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5 American ghost towns abandoned to time

Some American towns that were once booming centers for industry and trade have become effective ghost towns, left abandoned and rotting as remnants of bygone eras.

These towns can be found throughout the country, from Pennsylvania to California and Alaska. They may have thrived as mining towns or promising state capitals before being stricken by economic hardship or disaster.

WHAT ARE THE 5 MOST POPULOUS US STATES?

Here’s a look at five such towns:

Centralia, Pa.

The coal-mining town of Centralia, once home to 2,700 people, was built in the 1850s after a rich deposit of anthracite coal was discovered.

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The underground fire in Centralia has burned since 1962. The intense heat ruptured the earth and leaked dangerous smoke and gases into the community. Experts say the fire may burn for another century.

But in 1962, a raging underground coal fire spread beneath the town after municipal employees tried to burn trash at a garbage dump and ignited an exposed coal seam, according to History. The fire still burns beneath the town today.

Over the years the extreme heat opened fissures in the ground that leaked dangerous levels of smoke and carbon monoxide, forcing the government to issue evacuation orders in 1981. A decade later, all real estate was claimed under eminent domain and condemned by the state.

Now, only about seven holdouts remain in the ever-burning ghost town, according to WNEP-TV. When they die, the property will be given to the government.

Rhyolite, Nev.

A gold mining settlement on the eastern edge of Death Valley, Rhyolite was booming when it was built in 1904. The gold rush attracted as many as 10,000 people to the town. Industrialist Charles M. Schwab purchased a mine and invested in the town’s infrastructure, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

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The last train pulled out of Rhyolite in 1914, and the power was shut down two years later.

Rhyolite reached its peak in 1907 when the financial panic signaled its downfall, according to the National Parks Service. Mines closed and banks failed over the next few years. In 1916, the lights and power were turned off. The town was used as a movie set for Old West films in the 1920s.

Now, only a few intact buildings remain as relics to the town’s once-prosperous past, including three walls of a bank, part of a jail, the train depot and a building known as the Bottle House.

Cahawba, Ala.

The Civil War-era town of Cahawba served as Alabama’s first state capital from 1819 to 1826, and is known as the state’s “most famous ghost town.”

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Cahawba’s population dwindled after a major flood and the county seat’s transfer to nearby Selma.

The thriving antebellum river town was a major distribution center for cotton, and was home to 3,000 people before the Civil War, according to a website detailing its history and legacy. During the war, 3,000 captured Union soldiers were held in a prison at the center of town. It later became a short-lived village for freed slaves after the war.

Citizens and businesses slowly abandoned the town in the late 1860s after a major flood and the removal of the county seat to nearby Selma.

Now known as Old Cahawba Park, all that remains are the abandoned streets, moss-covered ruins of buildings and cemeteries, and the tale of an apparition called “Pegues’ Ghost,” which was known to appear at parties during the town’s height.

Bodie, Calif.

The gold mining town of Bodie was established in 1859, and grew from just 20 miners to a boomtown of an estimated 10,000 people by 1880, according to the California Department of Parks and Recreation.

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Bodie was settled by William “Waterman” S. Bodey in 1959.

It has been reported the town once held 65 saloons, numerous brothels and “houses of ill repute,” gambling halls and opium dens for its colorful crowd of gunfighters, robbers, prostitutes and miners from countries around the world, according to a website dedicated to the town.

A major fire ravaged Bodie in 1932, destroying much of the town. It has remained untouched for decades.

Today, California State Parks preserve the remains of Bodie in a state of “arrested decay” for tourists and an occasional ghost, according to the parks department.

Kennecott, Alaska

The copper mining town of Kennecott was established in 1903, and by 1938 it was mined out and deserted.

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The copper mining town of Kennecott thrived for just over three decades until the last of its five mines were tapped out.

During its heyday, the Kennecott Mining Corp. established its five mines as models of state-of-the-art technology and progressive management, even paying workers higher salaries than anywhere in the lower 48 states, according to Alaska.org.

The giant red mill building used by the company still stands today, towering 14 stories above the Kennicott glacier (a clerical error on official paperwork accounts for the two different spellings).

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Today, Kennecott is a National Historic Landmark.

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US WWII bombers, missing for 76 years, discovered in Pacific lagoon

Three U.S. World War II aircraft have been discovered in a lagoon in Micronesia 76 years after they went missing. The planes, which were part of Operation Hailstone in February 1944, are associated with 7 U.S. servicemen listed as missing in action.

Project Recover, which harnesses technology in an attempt to find and repatriate Americans missing in action (MIA) during World War II, discovered the aircraft in Truk Lagoon, now known as Chuuk Lagoon, part of the Federated States of Micronesia.

The two SBD-5 Dauntless dive bombers and the TBM/F-1 Avenger torpedo bomber took part in Operation Hailstone against Japanese forces in the lagoon on Feb. 17 and Feb. 18, 1944.

SUNKEN US WWII PLANE REVEALED IN STUNNING SEABED IMAGES

While Operation Hailstone resulted in a U.S. victory, the three aircraft, which flew from aircraft carriers USS Enterprise and USS Intrepid, were among approximately 30 American planes that were lost during the operation. Of these, 12 were lost within the lagoon.

