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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 Nov 2017 21:06:02 EST

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

Professor publishes archaeological research on social inequality

Fri, 17 Nov 2017 00:00:00 EST

(The University of Montana) The origins of social inequality might lie in the remnants of ancient Eurasia's agricultural societies, according to an article recently published in the major science journal Nature.

A sub-desert savanna spread across Madrid 14 million years ago

Fri, 17 Nov 2017 00:00:00 EST

(Universidad Complutense de Madrid) The current landscape of Madrid city and its vicinity was really different 14 million years ago. A semi-desert savanna has been inferred for the center of the Iberian Peninsula in the middle Miocene. This ecosystem was characterized by a very arid tropical climatic regime with up to ten months of drought per year, according to a recent paper published in PLOS ONE. Scientists reached such conclusions after comparing mammal faunal with Africa and Asia ones.

'Wooden shoe' rather wear sneakers?

Thu, 16 Nov 2017 00:00:00 EST

(University of Western Ontario) Bio-archeologists have discovered a pattern of unusual bone chips in the feet of clog-wearing 19th-Century Dutch farmers -- injuries that offer clues to the damage we may unwittingly be causing to our own feet.

Human evolution was uneven and punctuated, suggests new research

Thu, 16 Nov 2017 00:00:00 EST

(Elsevier) Neanderthals survived at least 3,000 years longer than we thought in Southern Iberia -- what is now Spain -- long after they had died out everywhere else, according to new research published in Heliyon.

Researchers chart rising inequality across millennia

Wed, 15 Nov 2017 00:00:00 EST

(Washington State University) Researchers at Washington State University and 13 other institutions have found that the arc of prehistory bends towards economic inequality. In the largest study of its kind, the researchers saw disparities in wealth mount with the rise of agriculture, specifically the domestication of plants and large animals, and increased social organization.

World's longest sauropod dinosaur trackway brought to light

Tue, 14 Nov 2017 00:00:00 EST

(CNRS) In 2009, the world's largest dinosaur tracks were discovered in the French village of Plagne, in the Jura Mountains. Since then, a series of excavations at the site has uncovered other tracks, sprawling over more than 150 meters. French scientists conclude these tracks were left 150 million years ago by a dinosaur at least 35 meters long and weighing no less than 35 tons.

Archaeologists find earliest evidence of winemaking

Mon, 13 Nov 2017 00:00:00 EST

(University of Toronto) Excavations in the Republic of Georgia by the Gadachrili Gora Regional Archaeological Project Expedition (GRAPE), a joint undertaking between the University of Toronto and the Georgian National Museum, have uncovered evidence of the earliest winemaking anywhere in the world. The discovery dates the origin of the practice to the Neolithic period around 6000 BC, pushing it back 600-1,000 years from the previously accepted date.

Ink from ancient Egyptian papyri contains copper

Fri, 10 Nov 2017 00:00:00 EST

(University of Copenhagen - Faculty of Humanities) Until recently, it was assumed that the ink used for writing was primarily carbon-based at least until the fourth and fifth centuries AD. But in a new University of Copenhagen study, analyses of 2,000-year-old papyri fragments with X-ray microscopy show that black ink used by Egyptian scribes also contained copper -- an element previously not identified in ancient ink.

Neolithic farmers coexisted with hunter-gatherers for centuries in Europe

Thu, 09 Nov 2017 00:00:00 EST

(Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History) New research answers a long-debated question among anthropologists, archaeologists and geneticists: when farmers first arrived in Europe, how did they interact with existing hunter-gatherer groups? Did the farmers wipe out the hunter-gatherers, through warfare or disease, shortly after arriving? Or did they slowly out-compete them over time? The current study, published today in Nature, suggests that these groups likely coexisted side-by-side for some time before the farming populations slowly integrated local hunter-gatherers.

UC philosopher uses 'imagination' to help break political, sustainability barriers

Wed, 08 Nov 2017 00:00:00 EST

(University of Cincinnati) A new book by UC philosopher addresses global environmental degradation head-on using unique tools to create inclusive policy change and economic justice.

Science meets archaeology with discovery that dental X-rays reveal Vitamin D deficiency

Tue, 07 Nov 2017 00:00:00 EST

(McMaster University) Human teeth hold vital information about Vitamin D deficiency, a serious but often hidden condition that can now be identified by a simple dental X-ray, McMaster anthropologists Lori D'Ortenzio and Megan Brickley have found.

Man's earliest ancestors discovered in southern England

Tue, 07 Nov 2017 00:00:00 EST

(University of Portsmouth) Fossils of the oldest mammals related to mankind have been discovered on the Jurassic Coast of Dorset in the UK. The two teeth are from small, rat-like creatures that lived 145 million years ago in the shadow of the dinosaurs. They are the earliest undisputed fossils of mammals belonging to the line that led to human beings.

