Last week I got to look behind the scenes of the entomology collection at the National Museum of Natural History. I learned how the collection of insects and spiders, one of the world's largest, is used by Smithsonian and Department of Agriculture scientists to help port inspectors identify potenti...
April 12, 2010 | By Sarah Zielinski
Poor Rick Potts. He just put the finishing touches on the National Museum of Natural History's new Hall of Human Origins a few weeks ago, and it's already out of date. Now there's a new branch on the human family tree—Australopithecus sediba—and we can thank a 9-year-old kid for its discovery.Throu...
April 08, 2010 | By Sarah Zielinski
In Pennsylvania, amateur archaeologists unearth a mass grave of immigrant railroad workers who disappeared in 1832
April 2010 | By Abigail Tucker
From the 9th to the 13th centuries, Angkor was the center of the Khmer Empire and the largest city in the world. Roads and canals connected the sprawling complex, which included hundreds of temples. But it didn't last.Today, two million people each year visit the site in Cambodia, though much of it...
March 30, 2010 | By Sarah Zielinski
A rare cache of hominid fossils from the Kurdistan area of northern Iraq offers a window on Neanderthal culture
March 2010 | By Owen Edwards
Studies of hominid fossils, like 4.4-million-year-old "Ardi," are changing ideas about human origins
March 2010 | By Ann Gibbons
After decades of research, American archaeologist Mark Lehner has some answers about the mysteries of the Egyptian colossus
February 2010 | By Evan Hadingham
Resolving the dispute over authorship of the ancient manuscripts could have far-reaching implications for Christianity and Judaism
January 2010 | By Andrew Lawler
An amateur archaeologist says he's discovered the world's oldest pyramids in the Balkans. But many experts remain dubious
December 2009 | By Colin Woodard
Heart disease may appear to be a recent problem, brought on by the processed foods and sedentary lifestyles of modern living, but it's been plaguing humanity since ancient times, according to a new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association.A team of scientists from the United States ...
November 18, 2009 | By Sarah Zielinski
One of the oldest archaeological sites not on a heritage list, this Pacific state, like Easter Island, is an engineering marvel
November 03, 2009 | By Christopher Pala
As demand for its antiquities soars, the West African country is losing its most prized artifacts to illegal sellers and smugglers
November 2009 | By Joshua Hammer
A hike through Britain's second-century Roman past leads to spectacular views, idyllic villages and local brews
October 2009 | By Andrew Curry
Before Venice, there was Altinum. During its heydey in the first century A.D., Altinum was a great Roman coastal city, home to as many as 20,000 people, where traders would come to do business from across the Mediterranean. But in the fifth to seventh centuries, the people left Altinum, driven by ...
August 21, 2009 | By Sarah Zielinski
After a 35-year search, an Israeli archaeologist is certain he has solved the mystery of the biblical figure’s final resting place
August 2009 | By Barbara Kreiger
Back in the 1960s, Walter Mischel, a psychology professor at Stanford, conducted an experiment called the "marshmallow test" on a group of four-year-olds. A child was given a marshmallow and told he could either ring a bell to summon the researcher and get to eat the marshmallow right away or wait...
August 11, 2009 | By Sarah Zielinski
In 1532, when the Incas first met a European, their empire stretched from what is now northern Ecuador to central Chile. The largest empire of the Americas numbered more than eight million people. But the Incas didn’t exist until about A.D. 1100. Before than, the Wari and Tiwanauku occupied the cen...
August 05, 2009 | By Sarah Zielinski
Dunwich, England, is one of several underwater sites where divers are discovering new information about historic cultures
July 29, 2009 | By Robin T. Reid
The next time a creationist spouts some nonsense about how the lack of a fossil record undermines the theory of evolution, direct them to the hominid family tree. If you haven't read much about human origins lately, it might come as a surprise that so many species have been identified (and more all...
July 23, 2009 | By Laura Helmuth
French amateur archaeologist Bruno Tassan fights to preserve a neglected 2,000-year-old ancient interstate in southern Provence
June 2009 | By Joshua Hammer