Eighth century pagan temple to Old Norse gods unearthed in Norway

Rare structures and artifacts of the Viking religion practiced centuries prior to Christianity's introduction have been uncovered by archaeologists in Norway, including a "god house."

Photo courtesy of the University Museum of Bergen
  • A 1,200-year-old temple to the Old Norse gods including Thor and Odin has been unearthed in Norway by a team of archaeologists.
  • It was likely used for worship and sacrifices to gods during the midsummer and midwinter solstices, and other fertility festivals.
  • Icelanders are officially practicing the Old Norse pagan religions again; the first temple to the Norse gods in 1000 years is currently being constructed in the City of Reykjavík.
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Researchers discover intact brain cells of man killed by Mt Vesuvius eruption

The young man died nearly 2,000 years ago in the volcanic eruption that buried Pompeii.

Credit: PLOS ONE
  • A team of researchers in Italy discovered the intact brain cells of a young man who died in the Mount Vesuvius eruption in A.D. 79.
  • The brain's cell structure was visible to researchers (who used an electron microscope) in a glassy, black material found inside the man's skull.
  • The material was likely the victim's brain preserved through the process of vitrification in which the intense heat followed by rapid cooling turned the organ to glass.
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Back to back excavations unearth two dozen Egyptian mummies

Well preserved coffins hint towards more discoveries in a famed necropolis.

  • Archaeologists in Egypt have discovered more than two dozen sarcophagi in the last month.
  • Experts predict more discoveries in the coming weeks.
  • Their discovery is another credit to Saqqara, the necropolis of the old capital of Memphis.
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The spread of ancient infectious diseases offers insight into COVID-19

Archaeology clues us in on the dangers of letting viruses hang around.

Credit: ImageFlow/ Shutterstock
  • A University of Otago researcher investigates the spread of disease in ancient Vietnam.
  • The infectious disease, yaws, has been with us for thousands of years with no known cure.
  • Using archaeology to investigate disease offers clues into modern-day pandemics.
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Iron Age discoveries uncovered outside London, including a ‘murder’ victim

A man's skeleton, found facedown with his hands bound, was unearthed near an ancient ceremonial circle during a high speed rail excavation project.

Photo Credit: HS2
  • A skeleton representing a man who was tossed face down into a ditch nearly 2,500 years ago with his hands bound in front of his hips was dug up during an excavation outside of London.
  • The discovery was made during a high speed rail project that has been a bonanza for archaeology, as the area is home to more than 60 ancient sites along the planned route.
  • An ornate grave of a high status individual from the Roman period and an ancient ceremonial circle were also discovered during the excavations.
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