Height and weight evolved at different speeds in the bodies of our ancestors

Tue, 07 Nov 2017 00:00:00 EST

(University of Cambridge) The largest study to date of body sizes over millions of years finds a 'pulse and stasis' pattern to hominin evolution, with surges of growth in stature and bulk occurring at different times. At one stage, our ancestors got taller around a million years before body mass caught up.

Archaeologists unearth 'masterpiece' sealstone in Greek tomb

Mon, 06 Nov 2017 00:00:00 EST

(University of Cincinnati) Archaeologists with the University of Cincinnati are documenting artifacts contained within their amazing 2015 find, the tomb of the Griffin Warrior in Greece. But the 3,500-year-old treasures include their most stunning historical offering yet: an intricately carved gem, or sealstone, that represents one of the finest works of prehistoric Greek art ever found.

Excavation in Northern Iraq: Sasanian loom discovered

Mon, 06 Nov 2017 00:00:00 EST

(Goethe University Frankfurt) A team of Frankfurt-based archaeologists has returned from the Iraqi-Kurdish province of Sulaymaniyah with new findings. The discovery of a loom from the 5th to 6th century AD in particular caused a stir.

Could the Neolithic Revolution offer evidence of best ways to adapt to climate change?

Wed, 01 Nov 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(University of Plymouth) The behavior of the human population during the last intense period of global warming might offer an insight into how best to adapt to the current challenges posed by climate change, a study led by the University of Plymouth suggests.

Researchers look for dawn of human information sharing

Wed, 01 Nov 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Washington State University) Researchers are challenging a widely accepted notion, first advanced by paleoanthropologist Louis Leakey, that a 2 million-year-old rock represents the dawn of human ancestors sharing information with each other.

Oldest recorded solar eclipse helps date the Egyptian pharaohs

Sun, 29 Oct 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(University of Cambridge) Researchers have pinpointed the date of what could be the oldest solar eclipse yet recorded. The event, which occurred on Oct. 30, 1207 BC, is mentioned in the Bible, and could have consequences for the chronology of the ancient world.

New research on the Caribbean's largest concentration of indigenous pre-Columbian rock art

Sun, 29 Oct 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(University of Leicester) New research reveals key discoveries including first direct rock art dates in the Caribbean, how pre-Columbian rock-art was made and paint recipes.

FSU researcher: Modern civilization doesn't diminish violence

Fri, 27 Oct 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Florida State University) Modern civilization may not have dulled mankind's bloodlust, but living in a large, organized society may increase the likelihood of surviving a war, a Florida State University anthropology professor said.

Bat poop: A reliable source of climate change

Thu, 26 Oct 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(University of South Florida (USF Health)) Isotopes found in bat guano over the last 1,200 years provide scientists with information on how the climate was and is changing.

The Guanches originated from North Africa, shows DNA-study

Thu, 26 Oct 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(Stockholm University) The aboriginal inhabitants of the Canary Islands, commonly known as the Guanches, originated from North Africa. A team of international researchers led by Stockholm University, and including Liverpool John Moores University's Dr Linus Girdland-Flink, has now confirmed this long-held hypothesis. The result has been achieved by sequencing ancient DNA extracted from the University of Edinburgh's collection of skulls from Guanches who lived on Gran Canaria and Tenerife prior to the European conquest in the 15th century AD.

The Bakhshali manuscript: The world's oldest zero?

Thu, 26 Oct 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(University of Alberta) Last month, the Bodleian Library at Oxford University announced that a Sanskrit manuscript housed in the library for the last century contains the oldest known written zero, although not a 'true' zero. An international group of historians of Indian mathematics has now challenged those findings.

Ancient tastes: Book examines how Greeks and Romans inspired modern flavors

Thu, 26 Oct 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(University of Kent) Like today, ancient food fads came with dire warnings about the consequences of new arrivals on the scene. For example, when Sicilian sweets were introduced to Greece, some regarded them as a delicious luxury while others -- such as Plato -- said they would destroy the morality of the people. From battlefields and imperial courts to sanctuaries and boudoirs, tasting is a dangerous game in antiquity.

Could squirrel trade have contributed to England's medieval leprosy outbreak?

Wed, 25 Oct 2017 00:00:00 EDT

(St John's College, University of Cambridge) Genetic analysis of a pre-Norman skull unearthed in a garden in Suffolk has added to a growing body of evidence that East Anglia may have been the epicenter of an epidemic of leprosy that spread through medieval England. The authors of the new study suggest that an explanation for the prevalence of leprosy in medieval East Anglia may possibly be found in the sustained Scandinavian trade in squirrel fur -- an animal known to carry the disease.