Archaeology

Reconstruction by an artist of the toilet room that stood in the garden of the Armon Hanatziv royal estate

Ancient Toilet Unearthed in Jerusalem Shows Elite Were Plagued by Intestinal Worms

Mineralized feces chock-full of parasitic eggs indicates that it wasn’t the lower classes alone that suffered from certain infectious diseases

The remote Kibish Formation, in southern Ethiopia, features layered deposits more than 300 feet thick that have preserved many ancient human tools and remains. 

East Africa's Oldest Modern Human Fossil Is Way Older Than Previously Thought

Analysis of ash from a massive volcanic eruption places the famed Omo I fossil 36,000 years back in time

Children stand on the surrounding wall at Tabira Gate, the entrance to Assur, first capital of the Assyrian empire in present day Shirqat, Iraq.

At the Iraqi Site of Assur, Ancient History Stands at Risk of Destruction

In its time, the Assyrian capital faced waves of invasions and abandonment. Now a small team of archaeologists are protecting it from more modern threats

A roughly 2000-year-old mummified man of the Ansilta culture, from the Andes of San Juan, Argentina, had lice eggs and cement in his hair which preserved his own DNA

DNA Preserved in Lice Glue Reveals South American Mummies' Secrets

Remarkable samples from an ancient culture offer scientists a promising new way to study the past

From amazing firsts on Mars to the impacts of climate change on Earth, these science stories stood out as the most important of 2021

The Ten Most Significant Science Stories of 2021

Thrilling discoveries, hurdles in the fight against Covid and advancements in space exploration defined the past year

A fifth century B.C.E. diadem, or headband, from Colchis, in the southern Caucasus.

Why This Ancient Civilization Fell Out of Love With Gold for 700 Years

Analysis of 4,500 artifacts suggests an early society between the Black and Caspian Seas turned against bling

Parts of Haida Gwaii, an archipelago off British Columbia’s north coast, remained ice free throughout the last ice age. Archaeological investigations of just a few of the islands’ many caves have revealed a trove of surprising finds.

Archaeologists Discover Oldest Domesticated Dog Remains in Americas

Exciting secrets unearthed on Haida Gwaii include a canine tooth, roughly 11,000-year-old stone tools and the tantalizing signs of far more to come

This glass fish was found in a fairly modest private house in Amarna, buried under a plaster floor along with a few other objects. It may once have contained ointment.

A Brief Scientific History of Glass

Featuring ingots, shipwrecks and an international trade in colors, the material’s rich past is being traced using modern archaeology and materials science

Carved by industrious miners thousands of years ago, countless shafts wend through the desert of the Timna Valley.

An Archaeological Dig Reignites the Debate Over the Old Testament's Historical Accuracy

Beneath a desert in Israel, a scholar and his team are unearthing astonishing new evidence of an advanced society in the time of the biblical Solomon

Top Spanish chefs have endorsed garum as a fishy sauce with deep roots in Spanish and Roman history.

Culinary Detectives Try to Recover the Formula for a Deliciously Fishy Roman Condiment

From Pompeii to modern laboratories, scholars are working to recreate garum, a sauce made from decaying fish that delighted ancient Rome

A recreation of Viking structures at L’Anse aux Meadows

New Dating Method Shows Vikings Occupied Newfoundland in 1021 C.E.

Tree ring evidence of an ancient solar storm enables scientists to pinpoint the exact year of Norse settlement

The 'Ubeidiya site today is an expanse of grasses. Concealed from this view are slabs of fossilized pebbly clay, a source of ancient finds that have helped scholars learn about the journeys of Homo erectus.

Evotourism ®

What Drove Homo Erectus Out of Africa?

Excavations at a site in northern Israel are at the heart of a debate about the species' migrations

The timbers of a 500-year-old ship rest on the floor of the Baltic Sea. Scholars and divers are studying the legendary wreck.

An Extraordinary 500-Year-Old Shipwreck Is Rewriting the History of the Age of Discovery

In the frigid Baltic Sea, archaeologists probing the surprisingly well-preserved remains of a revolutionary warship are seeing the era in a new way

A bone tool from Contrebandiers Cave likely used for making clothes out of the skin of predators.

Evidence of Fur and Leather Clothing, Among World's Oldest, Found in Moroccan Cave

Humans likely sported clothes made of jackal, fox and wildcat skins some 120,000 years ago

The cranium of an adult male, likely 25 to 30 years old, shows healed trauma affecting the upper jaw. The injury was probably caused by a punch from another individual in a fight.

Human Remains From the Chilean Desert Reveal Its First Farmers Fought to the Death

Three thousand years ago desert dwellers fatally stabbed and bashed each other, possibly due to diminishing resources

Both beer and wine are thought to predate distilled spirits.

Ask Smithsonian

'Which Came First: Beer or Wine?' and More Questions From Our Readers

You've got questions. We've got experts

Workers outside the village of Geldibuldu in southeastern Turkey in 1981, when researchers were collecting botanical remains at an archaeological site nearby.

Why British Archaeologists Are Battling With the Turkish Government Over Seeds

The ancient plants at the heart of the conflict are essential to science—and might hold clues to new superfoods

All members of the community interviewed for this story say the indigenous groups of the region have always known about the murals and recognize them as part of their cultural heritage.

When Claims of 'Discoveries' in the Amazon Ring False

When news broke worldwide of an incredible find in Colombia, local experts and guides say their knowledge was misrepresented

A recreation of Dragon Man

A 146,000-Year-Old Fossil Dubbed 'Dragon Man' Might Be One of Our Closest Relatives

A mysterious Middle Pleistocene skull from a Chinese well has inspired debate among paleoanthropologists

Archaeologists excavated the White Monument, which stood north of the village of Igraya until the area was flooded in the late 1990s.

Archaeologists Propose 4,500-Year-Old Burial Mound Was World's First Military Memorial

Mesopotamians turned a community tomb on the Euphrates into a battle monument

loading icon