T. rex skeleton sells for more than $6m

A skeleton of a 67 million-year-old Tyrannosaurus rex has been sold to a private individual for 5.55 million Swiss francs ($6.2m). This is the first time a T. rex has been auctioned in Europe. The specimen has been described as ”one of the most spectacular T. rex skeletons in existence”, measuring 11.6m long and 3.9m tall. Scientists are concerned about the increasing number of dinosaur fossils ending up in private collections. It’s not the first auction of T. rex, or the highest price fetched, but such sales are relatively rare. Last year a T. rex skeleton which was expected to … Continue reading T. rex skeleton sells for more than $6m

Smiling mini-sphinx of Roman Emperor found in Egypt

Archaeologists have unearthed a sphinx-like statue and the remains of a shrine in an ancient temple in southern Egypt, the antiquities ministry says. The artefacts were found near the Hathor Temple, one of Egypt’s best-preserved ancient sites. The limestone sphinx with its “smiley face and two dimples” is thought to represent Roman Emperor Claudius. It is much smaller than the famous Sphinx in the Pyramids of Giza, which is 20m (66ft) high. The artefacts were found inside a two-level tomb in the temple of Dendera in Qena Province, 450km (280 miles) south of the capital of Cairo. Emperor Claudius, whom … Continue reading Smiling mini-sphinx of Roman Emperor found in Egypt

Shipwreck off Eastbourne identified as 17th Century Dutch warship

A shipwreck lying off the East Sussex coast has been identified as a Dutch warship which sank in 1672. The wreck, which lies 32m (105ft) under water, had been known as the “unknown wreck off Eastbourne” after it was discovered by divers in 2019. It has now been identified as the Dutch warship Klein Hollandia, which was built in 1656. Much of the wooden hull was found, together with cannons, Italian marble tiles and pieces of Italian pottery. The wreck was discovered by Eastbourne dive operator David Ronnan and then reported to Historic England. The Klein Hollandia was considered so … Continue reading Shipwreck off Eastbourne identified as 17th Century Dutch warship

Gold-covered mummy among latest discoveries in Egypt

Archaeologists say they have found a gold leaf-covered mummy sealed inside a sarcophagus that had not been opened for 4,300 years. The mummy, the remains of a man named Hekashepes, is thought to be one of the oldest and most complete non-royal corpses ever found in Egypt. It was discovered down a 15m (50ft) shaft at a burial site south of Cairo, Saqqara, where three other tombs were found. One tomb belonged to a “secret keeper”. The largest of the mummies that were unearthed at the ancient necropolis is said to belong to a man called Khnumdjedef – a priest, … Continue reading Gold-covered mummy among latest discoveries in Egypt

Ancient Roman snacks found in Colosseum dig

Spectators at Rome’s ancient gladiator arena, the Colosseum, may have enjoyed snacks of olives, fruit and nuts, archaeologists have found. Food fragments of figs, grapes, cherries, blackberries, walnuts and more have been unearthed at the site. Archaeologists also found the bones of bears and big cats that were probably used in the arena’s hunting games. The discoveries were made by archaeologists examining the 2,000-year-old landmark’s sewers. Relics like these provide a snapshot into the “experience and habits of those who came to this place during the long days dedicated to the performances”, said Alfonsina Russo, Director of the Colosseum Archaeological … Continue reading Ancient Roman snacks found in Colosseum dig

T. rex auction cancelled after skeleton doubts raised

A T. rex skeleton which was expected to fetch up to $25m at auction has been withdrawn after doubts were raised over where parts of it had come from. It said the seller had decided to loan the skeleton to a museum instead. Christie’s did not give a reason why the sale had been withdrawn. The New York Times report that a US fossil company raised concerns that parts of the skeleton, named Shen, looked like replicas from another T. rex skeleton called Stan. The Black Hills Institute holds the intellectual property rights to Stan, meaning it is allowed to … Continue reading T. rex auction cancelled after skeleton doubts raised

Guatemala police arrests two people in car full of Maya artefacts

Police in Guatemala have arrested a man and a woman from the United States who were transporting more than 150 Maya artefacts in their car. An archaeologist said more than 90% of the items were authentic and dated from pre-Hispanic times. Police said it was the second time the woman, who resides in Guatemala, had been detained in possession of pre-Hispanic treasures. She had been stopped just days earlier at Guatemala City airport. Customs officials found two Maya stone carvings in her bags. The woman said she had bought them at a market in the city of Antigua. The 49-year-old … Continue reading Guatemala police arrests two people in car full of Maya artefacts

Stunning ancient rock carvings found in Iraq

Archaeologists in northern Iraq have made an exciting discovery – unearthing beautiful rock carvings that are about 2,700 years old. They were found in Mosul by a US-Iraqi excavation team working to reconstruct the ancient Mashki Gate, which Islamic State (IS) militants destroyed in 2016. Iraq is home to some of the world’s most ancient cities, including Babylon. But years of turmoil have seen many archaeological sites looted and damaged by militants and military action. The eight marble reliefs show finely chiselled war scenes, grape vines and palm trees. They date back to the Assyrian King Sennacherib, who ruled the … Continue reading Stunning ancient rock carvings found in Iraq

6,000-year-old skull found in Taiwan may confirm ancient local legends

An acheological research team found a 6,000-year-old skull and femur bones in a cave in a mountainous part of Taiwan that might prove the existence of an ancient Indigenous tribe told of in local legends. The¬†research paper, published in the journal¬†World Archaeology, was conducted by a team of researchers with members from Australia, Japan, Taiwan and Vietnam. The researchers found the skull and leg bones in a cave that have been dated back to approximately 6,000 years ago, a time before the ancestors of people currently inhabiting Taiwan had arrived. In Taiwan, there have been stories passed down through the … Continue reading 6,000-year-old skull found in Taiwan may confirm ancient local legends

7th Century gold coins found hidden in wall in Israel

Archaeologists in Israel say 44 pure gold coins dating to the 7th Century have been found hidden in a wall at a nature reserve. Weighing about 170g, the hoard found at the Hermon Stream (Banias) site was hidden during the Muslim conquest of the area in 635, experts estimated. They said the coins shed light on the end of the Byzantine rule in the area. The Byzantine Empire was the eastern half of the Roman Empire, which survived for more than 1,000 years. “We can imagine the owner concealing his fortune in the threat of war, hoping to return one … Continue reading 7th Century gold coins found hidden in wall in Israel

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