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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: Fri, 09 Dec 2016 22:06:01 EST

Copyright: Copyright 2016 American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS); All rights reserved.
 



Study finds capuchin monkeys produce sharp stone flakes similar to tools

Fri, 09 Dec 2016 00:00:00 EST

(Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo) In a study published in Nature, researchers describe that rock fragments produced unintentionally today by primates in Serra da Capivara National Park in Brazil resemble tools made deliberately 2.6 million years ago by ancestors of humans.



Smallpox, once thought an ancient disease, may have emerged in more recent times

Thu, 08 Dec 2016 00:00:00 EST

(McMaster University) New genetic research from an international team including McMaster University, University of Helsinki, Vilnius University and the University of Sydney, suggests that smallpox, a pathogen that caused millions of deaths worldwide, may not be an ancient disease but a much more modern killer that went on to become the first human disease eradicated by vaccination.



Identifying age measurements distorted by fossil fuel emissions

Tue, 06 Dec 2016 00:00:00 EST

(Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research) Good news for archaeologists and natural scientists! You will be able to continue to use the radiocarbon method as a reliable tool for determining the age of artifacts and sample materials.



Tibetan Mastiff gained high altitude adaptation after domestication by wolf interbreeding

Tue, 06 Dec 2016 00:00:00 EST

(Molecular Biology and Evolution (Oxford University Press)) A new study demonstrates strong genetic evidence that, when man first settled into the Tibetan plateau, the recently domesticated Tibetan Mastiff interbred with the Tibet grey wolf, and a DNA swap being introduced at two genomic hotspots is the key to acquiring their special high altitude powers. And in a spectacular coincidence, it turns out to be the same location, same gene, same mechanism -- interbreeding -- as in humans with an ancient hominid known as the Denisovans.



Neolithic Syrians were first to domesticate cereals

Mon, 05 Dec 2016 00:00:00 EST

(Spanish National Research Council (CSIC)) Eleven-thousand years ago, a Syrian community began a practice which would change man's relationship with his surroundings forever: the initiation of cereal domestication and, with it, the commencement of agriculture, a process which lasted several millennia. The discoveries, made at the Tell Qarassa North archaeological site, situated near the city of Sweida in Syria, are the oldest evidence of the domestication of three species of cereal: one of barley and two of wheat (spelt and farrow).



Secrets of the paleo diet: Discovery reveals plant-based menu of prehistoric man

Mon, 05 Dec 2016 00:00:00 EST

(The Hebrew University of Jerusalem) A collection of 780,000-year-old edible plants found in Israel reveals the plant-based diet of the prehistoric man and is the largest and most diverse in the Levantine corridor linking Africa and Eurasia.



Mummified remains identified as Egyptian Queen Nefertari

Mon, 05 Dec 2016 00:00:00 EST

(University of York) A team of international archaeologists believe a pair of mummified legs on display in an Italian museum may belong to Egyptian Queen Nefertari -- the favorite wife of the pharaoh Ramses II.



Prehistoric plant remains highlight diverse origins of cereal domestication

Mon, 05 Dec 2016 00:00:00 EST

(University of Copenhagen - Faculty of Humanities) A new study shows that the process of cultivation and domestication of cereals occurred at different times across southwest Asia. The analyses of plant remains from archaeological sites dated to around 11,600-10,700 years ago suggest that in regions such as Turkey, Iran and Iraq, legumes, fruits and nuts dominated the diet, whereas cereals were the preferred types of plants in Jordan, Syria, Palestine and Israel. This means that Neolithic plant-based subsistence strategies were regionally diverse.



Researchers find overwhelming evidence of malaria's existence 2,000 years ago

Mon, 05 Dec 2016 00:00:00 EST

(McMaster University) An analysis of 2,000-year-old human remains from several regions across the Italian peninsula has confirmed the presence of malaria during the Roman Empire, addressing a longstanding debate about its pervasiveness in this ancient civilization.



Researchers may have found first polluted river from before Bronze Age

Fri, 02 Dec 2016 00:00:00 EST

(University of Waterloo) Industrial pollution may seem like a modern phenomenon, but in fact, an international team of researchers may have discovered what could be the world's first polluted river, contaminated approximately 7,000 years ago.



Bitumen from Middle East discovered in 7th century buried ship in UK

Thu, 01 Dec 2016 00:00:00 EST

(PLOS) Middle Eastern Bitumen, a rare, tar-like material, is present in the seventh century ship buried at Sutton Hoo, according to a study published in the open-access journal PLOS ONE on Nov. 30, 2016, by Pauline Burger and colleagues from the British Museum, UK, and the University of Aberdeen.



