How Farming Almost Destroyed Ancient Human Civilization

Roughly 9,000 years ago, humans had mastered farming to the point where food was plentiful. Populations boomed, and people began moving into large settlements full of thousands of people. And then, abruptly, these proto-cities were abandoned for millennia. It's one of the greatest mysteries of early human civilization. » 11/17/14 6:40pm 11/17/14 6:40pm

Archaeologists Make Stunning Discoveries at the Antikythera Shipwreck

The international team of divers and archaeologists who are investigating the site of an ancient Greek ship that sank more than 2,000 years ago off the remote island of Antikythera have not been disappointed. Not only is the site bigger than they thought, it also contains a treasure trove of artifacts. » 10/10/14 4:59pm 10/10/14 4:59pm

Archaeologists Just Discovered a 1,000-Year-Old Viking Fortress

It's been 60 years since a viking fortress was discovered, leading historians to assume that we'd uncovered everything there is to uncover. But this weekend, Danish and English archaeologists announced they've unearthed evidence of a new fortress that's been sought after for years—and they used some pretty cool tech… » 9/08/14 3:19pm 9/08/14 3:19pm

The Coldest Case: Using DNA to Identify Century-Old Remains

In a dusty, seemingly empty field 60 miles east of L.A., Dr. Alexis Gray, a forensic anthropologist from the San Bernardino County Sheriff Department, points to a chain-link fence far in the distance, the mountains rising beyond in the hazy heat. "There are 7,000 people between us and that next fence there," she says. » 8/18/14 1:08pm 8/18/14 1:08pm

5 Important Artifacts That Were Lost—And Found—In Museum Storage

"It belongs in a museum!" It's a common refrain among archaeologists who are passionate about preserving artifacts for future generations. But anyone who's seen the end of the 1981 documentary Raiders of the Lost Ark knows that precious relics can be easily forgotten once they make it into storage. » 8/13/14 9:00am 8/13/14 9:00am

X-Ray Reveals Real Human Teeth in 300-Year-Old Jesus Statue

During an otherwise routine restoration, researchers at Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology and History (NIAH) made an unprecedented discovery. As it turns out, the 18th century statue of Christ they'd been X-raying was fitted with actual, 100% human pearly whites—totally intact all the way to the roots. » 8/12/14 12:00pm 8/12/14 12:00pm

Iron Man Exosuit Will Look for 2000-Year-Old Computer Underwater

Remember that nutso Exosuit—basically a wearable submarine—we showed you back in February? The Exosuit is about to embark on its first real mission: the hunt for one of the world's oldest computers in the Aegean Sea. It's a quest that has paralyzed and, in one case, even killed divers in the past, but the Exosuit will… » 6/04/14 4:20pm 6/04/14 4:20pm

An Algorithm Revealed 200 Lost Paintings on Angkor Wat's Ancient Walls

Even a building as famous and photographed as Angkor Wat has its secrets. With the help of an image enhancement algorithm, a sharp-eyed rock-art researcher has revealed that unassuming smears of pigment are actually faded drawings. It could be graffiti—or it could be the remnants of a concerted 16th century… » 5/29/14 5:20pm 5/29/14 5:20pm

These Bones Might Be the Biggest Creature That Ever Walked the Earth

Paleontologists have just unearthed the fossilized bones of a gigantic dinosaur that's never been seen before. They believe it's an entirely new species—and based on the size of its bones, it's way bigger than what we thought was the biggest dinosaur ever. Meet the new number one among earthly creatures. » 5/17/14 10:00am 5/17/14 10:00am

Jurassic Park Lied to You: T-Rex Had Great Eyesight Really

In the immensely popular (despite the sins) movie Jurassic Park, there's the famous scene where the giant T-Rex is attacking a jeep during a thunder storm. As it attacks, Dr. Alan Grant, a self-respecting paleontologist, yells, "Don't move! He can't see you, if you don't move." Here's the thing – that's wrong. (If… » 5/16/14 8:35am 5/16/14 8:35am

This Diver Is Cradling a 12,000-Year-Old Skull in an Underwater Cave

Inside a cave so deep and dark it's called Hoyo Negro, or Spanish for "black hole," divers are transporting a 12,000-year-old skull for 3D scanning. The skull belongs to one of the oldest and most complete skeletons ever found in the Americas. Lucky for us, the expedition was documented with an entire set of stunning… » 5/15/14 6:00pm 5/15/14 6:00pm

Archaeologists may have found the wreck of Columbus' Santa Maria

After 500 years, archaeologists believe that they have found the wreck of the Santa Maria— Christopher Columbus' flagship—at the bottom of the sea off the north coast of Haiti. The leader of the expedition, Barry Clifford, told The Independent that all the evidence "strong suggests that this wreck is Columbus' famous… » 5/13/14 1:07am 5/13/14 1:07am

You Can Boil Water in Paper Cups, Just Like the Neanderthals May Have

Boiling water is as easy as they say—even without pots and pans. Thanks to the laws of physics, you can put a flame up to a paper cup or plastic bag, and water will boil without scorching the container. A paleontologist is speculating that Neanderthals cooked their meat in birch bark trays or skin bags using the same… » 5/01/14 3:00pm 5/01/14 3:00pm

Scientists Discovered the Egyptian Secret to Moving Huge Pyramid Stones

The question of just how an ancient civilization—without the help of modern technology—moved the 2.5 ton stones that made up their famed pyramids has long plagued Egyptologists and mechanical engineers alike. But now, a team from the University of Amsterdam believes they've figured it out, even though the solution was… » 4/30/14 1:00pm 4/30/14 1:00pm

How Cold War Spy Satellites Revealed 10,000 Lost Cities and Ruins

CORONA was the codename for the United States' first photographic spy satellite mission. For 12 years, it brought back intel on the USSR, China, and the Middle East. But that wasn't all its grainy, black and white images captured—it turns out it also caught an incredible number of undiscovered ancient settlements. » 4/25/14 3:25pm 4/25/14 3:25pm