This has been another year of stunning discoveries, excavations and research. Here at Past Horizons we have covered hundreds of stories over the past twelve months, but what has captured your imagination?
Based on the unique visitor count we can come up with the answer to that, and what a diverse and fascinating choice it is.
The number one story that dominated our list came close to melting our servers, when we reached 500 hits per minute at one point!
- Film-maker Brent Huffman campaigned tirelessly to bring the plight of Mes Aynak into the public conciousness. He asked for help through crowd funding to complete his feature length documentary and many people came forward to support him, providing the finances he required. View article >
- Archaeologists discovered a series of deposits in the interior of the Pyramid of the Sun at Teotihuacan in Mexico. The team of researchers announced their findings after exploring the 65-metre high pyramid from 2008 to 2011. Amongst the deposited artefacts was a small but exceptional greenstone mask, the only one to be found so far at Teotihuacan. View article >
- Near the Mexican village of Onavas, archaeologists reported on the excavation of a site containing human burials. Some of the skeletons showed skull deformation and dental mutilation and although unique so far in this part of Mexico, it showed that ideas travelled from other areas. Of course, the story also attracted extra-terrestrial fanatics. View article >
- Jan Magne Gjerde, project manager at the Tromsø University Museum drove more than 1000 kilometres east to Lake Kanozero. Together with Russian colleagues he discovered what he calls some of the world’s oldest animated cartoons. View article >
- A rare and extraordinary Roman helmet was shown in public for the first time since it was buried 2,000 years ago. A decade after its discovery in Leicestershire, the painstaking process of reconstruction, and conservation by British Museum specialists was completed and ready to go on display at Harborough Museum. View article >
- Cambridge University celebrated the discovery of Petra, 200 years ago by John Lewis Burckhardt. Petra had remained hidden from western eyes for centuries; the last Europeans to visit the city being Crusaders many hundreds of years prior. In the interim, it had faded from memory and native inhabitants jealously kept the whole of Wadi Musa – where Petra is situated – guarded from intruders. View article >
- A total of 23 pre-Columbian stone plaques dating back over 550 years were discovered by archaeologists in front of the Great Temple of Tenochtitlan in Mexico City, with carvings illustrating Aztec myths including the birth of the god of war Huitzilopochtli. View article >
- The deposits at Etricourt Manancourt in the Picardie region of France documents the history of early European settlements, revealing at least five prehistoric levels, ranging between 300,000 and 80,000 years old. The oldest level belongs to the Palaeolithic, Acheulian culture and flint tools found at this level were shaped either by the last Homo heidelbergensis or by early Neanderthals. View article >
- A fascinating and unique discovery at the east end of Lake Mossø in Denmark, of a slaughtered army dating to around two thousand years ago, was revealed. The remains date to the beginning of the Roman Iron Age and it may take archaeologists years of research to work out just what happened at this well-preserved site. View article >
- The truth behind some of the world’s most famous historical myths – Homer’s epic, the Iliad, the English poem, Beowulf, and the Irish epic, the Táin Bó Cuailnge, has been bolstered by two researchers who have analysed the relationships between the characters and compared them to real-life social networks. View article >
- Skeletal collections with trauma found from the Neolithic period in Anatolia suggest that injury was caused by daily activities and lifestyle, rather than systematic violence. However, shortly after this period there is an increase in trauma associated with violence. Katy Meyers discusses an article by Erdal (2012) which looked at the skeletal remains of a potential massacre site from the Early Bronze Age. View article >
- Archaeologists working at a site in Cornwall, southwest England, discovered the fragmentary remains of a prehistoric enclosure built around 5,500 years ago. Among some of the remarkably well preserved finds were large sherds of Late Neolithic Grooved Ware pottery and an unusual slate disc which is engraved on both sides. View article >