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Propeller from a TBM/F-1 Avenger torpedo bomber, photographed in Truk Lagoon, Micronesia. (Image captured from a Remotely Operated Vehicle – credit Bob Hess, Scripps)

Experts from the University of Delaware and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, which is now part of the University of California, San Diego, were involved in the effort to locate the recently discovered planes.

Four expeditions were made to the lagoon between April 2018 and December 2019. After searching nearly 70 square miles of the seabed with side-scan sonar, researchers used underwater drones to spot debris from the three planes, at depths ranging from 100 to 215 feet.

WRECK OF JAPANESE AIRCRAFT CARRIER SUNK IN BATTLE OF MIDWAY DISCOVERED 77 YEARS LATER

“After completing archeological surveys of the crash sites in December 2019, the team is now assembling reports for review by the U.S. government to potentially set into motion a process for recovering and identifying the remains of up to seven crew members associated with these aircraft,” Andrew Pietruszka, an underwater archaeologist at Scripps Institution of Oceanography and Project Recover’s lead archaeologist, said in a statement obtained by Fox News.

Westlake Legal Group BombersLagoon2 US WWII bombers, missing for 76 years, discovered in Pacific lagoon James Rogers fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/proud-american fox-news/topic/world-war-two fox-news/science/archaeology/history fox-news/columns/digging-history fox news fnc/science fnc article 873f2916-61d2-597e-9f1b-28d96992c6e5

Starboard rear viewing port and entry hatch from a U.S. TBM/F-1 Avenger torpedo bomber in Truk Lagoon. (Image captured from a Remotely Operated Vehicle – credit Bob Hess, Scripps)

Documentation of the sites will also be shared with the Federated States of Micronesia and the U.S. Department of Defense’s Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA).

“Finding these three aircraft was only possible with the dedication and tireless efforts of our team members and the support of the host country,” said Mark Moline, co-founder of Project Recover, expedition leader and director of the School of Marine Science and Policy at the University of Delaware, in the statement. “While the discovery of these sites is exhilarating and validating, these feelings are mixed with the humbling emotions of the sacrifices made by these service members and their families in protecting our freedoms.”

WRECK OF WWII AIRCRAFT CARRIER USS WASP DISCOVERED IN THE CORAL SEA

Project Recover CEO and retired U.S. Marine aviator Derek Abbey said that, including Operation Hailstone, a total of 28 U.S. aircraft from World War II, associated with 103 MIAs, are believed to be missing in Truk Lagoon. “Project Recover is honored to play our part in keeping our nation’s promise of returning our fallen service members home and we remain committed to locating more Americans missing in action in Chuuk and around the world,” he said, in a statement.

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Tail section from an SBD-5 Dauntless dive bomber from Operation Hailstone resting on the floor of Truk Lagoon. (Image captured from a Remotely Operated Vehicle – credit Bob Hess, Scripps)

Project Recover recently revealed the wreck of a U.S. World War II aircraft in stunning detail 77 years after it was lost off Oahu, Hawaii.

Other allied military aircraft from the war have been discovered in recent years. Last year, the wreck of a World War II U.S. B-24 bomber that plunged into the sea off Bermuda in February 1945 was discovered by a team of researchers from the University of Delaware.

WWII WRECK USS HELENA DISCOVERED BY MICROSOFT CO-FOUNDER PAUL ALLEN’S CREW

The wreckage of another U.S. Air Force B-24 bomber was found in Papua New Guinea in 2018, 74 years after it was shot down during a fierce battle with Japanese forces.

Westlake Legal Group BombersLagoon4 US WWII bombers, missing for 76 years, discovered in Pacific lagoon James Rogers fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/proud-american fox-news/topic/world-war-two fox-news/science/archaeology/history fox-news/columns/digging-history fox news fnc/science fnc article 873f2916-61d2-597e-9f1b-28d96992c6e5

The iconic punched holes of the split-panel dive brakes from an SBD-5 Dauntless dive bomber are visible resting on the floor of the lagoon near the main debris site. (University of Delaware, courtesy of Dr. Mark Moline)

In 2017, engineers working on a sub-sea power link discovered what is believed to be the wreckage of a lost World War II Royal Air Force bomber off the coast of Norway.

In 2015, the University of Hawaii and NOAA released incredible images of a U.S. Navy seaplane sunk during the opening moments of the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Westlake Legal Group LagoonBomber5 US WWII bombers, missing for 76 years, discovered in Pacific lagoon James Rogers fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/proud-american fox-news/topic/world-war-two fox-news/science/archaeology/history fox-news/columns/digging-history fox news fnc/science fnc article 873f2916-61d2-597e-9f1b-28d96992c6e5

A coral-covered propeller of a U.S. SBD-5 Dauntless dive bomber from Operation Hailstone stands above the sand in Truk Lagoon (University of Delaware, courtesy of Dr. Mark Moline)

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Westlake Legal Group TrukLagoonGetty1944 US WWII bombers, missing for 76 years, discovered in Pacific lagoon James Rogers fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/proud-american fox-news/topic/world-war-two fox-news/science/archaeology/history fox-news/columns/digging-history fox news fnc/science fnc article 873f2916-61d2-597e-9f1b-28d96992c6e5

Torpedo exploding against Japanese tanker ship in Truk Lagoon during an attack by American torpedo bombers, February, 1944. (Photo by W. Eugene Smith/The LIFE Picture Collection via Getty Images)

In 2018, an extremely rare World War II Spitfire fighter plane flown by a Royal Air Force pilot who later took part in the “Great Escape” was recovered from a remote Norwegian mountainside.

