Archaeology News

Archaeology News

When it comes to the threat of extinction, size matters

Animals in the Goldilocks zone -- neither too big, nor too small, but just the right size -- face a lower risk of extinction than do those on both ends of the scale, according to an extensive global analysis.
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Posted: September 18, 2017, 5:27 pm

Changes in Earth's crust caused oxygen to fill the atmosphere

New research has uncovered a direct link between changes in the earth's crust three billion years ago and the introduction of free oxygen to the atmosphere. Without these changes, oxygen could have been suppressed in earth's crust forever, so the findings help explain the emergence of life on our planet.
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Posted: September 18, 2017, 3:18 pm

Ancient amphibian had mouthful of teeth ready to grab you

The idea of being bitten by a nearly toothless modern frog or salamander sounds laughable, but their ancient ancestors had a full array of teeth, large fangs and thousands of tiny hook-like structures called denticles on the roofs of their mouths that would snare prey, according to paleontologists.
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Posted: September 15, 2017, 7:58 pm

Why we did not evolve to live forever: Unveiling the mystery of why we age

Researchers have made a breakthrough in understanding the origin of the ageing process. They have identified that genes belonging to a process called autophagy -- one of the cells most critical survival processes -- promote health and fitness in young worms but drive the process of ageing later in life.
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Posted: September 15, 2017, 6:41 pm

Celebrity fossil reveals all for science

With the help of an artist, a geology professor has figuratively speaking breathed life into one of science's most well-known fossil species; Agnostus pisiformis. The trilobite-like arthropod lived in huge numbers in Scandinavia a half-billion years ago. Today, this extinct species provides important clues for science in several ways.
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Posted: September 15, 2017, 2:35 pm

Humans no longer have ancient defense mechanism against viruses

Insects and plants have an important ancient defense mechanism that helps them to fight viruses. This is encoded in their DNA. Scientists have long assumed that vertebrates -- including humans -- also had this same mechanism. But researchers have found that vertebrates lost this particular asset in the course of their evolution.
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Posted: September 15, 2017, 1:53 pm

'Mysterious' ancient creature was definitely an animal, research confirms

It lived well over 550 million years ago, is known only through fossils and has variously been described as looking a bit like a jellyfish, a worm, a fungus and lichen. But was the 'mysterious' Dickinsonia an animal, or was it something else? A new study provides strong proof that Dickinsonia was an animal.
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Posted: September 14, 2017, 7:22 pm

Forest fires are not limited to hot or temperate climates

Evidence of wildfires dating back 20,000 years was recently discovered in the Massif du Queyras, in the heart of the French Alps, 2,240 meters above sea level. This discovery echoes the recent wildfires in the Arctic tundra, where the presence of trees have become increasingly common.
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Posted: September 14, 2017, 12:40 pm

Evolution of 'true frogs' defies long-held expectations of science

New research shows, in contrast to expectations, 'the rapid global range expansion of true frogs was not associated with increased net-diversification.'
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Posted: September 13, 2017, 11:31 pm

Earth's oldest trees in climate-induced race up the tree line

Bristlecone pine and limber pine trees in the Great Basin region of the western United States are like two very gnarled, old men in a slow-motion race up the mountaintop, and climate change is the starting gun, according to a new study. The study shows that the tree line has been steadily moving upslope over the past 50 years in the Great Basin.
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Posted: September 13, 2017, 11:24 pm

Earthquake faults may have played key role in shaping the culture of ancient Greece

The Ancient Greeks may have built sacred sites deliberately on land affected by previous earthquake activity, according to a new study.
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Posted: September 12, 2017, 2:35 pm

Earthquake faults may have played key role in shaping the culture of ancient Greece

The Ancient Greeks may have built sacred sites deliberately on land affected by previous earthquake activity, according to a new study.
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Posted: September 12, 2017, 2:35 pm

