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Discovery News


  • Originally published 07/18/2013

    Have long-lost pyramids been found in Egypt?

    Mysterious, pyramid-like structures spotted in the Egyptian desert by an amateur satellite archaeologist might be long-lost pyramids after all, according to a new investigation into the enigmatic mounds.Angela Micol, who last year found the structures using Google Earth 5,000 miles away in North Carolina, says puzzling features have been uncovered during a preliminary ground proofing expedition, revealing cavities and shafts. "Moreover, it has emerged these formations are labeled as pyramids on several old and rare maps," Micol told Discovery News....

  • Originally published 06/11/2013

    Oldest cave art discovered in U.S. shows prehistoric southern living

    The oldest and most widespread collection of prehistoric cave and rock art in the United States has been found in and around Tennessee, according to a new paper in the journal Antiquity that documents the art. It provides intriguing clues about what life was like for Native American societies more than 6,000 years ago. That is the age of the newly discovered cave art, one of which is seen here, showing what appears to be a human hunting. Other images are of a more direct spiritual/mythological nature.Lead author Jan Simek, president emeritus and a distinguished professor of science at the University of Tennessee’s Department of Anthropology, told Discovery News, “The discoveries tell us that prehistoric peoples in the Cumberland Plateau used this rather distinctive upland environment for a variety of purposes and that religion was part of that broader sense of place.” Jan Simek, Alan Cressler, Nicholas Herrmann and Sarah Sherwood/Antiquity Publications Ltd.A very large polychrome pictograph depicts humans, serpents and circles. The image, from the same overall site, but extending into Alabama, likely illustrated a myth spread across generations via word of mouth, with such permanent imagery further preserving its meaning, lost to history....

  • Originally published 06/11/2013

    Ötzi the Iceman suffered head injury

    Ötzi the Iceman, Europe's oldest mummy, likely suffered a head injury before he died roughly 5,300 years ago, according to a new protein analysis of his brain tissue.Ever since a pair of hikers stumbled upon his astonishingly well-preserved frozen body in the Alps in 1991, Ötzi has become one of the most-studied ancient human specimens. His face, last meal, clothing and genome have been reconstructed — all contributing to a picture of Ötzi as a 45-year-old, hide-wearing, tattooed agriculturalist who was a native of Central Europe and suffered from heart disease, joint pain, tooth decay and probably Lyme disease before he died.None of those conditions, however, directly led to his demise. A wound reveals Ötzi was hit in the shoulder with a deadly artery-piercing arrow, and an undigested meal in the Iceman's stomach suggests he was ambushed, researchers say....

  • Originally published 05/14/2013

    Romanov's final days seen in new photos

    Anastasia Romanov, the youngest daughter of the last Russian Tsar, was already smoking at the age of 15, encouraged by her proud father Nicholas II.The anecdote about the Grand Duchess, a key figure in the conspiracy theories that followed the gunshot and bayonet murders of the Romanovs, has been revealed by a series of photographs found in a remote museum in the Urals.Taken in 1916 near Mogilyov, where the Russian military was headquartered during World War I, the photo shows the young girl puffing at the cigarette with every encouragement from her father.“At the time there was not the same stigma attached to smoking,” wrote the Siberian Times, which described the pictures found in the local history museum of Zlatoust, a small city about 186 miles from Yekaterinburg. It was there that the tsar and his family were slaughtered in 1918 by the Bolsheviks on the orders of Soviet founder Vladimir Lenin....

  • Originally published 05/08/2013

    Medieval hermit pope not murdered, as believed

    Celestine V, the hermit pope who set precedent for Benedict XVI, has been given a new face and fate by researchers who have examined his skeletal remains.The last pontiff not chosen by a conclave — and the first to declare that a pope could rightfully resign — Celestine V is regarded as one of the Catholic Church’s most enigmatic popes.His remains, kept in the Basilica of Santa Maria di Collemaggio in L’Aquila, Italy, did not show his real face, but a wax mask with the likeness of Cardinal Carlo Confalonieri, the Archbishop of L’Aquila from 1941 to 1950....

