This Week In History News, Jul. 2 – 8

Published July 7, 2023

Maya "portal to the underworld" found in Mexico, earliest evidence of human cannibalism discovered in Kenya, ancient pizza fresco unearthed in Pompeii.

Archaeologists In Mexico Uncovered A 500-Year-Old Maya Canoe That Marked An Entrance To The Underworld

Maya Canoe

INAHThis canoe was found at the bottom of a sinkhole filled with fresh water known as a cenote, which held great spiritual significance for the Maya as their sole source of drinking water in the Yucatán.

Researchers diving in an underwater cave in Mexico discovered a Maya canoe surrounded by dozens of bones that likely marked a portal to the underworld. Measuring in at seven feet long and just 18 inches wide, this canoe is the first intact Maya vessel of its kind ever found in the region. The canoe was found alongside the bones of an armadillo, an animal that held religious significance for the Maya as the earthly avatar of God L, the ruler of the underworld.

Learn the full story behind this astonishing find here.

Scientists Say Cuts On Prehistoric Shinbone Could Be Earliest Evidence Of Human Cannibalism

Cuts On Shinbone

Jennifer ClarkScientists believe that nine of the 11 marks were made by stone tools; the other two were made by a lion-like animal.

Fifty years after the shinbone of a distant human relative was discovered in Kenya, a paleoanthropologist noticed something unsettling about tiny grooves on the bone’s surface. Briana Pobiner was looking for tooth marks left by animals when she noticed straight lines left by a tool, which suggested something else had gotten to the bone — another human.

Indeed, the 1.45 million-year-old bone appeared to have been cut with stone tools, meaning that it could be the oldest evidence of human cannibalism ever found.

Dig deeper in this report.

Archaeologists In Pompeii Discover “Pizza” Fresco Among Ancient Ruins

Pompeii Pizza Fresco

Pompeii Archeological ParkThe fresco depicting an ancient Roman version of pizza and other delectables.

Archaeologists surveying the ruins of an ancient home in Pompeii may have stumbled across a fresco depicting an early Roman “pizza.”

On the right side of the fresco, fruit such as pomegranates and dates cover the platter. On the left, researchers noticed a piece of bread that looked suspiciously similar to today’s pizza.

Read on here.

All That's Interesting
Established in 2010, All That's Interesting brings together a dedicated staff of digital publishing veterans and subject-level experts in history, true crime, and science. From the lesser-known byways of human history to the uncharted corners of the world, we seek out stories that bring our past, present, and future to life. Privately-owned since its founding, All That's Interesting maintains a commitment to unbiased reporting while taking great care in fact-checking and research to ensure that we meet the highest standards of accuracy.
Maggie Donahue
Maggie Donahue is an assistant editor at All That's Interesting. She has a Master's degree in journalism from Columbia University and a Bachelor's degree in creative writing and film studies from Johns Hopkins University. Before landing at ATI, she covered arts and culture at The A.V. Club and Colorado Public Radio and also wrote for Longreads. She is interested in stories about scientific discoveries, pop culture, the weird corners of history, unexplained phenomena, nature, and the outdoors.