Follow James Rogers on Twitter @jamesjrogers

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1,200-year-old ‘gumdrop’ might have belonged to elite gamer at UK monastery

What looks like a tasty, blue gumdrop decorated with white frosting is actually a 1,200-year-old glass “king” piece that may have belonged to an elite gamer, according to Durham University, England, and DigVentures, a crowdsourced archaeological outfit, also in the U.K.

The royal-blue game piece was found in September 2019 during a community-based dig at a cemetery in Lindisfarne (also called Holy Island), a tiny island off the northeast coast of England. Lindisfarne was once home to monks who ran a medieval monastery that was infamously invaded by the Vikings in A.D. 793.

“This is a truly wonderful discovery, which gives us a very special insight into life in the monastery at the time,” David Petts, a senior lecturer in the archaeology of Northern Britain at Durham University who co-directed the excavation with DigVentures, said in a statement released Thursday (Feb. 6). “It’s similar to a number of other examples found at settlements and trading sites around the edge of the North Sea, and shows us not only that there were people on Lindisfarne who had leisure time, but that they were well connected.”

Related: 16 of the most interesting ancient board and dice games

Five white bobbles decorate the newfound artifact and indicate that it was a king piece, said Maiya Pina-Dacier, the head of community at DigVentures. It’s about 0.7 inches (2 centimeters) across, or “about the size of a chocolate sweet or Ferrero Rocher,” Pina-Dacier told Live Science in an email.

The king piece would have been “a high-status object” that likely belonged to a royal who was living at or visiting the Lindisfarne monastery before the Vikings invaded, she added. “Other gaming pieces are usually made of wood or bone. We’re hoping to get further analysis done to tell us more about how it was made and maybe even where the materials came from.”

The board game itself was a strategy-laden lark with Roman roots called “ludus latrunculorum”. As the Romans invaded new lands, ludus latrunculorum spread; the game evolved differently in each location but became known by the umbrella term “tafl.” Tafl games were played in Britain, Ireland, Iceland, Denmark and Sweden before chess arrived in the 11th and 12th centuries, Pina-Dacier said.

“Although each region had their own version of the rules, the basic principles were the same: Defend a central king against attackers,” she explained. “There was usually only one decorated piece — the king; the rest would be more like counters.”

This is the second tafl game piece discovered in the British Isles. The other one was found at a Pictish hillfort in Dundurn, Scotland.

DigVentures plans to return to Lindisfarne in September 2020 to continue the dig. If you’d like to join, visit digventures.com/projects to learn more.

Originally published on Live Science.

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Ancient Egyptian ‘board game of death’ identified by scientists

An ancient Egyptian ‘board game of death’ was used to communicate with with the dead about 3,500 years ago.

The game, called senet, was played at all levels of Egyptian society from when it first emerged 5,000 years ago until it fell out of favor about 2,500 years later. Now one expert believes he has discovered a senet board from when the game took on a more spiritual hue.

Experts who study ancient Egypt believe senet was played by two competitors, each with five pawns that were placed on a grid of 30 squares arranged in three rows of 10. Then, by roll of a dice players would move their pawns, with the goal being to have all five of your pawns reach the “finish” point at the lower right corner of the board.

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The game, known as senet, was played by Egyptians at all levels of society. Pictured above: Queen Nefertari plays senet in a piece of art inside her tomb. (Public Domain/The Yorck Project)

However, over time Egyptian texts reportedly began to describe the game as depicting the movement of the soul through the Egyptian realm of the dead.

A senet board located in the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum could show this evolution. The board features a hieroglyphic symbol on one square for water, which is believed by archaeologists to indicate a lake or river that Egyptians felt the soul encountered on its journey through the underworld.

“It may be one of the first times that this aspect of the journey through the afterlife is visually rendered on the board,” says Walter Crist, an archaeologist at Maastricht University who writes about the board in research published in The Journal of Egyptian Archaeology.

Jelmer Eerkens, an archaeologist at the University of California, Davis, believes the Rosicrucian board is a rare find since it seems to chronicle a late-stage change in progress.

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Westlake Legal Group egyptian-senet-2 Ancient Egyptian ‘board game of death’ identified by scientists fox-news/science/archaeology/ancient-egypt fox-news/science fox-news/columns/digging-history fox news fnc/science fnc fd600e0a-a056-5827-94d2-98ec171de81d Christopher Carbone article

An ancient Egyptian ‘board game of death’ was used to commune with the deceased around 3,500 years ago. Pictured: the senet board from the collections of Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum in San Jose, California.

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“This is unlike what we expect for other kinds of technologies,” Eerkens told Science Magazine.

The new discovery could capture the senet board’s evolution into being the original game of death.

Westlake Legal Group 70880242-egyptian-senet-the-yorck-project Ancient Egyptian ‘board game of death’ identified by scientists fox-news/science/archaeology/ancient-egypt fox-news/science fox-news/columns/digging-history fox news fnc/science fnc fd600e0a-a056-5827-94d2-98ec171de81d Christopher Carbone article   Westlake Legal Group 70880242-egyptian-senet-the-yorck-project Ancient Egyptian ‘board game of death’ identified by scientists fox-news/science/archaeology/ancient-egypt fox-news/science fox-news/columns/digging-history fox news fnc/science fnc fd600e0a-a056-5827-94d2-98ec171de81d Christopher Carbone article

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Shipwreck linked to mutiny and murder mystery ‘disappears’ on North Carolina beach

A shipwreck linked to a century-old mutiny and murder mystery is disappearing into the sands of a North Carolina beach.