Renaissance astronomer Tycho Brahe was full of gold

Thu, 01 Dec 2016 00:00:00 EST

(University of Southern Denmark) Chemical analyses of Tycho Brahe's exhumed remains have revealed that the world-renowned astronomer was regularly exposed to large quantities of gold until shortly before his death.



Analysis of Iron Age ceramics suggests complex pattern of Eastern Mediterranean trade

Wed, 30 Nov 2016 00:00:00 EST

(PLOS) Cypriot-style pottery may have been locally produced as well as imported and traded in Turkey during the Iron Age, according to a study published Nov. 30, 2016, in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Steven Karacic from Florida State University, USA, and James Osborne of the University of Chicago, USA.



Bone scans suggest early hominin 'Lucy' spent significant time in trees

Wed, 30 Nov 2016 00:00:00 EST

(PLOS) Scans of bones from 'Lucy,' the 3.18 million-year-old Australopithecus afarensis fossil, suggest that the relative strength of her arms and legs was in between that of modern chimpanzees and modern humans, according to a study published Nov. 30, 2016, in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Christopher Ruff from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, USA, and colleagues.



Life before oxygen

Tue, 29 Nov 2016 00:00:00 EST

(University of Cincinnati) UC geologist uncovers 2.5 billion-year-old fossils of bacteria that predate the formation of oxygen.



Turkeys were a major part of ancestral Pueblo life

Tue, 22 Nov 2016 00:00:00 EST

(Washington State University) While the popular notion of the American Thanksgiving is less than 400 years old, the turkey has been part of American lives for more than 2,000 years. But for much of that time, the bird was more revered than eaten.



Archaeological excavation unearths evidence of turkey domestication 1,500 years ago

Mon, 21 Nov 2016 00:00:00 EST

(Field Museum) Archaeologists have unearthed a clutch of domesticated turkey eggs used as a ritual offering 1,500 years ago in Oaxaca, Mexico -- some of the earliest evidence of turkey domestication.



FSU researchers talk turkey: Native Americans raised classic holiday bird

Mon, 21 Nov 2016 00:00:00 EST

(Florida State University) Researchers found turkeys were being raised and managed by Native Americans years before the first Thanksgiving.



Beta-keratin discovery in bird feather fossil may help identify paleo color

Mon, 21 Nov 2016 00:00:00 EST

(Chinese Academy of Sciences Headquarters) A team of international scientists led by researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences reported recently the oldest fossil evidence of beta-keratin from feathers of a 130-million-year-old basal bird from the famous Early Cretaceous Jehol Biota.



Rice farming in India much older than thought, used as 'summer crop' by Indus civilization

Sun, 20 Nov 2016 00:00:00 EST

(University of Cambridge) Thought to have arrived from China in 2000 BC, latest research shows domesticated rice agriculture in India and Pakistan existed centuries earlier, and suggests systems of seasonal crop variation that would have provided a rich and diverse diet for the Bronze Age residents of the Indus valley.



UF archaeologist uses 'dinosaur crater' rocks, prehistoric teeth to track ancient humans

Fri, 18 Nov 2016 00:00:00 EST

(University of Florida) Where's the best place to start when retracing the life of a person who lived 4,000 years ago? Turns out, it's simple -- you start at the beginning.



Europe joins forces in cultural heritage investigation

Tue, 15 Nov 2016 00:00:00 EST

(Spanish National Research Council (CSIC)) Just as astrophysicists and physicists depend on telescopes and particle accelerators which are often shared by several countries to carry out observations and experiments, researchers into cultural heritage are about to share a network of facilities and equipment located across Europe in order to advance their research projects into preservation and restoration.



Early evidence of dairying discovered

Tue, 15 Nov 2016 00:00:00 EST

(University of York) A team of scientists and archaeologists have discovered widespread evidence of prehistoric milk production in southern Europe.



Autism and human evolutionary success

Tue, 15 Nov 2016 00:00:00 EST

(University of York) A subtle change occurred in our evolutionary history 100,000 years ago which allowed people who thought and behaved differently -- such as individuals with autism -- to be integrated into society, academics from the University of York have concluded.



Widespread evidence of prehistoric dairying discovered along the Mediterranean coast

Tue, 15 Nov 2016 00:00:00 EST

(University of Bristol) An interdisciplinary team of scientists and archaeologists have discovered widespread evidence of prehistoric milk production in southern Europe.