Archeology News

Archeology News

Archaeology News

Permian carbo-loading: How starchy treats helped build an ancient world

Everyone loves a nice plate of pasta. After all, starch is the ultimate energy food. Now, we have proof that carbo-loading has been a thing for at least 280 million years.
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Posted: March 1, 2018, 7:41 pm

Secret of magmas that produce global treasures

South Africa's history and economy has been built on its rich natural treasures of a number of precious metals, stones and minerals. The country's mineral deposits have been created over hundreds of millions of years through processes that are still not completely understood. One of these processes is the origin of chromitite layers hosted by layered intrusions - a major source of chromium on our planet. The study reveals the formation of these layers.
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Posted: March 1, 2018, 3:36 pm

Flipside of a dinosaur mystery: 'Bloat-and-float' explains belly-up ankylosaur fossils

Why are fossil remains of ankylosaurs -- armored 'tanks of the Cretaceaous' -- usually found belly-up? A paleontologist proposes the explanation is 'bloat-and-float', where the dead dinos would float downstream, bloat, flip upside down, and be fossilized that way.
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Posted: February 28, 2018, 6:10 pm

Geologists solve fossil mystery by creating 3-D 'virtual tour' through rock

With an industrial grinder and some creative additions, geoscientists can transform rocks into three-dimensional digital landscapes that scientists can examine from any angle. 
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Posted: February 27, 2018, 5:57 pm

Nicotine extracted from ancient dental plaque for the first time

A team of scientists has shown for the first time that nicotine residue can be extracted from dental plaque on the teeth of ancient tobacco users. Their research provides a new method for determining who was consuming tobacco in the ancient world and could help trace the use of tobacco and other intoxicating plants further back into prehistory.
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Posted: February 27, 2018, 4:16 pm

Ancient DNA reveals genetic replacement despite language continuity in the South Pacific

New genetic research reveals the complex demographic history of Vanuatu, explaining how Austronesian languages were retained throughout its history despite near-total replacement of early Austronesian-Lapita with Papuan ancestry.
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Posted: February 27, 2018, 4:16 pm

Nicotine extracted from ancient dental plaque for the first time

A team of scientists has shown for the first time that nicotine residue can be extracted from dental plaque on the teeth of ancient tobacco users. Their research provides a new method for determining who was consuming tobacco in the ancient world and could help trace the use of tobacco and other intoxicating plants further back into prehistory.
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Posted: February 27, 2018, 4:16 pm

Another clue for fast motion of the Hawaiian hotspot

Recent studies have suggested that the Hawaiian hotspot moved relatively quickly southward in the period from 60 to about 50 million years ago. This hypothesis is supported by a new study. Researchers have evaluated new rock dating of the Rurutu volcanic chain and added data from the Hawaiian-Emperor chain and the Louisville chain. It shows that the Hawaiian-Emperor hotspot displays strong motion between 60 and 48 million years ago.
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Posted: February 27, 2018, 2:07 pm

Humans changed the ecosystems of Central Africa more than 2,600 years ago

Humans shape nature, not only since the onset of industrialization. Such influences are well documented in the Amazonian rainforest. The influence of humans was debated in Central Africa where major interventions seem to have occurred 2,600 years ago.
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Posted: February 26, 2018, 8:27 pm

Complete genomes of extinct and living elephants sequenced

Researchers have produced one of the most comprehensive evolutionary pictures to date by looking at one of the world's most iconic animal families - namely elephants, and their relatives mammoths and mastodons-spanning millions of years.
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Posted: February 26, 2018, 8:27 pm

SCOTUS Declines Dead Sea Scroll Case

On February 20, 2018, the Supreme Court chose not to hear the case of Raphael Golb, who was convicted of harassing and impersonating the academic critics of his father, Dead Sea Scroll scholar Norman Golb.

The post SCOTUS Declines Dead Sea Scroll Case appeared first on Biblical Archaeology Society.

