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Archaeology

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Dubious Provenance Pressure Grows for Museums to Return Stolen Objects

The German government wants to help rein in illicit excavations and trade in archeological objects with a tough new law. The move is expected to create pressure for some of country's most-famous museums, which contain numerous works of unknown provenance. Von Konstantin von Hammerstein
10. Dezember 2014, 15:45 Uhr

Monuments Men The Quest to Save Syria's History

While the civil war in Syria has killed tens of thousands of people, it has also destroyed countless of the country's ancient treasures. Now a number of Syrians are trying to save what artifacts they can -- and are risking their lives to do so. Von Katrin Elger
4. August 2014, 17:18 Uhr

Montana Boy Bones Show Ancestral Links to Europe

Despite general resistence, representatives of tribes in the US recently gave their blessing for DNA analysis of the remains of a Stone Age child. Research conducted on the boy's genes indicate that Native Americans have European roots. Von Rex Dalton
20. Februar 2014, 16:41 Uhr

Secret Code Music Score May Lead to Nazi Gold

After some initial digs, a Dutch filmmaker believes he may have found the site of buried Nazi treasure long rumored to exist. He was led to the Bavarian town of Mittenwald after cracking a code believed to be hidden in a music score. Von Björn Hengst und Benjamin Dürr
20. September 2013, 17:41 Uhr

Path of a Tyrant Uncovering Genghis Khan's Lost Legacy

As competing researchers race to locate Genghis Khan's tomb, discoveries by German and Mongolian archaeologists are shedding light on his son Ögödei's equally impressive accomplishments. Von Frank Thadeusz
3. September 2013, 11:20 Uhr

Tomb Raider Badger Digs Up Medieval Treasure in Germany

A badger helped discover the tombs of two medieval lords in Germany in what archaeologists are hailing as a significant find. The 12th century burial site contains a sword, bronze bowls, an ornate belt buckle and skeletal remains that tell stories of a violent life. Von David Crossland
13. August 2013, 14:51 Uhr

Grandma's House German Boy Finds Mummy in Attic

A 10-year-old German boy was playing in his grandmother's attic when he made a startling discovery: a sarcophagus holding a mummy that had lain undiscovered for decades. Von Charly Wilder
2. August 2013, 15:06 Uhr

Vanishing Treasures Tomb Raiders Exploit Chaos in Egypt

Egypt's cultural heritage is in danger. Grave robbers, sometimes heavily armed, are taking advantage of political chaos to plunder its poorly guarded archaeological sites. Authorities feel powerless to stop them and fear that ancient treasures might be lost forever. Von Raniah Salloum
31. Juli 2013, 13:32 Uhr

Roll Over Dracula 'Vampire Cemetery' Found in Poland

A chilling find has been made in Poland: at least 17 skeletons buried with the skulls severed and placed between the knees or hands. That, say archaeologists, is how vampires used to be interred, to stop them rising from the dead.
22. Juli 2013, 12:12 Uhr

Permit Runaround Politics Slow Archaeologists in Turkey

It used to be easy for foreign archaeology teams to get excavation permits in Turkey. This year, though, dozens of scientists are still waiting for government permission even though the dig season has begun. Some suspect that politics and nationalism are in play. Von Joel Stonington
4. Juni 2013, 15:43 Uhr

The Hangman's Tale Archaeologists Dig into History of Execution

For years, few were interested in unearthing what lay beneath old gallows and scaffolds. But, in Germany, growing interest in "execution site archaeology" is throwing much light on how the executed died and the executors lived. Von Matthias Schulz
12. April 2013, 16:15 Uhr

Museum Wars Ankara Demands Artifacts from Berlin

German museums and archaeologists fear that Turkey is punishing them for not repatriating contested artifacts. In a SPIEGEL interview, Turkish Culture Minister Ömer Çelik explains why Turkey is demanding both the artifacts and an apology.
14. März 2013, 18:04 Uhr

Abandoned Colony in Greenland Archaeologists Find Clues to Viking Mystery

For years, researchers have puzzled over why Viking descendents abandoned Greenland in the late 15th century. But archaeologists now believe that economic and identity issues, rather than starvation and disease, drove them back to their ancestral homes. Von Günther Stockinger
10. Januar 2013, 12:23 Uhr

The Gates of Hell Exploring Mexico's Sacred Caves

Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula is dotted with thousands of caves that once housed prehistoric people and later became sacred to the Mayans. German archaeologists and filmmakers are currently involved in a project to explore with modern imaging technology and make a 3-D film of this underwater labyrinth. Von Markus Becker
30. November 2012, 11:14 Uhr

'Atlantis in the Sand' Unlocking the Mysteries of Petra

The ruins of the ancient city of Petra lay hidden until 1812, when a Swiss explorer stumbled upon them in modern-day Jordan. Two centuries later, a new exhibition in Basel brings together some 150 artifacts that shed light on how this mysterious culture of spice traders carved a luxurious oasis into the rocks of the desert. Von Matthias Schulz
19. Oktober 2012, 15:50 Uhr

Underwater Signposts Germany Tries to Halt Baltic Shipwreck Plundering

Alarmed at the looting of historically valuable shipwrecks in the Baltic Sea, German archaeologists have started attaching underwater signs designating them as protected monuments. Hobby divers and trophy hunters are damaging a precious maritime legacy stretching back thousands of years, they warn. Von David Crossland
17. Oktober 2012, 17:50 Uhr

Revolutionizing Archaeology Flying Lasers Reveal Buried Historical Structures

Archaeology is being revolutionized by remote-scanning techniques that use lasers to detect otherwise invisible ground features. The technology digitally extracts vegetation for a clean image of the earth's surface. Archaeologists in Germany have already discovered thousands of new sites. Von Markus Becker
27. Juli 2012, 17:38 Uhr

'Art War' Turkey Battles to Repatriate Antiquities

A resurgent Turkey has launched a concerted effort to get cultural artifacts back from museums around the world. Although many museums deny that their objects were illegally obtained, Ankara is playing hardball by threatening to ban loans and revoke excavation permits. Von Matthias Schulz
20. Juli 2012, 13:24 Uhr

Uplifting Discovery Austrian Archaeologists Find Medieval Bras

For years, people have believed that the wonder of cupped bras were a 20th-century invention. But archaeologists excavating a castle in Austria have discovered four bras dating back some 600 years. The bodice-busting find could change the history of women's intimate apparel.
19. Juli 2012, 18:15 Uhr