Argentinian farmer Discovered a prehistoric giant Armadillo shell

Argentinian farmer Discovered a prehistoric giant Armadillo shell

The resting place of ancient armadillos that roamed the earth some 20,000 years ago has been discovered in Argentina. A farmer stumbled upon the graveyard containing fossilized shells of four massive Glyptodonts, with the largest being the size of a Volkswagen Beetle.

The remains were discovered in a dried-out riverbed near the Argentine capital of Buenos Aires – at first, only two were spotted, but two more were found while paleontologists excavated the site

Researchers believe the group consists of two adults and two young animals, but further testing will determine the cause of death, sex, and weight of the remains.

The resting place of ancient armadillos that roamed the earth some 20,000 years ago has been discovered in Argentina. A farmer stumbled upon the graveyard containing fossilized shells of four massive Glyptodonts, with the largest being the size of a Volkswagen Beetle

Juan de Dios Sota made the discovery while taking his cows out to graze near a river, Metro reported. He noticed two strange formations in a dried-out river bed and after taking a closer look, he knew he had stumbled upon something amazing and notified officials.

Pablo Messineo, one of the archaeologists at the scene, said: ‘We went there expecting to find two glyptodonts when the excavation started and then two more were found!’

‘It is the first time there have been four animals like this on the same site.’

‘Most of them were facing the same direction as they were walking towards something.’

Glyptodonts are the early ancestors of our modern armadillos that lived mostly across North and South America during the Pleistocene epoch. The creatures were encased from head to tail in thick, protective armour resembling in shape the shell of a turtle but composed of bony plates much like the covering of an armadillo.

The body shell alone was as long as 5 feet and as thick as two inches. It used its tail as a weapon – like a club – as the tip had a bony knob at the end that was sometimes spiked.

The group discovered in Argentina are believed to be two adults and two young animals, but experts are set to conduct further testing to determine the age, sex, and cause of death for each of the fossilized Glyptodonts.

The fossils were discovered in a riverbed by a farmer who was simply taking his cows out to graze
The body shell alone was as long as 5 feet and as thick as two inches. It used its tail as a weapon – like a club – as the tip had a bony knob at the end that was sometimes spiked (pictured)

A separate fossilized shell was discovered in 2015 by another farmer in Argentina. After popping out for some fresh air, farmer Jose Antonio Nievas stumbled across what experts said are the remains of a prehistoric giant. The 3 feet long shell discovered on a riverbank near a local farm may be from a glyptodont – a prehistoric kind of giant armadillo.

While there is a chance the shell is a hoax because it hasn’t been studied directly by experts, Adrian Lister of the Natural History Museum, London, told MailOnline: ‘I think it is quite likely this is genuine.’

‘The shell looks like a genuine glyptodont shell, and the hole is ‘wear and tear’, not where the head or tail went,’ he explained.

Glyptodonts are the early ancestors of our modern armadillos that lived mostly across North and South America during the Pleistocene epoch

At first, Mr. Nievas thought the black scaly shell was a dinosaur egg when he saw it in the mud, his wife Reina Coronel said. But a paleontologist who studied the pictures later said it belonged to an ancient ancestor of the armadillo.

Alejandro Kramarz of the Bernadino Rivadavia Natural Sciences Museum exclaimed: ‘There is no doubt that it looks like a glyptodont.’

Nievas told television channel Todo Noticias he found the shell partly covered in mud and started to dig around it. Various experts who saw television pictures of the object also said it is likely to be a glyptodont shell.

Professor Lister explained it’s common to find fossils buried in the bank of streams and rivers because flowing water gradually erodes the bank to expose ancient shells and bones.

‘The finder would first have spotted a small area of the shell exposed in the stream bank and then by digging, exposed the whole thing,’ he said.

‘This scenario is supported by the green staining on the shell, just in the area where it might first have been exposed to the stream, even with a kind of ‘tide mark’ on it.

‘It would be an ingenious hoaxer who would construct such a thing.’

The creatures were encased from head to tail in thick, protective armor resembling in shape the shell of a turtle but composed of bony plates much like the covering of an armadillo

195,000 Years Oldest Fossils Found Outside of Africa

195,000 Years Oldest Fossils Found Outside of Africa

New fossil finds over the past few years have been forcing anthropologists to reexamine our evolutionary path to becoming human. Now the earliest modern human fossil ever found outside the continent of Africa is pushing back the date for when our ancestors left Africa.