  • Originally published 04/17/2013

    Mayan calendar end date confirmed

    Carbon-dating of a structural beam from a Guatemalan temple confirms that the Mayan Long Count calendar did end on December 2012, leaving no room for further doomsday prophecies and miscalculations claims.The Long Count is a complex system of bars and dots that consists of five time units: Bak’tun (144,000 days); K’atun (7,200 days), Tun (360 days), Winal (20 days) and K’in (one day).The days are counted from a mythological starting point....

  • Originally published 03/29/2013

    First love child of human, Neanderthal found

    The skeletal remains of an individual living in northern Italy 40,000-30,000 years ago are believed to be that of a human/Neanderthal hybrid, according to a paper in PLoS ONE.If further analysis proves the theory correct, the remains belonged to the first known such hybrid, providing direct evidence that humans and Neanderthals interbred. Prior genetic research determined the DNA of people with European and Asian ancestry is 1 to 4 percent Neanderthal.The present study focuses on the individual’s jaw, which was unearthed at a rock-shelter called Riparo di Mezzena in the Monti Lessini region of Italy. Both Neanderthals and modern humans inhabited Europe at the time....

  • Originally published 02/15/2013

    Resigning pope brings doomsday prophecy

    Is the world only a Pope away from the End? Yes, if you believe a chilling 12th-century prophecy.Attributed to St. Malachy, an Irish archbishop canonized in 1190, the Prophecy of the Popes would date to 1139. The document predicted that there would be only 112 more popes before the Last Judgment — and Benedict XVI is 111.The list of popes originated from a vision Malachy said he received from God when he was in Rome, reporting on his diocese to Pope Innocent II.The story goes that St. Malachy gave the apocalyptic list to Innocent II and that the document remained unknown in the Vatican Archives some 440 years after Malachy’s death in 1148. It was rediscovered and published by Benedictine Arnold de Wyon in 1590....

  • Originally published 02/12/2013

    Picasso used house paint

    Pablo Picasso, famous for pushing the boundaries of art with cubism, also broke with convention when it came to paint, new research shows. X-ray analysis of some of the painter's masterworks solves a long-standing mystery about the type of paint the artist used on his canvases, revealing it to be basic house paint.Art scholars had long suspected Picasso was one of the first master artists to employ house paint, rather than traditional artists' paint, to achieve a glossy style that hid brush marks. There was no absolute confirmation of this, however, until now.Physicists at Argonne National Laboratory in Lemont, Ill., trained their hard X-ray nanoprobe at Picasso's painting "The Red Armchair," completed in 1931, which they borrowed from the Art Institute of Chicago. The nanoprobe instrument can "see" details down to the level of individual pigment particles, revealing the arrangement of particular chemical elements in the paint....

  • Originally published 02/08/2013

    Ancient gold wreath found in Greek subway

    An abundance of gold wreaths appear to lay hidden in a subway network in Greece.Indeed, excavation work during construction of a new subway in the northern city of Thessaloniki, Greece’s second largest city, has revealed another gold wreath – the ninth since work started in 2006.Found on the site of an ancient cemetery at what will be the Dimokratias Station stop, the wreath of olive leaves lay buried for some 2,300 years.According to the Greek Reporter, the wreath was found “inside a large box-type Macedonian tomb on the head of a buried body.”...

  • Originally published 01/24/2013

    Roman marker used to measure Earth found

    Italian researchers have unearthed a marble benchmark which was once used to measure the shape of Earth in the 19th century.Called Benchmark B, the marker was found near the town of Frattocchie along one of the earliest Roman roads which links the Eternal City to the southern city of Brindisi.Placed there by Father Angelo Secchi (1818-1878), a pioneer of astrophysics, the marker consisted of a small travertine slab with a metallic plate in the middle. The plate featured a hole at its center....

  • Originally published 01/16/2013

    Rare photo of A-bomb cloud found in Hiroshima

    A long lost image from the Hiroshima atomic bombing has been discovered at a Japanese elementary school.The black-and-white photograph shows the mushroom cloud over Hiroshima split into two distinctly separated parts, one on top of the other.The rare image was found at the Honkawa Elementary School in Hiroshima city, in a collection of about 1,000 articles on the WWII atomic bombing. The material was donated by a late survivor, Yosaburo Yamasaki, in or after 1953.According to the Japanese daily Asahi Shimbun, a memo on the back of the photo says it was shot near the town of Kaitaichi, some six miles east of ground zero, two minutes after the bomb was dropped on August 6, 1945....