Astonishing dinosaur mummy has ‘glittering’ skin that was punctured and ripped by ancient crocs

Around 67 million years ago in what is now North Dakota, a duck-billed dinosaur keeled over and died, and crocodiles’ ancient relatives descended on the carcass, tearing holes through the skin and marking up the bones. Today, evidence of the predators’ feast can still be seen in the dino’s fossilized remains, which include remarkable “mummified” […]

The Treasures of Crimea review – Ukraine and Russia’s war over ancient gold | Film

Dutch director Oeke Hoogendijk’s exemplary documentary unpacks an utterly fascinating legal and ethical conundrum that’s simultaneously extremely timely and weirdly timeless. At the heart of the story is a collection of precious antiquities, the Crimean treasures of the title, some dating back thousands of years to the time of the Scythians. It couldn’t be a […]

Ancient Egypt unleashed: how the gods, pharaohs, monsters and murderers shattered their silence | Art and design

We are speeding north out of Cairo, careering along fast, wide roads through a desert landscape and out into antiquity. After three hours, we reach Rashid, once known as Rosetta, a port city on the Nile delta, and enter Fort Julien, walking clockwise around its interior until we reach the first corner and the reason […]

How old is ancient Egypt?

To many, Egypt’s history seems to stretch back into time immemorial. But how old exactly is ancient Egypt? It depends how you define ancient Egypt, said Aidan Dodson, an Egyptology professor at the University of Bristol in the U.K. “If you take it as meaning the civilization that incorporated pharaonic kingship, the language that was […]

Tiny Triassic critter provides new insight into the evolution of other ancient reptiles

More than a century ago, researchers unearthed the remains of a tiny, ancient reptile from inside a swath of sandstone in northeastern Scotland. Most of its skeleton was long gone, but scientists recently reconstructed the animal for the first time, identifying it as a reptilian predecessor of pterosaurs — the first reptiles to achieve powered […]

Was ancient Egypt a desert?

Thanks to modern images of Egypt’s iconic pyramids towering over a vast sandscape, many people assume this area is, and always has been, a desert. But considering that climates and landscapes can change over time and that humans have been known to alter natural environments, was ancient Egypt a desert? And is Egypt still considered […]

Penis worm’s ancient cousin fossilized with its doughnut-shaped brain intact

Scientists uncovered something unexpected in the fossilized embryo of a worm-like creature from the Cambrian period: the remains of a tiny, doughnut-shaped brain in the primordial animal’s head. The roughly 500 million-year-old fossil is an example of the marine species Markuelia hunanensis, an ancient cousin of penis worms (priapulids) and mud dragons (Kinorhyncha). To date, […]

Massive ancient lava flow seen from space looks like a giant black scar on the New Mexico desert

An astronaut photo of the Carrizozo Malpaís lava flow in the Chihuahuan Desert, New Mexico, on June 30. (Image credit: NASA Earth Observatory) An astronaut on board the International Space Station (ISS) has snapped a stunning photo of an ancient lava flow stretching across the desert in New Mexico. From above, the frozen river of […]