The fossil, an upper left jawbone with most of the teeth attached, comes from Misliya Cave in Israel and dates to 177,000-194,000 years ago. This is considerably older than any other remains from our own species, Homo sapiens, ever discovered outside of Africa, and it coincides with several other recent studies that are changing the view on our evolutionary origins and migration throughout the Old World.

African origins, then spreading from there

The earliest humans, referred to as hominins by anthropologists, lived around six to 7 million years ago in Africa. These early evolutionary ancestors are recognized as belonging to the human family mainly because their bones reveal clear signs of bipedalism: They walked on two feet. It was not until around 2 million years ago that human ancestors first migrated out of Africa and spread throughout the Old World.

Up until recently, anthropologists generally held that Homo sapiens first appeared around 200,000 years ago, in Africa. This was based on findings from genetic studies as well as fossil discoveries. Two sites in Ethiopia, Herto and Omo Kibish, have yielded early Homo sapiens fossils dated to between 160,000-195,000 years ago.

Early modern human fossils from Morocco are older than the new find from Misliya, which is similar in age to fossils from Ethiopia. Overlaid on the map are a 3-D virtual reconstruction of the Misliya-1 jawbone and several Early Middle Paleolithic stone tools also found in the cave. Image via Rolf Quam, Binghamton University, modified from “Blue Marble.”

But in June of 2017, researchers dated fossils from the site of Jebel Irhoud in Morocco to around 315,000 years ago and attributed them to an early phase of Homo sapiens evolution. This unexpectedly early date pushed back the origin of our species by over 100,000 years.

Until recently, the earliest human fossils from our own species discovered outside of Africa dated to around 90,000-120,000 years ago. Two cave sites in Israel – Qafzeh and Skhul – have yielded numerous skeletons of early modern humans.

The age of these sites would suggest that our species was restricted to Africa for as long as 200,000 years before migrating out of the continent. Other sites with Homo sapiens fossils from Asia and Europe are generally younger than the finds from the Middle East.

Now an international research team, of which I was a member, has reported finding an early modern human fossil at Misliya Cave in Israel dating as far back as 177,000-194,000 years ago. This date pushes back our species’ exodus from Africa by over 50,000 years.

Misliya Cave is part of a series of prehistoric cave sites located along the western slopes of Mount Carmel, Israel.

High-tech analysis of ancient remains

The Misliya fossil is just part of one individual’s jawbone. To understand the significance of the find, we needed to be sure about when this individual lived and also what species they belonged to.

To start with, the stone tools associated with the fossil, of a type known as the Early Middle Paleolithic, indicated a considerable antiquity for the specimen. Similar tool kits from other sites in the Middle East generally date to older than 160,000 years ago.

To establish the jawbone’s age more precisely, several independent dating techniques were applied to the fossil itself as well as the stone tools and sediments at the site. The results came back with ages that ranged between 177,000-194,000 years ago.

To diagnose which species the Misliya fossil might represent, we studied the original fossil using both traditional anthropological approaches as well as the latest technological advances.

We micro-CT scanned and made 3-D virtual models of the specimen to visualize the internal structures of the teeth and quantify their shapes more precisely. The results of these analyses demonstrated very clearly that the Misliya fossil is a member of our own species.

All of the anatomical features in the Misliya fossil are consistent with it being a modern human, just like us. There is nothing in the fossil that would rule it out as a Homo sapiens. And some features in the Misliya fossil’s anterior teeth seem only to occur in Homo sapiens.

A close-up view, showing details of the crown topography and dental features.

Our study found these teeth lack several features that are found in earlier human species, including the Neanderthals. One of these characteristics is a thickening of the tooth crown along the edges on the inside surface of the incisor and canine.

Anthropologists call this trait shoveling. We see shoveling on the teeth of previous species of hominins from before modern humans evolved. But we didn’t see it in the teeth from Misliya, supporting the idea that this jaw is from a Homo sapiens individual.

Now some modern human populations actually do have shoveling on their teeth, while others do not; but in the fossil record, the only species that does not show shoveling is Homo sapiens.

