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World Roundup Volume 58 Number 3, March/April 2005

World Map - click for news Europe Middle East Africa South America North America

North America

Urban development has driven squirrels and pigeons into the 472-acre Hohokam Indian Village south of Phoenix, threatening the 700-year-old ruins. Tunnels dug by squirrels beneath the baked-clay buildings collect water, while birds roost and peck in the walls. Officials are studying ways to stop the unwelcome visitors.
(Copyright Jim Hughes) [LARGER IMAGE]

The contents of the most recently excavated tomb in Teotihuacan's Pyramid of the Moon are lending credence to the idea that the city's enigmatic inhabitants may not have been as peaceful as previously thought. Among the finds were the remains of 12 bound, sacrificed people, bound and sacrificed animals, an exquisite mosaic, and 18 large obsidian knives, half in the form of feathered serpents.

South Carolina
Radiocarbon dating of charcoal found with stone tools pushed the age of the pre-Clovis Topper site back at least 34,000 years to 50,000 years before present. Most scholars reacted with caution, stressing that the dates may be associated with "geofacts," not artifacts of human manufacture. (See "
Early Dates, Real Tools?" for more.)

South America

An American team published tests revealing that the New World's earliest cities, north of Lima, Peru, date to around 3000 B.C., 400 years earlier than previously thought. The announcement was quickly overshadowed by controversy when a Peruvian researcher accused the group of plagiarism.


Archaeologists discovered a 35,000-year-old flute fashioned from a woolly mammoth tusk in a southwestern mountain cave.

A farmer plowing his field near the central town of Orchomenos discovered a marble monument erected by the Roman general Sulla to commemorate his victory over Archelaos, a general of King Mithridates, in a battle in the area in 86 B.C.

United Kingdom
The U.K.'s first chariot-racing arena has been unearthed during the construction of a housing development in Colchester, the first capital of Roman Britain.

A fire that consumed a moor in North York exposed a unique carved stone believed to depict a 4,000-year-old map or a landscape drawing. The carved zigzags around a central hourglass-shaped object have been interpreted by researchers as possibly representing a landscape with mountains.


An Abbasid period (A.D. 750-959) soldier's residence and a military uniform factory were discovered in northern Sinai. Evidence was found in the factory for large looms where silk or linen cloth was woven.

Tutankhamun's mummy was removed from its tomb for a brief CT scan that may enable researchers to determine the pharaoh's cause of death more than 3,000 years ago. After much debate on where the imaging would take place, the CT machine was parked outside the tomb, where 1,700 scans of the mummy were taken in just 15 minutes. Results TBA.

Near & Middle East

The oldest known pottery in Syria--and possibly the entire Middle East--was excavated by Dutch archaeologists at the northern site of Tell Sabi Abyad. They found dozens of jars and pots dating from 6800-6300 B.C.

Asia & the Pacific

Amazingly well-preserved murals found in an elite tomb in northwest Shaanxi Province are giving scholars a rare look into life in the court of the Western Han Dynasty (206 B.C.-A.D. 24). Among the brightly colored scenes are depictions of dancing girls, a deer hunt, and a chicken fight.

Sri Lanka
Most of the collections and equipment belonging to the country's Maritime Archaeology Unit at the southern port of Galle have been destroyed by the tsunami, while the fate of nearby Godavaya, an important harbor on the ancient maritime silk route, is uncertain. ARCHAEOLOGY will continue to provide coverage of this tragedy as its archaeological impact unfolds.

20,000-year-old wombat and wallaby bones may hold the key to explaining how aborigines survived the last ice age. An analysis of animal bones excavated from Kutikina Cave will help researchers understand how hunters exploited the island's resources in extreme climate conditions.

* For more news, see "The Buzz."

© 2005 by the Archaeological Institute of America