Ancient tree reveals cause of spike in Arctic temperature

A kauri tree trapped in a New Zealand swamp for 30,000 years may have overturned the idea that a slowdown in ocean currents in the North Atlantic may be entirely responsible for Dansgaard-Oeschger events and the characteristic bi-polar see-saw, which sees the Antarctica cool while the Arctic warms during glacial periods. The research reveals a mechanism that generates a 20,000 km long atmospheric bridge, reaching from Antarctica to the Arctic.
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Posted: September 12, 2017, 1:30 pm

Why your ancestors would have aced the long jump

A 52-million-year-old ankle fossil suggests our prehuman ancestors were high-flying acrobats. For years, scientists thought the ancestors of today's humans, monkeys, lemurs and apes were relatively slow and deliberate animals, using their grasping hands and feet to creep along small twigs and branches. But a new study suggests the first primates were masters at leaping through the trees.
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Posted: September 11, 2017, 7:09 pm

When ancient fossil DNA isn't available, ancient glycans may help trace human evolution

Researchers have discovered a new kind of glycan (sugar chain) that survives even in a 4-million-year-old animal fossil from Kenya, under conditions where ancient DNA does not. While ancient hominin fossils are not yet available for glycan analysis, this proof-of-concept study sets the stage for unprecedented explorations of human origins and diet.
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Posted: September 11, 2017, 7:09 pm

Scientists track the brain-skull transition from dinosaurs to birds

The dramatic, dinosaur-to-bird transition that occurred in reptiles millions of years ago was accompanied by profound changes in the skull roof of those animals -- and holds important clues about the way the skull forms in response to changes in the brain -- according to a new study. It is the first time scientists have tracked the link between the brain's development and the roofing bones of the skull.
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Posted: September 11, 2017, 4:27 pm

Half-a-billion-year-old fossils shed light animal evolution on Earth

Scientists have discovered traces of life more than half-a-billion years old that could change the way we think about how all animals evolved on Earth.
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Posted: September 11, 2017, 4:26 pm

The evolutionary origin of the gut

How did the gut, the skin and musculature evolve? This question concerns scientists for more than a century. Through the investigation of the embryonic development of sea anemones, a very old animal lineage, researchers have now come to conclusions which challenge the 150-year-old hypothesis of the homology (common evolutionary origin) of the germ layers that form all later organs and tissues.
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Posted: September 11, 2017, 4:26 pm

An officer and a gentlewoman from the Viking army in Birka

War was not an activity exclusive to males in the Viking world. A new study shows that women could be found in the higher ranks at the battlefield.
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Posted: September 9, 2017, 12:55 am

An officer and a gentlewoman from the Viking army in Birka

War was not an activity exclusive to males in the Viking world. A new study shows that women could be found in the higher ranks at the battlefield.
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Posted: September 9, 2017, 12:55 am

Eighteenth century nautical charts reveal coral loss

Centuries-old nautical charts, mapped by long-deceased sailors to avoid shipwrecks, have been used by modern scientists to study loss of coral reefs. A new study compared early British charts to modern coral habitat maps to understand changes to reef environments.
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Posted: September 7, 2017, 6:27 pm

Why are fossilized hairs so rare?

When it comes to preserving body parts, fossilized hair is rare--five times rarer than feathers--despite being an important tool for understanding ancient species. This finding has researchers trying to determine if the lack of hair in the fossil record has to do with physical traits that might make it more difficult for hair to fossilize, or an issue with scientists' collection techniques that could lead to them missing important finds.
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Posted: September 7, 2017, 6:27 pm

The connection between an unusual pottery vessel and the development of the elites

Researchers have found a unique pottery vessel dating back some 7,200 years ago. The unique vessel was apparently used for ritual purposes, ensuring that certain people or groups could maintain their ability to store large quantities of crops.
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Posted: September 6, 2017, 6:45 pm

The connection between an unusual pottery vessel and the development of the elites

Researchers have found a unique pottery vessel dating back some 7,200 years ago. The unique vessel was apparently used for ritual purposes, ensuring that certain people or groups could maintain their ability to store large quantities of crops.
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Posted: September 6, 2017, 6:45 pm