Another trait we looked for is a small cusp at the base of the tooth crown on the inside surface of the incisor and canine. This feature is commonly seen in Neanderthals, but is absent in the Misliya fossil.

It’s the absence of these two dental features in the Misliya fossil, together with information from the other teeth and the jawbone itself, that tells us it came from a Homo sapiens.

Fitting more pieces into the puzzle

The findings at Misliya coincide with a recent genetic study that offered tantalizing evidence for the influx of genetic material into the Neanderthal gene pool from Africa. The researchers relied on ancient mitochondrial DNA extracted from a Neanderthal femur (leg bone) discovered in Germany.

The African species involved was not clear, but the older dates for the earliest Homo sapiens fossils at Jebel Irhoud in Morocco make it clear that modern humans were already present in Africa at this time.

These genetic results suggest the possibility of an earlier modern human migration out of Africa – at least as far back as 220,000 years ago and probably earlier.

While the Misliya fossil is younger than this, it provides the first fossil evidence confirming that modern humans left Africa considerably earlier than previously believed.

This series of recent studies and discoveries from disparate sources are providing new insights into our own origins and dispersal around the globe.

Archaeologists find 800-year-old mummy in Peru

Archaeologists find 800-year-old mummy in Peru

A preserved rope-bound mummy, estimated to be at least 800 years old, has been discovered in an underground tomb by archaeologists on Peru’s central coast. The mummified remains, which are in excellent condition, were found at the Cajamarquilla archaeological site about 15 miles (24 kilometers) inland from Lima.

The rope-bound mummy was from the culture that developed between the coast and mountains of Peru, according to archaeologist Pieter Van Dalen Luna from the State University of San Marcos, as reported in the Guardian. The mummy is likely from the Chaclla culture, which developed in the high Andes around Lima between 1200 and 800 years ago.

“The main characteristic of the mummy is that the whole body was tied up by ropes and with the hands covering the face, which would be part of the local funeral pattern…. Radiocarbon dating will give a more precise chronology,” said archaeologist Pieter Van Dalen Luna, from the State University of San Marcos, Peru ( UNMSM) to Reuters. He added that the remains are believed to be of a person who lived in the high Andean region of the country, according to the Independent.

Archaeologist Pieter Van Dalen Luna, from the State University of San Marcos, Peru, on the right, with the rope-bound mummy just behind him.

The Rope-bound Mummy And The Mummies of Peru

Mummification was practiced by several indigenous cultures of the Andes region beginning as far back as 7000 years ago.

The Chinchorro people, who lived in what is now Peru and Chile, were the world’s first practitioners of mummification, thousands of years before the Egyptians. Preserving the bodies of their loved ones allowed the living to retain a link with the dead.

What is fascinating is that Peruvian mummies were not just interred and left to get on with their afterlife. Some people kept mummies in their homes or brought them to festivals and they were often involved in ceremonies such as marriages, sowing, and harvesting.

In some cultures, the people brought offerings of food or drink to their loved ones’ graves. Considered a link between the living and the gods, these mummies could also be taken from their resting place and “consulted” on important occasions.

Many different cultures lived in the Andean region and their treatment of the dead varied considerably, ranging from natural to assisted mummification.

Preservation of the body could be achieved by desiccation or freeze-drying, processes helped by the natural climatic conditions in desert and mountainous areas found all over the Andean region. Bodies could also be treated and preserved using alcohol (from chicha maize beer).

Early Andean cultures also used salt as a preservative and often removed the flesh and bodily fluids from the corpse prior to burial.

Mummies were typically placed in the fetal position and wrapped into bundles using several layers of textiles, bound with cords, and sometimes a head cloth was added.

Important individuals were clothed and wrapped in high-quality fabrics and jewelry. The dead person’s possessions were interred along with their owner, sometimes along with the tools of their profession.

A closeup of the rope-bound mummy found at the Cajamarquilla archaeological site not far from Lima, Peru

The Cajamarquilla Rope-bound Mummy

While the Cajamarquilla rope-bound mummy’s gender has not precisely been identified, it appears to be an adult male. It was found in an underground chamber tomb placed in the fetal position and bound with ropes that kept the mummy in a tight crouch for over 1,200 years. It was buried with offerings including ceramics, stone tools, and gourds containing vegetable remains. 

