Ancient Civilizations

The tablet depicts a male ghost being led back to the afterlife, curator Irving Finkel says.

Cool Finds

3,500-Year-Old Babylonian Tablet May Contain Earliest Known Depiction of a Ghost

A curator at the British Museum details the spooky find in a new book

Authorites plan to reattach the heads to statues along the famed Avenue of Sphinxes.

Cool Finds

Ancient Stone Ram Heads Unearthed on Egypt's 'Avenue of the Sphinxes'

The newly restored road, once lined with around 700 towering sculptures, is set to open to the public in the coming weeks

The tombs feature images of vines, flowers and geometric patterns, as well as mythological figures.

Cool Finds

Hundreds of Ornate, Rock-Cut Tombs Discovered in Ancient Turkish City

Some 1,800 years ago, residents of Blaundos buried their dead in highly decorated graves cut into the sides of a surrounding canyon

Bronze and Iron Age miners' poop contained Penicillium roqueforti, which is still used to make blue cheese today.

Cool Finds

Europeans Enjoyed Blue Cheese and Beer 2,700 Years Ago, Study Suggests

Ancient poop from salt mines in the Alps contained the same fungi used in brewing and cheesemaking today

Nestor's Cup, named for its ties to a legendary king referenced in Homer's Iliad and Odyssey, bears one of the earliest known Greek inscriptions.

Cool Finds

Researchers Are Unraveling the Mystery of the Ancient Greek Tomb of 'Nestor's Cup'

New analysis suggests the 2,800-year-old burial held the remains of at least three adults, not a child as previously believed

The white pipeclay Venus statuette before (right) and after (left) cleaning

Roman-Era Statue of Venus, Goddess of Love, Discovered in England

The seven-inch-tall figurine likely stood in a household shrine in what is now Gloucestershire some 1,800 years ago

A cubicle surrounding the toilet and a deep septic tank beneath it were both carved out of limestone bedrock.

Cool Finds

2,700-Year-Old Private Toilet Found in Jerusalem

Bowls discovered inside the bathroom cubicle may have held incense or other air fresheners, researchers say

The Surprising Artistic Life of Ancient Sparta

Poets and lyricists populated the Greek civilization

A monument in Thermopylae to King Leonidas.

Sparta Was Much More Than an Army of Super Warriors

Fierce? Yes. Tough? You bet. But the true history of the Greek civilization had a lot more nuance

Early Etruscans had advanced knowledge of art, farming and metallurgy, leading some historians to believe the civilization originated elsewhere before settling in what is now Italy. DNA analysis shows they were actually locals.

New Research

Where Did the Ancient Etruscans Come From?

A new DNA analysis suggests the enigmatic civilization was native to the Italian Peninsula

The letters "IMP" stand for imperator, meaning the tile maker was "supplying tiles fit for the emperor" or "on the emperor's demands."

Cool Finds

Tiles 'Fit for the Emperor' Found in Roman Ruins Beneath English Cricket Club

The objects, as well as an inscription at the site, suggest ties to Septimius Severus, who led campaigns nearby in the early third century C.E.

Hobby Lobby acquired the cuneiform tablet for display at the Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C.

Smuggled Gilgamesh Dream Tablet Returns to Iraq

Forfeited by Hobby Lobby in July, the ancient artifact will be repatriated in a ceremony held at the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian

Researchers estimate that ancient builders used roughly 226,085,379 square feet of rock, dirt and adobe to construct the three main pyramid complexes in Teotihuacán's city center. Pictured here is the Pyramid of the Sun.

Mexico's Ancient Inhabitants Moved Land and Bent Rivers to Build Teotihuacán

Architects of the Mesoamerican city transformed the landscape in ways that continue to impact modern development today, a new study finds

“Air temperatures rapidly rose above 3,600 degrees Fahrenheit,” writes study co-author Christopher Moore. “Clothing and wood immediately burst into flames. Swords, spears, mudbricks and pottery began to melt. Almost immediately, the entire city was on fire.”

Ancient City's Destruction by Exploding Space Rock May Have Inspired Biblical Story of Sodom

Around 1650 B.C.E., the Bronze Age city of Tall el-Hammam was wiped out by a blast 1,000 times more powerful than the atomic bomb used at Hiroshima

Despite heavy erosion, the camels remain visible some seven millennia after their creation.

Life-Size Camel Sculptures in Saudi Arabia Are Older Than Stonehenge, Pyramids of Giza

New research suggests the animal reliefs date to between 7,000 and 8,000 years ago

Italian artist Girolamo di Tommaso da Treviso created the ceremonial shield around 1535.

Ornate Medieval Shield Looted by the Nazis Will Be Returned to the Czech Republic

Created in the 16th century, the intricately decorated piece of armor was once owned by Archduke Franz Ferdinand

The restoration project is expected to last two weeks.

Stonehenge Is Undergoing Repairs for the First Time in Decades

Threatened by erosion, outdated restorations and climate change, the monument’s megaliths are in need of extensive conservation

Some prehistoric stone spheres found in Scotland feature carved ridges and spirals. This one's surface is polished smooth.

Cool Finds

Polished, 5,500-Year-Old Stone Balls Found in Neolithic Scottish Tomb

The rare artifacts were probably used as both weapons and symbols of power

The mounds still rise as much as 66 feet above ground, more than 3,000 years after they were constructed.

Cool Finds

Louisiana's Poverty Point Earthworks Show Early Native Americans Were 'Incredible Engineers'

A new study finds that enormous mounds and concentric earthen ridges were built in a matter of months

A different headless statue of health goddess Hygieia

Turkish Archaeologists Unearth Headless Statue of Greek Health Goddess

Researchers found the figure in a 5,000-year-old site called Aizanoi, which is also home to a temple dedicated to Zeus

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