Author: Biblical Archaeology Society Staff
Posted: February 26, 2018, 2:06 pm

Geological change confirmed as a factor behind the extensive diversity in tropical rainforests

Diversification of two genera of the Annonaceae plant family in the tropical rainforests of Central and South America has occurred largely in parallel and in line with major geological transitions.
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Posted: February 26, 2018, 2:05 pm

Plants evolve away from obsolete defenses when attacked by immune herbivores, study shows

A new study shows that plants can evolve out of their obsolete defense mechanisms when facing an immune enemy, an illustration of the 'defense de-escalation' evolution theory.
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Posted: February 26, 2018, 1:58 pm

Domestic goat dating back to the Neolithic Corded Ware period identified in Finland

Goat hairs have been found in a grave structure that was discovered in the 1930s in Kauhava, western Finland. These are the oldest animal hairs found in Finland. From the perspective of Finnish prehistory, the finding supports the evidence of animal husbandry practised during the Corded Ware period, while also revealing details of burial rituals.
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Posted: February 23, 2018, 4:15 pm

Neanderthals were artistic like modern humans

Scientists have found the first major evidence that Neanderthals, rather than modern humans, created the world's oldest known cave paintings -- suggesting they may have had an artistic sense similar to our own.
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Posted: February 22, 2018, 7:49 pm

Stagnation in the South Pacific

A team led by geochemist has discovered important evidence that the rise in atmospheric carbon dioxide levels at the end of the last ice age was triggered by changes in the Antarctic Ocean.
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Posted: February 22, 2018, 7:49 pm

Extinct lakes of the American desert west

The vestiges of lakes long extinct dot the landscape of the American desert west. These fossilized landforms provide clues of how dynamic climate has been over the past few million years.
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Posted: February 22, 2018, 6:34 pm

Isaiah’s Signature Uncovered in Jerusalem

The Ophel excavations at the foot of Jerusalem’s Temple Mount have yielded numerous exciting discoveries, including a new Biblical signature. Archaeologist Eilat Mazar reveals what may be a seal impression of the prophet Isaiah—unveiled here for the first time ever—in honor of Hershel Shanks’s retirement as Editor of BAR.

The post Isaiah’s Signature Uncovered in Jerusalem appeared first on Biblical Archaeology Society.

Author: Megan Sauter
Posted: February 22, 2018, 2:41 pm

Digestive ability of ancient insects could boost biofuel development

A study of the unusual digestive system of an ancient group of insects has provided new insights into future biofuel production.
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Posted: February 22, 2018, 2:04 pm

King Hezekiah in the Bible: Royal Seal of Hezekiah Comes to Light

For the first time, the royal seal of King Hezekiah in the Bible has been found in an archaeological excavation.

The post King Hezekiah in the Bible: Royal Seal of Hezekiah Comes to Light appeared first on Biblical Archaeology Society.

Author: Robin Ngo
Posted: February 21, 2018, 9:57 pm

New light shed on prehistoric human migration in Europe

The first farmers of northern and western Europe passed through southeastern Europe with limited hunter-gatherer genetic admixture, which occurs when two or more previously isolated populations begin interbreeding. However, some groups that remained mixed extensively -- without the male-biased, hunter-gatherer admixture that prevailed later in the North and West.
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Posted: February 21, 2018, 8:24 pm

New light shed on prehistoric human migration in Europe

The first farmers of northern and western Europe passed through southeastern Europe with limited hunter-gatherer genetic admixture, which occurs when two or more previously isolated populations begin interbreeding. However, some groups that remained mixed extensively -- without the male-biased, hunter-gatherer admixture that prevailed later in the North and West.
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Posted: February 21, 2018, 8:24 pm

Laser technology takes Maya archeologists where they've never gone before

With the help of airborne laser mapping technology, a team of archeologists is exploring on a larger scale than ever before the history and spread of settlement at the ancient Maya site of Ceibal in Guatemala.
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Posted: February 21, 2018, 7:09 pm

Locomotion of bipedal dinosaurs might be predicted from that of ground-running birds

A new model based on ground-running birds could predict locomotion of bipedal dinosaurs based on their speed and body size, according to a new study.
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Posted: February 21, 2018, 7:09 pm

Laser technology takes Maya archeologists where they've never gone before

With the help of airborne laser mapping technology, a team of archeologists is exploring on a larger scale than ever before the history and spread of settlement at the ancient Maya site of Ceibal in Guatemala.
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Posted: February 21, 2018, 7:09 pm

