Weekly archaeology roundup 4/4/2014

Let’s have a look at some of the news making headlines in the world of archaeology this week…

Domesticated grains were part of trading route

An ancient nomadic campsite in central Asia has been found with domesticated grain, is leading researchers to believe that these nomads were the link between eastern and western Asia. Wheat, broomcorn and whillet have all been found so far. This new discovery at 5,000 years old, is leading researchers to believe ancient nomads were farming 2,000 years earlier than previously thought.

Millett-Grains-Central-Asia

Mausoleum of Augustus scheduled for a makeover

The famous first emperor of Rome, Augustus, was hailed as one of the greats. And when he died a massive cylindrical mausoleum was built in 28 BC for him and his ashes to rest forever. But over the years and the addition of the “not so great” Tiberius’ and Claudius’ ashes, the structure has undergone some severe beatings. The bronze statue of Augustus is gone, it was attacked by the Visigoths, got converted into a castle, was a garden, was hit by cannons and became a bullfighting ring.

But now it’s time for this slice of the past to get a makeover and a touch up, it’ll be ready for the public in 2016.

rome-mausoleum-augustus

Monks used asbestos in Byzantine wall paintings

At the monastery Enkleistra of St Neophytos in Cyprus yields some beautiful Christian art from the 12th century. But there’s something lurking behind those arty lines and vibrant colour…ASBESTOS! Apparently the monks of the monastery used it to shine things up a bit and give the paintings a nice sheen. It’s the thought that counts right?

Naughty, naughty.

Byzantine-Monastery-Painting-uv-light

Species of Homo have unique evolutionary skull and teeth size

Researchers at the University of Granada in Spain have come across a feature throughout 2.5 million years of evolution that makes our species ‘Homo’ different to the rest. The size of our skulls has increased, yes, but the size of our teeth have decreased.

Scientists believe this trend is largely due to our diet, which became more focused on meats and oils over the many many years. To read more about these findings, check out Past Horizons.

Homospain

 

Wanna find out some more from the past week? Check out these other stories covered:

Vikings used wooden disc to navigate the seas

The future of blogging about the past

The Black Death wasn’t caused by rats, new study says

Eleven “bone boxes” recovered in Israel

Discovered Egyptian tomb was part of ancient pyramid

Early humans and sabretooth cats lived side-by-side 300,000 years ago

Mosaics found in Byzantine monastery in Israel

Ancient Egyptian weather report tells of volcanic eruption

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