Local resident Mimi Farrell posted images of the ghostly wreck, which had emerged from the sand at Surf City, on Facebook on Jan. 28.

Then this week Farrell sent Fox News an image of the wreck, which was almost engulfed by the sands. “Just wanted you to see how quickly it can disappear beneath the sand,” she explained.

SHIPWRECK LINKED TO MUTINY AND MURDER MYSTERY APPEARS ON NORTH CAROLINA BEACH

In January, Farrell told Fox News that the wreck is the William H. Sumner, which ran aground on Topsail Island in 1919. Most of the time, the wreck is covered by sand, she said.

Westlake Legal Group ShipwreckFarrell3 Shipwreck linked to mutiny and murder mystery 'disappears' on North Carolina beach James Rogers fox-news/science/archaeology/history fox-news/science/archaeology/culture fox-news/science fox-news/columns/digging-history fox news fnc/science fnc article 61739d43-31a1-59a5-a8a9-f2db3a631827

An image of the wreck, which was almost engulfed by the sands on Feb. 5, 2020. (Mimi Farrell)

The News & Observer reports that the William H. Sumner ran aground after an alleged mutiny.

The cargo schooner was traveling from Puerto Rico to its homeport of New York when it met its end, according to the Topsail Island Blog.

SHIPWRECK EMERGES ON NORTH CAROLINA BEACH, THEN DISAPPEARS

“The speculation is that the crew had asked the Captain to detour to pick up supplies and the Captain wishing to head northward to port would not,” the blog explains. “The crew then allegedly mutinied the captain and to their fear, ran aground at Topsail Inlet.”

Westlake Legal Group ShipwreckFarrell2 Shipwreck linked to mutiny and murder mystery 'disappears' on North Carolina beach James Rogers fox-news/science/archaeology/history fox-news/science/archaeology/culture fox-news/science fox-news/columns/digging-history fox news fnc/science fnc article 61739d43-31a1-59a5-a8a9-f2db3a631827

The wreck is the William H. Sumner, which ran aground on Topsail Island in 1919. (Mimi Farrell)

According to the blog, the body of the ship’s captain was found in a pool of blood, with gunshot wounds “apparently self inflicted over the despair of losing the vessel on his maiden voyage.” However, a jury appointed by the Pender County coroner was unwilling to accept that the skipper’s death was the result of suicide.

Citing articles on TreasureNet.com, the News & Observer reports that seven of the ship’s eight crew members were tried for murder, but the jury failed to reach a verdict.

MYSTERIOUS SHIPWRECK DISCOVERED IN RIVER MAY BE 700 YEARS OLD

Westlake Legal Group ShipwreckFarrell Shipwreck linked to mutiny and murder mystery 'disappears' on North Carolina beach James Rogers fox-news/science/archaeology/history fox-news/science/archaeology/culture fox-news/science fox-news/columns/digging-history fox news fnc/science fnc article 61739d43-31a1-59a5-a8a9-f2db3a631827

The wreck appeared on the beach at Surf City, North Carolina. (Mimi Farrell)

Other North Carolina shipwrecks have been garnering attention. In October 2019, a mysterious shipwreck emerged on a Hatteras Island beach in the wake of a storm before being swallowed up by the sand.

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Earlier in 2019, the creepy skeleton of an 86-year-old shipwreck was also revealed by the shifting sands of Hatteras Island. The Cape Hatteras National Seashore posted an image of the wreck on June 1 to Facebook. The wreck is the G.A. Kohler, a four-masted schooner that became stranded on Hatteras Island in August 1933.

Fox News’ Alex Vros contributed to this article. Follow James Rogers on Twitter @jamesjrogers

Westlake Legal Group 701b9db8-ShipwreckFarrell3Split Shipwreck linked to mutiny and murder mystery 'disappears' on North Carolina beach James Rogers fox-news/science/archaeology/history fox-news/science/archaeology/culture fox-news/science fox-news/columns/digging-history fox news fnc/science fnc article 61739d43-31a1-59a5-a8a9-f2db3a631827   Westlake Legal Group 701b9db8-ShipwreckFarrell3Split Shipwreck linked to mutiny and murder mystery 'disappears' on North Carolina beach James Rogers fox-news/science/archaeology/history fox-news/science/archaeology/culture fox-news/science fox-news/columns/digging-history fox news fnc/science fnc article 61739d43-31a1-59a5-a8a9-f2db3a631827

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Gruesome mystery: 42 skeletons ‘with their hands tied behind their backs’ discovered in shallow graves

More than 40 skeletons with their hands tied behind their backs have been discovered at a construction site in the U.K.

British news outlet SWNS reports that the macabre discovery was made while workers were preparing former farmland for a new development of 72 retirement apartments in Buckingham, southern England.

