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Latest and Breaking Archaeology News

Science's top 10 breakthroughs of 2014
(American Association for the Advancement of Science) The Rosetta spacecraft caught up with the comet known as 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko beyond Mars this August, and its preliminary results--along with the studies it will allow in the near-future -- top this year's list of the most important scientific breakthroughs, according to the editors of Science. This annual list of groundbreaking scientific achievements, selected by Science and its international nonprofit publisher, AAAS, also includes groundbreaking advances in medicine, robotics, synthetic biology, and paleontology, to name a few.

AAAS analysis shows widespread looting and damage to historical sites in Syria
(American Association for the Advancement of Science) Four of six major archaeological sites in Syria have been heavily looted and damaged, according to a AAAS analysis of high-resolution satellite images that documents the extent of the destruction. The report analyzes six of the 12 sites that Syria has nominated as World Heritage Sites: Dura Europos, Ebla, Hama's Waterwheels, Mari, Raqqa, and Ugarit. A forthcoming report will analyze the additional six sites.

Archaeologists awarded Templeton, NEH grants for research at Cahokia Mounds
(Indiana University) Archaeologists at Indiana University and the University of Illinois have been awarded two grants totaling $640,000 to continue and expand their research at Cahokia Mounds, site of the largest and possibly the most sophisticated pre-Columbian city north of Mexico.

Back to future with Roman architectural concrete
(DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory) A key discovery to understanding Roman architectural concrete that has stood the test of time and the elements for nearly two thousand years has been made by researchers using beams of X-rays at Berkeley Lab's Advanced Light Source.

Dental plaque reveals key plant in prehistoric Easter Island diet
(University of Otago) A University of Otago, New Zealand, Ph.D. student analyzing dental calculus from ancient teeth is helping resolve the question of what plant foods Easter Islanders relied on before European contact.

Evidence of Viking/Norse metalworking in Arctic Canada
(Wiley) A small stone container found by archaeologists a half-century ago has now been recognized as further evidence of a Viking or Medieval Norse presence in Arctic Canada during the centuries around 1000 A.D.

Images in Roman mosaics meant to dispel the envious
(Carlos III University of Madrid) Driving away bad luck, the evil eye and, in short, envious people -- this was one of the purposes of mosaics in Ancient Rome, according to research coordinated by Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, which analyzed rituals and magic practices in these artistic representations.

NOAA, partners reveal first images of historic San Francisco shipwreck, SS City of Rio de Janeiro
(NOAA Headquarters) NOAA and its partners today released 3-D sonar maps and images of an immigrant steamship lost more than 100 years ago in what many consider the worst maritime disaster in San Francisco history. On Feb. 22, 1901, in a dense morning fog, the SS City of Rio de Janeiro struck jagged rocks near the present site of the Golden Gate Bridge and sank almost immediately, killing 128 of the 210 passengers and crew aboard the ship.

More holistic approach needed when studying the diets of our ancestors
(University of Chicago Press Journals) According to an article in the December 2014 issue of The Quarterly Review of Biology, current studies modeling the diets of early hominids are too narrow.

Ancient engravings rewrite human history
(Australian National University) An international team of scientists has discovered the earliest known engravings from human ancestors on a 400,000 year-old fossilized shell from Java.The discovery is the earliest known example of ancient humans deliberately creating pattern.

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