Ancient Civilizations

Researchers have long tried—and failed—to sequence the complete genome of someone who died in Pompeii. 

This Man Was Encased in Volcanic Ash in Pompeii. Here’s What His DNA Reveals

The adult man’s genome is the first to be fully sequenced from remains found in the ancient city

A group of Chinchorro mummies, dated between 5000 B.C.E. and 3000 B.C.E.

Cool Finds

Can the World's Oldest Mummies Survive Climate Change and Other Threats in the Coming Decades?

Up to 7,000 years old, the mummified remains are treasured by local residents

This Roman copy of a Greek bronze depicts an idealized male figure. 

This Ancient Roman Statue Embodies the 'Perfect' Man. But Was It Stolen?

Italy wants a Roman replica of "Doryphoros" in the Minneapolis Institute of Art returned

Red ocher has served many history, from painting cave walls to tanning hides.

Cool Finds

This 12,000-Year-Old Wyoming Quarry Could Be North America's Oldest Mine

The state's archaeologists believe people quarried red ocher at Powars II starting 12,840 years ago

Researchers want to recreate the smells of civilizations like ancient Egypt. 

Scientists Recreate Cleopatra's Favorite Perfume

Reconstructing the scentscapes of bygone civilizations is anything but simple

Judy Chicago’s 1985 painting The Creation shows a woman birthing the world. 

Global Cultures Have Always Worshipped—and Feared—Women

A new explores two sides of female divinity

Artisans hired by Mehtjetju only made rough drafts of the carvings planned for the entrance to his tomb.

 

Cool Finds

Archaeologists in Egypt Unearth 4,300-Year-Old Tomb of Man Who Handled His Pharaoh’s ‘Secret Documents’

Artisans likely didn’t get a chance to finish decorating Mehtjetju’s final resting place, researchers say

The Parthenon sculptures are also known as the Elgin Marbles. 

Past Imperfect

Can Greece and the U.K. Finally Broker a Deal to Return the Elgin Marbles to Athens?

New talks raise old questions about the ancient Parthenon sculptures

Soldiers transported the amphorae, which were in excellent condition, to a local museum for safekeeping.

Ukrainian Soldiers Uncover Fourth-Century Urns While Digging Defense Trenches

The amphorae are the latest archaeological find in a country whose cultural treasures are threatened by war

Excavations in Troy, circa 1890s

The Many Myths of the Man Who 'Discovered'—and Nearly Destroyed—Troy

In the 1870s, amateur archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann inflicted irreparable damage on the site of the legendary city

An electrical works project led archaeologists to uncover this Aztec-era dwelling. 

Cool Finds

Construction Workers Uncover Massive 800-Year-Old Aztec Dwelling in Mexico City

The accidental discovery has a long, layered history

This Assyrian rock art discovered under a home in southeastern Turkey was hidden by local looters. 

Cool Finds

Ancient Rock Art Depicting Divine Procession Discovered in Secret Chamber Beneath Turkish House

It may have been created as a way for Neo-Assyrian officials to curry favor with local residents

British archaeologist Howard Carter and a crew of 60 Egyptian men and children discovered the tomb of King Tutankhamun in 1922.

Remembering the Unsung Egyptians Who Helped Discover King Tut's Tomb

A exhibition celebrates the 100th anniversary of the archaeological find by spotlighting the overlooked workers who made it possible

The giants of Mont'e Prama are thought to be 3,000 years old. 

Cool Finds

Archaeologists Unearth 3,000-Year-Old Giant Statues in Sardinian Necropolis

The seven-foot statues have expressionless faces—and a mysterious history

Archaeologist Carol Anne Barsody scans the mummified ibis to create a 3-D model of it for an upcoming exhibition.

Mislabeled for a Century, Mysterious Mummy Reclassified as Sacred Ibis

Previously identified as a hawk, the bird was one of millions killed as offerings to the ancient Egyptian god Thoth

The newly-discovered limestone statuette is over 4,500 years old.

Cool Finds

Palestinian Farmer Digs Up 4,500-Year-Old Goddess Sculpture

While working his land, Nidal Abu Eid uncovered a statue of Canaanite deity Anat

Antiques dealer Laura Young purchased the bust at Goodwill for $34.99.

Cool Finds

Ancient Roman Sculpture Likely Looted During WWII Turns Up at Texas Goodwill

Experts are debating who the bust portrays, but they agree on one thing—a thrift store is an unusual spot to find a millennia-old statue

The clay pot contained 1,290 Roman coins.

Cool Finds

Amateur Archaeologist Stumbles Onto Trove of Coins Dated to Constantine the Great's Reign

Found in Switzerland, some of the buried Roman coins were minted during a time of relative political stability, between 332 and 335 C.E.

Native American artists created the cave drawings sometime between 660 and 949 C.E.

3-D Scans Reveal Gigantic Native American Cave Art in Alabama

A new analysis identifies four life-size human figures and an 11-foot rattlesnake drawn on the ceiling of an unnamed cavern

A gold Achaemenid plaque featuring a winged lion-griffin, dated to between 500 and 330 B.C.E.

In the Classical World, Persia's Powers Rivaled Greece and Rome

An exhibition at the Getty Villa in Los Angeles shows how ancient Iran held its own against its better-known contemporaries

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