The ancient site of Cajamarquilla, where the rope-bound mummy was discovered, was situated along a trade route linking the high Andes to urban settlements on the coast.

It became an important center of commerce in the Late Intermediate Period (1000 – 1470), which was a time between empires in the Andes when many regional groups reorganized and gained power. Its prosperity was reflected in its large public buildings, boulevards, and squares.

Both the fetal position and rope-binding were funerary practices common among the late pre-Hispanic peoples of the high Andes. The mummy therefore shows that Cajamarquilla was inhabited not just by coastal peoples from the immediate area, but also by people of Andean origin from the mountains. Possibly, its importance as a trading center linking the coast to the mountains, resulted in people from the Andes settling there as well.

Peruvian mummies along with their grave goods have helped archaeologists greatly in extending their understanding of pre-Hispanic indigenous Andean cultures. Detailed examinations of the most recent find are sure to add to this understanding.

Bronze Age Pot Discovered in Cardiff Wales

Bronze Age Pot Discovered in Cardiff Wales

The Caerau and Ely Rediscovering (CAER) Heritage Project, a partnership between Cardiff University, Action in Caerau and Ely (ACE), local schools, residents and heritage partners, began excavations at Trelai Park, half a mile from Caerau Hillfort – a heritage site of national significance where Cardiff University archaeologists and community members have previously discovered Neolithic, Iron Age, Roman and medieval origins.

Experts believed the settlement, dubbed ‘Trelai Enclosure’ could provide the missing link between the late Iron Age and early Roman period, showing what happened to people once they had moved on from the Hillfort.

An archaeological dig at Trelai Park has uncovered what could be the earliest house found in Cardiff.

But in fact, the roundhouse, located near Cardiff West Community High School, actually predates it. A clay pot discovered at the site has given the team a firmer indication of the time period the building can be traced to.

Dr Oliver Davis, CAER Project co-director, based at Cardiff University’s School of History, Archaeology and Religion, said: “What we’ve found is completely unexpected and even more exciting.

This enclosure could be providing us with the earliest clues on the origins of Cardiff. The pot that’s been found is beautifully decorated and well preserved. It is extremely rare to find pottery of this quality.

It’s also unusual to find a Bronze Age settlement in Wales  – there are only one or two other Bronze Age sites in this country.

“The people who lived here could have been members of a family whose descendants went on to build Caerau Hillfort.”

Archaeologists at work at Trelai Park in Cardiff.

Nearly 300 volunteers have participated in the dig so far, with around 500 visitors coming to the site since its start.

Fellow co-director Dr David Wyatt added: “We came looking for the missing link between the late Iron Age and early Roman period. What we found is something much more remarkable and much older.

“We believe the roundhouse could now have been constructed in the mid to late Bronze Age, going back to between 1500 and 1100 BC. The enclosure definitely predates the hillfort. People were living here before the hillfort was built.

“The whole community – volunteers, school children and Cardiff University students, should be proud of what they’ve achieved here. It’s an incredible development and sheds light on the earliest inhabitants of Cardiff.”

Tom Hicks, an archaeologist who came through Cardiff University’s Exploring the Past pathway and volunteer Charlie Adams both found and recovered the pot during the dig.

Tom said: “This is a very well-preserved example of Bronze Age pottery and a significant find for the archaeological record in the region. It’s a great opportunity for us to learn more about the lives of the people living on the site around 3,000 years ago.

“The beautiful decoration on the pot shows that these people wanted to display their creativity to others and further scientific analysis may be able to tell what the pot was used for before it ended up in the enclosure ditch and how or where the pot was made.”

Martin Hulland, Headteacher at Cardiff West Community High School said: “We are delighted to be involved in this exciting archaeological project. Our students have loved learning about the history that’s just a stone’s throw away from their school.”

600,000-year-old finds point to some of Britain’s earliest humans

600,000-year-old finds point to some of Britain’s earliest humans

An overlooked archaeological site outside of Canterbury turned out to contain some of the oldest human-made tools in Britain.

Many of the artifacts were found in the 1920s in the market town of Fordwich, Kent, but they were only recently properly dated.

According to modern radiometric techniques, the collection of more than 330 hand axes and 251 flakes, scrapers, and cores were most likely fashioned between 560,000 and 620,000 years ago.

Given the style in which the tools were made, researchers often attribute them to a species of early human known as Homo heidelbergensis.

