It seems like there have been a bunch of new stories about historical developments in several areas. It's really worth checking out a few of these articles.
Egypt to soon announce King Tut DNA test results
By PAUL SCHEMM
The Associated Press
Sunday, January 31, 2010; 11:42 AM
CAIRO -- Egypt will soon reveal the results of DNA tests made on the world's most famous ancient king, the young Pharaoh Tutankhamun, to answer lingering mysteries over his lineage, the antiquities department said Sunday.
Speaking at a conference, archaeology chief Zahi Hawass said he would announce the results of the DNA tests and the CAT scans on Feb. 17. The results will be compared to those made of King Amenhotep III, who may have been Tutankamun's grandfather.
The effort is part of a wider program to check the DNA of hundreds of mummies to determine their identities and family relations. The program could help determine Tutankhamun's family lineage, which has long been a source of mystery.
Thousands of Iranians gather to celebrate ancient Zoroastrian fire festival
Associated Press / February 1, 2010
CHAM, Iran - Thousands of Iranians gathered at dusk against a snowy mountain backdrop to light giant bonfires in an ancient midwinter festival dating back to Iran’s pre-Islamic past that is drawing new interest from Muslims.
Saturday’s celebration was the first in which the dwindling remnants of Iran’s once plentiful Zoroastrian religious minority were joined by thousands of Muslims, reflecting a growing interest in the strict Islamic society for the country’s ancient traditions.
The festival, known as Sadeh, celebrates the discovery of fire and its ability to banish the cold and dark. It is held in the frigid depths of winter.
Sadeh was the national festival of ancient Persia when Zoroastrianism was the dominant religion, before the conquest by Islam in the seventh century. Now it is mostly celebrated in the homes and temples of Iran’s 60,000 remaining Zoroastrians.
Recently, however, there has been an upsurge of interest among Iranian Muslims - 90 percent of the population - in their ancient heritage, when vast Persian empires held sway over much of central Asia and fought Greek warriors and Roman legions.
Polish scientists say 3 Neanderthal teeth found
By VANESSA GERA, Associated Press Writer – Mon Feb 1, 2:54 pm ET
WARSAW, Poland – A team of Polish scientists said Monday they have discovered three Neanderthal teeth in a cave, a find they hope may shed light on how similar to modern humans our ancestors were.
Neanderthal artifacts have been unearthed in Poland before. But the teeth are the first bodily Neanderthal remains found in the country, according to Mikolaj Urbanowski, an archaeologist with Szczecin University and the project's lead researcher.
The researchers also found a hammer made of reindeer antler and bones of cave bears bearing cut marks, indicating they were eaten by the Neanderthals, Urbanowski said.
"The cave bears were big, dangerous animals and this supports the view the Neanderthals were really efficient hunters," he said.