Gaza farmer finds Byzantine mosaic while planting tree

A Palestinian farmer has discovered an ornate Byzantine floor mosaic while trying to plant an olive tree on his land in the Gaza Strip. Salman al-Nabahin said he and his son had been digging into the ground when they unearthed the relic. They later uncovered several more sections depicting colourful animals and birds. Experts have called it one of the greatest archaeological treasures ever found in Gaza. Mr Nabahin told Reuters news agency he had realised the mosaic belonged to the Byzantine era after searching on the internet. The Byzantine Empire was the eastern half of the Roman Empire, which … Continue reading Gaza farmer finds Byzantine mosaic while planting tree

Remains of cave woman, one million years older than thought

Fossilised remains belonging to some of humanity’s oldest ancestors are far older than scientists had originally thought, new research says. The fossils, including one belonging to ancient cave woman Mrs Ples, were buried for millennia in South African caves known as the Cradle of Humankind. Modern testing methods now suggest the group of early humans roamed the earth between 3.4 and 3.7 million years ago. This new time-line could reshape common understandings of human evolution. It means there are now more possible ways by which our ancestors could have evolved into early humans. For years scientists believed the Australopithecus africanus species, whose … Continue reading Remains of cave woman, one million years older than thought

Two historical new shipwrecks found off Colombian coast

Colombian naval officials monitoring a sunken Spanish ship laden with treasure have discovered two other historical shipwrecks nearby, President Iván Duque has announced. The San José galleon was sunk by the British in 1708 near Colombia’s Caribbean port of Cartagena. It has been described as the holy grail of shipwrecks, as the ship was carrying one of the largest amounts of valuables ever to have been lost at sea. A remotely operated vehicle filming the wreckage has now discovered two other nearby wrecks – a colonial boat and a schooner thought to be from around the same period as Colombia’s … Continue reading Two historical new shipwrecks found off Colombian coast

British geologist jailed in Iraq for stealing artifacts

The family of a British geologist jailed in Iraq for attempting to remove artefacts from the country says he is “shell shocked” over his 15-year prison sentence. Jim Fitton, 66, who is originally from Bath, collected 12 stones and shards of broken pottery during a recent geology and archaeology tour of the country. Mr Fitton has insisted he did not know he was breaking Iraqi laws. His son-in-law Sam Tasker said: “This is an unjust verdict.” Speaking to Mr Fitton in a five-minute phone call for the first time in 95 days, Mr Tasker said his father-in-law talked through the “practicalities … Continue reading British geologist jailed in Iraq for stealing artifacts

Remains prehistoric flying creature discovered in Argentina

Fossilized remains from a giant flying reptile the size of a bus have been discovered in Argentina. The Dragon of Death, as scientists have dubbed the new species, hunted prey from Earth’s skies around 86 million years ago. When fully extended, its wings measured a massive nine metres (30 ft) from one tip to the other. The sheer size of the predator paints a “terrifying vision”, the scientist behind the find said. “This species had a height similar to that of a giraffe,” project leader Leonardo Ortiz said, with a wingspan that “defies the limits of our biological understanding”. Its … Continue reading Remains prehistoric flying creature discovered in Argentina

4,500-year-old statue of Canaanite goddess found in Palestine

A stone statue of an ancient goddess of beauty, love and war has been found in the Gaza Strip. Palestinian archaeologists say that the head of the Canaanite deity, Anat, dates back 4,500 years to the late Bronze Age. The discovery was made by a farmer digging his land in Khan Younis, in the south of the strip. On social media, some Gazans are making wry comments suggesting the goddess’s association with war seems apt. In recent years, they have seen a series of devastating flare-ups in the conflict between Israel and militant groups in Gaza, which is governed by … Continue reading 4,500-year-old statue of Canaanite goddess found in Palestine

‘Mysterious’ giant stone jars found in India

Researchers have uncovered giant “mysterious” jars in India that may have been used for ancient human burial practices. The 65 sandstone jars were found scattered over four sites in the north-eastern state of Assam. They vary in shape and size. Some of the jars are tall and cylindrical, while the others are partly or fully buried in the ground. Similar stone vessels have previously been found in Laos and Indonesia. The details of the discovery – which involved researchers from three universities in India and Australia – were published in the Journal of Asian Archeology journal this week. The research was … Continue reading ‘Mysterious’ giant stone jars found in India

Gaza construction workers find 31 Roman-era tombs

Construction workers at a building site in northern Gaza have uncovered 31 Roman-era tombs dating from the first century AD, the Palestinian territory’s Islamist rulers Hamas said Monday. The tombs were discovered near the town of Beit Lahia as work began on an Egyptian-funded residential area, part of the $500 million reconstruction package Cairo pledged after the 11-day war in May between Israel and armed groups in the Gaza Strip. Naji Sarhan, an official at Gaza’s Ministry of Public Works, confirmed the find and said there is “evidence that there are other graves” at the site. Construction work has been … Continue reading Gaza construction workers find 31 Roman-era tombs

Amazing: Badger thought to have found Roman treasure

A hungry badger is thought to have unearthed the largest collection of Roman coins ever to have been discovered in northern Spain, reports say. The treasure trove was discovered close to the den of an animal in the municipality of Grado, Asturias. The animal is thought to have uncovered the treasure as it desperately searched for food last winter, a harsh one. Heavy snowfall affected the region when storm Filomena hit last year. In a desperate attempt to find some food, it is thought that the animal – which researchers believe could be a badger – inserted its legs into a … Continue reading Amazing: Badger thought to have found Roman treasure

Piece Of History: Virginia workers open Civil War era time capsule

A conservation team in the US state of Virginia has opened a box containing Confederate war memorabilia believed to be more than 130 years old. It contained newspapers, books and ammunition dated to the US Civil War. Workers discovered the container in the state capital of Richmond while finishing the removal of a statue of the Confederate general Robert E Lee. The memorial was removed after protests against it following the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis last year. Records held by the Library of Virginia say that the capsule was buried in 1877 and that dozens of local residents … Continue reading Piece Of History: Virginia workers open Civil War era time capsule

Roman-era ‘Good Shepherd’ ring found off Israel in ancient shipwreck

A Roman-era gold ring bearing an image used by early Christians to symbolize Jesus has been found by archaeologists off Israel’s Mediterranean coast. The Israel Antiquities Authority said the ring was set with a green gemstone carved with the figure of a shepherd boy carrying a sheep on his shoulders. In the Bible, Jesus describes himself as the “Good Shepherd”. The ring was among a number of artefacts discovered in two shipwrecks near the ancient port of Caesarea. The other treasures include hundreds of silver and bronze Roman coins from the mid-3rd Century and a large hoard of silver coins … Continue reading Roman-era ‘Good Shepherd’ ring found off Israel in ancient shipwreck

Largest-ever millipede fossil found on a beach

Scientists say they have discovered the largest-ever fossil of a giant millipede on a beach in Northumberland, totally by chance. The millipede, known as Arthropleura, is thought to have been more than 8ft (2.5m) long. It would have weighed about seven stone (50kg). The fossil segment was first spotted in 2018 when a large block of sandstone fell on to a beach at Howick Bay. It will be displayed in Cambridge’s Sedgwick Museum next year. “It was a complete fluke of a discovery,” said Dr Neil Davies, from Cambridge’s Department of Earth Sciences, who has been analysing the 75cm-long fossil. … Continue reading Largest-ever millipede fossil found on a beach