Ancient-DNA researchers surpass the 1,000-genome milestone

In the last eight years, the field of ancient DNA research has expanded from just one ancient human genome to more than 1,300. The latest 625 of those genomes debut Feb. 21 in Nature, including the largest study of ancient DNA to date.
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Posted: February 21, 2018, 6:18 pm

Ancient DNA tells tales of humans' migrant history

Fueled by advances in analyzing DNA from the bones of ancient humans, scientists have dramatically expanded the number of samples studied -- revealing vast and surprising migrations and genetic mixing of populations in our prehistoric past.
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Posted: February 21, 2018, 6:18 pm

Theory suggests root efficiency, independence drove global spread of flora

Researchers suggest that plants spread worldwide thanks to root adaptations that allowed them to become more efficient and independent. As plant species spread, roots became thinner so they could more efficiently explore poor soils for nutrients, and they shed their reliance on symbiotic fungi. The researchers report that root diameter and reliance on fungi most consistently characterize the plant communities across entire biomes such as deserts, savannas and temperate forests.
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Posted: February 21, 2018, 6:18 pm

Ancient-DNA researchers surpass the 1,000-genome milestone

In the last eight years, the field of ancient DNA research has expanded from just one ancient human genome to more than 1,300. The latest 625 of those genomes debut Feb. 21 in Nature, including the largest study of ancient DNA to date.
Author:
Posted: February 21, 2018, 6:18 pm

Ancient DNA tells tales of humans' migrant history

Fueled by advances in analyzing DNA from the bones of ancient humans, scientists have dramatically expanded the number of samples studied -- revealing vast and surprising migrations and genetic mixing of populations in our prehistoric past.
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Posted: February 21, 2018, 6:18 pm

Copper Age Iberians 'exported' their culture -- but not their genes -- all over Europe

Prehistoric Iberians 'exported' their culture throughout Europe, reaching Great Britain, Sicily, Poland and all over central Europe in general. However, they did not export their genes. The Beaker culture, which probably originated in Iberia, left remains in those parts of the continent. However, that diffusion was not due to large migrations of populations that took this culture with them.
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Posted: February 21, 2018, 6:18 pm

Did humans speak through cave art? Ancient drawings and language's origins

When and where did humans develop language? To find out, look deep inside caves, suggests a professor.
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Posted: February 21, 2018, 5:29 pm

Brain size of human ancestors evolved gradually over 3 million years

Modern humans have brains that are more than three times larger than our closest living relatives, chimpanzees and bonobos. Scientists don't agree on when and how this dramatic increase took place, but new analysis of 94 hominin fossils shows that average brain size increased gradually and consistently over the past three million years.
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Posted: February 21, 2018, 2:20 am

Traces of indigenous 'Taíno' in present-day Caribbean populations

A thousand-year-old tooth has provided the first clear genetic evidence that the Taíno -- the indigenous people whom Columbus first encountered on arriving in the New World -- still have living descendants today, despite erroneous claims in some historical narratives that these people are extinct. The findings are likely to have particular resonance for people in the Caribbean and the US who claim Taíno ancestry, but have until now been unable to prove definitively that such a thing is possible.
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Posted: February 19, 2018, 8:50 pm

Traces of indigenous 'Taíno' in present-day Caribbean populations

A thousand-year-old tooth has provided the first clear genetic evidence that the Taíno -- the indigenous people whom Columbus first encountered on arriving in the New World -- still have living descendants today, despite erroneous claims in some historical narratives that these people are extinct. The findings are likely to have particular resonance for people in the Caribbean and the US who claim Taíno ancestry, but have until now been unable to prove definitively that such a thing is possible.
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Posted: February 19, 2018, 8:50 pm

Plants colonized Earth 100 million years earlier than previously thought

A new study on the timescale of plant evolution has concluded that the first plants to colonize the Earth originated around 500 million years ago -- 100 million years earlier than previously thought.
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Posted: February 19, 2018, 8:50 pm

Asteroid 'time capsules' may help explain how life started on Earth

In popular culture, asteroids play the role of apocalyptic threat, get blamed for wiping out the dinosaurs -- and offer an extraterrestrial source for mineral mining. But for one researcher, asteroids play an entirely different role: that of time capsules showing what molecules originally existed in our solar system. Having that information gives scientists the starting point they need to reconstruct the complex pathway that got life started on Earth.
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Posted: February 17, 2018, 11:48 pm

Researchers challenge claims that sugar industry shifted blame to fat

In recent years, high-profile claims in the academic literature and popular press have alleged that the sugar industry paid scientists in the 1960s to play down the link between sugar and heart disease and emphasize instead the dangers of dietary fat. Historians challenge those claims through a careful examination of the evidence.
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Posted: February 15, 2018, 7:17 pm

Did humans domesticate themselves?

