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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: Thu, 20 Jul 2017 12:06:01 EDT

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

Kakadu find confirms earliest Australian occupation

Wed, 19 Jul 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(University of Queensland) Aboriginal people have been in Australia for at least 65,000 years -- much longer than the 47,000 years believed by some archaeologists. The discovery, by a team of archaeologists and dating specialists led by Associate Professor Chris Clarkson from The University of Queensland School of Social Science, has been detailed in the Nature journal this week.

Artifacts suggest humans arrived in Australia earlier than thought

Wed, 19 Jul 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(University of Washington) A team of researchers, including a faculty member and seven students from the University of Washington, has found and dated artifacts in northern Australia that indicate humans arrived there about 65,000 years ago -- more than 10,000 years earlier than previously thought.

Synchrotron light used to show human domestication of seeds from 2000 BC

Fri, 14 Jul 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Diamond Light Source) Scientists from UCL have used the UK's synchrotron facility, Diamond Light Source, to document for the first time the rate of evolution of seed coat thinning, a major marker of crop domestication, from archaeological remains.

Diet of the ancient people of Rapa Nui shows adaptation and resilience not 'ecocide'

Thu, 13 Jul 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(University of Bristol) Research by an international team, led by the University of Bristol, has shed new light on the fate of the ancient people of Rapa Nui (Easter Island).

Easter Island not victim of 'ecocide', analysis of remains shows

Tue, 11 Jul 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Binghamton University) Analysis of remains found on Rapa Nui, Chile (Easter Island) provides evidence contrary to the widely-held belief that the ancient civilization recklessly destroyed its environment, according to new research co-conducted by faculty at Binghamton University, State University of New York.

Ancient Greek theaters used moveable stages more than 2,000 years ago

Tue, 11 Jul 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Kumamoto University) Theater has been loved by many people since classical times. Along with its popularity, stage theater construction evolved greatly between the ancient Greek and Roman periods. In this research, a Japanese architectural researcher has clarified the development process for some of the stage equipment that was used in the theaters of Messene, an ancient Greek city.

The Ii Hamina cemetery reveals adaptation to the environment

Fri, 07 Jul 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(University of Helsinki) The medieval cemetery in Ii Hamina in northern Finland on the Iijoki river was originally discovered by accident. A recent study examined the isotope compositions of the teeth of the dead. It turned out that the population in the small village survived throughout the 15th and 16th centuries despite the Little Ice Age.

Archaeologists put sound back into a previously silent past

Thu, 06 Jul 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(University at Buffalo) Many attempts to explain how past people experienced their wider world have focused on sight at the expense of sound, but researchers from the University at Albany and the University at Buffalo have developed a tool that puts sound back into the ancient landscape.

New comprehensive reference source of the governing class of Great Britain

Thu, 06 Jul 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(De Gruyter Open) The book will serve as a comprehensive reference source of the governing class of Great Britain and Ireland from Oliver Cromwell to Winston Churchill, offering an unrivalled pool of data to support analysis of social, political, economic, and cultural history in the British Isles over the course of more than four centuries.

Wheat genome sequencing provides 'time tunnel' -- boosting future food production & safety

Thu, 06 Jul 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(NRGene) A global team of researchers has published the first-ever Wild Emmer wheat genome sequence in Science magazine. Wild Emmer wheat is the original form of nearly all the domesticated wheat in the world, including durum (pasta) and bread wheat. Wild emmer is too low-yielding to be of use to farmers today, but it contains many attractive characteristics that are being used by plant breeders to improve wheat.

Breakthrough in dating Viking fortress

Tue, 04 Jul 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Aarhus University) In 2014 archaeologists from the Museum of South East Denmark and Aarhus University discovered the previously unknown Viking fortress at Borgring south of Copenhagen. Since then the search has been on to uncover the life, function, destruction and, not least, the precise dating of the Viking fortress. Now a new find has produced a breakthrough in the investigation.

DNA of early Neanderthal gives timeline for new modern human-related dispersal from Africa

Tue, 04 Jul 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History) Ancient mitochondrial DNA from the femur of an archaic European hominin is helping resolve the complicated relationship between modern humans and Neanderthals. The genetic data, recovered by a team from the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, the University of Tuebingen, and others, provides a timeline for a proposed migration out of Africa that occurred after the ancestors of Neanderthals arrived in Europe by a lineage more closely related to modern humans.

New studies of ancient concrete could teach us to do as the Romans did

Mon, 03 Jul 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory) A new look inside 2,000-year-old Roman concrete has provided new clues to the evolving chemistry and mineral cements that allow ancient harbor structures to withstand the test of time.

