Leptis Magna - Credit : Luca Galuzzi
30 Sep 2015

Three ancient cities to rival London, Paris and New York

London, Paris and New York are global cities: modern hubs for travel, technology and trade, their names and images echo around the globe, capturing our imaginations with their distinctive histories, famous residents and iconic landmarks.

Image Credit : Community Shares Scotland
28 Sep 2015

Plans to preserve former WW2 POW camp in Scotland

Plans to preserve Camp 21 at Cultybraggan in Scotland, the site of the former WW2 prisoner of war camp, are being launched by the Comrie Development Trust and Community Shares Scotland.

Fig 8
26 Sep 2015

The origin and spread of ‘Emperor’s rice’

Black rice has a rich cultural history; called “Forbidden” or “Emperor’s” rice, it was reserved for the Emperor in ancient China and used as a tribute food.

Fig 8
25 Sep 2015

Did grandmas make people pair up?

If you are in a special relationship with another person, thank grandma – not just yours, but all grandmothers since humans evolved.

With 117 houses planned on fields nearby, has the ‘Stonehenge of the Iron Age’ drawn the short straw in Shropshire’s housing rush?  Photo: HOOOH
24 Sep 2015

Campaigners dumbfounded by double standards over Shropshire hillfort sites

A campaign group has accused authorities of staggering double standards over development affecting Shropshire’s historic landscape.

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24 Sep 2015

World Heritage status is too precious to be taken lightly

Key advisers to UNESCO are planning to visit Edinburgh this month in response to concerns over proposed developments in the Scottish capital and how they might potentially impact its status as a World Heritage site. This issue has featured regularly in the UK news in recent years, always for similar

23 Sep 2015

How to find out about the human mind through stone

Laterality is the preference of human beings for one side of our bodies; being left-handed or right-handed, for example, or having a preference for using one eye or ear or the other.

15 Sep 2015

New national heritage body for Scotland granted charitable status

The new national heritage body for Scotland, Historic Environment Scotland (HES) has received charitable status from the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR).

10 Sep 2015

Cod bones from Mary Rose reveal globalised fish trade in Tudor England

New stable isotope and ancient DNA analysis of the bones of stored cod provisions recovered from the wreck of the Tudor warship Mary Rose, which sank off the coast of southern England in 1545, has revealed that the fish in the ship’s stores had been caught in surprisingly distant waters: the northern North Sea and the fishing grounds of Iceland – despite England having well developed local fisheries by the 16th century.

The burial was found deliberately sheltered by large limestone blocks and three other blocks carefully protected the child´s head. The grave was scattered with grave goods suggesting a special status of this boy. The burial is covered by different ornaments, such as ceramics fragments of different sizes sealed with a green-like clay, vessel parts, flint flakes, a bone arrowhead, quartzite and, most surprisingly, the boy was left accompanied by an almost complete calf in anatomical position. This child possibly died of malnutrition as evidenced by a series of lesions in his skull and bones indicating the boy suffered from rickets and/or scurvy (Castilla et al, 2014) at different stages of his life. CREDIT
Eneko Iriarte
10 Sep 2015

Ancient genomes link early farmers to Basques

An international team led by researchers at Uppsala University reports a surprising discovery from the genomes of eight Iberian Stone-Age farmer remains.

28 Aug 2015

Philistines introduced sycamore, cumin and opium poppy into Israel during the Iron Age

One of the most pressing issues in modern biological conservation is “invasion biology”.

17 Aug 2015

Interactive Timeline on the History of Diamond Mining

A timeline of diamond mining from the first recorded accounts to the present day.

This is an inscription from 1891 found in Dayu Cave. It reads: On May 24th, 17th year of the Emperor Guangxu period (June 30th, 1891 CE), Qing Dynasty, the local mayor, Huaizong Zhu led more than 200 people into the cave to get water. A fortuneteller named Zhenrong Ran prayed for rain during a ceremony. Credit : L. Tan
13 Aug 2015

Chinese cave ‘graffiti’ tells a 500-year story of climate change and impact on society

An international team of researchers, including scientists from the University of Cambridge, has discovered unique ‘graffiti’ on the walls of a cave in central China, which describes the effects drought had on the local population over the past 500 years.

Credit : Sonya Seattle
12 Aug 2015

The evolution of….beer!

From Austrian monks to American craft brewers, beer geeks are everywhere. But making a good beer not only depends on the best ingredients, but also the best yeast.

12 Aug 2015

Linguist explains secret language of Gulliver’s Travels

A linguist from the University of Houston is proposing a solution to a centuries-old puzzle: What sparked the “nonsense” language in “Gulliver’s Travels”?

11 Aug 2015

Researchers explain why the Greenwich prime meridian moved

In 1884, a delegation of international representatives convened in Washington, D.C. to recommend that Earth’s prime meridian (the north-south line marking zero degrees longitude) should pass through the Airy Transit Circle at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, England. (A transit circle is an instrument for measuring star positions, and could

06 Aug 2015

Recreating alchemical recipes shows the genius of ancient scientists

From dragon’s blood to slippery elm root, coded and obscure ingredients of ancient recipes are getting a second look today not by Harry Potter fans, but by historians who want to experience science as it was practiced centuries ago.

06 Aug 2015

Medicinal and Ritualistic Uses for Chocolate in Mesoamerica

Chocolate finds its way onto even the most simplistic dessert menus today to satisfy the sweetest sweet-tooth. In ancient Mesoamerica, chocolate was deemed a specialty food, achieving a sacred status.

Image Credit : Google Earth
30 Jul 2015

Legal expert makes fact-finding visit to threatened hillfort

A specialist planning lawyer has met with campaigners to discuss the prospect of legal action against development affecting the setting of Old Oswestry hillfort. The meeting comes as Shropshire’s local plan, known as SAMDev, nears the end of its examination by Inspector Claire Sherratt. The plan includes a large housing

Credit : Donald E. Hurlbert / Smithsonian Institution
28 Jul 2015

Smithsonian and Jamestown Rediscovery Partner to Reveal Identities of Four Lost Leaders of Jamestown

A team of scientists from the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History and The Jamestown Rediscovery Foundation at Historic Jamestowne announced the identities of four men buried within Jamestown’s historic 1608 church, the location of Pocahontas’ marriage to John Rolfe.

Diana Udel, UM Rosenstiel School Communications Office
27 Jul 2015

Abrupt climate change may have rocked the cradle of civilisation

New research reveals that some of the earliest civilizations in the Middle East and the Fertile Crescent may have been affected by abrupt climate change. These findings show that while socio-economic factors were traditionally considered to shape ancient human societies in this region, the influence of abrupt climate change should

22 Jul 2015

Qur’an manuscript dated among the oldest in the world

A Qur’an manuscript held by the University of Birmingham has been placed among the oldest in the world thanks to modern scientific methods.