These could have been among the first humans to settle in Briton for the long term, with signs of their presence dating back around 500,000 years; artifacts left by an earlier occupation by an unknown human species suggest short forays into the territory as far back as just under 1 million years ago.

To put that in perspective, Neanderthals arrived on the scene around 400,000 years ago, and our species didn’t show up on the island until about 40,000 years ago.

Members of H. heidelbergensis are known to have been capable hunters, and while no human remains were found at Fordwich, the sheer number and diversity of tools suggest these early humans were very much at home in the region.

Archaeologists suspect that H. heidelbergensis used the hand axes and scrapers found at Fordwic to prepare animal hides for use as clothing or shelter.

“The range of stone tools, not only from the original finds, but also from our new smaller excavations suggest that hominins living in what was to become Britain, were thriving and not just surviving,” says Palaeolithic archaeologist Tomos Proffitt from the Max Planck Institute.

A selection of handaxes found in Fordwich in the 1920s.

The site isn’t the oldest evidence of human activity in Britain, but it’s one of the few providing a glimpse into life in this time frame.

During H. heidelbergensis’ time, Britain was still connected to the European mainland, making travel from France and Spain comparatively more accessible than it is Now. That said, the region’s temperatures were often cold and uncompromising.

Some human footprints and basic tools were also found in Norfolk dating back more than 840,000 years ago, indicating at least brief trips to the frigid northwest of Europe. Yet permanent settlements probably weren’t built in Britain until much later, when the climate was more liveable.

Whether these ancient footprints were made by H. heidelbergensis or another early species, called Homo antecessor, which lived in Spain at the time, is still up for debate.

Regardless, the remains at Fordwich are a sort of bridge between the earliest travelers to Britain and the first real settlers, and yet for 90 years, its importance in early human history was all but ignored.

The location of Fordwich in Britain.

The current study is the first major archaeological undertaking at the site, revealing some of the oldest artifact-bearing sediments in Britain.

In fact, the authors say Fordwich is the oldest, directly dated, H. heidelbergensis stone tool site in Britain and among the oldest in northwest Europe. It also holds the earliest example of ‘scrapers’ in British archaeology.

“The diversity of tools is fantastic. In the 1920s, the site produced some of [the] earliest handaxes ever discovered in Britain,” says the excavation director Alastair Key from the University of Cambridge.

“Now, for the first time, we have found rare evidence of scraping and piercing implements at this very early age”.

Key and his colleagues hope Fordwich can now take its rightful place as a pivotal archaeological site in northwest Europe.

This Man Was Killed by Brutal Boomerang Blow 800 Years Ago

This Man Was Killed by Brutal Boomerang Blow 800 Years Ago

Since analyzing markings of an 800-year-old fossil, Australian anthropologists have found evidence that its owner has been killed in a vicious boomerang attack.

Boomerangs are popular hunting weapons used by the Aborigine and Torres Strait Islanders, however, the latest findings indicate they may still be used for warfare well in advance of the arrival of European settlers in Australia.

The findings give a rare insight into pre-colonial, intertribal disputes, which have, rather than archeological facts, been based on historical accounts for a long time.

The skull of a skeleton found two years ago is marred by a long gash, initially thought to be the result of a fatal blow from a sharp metal blade – but, analysis of the remains reveals this occurred long before the Europeans arrived to the region with these types of tools

“I don’t know if it was a continent-wide phenomenon, but we do see evidence in this part of [Australia] that … supports intertribal conflict,” team member Michael Westaway from Griffith University told Traci Watson at National Geographic.

The skeleton is thought to have belonged to a 20- to 30-year-old Aboriginal male, who locals have named Kaakutja (meaning “older brother” in Baakantji). It was discovered in 2014 in Toorale National Park in eastern Australia.

After its discovery in 2014 by William Bates, a member of the Baakantji, the skeleton was named ‘Kaakutja,’ meaning ‘older brother.’ Pictured above, three Barkindji men prepare the remains for reburial

Looking at the long wound on the dead man’s skull, researchers originally thought he died from a sword strike by a member of the British Native Police – a task force responsible for the deaths of many Aboriginals in the 1800s.

Two years later, further analysis of the remains suggest that the man actually died in the 1200s – about 600 years before Europeans arrived.

