Arts and Entertainment Face facts: ‘Easter Island: Mysteries of a Lost World’ with Dr Jago Cooper

When most of us think of Easter Island, or Rapa Nui, we think of moai, the 887 magnificent statues that guard its shores. But the mystery of BBC4's Easter Island: Mysteries of a Lost World wasn't how these monoliths were made, or how they were moved into place (aliens, obviously) or even whether the ancient Rapa Nui people were responsible for their own decline, it's why the myths have persisted for so long.

Tunnel at ancient Mexican site may hold tombs

A long-sealed tunnel has been found under the ruins of Teotihuacan and chambers that seem to branch off it may hold the tombs of some of the ancient city's early rulers, archaeologists said.

Amazon tribes block hydroelectric plant

About 300 Amazon Indians have prevented workers from entering or leaving the construction site of a hydroelectric plant that protesters say is on an ancient burial ground, according to reports from Brazil's official news agency.

Found after 4,000 years: the lost wooden 'sister' of Stonehenge

Stonehenge had a previously unknown wooden "twin" just 900m to its north-west, according to remarkable new archaeological investigations.

Guatemalan tomb reveals evidence of child sacrifice

A team of American archaeologists excavating in the Guatamalan jungle beneath an ancient Maya pyramid have discovered a royal tomb, filled with colourful 1,600-year-old Mayan artefacts and the bones of as many as six children, possible victims of human sacrifice.

Discovery of babies' skeletons exposes the dark side of life in Roman Britain

One of Roman Britain's darkest secrets is close to being laid bare by modern science. Experts from English Heritage are examining dozens of infant skeletons buried 17 centuries ago in a quiet valley just north of the River Thames in Buckinghamshire.

Rare 4,600-year-old Ontario burial lifts lid on prehistoric Canada

A 4,600-year-old burial has been discovered in a remote corner of northern Canada – and could hold the key to how ancient Canadians lived. The remarkable find has been made at the mouth of the Bug River, near Big Trout Lake, Ontario. Today the region is home to the Kitchenuhmaykoosik Inninuwug First Nation, an indigenous tribe numbering around 1,200.

New pyramid discovered in Peru linked to ancient copper industry

A team of archaeologists who uncovered a 1,400 year old pyramid in Peru say that the finding is particularly unusual. The flat-topped pyramid, which was built by the Moche culture, was used for the living rather than just for the dead, and contains a wealth of artefacts, murals and human remains.

£17m fund will protect landscape

More than £17m has been earmarked to help preserve landscapes across Britain, the Heritage Lottery Fund announced yesterday.

Ancient tomb unearthed in southern Mexico

Archaeologists in southern Mexico announced they have discovered a 2,700-year-old tomb of a dignitary inside a pyramid that may be the oldest such burial documented in Mesoamerica.

114 terracotta warriors discovered in the mausoleum of Qin Shi Huang

114 Terracotta Warriors, and several artefacts, have been discovered in the mausoleum of China’s first emperor, Qin Shi Huang. The warriors were discovered in the largest of the pits, No 1 pit, and retained some of the richly-coloured paint that all of the warriors would have displayed originally.

Crete fortifications debunk myth of peaceful Minoan society

A team of archaeologists have discovered a fortification system at the Minoan town of Gournia, a discovery which rebukes the popular myth that the Minoans were a peaceful society with no need for defensive structures.

Bonhams withdraw Roman sculptures with 'Medici link ' from auction

A collection of Roman sculptures that was due to be sold at Bonhams auction house in London yesterday has been withdrawn amid concerns that the statues may have originally been illegally excavated.

The best historical pranks and hoaxes

Emperor Constantine had a splendid sense of humour for a Roman, but he couldn't stand criticism. When in the fifth century one of his court jesters boasted that fools and jesters of the court could rule the empire better than the Emperor himself, Constantine decreed that the fools would get their chance at proving this claim.

Leading article: Norse play

The story of the Vikings on these islands is a familiar one: rape; pillage; desecration; extortion; and general mistreatment of the poor Saxons. But new archaeological evidence, in the form of a mass Viking grave uncovered near Weymouth, suggests that the bad behaviour was not entirely one way.

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