Massive fossil find in California includes mastodon, petrified forest

Mastodons, rhinos, and even camels — all in the great state of California.

Credit: Charles R. Knight/Wikimedia
  • A ranger working for a San Francisco water utility discovers a massive petrified forest and its ancient residents.
  • The forest dates from the Miocene era 10 million years ago.
  • Mastodons, horses, and rhinoceroses lived there.
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Discovered: 78,000 years ago, the oldest known burial ritual in Africa

How do archaeologists know if someone was buried intentionally tens of thousands of years ago?

Photo by Francesco Derrico & Alain Queffelec / AFP via Getty Images
  • The oldest known burial ritual in Africa has been discovered on the coast of Kenya.
  • A small child appears to have been buried intentionally in a cave 78,000 years ago.
  • This new research offers insights into ancient funerary practices.
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Tarantulas: How 120-million-year-old creatures conquered the globe

A study from Carnegie Mellon University tracks the travels of tarantulas since the Cretaceous period.

Credit: davemhuntphoto/Adobe Stock
  • Scary-looking tarantulas actually prefer to keep to themselves and stay in their burrows.
  • Their sedentary nature makes a puzzle of their presence in so many places around the world.
  • Researchers discover that this is because they've been around a very long time and rode drifting continental land masses to their contemporary positions.
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Mysterious "Plain of Jars" in Laos has been dated

After years of speculation a team of researchers has pinpointed the age of this ancient mystery.

Credit: Louise Shewan, et al.
  • The Plain of Jars consists of over 90 sites containing thousands of jars scattered across Laos.
  • According to new research, these jars were constructed sometime between 1240 and 660 BCE.
  • In 2019, UNESCO named a cluster of 11 regions as a World Heritage Site.
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Researchers unearth the “Lamborghini” of ancient chariots in Pompeii

The chariot survived ancient eruptions and modern-day looters to become a part of the world heritage site.

Credit: Luigi Spina, Archaeological Park of Pompeii
  • Archeologists recently discovered a first-of-its-kind chariot in Pompeii.
  • The ceremonial chariot is decorated with bronze and tin medallions, while the sides sport bronzesheets and red-and-black paintings.
  • Given looting activity in the area, it's lucky the 2,000-year-old treasure wasn't lost to the world heritage site.
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