In 1947, shepherds discovered a series of sea scrolls stored in jars in caves in Wadi Qumran near the Dead Sea. Those scrolls, named the Dead Sea Scrolls, provide insight into early Judaism and their discovery launched years of study. Scientists have long believed there could be more scrolls in existence somewhere and they may have just gotten a step closer to finding them.
A team of researchers recently discovered a cave in Israel that they believe once held Dead Sea Scrolls. Unfortunately, these researchers weren’t the first to find the cave. There was evidence that someone else had been there, as well as hints that scrolls may have been hidden there, including broken jars and lids. A leather scrap that could have bound the scrolls, a cloth they could have been wrapped in, and other hints that scrolls likely resided there confirmed the team’s suspicions. There was also a tunnel at the rear of the cave.
Five thousand years ago, ancient Chinese civilizations drank beer they made from cereal grains, a type of Asian grass, and small amounts of yam and lily root parts. Using this recipe, a group of Stanford Archaeology Center students recently recreated the 5,000-year-old beer using ancient brewing processes.
The beer, which had a distasteful smell and taste, was the students’ final project for a class called Archaeology of Food: Production, Consumption, and Ritual. The recipe came from studying the residue that was found on pottery vessels from northeast China. This information was published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, giving new insight into early beer production in that part of the world.
Mankind has always been artistic, even in our earliest incarnations. A newly discovered slab of limestone reveals that early humans more than 35,000 years ago added art to the more functional items they created.
The slab was discovered by an international anthropology team in a collapsed shelter in Southwest France. The shelter is estimated to be 38,000 years old, putting the finding before that date. On the slab is an engraved image of an extinct wild cow called an aurochs, and the image is surrounded by dots. The findings were detailed in a paper that was published recently in Quaternary International, the official journal of research into the most recent era of the Cenozoic era.