The construction of the Roman Limes was quite possibly influenced by
the concept of the Great Wall in China, though the two great buildings
of the world are far away from each other, said archaeologists and
historians.

Although there is no evidence that the two constructions had any direct
connections, indirect influence from the Great Wall on the Roman Limes
is certain, said Visy Zsolt, a professor with the Department of Ancient
History and Archaeology of the University of Pecs in Hungary. Read the rest of this entry »

Hundreds of human footprints dating back to the last Ice Age have been found in the remote Australian Outback, an official and media reported Thursday.

The 457 footprints found in Mungo National Park in western New South Wales state is the largest collection of its kind in the world and the oldest in Australia, The Sydney Morning Herald newspaper reported.

The prints were made in moist clay near the Willandra Lakes 19,000 to 23,000 years ago, the newspaper reported ahead of archeologists’ report on the find to be published in the Journal of Human Evolution.

State Environment Minister Bob Debus said the site showed a large group of people walking and interacting.

“We see children running between the tracks of their parents; the children running in meandering circles as their parents travel in direct lines,” Debus told Australian Broadcasting Corp. radio.

“It’s a most extraordinary snapshot of a moment or several moments in the life of Aboriginal people living on the edge of the lake in western New South Wales 20,000 years ago,” he added.

The first print was reported by a local Aboriginal woman two years ago and a team of archaeologists led by Bond University archaeologist Steve Webb uncovered more than 450, the newspaper said.

Webb was not immediately available for comment. Source: Yahoo!

Scientists said yesterday that they have discovered a tiny genetic mutation that largely explains the first appearance of white skin in humans tens of thousands of years ago, a finding that helps solve one of biology’s most enduring mysteries and illuminates one of humanity’s greatest sources of strife.

The work suggests that the skin-whitening mutation occurred by chance in a single individual after the first human exodus from Africa, when all people were brown-skinned. That person’s offspring apparently thrived as humans moved northward into what is now Europe, helping to give rise to the lightest of the world’s races. Read the rest of this entry »

Archaeologists have dug up the oldest known Mayan painting inside a ruined pyramid deep inside a Guatemalan jungle. Dated at around 100BC, the paint-on-plaster mural depicts the Mayas’ creation myth with an elegance and finesse suggesting the civilisation developed much earlier than previously accepted.

“It was like discovering the Sistine chapel if you didn’t know there had been a Renaissance – like knowing only modern art and then stumbling on the finger of God touching the hand of Adam,” William Saturno, the archaeologist who found the ancient masterpiece, told a press conference. Read the rest of this entry »

A University of Calgary archaeologist and her international team of researchers have discovered the earliest known portrait of a woman that the Maya carved into stone, demonstrating that women held positions of authority very early in Maya history – either as queens or patron deities.

The discovery was made earlier this year in Guatemala at the site of Naachtun, a Maya city located some 90 kilometres through dense jungle north of the more famous Maya city of Tikal. The woman’s face, carved on a stone monument called a stela [STEE-la] – and in an artistic style never before seen – suggests women played significant roles in early Maya politics. Read the rest of this entry »