After further investigation, the team found a nearby cave that contained Aboriginal paintings of warriors with shields, clubs, and boomerangs, reports Watson. They then compared the gash wound on the man’s skull to the average size of a boomerang, and showed that the two matched up.

Their investigation revealed that this likely was the case; the team found that sharp club-like weapons known as ‘Lil-lils’ and hooked fighting boomerangs called ‘Wonna’ could have caused the injuries observed in Kaakutja. Various types of boomerangs are pictured

Besides the gash, the man was also found have broken ribs and a partially severed arm, Bob Yirka reports for, which suggests that he was a long-time fighter, who had survived many battles before his death.

During Kaakutja’s time, boomerangs were a commonly used for a number of tasks, such as digging, hunting, and – based on these findings – combat.

Contrary to the image of boomerang combat that most of us probably have in our minds – with two combatants standing far away from each other, lobbing boomerangs at range – the team says they were probably used for close combat, likely thrown around a shield, allowing warriors to smack guarded foes without revealing themselves.

While understanding how boomerangs were used as weapons is an important find in itself, the team says this is important evidence to suggest that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people used to fight intertribal conflicts before European colonisation.

“There are those who think [pre-colonial Australia] is the Garden of Eden, and those who say it’s a hostile place,” Jo McDonald from the University of Western Australia, who wasn’t involved in the study, told National Geographic. “The evidence here is that it’s kind of both.”

With further analysis of Kaakutja’s remains, the team hopes to find more clues about tribal relations in pre-colonial Australia.

Hundreds Of Pure Gold Roman Coins Found in Italy

Hundreds Of Pure Gold Roman Coins Found in Italy

About 300 gold coins, dating back around 1,500 years to a time when part of the Roman Empire was collapsing, have been discovered during construction at an abandoned cinema in Como, in northern Italy, the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities said in a series of statements.

All of the coins were found inside the remains of an amphora, a type of storage jar that the Romans often used to transport liquids such as wine and olive oil.

The coins were found hidden inside an amphora, which is a jar used by the Romans for storing liquids such as wine and olive oil.

After the cinema construction crew discovered the hoard, a team of archaeologists from the ministry excavated the coins and brought them to a lab in Milan, where they are in the process of being examined and conserved said the ministry in one of the Italian language statements.  

Coin hoards have been found at many sites throughout the ancient Mediterranean, including a 1,500-year-old hoard found at the Greek city of Corinth.

However, hoards containing an abundance of gold coins are rare, and the ministry called the new find an “extraordinary discovery” in one of the statements.

The discovery leaves archaeologists with several mysteries. For example, when, exactly, was the hoard deposited, and who deposited it? Why was it abandoned, and why did no one come back for it?

A construction crew found the amphora holding the gold coins while working in an abandoned cinema in Italy.

An empire’s collapse

Historical records indicate that part of the Roman Empire was collapsing around 1,500 years ago, with many wars being fought in Italy.

The Roman Empire had been divided in two by the fifth century A.D. The Eastern Roman Empire, which was based in Constantinople (modern-day Istanbul), was thriving, while the Western Roman Empire (which included Italy) was collapsing.

The 300 gold coins or so date back 1,500 years to a time when part of the Roman Empire was collapsing

Rome was sacked in A.D. 410 by a group called the Goths, and in A.D. 455 by a group called the Vandals. In A.D. 476, the Western Roman Empire officially came to an end when the last emperor, a man named Romulus Augustulus, abdicated.

The Eastern Roman Empire (sometimes called the Byzantine Empire by modern-day historians) regained much of Italy during a series of military campaigns during the rule of Justinian I (who reigned from A.D. 527 to 565).

But his successors couldn’t hold on to it, and a group called the Lombards gradually took over Italy in the time after Justinian’s death, in 565. Additionally, the ancient world was ravaged by the plague, which started in A.D. 541 and killed millions of people.

Whether the deposit of the hoard has anything to do with the chaos that was engulfing the Roman Empire around 1,500 years ago is unclear, but current research may eventually provide answers.

12,000-year-old massive underground tunnels are real and stretch from Scotland to Turkey

12,000-year-old massive underground tunnels are real and stretch from Scotland to Turkey

Is it possible that ancient cultures were interconnected thousands of years ago? According to thousands of underground tunnels that stretch from North Scotland towards the Mediterranean the answer is a big yes.

