Sections

Services

Information

UK United Kingdom

Archaeology

Analysis and Comment (25)

Now is the winter of our disbelief. Now is the winter of our disbelief. Gareth Fuller/PA

Don’t panic, the car park skeleton is almost certainly Richard III

Controversy over Richard III’s alleged resting place in a lonely Leicester car park has recently erupted after two eminent academics claimed it could not be said with any confidence that the skeleton in…
The ruins of the 11th century Great Umayyad Mosque, Aleppo. The ruins of the 11th century Great Umayyad Mosque, Aleppo. Halabi Lens

We will need Monuments Men for as long as ancient sites remain battlefields

The destruction and looting of cultural heritage has been intertwined with conflict for thousands of years. To steal an enemies' treasures, defile their sacred places and burn their cities has been part…
The thawing ground gives up its many secrets. The thawing ground gives up its many secrets. Qanirtuuq Collection

Ancient Eskimo artefacts saved from slipping into the sea

Villagers living in the Somerset levels who have been inundated with floodwaters for weeks will be able to sympathise with the difficulties faced by those in the similarly low-lying Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta…
Alfred the Great can finally rest in peace. Alfred the Great can finally rest in peace. Neil Howard

Close to the bone: the search for Alfred the Great is nearly over

After months of research, excavating old graves and following one lead after another, my colleagues and I can confirm that remains we discovered are those of English king Alfred the Great or his son Edward…
Keeping your head up was tough in Roman times. Keeping your head up was tough in Roman times. Public domain

Barbarians, gladiators and head cults: Roman London uncovered

During a 1988 excavation on London Wall 39 human skulls were discovered. But they remained shrouded in mystery. Now though, forensic analysis of the skulls by bio-archaeoloist Rebecca Redfern, shows that…
For days when Lucozade and a Mars bar just won’t cut it. For days when Lucozade and a Mars bar just won’t cut it. barclakj

How eat-local palaeolithic diet kept our ancestors healthy

During the warm periods between ice ages stretching from 500,000 to 200,000 years ago, the southern parts of Britain were occupied by a species of ancient human, Homo heidelbergensis. These hunter-gatherers…
Revelations of a quantum world. Revelations of a quantum world. ox4photos

X-ray vision for road diggers: the next quantum leap?

Quantum mechanics has been hailed as the next big thing in technology. And quantum computers are a media favourite. But there is a little-known quantum technology that can peer beneath the earth, which…
Lucy, born 3.2m years ago. Lucy, born 3.2m years ago. Pat Sullivan/AP

How a changing landscape and climate shaped early humans

It should not be a surprise that East Africa was a hotbed of evolution, because over the last five million years everything about the landscape has changed. The extraordinary forces of plate tectonics…
Finding Entelognathus is a revelation comparable to the discovery of Archaeopteryx. Finding Entelognathus is a revelation comparable to the discovery of Archaeopteryx. Brian Choo

Extraordinary ‘missing link’ fossil fish found in China

A spectacular new “missing link” fossil has been unearthed in China. The 419 million year old armoured fish, called Entelognathus, meaning “complete jaw” solves an age-old debate in science. For palaeontologists…
Rewriting history from the air. Rewriting history from the air. William S Hanson

Rediscovering a ‘lost’ Roman frontier from the air

Frontiers like Hadrian’s Wall are central to the study of the Roman Empire. By now we might expect to have discovered most such major landmarks. However, by scrutinising archives of aerial photography…
Syria’s ancient fortifications are sadly in use once again, and have been heavily damaged. Syria’s ancient fortifications are sadly in use once again, and have been heavily damaged. Emma Cunliffe

In Syria’s ruined relics lies the history of human civilisation

What makes us human? Whatever it is, it can be found in Syria. When the earliest hominids first came from Africa they passed through Syria, and their remains, together with the tools they made, can still…
Cut from the sea bed this 20m long core contains 100,000 years of climate history. Cut from the sea bed this 20m long core contains 100,000 years of climate history. Ian Hall

Humans have a long history of coming together to solve a climate crisis

Responding to a crisis often brings out the best in people. Certainly it has in the past, when sudden changes in climate during the Middle Stone Age sparked off surges of cultural evolution and innovation…
Figures regarding the original population of Australia may be way off. Figures regarding the original population of Australia may be way off. WanderingtheWorld (www.LostManProject.com)

Australia’s colonisation was no accident, say the numbers

Like many people, I grew up believing Australia was colonised by a small band of people, who had most likely landed on its shores by accident; but research I published this week suggests a far larger founding…
Fossils found in Queensland have added another gigantic creature to Australia’s prehistoric mammals. Fossils found in Queensland have added another gigantic creature to Australia’s prehistoric mammals. Peter Schouten/PloSONE

Fossils reveal Australia’s tree-top heavyweight herbivore

In Australia today, the biggest tree-dwelling mammals are our iconic and much loved koala and the enigmatic Bennett’s tree-kangaroo. The largest males of both species weigh a mere 14 kg. But a study of…
There’s not much left to show megafauna were hunted, but that doesn’t prove they weren’t. There’s not much left to show megafauna were hunted, but that doesn’t prove they weren’t. Peter Murray

Hunting or climate change? Megafauna extinction debate narrows

What is the oldest debate in Australian science? Probably, the argument over what caused extinction of our Pleistocene megafauna – the diprotodons, giant kangaroos, marsupial tapirs, über-echidnas and…
The amateur radio satellite, Australis Oscar V, is an important part of our spacefaring history. The amateur radio satellite, Australis Oscar V, is an important part of our spacefaring history. Alice Gorman

Saving space junk, our cultural heritage in orbit

A few weeks ago astronauts on the International Space Station hid in escape capsules following concerns a piece of space junk was going to collide with the station. The collision didn’t eventuate but the…
Bones recovered from northern Ethiopia have forced a major rethink about how bipedalism evolved. Bones recovered from northern Ethiopia have forced a major rethink about how bipedalism evolved. Lars Plougmann

Ancient toe gets a foothold in bipedal evolution

A report published today in Nature by Yohannes Hailie-Selassie and co-workers outlines the importance to our evolutionary story of some very ancient foot bones discovered recently in the Rift Valley of…
The Red Deer Cave people and humans could be part of different evolutionary lines. The Red Deer Cave people and humans could be part of different evolutionary lines. Peter Schouten

Defining ‘human’ – new fossils provide more questions than answers

The origin of the human species remains one of the most fascinating and difficult topics of modern science. One of the main reasons for this is a continuing lack of agreement about how we should define…
Looking at the earth from above can reveal incredible secrets. Looking at the earth from above can reveal incredible secrets. delayed gratification

Googling the past: how I uncovered prehistoric remains from my office

Archaeology is the study of the remains of the past but has long been predatory on the sciences and their ever-growing technologies. I was brought up as a student in 1970s Britain, when we learned of the…
Genetic estimates of the age of the common ancestor of non-African humans may be wrong. Genetic estimates of the age of the common ancestor of non-African humans may be wrong. bruncosta

Out of Africa, only to die … new clues on early human migration

How and when did humans colonise the globe? This question has become one of the key concerns of archaeologists, geneticists and human biologists. And now the latest archaeological discovery in Oman in…
We are still learning about the Mongolian invasions, 750 years after they happened. We are still learning about the Mongolian invasions, 750 years after they happened. Hanoi History Museum, James Delgado

The original kamikaze: Kublai Khan’s invasion shipwreck found?

Archaeologists from the University of the Ryukyus in Japan have discovered part of a 13th century ship that apparently belonged to Mongolian warlord Kublai Khan. The ship is believed to be a remnant of…
Infamous street artist Banksy’s precursors have been found in South Africa. Infamous street artist Banksy’s precursors have been found in South Africa. Lord Jim

Birth of bling: world’s first art studio found in South Africa

Could we have found the first artist’s studio in human history? We may well have. We all recognise the material signs of wealth. Fast cars, large yachts and sparkling bling all tell us who has more. Crowns…
The SS Gairsoppa wreck is believed to hold $200 million worth of silver ingots. The SS Gairsoppa wreck is believed to hold $200 million worth of silver ingots. AAP

Sunken ship yields silver booty, but should we let sleeping wrecks lie?

BBC News has revealed that a shipwreck containing 200 tonnes of silver has been found in the Atlantic Ocean, 500 kilometres off the west coast of Ireland. It’s the largest haul of precious metal ever discovered…

Research and News (4)

Research Briefs (3)

Ancient fortress uncovered

The remnants of a Late Bronze Age (1500-750 B.C.) fortress that may have protected an important urban economic centre has…