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Ancient shipwrecks found in Greek waters tell tale of trade routes

FOURNI, Greece: Archaeologists in Greece have discovered at least 58 shipwrecks, many laden with antiquities, in what they say may be the largest concentration of ancient wrecks ever found in the Aegean and possibly the whole of the Mediterranean. The wrecks lie in the small island archipelago of Fournoi, in the Eastern Aegean, and span a huge period from ancient Greece right through to the 20th century. Most are dated to the Greek, Roman and Byzantine eras. Although shipwrecks can be seen together in the Aegean, until…

Salt of the Alps: ancient Austrian mine holds Bronze Age secrets

All mines need regular reinforcement against collapse, and Hallstatt, the world's oldest salt mine perched in the Austrian Alps, is no exception. But Hallstatt isn't like other mines. Exploited for 7,000 years, the mine has yielded not only a steady supply of salt but also archaeological discoveries attesting to the existence of a rich civilisation dating back to the early part of the first millennium BC. So far less than two percent of the prehistoric tunnel network is thought to have been explored, with the new…

Carving of modern bicycle found inside of a 2,000-year-old temple

A carving of a modern bicycle has been found on the wall of an ancient 2,000-year-old temple. The founders of Panchavarnaswamy Temple, which was built during India's ancient Chola period, may have predicted the arrival of the bike by hundreds of years if these images are correct. Praveen Mohan, who found the carving and posted about it on his YouTube channel, said: "In a dark corner on one of the walls we can see this amazing carving of a man riding a bicycle. "Historians tell us the bicycle was invented in the 1800s,…

Turkey’s ancient temple site gets UNESCO heritage status

A Turkish ancient temple site in southeastern Anatolia was given UNESCO World Heritage status on Sunday, the UN agency announced at a meeting in the Bahraini capital Manama. Named Gobekli Tepe (Potbelly Hill), the site is the world's oldest known megalithic structure located in Upper Mesopotamia and is some 11,000 years old. The site, considered to be the world's oldest temple, is in the present-day southeastern province of Sanliurfa and reopened to tourists earlier this year after restoration work was undertaken…

No secret chambers behind ancient Egypt’s young king Tutankhamen: research

CAIRO: Researchers at Italy’s Turin Polytechnic University have found no evidence of the existence of any hidden chambers behind the walls in the tomb of ancient Egypt’s boy-king, Tutankhamen, the Antiquities Ministry said on Sunday. Experts have been divided over the existence of a concealed chamber behind the tomb, which some believe could be the final resting place of the lost Queen, Nefertiti. International interest in Nefertiti is high. She died in the 14th century B.C. and is thought to be Tutankhamen’s…

Google Earth discovers mystery ancient stone structures in Saudi desert

SYDNEY: Nearly 400 mysterious ancient stone structures have been identified in the Saudi Arabian desert by an Australian researcher using Google Earth. David Kennedy, whose team has spent decades recording thousands of archaeological sites in the Middle East, said the man-made edifices, known as "gates", are thought to have been constructed between 2,000 to 9,000 years ago. But their purpose and function are a mystery. "You can't see them in any intelligible way at the ground level but once you get up a few hundred…

An ancient Chinese fishing community washes ashore

DATANG, CHINA:  Along southern China's snaking rivers, an ancient fishing community that once lived and worked exclusively on the water has been finding its way to land. Wooden fishing boats, wispy nets and bamboo steering poles are typical of the traditions of the "Tanka" -- the term for generations of rural Chinese who have eked out an aquatic existence. They are not an ethnic minority, but rather so named for their unique customs and egg-shaped vessels (Tanka, or "danjia," is homophonous to the Chinese word for…

Ancient mummies rot as Yemen war vexes even the dead

Famine and disease haunt the living, but not even the dead are spared the calamities of Yemen's two-year-old civil war. Ancient mummies are withering away in a major museum for lack of electricity and preservative chemicals from abroad - a sign that the conflict is harming not only the country's present and future but also its rich past. The dozen spindly corpses, curled into the fetal position or swaddled in baskets, belong to a lost pagan civilization around 2 1/2 millennia ago - long before the advent of Islam.…

Remains of ancient pyramid found in Egypt

CAIRO: The remains of an Egyptian pyramid built around 3,700 years ago have been discovered near the well-known bent pyramid of King Snefru, the antiquities ministry announced Monday. The pyramid from the 13th dynasty was found in Dahshur's royal necropolis, 30 kilometres (20 miles) south of Cairo, it said. "An alabaster... block engraved with 10 vertical hieroglyphic lines" was among the finds, the ministry said, citing Adel Okasha, director general at the necropolis. It said "granite lintel and stoney blocks…

Genetic study may make ancient Incas quinoa a grain of the future

Quinoa, the sacred "mother grain" of the ancient Inca civilization suppressed by Spanish conquistadors, could become an increasingly important food source in the future thanks to genetic secrets revealed in a new study. Scientists on Wednesday said they have mapped the genome of quinoa and identified a gene that could be manipulated to get rid of the grain's natural bitter taste and pave the way for more widespread commercial use. Quinoa (pronounced KIN-wah) already grows well in harsh conditions such as salty and…