While the reason behind these sophisticated tunnels remains a mystery, many experts believe that this huge 12,000-year-old network was built as a protection against predators and other dangers 12,000 years ago.

Some experts believe that these mysterious tunnels were used as modern-day highways, allowing the transition of people and connecting them to distant places across Europe.

In the book Secrets Of The Underground Door To An Ancient World (German title: Tore zur Unterwelt) German archaeologist Dr Heinrich Kush states that evidence of huge underground tunnels has been found under dozens of Neolithic settlements all over the European continent. These tremendous tunnels are often referred to as ancient highways.

According to Dr Kusch, the fact that many of these tunnels still exist today, after 12,000 years indicates that the tunnels must have been both complex and huge in size.

“Across Europe, there were thousands of them says Dr Kusch,” in Germany, we have discovered hundreds of meters of underground tunnels. In Austria, we have found hundreds more. These underground tunnels can be found everywhere across Europe and there are thousands of them.” Said the German archaeologist.

While some of the tunnels are relatively small- some of them measure over a meter in width, there are other tunnels that have been found with underground chambers and storage areas.

The fact that these tunnels have been found points towards incredible ancient ingenuity which is anything but what history books tells us today. Ancient mankind had the knowledge and tools to build complex structures over ten thousand years ago.

Evidence of that is the Pyramids of Bosnia in Europe and their incredible underground tunnels that go on for kilometres.

Dr Kusch states that ‘Across Europe, there were thousands of these tunnels – from the north in Scotland down to the Mediterranean.

They are interspersed with nooks, at some places it’s larger and there is seating, or storage chambers and rooms. They do not all link up but taken together it is a massive underground network.’

Cappadocia in Turkey is another incredible example. The underground city of Derinkuyu is another piece of evidence that points towards the perfection and long-lost construction methods of our ancestors.

The underground city of Derinkuyu is perhaps one of the greatest achievements in underground construction together with the huge network of tunnels.

The geological features of the stone from Derinkuyu is something that is very important; it is very soft. Thus, the ancient builders of Derinkuyu had to be very careful when building these underground chambers providing enough pillar strength to support the floors above; if this was not achieved, the city would have collapsed, but so far, archaeologists have not found evidence of any “cave-ins” at Derinkuyu.

Other ancient monuments such as Gobekli Tepe are more pieces of crucial evidence that point towards incredible skills and knowledge by people who inhabited our planet over ten thousand years ago.

According to Dr Kusch, chapels were often built at the entrances to the underground tunnels because the Church were afraid of the heathen legacy the tunnels might have represented, and like many other things, the church wanted to make sure word about the tunnels was kept as a secret.

In some of the tunnels, writings have been discovered which refer to these underground tunnels as gateways to the underworld.

Hoard of Roman Silver Coins found buried in Welsh field

Hoard of Roman Silver Coins found buried in Welsh field

Two treasure finds including a coin hoard of Roman date and a medieval silver brooch were declared treasure on 28 June 2022 by the Assistant Coroner for North Wales (East & Central) Katie Sutherland.

A Roman silver coin hoard was discovered by Wayne Jones while metal detecting on a pasture field in Halkyn Community in June 2020.

The coin hoard contains 13 silver denarii minted between AD 64 and AD 117. The first coin in the hoard is a denarius of the Emperor Nero (AD 54-68) and the last is a denarius of the Emperor Trajan (AD 98-117).

The Roman silver coin hoard was discovered by Wayne Jones
The Roman silver coin hoard was discovered by Wayne Jones

The hoard was probably buried a short time later, at around AD 117-125. Halkyn Mountain was an important Roman lead mining site.

A Roman lead pig (ingot), discovered in 2019 in Rossett, Wrexham, has been chemically linked to lead from Halkyn Mountain, and other evidence of early-Roman lead mining and smelting has been discovered in North-East Wales and at nearby Chester.

The burying of this hoard might therefore be linked to mining activities in the area.

Alastair Willis, Senior Curator of Numismatics and the Welsh Economy, Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales said:

“This coin hoard adds to a growing body of evidence for Roman activity in and around Halkyn during the first and second centuries AD, which is likely to have been primarily related to lead mining on Halkyn Mountain.”

