Science News

  • Carp aquaculture in Neolithic China dating back 8,000 years
    on September 16, 2019 at 3:40 pm

    Researchers analyzed fish bones excavated from the Early Neolithic Jiahu site in Henan Province, China. By comparing the body-length distributions and species-composition ratios of the bones with findings from East Asian sites with present aquaculture, the researchers provide evidence of managed carp aquaculture at Jiahu dating back to 6200-5700 BC.

  • The enigma of Bronze Age tin
    on September 13, 2019 at 4:08 pm

    The origin of the tin used in the Bronze Age has long been one of the greatest enigmas in archaeological research. Now researchers have solved part of the puzzle. They were able to proof that tin ingots found at archaeological sites in Israel, Turkey, and Greece do not come from Central Asia, as previously assumed, but from tin deposits in Europe.

  • Extinction of Icelandic walrus coincides with Norse settlement
    on September 13, 2019 at 2:14 pm

    Scientists have used ancient DNA analyses and C14-dating to demonstrate the past existence of a unique population of Icelandic walrus that went extinct shortly after Norse settlement some 1100 years ago. Walrus hunting and ivory trade was probably the principal cause of extinction, being one of the earliest examples of commercially driven overexploitation of marine resources.

  • Reconstructing the evolution of all species
    on September 11, 2019 at 6:27 pm

    By looking into fossil teeth from almost 2 million years old rhinos, researchers have launched a new molecular method for studying the evolutionary history of fossil species dating back millions of years.

  • Bones of Roman Britons provide new clues to dietary deprivation
    on September 10, 2019 at 3:14 pm

    Researchers have shown a link between the diet of Roman Britons and their mortality rates for the first time, overturning a previously-held belief about the quality of the Roman diet.

  • Earliest evidence of milk consumption found in teeth of prehistoric British farmers
    on September 10, 2019 at 2:53 pm

    Archaeologists have identified a milk protein called beta lactoglobulin (BLG) entombed in the mineralized dental plaque of seven individuals who lived in the Neolithic period around 6,000 years-ago.

  • Major fortress-settlement in Armenian Highlands excavated
    on September 10, 2019 at 2:20 pm

    A team of researchers unearthed huge storage jars, animal bones and fortress walls from 3,000 years ago in Armenia as they initiated the Ararat Plain Southeast Archaeological Project (APSAP) during the summer of 2019.

  • Newfound phalanx fragment shows Denisovans closer to modern humans than Neanderthals
    on September 5, 2019 at 8:14 pm

    A phalangeal fragment from Denisova Cave revealed it belonged to the member of a previously unknown human population, the Denisovans. Scientists have now measured and photographed another fragment found in Denisova Cave. Genomic analysis reveals it is the missing piece of the same phalanx whose proximal fragment enabled initial sequencing of the Denisovan genome. The scientists compared the new fragment to the phalanges of Neanderthals and anatomically modern humans. Their analysis indicates it […]

  • Largest-ever ancient-DNA study illuminates millennia of South and Central Asian prehistory
    on September 5, 2019 at 6:53 pm

    Researchers analyzed the genomes of 524 never before-studied ancient people, including the first genome of an individual from the ancient Indus Valley Civilization. Insights answer longstanding questions about the origins of farming and the source of Indo-European languages in South and Central Asia. The study increases the worldwide total of published ancient genomes by some 25 percent.

  • Scotland's genetic landscape echoes Dark Age populations
    on September 3, 2019 at 2:15 pm

    The DNA of Scottish people still contains signs of the country's ancient kingdoms, with many apparently living in the same areas as their ancestors did more than a millennium ago, a study shows.

  • New artifacts suggest people arrived in North America earlier than previously thought
    on August 29, 2019 at 10:41 pm

    Stone tools and other artifacts unearthed from an archeological dig at the Cooper's Ferry site in western Idaho suggest that people lived in the area 16,000 years ago, more than a thousand years earlier than scientists previously thought.

  • The beginnings of trade in northwestern Europe during the Bronze Age
    on August 26, 2019 at 2:48 pm

    People in England were using balance weights and scales to measure the value of materials as early as the late second and early first millennia BC. This showed that there was already expertise in using standard weights and measures in many regions of Europe at that time.

  • New light on contested identity of medieval skeleton found at Prague Castle
    on August 22, 2019 at 2:14 pm

    Used as a propaganda tool by the Nazis and Soviets during the Second World War and Cold War, the remains of a 10th century male, unearthed beneath Prague Castle in 1928, have been the subject of continued debate and archaeological manipulation.

  • Earliest evidence of artificial cranial deformation in Croatia during 5th-6th century
    on August 21, 2019 at 6:27 pm

    People in Croatia during the 5th to 6th centuries may have used cranial modifications to indicate their cultural affiliations, according to a new study.

  • Nordic Bronze Age attracted wide variety of migrants to Denmark
    on August 21, 2019 at 6:27 pm

    Migration patterns in present-day Denmark shifted at the beginning of the Nordic Bronze Age, according to a new study. Migrants appear to have come from varied and potentially distant locations during a period of unprecedented economic growth in southern Scandinavia in the 2nd millennium BC.

  • Tiny ear bones help archaeologists piece together the past
    on August 21, 2019 at 12:22 pm

    For the first time archaeologists have used the small bones found in the ear to look at the health of women and children from 160 years ago.

