Thames Water Stumbles Upon Grisly Graves of 26 Iron Age Skeletons

Construction work in Oxfordshire, England has resulted in the discovery of 26 skeletons dating back to the Iron Age. Archaeologists suspect some of the 3,000-year-old remains may have been victims of human sacrifice. Read More >>

New Species of Tiny, Extinct Human Discovered in Philippine Cave

Scientists are reporting the discovery of a previously unknown species of ancient human that lived in the Philippines over 50,000 years ago. Evidence suggests the new species, named Homo luzonensis, was exceptionally tiny—and possibly even smaller than the famous Hobbit species uncovered on the island of Flores in 2004. Read More >>

400-Year-Old Sacrificed Guinea Pigs Wearing Colourful Earrings and Necklaces Discovered in Peru

An intriguing new discovery in Peru shows ritually sacrificed guinea pigs were decorated with colourful earrings and necklaces by 16th-century Incas – a finding that comes as a complete surprise to archaeologists. Read More >>

What’s the Oldest Disease?

Some things never change. Dying terribly from bone cancer, for instance: that’s something humans have been doing from about the beginning of our time. Has it always been like this, or was there some blissful period, in our species’ salad days, in which no one perished from bone cancer? Which sickness has burdened us—or our ancestors, or any lifeform—the longest? To find out, for this Giz Asks we reached out to a number of anthropologists, who provided their takes on the oldest disease. Read More >>

Climate Change Drove Neanderthals to Cannibalism, New Research Suggests

Neanderthals are famous for having lived through the last major ice age, yet for a period of around 14,000 years they had to endure the effects of a naturally occurring global warming cycle. Struggling to adapt to the changing conditions, the Neanderthals turned to cannibalism in desperation, according to a provocative and timely new study. Read More >>

Humans Built Complex Societies Before They Invented Moral Gods

The appearance of moralising gods in religion occurred after – and not before – the emergence of large, complex societies, according to new research. This finding upturns conventional thinking on the matter, in which moralising gods are typically cited as a prerequisite for social complexity. Read More >>

We Can Thank Agriculture and Soft Food for the ‘F’ Word, Claims Provocative New Study

Humans couldn’t always easily produce “f” and “v” sounds, according to a surprising new study. The reason we can now enjoy words like “flavour” and “effervescent,” say the researchers, has to do with changes to the ancestral human diet and the introduction of soft foods—a development that altered the way we bite, and by consequence, the way we talk. Read More >>

Ritual Sacrifice of 137 Children Found at 15th-Century Archaeological Site in Peru

Archaeologists working at a 15th-century site in Peru have unearthed the remains of 137 children and 200 llamas in what’s now considered the largest mass child sacrifice known from the New World—and possibly of all time. Read More >>

‘Elixir of Immortality’ Uncovered in 2,000-Year-Old Chinese Tomb

A yellowish liquid found in a bronze pot dating back some 2,000 years is not wine, as Chinese archaeologists initially thought. It’s actually an “elixir of immortality” concocted during ancient times. Read More >>

Skull Soup, Viking Tech, and More: The Wildest Archaeological Discoveries of 2018

Archaeologists dug up a lot of cool stuff in 2018, but they dug up a lot of weird, disgusting, and disturbing stuff as well. Here are the strangest archaeology stories the year had to offer. Read More >>

Scientists Virtually Reconstruct Magnificent Pre-Incan Temple

The 1,500-year-old Pumapunku temple in western Bolivia is considered a crowning achievement of Mesoamerican architecture, yet no one knows what the original structure actually looked like. Until now. Read More >>

Young Warrior in Gruesome Iron Age Grave Was ‘Killed’ Again After Death

He was somewhere between the age of 17 and 25 when he died, apparently of natural causes. But for reasons that are unclear, this warrior’s body was speared and clubbed prior to burial, in what is now a fascinating Iron Age mystery. A distinct possibility is that it was done to prevent him from rising from the dead, say archaeologists. Read More >>

Three New DNA Studies Are Shaking Up the History of Humans in the Americas

It’s a huge event for archaeologists and anyone interested in the history of America’s first settlers. Findings from three new genetics studies, released last week, are presenting a fascinating, yet complex, picture of the first people in North and South America, and how they spread and diversified across two continents. Read More >>

Discovery of Ancient Spearpoints in Texas Has Some Archaeologists Questioning the History of Early Americas

Archaeologists have discovered two previously unknown forms of spearpoint technology at a site in the US state of Texas. The triangular blades appear to be older than the projectile points produced by the Paleoamerican Clovis culture, an observation that’s complicating our understanding of how the Americas were colonised—and by whom. Read More >>

How Industrial-Scale Tar Production Powered the Viking Age

Vikings acquired the capacity to produce tar at an industrial scale as early as the 8th century AD, according to new research. The protective black goo was applied to the planks and sails of ships, which the Vikings used for trade and launching raids. Without the ability to produce copious amounts of tar, this new study suggests, the Viking Age may have never happened. Read More >>