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10 Recent Archaeological Finds That Rewrite History

Every year, our knowledge of the past improves a little bit. 2016 has been no different. Scientists have made several discoveries and revelations which have helped us better understand (and, in some cases, drastically altered) our history. 10 Ancient Chinese Beer We’ve known for a while that the ancient Chinese enjoyed a drink due to evidence of fermented beverages derived from rice found at a 9,000-year-old site in the Henan Province. However, in 2016, we learned that the Chinese were also beer lovers. Archaeologists excavating the Shaanxi Province found beer-making equipment dating to 3400–2900 BC. This marks the first direct evidence of beer being made on-site in China. Residue found in the vessels also revealed the ingredients of the ancient beer, including broomcorn millet, lily, a grain called Job’s tears, and barley. The presence of barley was especially surprising as it pushed back the arrival of the crop in China by 1,000 years. According to current evidence, the ancient Chinese used barley for beer centuries before using it for food. 9 A Man And His Dog Dogs were man’s best friend 7,000 years ago according to evidence found at Blick Mead near Stonehenge. Archaeologist David Jacques found a dog’s tooth that belonged to an animal originally from an area known today as the Vale of York. The dog served as a companion to a Mesolithic hunter-gatherer. The two undertook a 400-kilometer (250 mi) trip from York to Wiltshire which is now considered the oldest known journey in British history. Jacques argued that the dog was domesticated, part of a human tribe, and most likely used for hunting. Durham University later confirmed his findings through isotope analysis performed on the tooth enamel. It showed that the dog drank from water in the Vale of York area. They also believe that the dog would have looked similar to a modern Alsatian with wolflike features. 8 King Tut’s Extraterrestrial Dagger In mid-2016, scientists were able to wrap up a mystery that had been puzzling archaeologists since Howard Carter found King Tutankhamen’s tomb in 1922. Among the many items buried with the young pharaoh was a dagger made of iron. This was unusual as ironwork in Egypt 3,300 years ago was incredibly rare and the dagger had not rusted. An examination with an X-ray fluorescence spectrometer revealed that the metal used for the dagger was of extraterrestrial origin. The high levels of cobalt and nickel matched that of known meteorites recovered from the Red Sea. Another iron artifact from ancient Egypt was tested in 2013 and was also made using meteorite fragments. Archaeologists suspected this outcome due to ancient texts referencing “iron of the sky.” Now they believe that other items recovered from the pharaoh’s tomb were also made using meteorite iron. 7 Greek Bureaucracy The ancient city of Teos in modern-day Turkey has been an archaeological boon as hundreds of steles were recovered from the site. One remarkably intact stele features 58 l


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