Archaeology News for the Week of June 9th, 2013

June 11th, 2013

Archaeologists Say 400 Animal Species Were Offered to Gods in Tenochtitlan

Mexican archaeologists have identified more than 400 animal species in some 60 offerings made to the gods at the Great Temple of Tenochtitlan, now Mexico City, including molluscs, fish, birds, reptiles and mammals, the National Institute of Anthropology and History, or INAH, said. The scientists have recovered, “for example, fish from coral reefs in the Atlantic Ocean, reptiles including crocodiles, snakes and turtles, as well as birds like toucans and quetzals, and large mammals from the tropics like the jaguar,” INAH biologist Norma Valentin Maldonado said Friday. (Latino Daily News)

New North America Viking Voyage Discovered

Some 1,000 years ago, the Vikings set off on a voyage to Notre Dame Bay in modern-day Newfoundland, Canada, new evidence suggests. The journey would have taken the Vikings, also called the Norse, from L’Anse aux Meadows on the northern tip of the same island to a densely populated part of Newfoundland and may have led to the first contact between Europeans and the indigenous people of the New World. (Live Science)

Ancient Irish texts show volcanic link to cold weather

Researchers have been able to trace the impact of volcanic eruptions on the climate over a 1200 year period by assessing ancient Irish texts. The international team compared entries in these medieval annals with ice core data indicating volcanic eruptions. Of 38 volcanic events, 37 were associated with directly observed cold weather extremes recorded in the chronicles. The report is published in the journal Environmental Research Letters. (BBC News)

The Iceman Suffered Brain Damage Before Death

An injury to the head, not an arrow wound, may have killed Ötzi the Iceman, the 5,300-year-old mummy found in the Italian Alps, says a new paleoproteomic study into the brain of Europe’s oldest natural human mummy. The protein investigation appears to support a 2007 research into the mummy’s brain. The study pointed to a cerebral trauma as the cause of death. (Discovery News)

Mysterious Monument Found Beneath the Sea of Galilee

The shores of the Sea of Galilee, located in the North of Israel, are home to a number of significant archaeological sites. Now researchers from Tel Aviv University have found an ancient structure deep beneath the waves as well. Researchers stumbled upon a cone-shaped monument, approximately 230 feet in diameter, 39 feet high, and weighing an estimated 60,000 tons, while conducting a geophysical survey on the southern Sea of Galilee. (Science Daily)

Ape-like feet ‘found in study of museum visitors’

Scientists have discovered that about one in thirteen people have flexible ape-like feet. A team studied the feet of 398 visitors to the Boston Museum of Science. The results show differences in foot bone structure similar to those seen in fossils of a member of the human lineage from two million years ago. (BBC News)

Evidence Of Escape Tunnel Found At Sobibor, Nazi Death Camp Where 250,000 Jews Were Murdered

Archeologists excavating a former Nazi death camp in Poland believe they have found evidence of an escape tunnel created by a group of prisoners. The rudimentary tunnel was first located in May at the Sobibor death camp, near what is now the eastern border of Poland. Dug about five feet beneath the surface and wide enough for a human, the tunnel stretched 32 feet from a barracks to beneath one of the barbwire fences surrounding the camp, according to the Telegraph. (Huffington Post)