5 Most Incredible Discoveries of the Week

Including revelations about Old Testament kings and ancient daggers
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 20, 2014 5:32 AM CST
5 Most Incredible Discoveries of the Week
It's getting hot in here.   (Shutterstock)

A cemetery with more mummies than you can imagine and an Easter Island mystery that may finally be solved make the list:

  • Proof That Kings David and Solomon Were Real?: It's not like finding a wall with "King David Was Here" scrawled on it, but six clay seals excavated in Israel support the idea that the monarch and son Solomon were actual historic figures, not just figures bred of biblical imagination. The site was previously thought to be an ancient farm, but the seals suggest that a government was up and running there in the Iron Age.
  • Skeleton and Dagger Tell a 4K-Year-Old Tale: A 4,200-year-old skeleton in the UK was found clutching a rare Bronze Age dagger. "Racton Man" was probably in his 40s when he died (past life expectancy for that time) and likely a warrior who died in battle. Forensics also showed he suffered from a laundry list of maladies.

  • Some Like It Hot, Especially Alpha Males: Wonder if a guy has high testosterone? Just put a spice bottle next to him and see how much he pours on his dinner. University of Grenoble scientists proved their point with mashed potatoes.
  • Egyptian Cemetery Holds 1M Mummies: "Large" and "dense" pretty much sums up the Fag el-Gamous graveyard in Egypt, where scientists have been digging up bones for the past three decades. Researchers estimate there were more than a million burials that took place between the first and seventh centuries, with one body more than 7 feet tall.
  • Teeth Solve an Easter Island Mystery: Scientists have been baffled why it appeared that Easter Island residents from long ago ate palm trees—mainly because other research shows the plant died out around the time of colonization in the 13th century. So researchers studied the plaque on teeth dug up on the island and made an interesting discovery. Turns out it wasn't palm trees the locals were eating.
Click to read about more discoveries. (Read more discoveries stories.)

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