  • Biomolecular analyses of Roopkund skeletons show Mediterranean migrants in Indian Himalaya
    on August 20, 2019 at 5:09 pm

    A large-scale study conducted by an international team of scientists has revealed that the mysterious skeletons of Roopkund Lake -- once thought to have died during a single catastrophic event - belong to genetically highly distinct groups that died in multiple periods in at least two episodes separated by one thousand years.

  • Stone Age boat building site has been discovered underwater
    on August 20, 2019 at 5:09 pm

    Researchers have discovered a new 8,000 year old structure 11 meters below sea level on the Isle of Wight. It is the most intact, wooden Middle Stone Age structure ever found in the UK.

  • 'Invisible ink' on antique Nile papyrus revealed by multiple methods
    on August 16, 2019 at 1:24 pm

    Researchers studied a small piece of papyrus that was excavated on the island of Elephantine on the River Nile a little over 100 years ago. The team used serval methods including non-destructive techniques at BESSY II.

  • Ancient feces reveal how 'marsh diet' left Bronze Age Fen folk infected with parasites
    on August 16, 2019 at 1:27 am

    'Coprolites' from the Must Farm archaeological excavation in East Anglia, UK, shows the prehistoric inhabitants were infected by parasitic worms that can be spread by eating raw fish, frogs and shellfish.

  • Ancient pigs endured a complete genomic turnover after they arrived in Europe
    on August 12, 2019 at 7:22 pm

    New research has resolved a pig paradox. Archaeological evidence has shown that pigs were domesticated in the Near East and as such, modern pigs should resemble Near Eastern wild boar. They do not. Instead, the genetic signatures of modern European domestic pigs resemble European wild boar.

  • Permian lizard-like animal suffered from a bone condition similar to Paget's disease
    on August 7, 2019 at 6:22 pm

    A lizard-like animal that lived 289 million years ago suffered from a bone condition similar to Paget's disease, according to a new study.

  • The road to Scandinavia's bronze age: Trade routes, metal provenance, and mixing
    on July 24, 2019 at 6:41 pm

    The geographic origins of the metals in Scandinavian mixed-metal artifacts reveal a crucial dependency on British and continental European trading sources during the beginnings of the Nordic Bronze Age, according to a new study.

  • Scientists document late Pleistocene/early Holocene Mesoamerican stone tool tradition
    on July 22, 2019 at 7:52 pm

    Scientists have documented the very earliest indigenous stone tool tradition in southern Mesoamerica.

  • Ancient Roman port history unveiled
    on July 15, 2019 at 1:48 pm

    Researchers have applied marine geology techniques at an ancient harbor archaeological site to uncover ancient harbor technologies of the first centuries AD.

  • Ancient genomics pinpoint origin and rapid turnover of cattle in the Fertile Crescent
    on July 11, 2019 at 6:13 pm

    Ancient DNA has revealed how the prehistory of the Near East's largest domestic animal, the cow, chimes with the emergence of the first complex economies, cities and the rise and fall of the world earliest human empires.

  • Lead pollution in Arctic ice shows economic impact of wars and plagues for past 1,500 years
    on July 8, 2019 at 7:40 pm

    A research team used 13 ice cores from Greenland and the Russian Arctic to measure, date, and analyze lead emissions captured in ice from 500 to 2010 CE. They found that increases in lead concentration in the ice cores track closely with periods of expansion in Europe, the advent of new technologies, and economic prosperity. Decreases in lead, on the other hand, paralleled climate disruptions, wars, plagues, and famines.

  • Scientists develop new method for studying early life in ancient rocks
    on July 8, 2019 at 6:00 pm

    Scientists have developed a new method for detecting traces of primordial life in ancient rock formations using potassium.

  • Ancient DNA sheds light on the origins of the Biblical Philistines
    on July 3, 2019 at 7:05 pm

    An international team analyzed for the first time, genome-wide data from people who lived during the Bronze and Iron Age in the ancient city of Ashkelon, one of the core Philistine cities. The team found that a European derived ancestry was introduced in Ashkelon around the time of the Philistines' estimated arrival, suggesting that ancestors of the Philistines migrated across the Mediterranean. These results are a critical step toward understanding the origins of the Philistines.

  • Levänluhta jewellery links Finland to a European exchange network
    on June 25, 2019 at 5:34 pm

    A recently completed study indicates that the material of the jewellery found together with human remains at the Levänluhta water burial site originates in southern Europe, contrary to what researchers had previously thought.

  • Archaeological mystery solved with modern genetics
    on June 20, 2019 at 2:00 pm

    Researchers have conducted a census of the Japanese population around 2,500 years ago using the Y chromosomes of men living on the main islands of modern-day Japan. This is the first time analysis of modern genomes has estimated the size of an ancient human population before they were met by a separate ancient population.

  • Human migration in Oceania recreated through paper mulberry genetics
    on June 19, 2019 at 6:25 pm

    The migration and interaction routes of prehistoric humans throughout the islands of Oceania can be retraced using genetic differences between paper mulberry plants, a tree native to Asia cultivated for fibers to make paper and introduced into the Pacific in prehistoric times to make barkcloth.

  • Dinosaur bones are home to microscopic life
    on June 18, 2019 at 2:27 pm

    Scientists went looking for preserved collagen, the protein in bone and skin, in dinosaur fossils. They didn't find the protein, but they did find huge colonies of modern bacteria living inside the dinosaur bones.

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