Flintshire Museums Service would like to acquire the coin hoard for their collection, following its independent valuation by the Treasure Valuation Committee.

Sophie Fish, Museums, Culture and Heritage Manager for Flintshire said:

“This is an extremely exciting find from our Roman past. It is interesting to imagine who the coins belonged to and what goods were purchased with the currency.”

“We hope to be able to display them in Mold Museum as part of a new display on Roman activity across Flintshire.”

The small silver annular ‘stirrup’ brooch of medieval date was discovered by Scott Bevan in 2019

A small silver annular ‘stirrup’ brooch of medieval date was discovered by Scott Bevan on October 2019, whilst metal detecting on an arable field in Erbistock Community, Wrexham.

The brooch frame is decorated with fine transverse bands inlaid with black niello, a metal alloy with sulphur.

The dagger-like pin has incised decoration as well as two ‘stirrups’, curved protrusions extending at the pin-head end, which were to prevent snagging. This brooch dates from the thirteenth- or early fourteenth century.

Sian Iles, Curator of Medieval and Later Archaeology at Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales says:

“Medieval silver annular brooches like the Erbistock example are increasingly recorded in Wales, thanks to reporting through the Treasure Act 1996 and the Portable Antiquities Scheme.”

“This continual enrichment of evidence enables us to build a strong picture of the ways personal identities were being expressed Medieval Wales, through the wearing of jewellery and other personal adornments.”

Wrexham County Borough Museum & Archives is interested in acquiring the brooch for their collection, following an independent valuation by the Treasure Valuation Committee.

1,600-Year-Old Elongated Skull with Stone-Encrusted Teeth Found in Mexico Ruins

1,600-Year-Old Elongated Skull with Stone-Encrusted Teeth Found in Mexico Ruins

Archaeologists in Mexico have recently uncovered a 1,600-year-old skeleton of a woman who had mineral-encrusted teeth and an intentionally elongated skull – evidence that suggests she was part of her society’s upper-class.

While it isn’t uncommon for archaeologists to find deformed remains, the new skeleton is one of the most “extreme” ever recorded.

“Her cranium was elongated by being compressed in a ‘very extreme’ manner, a technique commonly used in the southern part of Mesoamerica, not the central region where she was found,” the team said, according to an AFP report.

The team, led by researchers from the National Anthropology and History Institute in Mexico, found the woman in the ancient ruins of Teotihuacan – a pre-Hispanic civilisation that once lied 50 kilometres (30 miles) north of Mexico City, existing between the 1st and 8th century AD before it mysteriously vanished.

The woman, who the researchers have named The Woman of Tlailotlacan after the location she was found inside the ancient city, not only had an elongated skull, but she had her top two teeth encrusted with pyrite stones – a mineral that looks like gold at first glance.

Gold studded teeth, Pre-Columbian Ecuador.

She also had a fake lower tooth made from serpentine – a feature so distinctive, the team says it’s evidence to suggest that she was a foreigner to the ancient city.

The elongated skull with stone encrusted teeth found in Teotihuacan, Mexico.

The researchers doesn’t give any details into how these body modifications were performed 1,600-years-ago, or why they were common in the first place. But based on other cultures, such as the Mayans, artificial cranial deformation was likely done in infancy using bindings to grow the skull outwards, possibly to signal social status.

While very little is none about the woman’s faux-golden grill, researchers from Mexico did find 2,500-year-old Native American remains with gems embedded in their teeth back in 2009. In that study, the team said that sophisticated dental practices made the modifications possible, though they were likely used purely for decoration and weren’t symbols of class. 

“It’s possible some type of [herb based] anaesthetic was applied prior to drilling to blunt any pain,” team member José Concepción Jiménez, from Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History, told National Geographic.

It’s also important to note that the current team’s findings have yet to be published in a peer-reviewed journal, so we will have to take their word on it for now until they can get their report ready for publication.

The Mexican team aren’t the only ones to discover some interesting human remains lately, either. Back in June, researchers from Australia uncovered 700,000-year-old ‘hobbit’ remains on an island in Indonesia.

More recently, just last week, researchers in China what might be a skull bone belonging to Buddha inside a 1,000-year-old shrine in Nanjing, China.

Needless to say, archaeologists all over the world have been quite busy this year, and we can’t wait to see what they uncover next.