Thursday, March 19, 2015

Seven Exciting Month of March 2015 Archaeological Discoveries

When they aren't digging up ancient graves or unearthing the body parts of early human ancestors, archaeologists are combing the Earth for clues about how the people who came before us lived, worked, played, and died.

This month, researchers in South America, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East have found evidence of everything from secret fortresses to the capitals of vanished civilizations, entire underground cities, and even ancient recipes.
Together, the findings provide a fascinating look into the thriving communities that preceded us.

The corner of a lost civilization found deep in the Honduran rain forest

Some 1,000 years ago in the middle of Honduras, a thriving populace once built giant statues, homes, and even a complex network of irrigation channels and reservoirs.

The flourishing enclave, uncovered using laser scanning technology by a team of researchers from the University of Houston, was likely part of a network of other dwellings throughout this part of the Honduran rain forest. Together, these sites would have formed an active community that bustled with hundred of people long before the arrival of European explorers.


So far, the researchers have already found evidence of the tips of more than 50 objects, including giant stones possibly used for construction purposes, the head of a large statue resembling a combination of a werewolf and a jaguar, stone seats for ceremonies, and containers that had been intricately etched with the figures of vultures and snakes. They estimate the community was active in sometime between A.D. 1000 and A.D. 1400.


A secret fortress of Genghis Khan found in southwest Mongolia



Genghis Khan's Mongolian Empire, the largest of its kind in history, stretched from the Sea of Japan to as far west as Arabia and from Siberia to as far south as India and Iran.
How did he come to control such a vast domain?
A team of archaeologists recently uncovered a clue that may help answer that question: A secret fortress that may have been used to help expand the empire during its westward march toward Europe.
The large fortress, located near what was once rich farmland and key parts of the silk trade route, would have played a key role in providing supplies and carrying information to the Mongolian army as they expanded west.
Inside the fortress, which measures about the size of three football fields and was likely built in 1212, researchers uncovered a vast array of Chinese pottery, wood fragments, and animal bones.

The oldest-ever-preserved beer from an 1840s shipwreck.


Ever wonder what a bottle of 170-year-old beer would smell like?

Thanks to the recent discovery of a shipwreck off the coast of Finland, you don't have to keep guessing.

A team of researchers uncorked two bottles of the 19th-century-brew in early March, unleashing powerful odors of cabbage, burnt rubber, over-ripe cheese, and sulfur. When chemists analyzed the bottles' contents, they found the cause of the stench: bacteria that had likely been growing inside the bottles for decades, taking over any malty, beer-like smells they may once have had.


Bacteria aside, the beer probably tasted much like the beers we drink today, according to the researchers' chemical analysis of its other ingredients. Both brews were produced with hops but had a bit more of a rose-flavoring compound than we might be used to.


An ancient Celtic prince unearthed from his lavish tomb


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