Utah is home to earliest use of a wild potato in North America

Mon, 03 Jul 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(University of Utah) Researchers have discovered potato starch residues in the crevices of a 10,900-year-old stone tool in Escalante, Utah -- the earliest evidence of wild potato use in North America. This is the first archaeological study to identify Solanum jamesii, a wild species native to the southwestern United States, as an important part of ancient human diets. The long history could mean that the species was transported, cultivated or even domesticated.

How seawater strengthens ancient Roman concrete

Mon, 03 Jul 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(University of Utah) While modern marine concrete structures crumble within decades, 2,000-year-old Roman piers and breakwaters endure to this day, and are stronger now than when they were first constructed. University of Utah geologist Marie Jackson studies the minerals and microscale structures of Roman concrete as she would a volcanic rock. She and her colleagues have found that seawater filtering through the concrete leads to the growth of interlocking minerals that lend the concrete added cohesion.

Uniting lost voices

Fri, 30 Jun 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Arizona State University) Bioarchaeology is a young but quickly growing field that studies how people from the past lived and died. However, it faces a problem: there are many different approaches to and even definitions of bioarchaeological research, making it difficult to share findings across disciplines, organizations and geographic borders. Bioarchaeology International is a new, first-of-its-kind journal specifically dedicated to bioarchaeological research. Its goal is to help unify perspectives by providing a space for peer-reviewed articles and encouraging global discussion.

Rare, exceptionally preserved fossil reveals lifestyle of ancient armor-plated reptile

Fri, 30 Jun 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(University of Oxford) An exceptionally preserved fossil from the Alps in eastern Switzerland has revealed the best look so far at an armored reptile from the Middle Triassic named Eusaurosphargis dalsassoi. The fossil is extremely rare in that it contains the animal's complete skeleton, giving an Anglo-Swiss research team a very clear idea of its detailed anatomy and probable lifestyle for the first time, according to a paper published in Scientific Reports today.

The Statue of Liberty's true colors (video)

Thu, 29 Jun 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(American Chemical Society) The Statue of Liberty is an iconic blue-green symbol of freedom. But did you know she wasn't always that color? When France gifted Lady Liberty to the US, she was a 305-foot statue with reddish-brown copper skin. See how this statue transitioned from penny red to chocolate brown to glorious liberty green in this Reactions video, just in time for Independence Day:

University of Leicester develops pioneering X-ray technique to analyze ancient artifacts

Thu, 29 Jun 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(University of Leicester) Leicester leads an international team to develop new method for conducting materials analysis on historical objects.

Ancient viral 'fossils' reveal evolutionary mechanisms

Thu, 29 Jun 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Hokkaido University) Studying DNA fragments left by ancient viruses in their host's genome has shown even non-autonomous viruses could prosper by helping each other.

Acoustic scientist sounds off about the location of cave paintings

Thu, 29 Jun 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Acoustical Society of America) One popular theory about the Paleolithic cave paintings proposes that sites were chosen based on the acoustics in the caves. The originators of the theory reported a causal connection between the 'points of resonance' in three French caves and the position of Paleolithic cave paintings. David Lubman, an acoustic scientist and fellow of ASA, will share some of the insights from his research during Acoustics '17 Boston, held June 25-29, in Boston, Mass.

3,000-year-old textiles are earliest evidence of chemical dyeing in the Levant

Wed, 28 Jun 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(American Friends of Tel Aviv University) Tel Aviv University archaeologists have revealed that cloth samples found in the Israeli desert present the earliest evidence of plant-based textile dyeing in the region. They are estimated to date from the 13th-10th centuries BCE, the era of David and Solomon.

Researchers document early, permanent human settlement in Andes

Wed, 28 Jun 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(University of Wyoming) Examining human remains and other archaeological evidence from a site at nearly 12,500 feet above sea level in Peru, the scientists show that intrepid hunter-gatherers -- men, women and children -- managed to survive at high elevation before the advent of agriculture, in spite of lack of oxygen, frigid temperatures and exposure to elements.

In Turkey, carved skulls provide the first evidence of a neolithic 'skull cult'

Wed, 28 Jun 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(American Association for the Advancement of Science) Three carved skull fragments uncovered at a Neolithic dig site in Turkey feature modifications not seen before among human remains of the time, researchers say. Thus, these modified skull fragments could point to a new 'skull cult' -- or ritual group -- from the Neolithic period. Throughout history, people have valued skulls for different reasons, from ancestor worship to the belief that.

Analysis of Neanderthal teeth grooves uncovers evidence of prehistoric dentistry

Wed, 28 Jun 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(University of Kansas) A discovery of multiple toothpick grooves on teeth and signs of other manipulations by a Neanderthal of 130,000 years ago are evidence of a kind of prehistoric dentistry, according to a new study led by a University of Kansas researcher.