An ancient Native American sauna, dating back to the 14th Century, has been uncovered by archaeologists in Mexico City. Central components of the sweat lodge where the tub or steam bath pool was located are still intact, according to Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History. Known as temazcals, these structures were built by indigenous peoples in Mesoamerica, and used for medicinal purposes, spiritual rituals and for women to give birth.
Two 500-year-old iron ship anchors have been discovered on Mexico’s Gulf Coast, potentially offering an insight into the Spanish invasion. Archaeologists say they may have belonged to the fleet led by Spain’s Hernán Cortés, who conquered the Aztec empire in the 16th Century. Last year another anchor was discovered nearby, containing wood originating from a Spanish tree.
An Indonesian cave painting depicting a prehistoric hunting scene could be the world’s oldest figurative artwork dating back nearly 44,000 years, pointing to an advanced artistic culture, according to new research. Discovered two years ago on Indonesia’s island of Sulawesi, the 4.5 metre (13 foot) wide painting features wild animals being chased by half-human hunters wielding what appear to be spears and ropes.
An “amazingly well-preserved” 18,000-year-old puppy has been found in Siberia – but scientists cannot decide whether it is a dog or a wolf. Now named Dogor, a local word for friend, it was found near Yakutsk in eastern Siberia last summer. It is “possibly the oldest dog ever found”, researcher Love Dalen said, adding that it was “amazingly well-preserved even before they cleaned it up”.
A tomb belonging to a senior official in Egypt’s Fifth Dynasty has been unveiled around 20 miles south of Cairo. The newly opened necropolis, located near Saqqara, contains vivid colored reliefs and well-preserved inscriptions painted in a special green resin that have kept its pigment over the last 4,300 years. Built from white limestone bricks, it is thought to belong to a nobleman known as Khuwy and was discovered last month.
Fossils of the largest parrot ever recorded have been found in New Zealand. Estimated to have weighed about 7kg (1.1st), it would have been more than twice as heavy as the kākāpo, previously the largest known parrot. Paleontologists have named the new species Heracles inexpectatus to reflect its unusual size and strength and the unexpected nature of the discovery.
Scientists have uncovered a ‘limb pit’ of human bones at a Civil War battlefield in Virginia. The pit gives insight into the trials of early combat surgeons. The remains were discovered in 2014 and marks a pivotal development in understanding medical practices of the time. The remains are amputated limbs of wounded Union soldiers.
The world’s oldest intact shipwreck was discovered in the Black Sea in 2017. The Greek trading vessel was found in a well-known ‘shipwreck graveyard’ containing at least another 60 ships. The newly discovered ship was a trading vessel previously only seen on ancient Greek pottery. The ship was carbon dated to 500 B.C.
Archaeologists discovered the remains of 95 people believed to have been freed black people forced to work in convict labor camps on a Sugar Land property outside of Houston, Texas. The discovery started with a hunch when community activist Reginald Moore tried to spread awareness of the abuses of Sugar Land forced labor.
Egypt’s antiquities ministry announced on Sunday that new radar scans concluded there are no hidden rooms inside the tomb of King Tutankhamun. Officials had previously said they were ‘90% sure’ of a secret chamber behind the wall of the 3,000-year-old tomb. Many believed the chamber could have held the tomb of Queen Nefertiti.