Human ‘self-domestication’ is a hypothesis that states that among the driving forces of human evolution, humans selected their companions depending on who had a more pro-social behavior. Researchers have found new genetic evidence for this evolutionary process.
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Posted: February 15, 2018, 4:00 pm

Key to predicting climate change could be blowing in the wind

Dust that blew into the North Pacific Ocean could help explain why the Earth's climate cooled 2.7 million years ago, according to a new study.
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Posted: February 15, 2018, 3:57 pm

Beewolves have been successfully using the same antibiotics for 68 million years

Scientists have now found that beewolves, unlike humans, do not face the problem of antibiotic resistant pathogens. These insects team up with symbiotic bacteria which produce up to 45 different antibiotic substances to protect their offspring against mold fungi. This antibiotic cocktail has remained surprisingly stable since the symbiosis emerged, about 68 million years ago.
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Posted: February 14, 2018, 11:20 pm

Why the seafloor starts moving

When the seabed loses its stability and starts to move, it often happens in much larger dimensions than landslides ashore -- and at slopes with very low gradients. At the same time, discplacement of large amounts of sediment under water scan cause devastating tsunamis. However, why and when submarine landslides develop is hardly understood. Marine scientists have now published possible causes based on observations on submarine landslides off the coast of northwest Africa.
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Posted: February 13, 2018, 5:04 pm

New insights into human evolution

The evolution of human biology should be considered part and parcel with the evolution of humanity itself, proposes an assistant professor of biological sciences. She explores an interdisciplinary approach to human evolution.
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Posted: February 13, 2018, 5:04 pm

A First Temple Period Palatial Estate Near Jerusalem?

Archaeologists excavating at Ein Hanniya outside of Jerusalem unearthed seventh-century B.C.E. finds that suggest the presence of a palace in the First Temple period.

The post A First Temple Period Palatial Estate Near Jerusalem? appeared first on Biblical Archaeology Society.

Author: Biblical Archaeology Society Staff
Posted: February 13, 2018, 4:37 pm

Rock art: Life-sized sculptures of dromedaries found in Saudi Arabia

At a remarkable site in northwest Saudi Arabia, archaeologists have discovered camelid sculptures unlike any others in the region. They are thought to date back to the first centuries BC or AD. The find sheds new light on the evolution of rock art in the Arabian Peninsula.
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Posted: February 13, 2018, 1:44 pm

When it comes to extinction, body size matters

Models for extinction risk are necessarily simple. Most reduce complex ecological systems to a linear relationship between resource density and population growth -- something that can be broadly applied to infer how much resource loss a species can survive. This week in Nature Communications, an interdisciplinary team of scientists proposes a more nuanced model for extinction that also shows why animal species tend to evolve toward larger body sizes.
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Posted: February 13, 2018, 1:44 pm

Ancient trail of Columbian mammoths uncovered in south-central Oregon

A fossilized trackway on public lands in Lake County, Ore., may reveal clues about the ancient family dynamics of Columbian mammoths. Researchers who excavated a portion of the path found 117 footprints thought to represent a number of adults as well as juvenile and infant mammoths.
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Posted: February 12, 2018, 9:09 pm

'Middle Earth' preserved in giant bird dung

While the giant birds that once dominated New Zealand are all extinct, a study of their preserved dung (coprolites) has revealed many aspects of their ancient ecosystem, with important insights for ongoing conservation efforts.
Author:
Posted: February 12, 2018, 9:08 pm

'Middle Earth' preserved in giant bird dung

While the giant birds that once dominated New Zealand are all extinct, a study of their preserved dung (coprolites) has revealed many aspects of their ancient ecosystem, with important insights for ongoing conservation efforts.
Author:
Posted: February 12, 2018, 9:08 pm

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