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Preview: EurekAlert! - Archaeology

EurekAlert! - Archaeology

The premier online source for science news since 1996. A service of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Last Build Date: Mon, 20 Feb 2017 08:06:01 EST

Copyright: Copyright 2017 American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS); All rights reserved.

Linguist's 'big data' research supports waves of migration into the Americas

Thu, 16 Feb 2017 00:00:00 EST

(University of Virginia) Linguistic anthropologists are applying the latest technology to an ancient mystery: how and when early humans inhabited the New World. Their new research suggests complex patterns of contact and migration among the early peoples who first settled the Americas.

A cultural catch

Wed, 15 Feb 2017 00:00:00 EST

(University of California - Santa Barbara) A UCSB scholar examines the evolution of wooden halibut hooks carved by native people of the Northwest Coast.

3-D reconstruction of skull suggests a small crocodile is a new species

Wed, 15 Feb 2017 00:00:00 EST

(PLOS) A small crocodyliform dinosaur discovered in Germany's Langenberg Quarry may be a new species, according to a study published Feb. 15, 2017 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Daniela Schwarz from Leibniz Institute for Evolutionary and Biodiversity Research, Germany, and colleagues.

Ancient jars found in Judea reveal earth's magnetic field is fluctuating, not diminishing

Tue, 14 Feb 2017 00:00:00 EST

(American Friends of Tel Aviv University) Surprising new evidence derived from ancient ceramics proves that the Earth's geomagnetic force fluctuates -- not diminishes -- over time, Tel Aviv University researchers say.

Study rewrites the history of corn in corn country

Tue, 14 Feb 2017 00:00:00 EST

(University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) A new study contradicts decades of thought, research and teaching on the history of corn cultivation in the American Bottom, a floodplain of the Mississippi River in Illinois. The study refutes the notion that Indian corn, or maize, was cultivated in this region hundreds of years before its widespread adoption at about 1000 A.D.

A kiss of death -- mammals were the first animals to produce venom

Mon, 13 Feb 2017 00:00:00 EST

(University of the Witwatersrand) The fossil of the Euchambersia therapsid (a pre-mammalian reptile), that lived in South Africa about 260 million years ago, is the first evidence of the oldest mammal to produce venom.

Looking at Sardinian DNA for genetic clues to an island's -- and Europe's -- past

Mon, 13 Feb 2017 00:00:00 EST

(Molecular Biology and Evolution (Oxford University Press)) In a new study, an international team led by geneticist Anna Olivieri from the University of Pavia tackles a highly interesting question: what were the origins of the Sardinian population in the context of European prehistory and ancient human migrations? Their findings show Sardinia as an outlier in the general European genetic landscape. Almost 80 percent of modern Sardinian mitogenomes belong to branches that cannot be found anywhere else outside the island.

Fossil treasure-trove reveals post-extinction world ruled by sponges

Thu, 09 Feb 2017 00:00:00 EST

(Chinese Academy of Sciences Headquarters) A joint team of researchers from China and Britain revealed a new fossil fauna, the Anji Biota, which document post-extinction sponge-dominated communities from uppermost Ordovician rocks of South China. More than 75 sponge species represent multiple lineages that survived the Late Ordovician mass extinction. Sponges also flourished after other mass extinctions and may have facilitated ecosystem recovery by stabilizing sediment.

Broken pebbles offer clues to Paleolithic funeral rituals

Thu, 09 Feb 2017 00:00:00 EST

(University of Montreal) Researchers from Canada, the US and Italy uncover evidence that people in the Upper Paleolithic Period used stone spatulas to decorate the bodies of the dead with ochre.

Archaeologists find 12th Dead Sea Scrolls cave

Wed, 08 Feb 2017 00:00:00 EST

(The Hebrew University of Jerusalem) Hebrew University archaeologists have found a cave that previously contained Dead Sea scrolls, which were looted in the middle of the 20th Century. Scholars suggest the cave should be numbered as Cave 12, along with the 11 caves previously known to have housed hidden Dead Sea scrolls. 'Finding this additional scroll cave means we can no longer be certain that the original locations assigned to the scrolls that reached the market via the Bedouins are accurate,' said Dr. Oren Gutfeld.

Largest undersea landslide revealed on the Great Barrier Reef

Tue, 07 Feb 2017 00:00:00 EST

(James Cook University) James Cook University scientists have helped discover the remnants of a massive undersea landslide on the Great Barrier Reef, approximately 30 times the volume of Uluru.

Persistent tropical foraging in the highlands of terminal Pleistocene/Holocene New Guinea

Tue, 07 Feb 2017 00:00:00 EST

(Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History) The terminal Pleistocene/Holocene boundary represented a major ecological threshold for humans, both as a significant climate transition and due to the emergence of agriculture around this time. In the highlands of New Guinea, climatic and environmental changes across this period have been highlighted as potential drivers of one of the earliest domestication processes in the world. We present a terminal Pleistocene/Holocene palaeoenvironmental record of carbon and oxygen isotopes in small mammal tooth enamel from the site of Kiowa.

