ancient europe

Iron Age warriors were laid to rest on fluffy down pillows

Enlarge / Rosvland used modern down feathers like these for comparison when he identified the species that contributed to the ancient pillow stuffing. Berglund and Rosvald 2021 Archaeologists have found the remains of downy pillows in the graves of two high-ranking Iron Age warriors in Sweden, dating to the 600s and 700s CE. Both warriors …

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Archaeologists use DNA to investigate 6,200-year-old massacre mystery

Enlarge Archaeologists working near the small Croatian village of Potočani made a grim discovery in 2007. In a shallow pit, just a meter deep and two meters wide, they found the jumbled bones of at least 41 people. Radiocarbon dating on several of the bones revealed that they’d been in the pit for around 6,200 …

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This farmer’s field was once a powerful stronghold in Iron Age Norway

In June, archaeologists began unearthing a Viking ship from a farmer’s field in eastern Norway. The 1,000- to 1,200-year-old ship was probably the grave of a local king or jarl, and it once lay beneath a monumental burial mound. A 2018 ground-penetrating radar survey of a site called Gjellestad, on the fertile coastal plain of …

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Ancient DNA sheds light on Viking origins, travels

Enlarge / Modern reconstruction of a Viking longboat. Dun.can / Flickr A recent study of ancient DNA sheds light on who the Viking groups were and how they interacted with the people they met. The Viking Age, from around 750 to 1100 CE, left a cultural and economic impact that stretched from the coast of …

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Archaeologists find a way to look for ancient beer

Enlarge / Barley grain used in the production of beer at the Asahi Kanagawa Brewery in Japan. Tomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomberg/Getty Images Over the last few years, archaeologists have learned a lot from ancient people’s dirty dishes. Microscopic residues clinging to the inside of potsherds contain chemical traces of ancient food and drink, which have revealed remarkable …

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