Archaeological discoveries of 2017
First genetic confirmation of a female Viking warrior
New DNA evidence uncovered by researchers at Uppsala University and Stockholm University shows that there were in fact female Viking warriors.
The remains of an iconic Swedish Viking Age grave now reveal that war was not an activity exclusive to males – women could be found in the higher ranks at the battlefield.
Morocco are the oldest known remains of Homo sapiens
- In June 2017, a team of scientists announced that fossils found in a cave in Jebel Irhoud, a hill in western Morocco, are from “early anatomically modern humans,” and date to around 300,000 years ago.
- If correct, their findings would make the Jebel Irhoud fossils the oldest known Homo sapiens bones, predating ones found in Ethiopia by more than 100,000 years.
- The new study goes against the argument that there was a single “cradle of mankind,” instead suggesting that modern humans may have evolved in various locations across the African continent.
The wreck of the USS Indianapolis
- In the 72 years since the Indianapolis, a United States Navy cruiser, sank about 12 minutes after being torpedoed by a Japanese submarine, the disaster has inspired controversy, dozens of books, a play and a famous scene in “Jaws.”
- But the resting place of the Indianapolis had remained a mystery.
- That was until Saturday, when a team led by Paul G. Allen, the billionaire co-founder of Microsoft, announced that it had found unmistakable wreckage of the Indianapolis 18,000 feet deep in the Philippine Sea, rekindling memories of the Navy’s worst disaster at sea.
A tower of Aztec-era skulls
- A tower of human skulls unearthed beneath the heart of Mexico City has raised new questions about the culture of sacrifice in the Aztec Empire after crania of women and children surfaced among the hundreds embedded in the forbidding structure.
- Archaeologists have found more than 650 skulls caked in lime and thousands of fragments in the cylindrical edifice near the site of the Templo Mayor, one of the main temples in the Aztec capital Tenochtitlan, which later became Mexico City.
Rome’s oldest aqueduct
In the (short) tradition of aqueduct studies, the longest aqueducts were the ones to Carthage (Tunisia) (90 km, or 132 km including side channels), the ‘Eiffel Leitung’ to Cologne (Germany): 95 km, and the Aqua Marcia of Rome (91 km).
For one reason or another, the aqueduct of Constantinople (Turkey) (over 250 km) was not included in these lists. Was it because of its origin in late antiquity and / or lack of precise data? The research of James Crow c.s. (Crow 2008) made an end to this omission.
The same counts for the extraordinary aqueduct (overall length 170 km with a tunnel of over 90 km) from Dille, via Adraa and Abila to Gadara (Syria; Jordan), researched by Doring (Doring 2007a).