There is speculation that the remains date back to Anglo-Saxon Britain, which lasted from the 5th to the 11th century A.D. or the bloody English Civil Wars between 1642 to 1651. Local district and town councilor Robin Stuchbury says that the mysterious remains may also be criminals executed on gallows in the town of Buckingham, according to SWNS.

‘HUMAN SACRIFICE’ VICTIMS DISCOVERED AT GRUESOME ANCIENT SITE

Brio Retirement Living Holdings, which is part of property management group Places for People, is behind the development of the site, SWNS reports. Fox News has reached out to Places for People with a request for comment on this story.

Westlake Legal Group GravesBuckingham Gruesome mystery: 42 skeletons 'with their hands tied behind their backs' discovered in shallow graves James Rogers fox-news/science/archaeology/history fox-news/science/archaeology/culture fox-news/science/archaeology fox-news/science fox-news/columns/digging-history fox news fnc/science fnc article a2f7e5c2-3640-510e-ac67-3770d22b7775

Part of the site in Buckingham, Southern England, where 42 skeletons were discovered with their hands tied behind their backs. (SWNS)

The MK Citizen reports that Buckinghamshire County Council’s Archaeological Service has not yet seen an archaeologists’ report on the mass gravesite.

The remains have reportedly been removed, leaving the graves as empty holes in the ground.

Westlake Legal Group GravesBuckingham3 Gruesome mystery: 42 skeletons 'with their hands tied behind their backs' discovered in shallow graves James Rogers fox-news/science/archaeology/history fox-news/science/archaeology/culture fox-news/science/archaeology fox-news/science fox-news/columns/digging-history fox news fnc/science fnc article a2f7e5c2-3640-510e-ac67-3770d22b7775

Empty graves at the site where the skeletons were discovered.

KING’S STAINED EXECUTION VEST TELLS GRISLY TALE, SET TO GO ON DISPLAY

Stuchbury says that, as far as he is aware, the skeletons were found in December, but he wants more details on the discovery.

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The grisly discovery was made on former farmland. (SWNS)

Fox News has reached out to Buckinghamshire County Archaeological Service with a request for comment on this story.

Last year, workers preparing to lay new water pipes discovered a gruesome ancient burial site in Southern England.

LOST ANCIENT MONASTERY MAY HAVE BEEN DISCOVERED

Some 26 human skeletons from the Iron Age and Roman periods were found at the site in Childrey Warren, Oxfordshire, some of which are believed to be ritual burials.

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One female skeleton at the site was found buried with her feet cut off and placed side by side with her arms bound behind her head.

Follow James Rogers on Twitter @jamesjrogers

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‘Bonecrushing’ crocodile that hunted dinosaurs 230M years ago discovered in Brazil

The fossils of a “bonecrushing” ancestor of the modern-day crocodile that hunted dinosaurs 230 million years ago have been discovered in Brazil, stunning researchers.

Known as Dynamosuchus collisensis, the fossil was discovered in the dinosaur fossil hotbed of Agudo, in southern Brazil. It has been nicknamed the “T. Rex of its time,” according to researchers. The study has been published in the scientific journal Acta Palaeontologica Polonica.

“The extremely rare reptile would have been a real bonecrusher from the ‘dawn of the dinosaur era,'” the study’s lead author, Rodrigo Müller, told British news outlet SWNS.

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Dynamosuchus collisensis. A “bonecrushing” reptile that hunted dinosaurs 230 million years ago has been unearthed in the Brazilian rainforest. The terrifying creature, an ancestor of the crocodile, lived on land and was the ‘T Rex of its time,’ according to researchers. (Credit: SWNS)

WORLD’S OLDEST CARNIVOROUS DINOSAUR FOUND

Like modern-day crocodiles, D. collisensis walked on four legs, but it used its two hind legs to run, similar to the Tyrannosaurus rex. The creature was approximately seven feet long and had a long snout, massive jaws with blade-like teeth and claws that were used to rip apart its prey.

D. collisensis also had two rows of bony plates that ran down its back and a skull similar to that of T. rex. A study published in September 2019 stated the terrifying dinosaur had a stiff skull that allowed it to not shatter its own bones with its bite force, while simultaneously devouring its kill.

It’s also believed that D. collisensis was a scavenger, a theory many paleontologists also have about the T. rex, looking for carcasses or smaller, easier-to-catch prey.

“Their large and blade-like teeth were adapted to eat meat. But the bite speed was low, suggesting it was also a scavenger,” Müller explained.

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The skull was similar to T Rex’s – and a double row of bony plates ran down its back. It belonged to a group called the ornithosuchids. It is the fourth different species to be discovered. (Credit: SWNS) 

“Therefore, this animal probably caught slow animals and searched for dead animals — like today’s vultures and hyenas,” Müller continued.

DINOSAUR EXTINCTION WAS ‘ALL ABOUT THE ASTEROID,’ CASTING DOUBT ABOUT VOLCANO’S IMPACT, NEW STUDY SAYS

This is the fourth D. collisensis, which is a member of reptiles known as ornithosuchids, to be discovered. The first was discovered in Scotland in the 19th century and the other two were unearthed in Argentina, 50 years ago, Müller added.

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First bone exposed. (Credit: SWNS)

That an ornithosuchid was discovered from the Late Triassic period in Brazil “suggests that ornithosuchids were more widespread than previously thought in the southern hemisphere,” the researchers wrote in the study’s abstract.

