Chilean and Smithsonian paleontologists study several fossil whale skeletons at Cerro Ballena, next to the Pan-American Highway in the Atacama Region of Chile in 2011

Mystery behind astonishing five-million-year-old whale graveyard revealed

Huge find of whales in Chile's Atacama Desert thought to have been caused by mass strandings after animals ingested toxic algae

Silver statuettes and metal fittings of a general's chair from late antiquity, which are part of a 'Barbarian Treasure' illegally excavated in the Palatinate

Amateur discovers Roman-era German treasure linked to Wagnerian Nibelung legend

A hobby archaeologist with a metal detector has discovered a trove of gold and silver in a German forest dating back to late Roman times, fuelling speculation that it could be the legendary Nibelung treasure which inspired composer Richard Wagner’s operatic “Ring Cycle”.

The mummy's preserved wooden sarcophagus after being cleaned up

‘New’ Luxor mummy is 3,600 years old

The exact identity of the well-preserved find will now be studied

An employee of the Natural History Museum in London looks at casts of some of the ancestors of the human race that used to live in the British Isles over half a million years ago

Natural History Museum stages prehistoric family reunion

For the first time ever, all the major British remains from different Stone Age human species are being brought together in a ground-breaking temporary exhibition – Britain: One Million Years of the Human Story.

A sixth-century Byzantine mosaic near Raqqa on the Euphrates which was blown up by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, opposed to the depiction of the human form, in January

The destruction of the idols: Syria’s patrimony at risk from extremists

The country’s wealth of archaeological treasures is under threat both from iconoclastic Islamic fundamentalists and looters operating amid the lawlessness of war

Photograph of the footprint hollows in situ on the beach as Happisburgh, Norfolk

Million-year-old Norfolk footprints: Just who were 'Homo antecessor' and how did they arrive in Britain?

The discovery on an eroded English beach of a set of human footprints dating to about 900,000 years ago is one of those encounters that send a shiver down the spine – rather like Robinson Crusoe’s first sight of footprints after years spent alone on his desert island.

Photograph of the footprint hollows in situ on the beach as Happisburgh, Norfolk

Meet the million-year-olds: Human footprints found in Britain are the oldest ever seen outside of Africa

Discovery may re-write history of how humankind spread into northern Europe

A statue depicting a Neanderthal. Scientists have discovered that Neanderthal genes passed on to modern humans could affect our likelihood of developing auto-immune diseases.

Neanderthal genes linked to diseases in modern day humans including type two diabetes

The likelihood of people developing diseases including type two diabetes and Crohn's could be affected by genes inherited from Neanderthals

A picture shows the Qesem Cave excavation site where the campfire was discovered.

300,000-year-old firepit found in Israel could be the first example of a social campfire

The fire-pit found near Tel-Aviv could hold the secret to the beginnings of social culture among early humans

King Senebkay's tomb and its surrounding area at the Abydos site

Valley of the other kings: Lost dynasty found in Egypt

Archaeologists have unearthed an ancient cemetery thought to contain the tombs of 16 pharaohs

City of London's grisly decapitated skull mystery solved using state-of-the-art forensic techniques

Archaeologists are thrilled at the blood-thirsty findings

King Tutankhamun was buried with an upright penis in order to portray him as Osiris, the ancient Egyptian god of the afterlife, new research suggests

King Tutankhamun was mummified with an erect penis to 'quash religious revolution'

The ancient Egyptian pharaoh was buried with an erect penis, no heart and covered in black oils to make him appear as the god Osiris, new study claims

King Arthur Pendragon changed his name by deed poll after he was told that he embodied the legendary monarch's spirit

Druids take up arms over display of bones at Stonehenge

King Arthur Pendragon says 'the spirit of Arthur has returned to have the ancients reinterred at Stonehenge'

Kiwi bird could be Australian: New Zealand's bird could be from Australia, scientists say

New fossil research suggests the kiwi and emu share a common ancestor which travelled over to the smaller island nation millions of years ago

5,000 years of scrounging: Scientists discover world’s earliest evidence of cats living off humans

New study reveals proof for first time of how cats became ‘domesticated’

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Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
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The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
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Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas