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Last updated on April 19, 2014 at 18:42 EDT

Latest Civilizations Stories

2008-08-01 06:00:19

By George Pawlaczyk, Belleville News-Democrat, Ill. Aug. 1--LEBANON -- A home developer who destroyed part of a 1,000-year-old buried Mississippian village will pay $144,000 to help protect hundreds of other prehistoric Illinois sites, the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency announced Thursday. Home developer Thomas Bow, of T. Bow Inc. of Belleville, has agreed to pay the settlement to the state in compensation for what Bow has said was the accidental destruction of a one-acre portion...

2008-07-28 06:01:05

Text of report in English by Japan's largest news agency Kyodo Sydney, July 28 Kyodo - Leading Chinese dissident Chen Ziming, currently on his first overseas trip since being released from prison over a decade ago, plans to test the Chinese government's "free entry, free exit" policy ahead of the Beijing Olympics, he said here Monday. Two months ago, Chen was granted permission by the government to leave the country, a move he described as an important step towards a more tolerant...

2008-07-04 13:08:51

A cave buried beneath a Mexican pyramid has recently been re-opened by archeologists. The cavern, which has been sealed since its discovery in the 1970s, may hold clues to the mysterious collapse of one of ancient civilization's largest cities. The Aztecs discovered the Teotihuacán pyramids around 1500 AD, just before Spanish explorers arrived to Mexico.  The pyramids, which rest about an hour outside Mexico City, are now a major tourist destination. The civilization that built...

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2008-04-04 00:00:00

Researchers say the ancient Aztecs maintained an arithmetic system that was far more complex than previously understood"”using written symbols such as hearts, arrows and hands as alternatives to using fractions. The researchers analyzed hundreds of drawings that were used to document agricultural properties by the Aztec people in the city-state of Tepetlaoztoc, near modern Mexico City. The manuscripts are dated between 1540 and 1544. An examination of these hieroglyphic records showed...

2008-04-03 16:54:49

Long known for their cool circular calendars and practice of human sacrifice, Aztecs were also math whizzes. Aztecs used hand, heart and arrow symbols to represent fractional distances when calculating areas of land, scientists have discovered. The researchers pored over Aztec agricultural manuscripts trying to understand how the indigenous people arrived at area calculations. Only when they factored in the pictorial glyphs did the figures make sense. The term Aztec refers to...

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2008-02-27 00:25:00

German and Peruvian archaeologists claim they have uncovered the oldest known monument in Peru, adding further proof of an advanced civilization in Peru at the same time as what is now the Middle East and South Asia.The 5,500-year-old ceremonial plaza was discovered near Peru's north-central coast by a team led by Peter Fuchs, a German archaeologist. Built of stone and adobe, the plaza was found in Andes foothills, 206 miles northwest of Lima. Fuchs said carbon dating of material from the...

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2008-02-12 13:45:00

Archaeologists from UCLA and the University of Groningen (RUG) in the Netherlands have found the earliest evidence ever discovered of an ancient Egyptian agricultural settlement, including farmed grains, remains of domesticated animals, pits for cooking and even floors for what appear to be dwellings, the National Geographic Society announced today. The findings, which were unearthed in 2006 and are still being analyzed, also suggest possible trade links with the Red Sea, including a...

2008-02-11 10:36:42

Each Monday, this column turns a page in history to explore the discoveries, events and people that continue to affect the history being made today. Humans had been speaking for a couple hundred thousand years before they got the inspiration or nerve to mark their ideas down for posterity. But when a Mesopotamian people called the Sumerians finally did scratch out a few bookkeeping symbols on clay tablets 5,000 years ago, they unknowingly started a whole new era in history we...

2007-10-02 19:00:19

WASHINGTON (AP) - Children sacrificed by the Inca appear to have been "fattened up" in a yearlong ritual, new research suggests. Researchers studied hair from the heads and in small bags accompanying four mummies of children sacrificed in Inca rituals. Their findings are reported in Tuesday's issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The children's hair had been cut first a year and then six months before they were killed. By studying the chemicals preserved in the hair...

2007-03-31 12:44:29

MEXICO CITY -- Archaeologists in Mexico City announced plans Friday to hold tours of inaccessible buried ruins via glass-covered shafts looking down on the sites. Two daylong guided tours of the sites, known as "archaeological windows," are scheduled for April, and will take visitors to about 20 sites currently open to the public, as well as 20 more "windows" hidden beneath stairwells, floors and patios of buildings normally not open to the public. The underground ruins - some swallowed or...