In November, researchers discovered the world’s oldest carnivorous dinosaur, which also lived 230 million years ago, in southern Brazil.

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Neanderthal discovery sheds new light on human history

Scientists at Princeton University have made a stunning Neanderthal ancestry discovery that sheds new light on human history.

Neanderthal DNA has typically been associated with modern humans outside of Africa. However, by developing a new method for finding Neanderthal DNA in the human genome, the Princeton researchers have, for the first time, searched for Neanderthal ancestry in African populations, as well as those outside the African continent.

A paper on the research has been published in the journal Cell.

NEANDERTHAL BEACHCOMBERS WENT DIVING FOR SEASHELLS, SCIENTISTS DISCOVER

“When the first Neanderthal genome was sequenced, using DNA collected from ancient bones, it was accompanied by the discovery that modern humans in Asia, Europe and America inherited approximately 2 percent of their DNA from Neanderthals — proving humans and Neanderthals had interbred after humans left Africa,” the scientists explained, in a statement. “A comparable catalogue of Neanderthal ancestry in African populations, however, has remained an acknowledged blind spot for the field due to technical constraints and the assumption that Neanderthals and ancestral African populations were geographically isolated from each other.”

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File photo – Hyperrealistic face of a neanderthal male is displayed in a cave in the new Neanderthal Museum in the northern Croatian town of Krapina Feb. 25, 2010. (REUTERS/Nikola Solic)

The new computational method for detecting Neanderthal ancestry, dubbed IBDmix, has already delivered results.

“This is the first time we can detect the actual signal of Neanderthal ancestry in Africans,” said co-first author Lu Chen, a postdoctoral research associate in Princeton’s Lewis-Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics (LSI), who is co-first author of the study. “And it surprisingly showed a higher level than we previously thought.”

GRISLY DISCOVERY: BONES REVEAL NEANDERTHAL CHILD WAS EATEN BY LARGE BIRD

Researchers found that Neanderthal ancestry in Africans was not due to an “independent interbreeding event” between Neanderthals and African populations. Instead, they came to the conclusion that migrations of ancient Europeans back into Africa introduced Neanderthal ancestry into populations in the African continent.

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Illustration – Princeton researchers made a fascinating discovery by studying Neanderthal DNA in the human genome. (Matilda Luk, Princeton University Office of Communications)

By comparing data from simulations of human history to data from real people, experts also found that some of the Neanderthal ancestry detected in Africans was the result of human DNA introduced into the Neanderthal genome. “This human-to-Neanderthal gene flow involved an early dispersing group of humans out of Africa, occurring at least 100,000 years ago — before the Out-of-Africa migration responsible for modern human colonization of Europe and Asia and before the interbreeding event that introduced Neanderthal DNA into modern humans,” the scientists said, in the statement.

The study, which was funded by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, was led by Joshua Akey, a professor at the Lewis-Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics. The researchers acknowledge that they were able to analyze a limited number of African populations and hope that their findings will inspire further study.

CLIMATE CHANGE DROVE SOME NEANDERTHALS TO CANNIBALISM

Experts have gained fresh insight into Neanderthals in recent years. In 2018, for example, archaeologists in Poland identified the prehistoric bones of a Neanderthal child eaten by a large bird.

Westlake Legal Group getimage_mediaid-1131761 Neanderthal discovery sheds new light on human history James Rogers fox-news/science/archaeology/history fox-news/science/archaeology/culture fox-news/science fox-news/columns/digging-history fox news fnc/science fnc article 72fd3382-a0bf-500f-847d-ff186ff0af2e

File photo – This March 20, 2009 photo shows reconstructions of a Neanderthal man named “N,” left, and woman called “Wilma,” right, at the Neanderthal Museum in Mettmann, Germany. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

In another study released in 2018, scientists suggested that climate change played a larger part in Neanderthals’ extinction than previously thought.

SOME OF OLDEST NEANDERTHAL BONES HAVE BEEN DNA TESTED SHOWING MORE THAN 70 DIFFERENCES

Last year, researchers in France reported that climate change drove some Neanderthals to cannibalism.

In another study, experts studied seashells fashioned into tools that were discovered in Italy in 1949 to reveal how some Neanderthals had a much closer connection to the sea than was previously thought, according to a statement released by the University of Colorado Boulder.

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The closest human species to homo sapiens, Neanderthals lived in Eurasia for around 350,000 years. Scientists in Poland report that Neanderthals in Europe mostly became extinct 35,000 years ago. However, there are a number of theories on the timing of Neanderthals’ extinction, with experts saying that it could have occurred 40,000, 27,000 or 24,000 years ago.

Fox News’ Chris Ciaccia contributed to this article.

Follow James Rogers on Twitter @jamesjrogers

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Secret Nazi World War II bunkers discovered near D-Day beaches

Researchers have uncovered secret Nazi bunkers in Normandy that were used against U.S. forces at the D-Day landings during World War II.

The discovery will be featured in the season premiere of “Expedition Unknown,” which airs on Discovery Channel on Feb. 5 at 8 p.m. EST.

“We discovered huge Nazi bunkers that haven’t seen the light of day in 75 years,” Josh Gates, host and executive producer of “Expedition Unknown,” told Fox News. “We were able to dig down and reveal the doors and go inside them – they are frozen in time, there are artifacts inside there.”

