Archaeology

Eyes of Two Mummies Restored in California Lab

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: October 24, 2005   View Article

A team of scientists in California has restored the eyes of two Chilean mummies and plans to use them to investigate ancient diseases.

One eye came from the mummified remains of a two-year-old boy who died a thousand years ago. The other eye belongs to a 23-year-old woman who died about 750 years ago. Both bodies were naturally preserved in Chile’s arid Atacama Desert.

New Digs Decoding Mexico’s “Pyramids of Fire”

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: October 21, 2005   View Article

Using picks, shovels, and high-tech forensic sleuthing, scientists are beginning to cobble together the grisly ancient history and fiery demise of Teotihuacán, the first major metropolis of the Americas.

The size of Shakespeare’s London, Teotihuacán was built by an unknown people almost 2,000 years ago. The site sits about 25 miles (40 kilometers) north of present-day Mexico City. Temples, palaces, and some of the largest pyramids on Earth line its ancient main street.

4,000 Year Old Noodles Found in China

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: October 12, 2005   View Article

A 4,000-year-old bowl of noodles unearthed in China is the earliest example ever found of one of the world’s most popular foods, scientists reported today. It also suggests an Asian-not Italian-origin for the staple
dish.

The beautifully preserved, long, thin yellow noodles were found inside an overturned sealed bowl at the Lajia archaeological site in northwestern China. The bowl was buried under ten feet (three meters) of sediment.

9,000 Year Old Beer Recreated From Chinese Recipe

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: July 18, 2005   View Article

A Delaware brewer with a penchant for exotic drinks recently concocted a beer similar to one brewed in China some 9,000 years ago.

Sam Calagione of the Dogfish Head brewery in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, used a recipe that included rice, honey, and grape and hawthorn fruits. He got the formula from archaeologists who derived it from the residues of pottery jars found in the late Stone Age village of Jiahu in northern China.

Restoration Afoot for Ancient Inca Trails

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: August 17, 2004   View Article

Each day up to 2,000 tourists flood the ancient Inca mountaintop city of Machu Picchu in southern Peru. They come to marvel at temples built from perfectly chiseled blocks of granite and pay homage to the sun.

Most of the tourists travel by train from nearby Cusco. Others ride the bus. A few hundred heartier souls arrive on foot after a four-day slog along the famed Inca Trail.

From Looters, Ancient Maya Altar Rescued

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: October 30, 2003   View Article

An elaborate, 600-pound (270-kilogram) stone altar stolen from an ancient Maya ball court in Guatemala has been recovered, the National Geographic Society and Vanderbilt University announced Thursday.

Professional archaeologists, Guatemalan undercover agents, and local Maya villagers collaborated to recover the altar from a ring of looters and drug runners attempting to sell it in the lucrative antiquities market.

Deciphering the Origin, Travels of “Iceman”

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: October 30, 2003   View Article

A 46-year-old man entombed by a glacier about 5,200 years ago high in the mountains that border Austria and Italy probably spent his entire life within a 37-mile (60-kilometer) range south of where he came to his final rest, according to a new study.

Two German hikers found the “Iceman,” also known as Ötzi, in the Ötzal Alps on September 19, 1991. He is heralded as the world’s oldest and best preserved mummy. Since the Iceman discovery, scientists have labored to piece together his life history.

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