Tag Archives: Archaeology

How did reading and writing evolve? Neuroscience gives a clue

Our brains evolved in a world without reading. Semnic/Shutterstock Derek Hodgson, University of York The part of the brain that processes visual information, the visual cortex, evolved over the course of millions of years in a world where reading and writing didn’t exist. So it’s long been a mystery how these skills could appear some 5,000 years ago, with our …

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Homo who? A new mystery human species has been discovered in Israel

Homo Yossi Zaidner Michelle Langley, Griffith University An international group of archaeologists have discovered a missing piece in the story of human evolution. Excavations at the Israeli site of Nesher Ramla have recovered a skull that may represent a late-surviving example of a distinct Homo population, which lived in and around modern-day Israel from about 420,000 to 120,000 years ago. …

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Dirty secrets: sediment DNA reveals a 300,000-year timeline of ancient and modern humans living in Siberia

Collection of sediment DNA samples in the Main Chamber of Denisova Cave. Bert Roberts, Author provided Elena Zavala, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology; Matthias Meyer, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology; Richard ‘Bert’ Roberts, University of Wollongong, and Zenobia Jacobs, University of Wollongong In the foothills of the Altai Mountains in southern Siberia lies Denisova Cave. It is the …

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A giant space rock demolished an ancient Middle Eastern city and everyone in it – possibly inspiring the Biblical story of Sodom

 Artist’s evidence-based depiction of the blast, which had the power of 1,000 Hiroshimas. Allen West and Jennifer Rice, CC BY-ND Christopher R. Moore, University of South Carolina As the inhabitants of an ancient Middle Eastern city now called Tall el-Hammam went about their daily business one day about 3,600 years ago, they had no idea an unseen icy space …

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New archaeology finding shows how Muslim cuisine endured in secret despite policing by the Spanish Catholic regime

Andalusi communal dining bowls known as ‘ataifores’ in El Legado Andalusí, Museum of the Alhambra, Granada. Author provided Aleks Pluskowski, University of Reading; Guillermo García-Contreras Ruiz, Universidad de Granada, and Marcos García García, University of York Granada, in southern Spain’s Andalusia region, was the final remnant of Islamic Iberia known as al-Andalus – a territory that once stretched across most …

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When did humans start experimenting with alcohol and drugs?

Nicholas Longrich, Author provided Nicholas R. Longrich, University of Bath Humans constantly alter the world. We fire fields, turn forests into farms, and breed plants and animals. But humans don’t just reshape our external world – we engineer our internal worlds, and reshape our minds. One way we do this is by upgrading our mental “software”, so to speak, with …

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Sudan’s ‘forgotten’ pyramids risk being buried by shifting sand dunes

Martchan / shutterstock Ahmed Mutasim Abdalla Mahmoud, University of Nottingham The word “pyramid” is synonymous with Egypt, but it is actually neighbouring Sudan that is home to the world’s largest collection of these spectacular ancient structures. Beginning around 2500BC, Sudan’s ancient Nubian civilisation left behind more than 200 pyramids that rise out of the desert across three archaeological sites: El …

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New archaeology finding shows how Muslim cuisine endured in secret despite policing by the Spanish Catholic regime

Andalusi communal dining bowls known as ‘ataifores’ in El Legado Andalusí, Museum of the Alhambra, Granada. Author provided Aleks Pluskowski, University of Reading; Guillermo García-Contreras Ruiz, Universidad de Granada, and Marcos García García, University of York Granada, in southern Spain’s Andalusia region, was the final remnant of Islamic Iberia known as al-Andalus – a territory that once stretched across most …

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Did prehistoric women hunt? New research suggests so

Artist impression of a prehistoric woman hunting. Matthew Verdolivo (UC Davis IET Academic Technology Services) Annemieke Milks, UCL For a long time, it was assumed that hunting in prehistoric societies was primarily carried out by men. Now a new study adds to a body of evidence challenging this idea. The research reports the discovery of a female body, buried alongside …

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Ancient DNA is revealing the genetic landscape of people who first settled East Asia

Pulverized ancient bone can provide DNA to scientists for analysis. Xin Xu Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology, CC BY-ND

Pulverized ancient bone can provide DNA to scientists for analysis. Xin Xu Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology, CC BY-ND Melinda A. Yang, University of Richmond The very first human beings originally emerged in Africa before spreading across Eurasia about 60,000 years ago. After that, the story of humankind heads down many different paths, some more well-studied than others. Eastern …

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