10 INCREDIBLE TECHNOLOGIES DEVELOPED FOR D-DAY

“It’s two large bunkers, each one of them contains three or four large rooms,” he said. “These are fairly large structures with hallways and multiple rooms, staircases.”

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Josh Gates investigates the newly unearthed WWII bunker at Maisy Battery, in Normandy, France. (Discovery Channel)

The bunkers are part of a complex known as the Maisy Battery that is about 2 miles inland from Omaha beach. When it was operational, the battery had a total of 14 huge guns, including 150 mm Howitzers.

Experts used LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) technology, which uses a laser to measure distances to the Earth’s surface, to study the site.

HOW D-DAY TECHNOLOGY MADE OPERATION OVERLORD A SUCCESS

LiDAR can prove extremely valuable to study structures that are hidden out of sight or in areas with thick vegetation. The technology is also used extensively in other applications, including autonomous cars where it allows vehicles to have a continuous 360 degrees view.

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The end of a gas mask filter that was found in the newly excavated WWII bunker at Maisy Battery, France. (Discovery Channel)

Researchers found evidence on the bunker’s ceiling that indicates it was burned, either during the firefight to capture the site or afterward. “It’s a strange feeling entering a place like that,” Gates added. “It’s exciting – on the other hand, it’s a somber, dark experience – this was a place that housed Nazi soldiers.”

The Maisy Battery is now open to the public, although, as Gates found, the complex is still revealing its secrets. The Battery was one of the largest German defensive positions in the landing area used by U.S. Forces on D-Day, according to its website, and was used to target the Omaha and Utah beachheads. The base was captured by U.S. Army Rangers.

HITLER’S SECRET NAZI WAR MACHINE REVEALED IN HIDDEN BASES

“The Maisy Battery played a crucial part in the events of D-Day,” explains its website. “The German Army had built Maisy in total secrecy, whilst letting the world know all about the nearby battery at Pointe du Hoc, a position that was under construction on D-Day.”

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The entrance to an unearthed WWII bunker at Maisy Battery, France. (Discovery Channel)

“It’s an overwhelming place to visit – this was part of one of the darkest chapters in modern history,” said Gates. “There’s all sorts of things inside the bunker, we discovered the remains of gas masks, ammunition, Nazi helmets.”

“What is unique is that a lot of the military installations around Normandy have been cleaned up,” he continued. “Maisy is one of the few places where you can explore trenches and beaches and get a sense of what it was like on D-Day.”

RUSSIAN SCIENTISTS UNEARTH REMAINS OF SECRET NAZI ARCTIC BASE

Excavations at the Maisy Battery will continue, according to the explorer, who notes that the site was once part of the infamous “Atlantic Wall” – a chain of defensive installations built by the German military on the coast of Northern France.

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Members of a US, Ranger unit are packed shoulder to shoulder an a small landing craft at a British port, before embarking for the landing on the Normandy beaches in France (D-Day -June 6, 1944). (Photo by Photo12/UIG/Getty Images)

“A lot of Hitler’s Atlantic Wall was not on the sea,” Gates explained. “Big compounds like this were essentially forgotten to time.”

Researchers made another startling discovery during their filming in late 2019. The team was investigating the nearby wreck of the USS Partridge, a minesweeper that was sunk by a torpedo during the Normandy landings when they spotted German parachute mine.

HUNDREDS OF CHILLING ITEMS DISCOVERED AT NAZI MASSACRE SITES

Gates explained that the French navy was alerted, but noted that the area where the mine is located has been experiencing bad weather. “The idea is, in the coming months, to have a team from the French navy come out there and detonate the mine,” he told Fox News.

In other projects, experts have been looking to unlock the sinister secrets of hidden Nazi bases dotted across Europe.

In 2016, scientists at the Russian Arctic National Park discovered the remains of a secret Nazi base on the remote island of Alexandra Land, in the Franz Josef Land archipelago.

HOLOCAUST ESCAPE TUNNEL FOUND: PRISONERS DUG WITH SPOONS TO ESCAPE NAZIS

Researchers found German mines, hand grenade fragments, cartridge boxes, cartridges for Mauser 98 rifles and boxes for MG-34 machine gun feed belts. Parts of uniforms, overcoats, underwear, socks and pieces of footwear were also uncovered, as were sacks bearing the label of the German army.

Last year, local government officials announced the discovery of hundreds of chilling items at Nazi massacre sites in northwestern Germany.

Other excavations have also offered a glimpse into the horrific events of World War II. In 2017, experts uncovered two ritual baths in the remains of the Great Synagogue of Vilnius, in Lithuania, more than 70 years after its destruction during the Holocaust.

HITLER’S SECRET HISTORY REVEALED: STUDY SUGGESTS NAZI LEADER’S GRANDFATHER WAS JEWISH

In a separate project in Lithuania, a tunnel used by Jewish prisoners to escape the Nazis was discovered.

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A recent study also suggested that Hitler’s paternal grandfather was Jewish, following years of rumors surrounding the Nazi leader’s family.

Fox News’ Chris Ciaccia contributed to this article. Follow James Rogers on Twitter @jamesjrogers

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Pliny the Elder died in the Mount Vesuvius eruption of A.D. 79. Is this his skull?

A skull discovered almost a century ago on a shore near Pompeii might, just might, be that of Roman naturalist and military leader Pliny the Elder, new research finds.

