Archaeology

The remains of a dog buried next to a baby

These Ancient Celts Were Buried With Their Animals

Some remains found in the 2,000-year-old graves were likely food offerings, but others may have been much-loved companions

Ruiz-Redondo examines a partially flooded chamber of Cova Dones. 

Just How Old Are the Cave Paintings in Spain's Cova Dones?

With help from a now-extinct bear, archaeologists have unlocked the mysteries of Spain’s Cova Dones

An experimental replica of shell beads with Natufian red organic colorant made from the roots of Rubiaceae plants

Archaeologists Find the First Red Paint Made From Plants

Hunter-gatherers cooked up the alluring pigment in the Eastern Mediterranean 15,000 years ago

An illustration of the Aztec calendar stone surrounds a young portrait of anthropologist Zelia Nuttall. “Mrs. Nuttall’s investigations of the Mexican calendar appear to furnish for the first time a satisfactory key,” wrote one leading scholar.

The Globe-Trotting Scholar Who Unlocked the Secrets of the Aztecs

Anthropologist Zelia Nuttall transformed the way we think of ancient Mesoamerica

The Pyramid Texts cover walls within the pyramids of King Unis (shown here) and other royals at the site of Saqqara.

Did Ancient Egyptians Know Meteorites Came From Space?

Hieroglyphic texts suggest they understood the rocks, which contained valuable iron, did not originate on Earth

An illustration of the Homo erectus child with her mother in the Ethiopian highlands, two million years ago

Two Million Years Ago, This Homo Erectus Lived the High Life

Dating of a child's fossilized jaw and teeth suggest our relatives lived at altitude earlier than once thought

There are an estimated 200 shipwrecks lost in the dark, cold waters of Stellwagen Bank, Massachusetts, not far from Boston’s harbor. The sunken wrecks attract fish, which in turn attract fishers, but fishing nets and metal scallop dredges can easily snag on and damage the irreplaceable vessels.

The Locations of These Shipwrecks Are No Longer a Secret

A marine sanctuary is letting fishers know where previously hidden wrecks can be found

The Tyrolean Iceman Ötzi is one of the oldest known human glacier mummies.

Famed 5,300-Year-Old Alps Iceman Was a Balding Middle-Aged Man With Dark Skin and Eyes

Genetic analysis shows that Ötzi was descended from farmers who migrated from an area that is now part of Turkey

Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History paleoanthropologist Briana Pobiner came across this hominin tibia in Kenya’s Nairobi National Museum. The magnified area shows cut marks.

Our Human Relatives Butchered and Ate Each Other 1.45 Million Years Ago

Telltale marks on a bone from an early human’s leg could be the earliest evidence of cannibalism

Engravings discovered in La Roche-Cotard cave

Oldest Known Neanderthal Engravings Were Sealed in a Cave for 57,000 Years

The art was created long before modern humans inhabited France's Loire Valley

Natufian artworks, such as this figurine, became common around 15,000 years ago. Few artworks predating that period have been found in the Levant.

When Did Humans Start Settling Down?

In Israel, new discoveries at one of the world's oldest villages are upending the debate about when we stopped wandering

A Babylonian clay model dated to 1800 B.C.E. shows a nude couple on a couch engaged in sex and kissing.

Humanity’s First Recorded Kiss Was Earlier Than We Thought

Ancient texts suggest romantic smooching, and likely the diseases it transmitted, were widespread in Mesopotamia

Flint points from Grotte Mandrin in France and Ksar Akil in Lebanon

54,000 Years Ago, Humans and Neanderthals May Have Inhabited Europe Together

Similarities between artifacts found in Lebanon and France suggest Homo sapiens migrants brought tool traditions with them

Participating in an archaeology experiment, a contemporary woman dons fur clothing similar to what Paleolithic people in colder climates might have worn.

When Did Clothing Originate?

An archaeologist traces the invention and evolution of apparel using climate data and tailoring tools

Timber beams extend through a wall of Pueblo Bonito, the largest of the Great Houses in Chaco Canyon.

Where Did Chaco Canyon's Timber Come From?

In a nearly treeless desert, Ancestral Puebloans built Great Houses with more than 200,000 massive log beams

Lego Caveman comes armed with a toy wooden club.

Did Our Ancestors Actually Wield Clubs?

Inspired by pop culture depictions of cavepeople, an archaeologist searches for what is real and what is a myth

Two brothers’ remains were found buried together under the floorboards of their home. One had a hole in his skull consistent with surgery.

This Man Underwent Brain Surgery 3,500 Years Ago

Researchers discovered a punctured skull below the floor of a home in what is now Israel

The comb found by archaeologists in 2016

What a Comb Can Tell Us About the History of the Written Word

A curious new find yields clues to the origins of the alphabet

Wesley Miles, a Pima archaeologist, points out that the placement of this new canal parallel to a prehistoric channel “says something about our ancestors’ engineering skills.”

America's Waterways: The Past, Present and Future

This Native American Tribe Is Taking Back Its Water

With a new state-of-the-art irrigation project, Arizona’s Pima Indians are transforming their land into what it once was: the granary of the Southwest

A fossil hippo skeleton and associated Oldowan artifacts were exposed at the Nyayanga site.

Who Made the First Stone Tool Kits?

A nearly three-million-year-old butchering site packed with animal bones, stone implements and molars from our early ancestors reignites the debate

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