Mobile women were key to cultural exchange in Stone Age and Bronze Age Europe

At the end of the Stone Age and in the early Bronze Age, families were established in a surprising manner in the Lechtal, south of Augsburg, Germany. The majority of women probably came from Bohemia or Central Germany, while men usually remained in the region of their birth. This so-called patrilocal pattern combined with individual female mobility persisted over a period of 800 years during the transition from the Neolithic to the Early Bronze Age.
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Posted: September 4, 2017, 7:10 pm

Mobile women were key to cultural exchange in Stone Age and Bronze Age Europe

At the end of the Stone Age and in the early Bronze Age, families were established in a surprising manner in the Lechtal, south of Augsburg, Germany. The majority of women probably came from Bohemia or Central Germany, while men usually remained in the region of their birth. This so-called patrilocal pattern combined with individual female mobility persisted over a period of 800 years during the transition from the Neolithic to the Early Bronze Age.
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Posted: September 4, 2017, 7:10 pm

Massive Antarctic volcanic eruptions linked to abrupt Southern hemisphere climate changes

New findings document a 192-year series of volcanic eruptions in Antarctica that coincided with accelerated deglaciation about 17,700 years ago.
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Posted: September 4, 2017, 7:10 pm

Indigenous storytelling is a new asset for biocultural conservation

Some of the areas hosting most of the world's biodiversity are those inhabited by indigenous peoples. In the same way that biodiversity is being eroded, so is the world's cultural diversity. As a result, there have been several calls to promote biocultural conservation approaches that sustain both biodiversity and indigenous cultures.
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Posted: September 4, 2017, 1:36 pm

Metallurgy likely has more than one birthplace

When and where did humans invent metal smelting? Scientists have found the answer to this long-debated question in the history of technology. Metallurgy does not have a single origin but probably arose at various locations at about the same time. The experts reached this conclusion after re-examining the 8,500-year-old copper slag and analysing the chemical composition of other copper artefacts from the Stone Age settlement of Çatalhöyük in the Near East.
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Posted: September 1, 2017, 3:36 pm

Paleontologist aids in new discovery 33 years after finding fossil

The fossilized plesiosaur Sankar Chatterjee found in 1984 is giving scientists a new understanding of convergent evolution between reptiles and mammals.
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Posted: August 31, 2017, 10:05 pm

Fossil footprints challenge established theories of human evolution

Newly discovered human-like footprints from Crete may put the established narrative of early human evolution to the test. The footprints are approximately 5.7 million years old and were made at a time when previous research puts our ancestors in Africa -- with ape-like feet.
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Posted: August 31, 2017, 5:42 pm

Human bones in south Mexico: Stalagmite reveals their age as 13,000 years old

A prehistoric human skeleton found on the Yucatán Peninsula is at least 13,000 years old and most likely dates from a glacial period at the end of the most recent ice age, the late Pleistocene. A German-Mexican team of researchers has now dated the fossil skeleton based on a stalagmite that grew on the hip bone.
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Posted: August 31, 2017, 5:12 pm

How Neanderthals made the very first glue

The world's oldest known glue was made by Neanderthals. But how did they make it 200,000 years ago? Archaeologists have discovered three possible ways.
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Posted: August 31, 2017, 1:34 pm

Forensic science techniques help discover new molecular fossils

Researchers believe they have found new molecular fossils of archaea using a method of analysis commonly used in forensic science.
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Posted: August 31, 2017, 1:14 pm

Where Is Biblical Bethsaida?


The ancient village of Bethsaida frequently mentioned in the Gospels is believed to be located on the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee, but where precisely the abandoned city lies remains a fiercely-debated question among scholars.

The post Where Is Biblical Bethsaida? appeared first on Biblical Archaeology Society.