Shifting monsoon altered early cultures in China, study says

Mon, 06 Feb 2017 00:00:00 EST

(The Earth Institute at Columbia University) The annual summer monsoon that drops rain onto East Asia, an area with about a billion people, has shifted dramatically in the distant past, at times moving northward by as much as 400 kilometers and doubling rainfall in that northern reach. The monsoon's changes over the past 10,000 years likely altered the course of early human cultures in China, say the authors of a new study.

Hundreds of ancient earthworks built in the Amazon

Mon, 06 Feb 2017 00:00:00 EST

(University of Exeter) The Amazonian rainforest was transformed over 2,000 years ago by ancient people who built hundreds of large, mysterious earthworks.

Baltic hunter-gatherers began farming without influence of migration, ancient DNA suggests

Thu, 02 Feb 2017 00:00:00 EST

(Trinity College Dublin) Ancient DNA analyses show that -- unlike elsewhere in Europe -- farmers from the Near East did not overtake hunter-gatherer populations in the Baltic. This research suggests the Balto-Slavic branch of the Indo-European language family originated in the Steppe grasslands of the East.

Heidelberg Castle revisited

Wed, 01 Feb 2017 00:00:00 EST

(Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT) ) Fires, wars and the ravages of time left their traces on Heidelberg Castle. One of the most important renaissance buildings north of the Alps and one of the most popular tourist destinations in Germany with about 1.1 million visitors -- many of them from English speaking countries and Asia. Now, a researcher of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) has reconstructed the castle as it looked before its destruction by means of a 3-D virtual model.

Gull decline on Scottish island linked to decline in fishing discards

Wed, 01 Feb 2017 00:00:00 EST

(Taylor & Francis Group) Latest research, just published, shows a population of large gulls in Scotland failed to thrive as the fish catch landed by the local fishing fleet fell.

Ancient DNA reveals 'continuity' between Stone Age and modern populations in East Asia

Wed, 01 Feb 2017 00:00:00 EST

(University of Cambridge) In contrast to Western Europeans, new research finds contemporary East Asians are genetically much closer to the ancient hunter-gatherers that lived in the same region 8,000 years previously.

IUPUI study: Climate change drove population decline in New World before Europeans arrived

Tue, 31 Jan 2017 00:00:00 EST

(Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis School of Science) IUPUI scientists report on dramatic environmental changes that occurred as Native Americans flourished and then vanished from the Midwestern United States before Europeans arrived. The researchers theorize that catastrophic climate change they observed, which doomed food production, was a primary cause of the disappearance.

Paper spotlights key flaw in widely used radioisotope dating technique

Tue, 31 Jan 2017 00:00:00 EST

(North Carolina State University) An oversight in a radioisotope dating technique used to date everything from meteorites to geologic samples means scientists have likely overestimated the age of many samples.

Researchers confirm the existence of a 'lost continent' under Mauritius

Tue, 31 Jan 2017 00:00:00 EST

(University of the Witwatersrand) Scientists have confirmed the existence of a 'lost continent' under the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius that was left-over by the break-up of the supercontinent, Gondwana, which started about 200 million years ago.

Anthropologists uncover art by (really) old masters -- 38,000 year-old engravings

Fri, 27 Jan 2017 00:00:00 EST

(New York University) An international team of anthropologists has uncovered a 38,000-year-old engraved image in a southwestern French rockshelter -- a finding that marks some of the earliest known graphic imagery found in Western Eurasia and offers insights into the nature of modern humans during this period.

Andalusian scientists reconstruct what the Gibraltar Arc was like 9 million years ago

Fri, 27 Jan 2017 00:00:00 EST

(University of Granada) A team of Andalusian scientists, led by the University of Granada (UGR), has been able to reconstruct for the first time what the Gibraltar Arc was like 9 million years ago. It's one of the most narrowest landforms on Earth.

The ancient Indus civilization's adaptation to climate change

Fri, 27 Jan 2017 00:00:00 EST

(University of Cambridge) A new article explores how an ancient culture dealt with variable environments.

Scientists map the genetic evolution of dinoflagellates for the first time

Thu, 26 Jan 2017 00:00:00 EST

(University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science) Scientists have used new genetic sequencing data to understand how an ancient organism that lived alongside the dinosaurs has evolved over millions of years. The effort has uncovered for the first time the biology and evolution of dinoflagellates, tiny but complex organisms primarily known as marine plankton. The findings could lead to a better understanding of how bioluminescence works, how to turn off harmful red tides, or how to identify areas rich with oil.