The jawbone associated with that skull, however, belongs to someone else entirely.

These findings may finally shed light on the resting place of Pliny, who perished while trying to rescue people from the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in A.D. 79.

Related: Preserved Pompeii: Photos of a city covered in ash

The Pliny mystery

Just before his death, Pliny — also known as Gaius Plinius Secundus, a military leader and author of the influential tome “Natural History” — was fighting pirates in the Bay of Naples, according to Encyclopedia Britannica. When he saw a strange cloud (later found to be the result of the volcano’s massive eruption), he heroically directed Rome’s imperial fleet southward to Pompeii, where they planned to rescue survivors.

The mission was Pliny’s last. Upon arriving in Pompeii, Pliny was overtaken by volcanic fumes and died on the shores of Stabiae, an ancient Roman town near the volcano. His body, never properly buried, was lost to the ages.

Fast-forward to the early 1900s, when interest in Pompeii’s doomsday spiked. At that time, an engineer named Gennaro Matrone found more than 70 ancient skeletons in Stabiae. One of them — a skeleton wearing golden necklaces and bracelets, as well as holding a sword decorated with ivory and seashells — had the potential to be Pliny, Matrone said, according to a 2017 piece by Haaretz reporter Ariel David.

Matrone’s idea, however, wasn’t taken seriously by academics. Frustrated, he sold the jewelry and reburied the individual’s bones, keeping only the skull, a jawbone and sword, Haaretz reported. These remains ended up in Italy at the Museo Storico Nazionale dell’Arte Sanitaria (National Historic Museum of Healthcare Art), where they sat until researchers recently decided to take a second look.

Is it Pliny?

Chemical and age-related clues found in the remains suggest that the skull, but not the jaw, could have belonged to Pliny the Elder.

First, lumps of ash on the skull indicated that it was excavated from a layer of Vesuvius ash — key evidence that the individual died in the eruption, Luciano Fattore, a freelance anthropologist who worked on this project, and who has studied Vesuvius’ victims in Herculaneum for more than 20 years, told Live Science in an email.

Research into isotopes in the teeth revealed that the individual spent the first part of his childhood in northern Italy, including Como, where Pliny grew up. Isotopes — variations of chemical elements that have a different number of neutrons than normal in their nuclei — can reveal where people spent their early years, because elements from drinking water end up in tooth enamel, said Andrea Cionci, an art historian and journalist who reported on the findings for Italy’s La Stampa newspaper.

Related: Photos: The bones of Mount Vesuvius

Another test, however, had less promising results. After looking at the teeth’s dental wear, researchers found that the person died between the age of 30 and 40 — too young to be Pliny the Elder, who died at age 56, Cionci said.

The cranial sutures (where the bones of the skull come together), in contrast, showed that the person was older. One part of the skull suggested the person was between 33 and 58, while another showed he was between 48 and 65. “Both ranges cover the well-known age at death of Pliny,” Fattore said.

The different ages of the jawbone and skull raised a red flag. Finally, Fattore announced that the skull and jaw might belong to different people.

“The examination of the temporomandibular joint (the articulations between the mandible and the skull) evidenced that the skull and mandible refer to two distinct individuals,” Fattore said. They then confirmed that interpretation by looking at the DNA found in the mitochondria (energy-making cells) of the skull and teeth, Fattore added.

Fattore added that the haplotype (a set of DNA variations that are inherited together) of the skull point toward Roman ancestry, while the mandible “is attributable, among others, to North Africa.”

Perhaps, the skull was incomplete when Matrone found it, so he “reassembled the skull by ‘borrowing’ another jaw,” Cionci said.

Whose jaw is it?

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Given the jawbone’s DNA, it may have belonged to a person with black heritage who also died in the eruption. That idea is plausible, “especially since a third of the Roman sailors were African,” Cionci said. However, given that the isotopic analysis revealed this person grew up in Italy, “a hypothesis that would reconcile the data is that the jaw may belong to a second generation Numidae [a person from Numidia, an ancient kingdom in North Africa],” Cionci said, adding that this “is a mere guess.”

As for the skull’s owner, it’s possible it belonged to Pliny; it was from an Italian-Roman person of about 56 years of age, and it was buried wearing riches, Cionci noted.

Fattore, on the other hand, said it probably isn’t Pliny. “The only chance to decrease the uncertainty would be to reconstruct the Pliny lineage until today and compare his genome with the one of a clear descendant,” he said.

The research, which has yet to be published in a peer-reviewed journal, was presented on Jan. 23 at the Academy of Healthcare Art in Rome.

Originally published on Live Science.

Westlake Legal Group pliny-the-elder Pliny the Elder died in the Mount Vesuvius eruption of A.D. 79. Is this his skull? LiveScience Laura Geggel fox-news/science/archaeology/ancient-rome fox-news/science fox-news/columns/digging-history fnc/science fnc e180b17e-5659-53e5-b74a-4c996cb9eb40 article   Westlake Legal Group pliny-the-elder Pliny the Elder died in the Mount Vesuvius eruption of A.D. 79. Is this his skull? LiveScience Laura Geggel fox-news/science/archaeology/ancient-rome fox-news/science fox-news/columns/digging-history fnc/science fnc e180b17e-5659-53e5-b74a-4c996cb9eb40 article

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