Author: Biblical Archaeology Society Staff
Posted: August 30, 2017, 6:19 pm

Volcanic eruptions drove ancient global warming event

A natural global warming event that took place 56 million years ago was triggered almost entirely by volcanic eruptions that occurred as Greenland separated from Europe during the opening of the North Atlantic Ocean, according to new research.
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Posted: August 30, 2017, 5:22 pm

Shaking up the fish family tree: 'Living fossil' not as old as we thought

Polypterids are weird and puzzling African fish that have perplexed biologists since they were discovered during Napoleon's expedition to Egypt in the late 1700s.
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Posted: August 30, 2017, 5:22 pm

Infested fossil worms show ancient examples of symbiosis

One of the earliest examples of two invertebrate species living together in a symbiotic relationship has been found in 520-million-year-old fossils from China. The fossils show two species of marine worms with other, smaller worm-like animals attached to the outer surface of their body.
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Posted: August 30, 2017, 4:11 pm

New clue may reveal the fate of famous French explorer

An anthropologist may have stumbled across a clue to resolving one of the most enduring mysteries of Pacific history - the fate of famous French navigator, Jean François de Galaup, Comte de La Pérouse who disappeared in 1788.
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Posted: August 30, 2017, 3:48 pm

Understanding ancient geometric earthworks in southwestern Amazonia

Researchers examine pre-colonial geometric earthworks in the southwestern Amazonia from the point of view of indigenous peoples and archaeology. The study shows that the earthworks were once important ritual communication spaces.
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Posted: August 30, 2017, 2:34 pm

Robot probes mystery of prehistoric sea creature’s swimming style

A new study has shed light on the swimming style of plesiosaurs by creating a robot to mimic its movements.
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Posted: August 30, 2017, 2:26 pm

Fossil whales' teeth shows what ferocious predators they were

The feeding habits of the whale -- the world's biggest animal -- have evolved to filter feeding, shows new international research. Ancient whales appear to have been ferocious predators, investigators explain.
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Posted: August 30, 2017, 1:45 pm

Fossil whales' teeth shows what ferocious predators they were

The feeding habits of the whale -- the world's biggest animal -- have evolved to filter feeding, shows new international research. Ancient whales appear to have been ferocious predators, investigators explain.
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Posted: August 30, 2017, 1:45 pm

Century-old seal pelts reveal changes in Ross Sea ecosystem

Scientists sampled a pile of frozen pelts left in a hut by Antarctic explorers for Weddell seal tissue from a century ago, at the very start of human activities in Antarctica. By using sophisticated isotope analysis to compare samples from modern and century-old seals, they were able to investigate human impacts on the Antarctic ecosystem.
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Posted: August 30, 2017, 1:43 pm

Inherited herpesvirus study finds links to ancient humans

Research into inherited human herpesvirus 6 identifies origins in a small number of people thousands of years ago and highlights the potential to 'reactivate.'
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Posted: August 30, 2017, 1:42 pm

Bahamian songbirds disappeared during last glacial-interglacial transition

Two species of songbirds that once made a home in the Bahamas likely became extinct on the islands because of rising sea levels and a warmer, wetter climate, according to a new study. The study presents a historical view of how climate change and the resulting habitat loss can affect Earth's biodiversity.
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Posted: August 29, 2017, 4:45 pm

Woolly rhino neck ribs provide clues about their decline and eventual extinction

A study reports on the incidence of abnormal cervical (neck) vertebrae in woolly rhinos, which strongly suggests a vulnerable condition in the species. Given the considerable birth defects that are associated with this condition, the researchers argue it is very possible that developmental abnormalities contributed towards the eventual extinction of these late Pleistocene rhinos.
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Posted: August 29, 2017, 1:10 pm

Coral skeletons may resist the effects of acidifying oceans

Coral skeletons are the building blocks of diverse coral reef ecosystems, which has led to increasing concern over how these key species will cope with warming and acidifying oceans that threaten their stability. New research provides evidence that at least one species of coral build their hard, calcium carbonate skeletons faster, and in bigger pieces, than previously thought.
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Posted: August 28, 2017, 8:41 pm

New ancient sea reptile found in Germany, the earliest of its kind

A previously unrecognized 132 million-year-old fossilized sea monster from northern Germany has been identified.
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Posted: August 28, 2017, 1:39 pm

Largest Ichthyosaurus was pregnant mother

Scientists have discovered the largest Ichthyosaurus on record and found it was pregnant at the time of death.
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Posted: August 28, 2017, 1:37 pm

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